I read somewhere over the weekend that over half of the world’s larger cap corporate names will make some kind of quarterly update comment over the next couple of weeks. That might make you busy if you are an analyst, fund manager or a personal larger cap pension fund investor, but it is what makes it fun too. If you want to make 3.5% odd every year for the next decade or so, then you can have an easy life buying a 10-year UK government bond and just holding it. But, whilst you will probably not lose any money (as I do not anticipate the UK government going bust in the next generation), I don’t think you will beat inflationary realities and hence your purchasing power will be suckered.
Life is always a bit easier when an investment quarter ends on a Friday (or over a weekend). Despite the inevitable ups and downs, geopolitical questions, hopes, fears, and dreams its all good fun to look back at leisure.
I read in the Sunday press that allegedly the “FCA offers to bend the rules to land Arm float”. That is certainly something to keep an eye on this year, especially as the FTSE 100 - unlike many of its global peers - is somewhat light in the excitable world of technology stocks. An area the FTSE 100 is heavily exposed to however is the commodity sector. Last week may have seen “London’s FTSE 100 Index ended the week on a high having reached its highest ever score, beating the previous record of 7,903.5 set in May 2018”, but you may have seen that natural gas, oil and silver prices have fallen even further this year and even my beloved gold is only up a couple of percent in dollar terms over the first five or so weeks of 2023…
I start with the macro babble and surging equities explaining why, I think, rubbish stocks have done the best today. I look at Cineworld (CINE), Versarien (VRS), Boohoo (BOO), Pure Gold (PUR), Argo Blockchain (ARB) and Victoria (VCP)
It remains an interesting macro world when people who are not that naturally interested in the financial markets become obsessed with what the 10-year gilt yield is. It is a bit like when Barbra Streisand described herself as a day trader in late 1999, changes are upcoming soon. Despite the best efforts of the chancellor the UK is not going to go bust, your corporate pension won’t disappear and it remains very stupid to have a massive amount of cash in your back garden.
Writer Jonathan Baird says that the biggest takeaway in markets today is the importance of macro factors. Some things that appear to come out of left field like the pandemic were foreseeable. It’s important to not focus too closely on your investments but also be aware of what is going on in the larger sense.
Analyst Michael Oliver focuses on bubbles in equity markets and says that the S&P indicates a top while momentum is waning. He argues that bear markets typically begin with a gradual arm-wrestling decline and often no crashes, which he expects will occur. Michaels proprietary volatility indicators are now showing a similar pattern that we saw in 2008.
Equity strategist Gareth Soloway is as bullish on gold as he is bearish on equities, He claims one should balance news with chart technicals. I guess he is half right. Gareth says that you want to be aware of new economic data even though his focus is primarily on the charts.
Asset manager David Hunter does not mince his words. Equities are in a late stage melt up but will then, he predicts, fall by 80% as we go from a global deflationary bust followed by an inflationary recovery cycle. We will see dollar weakness now followed by a big dollar rally during the bust.
And so Buzz Lightyear “QE to Infinity and beyond” of the US Federal Reserve spoke at the virtual Jackson Hole economic summit for the great and the good of Central Banking. Reading between the lines, we can expect higher inflation but interest rates will stay low on the other side of the pond. That, of course, means that US Treasuries are set to lose investors’ money as inflation eats into the capital invested. As we all know, if the US sneezes the rest of us catch a cold, so expect the same thing this side of the pond. That was the news, but there seems to be a point that has been missed.
The gold price is overdue a correction but keeps on going up. Gold shares are also overdue a correction and keep trying to slide – only to be pulled northwards again as the gold (and silver) price heads north. Do I care? Not really, because in a year’s time they will all be substantially higher. But there are some points worth making as I chew the situation over whilst relaxing on the veranda of my log cabin looking out over the woods.
Suddenly everybody sees the markets heading ever higher. China and the USA are apparently on the cusp of signing something which would at least mark a truce is the trade spat, central banks are again joining the feeding frenzy and life is good. UK markets are up, Asian markets are up and the USA is posting yet more records. And with all this uber-happiness, gold and gold stocks are also pushing higher. It is all good, but I thought that gold was supposed to be an asset of last refuge: why is it heading higher if stockmarkets in general are riding high? Surely it should be heading in the opposite direction.
It has been a kind of interesting last sixty hours or so. Despite all the social media commentary from left leaning types reporting how their local polling station was chock-a-block with snowflake voters supporting Comrade Corbyn...we all know what really happened. Obviously...thank goodness for that.
Of course none of the eight might come to pass but I explian why I am bearish anyway and then list eight events each of which could happen and each of which could really tonk UK equities and it is just possible that all eight may come to pass. Enjoy.
Rick Rule of the world's leading resource investor, Sprott says he has, of late, seen broadly increasing client and institutional interest which has been lead by strong private placements. This interest is being driven by 2017 commodity performance, and now the equities show good value.
Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey has had an awful year. His uber bearish macro calls have not paid off and his big long and short stock bets have nearly all gone terribly wrong too. When funds are in this much trouble it can have devastating effects on certain stocks. So what is in the Odey death portfolio?
No doubt raging bull Malcolm Stacey will be crowing and snarling bear Tom Winnifrith will be growling as he changes the nappies: the FTSE100 has, again, popped up through the 7,000 mark. We can expect round 4,953 of the ding-dong between those two in the coming days. But what to make of it – are we on the cusp of a cracking selling opportunity or should we be filling our boots? And if we treat the latest gyrations as a chance to offload, what to do with the proceeds?
I note with interest the today’s macro-outlook comments by Malcolm and Tom, each taking different sides of the debate. While I agree with Tom’s analysis, I reckon that Malcolm’s conclusions might turn out be right!
It looks as if shareholders will very soon hear the final grim news at Gulf Keystone (GKP). I first said sell at 180p and have been given grief all the way down. Folks can line up to apologise to me in an orderly queue. I discuss who is to blame and what happens next. Then it is onto the reason Brexit is not the real issue, there is an elephant in the room and its European but its on the other side of the channel. That takes me to the UK deficit, Cheryl and the cheerleaders and my stance on equities.
This is an extra bearcast for today. The main one on UK Companies is to follow. This one covers the biggest lie told by shite companies on AIM, told today by Golden Saint Resources (GSR) but it is far from alone, the real crisis in big PLC crony capitalism, ref Macy's and many others, and also why I remain bearish on equities.
In today's podcast I look at the Portugal Coup and what it means for the EU and the Euro. Then onto profits warnings and where I see equities going and finally a note on Mark Carney, UK base rates and UK house prices.
Finally, dated 26 August 2015 – eight months late and four months after the parent, AIM-listed Daniel Stewart Securities plc (DAN) accounts were filed – we have the full year accounts for Daniel Stewart & Company plc to 31 March 2014. Two sets of numbers previously highlighted do not stack up. Perhaps there are more, but this will do for starters - along with an un-notified change of auditor.
Much has been made in the media that US equity markets have had their worst period since late summer 2011. This morning, the burgeoning crisis has abated in response to the People’s Bank of China’s 0.25% interest rate cut. China’s baseline rate is now 4.6% and global markets have rallied strongly in response. However, it would be a surprise if this were anything other than a temporary reprieve, not least because of the spike in the CBOE Volatility Index (the VIX). The VIX tracks the volatility in the constituent stocks of the S&P500 and its latest reading is clear warning of a bumpy ride to come. Even so, if played correctly, this could prove to be extremely profitable.
Happy Independence day to our American listeners. My prayers are that tomorrow Greece votes for freedom and votes Oxi! But will it? And what does that mean for the Euro and shares. I note Goldman Sachs claims that a Nai vote will see global equities rise by 10%. Hmmm, I think it misses the bear in the China shop. A few thoughts brought to you from Athens in today's podcast.
The travel plans of pizza hardman Darren Atwater and my own travel & family plans for the day mean this is a double bearcast day. We start with an edition looking at the various bubbles` in the world today and why I am becoming really very bearish indeed about equities.
Chris Bailey, the founder of Financial Orbit always finds the quirkiest data - this week it concerns ripe bananas. The bad news starts in China and ends up with some sage words from George Soros. Those who expect the equities surge to continue ad infinitum should spare a few minutes to listen to this podcast.
All markets are cyclical and so the bull-run in equities and bear run in gold has to end one day. You know my views, I think it is soon. A man talking the same language is Mike Swanson who was interviewed this week by my colleagues at Palisade Capital. 10 out of 10 for Mike!
George Papandreou is back in the game in Greece. This is big news and in this podcast I suggest a small bet on Greek equities on bonds might be in order as a result. Do elections matter for equity investors? I discuss both Greece and also the UK election in May.
Tomorrow I start serving up my ten tips of the year. On reflection given my bearish take on the markets I am going to go with a 50/50 long/short split. Other writers will be serving up plenty of buy ideas but I cannot bring myself to do that given my macro-take on the world. I am sorry to be so gloomy this Christmas day but for what it is worth I wish you a Merry Christmas. Now to the macrobabble:
It's a first. A daily podcast not mentioning Quenron (QPP) at all. But for the record its shares dived by 7.2% to close at just 38.5p. Only 38.5p to go to fair value. Instead I discuss Ludorum, Mysale, Naibu, China Chaintek, Enables IT, Ultrasis, Touchstone Gold, Beacon Hill and why I remain an equities bear. However I reveal a very small AIM company in which we have just made a material (for us) investment.
US equities continue to rise Heavenwards and we wonder how long that can go on, given the high valuations they have already reached? The S &P 500 Index reportedly values its constituents on an average multiple of 16 times estimated, prospective average earnings. That we learn is about 13% higher than the average ratio on the Index over the last decade.
A month ago global equity markets were in a state of complete panic. Four weeks later markets are substantially up, sentiment has hugely recovered and investors are generally looking forward again to 2015…especially in the US. Despite the market recovery of recent weeks the world remains clearly imbalanced. That’s not to say there are now things to be doing and the technology, food retail and gold sectors were of particular interest to me this week.
Equities are up. In this podcast, I discuss why but why this is not the start of a bull market. It is temporary coke and hookers time in the City and on Wall Street but only for a while. Next up I look at: Fitbug, ULS Technology & the failings of AIM, Leni Gas & Oil and the failings of AIM, Arian Silver and other gold and silver producers, Coms and - in detail following a long chat with a former bull and insurance guru - Quindell.
In this podcast I start with a broad macro sweep following a chat with Evil Knievil earlier. The end of QE (pro tem), interest rates and how this will all affect equities and other asset classes. I then move on to some observations some general but some specific about Quindell, Fitbug, Monitise, Globo, blinkx and Independent Oil & Gas,
So the yield on short dated US government bonds fell below 2% on Wednesday 15th of October, upsetting the apple cart of portfolio planning by those who were persuaded that inflation was on the rise - thanks to the easing of quantitative easing known therefore as ‘tapering’ to avoid the confusion of too many ‘easings’ – and the cost of credit going up, due to a forecast shortage of supply as the Fed closed it easy money till. Normality was coming back along with higher borrowing costs.
You know that I am an equities bear. So too is Gerald Celente, the well-known precious metals investor. His view is that we are heading for stockmarket disaster as we pump up the biggest bubble in history. This view was clearly explained in an interview he gave to my colleagues at Palisade Capital this week.
After last week’s sell-off across the main global equity markets, this week has got off to a relatively benign start. The FTSE trades at 6,686 (last seen), but the index is within touching distance of key MIDAS support. If the selling continues and this level is breached, this could, once more, provide an excellent opportunity to go long Britain’s primary index.