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Ironman is the alias of the blogger at Political Calculations, a site that develops, applies and presents both established and cutting edge theory to the topics of investing, business and economics. We should acknowledge that Ironman is either formerly or currently, and quite possibly, ... more

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Summer 2019 Snapshot Of Expected Future S&P 500 Earnings
Every three months, we take a snapshot of the expectations for future earnings in the S&P 500 at approximately the midpoint of the current quarter, shortly after most U.S. firms have announced their previous quarter's earnings.
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The S&P 500's Volatility Ride Continues
For a week where the full U.S. Treasury yield curve inverted as stock prices were quite volatile, the week didn't end all that much differently than the previous week did.
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To Whom Does The U.S. Government Owe Money?
The U.S. Treasury Department has revised its estimates of the amount of money the U.S. government owed to various foreign countries.
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U.S. And Foreign-Owned Long-Term Securities
U.S. holdings of foreign long-term securities as a percent share of foreign holdings of U.S. long-term securities rose from 54% in 2002 to peak at 70% in 2007 before plunging to a low of 54% in 2010.
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Microsoft Excel And The S&P 500
The S&P 500 has been around since 1957, while its predecessor index, the S&P 90, goes back at least to December 1925.
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Investors Split Focus Between Future Quarters, Driving S&P 500 Volatility
For the last two weeks, the S&P 500 has been consistent with investors splitting their forward-looking focus between the future quarters of 2019-Q4 and 2020-Q1.
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Latest Comments
GE's Looming Dividend Cut
9 months ago

Culp pulled the trigger - GE's quarterly dividend has been cut to 1 cent per share. At the same time, the Power divisions will be split into two divisions, with an additional $22 billion writedown of goodwill associated with it. Some breaking perspectives:

www.reuters.com/.../general-electric-cuts-dividend-splits-loss-making-power-unit-idUSKCN1N41BJ

www.investors.com/.../ge-dividend-cut-ge-earnings-ge-power/

www.zerohedge.com/.../ge-cuts-dividend-1-cent-amid-huge-earnings-miss-22-billion-writedown

In a nutshell, earnings took a big hit, with very few bright spots (GE Aviation being one).

In this article: GE
August 2018 Median Household Income
10 months ago

Typo alert! The second sentence in the Analyst's Notes section should read as follows:

Our alternate estimate is up by 0.4% from the $62,152 preliminary figure that we had previously reported for July 2018, which we would revise upward this month to be $62,184.

An increase to $625,184 would have truly been remarkable!

The Impact Of The U.S.- China Trade War On Their Trade To Date
11 months ago

Very good points - thank you for your comments! We should also recognize that China's retaliatory tariffs are having a similar effect on Chinese consumers where U.S. goods are involved. Where the interests of regular people are involved, tariffs are not a positive development, no matter why they're applied.

The Impact Of The U.S.- China Trade War On Their Trade To Date
11 months ago

Clearly, we hadn't yet have enough coffee when we wrote:

"where we can use a the linear trend established in the months before any tariffs were first imposed as a counterfactual for what the value of trade would be in the absence of their budding trade war with each other."

If we had more caffeine, and a do-over, we would make that:

"where we can use the trend established in the months before any tariffs were first imposed as a counterfactual to tell us what the value of trade would be in the absence of their budding trade war with each other."

Small differences, but much clearer!...

New Home Sales Market Continues Deceleration
1 year ago

Our thanks to TalkMarkets' editors for updating the article with the corrected version of the animated chart so quickly! [For those wondering what we're talking about, we had erroneously posted a version of the chart that only showed data through December 2017.]

Either GE Or Its Dividend, And Possibly Both, Are Set To Shrink
1 year ago

Thanks for your comments. We're expressing our own takeaway from Flannery's earlier comments. I would agree that Flannery did not intend to set that expectation, but since investors reacted the way they did to those remarks, it would appear that we weren't alone in having that impression.

From a practical management standpoint, if a dividend cut was being considered for the immediate future, GE could have followed through with announcing it in June, where we think that the impact to its stock price would have been minimal because the expectation of a dividend cut among investors had already effectively lowered the stock price. In other words, the expectation was built in. And, to a certain extent, it still is.

If GE does ultimately follow through and announce another dividend cut later, we would describe the June meeting as a missed opportunity for GE's leadership to get the negative impact behind them earlier. That said, I hope the company's business outlook stabilizes and it doesn't have to come to that - we would much rather analyze the company's successful turnaround!

In this article: GE
U.S. Recession Probability Ticks Slightly Up After Fed Does Nothing
1 year ago

Correction - need to fix the date in the second paragraph, where the affected sentence should read as follows:

Or to put it more simply, there is currently very little chance that the National Bureau of Economic Research will someday declare that a national recession began in the U.S. between now and 22 September 2018 as based upon Jonathan Wright's recession forecasting method.

U.S. Student Loan Explosion
2 years ago

Correction: That should be $137 billion in the last paragraph (not "$137 million").

Roiling Under The Surface With The S&P 500 In Week 2 Of June 2017
2 years ago

Quick follow up: We got our wires crossed in reading the FedWatch model - with a now 87% probability that the Fed will not hike interest rates in 2017-Q3, it is actually largely in agreement with what the S&P 500 and dividend futures are telling us!

In this article: SPX
Update: The National Dividend Through December 2016
2 years ago

Typo alert! The third paragraph should read:

"With that introduction now out of the way, we can now update the U.S.' national dividend through the end of 2016."

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STOCKS I FOLLOW

AAPL Apple Inc.
APOL Apollo Education Group Inc.
BA The Boeing Company
BP BP p.l.c.
BXUB Barclays Bank PLC
BXUC Barclays Bank PLC
CHN The China Fund Inc.
CN Deutsche X-trackers Harvest MSCI All China Equity ETF
CXSE WisdomTree China ex-State-Owd Entpr ETF
DBA PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund
DIA SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average
EPS WisdomTree Earnings 500 Fund
EWC iShares MSCI Canada Index Fund
EWU iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund
FCA First Trust Exchange-Traded AlphaDEX Fund 2
FXA CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust
FXI iShares China Large-Cap
FXP ProShares UltraShort FTSE/Xinhua China 25
GCH The Greater China Fund Inc.
GE General Electric Company
GM General Motors Company
GXC SPDR S&P China ETF
IVV iShares S&P 500 Index Fund
IWM iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund
JFC JF China Region Fund Inc.
MCHI iShares MSCI China
NYT New York Times Co.
OIL iPath B S&P GSCI Crude Oil TR ETN
PGJ PowerShares Gldn Dragon Halter USX China
QQQ PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1
RINF ProShares Inflation Expectations ETF
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