Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Time To Cash In Your Chips?

Rarely during a client review meeting these days is there no mention of the stock market's all time highness, along with queries as to how long it can last. At times we'll get inquiries via email from colleagues or clients who in that moment intimate their sense of bewilderment as to the market's current state of affairs.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekly Message: The State of the Economy Heading Into the Holiday Season

Heading into a shortened workweek, it seems only fitting to offer up a shortened weekly message. Here goes:

While getting a jump on this week's macro analysis over the weekend, I guessed that the forthcoming reading of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators would jump nicely given the positive look of many of the other 72 data points we track. 

Sure enough:     click any insert to enlarge...

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Small Businesses on Taxes and Labor -- AND -- The State of the U.S. Labor Market

Three of the seventy-three inputs to our macro analysis have to do with the results of the monthly NFIB Small Business Survey. We track the headline number, hiring plans and capex (expansion) plans. While we don't score the stated concerns of the employers of 2/3rds of all Americans, we find them to be interesting and instructive. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Stat of the Day: Housing starts and permits...

Following up on our housing theme from this morning, today's release of new home sales and permits speaks to the sustainability of the single-family housing market. Oh, and by the way, such data does not support the doom and gloom you've been hearing from the media of late:

Charts of the Day: No Housing Bubble Here

We've expressed herein a few times of late (here's one) our view that -- rising/record home prices notwithstanding -- today's housing market does not nearly possess bubble characteristics.

To further support that notion, take a look at the latest quarterly Fed assessment of U.S. consumer credit, courtesy of Bespoke Investment Group. I.e., it takes a lot more (a lot more!!) than the ability to fog a mirror (the mid-2000s litmus test) to qualify for a mortgage these days:    

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This Week's Message: The Quintessential

The stock market is a fascinating phenomenon! It is the quintessential independent, and unpredictable, entity. Yet there are those who would have us believe that they have its number; that they have indeed figured out what makes it tick and what its next move is going to be. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

There's Inflation in Them There Surveys! -- AND -- Gold's action made sense to us yesterday...

Once again, the Institute for Supply Management Survey respondents are telling us there is indeed some inflation out there. Thing is, we, as of yet, haven't seen much in the headline indicators; which, by the way, (PPI and CPI) are set to report next week. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Follow Up To "Headline of the Day"

China's move to free up its financial sector for foreign investment also potentially bodes well for our emerging markets exposure; as China's looming bad debt issues have been a source of concern for global investors.

Headline of the Day: China's starting to get it...

Contrary to what so many hold to be true (completely baffles me!), history -- the history of the U.S.A -- has proven that the countries with the markets most open to trade and investment (not to mention labor) have the most robust economies and the richest citizens!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

This Week's Message: A Wall of Confusion

We think there's something to be said for the old Wall Street adage, "bull markets climb a wall of worry"; if only for the fact that while there's worry in the system, there's uninvested cash in the system. It also jibes with John Templeton's oft-quoted and forever prescient line:
"Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria."

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Chart of the Day: Jobs are Presently Plentiful!

One more today to go with the jobless claims chart I posted earlier. Here, courtesy of Bespoke Investment Group, is a look at the "Jobs Plentiful" component of the most recent Consumer Confidence report:   click to enlarge...   

Worried About the U.S. Jobs Market? Don't Be!

As I get a jump on our weekly research this morning, I am yet again baffled by the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. This morning, my baffledness has to do with jobs.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This Week's Message: Mispricing, Ms. Yellen, and a Certain Something

Interesting day yesterday. The U.S. stock market began with a nice broad-based rally which ultimately fizzled into a, broadly-speaking, mediocre session that saw the Nasdaq give up all of its morning gains, and some, while energy stocks advanced an impressive 1.13%, followed by our global natural resources (read commodity producers) ETF, up .87% and materials +.49%. Utilities and telecom came in last with .56% and .79% declines respectively.

Quotes of the Day: Gut Instinct Does Not Generally Serve Us Well (when it comes to investing)

Ned Davis's excellent book Being Right or Making Money is a treasure trove of potential Quotes of the Day.