Morning Note: Financial Progress Is, Alas, Cyclical

Asian stocks for the most part continued their rally into the week, with 12 of the 16 markets we track closing higher overnight. Same for Europe, with 14 of the 19 we follow in the green so far this morning. U.S. major stocks are more or less hanging in there as well: Dow up 116 points (0.41%), S&P 500 up 0.12%, Nasdaq flat -0.01%, Russell 2000 up 0.99%.

The VIX (SP500 implied volatility) is once again bucking the trend, albeit mildly this morning, up 0.32%. VXN (Nasdaq vol) is down -0.39%.

Oil futures continue to bounce back, up 4.0%, gold’s up 0.09%, silver’s down -0.63%, copper futures are down -0.09% and the ag complex is up 0.92%.

The 10-year treasury is lower (yield higher) and the dollar is off -0.07%.

Our core mix, led by banks, energy, ag commodities, emerging market equities and base metal commodities, is starting the day higher by 0.27%. Healthcare and silver are our only losers thus far this morning.

The equity markets, on balance, continue to shrug off mixed incoming data, heightened political tensions, high valuations, heavy concentration, on and on, all in the hopes of a major stimulus package that’ll have traders bidding stock prices (and their attendant valuations, etc.) ever higher…. Hmm…

There’s lots for us to crunch, assess, study and explore as our long-term macro thesis evolves in the weeks and months to come.

Setups such as the one we currently find ourselves in demand — as we study similar setups past — that I continue to share quotes such as the following from Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation:

“If investor perceptions and behaviour have not changed significantly in three hundred years, it is natural that speculation should also retain its original qualities. The modern investor is just as liable to be whipped up into a frenzy over companies introducing a new technology as the diving engine “cullies” of the Projecting Age. According to the financial journalist and historian James Grant, “progress is cumulative in science and engineering but cyclical in finance.””

Have a great day!


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