Oroville Dam: Lessons For Investors

I live on the other side of the country from Oroville, California. Despite my distance, I find myself feeling genuine sympathy for those that have been directly affected by the crisis at Oroville Dam. At the same time, I am also deeply frustrated for what the problem represents, for it provides just the latest example of how the recently traumatic events could have been prevented by prudent actions taken long ago.

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The Beginning Of The End

A key driver of stock market gains throughout the post crisis period is slowly fading away. Who, if anyone, will be the marginal buyer of stocks if this important source of demand continues to fade away?

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Can The Gains Continue?

Corporate earnings growth on the S&P 500 index is set to return to positive growth this quarter on an annualized basis for the first time since the end of 2014. This is positive news for a U.S. stock market that is in some need of some actual fundamentals to support its increasingly lofty valuations. But now that corporate earnings are returning to the growth path, the next key question is whether it can continue into the future.

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Recession By Stealth

The United States is now emerging from recession after nearly two years of contracting. This was not a recession that showed up in the economic data, however. Instead, it was a recession by stealth. And the fact that the U.S. is currently in the process of accelerating out of this recession is supportive of the U.S. stock market, at least in the short-term. Interestingly, it also raises a potential warning flag for the long-term as well.

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Exit Sandman

Our long global market dream is almost over. After nine years of relentlessly aggressive monetary policy from major global central banks, the flow of stimulus is heading toward its end. Exit: night. Enter: light. Awake with both eyes wide open, for investors may soon find themselves off to a whole new Never Never Land.

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