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Howard Marks Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Howard Marks
Howard Marks

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Howard Marks is an investor, writer and author of “Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side.” After working in senior positions at Citibank early in his career, Howard joined The TCW Group, Inc. in 1985. He led groups within the company responsible for investments in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. After 10 years at The TCW Group, Inc. he co-founded Oaktree Capital Management.

Howard got into high yield bonds in August of 1978. This was a turning point in financial history because up until this moment only good companies could borrow money. High yield bonds opened the market to more risky companies and also showed Howard a different way of looking at markets. The first company he worked for had a strategy of buying stock in the 50 most successful companies in hopes they would continue to go up forever. With the advent of the high yield market he saw himself making good and steady money off of the worst/most risky companies–turning everything he had been previously been taught upside down.

Howard has lived through over 50 years of financial history and with his new book he has gone back hundreds of years to examine and study cycles. So how does Howard define a cycle? There are many different cycles–cycles in science, speed, people inhabited, etc. Cycles in the financial world are produced by people and are created by their feelings. The cycle represents a fluctuation in something around a mid-point, but time-frames and reasons for fluctuations do not repeat themselves–except for in human behavior. Looking back hundreds of years there are a few things that are underlying in every financial boom–too much optimism, too much money chasing, and too much risk aversion.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • High yield bonds
  • Financial cycles
  • Sub prime bubble
  • Dot-com crash
  • Continued learning by reading
  • Risk management
  • Decision making

“Reading broadly and voraciously is the best way of learning.” – Howard Marks

“It’s not what you buy, it’s what you pay.” – Howard Marks

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Strategies & Ideas

Weekly Market Recap May 18, 2019

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China – U.S. trade talk continued to dominate the week.   A heavy selloff Monday was followed by 3 up days, with Friday moderately down.

On Monday, Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs against the U.S., hitting $60 billion in annual exports to China with new or expanded duties that could reach 25%.

Then on Wednesday:

The Trump administration plans to delay a decision on instituting new tariffs on car and auto part imports for up to six months, according to media reports.

Trump also called the most recent news “a little squabble”.

On the economic front, retail sales came in below par Wednesday.

Retail sales figures for April showed that U.S. retailers are seeing decelerating purchases for a second time in three months, declining 0.2% last month, compared with expectations for a 0.1% increase. Excluding autos, retail sales were flat for the month, versus expectations for 0.7% growth.

“The 0.2% [monthly] decline in retail sales in April was weaker than the consensus expectation of a small gain and supports our view that GDP growth is set to slow in the second quarter,” wrote Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist with Capital Economics.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the NASDAQ 1.3%.

Here is the 5 day weekly intraday chart of the S&P 500 … via Jill Mislinski.

The week ahead…

Interesting data point:

Trading in fed-fund futures reflect a 74.1% chance of a rate cut this year, with a 32.1% probability of two or more rate cuts by end of 2019, according to CME Group. That is a sharp reversal from just two weeks ago, when the market gave a more than 50% chance that the Fed would hold steady through the remainder of the year.

As a “trade deal has become much less likely [in the near term], what the bond market sees as increasingly likely is the Fed easing policy, a net benefit to stocks,” Gary Pzegeo, head of fixed income at CIBC U.S. Private Wealth Management, said in an interview with MarketWatch.

Wednesday, the Fed will release minutes from its meeting that ended May 1.  A few major earnings reports are on the docket, mostly from retailers.

Index charts:

Short term: Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ might have double tops in which would be bearish.  That would be erased by the index powering through those highs.

The Russell 2000 has been stuck in a range since February.

The NYSE McClellan Oscillator has been in the red for a few weeks now – that raises caution.

Long term: the S&P 500 actually bounced nicely off this trend lines that connects the lows of 2017 and 2018.

Charts of interest / Big Movers:

Beyond Meat (BYND) continues to impress post IPO.

Thursday, Cisco Systems (CSCO) rallied 6.7% after the networking- and telecom-equipment company reported quarterly results that topped Wall Street forecasts and delivered an upbeat revenue forecast.

Also Thursday, Dillard’s (DDS) slumped 10.5% following an earnings release that showed the department-store chain missing revenue projections for the first quarter, while same-store sales were flat.

Friday, Pininterest (PINS) sunk 14% after the social media company announced first-quarter losses of $41.4 million, which were three times as large as analysts had expected.

Deere (DE) fell 7.7% after the agricultural, construction and turf care equipment maker reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed expectations and provided a downbeat outlook.

Have a great week and we’ll see you back here Sunday!



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Thales Teixeria Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Thales Teixeria
Thales Teixeria

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Based on eight years of research visiting dozens of startups, tech companies and incumbents, Harvard Business School professor Thales Teixeira shows how and why consumer industries are disrupted, and what established companies can do about it—while highlighting the specific strategies potential startups use to gain a competitive edge.

There is a pattern to digital disruption in an industry, whether the disruptor is Uber, Airbnb, Dollar Shave Club, Pillpack or one of countless other startups that have stolen large portions of market share from industry leaders, often in a matter of a few years.

As Teixeira makes clear, the nature of competition has fundamentally changed. Using innovative new business models, startups are stealing customers by breaking the links in how consumers discover, buy and use products and services. By decoupling the customer value chain, these startups, instead of taking on the Unilevers and Nikes, BMW’s and Sephoras of the world head on, peel away a piece of the consumer purchasing process. Birchbox offered women a new way to sample beauty products from a variety of companies from the convenience of their homes, without having to visit a store. Turo doesn’t compete with GM. Instead, it offers people the benefit of driving without having to own a car themselves.

Illustrated with vivid, indepth and exclusive accounts of both startups, and reigning incumbents like Best Buy and Comcast, as they struggle to respond, Unlocking the Customer Value Chain is an essential guide to demystifying how digital disruption takes place – and what companies can do to defend themselves.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption

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Weekly Market Recap May 12, 2019

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Trade deal worries between China and the U.S. dominated the headlines all week.   A large gap down Monday morning due to some Trump tweets was mostly fended off as buyers came in hot and heavy.   A significant selloff ensued Tuesday.   The rest of the week ended up choppy but without significant end of day moves up or down.

Trump’s tweet Sunday night was:

For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods. These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 Billions Dollars….

Then Friday those tariffs were announced as happening although there will be a grace period before they are instituted which market watchers believe is to allow time for the late stages of this trade agreement to continue.

“Goods currently in transit to the U.S. from China aren’t subject to the new 25% tariffs, just the old 10% tariff. That grace period was not included in previous rounds of tariffs and is likely an olive branch of sorts to the Chinese side,” Tom Essaye, president of the Sevens Report wrote. “Given shipping times, goods sent from China today will take two weeks or so to reach the U.S., so if a trade deal is stuck in that time frame, the pain of the 25% tariffs will never be felt.”

It was a poor week for the Chinese market.

Uber (UBER) IPO’d Friday and fell below the initial IPO price of $45.

No major economic news this week.

For the week, the S&P 500 fell 2.2% and the NASDAQ 3% – that broke a 6 week winning streak for the NASDAQ.

Here is the 5 day weekly intraday chart of the S&P 500 … via Jill Mislinski.

The week ahead…

We are through the bulk of earnings season but still some heavy hitters such as Walmart (WMT) are due soon.

Wednesday the retail sales report for April will be released, which could give investors a clue as to whether the slump that began in December was a temporary blip or the beginning of a worrisome trend.

Obviously the trade deal will continue to be a central focus.

Index charts:

Short term: The S&P 500 reversed at fall 2018 highs.  Some may call that a double top which is a negative.  But this market has made fools of everyone bearish for a decade.

The Russell 2000 has been stuck in a range really since February.

The NYSE McClellan Oscillator has been in the red for a few weeks now – it finally mattered this week.

Long term: Things are still strong longer term.

Charts of interest / Big Movers:

Monday, Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) soared 35% to a record high, and the biggest one-day gain in 10 years, after the TV broadcasting company’s deal to buy regional sports networks from Walt Disney.

Tuesday, Mylan (MYL) fell more than 23% Tuesday, after the drugmaker reported a revenue shortfall that offset a profit beat.

Lyft (LYFT) slid 11% Wednesday after the ride-hailing company late Tuesday reported quarterly earnings for the first time since its initial public offering in March. The company reported first-quarter losses that were wider than expected, but revenue that topped expectations.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) sank 11% after the company posted first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations, but revenue that widely missed forecasts.

Thursday, Etsy (ETSY) sank 11% after the online marketplace reported first-quarter earnings Wednesday evening, with the company reporting profit and sales that grew more slowly that analysts had predicted.

Roku (ROKU) popped 28% Thursday following a Wednesday-evening earnings report that showed the streaming platform company beating earnings expectations for the first quarter, while it forecast second-quarter revenue that also beat estimates.

Have a great week and we’ll see you back here Sunday!



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