Dow Jones Industrial Average

Dow(n) Dooby Do, Dow(n) Dow(n)

What are we supposed to do with all the “Dow 15,000” hats now? Keep them handy for another trip on the “Index Round Numbers Express” or just put them up on eBay in the “curios and collectibles” section?  ConvergEx's Nick Colas suggests one way to think about the question is to deconstruct the Dow into its 30 components and see which stocks got us to these still-respectable YTD levels in the first place.  For example, Colas notes that just seven stocks – MMM, BA, JNJ, AXP, DIS, HD, and HPQ – make up more than half the gains for the Dow in 2013.  Most of these names have a distinctly cyclical flavor, of course. And while the Dow has its share of “Defensive” names, it pays to remember that the top 10 companies by weighting take up 54% of the Average.  And they need a decent economy to grow earnings...

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The 20th century could be categorized as THE century when communications took off and we started living in each other’s pockets. Lives had been ruined by war, trouble and strife. Wealth had been redistributed beyond belief. There were no longer just a few that were making the profits, but there were growing classes of people that wanted recognition.

For Stocks, "Headwinds Are Clear And Seem To Be Strengthening"

If stock markets really do their best to discount earnings six months ahead of time, then it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  ConvergEx's Nick Colas' monthly review of analysts’ revenue expectation for the Dow 30 companies finds that hopes for growth in the second half of 2013 continues to diminish.  The upcoming Q2 2013 results won’t be much to write home about either, with average top line growth versus last year of just 1.1% and (0.7% ex-financials), the lowest comps analysts have put in their models since they started posting expectations last year.  Back half expected sales growth is down to an average of 3.0 – 3.2%, where these estimates were over 5% just three months ago.  If you are hoping for 3-4% revenue growth – the kind that allows profit margins to expand – you’ll have to wait until 2014, at least according to Wall Street analysts. The bottom line is that this data provides a less-discussed reason for all the recent stock market volatility.

Second Best Day For Stocks Leaves Bonds And Bullion Bruised And Battered

Volatility is back - though the averge joe-sixpack would hardly know it as stocks see their second best day of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its widest weekly range in 2013 - 460 points low-to-high; even as it closes green. The Nikkei the same (with another ugly week). The USD saw its worst week in 19 months (as JPY carry unwinds hit) but the commodity complex was very dispersed. Oil prices surged 4.6% on the week (so no tax cut there then!) while Silver prices plunged 3%. US Treasury prices close down for the sixth week in a row (for the first time since May 2009). The ramp in the late day today - which held us nicely green on the week in stocks - was absolutely ignored by credit markets which ended the week notably wider.

How Big Institutional Money Distorts Housing Prices

The airwaves are full of stories of economic recovery. One trumpeted recently has been the rapid recovery in housing, at least as measured in prices. The problem is, a good portion of the rebound in house prices in many markets has less to do with renewed optimism, new jobs, and rising wages, and more to do with big money investors fueled by the ultra-cheap money policies of the Fed. It seems entirely wrong that the Fed bailed out big banks and made money excessively cheap for institutions, and that this is being used to price ordinary people out of the housing market.  Said another way, the Fed prints fake money out of thin air, and some companies use that same money to buy real things like houses and then rent them out to real people trying to live real lives. At the same time, we are also beginning to see the very same hedge funds that have re-inflated these prices slink out of the market now that the party is kicking into higher gear – all while new buyers are increasingly having to abandon prudence to buy into markets where the fundamentals simply aren't there to merit it. Didn't we just learn a few short years ago how this all ends?

Why Is The Smart Money Suddenly Getting Out Of Stocks And Real Estate?

Just three weeks ago we noted Apollo Group's Leon Black's comment that his firm was "selling everything not nailed down," and that he sees "the market is pricey... in our view, priced for perfection." It seems he is not alone in the 'buy-low-sell-high' crowd. If wonderful times are ahead for U.S. financial markets, then why is so much of the smart money heading for the exits?  Does it make sense for insiders to be getting out of stocks and real estate if prices are just going to continue to go up?

Lack Of Overnight Euphoria Follows Japan Yen Jawboning In Light Trading Session

A quiet day unfolding with just Chicago Fed permadove on the wires today at 1pm, following some early pre-Japan market fireworks in the USDJPY and the silver complex, where a cascade of USDJPY margin calls, sent silver to its lowest in years as someone got carted out feet first following a forced liquidation. This however did not stop the Friday ramp higher in the USDJPY from sending the Nikkei225, in a delayed response, to a level surpassing the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the first time in years. Quiet, however, may be just how the traders at 72 Cummings Point Road like it just in case they can hear the paddy wagons approach, following news that things between the government and SAC Capital are turning from bad to worse and that Stevie Cohen, responsible for up to 10-15% of daily NYSE volume, may be testifying before a grand jury soon. The news itself sent S&P futures briefly lower when it hit last night, showing just how influential the CT hedge fund is for overall market liquidity in a world in which the bulk of market "volume" is algos collecting liquidity rebates and churning liquid stocks back and forth to one another.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Overtakes Dow For First Time In 3 Years

Following an 80% rise off October 2012 lows, Japan's Nikkei 225 nominal price just exceeded that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the first time since May 6th 2010. Though the Dow is around 8% above its 2007 all-time highs, the Nikkei remains 16% below its 2007 highs (and over 60% below its 1989 all-time highs). While the Dow is pushing its P/E towards 15x, the Nikkei just passed 28x - quite a 'valuation' difference. JGB futures - though not halted yet - are plunging notably (with JGB yields up 3-4bps). The last time the Nikkei was here a USD bought 95 JPY, now it buys 103... and 10Y Japanese government bonds yielded 1.29% against today's 86bps (compared to 10Y Treasuries 3.5% then and 1.96% now) ... In those three years the Fed has expanded its balance sheet by just over $1 trillion and the BoJ by about $400 billion equivalent.

Frontrunning: May 17

  • Mine union threatens to bring South Africa to 'standstill' (Reuters)
  • Russia Raises Stakes in Syria (WSJ) - as reported here yesterday 
  • Japan buys into US shale gas boom (FT)
  • Bill Gates Retakes World’s Richest Title From Carlos Slim (BBG) - so he can afford a Tesla now?
  • China Wages Rose Sharply in 2012 (WSJ)
  • Regulators Target Exchanges As They Ready Record Fine (WSJ)
  • Citi Takes Some Traders Off Bloomberg Chat Tool (WSJ)
  • After Google, Amazon to be grilled on UK tax presence (Reuters)
  • Apple CEO Cook to Propose Tax Reform for Offshore Cash (BBG)
  • French, German politicians to pressure Google on tax (Reuters)
  • Gold Bears Revived as Rout Resumes After Coin Rush (BBG)
  • A stretched Samsung chases rival Apple's suppliers (Reuters)

Bank Of Japan Head:"No Bubble Here" As Nikkei Rises 45% In 2013

Take a good look at the chart of the Nikkei below. Supposedly this is the same chart that the new BOJ head, Haruhiko Kuroda, was looking at when he was responding to Japanese lawmakers during a session of the upper-house budget committee, where he flatly rejected an opposition-party member's argument that the recent rapid rise in the Tokyo stock market is out of line with Japan's real economy. "At this moment I do not think they are in a bubble," Kuroda said. And everyone believes him, just Because central bankers are so good at objectively observing how contained subrpime is big the asset bubbles their ruinous policies create.

18 Out Of 18

Just another "Tepper" Tuesday...

40 Years Of Dueling Devaluers

Japan's Nikkei 225 equity index is now within one day's new normal range of nominally crossing above the US Dow Jones Industrial Average for the first time since April 2010. The convergence of the two indices coincides with the rapid convergence of the two countries' trade-weighted  currencies that dislocated last in March 2009 (suggesting that indeed Abe has achieved his initial goal of devaluing back to the USD). The move off the November lows in the Japanese equity market is stupendous - as the chart below shows, it is a perfect exponential arc (linear on a log scale chart); leaving only the question - which index hits 40,000 first as they continue to devalue themselves to economic nirvana (or valhalla).