Markets

US Industrials See No Evidence of Global Recession – Results from Caterpillar (CAT) and Parker Hannifin (PH) Hammer Home the Point!

October 24, 2011
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US Industrials See No Evidence of Global Recession – Results from Caterpillar (CAT) and Parker Hannifin (PH) Hammer Home the Point!

Caterpillar (CAT) reported very strong earnings this morning, beating estimates quite handily. EPS of $1.71 compared to consensus of $1.57 (a 9% beat). As important, the company outlined an environment consistent with global growth persisting and a strong outlook for 2012. Caterpillar’s organic sales grew by 34% this quarter excluding the recent acquisition of Bucyrus. Caterpillar is a cyclical company, and overly sensitive to changes in the global economy. For perspective, in 2009, Caterpillar saw sales decline by 37%. Each of CAT’s business segments has what are called “trough plans” which are fire drills that prepare CAT in advance for sudden slowdowns in the global economy. This is a company and management team used to handling volatility in the global economy so they are well worth listening to during...

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Germany and France discussing a 2T euro rescue fund

October 18, 2011
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This is being reported in the Guardian. If it is true and the plan gets confirmed it would be a set up for a lift-off.  

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Germany Wants To Go At Their Own Pace – Implications for Financial Markets

October 17, 2011
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Germany Wants To Go At Their Own Pace – Implications for Financial Markets

German leaders are coming out with comments that indicate there will not be a sweeping fix to the Eurozone financial crisis when leaders meet at a summit on October 23rd. Angela Merkel has been credited as saying “dreams that are taking hold again now that this package will be solved and everything will be over on Monday won’t be able to be fulfilled”. To me that is a pretty clear statement by an important leader. Moreover Wolfgang Schaeuble is echoing these sentiments this morning in the Financial Times. There are two approaches to crisis management, the American style approach which entails bringing out the bazooka, implementing a broad, sweeping, and immediate fix and worrying about many of the finer details and legal issues later on down the road. There...

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A Guide for Q3 Earnings Season – What I’m Looking For

October 13, 2011
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A Guide for Q3 Earnings Season – What I’m Looking For

Earnings season officially gets started this week, with reports already released from Alcoa, Pepsi, JP Morgan and a few others. Tonight Google will be reporting after the close – a stock I continue to view favorably. Next week the reports will pour in and by the end of next week we’ll have a pretty good feel for the tenor of US Q3 earnings. It is an important quarter because the market started to price in an abrupt slowdown around the world which would naturally be expected to negatively impact earnings in subsequent quarters. It now appears the market got way ahead of itself with negativity and bearishness as the S&P 500 approached 1,100. Since the past couple weeks couldn’t produce evidence of a spiral into chaos in the Eurozone,...

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A Commitment to Recapitalize European Banks is Bullish for US Financials

October 10, 2011
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A Commitment to Recapitalize European Banks is Bullish for US Financials

The Euro rallied 2% today against the USD causing a sharp reversal of crisis-fearing “risk off” trades which have been working against all financial markets around the world. The Euro rallied based on indications that France and Germany are going to work seriously towards recapitalization of the European banking sector. This has been one of the two necessary conditions for the confidence to return to Europe: 1) Sovereign debt crisis needs to be contained by capping interest rates for countries like Italy, Belgium, and Spain. This was the easy part because for now the ECB has the authority to buy the debt to cap rates. Eventually the EFSF will be expanded and debt will be purchased through this vehicle. 2) The financial system in Europe needs to be able...

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Occupy Wall Street – Part Protest, Part Woodstock, Part Circus

October 9, 2011
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Occupy Wall Street – Part Protest, Part Woodstock, Part Circus

Occupy Wall Street is part protest, part Woodstock, and part circus act, but none of it has anything to do with Wall Street. I live in Manhattan and figured I would check out the scene this weekend not quite sure of what to really expect. There has been plenty of financial press calling the protest full of imbeciles and there have also been coverage of arrests and hard core protesting. After seeing the spectacle in full splendor most of the media coverage has been sensationalized. Upon arriving to Zuccotti Park early on Saturday morning I was immediately struck by the sanitation aspect of things. The downtown Manhattan park was something one would expect after a humanitarian crisis like Katrina or a camp for displaced refugees fleeing an oppressive dictator...

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Crying Wolf – False Recession Calls Brutally Hurt Returns

October 7, 2011
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Crying Wolf – False Recession Calls Brutally Hurt Returns

The ECRI has come out and caused a stir from continually touting their “unavoidable recession” forecast. In addition, ECRI co-founder, Lakshman Achuthan has been continually highlighting their 3/3 track record without forecasting a false positive. While this track record is impressive, Crackerjack Finance would like to highlight a term from our disclaimer; “past performance is no guarantee of future results”. At economic inflection points, the investment stakes are doubly heightened. I thought it worthwhile to review and quantify S&P 500 investment returns when investing in an environment of recession fears that does not materialize into a recession. Reviewing the numbers clearly demonstrates that if you are not invested during the time of a false recession fear you miss out on out-sized excess returns over the next 12 months. Of...

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Financial Conditions are Driving all the Market Fears

October 3, 2011
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Financial Conditions are Driving all the Market Fears

Positive data and developments on the real economy front are being ignored while increases in financial stress are being focused on. The pervasive gloom in the financial markets is a result of growing fears of another financial crisis. If this were to unfold, the financial crisis would surely cause a global recession but I’m remaining in the camp that a global recession can be averted if financial conditions stabilize. Financial conditions fully reflect the jitters of market participants or investors. Numerous sets of survey data reflect low levels of investor confidence which are being reflected in yield spreads, short-term funding markets, and stock markets around the world. While the stress is nowhere close to the degree it hit during the Lehman event, it is worrisome nonetheless. The source of...

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Greece Will Stay On Board – Merkel and Papandreou Plan a Dinner Date in Berlin

September 27, 2011
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Greece Will Stay On Board – Merkel and Papandreou Plan a Dinner Date in Berlin

Greece will ultimately stay on board. There I’ve said it – and it is really what I think will happen. There were a number of “unity” headlines hitting over night which have led to a continuation of the rally in global risk assets. Emerging Markets which looked sufficiently panic sold to call out yesterday are up 3-6% across the board. Major stock markets in Europe are up 3-4%. At risk of sounding Pollyannaish about the whole episode it appears to me that Greece and the rest of the Eurozone are coming to terms and seeking out a middle ground which avoids the suicide option. My thesis for the past month has been that this looming crisis is avoidable across the Eurozone because it has morphed into a crisis of...

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Gold – The Spot On Take From The Fundamental View

September 26, 2011
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Gold – The Spot On Take From The Fundamental View

The Fundamental View has done a great job profiting from the bull market in gold and has also called the correction over the past month spot on. Worth reading for all gold investors. Click here to read The Fundamental View’s recent analysis of the gold market. The above link will take you right to The Fundamental View site.        

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EM Stock Markets – Destabilized by Currency Sell-offs and Capital Outflows

September 26, 2011
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EM Stock Markets – Destabilized by Currency Sell-offs and Capital Outflows

Developed market equities are attempting to stabilize based on additional talks from Eurozone leaders who are meeting with the IMF and reported to be discussing items such as expanding the size of the EFSF, creating a TARP-EU, and recapitalizing more of the European financials. Developed market investors are attempting to look ahead during scary times. This contrasts to the overnight session in Asia, which saw another spiral into panic selling towards the Asian close. Most markets were down 3-6% again, and for a short period last night the S&P futures were down 15 points (2.5% lower than 8:00am NY time). There are a number of signs that this round of selling is liquidation with little regard to fundamentals in the region. The selling is indiscriminant when you look across...

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Europe’s Minimalist Approach Is the Wrong Course

September 22, 2011
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Europe’s Minimalist Approach Is the Wrong Course

What an 18 hours, as a conflux of negatives weigh on the market. In wrenching fashion, the US markets are down 6% since yesterday at 2:00pm. Most international markets around the world are down significantly more. Many emerging markets are off over 10% over two days. The Fed implemented Operation Twist yesterday, and the size and scope was actually greater than expected. The US Fed is not the crux of the current set of global financial problems, nor is it reasonable to expect that the Fed can fix things. I have highlighted previously that Europe has the capacity to avoid a full blown financial crisis by taking decisive actions. Unfortunately, Europe’s hard stance with respect to minimizing backstops, bailouts, the EFSF, coupled with a cavalier approach towards the French...

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