Alibaba had another incredible sales day with a reported $30.8 billion in sales in 24 hours, its 10th annual Singles' Day sale. The growth actually slowed to 27% which was the slowest growth for the Chinese internet giant. The sales number dwarfs the revenue from all US retailers during Black Friday ($5 billion in 2017), Cyber Monday ($6.6 billion in 2017) and Amazon Prime Day ($4.7 billion in 2018) combined. That is an incredible feat and shows the power of the Chinese consumers.
Today, Blackrock's CEO Larry Fink warned investors that the US is heading towards a "supply problem" as the widening budget deficit, expected to top $1 trillion annually starting in 2019, requires more borrowing. This is an issue that investors have never seen before. Typically government spending is restrained at the end of an economic expansion; however, this administration is stepping on the accelerator with neither party emphasizing fiscal responsibility. This could pose a huge problem if a recession hits over the next couple of years.
October has been a rough month for the stock market with the recent downdraft wiping out index gains for the entire year. The deterioration has been rapid despite a strong earnings season and overall S&P earnings increasing by nearly 30 percent. It is highly unusual for earnings and stock prices to diverge to this extent. Something is obviously deeply troubling investors, and we wonder if the Fed is triggering the start to the next bear market?
Given that I'm six months into my Sinemia membership, I wanted to give you a quick update on my experience as a Sinemia user. To put it simply, I'm already ahead of game saving money and enjoying more movies on the big screen than in previous years. The movie theater is better than ever with stadium seating, reservations in advance, Dolby digital sound, and reclining seats! Perfect for the blockbusters that the studios are pushing out each and every month. If you go to 4+ movies per year, this membership is a no brainer.
The Dow dropped 1300 points in a couple of days and the CNBC fear machine cranked into high gear. Even Fox Business News got into the action with the headline grabber "Biggest market crash in our lifetime coming - economist Harry Dent." Of course if you google "Harry Dent crash," he makes the same call every year so it is meaningless. The real question is: should you buy or sell the fear? The answer: it depends.
This week two prominent market veterans warned that the US could slip into recession next year. Mark Yusko of Morgan Creek Capital says that the chance is "close to 100%," while Dennis Gartman puts the probability at 50%. According to Gartman the cause will be the Fed tightening. Yusko blames trade tariffs as he said, "The trade rhetoric is one of the dumbest things in the history of all administrations and it will cause a global recession."
Today the Federal Reserve is expected to hike rates for the 3rd time this year to 2.25%. This is good news for your savings account as you are likely to see a slight boost in your interest rates; but that is no guarantee as many major banks are still paying close to zero. More importantly, you may be wondering what impact the rate hike has on your investment portfolio, especially stocks. Is this a reason for concern?
The media is focused on Hurricane Florence and its path toward the Carolinas and Virginia. Being a category 4 hurricane with 130 mph sustained winds, over a million residents are subject to mandatory evacuation due to risk of life-threatening storm surge, dangerous winds, and flooding. Our government is warning residents to take protective measures. This week also marks the 10th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse; yet in the financial industry, investors are often told to stay the course and ride out the storm. Can you suffer through another bear market like 2000 or 2008 when the S&P 500 fell over 50%?
For several years, I have written in-depth annuity reviews because there is little information about these complex products. Many retirees are being enticed by free dinner seminars and promises of huge returns with no risk. I give an A+ to insurance companies for producing a product that they claim to be "no fee" (are you kidding me? Fees are simply hidden so you can't see them), no downside risk (yes true) and still has the potential for stock market returns (too good to be true). Let's take a look at that last piece and the topic of this blog post: can index annuities provide stock market returns?
Yes I am swept up in the hype of the release of the movie "Crazy Rich Asians." As an Asian-American, I am hyped to finally see a major motion picture with an all Asian cast which we haven't seen since 1993's Joy Luck Club. Please go out and support the film!
But today's blog post isn't about the film, but about S&P earnings season which I'm calling crazy rich earnings. We have been bullish on the market because of the extremely strong earnings coming out of corporate America. While others have been warning about valuations (for years), remember that no bear market was caused by solely by over-valuation. How good has earnings season been? Let's take a look.
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