Politics and Technology

politics and technology

China speeds ahead of U.S. as quantum race escalates, worrying scientists

U.S. and other Western scientists voice awe, and even alarm, at China’s quickening advances and spending on quantum communications and computing, revolutionary technologies that could give a huge military and commercial advantage to the nation that conquers them. The concerns echo — although to a lesser degree — the shock in the West six decades ago when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, sparking a space race. In quick succession, China in recent months has utilized a quantum satellite to transmit ultra-secure data, inaugurated a 1,243-mile quantum link between Shanghai and Beijing, and announced a $10 billion quantum computing center. “To me, what is alarming is the level of coordination of what they’ve done,” said Christopher Monroe, a physicist and pioneer in quantum communication at the University of Maryland. Full Story

Another confirmation that China is destined to be new the powerhouse and will probably hold this title for over 100 years after it moves to the top spot. China has focussed on developing trade; their second focus has been their military as they are primarily merchants at heart. They are going to win this battle for one reason; at the end of the day, they are going to have the biggest purse. As the saying goes “money talks and BS walks.

 

Xi Tells Zuckerberg and Cook China’s Set for ‘Unprecedented’ Reform

Chinese President Xi Jinping used a meeting with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook to announce that his nation is embarking on reform with “unprecedented determination and vigor.”

Less than a week into his second five-year term at the helm of the world’s second-largest economy, Xi’s remarks may underscore a shift toward loosening of restrictions on doing business in China. The nation is “willing to work with the U.S.,” Xi said, according to an official Xinhua report, adding that he’s looking forward to President Donald Trump’s visit next week.

Though use of Facebook’s social networking platform is blocked in China, the leadership from Xi down have increased pledges to open up to foreign companies across the economy. Xi was speaking at an event with overseas members of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management advisory board on Monday.

“China is willing to work with the US, to take a long-term perspective, care for each other’s mutual interests, and appropriately handle disagreements and contradictions,” Xi said. “We have an optimistic attitude toward the prospects for China-U.S. relations.” Full Story

This is the trend we have been speaking off for a while and which we just addressed in the last interim update. Asia led by China will move and more towards the direction of free markets and freedom, while the US will and the West will seek to restrain the populace.

 

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over. Full Story

Read this story in Detail for it provides some of the reasons of why America has lost its place in the Middle East and why Syria was Russia’s red line in the sand.  Most importantly, it reveals how strong the relationship between China and Russia is and why these two nations are set to dominate the world stage for decades to come.

Originally posted 2018-06-13 12:13:43.

Dow 22K Predicted In July 2017; Next Target Dow 30k?

Dow 22K Predicted In July 2017 Next Target Dow 30k

The Dow appears to have broken through the top of the Channel formation that fell in the 20,800-21,000 ranges. If it closes above 21,300 on a monthly basis then despite the markets being overbought, the Dow could surge past 22K before running into a strong zone of resistanceMarket Update June 18, 2017

Give the resiliency of this market; the Dow could very easily trade to 22K before it trades to 19K.  The masses need to show some enthusiasm; if they don’t and the market pulls back strongly, then it has to be viewed as a screaming buy.  For now, the masses seem to be locked in the pessimistic mode. The bullish sentiment has never traded to the 60% ranges even once this year; it did not even make it to the 55% ranges, and that is very telling. On the same token, the number of individuals in the neutral camp has generally continued to trend higher and higher.  Market Update July 6, 2017 

What’s next for the Dow?

Not only did the Dow trade to 22K but it surpassed this target and is now dangerously close to striking 23K.  The sentiment is still not bullish, so the path of least resistance is upward.  As for Dow 30K;  there is a good chance that the Dow could strike this target. We discuss that in full detail in this article titled “Dow Could Trade to 30K But not before This Happens ”

If you prefer to watch a video; then the video covers the essential points of the above article

Originally posted 2017-12-06 15:58:04.

Black Monday – The stock market crash of 1987

Black Monday - The stock market crash of 1987

What caused Black Monday: The stock market crash of 1987?

Monday October 19,1987, is known as Black Monday. On that day, stockbrokers in New York, London, Hong Kong, Berlin, Tokyo and just about any other city with an exchange stared at the figures running across their displays with a growing sense of dread. A financial strut had buckled and the strain brought world markets tumbling down.

In the United States, sell orders piled upon sell orders as the Dow shed value of nearly 22%. There had been talk of the U.S. entering a bear cycle – the bulls had been running since 1982 – but the markets gave very little warning to the then-new Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Greenspan hurried to slash interest rates and called upon banks to flood the system with liquidity. He had expected a drop in the value of the dollar due to an international tiff with the other G7 nations over the dollar’s value, but the seemingly worldwide financial meltdown came as an unpleasant surprise that Monday.

Exchanges also were busy trying to lock out program trading orders. The idea of using computer systems to engage in large-scale trading strategies was still relatively new to Wall Street and the consequences of a system capable of placing thousands of orders during a crash never had been tested. These computer programs automatically began to liquidate stocks as certain loss targets were hit, pushing prices lower. To the dismay of the exchanges, program trading led to a domino effect as the falling markets triggered more stop-loss orders. The frantic selling activated yet another round of stop-loss orders, which dragged markets into a downward spiral. Since the same programs also automatically turned off all buying, bids vanished all around the stock market at basically the same time. Full Story

 

 

The Crash of ’87, From the Wall Street Players Who Lived It

On Wall Street, when things decline, you tend to remember. When things decline a lot, you remember the date. Oct. 19, 1987, is one such example. The biggest single-day stock market collapse in history—a 23 percent drop—rendered once-trusted ideas useless and redefined the financial landscape for market professionals.

One of them was a rising Salomon Brothers bond salesman named Michael Lewis, who had yet to pen Liar’s Poker. “The markets in a panic are like a country during a coup, and seen in retrospect that is how they were that day,” he would later write of the chaos he witnessed. “One small group of people with its old, established way of looking at the world is hustled from its seat of power.”

Black Monday, as the day became known, is part of financial history’s fossil record, a divide between old and new markets. It was the first significant instance of computer-driven trading run amok. The nascent equity options market saw assumptions based on the Black-Scholes model overturned and replaced by a more complex world of volatility skews. And Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, just two months on the job, got to glimpse a market panic and sell his first “­Greenspan Put” under the U.S. equity market. Full Story

 

 

Remembering the worst day in Wall Street history

It was a day so terrible, it will forever be known as Black Monday.

On October 19, 1987, the stock market collapsed. The Dow plunged an astonishing 22.6%, the biggest one-day percentage loss in history. Even bigger than the 1929 stock market crash, just before the Great Depression.

Nothing since Black Monday has come close. Not the selloff after the September 11 terror attacks or the 2008 financial crisis.

On that day in 1987, as the cameras rolled on the frenzied floor of the New York Stock Exchange, prices on the ticker tumbled, the panic spread, and the crash worsened. By the closing bell, the Dow stood at 1,738.74, down 508 points. Full Story

Originally posted 2018-06-12 19:21:49.

Stock Market Crash Of 1929

Stock Market Crash Of 1929

What was the ‘Stock Market Crash Of 1929’

The Stock Market Crash of 1929 began on October 24. While it is remembered for the panic selling in the first week, the largest falls occurred in the following two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average did not bottom out until July 8, 1932, by which time it had fallen 89% from its September 1929 peak, making it the biggest bear market in Wall Street’s history. The Dow Jones did not return to its 1929 high until November 1954.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Stock Market Crash Of 1929’

The stock market crash of 1929 followed a bull market which had seen the Dow Jones rise 400% in five years. But with industrial companies trading at price-earnings ratios of 15, valuations did not appear unreasonable after a decade of record productivity growth in manufacturing – that is until you take into account the public utility holding companies.

By 1929, thousands of electricity companies had been consolidated into holding companies which were themselves owned by other holding companies, which controlled about two-thirds of American industry. Ten layers separated the top and bottom of some of these complex highly leveraged pyramids. As the Federal Trade Commission reported in 1928, the unfair practices these holding companies were involved in — like bilking subsidiaries through service contracts and fraudulent accounting involving depreciation and inflated property values — were a “menace to the investor.”

Full Story

 

A brief history of the 1929 stock market crash

  • The stock market crashed in 1929, plummeting into a correction.
  • Margin buying, lack of legal protections, overpriced stocks and Fed policy contributed to the crash.
  • There are ways to protect investors can protect a portfolio from downturns.

On October 16, 1929, Yale economist Irving Fisher wrote in the New York Times that “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Eight days later, on October 24, 1929, the stock market began a four-day crash on what became known as Black Thursday. This crash cost investors more than World War I and was one of the catalysts for the Great Depression. Irving Fisher’s declaration went down as the worst stock market prediction of all time.

Before the 1929 stock market crash: Risks and warning signs

Hindsight is always 20/20 but in the Roaring Twenties, optimism and affluence had risen like never before. The economy grew by 42% (real GDP went from $688 billion in 1920 to $977 billion in 1929), average income rose by about $1,500 and unemployment stayed below 4%. In the wake of World War I, the U.S. was producing nearly half of global output and mass production made consumer goods like refrigerators, washing machines, radios and vacuums accessible to the average household. Investing in stocks became like baseball – a national pastime. As newspaper headlines trumpeted stories about teachers, chauffeurs and maids making millions in the stock market, concerns about risk evaporated.

Full Story

 

Why The 1929 Stock Market Crash Could Happen In 2018?

As U.S. stocks continue soaring to record high after record high, investors anticipating an inevitable plunge have yet another cause for sleepless nights. The CAPE ratio, a measure of stock valuations devised by Nobel Laureate economist Robert Shiller of Yale University, is now at a higher level than it was before the Great Crash of 1929the Financial Times reports, adding that the only time the CAPE was even higher preceded the dotcom crash of 2000-02. However, the FT notes, there are some differences between 1929 and 2018 that make the CAPE parallel less terrifying for investors.

From their previous bear market lows reached in intraday trading on March 6, 2009, through their closing values on January 12, 2018, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has gained 318% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has advanced 299%. Regarding the CAPE valuation analysis, there are several key limitations.

Drawbacks of CAPE

According to investment manager Rob Arnott, the founder, chairman and CEO of Research Associates, CAPE has been on an upward trend over time. This makes sense both to him and to the FT since the U.S. as progressed from being essentially an emerging market to the world’s dominant economy during the course of more than a century. As a result, both believe that an increasing earnings multiple for U.S. stocks would be justified. While the current value of CAPE is above its long term trend line, the difference is much smaller than in 1929, as Arnott’s detailed research paper shows.

Full Story

Originally posted 2018-06-12 17:59:42.

Bitcoin Crash: Is Bitcoin Bull Dead Forever?

Bitcoin Crash

The dot.com mania underwent a backbreaking correction before the market blasted off and topped out at the end of 1999. The image above illustrates that Bitcoin also experienced such a correction, but because of the large follow through move it appears to be nothing but a blip. Consider that from a high of 2977 (June 10, 2017); it dropped to a low of 1808 set on the 15th of July 2017; it shed roughly 40% in that short period (illustrated by the green box). Everyone knows what followed.

Bitcoin Backbreaking correction Dec 2018

Misery loves company, but it tends to Pay’s very poorly in the long run
It looks grim, the media is pumping end of the world type scenarios, strong bulls are showing signs of weakness, and even contrarian investors are starting to break. Pure contrarians are smarter than the masses, but they do have flaws; the smartest investors are the ones that put the principles of mass psychology into play. They observe the mass mindset, and they understand that even when fear starts to creep into the equation, they are compelled to ask this question: Was the crowd in a state of euphoria when the market topped out? If the answer is “no”, then no matter how terrible the picture might look, the end game is that the crowd is being set up for a false downward move. And the normal response would “why”. Simple answer, this is an advanced form of Pavlovian training.

The Bitcoin crash was like the Tulip Bubble, it was a scam from the beginning. The ones that made the money were the ones that got in first, the ones that got in late were handed their heads on a stinky tin platter. Never get into an investment when the masses are euphoric, buy when there is blood in the streets and vice versa.

Stock market crashes are different as they don’t represent one sector, so it is just a matter of time before the markets will revert to the norm. From a mass psychology perspective, stock market crashes are nothing but long-term buying opportunities. Forget about the what happens if the stock market crashes scenario, and focus on what you would do if stocks you were dying to own before are now selling for pennies on the dollar.

Pavlovian Type Training Is Being Used On The Masses
When the market does put in a bottom after experiencing a backbreaking correction, and then goes on to mount a powerful rally; the crowd imprints the following data in their minds. Buy the pullback, because it is a fake trap to drive us out; they also start to believe in the following mantra “the stronger the pullback, the better the opportunity”. Next time when the Market puts in a top, bullish sentiment will remain unusually high, and that will be the warning to students of Mass Psychology that the real skull crushing correction is on its way. Again, we point you in the direction of the not too distant Bitcoin spectacular bull market and the equally spectacular crash. From low to high Bitcoin tacked on 11,000% in gains and the masses still assumed that the only direction it could trade was up. When it topped the Bitcoin crowd was beyond ecstatic.

As for whether the bitcoin crash is over, we believe that one should wait a bit longer before jumping in and for all intents and purposes, Bitcoin is highly unlikely to test the 20,000 ranges for a very long time. On the downside, bitcoin is likely to test the 3000 ranges with a possible overshoot to the 2,500 ranges before a meaningful bottom takes hold. At this point in time, there are many other stocks that look interesting and far more attractive than bitcoin, for example, PG, MRK, TCEHY, etc

Courtesy of Tactical Investor

 

Random views on Bitcoin Crash

So, you’ve heard about Bitcoin and you want to invest…
You’re not the only one! Bitcoin has been one of the best investments you could have made in the last 5 years. People are still using it to make a lot of money, in many different ways.
In this guide, I will teach you the history of Bitcoin, the future of Bitcoin and how to understand what goes into a Bitcoin price prediction. We will look at predictions for different years, including the Bitcoin price prediction 2019. I will answer the questions that are on everybody’s minds, like “Will Bitcoin crash?” and “Why is Bitcoin rising?”.
Understanding how to predict and invest is the first step to building a successful portfolio. However, with all investments, there are risks involved. So, you should always speak to a financial advisor before making any major decisions. Before going to Bitcoin price prediction, let’s go back a little to the basics. I assume, as you are reading this guide, you must have heard of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the world’s first digital currency and it has been very popular over the last year! A lot of people have made large profits by buying Bitcoin for a low price and then selling it for a high price.
Confused? Well, let me explain.
Bitcoin is a currency, just like US Dollars, Japanese Yen or British Pounds. It can be bought, sold and exchanged for goods and services. Full Story

 

Is Now The Time to Buy Bitcoin? The 2019 Edition

Many investors are still hesitant about Bitcoin ending the bearish period, despite Bitcoin’s recent consolidation price action and market fundamentals looking strong
How will you know if it’s the time to buy Bitcoin? In this article we’ll present signs that may indicate on an end to the current bear market.
Timing the market is almost impossible – meet the DCA option.
Most experienced traders know that markets are primarily driven by emotions, and the key to cracking them is understanding the market psychology as well as being able to interpret technical analysis and chart fundamentals.

Despite this public knowledge, many of us still fall into the same traps that cause us to either lose money or miss out on significant investment opportunities. This is not just limited to Bitcoin and crypto.

The current sentiment around the crypto markets indicates that the majority may be falling for yet another emotionally driven trap.

Ironically, people rushed to buy Bitcoin when it first hit $10,000 and $15,000 in late 2017, yet now when the price is around the mid $3K range (discount of over 80% from the all-time high), there is steady progress and strong market fundamentals, buyers seem to be more hesitant than ever about entering the market and buying Bitcoin.

Perhaps it’s the fear of being yet another victim of the market crashes we’ve seen during the 2018 bear market, or the constant negative messaging led by the mainstream media insisting that ‘Bitcoin is dead’ or a ‘pyramid scheme’. Full Story

Strategist Who Called Bitcoin Crash Says It’s Time to Buy Crypto

Bitcoin is in the middle of a sustained recovery and investors should use recent weakness to buy more, according to Fundstrat technical strategist Robert Sluymer. The largest cryptocurrency climbed to its highest since November.

“Use pending pullbacks to continue accumulating Bitcoin in the second quarter in anticipation of a second-half rally through ~6,000 resistance,” Sluymer wrote in a note May 2. He sees Bitcoin’s rebound from its 200-week moving average and breakout from its first-quarter trading range as “the early stage of a longer-term recovery developing.”
Bitcoin advanced as much as 7.2 percent to $5,795.50 as of 9:33 a.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. The 55 percent jump in 2019 has helped pull rival tokens higher. Litecoin has soared more than two-fold.

Adding to the overall optimism Friday was a Wall Street Journal report that Facebook Inc. is reaching out to financial companies and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system tied to the social network.
Sluymer warned in mid-November, when Bitcoin was trading around $5,500, that the asset had suffered “significant technical damage” that could take months to repair. Over the next several weeks, Bitcoin slid to as low as $3,136.04. In February, Sluymer cautioned that the technical position in the crypto space was still weak. Bitcoin didn’t recover the $5,000 level until early April.

Fundstrat was an early mover in analyzing cryptocurrencies and developed its own indexes. And Sluymer’s colleague, Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee, is regarded as a Bitcoin bull. Full Story

 

Originally posted 2019-05-14 11:28:31.

Trending Now News Equates To Garbage; It’s All Talk & No Action

Trending Now Fake News

Trending Now (Fake) News Equates To Garbage

Have you ever heard or seen the press push good news and that begs the question why?  Fear sells, and everyone is using fear as the tool to manipulate the masses.  It is the oldest trick in the books, but unfortunately, it works like a charm.  The so-called Trending Now News concept is just another ploy to make garbage somewhat platable.
Once you realise the ploy, it is easy to deal with the issue. How do you recognise the ruse, the best way is to stop watching TV. For example, I cut the cord roughly 10 years ago. I am always asked if I have a smart TV, and I respond with “yes it’s brilliant” because it keeps its mouth shut most of the time.   When you stop watching the news which is nothing but gossip on steroids, one finds out that nothing has changed. That’s when the realisation sinks in that today’s news has, and will always be an avenue for the best gossipers to turn garbage into sensational headlines. The news is worse than “toilet paper”; at least toilet paper is good for one swipe, one can’t lay the same claim to today’s news.
Bull Neutral Bear chartAnxiety-April-10-2019
The media is going to continue to weaponise the news. Be prepared for fantasy claims regarding Brexit, the trade war with China, and any other factor that can be spun.   Ridiculous claims that make no sense will be used to try to push the fear factor higher; once again the best solution is to just ignore what the media is pushing and focus on the trend.
The “silver lining” is that fear of the unknown increases the “uncertainty factor” and in doing so breathes even more life into this bull market. Until the Masses embrace this bull, this mad bull is unlikely to die.  The logical path based on the news is to panic, the illogical path is to ignore. Logic works when it’s based on reality, but fear is not based on reality, it’s based on a perception of what “could” happen. If you start to fantasize over what could, would, and should happen, one cannot focus on the trend.  Ignore the noise and focus on the trend. 

Despite the fact, that the DOW is dangerously close to testing its old highs, there are too many traders sitting on the sidelines waiting for the markets to pull back.  For almost this entire year, the number of individuals in the neutral camp has exceeded the individuals in the Bearish and Bullish camps.  Neutrality equates to uncertainty and uncertain individuals are the 1st ones to panic.

These chaps will react the same way they have always reacted in the past when the markets do pullback, they will panic and flee for the hills and the whole process of waiting for the next pullback will start over again. In the end, these guys worry about everything but never focus on the main issue, which is to make money in the markets. The only way to make money in the markets is to be in it; as the say, the rest is just noise. Hence there is a very good chance that the next pullback could push neutral readings to the 50% mark. Every time this has occurred (since the inception of this bull market), the markets recouped their losses and then surged to new highs.

The weekly charts illustrate that the Dow is now trading in the overbought ranges; it still has a bit of room before it moves into the extremely overbought zone.  On the monthly charts the MACD’s have still not experienced a bullish crossover; until they do there is always a chance that the markets could experience a stronger than expected pullback.  If this occurs embrace the correction as we from Nov 2018 to Jan 2019.  Market Update April 13, 2019

Random thoughts on the Fed and Stock Market March 2019

In terms of the stock market, until the Fed changes its mind, all sharp corrections have to be viewed as buying opportunities, and backbreaking corrections have to be placed in the category of “once in a lifetime events”, provided of course the trend is positive. That is what we are here for; to inform you if the trend is positive (Up) or negative (down).
The world is going to witness a Fed that has decided to make a cocktail of Coke, Heroin, Crack and Meth and take it all in one shot. Imagine what a junkie on this combination of potent drugs is capable of doing, and you will have an idea of where the Fed is heading in the years to come. Now the Gold bugs will cry “I told you so”. Our response to this statement; not so fast little bugs. While precious metals will do well, we think stocks in key sectors (and we are not referring to Gold stocks) will pulverise the precious metals sector in terms of returns. One such area is robots (particularly Sex-bots) and AI.  Market Update Feb 28, 2019 
Courtesy of Tactical Investor

Random views on Trending Now Fake News

how to avoid financial fake news

Steve McDonald (SM): The topic this week is information sources. With the president claiming that there’s all types of fake news out there, I have news for him: There’s always been fake news in the money press.

So we have Matthew Carr here today to talk about reliable information sources and why that’s so important if you’re going to get the market right.

Welcome, Matt.

Matthew Carr (MC): Thanks for having me, Steve.

SM: It’s my pleasure. We’re not going to get political, I promise you. But is there a lot of fake news in the money press?

MC: Oh, I’m with you. I believe there’s always been some sort of fake news or bias in the press. You know, when I was growing up, we were always taught to read, for example, The Washington Times and The Washington Post.

You read the same story in both publications. They each have a slant either to the left or the right. And you know that somewhere in the middle is the truth. And in the financial press, everybody’s going to pick their sides.

We live in this divided world where our political affiliations sort of dictate everything that we do, so it is important you try to make sure you’re cobbling together the best, clearest picture as possible, and a lot of times that just means pulling from as many sources as possible.

SM: Do you have a primary source of information that you like to use? Full Story

How Social Media Giants Are Fighting The Fake News Menace

In recent times, the issue of fake content has taken epic proportions. Major social media platforms like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) , Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) , Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) and Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google have frequently come under fire for failing to combat the spread of fake news on their platforms.

Social media giants are playing an expansive role in connecting the world, thanks to the improvement in Internet speed and connectivity as well as solid penetration of mobile devices. Per a survey by Pew Research Center last year, 20% of American adults learn about current affairs through social media and only 16% through newspapers.

However, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018, the usage of social media and aggregators for news is declining, primarily due to trust and privacy issues, and fake news concerns. The report, which surveyed more than 74,000 people in 37 markets, stated that only 23% of respondents trust the news they find on social media.

Fake News Proliferates Faster

Fake news is spread via bots and fake profiles that use cookies to track people’s website visits. Based on that data, fake profilers and bots allure users to view fake content. Notably, this not only fans the flames of misinformation but also creates cybersecurity threats.

Fake news has been responsible for numerous sensitive situations, including terror propaganda and tampering with people’s sentiments about culture, religion and politics. Full Story

 

How To Invest In A Time Of Fake News?

This election year has created a major challenge for investors: How to deal with the fake news that now circulates daily. The basis of investment fake news is trying to build forecasts and outlooks on political pronouncements. Therefore, we need to ignore the fake flow and focus on facts. Only by doing so can we have a sensible strategy for pursuing returns and controlling risks.

Disclosure: Author is invested in selected U.S. stocks and actively managed U.S. stock funds. Holdings include Apple, Starbucks and Walt Disney, mentioned below.

“Fake news” has two components, commonly used after elections

Taking as fact the statements of desire (primarily by President-elect Donald Trump) that drove the election cycle. The problem is that desires often change when the governing period starts, Moreover, the U.S. Government structure and political realities offer no assurance that desires can become reality, either quickly or as envisioned.

Making pronouncements of surefire investment actions based on simplistic interpretations of those statements of desire. This elementary A=B without fact, fulsome reasoning and common sense is an invitation to underperformance or, worse, loss as the contrarian approach turns out to be the correct path.
Ramping up the challenge is the trail of contradictory statements of desire

Based on his Donald Trump’s statements regarding military buildup, the advice is that we should buy defense stocks. However, what about Trump’s roast of Boeing and Lockheed, plus his dismissive attitude toward our NATO allies, a source of foreign sales? Full Story

Originally posted 2019-05-14 10:59:01.

Stock Market Crash Stories Experts Push Equate to Nonsense

stock market crash lies

Stock Market Crash Lies Make for Excellent Fables

The lies the media and all the experts were pumping during the sell-off phase (Nov-Dec 2018) was that the crowd had to worry about higher rates and an increasingly hawkish Fed.  And viola like magic the narrative has changed, now they are talking about a Powell put and how the Fed is turning dovish, which clearly proves two points we have been stating for a long time

  1. Mass Media should be viewed and treated with the same respect one accords to sewage.
  2. The masses (which include the experts) are always on the wrong side of the fence. For the record, these same penguins were stating that the markets were destined to crash last year.

Fear pays Poorly

First of all, we hope that the majority of our subscribers are starting to perceive that succumbing to Fear is a dangerous strategy to adopt.  Life and investing should not be stressful; stress is something that every Tactical Investor should abhor.  Moreover, remember, stress comes down to perceptions; alter the perception and one can shift from being stressed to being serene.

Experts love to push the argument that investing is hard and that it takes forever to master this art. Remember that investing is an art, not a science and art is meant to be enjoyed.  So are the masses starting to jump on the bandwagon after this strong turn around; the obvious answer would be yes_? The not so obvious answer would be ___? Continue reading, and you will find out 🙂

Investors are sitting on a massive pile of cash, and it is growing by the day.

The masses panicked when the so-called Santa Claus rally failed to materialise. What they failed to spot was that Santa was providing the astute player with a lovely shopping list and all the goods were on sale.   This January effect was one of the strongest on record and more than makes up for the Santa Claus fail, proving that our stance to remain cool during the so-called December meltdown (opportunity as far we are concerned) was the right posture to take. Santa Claus did not give presents last year, but he provided us with a fantastic list of stocks to buy at a discount price.

To date institutions and individuals have poured billions upon billions of dollars into money market funds. The apparent culprits were; Interest rates, the trade war, government shutdown, Trump investigations and whatever other rubbish you can come up with. Money market assets surged to $3 trillion this January, the highest level since March of 2010, clearly indicating that the masses as always know nothing and jump into the wrong investment at precisely the right time.

Pay close attention to the masses for the data they willingly provide is worth its weight in Gold. Sadly, the masses volunteer for the role of being used as “cannon fodder” over and over again. Try to save them, and they are likely to crucify you to the nearest pole they can find. Watch or read Plato’s allegory of the cave to understand why the masses will never reward anyone that tries to open their eyes.

Common Themes During Stock Market Crashes

The world is ending, and everyone needs to flee for the hills. The wretched media then diligently create a cocktail on steroids, and serve it to the herd; without fail, they fall for the same ploy over and over again.

“Investors can penalize themselves. While money market funds offer safety, they come at a cost as they accept a lower yield,” said Jerome Schneider, head of short-term portfolio management at PIMCO in Newport Beach, California.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgQ79evjylc

“I like cash now. You can earn a very reasonable return on cash,” said James Sarni, senior portfolio manager at Payden & Rygel in Los Angeles.

We stated all along that the Fed was lying about inflation and now the truth has emerged. Suddenly Powell is changing his tune. Now he has pledged to be “patient” before raising rates; what gives? B.S that is what gives, the Fed’s only function is to foster boom and bust cycles.

“I worry those investors who have long-term horizons may be hurting themselves,” said Kristina Hooper, global market strategist at Invesco in New York.

As always the masses will wait until the very end, then they will jump in and shortly after that the markets will tank. For the masses, the only possible outcome is pain and loss.  Investors sitting on the sidelines are already paying the price, quality stocks have made a strong comeback from their Dec lows, and the party has just begun.

PIMCO’s Schneider stated the following, and we could not agree more

“They tend to play it safe for too long,”

What Is Our Response To These  Stock Market Crash Stories 

It is rubbish end of story, for the markets have already priced this factor in and the experts are now going to spin gossip into news. At the moment they are still pushing the Tariff wars issue, but it will end on the same note; lots of huffing and puffing but the bad wolf will not be able to blow the house down.  What will knock this bull out? When the masses are ecstatic; until then all the nonsense that is graciously labelled as “news” should be taken with a barrel of salt and a shot of whiskey.

 Despite, the sharp rally the markets have experienced, the masses surprisingly are far from bullish; in fact, the largest number of individuals is in the neutral camp. The current reading; the number of individuals in the neutral camp stands at 37 and bears account for 32; this means that 69% of individuals are still either uncertain or bearish and that has to be viewed as fantastic development. 

Courtesy of Tactical Investor

Random views on Sock Market Lies

Stock Market Facing a 2019 Crash: 70% Correction Warning

July 2019 will mark exactly 10 years since the end of the Global Financial Crisis in 2009. It will also mark the longest period of economic expansion on record, surpassing the 1991 to 2001 internet boom.

The question – Is the current boom sustainable?

The 90s economic boom was fuelled by the internet. This economic recovery has been fuelled by historically low-interest rates and cheap credit – a situation many investors and economists say cannot last.

Warning Signs: The End of the Economic Boom
2018 has been the most volatile year in the stock market since the recession, and volatility can make stock market crises more likely.

The Interest Rates and Financial Crises Relationship
As the US economy firing on all cylinders, the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates eight times since 2015. However, as the US nears full employment, there is an increased danger of rising inflation and consumer prices.

Increasing interest rates is a strategy to curb the rise of inflation – increasing the cost of credit and making saving more attractive strikes a balance between people spending and saving.

However, there are also dangers to this approach. Lower consumer spending has a negative impact on the revenue of consumer-facing businesses. Declining revenue then tightens spending across both the consumer and business landscapes. At the same time, higher interest rates make it harder for financially weak companies to meet their debt obligations. Full Story

A Global Market Crash In 2019? 5 Must-See Charts!

Global markets look shaky. Global stocks were volatile this year, and even U.S. stocks have followed their path lower in recent months. The million dollar question is whether this will result in a global market crash in 2019 or whether this is the end of a weak period. After publishing our Stock Market Crash In 2019 Brewing forecast we now look at global markets. Based on these 5 charts we want to make a point about the probability of a global market crash in 2019, and indicate which leading indicators to watch.

InvestingHaven’s recent analysis of the important and violet global market crashes recent decades shows that any important crash started with weakness in currency and credit markets.

In other words any attempt to forecast a global market crash starts with a thorough analysis of leading currency charts as well as yields.

More specifically we have to look for the long term chart patterns, and structural changes in patterns like reversals from secular support or resistance as well as breakouts or breakdowns from secular trends. This is also the focus in this article, and we do so based on 5 long term charts.

The short answer to our question whether we should prepare for a global market crash in 2019: no we do not see enough evidence as of now of a global market crash in 2019 but some of our leading indicators are visibly deteriorating. Full Story

Stock Market Crash Inevitable in 2019: Bitcoin to Rise

Whenever a person buys a bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, basically you are investing in a market known as the crypto market. Most of the people think that there must be a relation between the current trend of other markets such as the stock market on the crypto market. And if it so, one must be worried about what will happen to the crypto market if the stock market collapse. Also, before that, one must foresee the chances of the stock market to be crashed in the upcoming years.

Well, in this article we will discuss two things which are anyhow interconnected to each other. The first phenomenon that we are going to discuss is the collapse of the stock market in 2019. Is it going to happen and what are the chances of the stock market crash in 2019? In the next section, we will discuss how if the stock market crashes in 2019, it will uplift the crypto market and bitcoin will rise due to it. So, let us first focus on how the collapse of the stock market is inevitable in 2019.

The stock market going to crash in 2019:
It has been ten years that a stock market crashed. As per the trade experts, the stock market is definitely going to collapse this year. The year 2018 itself was one of the worst years for stock market after 2008. Let us have some facts regarding the stock market current scenario: Full Story

 

Originally posted 2019-04-10 18:41:09.

Most Hated Stock Market Bull can’t be stopped by weak economy

Most Hated Stock Market Bull can't be stopped by weak economy

The data below serves as further proof that the economic recovery is nothing but an illusion.  It has only benefited those who don’t really need it. The rich have become even richer, the middle class has vanished and the poor are becoming even poorer.

 

  1. Real incomes have been flat to down slightly for the average household in the bottom 60% since 1980 (while they have been up for the top 40%).
  2. Those in the top 40% now have on average 10 times as much wealth as those in the bottom 60%. That is up from six times as much in 1980.
  3. Only about a third of the bottom 60% saves any of its income (in cash or financial assets).
  4. Only about a third of families in the bottom 60% have retirement savings accounts—e.g., pensions, 401(k)s—which average less than $20,000.
  5. For those in the bottom 60%, premature deaths are up by about 20% since 2000. The biggest contributors to that change are an increase in deaths by drugs/poisoning (up two times since 2000) and an increase in suicides (up over 50% since 2000).
  6. The top 40% spend four times more on education than the bottom 60%.
  7. The average household income for main income earners without a college degree is half that of the average college graduate.
  8. Since 1980, divorce rates have more than doubled among middle-aged whites without college degrees, from 11% to 23%.
  9. The number of prime-age white men without college degrees not in the labor force has increased from 7% to 15% since 1980.  Full Story

What should you do?

Sentiment indicates the masses are not bullish so this market is not ready to crash. Instead of panicking make a list of stocks you would like to own and when the market’s pullback, buy these quality stocks at a huge discount.

Market Sentiment Supports Higher Stock market prices

 

Originally posted 2017-12-06 15:49:39.

Permabear – A Special Kind Of A Stupid One

Permabear - A Special Kind Of A Stupid One

Being a Permabear is a recipe for disaster

It takes a special kind of stupid to be a Permabear; the one that even a thousand hard slaps will not alter. Perma-Bears have a death wish; they are begging to be taken to the cleaners for nothing else can explain this short-sighted way of thinking. A simple examination of any long term chart will prove once and for all that being a Permabear is never going to pay off.  There is not one long term chart that can prove that taking a bearish stance, in the long run, has ever paid off.

Whatever trend line you use, the 1st or the second one, the above 100-year chart of the Dow clearly proves that  Permabears are in the wrong when it comes to investing.

The solution is simple

Focus on the simple factors, for that is what helps determine the trend; factors such as mass sentiment, and extreme patterns (technical analysis) on the charts.  The news is not an essential factor; in fact, toilet paper has more relevance than news; at least it serves a noble function; one cannot say the same of news.

Anyone that advocates giving into fear should be thrown head first out of the front door(figuratively speaking that is) and never allowed back into your house or mind; fear never pays off; only the vendors of fear will make a handsome buck, the buyers will lose their pants, their shirts and their knickers too.

Marc Faber is a classic example of A PermaBear that is full of rubbish

This dude has made prediction after prediction calling for the mother of all crashes since the inception of this bull (2009) but the only thing  that has crashed so far are his predictions of a crash.  He would probably make a very good science fiction writer, for he seems to spend a lot of time concocting scenarios that have a very low probability of coming to pass.

Here he states that we are going to experience a great recession in 2018

Turns out once again the only recession was in his predictions, which for now, are the only thing that has been in a bear market. Hence if you are a Permabear on his ability to predict market direction it could actually pay off.

Then he goes on to state the party is going to end in 2018

Random Musings on being a Permabear

First of all, we hope that the majority of our subscribers are starting to perceive that succumbing to Fear is a dangerous strategy to adopt.  Life and investing should not be stressful; stress is something that every Tactical Investor should abhor.  Moreover, remember, stress comes down to perceptions; alter the perception and one can shift from being stressed to being serene.

Experts love to push the argument that investing is hard and that it takes forever to master this art. Remember that investing is an art, not a science and art is meant to be enjoyed.  So are the masses starting to jump on the bandwagon after this strong turn around; the obvious answer would be yes. The not so obvious answer would be no Continue reading. Turns out at least in the first half of 2019, the not so obvious answer would be the right choice. The masses are still nervous and until they start to dance on the streets, every strong correction should be viewed through a bullish lens.

Conclusion

This bull market is unlike any other; before 2009, one could have relied on extensive technical studies to more or less call the top of a market give or take a few months; after 2009, the game plan changed and 99% of these traders/experts failed to factor this into the equation. Technical analysis as a standalone tool would not work as well as did before 2009 and in many cases would lead to a faulty conclusion.  Long story short, there are still too many people pessimistic (experts, your average Joes and everything in between) and until they start to embrace this market, most pullbacks ranging from mild to wild will falsely be mistaken for the big one.

The results speak for themselves; the majority of our holdings were in the red during the pullback, but now they are in the black, proving that one should buy when there is blood flowing in the streets. It is a catchy and easy phrase to spit out but very hard to implement, because when push comes to shove, the masses will opt for being shoved.

Courtesy of Tactical Investor

 

Random views on Permabear

Another warning light is blinking on the dashboard of the US economy. This time it is the inflation-tied Consumer Price Index (CPI) which has the bears scurrying for their bomb shelters. David Rosenberg, a so-called perma-bear, was filling Twitter feeds with his unique brand of doom and gloom for the Dow Jones and wider US stock market.

GLUSKIN SHEFF ECONOMIST: CPI DATA PORTENDS RECESSION

David Rosenberg

Today’s CPI did miss targets against an expectation of a 0.2% increase relative to the 0.1% reading. The Dow Jones is easing gently off its highs today as well, having lost 53.29 points as of the time of writing.

In isolation, that’s a snoozefest, but Mr. Rosenberg did note something particularly interesting about the data as a predictor of recession. Apparently, he is using price pressure as a sort of alternative yield curve.

BOND-YIELD INVERSION: A STRONG INDICATOR OF RECESSION
Given that interest rates are always somewhat interconnected with inflation due to the Fed’s approach to monetary policy, this is not particularly ground-breaking. It is interesting, though, particularly with the bond market teetering on the brink of inversion. Full Story

A prominent Wall Street permabear says the stock market is ‘stoned on free money’ and it could ‘prove fatal’

One prominent strategist says the market is high literally and figuratively. Albert Edwards, global strategist at Société Générale, cautioned on Thursday that stock markets were becoming “stoned on free money,” leaving them “detached from reality.” It’s a condition that the strategist says could “prove fatal,” in the end.

U.S. equity benchmarks — and those across the globe — have roared back from a late-2018 selloff that culminated in one of the worst December returns in years, but Edwards says, in a Thursday note, that those gains have been largely aided by central banks that are willing to “inject another dose of euphoria into its market patch.”

Indeed, since a Dec. 24 low last year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.70% and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.50% have both advanced by about 20%, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.22% has returned about 23%, thus far, as of trading midday Thursday, according to FactSet data.

Easing trade-war tensions between the U.S. and China have helped stocks rebound, but a policy pivot by the Federal Reserve in January arguably delivered the most substantial shift in investor sentiment over recent weeks.

The Fed, headed by Chairman Jerome Powell, said it would be more patient in assessing future rate moves, and minutes of the January gathering released on Wednesday indicated that its efforts to reduce a $4 trillion asset portfolio could conclude as early as the end of 2019. Full Story

 

Permabear Sentiment Index

Yesterday, I have created a download item that creates an index called the Roubini Sentiment Indicator. The same guys who created this indicator also created another one called the Permabear sentiment index. Permabear refers to people who are always pessimistic and negative about the future direction of the economy and markets. The Permabear sentiment index is built using aggregate keyword volume data from Google Trends. The index is the result of the sum of four Google Trends popularity indices; the keywords used to create these indices are: Roubini, Peter Schiff, Marc Faber and Nassim Taleb.

The item will login in your Google account, load Google trends and create a Google Trends popularity index for each permabear. It will then download the data, parse it, calculate the sum of each permabear volume data and then save the result in ticker symbol: ^GOOGLE_TRENDS_PERMABEAR. As with the Roubini Sentiment Indicator, you must set the email and password fields of this download item to your Google email and password (Select the item, click on Update, click on the “2 Field(s)” button).

The author of the Permabear Sentiment Index claims that the Permabear Sentiment Index can make 3.5% over a short period of 3 weeks compared to the 1.6% yield of the Roubini Sentiment Indicator over the same period. The author gives one reason behind the good performance of this index. Full Story

Originally posted 2019-04-09 14:36:20.

Technology Driven Deflation Will Kill The Inflation Monster

Technology Driven Deflation Will Kill The Inflation Monster

Technology-Driven Deflation

Venture funding for AI is surging as evidenced by the chart below and the trend is showing no signs of letting up; in fact, the trend is so powerful that one can almost start with certainty that technology-driven deflation is going to be a very powerful force to reckon with. Imagine, small companies having the power to do what Amazon does but on a different scale.  For example, flippy the burger bot replaces several workers saving a business up to 100K a year

“We are excited about the impact Miso’s AI-based solutions will have for the restaurant industry. Humans will always play a very critical role in the hospitality side of the business… We just don’t know what the new roles will be yet in the industry.”

The Bot will never get tired, never need uniforms and it’s not going to get sick or complain. Bottom line it is the perfect worker for small business burger joints that are looking to contain their costs and improve their services.  As for the big players are concerned, it has the potential to reduce their overhead by billions.  Last but not least, companies won’t have to worry about paying a minimum wage of up to $15 an hour and providing benefits

USA AI Funding

Little Caeser’s want to create their own Bot

Pizza chain Little Caesars has been awarded a patent for an AI-based robotic system that will help assemble Pizzas at a significantly faster pace. The patent includes two robots, one stationary arm and another fully-fledged robot chef to handle the dough and take care of oven duties.

According to the company’s explanation in the patent, the robot would free Little Caesars from the tedium of repetitive tasks and allow them to “perform other value-added tasks.” Presumably, that’s the same thinking that gave us Flippy, the burger-flipping robot.

It doesn’t appear to actually cook the pizzas or slice them, and the only listed topping is pepperoni — though it probably wouldn’t be hard to adapt it to other toppings. I’m sure there are only so many ways one can “properly distribute” pineapple or olives. Still, there are other robots already doing the things this particular one can’t — Zume Pizza in Silicon Valley, for example, can shape the dough and bake the pizzas at a rate of 372 an hour.

If Little Caesars were to ever combine their robot with Pizza Hut’s self-driving pizza delivery truck, the only human force we’ll ever need will be a single human to load the pizzas into the car. Full Story

Could the pizza bot move like Flippy? Time will tell

“Now he moves like a ninja and is more reliable,” says David Zito, the CEO of Miso Robotics, which created Flippy.

“We’ve been trained since childhood that robotics were coming in the future,” notes Louise Perrin, an accountant who works nearby. “To be a part of it, to see it and watch it happen live in front of you … is absolutely incredible.”

“I had to come in and see Flippy,” she says. “I’d heard the buzz. The concept of a robot flipping your burger is awesome.”

Central Bankers action could Fuel Technology-Driven Deflation

The shrinkage of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has played a significant role in exerting upward pressure on borrowing costs as parts of the U.S. economy have shown signs of decelerating, a study from the Kansas City Federal Reserve released on Wednesday showed.

The model developed for the study showed the level of reserves plays “an important role in determining the federal funds-IOR spread over the medium- and longer-term and that repo rate dynamics play a relatively less important role,” A. Lee Smith, a Kansas City Fed senior economist and the author of the study, wrote. Full Story

 

The China Factor

It is premature to say China is coursing toward a Japan-like falling-prices drama. Yet recent data warrant a moderately sized blip on investor radar screens. In November, consumer prices slid 0.3% from a month earlier, while producer prices fell 0.2%. On a year-on-year-basis, producer prices advanced just 2.7% in November, the weakest reading in two years (consumer prices are up 2.2% from a year ago).

Bond traders are taking no chances. Earlier this week, 10-year yields dropped to 3.27%, the lowest in more than 18 months. And, really, they have every reason for gloom considering the headwinds blowing China’s way — and how they may intensify next year. Full Story

Courtesy of Tactical Investor

Originally posted 2019-04-09 13:38:57.