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10 Responses

  1. Dow looks at 200-point gain on European Zone hopes

    ME-P; your staff must be mind readers.

    This just in as the blue chips see their biggest rally since March.


    Investors are betting on lower rates in Europe and possibly more Fed action for a Euro-Zone fix.

    Dr. Gupta


  2. The US Markets

    I believe US equities will continue to rise on speculation the Fed will extend Operation Twist, a decisive GOP victory in the Wisconsin recall, a potential recapitalization of Spanish banks, or some combination of all of them.

    Dr. Raiford


  3. Global Growth

    Global growth prospects received a shot in the arm today from a surprising rate cut from the Chinese central bank.

    In its first rate cut since 2008, the People’s Bank of China knocked 25 basis points off its benchmark rate and lowered deposit rates. Monetary easing in the world’s second largest economy, paired with a drop in U.S. initial jobless claims, provided a much needed boost to sentiment in the face of yet another downgrade of Spanish debt.

    Dr. Gupta


  4. Global fiscal worries

    I agree – The economic challenges in the Eurozone and the ambiguity surrounding U.S. fiscal policy have cast a shadow over market activity.



  5. ECB

    The European Central Bank just cut its key interest rate to a historic low and extended unlimited cheap loans to banks to try and help the flagging euro area economy climb out of a stubborn recession.

    And, ECB President Mario Draghi held out the prospect that more help might be on the way.



  6. Jonathan,

    Can you answer the following Qs:

    • What’s behind the poor performance of EM this year, and are they now cheap or a value trap?

    • What are the longer-term arguments for holding EM equities in a portfolio?

    • For those investors looking to invest in EM equities, what are some ways to implement?




  7. Ray,

    10 easy currency lessons:


    To a greater extent than usual, the movement of currencies is driving the prices of global stocks and bonds and is shaping monetary policies in key emerging markets.

    And, the above link may answer some of your questions.



  8. Strong USD

    Could a strong dollar derail Wall Street’s rally?


    Any thoughts?



  9. The Euro Hedge

    David – On January 22nd, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a plan to begin a major quantitative easing (QE) program in Europe.

    In an attempt to reach its 2% inflation target and to stop deflation from spreading throughout the continent, the ECB said it would buy sovereign bonds as part of a program to increase its balance sheet by more than €1 trillion Euros over the next two years.

    In 2014, the Euro fell 12% in relation to the U.S. dollar, its worst year against the dollar since 2005. With the ECB committing to asset purchases of at least 60 billion euros per month, the Euro may continue to depreciate against the dollar, which would serve as a headwind for U.S. investors allocating to European stocks.

    For those interested in mitigating the impact of foreign currencies on international equity allocations, it may be time for a currency hedge?



  10. Greek Debt Crisis and Chinese Stock Market Crash
    [Black Swan?]

    Two days ago, Greek voters said “No” to the terms of EU bailout in a national referendum. Yesterday, the Shanghai Stock Index fell another 5.9%. Cumulatively, the index has fallen 30+% since reaching its peak in June 12. Which of these two events will likely be the black swan that rocks the US market?

    I don’t think it will be Greece. The Greek economy is a mere 1.7% of the total EU. It’s basically a rounding error. When the first act of this Greek drama was played in 2011, the US market promptly dropped 19%. That was a wealth destruction ten times the size of the entire Greek economy. This just shows the fear of a disaster can be much worse than the disaster itself. Now that we are in the third act of this Greek drama, global markets are more or less immune to it.

    China is an entirely different matter, and it has a potential to become a black swan …

    • The stock market crash there just vaporized $3 trillion worth of investor wealth, all within a month. 99% of those investors are domestic Chinese investors.

    • According to a Goldman Sachs research, Chinese investors are highly leveraged. By some estimate, a 30% loss in market index could translate into a 60% loss to the average investor.

    • The growth engine for the Chinese economy is domestic consumption, not export or investment any more. Domestic consumption has been growing 10% a year in the past few years, you bet it’s going to be affected by the market crash.

    • There are 90 million stock investors in China, larger than the entire communist party membership. They are panicking, fearful, resentful, restless. As they have been conditioned to believe in the party, now they are blaming the party for their losses. The specter of massive single issue social unrest can not be ruled out. China is the second largest economy in the world, and the biggest growth engine, should a massive unrest breakout, the effect will reverberate across the Pacific.

    Now, some mitigating factors …

    • Before the recent 30% tumble, the Chinese market has gone up 150%. Even after this massive tumble, it’s still up about 70% from a year ago. So maybe not all investors lost money.

    • The Chinese stock market, like its internet, is walled in. Foreign investors can only invest in Chinese shares in the Hong Kong market, which is much more mature and stable. This has the effect of containing the economic disaster within China.

    • If you are my client, your exposure to China is about 2%, nearly all of that through the Hong Kong market. You can thank me later for protecting you from a bubble market again ;-).

    In summary, the situation in China bears close watching. The economic impact on us is limited, but fear can not be walled in, fear could spread to other Asian markets and even to our shores. Should that happen, remember what FDR said: “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”

    Michael Zhuang
    [MZ Capital]


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