Posts Tagged ‘ S&P 500 ’

Odd Market Swings Intra-day; Volatility Crush Over Multi-day

April 19, 2017
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Odd Market Swings Intra-day; Volatility Crush Over Multi-day

Earlier this month, April 5th was an odd day for financial markets. During market hours, it was interesting to behold one of the strongest single hours of the year, at the open, when the market rallied 20 handles on no real news of consequence. Sales could be seemingly filled at any price. One felt an aura of panicky, indiscriminate buying. Wednesday’s tape had a gushing first hour. After stabilizing through the day, at higher levels, the market came undone starting around 2:30. As un-stoppable the rally, the sell-off was of an equal magnitude violent to the downside. The excuses, after the fact, we’re squishy: that the Fed minutes cited participants noting the market was expensive, and/or Paul Ryan mentioning that a tax plan was at least several months away. Both statements...

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Holding Pattern

March 31, 2017
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Holding Pattern

The relentless grind higher in equity markets continues irrespective of periods of policy awkwardness, twitter rants, and republican in-fighting. Recent announcements that corporate tax reform isn’t likely until August/September didn’t faze the market at all. Clearly, the benefit of the doubt is being given to the Trump administration to make the American economy greater, and, the Fed is complicit, hinting at a lower for longer interest rate policy, still, into 2017. Not surprisingly, asset price re-ratings persist, and now the bond market, gold, energy, commodities, EM currencies, have all bounced too. Risk pricing remains high, and implicit volatility is exceptionally low. The playbook, between now and the fall, appears limited at first blush, with markets neither likely to rally at an accelerated pace, nor likely to sell off meaningfully,...

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2017

February 1, 2017
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2017

2016 started in a tailspin with spiraling China meltdown fears. Those fears proved to be ill-timed, and against most prognostications, despite BREXIT, the start of Fed rate hikes, and the looniest election anyone can remember with a shocker outcome, the market went on to have a gangbuster 2016, producing a total return of 12%. The Trump rally surprised most, and despite highly unpredictable tweeting habits, and inflammatory comments, the markets took to the perception of the return of a business friendly administration. 2017 started with complacency, and the Trump driven market getting “the benefit of the doubt”. Interest rates are modestly higher, though this isn’t thought to be problematic because stimulus is proposed to support US GDP growth. Jobs are being talked/threatened back into the US. The financials exploded...

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S&P2K; a new highs odyssey

August 28, 2014
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S&P2K; a new highs odyssey

Please excuse the summer lull – anticipating more regular posts after a well needed period of summer travel! Two posts ago (in late May) focused on the market ascent to 1,900. In relatively short order, another centennial milestone is surpassed with the market melt-up to 2,000 over the past 15 trading days. Recapping the market action this summer (while CJF was on hiatus):         market hit new highs in July multiple on the S&P 500 approached 16.5x (notably representing new cycle highs) several geopolitical fears hit (Iraq, Syria, Israel, Russia/Ukraine) none of the geopolitical fears came close to corralling the bull (only a 4% pullback ensued) still no correction of 10% (for those keeping track it’s been over 1,000 days since one) since Aug 7th, there...

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1,900; now what?

May 27, 2014
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1,900; now what?

The US stock market, the best market in the world for a multitude of reasons, hit new highs on Friday, ascending to the 1,900 level, on a closing basis. The market is confounding because of the lack of normal draw-down (no meaningful pull-backs in a long enough time to be scary) and because many high profile stocks or stock indexes are way off recent highs. Yet the market is at a new high. This is based on capitalization weightings. An example can be found in the Russell 2000; comprised of the smallest 2,000 stocks within the Russell 3,000 (top 3,000 stocks in the US). The Russell 2000’s market capitalization is only about 8% of that of the Russell 3000. Select internet, growth, biotech, and small-cap stocks are under significant...

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Deja Déjà Vu – A Third Summer of European Crisis

May 18, 2012
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Deja Déjà Vu – A Third Summer of European Crisis

Over the past week, it has become clear that a third annual conflagration throughout Europe is upon us. The crisis has morphed yet again, and like The Hydra, it has come back in a more menacing form. The issue this summer is more profound than the “sovereign debt crisis” which struck last summer. Last summer’s issues were always containable with simple resolve from the ECB. The market forced the issue in sudden manner and eventually a fix came in the form of 3-year long-term refinancing operations (LTRO). Astute observers will notice that today, sovereign debt rates, while higher, have not flared up to the levels they reached last year. European interest rates should not approach summer levels because there is a set playbook that works to contain sovereign rates...

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Bernanke’s Labor Market Speech – The Case for Continued Accommodative Policy

March 30, 2012
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Bernanke’s Labor Market Speech – The Case for Continued Accommodative Policy

Ben Bernanke made a highly referenced speech earlier this week, credited with fueling a sharp rally in the stock market. The speech is colorfully titled: “Recent Developments in the Labor Market” and is a worthwhile read for investors and those interested in the US economy. The speech highlights a growing controversy in the labor market regarding the constraints on hiring. The traditional school of economic thought focuses on the cyclical factors which have depressed hiring and constrained labor market improvements. In Fed speak this is described as insufficient “aggregate demand”. A new school of thought is emerging focusing on the bottlenecks in the job market stemming from; the aging of the workforce, globalization, and technological change. Obstacles based on these reasons are described as “structural impediments”. Ben Bernanke’s answer...

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Investment Themes for Q4 Earnings Season

January 19, 2012
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Investment Themes for Q4 Earnings Season

Fourth quarter earnings season is upon us while the market is off to a torrid start to the year. While the S&P 500 is up 4% year-to-date, there are a number of riskier indexes and sectors doing considerably better. The NASDAQ is up 6.3%, the Russell 2000 5.2%, the Hang Seng 7.6%, the Brazilian BOVESPA 9%, and the S&P Homebuilders up 17%. These are stunning returns over a two-week period relative to how difficult it was to simply earn flat index returns plus the dividend yield for all of 2011. The market did this last year in January and February so there is a bit of a deja-vu feel to the start of the year. From higher valuations, it was a rough rest of the year from February on...

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2012 Global Investment Themes and Predictions

January 3, 2012
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2012 Global Investment Themes and Predictions

In 2011, the stock market experienced some dramatic swings, heightened volatility, managed some months of tremendous strength and sickening weakness. After an exhausting ride, the S&P 500 index returned to precisely where it started. For those who appreciate extreme precision, the market was down on the year based on the second decimal point of the index. The S&P 500 started the year at 1,257.64 and officially closed at 1,257.60. That is about a third of a basis point down and the reason the final index return has been recorded as: (0.00%). Of course the actual return that investors received includes dividends, and on this measure the S&P 500 total return was 2.11%. After clarifying the details, the market essentially tread water for the year. We commence 2012 with much...

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Lack of Confidence – A Key Driver of Investment Returns in 2011 – An Opportunity and Risk for 2012

December 20, 2011
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Lack of Confidence – A Key Driver of Investment Returns in 2011 – An Opportunity and Risk for 2012

2011 has been a difficult year for most investors. Market sentiment oscillated throughout the year and generating returns has been exceedingly difficult to come by, let alone maintain. The world experienced at least three distinct crisis; Japanese nuclear disaster, Arab Spring, and Sovereign Debt contagion through Europe. All three of these events were enough to knock the market down for a spell but the global economy was resilient enough to keep growing. Growing global GDP created an environment where corporate earnings rose, achieving new highs on the year. S&P 500 earnings will come in at close to $97 in 2011, up from about $86.50 in 2010. Earnings will register double digit growth of around 12% while the S&P is down 4% ytd. It isn’t difficult to see that the...

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ISM New Orders – A Strong Indicator of GDP Growth Improved Sharply in November

December 2, 2011
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ISM New Orders – A Strong Indicator of GDP Growth Improved Sharply in November

The financial crisis in Europe detracts from a normal focus on the underlying strength of the US and global economy. Despite the US economy being relatively solid, an escalating Eurozone crisis has the potential to derail economic growth because of the enormity of the impact from a financial seizure. While the solution to the Eurozone liquidity and structure crisis is being debated, there continues to be very resilient economic data from the rest of the world. US GDP data is set to recover towards the 2.5%-3.0% range based on the strength coming from retail sales, manufacturing, and the labor market. It is relatively rare for the market to have a flat year of returns when earnings grow sharply in a non-recessionary environment. Clearly, valuation multiples for the S&P 500 have...

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Walt Disney (DIS) Results Strong – Outside of Europe the Global Economy is Solid

November 11, 2011
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Walt Disney (DIS) Results Strong – Outside of Europe the Global Economy is Solid

Long live Mickey Mouse! Walt Disney reported strong results last night which reflected broad strength across the economy. Disney has diversified exposure to discretionary spending with its parks, media properties, and international businesses. A consistent theme through earnings season has been broadly solid corporate earnings and DIS is another example of this from a large capitalization blue-chip multinational. Walt Disney produced the enviable combination of results demonstrating solid top line sales growth, margin expansion, and tremendous EPS growth as cash flow was used to repurchase shares. Disney’s revenues grew 7% this quarter with strength from the parks division, media properties, and product royalties. Developing markets such as Russia, China, and India were called out as strong on the earnings conference call. Disney’s cable and media properties are expanding globally...

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