Results 1–50 of 94 found.
Wall Street Up 20% Since the Occupy Movement Began
The group calling themselves "Occupy Wall Street" is marking its one-year anniversary today with another round of protests in downtown Manhattan. So how has Wall Street done since Occupy Wall Street began one year ago? As shown below, the S&P 500 is up 20%, while the S&P 500 Financial sector is up 25%.
High Yield Spreads At Lows For the Year
Investors in equities will often look to the high yield credit markets for signs of confirmation or divergence from the prevailing trend in equities. Typically, spreads (yield on junk bonds relative to treasuries) move in the opposite direction as equities, so when the equity market is rallying, spreads decline (investors perceive less risk in holding lower quality debt). Conversely, when equities fall, spreads rise (investors perceive more risk in holding lower quality debt).
Wall Street Strategists Bearish for Remainder of the Year
Here we show an updated snapshot of where the various Wall Street strategists think the S&P 500 will end the year. Each week, Bloomberg surveys these strategists for their year-end S&P price targets. At the start of the year, the average year-end price target was 1,343.92. This would have corresponded to a 2012 gain of 6.86%. At its current level, the S&P 500 is up nearly double that at 12.4% year to date. So where do strategists as a whole currently think the S&P 500 will end the year?
Drudge Headline Indicator Surges to New High Then Pulls Back
The Drudge Report, with its 30,000,000 page views per day, is probably the most widely followed news source on the web. The Drudge Report is not a financial news site, however, so when a financial news story grabs the Drudge headline, it means that the story has crossed over from just a financial news story to a mainstream news story.
Obama Remains Strong on Intrade; GOP Strong in Congress
Four months from today, citizens across the country will hit the ballot boxes to cast their votes in this year's Presidential election. Over at prediction market website, Intrade.com, President Obama continues to hold a near 20-point lead over Mitt Romney in his re-election bid. Obama's odds of winning currently stand at 58.4%, while Romney's odds are below 40 at 39.7%.
GOP VP Poll Results - Thumbs Up for Rubio, Thumbs Down for Pawlenty/Portman
Yesterday we ran two polls regarding Mitt Romney's VP pick to get a gauge on the topic from the investment community. In the first poll, we asked, "Who will Mitt Romney pick as his VP running mate?" As shown below, Marco Rubio got the highest percentage of votes at 28%, followed by Rob Portman at 18%, Tim Pawlenty at 15% and Condi Rice at 12%.Next we asked, "Who should Mitt Romney pick as his VP running mate if he wants to win?"
Odds for Greece and the Health Care Law
Below is an updated look at Intrade.com contracts for two of the biggest news stories going on this month -- the Supreme Court's health care law decision and the euro crisis. The first chart below shows the Intrade.com odds for the individual mandate of the health care law to be ruled unconstitutional by the end of 2012. This is essentially a bet that the mandate gets overturned when the Supreme Court announces its decision on the case later this month.
Companies with WORSE Valuations Than Facebook (FB)
We've read quite a few articles showing how far down Facebook (FB) would have to trade to have a valuation that's similar to big blue chip tech names like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT). This kind of analysis is done to show that Facebook shares are overvalued. But the analysis can go the other way as well. There are 34 stocks in the Russell 1,000 that have a higher forward P/E (next 4 quarters) than Facebook (FB) right now, and quite a few of them are stocks that are loved by some of the same investors that are likely dumping on Facebook.
S&P 500 vs. Obama Re-Election Odds
Last year when the market tanked, Obama's odds tanked as well. Then they picked back up again nicely as the market rallied during the first quarter of this year. Since the start of the second quarter, however, the President's odds of winning have started to tick lower once again, just as the market has dropped. Continued market weakness would surely hurt the President's re-election chances, which makes us think he'll do as much as he can (which may not be enough) to keep things from falling apart before November.
Intrade.com Odds for the Affordable Care Act's Individual Mandate
The Supreme Court debate on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act ended today. The debate over the past three days has caused plenty of drama in DC, as everyone tries to decipher what the nine Justices will ultimately decide. At least over at the prediction market website, Intrade.com, the odds are showing that the individual mandate may be in trouble. As shown below, the odds on the Intrade contract for the individual mandate to be ruled unconstitutional (by the end of 2012) spiked from 35% before the debate started up to 65% as of this afternoon.
No Shortage of Oil Yet
The price of oil has been on a tear this year, and the commodity recently surged past $100 per barrel on concerns that geo-political tensions in the Middle East will disrupt supplies. How the tensions will resolve themselves is anybody's guess, but one consolation as the tensions escalate is that oil supplies are way above average. The chart below compares the current weekly supplies of crude oil and compares them to the historical average going back to 1984 and over the last 10 years. Whether you look at the last 25 years or just the last ten, the current oil stockpiles are above average.
Oil Prices vs Energy Stocks
Earlier this week we highlighted the growing divergence between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Dow Transports. While it is a negative divergence on a technical basis, given the breakout in the price of oil in recent days, it is understandable that the Transports would be underperforming. While Transports are big consumers of oil and see a negative impact from higher energy prices, energy producers who sell the energy should see a positive impact, and that is what we have been seeing...to a degree.
Obama Re-Election Odds Versus the Stock Market
Obama's odds to win re-election onIntrade.comhave been steadily rising since hitting their lows in the mid-40s last September. Last week alone, the odds rose from 54% to 56.6%. We've overlaid the historical Intrade.com odds for Obama to win re-election on a chart of the S&P 500 going back to 2010. As shown, the lows in Obama's re-election odds came at the exact same time that the stock market made its low last year. Rest assured that the Obama team is watching the stock market just as closely as any poll out there as the 2012 election looms.
Obama and The Market: The First Three Years
While his critics argue that Obama is one of the most anti-business Presidents in US history, a look at the equity market's performance since Obama was inaugurated shows a different picture. The chart below shows the performance of the DJIA during the first three years of each US President since 1900. As of last Friday, the DJIA has now risen 60% under President Obama, making him one of only five Presidents to see the Dow gain 50% or more in their first three years in office! After last Friday's rally, Obama moved narrowly ahead of Clinton.
Intrade Recession Odds Plummet
The stock market has stabilized over the past few weeks here in the US. This has coincided with a belief that things might not be as bad as expected here in the US on the economic front. One way to highlight sentiment towards the US economy is through Intrade's contract for whether or not the US will go into a recession in 2012. As shown below, the odds have plummeted recently down to just 25.1%, which is the lowest level seen since mid-2011 before Europe really went haywire.
2011 In A Nutshell
We ran our decile analysis on the S&P 500 to see which stock characteristics impacted performance the most in 2011. Based on our analysis, it was dividend yield that mattered the most. The three deciles of stocks with the highest dividend yields are the only ones that averaged gains in 2011.The stocks in the seven remaining deciles all averaged declines, with the three lowest yielding deciles seeing the biggest losses. If you had a conservative portfolio of high yielders, chances are you outperformed significantly. If you had an aggressive growth portfolio, chances are you underperformed.
Intrade Contracts for a Recession and the Health Care Law
We've been highlighting the Intrade contracts for the 2012 elections quite a bit recently, but below are two other contracts that readers may find interesting. The first chart shown is of the Intrade contract for whether or not the US will go into a recession in 2012. For the contract to pay out, US real GDP would need to be negative for two consecutive quarters. As shown, the odds of a recession in 2012 are currently at 38.2% This is down from a high near 50% that was reached in early October. Since then, economic indicator data in the US has gotten much better.
Asset Class Correlations
The charts below highlight the rolling six month correlations for the S&P 500 relative to oil, US Treasuries, and gold. There has been much discussion recently regarding the extreme correlations within global financial markets. In fact, the correlation between the S&P 500 and US Treasuries was recently at a record inverse extreme.In recent weeks, however, the extreme correlations between the S&P 500 and all three asset classes has eased somewhat, with the inverse correlation between the S&P 500 and gold moderating substantially.
Cain vs. Romney
Herman Cain has definitely surged inthe polls, and he has taken the lead in many of them. As shown below,however,people are still putting their money on Romney to win the GOP nomination for President. Over atIntrade.com, the contract for Romney to win the GOP nomination puts the odds at 69.5%, while the contract for Cain puts his odds at only 6.3%. At its peak, Cain's Intrade odds to win were just over 10%, and they havepulled backover the past few weeks. Romney's odds to win keep on creeping higher.
Year-End S&P 500 Price Targets
Here is a table highlighting the year-end 2011 S&P 500 price targets of major Wall Street strategists from Bloomberg's weekly survey. We also provide where the targets stood at the start of the year when the slate was clean. As shown, the average year-end price target is 1,383, which would be a gain of 16.2% from current levels. Five firms have increased their targets while two have lowered them. The increases were done earlier in the year when the market was still in positive territory. It will be interesting to see how much these drop now that the market has turned decidedly negative.
Would a Stock Market Decline Be a Good Thing For President Obama?
We have repeatedly noted in the past how even though many consider him to be a tough critic of Wall Street, President Obama has presided over one of the strongest stock market rallies in history.In fact, the only other President who saw better returns in his first two years in office was FDR.In spite of the strong stock market returns, President Obama has received little credit. Back in June wenotedthat even though he has one of the lowest approval ratings at this point in his Presidency, no US President has seen better stock market returns at this point in his Presidency.
The Drudge Headline Indicator
The Drudge Report is not a financial news site, so whenever a financial news story grabs the Drudge headline, it means that the story has crossed over from just a financial news story to a mainstream news story. And when a financial news story crosses over into the mainstream media, it means that those that don't follow the market on a regular basis are suddenly following the market. This nearly all of the time occurs when the market (or economy, etc.) is going down and not up.
A Tough Month for One Party
After the Republican Party took control of the House following the 2010 elections, the Democratic Party staged somewhat of a rebound in the polls. Over the past five months on the prediction market website Intrade.com, the odds for the Democrats to control the House and Senate after the 2012 elections steadily increased. The odds for President Obama to win re-election also trended higher. For whatever reason, however, the GOP has surged back in June. Below are historical charts of the Intrade.com contracts for the GOP to control the House, Senate, and White House following the 2012 elections.
Second Quarter Earnings Growth Expectations
The first chart below shows how expectations for Q2 S&P 500 earnings growth have changed over the past four months. From the end of February through the end of April, growth expectations rose from 10.7% to 14.1%. Since the end of April, however, earnings growth expectations have drifted lower and the consensus estimate currently stands at 13.3%. The peak in the Q2 earnings growth estimate coincides with the peak in the S&P 500 this year. Has the market dropped because of the drop in growth estimates, or have analysts lowered their estimates because of the market drop? We think the latter.
Ratio of Earnings Yield to Long-Term Interest Rates
The "Fed Model" is a valuation model used to gauge the relative valuation between stocks and bonds. While there are several variations, in its basic form the Fed Model compares the earnings yield on the S&P 500 (inverse of P/E ratio) and the yield on long-term interest rates (10-year Treasury yield). When the yield on the 10-year Treasury exceeds the earnings yield of the S&P 500, stocks are considered to be overvalued relative to treasuries, and vice versa when the earnings yield exceeds the yield on the 10-year Treasury. So what is the Fed Model saying now? Equities are undervalued.
Strategist Year-End S&P 500 Price Targets
Below we highlight the most recent year-end S&P 500 price targets.Just two strategists currently have year-end targets below the actual level of the S&P 500 at the moment.Morgan Stanley is looking for a year-end S&P 500 level of 1,238, while Credit Suisse is looking for 1,275.On the bullish side, Deutsche Bank remains above any other firm with its price target of 1,550.Also, a chart of the S&P 500 along with the averageyear-end strategist price target as the year has gone on.While the market has reallytaken a downturn in recent weeks,strategists have yet to lower their targets.
Presidential Approval Ratings: How Obama Stacks Up
Following last week's uptick in the unemployment rate, we have heard multiple references to the fact that no US President since WWII has ever been re-elected with the unemployment rate above 7.2%. Not surprisingly, with the jobless rate now at 9.1%, President Obama's approval rating currently stands at a rather tepid 47%.
Is the Slow Economic Data Due to Japan or Something Deeper?
We have been discussing the slowdown in economic data on both an absolute basis and relative to expectations. Within the investment community there is a debate over whether the slowdown is a temporary effect from the massive earthquake in Japan back in March, or part of a broader global economic slowdown. Ultimately only time will settle this debate, but a look at two widely watched economic indicators and how they reacted following the January 1995 Kobe earthquake shows that the recent slowdown is more likely a result of the earthquake in Japan, and therefore temporary in nature.
Prediction Market Contracts on the Debt Ceiling and 2012 Elections
Everyone is following the debt ceiling story at the moment, and you can bet on whether and when Congress will approve its increase over at Intrade. While investors recognize the seriousness of the issue, Congressmen are unfortunately treating it as a political game. As we saw when Congress failed to pass TARP I, the market doesn't like political gameplay. At the moment, Intrade traders are putting the odds of a debt ceiling increase by the end of July at just 27%. Odds for an increase by the end of August are at 67%, and odds for an increase by the end of September are at 75%.
Best First Day IPO Returns: Current Bull Market
As of now, shares of LinkedIn (LNKD) are up 171% from their offering price, making it the best performing IPO on its first day of trading in the current bull market. The stock is moving around like crazy, but if it manages to close above $117.56, LNKD will maintain its spot on top of the list.
Is The Drop in Oil Good For Stocks?
During yesterday's drop in oil and other commodities, we heard several commentators say they were puzzled over why stocks were down as commodities were plunging. While their argument seemed to be based on the assumption that lower commodity prices will benefit the consumer, have they been paying any attention at all to the markets in the last two years? Although lower commodity and energy prices will increase the amount of money that consumers have to spend on other things, the reality is that oil and stock prices have been positively correlated for some time now.
More Than 14% of Americans on Food Stamps
As if we needed another reminder of the depressed level of the US economy, a recent WSJ article noted that one out of every seven Americans are on food stamps. Breaking out the numbers by state shows some wide divergences. Mississippi, has the highest percentage of its residents on food stamps at 20.6%. The only other state where one in five residents are on food stamps is Oregon. On the low end of the spectrum, Wyoming has the smallest proportion of its residents on food stamps, 6.6%, and believe it or not there are only seven other states where less than one in ten people are on food stamps.
Global Demographic Trends: 1950 - 2050
The OECD recently issued its annual Society at a Glance report which highlights and compares trends in income, age, and other vital statistics across countries. One interesting aspect of the report highlights trends in the age of the global population. In the charts below we compare the percentage of the entire OECD population above the age of 65, as well as in BRIC and G7 countries. As shown in the top chart, 14.61% of the population within all OECD countries is currently above the age of 65 years old. Between now and 2050, this percentage of the population will increase to 25.66%.
Valuation Changes During the Current Bull Market
There is always a lot of attention paid to the price changes that sectors have experienced during the current bull market, but there's not much focus on the changes in their valuations. Below we take a look at both using a scatter chart that shows the percentage change in both price and P/E ratio since March 9th, 2009. As the price of the sector rises, earnings need to rise just as much or else the P/E ratio will increase. It's common for P/E ratios to expand during bull markets, but a sector becomes more attractive if it can keep its valuation down as its price increases.
The 10-Year Earnings Picture
Here at Bespoke, we have a huge database that has every US earnings report going back to 2001. For each earnings report, we have how earnings and revenues came in versus expectations, any guidance that was issued, and in-depth price action analysis. From our database, we're able to combine all of the earnings information for individual stocks to come up with macro earnings trends as well. Since 2001, there have been more than 64,000 quarterly earnings reports. Of those 63% of companies have beaten consensus analyst earnings per share estimates, while 25% have missed earnings estimates.
Unemployment Rates By State
While traders are already eagerly awaiting this Friday's employment report, we thought we would tide you over with a look at recently released levels of unemployment by state from the Department of Labor. The states with the lowest unemployment rates are North Dakota (3.7%), Nebraska (4.3%), and South Dakota (4.8%). While some will attribute the low unemployment rates in these states to the boom in agriculture, the reality is that these states have routinely had among the lowest unemployment rates in the country throughout history.
Bill Miller vs The S&P 500
Even though "the streak" of beating the S&P 500 for fifteen consecutive years ended in 2005, Bill Miller still commands the respect and attention of investors all over the world. Although Miller had some rough years during the financial crisis, ever since the S&P 500 bottomed in March 2009, his Legg Mason Value Trust Fund (LMVTX) has outperformed the S&P 500. Since March 9th, 2009 Miller's fund is up 115% through yesterday, while the S&P 500 is up 91.2%.
Asset Correlations to S&P 500
While oil and stocks are positively correlated, stocks and bonds have an inverse correlation. In fact, the two asset classes haven't been this inversely correlated in at least ten years. Finally, with respect to the dollar, there is little correlation with the S&P500. The current lack of correlation between the dollar and equity prices stands in stark contrast to the credit crisis and the bull market, when the two had an extreme negative correlation. Today, equities are being driven by more than just the dollar, indicating an environment driven by fundamentals and not just asset flows.
Uranimum/Nuclear ETF Holdings
Market Vectors has an ETF (NLR)that tracks the main uranium/nuclear stocks around the world.The ETF is down 16%. Theholdings in NLRcome from France, Canada, Japan, Australia, and the US. Below we highlight these holdings, and we includeeach stock's country of origin, weighting in the ETF, and performance overthe last week. The uranimumexploration and mining companies have been the ones gettinghit the hardest. Uranium Resources here inthe US is down the most of all the ETF's holdings at -42%. Canada's Hathor Exploration is down the second most, followed closely by Uranium One.
Japan Default Risk
This piece examines 5-year credit default swap prices for Japanese sovereign debt. As shown, there has been a small increase in default risk in the days since the earthquake and tsunami hit, but default risk is still below levels it was at in May 2010 and February 2009. At the moment, it costs $95 per year to insure $10,000 worth of Japanese sovereign debt for five years. Japan remains at the low end of default risk compared to other countries around the globe. With the resilient country fighting to get back on track, investors don't appear to be worried about Japans financial problems.
2011 Year-End Price Targets
Each week, Bloomberg surveys the head equity strategists at the major Wall Street firms for their year-end S&P 500 price targets. At the start of 2011, the average S&P 500 year-end price target for these strategists was 1,371. This would have resulted in a gain of 9.02%. Since the start of the year, five strategists have increased their year-end targets, Goldman Sachs , Barclays, Bank of Montreal, HSBC and UBS. These increases put the average year-end price target at 1,401, which would result in a gain of 11.40%. With a YTD gain of more than 5% already, the S&P 500 is nearly halfway there
US and State Default Risk
The US stock market has been on a tear lately, but default risk for the country has remained stubbornly high. Granted, default risk for the US is very low compared to most countries, but it is currently near 1-year highs. Below is a chart highlighting US default risk using 5-year CDS (credit default swaps) price in Euros. While risk is nowhere near as high as it got during the financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009, it is more than 100% higher than where it was in late 2009.
Odds for the 2012 Elections, Health Care Repeal, and an NFL Lockout
The current Intrade odds for the Democratic Party to maintain the Presidency in 2012 stand at 62.5%. The contract for Republicans to control the Senate after 2012 last traded at 69 (or 69% odds). The odds are 50/50 for which party will control the House after the next set of elections. Odds are at 12% for the Supreme Court to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional by October 31st, 2011.
A Near Perfect Pair: The Markets and Obama
President Obama has quietly maintained his position as one of the equity market?s most well loved Presidents. As the data show, the 47.6% gain in the DJIA since he took office ranks as the third best first two years for any President since the start of the 21st Century (FDR 90.5% and Coolidge 52.6%). Whether or not you give the President credit for the market?s performance will undoubtedly depend on your political views, but strictly at face value, the numbers don?t lie.
Not As bad As You Might Think: State Revenues Q3 2010
We found that compared to Q3 of 2009, 42 of the 50 states saw revenue increases in the third quarter while only eight saw declines. On the positive side, nine states saw their revenues increase by more than 10%, with Alabama leading the way. Looking at the list of states with declines, the more notable aspect of that list may be the notable names that are absent. California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York are generally considered to be the states that have the worst finances, but of those four only New Jersey saw a decline in revenues during the quarter.
Bullish Sentiment Sees Largest Drop in Nearly Two Years
Large swings in bullish sentiment once again highlight the 'drive by' mentality and lack of conviction that investors have in the current market environment. When the headlines are positive, they get bullish, but the slightest hint of any negative news sends investors scurrying for cover.
What Lack of Innovation?
In a recent address at the home of Google executive Marissa Meyer, President Obama implied that there has been a lack of innovation in the American economy in recent years. As Bespoke illustrates in a chart provided, however, the number of U.S. patent applications granted has increased steadily each year since 2000, with the exception of 2005. In fact, many have argued that it has never been cheaper for someone with an idea to spread and develop it.
Results 1–50 of 94 found.