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Tag Archives: stocks

Market Morsel: How “The Market” Is Really Doing

When people talk about “the market” they are usually referring the big indexes – the S&P 500 or the NASDAQ. For more casual observers, “the market” is the Dow which is a lousy index for a lot of reasons but has the advantage of history. But are any those really representative of how “the market” is doing? Not really. All markets – stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities – provide us with valuable information about the economy. The stock market generally reflects...

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Retail Sales Data Suggests A Strong Consumer Or Does It

The latest retail sales data suggests a robust consumer, leading economists to become even more optimistic about more robust economic growth this year. To wit: “It has been two years since forecasters felt this good about the economic outlook. In the latest quarterly survey by The Wall Street Journal, business and academic economists lowered the chances of a recession within the next year to 29% from 39% in the January survey. That was the lowest probability...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Are Higher Interest Rates Good For The Economy?

Interest rates surged last week on the back of a hotter-than-expected inflation report that wasn’t actually that bad (see below). Not that my – or your – opinion about these things matters all that much to the market. In the short run, all that matters is what the majority believes is the truth. What they believed last week was that inflation isn’t falling fast enough and the Fed will not be cutting rates anytime soon. That was enough to send the bond market into a...

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Immigration And Its Impact On Employment

Is immigration why employment reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) continue defying mainstream economists’ estimates? Many are asking this question as the U.S. experiences a flood of immigrants across the southern border. Concurrently, many young college graduates continue to complain about the inability to receive a job offer. As noted recently by CNBC: The job market looks solid on paper. According to government data, U.S. employers added 2.7...

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Blackout Of Buybacks Threatens Bullish Run

With the last half of March upon us, the blackout of stock buybacks threatens to reduce one of the liquidity sources supporting the bullish run this year. If you don’t understand the importance of corporate share buybacks and the blackout periods, here is a snippet of a 2023 article I previously wrote. “The chart below via Pavilion Global Markets shows the impact stock buybacks have had on the market over the last decade. The decomposition of returns for the...

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Digital Currency And Gold As Speculative Warnings

Over the last few years, digital currencies and gold have become decent barometers of speculative investor appetite. Such isn’t surprising given the evolution of the market into a “casino” following the pandemic, where retail traders have increased their speculative appetites. “Such is unsurprising, given that retail investors often fall victim to the psychological behavior of the “fear of missing out.” The chart below shows the “dumb money index” versus the S&P...

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Presidential Elections And Market Corrections

Presidential elections and market corrections have a long history of companionship. Given the rampant rhetoric between the right and left, such is not surprising. Such is particularly the case over the last two Presidential elections, where polarizing candidates trumped policies. From a portfolio management perspective, we must understand what happens during election years concerning the stock market and investor returns. Since 1833, the S&P 500 index has...

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Fed Chair Powell Just Said The Quiet Part Out Loud

Regarding the surprisingly strong employment data, Fed Chair Powell said the quiet part out loud. The media hopes you didn’t hear it as we head into a contentious election in November. Over the last several months, we have seen repeated employment reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that crushed economists’ estimates and seemed to defy logic. Such is particularly the case when you read commentary about the state of the average American as follows. “New...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Monetary Policy Is Hard

So, is that it? Have rates peaked? Is the long bear market finally over?  The market decided last week that interest rates have peaked for this cycle. And if rates have peaked then all the assets that have been pressured over the last two years can finally come up for air. Since October 18, 2021, over two years ago, investors have had few places to hide. Of the major asset classes we follow closely, only two – gold and commodities – were higher by more than a...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Look Up In The Sky! It’s A UFO! Or Not!

As I sit here writing this Sunday afternoon, the US has just shot down a third UFO in the last 3 days in addition to the Chinese “weather” balloon last week. I have no insight into what these things might be but I do wonder if we haven’t declared war on the National Weather Service. The federal government has become so sprawling that it could easily  be the case that NORAD has no idea what the NWS has up in the air. And with all the UFO shooting going on, the NWS...

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