Timing & trends

Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Team Up on Healthcare: Hot Air or Real Deal?

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Posted by Michael "Mish" Shedlock

on Thursday, 01 February 2018 06:14


Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 6.17.43 AM

Three high-power firms agreed to take on rising healthcare costs. Sceptics abound. Can they succeed where others failed?

Three corporate behemoths — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase — announced on Tuesday that they would form an independent health care company for their employees in the United States.

It was unclear how extensively the three partners would overhaul their employees’ existing health coverage — whether they would simply help workers find a local doctor, steer employees to online medical advice or use their muscle to negotiate lower prices for drugs and procedures.

Details are scant but hopes are high in this joint BusinessWire Statement.

Three Statements

  • Warren Buffett: “The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy. Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.”
  • Jeff Bezos: “The healthcare system is complex, and we enter into this challenge open-eyed about the degree of difficulty,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Hard as it might be, reducing healthcare’s burden on the economy while improving outcomes for employees and their families would be worth the effort. Success is going to require talented experts, a beginner’s mind, and a long-term orientation.”
  • Jamie Dimon: “Our people want transparency, knowledge and control when it comes to managing their healthcare.The three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans”



Timing & trends

Todd Market Forecast: No Fear Yet

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Posted by Steve Todd - Todd Market Forecast

on Thursday, 01 February 2018 00:00

Wednesday January 31, 2018 www.toddmarketforecast.com

Available Mon- Friday after 6:00 P.M. Eastern, 3:00 Pacific.

DOW + 73 on 186 net advances

NASDAQ COMP + 9 on 699 net declines



STOCKS: Very choppy day. In the early going, the Dow was up a whopping 261 points. It then proceeded to give it all back, eventually going underwater by 25 points before surging back.

So, what is going on? Most likely end of month adjustments complicated by computer algorithms.

January was up150 S&P 500 points or 5.6%. According to the Stock Trader's Almanac, an up January predicts that the remainder of the year will be up with an 89.1% accuracy.

Near term setbacks aside, this market should have further gains in store, not only because of the above statistic, but because of earnings and decreased regulations.

GOLD: Gold was up $9. Long term rates were lower and the Fed declined to raise short term rates.

CHART: We continue to be somewhat concerned about the low readings of the 5 day m.a. of the CBOE Put Call Ratio. The decline should have put more fear into option traders.   

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BOTTOM LINE:  (Trading)



Timing & trends

It's the Most Important Question I've Had in 6 Years

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Posted by Michael Campbell

on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 12:21

US dollar symbolGet this right and everything else falls into place 

The World Outlook Financial Conference is just 3 days away and I can hardly wait. The track record has been amazing, from predicting the 2014 peak in oil and subsequent fall, to recommending the nascent marijuana industry at the same time.  We called the massive move in real estate in Vancouver in February, 2010 – the bottom on the stock market in March, 2009 – we even recommended Bitcoin Trust last January.
Obviously great money making forecasts, but there is one prediction made in the fall of 2012 and repeated at every subsequent conference that is more important than all the others. I’m talking about forecasting the huge up-move in the US dollar and the accompanying weakness in the loonie. I say more important not just because you could have exchanged the Canadian dollar for the greenback, put it under the mattress and made 30%, but for three other significant  reasons.

  1. A strong US dollar means money is coming into the US from all over the world, which is a significant factor in propelling the stock market to record highs.
  2. Any sustained recovery in the devastated commodity market, especially gold, is next to impossible with a strong US dollar.
  3. Trillions in US dollar denominated debt issued by foreign governments would be much closer to default with the increased strength in the greenback.

There are other reasons because the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency but let me get to what’s going on today.
My Big Question 
Is the current weakness in the US dollar indicating the major trend has changed, bringing the greenback inexorably lower over time? Because if the major trend has changed all of us have to act because it reverses the major investment moves of the last six years. 
A weaker dollar would mean higher commodity prices. It would probably result in lower bond prices as money leaves the US. Stocks would go down on the short term as money leaves the States.  It would mean the price of all US real estate holdings would drop in Canadian dollar terms, which may be of big interest to investors with properties in Palm Springs, Phoenix and Florida.
I’ve always said – if there is only one thing to get right in investing - it is the direction of the US dollar.  So not a big surprise that I want to know if the major trend has changed and the US dollar is about to go down OR if this is simply a correction and a chance to exchange more money into US dollar while the loonie’s up.
The good news is that we’ve got some of the top analysts in the world at the conference to help with the answer. Jack Crooks, well known currency expert will join James Thorne, billionaire money manager and Martin Armstrong, who’s been called the top forecast in the world.
Great people to have in your corner, and as I said, the answer is essential for your financial well being.
Of course, there are lots of other reasons to attend the conference. Josef Schachter is hosting a special program on oil and gas. Josef correctly predicted the recent rise in oil and gas stocks and we’ll get a chance to find out what he thinks now. Should we take profits or take bigger positions? 
Ryan Irvine will give his World Outlook Small Cap Portfolio, which has returned double digits every year – although that’s no guarantee of future success - but I like our odds. I’m really looking forward to getting the latest from Mark Leibovit on the marijuana sector, given he was the first one to recommend it nearly 4 years ago. And for the first time, BT Global’s Paul Beatty is coming and I guarantee that when he recommends a stock I’ll be taking notes.
I appreciate that spending Friday and Saturday at the World Outlook Conference is not everyone's cup of tea – maybe you have shopping to do or TV to watch – but I guarantee you’ll be missing out. Big things are happening that we can’t afford to ignore – at least if our financial future is important.
We have only 61 seats left – so don’t hesitate. Your financial future is worth it. And please come up and say hi at the conference.
PS To get tickets or a subscription to the archive video click on the link below.



Timing & trends

What Do Quincy Jones, Serena Williams and Blockchain Have in Common?Fr

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Posted by Frank Holmes - US Global Investors

on Tuesday, 30 January 2018 06:33


Two big themes last week at Inside ETFs, the Comic-Con of exchange-traded funds attended by more than 2,300 advisors and investors, were innovation and disruption. Like all other industries, the investing world has seen its fair share of disruption in the past quarter-century—think indexing, passive investing, the rise of robo-allocation and now blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the first ever ETF, and today total ETF assets top $3 trillion. That’s a far cry from the estimated $40 trillion sitting in mutual funds worldwide, but exchange-traded funds are rapidly catching up as investors seek cheaper, more innovative and tax-efficient instruments.

Consider robo-advisors, which emerged only 10 years ago. Who would have thought in the mid-2000s that so many investors would be comfortable enough with the idea of a machine managing their money? And yet here we are. By 2020, Citi analysts predict, assets controlled by robo-advisors could reach close to $450 billion globally.

Robo advisor  platforms forecast to continue growing around the world



Timing & trends

Clive Maund: Gold Market Update

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Posted by Clive Maund

on Monday, 29 January 2018 06:20

The key message of this update is that gold is getting closer and closer to breaking out of a giant Head-and-Shoulders base pattern that started to form back in the middle of 2013 and to point out that it won’t be stopped from doing so by any minor short-term reaction, especially as the dollar has just broken down from a giant top pattern and looks set to plummet, notwithstanding any near-term rally to alleviate its oversold condition. 

We’ll start by looking at the latest 8-year chart for gold which shows a fine flat-topped Head-and-Shoulders bottom. We can observe how a large and lengthy Right Shoulder has formed following the mid-2016 peak, that complements the large and lengthy Left Shoulder, making the pattern symmetrical, even if its component parts are a rather messy. We see how the price has risen up in recent months to challenge the resistance at the upper boundary of the pattern, and most importantly these runs at the resistance have been accompanied by a quite dramatic volume buildup, that has now driven both volume indicators to new all-time highs. This action by both volume indicators concurrently is very bullish indeed – it means that gold is destined to break out upside from this pattern into a bullmarket soon, regardless of what efforts the supposed “cartel” with their paper shenanigans make to stop it, and it’s not hard to see why given how much physical has been mopped up in recent years by countries such as China, that understand gold’s true value. Upon breaking above the nearby band of resistance, the 1st target for gold is the quite strong resistance in the $1520 - $1560 area. 


On gold’s 6-month chart, however, we can see that it has had a nice run in recent weeks that has resulted in it becoming rather extended, and with sentiment readings now very bullish, we should not be surprised to see a modest pullback that would probably be occasioned by a relief rally in the dollar to alleviate its oversold condition. We can use any such pullback to do additional buying, especially of gold and silver stocks. 



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