The 5 key macro indicators of Trump’s political fortunes (revisited)

Labor Day is the traditional kickoff of presidential election campaigns. Before that, only die-hard political pundits and devotees pay attention to the election. It is with that in mind we revisit the economic criteria for Trump’s political fortunes that I outlined just after his inauguration (see Forget politics! Here are the 5 key macro indicators...

Can a bull market begin without the banks?

Earnings season has kicked off with reports from the major banks. The market reaction has been mixed so far. From a big picture perspective, history shows that whenever the relative performance of banking stocks have breached a major support level, such events have usually signaled periods of financial stress and bear markets.     This...

Why there is no V

The market has been getting excited by the prospect of a V-shaped recovery. It points to data such as the ISM Manufacturing PMI, which rose from 43.1 in May to 52.6 in June, indicating expansion. The employment index improved from 32.1 to 42.1, and the new orders index increased from 31.8 to 56.4..    ...

A bleak decade for US equities

Some analysis has recently emerged pointing to a bleak decade for equities, and US equities in particular. Mark Hulbert highlighted a model outlined in the Philosophical Economics blog, entitled "the single greatest predictor of future stock market returns". The model is based on US household allocation to equities and uses the levels as a contrarian...

The bears are capitulating

Last week, I discussed the professional career risk challenges in this market (see What professional career risk looks like). During these unusual periods of severe bifurcation between valuation and macro risk and price momentum, the investment professional is forced to make a decision based on what he believes the dominant investment regime will be in...

What professional career risk looks like

This is a market that defines professional career and business risk. Should investors adopt a momentum approach, or maintain caution in the face of valuation and macro risk? The stock market has recovered from the COVID-19 crash. The NASDAQ has made a fresh all-time high, and the SPX was briefly positive for 2020. Price momentum...

What would a Biden presidency look like?

Joe Biden has officially clinched the Democratic nomination for president, and his odds of winning the Presidency in November have been steadily rising, and he is now at 54% on PredictIt. For the uninitiated, the contract pays off at $1.00 if a candidate wins, so buying the Biden contract at $0.54 implies a 54% of...

May Jobs Report: Back from furlough

I don't usually offer instant reactions to economic news, but the May Jobs Report was a shocker. Non-Farm Payroll gained 2.5 million jobs, compared to an expected loss of -8 million. The Diffusion Index bounced back strongly, indicating breadth in job gains.     This was a positive and highly constructive report for the economy....

Back to basics: Is this market overvalued?

There has been a recent continuing controversy about the usefulness of forward P/E as a valuation tool in the current recessionary environment. On one hand, past bear markets have typically bottomed out at a forward P/E ratio of 10, with a low of 7 (1982) and a high of 14 (2002). FactSet's reported market rating...

What gold tells us about confidence

How badly has the pandemic affected the global economy? The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has some answers in a recent report. It expects global human development to decline for the first time this year, and EM economies will bear the brunt of the impact. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that up to half...