Tag Archive: Alhambra Portfolios

Weekly Market Pulse: A Fatal Conceit

Inflation* in the US is falling rapidly with the CPI rising just 0.9% in the second half of 2022 versus 5.4% in the first six months. Existing home sales are down 14.6% in the last 3 months and 34% over the last year. Housing starts are down 22% and permits are down 30% year-over-year. Orders for durable goods are down 1.2%, exports are down 3.8%, and imports are down 4.3% over the last 3 months.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The Consensus Will Be Wrong

What’s your outlook for this year? I’ve heard that question repeatedly over the last month and if you’re reading this hoping I’ll let you have a peak at my crystal ball, you’re going to be disappointed. Because I don’t have a crystal ball and neither, I hasten to add, does anyone else in this business.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Happy Holidays

We received a host of economics reports this past week; some good, others not so much. The week started with the Consumer Price Index report coming in better than expected at an increase of just 0.1% from the previous month (7.1% from a year ago), compared with respective estimates of 0.3% and 7.3%.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Currency Illusion

When we think about the challenges facing an investor today, the big problems, the things we worry about that could cause a lot more harm than some interest rate hikes, are mostly outside the United States. China is prominent this weekend because of demonstrations against their zero COVID policies. The Chinese people appear to be pretty well fed up with the endless lockdowns and have finally decided to try and do something about it. Unfortunately,...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Good News, Bad News

One thing I can tell you for certain about last week’s big rally on Thursday and Friday: there were a lot of people who desperately wanted a good excuse to buy stocks. And buy they did after a better-than-expected CPI report Thursday morning, pushing the S&P 500 up nearly 6% on the week with all of that coming on Thursday and Friday.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Did Powell Just Blink?

Did Jerome Powell blink last Friday? It was just before the market open Friday and interest rates were jumping higher, as they had all week. The 10-year Treasury yield was up to 4.33%, another 11 basis points higher than the previous close and 32 basis points higher than the previous week’s close.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Just A Little Volatility

Markets were rather volatile last week. That’s a wild understatement and what passes for sarcasm in the investment business. Stocks started the week waiting with bated (baited?) breath for the inflation reports of the week. It isn’t surprising that the market is focused firmly on the rear view mirror for clues about the future since Jerome Powell has made it plain that is his plan, goofy as it is.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The Real Reason The Fed Should Pause

The Federal Reserve has been on a mission lately to make sure everyone knows they are serious about killing the inflation they created. Over the last two weeks, Federal Reserve officials delivered 37 speeches, all of the speakers competing to see who could be the most hawkish.

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Weekly Market Pulse: No News Is…

Nothing happened last week. Stocks and bonds and commodities continued to trade and move around in price but there was no news to which those movements could be attributed. The economic news was a trifle and what there was told us exactly nothing new about the economy.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The More Things Change…

I stopped in a local antique shop over the weekend. The owner is retiring and trying to clear out as much as she can before they close the doors so I paid a mere $3 for the Life magazine above. I think it might be worth many multiples of that price for investors who think our situation today is somehow uniquely bad. The cover headline could just as easily be describing today as 1970.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The Dog That Didn’t Bark

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Sherlock Holmes: “That was the curious incident.” From Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle, 1892

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Weekly Market Pulse: Same As It Ever Was

History never repeats itself. Man always does. Mark Twain is credited with a similar saying, that history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes. Of course, there is scant evidence that Clemens said anything of the sort just as Voltaire may or may not have penned the quote above. But both men were much wittier than I – than most – so I’ll take them both as being representative if not genuine.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Opposite George

It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s all been wrong.

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Weekly Market Pulse: There Is No Certainty In Investing

Investors crave certainty. They want to know that there are definitive signals for them to follow as they adjust their investments to fit the current market and economy. They want to know that A leads to B leads to C. Tea leaf readers are always in high demand on Wall Street and they continue to find employment despite their almost universally dismal track record.

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Weekly Market Pulse: A Most Unusual Economy

The employment report released last Friday was better than expected but the response by bulls and bears alike was exactly as expected. Both found things in the report to support their preconceived notions about the state of the economy.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Things That Need To Happen

Perspective is something that comes with age I think. Certainly, as I’ve gotten older, my perspective on things has changed considerably. As we age, we tend to see things from a longer-term view.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Expand Your Horizons

Late last year I wrote a weekly update that focused on the speculative nature of the markets. In that article, I focused on the S&P 500 because I wanted to make a point, namely that owning the S&P 500 did not absolve investment advisers of their fiduciary duty.

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Market Pulse: Mid-Year Update

Note: This update is longer than usual but I felt a comprehensive review was necessary. The Federal Reserve panicked last week and spooked investors into the worst week for stocks since the onset of COVID in March 2020. The S&P 500 is now firmly in bear market territory but that is a fraction of the pain in stocks and other risky assets.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Is The Bear Market Over?

Stocks had a rip snorter of a rally last week and a lot of people are pondering the question in the title over this long weekend. The S&P 500 was down 20.9% from intraday high (4818.62, January 4th) to intraday low (3810.32, May 20th). From that intraday low the market has risen 9.1% in just six trading days.

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Weekly Market Pulse: TANSTAAFL

TANSTAAFL is an acronym for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. It has been around a long time – Rudyard Kipling used it in an essay in 1891 – but it was popularized by Robert Heinlein’s 1966 book, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”.

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