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Opinion (161)

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Remain Long China. The QE Continues

I see no reason why not to stick with Shanghai at this point.  They're behind us at in terms of supporting their economy and it's not an easy ride (as Ben Bernanke will attest). 

According to BusinessInsider, a bunch of data about the state of China's economy came out Tuesday night, and altogether it told us one thing — nothing the government has been doing to save its economy from falling deeper into a slowdown is working.

Since November, China has cut benchmark interest rates three times, including once Saturday. It has also loosened mortgage policies to prop up the housing market.

But none of it's enough. Especially when you look at the data from Tuesday night.

Lets walk through the scariest…

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Admin

50 years And 12 Items Later From Warren Buffett

With 50 years at Berkshire Hathaway, I still read in on articles featuring Mr. Buffett.  You just never know what you'll find..

1. “We are limited, of course, to businesses whose economic prospects we can evaluate. And that’s a serious limitation: Charlie and I have no idea what a great many companies will look like ten years from now.”

“My experience in business helps me as an investor and that my investment experience has made me a better businessman. Each pursuit teaches lessons that are applicable to the other. And some truths can only be fully learned through experience.”

Treat an investment security as a proportional ownership of a business!  A security is not just a piece of paper. Not all businesses can be reasonably valued. That’s OK. Put them in the “too hard pile” and move…

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Admin

Random Notes

Life has intervened of late however I felt I would post my random thoughts viewing my port yesterday:

  • Russia is still working. RSX at it’s 100d today. I will add more if it comes back to the 50d http://screencast.com/t/Eh88iqLP   Long hold, definitely.  Throw it in a drawer and forget about it.

  • Buffet lowered his XOM stake and bought DE.  DE Monthly sure looks like its coiled up for something. Buffet obviously thinks new all time highs http://screencast.com/t/rlyFa0yzLeb  DE earnings this Friday bmo. I'd be long common and get put protection.  Buy or add on any selloff.  Daily view, bouncing off that 50% fib (to me) equals good chance it wants to challenge/break the high…

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Spruce Up Your Home Without Hiring a Professional

Depending on the condition of your home, the list of upgrades required to make it the home of your dreams might seem daunting and impossible to complete on your own.  Hiring a professional is not always a bad idea, especially when major work needs to be done to make a home safe to reside in.  But many times hiring a professional is not necessary if all the home needs is some tender love and care from its owners.  So before scouring the internet for the best contractor in your area, first determine how many of the upgrades you can complete on your own.
 
Why do-it-yourself projects are worth the time
 
You might have the skills to complete home improvement projects on your own, but have little time to do so.  You might have even heard rumors that do-it-yourself projects can be even more costly than hiring a professional to complete the projects.  You might be limited on time, so hiring a professional seems ideal. So why should you…

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Admin

Gundlach On GDP, Oil, Bonds And More

It seems not all money managers out there have the warm-n-fuzzies for equities in 2015.  Especially considering the almost two year sell-off in commodities, finally joined by crude oil in dramatic, face ripping action.  In fact, one feels that the rise in interest rates in 2015 will do what is not expected; flatten the yield curve.

If the curve flattens gradually, most traders said it probably means investors believe the Fed will keep future inflation in check with gradual rate hikes. Bond traders hate inflation because it erodes the value of their fixed-income investment.

But if the curve-flattening trend speeds up?…

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Admin

Dangers Of Underestimating Deflation

Deflation = Low wages + negative interest rates

Deflation will be the dominating theme of 2015. Deflation occurs when prices of production factors (wages and interest rates) fall to the extent of limiting labour and capital from drawing higher prices. The culprit to these conditions is typically an excess supply of labour and capital to the extent that wages and interest rates weaken substantially until they draw sufficient demand to the point of stabilising their price.

But as demand for labour and capital fails to fill the supply of workers and available liquidity, the spiral of excess supply takes over wages and interest rates remain weak, and even negative. Deflation hurts borrowers relative to lenders. Countries whose central banks combat deflation, or conduct reflationary policies, should see their…

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Admin

Enjoy The Holiday Season

U.S. markets will close early tomorrow, Christmas Eve and remain closed on Christmas day.  Regular trading will return on Friday although who's really going to be around?  Not me.  Even though it's a holiday week though, I will still be charting in the background (mental health time) so check back when you find spare moments and checkout our "Charts" section for new setups. See you back here full time next Monday.

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Admin

The Big Market Squeeze

Volatility definitely increased leading up to this weeks quadruple witching and the S&P (400, 500 and 600) index re-balancing taking place tonight after the close.  Selling the last two weeks resulted in oversold conditions in the near term charts and massive short covering at the market as every fund and investment bank bought new shares (as they rebalanced ahead of the indexes), resulted in two astounding days of back to back two percent gains.  Bulls were partying in the streets but is it warranted?   Has anything truly changed? 

Yes, the Fed has reassured…

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Admin

After hearing one analyst commenting that lower prices at the pump would translate into increased oil demand, I had to open up the commentary notepad.  (click on charts to enlarge)

The first thing that immediately came to mind was the rising costs elsewhere in Americans pocketbooks that would take up the slack of lower gasoline prices, such as rent.  Social Security recipients for example will see an increase of 1.9% in 2015 however this is no where on pace with the increases in average rents which continue to climb.  In fact, how about a rent increase of 6.9% in November according to Trulia?  Ouch!

Indeed incomes, when adjusted for inflation, have definitely not kept pace since 2000. (chart…

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Admin

Gotta Love It - Ted Cruz Edition

Once is a great while you come across a blogger who takes a subject in the limelight, such as Ted Cruz's ridiculous tweet today on Net Neutrality, and he proceeds to absolutely NAIL it explaining why he's wrong in such a way, that even a 5th grader can understand it. 

It's gone viral on Facebook and the comments continue to fly in.  Nice effort on Cruz's part to get the 'uninformed' and 'Obama haters' to turn against Net Neutrality without even knowing why..........because Cruz says so!  He has, after all, recently issed a comic book entitled "Ted Cruz Saves America".  *LOL*  This is classic.  Read on.…

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Admin

Are Profit Margins Sustainable: RBC

Stock markets have enjoyed a banner half-decade, forcefully reclaiming the ground lost to the financial crisis, and then some. This vigorous performance has occurred thanks, above all else, to two key enablers: surging earnings and recovering valuations. On the surface, there is nothing especially questionable about either. Earnings naturally rise as economies grow, and valuations recover as risk aversion fades.

However, a closer examination reveals a significant vulnerability within this cozy equation. Corporate earnings growth has been, in a sense, too good – persistently outpacing both revenues and the economy. This has driven profit margins to multi-decade highs.

Worryingly, profit margins have long been assumed to be mean-reverting, arguing that these juicy gains may…

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Admin

Is It A Correction Or Bear Market?

“Is the S&P in a correction or Bear market Mom?” is the question I received from my daughter last night. She’s been learning the stock market slowly over the last five or so years and I cringe at times with the questions she poses however no question is a bad question. I’d rather she come to me than blindly follow some pundit or supposed guru to $99/month subscription. After all, if he/she is so smart – why do they even need to charge for anything?  Just sit back and enjoy the wealth.

While the big boys and their algorithms have their calculated strategy, this is how I explained it to her in my simple, 'laywomans' terms.  In my mind big money typically buys at major supports during a correction. They sit back and salivate at an opportunity to, not buy the dip, buy buy on the cheap and define their risk.

For me, I consider the monthly 20 SMA as you can see from my prior post on the subject…

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Admin

Roasted NFLX

You mean when you raise prices, it affects subscriber levels?  No one told Reed Hastings and nor did he forewarn the market of the drop which was coming.  NFLX already has streaming competition from HBO (TWC) and talk is being bandied about that CBS will be joining that pool along side AMZN and others and well, it all equals = more competition.  NFLX is no longer 'unique'.  Yes I am short this pos based off the technical divergences on the daily chart.  Burnt popcorn anyone?…

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Admin

Headlines And Risk Appetite

Very quickly some morning headlines.  While a few of the geopolitical risk headlines may be behind us (Brazil election, Russian border, etc) I believe markets are waiting for this quarters earnings (and guidance) to set the stage.  Multi-nationals with exposure overseas may struggle going forward if one believes the headlines below:

  • IMF revises and raises growth for the US BUT lowers prospects for the world (4.0 to 3.0%)
  • IMF says some valuations are "frothy"
  • SODA warns of miss and citing lower US demand (stick a fork in it)
  • Women's apparel mfgr CBK warns of lower sales; blames low mall traffic.
  • Hong Kong retailers experience sharp sales decline (blames protests of course because happy people would be spending)
  • AGCO cuts forecast, shares down 6% premarket
  • Taiwan's exports growth…

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Admin

Looking Back At The Market

The ECB left its key lending rates at record low levels, and the four-week moving average for initial claims is at an eight-year low.  That sounds like a pretty good setup for a stock market that worries about earnings prospects tied to a stronger dollar, loves the thought of central bank policy rates holding near the zero bound, and is anxious to see evidence the U.S. economy is gaining momentum.

Despite the setup, it has been a swing and a miss so far for the stock market, which has once again been greeted with steady, and broad-based, selling pressure.

ECB President Mario Draghi is getting a lot of blame for the disappointing price action based on reports that his presentation regarding the ECB's asset-backed securities purchase program was lacking and the…

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Admin

Open Mouth - Insert Size Nine

The odds of any weather forecast predicting rain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas are heavily skewed in favor of the naysayers any given time of year.   

We live with 0-20% humidity daily; a far cry from the Chicago of which I was accustomed for 50 years.  Down here arthritis pain, or I should say inflation due to humidity or cold, is a distant memory (thank goodness).

So one becomes the Rodney Dangerfield heckler in the crowd when the weatherman, or weather[dot]com for that matter, forecasts rain.  You plow ahead and plan that birthday BBQ or soccer game anyway.  You wash the car and exterior windows of the house in full anticipation that once again, the rain will evaporate before ever hitting the ground once more.  Rain is seldom, welcomed and evaporates quickly.  Welcome to DFW.

Yesterday was such a day as I monitored weather[dot]com’s radar map and posted to my old Chicago friends on Facebook “it looks as though…

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Admin

Putting The Hong Kong Protests In Context

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have set a Wednesday deadline for a response from the government to meet their demands for reforms, threatening wider actions if Hong Kong's top leader does not meet with them.  Reports are that the protestors were considering various options, including widening the protests, pushing for a labor strike and possibly occupying a government building if the deadline is not met.

The protesters want a reversal of a decision by China's government in August that a pro-Beijing panel will screen all candidates in the territory's first direct elections, scheduled for 2017 — a move they view as reneging on a promise that the chief executive will be chosen through "universal suffrage."

The Economist…

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Admin

Talk Of Softbank-4-Dreamworks

Having recommended DWA long earlier this month, I was thrilled to see this headline today.  Now we're beginning to see what Softbank will do with a portion of their profits from the Alibaba ($BABA) investment after their IPO last week.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. 

SoftBank has been in the news lately because of its $20 million investment…

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