Sector Snapshot: Technology Leading

I haven’t posted on sector momentum since just after the Brexit vote because there hasn’t been much change. The most obvious change is that all sectors are now positive on a three month basis. Defensive sectors have retreated a bit and more cyclical sectors have advance a bit. The result is a market that is…


Global Asset Allocation Update

The risk budget is unchanged this month although the composition of the portfolio does change. For the moderate risk investor, the allocation between bonds, risk assets and cash remains at 50/45/5. There are changes to the allocation but the overall risk budget stays the same. Credit spreads did continue to narrow this month but other…


S&P 500 EPS Drops $2 In The Past Month; Index At New High

Earlier in April, analysts were projecting $26.69 in as-reported second quarter earnings for the S&P 500. By the week of June 22, just prior to the start of Q2 earnings season, that estimate had only declined slightly to $26.38. For the week of July 21, just a month later, with about one-third of companies reporting…


What Is Truly Left of the ‘Recovery’

Oil prices are like an unfolding train wreck, as it is nearly impossible to look away now.  Day after day, not only are spot prices down but the entire WTI curve is now moving lower in almost perfect unison.  Prices have dropped six days in a row, more than $4, and at just above $41…


The Narrative of Energy Inventories

While there is a direct relationship between the steepness of contango in the oil futures curve and the amount of crude siphoned from the market to storage, it is not an immediate one. When crude prices originally collapsed starting in late 2014, twisting the WTI curve from backwardation to so far permanent contango (of varying…

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Bring Back the ‘Fed Model’ For Stocks? Nope

A few days ago I examined the relationship between the stock market PE and CPI inflation. The reason was the sudden renewed emphasis on low inflation in the context of trying to justify increasingly outlying earnings multiples in stocks. Earnings fell sharply in 2015, but prices really didn’t; there was, at most, only more volatility…


IBM Still Provokes More Than Morbid Curiosity

At this point, maybe it’s more like a train or car wreck whose shocking carnage compels you to keep staring at it. I still think there is, however, relevant information in IBM’s ongoing crash though I can’t deny the degree of fascination with it as almost theater. The company yesterday reported its 17th consecutive quarter…

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Valuation Fallacies

Everyone knows about lies, damned lies, and statistics. The quote has been attached to Mark Twain who apparently attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. It remains among popular clichés because there is universal truth to it, a sort of caveat emptor lying in the background whenever one consumes an argument. Nowhere is that more…


Little More Than Sentiment(ality) To Asian ‘Dollars’?

The Chinese yuan fell again in Monday Asian trading, breaking below 6.70 for the first time. Not surprisingly, the tone to broad early trading in Europe and the US was slightly negative on what would be negative “dollar” factors. I have surmised for some time that Japanese banks have been the primary “dollar” supply for…