Morning Note: “Awesome Stories” and The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Asian equities leaned red overnight, with 9 of the 16 markets we track closing lower.

Europe’s following suit so far this morning, with 15 of the 19 bourses we track down as I type.

U.S. major averages are mixed to start the day: Dow down 46 points (0.15%), SP500 down 0.07%, Nasdaq up 0.12%, Russell 2000 down 0.03%.

The VIX (SP500 implied volatility) is up 1.08%. VXN (Nasdaq i.v.) is up 1.67%.

Oil futures are up 3.49%, gold’s up 0.35%, silver’s up 1.22%, copper futures are up 2.15% and the ag complex is up 0.65%.

The 10-year treasury is flat (yield flat) and the dollar is getting trounced, down 0.44%.

Led by all things weak-dollar (our longer-term thesis) — energy, base metals, silver, emerging market equities and agriculture — our core portfolio is up 0.37% so far this morning. Laggards are AT&T, Verizon, banks, industrials and utilities…

Here are a couple of quotes that capture these unique times in equity markets:

“…people are good at coming up with awesome stories. That’s part of why Tesla is worth two-thirds of a trillion dollars, and the market is at an all-time high with 10 million people unemployed.”

–Morgan Housel 

Actually, it’s now 19 million folks unemployed factoring in all programs… 

And here’s economist Dave Rosenberg this morning on the dangers of artificial sweeteners:

“If interest rates were ever allowed to “normalize” and take the prevailing P/E multiple along for the ride, the S&P 500 would be at 2,700. Just so that you know how much artificial sweetener there is in your equity portfolio.”

Actually, it’d be much much lower… Hence my expectations regarding the Fed controlling the yield curve (buying down the longer-end yield) as we meander into next year…

Have a great day!

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