Category Archives: Daily Top Ten

Topley’s Top 10 – April 13, 2021

1. S&P Profit Estimates

Earnings Kicks off this week – The 20 S&P 500 companies that reported earnings as of Thursday topped analyst estimates by 11% on average. That is about 1.5 times the average for those companies over the last three years and about triple the longer-term average – JPMorgan Chase is due to report Wednesday, and results from other big banks are also due during the week.

Dave Lutz at Jones Trading  

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Topley’s Top 10 – April 12, 2021

1. Big $40 million options trade bets on near-term stock market tumble


One or more traders laid out a roughly $40 million bet that the Cboe Volatility Index – often called Wall Street’s fear gauge – will break above the 25 level and rise towards 40 by mid-July, trading data showed Thursday.

The VIX closed at 16.95 on Thursday, its lowest close since February 20, 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic spooked investors and roiled global financial marketSome 200,000 of the VIX July 25 – 40 call spread traded over the course of two hours on Thursday, starting at 10 a.m. The trades made up about a third of the average daily trading volume in VIX options, according to Trade Alert.

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Topley’s Top 10 – April 7, 2021

1. Value and Growth History of 4 Cycles.

A Wealth of Common Sense Blog


2. Q1 2021 Earnings Estimate Growth Year Over Year

Energy, Financials and Materials Lead Earnings Growth Estimates.

3. Factor Grid 2008 Thru Q1 2021

2008-2020 Growth Huge Leadership.

4. LQD Corporate Bond ETF Worse Month of Outflows in 20 Year History

Biggest Credit ETF Bleeds $3.6 Billion in Worst-Ever Month-by Katie Greifeld, 4/1/21

After a blowout 2020 for corporate debt, exchange-traded fund investors are quickly souring on those bonds.

The world’s largest credit ETF notched its worst month of outflows since it began trading about two decades ago. Traders pulled roughly $3.6 billion from the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (ticker LQD) in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That exodus came as the $42 billion fund suffered its biggest quarterly rout in 12 years.

LQD -5% YTD bouncing off bottom

5. Best 1-month performers are funds involved with construction, manufacturing, or production – or the raw materials 

Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF BDRY, -3.51%30.9%
VanEck Vectors Steel ETF SLX, -0.95%14.9%
Invesco S&P SmallCap Value with Momentum ETF XSVM, -0.77%13.9%
SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF XHB, +0.87%13.5%
Pacer US Cash Cows 100 ETF COWZ, +0.02%13.2%
iShares US Home Construction ETF ITB, +0.68%12.9%
SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, +0.36%12.5%
Invesco S&P SmallCap 600 Revenue ETF RWJ, -0.22%12%
First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX Fund FXU, +0.30%11.8%
Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Utilities ETF RYU, +0.39%11.6%
Source: Refinitiv Lipper

Safe haven plays still popular amid rotation into cyclical stocks, March fund flows show

By Andrea Riquier

6. XLF Financials ETF Chart

XLF-Financials ETF 50 week moving average about to cross 200 week moving average first time since 2012

Still, Maley said the longer-term setup looks incredibly strong for the financials.

“The 50-week moving average is getting very close to the 200-week moving average. In other words, it’s getting very close to a golden cross on a weekly basis. Golden crosses tend to be bullish on a daily basis on the charts, but when you get it on a weekly basis, it’s even more so. In fact we haven’t seen one of those crosses since 2012,” said Maley.

“That time, we’d also seen a big rally, and when the golden cross took place, it extended to a much further rally over the next several years,” Maley added.

A golden cross is formed when a 50-period moving average moves above the 200-period. It is a bullish formation that suggests an accelerating trend to the upside.

From June 2012 to a peak in August 2015, the XLF nearly doubled in price. Maley said he’d be looking to buy the group on weakness, while keeping an eye on whether a golden cross is seen in the charts.

Financial stocks set up for a bullish pattern not seen in nearly a decade, according to chart


7. Change in Migration Major Metro Area Gainers and Losers.

Tierra Partners, @tierrapartners

From CBRE migration patterns 2019 vs 2020 for major MSAs


8. The Share of Home Purchase Applications for Second Homes hits 14%

Wolf Street 

The share of purchase mortgage applications in February for second homes and investment properties has soared to 14.1% of total purchase mortgage applications, according to data by the Mortgage Bankers Association, cited and charted by the Wall Street Journal:

9. Millennials and Gen Z Sources of Investing Information

Magnify Money Blog

Survey: Nearly 60% of Young Investors Are Collaborating – MagnifyMoney

10. 7 Myths About Optimism and Pessimism

Defensive pessimism can help to manage anxiety and provide a sense of control.

Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D.

Between Cultures


·         Past research has demonstrated that optimism can benefit happiness, relationships, and health.

·         But defensive pessimism—setting low expectations and considering worst-case scenarios—can help reduce anxiety.

·         Defensive pessimism is most useful when negative outcomes are important to consider and when they can be prevented.

Optimism is among the most celebrated human qualities. Many studies have shown that optimists tend to fare better in life than their pessimistic friends—at least when it comes to physical and mental healthresiliencerelationshipscareerpain management, and even longevity. Being of good cheer and expecting the best, as science and cultural dogmas have us believe, will lead to the best. 

But is it all that straightforward? Is optimism always adaptive, and is there really nothing good about being a pessimist? 

Psychologist Julie Norem’s research suggests otherwise. 

For almost four decades, Dr. Norem has been studying the phenomenon of defensive pessimism—the cognitive strategy of setting low expectations and considering worst-case scenarios of future events. It turns out, the habit of not getting your hopes high can help with managing anxiety and gaining a sense of control.

In her latest research, Dr. Norem found that the use of defensive pessimism was correlated with taking more precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g., hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing), and less risky behaviors (e.g., meeting inside with people you don’t live with). “Without a doubt, defensive pessimists are more anxious than their optimistic counterparts,” explains Dr. Norem, “but they also actively make more effort to manage their risk.”

One of the biggest surprises from Dr. Norem’s research is the public’s hesitation towards the mere idea of there being something positive about pessimism. Yet, perhaps ironically, when people discover that they are defensive pessimists, many report feeling relief and validation.

Here is Dr. Norem, in her own words, on 7 myths about optimism and pessimism, 2 examples when defensive pessimism is most effective, and 2 ways to foster optimism.

1. One is either an optimist or a pessimist.

False. People’s perspectives vary from domain to domain. For example, you can be optimistic about your social life and pessimistic about your work. Furthermore, we can consider optimism-pessimism as a tendency to expect good or bad things (trait level); or as how prone people are to experience positive-negative affect (temperamental level).

These are tendencies—they are not deterministic of specific expectations in specific situations. While these tendencies can be influenced by genetics, they merely point us in a certain direction. We still have freedom to move. 

2. Optimists are born, not made. 

This myth is too all-encompassing to be true. While we don’t have much evidence that we can get rid of our tendencies to experience negative affect, cognitive therapy studies suggest that people can learn to revise how they look at situations. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

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3. Being an optimist is always better than being a pessimist.

False. Research from Japan finds that defensive pessimists do better than optimists in terms of affect and actual performance. Studies from the U.S. show that, on average, defensive pessimists do as well as optimists. Defensive pessimists have more negative affect, but not necessarily less positive affect.

In the U.S., the commonly held belief is that when it comes to positive affect, the more, the better. If you are feeling negative emotions, you are often motivated to get rid of them, because it makes you feel like you are failing at something. In other cultures, including Japan, the ideal affective life is more balanced. A well-adjusted person recognizes that there are negatives and positives in most things in life and allows herself to experience both.

4. Pessimists are more likely to get depressed than optimists.

True—in terms of general traits, pessimists are more at risk of depression. However, the overall picture is more complicated. Research shows that defensive pessimists are actually less likely to get depressed than other pessimists, and not significantly more likely than optimists. What increases the risk of depression is when pessimism is combined with hopelessness. That is, when pessimists don’t feel like they have any control over their circumstances.

Here, the distinction between defensive pessimism and fatalistic pessimism is important. Defensive pessimists are oriented towards making things better in their lives or getting things done. Fatalistic pessimists, on the other hand, might have the same underlying tendency to experience negative emotions, but instead of actively looking for what they could do in the world, they assume that they are fated to be the way they are and that there is no hope. That’s the pathway that tends to lead to depression. 

5. Optimism is a key ingredient in human flourishing, while pessimism is a key impediment to well-being. 

This myth is overly simplified and reductionistic. If you define flourishing primarily in terms of positive emotions, optimism indeed makes it much more likely for you to experience positive emotions. But since that is correlated with the temperamental tendency to experience positive emotions, it’s not clear what comes first. It’s also unclear that what relates positive emotions to optimism is relevant to people who aren’t optimistic—it’s not like people can just pretend to be optimistic and things will necessarily get better for them. 

6. Pessimists can also be happy.

True. The value that people place on happiness as an outcome varies enormously. Defensive pessimists certainly have many moments of happiness and enjoy many things in their lives. But that’s not where their focus is. Instead, they want to not have regrets and work towards their goals. They want to feel as if they did their best in a given situation and they want to manage their anxiety so it doesn’t interfere with their goals.

Moreover, defensive pessimists are able to tolerate negative emotions. For many people, once they recognize that they are anxious, their primary goal becomes to get rid of anxiety and to feel happy. The strength of defensive pessimists lies in their ability to say, “I recognize that I feel anxious. I know what to do with this anxiety and I’m not going to let it get in my way.” It’s different than denying it or trying to suppress or avoid it.

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