Sure Thing?!

Sure Thing?!

Courtesy of Mish

Last week, David Tepper, a billionaire hedge fund titan and president of Appaloosa Management remarked on CNBC …

Two things are happening. It’s that easy sometimes. Either the economy is going to get better by itself, in the next 3 months and what assets are going to do well? You can guess what assets will do well – stocks are going to do well, bonds won’t do so well, gold won’t do as well. OR The economy is not going to pick up in the next three months and the Fed is going to come in with QE. Right? Then what’s going to do well? Everything! In the near term – Everything!


Earnings vs. Share Prices

One might not be able to argue with Tepper’s past performance, but one sure can argue with his current logic. Stocks do not necessarily go up because earnings go up. Stocks rise or fall primarily based on sentiment.

Right now, sentiment is so bullish and earnings estimates so lofty there is room for hefty earnings expansion that falls short or estimates. Buying stocks that miss wildly optimistic earnings estimates is not likely to work out well.

Furthermore, even if earnings do come in on target, there is no historic guarantee that stock prices follow. For example, on March 31, 1973 the S& P was at 111.52 with trailing earnings of $6.80. Seven years later, on March 31, 1980 the S&P was at 102.09 with trailing earnings of $15.27.

Thus, over a span of seven years, earning rose 125% while stock prices fell 8.5%!

What happened? The PE ratio on the S&P fell from 16.40 to 6.68, that’s what.

Moreover, those were real earnings then. Now, corporations hide garbage in SIVs with the blessing of the Fed and analysts cite pro-forma earnings that throw out "one-time" charges that occur with increasing regularity.

Thus, anyone who says stock prices will go up because earnings go up, does not understand history. This does not make Tepper wrong, but it does make his argument fallacious.

What About Quantitative Easing? 

Tepper also argues that everything will be good if the Fed falls back on quantitative easing. Really?

The Cleveland Fed has a series of nice charts on Japan’s Quantitative Easing Policy

Japan’s Quantitative Easing vs. Price Inflation

Japan’s Quantitative Easing in Trillions of Yen

After a series

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Is Earnings Optimism for the S&P 500 Justified?

Is Earnings Optimism for the S&P 500 Justified? 

Courtesy of Doug Short

Regular visitors to know I follow Howard Silverblatt’s earnings spreadsheet on the Standard & Poor’s website. Free registration is required to access this data. I’ve received several requests for more specific details on where to find the spreadsheet. It is fairly well hidden. Here are two links to help frustrated seekers: step one and step two.

I follow the "As-Reported" earnings and top-down estimates for future earnings (see column D in the spreadsheet). The chart below shows the higher estimates of future earnings from the most recent spreadsheet, dated August 24th, and three earlier spreadsheets (February 17th, April 28th, and July 15th).

The latest earnings estimate for 2Q 2010 is 67.20. Friday’s close gives us a P/E ratio of 15.84, which is close to the average trailing 12-month P/E of 15.48. Beyond the 2Q, the chart illustrates increasing optimism about next year’s earnings. The August 24th estimate of $80.20 for 4Q 2011 at today’s P/E would put the S&P 500 at 1,270 at the end of 2011. That’s a gain of 19.3% from the latest close.

But will as-reported earnings really live up to these estimates? Last month Howard Silverblatt pinpointed the problem for earnings in a Bloomberg article No Sales Means No Jobs Means No Recovery. His concluding remarks are worth repeating here:

I look to sales as a future indicator. On this basis, earnings are running ahead of Q1 2010, but sales are flat, and that’s the problem. It’s great that companies have improving earnings, but those improvements are due to high margins, which were the product of cost cuts — specifically job reductions, the very thing that we need to improve now. Until companies and consumers start to spend more, the job front will not get better, but they won’t spend more until they believe things are getting better. The stimulus programs were supposed to jump start the economy and break the downward cycle by convincing both groups that better times were here. But so far we’re not seeing the sales or the jobs; but earnings are good, at least for now.

Companies in the S&P 500 sell across the world. But consumption in the US, which remains critical for sustained earnings growth, has been undergoing a sustained contraction —, a fact that…
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

This excellent piece (below) was on Bloomberg yesterday and cites another bearish note from Gluskin Sheff’s David Rosenberg.  It notes that the analyst community now expects 35% earnings growth for 2010.  They go on to show that this has only happened 6 times in 75 years and has been accompanied by 10% GDP growth each time.  In essence, the implication is that this recovery is entirely different and is unlikely to rhyme with these other robust earnings recoveries.  This is accurate, but terribly misleading in terms of timing.  Have a look here and continue reading below:

What Rosenberg and Bloomberg fail to be more descriptive about is the timing of these high estimates.  As we have long noted with our expectation ratio and earnings analysis (which has been spot on) the analysts have remained far too bearish for the last year. Where the above analysis goes wrong is in bunching 2010 estimates together as a whole as opposed to breaking them down by quarter.

A closer look at these estimates is vitally important in positioning your portfolio for the coming few quarters. In our 2010 investment outlook we said we were bearish about H2 2010 partly due to the potential for overly optimistic earnings analysis. If you look at current estimates analysts are calling for just 2.7% sequential growth in 2009 Q4 earnings. For 2010 Q1 they are calling for just 1.9% sequential growth.  In a nutshell, they expect earnings to be in-line with the last few quarters (which I believe is utterly naive and lacking in any real analysis worthy of paid employment).   These estimates are almost certainly low.  Where things get interesting is in the later quarters of 2010.

In Q2 analysts are calling for a big jump in growth to 11.3% sequentially and 33% year over year. The same goes for Q3 where they are currently calling for 7% sequential growth and 25% year over year growth. These are big numbers. $19.72 & $20.62 in operating earnings per quarter is essentially what the S&P was doing back in 2006 & 2007 when the economy was at record low unemployment and the banks were cranking their high leveraged ponzi scheme on all cylinders. Can we realistically return to such levels so…
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Reich Takes On Alan Simpson - And We Do The Fact Checking

By Advisor Perspectives. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Robert Reich, a prominent Democrat, and Alan Simpson, a distinguished Republican, engaged in a friendly debate to discuss issues that they said were not addressed during this campaign season. But on crucial subjects, both relied on out-of-date and inaccurate reasoning.

Image source: Wikimedia CommonsAlan Simpson

The debate, which took place yesterday, was a keynote presentation at the Schwab IMPACT conference, held in San Diego. It is the largest conference in the industry, attracting approximately 2,000 advisor attendees.

Reich is a political commentator, economist, professor and author. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton fro...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

London- 4th attempt to breakout in 16-years, results different this time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Four months ago the world seemed scared that the Brexit vote would be negative for Europe and potentially around the world. Four months later, almost the polar opposite deserves discussion.

Below updates the FTSE -100 Index on a monthly basis over the past few decades.


FTSE Index is now testing a resistance zone for the 4th time in the past 16-years at (1), as well as testing the underside of line (3) at the same time.

Monthly MACD has created a series of ...

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Zero Hedge

Bonds Are Signaling BIG Trouble is Ahead

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For anyone who wants to make money in the markets, you need to understand one thing.

Bonds are the “smart money.”

This doesn’t mean that stock investors are dumb. It means that the bond markets are much larger and much more liquid than the stock markets.

Because of this, bond markets are the FIRST to adjust to new realities.

Consider the recent market bottom.

Bonds (TLT) bottomed in November 2015. Stocks (SPY) bottomed in February 2016.

Well, right now, bonds are selling off… HARD.

Stocks are on borrowed time. Smart investors are al...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Companies Shift Exploration Tactics, Curb Spending (The Wall Street Journal)

In June, oil giant BP PLC announced what it deemed an “important” new discovery in Egypt.

It turned out to be a modest natural-gas find that didn’t even rank in the top 50 discoveries since 2012.

Gundlach Says ‘Look Out’ for...

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Phil's Favorites

Now it's an avalanche


Picture via Pixabay

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

Reuters on the last week’s fund flows:

Mutual fund investors flooded stockpickers with redemption orders during the latest week, cashing out the most money in five years, Investment Company Institute data showed on Wednesday.

The investors pulled $16.9 billion from stock mutual funds in the seven days through Oct. 19, more than in any other week since August 2011, the trade group’s data showed.

By contrast, stock exchange-traded funds took in $2.4 billion. ETFs most...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Soars As China Launches Crackdown On Wealth-Management Products

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

After trading in a tight range for much of the summer, coiled within a $100 range around the mid-$500s, over the past several weeks bitcoin has once again started to push higher, closely tracking the decline in the Chinese Yuan as shown below.

However, the most recent burst in bitcoin activity, which sent it surging by over $20 overnight, has little to do with any moves in the official Chinese currency, which recently...

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Members' Corner


Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.


Discussion of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

  • Rising Libor and Bond Yields
  • Negative Swap Spreads, Eurodollar Curve, Repo Effects
  • Compliance, Expectations, Liquidity, Fed Action

Last Time Out

"25-54 yr old prime earners peaking at 101083 in Nov 2007; today at 97628, for a net decline of 3.5M prime earning jobs during this "recovery". No real jobs, just McJobs for McPay."

"Above note, 55yrs+ in Nov 2007 at 26376, now at 34353, for a net increase of 8 million employed. Not for sheer enjoyment and mostly out of economic necessity. The above attests to no real jobs, just McJobs for McPay and work till you die?" - 08...

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Chart School

Tech Hold Breakout,.but S&P Wedge Bound

Courtesy of Declan.

It was a mixed day for indices. Large Caps remain bound by wedge support/resistance, but Tech broke upside yesterday from similar wedges and held those breakout today.

There was little change for the S&P over the last couple of days. The one technical change was the MACD trigger 'buy' as other technicals stayed on the bearish side.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq cleared wedge resistance yesterday, and was able to hang on to the breakout despite today's loss. It too enjoyed a MACD trigger 'buy', but had an On-Bal...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

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

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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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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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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