The Mess That Greenspan Made

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We are off to the Crazy Mountains for the next few days…

The latest issue of the Iacono Research Weekend Update has been posted to the website and is now available for subscribers here. There will be no changes to the buy ratings but three changes to the model portfolio, the latter detailed in the following discussion topic:

The executive summary is as follows:

The missile attack on Malaysian flight MH17 and an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza were not nearly enough to temper the enthusiasm of stock investors who were again emboldened by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen during testimony before Congress. Amid mixed economic data, bonds also rose in what has become a disturbingly familiar development – prices for both stocks and bonds being bid higher.

The natural resource sector continued to struggle as prices for major agricultural goods and some energy products moved further into negative territory for the year while precious metals tumbled, taking mining shares down with them. Energy stocks were about the only natural resource shares to move higher, REITs rose again, but the model portfolio fell 0.5 percent, now up 9.5 percent for the year.

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What Could Go Wrong?

Via Deutsche Bank and this Business Insider item comes the graphic below that is only slightly out-of-date following geopolitical developments yesterday in Ukraine and Gaza.

It appears that markets are already getting over both of these stories as prices for safe haven investments such as Treasuries and gold are tumbling while stock market futures are up, though the latest data indicate only a portion of yesterday’s decline has been reversed.

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Friday Morning Links

MUST READS
181 bodies found at Malaysia crash site in Ukraine – AP
Putin: If MH17 Crashed in Ukraine, It’s Ukraine’s Fault – Time
European Stocks Drop for Second Day on Ukraine Conflict – Bloomberg
‘Further Escalation Not Out of the Question’ in Ukraine – Spiegel
Israel ready to widen Gaza ground offensive – PM – BBC
Netanyahu Orders Military to Ready Wider Gaza Incursion – Bloomberg
Value of worldwide mergers and acquisitions hits $2 trillion this year – Reuters
What a pet insurer’s IPO tells us about America’s dog and cat obsession – Quartz
APNewsBreak: Shipwreck’s gold inventory released – AP
The Real Message of the BRICS Summit – Bloomberg
We Now Know Janet Yellen Is Not Very Bright – IRD
7 reasons the gold standard is a terrible idea – Vox
Trust Will Kill Bitcoin – Bloomberg

MARKETS/INVESTING
World stocks shaky as jetliner downed over Ukraine – AP
Market reaction could be harsh but short-lived – CNBC
6 events that spooked the market in 2014 – CNN/Money
Bull market sends 401(k)s soaring to record highs – USA Today
VIX Jumps With Gold Bets as Ukraine Ignites Stock Selloff – Businessweek
Russian stocks slide for fifth day after MH17 crash – MarketWatch
Treasuries Fall for First Time in Three Days as Safety Bid Wanes – Bloomberg
Gold dips after spike on Ukraine crash, set for first weekly fall in 7 – Reuters
Amid economic revival, gold duty cut unlikely – Mineweb
After winning the silver fix, CME goes for the gold – Mining.com
Commerzbank neutralises outlook, may fall to 1286 levels – BullionStreet

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Addicted to Inflation – Krugman, NY Times
Another Nail In The Payroll Coffin? – Alhambra Partners
Kuroda Softens Yen Stance as Export Pain Evaporates – Bloomberg
Growth slightly lower than 7.5 percent ‘acceptable’: China’s Li – Reuters
China Bailouts Questions as Second Company Faces Default – Bloomberg
Canada housing market skewed by handful of hot markets – FP
Home prices continue to fall in more cities – China Daily
Is a Housing Crash Coming to the U.S.? – Investor Place
The Debate Over FHA’s Growing Role in the Housing Market – WSJ
Bullard Says Fed May Need to Move Forward Start of Exit – Businessweek
Janet Yellen Uses Fed Failures to Expand the Fed’s Mandate – RCM
The Fed in Danger – NY Sun

 
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