Record margin debt is not the only dangerous sign of the overly leveraged and speculative atmosphere the Fed has encouraged. Now the head of the world’s largest distressed debt fund, Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital, is warning of the dangers as retail investors gobble up distressed debt.
Oaktree’s Marks Urges Caution as Money Flows into Junk Loans
Here is a pretty scary line…
“You can’t go on strike and refuse to buy the securities you’re paid to invest in, because the market may not turn for months or years,” Marks said. “Never forget the old adage, being too far ahead of your time is indistinguishable from being wrong. So you have to buy but with caution.”
So in other words, the thing just keeps going until one day… it just ceases to go. Yeh, that’s a great fundamental underpinning right there.
If the monthly chart of the COMP is to be believed, 4% is the ‘reward’ side of the risk/reward equation in tech stocks. COMP could gobble that up in 3 days.
Bulls have surely won. The market has gone much higher than I for one thought it would when I got bullish on its prospects in late 2012. Much higher; but then I am not a bubble chasing momo. I am a conservative player with a negative view of the mechanics that have produced this bubble. Still, there is no use denying its reality.
Guest Post by Doug Noland
The evolving EM crisis took a turn for the worse.
Backdrops conductive to crises can drag on for so long – sometimes seemingly forever – as if they’re moving in ultra-slow motion. Invariably, they lull most to sleep. Better yet, such environments even work to embolden the optimists. This is especially the case when policy measures are aggressively employed along the way, repeatedly holding the forces of crisis at bay. In the face of mounting risk, heightened risk-taking and leveraging often work only to exacerbate underlying fragilities. But eventually a critical juncture arrives where newfound momentum has things unwinding at a more frenetic pace. It is the nature of such things that most everyone gets caught totally unprepared.
If you back out the fact that it is a measure of metals, the Palladium Gold Ratio is just that, functionally at least; a credit spread and economic indicator. NFTRH manages PALL-Gold by a bigger picture weekly chart, awaiting the firm signal of a turn. PALL-Gold was an early bullish economic indicator we used 1 year ago right along with the Semiconductor ramp up.
But for today, PALL-Gold (PALL-GLD) is taking a drop that is somewhat milder but in line with paper spreads like Junk to Investment Grade, Junk to T bond.
NFTRH has been noting that the Nikkei had lost support, while its whipping boy in the mirror, Johnny Yen was looking a little bottomy. As of today, here’s Johnny…
One of a multitude of indicators I see now that show risk flying ‘OFF’ as greedy casino rats the world over try to abandon ship.
TLT vs. SPY is but one indicator of the current ‘risk on’ condition for the stock market. The broad market (unlike some individual stocks and sectors; seen retailers lately?) has not made any technical breakdowns and beneath the surface indicators like TLT-SPY have not made any definitive moves to rein in risk taking.
But it is indicators like TLT-SPY and several others that would ultimately tell the story of a ‘risk off’ situation. For now, TLT-SPY has positive divergence and is grappling around with the 50 day moving averages. It looks constructive at least with RSI above 50, although this has happened a few times previously before ultimate failure.
Conclusion: We’ll just keep our mid-year plan (+/-) for a market top front and center until something triggers to change that. This market could well have another mighty suck-in in store for the public.
Two forms of money; one official but its only value is in ‘confidence’. The other is not really money, but its value is of something more than confidence. All confidence was lost in gold in 2013, so it had better have something more going for it. It is debt free as it is no one’s liability and it has been used as money for centuries.
Okay, blah blah blah… gold bug sighting above. What I wanted to actually do is show a chart of GLD & UUP looking pretty darned in line with each other over the last few months.
Whatever their differences, in the big ‘RISK ON’ environment cooked up by the Fed a couple of ‘risk off’ items have been fairly in unison outside the party. Today they are both above their 50 day MA’s.
Party on Garth.
I [they] Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb [Market] paraphrasing Stanley Kubrick’s great cold war/nuclear paranoia film Dr. Strangelove (1964).
The USA thrived during a 20th century rife with war, famine and depression. This was a wealthy country however, founded on principles of self-reliance and valuing thrift, saving and honest work for an honest return. Add in unparalleled productivity and economically at least, the positives more than outpaced the negatives.
Guest Post by Doug Noland
Not the most bullish looking start to 2014.
“The only thing that worries me is that there isn’t anything that you can worry about…” market pundit, CNBC, December 31, 2013