Sigma Signals

Week of October 16, 2023 The troubled Middle East that seems always a boiling cauldron just had another log thrown on the fire. Israel is amassing forces to drive Hamas out of Gaza following the Hamas led massacre in Israel a week ago Saturday. Capital markets were expecting a wave of selling pressure that Monday … Continued

The Nifty Fifty and the Magnificent Seven

In the US, the term “nifty fifty” was an informal designation, in the 1960s and 1970s, for a group of roughly fifty large-cap stocks on the New York Stock Exchange that were widely regarded as solid buy and hold investments.  The stocks were often described as “one-decision”, as they were viewed as extremely stable, even … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of October 9, 2023 Our signals remain unchanged this week, although we are closely watching the situation in Israel with the recent Hamas led terrorist attacks. Clearly, the Middle East is a region of importance to the entire world, given the high concentration of petroleum reserves located in the area. Bob Bilkie, CFA

Going Dirty To Go Green?

Governments around the world are rushing to find raw materials to meet the growing demand for the burgeoning expansion of green technologies.  We have previously discussed the problem in our blog, “Lithium and the Environment“, posted on December 7, 2022. In order to expedite the development of a secure supply of new raw material sources, … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of October 2, 2023 The US House and Senate agreed upon a stopgap measure to keep the federal government funded for the next 1 1/2 months. This eliminated a degree of uncertainty, and with the government shutdown uncertainty removed, some of the downward pressure on equity prices will be relieved. Our Signals remain unchanged, … Continued

Influencer Marketing

We are all aware of the rise in social media marketing involving endorsements by people and organizations who purport to have expert knowledge or social influence, largely based on name recognition and/or the number of followers. While there is a lack of consensus about what an influencer is, the most common characteristic is payment for … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of September 25, 2023 Interest rates appear to be settling into a normal range – at least at the lower bound – after a generation of abnormally low rates. These higher interest rates provide more competition for common stocks. As a result, we are changing our US Treasury Signal from yellow to green and … Continued

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, homeowners are increasingly foregoing home insurance.  The risks associated with that decision are significant and should be fully understood before adopting the strategy.   When you don’t have insurance and your home is destroyed, you don’t just lose your house and its contents, you might also … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of September 18, 2023 The partnership between the UAW, the Big-Three automakers, and the US government began in 1980 with the bailout of Chrysler and was strengthened in 2008 during GM’s bankruptcy. For a host of reasons too numerous to go into detail here, the strike against the Big-Three should be settled in short … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of September 11, 2023 Earlier in the year we were warned about the refinancing “cliff” that would occur this past August as commercial mortgages came due. Estimates of the amount in question collectively exceeded $800 billion. However, August bought nothing but radio silence. Something is going on behind the scenes. Are landlords and bankers … Continued

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Over the last several months, the US has suffered through several catastrophic events, including wildfires in Canada, a wildfire in Hawaii and a hurricane in Florida.  All of these have a few things in common; predictability, a lack of preparation, finger pointing and an effort to blame climate change. Unfortunately, the political process works against … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of September 4, 2023 A sign at the train station in York, UK today reads “Industrial Action: This strike action will cause significant disruption….” Headline on the CNBC website dated 9/2/23 reads “Hollywood sheds 17,000 jobs in August amid ongoing strikes.” In Detroit, the UAW is threatening work stoppages at all Big 3 auto … Continued