Ominous Signs from Jackson Hole?

With the Jackson Hole symposium set to begin tomorrow, let’s take a look at the technical state of the U.S. Treasury market. The question remains as to whether Ben Bernanke will begin Quantitative Easing Part 3, and perhaps the bond market can suggest an answer. (I’m focusing here on the Generic 30 Year Treasury yield,…

Dipping a Toe in the Water

Over the past couple of weeks, we have executed several portfolio transactions in line with our belief that the second half of the year may be a good one for stock investors. Most of the trades have been relative in nature; for example, we’ve swapped defensive U.S. sector holdings for late cyclical sectors. We also…

The Debt Elephant in the Living Room

Behind closed doors U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle acknowledge that something needs to be done about the future cost of entitlement programs  and our growing national debt. The secular bear market view holds that the U.S. will not be able to fix these issues politically and the problem will eventually be resolved…

What I Like Most About This Rally

Back in the second quarter our theme was “consolidation and continuation”, meaning we were looking for a market correction that would lead into a continuation of the bull market (See April 20, 2012 “Looking Ahead to Second Quarter”).   Well, the correction we were looking for clearly unfolded, taking the S&P 500 down about 10% between…

Leaving Style Boxes Behind

Recently I was interviewed by Money Magazine on the topic of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). I pointed out that ETFs are an excellent investment tool to implement a sector rotation strategy, and that sector rotation was completely different from the Morningstar Style-Box approach to equity selection. Morningstar is perhaps the best-known research firm specializing in…

A New Kind of Hedge

We continue to position portfolios at neutral levels of risk, believing that the substantial downside risks (Europe, the looming fiscal cliff, an economic slowdown, etc.) are balanced by the growing possibility that global central banks may soon inject more stimulus that could propel risk markets higher again — similar to what’s happened the past two…