Posts Tagged ‘emerging markets’

Jeremy Grantham: Playing with fire, but stocks could race to old highs

Jeremy Grantham: Playing with fire, but stocks could race to old highs

Boy (7-9) holding sparkler, side view, night

Courtesy of Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town 

Jeremy Grantham has become a familiar and very popular face on this site. For those treasuring his insight, wisdom and prescient calls, the co-founder and chief investment strategist of Boston-based GMO has just published the April edition of his quarterly newsletter entitled “Playing with Fire (A Possible Race to the Old Highs)”.

Here are a few excerpts from Grantham’s newsletter.

“So what do I think will happen? That’s easy: I don’t know. We have been spoiled in the last 10 years with many near certainties – mainly that real bubbles would break – but this is definitely not one of them. Not yet anyway.  (However, I am still willing to play guessing games despite the fact that “I don’t know.” So here, as Exhibit 1, is my probability tree.)

“The general conclusion is that the line of least resistance is a market move in the next 18 months or so back to the old highs, say, 1500 to 1600 on the S&P, accompanied by an equivalent gain in most risk measures, followed once again by a very dangerous break. If that happens, rates will still be low and thus difficult to use as a jump starter, the financial system will still be fragile, and the piggybank will be more or less empty. It is remarkably silly for the Fed to allow, even encourage, this flight path. It is also remarkably silly for investors to be so carefree, given their recent experiences. Fortunately, there are several less likely outcomes that collectively,…
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

MIT professor Simon Johnson says the next big down leg in the bear market will come from emerging markets:

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Free Money Thursday – 130 S&P New Highs Can’t Be Wrong!

130 S&P 500 companies hit 52-week highs yesterday.

Things must be even better than I thought in yesterday's post and there has been a conga line of pom-pom waving analysts on GE/CNBC this morning telling us how UNDER valued everything is because we just don't see the BIG PICTURE.  As Bespoke notes in their chart of the S&P and it's new highs, you want to see more and more stocks hitting new highs to sustain a rally but my question is – with the market now at 17-month highs and making new highs every day – what's up with the other 370 stocks? 

In an ordinary market, I wouldn't question it but this is not an ordinary market.  52 weeks ago we were at 666 on the S&P and stocks were making DECADE lows.  Here we are with the index up almost 80% off that bottom and we can't pull a lousy 52-week high from 2/3 of the index???  We'll be keeping an eye on this indicator to see how things pan out but notice when the market fell – there were no doubts, 80% of the stocks made 52-week lows last fall – not THAT'S a sell-off.  That's the kind of dramatic numbers you expect to see in a dramatic market move – not this wimpy 40% stuff – let's see some conviction people!

AAPL is convicted – they are up 191% from their lows and AAPL is 15% of the Nasdaq so, all by themselves, AAPL has accounted for 28% of the Nasdaq's move from 1,265 to 2,389 (89%).  TRV is also moving with conviction, up 54% since March and adding 160 much-needed points to the Dow, a great swap for C, who would have only added about 24 had they remained in the index.  CSCO replaced GM (because they are soooooo similar) and they too have been a great trade for the Dow, up 100% off the March lows and slapping 104 bonus points on the index. 

Ah, now we see how our industrials can do so well despite all the unemployment and lower cap utilization and lack of demand and high commodity input costs – we just shuffle the deck until we find a set of cards that work!   Even so, as I've pointed out this week, the Dow has been lagging the Nasdaq
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

guruThis week’s Guru Outlook brings us the brilliance of Felix Zulauf.  Zulauf is the founder of Zulauf Asset Management based in Switzerland and is well known for his appearances in Barron’s annual roundtable.   Zulauf has nailed the secular bear market downturn and 2009 upturn about as well as anyone.  More importantly, he has been nearly flawless in connecting the dots in the macro picture.  From the de-leveraging cycle that led to the downturn to the government stimulus that led to the upturn – Zulauf has been remarkably prescient.

At the 2008 roundtable Zulauf recommended investors purchase gold and short stocks due to concerns with the consumer.  He remained bearish throughout the year.  At the 2009 roundtable Zulauf said stocks would bottom at some point in the second quarter after making a new 2009 low.  He got aggressive and said stocks would rally after that.  His recommendations to purchase oil, gold and emerging markets were home runs.

Zulauf’s macro outlook hasn’t changed all that much.  He still believes the de-leveraging bear market cycle is with us and that we’re in the early stages.  Zulauf sees a number of similarities with Japan and says the consumer is in the process of long-term balance sheet repair:

“we are in the early stages of a deleveraging process, which is marked by a shift from maximizing profits to minimizing debt. It is a multiyear process. The U.S. consumer is in bad shape, and the U.K. consumer is even worse.”

But Zulauf hasn’t turned bearish in the short-term yet.  He says the markets have another 10% of upside before concerns over the end of the stimulus begin to weigh on the markets:

“Central bankers themselves are somewhat afraid of what they have been doing. Politicians are worried about public-sector debt. Therefore, the authorities will try to step away slowly from their stimulation efforts, because this policy isn’t sustainable. That’s the risk for the markets.  The U.S. stock market has enough momentum to rise another 10% or so. But the authorities will start leaning the other way as they see signs of economic growth in the first two quarters, and possibly a jump in inflation. That could push the market down.”

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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Businessman gazing into crystal ball

Strategists at Prudential are among the most bullish on Wall Street (for more very bullish outlooks please see RBC’s outlook, Merrill’s outlook & JP Morgan’s outlook).   They see further government stimulus, low interest rates and the inventory rebuild driving the S&P up to 1,350 by the end of 2010 for a full 23% rally from current prices.

They believe inflation is likely to remain low as slack in the economy, high unemployment and low capacity utilization keep prices under wraps.

They remain very bullish on equity markets for 5 primary reasons:

1) GDP rebound sustaining in Q4 and into 2010, and growth expectations being revised higher.

2) Q3 earnings surprising on the upside outlook and earnings recovering further in Q4 and 2010 with solid GDP growth, widening margins and improved pricing power.

3) Inflation moving from disinflation to low inflation with excess capacity and high unemployment.

4) Global central banks holding interest rates at crisis lows levels, long-term rates remaining low, and plenty of liquidity.

5) Continued stabilization in financial market conditions and risk appetite improving further.

How to play it?  They want to be overweight stocks and underweight bonds.  More specifically, they prefer emerging market and UK equities with a modest overweight in the Eurozone while being underweight Japan and the U.S.

In terms of sectors they prefer energy, info. tech, and materials with a modest overweight in financials and industrials.  They are neutral consumer discretionary with modest underweights in consumers staples and healthcare.  They underweight utilities and telecomm.

In the bond market they like emerging markets and Japanese debt with a modest overweight in UK debt.  They are neutral on the Eurozone and underweight US debt.

The tend is much the same in terms of forex.  They like the Euro and emerging market currencies, remain neutral on sterling & Yen with an underweight on the dollar.

Source: Prudential


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A Conversation with John

A Conversation with John

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline

Unemployment Positives

Michael Faraday (1791-

This morning’s unemployment number, though still down by 11,000, is the best we have seen in a very long time. The birth/death ratio only added 30,000 jobs, and previous months were revised upwards. Given that the ADP employment number on Wednesday was so high, and the service ISM was not good, this comes as a very pleasant and positive surprise. Is this a trend, or something seasonal because the main driver was temporary jobs? We will see in a few months. Let’s hope we see a real turnaround soon.

A Conversation with John

With Damien Hoffman of Wall St. Cheat Sheet

John Mauldin coined the incredibly popular phrase, "Muddle Through Economy." If the next few years continue to drag along as we rebuild from the greatest credit bubble in history, then John’s term may become the catch phrase used by every financial journalist and economist in the land.

John is a passionate traveler with business partners all over the world. He also puts out a free newsletter to over one million people worldwide. This reach of friends and travels give John an excellent macro view of the world economy. Further, his multidisciplinary interests offer some unique insights into economics and human behavior.

I had a chance to catch up with John and talk about his experiences as an economist, his perspective on which countries will grow the fastest in the coming decades, how he sees demographics affecting the world, and a bonus question from one of our 1400 Twitter followers …

Damien Hoffman: John, was economics part of your schooling or a passion of yours right from the start?

Rear view of Monks praying in front of a sculpture, Kanari Cave, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

John: I had a triple major in college, one of them being economics and history. So I’ve always been fascinated by history, economics, and finance. The markets are a big puzzle to me and I’m a puzzle addict. So it feeds my addiction. I started reading the Austrian economists first, in the early ’80s as I entered the investment world. That was my real introduction to economics. Over time, if you stay around long enough and read enough, you can pick up all the other schools of thought, like I did.

Damien: Based on some of your newsletters,
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Dubai’s Spruce Goose Island Ventures

Dubai’s Spruce Goose Island Ventures

Courtesy of Adam Sharp at Bearish News

Dubai’s man-made islands are stunning technological achievements. But they may end up being the poster-children for this era’s reckless real estate ventures. These projects are turning out to play a big role in the ongoing debt crisis in Dubai.

Here’s “The World” island project:


And here’s one of the three palm tree islands, where you can see construction underway:


I remember being struck by the scale of the project while watching a Discovery Channel documentary. What a cool concept. Unfortunately, it looks like reality is catching up to this pipe dream.

Recent revelations show that the islands’ parent company, Nakheel PJSC, is in trouble. Their attempt to delay debt payments sparked a global selloff on 11/27. Fears of a debt crisis in Dubai spreading to other emerging markets (EM) roiled stocks.

Investors collectively paused the day after Thanksgiving, “Wait a sec… I thought emerging markets were going to be the engine driving us out of this mess… Now their bubbles are popping? Uhhh-Ohhh.”

Bloomberg provides a detailed example of island building gone-wrong:

Samsung C&T Corp., builder of the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, said it stopped work on a $350 million bridge in the city after a unit of Dubai World halted payments.

Construction of the half-finished bridge, to the man-made Palm Jebel Ali island, was suspended earlier this month after Nakheel PJSC made no payments for about two months, Cho Keun Ho, a spokesman for the Seoul-based builder, said today. Calls to Nakheel’s spokeswoman Anna McGovern went unanswered.

Not all emerging markets have the same debt issues Dubai does, of course. But there are tons of risky investments lurking out there, and they’re not just in EM (hint – many are hidden off US bank’s balance sheets).

Some are speculating that Dubai’s debt problems will be a catalyst, sparking major selloffs worldwide, particularly in EM. If so, I would think those countries with stronger balance sheets, like China, will fare better than those with high debt loads. That said, I am considering reducing my personal EM holdings, but haven’t done so yet.

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After Dubai, Is Greece Next?

After Dubai, Is Greece Next?

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal at Clusterstock

Harbor of Skiathos

After you’ve gotten your Dubai fill, take a break and check out the situation in Greece.

Here’s the Telegraph from earlier this week:

When the European Central Bank’s Jean-Claude Trichet said last week that certain sinners on the edges of the eurozone were "very close to losing their credibility", everybody knew he meant Greece.

The interest spread between 10-year Greek bonds and German bunds has jumped to 178 basis points. Greek debt has decoupled from Italian debt. Athens can no longer hide behind others in EMU’s soft South.

"As far as the bond vigilantes are concerned, the Bat-Signal is up for Greece," said Francesco Garzarelli in a Goldman Sachs client note, Tremors at the EMU Periphery.

The newly-elected Hellenic Socialists (PASOK) of George Papandreou confess that the budget deficit will be more than 12pc of GDP this year, four times the original claim of the last lot. After campaigning on extra spending, it will have to do the exact opposite. "We need to save the country from bankruptcy," he said.

Good luck. Communist-led shipyard workers have already clashed violently with police. Some 200 anarchists were arrested in Athens last week after they torched streets of cars in a tear gas battle.

Read the whole thing >


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China is now on the same bubble path as Japan post-1987 crash

China is now on the same bubble path as Japan post-1987 crash

James Packer's 'City Of Dreams' Casino Opens In Macau

Courtesy of Credit Writedowns

This article by Peter Tasker, a well-regarded financial analyst in Asia, comes via the Financial Times (hat tip Marshall). He sees an enormous bubble forming in China – and parallels to Japan circa 1987:

Emerging markets, it seems, have had a good crisis. In contrast to the debt-ridden G7 economies, they have quickly resumed their growth trajectory. No surprise, then, that US emerging market mutual funds are experiencing record inflows. The stellar performance of the Brics markets – Brazil, Russia, Indian and China – is due to continue into the distant future.

Such is the narrative now forming among investors. To anyone who has lived through the rise and fall of the Japanese bubble economy, it should set off alarm bells.

Remember that it was in the years following the 1987 "Black Monday" crash that Japanese assets went from being expensive to absurdly overvalued and the Nikkei’s dizzy rise to 39,000 forced the bears to throw in the towel…

But what you saw was decidedly not what you got. The crisis, far from leaving Japan unscathed, exacerbated its structural problems and laid the groundwork for a far greater disaster…

Interest rates have been far too low for far too long. If the natural interest rate is, as the Swedish economist Knut Wicksell posited, around the level of nominal GDP growth, then China’s interest rates should have been close to 10 per cent for most of this decade. Alan Greenspan, former chief of the US Federal Reserve, has been criticised for holding interest rates too low and setting off a housing and credit bubble in the US. But if US monetary policy was wrong for the US, it was even more wrong for the high-growth countries that "imported" it. The result could only be a massive misallocation of capital…

At the 2008 peak, the price-to-book ratio of the Shanghai stock exchange was over seven times, well above the five times achieved by Japanese stocks in 1989. After the turbulence of the past 18 months, the ratio has fallen to 3.3 times, still the world’s second highest after India, and residential real estate trades at multiples of income that make the US housing boom look tame…

What is scary is that the current frothiness of emerging markets,

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WSJ – Small Investors Pile into Emerging Markets, Junk Bonds, and Commodities

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WSJ – Small Investors Pile into Emerging Markets, Junk Bonds, and Commodities

crowded trade, lemmings, small investorsPosted by TraderMark at Fund My Mutual Fund

If you’ve been around these markets for a while you generally know by the time the retail investor is piling into a group, chasing huge scores – it’s generally time to run away (at the least) and for the 5% among us who short, begin to think seriously about betting against the small fry. It sounds cold, but this is just the way it tends to work … trust me, I used to be one of these people, so I learned the hard (read: expensive) way. As we read the piece below let us trust in the fact that none of these people were buying in early March, but most likely jumped in when it was "safe" a month or so later.

Contrast the lemmings running into "what’s hot" with what you’ve been reading here – about a month ago I was saying commodities is crowded and I would not want to be exposed highly there. People who heeded that thought process avoided the sand blasting that has gone on for 3 weeks running in this sector. While I do like these emerging markets for the long term, I think they are vulnerable here as well; some are beginning to roll over – Russia has already been in a "technical" bear market (down over 20% from peak). And I am saying the same thing I said in commodities a month ago, now for the latest darling – technology. It is crowded – everyone is hiding there. Beware.

I don’t really talk much bonds but while junk bonds (highest risk) has provided the most juice the past 3-4 months, its basically been a parallel to the stock market. The ‘worst of breed’ has run up the most as green shoots flower across the world. Just as with the green shoots themselves, I find the junk bond love way premature. This economy is stalled and I expect many more companies to suffer – so buying bonds of the worst seems not such a great intermediate term strategy. I’d be more interested

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Phil's Favorites

After Tempe fatality, self-driving car developers must engage with public now or risk rejection


After Tempe fatality, self-driving car developers must engage with public now or risk rejection

An autonomous vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian on March 18. via AP

Courtesy of Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University; Jameson Wetmore, Arizona State University, and Thaddeus R. Miller, ...

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Zero Hedge

What Happens Next In The Global Trade War: A Q&A With Goldman Sachs


Embed from Getty Images

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Today, according to Politico, the White House will unveil its plan to hit China with tariffs and other trade restrictions, one day ahead of schedule as President Trump is slated to outline the results of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's investigation into allegations that China violates U.S. intellectual property rights by forcing American companies to transfer valuable technology to Beijing. ...

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Insider Scoop

20 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Pre-Market Session

Courtesy of Benzinga.


  • Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTI) shares rose 12.4 percent to $5.80 in pre-market trading after the company reported withdrawal of equity offering due to market conditions.
  • China Auto Logistics Inc. (NASDAQ: CALI) shares rose 10.8 percent to $4.40 in pre-market trading after surging 15.41 percent on Tuesday.
  • Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: FENC) rose 8.9 percent to $10.38 in pre-market trading a... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Courtesy of Anwar Halari, The Open University

If you haven’t already heard of Bitcoin, you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re a time traveller who just touched down in 2018. Because by now, most of us will have heard of Bitcoin and some of us have even jumped on the bandwagon, investing in cryptocurrencies.

But despite its popularity, many people still don’t understand the technology that underlines it: blockchain. In...

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Chart School

Stall in Decline

Courtesy of Declan.

The good news for bulls was the lack of follow through on the selling. An argument could be made for bullish harami doji in some key indices with stops on a loss of yesterday's lows.

The Semiconductor Index held on to breakout support in what looked to be a successful defense by traders in what could still be a pullback buying opportunity. There was a MACD trigger 'sell' which was a follow-through from Friday - leaving only stochastics in the green. However, relative performance remains in bulls favor. Long opportunities...

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Peter Thiel: Need To Rethink Tariffs In Light Of Trade Deficit With China; SF Sucks, Bitcoin Rocks

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel in a wide-ranging interview on President Trump’s trade tariffs, China’s economy, technology regulations and his outlook for bitcoin.


Check out our H2 hedge fund letters here.

Peter Thiel: Need To Rethink Tariffs In Light Of Trade Deficit With China

Peter Thiel On Leaving Silicon Valley For Los Angeles

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel argues Silicon Valley is is a ‘totalitarian place’ where people are not allowed to have dissenting views.


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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...

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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

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


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.


EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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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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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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