Sunday links: standard economics

StrategyMichael Batnick, "You can lead an investor to a winning strategy, but you can’t make them stick with it when the going gets tough." ( small, deliberate steps beat wholesale portfolio shifts. ( you have what it takes to make a bet on energy (or any other sector for that matter)? ( reaction to last… Read More..

Katie Couric and the Net Petroleum Exporter Myth

To understand what the general public is hearing about oil, I watched a Yahoo video yesterday with Katie Couric explaining the decline in oil prices.In general the piece was very good. Couric started by explaining that the decline in oil prices could be explained in two words: Supply and Demand.  She discussed reasons for more… Read More

Existing Home Sales: A Likely “Miss”

The NAR will report November Existing Home Sales on Monday, December 22nd. The consensus is the NAR will report sales at 5.20 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), however economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 4.90 million on a SAAR basis.Housing economist Tom Lawler has been sending me his predictions of… Read More

Schedule for Week of December 21st

The key reports this week are November Existing Home Sales on Monday, November Personal Income and Outlays on Tuesday, November New Home Sales on Tuesday, and the third estimate of Q3 GDP also on Tuesday.Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!----- Monday, December 22nd -----8:30 AM ET: Chicago Fed National Activity Index for November. This… Read More

Is the Market Rally Broadening or Narrowing?

One of the hallmarks of trading this year has been the underperformance of small caps relative to large caps.  As you can see from the top chart, the Russell 2000 Index (IWM) has pretty well underperformed SPY for most the year.  Recently, however, that relationship appears to have turned around.  At the recent market lows… Read More

ATA Trucking Index increased 3.5% in November

Here is an indicator that I follow on trucking, from the ATA: ATA Truck Tonnage Index Surged 3.5% in NovemberAmerican Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index jumped 3.5% in November, following an increase of 0.5% during the previous month. In November, the index equaled 136.8 (2000=100), which was the highest level on… Read More

Tracking Stock Market Dynamics: Demand and Supply

Two of the questions most important to understanding market behavior are:  1)  Who is in the market? and 2) What are they doing?  We need the broad participation of buyers and sellers to move markets, and we want to see if there is a skew in the participation of buyers and sellers.  So, in a… Read More

Freddie Mac: “Mortgage Rates Find New Lows for 2014″

Friday:• At 10:00 AM ET, Regional and State Employment and Unemployment (Monthly) for November 2014• At 11:00 AM, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for December.From Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Find New Lows for 2014 Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates falling to… Read More

On Bloomberg Radio’s Taking Stock talking Deep Value with Carol Massar, Jim O’Shaughnessy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy

Earlier today I was on Bloomberg Radio’s Taking Stock with Carol Massar, Jim O’Shaughnessy and Patrick O’Shaughnessy talking about opportunities in global deep value stocks. Here’s the .mp3 of Taking Stock: Buy Deep Value: Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Control of Losing Corporations (hardcover or Kindle, 240 pages, Wiley Finance) from Wiley Finance, Amazon… Read More

Comments on Fed Chair Yellen’s Press Conference

A few key takeaways:• There has been no change in FOMC policy. Replacing "considerable time" with "patient" was because we are moving further in time from the end of QE3 .  The first rate hike will be a "considerable time" from October.• "Patient" means it is unlikely the FOMC will raise rates at the next… Read More

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 289,000

From the DOL reported:In the week ending December 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 289,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 294,000 to 295,000. The 4-week moving average was 298,750, a decrease of 750 from the previous… Read More

Five Good Questions

Jacob Taylor’s new project, Five Good Questions, launched a few weeks ago. It’s a great concept. Jacob asks authors five good questions about their book and delivers the interview to your inbox every Friday. He’s lined up some very interesting thinkers in finance and investing. The link to my interview, which posted Friday, is below: Sign up to receive Jacob… Read More