Nothing is going to be the same after this.  On Friday, the United States hit China with 34 billion dollars in tariffs, and China immediately responded with similar tariffs.  If it stopped there, this trade war between the United States and China would not be catastrophic for the global economy.  But it isn’t going to stop there.  Donald Trump is already talking about hitting China with an additional 500 billion dollars in tariffs, which would essentially cover pretty much everything that China exports to the U.S. in a typical year.  The Chinese have accused Trump of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history”, and they are pledging to fight for as long as it takes. Read More
"We expect both a deterioration in earnings quality and a peak in organic growth in 2018," Mike Wilson, Morgan Stanley's chief US equity strategist, wrote in a client note. "The bear market in valuations has already begun and supports our overall view that the next cyclical bear market in US equities may have already begun, but is being masked by an index price level that has fallen only 12% thanks to the adrenaline shot to EPS from tax."
As the stock markets continue setting records day after day, many investors are becoming more and more concerned about the potential over-valuation and a possible market correction. The widely-followed cyclically-adjusted price-earnings ratio (Shiller PE) reached 31.2, almost twice as much as the historical average of 16.8. While market valuation may not be a good timing indicator (see If Jeremy Grantham Has a Changing Heart on Value Investing, Should You?),  does it have any impact on the severity of a bear market when it happens?
After nearly a decade of endless market boosting, manipulation and regulatory neglect, all of the trading professionals I personally know are watching with held breath at this stage. The central banks have distorted the processes of price discovery and market structure for so many years now, that it’s difficult to know yet whether their grip on the markets has indeed failed. Read More
Stock market downturn of 2002 9 Oct 2002 Downturn in stock prices during 2002 in stock exchanges across the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. After recovering from lows reached following the September 11 attacks, indices slid steadily starting in March 2002, with dramatic declines in July and September leading to lows last reached in 1997 and 1998. See stock market downturn of 2002.

The level of panic that we witnessed on Wall Street on Wednesday was breathtaking.  After a promising start to the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average started plunging, and at the close it was down another 608 points.  Since peaking at 26,951.81 on October 3rd, the Dow has now fallen 2,368 points, and all of the gains for 2018 have been completely wiped out.  But things are even worse when we look at the Nasdaq.  The percentage decline for the Nasdaq almost doubled the Dow’s stunning plunge on Wednesday, and it has now officially entered correction territory.  To say that it was a “bloodbath” for tech stocks on Wednesday would be a major understatement. Read More


It is difficult to find the words to describe just how serious America’s trade war with China is becoming.  As you will see below, the two largest economies on the entire planet are on a self-destructive course that almost seems irreversible at this point.  The only way that this trade war is going to come to a rapid conclusion is if one side is willing to totally submit and accept an extremely bitter and humiliating defeat on the global stage, and that is not likely to happen.  Read More
[After the crash] stocks continued to fall, until by the summer of 1932, the Dow Jones reached a floor of 41.88, nearly 90% off its 1929 peak. By this date, the country’s national income had shrunk by 60% and one third of the non-agricultural workforce was unemployed. President Herbert Hoover, who came to office in early 1929 promising that “the end of poverty was in sight,” faced an uphill task in the forthcoming election. America needed a scapegoat.
The nominal returns, before accounting for inflation, were actually pretty decent for bonds during these real bears. Over their 45 and 50-year real bear markets, 5-year treasuries and long-term bonds returned 4.6% and 4.7% respectively on an annual basis. Bond investors would kill for those types of returns at the moment if it didn’t come with that pesky inflation.
We now have confirmation that the trade war between the U.S. and China is going to be a protracted one, given that neither side is willing to back down. China has declined any further talks because it refuses to negotiate under the threat of further tariffs, or as it puts it, with a knife at its throat. At the same time, Trump is clearly intent on pressing ahead with tariffs on all of China's exports to the U.S., regardless of rising opposition at home.
Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world. Follow @DanCaplinger
Just like the gold rushes of California between 1848 and 1855, Canada’s Klonike of 1896 to 1899, and Western Australia’s of the 1890s, the world is experiencing a frenzy to obtain mining rights in pursuit of today’s “gold,” namely rare earth minerals. Used for components of electric vehicle batteries, mobile telephones, flat-screen televisions, flash drives, cameras, precision-guided missiles, industrial magnets, wind turbines, solar panels, and other high-tech items, rare earth minerals have become the type of sought-after commodity that uranium and plutonium were during the onset of the atomic age.  Read More
Three weeks ago when GDX was trading around $17.90 I wrote a post titled "Why I Bought Gold Miners Today" in which I presented the concept that the gold miners were potentially all "sold-out" and ripe for a rally.  Since that day the GDX is up a little more than 3% but the price action has been far from convincing and GDX ran into stiff resistance just above $19 last week (double-top at $19.11 to be precise).  However, when one considers the totality of the picture it becomes easier to discern a potential head & shoulders bottoming pattern, with the recent choppy and lackluster price action as part of a larger bottoming process: Read More
Two important institutional changes since the late 1960s also have affected the composition of financial asset holdings of households. One is the growing prevalence of pension funds. Since 1960, the share of financial assets that pension funds comprise grew from a little under 7% to 27%. This growth has been due in part to the introduction of 401k, 403b, and Keogh accounts that have allowed households to make tax deductible contributions to retirement plans with significant control over the disposition of those investments. In addition, many large employers have switched from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement plans, again allowing households to decide how much of their retirement funds to invest in the stock market. These changes began to accelerate in the 1970s. Prior to these changes, many businesses either adopted “pay-as-you-go” pension plans with no significant contributions to the stock market, or restricted their investments to ultra-safe assets, such as government securities.
Feb 26, 2018 Of all the Timing Systems in these Public Stockcharts, only the Exceptional Bear Channel accurately forecasts the whip-saw reversals at the turning point. Most timers are now Bearish, just when a reversal is well in process, to a new all-time high in the major indexes. A better reason to follow me does not exist. There are multiple, head-fakes at the irregular Top

If we look back at the history of bear markets in the United States, then they were usually preceded by lengthy, strong bull markets.  Those bull markets encouraged most investors to pile into the stock market and into high-yield corporate bonds, with the highest concentrations close to the tops.  We can see that recently with all-time record inflows into U.S. equity funds--especially passive equity funds including ETFs--in 2017.  Thus, as each bear market begins, people have huge percentages of their money in the stock market.
RATE AND REVIEW this podcast on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/PeterSchiff/reviews/A Big Constituency of Highly Indebted PeopleThe fact that you have created this big constituency of highly indebted young people - they're like indentured servants. The government now loans them the money and now they are in debt to the government for the rest ...…
A Free-Thinker – someone whose mind is not bound by any chain, free to explore the great abyss unhindered by fear, emotion, or ideology. In reality, it is outside the box free-thinkers, who are the engines of social change and ingenuity, often leading society into new directions not yet seen before. They represent a voice of authenticity and uniqueness in a world that is all too filled with conformity and linear thinking. While the achievements are applauded by future generations, in the present they are often looked down upon, feared, laughed at, and even seen as crazy for their unique perspectives on life. It is often a lonely road for that of a truly unleashed free-thinker. Read More
Phew. Ok. So everything above seems completely ridiculous and indicates basically everyone involved – with the exception of Trump, Nunes, and maybe Sessions – are completely and utterly stupid! If this was a Clancy novel, it would at least have a plausible conspiracy! This one is just dumb. Hillary and DNC funded Steele to collude with Russia to MAKE STUFF UP about POTUS Trump and uses a corrupt and clearly bias FBI and DOJ to facilitate the whole thing. You cannot ask for a more stupid plot to this story! It is just bad!
Central banks may tweak a few rates here and there, announce some tapering due to “economic growth”, or deflect attention to fiscal policy, but the entire financial and capital markets system rests on the strategies, co-dependencies and cheap money policies of central banks.  The bond markets will feel the heat of any tightening shift or fears of one, while the stock market will continue to rush ahead on the reality of cheap money supply until debt problems tug at the equity markets and take them down.Read More
Bear markets don't announce themselves.  They just happen.  They begin with a sell-off when that most folks dismiss as a brief correction.  As they deepen, the question then becomes how far down will it go.  From my many decades of experience, it's been obvious that most investors are so shocked by what's going on that they do nothing.  Or, at the point of greatest pain (the bottom), they sell.  Very few have the fortitude to view the situation unemotionally and move their money to where the best opportunities are.  During bear markets, the best opportunities are in stocks, since the sell-off has reduced values to much more attractive levels.  But it's the rare investor who has the courage to buy in.  Most are paralyzed by fear.  
Kirk Spano, the winner of the first MarketWatch competition to find the world’s next great investing columnist, is a registered investment advisor and founder of Bluemound Asset Management, LLC  which seeks to provide investors with greater safety, growth, income and freedom. Kirk’s biography and various business endeavors can be found at KirkSpano.com. Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkSpano or at the Bluemound Facebook page for his columns, company analysis, letters, trade notes and what he is reading.

*** “As events in the Mideast and Afghanistan heat up and the economy melts down,” writes John Myers in the Resource Trader Alert, “flight-to-quality becomes more of a necessity than a choice. And if today’s paper flight-to-quality alternatives like the dollar and U.S. Treasuries lose their allure, investment demand for metals – like silver – could renew and pay off big for investors.”
And it isn't just expectations of future inflation that are changing - current inflation is picking up as well. In the U.S., annual core inflation (less food and energy) currently sits at 1.8 percent - up from 1.6 percent in the 12 months through January - and wages are rising. Even if oil prices remain flat over the next 12 months, year-over-year inflation comparisons in the Eurozone will turn positive in the fourth quarter, with expectations of annual inflation of 1.6 percent. As has happened in the U.S., Credit Suisse also thinks that investors may soon start questioning just when the ECB will taper quantitative easing. That, too, would be bad for bonds. Without the ECB as a big-time buyer, the supply of bonds will increase, pushing down prices.
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