Did The Old Secular Bull Ever Die?

It is a consensus view even among the most bullish investors in capital markets that stocks entered a secular bear market with the bursting of the technology bubble in 2000. Instead, the debate among the bulls and the bears that follow secular market patterns focused on whether the latest secular bear market ended with the market bottom back in March 2009 (the bulls) or remains ongoing through today (the bears). While I have long been firmly in the bear camp on this debate, another perspective that has been largely overlooked may also merit consideration. In a lurch beyond the most bullish of the bulls, what if in fact the most recent secular bear market never happened at all? What if instead the secular bull market that began in 1982 never ended and remains very much intact to this day? If this is indeed the case, what might this mean for capital markets going forward?

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

Oil: Is The Bottom In?

The recent rise in oil prices has been just as extraordinary as the recovery in stock prices. Given that oil has surged nearly +60% from its lows just over a month ago, is it reasonable to expect that the bottom is now in for oil prices? Or is it still possible that we could see fresh new lows despite the recently strong advance?

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

Did A Market Alarm Go Off On Friday?

The trading day seemed like most any other on Friday. Following what was a better than expected U.S. employment report, stocks initially advanced to the upside before fading into the afternoon and ending the trading day modestly lower. Not much notable here. But when digging under the surface, the performance coming out of selected sectors may be tripping the alarm bells that more downside pressure may be soon to come.

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

U.S. Stocks: All Better Now?

After having drifted lower since the beginning of the month, the U.S. stock market as measured by the S&P 500 Index suddenly exploded higher on Tuesday. And the key index tacked on a few additional points on Wednesday. In the process, the S&P 500 not only broke decisively above its recent downward trading channel but also nearly set a new all-time intraday high. Such a decisive reversal might understandably lead one to conclude that all is once again right with the U.S. stock market. But one does not have to look far under the surface to find evidence to the contrary.

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

Are You Positioned For ECB Stimulus?

The European Central Bank (ECB) brought fireworks to their latest press conference this past Thursday. Not only did ECB President Mario Draghi announce a cut of its main lending rate to the “lower bound” of 0.05%, he also revealed that the central bank’s intent to enter into its own form of quantitative easing (QE) by purchasing asset backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds at totals estimated between $500 billion to $1.3 trillion as early as October. This targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO) is being done with the stated objective of trying to more directly promote lending activity to small and mid-sized businesses across the euro zone. Given that we have seen so many of these monetary stimulus programs initiated by global central banks over the past few years, it is reasonable to consider whether a portfolio strategy is well positioned for this latest ECB stimulus plan.

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

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