For the second month in a row, the US payroll employment report has come in below expectations.
During the pandemic, Brussels, Belgium-based materials manufacturer Solvay provided hydrogen peroxide, hand sanitizer, face shields and financial assistance to families in distress.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Dometic makes accessories for mobile living, including in RVs, boats, campers and outdoor life.
Today the US employment report for April was released and it took the markets by surprise. Estimates were for net job gains of 1 million. Instead, the US economy added 218K private sector jobs. This compares to 708K private sector jobs in March.
10 year Treasury rates peaked at the end of March at 1.74% after having risen from low of just 0.56% back in the summer of 2020. Now, the rate stands at 1.57% even as economic data continues to come in smoking hot and policy remains incredibly accommodative.
This is our Q1 2021 slide presentation of our quarterly strategy report.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is a leading global luxury brands group.
Pronounced “D-N-A,” this Knowledge Leader was founded in 1999 by three Tokyo entrepreneurs seeking to establish an online auction site.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, BHP is the world’s No. 1 mining company.
Belgian holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert invests in European industry leaders with two key strategies in place.
Australian metals miner South32 is a 2015 BHP Billiton spinoff named to reflect the southern latitude where most of its assets are located.
Sweden’s Investor AB was founded in 1916 by the Wallenberg family with the aim of making long-term investments in high-quality global companies, a business philosophy it has maintained through booms, depressions, recessions, and global trends.
AngloAmerican was founded in 1917 by Ernest Oppenheimer, who moved from Germany to Johannesburg, South Africa, and secured financial backing from J.P. Morgan to start a gold mining business.
What a week for price data! We have been writing about the possibility of higher inflation for months now, most recently here. We have also highlighted the most likely assets to benefit from higher inflation like copper, oil and energy stocks.
To say the market is bubblelicious is a bit of an understatement given that retail “investment” in call options and penny stocks is quite literally off the charts, dwarfing numbers we saw in 1998-2000.
There are a few ways to measure productivity. One simple way to measure productivity at the company level is to calculate sales per employee. Higher sales for the same number of employees obviously means each employee is pulling more weight. Profits are a byproduct.
In this Q4 2020 slide presentation of our quarterly strategy report, we discuss: Bob Farrell’s Rules for Trading (#5 and #7 especially resonate with us right now). What the retail trading frenzy, recent IPOs and speculation can tell us...
We’re going to keep this post short and sweet because the charts speak for themselves. Today, preliminary Markit PMIs were released for January. Headline numbers ticked up, which is great and shows a continued expansion into the new year.
This week investors learned of president-elect Joe Biden’s initial bid for the next round of covid-19 relief. The number came in at $1.9tn. Importantly, included in this figure is mainly covid relief as opposed to a longer-term fiscal package that will be heavily weighted to infrastructure.
This week we were privy to both new inflation and initial unemployment claims data. The CPI data revealed a rather mundane inflation scenario. Meanwhile, the weekly initial claims number came in at a whopping 853K and missed estimates by the largest amount since June.
Inflation expectations as priced by the Treasury market are hitting 18 month highs just now. As the reader can see, inflation expectations across all treasury maturities are at cycle highs.
Since early August the “barbarous relic” has corrected some 9% while many other assets have ascended to all-time highs. This has no doubt caused a bit of consternation for holders of gold who have been using the metal not as a hedge, but as a capital appreciation vehicle unto itself.
As election results continue to trickle in suggesting Joe Biden will be the next president, there still remains a bit of uncertainty with respect the final electoral vote tally as well as any legal challenges that will emerge in the coming days.
In this presentation, we outline our argument for gold entering a new structural bull market.
In the last few weeks stock market sentiment as expressed in options has come full circle. Back in August we were noting a rather amazing level of outright speculation in stock options, mostly by small traders that were buying short-dated out of the money calls on the FAAMGs.
In recent weeks the market has been notably broader in terms of the upside participation from stocks other than FAANMGs. Typically, this type of action in the early stages of a business cycle would be strongly associated with the “value” style working, since “value” companies skew considerably smaller than “growth” companies in aggregate.
We’ve been writing for the last month about the risks, and then the corrective activity in the stock market. Even as the market didn’t peak until the first few days of September, it “feels” like this pause has lasted longer than that.
Franco-Nevada is the world’s largest gold royalty and streaming company. This means the firm invests in gold and mines, but indirectly, the idea being to provide investors with exposure to gold prices and gold exploration while limiting the risks of investing directly in mining companies.
Last week we put out a succinct mid-quarter update in which we highlighted 9 negative inputs into a tactical equity framework. This post builds upon that by calling out 7 rather conspicuous divergences that are developing in the financial markets.
The bank stocks are at it again as they make another new 52-week relative performance low compared to the broad market. It’s a perennial issue. Over the last year the KBW Bank Index, an index of 24 of the largest US banks, has underperformed the S&P 500 by 30%.
We believe the risks of an intermediate decline are higher than average and would advocate a more cautious stance toward equities right now.
When it comes down to it, there are a few key macro variables that are highly correlated with the relative performance of value vs growth – most of them measuring the reflationary impulse in the system in different ways.
Over the weekend the world learned of the Senate Republican’s “opening bid” for the next round of fiscal stimulus in the United States. That number came in at a nice, round $1tn. Now, as large as that number is, it still pales in comparison to the $3.5tn House bill that already passed.
Here we are in the dog days of summer, and the hot weather is not the only thing making us a little queasy. The darling stock market group since 2011, the Nasdaq 100 stock index, has soared a cool 20% this year and well into all-time high territory. Indeed, the height is making us queasy from vertigo.
With the US dollar index recently having completed a so called “death cross”, we thought it would be a good opportunity to review the investment implications of a potential trend change in the USD.
How does a Knowledge Leader handle a global pandemic? By adapting.
Regular readers of our content know that we have been building the case for several years now on why gold deserves a place in diversified portfolios.
As funding strains appeared in March, the USD surged. Then the Fed stepped in with massive foreign exchange swaps as a way to lend USD to foreign central banks, intended to ultimately be lent to borrowers in need of USD.
The returns of the 2009-2020 bull market were nothing short of extraordinary. From the 2009 low in the S&P 500 to the 2020 high, stocks gained a massive 488%, or nearly 18% on an annualized basis.
Even as the stock market chugs up the wall of worry, we were reminded today that the economic fundamentals remain mired in simply unprecedented territory.
Since the March 23, 2020 low, when the Federal Reserve announced basically unlimited liquidity via a variety of programs, corporate spreads have narrowed, and the stock market has risen substantially. In the chart below, I overlay US investment grade spreads over the S&P 500 Index.
As I write this note on a dreary Friday afternoon from Boulder, CO I am reminded of my town’s origin. Its first non-native settlers established the town 1858 as a base camp for gold and silver miners.
Given the surge in unemployment claims over the last month the US unemployment rate is expected to rise to 16% in April from just 4.4% in March. Shocking as that number is, we have no problem with that forecast.
We are beginning to see some important divergences develop between the stock market and other data that suggest we are not out of the woods yet.
While not 100% correlated, there tends to be a pretty good relationship between movements in the S&P 500 and credit spreads, both investment grade (IG) and high-yield (HY).
Energy companies are facing a life or death moment in 2020 with the price of WTI crude oil falling to $13.64/barrel as of this writing. Indeed the collapse in energy prices combined with poor fundamentals leading into the COVID crisis make most of the oil…
Back in the good ole’ days of mid-January, asset allocators could look to long-duration US government bonds as a refuge for stormy weather. Those days are no longer.
Despite the relief rally yesterday, financial conditions have tightened significantly in the last couple of weeks. This likely explains why the Fed just made an emergency 50bps cut to the fed funds rate.
Anyone reading this post already knows that palpable panic has set into equity markets over recent days. We present these charts to highlight the extreme nature of the selloff so far, and as a reminder of the rarity of these events. In times like this, it’s important to remind oneself that these kind of extremes are transient and often present, at the very least, unique tactical opportunities.
Watching while the largest equity market in the world falls by a whopping 8% in four trading days brings us back to the 2008-2009 meltdown period of the financial crisis. Normally an 8% drop in such a short time frame would present an interesting intermediate-term buying or rebalancing opportunity outside of a recessionary environment.