Indexes Hit Record Highs On Trade Optimism

Hello traders everywhere. The DOW hit a record high Friday after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said China and the U.S. were getting close to reaching a trade deal trading 120 points higher. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ also hit all-time highs, climbing +0.6% and +0.7%, respectively.

Trade-sensitive names such as Caterpillar, Boeing, Apple, and Micron Technology all rose at least +0.5%. Gold, meanwhile, gained +.60% for the week trading at $1,472.10 per ounce. Crude oil, however, hasn't had the same fate losing -.35% on the week entering a sidelines position, much like gold.

The U.S. Dollar continues to trade right around the $98 level, and we're waiting on a breakout above $98.39 to give us a green weekly Trade Triangle, which would indicate a move to a long-term uptrend. On the flip side, Bitcoin continues to be stuck in a tight trading range, but we could get a move lower if it breaks below $8,363, triggering a red weekly Trade Triangle. Continue reading "Indexes Hit Record Highs On Trade Optimism"

Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 2

Now that its clear investors understand how fees affect their returns and the financial industry as a whole is responding by lowering trading commissions to zero and cutting management fees on funds, its just a matter of time until we see ‘indexed’ funds begin to offer zero or near zero, as in 0.01% expense ratio, fee funds.

Why? Simple because they have to stay competitive if they want to stay in business.

For years the biggest argument for one someone would buy an index fund is because it would be so cumbersome and costly to go out and buy a few shares of all the different stocks that make up a specific index. For example, if an investor wanted to mimic the Dow Jones Industrial Average, they would need to go out and buy one share of each of the 30 companies that currently make up the index.

In the past, that would be 30 different stocks in someone’s personal portfolio, which honestly isn’t that much higher than what the average retail investor owns, typically somewhere between 15 and 20. However, that would also mean the investor would have paid a trading commission 30 different times in order to set up that portfolio (1 trading commission for each different company they bought a share or multiple shares of). If the average investor was paying $4.95 per trade, that’s $148.50 in trading commissions just so they could mimic the Dow Jones Industrial Average without having to pay a mutual fund or ETFs fees every year. Continue reading "Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 2"

The Times They Are A' Changin'

Talk about charter creep. This is more like a charter leap.

As we know well by now, the Federal Reserve’s famous “dual mandate” is to promote price stability and maximum sustainable employment. But as we also know, the Fed really has a third mandate, maintaining moderate long-term interest rates (don’t ask me why they still call it a dual mandate).

So it should be no surprise, then, that the Fed has now gone way beyond that dual (or treble) mandate by wholeheartedly injecting itself into what is really a political debate, namely climate change. And how ironic it is that it rose to the forefront during the same week that the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Last week Fed officials were out in force, declaring that climate change would now be a major factor in not only how it regulates federally chartered commercial banks but also how it conducts U.S. monetary policy.

On Thursday, in a speech at the GARP Global Risk Forum, Kevin Stiroh, an executive vice president responsible for regulating banks at the New York Fed, said financial firms need to take the dangers and costs of climate change into their risk-management decisions.

“Climate change has significant consequences for the U.S. economy and financial sector through slowing productivity growth, asset revaluations, and sectoral reallocations of business activity,” he said. “The U.S. economy has experienced more than $500 billion in direct losses over the last five years due to climate and weather-related events.” Continue reading "The Times They Are A' Changin'"

Disney's Streaming Growth Driver - ESPN/Disney+/Hulu

Disney (DIS) just delivered a stellar quarter beating on both the top and bottom lines while continuing to roll out its growth initiatives. Disney’s growth rotation is still in its early stages with the remediation of its ESPN property and flurry of growth initiatives to meet modern-day media consumption trends via streaming with its Disney+ property. In the backdrop, the company continues to dominate the box office year after year with a long pipeline of blockbusters in the queue, notably Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Additionally, its Parks and Resorts continue to be a growth avenue with tremendous pricing power. Disney is going all-in on the streaming front and will inevitably acquire full ownership of Hulu, and the company is launching its Disney branded streaming service that will compete directly with Netflix (NFLX). Disney+ launches on November 12th, and Disney is unleashing all of its content (Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, and Pixar), which will be a formidable competitor in the ever-expanding streaming wars. As a result of its strong Q4 numbers, Disney has hit near all-time highs of ~$140 per share. I’ve been behind Disney for a long time, especially through this transition back to growth when the stock traded below $100, and I still feel that the company offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity given its growth catalysts that will continue to bear fruit over the coming years.

Disney’s Stellar Q4 Earnings

Disney’s Q4 earnings easily beat analysts’ expectations with substantial gains in its television networks and film studio by way of its Fox acquisition. Disney beat on both the top-line revenue and bottom-line profit. EPS came in at $1.07, beating by $0.10 per share, and revenue came in at $19.1 billion, beating by $80 million. Revenue grew by 34% year-over-year, and for the fiscal year, revenue was up 17% at $69.57 billion.

Disney’s business across the board came in strong, posting growth in every category. Revenue by segment: Media Networks, $6.51 billion (up 22%); Parks, Experiences and Products, $6.7 billion (up 8%); Studio Entertainment, $3.3 billion (up 52%); Direct-to-Consumer and International, $3.4 billion (up 361%). Operating income by segment: Media Networks, $2.14B (up 7%); Parks, Experiences and Products, $1.7B (up 4%); Studio Entertainment, $792M (up 13%); Direct-to-Consumer and International, -$553M. Continue reading "Disney's Streaming Growth Driver - ESPN/Disney+/Hulu"

Gold & Silver: Expected Drop Kicked Off

It was a timely call last week to "Beware Of Extended Consolidation" as right from last Monday we saw both metals plummet all the week long. Surely, it wasn't a self-fulfilling prophecy as the market was unexpectedly caught in a bullish euphoria. The chart structure was telling us about this possibility as such patterns appear from time to time. The same pattern had appeared on the Bitcoin chart as I had warned you this past August. That pattern of extended consolidation smashed Bitcoin’s value as planned from $10600 down to the projected target of $7800. Let's see where this pattern could send precious metals prices this time around.

Chart 1. Gold Daily: Undershot => Overshot

gold silver
Chart courtesy of tradingview.com

We've got the tricky junction between two legs down on the gold chart. The triangular structure (blue) had been shaped as lower peaks, and higher valleys were established there. This pattern is rarer than the regular zigzag that I was expecting to unfold. It created a huge undershot to the top of the range, which might result in a big overshot below the bottom of the range. By the way, gold already dropped like a rock to pierce the valley of the range last Friday. But, of course, that's not enough. Continue reading "Gold & Silver: Expected Drop Kicked Off"