Archive for 1969

Two Measures of Inflation: New Update

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: I’ve now updated the charts below to include today’s Consumer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annualized rate of change is calculated to two decimal places for more precision in the side-by-side comparison.


The BLS’s Consumer Price Index for January, released today, shows core inflation above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target at 2.28%. Core PCE, at the end of last month, is fractionally below the target at 1.85%. The Fed, of course, is on record as using Core PCE as its inflation gauge:

The inflation rate over the longer run is primarily determined by monetary policy, and hence the Committee has the ability to specify a longer-run goal for inflation. The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve’s statutory mandate. Communicating this inflation goal clearly to the public helps keep longer-term inflation expectations firmly anchored, thereby fostering price stability and moderate long-term interest rates and enhancing the Committee’s ability to promote maximum employment in the face of significant economic disturbances. [Source]

The October 2010 core CPI of 0.61% was the lowest ever recorded, and two months later the core PCE of 0.93% was an all-time low. However, we have seen a significant divergence between the headline and core numbers for both indicators, especially the CPI, at least until a few months ago, when energy prices began moderating. The latest headline CPI and PCE are both off their respective interim highs set in September.


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Race to the Finish: The 1968 and 2000 Secular Bears

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: I received a request to post an update of my overlay of the 1968-1982 secular bear with our current market from the peak in 2000.


Here’s an update of a chart series I’ve occasionally shared that compares two secular bear markets — the current decline since the peak in March 2000 and the S&P 500 from its peak on November 29, 1968 to its bottom on August 12, 1982.

The first chart is a overlay of the index price for the two periods excluding dividends. At first blush, the 2000 secular bear looks like the more savage beast.


 

 

Now let’s adjust both for inflation using the BLS Consumer Price Index. As the next chart clearly illustrates, the era of stagflation in the 1970s decimated the real value of the earlier series.

 

 

Most people, even first wave Boomers, don’t realize the savagery of that earlier 14-year decline other than perhaps a recollection of the decade of stagflation that started with the 1973 oil embargo. The chart illustrates how both bears behaved over the decade following their peaks and how the stagflation bear continued its race to the bottom for another two years.

It will be interesting to check back in two years to see who wins this battle of the bears.

But what about a Total Return comparison?

If we factor in dividends, the earlier bear looks far better. After all, the dividend yield on the S&P 500 averaged 4.18% during those years compared to 1.82% since the market peak in 2000.

 

 

But when we adjust for inflation, the performance of these two secular bears is far more similar, and the real total returns over the same elapsed time puts the two in a virtual “dead heat” (no pun intended).

 

 

We’ll check back on this competition a periodically in the months ahead.

 

 

 

 





Those Russell 2000 Twins

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The analysis and recommendations presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.


The chart blow was posted on August 8th, reflected an almost perfect identical inverted wedge patterns in the Russell 2000 (see post here).


 

 

Below is an update on the Russell (this time right-side-up). Note how much the current pattern continues to look like 2008.

 

 

The 750-770 level was stiff resistance in 2008, and so far it remains stiff resistance in 2011. For the repeating pattern to fail, the Russell needs to break out to the upside at (4).

 

(c) Kimble Charting Solutions
blog.kimblechartingsolutions.com

 

 

 

 





A Million Dollars Ain’t What It Used To Be

Courtesy of Doug Short.

If you had $1 Million in the bank you would be rich – right? That is what half of the respondents to a recent study by the Gallup Organization said. From the survey: “…Americans [were asked] how much net worth, or savings in cash, stocks, real estate, and other investments, they would need to consider themselves rich. The median figure Americans give is $1 million, the same as in Gallup’s 2003 poll asking the same question.

Currently, 26% of Americans say they would need in excess of $1 million in savings in order to consider themselves rich, including 14% who say $5 million or more. At the other end of the spectrum, 13% would consider themselves rich with less than $100,000 in savings. Estimates of the amount of savings a person needs to be rich are generally similar by subgroup, though college graduates report a median of $1 million and college nongraduates of $500,000.”

 

 

Of course, in today’s society, we are constantly bombarded with big numbers. Whether it is “The Millionaire Matchmaker” providing “relationship services” for millionaire’s to billions of dollars in corporate profits or trillions of dollars in government debt; it’s all just a digit or two with lots of zero’s behind them. Meanwhile, back at home, the average American is struggling to make ends meet in a weak economy. Therefore, it is not surprising that a dream of just ONE million dollars would go a long way to solving their ills. However, being “rich” in terms of a total net worth number tells us very little. In reality what these individuals are trying to say is that I want enough money to “live the life that we have become accustomed to.” without have to stress myself just to get by.

How Much Income Do You Need To Be Rich?

The amount of INCOME you need at retirement is a much more important question. Income as a function of retirement is relative to the living standards to which you have become accustomed. Therefore, when it comes to “retirement”, it all boils down to the income stream that is available from which to live. However, in order figure that out we need to determine…
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The Dollar, Gold and the Market

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Commodity expert Dennis Gartman certainly struck a nerve in the financial community as word hit the street of his call on gold in the latest Gartman Letter (subscription required). Here is the gist, as reported by Bloomberg:

“Since the early autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere gold has failed to make a new high. Each high has been progressively lower than the previous high, and now we’ve confirmation that the new interim low is lower than the previous low. We have the beginnings of a real bear market, and the death of a bull.”

For a bit of historical context, here is a 20-year overlay of Gold and the Dollar.

 

 

Here is an equally interesting overlay of Gold and the S&P 500.

 

 

Now let’s take a long-term look at the Dollar and the S&P 500.

 

 

And finally, a three-way overlay.

 

 

Given the fundamental economic crisis in Europe, questions about the sustainability of growth in China, and the slow-motion boomer demographic shift in the US, the prospect of secular changes in these three asset classes (Gold, the Dollar and US equities) would not be unexpected.

 

 

 

 





Dollar Soars Following FOMC No Hint of QE3; Looking Ahead, What’s Next?

Courtesy of Doug Short.

I have read countless articles recently regarding the inevitability of QE3. I have disagreed for four reasons:

  1. Price of oil near $100 give Fed little choice
  2. Rising price of food gives Fed little choice
  3. Stock market has risen on air and hype of European bailout giving Fed little reason
  4. Falling unemployment rate (even though it’s totally bogus) gives Fed little reason

Why should the Fed react when hot air from Europe gave a huge lift to the markets?

I would have been surprised if the Fed tossed a QE3 bone under those circumstances. And it didn’t. The Forex market responded appropriately:

  • The US dollar rose against all major currencies
  • The Euro sunk to an 11-month low

Euro Daily Chart

The Euro took out the October 2011 low and is in fact now at lows last seen mid-January of 2011.

Forex Currency Market

The US dollar rose against every Barchart-Listed Currency.

Looking Ahead, What’s Next?

If the Fed holds off on QE3 and the ECB cuts further, both of which are likely for the near-future, the US dollar will likely strengthen more. However, and as I have pointed out, one cannot look at these things in isolation.

A downgrade of the EFSF and/or France by rating agencies would be US dollar supportive as would falling demand for commodities from China as noted in China?s Deserted ?Fake Disneyland?; Shanghai Prices Down 40% from Peak, Inventory Clogs Market; Pollyannas Proven Wrong; Implications for US Dollar

Implications for US Dollar
I have said on numerous occasions, China’s shift from a real estate and construction economy is going to send many commodity prices tumbling. In isolation, this is good for the US dollar, but things cannot be viewed in isolation.

Currency movements will depend on how central banks in the US, China, Europe, and Japan react to the global slowdown.

Certainly the Crumbling of Comprehensive Solution No. 4; Treaty “Legally Doubtful”; Cracks and Splinters Everywhere is US dollar supportive regardless of repeated “Pet Lies” by EC President Van Rompuy.

On the other side of the coin, US deficits are out of control. However, I believe (and the market seems to agree), the other factors are more important in the short-to-intermediate term.


Originally posted at Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis

(c) Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Investment Advisor Representative
www.sitkapacific.com

 

 

 

 





Estimating Future Stock Market Returns

Courtesy of Doug Short.

“Mankind are so much the same, in all times and places, that history informs us of nothing new or strange in this particular. Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human nature.” - David Hume

 

Long-time readers will know that we do not make predictions in the normal sense. That is, we endorse the decisive evidence that markets and economies are complex, dynamic systems which are not reducible to normal cause-effect analysis. However, we are willing to acknowledge the likelihood that the future is likely to rhyme with the past. Thus, we apply simple statistical models to discover mean estimates of what the future may hold over meaningful investment horizons (10+ years), while acknowledging the wide range of possibilities that exist around these averages.

There are several reasons why it may be useful to have a more robust estimate of future expected returns on stocks:

  • People who are approaching retirement need to estimate probable returns in order to budget how much they need to save.
  • A retiree’s level of sustainable income is largely dictated by expected returns over the early years of retirement.
  • Investors of all types must make an informed decision about how best to allocate their capital among various investment opportunities

Many studies have attempted to quantify the relationship between Shiller PE and future stock returns. Shiller PE smoothes away the spikes and troughs in corporate earnings which occur as a result of the business cycle by averaging inflation-adjusted earnings over rolling historical 10-year windows.

This study contributes substantially to research on smoothed earnings and Shiller PE by adding three new valuation indicators: the Q-Ratio, total market capitalization to GNP, and deviations from the long-term price trends. The Q-Ratio measures how expensive stocks are relative to the replacement value of corporate assets. Market capitalization to GNP accounts for the aggregate value of U.S. publicly traded business as a porportion of the size of the economy. In 2001, Warren Buffett wrote an article in Fortune where he states, “The ratio has certain limitations in telling you what you need to know. Still, it is probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given…
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The Shanghai Tower and Aftermath

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: I’ve updated the charts to include today’s 2.14% decline in the index.


Today all eyes are on the eurozone financial crisis, crashing commodities, and the potential drag on US markets. But what caught my eye was the Shanghai Composite, which logged its 5th consecutive daily decline and the 16th decline in the last 21 sessions.

My friend and occasional guest contributor Chris Kimble came up with the notion of an Eiffel Tower formation as an emblematic way to discuss asset bubbles, which was featured in a guest commentary from last summer. The behavior of the Shanghai index over a two-year period beginning in late 2006 is a classic example, as the first two charts illustrate.


 

 

With an arithmetic vertical axis, the tower fit is rather amazing.

 

 

But let’s switch to a log scale vertical axis and shorten the timeframe to look at the numbers. We diminish the playful tower analogy, but we get a more accurate visual representation of the relative values of peaks and troughs in the price.

 

 

Where is this index headed in the near to intermediate term? The trend toward austerity in the European Union, China’s biggest export market, will be a significant problem, likewise the financial stress of a deflating housing bubble. However, over the next few years, Chinese demographics should provide a bit of cushion.

In developed countries, the peak earning years are ages 45-54, with the 45-49 cohort as the peak spenders. Assuming China is moving toward a similar pattern (an assumption I make with caution), the earning-spending cohorts will grow significantly. Unless the housing bubble triggers a widespread retrenchment and a loss of consumer confidence, demographics, at least over the next 5-10 years, should work in China’s favor, driven by home-grown consumption.

One thing is certain. We’ll want to keep a close eye on the Shanghai Composite in the months ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

 





A Confederacy of Dunces?

Courtesy of Doug Short.

On January 9th, 1790, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton issued his Report on Public Credit in response to a request by the House of Representatives. The report, though overlooked, belongs in the canon of American historical documents along with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers among others. In it Hamilton argued the newly formed Federal government should assume the war debts incurred by the thirteen colonies during the Revolutionary War.


 

At the time, the credit of the U.S. government was in disrepute. Although the newly formed government (or, its predecessor under the Articles of Confederation) had not repudiated its war time debts, it was in arrears on both interest and principal. Furthermore, in the intervening period between the Treaty of Paris (1783) and the Constitution’s ratification (1788) several states had adopted differing policies to the war debts they incurred. Some such as Georgia had made it a priority to settle its accounts; while others such as South Carolina delayed repayment.

The brilliance of Hamilton?s plan was to recognize that no matter how scrupulous the new Federal government might be in paying its debts, the reputation of the United States would be tarnished by the reluctance or inability of individual states to pay their war loans. Naturally there was discord between states such as Georgia that would gain little by Hamilton?s proposal and other states like Massachusetts which would be relieved of their debt burden.

In the end, Congress voted to adopt the Hamilton plan. Within a short space of time the credit of the United States was redeemed. Debt which formerly traded at a deep discount appreciated sharply.

Today European leaders are faced with a similar dilemma. All realize certain member states of the European Monetary Union have borrowed way more than they can ever hope to repay. Certain nations, most notably Germany but also the Netherlands, Finland and Austria, hesitate to bail out their profligate neighbors to the south.

Their objections rest upon the argument of sovereignty. Without suitable restraints, there is little to stop the likes of a Greece from indulging in another borrowing…
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Economists’ GDP Forecasts: December 2011 versus December 2007

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Last week I posted the latest GDP forecasts from the Wall Street Journal’s December Survey of economists here. I focused on their forecasts for Q4 2011, Q1 2012 and the overall 2012 forecasts.

On Friday the Wall Street Rant blog posted an interesting overlay of the December WSJ GDP survey forecasts for 2012 with the equivalent 2008 forecasts made in December 2007.

Here’s is the chart followed by an excerpt from the Rant commentary.


 

 

The Wall Street Journal recently released its December Survey of Economists. This is where you generally get to hear about the current consensus groupthink. In the survey, 54 economists gave their projections for GDP in 2012 (among many other things). I decided to compare this year’s projections for the year ahead to what these great minds saw coming in December 2007 (the month the last recession started). Does anything about this strike anyone else as quite similar?

Now just maybe if they would have added a negative sign to their 2008 forecasts they would have been pretty spot on (considering GDP for the year finished down -2.5%). The December 2007 survey included 51 “economists”….yet not one came up with a negative GDP projection. Here we are now in 2011, with the European situation, the rest of the developed world including the US and Japan soaked in debt, and China trying to build ghost cities until someone rises from the dead, and not one of the 54 “economists” is willing to project anything lower than 1.3%. (Link to source.)

This coming week we will get the third estimate for Q3 GDP. The preliminary estimate was 2.5%, revised downward last month to 2.0%. Not until the end of January will we get our first estimate of 2011 Q4 GDP, and the first estimate for Q1 GDP won’t be released until the end of April. So it will be some time before we have even the first clue as to the accuracy of the latest WSJ estimates for next year’s GDP.

What About GDP and Recessions?

For a bit of historical perspective, here is a chart of GDP…
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Zero Hedge

Berkshire Letter Highlights: Buffett Hates Hedge Funds, Likes Immigrants And The US Outlook

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In its latest annual letter, released at 8am on Saturday, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said Q4 profit rose 15% on a rise in gains from investment. Net income rose to $6.29 billion, or $3,823 a share, from $5.48 billion, or $3,333 the previous year, while operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, were $2,665 a share, a slight miss to the $2,717 consensus estimate. In 2016, the 86-year-old billionaire added new companies to his assorted conglomerate...



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ValueWalk

Charlie Munger's Parody

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Notes from Charlie Munger’s annual meeting at the Daily Journal are making the rounds. This parody, from a few years back, was too good not to share again. “One thing about doing something dumb is that you’re unlikely to do it again.”

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Charlie Munger's Parody

A PARODY DESCRIBING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF WANTMORE, TWEAKMORE, TOT...



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Phil's Favorites

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Slips From 19-Month High as Ample Supply Offsets OPEC Cuts (Bloomberg)

Oil retreated from the highest close since July 2015 in New York as record U.S. crude inventories offset OPEC production curbs.

Sales of New U.S. Homes in January Were Slower Than Forecast (Bloomberg)

Purchases of new U.S. homes in January were slower than forecast, signaling an increase in mortgage rates may be giving some potential buyers pause.

...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Stocks across Europe dived into the weekend (Business Insider)

Stocks all over Europe dived Friday, as markets took a cautious approach and investors took profit after US stocks hit record highs Thursday evening.

Trump Is on the Verge of His Own Bull Market (Bloomberg)

Consecutive gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have left it at the doorstep of history, including a 20 percent surge in futures from the early hours of Nov. 9 that could be loosely framed as the president’s own bull market.

...



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Digital Currencies

As Bitcoin Surges To Record High, China Prepares Its Own Digital Currency

Courtesy of Mike Shedlock (Mish)

Bitcoin hit an all-time high over $1200 today.

Traders are happy because the SEC is expected to rule on a Bitcoin ETF by March 11.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports China Is Developing its Own Digital Currency.
 

After assembling a research team in 2014, the People’s Bank of China has done trial runs of its prototype cryptocurrency. That’s taking it a step closer to becoming one of the first major central...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil; Energy stocks suggesting its about to fall, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below takes a look at the price action of Crude Oil, Energy ETF (XLE) and Oil & Gas Exploration ETF (XOP) over the past three years.

Could Energy stocks be suggesting the next big move in Crude Oil again? Which direction are they suggesting?

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

At this time the intermediate trend in Cru...



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Chart School

Good Recovery

Courtesy of Declan.

In early morning action it was a clear swing to sellers after yesterday's non-event. However, buyers came back and were able to make a good chunk of these losses into today's close.

Large Caps remained the most attractive as defensive stocks often are during times of doubt. The S&P registered higher volume accumulation as intraday action proved to be relatively tight.

The Nasdaq suffered larger losses, but there was no distribution to go with it. Technicals were relatively immune to today's action.

...

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Members' Corner

People With Cats Will Understand?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob

Taking a "potty break" from "in the Toilet Thursday" or "Thursday's in the Loo."

This week's subject is self evident, starring two lovable felines Cole and Marmalade in, People With Cat's Will Understand.


...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of February 20th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Mapping The Market

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By Jean Luc

These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:

NSA May Be Withholding Intel from President Trump

By 

….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

Join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017            

Beginning Time:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesars has offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night but rooms are limited at that price.

So, if you are planning on being in Vegas (Highly Recommended!), please sign up as soon as possible by sending...



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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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