Almost Daily Grant's

“Almost Daily” is the new, end-of-day delectation from Grant’s.

ADG tells you what happened. It speculates on what may happen and tracks and develops Grant’s themes. Look for it after the New York close of trading—almost daily.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Almost Daily Crypto
Bitcoin is so early-December.

Inflate gate
Take a bow, central bankers of the world!

Recap Dec. 12

Monday, December 11, 2017

HELOCopter money
The adage that “trees don’t grow to the sky” is being put to the test in the Great White North.

Security guard
Shares in over-the-counter name The Crypto Company,

Recap Dec. 11

Friday, December 8, 2017

Pik your battles
A follow-up on yesterday’s ADG

Chain, chain, chain
Is your bitcoin position burning a hole in your (virtual) pocket but fear missing out on more upside?

Macro and micro
In a Twitter bulletin this afternoon, Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. writes

Recap Dec. 8

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pik and choose
Pay-in-kind (PIK) toggles, a type of boomtime security in which the issuer has the option to pay its creditors not in cash,

Risk on, and on
From today’s Toronto Globe and Mail:

Recap Dec. 7

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Engine rev
In the 72 years since the conclusion of World War II, there have been 11 recessions, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research,

Recap Dec. 6

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bond fun
It’s been remarkably easy sledding for the stock market of late.

Recap Dec. 5

Monday, December 4, 2017

Beanie babies redux
First came bitcoin, then came ICO’s, now comes:

Red sea
Rising short term interest rates (almost) the world over have been one defining characteristic of financial 2017.

Recap Dec. 4

Friday, December 1, 2017

Meet the new boss
Undoubtedly thanks to its white-knuckle price action and yuge rally of late, bitcoin has for the first time passed Donald Trump in Google search requests,

Energy saver
What if the supply glut that has bedeviled energy markets since 2014 is less severe than commonly believed?

Weapons of Mass Perfidy
Caixin Magazine reports yesterday that China Mingsheng bank,

Recap Dec. 1

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Prognosis negative
For all the peculiar price contortions that have characterized our post-crisis financial world,

Recap Nov. 30

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Price is might
Let’s take a brisk tour of the most exciting, confounding, lucrative and, yes, dangerous financial realm in recent memory:

Recap Nov. 28

Monday, November 27, 2017

Rich get richer
An update on the century bonds issued by the (99-year old) Republic of Austria

Tractor pull
No salmon for this bear.

Recap Nov. 27

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Almost Daily Variety Pack
A trio of bearish Grant’s calls have recently stumbled. We briefly return, free of self-congratulation, to each with an update.

Bone broth

On second thought

No refunds

Recap Nov. 21

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cereal acquirer
Fourth quarter results from St. Louis-headquartered food manufacturer Post Holdings, Inc., could be described as a little soggy,

Recap Nov. 20

Friday, November 17, 2017

World's smallest Veolin
It was only a matter of time, but the first triple-B-rated credit (that’s two notches above junk) in Europe has managed to place debt at a negative yield.

Command economy
Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” has a different connotation in Red China.

Recap Nov. 17

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On the other hand
Ahead of yesterday’s auction at Christie’s, which included an eye-watering $450.3 million price for Leonardo Da Vinci’s (disputed) "Salvator Mundi,”

Paging Hyman Minsky
“An excessive focus on stability will cause hesitation in pushing ahead with reforms and delays – a situation that could eventually lead to a ‘big crisis.’”

Recap Nov. 16

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

GE whiz
How ugly has the recent dive in General Electric’s stock price been?

Rate rout
Behold, the incredible disappearing yield curve.

Recap Nov. 14

Monday, November 13, 2017

It's easy to grin
Is the global shipping industry, long mired in a turgid slog amidst overcapacity and a lukewarm economic environment, finally springing to life?

Bull market here
The Nov. 7 edition of Investors Intelligence contained something of a milestone:

Recap Nov. 13

Friday, November 10, 2017

Dispatches from the upside down
Talk about lower-for-longer:

Recap Nov. 10

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Better than gold
“Billionaire’s row,” and “foreclosure auction” are not traditional neighbors on the written page, but 2017 has occasionally made for strange bedfellows.

Recap Nov. 9

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cycle repair
Chinese peer-to-peer lender Ppdai Group, Inc. (it’s pronounced pee-pee-dye) is set to make its New York Stock Exchange debut on Friday,

Recap Nov. 8

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Top of the Rock
A bittersweet benchmark in the Land of the Rising Sun:

Where's that remote
Set your DVR’s:

Ephemeral ethereal
Techcrunch reports today that ethereum, the second largest crypto currency by market cap after bitcoin, is facing a significant technical problem.

Recap November 7

Monday, November 6, 2017

Iced 'tice
How much debt is too much?

Pool cleaner
As a bookend to the evident complacency shown by Altice bondholders, consider today’s €600 million, 10-year euro bond from Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp.

Recap November 6

Friday, November 3, 2017

Finish line
Is the Australian economic engine, long firing on all cylinders, finally beginning to falter?

Bjork Bucks
Attention crypto-loving experimental music fans!

Recap November 3

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Crème de la credit
The Mongolian 5 5/8s of 2023, down from initial price talk of 6 1/8

Frayed elastic
Good news first.

Recap November 2

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Keep on growing
An upbeat turn in the fortunes of U.S. employees, from deep in the heart of Texas:

Dad bod revisited
Under Armour, Inc. reported weaker than expected results for the third quarter and lowered fiscal year guidance this morning.

Recap October 31

Monday, October 30, 2017

Dollar dominated
Uncle Sam is feeling his oats.

Race to zero
A new salvo in the ETF price wars was fired today by Franklin Templeton Investments.

Recap October 30

Friday, October 27, 2017

2017, A Spaced Odyssey
From Bloomberg comes a short-list contender for headline of the year:

Little dipper

Recap October 27

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Paging Count von Count
Shares in microblogging social network Twitter, Inc. zipped higher by almost 20% today

Look ma, no hands
A capital migration is underway from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Recap October 26

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Timing is everything
A short-form play, in three acts:

The final frontier
A soon-to-debut bond issue from the East Asian nation of Mongolia is following a now-familiar script: Spreads tighter than underwriters had initially hoped for.

Recap October 25

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ring that bell
From Businesswire: “Today the Active Alts Contrarian ETF (SQZZ),

Marvelous Margin Hagler
Everybody out of the pool!

Recap October 24

Monday, October 23, 2017

Gilted age
An insightful (on multiple fronts) blog post appeared on Friday from the Bank of England’s Alex Tuckett,

Crypt-patches
Recent headline, sentiment check in the digital currency realm:

I'll just have a coffee

Recap October 23

On this day in history

Friday, October 20, 2017

Don't spam me, bro
Fast growing, richly-valued and highly-shorted Axon Enterprises, Inc. (AAXN on the Nasdaq) is facing an unusual predicament.

Junkyard dog
A sea change is underway in fixed income across the Atlantic,

Cover Your Assets

Recap October 20

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gone are the days
Today marks an even 30 years from the stock market crash of 1987.

Give me price discovery, but not yet
With apologies to the philosopher Augustine of Hippo, his timeless musing on human nature has found modern application from different constituencies.

Recap October 19

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Consignment rack
Retail has of late been channeling the likes of film characters Al Czervik and Thornton Melon, in a thus far fruitless search for some respect.

Recap October 17

Monday, October 16, 2017

Free money
The flow of capital into passive investment strategies has intensified into a veritable deluge.

Recap October 16

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mellow mood
Mr. Market's friendly frame of mind continues to coax forth issuers of all stripes.

Ancillary antics
Speaking of triumphant visits to the credit market,

Strike one for value

Recap October 11

Monday, October 9, 2017

Carving station
Today, Turkey and the U.S. terminated reciprocal visa services following the arrest of a U.S. embassy staff member in Istanbul...

Crypto chronicles
Speaking of exciting asset classes, the digital currency realm rarely fails to provide grist for believers and skeptics alike.

Correction
Friday’s Almost Daily Grant’s incorrectly identified Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi as a McKinsey & Co. alumna.

Recap October 9

Friday, October 6, 2017

Lefty-loosey righty-tighty
Steve Mnuchin is shopping for bearskin. The Secretary of the Treasury...

The science of multiple expansion
An excerpt from commentary made by PepsiCo, Inc. CEO and Boston Consulting Group alumna Indra Nooyi on the company’s third quarter conference call earlier this week:

Recap October 6

Thursday, October 5, 2017

West Texas approximately
Interesting developments abound in the energy complex.

Irish buys are smiling
Yesterday, the Republic of Ireland issued €4 billion worth of five-year debt, priced to yield negative-0.008%,

Recap October 5

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Credit cremation, cause and effect
Recent bond issues from the likes of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. and the Republic of Tajikistan

Recap October 3

Monday, October 2, 2017

Mr. Market giveth
Laval, Quebec-headquartered Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. is back at the borrowing trough,

7. Minute. Abs.
Trying to raise some quick funds, but want to avoid burdensome registration with the SEC? You are in luck.

Recap October 2

Friday, September 29, 2017

Someone's excited
RECORD HIGH FOR THE S&P 500! Tweeted our caps lock-happy Commander in Chief this morning.

Disruption digest
Gothenburg, Sweden-based startup Egotist Mondial recent debuted the Pause Pod,

Recap September 29

Thursday, September 28, 2017

States of play
One of municipal America’s leading problem-children is about to see a lot more change in its piggybank.

Permanently high flight plan
Take it away, CNBC:

Recap September 28

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Siphoned cistern
Water finds its own level, so they say. Perhaps the same is true with crude oil.

Whither fake news
With apologies to Lewis Carroll, the state of online advertising is getting “curiouser and curiouser.”

Recap September 27

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Redux reflux
You can’t go home again.

Recap September 26

Monday, September 25, 2017

To the Max
Used vehicle retailer CarMax, Inc. pleased The Street on Friday with second quarter results that topped expectations

Recap September 25

Friday, September 22, 2017

Child's play
An increasingly stark contrast in credit: capital flows forth like beer at a frat party, while large swaths of corporate debtors nevertheless struggle to ward off the economic grim reaper.

Recap September 22

Thursday, September 21, 2017

When you’re chewing on life’s gristle: don’t grumble, give a whistle!
Standard & Poor’s overnight downgrade of China’s sovereign credit rating (to A-plus from double-A-minus) hasn’t exactly fomented mass panic.

Price action update

Recap September 21

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tastes like chicken
Post Holdings, Inc. (POST) is back on the deal docket. The food retailer and investment bankers’ B.F.F. today announced

They said it
An excerpt from “Time to Change Your Investment Model”, an article in the CFA Institute’s Financial Analysis Journal

Recap September 19

Monday, September 18, 2017

Liquid courage
Ukraine external financing not weak!

Whiplash walk
Bored or frustrated by the pronounced lack of volatility in equity markets?

Recap September 18

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pension predicament
The modern financial epoch is defined by a few common threads,

Recap September 15

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Little red rooster
A bulletin in this morning’s Wall Street Journal reveals that an affiliated entity of Chinese internet retailing giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has become the world’s largest...

He said it
Facebook alum and 2011 founder of VC firm Social Capital Chamath Palihapitiya is a New Economy true believer.

Recap September 14

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Penthouse blues
Euphoria is in short supply.

Recap September 13

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

'Nobody remembers anything'
Anyone out there pining for the days of the last credit cycle? If so, the Land Down Under might be the place for you.

Notable quotable
J.P. Morgan boss Jamie Dimon has some choice words for bitcoin.

Recap September 12

Monday, September 11, 2017

Riding Sbers
Heady days are at hand for the emerging markets realm.

Recap September 11

Friday, September 8, 2017

Two way street
An incongruous sighting from the bourgeoning market realm of exchange traded funds:

Last call
China currency bulls don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here.

Recap September 8

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Pb trial balloon
Does he even read the newspaper?

Out with the old,
The Silicon Valley boom is so 2013.

Recap September 7

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Dividend divot
Back to school, back to the bond market.

Doctor Feelgood
Behold the pronounced bull action recently seen in Red China.

Recap September 5

Friday, September 1, 2017

Three point turn
A peak of sunshine in the dealer lots?

Recap September 1

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Packaging peanuts
The broth is getting cold. Campbell’s Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) reported fourth quarter results this morning which managed to dissatisfy the low expectations of its decidedly un-bullish cadre

Recap August 31

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Rate roundup
A few dispatches from the world of borrowing and lending:

A useful exercise
Wondering what you missed out on

Recap August 30

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Electric slide
Jeff Bezos hasn’t conquered the whole world just yet.

Recap August 29

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sovereign sardines
Animal spirits are stirring in Italy.

There's only one, blockchain
Ahead of his victory in Saturday’s “Fight of the Century” (the first since 2015), boxing legend and periodic taxpayer Floyd Mayweather had a different type of “money” on his mind.

Profiles in something
An extraordinary article in the New York Times’ Dealbook this afternoon, details the investment strategy of Seth M. Golden, former logistics manager at Target turned day trader.

Recap August 28

Friday, August 25, 2017

No fall zone
As is the seasonal wont, the eyes of Wall Street have this week been trained westward to the annual central bankers confab in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Private Pile
Japan’s Softbank Group Corp. yesterday finalized a $4.4 billion investment in WeWork Cos.,

Interest rate observation
As for our EZ credit progenitors, the furtive series of rate hikes undertaken by Chair Yellen since the end of 2015 is widely expected to continue into next year,

Recap August 25

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dress rehearsal
Summer doldrums? Not in the realm of Chinese short term lending rates.

Wayback machine
August 24, 2015 saw the culmination of growing risk aversion following China’s currency devaluation earlier that month.

Recap August 24
Modestly bearish action in equities left the S&P 500 at the low end of a tight range by day’s end, while Treasury yields ticked higher across the curve.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Rounding error
Loss making Uber Technologies, Inc. (Grant’s, January 27) wants to grow.

The buck stops here
Will the last U.S. dollar bull to leave kindly turn out the lights? To say the least, 2017 has not been kind to the greenback.

Headline of the day
Bear breaks into SUV, then takes it for a short drive.

Recap August 8
“Fire and fury,” and a 30 basis point decline. President Trump’s in-kind response to the North Koreans this afternoon spurred a modest drop in the S&P 500 that felt like a crash compared to the remarkable recent inertia in the major indices.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Whipping Post
St. Louis-based Post Holdings, Inc. is striking while the iron is – or rather, remains – hot.

Recap August 7
Closing at the top of a remarkably narrow 20 basis point range was enough to push the broad S&P 500 to another record high.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tape delay
A common economic thread today links a handful of nations across North America, Europe and the Land Down Under.

Tech sightings
Free broadcast television can be yours – all you need is some sort of apparatus to convert electric power to radio waves. What are these space-age devices called? Antennas.

Recap August 3
A late spasm of risk aversion followed news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has convened a Grand Jury as his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, but as is recent custom the bulls quickly regained control to push the averages back into the green by day’s end.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Paid to wait
This year’s emphatic advance in stocks has been accompanied by equally agreeable price action in credit.

Visa approves
The Australian “Black Economy Taskforce” has some proposed remedies in their fight against something or other, beyond potentially implanting hi-tech nano chips in AUD $50 and AUD $100 notes.

Recap August 2
Stocks recovered from a harrowing 40 basis point decline in the S&P 500 to finish at the unchanged line, near their closing high water mark

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In reverse
The 2017 auto market has gone from limousine to lemon.

Paging the Festrunk brothers
Yesterday, Uber announced plans to produce, in partnership with Barclays, its own credit card later this year.

Recap August 1
Stocks wiggled higher, with the S&P 500 remaining within a 1% peak/trough range for a hard-to-fathom tenth straight day.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Negative rates, positive carry
That quasi-public entity known as the Swiss National Bank released its operating results for the first half of 2017 this morning, earning a reported profit of CHF 1.2 billion ($1.24 billion) through June 30.

Your broker on line two
Like the central bankers, the ETF promoters never seem to take a day off.

Recap July 31st
Stocks eked out small gains, with the S&P 500 rising to within a few points of last week’s high water mark, while Treasurys finished little changed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Runs runs Rudolph
Europe is enjoying solid economic conditions and pleasant asset price action amidst the loving embrace of Mario Draghi and Co. So why are bank runs on the minds of the regulators?

Garlic, mirrors and sunlight
It has already been a week to forget for the market-leading FAANG contingent, with components Google (Alphabet, Inc.) and Amazon.com Inc. each trading lower after earnings releases which left something to be desired.

Recap July 28th
A North Korean missile test showing increased range was no match for the summer Friday doldrums, as equities lost some ground early then gradually rebounded to leave the S&P 500 virtually flat for the week.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bid quarry
What’s going on in the formerly-moribund large cap gold mining realm?

Bezal-gazing
The Grant’s in-house team of Wealth Editors have been apprised that Jeff Bezos this morning surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man, with a current net worth estimated at $90 billion.

Recap July 27th
Another round of calm summer trading was interrupted in the early afternoon by a volatility spike and FAANG-led decline in the Nasdaq.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Best Ally
Price match: It’s not just for flat-screen TV’s anymore.

Bills lose again
Some unusual sightings of late in the short end of the money market:

Chinese food for thought
It seems that nowhere in the world do economic fortunes vacillate so quickly between potential disaster and euphoria as the Middle Kingdom

Recap July 25th
Strength in the financials and resources offset heavy trading in health care amidst the procedural vote toward repeal of the Affordable Care Act to push the S&P 500 to another closing high.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Soirée temps
A few dispatches from across the Atlantic and beyond:

Why didn’t we think of that last time?
Headline of the day, via Reuters:

Recap July 24th
A slow summer Monday featured sideways action in the major indices, while a headline earnings beat from Google after the bell was met rudely, to the tune of an initial 3% share price decline.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Rich in Fibra
Mexican REIT Fibra Uno reported in-line earnings this morning, eliciting little more than shrugs.

Wild wild east
Chinese retail investors are demonstrably risk-tolerant: Just note the proliferation of wealth management products, financing stocks, bonds, commodities and all other manner of assets.

Points for creativity
Disgusted by the prospect of a ketchup-slathered hot dog?

July 21st recap
Monthly options expiration did little to spice up the recent index-level inertia, with the broad S&P 500 logging a narrow pullback from the most recent highs logged yesterday.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

IPO blues
A strange sighting on the wires this morning: On the day its shares were scheduled to price, prospective public concern Yogaworks announced it was pulling the plug on its scheduled initial public offering. “Market conditions” was the company’s announced rationale.

One from the vault
Near 30 years ago, the late-July 1987 edition of Grant’s

Recap July 20th
Stocks consolidated their most recent advance, with the S&P managing to eke out a new closing high, while Treasury's flattened a bit after yesterday’s curve-steepening sell off.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What a Wonderful Whirl
Now unfolds an update on a pair of conservatively-financed, venerable American companies with business models that (we contend) are at risk of competitive disruption:

Sand castles in the desert
Those who thought that not-early stage bull markets were a time for shorts to complain about manipulative managements and an easy Fed might be forgiven for some cyclical confusion.

Recap July 19th
A powerful leg higher left the S&P at its best intraday levels at the close, as all eleven sector groups finished in the green with leadership in the resources (energy and materials) despite a bounce in the U.S. Dollar index.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Green tea leaves
The Bank of Japan has been hard at work.

Bull sightings
Courtesy of today’s Wall Street Journal: the old-school, tried-and-true (to its proponents) “Dow Theory” is signaling higher equity prices.

Recap July 18th
Netflix-mania sparked a strong rally in the FAANG contingent and was enough to help nudge the S&P 500 to another nominal closing high amidst generally lackluster action away from tech.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Is this your homework Larry?
BlackRock, Inc. is out with second quarter earning’s report this morning:

A tale of two kingdoms
Happy days are here for China, sort of. Monday brought word that GDP growth in the Middle Kingdom was a brisk 6.9% in the second quarter, with broad-based gains in industrial output (7.6%), fixed-asset investment (8.6%) and retail sales (11%) from their comparable 2016 levels.

Volatility M.I.A
Since its 1990 inception, the CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX) has averaged just below 20.

Recap July 17th
Modest early strength in the S&P 500 was reversed to an unchanged finish by the close, although a bullish reaction to Netflix earnings (+10% in the aftermarket) gives the bulls a leg up for tomorrow.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Buffed with a fine chamois
It’s been quite a year for equity holders of Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc.

Mama mia
Debt levels are rising the world over, but the Italian Republic seems to be contributing more than its fair share of the tally.

Sinking feeling
Have we got a deal for you, San Francisco-area home buyers!

Recap July 14th
The S&P 500 shook off a downbeat reaction to earnings releases from money center banks J.P. Morgan,

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Creditor prey
Heady days for corporate borrowers: From consumer loans to structured credit and junk bonds, debtors are up in the driver’s seat.

Fightin’ words
National Beverage Corp. (NYSE: FIZZ) CEO Nick Caporella is known for a particularly, uh, enthusiastic management style,

Recap July 13th
A strong bid in biotech and the financials helped push the broad S&P 500 back within a few basis points of its closing high water market.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Greater grains
A dispatch from a Pennsylvania farmer:

Kindness of strangers
A recent report from the Bank for International Settlements adds statistical weight to the intuitive relationship between microscopic interest rates and the increasingly rare capitalist feature of creative destruction.

Counterpoint
YUM China’s KFC brand and Chinese electronics brand Huawei have teamed up to soon release a limited edition smartphone,

Recap July 11th
A steep mid-day drop in equity prices was promptly reversed, leaving the SPX back in summer consolidation mode roughly one-percent below its closing high water mark.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tales from the crypto
Crypto-currencies, the corner of the capital markets which perhaps most resemble the Wild West, took another tumble today.

Pull the lever
An eye-catching dichotomy has emerged in the realm of consumer borrowings, as flagging credit creation for goods and services contrasts with robust loan growth in service of financial speculation.

Recap July 10th
A bounce in tech helped push the S&P 500 back to the middle of its narrow one-month trading range, as outperformance from the FAANG contingent helped push those stocks back within 4.4% of their respective highs, on average,

Friday, July 7, 2017

Rate & roll
This morning’s release of June non-farm payrolls brought a measured dose of relief for those worried about a slowing economy:

Bit wit
The march of financial technology stops for no man, woman or child.

Silo, sell high
What happens when low prices and solid demand meet vast supply?

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Yield of dreams
Interest rate risk still exists, after all.

Say’s who?
Department of Energy secretary Rick Perry, at a West Virginia coal plant earlier today, as quoted by Taylor Kuykendall of S&P:

Recap July 6th
Simultaneous selling pressure in equities and U.S. Treasurys made this session an unpleasant one for practitioners of risk parity.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Amazon warrior
News items over the lengthy July 4 weekend offered no succor for the beleaguered retail realm.

3G cookin’
What hath a cost-cutting corporate culture wrought? Feast your eyes on the new Burger King Cheddar and Bacon Grill Dog.

Recap July 5th
With equities and U.S. Treasurys confined to a tight range, action today was concentrated in the energy patch as comments from the Russian oil minister implying reluctance toward further production cuts spurred a 4.5% sell-off in Brent crude.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Defensive driving
They grow up so fast.

Keep calm and carry on
Now more than ever, households in the United Kingdom are feeling the pinch.

Recap June 30th
A late downdraft all but erased solid gains for equities, leaving the broad S&P 500 weaker by 0.60% for the week. With the second quarter now in the books, the S&P stands higher by 8.2% in 2017 so far.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Preaching to the choir
The House Financial Services Committee yesterday held a hearing on “The Federal Reserve’s Impact on Main Street, Retirees, and Savings”

Risk comes at you fast
See tranquility in the future?

June 29th Recap
Stocks and bonds came under pressure in tandem, with the former beset by another round of underperformance in the Nasdaq 100 (down by 1.75% vs 0.85% in the S&P 500).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well, you have cooties
NYSE President Tom Farley launched a verbal broadside at short sellers this morning,

Sheepskin shuffle
That walk to the graduation podium is set to get a little more expensive.

The other guys
For an ongoing demonstration of the creative forces perpetually unleashed by the brainchild of Adam Smith, look no further than today’s Financial Times and its documentation of recently debuted, “thematic” ETF’s.

Recap June 27
A recurrence of the tech-centric selling pressure previously seen in the middle of June left the broad indices at session lows at day’s end.

Monday, June 26, 2017

We must protect this house!
Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank’s nine minute appearance Sunday on NBC’s Today featured no shortage of notable quotables.

Honor system
Regulators in China’s National Audit Office found that 18 state-owned enterprises inflated their revenues by over RMB 200 billion ($29.2 billion), according to a weekend report from Xinhua News.

Recap June 26th
An early (+0.50%) rally on the S&P 500 had the broad index testing its closing highs before those gains were erased in the afternoon.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Capital call
“‘System risk’ alert rocks Chinese companies that gorged overseas”, blared this morning’s Financial Times headline.

Alien covenant
Questionable debt deals are far from confined to the far-east.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Altice falcon
In the second largest IPO of the year, Altice USA, Inc. raised roughly $2 billion in its trading debut

You get a car! And you, and you, and you!
Brooklyn dwelling subway straphanger Evan Lorenz was the recipient of a most generous proposition this morning.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stairs up,
Preliminary home price data in the formerly hot Toronto housing market is little short of shocking.

Cheer up, Charlie
Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is on the lookout for lower prices.

Better early than never
In this golden era of indexation, the September 10, 2004 Grant’s piece “The coming fee famine”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Party like it’s 1999
Having barely escaped the economic grim reaper in 2007, retail trading platform E*TRADE is alive and well these days

CoCo crisp
German regional bank Bremer Landesbank announced today that it will be unable to pay the scheduled June 29th coupon on a pair of contingent convertible notes (otherwise known as CoCo bonds, referenced by Grant’s in the February 12, 2016 “Big sick puppy”).

Monday, June 19, 2017

‘Tine marches on
Argentina to issue 100 year sovereign bonds? A drowsy early morning headline reader may have wondered if he or she was still dreaming.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Price check
Undisputed retail heavyweight champion Amazon.com

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Who insures the insurers?
Behold the multi-act saga currently unfolding in Red China.

Taken Ill
The state of Illinois has suffered more than its share of indignities of late, between feeble economic growth (the Illinois Policy Institute calculates an aggregate 4% gain in economic activity since 2007

Damn the torpedoes!
Today the spread between the 5 and 30 year Treasury yield hit 102 basis points (1.02%), its flattest since 2007.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Imagination at work
The news dropped early yesterday.

Goldilocks with Chinese characteristics
An excerpt from today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal:

What goes up,
Barclay’s analysts issued an upgrade on energy pipeline name SemGroup Corp. this morning

Monday, June 12, 2017

Fed ahead
By all accounts, we will soon see the Funds Rate exceed 1% for the first time since 2008.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Chicago dog
Things are going from bad to worse for the state of Illinois.

Play dough
Dublin-based Endo International PLC absorbed another disappointment late yesterday, disclosing that the FDA has requested that it pull its opioid based-Orpana pain reliever off the market on account of its potential for abuse.

Choose your own adventure
What is the true state of the U.S. consumer?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Three wishes
This year, BABA’s no black sheep. China e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. announced

Forage for porridge
In these lean times for bears, sometimes it’s best to take a break and get away from it all.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CoCo-nut
A multi-billion dollar bank failure in the midst of a rip roaring bull market and growing economy? An odd sighting indeed.

Why, indeed
The aptly named Chinese loan guarantor Wins Financial is putting bitcoin to shame.

Paging Mortimer Duke
The worst performing commodity of 2017 thus far?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Polishing cloth
“The desire for gold is the most universal and deeply rooted commercial instinct of the human race.” So said Gerald M. Loeb, founding partner of Wall Street brokerage E.F. Hutton & Co. and “the most quoted man on Wall Street” according to Forbes, in his 1935 book The Battle for Investment Survival.

Full speed ahead
The auto market may be sputtering, with industry sales seeing a fifth straight annual contraction in May and inventories piling up at their fastest pace since 2009,

Monday, June 5, 2017

With a side of clams
Restaurant Brands International just had its annual shareholder meeting, as scheduled. CEO Daniel Schwartz spoke to attendees, as scheduled.

Good news, bad news
Active management is staging a mini-comeback. Per David Kostin of Goldman Sachs, more than half large cap mutual funds have exceeded their respective benchmarks through May 18th of this year.

My baby ‘grande
The Chinese banking system is a monetary science project remarkable even by today’s standards of negative nominal rates, QE and yack-yack “forward guidance.”

Friday, June 2, 2017

Disco(unt) inferno
Shares of aspirational home-furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware went into reverse today, retreating to the tune of 25% after the company’s first quarter results included a downward revision to its forecast for adjusted earnings per share in the fiscal year.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

March of the mansion-dwellers
“You can’t give away a house in Greenwich.” Such was the blunt assessment at a CNBC-sponsored conference last fall from Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht, a former resident of the Constitution state who has since moved to Florida.

One from the vault:
For a survey of Greenwich real estate in the aftermath of the 1987 “Black Monday” stock market crash and a timely observation that Japan’s then ferocious asset bubble appeared to be potentially listing,

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cheaper by the dozen
It’s never been more convenient to be average.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Here, take two of these:
It’s been so gradual and free of unpleasant effect you may have hardly noticed: bank-to-bank lending rates as measured by LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) have virtually doubled since the summer of last year,

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Recency bias
Baubles merchant-cum consumer finance dispenser Signet Jewelers, Inc. is having another tough day.

Epilogue
The SEC has responded to a request under the Freedom of Information Act from John Gavin, CEO and founder of Probes Reporter (@probesreporter on twitter) by confirming that a previously undisclosed investigation of Signet is currently underway

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Now is a great time to…
It sure isn’t 2007, but the mini-boom seen in the U.S. housing market in recent years looks to be abating. April new home sales of single family units (not seasonally adjusted) saw a sharp 11% decline on a sequential basis.

Tell us what you really think
Australian investor Hamish Douglass is evidently not a fan of Uber Technologies, Inc. He is quoted in an interview with Bloomberg issuing the following salvos:

Monetary Mission Creep
The ECB is a large organization, with over 2,500 employees across Europe working for their sole mandate of price stability (stability defined as 2 percent annual inflation).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Yuan love
A cross-asset tug of war is underway in the Middle Kingdom, as an apparent revival of risk aversion in Chinese equity and credit markets stands in increasing contrast to calm waters in the yuan/dollar exchange rate.

What’s Gold is new again
Behold, three seemingly unrelated, but perhaps very much related, headlines from this year:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Leap of faith
Subprime auto lender Santander Consumer, Inc. has an unusual element in its underwriting process; trust in the borrower.

Inflation conflation
The line between moderate and high inflation can be very thin indeed. Core CPI has declined to 1.9% year-on-year in April, from 2.3% in January

Friday, May 19, 2017

Pack em’ in
In some of the nation’s biggest and most expensive cities, the balance of power in commercial real estate is swinging to the buyers.

Leaning tower of money
Asset prices have displayed some familiar resilience in the days following Wednesday’s harrowing (on a relative basis) sell-off, with the broad S&P 500 since recouping the majority of its near 2% decline

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Foresea-able
China’s Foresea Life Insurance Group has a problem, and is not shy about it.

Brazil, ETFs and you
For a change, the source of this morning’s most destabilizing political news wasn’t Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Shhh—the market is sleeping
Staying home with the curtains drawn and the pillows fluffed is the new going out on the town. At least, the hot demand for so-called low volatility ETF products would seem to suggest as much.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Bad breadth
US equities made their first high of the cycle in over two months, with the broad S&P 500 finally eclipsing its March 1 peak after ten weeks of sideways drift in a narrow range. While not necessarily breaking news on its own, the component behavior driving this latest move higher is definitely worth noting.

Pension play dough
New Jersey has a new plan to deal with its unfunded liabilities. No, not cuts in spending or tax hikes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Retailer reflux
April was another fine month for the consumer economy, and another mixed period for consumer retail. Advance retail sales for the month, although short of analyst consensus, logged a respectable 0.4% sequential gain to leave the year-on-year reading higher by 4.5%. That continued a relatively torrid start to 2017 for this metric, with average monthly growth of 4.9% towering over the comparable first four months for 2016 and 2015 (both advancing by around 2.9% per).

Noble less-oblige
Hong-Kong based commodity trading firm Noble Group Ltd. disappointed investors this week, issuing a profit warning that included a delay in its projected return to profitability until at least 2018-2019 (2015 saw the last positive annual net income line, while the company was last free cash flow positive in 2011)

Inmates run the asylum
A counterintuitive milestone has been reached, Bloomberg announced today: “There are now more indexes than stocks”.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sturm und Draghi
“Super Mario” ran into a less than receptive audience as he explained ECB policies to a group of Dutch parliamentarians yesterday. An excerpt of one brusque exchange (conducted in English) with MP Thierry Baudet follows:

Car and driver
Ride sharing app Uber caught a tough break this week, as the European Court of Justice’s advocate general ruled that the company “must be classified as a service in the field of transport”. Readers may wonder: What else could possibly describe the outfit?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Not so great grains
The world agricultural commodity market is creaking under the weight of outsized inventories. Sound familiar? Farmers’ supply stocks have ballooned, with corn, wheat and soybeans rising to least 50% above their respective 20 year averages prior to today’s release of USDA supply and demand estimates for May. Over the past three years, prices have accordingly withered on the stalk, with corn dropping by about 25%, wheat by 39% and soybeans by 15% in that period

Crime doesn’t pay, either
No front page news is the fact that the auto finance boom is now long in the tooth. However, even close observers may be forgiven for doing a double take at a Bloomberg report this morning that fraud in the auto loan market, as a percent of total activity, has reached levels “achieved” in the mortgage realm at the end of the last cycle.

One possible explanation
Mark Mobius of Templeton Advisors has a theory. The historical run of market calm that has been discussed on seemingly every news and investment forum (including Grant’s) under the sun?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anchors aweigh; Wet Blankets; On the other hand...
The European economic engine is revving up. Staffing firm Adecco Group AG provided the latest example of brisk activity, as their first quarter results featured strong hiring growth across the continent. Improving conditions were evident from France, which contributed a 9% year-on-year revenue gain in the run-up to the Presidential election just concluded, to Italy, which saw top line performance leap higher by 26%. Even erstwhile EU member-non grata the U.K. managed general staffing growth of 16% from 2016 levels, per Adecco.

Wet blankets
As China attempts to contend with widening credit spreads and falling commodity prices, their regulators have positioned themselves in between the ridiculous and the sublime.

On the other hand…
The SEC has certainly had its share of bad press since the events of 2007-09, but this is one news cycle that has yet to turn.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Global energy supply: push and pull
Consider a pair of news items, as the oil patch digests a steep 12% decline in WTI crude over the past month to approach its 52-week low.

Volatility au revoir
The CBOE options volatility-index continues to plumb the depths. Following the victory from establishment-friendly Emmanuel Macron in this weekend’s French presidential elections, the local CAC 40 index fell by just under 1%. The S&P 500 likewise struggled to gain its footing, retreating from the closing highs reached on Friday.

Sohn cold
At today’s non-Grant’s investor conference in Manhattan, Social Capital’s Chamath Palihapitiya discussed his bullish outlook on Tesla Inc, recommending a long position in its convertible notes,

Friday, May 5, 2017

And the 2017
Bloomberg News anointed the winner this morning. Take a bow, Turkish lira. Of all the currencies in all the waste places (AKA “developing markets”), you are the favorite of income-deprived monetary shoppers, so Bloomberg reports. Does it matter that the Republic of Turkey is beset by sui generis, regional and who knows how many other varieties of trouble? Not to today’s rugged yield-seeking investors. They are as intrepid as the volatility-sellers.

100% confident
This morning’s reading of April payrolls data from the Bureau of Labor Services was remarkable in its conformity; the 211,000 headline increase virtually matched the 213,800 monthly average of the past two years, while average weekly hours worked came to exactly 34.4, the tenth instance of that reading in the past 14 months.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A little trouble in little China
Money rates up, commodities down, IMF abashed. Limit down plunged iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange overnight—curious, given alleged healthy Chinese economic growth. Curious, too, is the weakness in steel rebar and copper, down 6.3% and 5.7%, respectively, in the past three sessions. Or maybe not so curious. “Sell a non sequitur.,” said the page-one analysis in the Jan. 13 issue of Grant’s, which laid out a bearish case for industrial metals in the context of the long-unfolding Chinese credit debacle. Since its multi-year peak in February, iron ore has fallen by 30%.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In/de-flation In-decision
Is the U.S. economy accelerating, or slowing down? While the travails of the auto-manufacturers, commodity producers and reflationista Treasury bond bears have been well documented of late, a comparably broad swath of commercial activity appears to be positively vigorous.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Buckle up, auto bulls!
April’s round of vehicle sales was a strikingly poor one. Each major U.S. automaker cleanly missed its estimate for the period, putting the industry on track for its first annual decline since 2009. Was there not one shaft of sunlight in the gloom? Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service Mark LaNeve found it. “I’m not discouraged by the number,” he said, referring to Ford’s 7.1% year-over-year sales decline, worst among the majors. “In this kind of industry, there’s going to be these kind of months.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

Now what, Chair Yellen?
What are we bid for eight bedrooms, seven baths and 700 square feet of the rarest of outdoor Manhattan living space? Including eight wood-burning fireplaces and a paneled library? And not forgetting a 107-year history and a gold-plated Beekman Place address (No. 29)?

Take a load off Fannie
In response to our survey of conditions across real estate, auto and credit card lending arenas on Thursday, Aleksandrs Rosens and Jonathan Lawless of Fannie Mae followed up to defend their organization’s new policies, which are designed to facilitate the pay-downs of student debt via cash-out refinance, debt sponsorship from others (such as parents) and relaxation of debt-to-income calculations.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

But it rhymes
Those who recall the financial chaos of 2007-09 might shift in their seat uncomfortably upon seeing the phrase “innovative solutions for borrowers” in a press release headline. Wire-watchers were treated to that informative sight earlier this week, as the government sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae announced a plan to help those burdened with student loan debt qualify for a mortgage.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Tech goes to heaven
The eyes of Silicon Valley have turned increasingly skyward. Industry “rock stars” have seemingly broken into near-simultaneous competition to break technological barriers long considered to be far from human reach. Last fall, Elon Musk announced plans to colonize Mars via his SpaceX company, only to be beaten to the publicity punch by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, whose Blue Origin days before (according to Digital Trends) “detailed a new series of rockets…that will have much more lifting capacity and orbital capability.” Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic also has its eye on the red planet.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A short story in six lines
Consider the following headlines, all from Bloomberg news, this morning: China’s Hidden Debt Stirs Investor Angst as Defaults Rise China Markets Reel as $1.7 Trillion in Shadow Funds Unwind China Pledges Support for Economy, Stressing Need to Avoid Risk Hong Kong Dollar Weakens to 14-Month Low as Rate Spread Widens Iron Ore Seen Slumping for Years After Hitting February Peak China Helps Make Caterpillar Great Again as Outlook Improves

Trump Tweets Trudeau tweaks
In the past 24 hours, President Trump has fired a pair of salvos at America’s neighbor to the north.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Apres Macron, le deluge?
Apres Macron, le deluge? Yesterday’s first round elections in France looked to produce a favorable result for the status quo, as the May 7 runoff between establishment candidate Emmanuel Macron and nationalist Marine Le Pen will likely vault the former into power, or so say the can’t miss polls. That result would sit well with Brussels, as Ms. Le Pen had vowed to exit the union and recommission the franc...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

$HCG, ETF ETF, run run Ruble
Score one for Marc Cohodes. Canadian regulators dealt a blow to Toronto-based Home Capital Group, Inc., accusing the mortgage finance company of making “material misleading statements” over its response to the origination fraud which the company disclosed to the public in 2015.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cass Freight Index, Juicero
A significant positive data point arrived this morning in the form of the Cass Freight Index for March. Standing in contrast to some recent harbingers of weakness, this tabulation of North American shipping activity showed a third straight month of year-over-year gains in both the shipments and expenditures components (higher by .9% and 3.0%, respectively), maintaining the upward trajectory which began in October.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One from the Vault, Grainger's Danger
Following their surprise (or non-surprise, for Grant’s readers) currency devaluation in December 1994, Mexico was forced to contend with a number of necessary evils, apart from Larry Summers. Hyperinflation reared its head in the form of a 43% rate of CPI growth at publication time in the fall of 1995, on its way to 52% at year end. Following a series of rate hikes, GDP went into freefall...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Securities Based Lending
The non-eruption of a new Korean war over the weekend helped spur a solid bounce for equities, with a .77% upswing for the S&P 500 erasing the bulk of last week’s decline. U.S. Treasury spreads widened a bit as the long end reversed its early strength, while losses in the energy patch helped keep the CRB commodity index in the red.