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S&P

The Recovery Stalls; Fed Pledges “Lower for Longer;” Equity Markets Pause

With the Fed pledging to keep rates low even when (or if) inflation rises above its 2% target, it is hard to see why long-term Treasury yields (and those of other quality issuers) won’t move toward yields of similar debt in the world’s other industrial economies (i.e., Europe and Japan). The economic lull is now showing up in both the labor market (Initial Claims) and in retail sales, likely because …Read More

On Gazing Into The Abyss

The six large cap stocks (FB, AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL, NFLX, and MSFT), which now compose 22% of the S&P 500 (vs. 10% five years ago) are, amazingly, up about 4% YTD as of Friday April 17. The S&P 500, itself, closed Friday, down only -11% YTD (and only -15% below its all-time peak), even in the face of the most severe Recession (Depression?) since the 1930s. And, Wall Street is raving that …Read More

Investor Prospects For 2020 And The Wall Street Casino

This is the time of year when I am supposed to make predictions for markets for 2020, or, at least give an outlook. This has become quite difficult to do in recent times as markets no longer appear to be driven by corporate fundamentals or macroeconomics. Rather, markets have been moved by: 1) passive investment flows; 2) corporate stock buy-backs; 3) TINA (There Is No Alternative), especially for baby boomers looking for …Read More

Buybacks: The New Magic Beans

Synopsis: Stock buybacks increase corporate leverage. Investors err if they apply the old P/E ratio to the new, now higher EPS, which is solely due to the reduction of outstanding shares. Because leverage has increased, the P/E ratio should fall, as the company is now riskier. Theoretically, via the academic discipline of corporate finance, and used by most Wall Street analysts, management should prioritize its use of cash as follows: …Read More

2018: A Pivotal Year

Since my last blog, even more volatility has been present in the marketplace (both equities and debt spurred by the narrative that whatever tax legislation was passed by Congress would greatly benefit the economy and especially U.S. corporate profits.  In the two weeks running up to the passage of the Senate’s version of the tax bill, the equity markets moved significantly depending on how any particular Republican Senator intended on …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