Rising rates are adding new risks to equity markets. Stocks of companies that are saddled with debt have underperformed recently. And leverage is especially high in sectors widely seen as safe havens.
Another month and another new high in equity valuations, at least relative to sales. Indeed, the median company in our developed world index (which covers the top 85% of companies in each country) just achieved a price to sales ratio that eclipsed the 2000 peak.
If the only difference between playing for digital coins in mobile games and mining for cryptocurrencies is the ability to openly trade the coins for goods and services, one should wonder if the crypto frenzy is worth the hype and speculation. We think not.
Last week, we introduced this topic by discussing the Cold War. This week, we will continue our analysis with a reflection on markets, an examination of hegemony and a discussion of the expansion of globalization and the rise of meritocracy and its discontents.
On March 16, news broke that British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had gained improper access to data from as many as 50 million Facebook users (an estimate that has since been upped to 87 million).
To paraphrase the motto of the former iconic Chicago department store, Marshall Field’s, give the customers what they want. To give the “customers” a preview of what they are going to get, let me state that thin-air credit growth has slowed to a rate that is low both from a long-run and short-run perspective.
The March reports remained consistent with the view that inflation will move toward the Fed’s 2% goal, perhaps sooner than expected. The FOMC minutes were not expected to surprise, but several Fed officials felt that it might be appropriate to move the federal funds rate above a neutral level for a time.
Many investors who thought worrying about inflation was “so 20th century” may now be seeing reasons to reconsider: The business cycle in the U.S. is mature, output gaps have closed, trade frictions are mounting and populism is on the rise.
Investing 101 tells us that rising interest rates are bad for a bond portfolio. But if you’ve got a long investment horizon, that isn’t necessarily so. We think investors should be more concerned about the end of the credit cycle than rising rates.
Today's report on Industrial Production for March shows a 0.5% increase month-over-month, which was better than the Investing.com consensus of 0.3%. The year-over-year change is 4.33%, down fractionally from last month's YoY increase.