John Mauldin believes we have just seen a pretty amazing trading rally aka cyclical bull/bear market rally. Stocks are more than 60% above March lows. But many stocks are at “nosebleed” valuation levels and that makes him suspect this is not an opportune entry point for stock market investors.
He counsels utilities (like Bill Gross) or fixed income (like me). Gold is another market I like (though the run-up of late and the violent pullback should have you concerned).
See the video below for John’s comments in full (Hat tip Barry Ritholtz).
How long, O Lord, how long? It’s always good to remember that the stock market is not the economy. Every day I come into the office to find literally dozens of emails complaining that the market is ignoring the relentlessly bearish news flow. But that doesn’t bother me. What will bother me is when we start getting good news. Markets tend to reach exhaustion on good news, not bad. And these days it’s hard to discern between what’s merely bad and what’s actually disastrous. So, let’s take a look at what the difference between the two really is, and what it means going forward.
A recently released Societe Generale report outlined a "Worst-Case Debt Scenario," one which they believe is a very low probability. Their central scenario assumes a slow global recovery, with private debt being transferred to governments. Fair enough. We’re well on our way there.
Comparing US and Japan, albeit from SocGen’s more sanguine standpoint, there’s some reason to believe the US could feasibly accommodate a Japan-esque 200% of GDP debt burden, which would essentially double 2010′s projected 100% of GDP debt burden. The reason this might not collapse the dollar is because there are no attractive alternatives. Government debt is a global problem, and when you look at the US government debt on a comparative basis, the figures, while high, aren’t extraordinary — at least within that context. More on this momentarily.
As a brief digression, I don’t believe that all government debt is bad by definition. Some are dogmatic on that point. While I do find a framework for understanding economics through the Austrian school, the reality is that no one is going to be able to squeeze pure, free-market toothpaste back into the tube. In fact, Ron Paul’s quixotic quest to end the Federal Reserve could actually succeed… only I can promise you it would soon be replaced by a similar central bank mechanism with a different name, slightly altered agenda, and new cast members. In other words, more of the same; let’s be realistic.
Also, remember that governments worldwide have a long history of supporting failed industries only to turn around and re-privatize them at a later date. It’s the government version of the private-equity game (buy ‘em, repackage ‘em, sell…
The six-month long global stock market is losing steam, which begs the question: how low can we go?
Is this a new Bull market or just another typical Bear Market rally? Let’s look at two charts for clues.
First, read the HUGE GIANT BIG FAT DISCLAIMER below: these are the free rantings of an amateur ignoramous, etc. etc.
Before we glance at the charts, let’s ask: has anything really been fixed in the global financial markets and economy, or have all the problems just been papered over with trillions in central bank bail-outs, loan guarantees, stimulus and bogus accounting/statistical lies?
The VIX is one measure of volatility or what is sometimes called "the fear index." When confidence reigns supreme (with an emphasis on the "con") then the market players see no reason to bid up options to protect themselves from potential drops into the abyss. So when confidence is high then the VIX is low and stable:
When the wheels finally fell off the MSM/central bank fantasy that "subprime is under control" then fear sprouted wings and the VIX soared.
Judging by the VIX’s return to the low-to-mid 20s, then confidence has returned in full force and the fears of a global meltdown have vanished.
Nice, but what if nothing has really been fixed? What if market participants sniff out that everything’s just been swept under the rug? What if the $7 trillion commercial real estate market in the U.S. is about to slip into the abyss of domino defaults?
The Shanghai market’s sudden 10% drop in only two days suggests not all global players are convinced.
The MACD on the VIX is crossing at a very low level, suggesting a lengthy period of rising volatility could be upon us. The stochastic has been rising for awhile now, having made a bullish cross last month.
In sum: the VIX seems to be warning us low volatility may be giving way to higher volatility.
Here’s a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average:
One fairly predictable pattern in any market chart is that price tends to oscillate between the upper and lower Bollinger band. I’ve marked this trait with small blue lines.
When markets are trending strongly, they can ride the Bollinger bands up or down. But if this is once again…
Western central banks have tried to shake off the constraints of gold for a long time, which have created enormous difficulties for them. They have generally succeeded in managing opinion in the developed nations but been demonstrably unsuccessful in the lesser-developed world, particularly in Asia. It is the growing wealth earned by these nations that has fuelled demand for gold since the late 1960s. There is precious little bullion left in the West today to supply rapidly increasing Asian demand, and it is important to understand how little there is...
The big November Job Report posted headline numbers that beat the expectations of even the most optimistic analysts, especially the plunge in the unemployment rate. And then the Michigan Consumer Sentiment followed suit surprising surge. The S&P 500 opened at its intraday low, up 0.18%, and rallied to the 1800 level, where it struggled for a couple of hours. It then rose to its 1.18% intraday high around 2 PM. Some afternoon selling reversed in the final minutes, and the index posted a 1.12% gain for the day, thus snapping a 5-day losing streak. But today's rally was a tad shy of logging a gain for the week, which thus ended an eight-week winnin...
BIG – Big Lots, Inc. – Shares in the largest U.S. broadline closeout retailer are down big today, with the stock dropping nearly 14% to $32.00, the lowest level since August 23rd., after Big Lots posted a wider than expected third-quarter loss of $0.18 a share on revenue that came in below the average analyst estimate for the metric.
December expiry options changing hands on Big Lots in the early going today indicate some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to sell down further during the next couple of weeks. Traders appear to have purc...
Now that employment distortions related to the government shutdown in October are behind us, let's take a detailed look at the recent and growing discrepancy between jobs as reported on the establishment survey and employment as reported on the household survey.
Jobs vs. Employment Discussion
Before diving into the details, it is important to understand limits on data, and how the BLS measures jobs in the establishment survey vs. employment in the household survey.
Establishment Survey: If you work one hour that counts as a job. There is no difference between one hour and 50 hours. Establishment Survey: If you work multiple jobs you are counted twice. The BLS does not weed out duplicate social security numbers.
Household Survey: If you work one hour or 80 you are employed. Household Survey: If you w...
As the charts last week indicated might happen, the S&P 500 has fallen four straight days and failed to hold its breakout above 1800 while the Dow Jones Industrials lost 16,000. Only the NASDAQ is still holding on to its breakout above 4000. Although the Basic Materials sector was the leader on Wednesday, the Technology sector was strong, as well, and in fact Tech stocks have been the strongest over the past week and the past month.
As markets finally show a willingness to pullback somewhat from their torrid pace, the bears are trotting out every naysayer they can lay their hands on to scare investors away, including smart folks like Carl Icahn, who is “very cautious,” and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller and his stock market “bubble” assertions. Sure, valuations are high on a historic...
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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.
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These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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