I don’t know how many times I’ve seen blog posts or articles or Tweets about negative consumer sentiment over the last year. These articles rightly point out that the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey is sitting near (or at a few months ago) 50 year lows. This fact is taken as a negative for the economy and therefore stocks. The only problem is that sentiment today tells you only how people view things today – and investing is about the future. If...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Peak Pessimism?
Goodbye and good riddance to the third quarter of 2022. That was one of the wildest 3 months I’ve experienced in my 40 years of trading and investing. The quarter started off great with the S&P 500 rising 14% from July 1 to August 16 but ended with a 17% swan dive into the end of the quarter. And we closed on the low of the year. The 10-year Treasury yield rose from 2.97% to 4% just a few days before the end of the quarter. The 3-7 year Treasury index – our...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Same As It Ever Was
History never repeats itself. Man always does. Voltaire Mark Twain is credited with a similar saying, that history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes. Of course, there is scant evidence that Clemens said anything of the sort just as Voltaire may or may not have penned the quote above. But both men were much wittier than I – than most – so I’ll take them both as being representative if not genuine. I have been a professional investor for now over 30 years and I have seen...Read More »
Gold traders on trial: Only buy physical
Followers of the gold and silver price will have long been aware of the cases brought against large banks for manipulating the precious metals markets. This week has brought the issue to the fore as three former JP Morgan employees stand trial for “racketeering conspiracy as well as conspiring to commit price manipulation, wire fraud, commodities fraud and spoofing from 2008 to 2016”. JP Morgan Chase & Co. has long been known to have an oversized influence on...Read More »
Market Pulse: Mid-Year Update
Note: This update is longer than usual but I felt a comprehensive review was necessary. The Federal Reserve panicked last week and spooked investors into the worst week for stocks since the onset of COVID in March 2020. The S&P 500 is now firmly in bear market territory but that is a fraction of the pain in stocks and other risky assets. Stocks are now down 10 of the last 11 weeks but the pain was concentrated in the last two weeks. 5 of the last 8 trading days...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Is The Bear Market Over?
Stocks had a rip snorter of a rally last week and a lot of people are pondering the question in the title over this long weekend. The S&P 500 was down 20.9% from intraday high (4818.62, January 4th) to intraday low (3810.32, May 20th). From that intraday low the market has risen 9.1% in just six trading days. That still leaves the market 13.7% from the intraday high and most investors still down double digits on the year (-11.5% for the standard 60/40 portfolio)....Read More »
Is Gold Starting to Behave Itself?
Gold is doing what it is supposed to do! Equity markets are tumbling, “NASDAQ 100 Rout Erases $1.5 Trillion in Market Value in 3 Days” reads one Bloomberg headline. The big names such as Apple lost over US$225 billion, Microsoft almost US$200 billion, Amazon and Tesla each lost US$175 billion market value over the three trading days from May 4 to May 9. Bonds are also declining in value as yields are rising. The market selloff has been the most extreme in the tech...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Is This A Bear Market?
I don’t know the answer to the question posed in the title. No one does because the future is not predictable. I don’t know what will happen in Ukraine. I don’t know how much what has already happened there – and what might – matters to the US and global economy. I don’t know if the Fed is making a mistake by (likely) hiking interest rates by an entire 1/4 of 1% this week. I can only see things as they are today and think about similar times in the past and know that...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Fear Makes A Comeback
Fear tends to manifest itself much more quickly than greed, so volatile markets tend to be on the downside. In up markets, volatility tends to gradually decline. Philip Roth Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful. Warren Buffett The new year hasn’t gotten off to a great start for growth stocks or any of the other speculative assets that have drawn so much attention over the last couple of years. Bitcoin is down 25% since the...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Discounting The Future
The economic news recently has been better than expected and in most cases just pretty darn good. That isn’t true on a global basis as Europe continues to experience a pretty sluggish recovery from COVID. And China is busy shooting itself in the foot as Xi pursues the re-Maoing of Chinese society, damn the economic costs. But here in the US, the rebound from the Q3 slowdown is in full bloom. Just last week we had pending home sales, ADP employment, both ISM reports,...Read More »