Posts filed under “Investing”

The Bull Market Ends (or Is It Just a Correction?)

We awoke this morning to see futures deep in the red. Over the past two weeks, markets seem indecisive, unable to make much progress. Lots of days began with positive trades, only to roll over and fall into losses. Several days that began in the red closed negative, though usually off their worst levels. Last week’s big ugly Monday is still fresh in many traders’ minds.

Might this be the start of the long-awaited, overdue correction?

There certainly have been plenty of catalysts that could hasten a 10 percent drop or worse. Earnings season has begun rather inauspiciously. There have been several high profile disappointments — IBM, Best Buy, Intel and Citigroup come to mind.

On the other side of the world, China is slowing, with January manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index falling to a 6-month low and breaking 50 (49.6). New orders, exports, employment and backlogs all showed declines. On top of that, HSBC reports that China continues to face a cash shortage within its financial system (why does that sound so familiar?).

All this takes place against the backdrop of the U.S. Federal Reserve taper. The first step toward removing the bond-buying program was put into place last month, with the next step possibly coming as soon as the two-day Open Market Committee meeting next week. An unusually accommodative monetary policy is beginning to come to the natural end of its unnatural life. Indeed, the degree of stimulus has been so enormous that it might take three full years or even longer to fully unwind it. Congress has exhibited no interest in post-recession fiscal stimulus — unlike in prior recessions -– so perhaps the FOMC ‘s slow withdrawal is a mixed blessing.

 

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Category: Data Analysis, Investing, Technical Analysis, Trading

What is the Best Asset Class in 2014 Going to Be?

Source: JP Morgan   Whenever anyone asks me about my favorite sector or market for the coming year, I like to show the table above. While not quite a quintillion-to-one bet, the table reveals what a challenge it is to consistently identify the best asset class for the coming year. No one seems to be…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Digital Media, Investing

Why ‘Peak-Earnings Models’ Are Nonsense

Lately, there has been a spate of research, analysis and commentary telling us that earnings are at a cyclical high and must revert. Stock valuations, therefore, are elevated and earnings will soon begin to fall, bringing stocks down with them. This is neither a credible analysis nor a method of valuing equities. Rather, it is…Read More

Category: Earnings, Investing, Really, really bad calls, Valuation

Assets versus Prices

Josh has an excellent post up, titled Don’t Hate the Asset, Hate the Price, that makes several important points. I want to reiterate and expand on them here. Some of these are lynchpins of an investing philosophy I have been espousing for many years. Its a broad discussion on price and value, and I think…Read More

Category: Investing, Philosophy, Really, really bad calls, Valuation

Happy 100th Birthday, Mother Merrill. We Miss You

click for bigger graphic Source: Bank America     Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith turns 100 today. At least, she would have been, if she was a standalone entity, and not a government rescued TBTF entity, forced into a shot-gun wedding with Bank of America. I have a warm place in my heart for…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Digital Media, Investing, M&A

Financial Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

10 financial resolutions you can actually keep By Barry Ritholtz Washington Post, December 29, 2013     It’s that time of year, when many people resolve to be better: Gotta lose 20 pounds, stop smoking, start exercising. Human nature is such that come January, there will be a 20-minute wait for the elliptical machines in…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Investing, Psychology

Happy New Year: You Are A Useless Moron that Sucks

Over the holiday vacation, I try to kick back a bit, unwind, recharge the batteries. But I still scan my favorite media sources and blogs for interesting ideas. One that stood out was a short post from Greg Harmon of Dragonfly Capital. Titled “We Are All Useless Morons that Suck,” it actually made me laugh…Read More

Category: Investing, Psychology, Trading

All 10 Stock Sectors Post Gains in Big Year

click for interactive graphic Source: WSJ

Category: Investing, Markets

Investment Fads and Themes, 1996-2013

Another year in the books and I’ve updated my Investing Fads and Themes by Year guide accordingly. It begins with 1996 because that was my first summer working on The Street and my earliest exposure to the market. I do this every December because I agree with the eminent philosopher Bob Marley when he reminds us “If you…Read More

Category: Humor, Investing, Psychology, Trading

10 Terms Investment Pros Use to Raise Money

You are easily dazzled by words that sound more sophisticated than they really are. You are totally aware of this – and yet you remain susceptible. Using hundred-dollar words where a five-dollar word will do is a time-honored, traditional selling tactic on Wall Street and in the hedge fund / asset management world as well….Read More

Category: Humor, Investing