Topley’s Top 10 – January 5, 2024

1. Trend Following Traders at Close to Record Net Long.

At the same time, the HSBC strategists say, sentiment and positioning is now very stretched. Some examples include the strong rise in equity long positions from the trend-following CTAs, as well as close to record high net longs in U.S. equity futures of asset managers. By Steve Goldstein Marketwatch.

2. Popular Energy ETF USO -18% from Highs…Laggard Sector 2023

50-day approaching 200-day to downside.

3. How Many Investors Would Get this Trivia Question Right?  USO Still Beating QQQ on 2-Year Basis by Wide Margin

4. Best Performing U.S. ETF 4th Quarter 2023 ARKK +32%

Long-Term Chart still way below highs.

5. FANG+ -5% From Highs…..Zuckenberg Sold $428m of Stock at End of 2023

6. Investor Stock Allocation.


7. S&P Pure Growth…We Showed this Chart Multiple Times Last Year.

8. Bridgewater’s Flagship Macro Fund Lost 7.6% Last Year-Bloomberg

  • The fund had been up 7.5% through October before bonds jumped
  • The firm’s long-only All Weather fund climbed 10.6% last year

By Katherine Burton Bridgewater Associates’s flagship hedge fund lost 7.6% last year, with all of the drop coming in the last two months of 2023, according to people familiar with its performance.

The losses for the world’s biggest hedge fund corresponded to the biggest two-month gain in global bonds since at least 1990 and a roughly 14% gain in US shares.

The Pure Alpha II fund was up 7.5% through October before dropping about 14% in the following two months.

The firm’s long-only All Weather fund returned 10.6% last year, one of the people said.  A Bridgewater spokesperson declined to comment.This marked the second-straight instance that Bridgewater’s flagship fund gave up gains at year-end. Pure Alpha II tumbled in October and November 2022 after having been up 22%. It ended that year up 9.4%.

9. Does running cause arthritis? Mounting evidence suggests the answer is no.

Harvard Health Blog By Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing

What is the relationship between running and arthritis?

Mounting evidence suggests that that running does not cause osteoarthritis, or any other joint disease.

These are just a few of the published medical studies on the subject. Overall, research suggests that running is an unlikely cause of arthritis — and might even be protective.

Why is it hard to study running and arthritis?

  • Osteoarthritis takes many years to develop. Convincing research would require a long time, perhaps a decade or more.
  • It’s impossible to perform an ideal study. The most powerful type of research study is a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Participants in these studies are assigned to a treatment group (perhaps taking a new drug) or a control group (often taking a placebo). Double-blind means neither researchers nor participants know which people are in the treatment group and which people are getting a placebo. When the treatment being studied is running, there’s no way to conduct this kind of trial.
  • Beware the confounders. A confounder is a factor or variable you can’t account for in a study. There may be important differences between people who run and those who don’t that have nothing to do with running. For example, runners may follow a healthier diet, maintain a healthier weight, or smoke less than nonrunners. They may differ with respect to how their joints are aligned, the strength of their ligaments, or genes that direct development of the musculoskeletal system. These factors could affect the risk of arthritis and make study results hard to interpret clearly. In fact, they may explain why some studies find that running is protective.
  • The effect of running may vary between people. For example, it’s possible, though not proven, that people with obesity who run regularly are at increased risk of arthritis due to the stress of excess weight on the joints.

The bottom line

Trends in recent research suggest that running does not wear out your joints. That should be reassuring for those of us who enjoy running. And if you don’t like to run, that’s fine: try to find forms of exercise that you enjoy more. Just don’t base your decision — or excuse — for not running on the idea that it will ruin your joints.

10. The Hormones That Boost Happiness

Psychology Today Learn more about dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.


  • Even a small amount of a hormone can have profound effects on body functions.
  • The sp-called “happiness hormones”—dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins—are essential for well-being.
  • You may increase levels of these hormones with simple lifestyle changes.

Before talking about happiness hormones, it is important to understand what hormones are and how they are produced.

The endocrine system works together with the nervous system to influence many aspects of human behavior. Hormones are chemicals produced by different glands in your body. They are chemical messengers and travel through the bloodstream to tissues or organs. Hormones work slowly and over time, impacting processes including:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Sexual function
  • Mood

Hormones are powerful chemicals that can lead to big changes in our bodies, which means that even a small amount of a hormone can have profound effects on body functions, either in a positive or negative way.

When you do things that make you feel good, such as connecting with a friend or eating ice cream, your brain releases what scientists call “happy hormones.” These hormones got their nickname because of the positive feelings they produce.

These hormones include:

  • Dopamine, which helps us feel pleasure and is involved in the brain’s reward system.
  • Serotonin, which helps us boost our mood and regulate our sleep.
  • Oxytocin, which is produced when we bond with others and is often called “the love hormone.”
  • Endorphins, which are nicknamed the brain’s natural pain reliever.

These feel-good hormones promote happiness, pleasure, and positive emotions. The cool thing about them is that you have a say in when they are released. Whether you have a good laugh with your friend or do some exercise, your brain is releasing these feel-good hormones.

How to Boost Happiness Hormones


  • Eat well. Dopamine is created from tyrosine, an amino acid. Tyrosine-rich foods may boost dopamine levels in your brain and even improve memory. Some foods high in tyrosine include meat, dairy, legumes, soy, and eggs.
  • Sleep. Sleep deprivation has many serious side effects and can even impact dopamine receptors. Getting enough high-quality sleep keeps your dopamine levels balanced (Korshunov, 2017), which has the potential to increase positive feelings.
  • Meditate. Studies show that mediation has positive effects on dopamine. Specifically, in a study with meditation teachers, dopamine levels increased by 64 percent after meditating for only one hour (Kjaer et al., 2002).
  • Listen to music. Music is a great addition to alone time or social activities. Listening to music increases brain activity in areas that are rich in dopamine receptors (Koelsch, 2014). Also, the brain releases dopamine when the emotional state is at its highest level (Salimpoor et al., 2011). So go and listen to your favorite song.


  • Exercise. Serotonin levels significantly increase after doing any workout exercises, such as biking, dancing, or weightlifting. Research clearly shows the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects between mood and exercise (Young, 2007).
  • Get some light. When you spend at least 15 minutes outside every day, your serotonin levels significantly increase (Sansone & Sansone, 2013).
  • Eat well. Tryptophan, an amino acid, increases brain serotonin and can be an effective antidepressant for mild depression. One food containing more tryptophan than other proteins is milk, so consuming milk derivates, such as yogurt or kefir, may increase your serotonin levels (Young, 2007). ​


  • Show affection. As per its reputation as “the love hormone,” physical intimacy boosts this hormone. You can hug, cuddle, kiss, or hold hands to increase oxytocin production (Uvnas et al., 2015).
  • Connect. Your oxytocin levels increase when you talk to your loved ones or even think about them. You can also give compliments to them or do small random acts of kindness, which can not only make their days better but can make yours better, too (Uvnas et al., 2015).
  • Share. In wild chimpanzees, food-sharing increases oxytocin levels regardless of whether they were close before or not (Wittig et al., 2014). So why not cook with your friend? Cooking is a great way to bond over something delicious and a fun way to potentially increase oxytocin levels.


  • Eat dark chocolate. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, you should know that eating a piece can stimulate the release of endorphins (Nehlig, 2013).
  • Laugh. Who doesn’t like a good laugh? Laughing is a good way to connect with others and destress. You can watch your favorite comedy show, go to a stand-up comedy jam, or call a friend to catch up. All these activities boost the body’s endorphins and also play a role in social bonding (Dunbar et al., 2012).
  • Be active. Although moderate-intensity exercise is best for boosting endorphins, it’s not the only type of activity that has this potential. You can dance at home or go on a short hike, anything that keeps you active (Tarr et al., 2015).

The happiness hormones—dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins—are essential for your well-being. You may increase the levels of these hormones without any medication by making simple changes in your lifestyle, such as exercise, diet, and meditation. In the end, these things can make a big impact.

A version of this post also appears on The Berkeley Well-Being Institute website.