Central Banks

ETF Battles: LQD vs. JNK, Who Wins?

This is an excerpt from ETF Battles on ETFguide TV between LQD vs. JNK – two bond ETFs at opposite spectrums of credit risk.  Who wins the battle? In our latest ETF Battles, Ron DeLegge at ETFguide referees the match-up between the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Bond ETF (LQD) and the SPDR Barclays Capital …

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Beefing up Your Investment Portfolio’s Tactical Side in the Coronavirus Era

The Coronavirus outbreak has turned out to be more than just a Black Swan – it’s a totally random Black Piano from the sky that takes the Black Swan by complete surprise, landing on the poor bird. The global pandemic has penetrated nearly every element of society, totally upending healthcare, politics, business and education. What …

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Factors that Should Influence Your Investments

If you asked a thousand different people about the key factors that should drive their investment choices, you’re bound to get a thousand different answers. Some, for example, might be inclined to argue that U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:SCHB) have increased for eight consecutive years and there’s no reason to make any portfolio changes because stock prices …

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Why the Debt Ceiling Deadline Isn’t That Scary

On Oct. 15, the sitting U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent his warning letter to Congress to increase the U.S. debt ceiling “or else.” Should bond investors be scared? Here’s an excerpt from Lew’s letter to Congress: “Based on our best and most recent information, we now estimate that extraordinary measures will be exhausted no later than …

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Gift-Wrapped Trades Courtesy of the Fed

The almost +2% jump in the S&P 500 (SNP:^GSPC) just three-days before the release of the Federal Reserve’s no rate hike decision looks suspicious and so does the heavy call buying volume. And while this type of curious trading activity resembles insider buying right before a big corporate takeover, I’m confident the Securities and Exchange Commission will …

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Euro Bears Get Whipsawed

Selling pressure in the euro has been relentless over the past year and the currency has fallen just over 19% in value. Without surprise, pessimism toward the euro has been building. Look at these recent mainstream headlines: Delight or Dread as Euro Falls – New York Times (Mar. 11, 2015) Euro Sinks to 12-year Low – …

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BBQ Grill 2

Treasury Doomsayers Get Grilled by Hated Rally in Bond Prices

In late 2013 just before the Federal Reserve began its scaling back on monthly Treasury bond purchases, the conventional wisdom was that interest rates would rise and bond prices would fall. Invariably, the consensus opinion was – at it has been since “quantitative easing” or QE began in 2008 – that “interest rates have nowhere …

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Gold and Silver Bars

How to Print Money in the Psychotic Gold Market

The gold market is the epitome of human psychosis.* On one hand, there’s the anti-gold camp that have utter disdain for precious metals 24 hours a day, eight days a week. On the other hand, there are the survivalist types, general goldbugs, and anti-Fed clan who live, breath, and eat gold at any price. Together, …

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Boxer Vintage Mecca Card

Don’t Let the ‘Great Yield Slide’ Punch You in the Nose

At the beginning of the year, the yield on 10-Year U.S. Treasuries was just shy of 3% and appeared ready for takeoff into the stratosphere. Alas, the long-awaited period of runaway interest rates had arrived! The something weird happened. U.S. Treasury yields (ChicagoOptions:^TNX)– like a schizophrenic mad scientist straight out of the movies – suddenly …

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Do Regulators Encourage Market Manipulation?

The latest episode of stock market cheating by high-frequency traders (HFT) has set in, yet unanswered questions remain. Do regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) encourage market manipulation? Manipulation refers to the dishonest activity by individuals or institutions who try to game the price of a stock (NYSEARCA:IVV) or a certain market for their …

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Have Precious Metals Seen Their 2014 Peak?

After posting its first monthly decline of 2014, gold now trades near 7-week lows and the charts are looking ugly. As readers familiar with our research know, last year we were consistently bearish on gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) and precious metals (NYSEARCA:SLV) along with mining stocks (NYSEARCA:GDX). Last year, our largest ETF gainer was the Feb. 2013 …

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Are Chinese Stocks Really a Bargain?

Chinese stocks are the bargain of a lifetime. That’s what pundits from Goldman Sachs to analysts at major media outlets have been reporting. Are they right? The resurgence of borrowing money, led by world governments, has pushed global debt levels up 40% from $70 trillion in 2007 to around $100 trillion today. And while the …

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Bitcoin and the Road to Obsolescence

Napoleon Bonaparte once quipped that fame and glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever. As it turns out, that’s a fitting description of bitcoin’s illustrious past and probable future. Besides wild price swings, government bans, massive security breaches, and fraud, the $8 billion bitcoin market’s latest hurdle is something nobody (except for Marc Rich) can …

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Beating the Dividend Income Drought

Will dividend yields test 1999 lows? That was the title of my post from a few weeks ago in which I explained to readers how the dividend income drought facing investors continues into 2014. Interestingly, the Federal Reserve’s initiation of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) on Dec. 16, 2008 wasn’t the beginning of the bear …

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Chinese Stocks are a Wonderful Value Trap

When it comes to properly assessing China’s stock market, are financial experts bad or just blind? Here’s what they’ve been saying: Buck the Trend, Buy Chinese Stocks – Forbes, Jim Oberweis, 7/9/13 Huge Reforms in China Could Lead to Big Upside for Top Chinese Stocks – 247wallst, 11/19/13 It’s Time to Buy China – MarketWatch, …

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Government Overspending is Fueling Debt Boom

Each month, our Mega Investment Theme Report organizes the order of major events by their impact and importance. And swelling sovereign debt (NYSEARCA:BWX) continues to be a stubborn trend that has made every single report. In Ernest Hemingway’s classic novel, “The Sun Also Rises” someone asks the character Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt. He quips: “Gradually, then …

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The First Inning of China’s Bear Market

Never mind China’s reputation for cooking the books; its raw uncooked economic data is sagging. China’s unexpected drop of 18.1% for February exports was the biggest decline in Chinese exports in almost five years and its biggest trade deficit ($23 billion) in two years. (Analysts, that over-optimistic bunch, had forecasted a 7.5% rise.) In January, …

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$17.41 Trillion in U.S. Debt, like Stocks, at Record Levels

The Russell 2000 small cap index (NYSEARCA:IWM) just made a new all-time high, but stocks aren’t the only thing topping. U.S. public debt is at record levels too and heading higher. Total outstanding public debt is now at $17.41 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department’s latest daily statement. That’s almost $1 trillion over last …

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Emerging Market Stocks: Bargain or Value Trap?

I was recently lectured on Twitter by a Wall Street strategist about why emerging market stocks (NYSEARCA:EEM) are a raging buy. Among his top arguments for being and staying long were extremely negative sentiment and chart patterns. He was particularly adamant about “depressed values” in Chinese stocks. Interestingly, the view among other strategists that emerging …

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Will Gold’s Latest Rally Stick?

Sentiment extremes should be on the radar screen of all investors. That’s because they can point to buying opportunities and sharp reversals ahead.  The latest action in the gold market is a perfect example of this. Just a few short weeks ago, year-end tax loss selling was in full force and universal hatred for precious …

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