The Capital Growth Channel

2 Reasons Why Volatility Can Remain Low

Russ discusses why economic conditions (for now) support low volatility in the markets.

RIP General Electric

One of the big pieces of news in the financial world today focuses on General Electric (GE). The iconic American conglomerate has been removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and its stock will no longer be included when the index is calculated. It will be replaced by the drugstore chain Walgreens.

Weighing the Week Ahead: What is Working, and Will It Persist?

The economic calendar is modest. Volatility is lower even with plenty of news. The summer doldrums have arrived! It provides time for introspection to fill those empty timeslots and pages.

Q1 Household Net Worth: The "Real" Story

Let's take a long-term view of household net worth from the latest Z.1 release. A quick glance at the complete data series shows a distinct bubble in net worth that peaked in Q4 2007 with a trough in Q1 2009, the same quarter the stock market bottomed. The latest Fed balance sheet shows a total net worth at an all-time high — 83.5% above the 2009 trough. The nominal Q1 net worth is up 1.0% from the previous quarter and up 7.0% year-over-year.

The Q Ratio and Market Valuation: Z.1 Update

The Q Ratio is a popular method of estimating the fair value of the stock market developed by Nobel Laureate James Tobin. It's a fairly simple concept, but laborious to calculate. The Q Ratio is the total price of the market divided by the replacement cost of all its companies. This update includes the latest Z.1 data.

PepsiCo: Rare Opportunity to Buy at a Better Valuation: Part 6

PepsiCo (PEP) is a Dividend Aristocrat, Champion and blue-chip stalwart that has increased its dividend for 46 consecutive years. Therefore, it should be no surprise that just as we saw with Procter & Gamble in part 5, this blue-chip stalwart has traditionally commanded a higher valuation (earnings multiple) than the average stock.

Existing-Home Sales Down Slightly in May

This morning's release of the May Existing-Home Sales decreased from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.43 million units. The consensus was for 5.52 million. The latest number represents a 0.4% decrease from the previous month and a 3.0% decrease year-over-year.

A Tricky Stock Photo Trap: Beware of “Editorial Use”

Especially for those of us who are artistically challenged, stock photos are the bomb. But there’s a trap to beware of, lest those photo bombs backfire on you.

National Debt No Problem - We Owe It To Ourselves - WRONG!

Our national debt has swelled to a record $21.16 trillion as of this writing. That includes debt held by the public ($15.4 trillion) and intra-governmental debt ($5.7 trillion). At $21+ trillion, our national debt is well above 100% of our Gross Domestic Product of $19.97 trillion.

Treasury Yields: A Long-Term Perspective

The last couple of years have been remarkable ones for yields. The 10-year note hit its historic closing low of 1.37% in July of 2016 and then rose 158 BPs to its interim high of 2.95% as of the June 15 close.

Debt Song: It’s Not a Pretty Tune

I spend a lot of time on the road speaking to our investors and advisors and one of the common questions I get during the Q&A sessions is, “What keeps you up at night?” Aside from having an 18-year old daughter—and being a chronic insomniac anyway—my reply usually centers around debt and the burden it has and will continue to place on our economy.

The Voting Machine vs. The Weighing Machine

The patriarch of value investing, Ben Graham, once said, “In the short run the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” His statement is just as profound as the day it was first spoken. However, it is timelessly mystifying to most investors.

Investing Without People

This memo covers three ways in which securities markets seem to be moving toward reducing the role of people: (a) index investing and other forms of passive investing, (b) quantitative and algorithmic investing, and © artificial intelligence and machine learning.

World Markets Update

Four of eight indexes on our world watch list have posted gains through Monday, June 18, 2018. The top performer this year is India's BSE SENSEX with a gain of 5.13%. In second is our own S&P 500 with a gain of 3.75%. In third is France's CAC 40 with a gain of 2.60%. Coming in last is Shanghai's SSE with a loss of 8.63%.


Oil Has Rebounded but Energy Equities Have Lagged. Is It over Already?

Energy equities have underperformed the S&P 500 materially over the last five years. While spot oil prices have risen significantly over the last twelve months, longer dated oil prices have not, and energy equities have remained under pressure.