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...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Happy Days Are Here Again!
Your cares and troubles are gone There’ll be no more from now on! Happy days are here again! The skies above are clear again Let us sing a song of cheer again Happy days are here again! Lyrics: Jack Yellen, Music: Milton Ager That’s certainly how it’s felt since the turn of the new year with the NASDAQ up nearly 15%, European stocks continuing to recover, emerging markets anticipating a Chinese recovery and a solid January for the S&P 500. Bonds have been...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: The Consensus Will Be Wrong
What’s your outlook for this year? I’ve heard that question repeatedly over the last month and if you’re reading this hoping I’ll let you have a peak at my crystal ball, you’re going to be disappointed. Because I don’t have a crystal ball and neither, I hasten to add, does anyone else in this business. So, no, I don’t know what’s going to happen this year. I do know what the consensus view is, what the majority expects to happen, and that may be more useful. Because...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Currency Illusion
When we think about the challenges facing an investor today, the big problems, the things we worry about that could cause a lot more harm than some interest rate hikes, are mostly outside the United States. China is prominent this weekend because of demonstrations against their zero COVID policies. The Chinese people appear to be pretty well fed up with the endless lockdowns and have finally decided to try and do something about it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure...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: No News Is…
Nothing happened last week. Stocks and bonds and commodities continued to trade and move around in price but there was no news to which those movements could be attributed. The economic news was a trifle and what there was told us exactly nothing new about the economy. A report that wholesale inventories rose 0.6% cannot be turned into market moving news no matter how hard the newsletter sellers try. Jobless claims fell 8,000? Yawn. Exports rose $500 million? In a...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Opposite George
It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s all been wrong. Every one. – George Constanza If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right. – Jerry Seinfeld From the Seinfeld episode “The Opposite” I...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 »
Weekly Market Pulse: TANSTAAFL
TANSTAAFL is an acronym for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. It has been around a long time – Rudyard Kipling used it in an essay in 1891 – but it was popularized by Robert Heinlein’s 1966 book, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. In economics it most often refers to tradeoffs or opportunity costs; resources are scarce and if you choose to use them in one way they aren’t available for an alternate use. The other way the phrase is often used is to describe a...Read More »
Weekly Market Pulse: Welcome Back To The Old Normal
Stagflation. It’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts of investors, one that evokes memories – for some of us – of bell bottoms, disco, and Jimmy Carter’s American malaise. The combination of weak growth and high inflation is the worst of all worlds, one that required a transformational leader and a cigar-chomping central banker to defeat the last time it came around. Or at least that’s how it’s remembered. Whether the cigar-chomping central banker was really...Read More »