One of the things I’m increasingly dismayed to learn is that no matter how much detail, data, and qualification I might include in these commentaries, my conclusions will often be summed up by writers or bloggers in a single sentence that often bears no relation to my point. For instance, my view that quantitative easing will trigger a "jump depreciation" in the dollar has evidently placed me among analysts warning of hyperinflation and Treasury default (a club whose card is nowhere in my wallet).
To clarify once again – I emphatically do not anticipate inflationary pressures until the second half of this decade. As I’ve repeatedly emphasized, the primary driver of inflation – historically and across countries – has been growth in government spending for purposes that do not expand the productive capacity of the economy.
Quantitative easing does not pressure the dollar by fueling inflation. It has a much more subtle effect (but one that can be expected to be amplified if fiscal policy is long-run inflationary as it is at present). Normally, equilibrium in capital flows between countries is achieved through changes in interest rates. As a result, countries with greater capital needs or higher long-run inflation tendencies also have higher interest rates. If interest rates can adjust, exchange rates don’t have to. But notice what quantitative easing does: by sitting on long-term bond yields (and creating a negative real interest rate differential versus other countries), quantitative easing prevents bond prices from acting as an adjustment factor, and forces the burden of adjustment on the exchange rate.
While some observers have noted that the value of the Japanese yen did not deteriorate dramatically over the full course of quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan – from its beginning until it was finally wound down
Although the data doesn’t necessarily indicate that a double dip is here (just a slowing of the expansion so far), there is no doubt that mentally, we’re collectively urging it on.
Stocks suck, commodities have all been schmeissed (even gold last week), housing is going through another leg down (yanking the $8,000 tax credit sure didn’t help), the bond market is screaming (under 3% yield on the ten year!) and everyone is getting themselves liquid again.
While I understand that it’s only natural, at least historically, for the expansion to cool off from the initial rip-roaring pace, it is impossible to ignore how pathetically quickly we’ve lost what little momentum our trillions of dollars have gotten us.
Zero percent interest rates forever, tax credits for cars and homes, infrastructure spending, stimulus after stimulus – and it’s starting to feel like we fired a cap gun at a charging elephant.
Here’s some reading on the latest in Double Dip-ology. Hopefully they’re wrong, but the stock market doesn’t seem to think they are…
Mark Cuban once remarked something to the effect of "stocks that don’t pay dividends are like baseball cards – only worth what you could convince the next guy to pay for them."
Floyd Norris looks at some statistics on dividend declarations last year:
Will stock investors who like receiving quarterly dividends have better news this year? S&P thinks yes, according to the article:
“The fourth quarter was in no way a good period for dividends, but compared to recent history it marks a significant improvement, and when added to the stabilization in increases, supports our belief that the worst is over for dividends,” said Howard Silverblatt, the senior index analyst at S.& P.
“Standard & Poor’s believes that the dividend recovery will be slow, and that it will take until 2012 to 2013 to return to where we were in 2007 and 2008,” he added.
The dearth of positive dividend news becomes even more vexxing in the context of our zero interest rate environment so let’s hope the rebound in payout increases happens.
The Affordable Care Act was in the midst of a disastrous rollout plagued by dialup-stye technology snafus. President Obama had sabotaged his own health-reform plan by falsely promising that everybody happy with their health plan could keep it. As frozen computer screens and canceled policies generated a tsunami of bad publicity, it seemed plausible that Obamacare might be such a flop that voters would clamor for its repeal when the next presidential election came around.
But Americans are warming to the controversial pr...
The consequences and patterns of war, whether by one nation against another or by a government against the citizenry, rarely change. However, the methods of war have evolved vastly in modern times. Wars by elites against populations are often so subtle that many people might not even recognize that they are under attack until it is too late. Whenever I examine the conceptions of “potential war” between individuals and oligarchy, invariably some hard-headed person cries out: “What do you mean ‘when?&...
Is the Fed losing control over interest rates? I’ve heard a rumor that the Fed is in control of interest rates.
If this is true, is Janet raising rates and not telling anyone? The table below looks at the performance of the yields on the 10 & 30-year notes and TLT over the past 90-days. As you can see yields are up nearly 20% in 90 days!
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
If Janet and the Fed aren’t raising rates right now, is it possible that “Billions of Free Thinking People” are causing rates to move higher?
Before the market opened, the ADP Employment Report for April disappointed expectations. The S&P 500 opened higher and rose to its 0.43% intraday high about four minutes later. It then zigzagged a bit before settling into a steady continuation of yesterday's downtrend to its -1.03% intraday low. The index rallied during the final hour to a more modest loss of 0.45%. Of particular interest was Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's comment that "equity valuations at this point generally are quite high." She made this remark at a DC conference sponsored by Institute for New Economic Thinking (more here).
Is the equity market overvalued? See our latest overview ...
After posting record highs the previous week, stocks closed last week slightly down overall. But the major indexes held their psychological levels, including Dow at 18,000, S&P 500 at 2100, NASDAQ at 5,000, and Russell 2000 at 1200. Although the bulls continue to find reliable support levels nearby, strong overhead technical resistance and neutral-to-defensive rankings in our SectorCast fundamentals-based quant model continue to suggest that a major upside breakout is not quite imminent, although a selloff doesn’t seem to be in the cards, either. Overall, stocks appear to be coiling ever tighter while awaiting...
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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.
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...
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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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