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Predictions and Reality

Let's get right to outlook prediction back in September 2017 has proven to be totally wrong! My abundance of caution around that DOW 22,000 level was overrun in a stampede not seen in quite a while, reaching all the way to 26,000 with nary a pause. Simply incredible. And yes, I missed it. Do I feel foolish? How could I not. My only consolation was that the stocks I typically use as my proxies, like steel and GE, didn't enjoy the ride. So, I missed it and I didn't. I definitely exited some tech names like AAPL, CSCO, and TSLA too early though.

Am I changing gears yet? Nope. The sheer ferocity of the advance reminded me too much of the dot-com bubble. Remember that one? Easy money in anything with a website. Until the bottom fell out. I'm not making the argument the dynamic is the same, just that as a trader, the markets felt scary to me in the same way. The cryptocurrency market is definitely the same dynamic though. At any rate, I'm still optimistic but als…

An Abundance of Caution

The markets have surprised me this morning with an early 1% upside advance. Despite continued saber-rattling from North Korea and devastating impacts from Hurricane Irma, the market is demonstrating impressive resilience. Just last Tuesday, the indices had declined to August 17th levels, recent low territory, and I really thought the long-awaited correction was beginning. Once again, the current Bull proves tenacious.

My outlook, however, remains similar. Overall, I think valuations are too high. We'll see if the market continues to discount the impact of North Korea rhetoric if further sanctions are adopted later this afternoon. North Korea aside, it's the unexpected event to fear most. The country has experienced two devastating hurricanes in less than one week, with another potentially looming. Economic disruption from these is inevitable, but I think the magnitude is currently being underestimated. Hurricane Harvey saw an immediate 10% rise in gasoline pump prices and with…

A Solemn Remembrance

It was a crisp, cloudless, blue sky morning, not unlike this morning. An incredibly beautiful day...until the unthinkable happened. Peaceful bliss was shattered irrevocably and the world changed in an instant. The innocent loss of life was staggering, completely unfathomable. It's hard to believe that 16 years have elapsed since that horrible day. My blogs usually "go dark" on September 11th, but not today. Never Forget. Today, I choose to remember...and to briefly share a few memories.

If you're old enough, you remember exactly where you were when the Towers came down. I was at work, getting prepared for another day of trading. It was Tuesday. The North Tower was struck at 8:46 AM. It seemed like a tragic accident. When the South Tower was struck shortly thereafter at 9:03 AM, it became alarmingly clear we were under attack. Needless to say, the markets didn't open and wouldn't until the following Monday.

So many of us lost dear friends or family that day. T…

Prognosis Negative: Congress, The Fed, and Geopolitics

The markets continue to defy gravity. Nearly every day they've been reaching new highs. I'm concerned, and have been for a while. There's an awful lot of complacency permeating the market currently. I believe the day of reckoning is approaching, likely before August concludes, but probably no later than mid-September. I think a correction of 10% magnitude wouldn't be surprising, but I'm guessing more like 7-8%. Whatever the actual quantification, there will be an unraveling. Don't freak out - it's long overdue and should provide a nice selective buying opportunity.

There are several factors coming to the fore that I think alone or in combination could be the catalyst for a market decline. Let's examine a few of them briefly.

First, the market has been on a tear without any meaningful pullback. A big early part of that was Trump euphoria. The new administration made bold promises that many believed would help stimulate the economy. Those promises include…

Filtering The Noise

It's been said, "Information is king." True enough. We live in an age where technology has made information accessible and abundant in real time. That's good, to a point. The problem arises when there's too much information. It's a 24/7 information bombardment now. It's all urgent too, or so it seems. Even the weather is a full-time breaking news event. Added to that, every Tom, Dick, and Harry (and even some upstate guy named Mike) has an opinion on what it all means. And those opinions run the gamut from one polar opposite to the other. Ever watch CNBC? Then you know exactly what I mean. The truth is that the vast majority of the information we're pummeled with is Noise.

Noise? It's the stuff that's irrelevant in the grander scheme of things. It's a distraction. Many times it elicits emotional responses, like fear. It often seems so important. It's not. Don't get distracted.

The trick to effective trading decisions (or any decisi…

Who I Am

Hello...and welcome to my newest blog endeavor, The Market Chronicle. I'm excited to share my experiences and insights after more than 30 years on Wall Street, mostly as an equity trader. First and foremost, I'm a trader, not an investment advisor so anything I post that resonates with you should never be construed as investment advice. There are plenty of capable people to seek advice from and I'm more than happy to point you in the direction of a few if you need specific advice.

Initially, I expect to cover broad topics to include the inherent unfairness of the modern fractured marketplace, the effect of technology, and regulation. These views won't be white papers that cause your eyes to glaze over but rather my perspective after surviving in the market trenches for decades. A lot has changed since I began and I imagine a lot more will change before I'm all through.

Before we get to all that, it's probably useful to introduce myself by way of my background. …