Monday, April 16, 2018

One Example of Why Tariffs Really Bug Me!

A friend, and BTL reader, told me recently that in reading the blog he senses that talk of tariffs for me is akin to someone scraping their fingernails on a chalk board.

I must confess, he was spot on!

This morning's Empire State Manufacturing Survey release gives you one reason (among multiple) why:  emphasis mine...


note: Paragraph 3 supports our bullish view of current conditions; paragraph 1 explains why we stressed at the beginning of the year that protectionism poses the greatest threat to our thesis...

Sunday, April 15, 2018

This Week's Message: Long-term trend intact, short-term setup in question...

Bringing you this week's message early, as I'll be away from the office Tuesday through Friday (what'll you do with all that extra reading time?). 

While recent volatility has delivered some short-term technical damage to equities, the longer-term bullish trend remains intact; per the three long-term trend indicators (the slope of the S&P 500's 200-day moving average, the positioning and slope of our weekly moving average indicator, and the signal indicated in our monthly Bollinger Band chart) featured below: 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

From Our April Current Trends File

The entries thus far to our April current trends file pretty much jibe with the latest reading from our macro index. 

In a nutshell: Under the weight of rising geopolitical uncertainty, global trends are not what they were a few months ago. The U.S. economy nonetheless remains in good shape with probabilities pointing to no recession on the near-term horizon. In the meantime, inflation is picking up at a healthy enough pace to justify at least 3 Fed rate hikes this year. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Stat of the Day: Workers! Workers! Workers!

You and I can have a legitimate debate about the good and bad of employment trends in manufacturing. And we can legitimately debate the quality of jobs available across all sectors. But, frankly, there's no debating the fact that the U.S. economy is in no way shape or form wanting for job opportunities. 

Don't Celebrate This Stronger Week Just Yet -- And -- Is China On The Ropes Or Playing Rope-A-Dope?

While we're ultimately concerned with general conditions, and allocate accordingly, we nonetheless pay very close attention to the day-to-day developments that impact short-term market moves. 

Two reasons: One, the media, in an effort to capture our attention, often doesn't capture the true catalyst(s) for a given market move; we thus feel compelled to offer our readers what we view to be the straight unbiased scoop. And, two, we want to help our clients keep the noise in perspective, as, often -- as it pertains to our/their time horizon -- that's all it is.

A 'Fundamental' Silver Lining To A Volatile Market

If you're our client financials is presently your portfolio's top sector weighting. We outlined our bullish thesis in our 2017 year-end letter. Per point #5 in the excerpt at the bottom, we saw market volatility in 2018 as a distinct positive for the sector's earnings prospects.

Citigroup's earnings announcement this morning confirmed our suspicions:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Quote of the Day: Market-Friendly Stuff

While commentary from Washington has been the definition of volatile/uncertain of late, some of the latest is market-friendly stuff: