Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Wayback Machine

  • The SP500 is now at levels not seen since Monday, November 12th, 2007.  Seems like forever ago.  Back then, the Miami Dolphins were winless, Alex Rodriguez was shopping for a baseball team that could afford his salary, television writers were on strike, and President George Bush had low approval numbers.
  • The market plunked lower today on.... (insert gloom here).  Well, the folks at Yahoo Finance blame Concern about Consumers.  JC Penney's came out and... Wait.  There are still JC Penney's?  Anyways, they reported and nobody liked what they had to say.  "The J.C. Penney comments in terms of their guidance have sort of put another nail in retail. The assumption is the consumer has given up," said Charlie Smith, chief investment officer at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh. "Three-dollar to $3.20 a gallon gas and house prices falling at 5 percent a year is really a double-whammy the consumer can't overcome."
  • Well, Charlie, it's keeping a lid on GDP, but not creating a recession.  Employment is still strong, and we'll have continued slow growth, low inflation, and potential Fed rate cuts ahead.  I think the market's a buy, Charlie.  Read on!!!
  • Best long-term market timers believe we're in a bull market. from Mark Hulbert (emphasis mine):
The bottom line? None of these nine top timers is bearish. The average equity allocation among all nine is 83%. This is down only slightly from where this average stood in recent months.
This 83% average is good news for the stock market in its own right, of course. But it's particularly bullish relative to the average forecast of the ten stock market timing newsletters with the very worst risk-adjusted performances over the last decade. The average recommended equity exposure among these worst performers right now is just 9%.
In other words, the worst market timers are quite bearish right now, while the best timers are quite bullish. Rarely are we presented with a contrast this stark.
There are no guarantees. But to bet on a new bear market right now, you have to bet against the timers with the best long-term records and with those whose records have been awful.
  • Two Led Zeppelin tickets fetch $170,000 in charity sale.  A man from Glasgow, Scotland, paid 83,000 pounds ($170,000) for a pair of tickets to a one-off Led Zeppelin reunion gig in London on December 10, according to the BBC which organized the charity auction.
  • Core inflation contines to be tame, as the CPI numbers were released this morning.  Overall consumer prices rose 0.3 pct last month, in line with expectations and the same increase seen in September.  Core prices rose 0.2 pct in October, also in line with expectations and the fifth straight month core prices have increased by 0.2 pct. That leaves the three months through August at a 2.1 pct seasonally adjusted annualized rate for core inflation.
  • Hey, does the BLS include Led Zeppelin tickets in the CPI "market basket" of goods and services?  I expect Barry Ritholtz to chime in on this oversite soon!  (Just teasin' BR.  Saw the Led Zep "Mothership" column on your blog earlier...) 
  • "Hey, hey, mama, love the way you move.  Gonna make you sweat.  Gonna make you grove."  (If you're not doing an air guitar right about now...)

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