Topley’s Top 10 – September 22, 2023

1. XLK-Tech ETF -Arrows Show Two Lower Highs.

$162 print breaks double bottom.

2. Semiconductor ETF Breaks Thru Support Line.

3. 10 Year Yields Just Getting Back to Long-Term Trend.

Jim Reid Deutsche Bank Overnight a major milestone was reached. 10yr US government yields hit their long-term average yield (since 1790) of 4.5% for the first time since 2007.  In some ways this could be seen as a concern, since we’re “only” now at normal historical levels, despite the fact inflation is still elevated and record peacetime deficits are predicted for the rest of your careers however old you are. The good news is that at least value has returned. It’s going to be much more difficult for longer-term investors to lose money in Treasuries now than it was for most of the last decade in both nominal, and to a lesser degree, real terms.So a challenging set up for Treasuries in the years ahead but the price is at least now reasonable if history is your guide.

4. Timing Impact of Higher Rates.

The Daily Shot Brief The United States: According to Oxford Economics, the maximum impact of the Fed’s tightening will be felt over the next couple of quarters

5. Mutual Fund Flows for 2023…Money Markets Dominate.

Irrelevant Investor Blog

6. Zero Coupon 25 Year Bond -60%.

7. REIT ETF Turns Back-Down.

8. Personal Income and Profits.

Jack Ablin Cresset The cumulative growth in incomes and profits underscores that trend. Between 1983 and 2002, the cumulative growth in profits and personal income moved in lockstep. Though the financial crisis crushed profits, since 2009 corporate profit growth has run substantially ahead of personal income. Artificially low interest rates were partially to blame, but a significant portion of the profit advantage was the result of a greater share of productivity gains gravitating to the bottom line. Over the last 20 years, cumulative wage growth among unionized, goods-producing workers expanded 60 per cent. Adjusted for inflation, however, their wages contracted three per cent in the interim. Adjusted for inflation and productivity, their compensation plunged 30 per cent.

9. US finalizes rules to prevent China from benefiting from $52 billion in chips funding.

By David Shepardson

Flags of China and U.S. are displayed on a printed circuit board with semiconductor chips, in this illustration picture taken February 17, 2023. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday is issuing final rules to prevent semiconductor manufacturing subsidies from being used by China and other countries deemed to pose American national security concerns.

The regulation is the final hurdle before the Biden administration can begin awarding $39 billion in subsidies for semiconductor production. The landmark “Chips and Science” law provides $52.7 billion for U.S. semiconductor production, research and workforce development.

The regulation, first proposed in March, sets “guardrails” by limiting recipients of U.S. funding from investing in expanding semiconductor manufacturing in foreign countries of concern like China and Russia, and limits recipients of incentive funds from engaging in joint research or technology licensing efforts with foreign entities of concern

10. The top teacher burnout statistics of 2023.

  • K-12 teachers are the #1 most burnt-out profession in The United States
  • 44% of teachers in K-12 school report often or always feeling burnout
  • 90% of teachers claim that feeling burnt out is a serious problem
  • Over half of teachers say they will leave teaching sooner than originally planned
  • There are 500,000+ fewer educators in the American public school systems post-pandemic
  • 44% of public schools posted teaching vacancies in early 2022
  • 43% of educator job postings are going unfilled
  • 30% of teachers were found to be chronically absent
  • Compensation is the #1 reason educators plan to quit their jobs

Topley’s Top 10 – September 21, 2023

1. Two Charts to Watch…..CART and ARM IPOs this Week Giving Back Gains Fast

Instacart Highs were Over $40

ARM High was Over $65

2. SMH-Semiconductor ETF Clear Support Line at $140 Level

Blue trendline in danger of being penetrated on a $140 print.

3. NVDA -16% Correction Off Highs….Trades Back Down to Summer Support Levels

4. Commodities Charts Holding Up in Long-Term Trend Charts

5. Rising Rates Make Big Companies Even Richer

The amount companies earn from cash in the bank is going up even as interest costs fixed during the pandemic stand still WSJ By James Mackintosh The winners from higher rates were high-quality borrowers, who locked in low interest rates around the pandemic with bonds maturing further in the future than any time this century. Higher rates have little immediate impact on their borrowing costs—only affecting bonds when they are refinanced—while they earn more on their cash piles straight away.

6. Higher Rates Not Slowing Apollo Private Lending Arm

Bloomberg Apollo to Raise About $2.5 Billion to Lend in Private MarketsThe fund will add more cash to Apollo’s $50 billion of assets under management in direct lending. AOP II will have similar targets as the first generation of the fund, which focused on large corporate borrowers — firms that generate in excess of $100 million EBITDA — primarily in North America and Western Europe, according to an August press release.

APO chart 46% YTD

7. Quantum Tech Venture Investment Summary

8. China Debt Ratio


Vanguard’s perspective on China’s challenging economy

9. Single-Home Rent Prices Still Rising

10. INC Colorado Coach Deion Sanders Keeps Repeating the Same Word Over and Over. It’s a Lesson in Emotional Intelligence

Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes believe–and it’s leading them to accomplish some amazing things.


Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders in Fort Worth. Photo: Getty Images

They believe.

That’s what Colorado head coach Deion Sanders said about his team after the Buffaloes won a nail-biting, double-overtime thriller against in-state rivals Colorado State. Sanders had called the game “personal,” after Colorado State coach Jay Norvell took a dig last week at Sanders’s penchant for wearing a hat and sunglasses during interviews.

The phrase “we believe” has quickly become the Buffaloes’ rallying cry.

A couple of weeks ago, after the Buffaloes upset a highly respected TCU team in their season-opening win, Sanders confronted a reporter he claimed had written a disparaging report about the Buffaloes.

“You believe now?” Sanders asked, with a huge smile on his face.

And earlier this week, in an appearance on the popular ESPN talk show First Take, Sanders invoked the word over and over again in the course of 30 seconds:

“We believe.”

“We just believe … “

“We truly believe … “

“We just truly believe.”

Before you dismiss Sanders’s use of the phrase as pure hype, consider that there’s actually a firm foundation for using this type of speech to motivate others, and it’s rooted in the science of emotional intelligence.

Here’s a breakdown of the power of belief, and how you can use it to help you run your business and your life. (If you find value in this lesson, you might be interested in my free course, which teaches you how to build emotional intelligence in yourself and your team.)

Want to get the most out of others? Make them believe

For decades, research has indicated that teachers, mentors, and coaches who focus on nurturing students and highlighting their potential get better results.

“Today, we have compelling evidence that interest precedes the development of talent,” writes psychology professor Adam Grant in his best-selling book Give and Take. “It turns out that motivation is the reason that people develop talent in the first place.”

To illustrate, Grant cites a classic study led by Harvard psychologist Robert Rosenthal.

Rosenthal teamed up with Lenore Jacobson, an elementary school principal. Students from 18 classrooms, ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade, were all given a “Harvard cognitive ability test.” The test measured verbal and reasoning skills deemed critical to learning and problem-solving.

Afterward, Rosenthal and Jacobson shared the test results with teachers: About 20 percent of the students had shown potential for making “unusual intellectual gains” in the next year. Armed with the knowledge that their students had such high potential, teachers set high expectations for their success.

In turn, the students also believed they had high potential, and they delivered: When those students took the test a year later, they had improved more than fellow students–their IQ points rose at greater rates, and they were still outgaining classmates two years later.

But there’s one very interesting detail to this story: The students labeled as high potential didn’t really score higher on the test. Rosenthal chose them at random.

“The study was designed to find out what happened to students when teachers believed they had high potential,” writes Grant. “Rosenthal randomly selected 20 percent of the students in each classroom to be labeled as bloomers, and the other 80 percent were a control group. The bloomers weren’t any smarter than their peers–the difference ‘was in the mind of the teacher.'”

In other words, the teachers’ expectations helped create self-fulfilling prophecies.

Sanders, who is also known as Coach Prime (a nod to the nickname “Primetime” from his NFL playing days), seems to be doing the same at Colorado. Yes, the kids he coaches have talent. But so do the players at the opposing schools Colorado has faced so far this season.

Yet Colorado is undefeated so far, despite playing higher-ranked opponents the first two games and falling far behind in their third game. Much of the Buffaloes’ success could be attributed to the sky-high confidence their coach has infused them with.

So, how can you apply this principle to your business, or even your personal life?

Many of the people under your care won’t possess the inherent belief that they’re “good” at something. Many lack self-confidence. They’ve been scarred by the way they’ve been trained to see their own performance, or by perceived failures at work or in life.

You can help change that.

When you focus on your people’s strengths, you motivate them. When you nurture their potential, you help them become the best version of themselves.

Train yourself to see the good in others by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are they good at?
  • How can I praise them for what they’re good at, sincerely and specifically?
  • How can I help them leverage those strengths further?
  • How can I help them improve their weaknesses through constructive feedback?

Remember, as a leader, you are in a unique position to inspire and motivate those you work with. If you believe, they will too.

Because whether or not you like Coach Prime or his team, you have to admit:

The Colorado Buffaloes believe. And that belief has them doing some extraordinary things.

Colorado Coach Deion Sanders Keeps Repeating the Same Word Over and Over. It’s a Lesson in Emotional Intelligence |

Topley’s Top 10 – September 20, 2023

1. Lowest Percentage of Stocks Outperforming the S&P in 10 Years

2. 30-Year Treasury…Next Resistance 4.75%

30-Year Treasury Broke Above Down Trend Line Going Back to 1983

3. Recessions Less Frequent Since 1982

Jim Reid Deutsche Bank As today’s CoTD shows, recessions have generally got much rarer through time, especially since 1982. Since then the US, Germany and France have only seen 4, whilst the UK and Canada have only seen only 3. The 4 US recessions of the last 40 years contrasts with the 9 recessions in the prior 40 years and 10 over the previous 40 years, both much higher growth periods. Since 1982, the average US expansion has lasted 8.6 years and only 8% of that time has been spent in recession. Before 1982, the average was 2.8 years and 35% respectively. Europe had a long period (25-30 years depending on country) without a recession post-WWII but that was largely a growth catch-up with all the rebuilding after the conflict rather than a structural shift. In this period, the US saw 4 recessions.

4. XRT Retail Shoppers ETF Chopping Sideways…Now higher gas and higher rates?

5. AMZN vs. XRT Retail ETF……Breaks Out to New Highs

6. Homebuilders Rally Right Back to 2021 High then Pause

7. 15% of Home-Purchase Agreements Cancelled

8. History of Soft Landing Calls

The Daily Shot Brief The United States: Increased talk of a “soft landing” tends to precede a recession.

Source: @AnnaEconomist, @economicsRead full article

9. Leverage-Loans Holding Up Well

WSJ By Sam GoldfarbIt is one of the biggest surprises on Wall Street: the outsize performance of risky corporate loans.  Since the start of last year through Monday, loans backed by companies including PetSmart and  in the Morningstar LSTA U.S. Leveraged Loan Index delivered a return of 9.4%, buoyed by higher interest rates and a resilient economy. Investment-grade bonds lost 13% in that time, counting price changes and interest payments, while the S&P 500 lost 3.9%.

Few investments have been as maligned as leveraged loans, the low-rated debt often used to fund private-equity company buyouts. When the Federal Reserve started aggressively raising rates last year, many analysts warned that these loans were vulnerable because their rates rise and fall with those set by the central bank.

10. Share of Children Earning More That Their Parrent—Professor Galloway Blog

No Mercy No Malice BLOG  Ground zero for many of the biggest challenges facing America can be traced to one core problem: For the first time in our nation’s history, 30-year-olds aren’t doing as well as their parents were at 30.

Topley’s Top 10 – September 19, 2023

1. Oil Service Stocks +50% in 2 Years…New Highs


2. Concentrated Stock Portfolios and Volatility

It takes 24 stocks to reduce portfolio volatility to within 10% of the market volatility over the last five years, according to calculations from quantitative strategists at UBS. They ran similar tests going back to 2009, and found 28 was the median number that brought portfolio volatility to within 10% of the market’s. Granted, UBS tested stocks were picked randomly and without regards to a diversification aim.Marketwatch By Steve Goldstein

The chart

3. Consumer Balance Sheets Now vs. 2007

4. S&P 500 Index Longest Streak Without 1.5% Down Day Since 2018

5. Tesla vs. GM Chart Making a Run at Previous Highs

Tesla huge outperformance vs. F/GM this year

6. Crypto $54 Million in Outflows Last Week..80% Bitcoin

Bloomberg By Teresa Xie  Despite wins against the US Securities and Exchange Commission and new Bitcoin ETF filings, investors withdrew nearly half a billion dollars from cryptocurrency products over the last nine weeks.  The crypto market saw outflows totaling $54 million last week, making it the fifth consecutive week of selloffs, according to a new report by CoinShares. Bitcoin comprised 85% of outflows, reaching $45 million.  “A lot of investors are concerned that the crypto market has seen some good news in recent months and it has not helped the Bitcoin and others to rally at all,” Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak + Co., said in an email.

7. Planet Fitness Breaks Thru 2021-2022 Lows

Post-Covid favorite PLNT breaks below October 2022 lows

8. Top Ten Cities for Airbnbs

Everviz Blog

9. 49.5M Rental Properties in U.S.

Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day: Landlords of Small Rental Properties

By: Nadia Evangelou  While March 29 is designated as Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day, let’s take a look at some facts about mom-and-pop landlords and small rental properties. In real estate, mom-and-pops are owners of small rental properties (1-4 units), and they do the day-to-day management of these properties. But being a mom-and-pop landlord can be challenging, especially when someone is starting out and doing everything from evaluating and purchasing rental properties, finding and screening tenants, collecting rents, keeping the books, dealing with taxes, observing local laws, and performing routine maintenance and repairs.

Among 49.5 million rental housing units in the U.S., nearly 46% of them are small rental properties of 1-4 units. Over 70% of the small rental properties (1-4 units) are owned by individuals, and about 70% are managed by the same owners, defined as mom-and-pop landlords.

10. Nearly 100 Years Ago, This Philosopher Explained the Secret of Happiness in Just 35 Words (Modern Science Agrees)


Many millions of words have been written on how to be happy, which is both a blessing and a curse. If you’re an entrepreneur in the market for tips, there certainly is no shortage of suggestions from everyone from scientists to billionaires to Albert Einstein. But who has time to wade through thousands of articles? And which of the many ideas out there should you try first?

What you need to get started is condensed and easily applicable advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about. A quote from British philosopher Bertrand Russell fills the bill, and better yet, his suggestion is backed by modern research. 

The secret of happiness in just 35 words? 

Russell was a celebrated mathematician and philosopher who died back in 1970 at the age of nearly 100. He’s the source of many popular quotes, which writer Thomas Oppong recently rounded up on Medium. If you’re looking for a reminder of the downsides of materialism, the value of intellectual humility, or the high chance worrying what others think of you will lead to regret, then it’s well worth a quick read. 

But one quote from Russell’s 1930 book The Conquest of Happiness struck me in particular as packing a whole lot of profundity into just 35 words: “The secret of happiness is this: Let your interest be as wide as possible and let your reactions to the things and persons who interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.”

As Russell explains in the book, the world is huge and we are small. You’ll never have enough time for everything you want to do in your limited years. That truth could bring despair if you constantly fight against it. Instead of struggling, he advises you pick interests that captivate you (his very personal examples are “the Council of Trent, or the life history of stars,” but football or knitting would do just as well) and get lost in exploring them. This way you can temporarily slip the constraints of time and find momentary happiness. 

In short, practice openness and get some hobbies or interests. Then use them to find flow. It’s a simple enough prescription, but it’s actually one that’s backed by modern science. 

Modern research agrees

Openness has been linked by research not only to creativity and intelligence, but also to slower mental aging. Being open to new experiences seems to help keep the mind young. So, science certainly has found benefits to being friendly rather than hostile to new people, interests, and ideas. And should that initial curiosity develop into a hobby or interest of some sort, so much the better. 

A stack of studies shows that having diverse interests helps us develop a broader sense of self. You’re not just an entrepreneur and a dad, for instance, you’re also a bowling league champion, a surfer, or a sourdough master. Which means that whenever we run into difficulties in one of these areas of life, we can draw strength and confidence from others. When business is rocky, the surfing waves might be rocking.

Not only are hobbies and interests a resilience booster and a stress killer, they also help us enter a state of flow. This is that feeling you get when you’re doing something you genuinely enjoy and lose all sense of time. Psychologists have identified flow as a sure route to happiness — when you’re deeply absorbed in an activity, you are not fretting about the future or the past. 

All of which suggests Russell may have identified at least one secret of happiness (there are others). Exploring the world with a sense of wonder, developing a portfolio of interests and identities, and allowing yourself to get lost in them regularly is the kind of happiness advice just about anyone can implement. Nothing can make life less fleeting, or remove all stress from our lives. But this science-backed prescription certainly seems like it could help you squeeze more joy from your good days — and buffer you some against the bad ones.  Nearly 100 Years Ago, This Philosopher Explained the Secret of Happiness in Just 35 Words (Modern Science Agrees) |

Topley’s Top 10 – September 18, 2023

1. History of Markets After Fed Final Rate Hike

Capital Group

2. Banks Tighten Lending Standards

Tightening Lending Standards

Charlie Bilello A net 51% of US Banks are now tightening their lending standards, the highest since 2020 and at levels that have coincided with recessionary periods in the past.

3. Overall Loan Growth of U.S. Banks 3.6%

WSJ By Telis Demos One way for American banks to offset the pressure coming from rising deposit costs would be to boost business: More loans, even if earning less individually, could still lead to overall revenue growth. 

But right now, their lending is expanding very slowly. As of the latest Federal Reserve weekly tally, overall loan growth at U.S. banks has been 3.6% on an annualized, seasonally adjusted basis so far in the third quarter—well below the long-term average of 7%, according to Autonomous Research analyst Brian Foran.

4. Ten Largest Companies Percentage of S&P….Hit 40% in 1990 and 2000…..34% Last

The ten largest companies in the S&P500 make up 34% of the index, and these ten mega-cap companies have an average P/E ratio of 50, see chart below.

Torsten Slok, Ph.D.Chief Economist, PartnerApollo Global Management

5. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Diverge

Bespoke As crude oil topped $90 per barrel for the first time since last November, it’s interesting to see how prices of natural gas have seen little movement.  It used to be that the two commodities moved somewhat in unison with each other, but that has not been the case this year.  As shown in the chart below, since crude oil really started to take off at the end of Q2 it has rallied more than 28%.  Nat gas meanwhile not only hasn’t rallied, but it’s down over 3%!

As a result of the recent divergence between the two, the ratio of crude oil to natural gas has surged this year and currently sits at over 30.  Besides earlier this year, the only time since 1990 that the ratio between the two was as high or higher was back in the period spanning late 2011 through early to mid- 2013.

6. Fedex +44% YTD vs. UPS -8.5%

This chart shows Fedex vs. UPS….UPS still winning on 5-year basis.

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7. VinVast Vietnamese EV Stock…$80 to $17.50

8. The Rising Cost of a Pint

9. 30 of the 50 Most Valuable Teams in the World are NFL Franchises blog

World Series Viewership 40m in 1970’s to 11m Last Year

10. The Second Mistake

Josh Watzkin on why the second mistake is worse than the first:

“One idea I taught was the importance of regaining presence and clarity of mind after making a serious error. This is a hard lesson for all competitors and performers. The first mistake rarely proves disastrous, but the downward spiral of the second, third, and fourth error creates a devastating chain reaction.” 

Source: The Art of Learning