Is A Stealth Liquidation In Stocks Underway?

It is September 2014 and all is well. Or is it? The U.S. stock market set a new all-time high earlier in the month and is less than +2% from striking another fresh peak despite some modest weakness in recent days. The uptrend in stocks also remains firmly intact and is supported by an economy that while sluggish is still plodding along. But despite this generally placid appearance on the surface, some notable signs of deterioration are growing underneath that warrant close attention in the days ahead. For it is possible that something much more substantial to the downside may be slowly starting to brew.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Investissements Sans Frontieres

Investors are stock market obsessed. When tracking the daily financial news from mainstream media sources, you could easily draw the conclusion that if one seeks to generate a reasonable rate of return on their investment, the U.S. stock market is the only game in town. Sure, the bond market gets a passing discussion on occasion but it is often in relation to stocks. Gold might also receive a brief mention along with a look of derision every now and then. But otherwise, nearly all of the daily conversation in the mainstream financial media centers on the U.S. stock market. It might seem to many that if you are not invested in U.S. stocks, you are simply not invested at all. But this notion could not be further from the truth as we live in a world of investment possibilities that is increasingly without borders. And given how strong the U.S. stock market has performed over the last few years relative to so many alternatives, it is becoming ever more reasonable to explore the opportunities that may exist outside of this perceived comfort zone.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

This QE Bower My Prison

The Federal Reserve’s persistently aggressive monetary policy has had a paralyzing effect for many investors over the last several years. Like a skillet of boiling hot milk being emptied on one’s foot, repeated monetary stimulus programs, including three rounds of quantitative easing, two rounds of Operation Twist and the quintupling of the Fed’s balance sheet, has distorted capital markets in such a way that it has imprisoned many investors to a bower of heightened risk control and uncharacteristically short-term thinking amid the expectation that the negative spillover effects from such unprecedented policies will eventually come home to roost in a significant way. But as we enter the twilight of the Fed’s supposed final round of quantitative easing, the confined investor has reason for gladness, for they can continue to delight in the splendor of today’s market while also knowing that nature never deserts the wise and pure in the end.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

A Surprising New Portfolio Diversifier

Portfolio diversification is a primary objective for most investors in any market environment. And it is a particular priority today for many that wish to participate in any further upside the aging bull market may provide in the coming months while also seeking to protect against downside risk. Normally for stock investors, true portfolio diversification is achieved through allocating to other vastly different and generally uncorrelated asset classes such as long-term Treasuries and gold. But in 2014, a surprising new category has emerged from within the stock market itself to become an effective portfolio diversifier in the current environment. This category is the utilities sector, and it may now be worth another look following a recent pullback.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Why Thursday’s Sell-Off Matters

The stock market was rocked on Thursday, posting its worst single day decline in nearly four months. Such declines are certainly not unexpected, and it was clear following a spring and summer of quiet markets that some degree of downside volatility was more than overdue. But unlike many other recent stock market pullbacks, Thursday’s decline was notable, as it came with a convergence of troubling forces not seen in capital markets in over a year. In short, the stock market sell-off on Thursday matters, and how events unfold in the coming days should be watched closely for potential action, if needed.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,932 other followers