Category Archives: Daily Top Ten

Topley’s Top 10 – January 26, 2023

1. S&P 500 Value ETF

Run right up to 2022 highs…see if it breaks out

2. Netflix Huge Run Right to Resistance

Netflix approaching 200 week moving average and 2022 highs

3. Jeremy Grantham Still Bearish But Discusses Presidential Cycle.

Still Bearish Grantham But Presidential Cycle in Play

GMO Research-Jeremy Grantham -The important fact here – see Exhibit 1 – is that for 7 months of the Presidential Cycle, from October 1st of the second year (this cycle, 2022) through April 30th of the third year (2023), the returns, since 1932, equal those of the remaining 41 months of the cycle! This has a less than one-in-a-million probability of occurring by chance, pretty remarkably, and it has been about as powerful in the last 45 years as the previous 45 years. We are now in this sweet spot, which once again is up nicely so far. The logic and nuances are spelled out in Appendix 1. Suffice it to say that this positive influence may help to support the market for a few more months.

The Presidential Cycle Politicians have always liked to be re-elected. Decades ago, they worked out what factor moves the vote the most. It is provably the state of the labor market in the 6-month run up to the election. Even brilliant performances before that do not count; they are apparently lost in the mists of time. Administrations aim to achieve precisely this objective, and to do so they must stimulate the economy 12 to 18 months earlier because the economy is large and complicated and has plenty of inertia. So, on or around the 4th quarter of year 2 – this cycle, 2022 – they start some extra stimulus. I say “extra” because there are always other considerations at work. The interesting part for U.S. investors is that the stock market is far more sensitive to this extra stimulus than the economy and employment are (as we saw with the Covid stimulus in 2020 and 2021). Thus, to get a modest, but politically important, twitch in labor numbers, we see for the stock market the remarkable data shown earlier, in which since 1932 the 7-month stimulus window delivers six times the monthly returns of the rest of the cycle. My favorite aspect of this effect though was that the UK market had, from 1932 through 2012 when I last looked, a bigger jump on the U.S. presidential cycle than even the U.S. had! (Europe had half the effect and even Japan had half of that.) The U.S. administration, with 85 years of help from a “completely independent” (ahem) Fed, clearly rules the global waves. There are no prizes for guessing which was the only Fed era where this political market cycle absolutely did not exist – Paul Volcker’s.


S&P 500 Annualized Real Total Return, 1932-2022

Source: Global Financial Data, GMO

4. Top Twenty Hedge Funds of All-Time

Barry Ritholtz Blog

LCH Investments list of the best-performing hedge fund managers of all time

Source: Financial Times

5. Recent IPO Stocks No Rally

6. Biggest Losing Sector of 2022 …Rallies 12% YTD

XLC-rally to start year but still a blip on long-term chart

7. Wealthy Savers Move Out of Bank Accounts.

WSJBy Rachel Louise Ensign-Wealthy savers are starting to take their cash out of bank accounts in search of higher yields. 

Big banks are still paying paltry interest on checking and savings accounts despite the Federal Reserve’s steepest rate increases in decades. Their wealth-management customers are done waiting: They are moving the extra savings they accumulated during the pandemic into products whose rates have more closely tracked the Fed.

The typical savings account is paying a 0.33% interest rate, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Treasury notes, money-market funds and brokered certificates of deposit, meanwhile, are all paying between 4% and 5%.

8. Exodus of Wealthy Chinese Accelerates With End of Covid Zero

-China could face at least $150 billion capital flight: Natixis

-Resumption of travel opens gates for China’s wealthy to leave

ByBloomberg News

9. Population Over 65 Projected to Rise from 34% to 46%

Torsten Slok Apollo

10. 4 Reasons Teamwork Is Hard to Build at Work

The question of teamwork is not going away in the workplace. Bruce Tulgan, JD


  • Most of today’s workers realize they are less likely than those of prior generations to have long-term careers with one organization.
  • Today’s employees are less likely to trust the “system” or any organization to take care of them, and thus show less loyalty.
  • Because workers today usually do not stay with one company for very long, they make fewer efforts to adapt within their current workplace.

It is too easy to explain away why today’s workforce seemingly disregards the value of joining something larger and making personal sacrifices for the greater good. After all, “Question Authority!” has been a hackneyed cliché for longer than it has been a true slogan.

But the question of teamwork is not going away in the workplace. There are four reasons why it is so difficult to build.

1. People today think more like customers than players.

Yes. They know that their employer is the one paying them. But still, they look at their relationship with any established institution, no matter how small or how large, and they think, “What do you have for me? And what currency do I need to use to get what I want or need from you?”

Most workers are grateful to have a source of income and maybe some benefits. They are grateful to be accepted, validated, and wanted. They are grateful to have access to a hub of resources from which to acquire experience, training, and networking, a place to be that has computers, phones, and bathrooms, and maybe a kitchen, gym, and some office supplies. They are grateful for the future doors that might be opened by this current job. But let’s not get carried away. It’s not like they are likely to be here for a long time, anyway.

Most people today realize they are much less likely than those of prior generations to have long-term uninterrupted careers with one organization. They are less likely to be exclusively employed by one organization at any given time, work full-time, or work on-site. They are also less likely to trust the “system” or organization to take care of them and thus less likely to show what looks like loyalty—a desire to belong, deference to authority, willingness to make short-term sacrifices for the good of the whole, and an eagerness to contribute regardless of credit or rewards.

2. How workers think about their relationships with lateral coworkers is changing.

These relationships involve a high degree of interdependency in pursuit of concrete goals every step of the way, and the stakes are high. Adults are in the workplace to earn their livelihoods. There are lots of opportunities to disappoint and/or be disappointed.

3. How people look at individuals in positions of authority is changing.

Once again, they think like customers—in this case, specifically, your customer. Workers do not typically look at other people in the workplace trying to figure out “their proper place” in the context—i.e., how they can adapt in order to “fit in” with others who clearly have longstanding relationships and a well-established course of dealing. Instead, they look at you—and everyone else in the room—and think, “I wonder what role you might play in this chapter of my life story?”

4. Nobody is expecting to follow the old-fashioned career path anymore.

Why should workers take the trouble to adapt to one company’s approach to how they should manage themselves when they won’t even be there that long? They think, “Seriously, what am I supposed to do? Adapt my schedule, work habits, style, and attitude for every new job?” Even if they could be convinced to adapt for an employer eventually, they are very unlikely to be ready to do it from the get-go; certainly not early in their first or second real job.


Topley’s Top 10 – January 25, 2023

1. Semiconductor ETF Technical Signal

SMH-50day thru 200day to upside …

2. What is the Market Telling Us About Inflation?

Torsten Slok Apollo-Recession fears are subsiding, and inflation swaps are pricing that inflation will be at the FOMC’s 2% target in July, see charts below. This has very significant implications for markets.

Most importantly, with inflation back at 2% within a few months, the Fed will soon stop being so hawkish. In other words, the market is telling us that the soft landing will be accomplished over the coming six months. And, if inflation in six months is no longer a problem, then the Fed put is coming back. Because then the Fed will again have the flexibility to focus on unemployment, growth, and earnings instead of focusing entirely on too high inflation. 

This is all good news for credit, equity, and capital markets.

3. 10-Year Break Even Inflation 2.12%

@Charlie Bilello Finally, market-based inflation expectations are confirming the move lower, with 10-year breakevens down to 2.12%, their lowest level since February 2021.

The last 8 recessions in the U.S. were all preceded by an inversion in the yield curve, though the lead time shows considerable variation.

4. Some Positive Trends

LPL Research

5. Money Supply Goes Negative from Covid Spike Highs

6. Gold Rally on U.S. Dollar Weakening…Closing in Early 2022 Highs

7. Decline of 2 Straight Months of Total Number of Hours Worked.

Bloomberg ByKristine AquinoMacquarie’s David Doyle and Neil Shankar argue that a number of red flags are popping up in the labor market and that a recession is on the cards. Among the stats they highlight is a decline for two straight months in the total number of hours worked, something that they point out has only only occurred in three other periods since 2006.

8. Existing Home Sales -36% From Highsalloway Blog

9. Multi-Family Starts Sill Below All-Time Highs from 1970s

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.Construction starts of multifamily projects, such as condo and apartment buildings, with five or more units jumped by 14.5% in 2022 from the prior year, to 529,000 units, according to data from the Census Bureau today. This was:

  • Up 35% from the range between 2015 and 2020.
  • Up 75% from the range in the decade before the Financial Crisis.
  • The highest annual total since 1986, nearly matching the three peak-years of that boom.
  • Way below the crazy boom of the early 1970s that then turned into an epic bust.

10. Lean Into Their Strengths Rather Than Disdain Their Weaknesses

Daily Stoic Emails

Marcus Aurelius was clearly torn about his fellow man. He was loving and kind and spoke repeatedly of serving the common good. He was also clearly frustrated and disappointed with the flaws of the people around him. Like many great men, he had trouble understanding that not everyone had his gifts, not all of them were capable of what he was capable of.

You can see in Meditations how he wrestled with these feelings. In the opening passage, he talks about just how obnoxious and annoying (and awful) the people he was likely to meet in the course of the upcoming day. And then, just as you think it can’t get any more depressing and dark, he turns around and reminds himself that they’re doing the best they can, and that it’s not their fault that they have been cut off from truth.

In the passage that inspired The Obstacle is the Way, Marcus is less forgiving. He talks about how the people who obstruct or bother us are “irrelevant”—how we can shut our minds off to them. It’s a theme that comes up a lot: People are a problem. People are weak. Push them away. You get the sense that he would have been hard to work for, hard to have as your father, hard to please—even for talented and committed people.

If only Marcus Aurelius could have heard the (fictional) advice from his adopted grandfather, Hadrian, that Marguerite Yourcenar writes into her prize-winning book Memoirs of Hadrian. “Our great mistake,” she has Hadrian say, “is to try to exact from each person virtues which he does not possess, and to neglect the cultivation of those which he has.” How much happier Marcus would have been had he been more able to see the good in people, and how much better a leader he could have been had he leaned into their strengths rather than disdained their weaknesses.

Each of us would benefit from that advice as well. We have to focus on what we can learn from other people. We have to focus on what is special and unique about them instead of zeroing in on the ways they are not as good as us. We have to be forgiving and patient, kind and appreciative. We have to engage with what they bring to the table, not lament the things they take from it. Then we have to work to make those people around us better…not write them off as hopeless and broken.

Lean Into Their Strengths Rather Than Disdain Their Weaknesses (

Topley’s Top 10 – January 24, 2023

1. S&P Technical Levels

S&P 4th a couple technical points…run up to these resistance levels going back to September of 2022…..See blue 50day approaching 200day to the upside

2. High Yield Bond ETF (HYG)…Third Run Up to Resistance Since Mid-2022

3. Stock Prices Historically Bottom 6-9 Months Before Earnings Reach Lows

Dave Lutz Jones Trading Bloggers note Historically, stock prices bottom 6-9 months before EPS reach their low as multiples start to rise reflecting Fed cuts and accommodative policy ahead. 

4. Growth Sectors Combined Total Market Cap Ran Right Up to 1999 Top

Callum Thomas Chart Storm-Techy Sector Top:  Definitely different from the dot com bubble in many respects, but definitely also some excesses that needed to be unwound. 

5. Fintech Theme ETF -63% Correction from Highs

6. 70% of Chinese Household Net Worths are in their Homes

CHIR Chinese Real Estate ETF….70% Bounce off lows

7. Tech Best Month Since July

8. 25-54 Year Old Men Not In The Workforce

Scott Galloway Blog

9. Polarization Chart Per Country

Visual Capitalist

10. Seth Godin Blog Three more questions

Pronouncements are more common than ever.

It might be an insurgent announcing a way to change the government, a CEO with a bold new plan or an entrepreneur seeking funds. Or perhaps it’s a pundit or a critic, hard at work. Pronouncements are bold, definitive and dramatic, but they also seem to defy common sense.

If you’re actually proposing something thoughtful and practical, perhaps you could answer three questions:

  1. And then what happens? After we take this action, after you shut down that agency, eliminate that division or launch this new project, what will happen after that?
  2. How will that work? What are the mechanics involved, the ones that don’t suspend the laws of physics or organizational behavior that will support this new way forward?
  3. Why? Can you explain, beyond your reality-suspending confidence, why the system will respond to your approach?

It’s entirely possible that this is precisely the change we need and the change that will work. But when the pronouncer refuses to answer the questions, it should give the rest of us pause.

Topley’s Top 10 – January 23, 2023

1. Peak to Trough Internet Bubble History

Kailash Concepts

2. Most Crowded Trades January 2023


3. Growth Vs. Value Forward P/E Spread Collapses.

Liz Ann Sonders Schwab

4. Netflix Rallying Back to Resistance

NFLX almost back to April 2022 levels still below 200 day

5. More Inflation Decline Data…How do Equities Perform After Inflation Peak?


2023 Outlook Roadmap to Recovery update.pdf

6. Vanguard Long Duration Treasury Rally.

Long-Duration Treasury ETF Rallies to Red Downtrend Line Dating Back to 2020…

7. Tax Receipts Up 52% from Two Years Ago

Wolf Street Blog-The path that government spending has been on for the past three years is clearly wrong-headed. And maybe someday, when interest expense eats up 50% of tax receipts as it did in the 1980s – and not 22.9% as it does today – then just maybe we might see some real discussion and action in Congress about curtailing these ridiculous deficits. But we’re a million miles away from that. And the Fed is doing exactly what it needs to do — hiking interest rates — to curtail inflation and to gently begin nudging Congress to take the deficits a little more seriously.

Tax receipts spiked by 21.5% year-over-year and by 52% from two years ago. This is what pays for the interest expense:

8. U.S. Home Starts Fell for First Time Since 2009

Found at The Daily Shot Blog

9. Some home builders are offering mortgage rates as low as 3%. Here’s how — and why — they’re doing it.

Aarthi Swaminathan-Marketwatch

Home builders are playing hardball by offering mortgage rates as low as 3% on new homes to boost buyer demand

Home builders are playing hardball by offering mortgage rates as low as 3% on new homes to boost buyer demand. So how and why are they doing that?

For starters, home builders are feeling a lot less gloomy these days, as mortgage rates dip and buyer demand picks up. Mortgage demand surged on Wednesdaywith buyers rushing in to catch a dip in rates.

“There is considerable pent-up demand for people to get into homeownership,” Jason Will, senior vice president of market growth at Embrace Home Loans, told MarketWatch. The lender is based in Newport, R.I., and generated over $6.5 billion in mortgages in 2022 for 20,000 homeowners.

Some builders are upping the ante by offering very low interest rates for buyers.

In California, Pacific Point Communities is offering a 4-bedroom home at a mortgage rate as low as 2.75%.

In Texas, Pulte Homes is offering a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.25% for single-family homes from three to five bedrooms.

And in various parts of the country, K. Hovanian is offering a fixed-rate mortgage at 4.99%.

Yet, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at 6.04%, according to Mortgage News Daily, which is still double where it was a year ago.

By offering to bring buyers’ mortgage rates down, these home builders are throwing out concessions instead of cutting prices to entice buyers stuck on the sidelines.

How exactly can builders offer such low rates? 

Home builders have more margin built into their financial model that allows them to offer bigger concessions to homebuyers, Embrace’s Will explained.

Margin refers to the profit builders make selling a new home, after accounting for construction costs, and other expenses.

“They’re able to use [that] to finance both permanent and temporary buydowns that allow for lenders to offer lower introductory rates,” Will continued.

A mortgage-rate buydown is when a seller pays to cut the buyer’s mortgage rates by a certain number of points for a set number of years (or permanently).

The process is complex on the back end. Embrace Home Loans works months in advance with a builder to “lock in” mortgage rates with a forward commitment.

Once the builder comes to the lender and says they’re expecting a set number of buyers for their units, Embrace buys options, Will explained, and locks out rates before the homes are sold.

Some builders are eating the difference between the prevailing mortgage rate and what consumers will accept, just to get inventory moving and empty homes off their back.

Then these “locked” mortgages with fixed low rates are passed from the builder to the prospective buyer. “And so it’s a way of the builder being able to create a competitive advantage for themselves,” Will said.

Put simply, some builders are eating the difference between the prevailing mortgage rate and what consumers will accept, just to get inventory moving and empty homes off their back.

“Buyer incentives were widespread and construction costs were generally high, putting downward pressure on builders’ margins,” the Dallas Fed reported in the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book survey.

Builders also lowering mortgage rates to get around reducing prices, as this can affect the value of homes that have already been sold, Will said, and also their ability to raise prices on future homes.

Economists expect mortgage rates to drop further over the course of the year. That’s no doubt good news for the many buyers who are wading back into the real-estate pool.

“We’ve seen a few quarters of stagnation while consumers have been waiting” for rates to drop, Will said. “And now we’re seeing green shoots of that — they’re beginning to get back into the market.”

Got thoughts on the housing market? Write to MarketWatch reporter Aarthi Swaminathan at

10. 10 Traits of High Sales Performers

By Jeffrey Gitomer | August 7, 2022 | 

I once read about a big benefits-management company that conducted a survey where it asked 365 CEOs and sales-management executives, “What are the three key factors that separate high-performing sales professionals from moderate- to low-performing sales professionals?”

Both CEOs and C-level sales executives (all people who don’t sell, but rely on their salespeople to get paid) ranked self-discipline/motivation as the most important factor.

Next in line were customer knowledge, innate talent/personality and product knowledge. Further down the list were experience and teamwork skills. Totally bogus.

These are qualities of corporate greed, not value, service or help—the three things that customers require to give you their business and maintain loyalty.

If you’re interested in the most important qualities of a high-performing salesperson, let me give you a realistic list of the characteristics needed for success:

Perpetual, consistent positive attitude and enthusiasm

This is the first rule of facing the customer, facing the obstacles, facing the competition, facing the economy and facing yourself.

Belief that the customer will be better off

Unwavering belief in your company, in your product and in yourself are the first three parts. But most critical is that you must believe that the customer is better off having purchased from you.

Use of creativity

Use creativity to present ideas in the customer’s favor and to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Ability to give and prove value

Prove the value of your product or service, as well as your ability to give value to the prospect beyond the sale so you earn the order, the reorder and the loyalty of your customers.

Ability to promote and position

Your use of the internet to blog, create e-zines, utilize social media and achieve top-ranking in Google searches leads customers to perceive you as a value-provider and a leader in your field.

Exciting, compelling presentation skills

You must develop not just solid communication skills, but superior questioning skills, listening skills and a sense of humor, as well as the innate ability to capture the imagination (and the wallet) of customers.

Ability to prove your value and claims through the testimony of others

Testimonials sell where salespeople can’t. The best salespeople use video testimonials to support their claims. But you don’t get testimonials; you earn them. Same with referrals.

Ability to create an atmosphere where people want to buy (because they hate being sold)

This is done by engaging and asking, not presenting and telling. Make your customers feel as if you are working with them to find them the best product possible, not just telling them what you think would be best.

Ability to build a relationship, not hunt or farm

I wonder if the executives talking about the factors of great salespeople are the same one who are dividing their salespeople into hunters and farmers. Great salespeople are relationship-builders who provide value and help their customers win. They possess unyielding personal values and ethics. It’s interesting that 365 executives don’t deem those qualities to be in the top 10.

The personal desire to excel and be their best

This is a desired quality of every salesperson, but the best salespeople have mastered the other 10 elements. And the key is that all 10 must be mastered in order for this quality to manifest itself.

There is no prize in sales for second place. It’s win or nothing. The masters know this and strive for—fight for—that winning edge.

This article was published in February 2010 and has been updated. Photo by Gitomer


Topley’s Top 10 – January 18, 2023

1. Big Tech Got Smaller

Big Tech Bubble:  Big Tech is smaller now.

(but still big)

Source:  @DisruptorStocks  From Callum Thomas Chart Storm

2. Invesco Equal Weight Consumer Discretionary

You can equal weight sectors like the index…..RCD 50day thru 200day to upside.

3. High Yield ETF

HYG-50day thru 200day to upside

4. FANG Plus Index Held Low

5. Disney Stock Breaks Above Red Downtrend Line Going Back to 2021

6. International Value Bullish Charts.

EWJV MSCI Japan Value 50day thru 200day to upside

IVAL International Value 50day thru 200da to upside

7. Ethan Allen Interiors New Highs

8. Natural Gas Demand in China

S&P Global China’s average annual increase in natural gas demand is expected to exceed 20 Bcm in the 14th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) and reach 430 Bcm in 2025, which will be slower than the average annual growth of 11.1% seen during the 13th Five Year Plan, according to state-owned CNPC’s think tank Economics & Technology Research Institute.
Analyst Cindy Liang     Shermaine Ang

9. Subleases space available double 2019


Sublease Space Levels Off, but Market Impact Varies – Knowledge Leader – Colliers Commercial Real Estate BlogKnowledge Leader – Colliers Commercial Real Estate Blog


Most New Apartments Since 1986

Michael  Multifamily Completions Jump; Rents Stall – MBA Newslink

10. What Makes Some People More Productive Than Others

by Robert C. Pozen and Kevin Downey HBR

So what should professionals take away from the results of our survey?  If you want to become more productive, you should develop an array of specific habits.

First, plan your work based on your top priorities, and then act with a definite objective.

  • Revise your daily schedule the night before to emphasize your priorities. Next to each appointment on your calendar, jot down your objectives for it.
  • Send out a detailed agenda to all participants in advance of any meeting.
  • When embarking on large projects, sketch out preliminary conclusions as soon as possible.
  • Before reading any length material, identify your specific purpose for it.
  • Before writing anything of length, compose an outline with a logical order to help you stay on track.

Second, develop effective techniques for managing the overload of information and tasks.

  • Make daily processes, like getting dressed or eating breakfast, into routines so you don’t spend time thinking about them.
  • Leave time in your daily schedule to deal with emergencies and unplanned events.
  • Check the screens on your devices once per hour, instead of every few minutes.
  • Skip over the majority of your messages by looking at the subject and sender.
  • Break large projects into pieces and reward yourself for completing each piece.
  • Delegate to others, if feasible, tasks that do not further your top priorities.

Third, understand the needs of your colleagues for short meetings, responsive communications, and clear directions.

  • Limit the time for any meeting to 90 minutes at most, but preferably less. End every meeting by delineating the next steps and responsibility for those steps.
  • Respond right away to messages from people who are important to you.
  • To capture an audience’s attention, speak from a few notes, rather than reading a prepared text.
  • Establish clear objectives and success metrics for any team efforts.
  • To improve your team’s performance, institute procedures to prevent future mistakes, instead of playing the blame game