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Markets Are Bubbly – The Economy, Not So Much

Not a Bubble?  The equity markets have been driven by momentum and speculation these past few weeks, not by underlying business fundamentals.  We had GameStop, followed by Silver, then Pot stocks, and now SPACs, all driven by retail.  PE ratios are in the top 1% of their historical range.  Junk bond yields are at all-time-record low levels (sub 4%).  In January, the worst stocks based on business fundamentals, significantly outperformed …Read More

Mr. Market Won’t Let the Grinch-Like Economy Steal This Christmas!

The employment data for November were downbeat, and those surveys were taken prior to many newly imposed restrictions including stay-at-home orders. Other economic data, including Black Friday-Cyber Monday spending, and manufacturing and service indexes also disappointed.  Pessimism also showed up in the Fed’s recent Beige Book, its survey of business sentiment. Yet, despite all the downbeat economic news and forecasts, equity markets set new all-time highs the week ended December …Read More

Priced For More Than Perfection, Markets Have Dismissed Economic Reality

The holidays are upon us, and we wish our clients and friends health, peace and happiness. Recent income, output, and employment data have turned sour. We’ll see what that does to holiday shopping. The financial markets, especially equities, have looked past the valley (abyss), and the vaccine news has enhanced the view that “normal,” or at least a “new normal” is just maybe a quarter or so away. The DOW set an …Read More

The Economy: On the Other Side of the Abyss

The good news is that a vaccine is definitely coming.  But getting to herd immunity is going to take more than a quarter or two, especially given the resistance of about half of the American population to getting the vaccine, at least early on. The economy is likely to remain soft until well after the pandemic passes.  There are many reasons for this including a decade of poor policymaking and …Read More

Vaccine: That Pinhead of Light at Tunnel’s End

Pfizer’s vaccine announcement gave the equity market the vision and hope that some semblance of “normal” was closer than previously assumed; perhaps a light at the end of the tunnel. Reality is that, due both to the complex logistics of handling the Pfizer vaccine, the two shot inoculation process, and the voluntary system in America, that light at tunnel’s end is just a pinhead, with a long and treacherous journey …Read More

The Economy: Through the Rear-View Mirror

The upbeat October employment report is likely showing the labor market through the rear-view mirror. The weekly state employment numbers, too, as reported in the mainstream business media, only tell half the story.  The entire story includes an additional 9+ million people on Cares Act supplements; a program that is growing as state eligibility is exhausted, but a program that expires as the year ends. High frequency data also confirm …Read More