Weekly Cycle: Stock Market Outlook 06.04.2018

 

“The most painful realization…is that the people who disagree with us are not especially hypocritical or contradictory.”

The Acrobat and the Fly
Rusty Guinn Epsilon Theory1

 

Market Outlook Update for [June 06, 2018]
Each week, we review the stock market using a specific set of information sources in order to cut through the noise generated by media publishing attention grabbing headlines. Weekly updates give e the opportunity to play trends while not overreacting on a daily basis.

 

Market Performance

Performance of a handful of macro indexes, as well as index and ETFs on specific sectors of particular interest. 

Observations:

  • Volatility [VIX] has dropped considerably over the last week
  • Emerging Markets VWO ( and BKF) up over 3% in last week
  • China Tech surged again last week.
  • Cannabis down over 10% last 3 months

 

Technical Indicators

Based on data and info from TradingView (Click for 30% off a pro subscription)

Scores based on the cumulative total of positive and negative technical indicators signals over three time horizons on Trading View. Scores are weighted by multiplying total as follows: daily (x 1) weekly (x 2), and monthly (x 3). 

Observations:

○ Big improvement from a week ago for $SPY, $VTI
○ $CQQQ looks much improved this week
○ Emerging markets $VWO and $BKF much improved
○ $VIX has dropped significantly since a week ago

 

OldProf’s Risk Analysis

Each week, at the Dash of Insight blog, OldProf takes a look at a variety of sources to gauge overall market risk on both a short and long-term basis. He tracks a handful of indexes, economic indicators from respected sources, and volatility indicators. His weekly updates include a discussion of events with potential to effect markets, as well as general insight. Highly recommended reading.

This week, OldProf writes that “Short-term trading conditions continue at favorable levels, much improved from the month-ago data.”

He also writes on how investors should handle news and speculation regarding Trade Wars:

“Is it time to worry about a trade war? For investors, not yet. For citizens, yes.

Free trade is an issue that differs dramatically in two ways:

  1. First-order impacts are very clear and immediate. The impact is on cohesive industry and worker groups. Nations emphasize their role as exporters.
  2. Other impacts are delayed, nuanced, and difficult to measure. Retaliatory tariffs have gradual impacts – inflation, producers (think soybean farmers) leaving the business, Fed rate increases in response to price pressures, and eventually a recession.

Investors cannot profitably plan now for these effects, since they will take many months or even years to show up.2

 

StockTrader Recap

Mark Hanna publishes a weekly Market Recap full of charts and insight on news and market trends at StockTrader.

This week, Mark writes that despite increased volatility “small caps (Russell 2000) and tech stocks held in quite well and we don’t have any major technical change in the indexes – more on that later..”

Short term: The S&P 500 remains mostly range bound and has for a few weeks, meanwhile the NASDAQ is looking a bit more spiffy of late.

Long term: Still very positive for the “buy and never sell” crowd.

 

Technical Analysis Update

Hacked (subscription-only) publishes a weekly technical update on U.S. indices with a weekly analysis of the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and DJIA, as well as a general market outlook. Other posts include trade recommendations (stocks, crypto & forex markets), worldwide-market updates, ICO analysis, and much more.

This week, Hacked has not yet posted an update.

 

Articles of note

$TSLA “The larger economic issue is that every durable good is becoming a service”

Software is Eating the World-Tesla Edition
Alex Tabarrok Marginal REVOLUTION

“stances. This week Consumer Reports changed their review to recommend after Tesla improved braking distance by nearly 20 feet with an over the air software update!3

“Consider this: how many investors buy stocks thinking they will sell at the bottom? NONE.”

Easy in Theory, Difficult in Practice – Of Dollars And Data
Of Dollars And Data

“Months go by and now the market is down 40%. Your spouse says to you, “Honey, we need to stop this. Think about our children’s future.” As this happens, one of your closest friend’s brags about how he sold when the market was down only 15%. CNBC reports this is the worst financial crisis of the modern era. You’re still buying and holding, yes?
4

User & subcribers models “grounded in fundamentals, with value coming, as it always does, from cash flows, growth and risk.”

User and Subscriber Businesses: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
Aswath Damodaran Musings on Markets

“Consequently, I went back to valuation first principles, where the value of any asset is a function of its cashflows, growth and risks, and adapted that approach to valuing a user or subscriber:
5

“Why is it that position sizing and actively managing a portfolio is seen as “trading”. It shouldn’t be.”

One Position Sizing Strategy for Long Term Success
Jae Jun The Value Investing Blog of Old School Value

“It’s that people believe a value investor has to invest a certain way.
By this, I mean things like:

don’t buy and sell often
know everything about the business you buy
hold small number of positions and bet big

6

GDPR is helping centralize market further to benefit of $FB $GOOGL

GDPR is centralizing the market
Tyler Cowen Marginal REVOLUTION

“The reason: the Alphabet Inc. GOOGL +2.58% ad giant is gathering individuals’ consent for targeted advertising at far higher rates than many competing online-ad services, early data show. That means the new law, the General Data Protection Regulation, is reinforcing—at least initially—the strength of the biggest online-ad players, led by Google and Facebook Inc.
7

“Predicting the A.I. winter is like predicting a stock market crash – impossible to tell precisely when…but almost certain that it will”

AI winter is well on its way
Piekniewski’s blog

“This gradual shift from rich, big corporations to government sponsored institutes suggests to me that the interest in this kind of research within these corporations (I think of Google and Facebook) is actually slowly winding down. Again these are all early signs, nothing spoken out loud, just the body language.
8

“With fewer births, and less net migration, demographics will not be as favorable…”

U.S. Births decreased in 2017
Bill McBride Calculated Risk

“Births have declined for three consecutive years following increases in 2013 and 2014.”
9

 

 

 

 

  1. http://epsilontheory.com/the-acrobat-and-the-fly/
  2. https://dashofinsight.com/weighing-the-week-ahead-is-it-time-to-worry-about-a-trade-war/
  3. http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/05/software-eating-world-tesla-edition.html
  4. https://ofdollarsanddata.com/easy-in-theory-difficult-in-practice-4d28200f638
  5. http://aswathdamodaran.blogspot.com/2018/05/user-and-subscriber-businesses-good-bad.html
  6. https://www.oldschoolvalue.com/blog/investing-strategy/position-sizing-strategy/?source=rss
  7. http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2018/06/gdpr-centralizing-market.html
  8. https://blog.piekniewski.info/2018/05/28/ai-winter-is-well-on-its-way/
  9. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CalculatedRisk/~3/Xnk5DygKf_g/us-births-decreased-in-2017.html

Is the artisan trend a precursor to a Big Tech backlash?

In the Economist’s 1843 magazine, Ryan Avent writes about the resurgence of the “artisan” culture in Crafting a life:

Before the Industrial Revolution, the craft economy was simply the economy. Clothing, processed food, furniture, wood and iron tools were all made by hand, using simple equipment, one unique batch at a time. Artisans learned their trade through years of observing experts, within the family or in a structured apprenticeship. The quality of both the instruction and the finished products was highly variable. There was virtually no opportunity for mass education in trades, nor a chance for better producers to capture increased market share by scaling up production.

The Atlantic ran a similar piece recently Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America.

At the same time, the number of public companies has decreased and the “Big 4” tech companies make up 24% of the market cap of $SPY. Some amazing numbers, per Scott Galloway in Esquire:

Over the past decade, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—or, as I call them, “the Four”—have aggregated more economic value and influence than nearly any other commercial entity in history. Together, they have a market capitalization of $2.8 trillion (the GDP of France), a staggering 24 percent share of the S&P 500 Top 50, close to the value of every stock traded on the Nasdaq in 2001.

How big are they? Consider that Amazon, with a market cap of $591 billion, is worth more to the stock market than Walmart, Costco, T. J. Maxx, Target, Ross, Best Buy, Ulta, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Saks/Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s, JCPenney, and Sears combined.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Google (now known as Alphabet) are together worth $1.3 trillion. You could merge the world’s top five advertising agencies (WPP, Omnicom, Publicis, IPG, and Dentsu) with five major media companies (Disney, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, CBS, and Viacom) and still need to add five major communications companies (AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Dish) to get only 90 percent of what Google and Facebook are worth together.

And what of Apple? With a market cap of nearly $900 billion, Apple is the most valuable public company. Even more remarkable is that the company registers profit margins of 32 percent, closer to luxury brands Hermès (35 percent) and Ferrari (29 percent) than peers in electronics. In 2016, Apple brought in $46 billion in profits, a haul larger than that of any other American company, including JPMorgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, and Wells Fargo. What’s more, Apple’s profits were greater than the revenues of either Coca- Cola or Facebook. This quarter, it will clock nearly twice the profits that Amazon has produced in its history.

Will the trend of the big getting bigger continue? Or is there enough of a Big Tech backlash to make things start regressing to more normalized levels?

We’re certainly not making a call and will continue to look for further evidence.

 

Fashion, Maslow and Facebook’s control of social

Benedict Evan’s post, Fashion, Maslow and Facebook’s control of social:

You can optimise a product, and measure it, but people still have to want it. Facebook can fill the home page with a feature, and a retailer can fill a shop with a look, but that doesn’t mean you can make people take it. You can only propose.

For the most part, I agree that Facebook is merely a platform and ultimately the final decision is up to the individual. His analogy is apt, and perhaps sticks out to me due my own retail experience. However, he loses me a bit at the end with this:

But I think we attribute vastly too much power to a handful of product managers in Menlo Park, and vastly too little power to the billions of people who look at their phone screen and wonder which app to open. Facebook writes algorithms, and designers cut the cloth, but that doesn’t mean they control what people look at or what people wear.

Facebook designs their platform to be incredibly addicting and they have vast resources to make that happen. That is real power and shouldn’t be dismissed. There are projects looking to create new decentralized projects, though it’s unlikely a true competing project has been launched yet and general public is certainly nowhere close to adopt.