Topley’s Top 10 – December 01, 2023

1. S&P Record November.

2. Cybersecurity ETF Hits 52-Week Highs.

3. AGG Bond Index on Track for Best Month Since 1980s

Dave Lutz Jones Trading The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate bond index is up 4.8% in price this month. That puts the widely tracked index on course for its best month since the 1980s, according to FactSet data, after a sharp unwinding of rate-hike expectations sent investors on a bond-buying spree.

4. Massive Flows Helped Drive Down Yields Increase Return.

Bloomberg By Katie Greifeld

A bond exchange-traded fund crossed $100 billion for the first time since such products launched over two decades ago.

A $14 million inflow Wednesday pushed assets in the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (ticker BND) above $100 billion for the first time ever, data compiled by Bloomberg show. BND has absorbed $15.6 billion so far this year.

5. One-Month U.S. Dollar -2.5% …Silver +9%

6. 30-Year Treasury Yield Pullback from 5.10 to 4.54

The 30-year treasury yield has traded above blue 50 day moving average line since January 2022….4.08% is number to watch for break.

7. ROKU +75% in November.

8. Members of Congress Not Seeking Re-Election

Food for Thought: Members of Congress not seeking re-election:

Source: @axios  Read full article

9. Small Business Sales After Rate Hikes.

Torsten Slok, Ph.D. Apollo-Since the Fed started raising rates, small businesses have seen a trend decline in earnings and sales, see chart below.   This is what the textbook would have predicted. Higher costs of capital weigh on small cap companies with high leverage, low coverage ratios, and weak or no earnings.   With the Fed keeping rates high at least until the middle of 2024, we should expect these trends to continue.

10. This Is Your Brain on Junk Food

Food for Thought: Ultra-processed foods:


Psychology Today Diet influences mood and cognition, for better or for worse. Scott C. Anderson


  • Junk food is low on fiber, disrupting the gut microbiome.
  • A dysbiotic gut can lead to inflammation.
  • You can help fix gut-brain problems by reducing processed food and eating fiber-filled vegetables instead.

Many highly processed foods are potentially dangerous, partly because they disregard the fate of gut microbes. It is pure folly to ignore those microbes, especially since they are so crucial to our physical and mental health. How important?

new study from Tufts University, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, says that better diets “could avert approximately 1.6 million hospitalizations and result in an estimated net savings of $13.6 billion in health care costs in the first year alone.”

The microbes in your gut differ from mine, and they vary daily. The diversity of gut microbes gives rise to an astonishing number of genes, outnumbering our genes by a factor of 100.

Good bacteria produce nourishing substances that feed and heal the cells lining your gut. If you don’t support those good bacteria, your gut cells may become hungry and disease-prone. Your gut may become leaky enough to allow bacteria and toxins to pass through.

Once bacteria breach the gut lining, the heart will pump them to every organ in your body, including your brain. This can lead to depressionanxietyparanoiapsychosis, cognitive difficulties, and dementia.

What Is Processed Food?  The term “processed” as applied to food can be confusing. A lot of processed foods are perfectly healthy. Shelled nuts, for instance, are processed to remove an inedible shell.

Other foods are so highly processed that it’s difficult to identify the source material. Think of cheese puffs, twinkies, or vegan burgers. Delicious, yes, but what are they made of?

These foodstuffs can be problematic since one of the first steps in processing them is to remove the fiber. After all, the thinking goes, fiber is indigestible and makes products brown. Take the fiber out, and you have beautiful white foods that are easy to color any way you wish.

But fiber, an important macronutrient, is meant for your gut microbes, not you. That single elimination may be the worst thing that has happened to our diet over the last 60 years. Our gut microbes are changing composition, and some species are even becoming extinct.

There’s more: Processed foods often contain emulsifiers, which improve texture, extend shelf life, and keep ingredients mixed. Some of them, like carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80, can significantly impact intestinal microbiota and lead to gut inflammation. Modern diets are failing us.

Major Macronutrients

There are thousands of nutrients in food that are good for you, but we can classify them into four broad categories. Let’s imagine a food called EquiStuff made with equal amounts of each macronutrient:

  • Fiber: 25 percent
  • Fat: 25 percent
  • Protein: 25 percent
  • Carbs: 25 percent

Now take out the fiber to improve taste and texture:

  • Fat: 33 percent
  • Protein: 33 percent
  • Carbs: 33 percent

Notice what just happened. By the magic of math, the fat and carb content went from 25 percent of the food to 33 percent. Let’s keep going and take the fat out of EquiStuff. Now we have:

  • Protein: 50 percent
  • Carbs: 50 percent

Again, we didn’t set out to do this, but the carbs in EquiStuff have gone from 25 percent to 50 percent. By taking out two macronutrients, we doubled the carbs.

Thus, you don’t need to add carbs like sugar to make something sweeter. Remove the fat and fiber, and the job is done for you. But sadly, sugar is not good for a balanced gut microbiome.

Affects to Your Brain-Your diet and intestines have a clear connection, but how does that affect your brain?

Amazingly, bacteria in your gut can produce neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. These can communicate with your brain via the vagus nerve.

These neurotransmitters are the same ones targeted by psychoactive drugs, so these microbes may be just as effective as Prozac but without the side effects.

On the downside, a leaky gut caused by sugar-pumped pathogens can lead to systemic inflammation. Over time, that can adversely affect our cognition and mood.

There are several more channels of communication between the gut and the brain, but these two are extremely important from a dietary point of view.

What You Can Do-The good news is that you can fix gut-brain problems by cutting back on processed food and replacing it with fiber-filled veggies, like onions, broccoli, artichokes, and beans. Good fiber and beneficial bacteria sources can be found in ferments like sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir, and yogurt. If you can’t flip the script, try probiotic or prebiotic fiber supplements to give you a concentrated dose of the good stuff.

This isn’t an all-or-none life change. But every step you take toward increasing fiber in your diet is a step toward rejuvenating your gut bacteria. Your microbes will make you feel better in return.

We can’t change the genes we were born with, but we can change our microbial genes. That provides a powerful lever to lift our health and our mood.