Sigma Signals

Week of December 26, 2022 According to Forbes, in a publication dated October 2, 2022: “Since 1950, there have been 18 midterm election cycles, and in the 12 months following each of those cycles, the stock market has had positive returns… with an average return of 18.6%”. Our Signals remain unchanged. Bob Bilkie, CFA

There Are Surveys and Then There Are Surveys

Last year, a survey conducted by Bitcoin IRA showed that “a third of Americans say that bitcoin will hit $100,000 by the end of 2022” and about half of Americans say the cryptocurrency’s price will rise. Isn’t that interesting?  Even more interesting is that the pool of people surveyed consisted of a “randomized group of … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of December 19, 2022 Fed Chair Jerome Powell raised the Federal Funds Rate another 50 basis points. Volatility in the equity markets ensued. Is a recession in 2023 all but guaranteed? Or will the Fed deliver a soft landing? No changes to our Signals this week. Happy Holidays to everyone. Michael Mullenax & Bob … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of December 12, 2022 Equity prices largely fell last week while bond yields similarly declined. Oil traded at a near one-year low, whereas gold prices strengthened. The conclusion – near term economic growth may weaken but the inflation beast is not dead. No changes to our signals. Bob Bilkie, CFA

Lithium and the Environment

Lithium is a chemical element and is the least dense metal and the least dense solid element.  It is also the most commonly used metal for new energy applications.  Lithium batteries are widely used by the global vehicle industry. Investors should be aware that lithium and lithium batteries also come with a long list of … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of December 5, 2022 Your turn, Mr. Powell. The uncertainty de jour is the course of action by the Fed on interest rates and the size of rate increases. The Christmas selling season should provide a glimpse of the power of the economic recovery. No change to our Signals this week. Bob Bilkie, CFA

The ESG Conundrum

It appears that interest in investing based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is growing. The question is, how to go about it? To start with, how can investors themselves determine which companies live up to ESG standards?  Currently, they have little alternative to relying on outside raters.  However, ESG ratings vary substantially depending … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 28, 2022 Russia quagmire in Ukraine? Check. Chinese citizens protest? Check. Divided US government? Check. US interest rates easing? Check. Gasoline prices moderating? Check. Patience? Check. Time to evaluate investments and rebalance where appropriate. No changes to our Signals this week. Bob Bilkie, CFA


What does affordable mean?  We now have the political class talking about “affordable” housing, “affordable” health care, “affordable” education, and consumer cost protections for essentials, such as energy and food, to mention a few of the “affordables” being bandied about.  The short answer to, what does affordable mean, is subsidy.  The key questions for investors … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 21, 2022 Now that it has been confirmed that Republicans will control the US House, we contemplate the downside of divided government, which is an inability to compromise. In that regard, the US debt limit must be raised by the end of the year, and in the recent past this resulted in … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of November 14, 2022 As suggested last week, the uncertainty of the outcome of the midterm elections largely influenced equity market volatility over the past several weeks and with the election over, capital markets staged a sharp upturn. It appears that there will be some form of divided government and all else equal, capital … Continued

Replenishing the SPR?

The U.S. is nearing the end of its previously announced release of 180 million barrels (bbls) of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR). At the time of the release, the announced strategy revolved around the idea that this would increase supply, reduce oil prices, thereby moderating gasoline prices, and reduce pressure on U.S. consumers. … Continued