Summertime & The Trading Is Not So Easy

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; In trying to glean what might be coming next for equities, Barron’s cited several plausible cases for lower prices in the near term but Bespoke Investment Group’s weekly report charted both the Russell 2000 and the High Yield bond market as bouncing dramatically from their respective February lows (you know this already) but also that both risk-on segments took back their 200 day moving averages and recently both found support at their 200 day moving averages. As we frequently say, there is always a bull case and a bear case and the recent strength is clearly one for the bulls. Please click through to read the entire update. From the Ferrari Museum in...

Great (But Wrong) Expectations

My latest post looks at a Barron’s article focused on an unconstrained bond fund and how managers are accessing yield from different market segments. Barron’s profiled the manager of a fund over the weekend that appears to be unconstrained although the article never used the word. The current allocation, subject to change of course, includes many income market sectors you’d expect like high yield, loans and preferred stocks but it also includes a lot of equity exposure presumably with a big tilt to dividends including 13% to a covered call strategy as well as separate allocations to international and domestic equities. Please click through to read the entire post. A couple of Sundays ago we saw several horny toads including this guy.   The second picture was taken a couple of hundred yards up the trail to Montorosso looking toward Vernazza in Cinque...

So The Fed Is Going To Hike?

The weekly Market Update is posted and includes the following; While most market participants would rather see the market rally even a little bit, the gains didn’t do anything to take the indexes out of what seems like a narrowing trading range of the last few months and the S&P 500 opens the week still 80 points below the high set one year ago. Where Fed induced uncertainty has coexisted with a narrow trading range, perhaps clarity of policy can be a catalyst for a break out of that trading range. CPI printed at a relatively healthy 0.4% which might lend some additional support to a rate hike. Please click through to read the entire post. Over the weekend at Walker Fire’s regular training we had a visit from the crew that is manning Prescott National Forest Engine 930 this year. They stayed for about 90 minutes, showed us their truck, we showed them our equipment and spent time exchanging information.   We’ve worked along side this engine many times before so I’ve taken quite a few pictures of it over the years but it is always fun to see and try to get different pictures.  ...

The New Asset Allocation Standard?

My latest post at Alpha Baskets looks at Invesco’s idea for the new asset allocation standard as seen in its recent commercial. From the post; Alternatives will not give you an annualized 8% riskless return, that is the wrong expectation. But they can help smooth out the ride when used in moderation. This was my hope before the financial crisis and turned out to be my experience with them during the crisis. The right expectation combined with moderation can lead to successful implementation. Please click through to read the entire post. This picture is from the Vaparetto (a “bus” that goes over the water) headed from the train station to where we stayed near the Rialto Mercado stop in Venice.   The second picture is a typical “side street” in Venice.   This picture is next to Doge’s Palace on a massive square that is a major tourist area (relative to Venice). After we got back we saw a show on CNN about the flooding that occurs in Venice and it showed this area under about two feet of water. Apparently this is a regular thing in the...

Sell In May & Hide Under The Covers?

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; For the last few weeks we’ve address the string of disappointing economic data that had been reported but last week there was a notably positive Retail Sales report which reported a month over month gain of 1.3% beating expectations of 0.8%. Bespoke Investment Group reports that it was the first Retail Sales report to top expectations in over a year. Consumer Sentiment was also strong but curiously there was a big spike in weekly jobless claims up to 294,000. Please click through to read the entire update. The first picture is a panoramic with the town center of Siena off to the right.   The second picture is the town center of Siena which used to be a race track.   The last one is a police car stationed about a block from the Milan Duomo and...