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


The transportation sector is a reflection of the goods-based economy in the US. Demand has been blistering across all modes of transportation. Freight shipment volume (not pricing… we’ll get to pricing in a moment) by truck, rail, air, and barge, according to the Cass Freight Index  jumped 10.6% in July compared to a year earlier. This pushed the index, which is not seasonally adjusted, to its highest level for July since 2007.
Now the similarities are closely aligned in terms of banking policy.  Our Federal Reserve followed a more aggressive path than Japan in bailing out our large banks.  Yet all this did was make the too big to fail even bigger and exacerbated underlying issues in our economy.  Four full years into the crisis and we are still dealing with a massive amount of shadow inventory.  Remember the initial days when the talk was about working through the backlog of properties in a clean and efficient manner?  Whatever happened to that?  Banks operate through balance sheet accounting and it has made more sense to pretend the shadow inventory has somehow maintained peak prices while chasing other financial bubbles in other sectors.  Not a hard way to make money when you can borrow from the Fed for virtually zero percent.

Experienced market participants know that when all fear (or conversely, optimism) has been extinguished it is time to take a hard look at the contrarian view. In this report we will study the long term technical view of markets and set aside any assumptions about the future.  Technical analysis is both a science and an art, and applying appropriate measures of each, let's tune into the message of the markets with an open mind.
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
Goldman did mention that the nine-year bull run was mostly due to loose monetary policy and a spate of fiscal stimulus measures. However, September is a month when the Fed is widely anticipated to raise rates for the third time this year. That certainly doesn’t bode well for the economy. Lest we forget, an accommodative monetary policy helped the market recently complete the longest-ever bull run (read more: Wall Street's Longest Bull Run Shapes Winners & Losers).
ANSWER: The entire world has NEVER been on the gold standard simultaneously. Asia was on a silver standard while the West was on a gold standard. Above is the first coin struck in Hong Kong in 1866 which was the Hong Kong Dollar. The West struck Trade Dollars during the 19th century to pay for goods from Asia and they were silver – never gold. Here is an example of both the British and American trade dollars used in payments particularly with China. The Spanish 8 reals Americans called Pillar Dollars and slicing this up into pieces like a pie gave rise to the term for a Piece of Eight – 2 bits, 4 bits, 8 bits a dollar.  Read More
Other than the continual drama surrounding the Trump presidency, things have been quite calm for the past couple of years. We have been enjoying a time of peace, safety and relative economic prosperity that a lot of Americans have begun to take for granted. But great trouble has been brewing under the surface, and many are wondering if we are about to reach a major turning point. Our planet is being shaken physically, emotionally and financially, and it isn’t going to take much to push us over the edge. Read More
So…do your homework before making a move in the stock market. Many of the companies (like HAS, STZ, JNJ, AAPL, DIS…and many others) are perfectly priced. But, if you’re looking for growth (and have the stomach for some volatility)… NVDA, PAYC, AMZN, NFLX, SHOP are worth the gamble (although I’m personally waiting for some of those stocks to find a RSI bottom, from panic sellers or simply a pullback, before buying more). btw: After years of retail being oversold…M and KSS may be ready for a comeback (another two stocks on my current watch-list that I would have avoided five years ago.) This market can be a wonderful buying opportunity if you do your homework regarding a company’s fundamentals and wait for the RSI to reach oversold territory. (I usually watch for the start of the bounce back to be certain).
The corollary is that investors should bet on what they think will happen over the medium to long term, stripping out their inclination to guess what other investors will do this week or this month. If you think electric cars are going to take over the world, for example, it might well be smart to snag some Tesla while it's on sale, if you can afford to wait for the bounce back.
Regardless of their exact beginnings and ends, bear markets typically have four phases. In the first phase, prices and investor sentiment are high, but investors are beginning to take profits and exit the market. In the second phase, stock prices begin to fall quickly, trading activity and corporate earnings fall, and positive economic indicators are below average. Investor sentiment also gets more pessimistic and some investors panic. Market indices and many securities reach new trading lows, trading activity continues to decrease, and dividend yields reach historic highs. In the third phase, prices and trading volume increase somewhat as speculators enter the market. In the fourth and final phase, stock prices continue to fall, but they do so at a slower pace. As investors find prices low enough and as they react to good news or positive indicators, bear markets often eventually give way to bull markets.
In their latest report on commodity prices, French bank Natixis outlined why precious metals have a strong couple of years ahead of them as the U.S. economy slows. According to an article on Kitco, the report states that after a remarkable year, the dollar will finally begin to trend lower as the Fed puts the brakes on its tightening cycle. Read More
"The most remarkable flows are into bonds," said David Santschi, CEO of Trimtabs, which provided CNBC with the preliminary fund flow data, which also show strong flows into U.S. equity and international equity portfolios this month. "Bond funds are down in the past four months," he said. "The biggest mispricings in the world today are in bonds, not stocks."

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”—Thomas Paine, December 1776
Sep. 6, 2018 2:03 AM ET| Includes: BIBL, BXUB, BXUC, CHGX, CRF, DDM, DIA, DMRL, DOG, DUSA, DXD, EDOW, EEH, EPS, EQL, EQWS, ESGL, FEX, FWDD, GSEW, HUSV, IVV, IWL, IWM, JHML, JKD, OMFS, OTPIX, PMOM, PPLC, PSQ, QID-OLD, QLD, QQEW, QQQ, QQQE, QQXT, RSP, RVRS, RWM, RYARX, RYRSX, SCAP, SCHX, SDOW, SDS, SFLA, SH, SMLL, SPDN, SPLX, SPSM, SPUU, SPXE, SPXL, SPXN, SPXS, SPXT, SPXU-OLD, SPXV, SPY, SQQQ, SRTY, SSO, SYE, TNA, TQQQ, TWM, TZA, UDOW, UDPIX, UPRO, URTY, USA, USMC, USSD, USWD, UWM, VFINX, VOO, VTWO, VV, ZF
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
In today's low interest rate environment, equity is being retired by many companies through stock buybacks. Many mergers are still being done with debt...since it is less expensive than issuing stock. Also, I would argue that the value of a well run company with good finances and a rising dividend stream is far greater, per se, than it has been historically.
I’m in the inflation camp. I think it’s coming. I have thought this for a while. People have looked all over for it as if looking for a lost sock or a hairpin: Where did it go? Where is that thing? But I do believe that the central bankers who have been kind of begging for inflation will be surprised at the generosity of the inflation gods over what they will ultimately be handed.
Erik:     Now this massive, massive accumulation of debt in the United States – people like you and I can say this is crazy, the rate that it’s happening at – but, holy cow, look at China. I mean, they’re in a whole different category of rate of accumulation of national debt. It seems to me like they’re trying to almost race the United States to who can get more over-indebted faster.
Investing in stock drives the production of better goods and services, but currency isn’t a commodity which will depreciate due to the nature of its own decay. It’s not a service which could lose its public appeal in a few years. Intellectual property is a closer metaphor, but a dollar will still never hold intrinsic value, ironically, unless it is one day viewed as an antique. Read More
Trade wars are usually bad for all parties in the end but between the beginning and the end there can be some surprising developments. Human actions and delusions on the part of the public can produce strange results at times. All of our systems are based on trust. When that trust is lost, everything will come crashing down. Until then, things will go on. Read More
*** “Treasury officials said their decision to halt the issuance of the 30-year bonds was intended to save the government money,” writes Gretchen Mortgensen in the NY Times. “Traders scoffed at that explanation, viewing the move as an almost desperate attempt to push down long- term interest rates, and prod both corporate and individual borrowers to spend again.”

The 2000-02 bear market environment was similar. In short, a decent market bounce was overdue but it’s too early to write off the bears. Rough start not a bad omen Prior to last week’s bounce, there was much gnashing of teeth regarding how stocks had endured one of their worst starts to a year. Investors are still scarred by 2008, when early declines proved a foretaste of further bloodletting. But, an early-year bruising is not an inherently ominous affair, says an LPL Financial note. It found 19 cases where stocks endured heavy losses during the first six weeks of the year; on average, stocks returned 5.3 per cent over the remainder of the year, with positive returns ensuing in 58 per cent of occasions. In fact, 2008 is an exceptional case: over the last 40 years, it was the only time where a rough beginning to a year was followed by double-digit losses. There continues to be much chatter about 2016 being 2008 redux but a “sizable drop from here for the rest of the year”, says LPL, “would be extremely rare”.
2019 is shaping up to be the year in which all the policies that worked in the past will no longer work. As we all know, the Global Financial Meltdown / recession of 2008-09 was halted by the coordinated policies of the major central banks, which lowered interest rates to near-zero, bought trillions of dollars of bonds and iffy assets such as mortgage-backed securities, and issued unlimited lines of credit to insolvent banks, i.e. unlimited liquidity.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been intensely focused on what I believe to be a double cross in COMEX gold futures by JPMorgan of other trading entities, particularly other commercial participants. I would define the double cross as JPMorgan positioning itself so flawlessly so as to be nearly perfect in its execution, including the avoidance of any widespread knowledge of what has occurred. After all, a double cross always includes the element of surprise and this one promises to be a doozy. Read More
There’s no dispute that at least some, if not a great deal, of information in the anti-Trump “Steele dossier” was unverified or false. Former FBI director James Comey testified as much himself before a Senate committee in June 2017. Comey repeatedly referred to “salacious” and “unverified” material in the dossier, which turned out to be paid political opposition research against Donald Trump funded first by Republicans, then by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Lost in the largely meaningless political Kabuki theatre being staged on Capitol Hill is the fact that the economy is deteriorating. Real average weekly earnings in July declined for production and non-supervisory workers. It was down 0.01% from June to July and down 0.22% from July 2017. For all employees, real average hourly earnings declined 0.20% from June to July but was flat year over year. Read More


At 10 times revenues, to give you a 10-year payback, I have to pay you 100% of revenues for 10 straight years in dividends. That assumes I can get that by my shareholders. That assumes I have zero cost of goods sold, which is very hard for a computer company. That assumes zero expenses, which is really hard with 39,000 employees. That assumes I pay no taxes, which is very hard. And that assumes you pay no taxes on your dividends, which is kind of illegal. And that assumes with zero R&D for the next 10 years, I can maintain the current revenue run rate. Now, having done that, would any of you like to buy my stock at $64? Do you realize how ridiculous those basic assumptions are? You don’t need any transparency. You don’t need any footnotes. What were you thinking? Read More
With the massive net short position in both gold and silver Comex paper precious metals, offset by the historic net long position of the “commercials” (banks, mining companies, users, hedgers), numerous rumors are swirling around the precious metals market. For certain, the availability of physical gold bars in London that can be delivered to the large eastern hemisphere buyers who demand delivery is growing tight.  Apparently the retail silver coin/bar market is starting to feel supply strains. Read More
No, it is invariably the bears who are blamed for the post-bubble crises and are the main objects of anti- speculative legislation. Yet during the bubble periods it is the bears who are generally the lone voice of reason, warning people of the folly of investing in overpriced markets. In the aftermath of a bubble, they continue their forensic work of exposing unsound securities and bringing prices back in line with intrinsic values, a point which must be reached before the recovery can start.
It's true that Treasuries rallied last week, as yield-starved foreign investors poured into the market following the Fed's rate decision and equity markets tumbled on the Trump administration's tariffs targeting Chinese exports. But the most telling part of the action was the 10-year Treasury yields only managed to drop a measly three basis points on the week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 1400 points in its worst decline in more than two years.
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