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As U.K.-based banks wait to see what life will be like after Brexit, one word -- passporting -- will speak volumes. If Prime Minister Theresa May can maintain the passporting rights of City of London banks, the U.K. stands to retain its status as a hub of global finance. If not, hope isn’t lost, but the alternative to passporting requires an arduous approval process and provides no secure basis for long-term planning.

1. What is…

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Tactically Cautious On Global Equities

A December Fed rate hike, uncertainty regarding the U.S. presidential elections, weak earnings growth, diminished buyback activity and concerns about European banks pose near-term risks to global equities.  Comments in italics are mine.

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The summer rally has left equity valuations looking stretched. The median U.S. stock now trades at a higher P/E ratio than even at the 2000 peak. The Shiller P/E ratio stands at 27, but would be 37 if profit margins over the preceding ten years had been what they were in the 1990s. The fact that interest rates are low gives stocks some support, but with the Fed likely to hike rates in December, that tailwind will begin to fade.

Lackluster earnings growth remains another concern. S&P 500 and economy-wide profit margins have rolled over. Granted, the collapse in profits in the energy sector has been the major…

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Credit Spreads And Earnings Estimates. Random Thoughts

This week’s EVA brings the second edition of our new Random Thoughts format. The goal with this approach is to cover several key, but often unrelated, topics in a quick overview fashion.

In this issue, we are looking at, once again, the powerful financial force known as credit spreads.   Fortunately, they are not indicating financial stress at this time. We are also examining the supposed truism that this is one of the most detested bull markets of all time. Then, we wrap up with a look at the Fed’s and Wall Street’s forecasting track record (hint:  both make a dart-board look good!).

As always, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

When the spread isn’t the thing. One of the themes this newsletter has emphasized most heavily this year has been the importance of the spread—or difference—between government and corporate bond yields. As we have repeatedly…

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Predicting The Feds Interest Rate Forecast

This is one of the stranger things we've seen recently.

The research team at the San Francisco Fed earlier this week published a letter analyzing one startup's analysis of Fed communications.

Economist Fernanda Nechio and researcher Rebecca Regan looked at data from Prattle, a textual analysis specialist, as part of an examination of the Fed's communication strategy following the financial crisis.

The short of it is that Prattle was accurately able to predict what the Fed's infamous "dot plot" would look like upon its next release.

Since 2012, the Fed has released a Summary of Economic Projections (SEP) — which contains economic…

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Fed Speak Shakes Market

Tranquility that has enveloped global markets for more than two months was upended as central banks start to question the benefits of further monetary easing, sending government debt, stocks and emerging-market assets to the biggest declines since June. The dollar jumped.

The S&P 500 Index, global equities and emerging-market assets tumbled at least 2 percent in the biggest rout since Britain voted to secede from the European Union. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped to the highest since June and the greenback almost erased a weekly slide as a Federal Reserve official warned waiting too long to raise rates threatened to overheat the economy. German 10-year yields rose above zero for the first time since July after the European Central Bank downplayed the need for more stimulus.

Fed Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren’s…

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Paper Trading Is Obsolete

I don't actually embrace this headline.  In my experience, yes, emotions exist while paper trading.  It's merely that you can sleep at night knowing your bank account didn't go up in flames but that's just me.  It's also essential in my book that you determine what "type" of trader you want to be.  It's one thing to say you want to invest like Warren Buffett but just what does that entail?  Do you rally know?  It's also super easy to be sucked in by get-rich-quick ads and bloggers who entice you to sign up for their premium edition (none of which I recommend).  Don't underestimate the market.  It's NOT easy, even if you believe you've got a plan and everyone loses.  Everyone.  The trick is not to be fooled.  Ignore the…

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Don't Be Fooled The Bond Rally Continues

We’ve been bulls on 30-year Treasury bonds since 1981 when we stated, “We’re entering the bond rally of a lifetime.” It’s still under way, in our opinion. Their yields back then were 15.2%, but our forecast called for huge declines in inflation and, with it, a gigantic fall in bond yields to our then-target of 3%.

The Cause of Inflation

We’ve argued that the root of inflation is excess demand, and historically it’s caused by huge government spending on top of a fully-employed economy.  That happens…

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The Leaders Of Online Retail

In a bid to improve its position in the ever-growing e-commerce market, Walmart announced today that it agreed to acquire Jet.com for approximately $3 billion in cash. Jet.com is a relatively young e-commerce startup that made a name for itself with an innovative pricing scheme that allows customers to reduce prices by, for example, ordering items from the same distribution center or by forgoing the ability to return items for free.

Walmart and other big-box retailers have struggled to break Amazon’s stranglehold on online retail in the United States, where the market leader’s internet sales exceeded the aggregate sales of its nine largest…

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The Top 10 Emerging Technologies Of 2016

Sometimes the world is not yet ready for a new technology to enter the fray.

Virtual reality, for example, sat on the sidelines for many years. The industry went into hibernation around the time of the Dot Com Bust, and it has only recently re-emerged with promise.

It is only today that big companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, HTC, and Facebook have the infrastructure, peripheral technologies, and capital in place to properly commercialize the technology. Now, instead of using primitive 300 x 200 pixel LCD displays that were prohibitively expensive in the 90s, we are looking at a world where display will be in beautiful 4k quality. Meanwhile, accelerometers and gyroscopes can measure head movement, and modern computing power can reduce lag and latency. It took many years, but finally the true…

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Why You Think You're Right, Even When You're Wrong

Have you ever believed a trend is about to change but your basic, every day indicators don't quite support your theory so you insert different studies, looking for one or two which could support your thesis? Yes, soldier and scout mindsets affect your decision making when investing but remember, that's your theory.  Does the rest of the crowd believe what you do?

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Bonds Are 'Housing' All Over Again

As German bond yields breach unthinkable levels, BK was struck by a chart from Deutsche Bank – it is a chart of German yields since 1807.

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Take a moment to reflect on this chart – in over 200 years, German bond yields have never been lower. This period of time includes such notable and notorious events as:

  • US Civil War
  • The British Railway Mania Bubble
  • The Panic of 1873 and The Long Global Depression
  • Industrial Revolution
  • Thomas Edison’s Invention of Electric Light
  • Invention of the Automobile
  • Stock Market Panic of 1907
  • World War I
  • 1929 Stock Market Crash
  • The Depression of the 1930’s
  • World War II
  • Japan’s Real Estate Bubble and Crash
  • The Dot-Com Bubble
  • 1987 US Stock Market Crash
  • 1997 Asian Currency Crisis
  • 1998 Russian Default and Long…

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Admin

Seven Ways To Trade The Brexit Vote

Next week will be a historical one for both the United Kingdom and the global economy. On June 23rd the British people will decide whether to leave or stay in the European Union. Polls have been mixed over the last couple months, but the latest out show momentum for leaving, which is scaring the markets.

Loss of British sovereignty is the fundamental reason for leaving the EU, as many supporters want to take back control of U.K. borders in order to curb immigration. Those that wish to stay in the EU say there are severe short-term economic consequences that would make trade difficult and slow the economy. Even President Obama recently said that if there is a Brexit, the U.K. would go to the “back of the queue” in American trade deals.

While debate and speculation is running rampant, markets are watching the British Pound closely. Last week U.S. indices tracked and moved with the Pound tick for tick, showing that traders are very concerned about the upcoming…

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Business Loan Delinquencies At 2008 Levels

Energy defaults have been heavy on my mind as their Bankruptcies are expected to increase greatly in the second half of 2016.  I didn't even touch on farms and other exploding debt. Clearly I'm not alone in this concern.  It's not housing this time; it's much worse.  If rates rise, what will happen? Emphasis in bold mine.  Read on.

This could not have come at a more perfect time, with the Fed once again flip-flopping about raising rates. After appearing to wipe rate hikes off the table earlier this year, the Fed put them back on the table, perhaps as soon as June, according to the Fed minutes. A coterie of Fed heads was paraded in front of the…

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