Daily Top Ten – January 5, 2017

1.Yield Curve Steepening and Showing No Signs of Recession.


 The Yield Curve Reflects Good News

I find more reason for optimism in the yield curve – the plot of the yields on 3-month through 30-year Treasury securities. The yield curve has steepened since the election, and this is good news.

The slope of the yield curve has borne a consistent relationship with economic activity. The yield curve has predicted all U.S. recessions except one since 1950. Recessions, as you would expect, correlate positively with bear markets. When the yield curve flattens, or inverts, a recession usually looms and so does a bear market.

That’s not the case today. The yield curve is just the way we should like it – progressively higher with each maturity and upward sloping to the right. When the yield curve steepens, economic growth usually follows.

Yield Curve Slope


2.Short Term Sentiment –AAII Poll…The Historical Average is 38.5% Bullish and 30.5% Bearish. …45.6% Now.

 A month ago, these figures were flipped, with a plurality of investors being bearish.


Fear and Greed Index Aggressive but not Extreme.


Barrons Insider Transaction Ratio-Not Near Previous Highs.


3.Ford Cancels Mexican Plant for Michigan.

Canceling plans to build a new $1.6B plant in Mexico, Ford (NYSE:F) said it will invest $700M in Michigan instead, creating 700 new U.S. jobs. CEO Mark Fields said the investment is a “vote of confidence” in the pro-business environment being created by Donald Trump, but stressed Ford didn’t cut a special deal with the President-elect. The automaker was a frequent target of Trump’s election campaign for its “south of the border” manufacturing and payment of low tariffs. www.seekingalpha.com

Technology to Build a Truck in One Minute.




4.Bank Branches and Millennials.

HOWARD MASON, BANKS, THEME- The Millennials.  While the prospect for a steeper curve and rising short rates, along with regulatory and tax reform, has given a cyclical lift to bank stocks the more strategic significance of 2017 is likely to be a broad re-evaluation of the role of branches for customer sales and service.

The digital erosion of branch traffic has now made ~one-third of US bank branches economically non-viable on service alone and the opportunity for make-up through in-branch cross-sell will be limited by regulatory scrutiny of sales practices and by the potential to use the location-based and real-time capabilities of customer mobile devices to deliver more needs-based marketing solutions.

Over the next decade, we expect branch-density in the US to fall by one-third from the current level of just over 30 branches per 100,000 adults, and the shift from branch to direct-channels will disproportionately advantage large players as it did for card-lending in the 1990s. Specifically, national scale and brand, along with customer lock-in to bank apps, will encroach on the network effects of local branch-systems as digital platforms change increase industry fixed-costs and catalyze investment in “test-and-learn” behavioral technology.

One measure of the advantage of large-banks is provided by their disproportionate share of millennial customers who tend to be more mobile-oriented: JPM and BAC each have ~20% share of the segment with WFC at ~15%.  Howard continues to be overweight BAC and C with above consensus estimates.





5.Wall Street Strategists Playing it Safe in 2017…That Means it will be Big Upside or Downside Year?

HERD MENTAILITY– Wall Street strategists are abiding by a new motto these days: When in doubt, copy everyone else – A group of 15 Wall Street strategists expect the S&P 500, on average, to finish the year at 2356 – That is good for only about a 5% gain, the least optimistic this bunch has been since 2005, according to Bespoke.

At the high end is RBC’s Jonathan Golub, who forecasts 2500 by year-end. On the other side, David Kostin at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Savita Subramanian are among several strategists with targets of 2300, just a slight rise from the end of 2016 – The gap between the most optimistic and pessimistic forecasts is just 9%, the smallest on record dating back to 1999, according to Jason Goepfert, founder of Sundial Capital Research.

 Thanks to Dave Lutz at Jones.

6.Consumer Spending at 15 Year High.

United States: According to the Conference Board, US consumer confidence is now at the highest level since 2001 (right before 9/11). Will this trend translate into spending?

7.Unleaded Gasoline Jumps 27% Since November Lows.

8. 3.8 Million People in the U.S. Drive for a Living.

Torsten Sløk, Ph.D.
Chief International Economist
Managing Director
Deutsche Bank Securities
60 Wall Street
New York, New York 10005
Tel: 212 250 2155

9. 250 New ETFs Launched in 2016.

Investors funneled a record $375B into exchange-traded funds in 2016, according to BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), compared with $348B in 2015. Best and worst non-leveraged perfomers: SILJ +150.6%, XME +112.5% RSXJ +105%, VXX -68.9%, VIIX -68.9%, VIXY -68.7%. Nearly 250 new ETFs were also launched during the year, with the dominant category being U.S. equities, representing 36% of new funds.

The following ETFs and ETNs have been launched in 2016:

Launch Fund Ticker Exchange
12/21/2016 WBI Power Factor High Dividend ETF WBIY NYSE Arca 5/12/2016 iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Financials ETF FNCF Bats
12/20/2016 NuShares Short-Term REIT ETF NURE Bats 5/12/2016 iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Energy ETF ERGF Bats
12/20/2016 BMO Elkhorn DWA MLP Select Index ETN BMLP Nasdaq 5/12/2016 JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Mid Cap Equity ETF JPME NYSE Arca
12/19/2016 Pacer US Cash Cows 100 ETF COWZ Bats 5/10/2016 Global X Health & Wellness Thematic ETF BFIT Nasdaq
12/16/2016 John Hancock Multifactor Developed International ETF JHMD NYSE Arca 5/10/2016 Global X Longevity Thematic ETF LNGR Nasdaq
12/16/2016 NuShares ESG Large-Cap Growth ETF NULG Bats 5/10/2016 IQ Enhanced Core Bond U.S. ETF AGGE NYSE Arca
12/16/2016 NuShares ESG Large-Cap Value ETF NULV Bats 5/10/2016 IQ Enhanced Core Plus Bond U.S. ETF AGGP NYSE Arca
12/16/2016 NuShares ESG Mid-Cap Growth ETF NUMG Bats 5/10/2016 Guggenheim U.S. Large Cap Optimized Volatility ETF OVLC NYSE Arca
12/16/2016 NuShares ESG Mid-Cap Value ETF NUMV Bats 5/05/2016 Global X Millennials Thematic ETF MILN Nasdaq
12/16/2016 NuShares ESG Small-Cap ETF NUSC Bats 5/03/2016 REX VolMAXX Long VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF VMAX Bats
12/9/2016 WEAR ETF WEAR Bats 5/03/2016 REX VolMAXX Inverse VIX Weekly Futures Strategy ETF VMIN Bats
12/9/2016 VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil ETN DWT NYSE Arca 4/27/2016 WisdomTree Fundamental U.S. Corporate Bond Fund WFIG BATS
12/9/2016 VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN UWT NYSE Arca 4/27/2016 WisdomTree Fundamental U.S. Short-Term Corporate Bond Fund SFIG BATS
12/8/2016 Janus SG Global Quality Income ETF SGQI Nasdaq 4/27/2016 WisdomTree Fundamental U.S. High Yield Corporate Bond Fund WFHY BATS
12/7/2016 Deutsch X-trackers USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF HLYB NYSE Arca 4/27/2016 WisdomTree Fundamental U.S. Short-Term High Yield Corporate Bond Fund SFHY BATS
12/6/2016 Virtus Newfleet Dynamic Credit ETF BLHY NYSE Arca 4/26/2016 CrowdInvest Wisdom ETF WIZE NYSE Arca
12/2/2016 iShares MSCI USA ESG Optimized ETF ESGU Nasdaq 4/22/2016 iShares Sustainable MSCI Global Impact ETF MPCT Nasdaq
12/1/2016 PowerShares S&P International Developed High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio IDHD Bats 4/20/2016 Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY Nasdaq
12/1/2016 PowerShares S&P SmallCap High Dividend Low Volatility Portfolio XSHD Bats 4/19/2016 Guggenheim Large Cap Optimized Diversification ETF OPD NYSE Arca
11/21/2016 FlexShares Core Select Bond Fund BNDC NYSE Arca 4/19/2016 Sprott BUZZ Social Media Insights ETF BUZ NYSE Arca
11/18/2016 Legg Mason Emerging Markets Low Volatility High Dividend ETF LVHE Bats 4/19/2016 Deutsche X-trackers FTSE Emerging Comprehensive Factor ETF DEMG NYSE Arca
11/18/2016 iPath Series B S&P GSCI Crude Oil ETN OILB NYSE Arca 4/19/2016 Global X Catholic Values ETF CATH Nasdaq
11/17/2016 Janus Short Duration Income ETF VNLA NYSE Arca 4/14/2016 SPDR DoubleLine Emerging Markets Fixed Income ETF EMTL Bats
11/16/2016 JPMorgan Diversified Return U.S. Small Cap Equity ETF JPSE NYSE Arca 4/14/2016 SPDR DoubleLine Short Duration Total Return Tactical ETF STOT Bats
11/15/2016 Global X MSCI SuperDividend EAFE ETF EFAS Nasdaq 4/14/2016 First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Developed International ETF RFDI Nasdaq
11/08/2016 USCF Restaurant Leaders Fund MENU NYSE Arca 4/14/2016 First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Asia Pacific ETF RFAP Nasdaq
11/03/2016 WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged International Quality Dividend Growth Fund DHDG Bats 4/14/2016 First Trust RiverFront Dynamic Europe ETF RFEU Nasdaq
11/03/2016 iShares Core 5-10 Year USD Bond ETF IMTB NYSE Arca 4/07/2016 WisdomTree Emerging Markets Dividend Fund DVEM Bats
11/03/2016 Goldman Sachs Hedge Industry VIP ETF GVIP NYSE Arca 4/07/2016 WisdomTree International Quality Dividend Growth Fund IQDG Bats
11/03/2016 Barclays ETN+FI Enhanced Europe 50 ETN, Series B FLEU NYSE Arca 4/07/2016 Direxion Daily Energy Bear 1X Shares ERYY NYSE Arca
11/02/2016 Direxion Daily CSI China Internet Index Bull 2X Shares (CWEB) CWEB NYSE Arca 4/07/2016 Direxion Daily Financial Bear 1X Shares FAZZ NYSE Arca
11/01/2016 American Customer Satisfaction Core Alpha ETF ACSI Bats 4/07/2016 Direxion Daily Technology Bear 1X Shares TECZ NYSE Arca
10/31/2016 Oppenheimer ESG Revenue ETF ESGL NYSE Arca 4/05/2016 REX Gold Hedged FTSE Emerging Markets ETF GHE NYSE Arca
10/31/2016 Oppenheimer Global ESG Revenue ETF ESGF NYSE Arca 4/05/2016 REX Gold Hedged S&P 500 ETF GHS NYSE Arca
10/31/2016 Oppenheimer ESG Revenue ETF ESGL NYSE Arca 4/04/2016 JPMorgan Diversified Return International Currency Hedged ETF JPIH NYSE Arca
10/31/2016 Oppenheimer Global ESG Revenue ETF ESGF NYSE Arca 4/04/2016 JPMorgan Diversified Return Europe Currency Hedged ETF JPEH NYSE Arca
10/28/2016 Premise Capital Frontier Advantage Diversified Tactical ETF TCTL Bats 4/04/2016 Dhandho Junoon ETF JUNE NYSE Arca
10/27/2016 Natixis Seeyond International Minimum Volatility ETF MVIN NYSE Arca 3/29/2016 John Hancock Multifactor Consumer Staples ETF JHMS NYSE Arca
10/25/2016 Deutsche X-trackers Barclays International Corporate Bond Hedged ETF IFIX Bats 3/29/2016 John Hancock Multifactor Energy ETF JHME NYSE Arca
10/25/2016 Deutsche X-trackers Barclays International Treasury Bond Hedged ETF IGVT Bats 3/29/2016 John Hancock Multifactor Industrials ETF JHMI NYSE Arca
10/25/2016 SPDR MSCI Emerging Markets Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF EEMX NYSE Arca 3/29/2016 John Hancock Multifactor Materials ETF JHMA NYSE Arca
10/25/2016 SPDR MSCI EAFE Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF EFAX NYSE Arca 3/29/2016 John Hancock Multifactor Utilities ETF JHMU NYSE Arca
10/20/2016 Elkhorn Lunt Low Vol/High Beta Tactical ETF LVHB Bats 3/23/2016 Victory CEMP Emerging Market Volatility Wtd ETF CEZ Nasdaq
10/12/2016 Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey & Spirits ETF WSKY NYSE Arca 3/22/2016 Principal Price Setters Index ETF PSET Nasdaq
10/05/2016 Franklin Liberty Investment Grade Corporate ETF FLCO NYSE Arca 3/22/2016 Principal Shareholder Yield Index ETF PY Nasdaq
10/04/2016 Lattice Real Estate Strategy ETF RORE NYSE Arca 3/18/2016 First Trust Dorsey Wright Dynamic Focus 5 ETF FVC Nasdaq
9/30/2016 AdvisorShares KIM Korea Equity ETF KOR NYSE Arca 3/10/2016 PowerShares DWA Tactical Multi-Asset Income Portfolio DWIN Nasdaq
9/29/2016 First Trust CEF Income Opportunity ETF FCEF Nasdaq 3/09/2016 PureFunds Drone Economy Strategy ETF IFLY NYSE Arca
9/29/2016 First Trust Municipal CEF Income Opportunity ETF MCEF Nasdaq 3/09/2016 PureFunds Video Game Tech ETF GAMR NYSE Arca
9/28/2016 TrimTabs Float Shrink ETF TTAC Bats 3/08/2016 SPDR SSgA Gender Diversity Index ETF SHE NYSE Arca
9/28/2016 ProShares K-1 Free Crude Oil Strategy ETF OILK Bats 3/04/2016 Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Europe Equity ETF GSEU NYSE Arca
9/22/2016 Franklin Liberty U.S. Low Volatility ETF FLLV NYSE Arca 3/04/2016 Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Japan Equity ETF GSJY NYSE Arca
9/22/2016 Principal U.S. Small Cap Index ETF PSC Nasdaq 3/02/2016 Vanguard International Dividend Appreciation ETF VIGI Nasdaq
9/22/2016 PowerShares Variable Rate Investment Grade Portfolio VRIG Nasdaq 3/02/2016 Vanguard International High Dividend Yield ETF VYMI Nasdaq
9/21/2016 AdvisorShares Focused Equity ETF CWS NYSE Arca 2/25/2016 Janus Small Cap Growth Alpha ETF JSML Nasdaq
9/21/2016 Elkhorn Fundamental Commodity Strategy ETF RCOM Bats 2/25/2016 Janus Small/Mid Cap Growth Alpha ETF JSMD Nasdaq
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Transportation ETF FTXD Nasdaq 2/24/2016 WisdomTree CBOE S&P 500 PutWrite Strategy Fund PUTW NYSE Arca
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Food & Beverage ETF FTXG Nasdaq 2/23/2016 Pacer Global High Dividend ETF PGHD BATS
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF FTXH Nasdaq 2/23/2016 Cambria Sovereign High Yield Bond ETF SOVB NYSE Arca
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Semiconductor ETF FTXL Nasdaq 2/22/2016 UBS AG FI Enhanced Global High Yield ETN FIHD NYSE Arca
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Oil & Gas ETF FTXN Nasdaq 2/18/2016 Etracs S&P GSCI Crude Oil ETN OILX NYSE Arca
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Bank ETF FTXO Nasdaq 2/18/2016 ProShares Managed Futures Strategy ETF FUT BATS
9/21/2016 First Trust Nasdaq Transportation ETF FTXR Nasdaq 2/16/2016 UBS AG FI Enhanced Europe 50 ETN FIEE NYSE Arca
9/21/2016 Amplify YieldShares Prime 5 Dividend ETF PFV Bats 2/10/2016 Guggenheim Total Return Bond ETF GTO NYSE Arca
9/21/2016 Elkhorn Commodity Rotation Strategy ETF DWAC Nasdaq 2/09/2016 Etracs 2xMonthly Leveraged Alerian MLP Infrastructure ETN Series B MLPQ NYSE Arca
9/20/2016 VanEck Vectors AMT-Free 6-8 Year Municipal Index ETF ITMS Bats 2/09/2016 Etracs 2xMonthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index ETN Series B MLPZ NYSE Arca
9/20/2016 VanEck Vectors AMT-Free 12-17 Year Municipal Index ETF ITML Bats 2/09/2016 Credit Suisse X-Links WTI Crude Oil Index ETN OIIL NYSE Arca
9/20/2016 Recon Capital USA Managed Risk ETF USMR NYSE Arca 1/27/2016 ProShares MSCI Emerging Markets Dividend Growers ETF EMDV BATS
9/15/2016 NuShares Enhanced Yield U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF NUAG NYSE Arca 1/14/2016 SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF XITK NYSE Arca
9/15/2016 iShares iBonds Dec 2026 Term Corporate ETF IBDR NYSE Arca 1/14/2016 Reality Shares DIVCON Dividend Defender ETF DFND BATS
9/15/2016 Fidelity Core Dividend ETF FDVV NYSE Arca 1/14/2016 Reality Shares DIVCON Dividend Guard ETF GARD BATS
9/15/2016 Fidelity Dividend ETF for Rising Rates ETF FDVV NYSE Arca 1/13/2016 Market Vectors Generic Drugs ETF GNRX Nasdaq
9/15/2016 Fidelity Low Volatility Factor ETF FDLO NYSE Arca 1/7/2016 iShares Adaptive Currency Hedged MSCI Japan ETF DEWJ BATS
9/15/2016 Fidelity Momentum Factor ETF FDMO NYSE Arca 1/7/2016 iShares Adaptive Currency Hedged MSCI Eurozone ETF DEZU BATS
9/15/2016 Fidelity Quality Factor ETF FQAL NYSE Arca 1/7/2016 iShares Adaptive Currency Hedged MSCI EAFE ETF DEFA BATS
9/15/2016 Fidelity Value Factor ETF FVAL NYSE Arca 1/7/2016 WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged Europe Equity Fund DDEZ BATS 1/7/2016 WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged International SmallCap Equity Fund DDLS BATS
9/15/2016 JPMorgan Disciplined High Yield ETF JPHY Bats 1/7/2016 WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged Japan Equity Fund DDJP BATS
9/14/2016 Guggenheim BulletShares 2026 Corporate Bond ETF BSCQ NYSE Arca 1/7/2016 WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged International Equity Fund DDWM BATS
9/14/2016 Guggenheim BulletShares 2024 High Yield Corporate Bond ETF BSJO NYSE Arca 1/7/2016 WisdomTree Dynamic Currency Hedged International SmallCap Equity Fund DDLS BATS

10. A 4 Step Guide to Mental Toughness

In the 1930’s FBI agents needed mental toughness to hunt bank robbers like John Dillinger and mobsters like Al Capone.

As the world became more complex, FBI agents started working complex and sophisticated cases like terrorism, organized crime, cyber, and counterintelligence to better address the threats to American lives and interests.

It’s no secret that business and life are not as simple as they were, either—even a few years ago. It is no longer just a matter of knowledge, ability, and skill to succeed.

As entrepreneurs and business owners you need to be psychologically prepared to deal with strong competition, recover from mistakes and failure quickly, tackle tough situations, devise strategies, and collaborate with others.

In other words, you need mental toughness to manage the emotions, thoughts, and behavior that will set you up for success in business and life.

People define mental toughness in different ways. Often, they think it is plowing through obstacles and roadblocks. While that mindset might work in football, it is not an effective way to succeed in business and life.

Here is a complete beginner’s guide to mental toughness:


Most of the FBI agents I worked alongside would never sputter the phrase emotional intelligence—much less attribute their success to it. While they considered themselves mentally tough, they preferred words like competence and alertness to describe the skills they carefully honed over the years.

I prefer the term emotional competency rather than emotional intelligence. I know of lots of people who are intelligent but not necessarily competent. Competency requires more than just information; it requires the practical wisdom to put that knowledge to work in real life situations.

Let’s break emotional competency down:

  1. Self-Awareness—know what fuels you. I am not talking about fluffy ideals or stuff that gives you the warm fuzzies. Training at the FBI Academy at Quantico is constructed to filter out those who do not feel deeply attached to upholding our federal judicial system.

To be mentally tough, you must know what you feel down deep in your bones. If you are not pursuing something that really holds value and meaning for you, you will not have what it takes to keep going when the going gets tough.

If you are self-aware, you have clarity about your values, operate from a place of authenticity, and go after the things in life that are hard-wired to give you a purpose.

  1. Communication—you know how to interpret the words and body language of others. This means you are a good listener and know how to build genuine trust with others. An essential element of mental toughness is the ability to accurately read the emotions of others and then adapt your behavior accordingly.

To be successful, match your personality to your boss, employee, or client. Assess whether they are introverts or extraverts, analytical or a visionary, purpose-driven or security-driven, goal-oriented or people-oriented. If you’ve been a good listener, you will be able to make these distinctions.

  1. Empathy—it’s not feeling sorry for the other person; it is feeling their sorrow. If you can understand the emotions of others, it is easier to create empathy.

Sometimes we don’t really want to hear what other people have to say! We love our own opinions and thoughts and would prefer to shut out those of others.

Once we close down, however, we risk becoming judgmental and opinionated. More importantly, we miss out on what others have to share with us.


The ability to pick ourselves up when life knocks us down is called resilience. In today’s competitive culture, resilience has become a critical skill because it takes more than talent to succeed.

Resilient people do not blame others, whine, or complain about how unfair life is. Yes, life can be unfair but that is no excuse to give up.

As a new FBI agent, I learned to be bold, take risks, move into my discomfort zone, and put myself out there, even when scared to death of what I might face. The way in which we adapt to overcome our adversity determines how we will achieve success.

More than talent, more than education, more than experience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks determines who will succeed and who will fail. That is true in the classroom, in sports, and in the boardroom.

Here’s a breakdown of resilience:

  1. Confidence—if you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you? When you’re knocked down in life, you must have enough confidence in yourself to get back up, find a way to move forward, and adapt to overcome.

Lack of confidence can rear its ugly head at any time. No one is immune because we are most vulnerable any time we’re out of our comfort zone or experience change in our life. We must face our fears. If we have confidence in ourselves we are not afraid of how others perceive us, afraid of commitment, or afraid of failure.

Confidence is a critical building block for a successful career because it is the one mindset that will take you where you want to go.

  1. Take Risks—most of us don’t know what we’re capable of until we’re truly challenged. And most of do not want to be truly challenged because we don’t want to fail.

But failure can be very beneficial for building confidence because it allows you a perfect opportunity to 1) learn why things went wrong, and 2) see how you can make adjustments next time.

When learning how to make an arrest or interview a terrorist I needed to take risks, fail, and learn from my mistakes as much as possible before I found myself in the actual situation.

If you think you never make mistakes, you are a narcissist—either that or stupid. But if you are humble and self-aware, you recognize that taking risks, making mistakes, and failing will help you understand that there is always something you can do to be better.

  1. Self-Limiting Beliefs—as children we think we can conquer the world, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood, our enthusiasm and natural inclinations to dream big are squashed. Parents and teachers start imposing their own beliefs—about what we can and can’t do in life—upon us.

It’s tempting to give up and not try for anything beyond the predictions and admonitions of others. While many of these people are well-intentioned, they feed negative, limiting, and inaccurate narratives about what it possible once you put your mind to it.

If the instructors at the FBI Academy were not pushing us past our self-limiting beliefs, they weren’t doing their job.

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