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Doug Short

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  • Update: Is the Stock Market Cheap? [View article]
    John, thanks for the suggestion. I'd be happy to collaborate on the topic. I think, however, that it puts a rather different spin on the concept of valuation from what I'm addressing the these charts. Low risk-free returns may drive alpha-seekers to invest in higher risk assets, which may in turn prolong periods of high P/E10 ratios and increase the ratios themselves. But the fundamental valuation remains the ratio itself.
    Aug 2 05:29 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ECRI's WLI Shows Unprecedented Decline: Leading Indicator or False Negative? [View article]
    Charlie, Thanks for your thoughtful response. Personally, I wouldn't bet the farm one way or the other on the strength (or weakness) of the ECRI indicators. Perhaps it's the greater concern about the impact than the odds that makes the business of recession forecasting so fascinating.
    Jul 5 05:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • World Markets Update [View article]
    Hi John -- yep, you got my number! I'm always looking for the easy way :) And I like tables of data best when I can turn them into charts.
    Jun 22 02:35 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bottom of Dow Trading Channel Is Below 5,000 [View article]
    Hi Wildebeest,

    Good question. You need to understand the difference between an exponential trendline and a linear trendline. On a logarithmic chart, exponential trendlines are straight, linear are curved. Here's an Excel example to help clarify:

    The reverse would be the case on a linear chart -- exponential are curved, linear are straight.
    May 21 11:11 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bottom of Dow Trading Channel Is Below 5,000 [View article]
    John, Very interesting, as usual. Here's a link to a Dow chart with a log y-axis and with another stab at trend lines:
    May 20 01:58 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Debt-to-GDP and Federal Tax Brackets [View article]
    "The problems we have result from the free lunch syndrome of American finance, businesses and people. And from the legislative bodies that, over the years, have served up the free lunches in a systematic program to ensure reelection."

    Thanks, John, well put.

    I was reluctant to post the Debt-to-GDP presidential overlay chart because I didn't want the article to be interpreted as having a political agenda. I'm a first-wave boomer and have seen for myself the epic changes from the 1950s to the present.

    I tried to hint at some of these with my reference to the transition from manufacturing to a service-based economy, the dawn of the Age of Information, and a gradual relaxation in both private and public concern about debt. But the preoccupation with consumption, which I didn't mention, was perhaps paramount:

    * "I want it all, and I want it now!" (1989 Queen lyrics)
    * He Who Dies With the Most Toys Wins! (T-shirts and bumper stickers)

    With the cooperation of the federal government, American businesses and the finance industry in particular have exploited this preoccupation with consumption by enabling a culture of excess. I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll eventually achieve a more sustainable economic climate. Meanwhile, our debts continue to accumulate as our leaders prefer stimulus to personal responsibility. We probably have a long way to go.
    Apr 5 05:53 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets: The January Effect [View article]
    Thanks! Here's a brief analysis with similar findings:

    To repeat my conclusion from the link: "Interesting stuff, but scarcely the foundation of an investment strategy."
    Feb 5 10:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3-Day Rally Ends For S&P 500 [View article]
    Yes, here's a longer timeline, courtesy of
    Oct 8 01:40 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 21st Century Has Not Been Kind To Equity Investors [View article]
    Here's the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested over the same time frame:
    The dividend difference is less significant than most people realize.
    Sep 12 07:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Lost Decade For The S&P 500 [View article]
    In response your your remark: "I think it would be more prudent to measure from the long-term avg PE ratio and advise people to avoid the market when it shows signs of 'irrational exuberance'."

    See, for example, this:
    Sep 11 07:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividends: A Macro Look at Yields, Past and Future [View article]
    Good analysis! Here's a more recent version of the first chart:
    Feb 14 12:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Unemployment Claims Down 3,000 From Previous Week [View article]
    bbro -- Excellent suggestion! Here it is:

    I'll now include this chart as a standard feature in my monthly update:
    Dec 16 12:00 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Retail Sales: The Stunning Impact of the Financial Crisis [View article]
    CMI Growth is too new to fully comprehend. But two points to consider: 1) CMI metrics are based exclusively on discretionary spending while census bureau sales are a comprehensive sampling. 2) CMI stats are real-time. Census Bureau sales are compiled, analyzed, seasonally adjusted, etc.

    CMI Growth is very intriguing. Let's see what the first revision GDP looks like (at the end of November, after the elections).
    Oct 19 09:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consumer Metrics Institute: Consumer Demand Still Contracting [View article]
    Hungry -- Yes, it could be. Here's a closeup of the past year:

    The underlying Weighted Composite Index has had a median value of 96.98 over the past 12 days. The latest daily value (Sept. 26) was 96.76. So there's some sideways churn of late.

    Indeed, this morning's Consumer Confidence Index doesn't bode well for a continued recovery in the CMI. This will be interesting to watch.
    Sep 28 12:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 'Real' Mega-Bears [View article]
    I use Japan's CPI for the Nikkei:

    Yes, deflation, for all its problems, does make an adjusted market chart look less grim. Click the two links at the top of this page to compare the contours of nominal and real overlay charts:
    Sep 20 09:15 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment