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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 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

Money Explodes; Gold Glitters; The Recovery Slows

I often get asked why the price of gold is rising, and, as a follow on, will it continue.  The price of gold has always had a significant correlation (80%) with the Fed’s balance sheet (i.e., the “money supply”), especially during periods of significant balance sheet expansion (money printing).  The table shows the Y/Y change in the money supply of the western world’s major economies.  The U.S., clearly the largest …Read More

A ‘W’ Recovery, Obstructed By Bankruptcies And Unemployment

The Recession’s ending isn’t the story – it is whether or not the Recovery lives up to its billing. In truth, the Recovery’s shape was never going to be a CAPITAL “V.” Like in the post-Great Depression period or the post-1918 pandemic period, consumer behavior will radically change. And, there is a lot of evidence that that has already begun. In those past periods, consumers became more frugal, and today’s data shows a surge …Read More

The Opposite: The Market Takes A Cue From Seinfeld

The Opposite In one of the 1990s Seinfeld episodes known as “The Opposite,” George Costanza decides to make decisions opposite of what his “normal” instincts would tell him to do. The results of his “opposite” actions were a beautiful girlfriend, a standing ovation, and a job with the N.Y. Yankees! Today’s equity market seems to be behaving similar to George, choosing to do the “opposite” of what one would normally expect from …Read More

Good News! The Re-Opening

The Unemployment Picture The equity markets continued their uptrend the week ended May 30th with the S&P 500 gaining 3.0% for the week (and 4.5% for the month). Similarly, the DJIA gained 3.8% this past week and 4.3% for the month. Markets moved higher on vaccine speculation, and on less negative sequential data as all 50 states were in full or partial re-opening mode. The markets seem to believe that the Recovery will be …Read More