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Chart Of The Week

May 12 2021

Active Vs. Passive Return Drivers March 2021 Update

  • May 12, 2021

Our ongoing research into the relative performance of active vs. passive styles reveals that market conditions play a significant role in the active/passive return cycle. We identified a set of metrics that describe the market conditions we believe influence which management style is more likely to outperform. This note updates our data through March 2021.

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.

 

Apr 23 2021

Earnings Are Back In Focus

  • Apr 23, 2021

Earnings releases (ER) are normally accompanied by large stock-price movements, either to the upside or downside.

Here, we computed the percentage of companies that registered a large move in their stock price on their ER day in the trailing three-month window (500 basis points up OR down). In order to normalize for non ER-day volatility, we computed the percentage of all companies that registered a significant price move on any day during the same period. The difference between the two is shown in Chart 1.

 

Apr 16 2021

How Much Inflation Is Too Much? It’s A Moving Target

  • Apr 16, 2021

In the latest Green Book, we noted that Producer Price Inflation does not usually become a challenge for the stock market until its annual rate breaks above 4.0%. The day that comment was published, the year-over-year gain in the March PPI for Finished Goods spiked to 6.0%, thanks mostly to the well-celebrated COVID-19 anniversary-effect. 

Apr 09 2021

Industry Group Dreams & Nightmares—The Bear Market Edition

  • Apr 9, 2021

Given that we've recently passed the one-year anniversary of the bear-market bottom of March 2020, we thought it might be interesting to apply our annual Dream/Nightmare exercise to periods following bear-market lows; the idea here being that a major market bottom may serve as a “reset” for new industry trends.

Apr 01 2021

Our Most Contrarian Industry Group Ideas

  • Apr 1, 2021

Contrarian investing is difficult from both an emotional and implementation standpoint. Often the consensus is right, and industry groups are out-of-favor for a reason. As the saying goes, “Don’t be contrarian just for the sake of being a contrarian.”

Mar 26 2021

Momentum: “New Junk” In The “Old Trunk”

  • Mar 26, 2021

March 23rd marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 bear-market bottom. We are all eager to turn the page on the pandemic ordeal and move forward to brighter days ahead. Looks like some big help is coming our way.

Mar 19 2021

A Flight Of Wee Dragons

  • Mar 19, 2021

In our mid-month Of Special Interest, “Valuation Extremes: Here Be Dragons,” we examined valuation outliers as a measure of market sentiment. The hypothesis was that exuberance is reflected in investors’ willingness to hold stocks priced on an aggressive “vision” of the future; companies that are either habitually unprofitable or trade at a Price/Sales ratio above 15x.

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 26 2021

Carbuncles, Diamonds, and Tears

  • Feb 26, 2021

High growth rates, innovation, and disruption are defining traits of the companies that have powered the market to recent highs, and the ARK Innovators Fund (ARKK) is an example of today’s enthusiasm for visionary growth stocks. Recent returns and growth in AUM have been nothing short of spectacular, and ARKK has become symbolic of today’s style of new-era growth investing.

Feb 19 2021

Has Liquidity Peaked?

  • Feb 19, 2021

The last few weeks offer plenty of evidence that the mania has moved into a more feverish phase, yet the Fed insists that it is still “not-even-thinking-about ‘thinking about’” raising interest rates. That dismissive attitude could well whip up an even higher fever in the months ahead.

Jan 29 2021

An Historical Look At Biden’s “Future”

  • Jan 29, 2021

We’ve read far too much about what Joe Biden and a newly-blue Congress might do in the months ahead, but less so about the conditions Biden and his team inherit. Such “initial conditions” usually have a heavy hand in policy outcomes, market outcomes, and even a president’s legacy.

 

Jan 22 2021

Inaugurations And The Stock Market

  • Jan 22, 2021

Presidents and the popular press have become obsessed with performance over the “first 100 days” in office. That prompted us to see if there have been any persistent stock market effects related to this 100-day window. There are many ways to slice the data, and the more we sliced it, the fewer the observations.

Jan 15 2021

Rising Rates And Rising Stock Prices?

  • Jan 15, 2021

Often, what market pundits like to pass off as bold, contrarian forecasts are merely rationalizations and extrapolations of trends that have already been in place for some time.

Dec 30 2020

Looking Forward To 2021 Earnings

  • Dec 30, 2020

As we turn the page on 2020, a peek ahead to the S&P 500’s 2021 operating earnings is probably in order. You never know, earnings and valuations might be important again one day.

 

Dec 17 2020

The “Pfizer Factor Flip” And Fund Flows

  • Dec 17, 2020

Pfizer’s November 9th announcement of an effective COVID-19 vaccine triggered the most extensive one-day rotation in style factors we have ever seen. Investors flipped from Large Growth—the market’s dominating style over the past few years—and found new friends in Value and Small Cap. This rotation continued through November, to the point that Value and Small Cap each had their best single-month return in 30 years.

Dec 11 2020

Bond Yields: Cyclical Pressures Vs. Positioning

  • Dec 11, 2020

Even after watershed events COVID-19 and MMT, some things never change.

Next year will begin like almost every one of the past dozen years, with economists and strategists expecting bond yields to rise.

Unlike most of those years, though, there are several measures of “cyclical pressures” that would seem to give them a good chance of being right. The best-known among these might be the “Copper/Gold Ratio,” popularized by DoubleLine’s Jeffrey Gundlach, which suggests 10-Yr. Treasury yields should be around double their current level (Chart 1).

Nov 25 2020

The “Transportation” Divergence

  • Nov 25, 2020

The Dow Jones Transportation Average has recently notched fresh all-time highs. Following a sizable relative performance dip earlier in the year, the Transports’ relative strength has recovered and moved to new 2020 highs (Chart 1).  Still, compared to the broad market, the index’s YTD return appears fairly unremarkable, outpacing the S&P 500 by about 3%.

Nov 20 2020

The Rotation Should Hardly Be A “Surprise”

  • Nov 20, 2020

Consumer Price Inflation of 1.2% for the twelve months through October remains way below the Fed’s long-time 2% objective, which is nothing new. But a first step in getting inflation to eventually run a little bit “hot” (the Fed’s new objective) is to break the long-term disinflationary psychology among consumers and investors, and that is clearly happening. In fact, based on the excellent “Inflation Surprise” Indexes published monthly by Citi, the U.S. is now the world’s inflationary hotspot!

Nov 13 2020

Momentum’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

  • Nov 13, 2020

If Momentum and Growth investors thought they were escaping 2020 unscathed, they learned otherwise on Monday. Pfizer’s promising news about a COVID-19 vaccine was met with universal excitement and investors rearranging portfolios—taking gains in long-term winners and plowing into beaten-down cyclical stocks.