Diary of a Financier

Top Newsstuffs (December 23-29)

In Bookshelf on Sun 29 Dec 2013 at 07:19

Merry Christmas 2013!

NYSE margin debt & balances: Another new high (November 2013) | Doug Short (dshort.com)
Gross nominal margin debt surges again, +2.7% to another alltime high ($423.7B).
Real margin debt data also spikes, now just 0.7% below its alltime high from 7/2007.
Net margin balances (-$130.9B debit) reach an alltime low, breaking the Tech Bubble’s former record (-$123B) and crushing 2007 & 2011 pre-correction lows.
#Bearish #Euphoria

Investor sentiment survey: Bullishness rebounds back to extreme highs, bears capitulate (December 25, 2013) | American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)
Surveys sentiment for equity performance over next 6 months (through June 2014):
Bulls +7.6pp @ 55.06% vs 39.0% historical avg (45% considered extremely high); highest level since 1/2011.
Bears -6.5pp @ 18.54 vs 30.5 historical avg (25% extremely low); just above postcrisis lows.
[Since the data series began in 1987, only 1999-2000 & 2003-04 were able to sustain bullish sentiment >50%; a reading >60% would prompt me to immediately play defense.  Previously: I’m bullish until the quantifiable handful of bears capitulate]
#Bearish #Euphoria

Rail traffic weekly: Trend growth resumes | Association of American Railroads (AAR)
Weekly traffic +2.8% y/y; growth remains +1.7% ytd.
5 of 10 carload groups posted gains: petroleum +12.7%, grain +5.0; metallic ores -6.5, coal -2.9.

Predictions: Top 10 disruptive technology themes for 2014 | Bob Peck (SunTrust)
1. Transportation & delivery– electric vehicles, drones, same-day delivery & on demand transit ($TSLA $AMZN $EBAY $GOOG $IRBT #Uber)
2. Local commerce personalization– leveraging GPS, bluetooth & in-store beacons ($XRT)
3. Payments & money– electronic payment processing & currencies ($EBAY $V $GOOG $AMZN #LevelUp #Bitcoin)
4. Sensors & wearable tech ($NKE $SSNLF $AAPL $GOOG)
5. Cloud- adoption acceleration & maturation ($CTXS $VMW $MSFT)
6. Internet of things– non-human communication among devices (#Big Data)
7+8. Advertising evolution– online ad migration continues across devices & starts deploying more videos ($GOOG $FB $AOL $TWTR #Vine #Instagram)
9. Open source economy- sharing proliferates to utilize idle assets from housing to cars to manufacturing ($ZIP #Chegg)
10. Ephemeral graph- media consumers have taken to the niche of “disappearing content,” eliminating the need for resources like data storage & concerns like privacy (#Snapchat)

Manufacturers’ durable goods shipments, inventories & orders: Beats & upward revisions (November 2013) | US Department of Commerce
Orderscore capex orders (nondefense, ex-aircraft capital goods) surged (+4.5% m/m vs +0.7 consensus); total durable goods orders also exceeded expectations (+3.5 vs +2.0 consensus) on top of a big upward revision to October’s report (from -2.0 to -0.7)
Shipmentscore capex shipments increased too (+2.8 vs +1.0 consensus)
Inventoryinventories rose slightly (+0.3)
[This adds to the oversupply (orders > shipments) from the hangover after Q3′s spike in orders, but this is a better report considering the overall pickup in activity; now that the QE taper has begun, shipments should/must rally.  Previously]


  1. […] lone, quantifiable handful of bears whose capitulation can trigger an exuberant ascent.  See also: NYSE margin debt (#Bearish) & AAII investor sentiment survey (#Bearish)] #Bullish […]

  2. […] highs; dumb money’s equity allocations at 2006 highs with cash & bonds near alltime lows; margin levels at alltime highs (nominal gross, real gross & net […]

  3. […] risk exposures down to benchmark-weight to play defense, true to my quantitative triggers:1. When "bulls >60%" & "quantifiable handful of bears capitulate"2. NYSE real gross margin debt & net balances […]


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