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Oct 06 2023

Feeble Bull Or Hibernating Bear?

  • Oct 6, 2023

At last October’s lows, we had yet to see any manner of economic, monetary, and valuation “reset” that would clear the path for a resilient cyclical bull. And, in the 51 weeks since that bottom, U.S. economic, monetary, and valuation conditions have only deteriorated further.

Oct 06 2023

Pause, Or Paws?

  • Oct 6, 2023

The one-year anniversary of the 2022 bear-market low occurs on October 12th, yet—after all this time—we’re not confident enough to declare it as the bull’s first birthday.

We’re interested to see whether or not CBNC breaks out new baseball caps for the occasion, as they did in the late 1990s for “Dow 10,000.”

Sep 08 2023

New Policies, Old Outcome

  • Sep 8, 2023

At long last, we’ve exited an investment world that was defined for more than a decade by zero interest rates and Quantitative Easing. Or so we thought.

May 04 2023

Active/Passive: Data Refresh Through Q1-2023

  • May 4, 2023

The performance derby between actively managed portfolios and passively managed index funds is a fascinating and important topic in the investment community at large. This note provides a brief update our previous studies through the first quarter of 2023.

Apr 13 2023

Checking In On The Rally At The Six-Month Point

  • Apr 13, 2023

Yesterday was the six-month anniversary of the bear market low of 3,577.03 in the S&P 500. We think it’s unlikely the moderate upswing since then represents a new cyclical bull market. However, with the evidence still weighing in at Neutral, we’re not betting the farm on that opinion.

Nov 05 2022

VLT: A Double-Sworded Edge

  • Nov 5, 2022

“Oversold” usually has a positive connotation in financial jargon, yet history’s worst air-pockets have almost always occurred when the stock market was deeply oversold. More time is needed before a “low-risk” entry point for the S&P 500 will be triggered from the VLT’s currently “oversold” status.

Jun 07 2022

Your “Free Lunch” Comes With A Tab

  • Jun 7, 2022

The market impact from money printing has been underwhelming when adjusted for the inflation it’s unleashed. Measured from the peaks associated with the first attempt at Quantitative Tightening, in inflation-adjusted terms, Small Caps, EAFE, and Emerging Markets all have losses.   

Aug 05 2021

Digging Out Of The Red

  • Aug 5, 2021

An unprecedented number of companies are still deep in the red, even while the economy is shrugging off the impact of the pandemic. Small-cap growth companies are showing no sign of a quick recovery.

Jun 04 2021

After The SPAC: De-SPAC Performance

  • Jun 4, 2021

The ultimate measure of a SPAC sponsor’s success is stock performance post merger: De-SPAC results. We analyze historical returns of De-SPACs that had initial market caps greater than $200 million.

Apr 30 2021

A COVID Weight-Loss Program For The 4% Club

  • Apr 30, 2021

While we’re still squeezing into our pants and fretting over our newest chin, the S&P 500’s three-largest firms have been shedding their COVID-weight gain at a measured pace for months. Whereas most people drop the pounds through vigorous activity, these firms have managed to slim down just by standing still.


Mar 12 2021

Stocks And Yields Revisited

  • Mar 12, 2021

The S&P 500 and 10-Year Treasury bond yield could accomplish something fairly rare today by closing at “joint” 52-week highs. The relevant levels to meet or exceed are 3934.83 on the S&P 500 and 1.49% on the bond yield.

Feb 05 2021

How It Bodes For Biden

  • Feb 5, 2021

Early evidence suggests the Biden administration and the newly “purple” Senate will resist the pull of the far-left, at least from an economic perspective. Stock investors are cheering... though in light of their current euphoria, they might as well have celebrated a write-in victory for Ralph Nader alongside Green Party control of the Senate.

Jan 08 2021

Bridesmaid Track Record

  • Jan 8, 2021

With last year’s Bridesmaid (REITs) having laid an egg, the long-term “alpha” of the Bridesmaid portfolio narrowed to +3.7% from a bit over +5% (annualized) when we first published this study more than a decade ago.

Jan 07 2021

The Relationship Between ETF Fund Flow & Future Returns

  • Jan 7, 2021

In April 2018, armed with a large number of ETFs and long-enough historical data, we applied our back-testing methodology for individual stocks to the universe of ETFs to determine if the same (or some) of those components could useful for assessing ETF performance prospects. One of the factors we reviewed was fund flow (adjusted by AUM), which revealed that those ETFs experiencing the largest asset inflows proceeded to significantly underperform.

Nov 05 2020

SPACs: More Analysis Of Past Deals

  • Nov 5, 2020

Last month, we briefly discussed a burgeoning investment vehicle—Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), also known as “blank-check companies.” Since the sole purpose of a blank-check company is to find an operating business to merge with, and subsequently bring it public, the best method to gain some understanding about the outcome of these relationships is to look at past deals.

Aug 06 2020

After The “Thrust”…

  • Aug 6, 2020

We’re concerned that cyclical groups, which normally catch fire after a breadth thrust, are tracking along the bottom (or below) the previous worst-case outcomes following identical breadth-thrust signals.

Jul 08 2020

Should You Trust The Thrust?

  • Jul 8, 2020

There are two concerns with the latest bullish thrust signal, with one, in part, causing the other. First, the S&P 500 return preceding the MBI thrust signal was +42.8%, almost triple the average slippage of +15% associated with all prior signals.

May 26 2020

The Active Goose, The Passive Gander

  • May 26, 2020

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before:

        (A)  80% of active funds underperformed their index over the past 10 years.

Now, keep your hand up if you have also heard this:

        (C)  Therefore, investors should buy passive index funds.

May 07 2020

Utilities Sector: What’s Driving YTD Performance?

  • May 7, 2020

We review the somewhat out-of-character performance of the Utilities sector to try to pinpoint what is influencing results. This article touches on several potential drivers for the sector’s relative strength.

Feb 20 2020

Factor Failure: Don’t Blame FANMAG

  • Feb 20, 2020

Our recent commentary “1” For The Record Books noted that just one of seven S&P smart beta factors was able to outperform the S&P 500 last year, even though each style basket limits its holdings to constituents of the parent index.

Feb 13 2020

The Easy Fed and the “Other” Inequality

  • Feb 13, 2020

Super-easy monetary policy has been blamed for the rise in income and wealth inequality in recent years, and more recently we’d fault the Fed for performance inequality within the stock market.


Nov 20 2019

Taking A Punt On U.K. Stocks?

  • Nov 20, 2019

The June 2016 Brexit referendum kicked off a tortured process for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. However, the wheels of international politics turn slowly, and the original date of formal withdrawal was set as March 29, 2019. As the calendar rolled into 2019 it became obvious that the March closing date was not going to be met, and concerns mounted over delays, procedures, deal-or-no-deal, a new prime minister, and even calls for another vote.

Sep 07 2019

Worrisome Profitability Trend Among Small Cap Companies

  • Sep 7, 2019

Despite a historic economic expansion during the past decade, there is an ever-increasing number of companies that are finding profitability has become harder to achieve.

Mar 07 2019

Sector Concentration And Effects On Country Performance

  • Mar 7, 2019

Is the performance of certain countries mainly driven by particular sectors? And, does U.S. sector performance drive the performance of other countries? (i.e., when U.S. Financials underperform, do foreign countries with large Financials sector weights underperform?). We did some data crunching to address the second question.

Jan 08 2019

“De-Worsification” Ruled In 2018!

  • Jan 8, 2019

The market difficulties of 2018 were hardly limited to stocks. Commodities, in fact, were the worst performer among the seven major asset classes.

Dec 28 2018

3% Yields Proved To Be High Enough

  • Dec 28, 2018

In September the popular claim was that “interest rates were rising for the right reasons,” and still too low to threaten stocks or U.S. economic expansion.

Oct 05 2018

Narrow Performance Divergence Among EM May Not Last

  • Oct 5, 2018

We’ve previously noted the narrowing performance divergence between top- and bottom-performing Emerging Market (EM) countries in recent years.

Oct 05 2018

Research Preview: Sector-Adjusted Factor Returns

  • Oct 5, 2018

This article summarizes our current research into the interaction between factors and sectors. We find that sector weights have a significant influence on some factor results, while the true factor impact is the key driver for others. Watch for our full report coming next week.

Mar 02 2018

What’s Ailing The Staples?

  • Mar 2, 2018

The setback that began in late January qualifies as the sixth intermediate correction of the current bull market, where “intermediate” is defined as an S&P 500 loss ranging between 7%-12%...

Feb 07 2018

Recessions & The Stock Market

  • Feb 7, 2018

In the last couple of months, we’ve come across a handful of economic “check lists” purporting to show the relative absence of recession harbingers as the expansion closes in on its ninth anniversary this summer.

Jan 06 2018

Bridesmaid Strategy: Picking The Year’s Best Asset

  • Jan 6, 2018

Here’s another way to look at the persistence of momentum across asset classes for the last 45 years.

Nov 07 2017

A Study On Closed End Funds

  • Nov 7, 2017

In March 1991, an article titled “Investor Sentiment and the Closed-End Fund Puzzle” was published in The Journal of Finance.

May 05 2017

The Intelligent Use Of Smart Beta

  • May 5, 2017

Quantitative investing has become an integral component of professional investment management, and smart beta funds have become popular vehicles for advisors as they assemble actively-managed client portfolios.

Dec 07 2016

Quantitative Factor Performance: Year In Review

  • Dec 7, 2016

Factor performance during 2016 is the reverse of that of 2014-2015. Quants and smart beta funds focusing solely on Value have enjoyed the year, while multi-factor approaches have struggled. Value has been the only factor that has provided positive performance this year.

Nov 05 2016

Not Much “Lift” From VLT “BUY”

  • Nov 5, 2016

In the June Green Book, we professed some skepticism surrounding the long-term, “low-risk” BUY signal for stocks that was triggered at the end of May by our Very Long Term (VLT) Momentum algorithm (also known as the Coppock Curve).

Jul 08 2016

“Index Rebalance Effect” Once Again Proven

  • Jul 8, 2016

Validating results of a prior study, a look at the last four MSCI index rebalances shows that stocks soon to be added outperform from Announce Date to Effective Date, while deleted stocks underperform.

Apr 07 2016

The Fed’s Capitulation To The Dovish Side— A Win-Win For EM & U.S.

  • Apr 7, 2016

We have mentioned a number of times that China had experienced a very unpleasant “second-hand” tightening due to its peg to the dollar. Its trade competitiveness has suffered tremendously. With a weaker dollar the Chinese Yuan can re-gain some of its competitiveness while maintaining its peg to the dollar. A rare win-win in today’s convoluted world of finance.

Jan 08 2016

Asset Allocation: No Upside In 2015

  • Jan 8, 2016

Hedge funds have shuttered by the dozen in the past few weeks, with the worst carnage among those focused on Emerging Markets and commodities. But the problem is broader.

Dec 08 2015

The Pause That “Depresses”?

  • Dec 8, 2015

The blue chip U.S. indexes have gone nowhere in 2015, and we expect bulls will soon write off the year as the “pause that refreshes.” But what’s been refreshed?

Dec 08 2015

New Month, Old Worries...

  • Dec 8, 2015

While the S&P 500 had erased all but 2% of its August loss as of early December, Small Caps and the “average stock” had recouped only about half their correction losses. Not good.