• The Latest Sure Thing

    October 05, 2017 BY Scott Opsal

    A fascinating aspect of long-running bull markets is the emergence of money-spinning strategies that come to be seen as “sure things.”

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  • Major Trend

    MTI: Stocks "In Sync" Like 1997

    October 17, 2017 BY Doug Ramsey

    Read this week's Major Trend Index.

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  • Could Productivity POP?

    October 16, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    A major investment wild card is whether productivity ever makes an appearance in this recovery. U.S. productivity has grown more slowly than any recovery of the post-war era despite a revival in corporate profits to record highs, long-term interest rates which have hovered near record lows, and despite uncommonly high levels of business net cash flow relative to capital spending.

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  • COTW

    Correlation "Cape"-r

    October 13, 2017 BY Doug Ramsey

    During a stock market rally we find difficult to comprehend, it somehow seems appropriate to publish a chart we’re almost at a loss to explain. The first chart shows the 90-year history of the trailing one-year (252-day) correlation of daily returns across market sectors. Correlations have been in a free-fall of late, and now appear to have a good shot at undercutting the all-time low established midway through the 2000-2002 bear market.

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  • Searching For The Bear In The Character Of This Bull

    October 09, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    Bear watch has intensified and perhaps for good reason. Key indicators traditionally monitored by investors are suggesting caution. For example, most valuation measures depict a stock market which is highly-priced. The economic recovery is now in its ninth year, making it the second oldest in U.S. history. The Federal Reserve has already raised the Funds rate four times, threatens another hike yet this year, and is about to finally begin contracting its extensive balance sheet. A lack of VIX volatility has increased fears that no one is fearful enough. And, finally, FANG leadership has left an impression it may be the Nifty-Fifty all over again.

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  • Stock Market

    Dialing In On Downside Risks

    October 06, 2017 BY Doug Ramsey

    Question: Your “Estimating The Downside” section shows the S&P 500 would lose 26% if it reverts to its 1957-to-date median valuation level. The downside estimate for the S&P Industrials Index, however, is almost -40%. Why such a huge difference?

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  • Equity Strategies

    Autonomous Vehicles: Building A Thematic Group

    October 06, 2017 BY Kristen Perleberg

    Rapid growth, coupled with regulatory support, has the potential to bring autonomous vehicles (AV) to the streets sooner than some may anticipate.

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  • Fund Flow Trends

    YTD Fund Inflow Highest On Record

    October 06, 2017 BY Kristen Perleberg

    On a cumulative basis, YTD through August, equity and bond funds (ex. money market) have captured more money than ever before over the same period.

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  • Bonds

    U.S. Rates: Range Intact, Bias Higher

    October 05, 2017 BY Chun Wang

    The mini bond market sell-off in September was fueled by a string of positive developments, which should support the case for further upside in the Economic Surprise Index in the fourth quarter.

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  • Bonds

    Balance Sheet Reduction ≠ Higher Rates

    October 05, 2017 BY Chun Wang

    Overall, the impact of balance sheet reduction on interest rates is weak, at best. Inflation is a much bigger longer-term driver of interest rates.

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  • Cutting Taxes...Plenty To Cheer And Fear!

    October 03, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    Just a Monday-quickie to “Curb your Enthusiasm”…

     

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  • Factoring For Fire

    October 02, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    As the economy returns to full employment, its character is maturing and investors need to be cognizant of how this may change leadership in the stock market. Until recently, the economic recovery was characterized by disinflation, falling yields, Fed accommodation, and fear of returning to another crisis. Mostly, the stock market reflected this character being led by the perceived safety of U.S. stocks, the stability of large company stocks and by steady-eddy consumer sectors, internally-generated growth stocks, and bond surrogates.

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  • COTW

    A Tale Of "The Tail That Wags The Dog"

    September 29, 2017 BY Scott Opsal

    We believe the continued strength of this seemingly ageless bull market is due in part to the weakening U.S. dollar, which impacts the real economy and financial asset returns alike.

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  • Think Small!

    September 25, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    Small Cap stocks have had tough year. In mid-August, the total return on the Russell 2000 index trailed the S&P 500 index by about 9%. Since, however, Smalls have done much better, outpacing Large Caps by about 3.5%! Did Small Caps turn a corner in August? Here are six factors which should keep Smalls leading.

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  • COTW

    A Statistical Take On The Fourth Quarter

    September 22, 2017 BY Doug Ramsey

    We just completed a simple study for those market bulls who might find themselves temporarily lacking in confidence (assuming such an animal isn’t extinct by now).

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  • Don't Fret The Fed

    September 20, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    The Federal Reserve wraps up its meetings today and will deliver a press conference. Here are four reasons (in pictures) not to Fret the Fed.

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  • Calendar Old But Character Young(er) Recovery?

    September 18, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    The U.S. economic expansion is in its ninth year, surpassed only by the 1990s’ ten-year recovery.

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  • Inflation Watch

    Inflation-First Upside Surprise In Six Months

    September 15, 2017 BY Chun Wang

    While still too early to call an upturn in inflation, we believe at least expectations are perhaps low enough to make the odds in favor of upside surprises in the near term. We don’t think one small beat on the CPI is likely to turn the Fed more hawkish at the upcoming September FOMC meeting.

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  • COTW

    Stock Market Valuation Check

    September 15, 2017 BY Doug Ramsey

    The Major Trend Index has bounced back into positive territory, and we expect an already-expensive U.S. market to make even higher highs later this year and into early 2018. But we are keeping an eye on the Intrinsic Value work to assess the potential losses that might occur when cyclical conditions eventually turn hostile—possibly in later 2018 or in 2019.

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  • The Teflon Market

    September 11, 2017 BY James Paulsen

    The U.S. stock market has already risen higher than most anticipated this year and has done so with remarkably low volatility.

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  • Stock Market

    Stock Market Observations

    September 08, 2017 BY Doug Ramsey

    We believe this bull market still has legs… but so too might the mini-correction that’s hit mainly the secondary stocks thus far.

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