Daily commentary and chart of the day: More on narrowing market leadership

Last week, I wrote a bit more on my prediction of margin compression in the US and how Apple fits in the weekly newsletter. At the time, I said:

Timing may not be perfect but I would say we need to look for a narrowing of market leadership and this is one reason I mention Apple.

I went on to say that we seemed to have narrowing market leadership as negative earnings surprises have mounted. I believe the cyclical bull is tired and recommended rotating out of high beta, high risk and cyclical sectors into a more defensive investing posture. The point basically was that we are still in a secular bear market and that during the cyclical bull phase it requires a lot more than a buy and hold strategy. The best way to achieve gains without getting creamed is to rotate sectors and investing paradigms as the cyclical bull progresses or the secular bear reasserts itself.

This story in today’s links from the Washington Post was really good on that:

Boosted by rapid gains in 2012, Apple has now risen to a whopping $598 a share, which has had an outsized impact on the performance of an entire stock market. The S&P 500 is estimated to rise about 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012, but if you took out Apple, the index would rise by only 2.8 percent, CNN Money points out. Apple’s outsized impact on the tech sector in isolation is even more striking:

To me, this is a worrying development and it does indeed make one think about 1999 and 2000.

That’s it. Here are the links.

  • How Apple is propping up the stock market – The Washington Post

    Boosted by rapid gains in 2012, Apple has now risen to a whopping $598 a share, which has had an outsized impact on the performance of an entire stock market. The S&P 500 is estimated to rise about 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012, but if you took out Apple, the index would rise by only 2.8 percent, CNN Money points out. Apple’s outsized impact on the tech sector in isolation is even more striking

  • Building a Criminal Case in the MF Global Affair – NYTimes.com
  • China Financial Markets » I would like to make a bet with The Economist

    I would like to bet that by the end of 2018 China will not be the largest economy in the world.

  • Jim Yong Kim – a president of the World Bank who can only be good news for global health | Society | guardian.co.uk

    Jim Yong Kim, the driving force behind the ambitious "three by five" plan that pushed out lifesaving drugs to people with HIV in poor countries, is President Obama’s nominee to head the World Bank

  • Bank Lobby’s Onslaught Shifts Debate on Volcker Rule – Bloomberg

    To make their case in Washington, banks and trade associations have been pressing a coordinated campaign to get regulators from five federal agencies to scale back the draft of the proprietary-trading rule issued in October, according to public and internal documents and interviews. They recruited money managers, industrial companies, municipal officials and foreign governments to their side.

  • Why Blodget Gets a Pass | The Reformed Broker

    I take the position in my book that Henry Blodget was essentially scapegoated and made an example of. Why Henry, you ask? Here are the primary reasons

  • Banking regulators fail us again – Finance Addict : Finance Addict

    Deutsche Bank is the biggest bank in Europe. Its American subsidiary, Taunus, is the 8th-largest bank in the US; it has $354 billion in assets. Before February 1, Taunus was considered to be a "bank holding company" because it was a legal entity that owned a bank (among other things). The Federal Reserve usually requires these BHCs to hold a certain level of capital. But starting in 2001 it allowed some foreign-owned BHCs to ignore this rule.

  • Is a paywall coming to The Washington Post? – The Washington Post

    Paying for online or digital content (called a "paywall" in media jargon) is much in the news right now because this month has seen several headlines on the subject: The New York Times’ digital fee system had its first birthday, and the paper reduced from 20 to 10 the number of free stories you can view per month before you have to pay; the Los Angeles Times launched its digital "membership program" on March 5; and the Gannett Co. announced that its array of 80 regional newspapers – but not its flagship paper USA Today – will begin charging for online content by the end of the year. So why not The Post?

  • Dirk Elsner über Blogs – Kantoos Economics

    Dirk ist mit meinem Eintrag "Europeans can’t blog?" garnicht einverstanden. Sein Argument ist, dass gerade mein Beispiel doch zeigt, wie gut die Blogosphäre funktioniert. Es freut mich natürlich sehr, dass er dies so wahr nimmt. Allerdings ist ein Grund, dass ich eine Lücke gefüllt haben, die es in den USA so nicht gegeben hätte.

  • Analysis: Gas price spike revives fight over energy taxes | Reuters

    Exxon Mobil, the world’s most profitable corporation, says it paid more than 45 percent of its 2011 income in taxes, while critics say it paid much less. So which is it? The answer is that it depends on how the calculation is made and who is making it – a point that is becoming more important as gasoline prices and oil company profits soar.

  • Federal Reserve System | Michael Hudson

    Prior to the Federal Reserve’s founding in 1913, U.S. monetary policy was conducted by the Treasury. Like the Fed, it had district sub-treasuries that performed nearly all the financial functions that the Fed later took over: providing credit to move the crops in autumn, managing government debt, and so forth. But after the severe 1907 financial crisis, a National Monetary Commission was reformed.

  • Arenas gana en Andalucía, pero PSOE e IU unirán sus votos para gobernar – CincoDías.com

    Los sondeos, que daban la mayoría absoluta al PP, erraron en Andalucía. El candidato del PP, Javier Arenas, ve imposible cumplir su objetivo de ser presidente de la Junta de Andalucía, ya que pese a ganar las elecciones autonómicas se quedó a cinco escaños de la mayoría absoluta.

  • Collision Course: Unrestricted Seniors Endanger German Roads – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

    The number of elderly German drivers is rising significantly, as is the accident risk for everyone who uses the country’s roads. Experts recommend more consideration from other drivers and say seniors should be given regular tests. But as their constituencies age, lawmakers are resisting tougher regulations.

  • Iceland Is Hottest Airline Route as Tourism Attracts Easyjet – Bloomberg

    When Kurt Sperling chose Iceland for a vacation off the beaten path, the American didn’t expect his hotel to be thronged with visitors from around the world.

  • Rates on 30-year mortgage leap above 4% – Mortgages – MarketWatch

    Interest rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped above 4% this week for the first time since October, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates. The mortgage averaged 4.08% for the week ending March 22, up from 3.92% last week and down from 4.81% a year ago. It averaged 4.1% for the week ending Oct. 27.

  • How Obama Tried to Sell Out Liberalism in 2011 — Daily Intel

    Obama was even more desperate to cut a deal than previously believed – dangerously desperate, in fact.

  • What Happens When A 35-Year-Old Man Retakes The SAT?

    one of the few upsides of being an adult is that you NEVER have to take the SAT again. You never have to worry about it. You don’t have to give a shit what’ll happen if have to pee during the test. You don’t have to look at another analogy ever again. It’s not bad tradeoff for all the other piddling crap you have to deal with. I know I was happy with the arrangement.

  • Trayvon Martin’s Killer Was Looking for Trouble-and Found It – Andrew Cohen – National – The Atlantic

    Examining the details and unanswered questions that will come to light when the case goes to court next month.

  • Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords – Yahoo! Finance

    "It’s akin to requiring someone’s house keys," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it "an egregious privacy violation."

  • Banks urged to raise fresh capital – Telegraph

    The taxpayer could be asked to stump up yet more cash to support Britain’s banks after the Bank of England’s new risk watchdog urged them to raise more capital to weather future financial shocks.

  • A Defense of Crony Capitalism – CNBC

    The New Republic has come out swinging in favor of one of the least popular things in America – Crony Capitalism. You kind of have to admire the chutzpah of running a piece titled "Why ‘Crony Capitalism’ is as American as Apple Pie." The very notion is enough to invite the scorn of Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike.

  • China’s Real Choices for Growth « naked capitalism
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