Since January, gold futures speculators have been trending from extremely bullish to scared short. And in the week ending last Tuesday (the most recent data available) they appeared to capitulate, adding a massive number of short positions while marginally cutting their longs. They’re now about as close to neutral as they’ve ever been. Based on the history of the past decade this is hugely bullish, since speculators tend to be wrong when they’re fully convinced they’re right. Read More
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Hard science, like physics, has rules you can’t break. The law of gravity makes for very specific physical behavior that can be mathematically modeled. Economists want us to believe that their own models are as reliable as the law of gravity. But the real world is a complex, dynamic, out-of-balance mess that doesn’t fit inside anyone’s model. You can’t model a system that is as chaotic and unpredictable as an economy in an Excel spreadsheet or even in the latest and greatest statistical software.


After appointing a municipal advisor, bond issuers recruit a syndicate of legal professionals to serve as the financing team's bond counsel. The counsel works to verify the legal details of the issuance and ensure that the issuing agency is complying with all applicable laws and regulations. As the formal legal advisor for the deal team, the bond counsel will typically draft core documentation relating to bonds, including loan agreements, indentures, and other critical documents. Along these lines, the bond counsel is also tasked with reviewing and advising on any legal issues that might arise, and interpreting how tax laws affect the issuance. For instance, the bond counsel will decide if an issuance is exempt from state or federal taxes.[12]

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.

bear, suffer, endure, abide, tolerate, stand mean to put up with something trying or painful. bear usually implies the power to sustain without flinching or breaking. forced to bear a tragic loss suffer often suggests acceptance or passivity rather than courage or patience in bearing. suffering many insults endure implies continuing firm or resolute through trials and difficulties. endured years of rejection abide suggests acceptance without resistance or protest. cannot abide their rudeness tolerate suggests overcoming or successfully controlling an impulse to resist, avoid, or resent something injurious or distasteful. refused to tolerate such treatment stand emphasizes even more strongly the ability to bear without discomposure or flinching. unable to stand teasing
The first part of my answer is technical, what do the charts show. Well, a normal 50% DJIA retracement of its big gains from January 2016 to January 2018 would take this index down to 21070 and exactly fulfill the minimum requirement of a bear market, i.e. that the DJI falls 20%. The DJI now stands a little above 23500, about 12% down from its peak.

While the EU’s handling of the financial crisis hasn’t been good for business, I believe their mismanagement of the migrant crisis will prove to be their real downfall. According to Frontex, the EU border surveillance agency, over the course of 2015 and 2016, more than 2.3 million illegal crossings into Europe were detected. This influx of migrants hasn’t gone unnoticed.
When a brushland, woodland, or forested area is not affected by fire for a long period, large quantities of flammable leaves, branches and other organic matter tend to accumulate on the forest floor and above in brush thickets. When a forest fire eventually does occur, the increased fuel creates a crown fire, which destroys all vegetation and affects surface soil chemistry. Frequent and small 'natural' ground fires prevent the accumulation of fuel and allow large, slow-growing vegetation (e.g. trees) to survive.
Some may argue that a healthy labor market in the past couple of years in contrast to the dark days of the Great Recession will certainly help the broader market gain traction. After all, the unemployment rate remains below the 4% mark for the past several months, weekly jobless claims touch a 49-year low and wage growth hits the fastest pace since 2009.
John Hussman wrote a must-read essay titled:  “Three Delusions:  Paper Wealth, A Booming Economy and Bitcoin (link).”   The crypto/blockchain delusion has exceeded the absurdity of the dot.com and housing bubble eras.   I was shorting fraud stocks happily in both eras.  I’m short a company  now called Riot Blockchain.  If you look at its description in Yahoo Finance, it bills itself as a developer of technologies applied to animal (“non-human”) medicine.  It recently changed its name to Riot Blockchain from Bioptix Inc.  Prior to calling itself Bioptic Inc, it called itself Venaxis. Read More

1. Prior market tops (1987, 2000, 2007, etc.) allowed asset managers to partially “insure” their risk assets by purchasing Treasuries that could appreciate in price as the Fed lowered policy rates. Today, that “insurance” is limited with interest rates so low. Risk assets, therefore, have a less “insurable” left tail that should be priced into higher risk premiums. Should a crisis arise because of policy mistakes, geopolitical crises, or other currently unforeseen risks, the ability to protect principal will be impaired relative to history. That in turn argues for a more cautious and easier Fed than otherwise assumed.
The public agencies raising money through bonds—such as states, cities, and counties—are known as municipal issuers. The ability to raise such funds is an exercise of the municipal issuer's buying power. In all bond issuances, the issuer serves as the focal point and the head of the financing team, and oversees the transformation of an idea for a project into an issuance. However, in some cases, the bond measure for a public project must first be approved by voters.[12]
First, momentum stocks are not done getting hit. As psychology turns more bearish, fewer investors are willing to bet that trees will grow to the sky at uber-hot (pun intended) public companies like Tesla Motors and Netflix. Each is down roughly 22 percent from 52-week highs. So, investors trying to make quick money should avoid momentum names. Second, timing the bottom of a correction or bear market is next to impossible. Guessing that $100 is the floor for Netflix, for example, is a dicey business; there really is no way to know what other investors are thinking in real time.
We are nearly a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, and the economic numbers continue to look quite good.  On Monday, we learned that U.S. retail sales during the holiday season are projected to be way up compared to 2016.  Yes, there are all sorts of economic red flags popping up all over the place, and I write about them regularly.  And without a doubt, 2017 has been one of the worst years for brick and mortar retail stores in a very long time.  But when something good happens we should acknowledge that too, and many are giving President Trump credit for the fact that retail sales are projected to be up 4.9 percent this holiday season compared to last year... Read More

Feb. 5, 2018 10:57 AM ET| Includes: BXUB, BXUC, CRF, DDM, DIA, DOG, DXD, EEH, EPS, EQL, FEX, FWDD, HUSV, IVV, IWL, IWM, JHML, JKD, OTPIX, PPLC, PPSC, PSQ, QID-OLD, QLD, QQEW, QQQ, QQQE, QQXT, RSP, RWL-OLD, RWM, RYARX, RYRSX, SBUS, SCAP, SCHX, SDOW, SDS, SFLA, SH, SMLL, SPDN, SPLX, SPUU, SPXE, SPXL, SPXN, SPXS, SPXT, SPXU-OLD, SPXV, SPY, SQQQ, SRTY, SSO, SYE, TALL, TNA, TQQQ, TWM, TZA, UDOW, UDPIX, UPRO, URTY, USA, USSD, USWD, UWM, VFINX, VOO, VTWO, VV, ZLRG
I suspect there’s a hidden agenda behind the announcement in The Wall Street Journal op-ed by former Hillary Clinton aide Mark Penn that the Ole Gray Mare is actually eyeing another run for the White House in 2020. No, it’s not just that she would like to be president, as she averred on video last week in a weak moment, or that she has decided late in life to go full Bolshevik policy-wise. It is to establish her in the public mind as a serious candidate so that when she is indicted a hue-and-cry will arise that the move is a purely political act of revenge by the wicked Trump. Read More

Revenue bonds: Principal and interest are secured by revenues derived from tolls, charges or rents from the facility built with the proceeds of the bond issue. Public projects financed by revenue bonds include toll roads, bridges, airports, water and sewage treatment facilities, hospitals and subsidized housing. Many of these bonds are issued by special authorities created for that particular purpose.[1]


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.


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.
Mr. Grant, a former Navy gunner’s mate, is a Phi Beta Kappa alumnus of Indiana University. He earned a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and began his career in journalism in 1972, at the Baltimore Sun. He joined the staff of Barron’s in 1975 where he originated the “Current Yield” column. He is a trustee of the New York Historical Society. He and his wife, Patricia Kavanagh M.D., live in Brooklyn. They are the parents of four grown children.
We now stand where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one less traveled by—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.

Tom Clancy's books have always been a favorite. I loved Jack Ryan, and I know he was a central figure in this novel as well. However, it appears I no longer have the patience to read until it becomes interesting for me to continue. Couldn't keep up with the characters, and although I hate to say this, I was just plain bored. A book is "good" for me if it is difficult to put down.

Municipal bonds have much higher interest rates compared to their FDIC-insured counterparts: CDs, savings accounts, money market accounts, and others. Over the last five years, the average interest rate return on municipal bonds has hovered around 4.5%,[16] while CDs of similar lengths have been at 1.5%.[17] Among other factors, this is a result of the longer, fixed return periods. Unlike stocks and other non-dated investments, municipal bonds have fixed rates and are far less liquid. As a general rule, municipal bonds with longer time to maturity have higher coupon rates.


The reason there are no prescription medications available today where the side effects aren’t worse than the ailment being treated is because Big Pharma will not treat or heal anything without creating several new issues that keep their “customers for life” coming back for more. Most Americans do not want to stop eating junk food, fast food, corporate franchise restaurant food, microwaveable food, prepared food bar “stuff,” and “diet” food that’s mostly chock full of synthetic sweeteners, GMOs and MSG. Read More
For me, this is the most important part of George’s new economics. The entrepreneur must know that if his product or service succeeds at the market, it won’t be regulated out of existence. And the profits will not be taxed away. If he doesn’t have that assurance, the likelihood of turning his idea into a product or service is greatly diminished. That results in less entrepreneurial creations, which means less knowledge and wealth in the economy.
Economic effects of the September 11 attacks (2001) Stock market downturn of 2002 Chinese stock bubble of 2007 United States bear market of 2007–09 Financial crisis of 2007–08 Dubai debt standstill European debt crisis 2010 Flash Crash 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami (Aftermath) August 2011 stock markets fall 2011 Bangladesh share market scam 2015–16 Chinese stock market turbulence 2015–16 stock market crash 2016 United Kingdom EU referendum (Aftermath) 2018 Cryptocurrency crash

There’s a paradox at the heart of global finance. The U.S. share of the world economy has drifted lower for decades, and now President Trump is retreating from the American chief executive’s traditional role as Leader of the Free World. Yet the U.S. dollar remains, as the saying goes, almighty. “American exceptionalism has never been this stark,” Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets and chief global strategist for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, said at a Council on Foreign Relations symposium on Sept. 24. Read More
I suspect it began with the top in Bitcon and the other 1300-1400 related pseudo currencies back in December. I did an interview in the first week of December where I said Bitcon was in a bubble. I believed it would do the same thing every other bubble in history did. It was going to crash and take all the money of most of the investors. The piece was posted on the 10 th of December. When I did the interview, Bitcon had been going virtually straight up for months and was about $16,858, a new high. Read More
Sorry this is all over the place, but there are multiple converging streams here. And as DHB constantly reminds us, there is absolutely no reason to believe that in an economy built on gambling, scamming, and computer automated profit skimming, ANYTHING is going to accrue bubble-type benefits to just you and me, anytime soon. Least of all your house.

I’ve been asked to comment on the most recent market decline. My initial reaction was, markets go up and they go down. America is a great country but the US Constitution doesn’t guarantee always-rising markets. I sat down and I wanted to write a reassuring message. I wanted to express my empathy. Somehow, I found that my reservoir of empathy was empty: After recent decline the market is still up twenty-something percent from the beginning of 2017.

Blind faith in the U.S. dollar is perhaps one of the most crippling disabilities economists have in gauging our economic future. Historically speaking, fiat currencies are essentially animals with very short lives, and world reserve currencies are even more prone to an early death. But, for some reason, the notion that the dollar is vulnerable at all to the same fate is deemed ridiculous by the mainstream.
2> Huge pressure on domestic jobs due to 20 years of offshoring (wage arbitration anyone?), outsourcing (many stateside with H1B/L1 Visa treason), out-of-control immigration policies, hostile tax policies et al. — A smart person would want to be mobile, to chase business/employment opportunities, no tied to a boat anchor/deflating asset aka a home.

But I want to add some good news for the market. Fortunately, there are big technical differences between now and 1929. The market does not show the extremes signs of internal weakness that it showed back then, or in 1937, 1973, 2000 or 2008 when other tops were made. So talk of a huge Crash I would not take seriously. Still, a 20% decline seems much more likely than not. Will it stop there if the computers that dominate the market start doing what they did in October 1987? I would not count on it. I would not want to bet that Wall Street has learned the lessons from that year. It has been too profitable for Wall Street to forget all those lessons.
There’s simply no single answer to the question: What causes a bear market? It might be monetary conditions, yield curve shifts, surpluses, a sector implosion, excess demand reverting or bad legislation impacting property rights. But it likely won’t be what it was last time. Two bear markets in a row rarely start with the same causes because most investors are always fighting the last war and are prepared for what took them down last time.
By the way, investors are keeping an eye on Washington’s relationship with other major economies, including Canada. Both the United States and Canada are yet to secure a deal that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Lest we forget, Trump did threaten to leave Canada out of the new NAFTA. He said that there was “no political necessity” to have Canada in the new NAFTA deal. This has been challenged by Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. Trumka categorically mentioned that NAFTA won’t work if Canada isn’t included and that the new deal structure remains too vague.
Variables may include; immigration reform that further “grows” our economy through assimilation of ever more people who can make each piece of the pie ever more expensive and buy up the overabundance of housing; and tax and policy structures that are favorable to population growth by making children less costly and even financially rewarding, increasing costs of pregnancy prevention, etc.
Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 13 bps this week to 2.48%, the high going back to March. German bund yields rose 12 bps to 0.42%. U.S. equities have been reveling in tax reform exuberance. Bonds not so much. With unemployment at an almost 17-year low 4.1%, bond investors have so far retained incredible faith in global central bankers and the disinflation thesis.
Confidence and complacency are more acute now than any time I’ve seen before. All expressions of overvaluation are at historical extremes. Despite this, most money managers remain in the market. The thesis is “if it’s going up, regardless of anything else, I want to be in it.” Perhaps the best indicator of complacency is the VIX which at its current level of 13 tells us that investors see no reason to protect their positions. Every minor decline is seen as a buying opportunity. The rationale is that the Fed would not allow anything worse than a 10% decline. If the stock market starts sinking between now and October 1st, I will be most interested to see if the Fed eliminates QE.
Interest rate rises remain a key reason for a bear market, though there is a greater danger when they are unexpected. In its analysis on U.S. bear markets since 1929, looking at 10 major bear markets since 1929, JP Morgan Asset Management offered three other potential causes for a bear market: recession, commodity spike and extreme valuations. Of these, recession and commodity prices are more influential than extreme valuations.
It was a "binary" stock market for 5 years, and as the monster rally went on, it became even more so as more and more equity sub-sectors and asset classes faded away, with "the market" powered by fewer and fewer large-cap growth stocks. Investors either won big investing in large-cap Tech and growth, or you went nowhere with value funds, emerging markets, and small and mid-cap investing styles.
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 ...…

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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
So many top professionals in the financial industry are sounding the alarm about a coming stock market crash right now.  And there certainly have been rumblings in 2018 – not too long ago we had a three day stretch that was called “the tech bloodbath”, and during that time Facebook had the worst day for a single company in stock market history.  But we haven’t seen the really big “crash” yet.  Many have been waiting for it to happen for several years, and some people out there are convinced that it is never going to come at all. Read More
Still, bear market rallies may seem as if they are a rising bull market, but until the market shows gains of 20% from the bear market low, it can't be considered a bull market. And, while bear markets occur during the contraction phase of the business cycle, bull markets typically happen when the business cycle is expanding (shown by several indicators, like lower inflation and increased employment, among others). 
A campaign featuring Smokey and the slogan "Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires" began in 1944. His later slogan, "Remember... Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" was created in 1947 and was associated with Smokey Bear for more than five decades.[6][7] In April 2001, the message was officially updated to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."[6] in response to a massive outbreak of wildfires in natural areas other than forests (such as grasslands), and to clarify that Smokey is promoting the prevention of unplanned outdoor fire versus prescribed fires.[8][4] According to the Ad Council, 80% of outdoor recreationists correctly identified Smokey Bear's image and 8 in 10 recognized the campaign PSAs.[9]
Misguided Tweet About PfizerAnother misguided tweet that came out today from the President had to do with drugs:Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other count ...…

We are nearly a year into Donald Trump’s presidency, and the economic numbers continue to look quite good.  On Monday, we learned that U.S. retail sales during the holiday season are projected to be way up compared to 2016.  Yes, there are all sorts of economic red flags popping up all over the place, and I write about them regularly.  And without a doubt, 2017 has been one of the worst years for brick and mortar retail stores in a very long time.  But when something good happens we should acknowledge that too, and many are giving President Trump credit for the fact that retail sales are projected to be up 4.9 percent this holiday season compared to last year... Read More
Now. According to Edward Jones, the last one began nearly eight years ago, twice the post-1900 average duration between bear markets. The last real correction in the S&P was in 2011, when a one-two punch of European debt fears and Congress' nearly shutting the government before cutting federal spending with unemployment still at 9 percent caused a 21.6 percent drop in the S&P between May and October. Depending on the index you use, that one may have even been a bear market: The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by "only" 19 percent.
However, as we explained last December, this is a low-ball estimate which "understates the potential losses" as it "does not include high-yield bonds, fixed-rate mortgages, and fixed-income derivatives", which would suggest that the real number is likely more than double the estimated when taking into account all duration products. As a reminder, Goldman calculated the entire duration universe at $40 trillion as of the summer of 2016, resulting in $2.4 trillion in losses for a 1% move. By now the number is far, far greater.
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