Posts Tagged ‘Slideshows’

Plunging Rents Will Drag House Prices Down With Them

Plunging Rents Will Drag House Prices Down With Them

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at Clusterstock

Plunging rents are great news for renters, but they’re lousy news for homeowners.  Aaron Task and I discussed this issue on TechTicker this morning:

The vacancy rate for rental apartments in the U.S. is now 7.8% and climbing, says the Wall Street Journal.  This is the highest vacancy rate in 23 years.

Worse, the vacancy rate is expected to keep climbing through the winter, ultimately hitting the highest rate on record.

This is good news for renters and bad news for landlords.  It’s also bad news for anyone who owns and would like to sell a house.

Why are rising rental vacancies bad news for homeowners?

Because rising vacancies put pressure on rents, as landlords have to cut prices to woo a smaller pool of tenants.  As rents drop, meanwhile, one of the key measures of house-price value--the price-to-rent ratio--also changes, and not for the good.

All else being equal, when rents drop, the "Housing P/E ratio" — price to rent — increases as rents decrease.  This is the same thing that would happen to the P/E ratio of a stock if the company’s earnings began to shrink.

The more the rent/earnings shrink, the more expensive the house or company is as a multiple of the rent/earnings.

Will people suddenly refuse to pay as much for houses because the price-to-rent ratio rises a bit?  No.  But they may decide to rent instead of buy, which will remove some demand from the housing market.  And, this, in turn, will put pressure on house prices.

The chart below from Calculated Risk illustrates the price-to-rent ratio over the past 15 years.  As you can see, it got way out of whack during the peak bubble years and has now fallen back within the realm of normal.  As rents fall, however, the ratio will start rising again. 

That is, unless house prices fall, too, which is the more likely scenario.


See Also:  HOUSING RECOVERY!  (How’s Your City Doing?)


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Wells Fargo’s Ticking Time Bomb: Credit Default Swaps On Commercial Mortgages

Wells Fargo’s Ticking Time Bomb: Credit Default Swaps On Commercial Mortgages

WellsFlannelManBIG AP 10 03 08Courtesy of John Carney at Clusterstock

Outside experts hired by Wells Fargo to pour through its books are reportedly shocked at the bank’s exposure to derivatives trades it took on when it acquired Wachovia may trigger huge losses at the bank, Teri Buhl reports at

It appears that Wachovia wrote credit default swaps on the junior tranches of commercial mortgage backed securities it was selling, which means that it is on the hook for losses in the riskiest CMBS tranches it sold. Wells itself might not even know the size of its exposure, Buhl reports.

From Buhl:

According to sources currently working out these loans at Wells Fargo when selling tranches of commercial mortgage-backed securities below the super senior tranche, Wachovia promised to pay the buyer’s risk premium by writing credit default swap contracts against these subordinate bonds. Should the junior tranches eventually default, then the bank is on the hook. Dan Alpert of Westwood Capital says these were practices that he saw going on in the market at large.

Alpert says in reference to how he saw CMBS trades get done, “These guys would say ‘We’ll just take back that silly credit risk you’re worried about.’ Of course that was a nice increase to earnings when they got the security sold. The bank made money at the time.”

Buhl points out that investors might be caught off-guard if Wells has to start paying out on the swaps it sold. Wells, like most banks, almost certainly holds the credit default swap liabilities off balance sheet and most likely does not recognize them as a loss until they actually have to pay, Buhl writes. Wells says it carefully monitors its derivatives exposure. "We have provided extensive transparent disclosures on our derivatives in our 2008 annual report beginning on page 132,” Wells says.

Here’s Wells own calculation of its derivatives exposure as of the day it closed the Wachovia deal.


But it seems fair to wonder if Wells really understood all of the derivatives exposure it took on when it acquired Wachovia. Buhl wonders if Wells really has enough capital set aside to handle the derivatives liability.

…So could Wells really have enough capital to handle the liability of credit

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10 Bubbles In The Making

10 Bubbles In The Making

bubble bubbles kid child gum tbiCourtesy of Lawrence Delevingne at Clusterstock

One year after America’s brush with economic catastrophe, there’s plenty of looking back at the bubbles that caused financial chaos.

But what’s next?

There are surely dangerous economic bubbles forming as we speak. As Alan Greenspan warned this week, "They [financial crises] are all different, but they have one fundamental source," he said. "That is the unquenchable capability of human beings when confronted with long periods of prosperity to presume that it will continue."

The trick, of course, is spotting them. By definition, most people don’t spot a bubble before they form and burst.

Here’s 10 for which you should be on alert →

And if history repeats, bubbles tend to share a common fate:


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House Price Crash Rate Finally Beginning To Ease

Good news! and bad news!

House Price Crash Rate Finally Beginning To Ease 

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at ClusterStock

Good news! The rate of the price decline in the housing crash has finally begun to ease.

Bad news! Prices are still falling 18% year over year.

Specifically, in April, according to the Case Shiller index, the rate of decline in nationwide house prices eased slightly in April--to 18% from 19% in March. The rate of decline has hovered around 19%-20% for the last several months.  And prices have now declined a staggering 33%-34% from the peak.

As we’ve noted over this period, before house prices can start recovering, they have to stop falling.  And the first step toward prices stopping falling is a decline in the RATE at which they are falling.  And we are finally beginning to see that.

But we’re still talking about an astonishing rate of collapse.  And we’re still looking at a peak-to-trough decline of at least 40% and probably closer to 50% nationwide, which would be unprecedented.  And even today, with prices down 33%-34% from the peak, prices are still above fair value.

So the folks who use this slight moderation in the rate of decline to spin tales of a "bottom" or, worse, a "recovery" are smoking something.  Prices have at least another 10%-15% to fall, and they’ll likely be falling for at least another year or two.

Here’s the small uptick in the rate of decline:


Prices have now rolled back to mid-2003 levels.  They’ll likely be back to 2000 levels before we’re through.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices 

And here’s the positive spin from the S&P press release (always look on the bright side!):

The 10-City and 20-City Composites declined 18.0% and 18.1%, respectively, in April compared to the same month in 2008. These are improvements over their returns reported for March, down 18.7% for both indices. For the past three months, the 10-City and 20-City Composites have recorded an improvement in annual returns.  Record annual declines were reported for both indices with their respective January data, -19.4% for the 10-City Composite and 19.0% for the 20-City Composite.

“The pace of decline in residential real estate slowed in April,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor’s. “In addition to the 10-City and 20-City Composites, 13

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Your Field Guide To The Mortgage Collapse

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at ClusterStock

Your Field Guide To The Mortgage Collapse

mortgage meltdown, chart 5-9The housing market is crashing, and it’s taking us, our banks, our economy, and our government down with it.  Why?  Because of the debt!  The value of our houses is plummeting, but the value of our debt is staying just the same.

You knew that already.  What you didn’t maybe know, or at least fully appreciate, is exactly what’s happening in the mortgage market that’s causing all this hideousness.

Well, thankfully, Whitney Tilson has laid it all out for us.  START THE TOUR >

Whitney’s the managing partner at T2 Partners, a hedge fund and mutual-fund company.  He’s also just published a book called More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways To Profit In These Bad Times.

In the book, Whitney lays out the whole mortgage disaster in pictorial form, and he has been kind enough to allow us to reprint some of his charts here.  If you’d like to see updated, interactive versions, please visit  Or just head over to Amazon and buy the book.




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Zero Hedge

Seeking A Savior

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via,

It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.

Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.

Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.


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Phil's Favorites

Fourth Turning - Our Rendezvous With Destiny

Courtesy of Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

In Part 1 of this article I discussed the catalyst spark which ignited this Fourth Turning and the seemingly delayed regeneracy. In Part 2 I pondered possible Grey Champion prophet generation leaders who could arise during the regeneracy. In Part 3 I focused on the economic channel of distres...

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Chart School

Semiconductor Index Breaks 200-day MA

Courtesy of Declan.

Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend.  The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index.  All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a 'buy' trigger (above the bullish zero line - a bullish development).

The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn't able to challenge the recent high, but it's close enough ...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David 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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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

World's Biggest Pension Fund Loses $64 Billion Amid Equity Rout (Bloomberg)

The worlds biggest pension fund posted its worst quarterly loss since at least 2008 after a global stock rout in August and September wiped $64 billion off the Japanese asset managers investments.

It's starting to look like negative interest rates might do the opposite of what they're supposed to (Business Insider)

The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates deeper into negative territory this week as it attempts to ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Market As Oversold As 1999 Lows

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil is quite simply the most important commodity on the planet. But volatility with Crude Oil prices emerges every time there is conflict in oil producing nations or an economic slowdown.

And this has led to some pretty big swings in Crude Oil prices over the past several years.

But the latest swing lower is nearing a moment of truth. In fact, this decline may be the most important swing lower of the 2000’s.

Why?  Because oil prices are currently testing a key price support level comprised of the 2004 breakout level (above the 1990 highs) and the 2009 price lows – see red circles and line. In fact, this price support area also marks the 23.6 Fibonacci support level (from the 1999 lows to 2008 highs).  AND crude oil is as oversold as it was back at the 1999 price lows!

But that’s no...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 30th, 2015

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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Insider Scoop

An Inexpensive Small-Cap ETF For December Gains

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related IJR Of Rate Hikes And Small-Cap ETFs Active Management Mediocrity Continues There's still time to go small (Seeking Alpha)

Tuesday marks the start of December, and with the arrival of the last month of the year imminent, there... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

The Bitcoin Universe Explained

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).

This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist ...

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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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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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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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