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Cause for Concern? Coincident-Lagging Economic Ratio is at a 41-Year Low

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The Conference Board’s Coincident-Lagging Ratio has done a pretty good job of identifying recessions since 1958. That is, until now. In each of the last eight recessions, the Coincident-Lagging Ratio bottomed near the end of the recession and was declining throughout the recession. It has been a pretty reliable indicator giving only three false signals, excluding […]

Are Cyclical Stocks Trying to Tell Us Something About the Direction of the Dollar?

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Over the past decade, global cyclical stocks and the dollar have tended to move in inverse directions. Whenever the dollar weakens, like in the first half of 2009 and the second half of 2010, cyclical stocks have tended to outperform the broader market. Cyclical stocks have been outperforming since 7/7/16 and that outperformance really accelerated after […]

Bonds and Equities Are Syncing Back Up Again

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On 11/4/16, the 65-day correlation between between the S&P 500 and US 10-year treasury yields was as negative as it had been at anytime since June 2007. The 65-day rolling correlation was -30% compared to a 73% correlation that had occurred just a few months earlier in June. The negative relationship seems to be short lived […]

Inflation is Finally Surprising to the Upside But it Looks Like it’s All About Oil Prices

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For the first time since 2011-2012, inflation surprises are positive in many parts of the world.  The Citi Inflation Surprise Index is at the highest level since 9/2011 in Asia-Pacific, it’s at the highest level since 10/2011 for the Eurozone, and it’s at the highest level since 5/2012 in the emerging markets. One notable exception is […]

Optimism Is Soaring For Small Business Owners

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The latest NFIB Small Business Survey was a blow out report if there ever was one. Small business optimism increased to 105.8 in December from 98.4 in November and well above expectations of 99.5. The headline is at the highest level since 2004 and the one month increase is the largest on record. The surge […]