The Global Shift
The global shift is coming. Michael Kurtz of Nomura writes on Global Equity Strategy today on how the US will lag Asia and Continental Europe this year:
“With Fed Chair Yellen professing confidence in US labor market strength and the ‘transitory’ nature of oil-induced low CPI readings, two phenomena impose themselves upon the global equity foreground:
eventual acceleration in US wages, to the continuing benefit of US consumer spending power but the relative profit-margin disadvantage of US firms; and
ongoing US dollar firmness sustained by Fed expectations which already is helping redistribute US demand growth into the rest of the global economy via stronger US imports.
“[This is clear from] the recent US Q4 GDP breakdown, within which -- largely unappreciated amidst a predominant focus on the ‘disappointing’ headline number -- year-on-year US private consumption actually continued to accelerate (both goods and services). A key subtractor from the 2.2% SAAR ‘headline’ figure was net trade meaning more of that underlying US consumption pickup is materializing as imports from the rest of the world. This is good news for global markets receptive to any external shot-in-the-arm.
“Both continuing dollar strength and gathering US wage pressure (even if the Hourly Earnings component of today’s otherwise surprisingly strong February job data underwhelmed), suggest US stocks could continue to underperform in months ahead, even as US growth remains the global recovery’s key pillar, and even as the S&P continues to rise in absolute terms (as we expect). This was the pattern during the last Fed hiking cycle (2004-06 and beyond), [when] the S&P 500 rallied a robust 45% but was still bested by MSCI World Equities’ greater 65% gains.
“We expect single-digit absolute S&P 500 upside [in] 2015, with our current index target of 2,175 based on modest multiple expansion to 18x forward (2016) EPS of $120.80/sh We expect greater returns in Japan and Asia ex-Japan (both Overweight) [and] Continental Europe (Neutral),markets that benefit from rising US wages and, dollar strength, leaving us Underweight the S&P 500 by default.”
Monday the European Central Bank belatedly begins its quantitative easing program, now expected to run only about 18 months. If Mario Draghi is to be believed, this will be long enough to produce the growth and inflation needed.
More for paid subscribers follows from Belgium, Spain, South Africa, Germany, Switzer-, Ire-, Fin- and The Nether-lands, France, and Britain. Including an annual report and a new stock pick and a sell.
The Exit of the Gurus
I got a notice from some kids (?) at Google:
“Google recently sent you an email in English from firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject of "policy breach notice," regarding personally identifiable information.
“The message was sent in error; we would like to convey our sincerest apologies for the alarm that this must have caused you and your colleagues.
“You do not need to take specific action on this erroneous message however, due to the dynamic nature of publisher monetization we encourage you to periodically review our resources regarding PII.
“As you know, our policies prohibit partners from sending us data that could be recognized or used by our systems as personally identifiable information. When we learn of violations, we notify the publisher and take swift action.
“We know that you take user data and our program policies very seriously, and this message must have caught you off guard. For more information about the specific policies that govern passing PII to Google, and tips for continuing to keep your account compliant, please visit our help center.
“Stephen, Amy, Geoff and Rebecca, Google Publisher Policy Team.”
I am truly grateful that the emailed notice was allegedly in English although I had to have a Uruguayan help me figure it out when my webmaster could not. What would I have done had it been in Chinese?
Stanley Druckenmiller, an investor with among the best track records over the past three decades, told CNBC he expects stocks in Europe and Japan to outpace U.S. shares this year. “I’m not all that excited by the U.S., but I do have large exposure in Japan and Europe,” Druckenmiller said. His individual European picks include carmakers Volkswagen AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Airbus Group NV. They will benefit from a weaker euro in competition with Ford, GM, and Boeing.
Mario Gabelli is joining the exodus from US shares. He has just applied to create a new closed-end fund, The Gabelli Go-Anywhere Trust. It will be launched at $20/sh.
Another guru, Mohammed El-Erian, former chief economist at troubled Pimco, was quoted on the future price of oil today in www.seekingalpha.com, which claimed he had written an “op-ed” article for the stock news service. In fact, seekingalpha simply plagiarized an article written for Bloomberg, without attribution, and then published several insulting personal attacks by its readers against El-Erian. I got them off its website. Mr. El Erian, formerly also head of the Harvard Endowment, predicted that oil would go higher but not reach $100 for a while.
More guru news for paid subscribers below. There is also a company report from The Netherlands and France plus news from Britain, Switzerland, India, Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Poland, Portugal, Israel, Norway, Germany, Demark, and Brazil.
Terrorism and Tax Avoidance
A French judge has issued warrants for the arrest of three men who allegedly conducted a murderous attack on the Jo Goldenberg Jewish deli in Paris. The 3 men now named belonged to a defunct terrorist group, Abu Nidal. They live in Jordan, the Palestinian West Bank, and Norway.
The weird thing about this move by the judge, reported by Agence France-Presse, is that the Goldenberg bomb and machine-gun attack which killed 6 people, including two Americans and one Muslim, took place in August 1982. That was when we lived in Paris. I recally that my college roommate Linda (a widow raising 4 children) cancelled her planned visit to me out of fear of terrorism. Read more »
Its nice to have winners even if they are not stocks today.
A paid subscriber named Castro (the one from Uruguay, not Portugal) won the contest to decipher the google message I could not understand received Sunday. The message appears to have been sent to many people and here is his explanation:
“I think what it means is
'Publishers are given 30 days to remediate breaches of the identifying users policy. During this period, publishers will receive weekly email messages containing a list of ad requests grouped by domain from which PII is being detected.' (https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/6163366)”
By the way we do not use adsense.
The other contest, for figuring out what the chartist lady was talking about,was won by a paid subscriber calling himself a “Missouri doctor”. He wrote:
"One of these terms appear to be obtained from technical analysis, in one of its strangest guises: the 'Ichimoku Cloud.'
"Elliott Wave Theory was developed by R.N. Elliott and popularized by Robert Prechter. This theory asserts that crowd behavior ebbs and flows in clear trends. Based on this ebb and flow, Elliott identified a certain structure to price movements in the financial markets. The article serves as a basic introduction to Elliott Wave Theory. A basic 5-wave impulse sequence and 3-wave corrective sequence are explained.
"The Ichimoku Cloud, also known as Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, is a versatile indicator that defines support and resistance, identifies trend direction, gauges momentum and provides trading signals. Ichimoku Kinko Hyo translates into 'one look equilibrium chart'. With one look, chartists can identify the trend and look for potential signals within that trend. The indicator was developed by Goichi Hosoda, a journalist, and published in his 1969 book.
"'Chaiken' is most likely a misspelling of 'Chaikin analystics.' 'Wall street Pro' Marc Chaikin touts his system at this website.
Both winners' subscriptions will be extended by 90 days. Congratulations to both Mr. Castro and the Missouri doctor.
Now for serious matters:
Netanyahu, Obama and the Geopolitics of Speeches is reprinted with the permission of Stratfor
By George Friedman
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting the United States this week to speak to Congress on March 3. The Obama administration is upset that Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu without consulting with the White House and charged Boehner with political grandstanding. Netanyahu said he was coming to warn the United States of the threat of Iran. Israeli critics of Netanyahu charged that this was a play for public approval to improve his position in Israel's general election next year. Boehner denied any political intent beyond getting to hear Netanyahu's views. The Obama administration claimed that the speech threatened the fabric of U.S.-Israeli relations.
Let us begin with the obvious. First, this is a speech, and it is unlikely that Netanyahu could say anything new on the subject of Iran, given that he never stops talking about it. Second, everyone involved is grandstanding. They are politicians, and that's what they do. Third, the idea that U.S.-Israeli relations can be shredded by a grandstanding speech is preposterous. If that's all it takes, relations are already shredded.
Speeches aside, there is no question that U.S.-Israeli relations have been changing substantially since the end of the Cold War, and that change, arrested for a while after 9/11, has created distance and tensions between the countries. Netanyahu's speech is merely a symptom of the underlying reality. There are theatrics, there are personal animosities, but presidents and prime ministers come and go. What is important are the interests that bind or separate nations, and the interests of Israel and the United States have to some extent diverged. It is the divergence of interests we must focus on, particularly because there is a great deal of mythology built around the U.S.-Israeli relationship created by advocates of a close relationship, opponents of the relationship and foreign enemies of one or both countries.
To read more »
More for paid subscribers follows with two non-winner quarterly reports and news from Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Singapore, India, Ireland, Australia, Luxembourg, Portugal, France, and Belgium.
A New Contest
We have a new contest for you, to add or extend a subscription to this letter.
Attempting to understand a company in the routing and data transfer areas tempting one of our techie readers who knows all about interconnection photronics or optronics, I ran into this comment from a chartist named Sharon on the website both reader GY and I subscribe to:
"No bueno. The chart is heading south, under the ichimoku cloud, negative Chaiken money flow, and a very choppy pattern. Resistance is overhead at 9 and it looks like a Elliott wave bearish wave downside correction.
“I would wait for any indicator that shows a reversal from it’s[sic] present downtrend off the June 19 th high of 10.05. maybe there’s an upcoming event that can move it.
“It pays a good dividend, which appears to be moving the stock through the execution and payout cycles."
Sunday Portfolio Update
L'assassin du dimanche rules again as I am back in NYC. The model portfolio tables have been posted at www.global-investing.com and can be viewed by subscribers and others. (Only subscribers get to see our current holdings and advice.)
Leonard Nimoy, who just died, actually did not invent theKlingon hand sign with which his Spock character was greeted, separating your ring finger from your middle finger to create a block with two gaps (the other between the thumb and the index finger, which is natural in humans). This is the way members of the Jewish priestly tribe, Cohanim, hold their hands while they bless the congregation at the end of Orthodox services. If you are a Cohen by birth you are taught to hold your fingers that way as a child and you can have your whole hand in the same plane, like Klingon Spock did. Other Jews cannot do this once they are aged about 6. So I guess the actor Nimoy was a Cohen.
More for paid subscribers follows: Read more »
Our oldest subscriber has just died aged 109.
I first met Irving Kahn when I opened my first brokerage account at Abraham & Co., where my great-uncle Jack Oppenheim, stock market mentor to the German Jews, worked. (Jack had fled Germany with enough money to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and by then had become a US citizen and was allowed to sit in it.)
I was 13 and in what was then called Junior High (now Middle School) and we were being taught about stock investing in our math class. Back then it was legal to open your own stock market account even if you were a kid and didn't have a social security number.
Mr. Kahn asked me if I wanted to buy a stock with a high or a low price-earnings ratio. Since I had no idea what that might mean, I chirped back “high.” I then get a lesson in financial analysis from a master of Ben Graham's value system who had helped him teach and write his Financial Analysis book.
I went back to my class at JHS 52 with a better idea of how to select shares.
Many decades later, after Abraham and Co. was acquired and uncle Jack had died, Mr. Kahn became an early subscriber to my newsletter, for which I was grateful. Since I have a new name by marriage, I didn't tell him that I was the 13-year-old kid who thought you wanted a high p/e ratio, but he figured it out.
He invested a portion of the funds managed by Kahn Brothers, his company, into American Depositary Receipts for at least as long as I have been putting out this newsletter, but of course with extreme care, analysis, and selectivity.
Mr. Kahn was remembered for having shorted high-flying shares in the runup to the 1929 crash, because he could spot the bubble. He liked keeping cash around so he could buy after bubbles burst.
He was also remarkable for being one of 4 Kahn siblings all of whom lived to be over 100 years old, and were studied by the Albert Einstein Medical School of Yeshiva University to try to find out why.
More for paid subscribers follows from Hong Kong, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Portugal, India, Britain, Singapore, the US, Finland, China, Vietnam, and Japan including two annual reports and some investing advice for Argentinians.
When Knighthood Was In Flower
What knight will defeat the dragon winter?
It is wonderfully warm out, about 25° Fahrenheit, quite a boost from the Cleveland zero bound, and moreover we can walk around and not be driven. Somebody besides my kids and grandkids shovels the snow. The subway works.
The argument for city life would be stronger but for the collapse of public transport at the city where my other child and grandchildren live, Boston.
I imagine that the horrible February of 2015 will be recalled when my grandchildren are aged 173 after taking the latest anti-aging nostrum (the target age for what Bloomberg Businessweek calls “The Forever Pill”). That will be in 2181 AD or so. If you want to learn more, you can subscribe to the magazine or www.Global-investing to read our special report on X on our website. It has not been posted yet for non-subscribers because our webmaster in Newfoundland also has weather issues.You will be getting in after our readers have loaded up on the stock. Our copyrighted report has been bought by at least on major brokerage analyst.
More for paid subscribers from Britain, Germany, Israel, Brazil, India, and Canada.
Today I fly back. Planes are resistant to cold.
Today’s note is short and about industrial espionage. In the US and Britain organizations like the National Security Agency and the Govt Communications Headquarters work their way into the Sim card system to be able to tap the cellphones of people who may be up to no good—without a warrant.
In India the reverse occurs. Government officials are bribed to reveal what is supposed to be secret.
In India by now everyone already knows the size of the government budget deficit to be announced on Saturday: it will have a target level of 3.6%. You may wonder how this key figure which also will help people figure out in advance what the tax rate and growth for the country will be has become known.
India’s major multinational corporate sector and the richest families paid quite small bribes to government workers with access to the budget to get advance information.
More news from India, Mexico, Switzerland, Britain, Belgium,and the Netherlands today.