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The Next Big Catalyst for Stocks/Commodities

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Posted by Clif Droke - Momentum Strategies Report

on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 09:00

 

We're about to enter that time when financial commentators offer up their best guesses as to what investors can expect in the Near Year. It always makes for fun reading, but it also never fails to disappoint. Instead of engaging in that tired exercise in futility, investors would do better to focus on something more productive. And that would be next year's most likely catalyst for stock and commodity prices.

Instead of asking the fruitless question, "At what price will the S&P 500 finish in 2017?" wouldn't it be better to ponder what could possibly stimulate asset prices out of their lethargy? Granted, this is as much a guessing game as the former question. But at least applying critical thinking to the catalyst question, investors are almost certain to uncover some hidden opportunities for profit.

Having said that, what could be next year's biggest catalyst for a meaningful breakout-type move in: the broad equities market, the commodities market, or individual issues within both categories? Putting the pieces of global events over the last year together and reading between the lines allows us to make at least one educated guess: military conflict. War is after all one of the biggest catalysts for both stock and commodity prices, and it has the added benefit of boosting the economy, short-term. Of course war must be paid for down the line, but that's why "kicking the can" was invented (so that the day of reckoning can be perpetually delayed).

Terrorist events have historically served both as precursors and pretexts for going to war. As the following graph shows, terrorism has expanded dramatically in recent years [Source: www.civilserviceindia.com]. The exponential increase in terrorist events will likely be used to justify further military excursions among the Western nations which have become the targets of these events.

42870 a



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Stocks & Equities

Why are Americans Avoiding the Stock Markets; Fear or Lack of Money?

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Posted by Sol Palha - Tactical Investor

on Tuesday, 25 October 2016 06:57

"A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning." ~ Billie Jean King

The financial crisis of 2008 scarred many individuals and scared away even more; add in the Great Recession, and one can see that the average can come up with many reasons to avoid the stock market. To make matters worse, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, and wages in most instances are dropping instead of rising which means that many Americans have little to no disposable income left after expenses. Don't for one second believe the twisted statistics issued by the BLS (Bureau of labour department); those statistics are on par with toilet paper.

Individuals making $30,000 or less per year are more likely to avoid the stock market, citing insufficient funds as one of the main reasons. There appears to be a misconception in thinking that one needs a lot of money to invest in the markets. Nothing could be further from the truth. One can start off with small amounts and slowly add to this base over the years.; the power of compounding is amazing. If you start young enough even putting away $50-$100 a month can add up to a sizable bundle by the time you retire.

Another misconception is that investing in the markets is risky especially after the crisis of 2008. If one is investing for the long haul and in quality stocks, then investing is one of the surest ways of making money and building a sustainable nest egg. However, one needs to understand what one is getting into and not pluge into the markets blindly as is the case with most individuals.

Lack of education

We are referring to financial education and not higher education from institutes such as colleges or universities. We would even go as far as to suggest what these institutes teach regarding the stock market is useless. If you want to learn something, you need to allocate some time to it and then put that knowledge into practise. Regarding the stock markets it would be wise to look at the history of the markets; study past stock market crashes; the events that lead to the crash and events that set the foundation for the next bull run. Then paper trade before deploying your hard earned cash?

If you are going to rely on a financial advisor; how are you going to know if he is not selling you sack of sawdust if you know next to nothing. In most cases people set themselves up to lose in the markets or to be taken advantage of; it takes two to tango. Surveys done by bank rate shows that Millennials were twice as likely as any other group to cite lack of financial knowledge as their main reason for avoiding the markets. If this trend persists, they are going to ten times more likely to ask the government for handouts when they retire.

Distrust of the Financial Markets 

Yes, one could say there is a valid reason to fear the markets as many Millennials have grown up in an era of financial disasters; two of the most painful ones were the dot.com bubble and the Financial Crisis of 2008, which later came to be known as the Great Recession. However, again, lack of financial knowledge and the wrong perspective is what provides the foundation for this fear. Fear is a useless emotion when it comes to the stock markets; the best time to buy is when blood is flowing freely; translation, so-called disasters always provide opportunities for the astute investor. Additionally, one could have easily sidestepped both disasters by paying attention to market sentiment; in both instances the masses were euphoric, and they thought the bull market could last forever. Nothing lasts forever and when the masses are ecstatic it is time to leave the party.

Disaster can be viewed as an opportunity or as a tragedy; it all comes down to one's perspective. Alter the angle of observance and the perspective changes.

Concept of retirement planning is nonexistent for many

Bankrate states that only 25% of Americans check their investments and retirement accounts more than once a month. These same individuals can spend countless of hours on their phones texting each other or on Facebook or otherwise known as Face Crack. One does not need to look at one's investments every day, however, spending time on finding out what's trending or where the crowd is leaning could make the difference between banking your profits or trying to catch a falling dagger.

Ideally, individuals should have a rough idea of how much they would like to have by the time they retire and then come out with a feasible plan. Otherwise, they are bound to come up with some harebrained scheme that is fuelled by fear when they suddenly realise that the years have passed away, but the account is looking as miserable as it did on the day of its inception.

Disaster is usually opportunity knocking in disguise; take a look at the chart below

42852

The financial world often refers to black Monday (the crash of 1987) when they want to ratchet up the fear factor; on a long-term chart, it is just another blip that more aptly represents an opportunity rather than a disaster. In every instance before the market pulled back firmly, the sentiment was extremely bullish; in other words, the crowd was euphoric. If you used just followed the emotion you would have managed to avoid almost every disaster and this dates back to the tulip bubble. We are not talking about timing the exact top; those that try to time the exact top usually have plenty of time on their hand and an enormous appetite for pain.

For the masses, sharp pullbacks feel like a crash because they have the uncanny ability to buy exactly at the wrong time; they buy high and sell low. We will examine the concept of opportunity being masked as a disaster in a future article.

Conclusion



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The Boredom Before The Storm

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Posted by John Rubino - DollarCollapse.com

on Monday, 24 October 2016 16:42

With all the surprising and/or disturbing things going on – Brexit, China’s soaring debt, US/Russia/China saber rattling, the, um, unique US presidential race, the cyber attack that shut down big parts of the US Internet – you’d think that an unsettled world would be reflected in skittish financial markets. 

Instead we’re getting the opposite, with stock price movements becoming more and more placid as the year goes on. The following chart shows the volatility index (VIX) for the S&P 500 which, after some notable action in 2008 and 2011, has become ever-calmer, with recent readings comparable to the (in retrospect delusional) levels of 2006, just before the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. 

VIX-Oct-16

What’s going on?



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Technically Speaking: Can The Market Hang On To Support?

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Posted by Lance Roberts - The Real Investment Report

on Friday, 21 October 2016 06:57

Last Tuesday, I noted that a market decision was coming soon. It came sooner than I anticipated with a sell-off that broke the bullish trend line from the February lows. To wit:

“A major decision point is rapidly approaching which will decide the fate of the market for the rest of the year.”

In the daily price chart below, the break of that bullish trend line is clearly evident.

SP500-MarketUpdate-101716-4

“Notice in the bottom part of the chart the market currently remains on a sell signal. That sell signal is problematic for two reasons:

1) ‘Sell signals’ combined with overbought conditions tend to lead to at least short-term corrections.

2) ‘Sell signals’ formed at very high levels, such as currently, suggests limited upside and larger correction probabilities.” 

Let’s zoom in on the recent price action in the chart above. The chart below is the last 3-months of daily price movement. As you will see, while prices have been quite volatile, there has been virtually no progress in the market during the period.

....continue reading & view 9 more charts HERE



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Stocks & Equities

US Stock Market - a Spanking May be on its Way

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Posted by Acting Man

on Thursday, 20 October 2016 09:21

SpankingGoodTime

 

Time for some old-fashioned disciplining… (a. D. 1891)

Photo credit: Littleton View Co.

Iffy Looking Charts

The stock market has held up quite well this year in the face of numerous developments that are usually regarded as negative (from declining earnings, to the Brexit, to a US presidential election that leaves a lot to be desired, to put it mildly). Of course, the market is never driven by the news – it is exactly the other way around. It is the market that actually writes the news. It may finally be time for a spanking though.

....continue reading and view charts HERE

...also:

Short Rally



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