2018-09-19

Buy or Sell Stocks? Nobody Understands the Stock Market (videos)

One View: "Wall Street Is Probably Too Optimistic on Stocks, Sell Now"

"Investing Strategies - Morning Jolt" video above published by TheStreet.com Sep 18, 2018: Sell now, ask questions later?

"The Reality" according to TheStreet.com's Brian Sozzi, who is bearish, in the video above: "Within a week, two industrial powerhouses have let investors down with their profits. Investors have to start paying attention. 3M warned last week on profits amid higher commodities costs. FedEx missed earnings forecasts on Monday by a whopping 34 cents thanks to investments in higher worker wages."

Fund Managers Say: A net 24% of investors surveyed by BofA expect global growth to slow in the next year, up from net 7% in August. It marked the worst outlook on the global economy since December 2011. Editor's note: this may, in fact, be a bullish sign for buying more U.S. stocks as the large U.S. domestic market is not as dependent on exports as say, China or Germany. In that case,  Wall Street's bull market may be "where the action is" among global equity markets for the foreseeable future, and may have a lot more life left in it. U.S. stock exchanges are still getting plenty of domestic, as well as many, if not most, of the best non-domestic tech listings and IPOs, including from Europe (e.g., Spotify $SPOT) and China.

Market tops usually come when greed has fully displaced fear (which is not the case today), one reason why almost everyone, including the Federal Reserve, didn't see the 2008 crisis coming.

Around The Street: Over on Real Money, TheStreet.com's Jim Cramer tackled why nobody cares about high valuations on stocks. "What's so frustrating, what's so maddening about this market right now, though, is that valuation makes no difference whatsoever in anyone's thinking. Anyone. You get these downgrades by analysts on valuation and you just roll your eyes because, you see -- and this is really the rub -- the buyers do not care. They aren't going to stop here. They get new money in, they look at their stocks, they think their stocks are cheap and they buy more of them. It's an insanely non-rigorous virtuous circle. You want to boil down the current investment thesis? It goes like this: I buy them because they go higher and they go higher because I buy them. Could there be a more stupid or a more profitable investment strategy at this moment -- and perhaps until the end of the year? I don't know. I can't think of one," Cramer said.

Editor's note: end of the year? It could run a lot longer than that--Trump wants a trillion-dollar infrastructure program--and may get the OK from Congress next year, with help from Democrats. Remember,Trump is a real estate developer who was always very comfortable using leverage (debt).
NASDAQ Composite
Trade Wars and Tariffs? "Tariffs on another $200 billion will mean about 12% of U.S. imports have seen a tariff hike. That means an average tariff increase of only 1.6% across all imports, so tiny compared to the 1930s, when they were 20%," says Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital Investors (ampcapital.com)--Markets Shrug Off Fresh Trade Salvo | SeekingAlpha.com Sep 18, 2018.

Looking further into 2019, is Brexit: Friday, 29 March 2019. The UK economy is the fifth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), ninth-largest measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). The EU seems to be forcing UK into a "hard Brexit" which will only strengthen Trump's hand for a quick "Free and Fair" trade deal between the US and UK, which both Donald Trump and Theresa May say they want. The UK is a net importer from the EU, so the EU stands to be hurt more by a "hard Brexit" than the UK, and opening the UK's $3.028 trillion economy (GDP PPP) to U.S. goods and services will open to the U.S. a developed market 1½ times the size of Canada's (GDP PPP), and for the UK, opening the U.S. economy ($20.4 trillion) to UK goods and services, will more than replace the EU (minus UK), as a trading partner. In such a scenario, don't be surprised if Trump, ever the showman, gloats over the stupidity of Brussels and Merkel, with what one might describe as a "shock and awe" US-UK trade deal meant to embarrass and humiliate the EU overlords in Brussels. Unlike Mexico, the UK, as a US trading partner, does not present competitive problems of low wages, lax environmental rules, crime and corruption. There is no language barrier, and the financial systems of both countries are already closely linked.

Michael Lewis: Nobody Understands the Stock Market

Bloomberg.com video above published Apr 2, 2014: "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt" Author Michael Lewis discusses his book, trading and the stock market on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers."

Editor's note: unless you are a professional trader, hedge fund manager, etc., the above is a good reason why individual investors should stick with index funds, starting with VFIAX, VFINX, or the like.

On the other hand,  cryptocurrencies? Hope you got out:

-- John Poole, Editor  Domain Mondo 

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