Category Archives: Daily Top Ten

Topley’s Top 10 – August 15, 2022

1. 75% OF S&P Beat Earnings…Companies that Reported Below Consensus Saw Stock Rise

Bill Stone GlenviewOne of the more fascinating anomalies from this earnings season was companies reporting earnings below consensus estimates rising rather than falling. As one would expect, companies posting earnings below estimates typically decline. According to FactSet, companies missing estimates are unchanged this season, while those exceeding estimates gained 2.1%. While the anomaly has faded from the extreme levels to start the season, it is still evidence that the market is focusing on forward guidance more than usual due to the high level of inflation and the precarious state of the economy.


2. And Earnings Downgrades Slowing

3. Retail Investors Held Tight During 2022 Stock Market Correction

Marketwatch-U.S. households now own roughly 52% of the stock market. And a look at three major market plunges since 2000 (see chart) shows that equities only bottomed a few quarters after significant selling activity from households occurred.  By

Joy Wiltermuth

4. AGG Bond Index Duration Hit All-Time Highs Before Pullback

The combined effect has pushed the rate sensitivity of the Agg to all-time highs while bond holders are receiving historically low yields.

5. Historically…High and Falling Inflation Positive for Emerging Markets

JP Morgan

6. If You Believe in Seasonality….Weak Spot in Next Few Months Followed by Rally

Callum Thomas Chart Storm-Worth noting that we are still in the middle of a seasonally sketchy part of the year (/election cycle) — from Stock Trader’s Almanac: “seasonal/cycle outlook is for a lower low or retest of the lows over the next three months as we are in the worst two months of the year and are smack dab in the *Weak Spot* of the 4-Year Cycle”

Source:  @AlmanacTrader

7. What History Tells Us About Markets Coming Out of Bear

8. Follow Up From Last Weeks Home Equity Comments…..Opposite of 2008…It’s an Equity Rich Market

Almost Half of Mortgaged Homes in US Now Considered Equity-Rich

Source: Bloomberg

From Barry Ritholtz Blog

9. Fewer Chinese College Students Coming to the U.S.

In 2015, almost 275,000 visas were granted to Chinese students to come and study in the US. Since then, however, the numbers have dropped precipitously, with new data out this week showing that just 31,055 F-1 visas were granted to Chinese students in the first half of this year. That’s less than 50% of the number granted in 2019 for the same time period.

Skipping class

Chinese students ditching American higher education is a concern for schools that have come to rely on the income from international students who usually pay substantially higher out-of-state tuition fees.

How much of the drop is down to rising tensions between the countries, visa rule changes or lasting impacts of the pandemic is unclear, but there has been a definitive shift in attitudes amongst prospective students. A survey in 2015 found that 51% of Chinese students cited the US as their top destination for study — a similar survey from last year found just 30% said the same.

10. The Huge Obstacle of Feeling Foolish-Farnam Street Blog

Tiny Thought-A huge obstacle to success is a fear of appearing foolish.

When we learn to walk, we fall over and over again until we can do it. We look foolish until the minute we don’t. That is how we learn. As adults we often tell ourselves that failing in front of other people is bad, so we don’t try things that might make us look foolish.

During boom times, people who aggressively went all in appear to be prospering and make a more financially stable approach seem foolish. Only those who were properly positioned, however, can take advantage when the boom ends.

So much advantage in life comes from being willing to look foolish in the short term.

Topley’s Top 10 – August 10, 2022

1. The Meme Stocks +21% in a Month


2. Traditional Yield Curve Already Inverted =Gap Between 2 Year and 10 Year Treasury….The Gap below is Arguably A Better Timing Mechanism.

FRED CHARTS –10 Year Minus 3-Month Treasury About to Invert.

3. However Credit Spreads are Not Blowing Out.

What does it mean when credit spreads are widening?

A widening bond credit spread typically suggests worsening economic conditions and higher overall risk

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading–Stay Focused on Credit Spreads – CarsonGroup notes Various spreads continue to tighten, not blow out. A potential nice sign for both the economy and stock market.

4. Watch Small Caps …They Lead Out of Bear Markets

Small cap stocks traded down to 2008 P/E levels prior to July Rally

Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

5. Buffett 20% Position OXY Occidental Petroleum …YTD OXY +118% vs. XLE energy etf +35%

6. NVIDIA -55% Correction …

NVDA feeling crypto winter …still holding above 200 week moving average

7. 60/40 Portfolio holds above 200 week moving average.

Red long-term trendline holding in classic 60/40

8. ETHE-Ethereum Closed End Fund Holds Covid Lows.

ETHE-bounces before 2020 lows

9. CPI +9% vs. Wage Growth +5%

@Charlie Bilello Filling the Inflationary Gap US Wages increased 5.2% over the last year while consumer prices (CPI) rose 9.1% and Rents increased more than 12%.

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10. Visionary Leadership-Visionary Leadership Has 3 Characteristics You Want to Find and Follow

BY SUZANNE LUCAS When you think about visionary leadership, you may think of someone like George Washington, who led a war against the British to establish a new nation, or Mahatma Gandhi, who also revolted against the British, but in a very different way. Both men saw that a new vision of governing was possible and set out to achieve it—and they did.

With this historical perspective and pressure, you may think that visionary leadership is rare and certainly not something an average person can have. But, visionary leadership doesn’t have to be world-changing. You may already have visionary leadership and not even know it.

What is Visionary Leadership?

A visionary leader is an individual who sees the potential for how the world should exist and then takes steps to get there. You can achieve visionary without a leadership role—become an idea guy, for instance. And, you can successfully lead people to accomplish a course of action, while not having a vision for the change you’d like to create.

These two abilities combined—the ability to see the potential for change combined with the ability to lead others creates a visionary leader. If you want to become a visionary leader (or work for one) here are the three main characteristics you want to actively strive to develop or find.


Change is never risk-free. And it’s rare that the solutions will come immediately. George Washington didn’t trounce the British in the first battle. Defeating the British took years. It took sacrifice, the sacrifice of many people who were committed to the vision of self-governance and freedom from English control.1

You don’t need to put your life on the line—Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos slept comfortably at night over the years—but you may need to put your livelihood on the line. Jobs was fired from his own company. Visionary leadership is all about change and change means risk-taking.


Contrary to popular opinion, a visionary leader doesn’t just go forth ignoring all the naysayers and do what he or she thinks is best. Yes, you will find that there are a lot of naysayers that you need to ignore, but you also have to listen to what people are saying.

This makes the difference between the big idea guy and the visionary leader. If you’re not willing to listen and accept advice, look at how the market is changing, and take feedback seriously, you won’t succeed. It’s fine to say, “No, I’ve considered all of those possibilities and I’m still moving forward with my idea.” But, if you haven’t considered the other possibilities, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

A good leader hears the voices of your team members. And your team needs to feel heard by their leader. You aren’t a real leader unless people follow you voluntarily, and for that to happen, your team members need to feel heard out and listened to by you.

Takes Responsibility

A visionary leader knows that his or her ideas are different and are a significant risk and the people that follow such a leader are also taking a chance in doing so. So, it’s critical that you take responsibility for your actions and your vision.

This is not only when events go poorly—it’s also to make sure that they don’t go poorly in the first place. The leader is responsible for ensuring that the finances are available to pay people and keep the project moving forward. You must ensure that you treat people fairly.

Remember, having a vision is much like having a child. You would do anything and sacrifice everything for your child, but when you want anyone else to participate in raising that child, you have to pay them. A vision is the same: you cannot expect your team to sacrifice like you are willing to do. It’s not their vision; it’s yours.

A visionary leader can become a great force in changing the world or the industry in which they work, but this leadership and participation aren’t always necessary. Sometimes you need a leader who just keeps people enthused about staying on the same path. But, when you need change, you often need a person with a vision.

Visionaries look at the status quo and see how they can make the situation different, instead of just making the current situation better. After all, George Washington didn’t set out to make a better relationship with King George. He set out to sever that relationship. And that vision made all the difference for the United States.

Topley’s Top 10 – August 09, 2022

1. Positive and Negative Earnings Surprises.

 “With over 71% of S&P 500 companies finished reporting revenues and earnings for Q2-2021, the revenue and earnings surprises are at their lowest levels since the pandemic recovery began. Revenues are beating the consensus forecast by 2.5%, and earnings have exceeded estimates by 5.6%.”  –Ed Yardeni

Consider the Yardeni chart (top) showing earning surprises: Despite a variety of economic and geopolitical negatives, earnings have been holding up relatively well. (Revenues, too). And given that we are just about 3/4s of the way through Q2 earnings season, the odds of further surprises tend to drift lower (the bigger upside/downside surprises tend to pre-announce). by Barry Ritholtz

2. Average S&P 500 Return Following Yield Curve Inversion

The Daily Shot Blog The average total return for the S&P 500 the year following a yield curve inversion is almost 10%. Will we witness a similar outcome?

Source: Denise Chisholm, Fidelity Investments

3. Investors Still Max Bearish

BofA Bull & Bear Indicator remains at “0” – Max Bearish

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading.

4. Hedge Funds Using Futures to Bet Against Stocks and Bonds


5. China’s Next Credit Crisis After Real Estate…..Lending to Distressed Countries

For China, the war implies yet another increase in the exposure of its overseas loan portfolio towards debtor countries at risk of default. China’s exposure towards distressed debtors had started its upward march as early as the mid-2010s, when Venezuela defaulted on its debts. Default risks intensified and spread geographically with the pandemic, when more and more developing economies entered distress; almost 60% of low-income countries are now in debt distress or at high risk.2 As a result, China’s state banks now hold a large amount of potentially ‘distressed’ debt. Figure 1 shows the share of China’s total credit portfolio to borrowing countries in distress, which has increased from about 5% in 2010 to 60% at present. The figure traces the share of cumulative overseas lending that has been extended to countries currently in debt distress or involved in a war. 

Figure 1 Share of Chinese loan claims to borrowers in distress

Sebastian Horn, Carmen Reinhart, Christoph Trebesch  08 April 2022

6. 40 Nations at Risk of Default and Renegotiating Under Way

Nikhil Kumar, Deputy Global Editor, and Lili Pike, China Reporter

7. However…China IPO Market Trounces the World With Record $58 Billion Boom

Bloomberg) — From London to Hong Kong, large initial share sales have all but dried up across the world’s major financial centers this year. But the market in China is bustling with activity.

Initial public offerings on mainland exchanges have climbed to $57.8 billion so far in 2022, the largest ever for such a period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There have been five IPOs of above $1 billion since January, and one more is on the way. That’s versus just one such sale each in New York and Hong Kong, and none in London.

China’s IPO market has defied headwinds such as rising interest rates and fears of a US recession, which have brought major equity fundraising elsewhere to a virtual standstill. Offerings in the Asian economy — whose monetary policy is diverging from the Federal Reserve — are largely geared toward local investors.

8. After 4 Straight Quarterly Declines…Non-Profit Tech Stocks Bounce

Liz Ann Sonders Schwab

9. Which States Have the Death Penalty ?

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, capital punishment is on the books in 27 states but several don’t actually carry it out.

ou will find more infographics at Statista

10. Be Patient and Tolerant-The Daily Stoic

There are things a leader—particularly in times of success—can get away with. There are also things that people, generally, can get away with when no one is looking, or when we think there won’t be consequences. And yet most of us don’t do these things. We try, as best we can, to observe that Stoic virtue of temperance, of moderation.

Marcus Aurelius certainly did.

He held incredible power. His predecessors had treated the Senate and the laws as mere formalities. They treated Rome’s treasury as their personal purse. They treated other human beings as pawns to use and abuse. Imagine the discipline and rectitude it took for Marcus (a guy who didn’t even want the job in the first place), to be so strict with himself about what he would and wouldn’t do as emperor.

Now, also imagine how frustrating he must have found it to see other leaders operate with much lower standards. They had so much less power—so far from absolute—and yet it corrupted them absolutely. They had less means…and somehow more vices.

This is a common thing. You’ve probably experienced it in your own life. It’s baffling, exasperating. You tell yourself: I would never allow myself to get away with that. Then you wonder: How can they live with themselves? But be careful: this self-righteous indignation can eat you up if you’re not fully in control of it.

Marcus had to work very hard to be strict with himself, but tolerant with others. If he hadn’t, he’d have been consumed by resentment, disappointment and despair. Not everyone was as strong as him, just as not everyone is as strong as you. Not everyone has had the training, not everyone has been enlightened to the right principles. This is why they fall short. This is why they try to get away with things. This is how they live with themselves.

All you can do is be patient and tolerant. All you can do is keep being you. All you can do is keep doing the right thing, for no other reason than it’s the right thing.

Topley’s Top 10 – August 05, 2022

1. Annual IPOs 2000-2022


2. Comparing 2021 to 2022 IPOs….

3. IPO ETF….Formed a Base Last 6 Months

4. Solar ETF +50% Plus from Lows

TAN Solar ETF $56 to $86  May to August

5. Global Supply Chain Pressure Index Falls to Feb 2021 Lows

Sam Ro @samro The New York Fed’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index1 — a composite of various supply chain indicators — fell in July to its lowest level since February 2021, meaning supply chains are easing.

From Abnormal Returns Blog

6. The Legendary Story of Paul Volcker Ending Inflation with 15% 10 Year Treasury…..Stock Bear Market was Over in 4 Months

From Michael Batnick Irrelevant Investor

7. Mortgage rates fall below 5%

Emily Peck, author of Axios Markets

Axios on facebook

Axios on twitter

Axios on linkedin

Axios on email

Data: Freddie Mac; Chart: Axios Visuals

If you’re in the market for a house — maybe hurry to get your loan.

Driving the news: Mortgage rates are still high, but the rate on the 30-year just saw its steepest weekly drop since March 2020, and is now below 5%.

  • It was as high as 5.81% on June 23.

What’s up: Markets got a little cocky — believing the Federal Reserve’s steep rate hike days were waning, as Axios’ Neil Irwin wrote.

  • That sent Treasuries lower — and mortgages followed.

But, but, but: The respite may not last.

  • Mortgage rates will keep bouncing around for a while, said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. “I think we’re going to continue to be in this unsettled condition until we get a clear move downward on inflation.”

8. ‘It’s hard to find anyone who is willing to work’: Home builders reveal 5 reasons why the cost of your dream house has soared

Marketwatch  Aarthi Swaminathan

Despite the shortage of housing in the U.S., it’s been challenging for builders to quickly ramp up production to meet demand.

That’s because of a variety of factors — from navigating lumber tariffs to a shortage of labor. And with interest and mortgage rates rising, on top of inflation making building materials more expensive, homebuilder sentiment has plunged, as would-be buyers take a pause.

To illustrate the five key drivers that influence homebuilders, the National Association of Home Builders’ chief economist Robert Dietz shared a list of the “5 L’s” of homebuilding with MarketWatch.

Every single one of these factors is presenting a challenge to builders at the moment, and that in turn is putting pressures on homebuyers, renters and others caught up in America’s housing sector.


It’s tough to find construction workers. So much so that one Harvard expert said the solution to fixing the shortage was to entice more women to join the construction sector, and to reform immigration laws so more immigrants could get construction jobs, too.

The construction industry needs about 650,000 more workers on top of the normal pace of hiring to meet demand this year, according to analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors.

In 2023, the industry will need 590,000 more new workers to keep pace with demand, even after assuming construction spending growth slows.

“Labor is a bloodbath,” Brian Tucker, who owns Tucco Home Improvements in Peyton, Colorado. His company does contracting and remodeling work.

“It’s hard to find anyone who is willing to work, and even then, it’s $30 an hour,” Tucker added, “which is not feasible for hauling drywall out of homes.”

Lumber (and other materials)

Lumber prices remain elevated. They’ve been on a wild ride over the last year, hitting new highs and then plunging sharply. But overall, the increase in softwood lumber prices have added $14,345 to the price tag of the average new single-family home, the NAHB estimated in a blog post, and $5,511 to the market value of an average new apartment.

If you’re renting, your household’s paying an additional $51 a month in rent for your new apartment, thanks to lumber.


Interest rates affect homebuilders’ and developers’ borrowing costs. And with the Federal Reserve hiking rates four times since March, that’ll increase expenses for builders, on top of homeowners.

“Higher rates affect supply and demand,” Dietz said.

“The demand impact is obvious,” he added. Higher mortgage rates are pushing would-be homeowners to wait on buying a home. That’s also affecting demand, which in turn, slows homebuilders’ businesses. The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 5.3% for the week ending July 28, according to Freddie Mac.

But higher interest rates also “means the cost of builder and developer loans increase, which make it more expensive to develop land and build homes,” Dietz stressed. “People often forget this.”


Regulations — from zoning approvals to fees to labor requirements — can also add to builders’ costs. The NAHB in May estimated that regulations imposed by the government added roughly $94,000 to the final price of a new single-family home built for sale.

There’s also the issue of NIMBYism, where locals resist new development for fear of increased traffic, pollution and other concerns, which also limits where homebuilders can start new construction.


The increase in softwood lumber prices has added $14,345 to the price tag of the average new single-family home, the NAHB estimated.


The nation is short on homes. But it hasn’t always been this way, which most Americans know.

Christopher Herbert, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, recalled in an interview with MarketWatch that in 2006, homebuilders built more homes than needed.

But after the Great Recession, the regulatory environment shifted. Jurisdictions became more restrictive, and  “there’s a lot more caution on the financing side,” he explained.


Lastly, builders need developed lots to build on, but there’s been a shortage of that. Last October, in an NAHB survey, 76% of builders reported that the overall supply of developed lots in their areas was low to very low, which was an all-time record.

In its July survey of builders, the group also found that 13% of builders said they were cutting home prices in June to bolster sales, or to stem the flow of cancellations.

Write to MarketWatch reporter Aarthi Swaminathan at

9. Deal Book-Doing the Math on the Inflation Reduction Act

The bill involves at least $260 billion in spending over 10 years, with a focus on energy and climate, but it would raise taxes by more than that, a congressional analysis found.

By Andrew Ross SorkinVivian GiangStephen GandelLauren HirschEphrat Livni and David F. Gallagher

How it adds up–Soon after he entered the White House, President Biden announced a $4 trillion domestic spending agenda. More than a year later, the chunk of that plan that appears most likely to pass — the result of an agreement struck last week between Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat — will be considerably smaller.

The bill, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, involves at least $260 billion in spending over 10 years, but it would also raise taxes by $326 billion in the same period. That’s according to an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan congressional commission. A separate analysis, released on Friday by the Wharton School, found that the bill would have almost no effect on G.D.P., and would slightly increase inflation for the next two years but then lead to lower prices.

Republicans have denounced the bill as a giant tax increase and a major expansion of government spending. But the new estimates suggest that it is neither of those things, reports The Times’s Jim Tankersley.

Here’s what’s in the bill (all of the figures are over 10 years, and most come from the Joint Committee’s study):

  • Tax credits to increase production of electricity from renewable or non-carbon sources. Cost: $98 billion.
  • New and expanded tax credits for electric vehicle purchases and for improving the energy efficiency of homes. Cost: $51 billion.
  • An incentive and tax credit for companies developing biofuels and other renewable fuels for cars and planes. Cost: $19 billion.
  • New and expanded subsidies to bring down the cost of buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Cost: $70 billion, according to the Wharton analysis.

How it raises taxes and lowers costs:

  • Imposes a new federal minimum income tax of 15 percent, based on the profits that companies report to investors, not just to the I.R.S. Tax increase: $313 billion.
  • Closes the so-called carried interest tax loophole that allows private equity and hedge fund managers to pay lower taxes on some compensation. Tax increase: $13 billion.
  • Allows the government to negotiate and in some cases set prescription drug prices for people enrolled in Medicare. Estimated savings: $266 billion, according to Wharton’s analysis.

To secure the deal, Democrats had to make some concessions that are likely to displease environmental activists, The Times’s Brad Plumer and Lisa Friedman report.

  • The bill would require the Interior Department to hold lease sales for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and the Cook Inlet in Alaska.
  • It expands tax credits for carbon capture technology that could allow coal or gas-burning power plants to keep operating with lower emissions.
  • Manchin also secured a promise from Democratic leaders to vote on a separate measure to speed up the permit process for energy infrastructure, potentially smoothing the way for projects like a gas pipeline in West Virginia.

“We just made a deal with Joe Manchin,” said Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, who had pushed for more expansive climate provisions. “I don’t think anybody should have expected that this is the bill I would have written.”


10. Happy Birthday, Brain Pickings: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living


  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
  2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. As Paul Graham observed, “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.” Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.
  3. Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.
  4. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken.

Most importantly, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking momentdictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?

  1. When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
  2. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
  3. “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I’ve reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.

Topley’s Top 10 – August 03, 2022

1. Gas Prices Down 50 Days in a Row-GasBuddy

2. Two Charts From Callum Thomas Sum Up Summer 2022….Insiders Buying vs. Consumer Hating Stocks

Insider Buying: Insiders busily scooping up bargains*

(*at least relative to the crazy valuations in 2021)

Source:  @jaykaeppel

3. Consumers hate stocks

Looking at the chart, they got it right in 2009, but patchy otherwise, mostly a contrarian bullish signal. Does go to show though the steady transition in mood as the macro backdrop got worse and worse this year.

Source:  @sentimentrader via @LanceRoberts

4. Annualized Growth in Areas of Inflation


“Retail are buying Bitcoin at the fastest rate in history,” Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in a late July note. 

One sign that U.S. investors are particularly crypto-hungry is the Coinbase Premium Gap, which measures the difference between Bitcoin prices quoted on Coinbase Global (ticker: COIN) and those on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange. Since Coinbase is mostly popular in the U.S., the gap—tracked by data firm CryptoQuant—can be read as an indicator of how crypto demand among American investors stacks up relative to those in the rest of the world.

As recently as July 12, there was a $25 per Bitcoin discount on Coinbase compared to Binance, but as the month wore on the discount turned into a premium for the first time in months. By July 31, investors on U.S.-based Coinbase were paying a $14 per Bitcoin premium to scoop up the token, the highest premium since the crypto was changing hands around $40,000.

Other evidence supports the notion that it is primarily smaller traders who have swung in to buy Bitcoin while it has been trading at its lowest point since 2020. The total supply of Bitcoin in the largest 1% of accounts decreased to 17.32 million from 17.34 million across the month of July, according to crypto market intelligence firm Messari. By contrast, the supply of Bitcoin in accounts with more than $10,000 increased from 18.2 million to 18.4 million in July.

“The 90-day change in Bitcoin addresses with less than 1 coin (typically retail) is at record highs. The last time it was close to this high was in 2018 when Bitcoin peaked at around $20,000,” noted Sotiriou from GlobalBlock. “The fact that a similar rate of accumulation is happening now after a 70% drop demonstrates conviction from retail holders in Bitcoin’s long-term value.”

The same trend is mirrored in the crypto derivatives market, which accounts for two-thirds of exchange-traded digital asset volumes, according to CryptoCompare. In the U.S., Bitcoin futures are particularly popular among institutional investors, because these products are traded on the CME and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The CME offers two types of Bitcoin futures: A standard contract which is valued at 5 Bitcoin, or more than $115,000 at current prices; and a micro contract valued at 10% of 1 Bitcoin, or about $2,300. The former contract is more popular with institutional investors, while the latter is geared more towards a retail crowd.

5. FED Already Back to Neutral

JP Morgan Private Wealth–The second is that we are probably closer to the end of the Fed’s rate hiking cycle than the beginning. The Fed acknowledged this backdrop of slowing growth in its policy statement. And while its primary focus is still on getting inflation back to target, in the press conference, it hinted that the worst of the tightening cycle is probably over. Two ideas help support this view.

The first is that the Fed thinks it is close to “neutral,” or the theoretical interest rate that neither stimulates nor restricts economic activity. This is important because a guiding principle for this tightening cycle has been to get to neutral as quickly as possible.

6. Russia is Europe’s biggest energy supplier – but the US is sending more gas by boat than Russia is by pipeline

Phil Rosen 

  • The US is now sending more gas to Europe by ship than Russia is sending by pipeline, per the Wall Street Journal. 
  • In July, US liquefied natural gas accounted for 13% of total supply to Europe, compared to 10% from Russian pipelines. 
  • Conflict in Ukraine shows no signs of easing, and the US has stepped in to help the EU amid a historic energy crisis

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has redirected energy deliveries around the world, and one result has been that the US is now sending more gas to Europe by boat than Russia is by pipeline, ICIS data shows, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Since 1967, Gazprom’s pipelines in West Siberia and the Yamal peninsula have delivered huge amounts of gas to Europe but that precedent has been turned on its head in recent months.

In July, US liquefied natural gas accounted for 13% of total supply to Europe, compared to 10% from Russian pipelines. Pipelines from Norway were the top source of gas to the continent, while other sources include North African pipelines and Qatar liquefied natural gas supplies, as well as domestic production. 

Over the last six months, European wholesale gas prices have tripled as Moscow continues to tighten natural gas flows. State-run Gazprom, citing technical issues, cut Nord Stream 1 natural gas deliveries to Germany to 20% down from 40%.

The European Commission said that 12 member states are enduring severely reduced flows and a handful of nations have been entirely cut off. Just this week, Gazprom halted natural gas deliveries to Latvia

Now, the continent has turned to importing more Russian diesel amid its struggle to wean off other energy supplies from the country. Imports of Russian diesel are up 23% from a year ago, Vortexa data shows.

With conflict in Ukraine showing no signs of easing and the EU facing a historical energy crisis, the US has stepped in as an emergency energy supplier.

7. BABA-Alibaba Reports Tonight.

BABA-sold off back to lows…see if it holds tonight

8. Glencore Pays Out $4.45 Billion as Coal Drives Record Profit

Thomas Biesheuvel

(Bloomberg) — Glencore Plc will return an additional $4.45 billion to shareholders in dividends and share buybacks after first-half profit more than doubled to a record thanks to surging coal prices.

Glencore, the world’s top coal shipper, has been one of the biggest winners from the global energy crunch as demand surges for fossil fuels. The company’s sprawling trading business has also cashed in on dramatic price swings across markets from metals to oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

9. America’s Brewery Boom

Found at Zerohedge

10. How to Work with a Manipulative Person

by Liz Kislik

Summary.   What does it take to work with an office manipulator? In this piece, the author offers three strategies for dealing with a manipulator at work: First, be skeptical about receiving too much special attention from them. Manipulators don’t usually show their true colors at…more

Almost everyone who’s ever gone to work has had to deal with an office manipulator. Unfortunately, most employees hesitate to go public with their concerns. And with good reason: Even if they do, typical corporate responses range from wary or dismissive to actually retaliating against the victim, rather than the wrongdoer.

Unfortunately, many workplaces promote manipulators because they appear to be effective at getting things done, despite the significant costs their abuse can inflict on productivity and people over time. Particularly when you can’t get the hierarchy or other authorities to intervene on your behalf, it helps to have your own approaches for coping, short of legal action.

Over almost 30 years of consulting, I’ve encountered countless examples of manipulation, bullying, and inappropriate use of power. Three kinds of responses have proven to be consistently effective for confronting most garden-variety manipulators, even if you have less rank, power, or status. At a minimum, they’ll help you assert yourself and regain a sense of control rather than suffering in silence while you figure out your long-term plan.

First, be skeptical about receiving too much special attention. Manipulators don’t usually show their true colors at the beginning of a relationship. In fact, they often present themselves as allies or confidantes, because they need to draw you close to size up where your soft spots are and how much they can get from you. They’re skilled at assessing which employees are sophisticated and confident enough to stand on their own and which ones are eager to please or easy to shame.

It’s exciting if a powerful colleague or superior seems interested in you, but if you’ve heard scary things about them, it’s sensible to proceed with caution. In particular, note if someone treats you as their favorite — but includes little digs that make you feel bad about yourself, puts you down when talking with others, or pressures you to act against your own interests to stay on their good side.

One C-level executive I worked with was hurt by a colleague who claimed to be her supporter and good friend but constantly pointed out imperfections and mistakes in a way that seemed helpful at first but eventually undercut her confidence. Over time, she began to doubt her own instincts and started acting like the manipulative colleague’s sidekick rather than championing her own causes.

By the time the weaker executive recognized what was going on, she had trouble separating herself from her colleague and lost a significant amount of status and clout with her peers. Her credibility and self-image were shaken, and she was not able to regain her footing or influence until she left the company.

Second, be willing to risk small public confrontations. Sometimes the only way to expose a manipulator’s maneuverings is by confronting them in the moment. It can be hard to do this if you’re the junior party. Even senior people can be stunned into disbelief, or might be unable to think of what to say when someone is subverting normal standards of behavior and fair play, despite the organizational damage they know is being done. So when someone has both the moxie and the wit to intervene, it puts the manipulator on notice that their behavior has been detected, and it shows observers that it’s possible to intervene and keep others safe while moving the business forward.

During one client meeting I attended, an executive was making a report by phone while the rest of the leadership team was physically present. At one point, a vice president who had an extremely self-serving and manipulative reputation raised his eyebrows in apparent surprise, shook his head repeatedly, and at the end shrugged, as if to indicate to his peers in the room that he either didn’t agree with what his colleague was saying or didn’t understand why he was saying it — all without him saying a word.

The vice president on the phone had no idea that his credibility and content were being disparaged. I asked the manipulator directly: “Was there something you wanted to add? You looked like you disagreed strongly with what we just heard. Did you want to counter either the conclusion or any of the specifics, or are you comfortable with the report?”

The vice president in the room denied having any disagreement, but he was clearly uncomfortable at being put on the spot and could no longer lord it over or cast aspersions on his colleague. And his colleague was tipped off to the possibility that he had been undermined.

Third, refuse to keep secrets or to act as interpreter in ways that normalize underhanded behavior. Instead, be direct and straightforward and hold your ground. These schemers may treat you like a trusted insider, feeding you tidbits about other people’s inadequacies and failures, as if only you have the perspective and discretion to understand what’s important. Don’t be taken in by the implied flattery. Ask for details and specifics to flush out their intent: “I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Why are you telling me this? What is it you’re asking me to do?”

In another client company, I worked with a leader who was uncomfortable with direct conflict and who tried to get other people — including me — to convey messages that she was afraid to deliver. Rather than letting her hide her criticisms behind others, I would say things like, “You’ve been clear that you don’t like how James handled his team’s conflict. I’ll be happy to meet with you and James so that you can explain your concern, and then I can work with him on managing his team.” Now that she understands her own behavior pattern and has received support to change, she’s far less likely to offload uncomfortable situations to others.

If your position is senior to the manipulator’s, the most effective thing is to begin a rigorous plan of corrective action promptly, using approaches such as these and providing concrete behavioral feedback until they either drop their inappropriate habits or you remove them. And if you hold less power or influence, these three approaches will help you protect yourself and minimize their negative impact both on you and on the rest of the organization, for as long as you’re willing to stay in the game.