Thursday, August 17, 2017

Quick commentary on today's action...

Told you not to hold your breath.

Took a moment and added the following to my market diary this morning:


Well, so much for the VIX staying calm. As I type, the S&P 500 Volatility Index is up 25% on the morning. The Dow and the S&P themselves are flirting with 1% declines. Clearly, although 1% index declines are nothing to get excited about, there’s fear in the market today – if, that is, the VIX is any indication. Surprisingly, however, gold and bonds are only up roughly .5% each. That wouldn’t be your definition of panicky risk-off action…

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quick Comment on Today's Action

I know, I'm out of the office, but, good or bad, I presently have a connection :)!

I just scribbled (so to speak) the following into my market diary. Thought you might find it interesting, because -- only for this very moment -- it might help put the noise of the week into its proper market perspective.

After this, I should be leaving you alone for the next couple of days. But don't hold your breath :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Chart of the Day

If you're wondering why we've stepped up the volatility reminders of late, it's not because we're feeling bearish these days (in fact our data says stocks remain solidly in an uptrend), it's because we've been doing this a very long time. And, thus, we've learned that even the best of bull runs are replete with multi-point pullbacks. And, per the chart below, it's been awhile since the market's experienced even your garden variety 5% hit.

Quote of the Day: Our trade deficit says we are a very rich country. I.e., be careful what you ask for!!

I can't recall the last time I quoted a sitting politician, other than in pejorative fashion, that is. Well, to my very pleasant surprise, Senator James Lankford basically understands international trade.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Chart of the Day: North Korea -- and the market -- in the '90s

As stated in yesterday's lead-in to our quote of the day, we should be careful diminishing such things as the present conflict with North Korea. Yet we must also acknowledge that the more the media outlets can -- for any reason whatsoever -- grab our attention, the more they can show paying advertisers how adept they are at grabbing our attention.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Where's the Inflation??? Well, just wait...

Yes, the economy is for the moment on solid footing. Hence the Fed's recent rate hikes and signaling that they're ready to reduce the monster of a balance sheet (treasuries and mortgage backed securities) they grew as they saved the free world (a little sarcasm there).

Quote of the Day: Hyperbole is profitable...

No doubt, the news has been troubling this week. And while we should be careful diminishing such things, we should also be cognizant of the fact that the media (whose duty, I acknowledge, is to report) benefits markedly when its product spawns trouble in the minds of its customers. Per the last line in the opening paragraph to Bespoke Investment Group's weekly message:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Quote of the Day

The ultimate quote for the patient long-term investor:

This Week's Message: Why Didn't Brexit, Trump's Victory, or North Korea(???) Derail the Market?

Our May 11th blog post was well received (we assume so because of its unusually high number of clicks). That essay came to mind this evening as I pondered what I'd offer up for this week's message. We subtitled it "Why Didn't Brexit, or Trump's Victory, Derail the Market?".

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Video Commentary: A walk through a few charts...

Once playing, click the icon in the lower right corner for full screen. Focus should occur after a few seconds; if not, click the wheel to the left of the YouTube icon to adjust:

Bonus Quote of the Day: (So far) just a blip...

I read very few investment blogs these days; I've found the majority to be little more than echoes of the prevailing media noise. 

Scott Grannis's is a rare exception. Below is a snippet from his post this morning. I encourage you to read the whole thing -- it's brief:

Quote of the Day: Half the battle...

Richard D. Wyckoff was one of history’s great investment minds. His teachings/methods are as pertinent today for savvy traders and deep-thinking investors as they were in the early 20th Century.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Charts of the Day: What does the intraday action say?

As we've been illustrating herein, the technical setup for the stock market remains bullish for the time being. And while a single day never does a trend make, we do pay particular attention to how the market behaves in the final hour of the trading session.

Is it yet "Fire and Fury" for the markets?

Here's how markets are trading this morning, as I type -- it's 6:46 am PDT:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quote of the Day: JP Morgan CEO won't call it a bubble, but is wary on bonds...

While JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon is wisely humble in an interview this morning --

Chart of the Day: Bonds are unusually risky these days...

This morning, Bloomberg featured one of the indicators that we closely monitor; colloquially known as the Modified Duration Index. We call it our "Interest Rate Sensitivity Index".

As you can see in the graph (and commentary) below, it's registering quite the high, which suggests that if, as we suspect, things do ultimately get rough for bond investors, it can get really rough:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Chart of the Day: Losing world market share

While the headlines boast of the U.S. market's record-setting run, in a global context, we're just doing okay; as illustrated in the graph below showing a notable decline in the U.S.'s share of the world's market capitalization.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Charts of the Day

Per our brief video this week, periods of unusually low volatility inspire some advisers to ready their clients for the norm.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Video Commentary: Volatility vs 2013

We've illustrated herein the similarities between 2017 and 2013 coming into this year. Here's a quick look at year-to-date volatility by comparison.

This Week's Message: From our July Trends File...

Here's a chronological look at our titles (which include our summary assessments) of the various data points that found their way into our July 2017 "Current Trends" file. I'll add long-term implication color-coding (where clearly applicable).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Quote of the Day

Two things to note in today's quote: 1. The U.S. manufacturing industry feels quite good about its present lot. 2. Much of the sector's strength is coming from exports. Please keep number 2 in mind if/when someone cites pejoratively the high level of goods we import from other nations.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Quote of the Day: Greenspan sees a bubble!

In an interview yesterday, former fed chair Alan Greenspan spoke to why we've -- for quite some time -- been so stubbornly bearish on bonds:

Charts of the Day: On average, how we doing?

While our clients of course like what they've seen over the past year, many have expressed concern over the 8+-year chasm separating today with the end of the last bear market. I mean, stocks just can't go up forever, right? Absolutely, they cannot! However, as we've expressed herein, bull markets don't die of old age, they die of obesity -- of, let's say, excessive living.