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A Strange New World: Economic Slowdown, Liquidity Issues

The world’s slowdown continues. China’s growth rate is the slowest in years. Exports there are down as are imports, and pork prices (their protein staple) are up 40% due to swine flu. India, formerly the fastest growing economy in the world, had their manufacturing sector grow +0.6% (stagnation for them and the slowest growth since 2012), and auto sales there are down 41% from year ago levels (hard to believe!). In the world’s third …Read More

Markets Have Recovered, But Charts Look Like Niagara Falls

In January, the equities markets bounced from significantly oversold conditions at the end of December, on the hopes that a) the Fed stopped it tightening cycle in time, and b) the halt to the government shut-down occurred in time to avoid negative Q1 GDP growth. As I have stated in prior blogs, “hope” is not a good investment strategy. But wait! The “hope” regarding the Fed doesn’t even make sense. …Read More

In the Face of Hard Data & Market Selloff, the Fed Blinked

The incoming data, both sentiment indexes and the actual hard numbers, continue to show growth deceleration in the U.S. and worldwide.  In post-Fed meeting appearances, the Fed Chair and other FOMC members have walked back their hawkish positions taken in the immediate aftermath of the December 19 (rate hike) meeting.  The oversold markets, having thrown the biggest December tantrum since 1931, responded positively and, at this writing, have recouped about …Read More

Markets: Time to Reflect on Risk, not Return

The week ended September 7th saw a pull-back from the record highs set in late August. Perhaps we witnessed the infamous “double top” (January 26th and August 29th). It is clear that financial markets have become riskier, and, perhaps, it is time for investors to assess the risks inherent in their portfolios versus the prospects of future returns. There is a short-term and a long-term view, neither of which augurs …Read More

The Trump Rally

For the third time in six months, markets reacted opposite to expectations.  First, it was Brexit.  Markets swooned after the unexpected vote.  That lasted for two days before markets shook off the surprise and headed higher.  Last month, when Trump won, the swoon lasted a whole 9 hours, and the tantrum ended just prior to the opening of U.S. markets.  On Sunday, December 4th, when Italy voted “no” on PM …Read More

Post-election market drama

Last Tuesday evening, while dining with family and business associates, I had one eye on the elections and the other on the Dow Jones Futures Index, a proxy for the Dow Jones Industrials (DJIA) in the non-trading hours. At one point, the futures were down 900 points, and I was drooling over the prospect of one of those quite rare buying opportunities produced by extreme market fear, irrationality and emotional distress. …Read More