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Entries for 2020

Investor Cash Continues To Build

 May 3 2020     David Templeton
This past Friday our webinar looking at contrarian indicators included commentary on the level of cash in money market mutual funds. The below money market chart is an update from the one in the webinar and the chart shows cash levels continue to rise, now equaling $4.73 trillion. Clearly the current cash level is higher than the level reached at the peak of the financial crisis in early 2009.In M...

Retest The March Low Or Not

 April 27 2020     David Templeton
The economic and equity market environment investors find themselves operating in today are different and more challenging than any environment they have likely faced in their lifetime. The steep market contraction from the February high was swift, i.e., declining 33.9% over a short 22 trading days, the fastest on record. With a nearly global economic shutdown due to mandatory stay at home orders,...

Investor Bullish Sentiment Weakening

 April 23 2020     David Templeton
Until today I had been surprised individual investor sentiment was holding up at an elevated level. However, with the AAII Sentiment Survey release this morning, for the week ending 4/22/2020, bullish sentiment fell 10 percentage points to 24.9%. This is the lowest bullishness reading since October 10, 2020 when bullish sentiment was reported at 20.3%. A majority of the formally bullish respondent...

Downside Earnings Revisions Tend To Peak Near Market Bottoms

 April 21 2020     David Templeton
It is not surprising company earnings revisions have been mostly downside revisions with most of the country/consumers sitting at home. What is noteworthy though is the upside to downside earnings revision ratio tends to bottom near equity market bottoms. During the 2008/2009 financial crisis, the revision ratio bottomed in late February and the S&P 500 Index bottomed a little over two months late...

The Current Market Like 1987 Or 2008/2009?

 April 20 2020     David Templeton
Investors and the market are entering peak earnings season and with futures down this morning, it seems investors may be facing a buy the rumor sell the news type of market. The crash in oil prices, with NYMEX crude down 35% to $11.77 per barrel, is adding to the negative market sentiment. Up until this peak earnings period for the first quarter, the S&P 500 Index rose over 28% off the March 23 lo...

Equity Markets Defy Emotions

 April 14 2020     David Templeton
From February 19 to March 23 the S&P 500 Index went from trading at a record high to being down 30.75% for the year, all in the span of 23 trading days. The speed of the decline caught most investors by surprise. In the fifteen trading days since the March 23 low though, the Index is up 27.2% and regained 608 of the 1,148 points lost in the contraction. In spite of the strong recovery, a majority ...

Retest The Low Or Onto New Highs?

 April 14 2020     David Templeton
Of course March 23 is not even a month in the rear-view mirror, but the S&P 500 Index is up over 23% since the low on that date. Some have commented the market will retest that market low before achieving new highs while others say the Fed's intervention minimizes the likelihood of a retest. As time moves further past the March 23 day, it seems "the no retest" chorus is sounding more probable. Bec...

Spring 2020 Investor Letter: The Bears Woke Up

 April 9 2020     David Templeton
The first quarter was an unprecedented one as the S&P 500 Index decline was the fastest 30%+ sell-off ever. The market ultimately fell 33.9% from February 19 to its low on March 23, just 23 trading days. This occurred on the back of a strong 2019 where the S&P 500 Index was up 31.5% for the year. A strong start was underway for 2020 with the S&P 500 Index up 5.1% through February 19. The COVID-19 ...

NFIB Survey: Small Business Survival At Risk

 April 7 2020     David Templeton
Small businesses (less than 500 employees) account for around 50% of total private payrolls. The broad virus initiated and widely mandated "stay at home" orders across most states are having an extreme negative impact on small businesses, all business for that matter. In today's NFIB Small Business Optimism release, the Optimism Index fell 8.1 points to 96.4, the largest decline in the survey's hi...

Individual Investor Bullish Sentiment Surprisingly Not So Low

 March 28 2020     David Templeton
One factor we track on a periodic basis falls into the investor sentiment category. There are a number of sentiment measures one can evaluate on the institutional and individual investor level. The one that is weighing on our minds currently is the fact the individual investor bullish sentiment level has not reached a level one would expect in a market like the recent one. When the S&P 500 Index i...
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