The Stock Market

     

 

 

No CPI Change

Several ill-defined economic data points were unveiled this week.  Namely, the Labor Department’s July consumer price index report.  According to the government data, on whole, consumer prices for the month didn’t change one iota.

 

1-CPI percent changeCPI change rate –  clearly, there’s not enough money printing just yet… – click to enlarge.

 

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When Will the Helicopter Take Off?

The quarterly meeting of the Incrementum Fund’s advisory board was held on July 19. A pdf transcript of the discussion can be downloaded via the link below. We were once again joined by special guest Brent Johnson, the CEO of Santiago Capital.

 

Helicopter_money_05.20.2016_largeThe new obsession of liquidity junkies around the globe: helicopter money! This should cement the “TINA” rationalizations for buying hopelessly overvalued stocks and bonds, right?

Cartoon by Bob Rich

 

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The War on Moles

OUZILLY, France – The farther you get from the big city, or the international press… the closer you get to reality. The myth and claptrap disappears as distance shortens. Imagination gives way to fact.

 

mole2There’s a war on, and he’s the target! It had to happen one day; after the many highly successful wars instigated by governmental world improvers, such as the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on poverty and so forth, it was high time that someone started the war on moles. Rejoice, citizens! Your lawns and gardens will be made safe too!

Photo via a-z-animals.com

 

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Short Circuited Feedback Loops

Finding and filling gaps in the market is one avenue for entrepreneurial success.  Obviously, the first to tap into an unmet consumer demand can unlock massive profits.  But unless there’s some comparative advantage, competition will quickly commoditize the market and profit margins will decline to just above breakeven.

 

cost-per-gigabyte-large-1Example of a “commoditized” market – hard-drive storage costs per GB. This is actually the essence of economic progress; this price decline has benefited consumers immensely and vastly enriched their lives. This makes it all the more baffling that central bankers insist we absolutely need price inflation in order to have economic growth (in fact, it actually demonstrates what dangerous lunatics they are). – click to enlarge.

 

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A Rare Apparition

An old friend suddenly showed up out of the blue yesterday and I’m not talking about a contributor who had washed out and, after years of ‘working for the man’, decided to return for another whack at beating the market. Instead I am delighted to report that I am looking at a bona fide confirmed VIX sell signal which we haven’t seen for ages here.

 

old friendsHello, old friend. Professor X and Magneto staring each other down in the plastic prison.

 

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Confidence Gets a Boost

OUZILLY, France – Last week’s U.S. jobs report came in better than expected. Stocks rose to new records. As we laid out recently, a better jobs picture should lead the Fed to raise rates. This should cause canny investors to dump stocks.

 

stock-market-cartoons-3Canny investors at work (an old, but good one…)

Cartoon via Pension Pulse

 

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Right on the Money

OUZILLY, France – It is not often that you get investment advice from a presidential candidate. It is even rarer that you get good advice.

 

Donald Trump (L) speaks with Frank Zarb, former CEO of the Nasdaq Stock Market, before opening the Nasdaq Market September 20, 2005 in New York City.The Donald dispenses investment advice. “Better get out buddy, while the getting is still good”.

Photo credit: Michael Nagle / Getty Images

 

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Fractal Geometry of the Markets

You probably wouldn’t know it but I have actually been extremely busy over the past few months resurrecting a previous creation of mine. It all started about two years ago, in early summer of 2014, when I wound up diving head first into more advanced topics such as machine learning, artificial neural networks, support vector machines (SVMs), as well as fractal geometry of financial time series.

 

Fractal.2.0A fractal Zen moment.

Image via hdstockphoto.com

 

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Mad as a Hatter

Somewhere, someone first said “bull markets don’t die of old age.”  We suppose this throwaway phrase was first uttered in a time and place much like today.  That is, in the midst of a protracted bull market where stock prices had detached from the assets and earnings of companies their shares represent claim to.

 

Cow skeleton in the desert in Baroon village - aka the middle of nowhere, Rajasthan, IndiaThey may not die of old age… but they do occasionally die.

Photo credit: Brett Cole

 

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Mid Summer Momo Update

It is hot and it is humid over here in Valencia. You want to know how hot? The other day a poodle’s tail caught fire just waiting in the sun. The more frantically he was wiggling his tail the brighter it burned.

 

2016-07-25_summer_beach-1000x562A time for quiet contemplation of the bright blue sea… while next door, the poodle burns!

Photo via piktpool.com

 

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Anecdotal Skepticism vs. Actual Data

About one month ago we read that risk parity and volatility targeting funds had record exposure to US equities. It seems unlikely that this has changed – what is likely though is that the exposure of CTAs has in the meantime increased as well, as the recent breakout in the SPX and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to new highs should be delivering the required technical signals.

 robot tradersThe bots keep buying…

Illustration via carolublog.wordpress.com

 

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Asset Price Levitation

One of the more preposterous deeds of modern central banking involves creating digital monetary credits from nothing and then using the faux money to purchase stocks.  If you’re unfamiliar with this erudite form of monetary policy this may sound rather fantastical.  But, in certain economies, this is now standard operating procedure.

 

tokyo whaleThe “Tokyo Whale” Haruhiko Kuroda explains his asset purchase madness with a few neat little slides.

Photo credit: Stringer / Xinhua Press / Corbis

 

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