Blogs

  • An Overbought Pause

    As delightful as the rally has been, a key super short-term technical indicator, Slow Stochastics, is registering an overbought reading (above 80) and a cause for a pause. As the accompanying chart* shows, while the near-term indicators, Momentum and...
  • The Stock Playbook 11/3/08

    The market ended the calmest session in recent memory with a narrowly mixed performance Monday as investors largely looked past a weak reading on the manufacturing sector and focused on the election. The Dow fell 5.18, or 0.06 percent, to 9,319.83, after...
    Posted to The Stock Playbook by Dave Dispennette on 11-04-2008
  • Two Little-Noted Features Of The Markets And The Economy

    This week I have a very special Outside the Box for you. Peter Bernstein is recognized as one of the more brilliant and insightful analysts of our times. At 89, he has been writing prescient material longer than most of us "young guys" (I am 59, and hope I am still writing at 89, or even able to write!) have been even marginally in the markets. His Economics and Portfolio Strategy Letter is read by the true cognoscenti of the investment world. He has given me permission to reproduce his latest letter in which he offers two insights. Rather than give you some teaser copy, why don't you just jump in a read. And trust me, anything that Peter writes is worth reading more than a few times....
  • Rate Cut Week...

    * Mixed bag o' data... * Trading theme in place... * election tomorrow... * Consumer Spending collapses! ** Rate Cut Week... Good day... And a Marvelous Monday to you! Welcome to November! For almost 20 years, November was my least favorite month, cold gray days, dead looking trees, bad memories of the month, and all that... But I just don't get all involved in that stuff anymore, as my different outlook on life tells me that every day is a great day, and months just contain great days! OK... On Friday, we saw more and more of the same trading theme, and in the overnight markets last night, more and more of it again! And Carry Trades are back for the moment anyway, as stocks rebounded late in the week to end the month with a brighter outlook than they had earlier in the month. But, in my view from the cheap seats, this stock rebound is much like what they call in the markets, a dead cat bounce, (OK no animals were hurt here!) which means... That stocks are going nowhere, but bounces can still happen. I say that stocks are going nowhere, and I'm not even your last choice as a stock jockey... I just survey the economic horizon and see a deeper recession than we are currently experiencing, and a "spent" Consumer, which is going to lead to awful earnings for Corporations, and thus stocks not going anywhere......
  • Morning Call-11/3/08

    Economics This Week’s Data Other Putting current bank failures in perspective: http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/10/fdic-bank-failures.html Update on credit crisis indicators: http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/10/credit-crisis-indicators...
  • 11/1/08-The Closing Bell

    The Closing Bell 11/1/08 Statistical Summary Current Economic Forecast 2007 Real Growth in Gross Domestic Product: 2.0- 2.5% Inflation: 2 - 2.5 % Growth in Corporate Profits: 6-8% 2008 (revised-again) Real Growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP): -1.0...
    Posted to Steve Cook on Disciplined Investing by Steve Cook on 11-01-2008
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  • Electing the Janitor-in-Chief

    This week we survey the economic landscape that the new president will inherit. It is a polite understatement to say that he will be getting a serious mess. In reality, the US goes to the polls this next Tuesday to elect a Janitor-in-Chief. He will face a task that rivals that of Hercules in cleaning out the Stygian stables (legendary huge stables that had not been mucked out for ten years). However, there are no convenient rivers at hand for a probable President Obama to redirect that will quickly be able to clean out the mess left in the stables of our economy. This will indeed be an Herculean task and one that will take most of the first term of the next administration. So, let's look at what will face the next president. It should make for an interesting, even if not optimistic, letter....
  • The Stock Playbook 10/31/08

    The market closed out a horrendous October, its worst month in 21 years, with an advance Friday as more investors took chances on stocks turned into bargains by waves of intense selling. The advance, which gave the market its first back-to-back gains...
    Posted to The Stock Playbook by Dave Dispennette on 10-31-2008
  • Why Most Retirement Investment Plans Are Wrong—Part II

    Traditional investment strategies do not work for most retirement investment plans. Those who are in or saving for retirement often fail to meet their goals by following these strategies. There are better ways to manage a portfolio for retirement that...
    Posted to Retirement Watch by Bob Carlson on 10-31-2008
  • GDP Goes Negative...

    * Currency rally fizzles out... * Bank of Japan cuts rates... * Tracking David Walker... * A major shift change on spending... ** GDP Goes Negative... Good day... And a Happy Friday to one and all! A Happy Halloween Friday to boot! Boy, to be a kid again, and have what is forecast as a 70 degree day on a Friday for Halloween! We've been so busy at the Butler house that we didn't even decorate our front yard with Halloween stuff this year. UGH! But, that's OK, I guess, Alex is older now, and little Delaney Grace would probably freak out with the ghost that would fly across the front of our house, etc. Well... The fog that was lifted from the markets came back with a vengeance yesterday, and once again it was the deep, dark, dangerous U.S. economy leading the charge. 3rd QTR GDP printed yesterday and even though it was forecast to be negative, when it actually printed negative, the trading theme returned. 3rd QTR GDP goes negative (and if you throw in inflation for good measure growth was REALLY negative!) and the dollar rallies... It's the trading theme of the decade! (Ok, I exaggerate a bit there, as it has only been in place for 3 months now!)...
  • Sell a little more, Part 3

    Economics This Week’s Data Weekly jobless claims were unchanged versus expectations of a 3,000 decline. I neglected to include the third quarter personal consumption expenditure index (PCE) in yesterday’s GDP report. Third quarter PCE rose...
  • The Stock Playbook 10/30/08

    The market showed some welcome signs of stability Thursday, taking a downbeat GDP report in stride and driving the Dow up 189.73, or 2.11 percent, to 9,180.69 in relatively calm trading. The S&P 500 rose 24.00, or 2.58 percent, to 954.09, while the...
    Posted to The Stock Playbook by Dave Dispennette on 10-30-2008
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  • Fourth Quarter Forecast 2008

    Really hear what I'm about to tell you. The center of gravity of the world economic system has moved from New York to Washington. Let me illustrate what I mean so you understand just how profound this is. Banks used to compete against banks. US carmakers competed against each other and the Japanese. And the New York financial markets told you how they're doing against each other. Understand what's happening now. The US Treasury has become the only "customer" that matters. The Treasury is now the customer—and investor -- with the $750+ billion checkbook. The Treasury is now the "investment banker" of last resort, arranging and financing mergers. Banks are competing against insurance companies for their slice of the bailout pie. Chrysler and GM (and the Michigan Congressional delegation) are looking to Washington, not Goldman or Merrill, to facilitate a merger. This is a seismic shift....
  • Association of Investor Awareness - Week of 10/30/2008

    In This Issue:

    A Big Rebound May Be Close
    Like Kids In A Candy Store
    Super Stocking Stuffers
    These Trends Are Your Friends
    The Bottom Line This Week

    Another bear trap snapped shut last week when the 4.8% stock market gain from October 6 - 10 turned into a 5.4% loss for the Dow and an ugly 9.3% plunge for the Nasdaq.

    As has been the usual pattern during this stock market plunge, the drop was larger than the previous bounce. One of our group compared the market to a slot machine that gives just enough money back to make people want to keep playing.

    We saw another inducement to play on Tuesday of this week when the market surged nearly 890 points when it became known that the Fed would lower interest rates again. When the official announcement came on Wednesday, stocks eased back 74 points. It was a textbook example of the old Wall Street rule to "buy on the rumor, sell on the news."

    ...
  • Heading Towards Zero...

    * Fed cuts rates 50 BPS! * Currencies rally Big! * 3rd QTR GDP to go negative? * I.O.U.S.A. ** Heading Towards Zero... Good day... And a Tub Thumpin' Thursday to you! It certainly was a Tub Thumpin' Wednesday for the currencies, foreign stocks, commodities, and the Philadelphia Phillies! This by no means that the deep dense fog that has hung over the markets for 3 months has lifted for good... It did, however, lift for one day, and what a day it was! Oh, and the Fed did indeedly do cut their Fed Funds rate to 1%, which works out great since Fed Funds had been trading at 1% anyway! I had a reported from Dow Jones call me a few minutes after the rate cut and ask me my opinion on what the dollar was doing, which at the time was rallying back a bit... I said it looked like a classic case of buy the rumor sell the fact, that enough speculators were pushing the dollar lower ahead of the rate cut in hopes that a larger cut would be made. That, however, was not the case, and the dollar rallied... But only for about 20 minutes, and then it took a rid on the slippery slope, with the euro pushing to the 1.29 handle as I left for the day....