Category Archive: 7) Markets

Main Author John Henry Smith
John Henry Smith
John Henry Smith of Grail Securities specializes in the U.S. stock market and offers a unique and powerful advisory service to private investors, institutional investors, and SME asset managers, who are seeking to consistently beat the market. All our strengths are at your disposal to provide stock market research and recommendations with the only aim of growing wealth. To achieve this we develop with you a customized investment strategy in terms of your risk and return preferences.

Digging into Wealth and Income Inequality

The assets of U.S. households recently topped $100 trillion, yet another sign that everything is going swimmingly in the U.S. economy. Let's take a look at the Federal Reserve's Household Balance Sheet, which lists the assets and liabilities of all U.S. households in very big buckets (real estate: $25 trillion). (For reasons unknown, the Fed lumps non-profit assets and liabilities with households, but these modest sums are easily subtracted.)

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Anticipating How Welcome This Second Deluge Will Be

Effective federal funds (EFF) was 1.92% again yesterday. That’s now eight in a row just 3 bps underneath the “technically adjusted” IOER. If indeed the FOMC has to make another one to this tortured tool we know already who will be blamed for it.

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The Stock Market is Stretched to Double Tech-Bubble Extremes

Leuthold Group has sounded the alarm on a valuation metric that shows the S&P 500 is twice as expensive as it was at the peak of the tech bubble. This development could have large implications for stock investors of all types, particularly value traders who make their living by finding discounts in the market. With the stock market within shouting distance of an all-time high, traders are readying their Champagne bottles. Just don’t tell them about...

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Goldman: You Are Asking The Wrong $1 Trillion Question

After several months of heated market speculation, to Amazon's chagrin the question of which stock would be the first to reach $1 trillion in market capitalization was answered when Apple reported strong Q2 results (which included $21 billion in stock buybacks) and its stock soared 9% this week, rising above the very round number and elevating its YTD gain to 23% (Amazon, with a market cap of just under $900 billion, will most likely be second).

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Stock Market Manias of the Past vs the Echo Bubble

The Big Picture. The diverging performance of major US stock market indexes which has been in place since the late January peak in DJIA and SPX has become even more extreme in recent months. In terms of duration and extent it is one of the most pronounced such divergences in history.

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Spotlight on the HUI and XAU Gold Stock Indexes

Probably the two best known gold mining stock indexes in the world’s financial markets are the HUI and the XAU. HUI is the ticker symbol for the NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index. XAU is the ticker symbol for the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index. Both of these monikers make an appearance on many gold related websites and many general financial market websites as well, so its worth knowing briefly what these indexes are and what they represent.

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“Stock Markets Look Ever More Like Ponzi Schemes”

The FT has reported this morning that: Debt at UK listed companies has soared to hit a record high of £390bn as companies have scrambled to maintain dividend payouts in response to shareholder demand despite weak profitability. They added: UK plc’s net debt has surpassed pre-crisis levels to reach £390.7bn in the 2017-18 financial year, according to analysis from Link Asset Services, which assessed balance sheet data from 440 UK listed...

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Sound Money Needed Now More Than Ever

The sound money movement reemerged on the national political scene a decade ago. In 2008, the financial crisis brought in a fresh wave of U.S. gold and silver investors. Ron Paul and the Tea Party advocated for limiting government and ending the Federal Reserve system. Sound money advocates made real inroads in recruiting Americans to their cause based on evidence that the nation is headed for bankruptcy.

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“Sell In May And Go Away” – A Reminder: In 9 Out Of 11 Countries It Makes Sense To Do So

Most people are probably aware of the adage “sell in May and go away”. This popular seasonal Wall Street truism implies that the market’s performance is far worse in the six summer months than in the six winter months. Numerous studies have been undertaken in this context particularly with respect to US stock markets, and they  confirm that the stock market on average exhibits relative weakness in the summer.

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Global Turn-of-the-Month Effect – An Update

The “turn-of-the-month” effect is one of the most fascinating stock market phenomena. It describes the fact that price gains primarily tend to occur around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically far less profitable for investors. The effect has been studied extensively in the US market. In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have shown a table detailing the extent of the...

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House View, May 2018

Pictet Wealth Management's latest positioning across asset classes and investment themes. In spite of a certain loss of momentum in positive surprises, a strong Q1 earnings season continues to justify our bullish stance on equities in most regions. We reiterate our negative view on core government bonds and remain short duration. Volatility is still higher than last year, and has increased noticeably in the bond market once again.

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The “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries

I already discussed the “turn-of-the-month effect” in a previous issues of Seasonal Insights, see e.g. this report from earlier this year. The term describes the fact that price gains in the stock market tend to cluster around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically less profitable for investors.

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US Stock Market: Happy Days Are Here Again? Not so Fast…

Obviously, assorted crash analogs have by now gone out of the window – we already noted that the market was late if it was to continue to mimic them, as the decline would have had to accelerate in the last week of March to remain in compliance with the “official time table”. Of course crashes are always very low probability events – but there are occasions when they have a higher probability than otherwise, and we will certainly point those out...

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US Stock Market – How Bad Can It Get?

In view of the fact that the stock market action has gotten a bit out of hand again this week, we are providing a brief update of charts we have discussed in these pages over the past few weeks (see e.g. “The Flight to Fantasy”). We are doing this mainly because the probability that a low probability event will actually happen has increased somewhat in recent days.

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Repo and Repo Markets



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US Stock Market – The Flight to Fantasy

The chart formation built in the course of the early February sell-off and subsequent rebound continues to look ominous, so we are closely watching the proceedings. There are now numerous new divergences in place that clearly represent a major warning signal for the stock market. For example, here is a chart comparing the SPX to the NDX (Nasdaq 100 Index) and the broad-based NYA (NYSE Composite Index).

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Stock and Bond Markets – The Augustine of Hippo Plea

Most fund managers are in an unenviable situation nowadays (particularly if they have a long only mandate). On the one hand, they would love to get an opportunity to buy assets at reasonable prices. On the other hand, should asset prices actually return to levels that could be remotely termed “reasonable”, they would be saddled with staggering losses from their existing exposure. Or more precisely: their investors would be saddled with staggering...

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Stock Market Selloff Showed Gold Can Reduce Portfolio Risk

Stock Market Selloff Showed Gold Can Reduce Portfolio Risk. Recent stock market selloff showed gold can deliver returns and reduce portfolio risk. Gold’s performance during stock market selloff was consistent with historical behaviour. Gold up nearly 10% in last year but performance during recent selloff was short-lived. The stronger the market pullback, the stronger gold’s rally. WGC: ‘a good time for investors to consider including or adding gold...

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Market Efficiency? The Euro is Looking Forward to the Weekend!

As I have shown in previous issues of Seasonal Insights, various financial instruments are demonstrating peculiar behavior in the course of the week: the S&P 500 Index is typically strong on Tuesdays, Gold on Fridays and Bitcoin on Tuesdays (similar to the S&P 500 Index). Several readers have inquired whether currencies exhibit such patterns as well. Are these extremely large markets also home to such statistical anomalies, or is market efficiency...

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