Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Morning Note: “Beware the Ideologue” And Your Weekly Results Update

Not much to add this morning to our weekend video update, except perhaps the following on objectivity, and humility (absolute must-have qualities if one is to be a successful investor) from William Bernstein's outstanding volume The Delusions of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups:

“…the more points of view a group brings to bear on an estimate, the more accurate that estimate is liable to be. Diversity of opinion also benefits the individual as well; as put by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” 

Over the past three decades, psychologist Philip Tetlock has examined the forecasting accuracy of hundreds of well-regarded experts; he found that those who took into account a wide variety of often contradictory viewpoints performed better than those who viewed the world through a single theoretical lens. In plain English: beware the ideologue and the true believer, whether in politics, in religion, or in finance.”

Here's that weekend video update in case you missed it:

And here's your weekly sector, region and asset class results update:

Asian equities leaned green overnight, with 9 of the 16 markets we track closing higher.

Europe is mostly red so far this morning, with 11 of the 19 bourses we follow trading down as I type.

US equity averages are lower to start the session: Dow by 31 points (0.08%), SP500 down 0.61%, SP500 Equal Weight down 0.28%, Nasdaq 100 down 1.10%, Nasdaq Comp down 1.18%, Russell 2000 down 1.33%.

This morning the VIX sits at 15.62.

Oil futures are down 0.90%, nat gas futures are down 1.37%, gold's up 0.51%, silver's up 0.52, copper futures are up 0.18% and the ag complex (DBA) is up 1.22%.

The 10-year treasury is up (yield down) and the dollar is down 0.42%.

Among our 36 core positions (excluding options hedges, cash and money market funds), 24 -- led by EWZ (Brazil equities), XLP (consumer staples stocks), DBA (ag futures), EWM (Malaysia equities) and DEM (Emerging Mkt equities) -- are in the green so far this morning... The losers are being led lower by URNM (uranium miners), XME (base metals miners), XLK (tech stocks), SLV (silver) and PHO (water infrastructure stocks).

“Madness is rare in the individual—but with groups, parties, peoples, and ages it is the rule.” --Friedrich Nietzsche

“Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, “Why, why, why?” Tiger got to sleep, Bird got to land; Man got to tell himself, he understand.” --Kurt Vonnegut

Have a great day!

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