Posts Tagged ‘fundamentals’

On Reflexivity & Animal Spirits: What Moves the Market from Here?

Kent Thune’s wonderful blog The Financial Philosopher is not just a financial site, it’s a "learning experience."  I highly recommend that you visit him and read some of his latest inspirational articles, such as Get Busy Livin’ or Get Busy Dyin’To Embrace Death is to Embrace Life, and Entrepreneurs: Use Your Delusion, Sell the Illusion. – Ilene

On Reflexivity & Animal Spirits: What Moves the Market from Here?

ITAR-TASS 02: IRKUTSK REGION, RUSSIA. NOVEMBER 30, 2008. Early twentieth century German pendulum clock with a statuette of Mnemosyne, Greek goddess of memory, on display at the Clock Museum, Angarsk, Irkutsk Region, Russia. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Nikolai Ryutin) Photo via Newscom

Courtesy of Kent Thune, at The Financial Philosopher

Are capital markets leading economic indicators or do they provide fuel for a growing economy? Or is it both? Isn’t the function of capital markets to raise capital for the financing of corporate and government operations through the sale of securities (stocks and bonds)?

If the stock market is rising, would this not then create the economic condition it is "predicting" as an economic indicator? In the absence of government stimulus, might financial markets save themselves? If so, how? Can financial markets rise spontaneously or do they require a fundamental boost or outside stimulation?

Capital markets have many functions and their participants have numerous objectives; however, we may simplify them all into two basic categorical functions: 1) Passive and 2) Active. Depending upon economic conditions and variables, capital markets can play one or both rolls. Consider recent comments by George Soros (Hat tip to Captain Jack):

…financial markets do not play a purely passive role; they can also affect the so-called fundamentals they are supposed to reflect. These two functions that financial markets perform work in opposite directions. In the passive or cognitive function, the fundamentals are supposed to determine market prices. In the active or manipulative function market, prices find ways of influencing the fundamentals. When both functions operate at the same time, they interfere with each other. The supposedly independent variable of one function is the dependent variable of the other, so that neither function has a truly independent variable. As a result, neither market prices nor the underlying reality is fully determined. Both suffer from an element of uncertainty that cannot be quantified. I call the interaction between the two functions reflexivity…

Mr. Soros’ idea of reflexivity asserts, as he says, "that financial markets do not necessarily tend toward equilibrium; they can…
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Analyzing Corporate Margins As S&P500 Free Cash Flows Hits Record

Pragcap examined the same phenomenon this morning from a different perspective, that of earnings season surprises. – Ilene 

Analyzing Corporate Margins As S&P500 Free Cash Flows Hits Record 

Courtesy of Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge 

In the recent multiple expansion run up, one of the largely ignored factors has been the dramatic rise in corporate margins, be they Gross Profit, EBITDA, Net Income or unlevered Free Cash Flow. Of course, all this has been a function of massive cuts in corporate overhead as most companies have laid off the bulk of their workers, resulting in a seemingly stronger bottom line. In the meantime, assorted stimulus programs by the government have prevented revenues from crashing, thus boosting EPS, on both a historical and a projected basis.

We demonstrate the dramatic surge in margins by scouring through the S&P 500 companies over the past 3 years, and question just how sustainable this margin pick up is. As more and more analysts predict that future margin expansion is sure to drive the market higher, we can’t help but wonder 1) with stimulus benefits expiring and excess liquidity approaching an inflection point (especially in China) who will keep the top line strong, 2) as companies are forced, as a result, to hire more workers in order to drive sales, how will operating margins maintain their stellar performance, and 3) how will a decline in margins be justified from a multiple expansion standpoint. Lastly, we parse through the thoughts of William Hester of Hussman funds, who has some very critical observations on this very relevant topic.

As the chart below demonstrates, virtually every margin metric is now trading at or above its 3 year average.

One notable observation is the unlevered Free Cash Flow margin, which at 12.6% is now at a recent record. We have preciously discussed how companies have extracted major cash concession by squeezing net working capital, which is likely a factor in the disproportionate rise in FCF margins relative to all other metrics. The immediate result of this cash conservation has been of course the dramatic increase in corporate cash balances, which some have speculated is merely in anticipation of much higher corporate tax rates down the line, as well as general austerity as the reality of America’s insolvency trickes down to individual corporations.

The take home here is that margins have likely little room left to grow. This is especially true…
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IS THIS A “MAJOR MARKET TOP”?

Brilliant theories (e.g. Robert Prechter’s market thoughts) and perfect timing are two different things. Pragcap’s timing has been exceptional. – Ilene

IS THIS A “MAJOR MARKET TOP”?

Businessmen talking and gesturing

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

A reader recently responded with several excellent reasons why this could be the formation of a major market top and what Robert Prechter referred to as the next leg down in the bear market.  Although I turned near-term bearish recently, I am not convinced that this is a major turning point.  In this piece I respond to “Our Man In NYC” and the reasons why I believe this is not a major market top, but more likely a correction within the uptrend:

Our Man In NYC:

Thanks for the great response.  I’ll give you my brief thoughts on each topic you touched on.

- CRE: Still a huge problem, but it’s a slow motion train wreck.  The majority of the troubles in CRE are spread out over the next 3 years and will hinder bank balance sheets, but won’t serve as the “all at once” wallop RRE was in 2008.

- RRE: I said that last years stability in housing was a head fake and I still think we’re heading lower, but the stimulus will continue to bolster prices in the near-term.  There will be one last surge in activity as the tax credit ends this year.  Late 2010 and 2011 has potential for substantial declines in residential as resets surge, foreclosures remain high, inventory remains high, stimulus ends and the laws of supply and demand reassert themselves after the government’s temporary price fixing.  The next leg down isn’t quite here yet.

- Sovereign Risk: Greece is getting bailed out in all likelihood, but all in all, another slow moving iceberg.  The S&P story on the UK is alarming.  As readers know, I think debt is why we’re ultimately still in a bear market, but it’s not a NEAR-TERM concern.

- Liquidity: The Fed remains accommodative.  China appears to be on the verge of a wind-down.  Alarming, but at 10.7% GDP I think investors will ultimately view the near-term downturn as a buying opportunity in emerging markets.   Stimulus and accommodative policies are nearing an end, but the process will remain lumpy as


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Chris Whalen’s 2010 Outlook: “A Grudging Admission of the Truth”

Chris Whalen’s 2010 Outlook: "A Grudging Admission of the Truth"

By Aaron Task

Financials suffered Thursday after Citigroup’s massive secondary offering was poorly received and influential analyst Meredith Whitney cut 2010 estimates on Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The answer is "yes" (or "both"), according to Christopher Whalen, managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics.

In 2009, the momentum created by a "wall of paper fiat dollars" overcame the industry’s still-poor fundamentals, driving the sector higher, Whalen says. "Where you see the markets changing in terms of sentiment is where fundamentals are so ugly they can’t be ignored."

Whalen is sticking by a prior forecast that the fourth-quarter will be a "bloodbath" for the banks but says the real ugliness won’t occur until the middle of 2010…

But even prior to Thursday’s selloff, a lot of traders were nervously watching the poor action in the financials as a possible "tell" for the broader market. The question is whether the recent weakness is just profit taking after the big gains earlier this year or concern about the fundamentals heading into 2010.

Read full article here.>>

 


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TRANSPORTS CONFIRM THE ECONOMY IS WEAK

TRANSPORTS CONFIRM THE ECONOMY IS WEAK

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Nothing has been more confounding during this equity rally than the weakness in the underlying fundamentals of the transports.  Without fail, the data from the transports has been an excellent leading indicator in past recessions.  Warren Buffett has even admitted that the rail data is his single favorite indicator to watch.  But as equity market have ripped higher, the rails and other transports have lagged.

Of course, as time has passed we have witnessed the enormous influence of government stimulus on the economy and the incredible impact of money printing on asset prices.  As we begin to see signs that government stimulus is failing to generate jobs and a sustainable recovery, the transports continue to forecast a very weak recovery.  Have the transports been right this whole time or is the Fed’s liquidity induced rally a more accurate reflection of the economy?

Late last week, Union Pacific CEO Jim Young said the economy had stabilized, but was not recovering just yet:

“So, it looks like the economy has bottomed out, but unfortunately we’re not seeing an upturn yet.

The weekly rails data we report has shown certain signs of stability and even a slight uptick of late, but whether this warrants the extreme recovery optimism we hear about on a daily basis is highly suspect:

rails5

Of course, the weakness in the transports isn’t just in the rails.  The Air Transports reported a 13% year over year decline in cargo just last week and the latest truck tonnage data shows that the recovery in trucking is also very weak:

ATA

In terms of market implications, Richard Russell is now growing very concerned about the action in the Transports:

“From a Dow Theory standpoint, the Transports are now worth watching. They’re sort of sinking out of sight on higher volume. And look at MACD which has now turned bearish. Transports could be a problem. And note today’s plunge of over 100 points.”

From a trading perspective, we saw heavy put action in the Transports late last month as they were beginning to top out.   Since then, traders have become very concerned about a potential double top leading to further weakness in the transports sector.

transports

The fundamentals seems to rhyme with the technicals.   Some traders couldn’t ask for a better set-up….

 


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The Long View

The Long View

Courtesy of Binve at Market Thoughts and Analysis

I have written several posts the past several months talking about the long term. As most of these posts talked about problems in the economy, outlooks of future weakness, and the serious issues with our nation’s monetary policy, I have a decidedly bearish forecast on most asset classes for the next several years. And since many of these observations have taken place in a fairly spectacular bear market rally, I have been labeled a perma-bear and been somewhat ignored. No worries, that is not new territory for me :)

But as we start closing in on the end of the bear market rally (Primary Wave 2), I want to rehash some of these issues. Undoubtedly I will be labeled by even more people as a perma-bear, because every government economist is declaring "end of the recession" and analysts are all declaring "new bull market".

But I assure you I am not, in fact I would rather be long. I went long big time at 700 on the SPX. I did cash out of them far too early, and went short far too early, but that is because when I look at the economy I do not see strength. Not now, and certainly not for the future. I try to be honest with myself with my analysis, both fundamentally and technically. I am not a bear for the sake of being a bear. I try to be as realistic as I can be. Sometimes that means I get things wrong (and yes, being too early is wrong in my book), and that’s fine. Just part of the game. But these are my honest opinions.

Fundamentals

There are still so many long term issues that have not been dealt with. The economy is still structurally the same (70% consumer spending) and besides a lot of optimistic rhetoric, none of the problems that got us into this mess have been fixed. There have been a lot of band-aids applied. And even to an open festering wound a band-aid will apply some "relative" amount of relief (vs. doing nothing) in the *very short term*. But if you have a severed carotid artery and you put on a band-aid, it will soak up excess blood for a couple of seconds, before that band-aid…
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The 5 Keys to Identifying a Fundamental Day Trade

For a free subscription to Phil’s Stock World, click here (it’s easy, no credit card required). 

David, at The Oxen Group, has been kindly providing us with day-trading picks before the market opens. He has an excellent track record, which is posted in Oxen Group section and updated every few days. Below is an outline of the factors he considers when identifying high-probability trading opportunities. For more, visit The Oxen Group website and sign up for a free newsletter. - Ilene

The 5 Keys to Identifying a Fundamental Day Trade

day trading, quotesOne of the main sections of our site is our Oxen Picks. These are day trades that The Oxen Group makes everyday that are ideas for stocks we believe will move up for a single day that investors can make 3-5% on each day. The Oxen Picks have had some significant growth since we started them, making nearly 40% on a $3,000 portfolio. The portfolio has no long-term stocks. Every stock we buy, we sell the same day. And, we only buy one stock every day. The method behind it, however, is sound and continues to foster growth. That method begins with fundamentals and the 5 Keys to Identifying a Fundamental Day Trade.

Today, I am going to lay out for you the five keys to executing the fundamental day trade that will help you become a better day trading investor by identifying 5 signals that can help you select a trade. These signals are easy to understand and they will help transform your trading style into a much more astute investment strategy.

Identifying the Fundamentals

To begin to look for that perfect stock or ETF that will move up 4-5% in a single day, we first need to look for something that can propel the stock. Even the best technicals seldom can give you 5% upward movement intraday alone. This 4-5% movement we are talking about, additionally, is not from yesterday’s close, but it is movement within the day. That means we want to identify a stock that can be bought sometime in the morning and sold later in the day that will give us significant upward movement from our entry.

Stocks do not move on their own, though, therefore there are a number of fundamentally bullish categories that we can use to identify stocks:

1. Earnings

There are multiple ways to play a company’s…
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Phil's Favorites

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

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

 

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

A security guard wears a mask as she keeps watch at arriving passengers at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Jan. 23, 2020, as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus. Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Courtesy of Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan and Florian Krammer, ...



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Biotech

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

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

 

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

A security guard wears a mask as she keeps watch at arriving passengers at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Jan. 23, 2020, as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus. Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Courtesy of Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan and Florian Krammer, ...



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Zero Hedge

Stocks Soar To Best Day In 4 Months As "Devil"-Virus Death-Count Spikes

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The death toll in China has soared past 100 while the number of confirmed cases doubled overnight. Health officials around the world have confirmed more than 4,500 cases, more than triple the number from Friday.

And domestically, while 'soft' data improved - headline consumer confidence ticked up and Richmond Fed saw its 2nd biggest rebound in its 27 year history, 'hard' data collapsed as Durable Goods orders were a disaster...

All of which explains (not...



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Insider Scoop

JPMorgan Downgrades Beyond Meat On Valuation

Courtesy of Benzinga

One of Beyond Meat Inc's (NASDAQ: BYND) earliest bull analysts downgraded the stock on Tuesday.

The Analyst

Ken Goldman downgraded the plant-based food maker's stock from Overweight to Neutral with a price target lowered from $138 to $134.

The Thesis

Goldman was among the first Street analysts to initiate coverag...



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Chart School

Top Patterns for Retail Investors

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Retail investors are last in line for market leading research, no matter, the retail investor can profit from these secret sauce patterns..

Well not so secret now, the main point is you do not have to climb Mount Everest to be called a mountain climber, there are many other hills to climb to make your mark. Just like stocks.

You do not have to battle with the high frequency traders to win in the markets, there are long and slow methods to do just as well.  

More from RTT Tv







Some charts from the video


...

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The Technical Traders

The Wuhan Wipeout - Could It Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

News is traveling fast about the Corona Virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Two new confirmed cases in the US, one in Europe and hundreds in China. As we learn more about thispotential pandemic outbreak, we are learning that China did very little to contain this problem from the start. Now, quarantining two cities and trying to control the potential
outbreak, may become a futile effort.

In most of Asia, the Chinese New Year is already in full swing.  Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India and a host of other countries are already starting to celebrate the 7 to 10 day long New Year.  Millions of people have already traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to visit family...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bad News For Crude Oil Should Come From This Pattern, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s a good idea for investors to be aware of key indicators and inter-market relationships.

Perhaps it’s watching the US Dollar as an indicator for precious metals or emerging markets. Or watching interest rates for the economy. Experience, history, and relationships matter. And it’s good to simply add these to our tool-kit.

Today, we look at another relationship that has signaled numerous stock market tops and bottoms over the years, and especially the past several months, Crude Oil.

When crude oil tops or bottoms, it seems that ...



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Members' Corner

The War on All Fact People

 

David Brin shares an excerpt from his new book on the relentless war against democracy and how we can fight back. You can also read the first, second and final chapters of Polemical Judo at David's blog Contrary Brin.

The War on All Fact People 

Excerpted from David Brin's new book, the beginning of chapter 5, Polemical Judo: Memes...



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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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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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