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  • The Big Chill: What's Wrong With The U.S. Consumer? [View article]
    Thank you, Russ. Your articles are a great source of thought provoking information.

    There may be a significant change underway in consumer behavior, of which we are just beginning to recognize indicators. Your insight that consumer debt persist at historic levels is one factor. I suggest there is also a shift underway from the more 'freewheeling consumerism' of a decade ago (pre-2008) to a more cautious/measured/cons... lifestyle for the US consumer. One indicator is the recent announcement by Whole Foods to reposition some of their business to a more cost conscious consumer. A second indicator may be the historic low rate of marriage among the '20 something' age group.

    Yes, much of this may be due to current economic conditions; with a dim prognosis for near term economic improvement in the opinion of a growing share of the population. Technology may also be a contributing factor: why go out to movies when you may well get better sound, a better picture and better choices in the comfort of your home? Hosting home prepared meals has become more fashionable than in previous, recent generations as well.

    All of this speaks to less consumerism for a potentially longer term trend, even if/when an economic recovery is more evident.
    May 14, 2015. 07:36 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stand And Deliver: Will The U.S. Economy Rebound As Expected In The Second Quarter? [View article]
    Yet another valued contribution, thank you. Russ, with a 'slow growth' scenario projected by the CFNAI through the near term, does this imply reduced expectations for growth stocks and an enhanced valuation on stocks demonstrating strong cash flow?
    Apr 27, 2015. 11:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I'm Going Against Consensus And Shorting Signature Bank [View article]
    SBNY has plateaued in share price performance for the past year. In that perspective, the writer has merit in urging caution. However, there has not been a compelling case made for why to short this particular regional bank.

    Using October 2014 as a benchmark for share growth is a bit misleading. What bank stock did not dip sharply/briefly during that time? Using the same justification, one should note the share price of $125 is essentially where the stock was in February of year ago. I share the perspective of the previous contributor (indepme) a catalyst is needed to discern movement - be that up or down from current valuations.

    Perhaps there are justifications for the author's POV that were not presented in the article. Based on the support provided, there is room for discussion.
    Feb 11, 2015. 08:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • HCI Group: More Risk, Less Return [View article]
    Perhaps, in contrast to the opinions shared, HCI is more analytical in reaching their decisions. Much to the surprise of many, Florida has 'received' fewer hurricanes than North Carolina, New Jersey or even New York over the past ten years. Yet, due to our expertise of looking to the past to project the future, we continue to disproportionately (in my opinion) weigh hurricane risk in Florida.

    HCI has some pretty sophisticated intellectual power when it comes to statistical modeling. Perhaps they are working from a base of statistical probabilities that are more far reaching in scope than appreciated.

    One example? Although not politically popular, there is growing evidence the earth is in a cooling phase, which bodes poorly for hurricane formation off the west coast of Africa. A second potentially influential factor of global cooling is the North American jet stream dipping further south, thereby affecting the path of storms approaching the North American continent (ergo New Jersey rather than Florida).

    Management at HCI may be more competent than just 'lucky' to be in the right place at the right time - as inferred in this article. Perhaps they grasp the current high cost of wind insurance to Florida home owners as an opportunity to grab market share from the more methodical, 'rearview mirror' management style of other insurers. If proven correct, they will merit a much higher multiple to their current valuation.
    Feb 11, 2015. 07:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Afternoon rally underway [View news story]
    Would be humorous if so many fine upstanding citizens were not risking their hard earned retirement funds. Such erratic market behavior only diminishes the credibility and respectability of participants.
    Apr 28, 2014. 03:48 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • GDP at 2.4% [View news story]
    Spot on. When you remove the political spin and assess the actual results (not projections), there is little more than an ongoing sputtering economy. So, now that we are apparently addicted to QE we are more enfeelbed, not an improving economic picture.
    Feb 28, 2014. 09:24 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Yellen takes note of recent weak data [View news story]
    Fascinates me how the so-called experts claim that QE has little impact on the equity markets. Once again, market behavior contradicts the experts. Clearly, QE has not helped the worldwide or domestic economy. Yet we have abundant evidence that Wall Street is thriving due to this largess. It is difficult to project a favorable 'unwinding' to any of this.
    Feb 11, 2014. 01:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Sentiment In Social Media Chatter On VXX An Early Indicator Of SPY Direction? [View article]
    Igor, refreshing! I find the information useful, timely and well presented. A minor quibble is you may invest more effort in succinctly summarizing your conclusions in the final two paragraphs. Overall, I think the contribution of value and a refreshing perspective at the proper time.
    Feb 9, 2014. 02:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Treasurys gain, stocks slump after big ISM miss [View news story]
    Yes, it must be the weather. Curious why that 'explanation' only works when the numbers disappoint?
    Feb 3, 2014. 11:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors January U.S. Sales [View news story]
    Depreciation is a valid gauge of the quality built into an automobile. German and Japanese car brands continue to depreciate the least with 'other' Asian brands (Hyundai) improving dramatically. General Motors products, despite the chorus of supporters in the press, continue to depreciate at a much more rapid rate than the alternatives.
    Feb 3, 2014. 11:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • On the hour [View news story]
    Yes, the trick is timing.
    Jan 24, 2014. 11:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Earnings Announcements In The Upcoming Week That Should Give Investors A Better Idea About The Economy [View article]
    Erudite and succinct, thank you. I share your perspective that monitoring results in key industries (particularly transportation, consumer sales and commodities) has greater credibility than government reporting. Housing trends are a good example of how actual sales in units contrast with projections. It seems much of 2013 was driven by policy actions rather than economic results. Perhaps the impact of such manipulation will have a lessening effect as we go forward.
    Jan 19, 2014. 10:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. won't renew deal with contractor CGI for Obamacare website [View news story]
    As if our government unionized bureaucrats have any proof of their competency.
    Jan 19, 2014. 09:57 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. won't renew deal with contractor CGI for Obamacare website [View news story]
    Accenture is hardly much of an improvement, sadly. Accenture subsists by feeding off government ineptitude. To presume that Accenture will improve the website debacle is optimistic. At least the squandering of taxpayer funds will be domestic. You can rest assured that Accenture will develop this into a long term gravy train with miniscule improvements, at best, each contract year while promising greater improvements sometime in the future.
    Jan 19, 2014. 09:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bubble Watch: The Valuation And Sentiment Signs To Look For [View article]
    Thank you, Russ, for a well reasoned perspective on the current market. Like you, I choose to rely on analysis to lead the thought process. It helps to sort out the 'wheat from the chaff' so to speak.
    Dec 8, 2013. 07:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment