201504.13
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Unextrapolating Bubble Expectations

No inflection is ever expected in the real economy since everything is always extrapolated in straight lines by orthodox economists using econometrics. Similar interpretations are being used in stocks, and not just in the “earnings recession” that is already declared “unexpected.” In terms of share prices, there is little doubt about what is holding up…

201504.08
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If Sentiment Were A Currency

The ECB having announced and then implemented at least some kind of QE plan, the entire economist community has adjusted their economic projections upward in uniform, flocking fashion. They haven’t had to make much of an adjustment because they never downgraded economic expectations much to begin with. That is why almost every news story about…

201503.05
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Economy and Stocks

It is often very easy to fixate on the S&P 500 as if it were the only current proxy of the broad universe of stocks. Like the Dow Jones Industrial Average before it, the 500 has attained synonymy with stocks as it is the most widely publicized and recognized value. But just like the DJIA,…

201501.02
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Only Stocks Are Left Minding The ‘Recovery’

If I had to define the recovery period that developed after the trough in the Great Recession, it would have ended sometime in the middle of 2011. Up to that point, there was almost a uniform behavior in financial and even economic accounts (though, on the economic side, there was much left to be desired)….

201411.12
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Why Bubbles Are Being Recognized

The nature of liquidity under the eurodollar standard is to essentially link “markets” that outwardly seem to have little or no relation. You can see the synchronized ups and downs quite clearly but miss the ultimate connection, especially under the orthodox assumption of the world’s economies and their “natural” finance as mostly closed systems with…

201409.26
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Further Measures of Market Risk

Continuing on with the valuation theme, there are a couple of additional “market” indicators that are also at or above dot-com levels. While not strictly a valuation technique, the level of margin debt and really customer net worth gives us an insight into one aspect of multiple expansion. Margin debt for FINRA accounts (which includes…

201407.29
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Margin Debt Returns

Margin debt again escalated in June, putting some emphasis back into the smaller caps and their high beta compatriots. After surpassing the dot-com bubble’s previous levels for both nominal margin usage and negative investor net worth in February, some caution was re-admitted if only briefly. There wasn’t much discernable impact on the broader market indices,…

201406.05
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Bubbles and Skepticism Split By Earnings and Sales

Nearly all (97.5%) of the S&P 500 companies have reported for the first quarter. EPS for the index companies stumbled rather spectacularly, though weather is being blamed for nearly all of it. Back on January 23, index EPS in Q1 was expected at around $29.40 (as reported). As of the latest update, EPS is only…

201405.06
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Margin Debt Matches Small Caps

We still may not know the difference between cause and effect, but margin debt balances dropped in March for the first time in ten months. The $14 billion decline in margin debt was also coincident to an increase of $6 billion in relative cash balances in equity accounts at FINRA dealers. That meant total investor…

201404.29
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But The PE Ex-Neg Earnings

If you go to the “fact sheet” for the Russell 2000 index trying to find the standard PE valuation metric, the only one provided by the index keepers is something called “P/E Ex-Neg Earnings.” The current valuation offered is 22.61, which sounds much more reasonable than the latest (April 25) raw PE estimate from the…