"Sell in May and go away" worked very well if you chose Tuesdays to sell. Since the start of May, the Dow is down over 1.6% on Tuesdays (with only 2 days of better than negligible gains). What is really working is Buy Fridays... The Dow is up 11 Fridays in a row, gaining 2.4% (of the Dow's total 2.7% gain since then). It seems the "nothing can hurt us over the weekend" effect is alive and well...
Janet Yellen is a chatterbox of numbers, but most of them are “noise”. And that’s her term. Yet here is a profoundly important set of numbers that you haven’t heard boo about from Yellen and her mad money printers. To wit, during the “difficult” economic times since the financial crisis began gathering force in Q1 2008, the S&P 500 companies have distributed $3.8 trillion in stock buybacks and dividends out of just $4 trillion in cumulative net income. That’s right, 95 cents of every dollar they earned - including the huge gains from restructurings, downsizings and job terminations - was flushed right back into the Wall Street casino.
As a helpful hint for the Federal Reserve - who appear concerned about "financial instability" - we thought the following chart might suggest where to look for 'irrational' investors...
Monetary central planning at the zero bound embodies a destructive internal contradiction. It inherently generates rampant speculation in real estate and financial assets because ZIRP massively subsidizes the cost of carry. At the same time, its practitioners are institutionally disposed to bubble denial because they falsely believe that their policies are what is keeping the real economy advancing - even if currently it is at a sub-normal pace by historical standards. Without fail, therefore, monetary central planners keep their feet on the accelerator to the very end, boasting that the “in-coming data” shows the macro-economy approaching the nirvana of full-employment. What they are actually doing, however, is driving the financial system to unsustainable extremes of valuation and speculation - and eventually to a crash landing. We have had two of these processions of the lemmings - that is, Fed driven cycles of bubble inflation and bust - already in this century. Now we are at the asymptote of the third.
A few weeks ago, after Gartman got "scared" of the market and "got out of stocks" only to see a sharp reversal, Gartman turned "pleasantly bullish"... only to see stocks close the week red. Overnight, Gartman may have set the market direction once again with the following update: "We turned “pleasantly” bullish of shares several weeks ago when the S&P tested 1805-1810 and it has rushed higher since, although global shares have not followed the US higher with the same sense of urgency. Now, however, 1875-1885 has proven to be formidable resistance and our bullish enthusiasm has to be reduced once again." And sure enough, stocks surge. In HFT momentum chasing algo terms.
The market is 4% off its all time highs which means the time to pull IPOs due to "market conditions" has come. Here's why.
According to Goldman, the median company’s EV/sales ratio is now the highest in 35 years, surpassing even the dot com bubble.
Judging by the collapsing Greek yields, which at this rate may drop below US bonds soon enough, the Greek economy has never been stronger. Sadly, manipulated bond levels driven by yet another bout of pre-QE euphoria (suddenly the conventional wisdom is that the ECB will conduct QE in a few months as first explained here in November) no longer reflect anything besides a massive liquidity glut and momentum chasing lemmings. Alas, as usual the reality on the European ground is much worse. The latest example comes from the Greek Public Power Corporation which has reported that Greek households and corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their electricity bills. In total, debts to the power utility from unpaid bills currently amount to some €1.3 billion and growing at an average rate of €4 million per day. Also known as the Grecovery.
Hugh Hendry Capitulates: "Can't Look At Himself In The Mirror" As He Throws In The Towel, Turns BullishSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/22/2013 13:55 -0400
"I cannot look at myself in the mirror; everything I have believed in I have had to reject. This environment only makes sense through the prism of trends."
- Hugh Hendry
The "commodity king" author of the "world renowned" Gartman momentum chasing and perpetual contrarian fade newsletter, if not so much of an ETF under the same name anymore, does it again. From this morning.
Now with the S&P forging a massive reversal to the downside, we not only must abandon being bullish we must become bearish... and very so.... Our bearish friends, having been wrong for so long, are now right; it is time to be bearish of stocks, while the time for having been bullish is now past... We trust we are clear. The game’s changed and when the game changes, we change.... We had heretofore consistently erred bullishly of simple things… of coal; of steel; of railroads; of ships and shipping… but we are not now.
And... wrong again. Or said otherwise, short of subscribers in breaking even terms.
This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week. It is not geared to push an agenda. Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases.
When the momentum chasing public greatly rotates to the IPO-du-jour, it would appear that bad things happen in the market. The last two times Bloomberg's IPO index doubled the market's performance (in 2007 and again in 2011) it seems it marked a euphoric top. Of course, based on 1998/99's IPO performance there is plenty more room to run since this time is different. Nevertheless, the volume of coverage allotted to this IPO or that IPO (and not just Twitter) is awfully reminiscent of the go-go days of yore (and we all know how that ends) - though you'll never be the bag-holder again right?
The massive outperformance of the smallest and most trashy companies over the past year, month, week, day etc... stalled this afternoon. No news; no macro data; no change in the situation in DC. So what was it? We suspect the answer lies in the all-time record levels of margin that we recently discussed holding up the US equity market. Interactive Brokers, it would appear, have seen the light and over the next week or so will be increasing maintenance margin to 100% - effectively squeezing the leveraged momentum chasing muppets out of the market (or at the very least halving their risk-taking abilities).
Still paying your 2-and-20, despite Stanley Druckenmiller's surprise that you would, for someone to pick stocks for you? Perhaps a glance at the following 3 charts will awaken the animal investing spirits in some (or just a 'fold' from many). This is what happens when there is only one economic market-driving factor (cough Fed cough) and too many coat-tail-clinging hedge fund managers (and newsletter writers) chasing too few real alpha opportunities. The correlation between the S&P 500 and hedge fund returns has never been higher and is approaching 1, excess return (alpha) is near its all-time lows, and, sadly, there is an extremely high correlation between styles and tilts. All your hedge fund alpha are belong to Ben.
Curious how the US retail investor is reacting to the surprising inability to BTFATH? Bank of America explains how: by yanking the most cash from equity funds since November 2011.