This is surprising: Only 5% of the money managers polled by Barrons call themselves bearish. Implicit in the results is the general acceptance (80%) that the Fed's actions will determine which way the indexes move in the six months post-hike. ~ Ilene
Peter Boockvar shares an interesting insight from this weekend’s Barron’s Big Money Poll:
If you haven’t seen it yet, the past weekend’s Barron’s Magazine published its Big Money Poll of US money managers. Of those polled, 45% were bullish, 50% were neutral and just 5% were bearish…
One last data point that I found interesting in the poll was the question “Will the stock market rise or fall in the first 6 months after the Fed first raises rates?” Only 25% thought it would fall and a large 55% said it would rally. The balance of 20% thought the rate hike would have ‘no effect on stocks.’ Thus an amazing 75% of money managers aren’t bothered at all about a rate hike. Historically speaking the market does not get hurt in the early parts of a rate hike cycle so there is plenty of precedence for this thought but we’re not in your normal cycle so those surveyed are just guessing, as we all are to an extent.
Managing Director, Chief Market Analyst
The Lindsey Group LLC
I have a whole chapter in my book, Clash of the Financial Pundits, that explains why we’re so easily lulled into stupidity by economic or market commentators. It boils down to the fact that the world is an uncertain place, so we inherently gravitate toward those who provide us with certainty. It’s how organized religions were first formed and how leaders throughout history have been chosen. Frequently wrong, never in doubt is good enough when those around you are desperate for an easy answer.
In finance, the more certain a speaker is, the more likely it is that their audience will come to believe in what they’re hearing as though it’s guaranteed. Some market commentators use this power for self-enrichment or abuse. I see it online every day and in my email inbox. I see it on TV and hear it on the radio.
In the wake of a letter from Columbia University’s faculty complaining about Dr. Oz and the discredit he is to the medical profession, Dr. Saurabh Jha writes the following at Quartz:
One might counter that Oz is using his position to misinform people. Specifically, he is misinforming people about alternative and holistic medicine, and a lot of lucrative nutritional supplements. But people don’t listen to Dr. Oz to be “informed.” People aren’t interested in numbers, uncertainty, the idea that more research is needed, or that science is a provisional assumption. People want certitude and solutions. This is why chicanery is fertile. God may be dead, but prophets are still alive and kicking.
Economists have figured this out. They have stopped saying, “On the one hand, QE could save the economy; on the other hand, QE could ruin the future.” People are tired of uncertainty. So now one-handed economists swagger with unprecedented certainty. They have, however, bifurcated into two camps—the Democrat economists and the Republican economists. The two hands remain.
Oz is a product of the masses. He exists because of our love for the circus, and our frustration with uncertainty. Uncertainty is the DNA of science. He exists because science can’t cure our existential
While rate hikes generally hurt, I don’t expect this rate hike to change much for consumer interest rates.
Consumers already face a very wide range of interest rates, from 2% Prime auto-loans, to mid-range consumer debt at less than 10%, to the mid-20 % for credit card debt, even to stunning 100%+ annual rates for payday loans.
Just as the humans of Middle Earth experienced vastly different Rates of Power, so too do we humans of this Era already face vastly different rates.
I’ll review these different ends of the consumer-borrowing spectrum in turn.s
Cheap Prime rates disappear
The very cheapest consumer loans may jump a bit this Summer.
Locking in cheap student loans, mortgages, and auto-loans in this Era left us feeling like the Dúnedain, noble and heroic borrowers.
Credit Unions that offered 1.9% auto loans probably stop doing so immediately following the jump in rates. Historically low rates spurred auto purchases, making us Riders of Rohan, racing across the plain on our fresh swift horses.
In addition, low rates like my 15-year mortgage at 2.75% probably cease being available. In retrospect, those rates will mark a low-tick of the interest rate market.
For a high credit borrower collateralized by a car or home, however, we’re probably only looking at a 1 to 2% jump after rates rise.
Uncollateralized personal loans for high credit borrowers – like you can see on a crowd-sourced lending site like Prosper.com – currently run in the 6 to 8% range. Those rates likely jump a bit as well following the Fed funds hike this Summer.
Moving a bit higher on the consumer interest rate scale,
Greece’s outspoken finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has been sidelined after three months of fruitless talks with international creditors to unlock €7.2bn in bailout funds, heartening investors and sparking a rally on the Athens stock market.
Eurozone officials said they were encouraged by the move by Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister, to overhaul his bailout negotiating team in the wake of an acrimonious meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Riga last week.
The shake-up comes as Athens faces questions over whether it can meet this month’s wage and pension bill of nearly €2bn as well as a €750m loan repayment due to the International Monetary Fund on May 12.
The Athens stock market rose nearly 4.4 per cent on the news and borrowing costs on Greece’s July 2017 bonds were down almost 4 percentage points from Friday’s close to 21 per cent. Yields on Greece’s benchmark 10-year bonds were down a full percentage point at 11.4 per cent.
The socialist opposition Pasok party said the government was “emasculating Mr Varoufakis . . . and attempting to send a message to the Europeans and the IMF indicating political will for an agreement”. …
Moments ago AAPL reported Q2 earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 which saw AAPL beat soundly on the top and bottom line as as result of a jump in iPhone sales, even as iPad and Mac sales came in below the expectation. EPS was $2.33 vs consensus $2.16, while revenues came in at $58.0 billion, $2 billion higher than the $56.0 billion expected.
While as expected AAPL had little to say about the Apple Watch launch, merely noting that it is aiming to reach a supply-demand balance for the product by quarter end, the breakdown by legacy product line reveals that it is still all about the iPhone, whose sales came in at 61.2 million above the 58.1 million expected, driven by a jump in Chinese demand, with iPad sales being cannibalized, while Mac sales dipped to 4.6 million, below expectations and the lowest since Q3 2014.
The result was a top-line number that once again beat expectations, coming in at $58 billion for the March 31 quarter.
But while AAPL certainly boosted sales volumes, one may wonder if it didn't take too much of a margin hit, with the average iPhone ASP of $658.5 coming well below the $687 expected.
As some had expected, the ongoing surge in AAPL sales is courtesy of China, where as the CFO reported, the iPhone outsold the US, while total China revenue was greater than all of Europe for the first time ever.
And while everyone is commenting on the surge of total AAPL cash to over $193 billion, a jump of $15.5 billion…
… what most are forgetting is that AAPL increasingly has a lot of debt, some $44 billion to be specific since it does not want to repatriate the bulk of its offshore cash, which means that its cash net of debt rose more modestly, from $142 billion to $150 billion.
As long as AAPL continues to be shareholder friendly, don't expect the net cash number to rise much more than its current level.
But while the operations were impressive if China and iPhone centric, what everyone is…
Texas factory activity declined in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, posted a second negative reading in a row, coming in at -4.7.
Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected continued contraction in April. The new orders index edged up but remained negative at -14. The growth rate of orders index held steady at -15.5, posting its sixth consecutive negative reading.The capacity utilization index pushed further negative to -10.4, its lowest level since August 2009, and the shipments index edged up but stayed below zero at -5.6.
Perceptions of broader business conditions remained quite pessimistic for a fourth month in a row. The general business activity index stayed negative but ticked up to -16 in April, while the company outlook index moved down to -7.8, reaching its lowest reading in nearly two and a half years.
Dallas Fed Results
click on chart for sharper image
Weakness remains nearly everywhere one looks. The one bright spot had been the monthly jobs report, at least until last month. That “weather” report comes out Friday. …
Real Core Durable Good Orders (all orders except transportation equipment and defense capital goods) rose by 1.5% year to year in March. That was the actual, not seasonally adjusted number (NSA), but adjusted for inflation.
On a month to month basis, the number was so-so. Orders rose by 12.8%. That compares with the average March gain of +12.5% for the past 10 years. It is also greater than the March 2014 gain of +12.2%.
When we break down the components on a “real” inflation adjusted basis, which gives us an idea of the actual volume of new orders, the picture becomes more problematic.
The headline seasonally adjusted (SA) number for total new durable goods orders rose by 4% month to month. As the SA number so often does, this clearly overstated the actual increase in business. The media was loaded for bear however, quick to point out that non-defense non-aircraft capital goods orders fell by 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted month to month basis. That probably overstated any weakness in the broader economy, but there is a very real conflict in terms of the actual volume of orders which we see in the inflation adjusted actual NSA data.
A more comprehensive measure than the narrow non-defense non-aircraft capital goods includes consumer durables, whereas capital goods do not. It is uptrending weakly in the short run but downtrending in the long run as the US economy gets hollowed out.
Real Core Durable Goods- Click to enlarge
Cutting through the mainstream media propaganda confusion, misreporting, and misinterpretation, here’s the takeaway. Real core durable goods are still growing at a very slow pace. They have reached the limit of the long term downtrend. A technical analyst would say that they have reached long term resistance. A technical chart trader might institute a pilot short position at this point, expecting this measure to roll over as time and trend suggest.
Another takeaway is that the trend decelerated sharply over the last 5 years in which either QE or ZIRP, or both, have been in force. They have had no effect in boosting this broad measure of the economy, with a growth rate no greater than that of the recovery of 2003-2006.
The real core capital goods story is far different. This narrower measure is
Paul Volcker (right) Hobnobbing at a Group of 30 Event
Last Monday, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker held a press conference at the National Press Club to release his nonprofit’s plan for reforming U.S. bank regulation. Volcker’s plan includes elevating the Federal Reserve to even greater heights as a super regulator of a consolidated system. That’s exactly the opposite of what Congress has in mind as it holds hearings on fatal conflicts of interests between the Fed and Wall Street.
At the press conference, Volcker delivered a thoroughly discredited statement suggesting some deep-pocketed backers are putting words in his mouth. Volcker said: “The Federal Reserve is the best-equipped, the most independent and most respected financial agency of the United States government.”
Volcker’s views on financial reform must be seen against the backdrop of Volcker’s myriad conflicts and ties with the global ruling elite. His non-profit organization, The Volcker Alliance, has multiplied its income by a factor of 30 in one year. From 2012 to 2013, The Volcker Alliance went from $500,000 in contributions to over $15 million. It fails to list its donors on its public IRS 990 tax form. And then there is the matter of Volcker’s personal investments in unseemly foreign bank deals alongside global banks that are serially charged with breaking the law.
In December of last year, Simon Clark of the Wall Street Journal reported that Volcker had just completed his third investment stake in a foreign bank. Clark wrote that Volcker is well known for taming inflation in the 1980s (as Fed Chairman) but “Less well known is the 87-year-old former Fed chairman’s penchant for investing in banks around the world.”
According to Clark, since 1999, Volcker has invested in three separate foreign bank deals put together by private equity firm, Ripplewood. The most recent deal is for a stake in Latvia’s Citadele Bank. Earlier deals include the 1999 takeover of the Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan (now known as Shinsei Bank) and the 2006 investment in Egypt’s Commercial International Bank.
Apple Inc.’s IPhone sales in China may have exceeded the U.S. for the first time in the latest quarter, thanks to brisk demand during the country’s New Year celebrations.
Apple will probably show on Monday that earnings jumped by more than 20 percent when it reports results for the second fiscal quarter, which ended in March. While Apple doesn’t break out shipments by country, the company may have sold 18 million to 20 million iPhones in greater China during the period, while U.S. deliveries were about 14 million to 15 million, according to Creative Strategies LLC.
While the USA is busy killing US civilians and terrorists with its drone program, Russia is set to deploy its own Orlan-10 drones in the oil- and gas-rich Arctic region (reportedly to monitor the climate situation). As SputnikNews reports, Colonel Aleksandr Gordeev stated "the drones' task is to maintain impartial control of the situation in the Russian sector of the Arctic, including the ecological and ice situation in the adjoining sea areas and along the Northern Sea Route." So, passive-agressive? However, Russia also chose this week to release rarely-seen images of a US intelligence satellite which as one analyst notes is provocative (but obscure in its intent other than the growing recognition of US space-based surveillance assets).
China Inc. is turning to the stock market for a cure to its unprecedented debt hangover.
As authorities show a newfound tolerance for defaults and debt levels at Shanghai Composite Index members climb to all-time highs, Chinese companies are increasingly tapping the equity market for funds to pay down liabilities and invest in growth. They’ve announced $82 billion of secondary stock offerings in 2015, a figure UBS Group AG predicts will increase to a record $161 billion by December. That comes on top of $10 billion already raised through IPOs.
I’m an armchair philosopher, and I’ve always wished I’d had the opportunity to be a philosophy major, because I can navel gaze with the best of them. But since then, I’ve come to know some actual philosophy professors, and as it turns out, they tend to not get along with other philosophy professors, which makes departmental politics a little toxic.
I can’t remember exactly when it was that I learned about Pascal’s Wager. 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal postulated that it is rational behavior to believe in God.
Why believe in something for which there is no evidence? The answer lies in decision theory.
If you believe in God and you’re right, you go to heaven. Let’s call this “infinite gain.”
If you believe in God and you’re wrong, the only thing you lose is whatever time you spent in church and/or money you donated. It’s a finite loss.
If you don’t believe in God and you’re right, there is no God, you get to be smug. That is a finite gain.
If you don’t believe in God and you’re wrong, you go to hell. Let’s call this infinite loss.
Here it is in table format:
I think most people who understand decision theory will recognize this immediately. So yes, it is indeed rational—meaning in our best interest—to believe in God.
As it turns out, Pascal’s Wager is all over the place in markets.
Best example: Japan in 2012.
There’s this new prime minister, Abe, and this new Bank of Japan governor, Kuroda. They’re going to do this thing called Abenomics. They say they want to print trillions of yen to buy all kinds of assets, which is going to reflate the markets and devalue the currency.
Now ever since the crash of the early 1990s, Japan has had numerous plans to get out of deflation. Japan being Japan, not much changes there, and they end up just getting bogged down in bureaucracy. This has happened at least a dozen times in the…
To be sure, we’ve been keen on pointing out the severity of America’s $1.3 trillion student debt problem. We’ve documented not only the inexorable rise in tuition rates and the concurrent increase in total debt outstanding, but also the persistent underreporting of delinquency rates thanks to the way loans in forbearance and deferment are treated in the calculation. Earlier this month we asked if the student debt bubbl...
When I give talks to groups of investors or my fellow advisors, one of the concepts I tend to hit on is the fact that there is “a shortage of stocks” right now. This line always draws a good laugh, but then my shtick is that I don’t smile. Then I dazzle motherf***ers with my charts depicting buyback activity versus net flows or new IPO listings. And the laughter dies down a bit.
I first began talking about this in 2013 and the trend has gotten even more pronounced, ...
Please review a collection of WWW browsing results.Date Found: Tuesday, 13 January 2015, 01:43:37 PM
Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Ouch! See the last point of demand between $60 and $70 In Dec at resistance, now strong selling, Large pattern forecast sees a price under $40
Date Found: Tuesday, 13 January 2015, 06:54:16 PM
Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Coffe ETF bounces off support, minor spring, if get some strength to $40, a trade may be on!
Date Found: Friday, 16 January 2015, 01:03:56 PM
Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Apple forming a continuation stepping sto...
Last week, stocks cycled bullish yet again. In fact, the S&P 500, NYSE Composite, and NASDAQ each closed at record highs as investors positioned for the heart of earnings season in the wake of strong reports from some of the Tech giants. Notably, Utilities stocks got some renewed traction as yield-starved investors returned to the sector. Although our trend-following sector rotation model remains bullish, strong overhead technical resistance and neutral rankings in our SectorCast quant model indicate that caution is in order, and this might not be the moment for a major upside breakout, particularly given the expected softne...
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Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.
More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved.
Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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