I deplore the tax cut that has passed Congress. It is not an economic policy tax cut, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with supply-side economics. The entire purpose is to raise equity prices by providing equity owners with more capital gains and dividends. In other words, it is legislation that makes equity owners richer, thus further polarizing society into a vast arena of poverty and near-poverty and the One Percent, or more precisely a fraction of the One Percent wallowing in billions of dollars. Unless our rulers can continue to control the explanations, the tax cut edges us closer to revolution resulting from complete distrust of government. Read More
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Despite persistent faith in the U.S. dollar and assurances that rate hikes will continue into 2019, gold has plenty of room to take back its losses and make new gains, reports an article on Newsmax. Barron’s contributor Andrew Bary notes that gold’s lower prices come at a time when global inflation is bound to go up as governments look to deal with mounting sovereign debt. Read More
The US bear market of 2007–2009 was a 17-month bear market that lasted from October 9th 2007 to March 9th 2009, during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. The S&P 500 lost approximately 50% of its value, but the duration of this bear market was just below average due to extraordinary interventions by governments and central banks to prop up the stock market.
Will we someday look back on October 2018 as the turning point?  As the month began, people were generally feeling pretty good about things, and the U.S. stock market quickly set a new all-time high.  But from that point on, the wheels fell off for Wall Street.  We just witnessed the worst October for U.S. stocks since the financial crisis of 2008, and at this point more than 8 trillion dollars of global wealth has been completely wiped out.  But it isn’t just the stock market that is being shaken.  The horrific violence in Pittsburgh is just the latest in a string of events that have rattled the entire nation.  Sometimes I feel like I am literally watching the fabric of our society come apart right in front of my eyes.  It is almost as if there is a tangible presence of evil in the air, and it seems to be getting stronger over time.  Read More
I might add that you might enjoy reading a 1984 science fiction that predicted our situation in a very amusing light (something I really needed) - Home Sweet Home 2010 A.D., by Mack Reynolds and Dean Ing. A little colorful language, but a deft and delightfully irreverent satire. Fortunately, I can still afford the occasional second-hand paperback. Published in 1984, the paperback originally sold for $2.95. I got it used for 50 cents at a going-out-of-business sale this year. New paperbacks run as much as $12 each. Could that be a hint of inflation?
Warren Buffett’s favorite indicator is telling us that stocks are more overvalued right now than they have ever been before in American history.  That doesn’t mean that a stock market crash is imminent.  In fact, this indicator has been in the “danger zone” for quite some time.  But what it does tell us is that stock valuations are more bloated than we have ever seen and that a stock market crash would make perfect sense.  So precisely what is the “Buffett Indicator”?  Well, it is actually very simple to calculate.  You just take the total market value of all stocks and divide it by the gross domestic product. Read More
Great question. We are certainly in a confirmed market correction. The Four Horsemen have been released by the titans of doom. So are we in the early stages of a bear market? Is this just another selloff, as in February and April? Market movement is far more violent now that human decision-makers play a far less significant role in price discovery. Hey, humans were too slow for the big players. Well, you reap what you sow.
Erik:     I want to come back to something you said earlier where you described if Treasury yields were to double that would obviously double the government’s cost of debt service. And the cost of debt service was about the same as it is now, ten years ago. But it was half as much debt. So with twice as much debt, if we go back to ten-years-ago Treasury yields, we would double the cost.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) develops, licenses, and supports software, services, devices, and solutions worldwide. The company has a Zacks Rank #1. In the last 60 days, 15 earnings estimates moved north, while none moved south for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings increased 7.3% in the same period. The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current quarter and year is 14.3% and 9.5%, respectively.
The bears of the early 1930s had a mixed fate. Joseph Kennedy, the father of JFK, was appointed the first chairman of the SEC shortly after participating in a bear pool in the stock of Libby Owens Ford. Roosevelt apparently decided he needed a fox to guard the hen coop. Jesse Livermore had a less happy time. He lost an estimated $32 million anticipating a bull market which never arrived. In 1934, Livermore was declared bankrupt. He blew his brains out in the washroom of the Sherry- Netherlands hotel in 1940. The note he left behind, repeated over and over again: “My life has been a failure. My life has been a failure…”
By staying out of this overvalued market, the only thing we can get is sore while the believers get rich. As it’s impossible to time the market, getting out now can be costly for a while, but is the smartest thing to do in the long run. Getting out of the S&P 500 will be extremely rewarding when the $2 billion daily inflows into Vanguard reverse and become outflows. With nobody buying, the drop will be huge.
In the 9th largest economy in the world, the financial markets are crashing, and in the 21st largest economy in the world the central bank just raised interest rates to 65 percent to support a currency that is completely imploding.  Whilethe mainstream media in the United States continues to be obsessed with all things Kavanaugh, an international financial crisis threatens to spiral out of control.  Stock prices are falling and currencies are collapsing all over the planet, but because the U.S. has been largely unaffected so far the mainstream media is mostly choosing to ignore what is happening.  But the truth is that this is serious.  The financial crisis in Italy threatens to literally tear the EU apart, and South America has become an economic horror show. Read More
A common refrain was a preference for non-US assets, particularly in equities given the run-up in American stocks and the earlier stage of economic recovery in Europe. The Fed could exit from its days of stimulus too fast, choking off the economic recovery and crimping profit growth. A few worried about the possibility for an inverted US yield curve when short-term rates rise above long-term levels, which sometimes are seen as a precursor to a recession.
There is considerable confusion between the verbs bear and bare. It may help to remember that the verb bare has only one meaning: "to uncover," as in "bare your shoulders" and "a dog baring its teeth." All other uses of the verb are for bear: "bearing children," "the right to bear arms," "bearing up under the stress/weight," "can't bear the thought," "bear south," "it bears repeating."
Relaxed is how an asset management office should be because if you know what you are doing, you can be pretty sure that you will do well in a certain time horizon. However, the reason behind the relaxed atmosphere at Vanguard isn’t because they know what they’re doing, it’s because they do absolutely nothing. Let me elaborate, out of the $4 trillion of assets under management, about $3 trillion is invested in passive index-based strategies. Investing in passive index-based strategies means investing in a little bit of everything and letting the market decide how much you’ll buy of what as the indexes are weighted by market capitalization. So Vanguard invests around $2 billion a day of new investors’ money mostly into companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and smaller amounts into smaller companies.
Peoples’ enthusiasm is understandable: From 1965 to 2017, Buffett’s Berkshire share achieved an annual average return of 20.9 percent (after tax), while the S&P 500 returned only 9.9 percent (before taxes). Had you invested in Berkshire in 1965, today you would be pleased to see a total return of 2,404,784 percent: an investment of USD 1,000 turned into more than USD 24 million (USD 24,048,480, to be exact). Read More
Between tax legislation and cryptocurrencies, there’s been little interest in much else. As for tax cuts, it’s an inopportune juncture in the cycle for aggressive fiscal stimulus. And for major corporate tax reduction more specifically, with boom-time earnings and the loosest Credit conditions imaginable, it’s Epic Stimulus Overload. History will look back at this week - ebullient Republicans sharing the podium and cryptocurrency/blockchain trading madness - and ponder how things got so crazy. Read More
Boneparth said that, based on his recent moves, the most likely explanation for the surge into bond funds is rebalancing. "We've been watching 5 to 10 percent of portfolios that have created built- in risk over the past few years and now are moving out of equities and back into fixed income," he said. "You're probably seeing a lot of that take place at the retail level."

Gross is alarmed by a financial economy that is growing faster than the real economy, Money says. He's also concerned about huge debt loads, an aging population, the automation of labor and weak productivity growth in the real economy, Money adds. All these factors "promise to stunt U.S. and global growth far below historical norms," Gross believes, per Money. Right now, "All markets are increasingly at risk," as Money quotes from Gross' June Investment Outlook letter. (For more, see also: Bill Gross: QE is "Financial Methadone.")

4. While 5% real annual return doesn’t seem like much, it is a highly stable and secure return. How would stocks fair in that same time frame? Taking into account a 2% annual inflation rate, you would need a 7% nominal annual return on stocks to keep up with a 5% real return on a house. What if inflation goes to 4% or higher? Can you imagine a sustained nominal return on stocks of 9% or higher (to achieve a 5% real return on stocks)??
At around the same time, the English had witnessed the startling rise and collapse of the South Sea Company, which had risen from around ?100 to nearly ?1000 in the first six months of 1720, only to fall back to where it started in the autumn of the same year. Some thirteen years later, a bill was brought before parliament by Sir John Barnard, M.P. Its aim was to “prevent…the wicked, pernicious, and destructive practice of stock-jobbing [speculation] whereby many of his Majesty’s good subjects have been directed from pursuing their lawful trades and vocations to the utter ruin of themselves and their families, to the great discouragement of industry and to the manifest detriment of trade and commerce.”
If you believe that there will be a significant change in global economic paradigms over the next 10 years, consider this book as part of developing an applicable investment strategy. Basically the author is focusing on commodities as they will do well in an inflationary period and, reading between the lines, commodities never go to zero (unless one is so leveraged up that one is forced to sell when commodities sell). Fortunately for us small investors the author does provide a road map to utilize his strategy by way of ETFs. With the government rolling the printing presses to shore up and stimulate our economy, inflation will result. This book examines the issues with inflation and how to invest in response.
Dr. D: Well, all parts of the system rely on accurate record-keeping. Look at voting rights: we had a security company where 20% more people voted than there were shares. Think you could direct corporate, even national power that way? Without records of transfer, how do you know you own it? Morgan transferred a stock to Schwab but forgot to clear it. Doesn’t that mean it’s listed in both Morgan and Schwab? In fact, didn’t you just double-count and double-value that share? Suppose you fail to clear just a few each day. Before long, compounding the double ownership leads to pension funds owning 2% fake shares, then 5%, then 10%, until stock market and the national value itself becomes unreal. And how would you unwind it?  Read More

BTW, in this, the VA with its 0 downpayment loans has 1 (yep 1) REO, FHA with its 3 1/2% down had 1 (yep 1 REO), Freddie has 4 REOs and Fannie has 14. The other 50 or 60 REOs are the product of Wall St and securitization. Here it is NOT the government-backed 0 -3 1/2% down loans that are defaulting. Not is it the loans by the community banks – they have only 2 or 3 between the 3 -4 community banks here. What is defaulting are the loans written by the Big Banksters and sahdy otufits like OptionOne, Countrywide etc – most of which those lenders kept and a smaller number they peddled to Fannie/Freddie who are making them take them back.

Outside the United States, many other countries in the world also issue similar bonds, sometimes called local authority bonds or other names. The key defining feature of such bonds is that they are issued by a public-use entity at a lower level of government than the sovereign. Such bonds follow similar market patterns as U.S. bonds. That said, the U.S. municipal bond market is unique for its size, liquidity, legal and tax structure and bankruptcy protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

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I wonder if one approach for your nervous friend would be to allocate say 10% of his portfolio to such a short, but to ask his broker/platform to trigger the purchase when the FTSE has dropped to a certain price (almost like a spreadbet). At the time of writing the FTSE100 is 5827, so the trigger could be a price of 5700 or whatever number scares your friend. I think one problem is working out the relationship between the FTSE’s value and the short ETF’s price.
Written by seasoned Wall Street prognosticator Peter Schiff–author of the bestselling book Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse–The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets reveals how you should protect your assets and invest your money when the American economy is experiencing perilous economic downturns and wealth building is happening elsewhere. Filled with insightful commentary, inventive metaphors, and prescriptive advice, this book shows you how to make money under adverse market conditions by using a conservative, nontraditional investment strategy.
When TBTFs are allowed to mark to market their securitized assets, they have little to no incentive to liquidate other non-performing assets on their books, including underwater mortgages, notes, etc. Banks are in no rush to offload inventory, as that would simply cause another panic out of their SIVs. And so long as FASB allows mark to model, they will continue to leak out shadow inventory. Sorry, but I don’t buy your premise on iota.
A bear market rally is when the stock market posts gains for days or even weeks. It can easily trick many investors into thinking the stock market trend has reversed, and a new bull market has begun. But nothing in nature or the stock market moves in a straight line. Even with a normal bear market, there will be days or months when the trend is upward. But until it moves up 20 percent or more, it is still in a bear market.
Looking past 2018, the Fed's outlook is even more bearish for the bond market. The central bank boosted by one the number of rate hikes it expects in each of 2019 and 2020. At the same time, its unemployment rate projections were lowered to an eye-popping 3.6 per cent and its inflation estimate rose above its 2 per cent target level, to 2.1 per cent.