Topley’s Top 10 – September 27, 2023

1. Most Hated Stocks Down Over 10%

From Dave Lutz at Jones Trading A Goldman basket of the most-shorted stocks is down more than 10% this month, handing bears with handsome profits.

2. More Small Cap Data….Russell 2000 Average Stock -33% from 52 Week High

3. Small Cap Getting Oversold on RSI 28….Pulled Back to Previous May Lows

4. Cintas Measure for Economy and One of the Best Performing S&P Stocks for the Last 25 Years

Cintas -10% fast, this is chart to watch for economic slowdown.

5. Consumer Staples Acted Well Yesterday But Not a Great Chart Yet

XLP Defensive Staples Sector ETF…50day thru 200day to downside …breaks June lows.

6. If We Had A Top This Will Be a Historical Chart

7. PKW Buyback Stock ETF Failed to Make New Highs….+7% 2023

PKW +7% YTD vs. S&P +14%

©1999-2023 All Rights Reserved

PKW Historical Performance-Marketwatch

8. Target closes 9 stores in response to retail theft, adds locked cases at some stores

Brooke DiPalmaRetail theft is now a $112 billion problem, a National Retail Federation report found.  Target (TGT) is taking action in response to retail theft.

On Tuesday the big box retailer announced plans to close nine stores, effective Oct. 21.

“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” the company said in a statement.

9. Target Chart Ugly….Breaks Through Previous 2022 Lows….$250 High to $109 Last

10. Mental Imagery: Going to the Movies in Your Head

Psychology Today How visualizing the future can help professional athletes and you. Anna-Lisa Cohen Ph.D.


  • Mental imagery can help people like elite athletes to improve their performance in a competitive setting.
  • Mental imagery often involves not just seeing what will happen but also feeling it in the body.
  • Individuals can prepare for stressful events of all kinds by employing mental imagery.

I grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. Hockey was in our DNA. On August 9, 1988, the unthinkable happened. The Edmonton Oilers traded hockey player Wayne Gretzky, known widely as “The Great One,” to the Los Angeles Kings. I remember watching Gretzky attempt to speak at the press conference, slumped over a mass of microphones and dabbing at his eyes repeatedly.

While it was difficult for Edmonton and the rest of Canada, Gretzky being in L.A. breathed new life into the sport. Suddenly, arenas filled up with eager new warm-weather fans.

Most commentators acknowledge that among his many strengths as a player, one of Gretzsky’s greatest assets was his unique mental game. In what has become a staple of inspirational posters and MBA seminars, Gretzky is famously quoted as saying, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.” It was like he was some kind of hockey fortune teller. He just knew where the puck was going to go.

Not all elite athletes have this type of built-in sixth sense, but there is a wide consensus that we can all benefit from training our minds to visualize the future. Jack Nicklaus, considered one of the greatest golfers of all time, once wrote, “Before every golf shot, I go to the movies in my head.” He explained that these mental simulations of each shot were critical to his success.

Harvard psychologist Stephen Kosslyn is known for his pioneering work in the field of visual cognition, most notably on mental imagery or reproductions of visual images in the absence of the stimuli themselves. A great deal of research has shown that a stronger command of mental imagery improves our ability to perform in competitive situations—including athletics.

The success of mental imagery seems to depend on the ability to conjure vivid images, which come more naturally to some of us than others. Because this is such an important ability, psychologists have methods for evaluating how easily a person can use mental imagery, which they measure on a “visual imagination spectrum.” The categories range from an “image-free imagination” all the way up to “extremely vivid visual imagery.”

In sports, mental visualization is not only visual; it also frequently involves kinesthetic imagery, or the ability to anticipate how it will feel to perform a certain action, like hitting a perfect serve in tennis or making the perfect free throw in basketball. 

There can be a dark side for those with an especially vivid imagination. In 2020, my colleagues and I conducted a study that showed that when we vividly imagine ourselves carrying out a future event, hours later, we may falsely believe that we actually carried it out when, in fact, we only imagineddoing it. This is a failure of reality monitoring, and it happens all the time.

For example, while at work, you might think to yourself, I really need to take my medication when I get home this evening. When you form this thought, you picture yourself opening the medicine cabinet, pouring some water into a porcelain cup, and swallowing the pill. Then, later in the evening, you think about taking your medication, and the image from earlier in the day (medicine cabinet, water, porcelain cup, pill) comes to mind, and you mistakenly conclude that you already took your medication. An earlier intention to take your medication has suddenly been mistakenly classified as a real action.

Notwithstanding the errors that sometimes occur with mentally visualizing future events, the benefits of mental simulation extend way beyond sports. We can use it in any domain. For example, when you simulate yourself performing well in a pitch for your genius new start-up idea, it activates and strengthens the regions of the brain responsible for its real-life execution.

Whether you are visualizing yourself playing sports or imagining the speech you will make at your best friend’s wedding, you are priming your brain on how to respond in the real moment. The neural pathways are getting practice for the real event.

Although much of the popular advice advises us to “be present,” our ability to disengage from the present and imagine the future is one of our most extraordinary gifts as humans and underlies some of our greatest achievements.

Topley’s Top 10 – September 26, 2023

1. Small Cap Underperformance

Micro-Cap ETF Breaking to New Lows.

Russell 2000 Small Cap Turned Back Down.

2. Small Cap Volatility …Small Cap Vol Index at Lows?

Not sure of reason for low volatility in small caps…No one cares?

3-4. Earlier this Year Pundits were Predicting Dollar Crash….Yuan, Yen, and Euro Straight Down vs. U.S. Dollar

Chinese Yuan to Dollar Straight Down

Japanese Yen to Dollar about to make new lows

Euro to Dollar straight down

5. History of October Stock Returns

Nasdaq Dorsey Wright The histogram below is another visual that helps us wrap our hands around October’s past behavior. It categorizes each October’s return into a performance bracket, allowing us not only to see that there have been more up Octobers than down Octobers, but also the degree to which they have been up or down. If we look at the extremes, notice that only five Octobers since 1950 (including 2018) have experienced a decline worse than -5%. The most common experience in October has been a gain in the range of 2.5% – 5%.

6. TLT 20-Year Treasury $89 Tick will Break to New Lows

7. Europe Stagflation?

Torsten Slok Apollo Consensus expectations show that the market is expecting Europe to be in stagflation in 2023 and in 2024, see charts below.

The classic textbook response to stagflation by the central bank is to keep interest rates high until inflation is under control, and then wait for growth to eventually restart.

This is also what we should be expecting from the ECB. The implication for markets is high short rates and low growth in earnings.

8. These are the most overvalued housing markets in the world, according to UBS-Miami and L.A. Only Two U.S. Cities on “Overvalued” List

Marketwatch By Aarthi Swaminathan

9. Last 20 Years…Philly Highest of Major Cities for Growth Rate of Citizens with Bachelor’s Degree

Philly Inquirer by Lizzy McLellan Ravitch’s%20Degree,that%20of%20the%20surrounding%20area

10. U.S. Sends Drone Ships to Western Pacific in First Deployment Near China

WSJ Autonomous vessels could aid Navy in tracking China’s fleet and provide attack options

By Alastair Gale YOKOSUKA, Japan—Two prototype U.S. drone ships have arrived in Japan for their first deployment in the western Pacific, testing surveillance and attack capabilities that the Navy might find useful against China’s larger fleet.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jeremiah Daley said unmanned surface vessels that operate autonomously could substitute for larger ships such as destroyers in groups hunting enemy targets. “For example, one destroyer and two USVs could replace three destroyers. It’s a force multiplier,” he said. 

Daley spoke Thursday on board the unmanned surface vessel Ranger, a 190-foot-long ship originally designed for the oil industry that resembles a flatbed truck. It sat docked at the port of Yokosuka, near Tokyo, home to the U.S. Seventh Fleet. 

While the Ranger doesn’t currently carry missiles, it can carry and launch missiles in modules loaded onto its flatbed rear section.

Topley’s Top 10 – September 25, 2023

1. Valuation Gap Between SPY Cap Weighted and RSP Equal Weighted S&P is Widest Since Internet Bubble

This chart compares SPY cap-weighted S&P to equal weighting the sectors RSP…straight up 2023

©1999-2023 All Rights Reserved

2. Flurry of IPO’s the Past Two Weeks are Top of Watch List

Barrons By Eric J. Savitz Recent IPO performance hasn’t helped matters. Goldman Sachs points out that the 2020-21 IPO class had “abysmal performance,” underperforming the Russell 3000 by 48 percentage points in the first 12 months after the IPOs. The worst performers are companies priced at more than 15 times sales, like Arm. Not a single IPO with that valuation level outperformed in the first two years, with an average return that’s 84 percentage points—yes, 84!—behind the market.

Factset IPO Dropoff

3. MSCI China Stock Index Down $2 Trillion in Value

4. Homebuilders Need Land

Yahoo Finance Dani Romero  Lennar’s (LEN) CEO Stuart Miller warned about the next big headache for housing — land.

“We believe that the new supply of homes will be limited as developed land is scarce and increasingly more expensive to develop,” Miller said on the company’s quarter earnings call Friday after blowing past quarterly orders and raising its fourth quarter deliveries forecast. “This will continue to limit available inventory and maintain supply/demand imbalance.”

Homebuilders are hungry for land. Yet, the US, a country that offers wide open spaces, is short of land for housing. Builders like Lennar have been able to grow through acquisitions of companies with coveted land pipelines.

But buying land isn’t cheap. It can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars per acre to tens of thousands of dollars for the lot, squeezing cash flows and balance sheets. That has prompted Lennar to hone in on its land strategy.

LEN Pulling Back to 200-Day

5. American Dream Mall $3 Billion in Debt…One Idea Start Knocking Down Malls for Homes?

Zerohedge Owners the Ghermezian family were having trouble preventing the mall from “hemorrhaging cash”, according to Bloomberg at the time, who also noted that the family had already hired advisors to help restructure the project’s $3 billion in debt.

Lenders for the project, including J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Soros Fund Management, stood to face losses on about $1.7 billion in construction loans, we noted last summer. The project was carrying about $1.1 billion in municipal debt at the time.

Neil Shapiro, a New York real estate attorney, said of the project last year:“It’s been like watching a train wreck that goes on forever. There aren’t a lot of projects that lose at least $3 billion that we’re still talking about as projects.”

The financial difficulties plaguing the mall serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of over-leveraging that we believe we are going to see over and over again as the Fed maintains its tight grip on the gears of the economy, via its “higher for longer” stance.

6. Saudis Have 6 Different $1 Trillion Projects Under Construction

7. Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund $1.4 Trillion

8. Office Vacancy in China


9. Obesity in America

Barrons By Josh Nathan-Kazis That means a potentially monumental tab for insurers: By 2030, J.P. Morgan analysts expect the amount spent on GLP-1 obesity treatments in the U.S. to be about $50 billion, or a tenth of the $421 billion spent on outpatient drugs in the U.S. in 2021.

Of course, curbing obesity would have the potential to save the healthcare system a lot of money. A recent USC Schaeffer paper argued that Medicare coverage of obesity medicines would save the program more than $700 billion over 30 years. But those savings, if they do materialize, won’t do much to mitigate the shorter-term crisis.

10. A Massive Study Reveals the Only Habit You Can Adopt That’s Linked to Intelligence and Cognitive Ability

Fortunately, the key isn’t who you are, or how you’re wired. The key is what you do.


   Are personality and intelligence linked? Plenty of people think so.

A friend is convinced that seemingly disorganized people — messy desk, workshop, workspace, whatever — are the most creative. Another believes — maybe because he admittedly embodies it — the trope of the genius who sometimes treats people poorly because they’re so smart. (Steve Jobs, maybe?) Another thinks highly intelligent people tend to be less happy because they’re tormented by bigger-picture concerns; to him, “happy” must mean “simple.”

Science says they’re wrong.

For example, take the seemingly inverse relationship between intelligence and happiness: Research shows levels of happiness are lowest in the lowest IQ groups and highest in the highest IQ groups. (I don’t know my IQ; since it’s bound to be low, my ignorance is bliss.) The same is true for the stereotypical moody genius, as research shows “negative emotionality” is a strong predictor of lower intelligence.

So what are some science-relationships between personality and intelligence? Let’s start by defining personality and intelligence:

·         Personality is how you think, feel, and act. (Think the Big 5 independent traits: neuroticism, extroversion, conscientiousness, openness, and agreeableness.)

·         Intelligence is your ability to understand and apply information. Some cognitive abilities are acquired, like learning to read financial statements. Others are at least somewhat more innate, like the ability to match patterns. (Which of course is an ability that can also be acquired.)

Turns out there are plenty of links between personality and intelligence, but they tend to be more nuanced. According to a meta-analysis of over 1,300 studies that involved millions of people, openness — not “I’ll tell you all my secrets” but a willingness to engage and explore new experiences, ideas, information, etc. — is the only personality trait with a substantial correlation to intelligence.

Otherwise, the “big” links aren’t really linked. That messy desk doesn’t mean you’re more creative. Then again, it could: While conscientiousness is linked to higher cognitive ability, “routine-seeking” predicts lower intelligence.

Extroversion has almost no correlation to intelligence, although being more sociable does have a negative relationship to some cognitive abilities; as other research shows, the most intelligent people tend to love spending time alone.

Which leads to the real point.

If you hope to get smarter — and who doesn’t? — don’t feel limited by your personality. And don’t try to change your personality. You don’t need to be more or less extroverted, more or less neurotic, more or less agreeable, etc.

You should just try to be more open to new ideas, new information, and new experiences.

As Jeff Bezos says:

The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.

Science backs him up. A series of experiments published by Harvard Business Review show that while changing your mind might make you seem less smart, changing your mind is actually smarter. For example, entrepreneurs who adapted, revised, and changed their positions during a pitch competition were six times more likely to win the competition.

The next time you question your intelligence, think about how often you’ve changed your mind in recent days.

If the answer is “not often,” you’re likely not as open as you could be.

Instead, take Thinking, Fast and Slow author Daniel Kahneman’s approach. As Kahneman says, “No one enjoys being wrong, but I do enjoy having been wrong, because it means I am now less wrong than I was before.”

Because wisdom isn’t found in certainty. Wisdom is knowing that while you might know a lot, there’s also a lot you don’t know. Wisdom is trying to find out what is right rather than trying to be right.

Want to be more open? Don’t be afraid to be wrong. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have all the answers. Don’t be afraid to say “I think” instead of “I know.”

As Adam Grant writes in Think Again, “Arrogance leaves us blind to our weaknesses. Humility is a reflective lens: it helps us see them clearly. Confident humility is a corrective lens: it enables us to overcome those weaknesses.”

In short, you and I already know what we know. What we don’t know is what other people know.

At least not yet.

A Massive Study Reveals the Only Habit You Can Adopt That’s Linked to Intelligence and Cognitive Ability |

Topley’s Top 10 – September 22, 2023

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

$162 print breaks double bottom.

2. Semiconductor ETF Breaks Thru Support Line.

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

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

4. Timing Impact of Higher Rates.

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

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

Irrelevant Investor Blog

6. Zero Coupon 25 Year Bond -60%.

7. REIT ETF Turns Back-Down.

8. Personal Income and Profits.

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

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

By David Shepardson

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

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

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

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

10. The top teacher burnout statistics of 2023.

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

Topley’s Top 10 – September 21, 2023

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

Instacart Highs were Over $40

ARM High was Over $65

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

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

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

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

5. Rising Rates Make Big Companies Even Richer

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

6. Higher Rates Not Slowing Apollo Private Lending Arm

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

APO chart 46% YTD

7. Quantum Tech Venture Investment Summary

8. China Debt Ratio


Vanguard’s perspective on China’s challenging economy

9. Single-Home Rent Prices Still Rising

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

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


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

They believe.

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

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

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

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

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

“We believe.”

“We just believe … “

“We truly believe … “

“We just truly believe.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can help change that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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