Archive for February, 2018

Economists’ Latest Leading Recessionary Indicator: Sex

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When it comes to unorthodox indicators of the business cycle – especially when the business cycle is the second longest in history such as this one – economists have always had creative ways of “calculating” where in the cycle we are at any given moment.

Starting in the 1926s, economist George Taylor came up with the “hemline index” which suggested that the length of women’s skirts tracked stock market performance — rising and falling in tandem. In good economies, we get such results as miniskirts while in poor economic times, as shown by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, hems can drop almost overnight.

Several decades later, former Fed chair Alan Greenspan used to track sales of men’s underwear, which he said fell at the onset of recessions as men delayed buying new underwear during tough economic times.

Then there was the lipstick index proposed by Estée Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder in 2001: he claimed that purchases of cosmetics were inversely correlated with the health of the economy (the idea was later discredited). The 2008 recession gave rise to the tie index, sales of which, it was claimed, rise as employees fear for their jobs.

Now, according to new research there is a new indicator that can warn of a coming recession: sex, or rather the 9 month consequences thereof: the rise and fall of pregnancies.

According to a paper paper published on Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, ahead of the past three US recessions, the number of conceptions began to fall at least six months before the economy started to contract. As the FT notes, while previous research has shown how birth rates track economic cycles, the scientific study is the first to show that fertility declines are a leading indicator for recessions.

Speaking to the FT, Daniel Hungerman, economics professor at the University of Notre Dame and one of the report’s authors, said it was “striking” that the drop in pregnancies was evident before the recession that came after the 2007 financial crisis, since it has traditionally been argued that this slump had been hard to predict.

It may be difficult for “experts” but apparently not for a couple deciding what to do next in the bedroom.

The analysis used data on the 109 million births in the US between…
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Our Fragmented Labor Markets Defy Outdated Conventions

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

Conventional economists/media pundits typically view the labor market as monolithic, i.e. as one unified market. The reality is the labor market is highly fragmented. Thus it's little wonder that conventional measures are giving mixed signals on employment, wage inflation, etc.

Here is a typical chart of the labor market: the annual rate of change in hourly earnings, going back to the late 1960s. I've annotated the chart to show that hourly earning rose sharply in the inflationary 1970s, but since then have only popped higher in asset bubbles--the dot-com era and the housing bubble:

Generalized measures that lump all wage earners together give us a snapshot of trends, but they fail to describe the realities of today's labor markets. The reality is much more complex, and thus beyond the outdated conventions that divide the labor force into broad sectors:

1. While most workers are receiving little in the way of wage increases, employers' total compensation costs are soaring due to skyrocketing healthcare premiums and other labor-overhead costs such as workers compensation.

Economists puzzled by the lack of wage inflation in an era of "full employment" should look at total compensation costs instead of wages: the inflation is in the labor-overhead costs, not employee compensation.

2. Regions dominated by a handful of employers do not offer many opportunities for employees to jump to other employers for higher pay. This lack of competition enables dominant employers to suppress wage growth.

3. Scarcities of skills and experience that drive wages higher tend to be sector-specific and are often localized. Across the broad spectrum of basic skills and experience (for example, white-collar work performed by employees with non-technical college diplomas), there are few scarcities that could push wages higher.

4. Regardless of labor availability/scarcity, many small-business employers can't afford to pay higher wages, given their soaring labor-overhead expenses. If wages rise, their options include selling out, closing down, or doing more of the work themselves. Paying higher wages will simply guarantee monthly losses. If you're losing money operating an enterprise, why be in business?

5. Employers demand a great deal now of lower-wage service sector employees. Fast-food jobs (for example) require high levels of productivity


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“They’re Finally Accepting Reality” – Manhattan Landlords Are Slashing Rents To Fill Vacant Storefronts

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Owners of Manhattan’s commercial real-estate might soon begin to regret their decision to hike rents to absurdly high levels in the hope of attracting the next Chase, Bank of America or Duane Reade capable of paying their extortionate prices.

As Bloomberg reports, owners of prime retail storefronts in the heart of Soho – a trendy shopping district in downtown Manhattan – are struggling to find and retain tenants willing to pay the record rents being demanded by landlords.

BBG

The Bloomberg story begins by recounting the story of one boutique clothing shop that threatened to vacate its space six years early and just eat its security deposit unless the landlord agreed to a lower rate.

The Kooples, a French clothing seller, is threatening to vacate its space six years ahead of schedule if it can’t get landlord Thor Equities to cut the rent. With brick-and-mortar stores suffering from a retail industry shakeout, the company says it isn’t making enough money at the property and wants to focus on the web.

The scene unfolding on the cobblestones of one of New York’s trendiest shopping areas shows the increasingly fraught negotiations between tenants and landlords as vacancies soar and retail rents plunge. Similar scenarios are playing out along Madison Avenue to the north and along other thoroughfares in the city that have long been a draw for those shopping for designer clothing and other luxury goods. Property owners are confronting demands once unheard of in Manhattan, from rent reductions to short-term leases.

Again and again, we’ve pointed to the stagnant deals and rents in some of Manhattan’s wealthiest and most expensive areas as a sign that the New York real-estate market is heading for a downturn after years of torrid growth in the valuations of residential and commercial real-estate.

Manhattan

According to Bloomberg, after a lull in leasings, landlords are beginning to accept their new reality, according to Patrick Smith, a vice chairman of the retail brokerage at Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. It no longer makes sense to keep rents so high in the hopes of landing one of the few corporate clients willing to pay.

Indeed, “landlords are adjusting the way they do business to market conditions,” Smith said. “It’s healthy. It certainly has stimulated activity.”

Of course, outside of Manhattan,…
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Animal Spirits: The Closet Indexer

 

Animal Spirits: The Closet Indexer

Courtesy of 

On today’s show we talk about:

Listen here:

Charts

      

Recommendations

Thanks for listening!





10 Questions for Nassim Taleb

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb introduced by David McWilliams.


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Nassim Nicholas Taleb interviewed by Bruce Oreck at the Tomorrow conference in June 2015. .

Nassim Nicholas Taleb interviewed by Bruce Oreck at the Tomorrow conference in June 2015. . Beschreibu.

The Black Swan author’s latest, The Bed of Procrustes, is a book of aphorisms.Nassim Taleb will now take your questions.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a former trader and hedge fund manager, a best-selling author, and a groundbreaking theorist on risk and resilience. Taleb drew wide attention after the 2007 publication.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Image source: Bloomberg Video Screenshot

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Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. Gabelli Research

By Rizwan1. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. – Gabelli Research Analyst Kevin Kedra (2-15-2018)

Invest with Us 1-800-GABELLI (800-422-3554)


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The Pricking Of The Canadian Real Estate Bubble?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Kevin Muir via The Macro Tourist blog,

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts lately. Long story, but rest assured, I am back on track and the old ‘tourist regular postings have resumed.

Next up, today I will write about Canadian real estate.

I know, many of you find that about as exciting as watching Winter Olympic curling, but give me a chance – after all, we Canadians have a way to make even curling entertaining.

The Canadian real estate bubble

As most everyone knows, over the past decade, Canada has experienced a massive real estate boom.

And for the past half dozen years, we have had to endure all the proclamations from hedge fund managers about the coming great Canadian housing market crash. Although there has also been some Canadian skeptics, the majority of these doomsdayers have been American managers who, after experiencing their own real estate crisis, can only imagine the next “big short” occurring in Canada.

These managers often simply took the US playbook and applied it to Canada, never considering that the US situation might be different. Nor did they factor in the possibility that Central Bank reaction functions might have changed since the Great Financial Crisis.

Don’t mistake me for some sort of unapologetic delusional Canadian housing bull. I think prices are nuts. But what I think is even more insane is the amount of balance sheet expansion from global Central Banks. We must always remember – the Canadian real estate bears are fighting against the authority that has the power to dictate the quantity of the asset in which we price all these other assets in.

Whether it be US or Canadian dollars, or Euros, or Yuan, do you really believe the supply of money will be suddenly throttled back? Or is it more likely that, given that 2008 is still relatively fresh in their minds, Central Banks will err on providing too much liquidity in the coming years? So yeah, maybe Canadian housing is stupidly overpriced, but so is almost every asset under the sun. Whether it is US equities, European bonds or crypto currencies, these are merely reflections of the absurd monetary policies that envelope the global financial system.

Finally the Canadian bears’ day in the sun?

Yet that doesn’t…
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In Practice Webcast 13b : Evaluating Dividend Policy – Peer Group Approach

By Rizwan1. Originally published at ValueWalk.

As with much else in corporate finance, companies set dividend policy by looking at what the peer group is doing, paying high dividends when they are, even if they cannot afford them. In this session, I look at the peer group approach to dividend policy, with emphasis on how your peer group is formed and how to control for differences across companies.

Slides: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/pd…

The post In Practice Webcast 13b : Evaluating Dividend Policy – Peer Group Approach appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Investing Success with Wyckoff Change of Behaviour

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

investing-success-with-wyckoff-change-of-behaviourThe market changes, some call this volatility, in short the market shows the big boys foot prints (or buy and sell order activity).



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Sure fundamentals do matter, and so does market timing (entry, stops and exit), here at readtheticker.com we believe a combination of Gann Angles, Cycles and Wyckoff Logic is the best way to secure better timing than most, after all these methods have been used successfully for 70+ years. With our website you can chart any security in the world.



NOTE: readtheticker.com does allow users to load objects and text on charts, however some annotations are by a free third party image tool named Paint.net



Investing Quote…



…“My satisfaction always came from beating the market, solving the puzzle.  The money was the reward, but it was not the main reason I loved the market.  The stock market is the greatest, most complex puzzle ever invented – and it pays the biggest jackpot…it was never the money that drove me.  It was the game, solving the puzzle, beating the market that had confused and confounded the greatest minds in history.  For me, that passion, the juice, the exhilaration was in beating the game, a game that was a living dynamic riddle”..



Jesse Livermore





..”If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians”..



Warren Buffett





Unless you can watch your stock holding decline by 50 per cent without becoming panic stricken, you should not be in the stock market.



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..”Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven”..



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Walmart Hikes Age Requirement For Firearm Purchases To 21

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Just hours after Dick’s announced it would end sales of all assault rifles and no longer sell any guns to people under 21, moments ago Walmart – or Warmart, as Bloomberg briefly dubbed it in a rather amusing Freudian slip moments ago…

… joined the bandwagon announcing late on Wednesday that “in light of recent events” America’s largest retailer is “raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age.”

Of course, Walmart could not fully replicate Dick’s “taking a stand”, because it had already stopped selling assault-style rifles back in 2015 due to sluggish demand for guns rather than politics according to the company.

“It was done purely based on customer demand,” Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, told The New York Times in August 2015. The rifles, he said, were not “something customers were looking for and buying when they came into our stores.”

That however did not stop the angry public to demand that Walmart, which remains the country’s largest gun seller, to follow suit.

“Walmart — PLEASE match the pledge made by Dick’s Sporting goods for the sake of our children,” a Facebook user wrote on Wednesday.

But just to appease the public in a clear attempt at PR crisis management, Walmart said that it was also “removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys.”

Nonetheless, Walmart still sells rifles and hand guns: “Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.”

Full statement below:

In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.

In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15. We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers. Additionally, we do not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and ensure our policies are applied.

We take seriously our obligation to


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Zero Hedge

Why Is Maduro Still Pushing The Petro?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by William Luther via The American Institute for Economic Research,

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes that Venezuela’s “National Superintendency for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights is reportedly pressuring stores to accept the government’s new digital fiat currency, the petro.” The Venezuelan government claims its digital...



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The Technical Traders

Is The Technology Sector Setting Up For A Crash? Part IV

Courtesy of Technical Traders

As we continue to get more and more information related to the Coronavirus spreading across Asia and Europe, the one thing we really must consider is the longer-term possibility that major global economies may contract in some manner as the Chinese economy is currently doing.  The news suggests over 700+ million people in China are quarantined.  This is a staggering number of people – nearly double the total population of the entire United States.

If the numbers presented by the Chinese are accurate, the Coronavirus has a very high infection rate, yet a moderately small mortality rate (2~3%).  Still, if this virus continues to spread throughout the world and infects m...



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Phil's Favorites

Why Trump's post-impeachment actions are about vengeance, not retribution

 

Why Trump's post-impeachment actions are about vengeance, not retribution

President Trump fired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for testifying in his impeachment trial. AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

Courtesy of Austin Sarat, Amherst College

Since the end of his Senate impeachment trial, President Donald Trump has carried out a concerted campaign against ...



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Biotech & Health

Deep learning AI discovers surprising new antibiotics

 

Deep learning AI discovers surprising new antibiotics

A colored electron microscope image of MRSA. NIH - NIAID/flickr, CC BY

Courtesy of Sriram Chandrasekaran, University of Michigan

Imagine you’re a fossil hunter. You spend months in the heat of Arizona digging up bones only to find that what you’ve uncovered is from a previously discovered dinosaur.

That’s how the search for antibiotics has panned out recently. The relatively few antibiotic hunters out there ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

King Dollar Going To Lose Strength Here? Gold & Silver Hope So!!!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is King$ and the Euro facing important breakout/breakdown tests at the same time? It looks like it in this chart!

The US$ trend remains up, as it has created a series of higher lows since the start of 2018. The opposite can be said for the Euro, as it has created a series of lower highs since early 2018.

The US$ is currently testing the top of its 18-month rising channel, as the Euro is testing the bottom of its falling channel.

What King$ and...



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Insider Scoop

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Heron Pain Drug Review Extended, Disappointment For Teva In Tourette Syndrome Study

Courtesy of Benzinga

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech Stocks Hitting 52-week highs on Feb. 19)

  • Adverum Biotechnologies Inc (NASDAQ: ADVM)
  • Akebia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AKBA)
  • Ana...


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Digital Currencies

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

 

Altcoin season 2.0: why bitcoin has been outgunned by crypto rivals since new year

‘We have you surrounded!’ Wit Olszewski

Courtesy of Gavin Brown, Manchester Metropolitan University and Richard Whittle, Manchester Metropolitan University

When bitcoin was trading at the dizzying heights of almost US$2...



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ValueWalk

What US companies are saying about coronavirus impact

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with the U.S. earnings seasons, it is only normal to expect companies to talk about this deadly virus in their earnings conference calls. In fact, many major U.S. companies not only talked about coronavirus, but also warned about its potential impact on their financial numbers.

Q4 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus impact: many US companies unclear

According to ...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Tuesday, 01 October 2019, 02:18:22 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Wall of worry, or cliff of despair!



Date Found: Tuesday, 01 October 2019, 06:54:30 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.


Comment: Interesting.. Hitler good for the German DAX when he was winning! They believed .. until th...



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Members' Corner

How to Stop Bill Barr

 

How to Stop Bill Barr

We must remove this cancer on our democracy.

Courtesy of Greg Olear, at PREVAIL, author of Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia

...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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