Weekly Update

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

Stocks React to Election Results and a Split Congress

Published November 9, 2018


It was no surprise that stocks rallied this week once the midterm elections had passed. Just as in 2016, and before most elections, investors become cautious ahead of elections. They usually breathe a sigh of relief afterwards. Stocks have gone higher after EVERY midterm election over the past almost 70 years, on an annual basis. With this election producing a split in Congress, is that bullish or bearish for stocks? The following research provides some data on that question: (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

Was This Historic October Selloff the Beginning of a Bear Market?

Published November 2, 2018


October is one of the two best months of the year here in Austin, Texas (the other being April). “Best” being defined as a break from the sweltering heat that drags along from May through September. In April and October, skies are sunny, temperatures are moderate, and our city is a joy. However, this year, we have experienced unprecedented rainfall that has washed away much of our prized October. The result of all the rain has been a swollen, mud-filled river through our city that has overwhelmed our water treatment facilities causing us to spend a week boiling water if we wanted to use it. It’s been a dramatic unraveling of our normally blissful month.

The stock market has experienced its own October unraveling. After a period of immense calm, stock investors have been rocked by a crushing series of volatile trading days, most often leaving market indexes heavily in the red. The sharp selloff ranks among the top 10 most damaging 35-day periods in the past 65 years. (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

No, the Stock Market Does Not Predict Recessions

Published October 26, 2018


Below is a good post from Ben Carlson regarding the ability of the stock market to predict recessions. The data says the stock market is bad at such predictions, rising half or more of the time in a 3-6 month window ahead of the onset of a recession. So, if the stock market “looks ahead” by 6-9 months as we are often told it does, the market is no better than a coin flip in foreseeing recessions. It may not look ahead all that well is the point. (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

Explanations for the Market Drop

Published October 19, 2018


Our post last week noted that the October selloff in stocks likely had drivers other than the oft-noted rise in interest rates as some of the most interest rate-sensitive sectors, such as utilities, were holding up just fine. We also noted that the wave of geopolitical issues that seem to be ever-widening were unlikely to be a major cause of the selloff as investors were not pouring money into bonds, as they typically do during periods of angst. A recent note from Oppenheimer points to persistent and increasing weakness in non-U.S. economies as being the primary catalyst for the current stock market correction. (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

The Market’s Best Performing Sector Isn’t Tech

Published October 5, 2018


Since July, one sector has ruled all in the stock market. While the large-cap Dow Industrials, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all flirt with record highs, you might be surprised to find that neither technology nor consumer stocks, the long-time leaders of this market advance, are the current belles of the ball. That distinction goes to healthcare stocks. (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

Market Manias – Bitcoins, Marijuana, and the Internet of the 1990s

Published September 28, 2018


We are far down the road of this bull market cycle. How much further this road goes is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, we are struck by the mania investing stories of last year and this, namely, cryptocurrencies (2017’s mania), and marijuana stocks (2018’s mania). These stories are very similar to the internet “dot.com” stories of the late 1990s, it appears to us. (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

Interest Rates Try to Rise Once Again

Published September 21, 2018


After first popping above 3% back in May, U.S. 10-year Treasury rates returned to that closely-watched level this week, clearing 3% for the second time. The first time rates eclipsed 3% the rally in rates lasted barely a week before investors poured back into bonds pushing yields downward. A push upward in both June and late July failed to clear 3%. Rates have moved quickly in the month of September from 2.85% to 3%+ in a straight shot. This week’s rally finally did the trick, blowing past 3% and setting the stage for perhaps a run to 4%. (more…)

Uncategorized, Weekly Update

A Smattering of Concerning Charts

Published September 7, 2018


It is said that stock markets climb a wall of worry. As concerns dissipate, investors feel more free to take risk and buy stocks. A sustainable market rally takes hold when the worries are replaced by a “Goldilocks” scenario where market participants view the near-term future as favorable for stock investing. They buy shares with little concern. The lack of concern reaches a point of complacency where investors are undervaluing potential risks. (more…)