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Sunday Night Links

Back from one of the better concerts I have seen, Coldplay. Definitely a live show worth watching if you are even a marginal fan.

David Rosenberg gave us some thoughts on the market on Friday:

What we are still witnessing in the equity markets is a trading opportunity rather than a fundamental shift on the outlook. We must take into account what the risks are going to be once the buying momentum is lost. Over the near-term, it is obviously prudent to tighten stops and at the same time have a very careful eye on entry levels, but the medium-term and longer-term trends still suggest that we are in cyclical spurt in what remains a secular bear market.
John Mauldin discusses our Statistical Recovery in his Frontline Thoughts letter for this week:

“I’ve been down so long it looks like up to me,” went the song of my youth. The
recessions is not quite two years old. Every day we are hit with increasing
unemployment, lower incomes, rising taxes, and more – a relentless stream of bad news. We wonder whether it will ever end. And the answer is that of course it will. And it may be ending now. But this is going to feel like a very different recovery from what we normally think of as recovery. It will be more of a statistical recovery than a real one...

Without going into a lot of detail, housing construction may be at a bottom, or at
least there is less room to fall. Instead of housing subtracting 1% (or more) from GDP
each quarter, it may become a nonfactor as a bottom is reached. Does that mean
recovery? No, it just means that things aren’t getting worse. We are finding that level of the New Normal.

Ditto for inventories. At some point, you have to restock the shelves. Rail
shipments are down by almost 20% from last year, and UPS package volume is down
4.7%. And as Dave Rosenberg pointed out this morning, that is from last year’s already depressed levels. As Alan Blinder noted today in the Wall Street Journal, at some point you finally get to bottom. Housing, inventories and business investment stop subtracting from GDP, and the GDP stops shrinking...

Meanwhile, the market is clearly telling us that it sees nothing but blue skies in the future. I truly marvel at this rally, but I continue to think it is a bear-market rally. The weakest, high-beta names are rallying the most. This rally does not seem to be the basis for a sustained bull market. That being said, Richard Russell has removed the bear from his letter and put in a bull. I may be the last bear standing.