This is the video recording of the November 2018 Conference Call.
I’m in Chicago this week trying to sit down and chat with the smartest people I know in this city. I love the town, but man is it cold!
There’s something fishy going on in Interest Rates and the U.S. Bond market right now. We’ve been bearish bonds and constructive about higher interest rates for as long as I can remember. This has worked out well. It was a big part of the bullish stocks thesis and it’s played out. Bonds are at lows and rates are at highs. I just don’t think it will be as easy for this to continue, particularly with what we’re seeing from both a sentiment and intermarket perspective.
Here’s what’s got me thinking differently: [Read more…]
I am really enjoying these conversations with Phil Pearlman. This is the 3rd episode we do where we’re discussing important topics about our feelings and emotions. Today’s topic is Grit, and the advantages that someone with grit has these days over those who don’t. Taking a loss and moving on is not just part of investing, it’s part of life. In this conversation we discuss the Bond Market and the implications of U.S. 10-year yields losing 3% and why Phil is Bullish Grit going into 2019.
Here is the second episode in full: [Read more…]
As you guys know, we’ve been rooting for a stock market crash for most of October. When we’re shorting stocks, we want the market to drop as fast as possible so we can make a profit. You may not like the repercussions of a severe market correction, but since there is nothing we can do to prevent it, all we can do is try and profit from it. Innocent people’s portfolios will get slashed under those circumstances, companies will shut down and people will likely lose their jobs. An economic recession may even follow. We have no idea and no say in the matter anyway. So we’ve had two options in October: Close our eyes and ignore it? Or prepare and profit? We’ve chosen the latter.
In case you’re wondering, we’re still rooting for a complete collapse in U.S. Stocks. The only thing that would make us more neutral is the Russell2000 Index Fund $IWM holding above 151. Under those circumstances and more neutral approach towards equities is best. In the meantime, we’ll keep pressing shorts and hoping for the worst.
Today, I want to bring up two charts that I believe are pointing to further selling. I could even argue that these are the most important charts in America right now. We’re talking Credit Spreads. When institutional money wants to be aggressive, they position themselves into riskier, higher yielding junk bonds at a faster rate than they do into more conservative, lower yielding U.S. Treasury Bonds. If there is stress and they need to be getting more defensive, you’ll see that flow into Treasuries at a much faster rate than into riskier Junk. [Read more…]
This weekend I was down in beautiful San Diego for the 3rd annual Trade Ideas Conference. For me, it’s not just about the presentation that I give or the panel that I sit on, but the people that I get to meet or see again. That’s the great part about our community: everyone’s ability to share and learn and recognize that we’re all in this together. As we approach the market with our own individual goals and objectives in mind, along the way we pick things up from others that help us adjust and fine tune our strategies regularly over time. My friends at Trade Ideas put on a good show, but it was the engaged audience and interactions with my fellow speakers that really made the weekend great.
There are a lot of interesting developments working through the markets these days. Whether it’s the relentless sector rotation underneath the surface or the divergences between small and large-cap stocks, there is no shortage of topics to discuss about the current environment. I have been in the camp that a breakdown in Bonds to new multi-year lows would likely be accompanied by a lower yen and higher stock and commodities prices. Through last week that strategy has worked really well.
Moving forward, however, how does this face-ripper in rates impact U.S. stocks? Is the relative strength in financials this week a positive sign for equities? Or are they just getting a sympathy bid because of rates? Are Semiconductors finally going to break out above their epic 2000 highs, which they’ve been flirting with all year? What about Gold and Crude Oil? How do they fit in?
I have to give credit to our Intermarket Analysis work for a lot of our success over the years. This “Cross-Asset” perspective is incredibly valuable, particularly when it comes to identifying and staying with important trends. As a supplement to our Technical work in U.S. Stocks and Indexes, we incorporate a variety of Intermarket relationships to help us formulate a thesis. These include Bonds, Commodities and Currencies.
When it comes to safety, I don’t care what people believe is a safe haven, I only care how the market reacts when it needs to go safe. When markets stressed and volatility rises, stocks fall in price and US Treasury Bonds and Japanese Yen reap the benefits. When did Yen and Bonds get strong? Summer of 2015 just as the S&P500 was topping out. When did Yen and Bonds peak? When stocks got going several months before the 2016 elections. Both of these are near their 52-week lows, which makes perfect sense with Stocks at all-time highs.
So, the way I see it, we’re most likely going to see Yen and Bond strength if stocks really sell off this quarter. The other side of that argument is that stocks are likely to do well in an environment where these “safe haven” assets are selling off. Here is a chart of both U.S. Treasury Bonds and Japanese Yen close to major breakdowns. If this is indeed the case, and both of these assets do break, I would bet that stocks are ripping in that environment: [Read more…]