From The Reformed Broker:
The health care sector, a big overweight in the portfolios we manage, probably needs to take a breather, having outperformed the galaxy in the first part of 2013. But the secular trend in demand for drugs and care looks to be a one-way trade when viewed through the prism of developed-world demography and the rapid adoption of modern medicine in the emerging nations.
And so from that standpoint, [...]
Kathryn Buschman Vasel
April 19, 2013
The IRS will issue official furlough notices next week to employees detailing that the agency will be closed for five days with unpaid leave for workers this summer because of the sequester.
In a memo to employees, IRS Acting Commissioner Steve Miller said the furlough days will be May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and Aug. 30 with two additional days possible in August [...]
1936 Redux – It’s Really Never Different This Time
While chart analogs provide optically pleasing (and often far too shockingly correct) indications of the human herd tendencies towards fear and greed, a glance through the headlines and reporting of prior periods can provide just as much of a concerning ‘analog’ as any chart. In this case, while a picture can paint a thousand words; a thousand words may also paint the biggest picture [...]
March 6, 2013
The influence of social media, games consoles and mobile phones on pupils’ lives is one of the biggest crises facing the modern education system, it is claimed.
David Boddy, chairman of The Society of Heads, which represents more than 100 independent schools, says the country is in the grip of a “national attention deficit syndrome” because children spend so much time plugged into screen-based entertainment.
In a speech [...]
Combined, the stalagmite and hieroglyphs allowed the researchers to link precipitation to politics. Periods of high and increasing rainfall coincided with a rise in population and political centers between A.D. 300 and 660. A climate reversal and drying trend between A.D. 660 and 1000 triggered political competition, increased warfare, overall sociopolitical instability, and finally, political collapse. This was followed by an extended drought between A.D. 1020 and 1100 that likely [...]
Can’t find the time to get to the gym or don’t want to go for a jog in the rain? You may finally have run out of excuses.
Scientists say that intense exercise for just two and a half minutes a day could help keep the pounds off.
A study shows that concentrated effort can burn as many as 200 extra calories, provided the spurts are broken up with longer periods of easy [...]
What the Spanish rumor of a bailout lite (as a reminder, the full blown Spanish bailout has already been largely priced in, and today’s action is a very confused market pricing in a second, bailout-lite) giveth, Greece taketh away.
From ANA via From Bloomberg:
“A second meeting between the heads of the EU-IMF troika mission in Athens and Greek Labour Minister Yiannis Vroutsis on Tuesday afternoon ended abruptly a few minutes ago, after the [...]
From The Reformed Broker:
In a market meltup, it’s difficult for an advisor to make the case to certain clients that bonds have a place in their portfolios. They look at their bond holdings with disdain during periods where they drag against a runaway stock market. These are the same clients who are furious that they’re fully invested through a correction, but that’s a whole other blog post…
Fidelity Investments is out [...]
As part of “a new era of civil rights” at the Department of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Monday that Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who believe USDA discriminated against them can file claims to get a piece of at least $1.33 billion in cash awards and tax relief payments and up to $160 million in farm debt relief, beginning this week.
Women and Hispanic ranchers and farmers who feel [...]
We noted that the US dollar did tend to weaken when the Fed expanded its balance sheet, but the Fed did tend to announce and/or start balance sheet expansion during periods of financial stress, and the stress in the market subsided when the Fed expanded its balance sheet, so the market was in risk-on mode. We all know what risk-on/risk-off is like: during risk-on, dollar weakens, risks get bought, and the [...]
The Federal Reserve’s latest plan to buy as much U.S. debt as needed, coupled with the European Central Bank’s announcement it may buy sovereign debt – with no limit – triggered a big rally in stocks and commodities but failed to address the two biggest problems investors see: the European debt crisis and the U.S. fiscal cliff, according to Credit Suisse analysts.
The ECB buying may help cap the debt yields, [...]
Talk of replacing Libor with other benchmarks is likely to remain just that for two reasons: No substitute would easily work for all the financial instruments Libor serves, and rewriting derivatives contracts tied to Libor would be an herculean, and legally fraught, task.
The “new and improved” Libor would almost certainly do away with the current gymnastics-scoring-meets-clairvoyance method of calculation.
At present, large banks submit daily estimates of their costs of [...]
Auckland volcano danger drowned out
Last updated 09:57 23/08/2012
Aucklanders may get only a day or two warning of a volcanic eruption and will only know hours before where it will explode on the surface, a scientific paper says.
The 1.4 million people living on the Auckland Volcanic Field (AVF) make too much noise for existing instruments to hear what is coming up from below.
“This means that localisation of a future eruption site [...]
Citi has long been among the most bearish banks on Greece’s prospects of staying in the euro, and now they’re getting even more specific and dire in their forecasts.
In a new note out today that’s hitting with a thud, analyst Michael Saunders writes:
We continue to expect that the EMU crisis will persist, with prolonged economic weakness — especially in periphery countries — and further periods of intense financial market stress. [...]
I try to read all sides of the economics blogosphere, and try and grasp the ideas of even those who I would seem to radically disagree with.
One thing that the anti-Fed side of the economics blogosphere seems to not fully appreciate is the depth of disappointment with Ben Bernanke from the pro-Fed side. For every anti-Fed post bemoaning Bernanke’s money printing, there is a pro-Fed post bemoaning Bernanke for [...]
Karen De Coster
July 23, 2012
Peter Orszag, a Bankster and a former Senior Obamaite, is once again pleading to hold children captive in government schools for longer periods of time, otherwise they just get fatter and dumber. He calls this “seasonal learning loss and weight gain.” Here’s another piece from Orszag making the case for keeping kids in the hoosegow until the early evening hours. Thanks to Travis Holte for the link.
As iPhone fans await the release of a new model, they are delaying purchases and may cause Apple Inc. (AAPL), the world’s largest company by market value, to post its slowest sales and profit growth in more than two years.
With a redesigned model probably arriving by October, analysts estimate that sales of iPhones — Apple’s biggest source of revenue — slid in the fiscal third quarter from prior periods. While [...]
While analogs for periods past have been shown time and time again, the striking similarity of the last four months of this year and the same period last year is becoming extremely worrisome. The rips and dips are of almost perfectly equal size and duration and retail and professional participation is also very similar. July 21st marked the top last year after failing to break the highs of a July [...]
Bison killed by natural anthrax outbreak
EDMONTON – A research team has concluded 128 bison, whose remains were found this week in the Northwest Territories, were killed by an outbreak of anthrax spores, a naturally occurring phenomenon.
The dead animals field-tested positive for anthrax, a naturally occurring spore exacerbated by hot periods following extreme wetness.
As a precaution, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) has issued an alert to deal with [...]
There are frequent claims that the U.S. economy has entered a period of “deflation.” These claims are totally unfounded and are false. Deflation can only be a persistent state of general price decline. In fact, in examining price trends, the U.S. is experiencing shocking price increases of over 15% per annum. To illustrate this, Figure 1 shows the Continuous Commodities Index, CCI over the past ten years.
Figure 1: [...]
Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives
About the only certainty in the stock market is that, over the long haul, over performance turns into under performance and vice versa. Is there a pattern to this movement? Let’s apply some simple regression analysis (see footnote below) to the question.
Below is a chart of the S&P Composite stretching back to 1871 based on the real (inflation-adjusted) monthly average of daily closes. I’ve using a semi-log scale to equalize vertical [...]
The foreign exchange markets are brace for impact after OandA announced they will shut-down currency trading on Sunday ahead of the market-moving events
Last night we noted that OandA will shut-down trading on Sunday ahead of the market-moving events surrounding the Greek election (as it seems they are unwilling to take the agency risk and potentially counterparty risk on a large gap). Nowhere is this more clearly priced into the market than [...]
Bearish fund manager John Hussman says the latest selling is the classic version of how overvalued markets come to their end…
Since late-February, our estimates of the market’s prospective return/risk tradeoff (over a set of horizons from 2 weeks to 18 months) have persistently held in the worst 0.5% of all historical observations. It’s always important to emphasize that we try to align ourselves with the average return/risk profile that has historically accompanied the particular set of investment conditions [...]
From Economic Policy Journal:
The below video clip on silver and inflation is absolutely brilliant…
Is silver still a good investment now?
Although there are periods when price inflation slows, the continued trend is, over the long haul, for more and more inflation. This means…
Read full article (with video)…
A pattern that we’ve observed before is how pathetic the stock market has been behaving these days.
Each day we see periods of downs and ups, but in the end, the market ends down, usually fairly near the lows, with miserable performance in the final hour.
Today was no exception, as a nothing day (that at one point was decently higher after the FOMC minutes came out at 2:00 PM ET), turned into [...]
Google rejected the FCC’s argument that the company obstructed an investigation of the so-called Wi-Spy privacy flap — blaming the FCC in part for the delay — in a stinging rebuke filed with the agency Thursday.
At the same time, Google acknowledged for the first time in its formal response to the FCC that the Justice Department had already reviewed the case, and “concluded that it would not pursue a case for violation [...]
For juniors overall, 2011 and 2012, so far, have been a veritable plague. Many a junior market capitalization has painfully shrunk.
There are often individual reasons beyond general market malaise for that pain, of course. Some juniors have disappointed (former) investors with lackluster plans for minerals assets. Some may be in project development periods that are too boring for the gambler.
But beyond those and other individual causes, it is hard [...]
Goldrunner | March 29, 2012 – 8:58am
Around this point in the fractal cycle in the late 70’s, Gold busted out of its channel to rise sharply higher, along with Silver. Silver’s channel top will lie up around $68 to $70 over the coming months which we believe will be reached in 2012. The next higher angled resistance bands for Silver run from $112 to $115, and then up at the $123 area. [...]
‘The current rally is running long; equities are due for a 3-5% pull-back’ is how Deutsche Bank begins to give some context to the scale of the performance of stocks over the last four months. Whether it be liquidity-fueled optimism, optically-pleasing macro data, crisis-fatigue, or just good old-fashioned back-up-the-truck-we’re-all-in buying since the last 10% correction in November, the S&P 500 has rallied 22% – essentially unimpeded for 80 days without [...]
Via Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors,
According to Barron’s as much as 91% of “triple” ETF’s might be owned by individual investors. That figure seems shocking, and as the article admits, could be wrong, but it is scary. The activity in TVIX the past few weeks does indicate a strong retail presence – I would like to think professionals didn’t bid something up to an 80% premium to NAV, knowing that the share [...]