Was This A Bear Market Rally?

Stocks are ending the week on a sour note after experiencing a three-day rally mid-week that saw the three major indexes gain upwards of +13%. But was this a bear market rally? Or can the upward momentum continue?

What is a bear market rally, you ask? A bear market rally is a sharp short-term increase over days to weeks within a longer-term bear market. Often investors will see this short rally and think that a bottom has been put in and that the bear market is over. However, investors should be cautious as the downward market action will often return, catching investors out.

You may know these rallies by other names such as a "Sucker Rally" or a "Dead Cat Bounce."

The bear market rallies that began in 2000 and 2007 both gained more than 20% before coming to an end. The most massive bear market rally came Continue reading "Was This A Bear Market Rally?"

Cannabis Sales Surge On Coronavirus

Coronavirus is having a devastating effect on many industries in the United States and across the globe.

For example, millions of US citizens are canceling travel plans and that is crushing US airline industry revenue. That's why the US airline industry just asked for a $50 billion financial bailout from the federal government that would be three times the size of the airline bailout after September 11.

This big drop in sales is causing a lot of pain for shareholders. Airline stocks have been getting hammered.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (UAL) is down -60% from the 52-week high, much worse than the S&P 500’s -12% decline from the 52-week high.

UAL

However, not all industries are struggling right now. In fact – some are thriving.

Cannabis sales have been one of the few bright spots while most industries are in a tailspin. Continue reading "Cannabis Sales Surge On Coronavirus"

Concerned About The Real Estate Market?

Our continuing research into the state of the real estate market suggests the Covid-19 virus event will likely put extreme pressure on many sectors within the US and global markets. This, Part III of a multi-part research article, will highlight many of the key economic data points that will soon be released and how these numbers may shock the markets. Additionally, as consumers and businesses prepare for an extended shutdown, it is important to understand the psychological process that takes place in the minds of people. PART I, PART II

Initially, people naturally hope for a quick and reasonable solution. As the process continues where an extended shutdown of the US economy persists, consumers and business managers change their expectations from optimism for a quick resumption of economic activity to “how do we survive this extended closure event”. This is when traders and investors really need to pay attention to what is happening in their local and national economies. One of the most important things to consider throughout an event like this is to watch how your local economy is operating and what is happening with local consumers. This will help you understand what is happening elsewhere.

Demand for certain items will continue almost as normal. We call this the Personal Consumer Essentials. These items are typically things like toilet paper, toothpaste, over the counter medications, underwear, food, and water. These are the types of purchases that must continue for average people to survive this type of event. Luxury items, vacations, extras, and other purchases may suffer throughout this process.

The first 30 days will likely be a transition period for many consumers. Remember, this is still the “hope” phase where Continue reading "Concerned About The Real Estate Market?"

World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, March 2020

The Energy Information Administration released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for March, and it shows that OECD oil inventories likely bottomed last June 2018 at 2.802 billion barrels. It estimated stocks dipped by 5 million barrels in February to end at 2.914 billion, 44 million barrels higher than a year ago.

For 2020, OECD inventories are projected to build by 137 million barrels to 3.031 billion. For 2021 it forecasts that stocks will draw by 48 million barrels to end the year at 2.983 billion.

Oil

The EIA estimated that OPEC production dropped by 72,000 b/d in February to 28.49 million barrels per day. For 2020, it estimates that OPEC production will average about 29.08 million, about 720,000 b/d lower than in 2019. For 2021, it estimates OPEC production average 2.941 million. The EIA did not increase its estimates for OPEC despite the announcements by Saudi Arabia that it is pushing its production up to 12 million barrels per day and the UAE is increasing its production by 1 million barrels per day.

Oil

Oil Price Implications

I updated my linear regression between OECD oil inventories and WTI crude oil prices for the period 2010 through 2019. As expected, there are periods where the price deviates greatly from the regression model. But overall, the model provides a reasonably high r-square result of 79 percent. Continue reading "World Oil Supply And Price Outlook, March 2020"

Does The Fed Have Any Ammo Left?

So, far, the Fed has done an enormous amount of heavy lifting to try to keep the U.S. – and global – economy afloat during this unprecedented crisis, which – just so far – easily dwarfs the 2008 financial crisis in severity. As scary as things were back then, with many of the largest financial institutions in the world threatened with collapse, we didn’t have to worry about thousands of people dying as a result. This crisis is far worse, and we still haven’t the vaguest notion of how bad it still might get.

Let’s review all of the various Fed moves since the beginning of this month, then let’s talk about what else it might be able to do:

  • On March 3, the Fed held its first of what would be two emergency meetings this month, announcing a 50-basis point rate cut in its benchmark federal funds rate to a range of 1% to 1.25%. That move bombed.
  • It followed that up less than two weeks later on March 15 – a Sunday no less – with another 50 bp cut, to a range of 0.25% to zero. That also had little effect.
  • At the same time, the Fed said it would increase “over coming months” its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $500 billion and its holdings of mortgage-backed securities by at least $200 billion. However, by the end of last week, the Fed had already bought about $275 billion of those securities. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “this means the Fed will have bought more than half of the $500 billion in Treasury securities in one week with little sign of restored market functioning, pointing to a growing likelihood for a much more aggressive round of purchases.”
  • The Fed created a Money Market Mutual Fund Lending Facility that would make loans to banks secured by assets from money market funds, similar to what it did during the 2008 crisis, although this time, it would be purchasing a broader range of assets. On Friday, it extended the facility to include short-term debt issued by cities and states.
  • The Fed also said it was creating a new Primary Dealers Credit Facility that would provide major players in the government securities market with short-term loans.

As bold as all of these moves have been, have they actually done anything to restore public and investor confidence? Hardly. While the Fed has driven already low-interest rates back down to zero, it doesn’t mean very much when nobody wants to own any financial assets – whether it’s Treasury bonds or gold or anything else. Not blaming the Fed, but there’s only so much it can do when just about everyone is acting like the world is coming to an end.

But is there more it can do, either under its existing powers or some new Congressional mandate? Continue reading "Does The Fed Have Any Ammo Left?"