- American shoppers, at the margin, are frequenting their favourite stores more often but buying less per trip. They are doing this to take advantage of lower prices down the road. So, the bond market has inflation expectations on the brain, but the consumer is not going to pay the higher price — unwilling and unable. This is very supportive for the fixed-income market
- We can understand the pre-occupation with nonfarm payrolls, but frankly, the bloom comes off the rose when one turns to the Household Survey and sees that full-time employment has declined now for five months in a row.
- Corporate profits have been terrific, but not due to any meaningful increase in top-line pricing power. Fully 96% of the rebound in output since the recession ended has been due to productivity growth
- For the past year, the S&P 500 has crossed above the 1,200 mark five times and has moved below the 1,100 threshold no fewer than thirteen times. This is a sideways moving market now for over year — a low of 1,022 and a high of 1,225. Sell at the highs, buy at the lows, until there is a decisive break either way. No doubt the equity market never did cheapen up enough for our liking — that day will come — but the total return to date has been a bit better than 7% compared to 11% for the long bond, 12% for the 10-year T-note and 10% for the corporate bond market. Gold is up more than 20% and silver by over 60%. The bond-bullion barbell that we have been espousing for years actually worked again in 2010. [Today]
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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich