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Our Fragmented Labor Markets Defy Outdated Conventions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

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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.



Warren Buffett





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



Arthur Miller, “The Crucible”

 [Contrarian Investing]











..”The key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them”



Peter Lynch











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

Explosion Hits Russia's Largest Virus Lab Which Houses Plague, Smallpox, Ebola And Other Deadly Viruses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A sudden explosion at a Siberian virus research center on Monday reportedly left the facility engulfed in flames, according to several Russian news outlets. 

Firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the "Vector Institute" located several miles from Novosibirsk - an emergency which was upgraded "from an ordinary emergency to a major incident," a...



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Phil's Favorites

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

 

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

Even though the future is unknown, Canada’s employment rate has risen steadily from 53 per cent in 1946 to more than 61 per cent today. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Wayne Simpson, University of Manitoba

There is now widespread anxiety over the future of work, often accompanied by calls for a basic income to protect those displaced by automation and other technological changes.

As a labour economis...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Insider Scoop

New Relic Cuts 2020 Sales Guidance, Announces Changes In Management

Courtesy of Benzinga

New Relic (NYSE: NEWR) has reaffirmed its second-quarter guidance and cut its sales guidance for fiscal year 2020 from $600 million-$607 million to $586 million-$593 million.

The company’s chief technology officer, Jim Gochee, and chief revenue officer, Erica Schultz, have resigned. New Relic also named board member Michael Christenson as its chief operating officer. Christenson joins from his ...



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The Technical Traders

Metals are following downside sell off prediction before the next rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

It is absolutely amazing how the precious metals markets have followed our October 2018 predictions almost like clockwork.  Our call for an April 21~24 momentum base below $1300 followed by an extensive rally to levels above $1550 has been playing out almost like we scripted these future price moves.

Now that the $1550 level has been reached, we are expecting a rotation to levels that may reach just below the $1490~1500 level before attempting to set up another momentum base/bottom formation.  And just like clockwork, Gold has followed our predictions and price is falling as we expected. Just look at our October 2018 chart where we forecasted the price of gold...



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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 

...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Yields Due For Rally After Declining More Than 1987 Stock Crash

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

U.S. Treasury Bond Yields – 2, 5, 10, 30 Year Durations

The past year has seen treasury bond yields decline sharply, yet in an orderly fashion.

This has spurred recession concerns for much of 2019. Needless to say, it’s a confusing time for investors.

In today’s chart of the day, we look at a longer-term view of the 2, 5, 10, and 30-year treasury bond yields.

Short to long term bond yields are all testing 7 to 10-year support levels as momentum is at the lowest levels in a decade.

A yield rally is likely due across the board after a recent decline that was bigger than the stock crash in 1987!

If yields fail to ral...



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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

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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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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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