March 2016

Smart Money Insights: Weekly Brief Mar 21

If March ended today, the first quarter of 2016 would look like a “yawner”: the S&P 500 index rose modestly, emerging markets and commodities bounced nicely after a terrible 2015, some of last year’s gains on the dollar reversed (which eases pressure on corporate profits), and bonds performed nicely in a world of slowing economic growth and aggressive monetary easing. Completely absent from this narrative is the violent churn beneath the surface and the damage to many investment portfolios. In that context, it’s worth revisiting some of the drivers of market volatility this year. Is the US heading into recession? …

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Smart Money Insights: Weekly Brief Mar 14

The widespread reversal of losses through mid-February continued over the past week. The S&P 500 rose 3% and is up over 10% from the trough. Oil closed above $38 per barrel, up over one third from the lows and close to flat YTD. Emerging market stocks were up 9% on the week and are now up 3% this year. The most important, and least understood, event last week was the market’s reaction to the ECB’s significant expansion of quantitative easing. In addition, MLP investors got some bad news and many investors are starting to focus on the severity of Italy’s …

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Why Apple is NOT a Top Ten Holding of 93% of Hedge Funds

To infinity and beyond Buzz Lightyear   A recent report by Goldman Sachs describes Apple (AAPL) as a “Very Important Position” (top ten holding) for 47 hedge funds. Overlooked is that fact that it’s not a significant position for 93% of the hedge funds in the survey and represents only a 1-2% overall allocation, less than its weighting in the S&P 500. Further, three years ago it was in fact a top ten holding of 109 hedge funds, so more than half decided to cut back. What happened? Perhaps the real question is, “how cheap is AAPL today?” Carl Icahn, …

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Smart Money Insights: Weekly Brief Mar 7

It’s been an interesting few weeks, to say the least. Equities have recovered, but gains have been very uneven. Some macroeconomic fears have abated, or at least moved off the front page. In this weekly update, we check in on some of the major themes over the past several weeks, such as the likelihood of a US recession, the next move in central bank policy, whether China will devalue, the likelihood that oil has bottomed, or whether there will be contagion from energy sector high yield bonds. Is the US heading into recession? (update from Feb 22) In the first …

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