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Showing posts from April, 2013

Bonds vs. stocks, March 2009 - April 2013

Shared this relative performance chart of bonds vs. equities on StockTwits this morning, and wanted to post it here for our readers.

Here is TLT (US Treasury bonds) vs. the returns of QQQ (Nasdaq 100 ETF) and SPY (S&P 500 ETF), from March 13, 2009 to April 30, 2013. 



As you can see from the chart above, TLT has gained about 20 percent (not including dividends) in this 4 year period. QQQ is up 144 percent and SPY is up 110 percent from the start of this recent bull market in equities. 

In terms of price (directional) correlation, you'll note that while the QQQ and SPY are very closely linked, the two stock index ETFs seem negatively correlated with TLT. When stocks are up, government bonds are lagging and vice versa, at least for the period in question.

Futures and stocks: YTD performance charts

A quick look at the year-to-date performance of futures and stocks on Finviz

Natural gas tops the futures list for relative performance. Nat gas is up 27% YTD. 



Right behind it is the Nikkei 225 index, up 27%, getting a boost from the latest BOJ monetary easing efforts (note: Yen is down 12% YTD). The Dow Industrials are up 13.5% YTD and the S&P 500 is up 11%. Remember what we learned from Ray Dalio: currency depreciation and money printing are good for stocks (at least in nominal terms). 

Gold and silver have been selling off in recent weeks. The precious metals took a hard spill today as the markets mulled a possible winding down of the Fed's QE program. It seems, in this instance, simply scaling back "money printing" efforts is enough to push gold and silver into free fall mode. 

Individual stocks have done pretty well year-to-date. Of all US-listed stocks, Finviz shows 4,713 are up (show a positive return) YTD vs. 1,744 down YTD. A simple screen of liquid stocks (g…

Bitcoin crosses $100 mark in latest surge

Bitcoin, the virtual currency on everyone's lips, surged through the $100 mark this week. 

Bitcoin is currently trading at $117.2 on Mt. Gox (click through for current quotes and market depth), one of the most liquid bitcoin exchanges. Having traded near $15 in early January, bitcoins are now up over 750 percent in US dollar terms year to date. 


Here's a chart of the bitcoin/Euro price, currently at €92.18 on Mt. Gox. Interest in the bitcoin market recently exploded across Europe as Cyprus' banking crisis led savers to wonder if their bank deposits would be seized to help bail out ailing banks. 



As the New Yorker explains in their piece on, "The Bitcoin Boom": 

"...That a number of panicked Europeans appear to have reckoned the wildly volatile, vulnerable, and tiny bitcoin market a preferable alternative to their own banking system, even temporarily, signals a serious widening of the cracks between the northern and southern E.U. countries in the wake of the …