Opinion (171)

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1291252?profile=RESIZE_480x480Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in California and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, warns us of a insidious and pervasive new form of mind control: search results.

That’s right, search results. And not just any search results: Google search results. Since 2013 Epstein and colleagues have conducted a number of experiments in the US and India to determine whether search results can impact people’s political opinions.

Epstein points out that about 50 percent of our clicks go to the top two items on the first page of results, and more than 90 percent of our clicks go to the 10 items listed. And of course Google, which dominates the search business, decides which of the billions of web pages to include in our search results, and it decides how to rank them.

But surely, Epstein thought, a top search result would have only a small impact on a person’s political choices. Not so! To Epstein’s surpri

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Why Most People Fail At Trading

One item I completely agree with is the pundits and "know it alls" on entertainment news television.  They're there to entertain you; not make you rich.  I get my economic releases on them and *off* they go the rest of the day.  I trust my charts; charts don't lie.  People do.

1291386?profile=RESIZE_1024x1024Courtesy of Martinkronicle

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When Stocks Are On Sale

This caught my eye as I tend to look at stocks when they near a significant, long-term support such as a 100 month or 200 month EMA or SMA.  Of course I'm buying with a long term perspective in this approach but it got me wondering: Is is better to hold your breath and simply buy stocks when they've sold off 20%? The downside still terrifies me but looking at historical returns is intriguing.   From Awelathofcommonsense:

Large cap U.S. equities continue to hold up well with the S&P 500 down roughly 12% from its all-time highs reached last spring. To some degree, this performance has masked the global bear market going on in the rest of the world. Take a look at this list of country ETFs from Bespoke Investment Group:

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.21.57 AM

The average drop from the 52-week high on this list is just shy of 30%. Not too pretty. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder in these situations. Historically, buying global stocks after they have fallen into bear market territory has been rewarding for investors.

I

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What Might Happen In China In 2016

In debates about whether growth is a percentage point up or down, we too often lose sight of the absolute scale of China’s economy. No matter what rate the country grows at in 2016, its share of the global economy, and of many specific sectors, will be larger than ever. My snapshot of China in 2016? An increasingly diverse, volatile, $11 trillion economy whose performance is becoming more and more difficult to describe as one dimensional.

The reality is that China’s economy is today made up of multiple subeconomies, each more than a trillion dollars in size. Some are booming, some declining. Some are globally competitive, others fit for the scrap heap. How you feel about China depends more than ever on the parts of the economy where you compete. In 2015, selling kit to movie theaters has been great business, selling kit to steel mills less so. In your China, are you dealing with a tiger or a tortoise? Your performance in 2016 will depend on knowing the answer to this question and shapi

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Byron Wiens Top 10 Surprises For 2016

crystal-ball.jpg?width=300Byron R. Wien, Vice Chairman of Multi-Asset Investing at Blackstone, today issued his list of Ten Surprises for 2016. This is the 31st year Byron has given his views on a number of economic, financial market and political surprises for the coming year. Byron defines a “surprise” as an event that the average investor would only assign a one out of three chance of taking place but which Byron believes is “probable,” having a better than 50% likelihood of happening.

Byron started the tradition in 1986 when he was the Chief U.S. Investment Strategist at Morgan Stanley. Byron joined Blackstone in September 2009 as a senior advisor to both the firm and its clients in analyzing economic, political, market and social trends.

Byron’s Ten Surprises for 2016 are as follows:

1. Riding on the coattails of Hillary Clinton, the winner of the presidential race against Ted Cruz, the Democrats gain control of the Senate in November.  The extreme positions of the Republican presidential candidate on k

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As Bloomberg warned in early December as BlueCrest Capital Management stated it would no longer oversee money for outsiders, one thing founder Michael Platt didn’t mention was that clients had already pulled billions of dollars this year............and now Jim Cramer has joined the club.  It's been a rough environment for hedge funds and end of year is do or die.  Winners few and far between it seems and they want their money now.

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How Markets Are Manipulated

There once was a series of interviews with Jim Cramer, as you'll see here where he talks about his days as a Hedge Fund Manager, and they were a wonder to behold.  It seems many have been 'scrubbed' from the web (nice job Jim) but I came across this one and it'll give you a glimpse into the games that are played behind the scenes.  CNBC and its cohorts are entertainment and easily swayed.  Get your economic data and hit the 'mute' button.  Opinions are swayed by the opinions’ of others but it doesn't make them fact.  Learn this early.

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Negative Growth. Thank You Deflation And QE

?m=02&d=20151113&t=2&i=1094697813&w=644&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYNXNPEBAC140&width=300Investors may wade into unknown territory next month as the Federal Reserve readies the first rate hike in nearly a decade amid a corporate earnings recession.

S&P 500 earnings are on track to close their first reporting season of negative growth since the Great Recession and estimates call for sub-zero growth in the current quarter as well.

Even if the trend reverses next year, as expected, a Fed rate hike in December could mark an unprecedented conflict between a tightening cycle starting at the same time as earnings fall into recession.

"We can't think of any instances when the Fed was hiking during an (earnings) recession," said Joseph Zidle, portfolio strategist at Richard Bernstein Advisors in New York.

"In the last six months one can point at a lot of different things. But if you think about fundamentals, falling corporate profits and the threat of rising rates" are behind the market stalling, Zidle said.

With more than 90 percent of S&P 500 components having reported, S&P 500 e

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A Tech Bubble, An 'Everything' Bubble Or None At All

nick-bilton-technology-bubble-new-establishment.jpg?width=300One Thursday morning in early June, the ballroom of the Rosewood Sand Hill hotel, in Menlo Park, was closed for a private presentation. The grand banquet hall appeared worthy of the sprawling resort’s five-star designation: ornate chandeliers hung from the ceiling; silk panels with a silver stenciled design covered the walls. Behind a stage in the 2,800-square-foot room, a large sign bore the name of Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most revered venture-capital firms.

As breakfast and coffee were offered, the company’s partners mingled with the men and women who endow their $1.5 billion fund. The investors were dressed invariably in business casual, with the top button of their dress shirts noticeably undone. (A mere handful of men stood out in a suit and tie.) Off in the distance, you could make out the faint purr of Bentleys and Teslas ferrying along Sand Hill Road, depositing the Valley’s other top V.C.’s at their respective offices—Greylock Partners, Draper Fisher Jurv

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Chinas Desperate Attempts To Stabilize

1291211?profile=RESIZE_480x480Most of the time, weekly data published by the China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation (CSDC) is as dull as the organization’s name would suggest. But of some interest this year has been the weekly number of people opening trading accounts that allow them to buy and sell stocks.

Earlier, Quartz reported that a record 3.3 million individuals had rushed to join China’s stock market in the single week ending April 17. That was far above this year’s previous average weekly sign-up rate of 800,000.

After that week the market continued to grow until June 11, when it began a dramatic, prolonged crash that roiled markets worldwide. Quartz wanted to see how many people had signed up in the weeks from April 17 until now.

Oddly, however, the CSDC—which publishes data as far back as July 2013—has none of its typical investor data past May 29—two weeks ahead of the market’s descent:

It’s not clear why the CSDC either stopped publishing or removed its weekly data. Perhaps it doesn’t

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Admin

(Edited 2:00pm)  I especially enjoy the part when the commentator withdrew his request for an interview after Schiff refused to blame everything on China.  Yes, MSM wants us to believe it's all China's fault.  Don't drink the koolaid.  Use your head.

Hat tip Ed

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Admin

And They Crawl Out Of The Woodwork

1291256?profile=RESIZE_320x320You know it's coming and it won't be any easier to take than when you were small and your Mother said "I told you so".  The blogisphere will now erupt with the force of an annoying snaggle tooth emphatically screaming "I warned you" and "I said it was coming.........now buy my plan so you're prepared"  and ca-ching, you cough up the coin like a kid at the carnival freak show.   Every smidiot and hack will now attack your inbox on how they could have prevented your losses and how (via in their premier plan) you would have benefited this week.......if you had only listened.

Puhlease

Markets correct.  On occasion, they correct more than mere pullbacks but the essential thing to remember is, they recover.  

No, it's not a master plot against Donald Trump.  His over-swept hair is safe and........seriously?  Who would even dream up that scenario (smh) but the heavy-selling picture last week certainly backed up a Dow sell-signal and have many wondering, just where we'll stop or is the bu

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MLPs as Interest Rates Rise

1291216?profile=RESIZE_320x320I've long wondered about MLP's as interest rates begin to creep higher and crude oil, obviously, remains low.  After all, they're supposedly not tied to the price of crude oil, right?  Certainly 2015 has not been their "year" as the 10 year fluctuated, leaving me even more cautious but did this translate into a buying opportunity?  Consider this interesting piece here by TheReformedBroker

I’m sitting at the Strip House with a wholesaler from a large mutual fund / UIT sponsor two years ago. He’s a good guy but he’s there to sell. I’m there to eat thick-cut slab bacon and shrimp cocktail. I told him in advance that I’m not a buyer, but I have an open mind.

He’s showing me an SMA (separately managed account) strategy whereby his firm’s team of experts picks the best MLPs. The pitch is that MLPs are a way to participate in the growth of energy infrastructure but without having exposure to the volatility of oil prices. MLPs, he explains, are uncorrelated to the price of oil because they a

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Doubts Begin Chipping Away At The Stock Market

GRET-web-master675.jpg?width=300In the stock market, until recently, just about any news was good news.

Company earnings stumbled? Investors shrugged them off, sending shares higher. Economic growth was disappointing? So what.

But now that is changing.

Consider the recent trading in Apple, the world’s most valuable public company and a certifiable stock market darling. Apple announced third-quarter results on July 21 that were “amazing,” according to Tim Cook, its chief executive. Revenue rose 33 percent over the same period last year, and earnings per share were up 45 percent.

But investors seized on the fact that demand for the iPhone and the company’s new smartwatch didn’t meet expectations. Apple’s shares have lost 11.3 percent since then.

“I thought the break in Apple was a pretty big deal,” said Bill Fleckenstein, a veteran money manager at Fleckenstein Capital in Seattle. “They made all the numbers, but units were light. Maybe that is a precursor to what the entire tape is going to show us.”

The reaction to C

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Admin

While main stream media does their level best to keep us hugging our equities, they seem to ignore the fact that quantitative easing ran the market up from 2009 and while the economy has come a long way since the bottom, maybe, just maybe, it's strong enough to sustain us, but not equities at elevated levels.

Federal Reserve officials have signaled they think the economy is robust enough to withstand a round of interest-rate rises starting this year. But the bond market still seems skeptical.

While yields on short-term Treasury notes have started moving higher in anticipation of an interest-rate increase as early as September, yields on longer-term debt have remained stubbornly low. That is a sign that many investors are still doubtful about the health of the economy, and the ability of the Fed to keep raising rates without jeopardizing growth.

On Tuesday, yields on short-term U.S. Treasury notes rose after a Fed official sounded the latest all clear for a rate rise as soon as Septembe

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Pay For Performance Not What You Expected

I don’t begrudge the $15.3 million annual salary that Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus is knocking down this year, or even the $24 million that Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder will pocket.

The same goes for the $75 million that actor Robert Downey Jr. pocketed last year — more power to these gentlemen.

Indeed, all of them possess exceptional talents, and their agents negotiated the best money deals possible for them. These deals were struck in arm’s length transactions with rational, willing buyers of their talents — a professional baseball team and movie studio in these instances.

So big payouts such as those are fine by me. I don’t care.

1291201?profile=RESIZE_320x320But the same cannot be said for the exorbitant pay packages of corporate chief executive officers, which I find distasteful on two fronts.

First, the relationship between corporate boards of directors, who set compensation levels, and their CEOs is much too incestuous to resemble anything remotely akin to free market negotiations.

Seco

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What The Government Data Breach Means For You

20150710_cybersecurity_opm_hack.jpg?width=300One in 14 Americans may have just lost tons of their personal information — everything from their Social Security Number and birthdates to notes on their finances, relationships and even sexual proclivities — to hackers in a massive cyber breach, a federal agency said Thursday.

Hackers have made off with confidential data belonging to 22 million people who work, formerly worked or have applied to work for the federal government, costing a top agency official her job and exposing troves of sensitive data stored by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which serves as a sort of human resources for federal workers.

Here's a breakdown of the biggest questions — including what you should know about the attack, who is affected and what it means for you.

Which databases were hit?

While OPM has declined to say exactly which systems were affected, an agency filing in the Federal Register reveals two likely targets: the Enterprise Human Resources Integration (EHRI) system, which contains per

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Money Surges To Europe; Growth To Follow

If you ignore the ongoing Greek sideshow, rarely has European money growth been as accommodative as it is today. Europe has enormous structural problems of too much debt, an inflexible currency and an ageing population, but cyclical factors are very positive. Leading indicators are also positive, and the problems in Greece practically guarantee that the ECB will remain extremely accommodative even though Germany will require some tapering of QE.  Barring major contagion from Greece, any equity weakness in Europe will represent a buying opportunity.  Real M1 in Europe is growing at 11%, and the collapse in the price of oil means that excess liquidity is surging now and is as high as it was in 2009 and higher than it was in 2004-05.

img1-300x170.png?width=300

While investors are worried about the fallout from Greece on the European banking system, we offer the next chart to show that excess liquidity is still extremely positive for European banking stocks.

img2-300x163.png?width=300

- See more at: Variant

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