Topley’s Top Ten – April 15, 2019


©2019 Bespoke Investment Group

2.Retail Investors Get Bullish.

The latest E-Trade StreetWise survey, released Friday, showed 58% self-directed investors calling themselves ‘bullish’ on the stock market in the second quarter of this year, a 12 percentage-point increase from the first quarter, when a 54% majority indicated they were ‘bearish’ in their stock market outlook.

“A cloud over the market has been lifted, now that investors aren’t worried about the Fed being too aggressive, and we are also seeing signs of a potential breakthrough on the U.S.-China trade front,” Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade told MarketWatch, arguing that these factors have helped convince his clients that there is room left to run in the current bull market.

He added that the hangover from the nearly 20% drawdown in the S&P 500SPX, +0.66% in the final quarter of last year stayed with them in the first quarter, causing many to miss out on a least part of this year’s rally.

Meanwhile, bearish sentiment, or the belief that stocks will fall over the next 6 months fell to the “unusually low” level of 20.7%, according to a statement accompanying the results, well below the historical average of 30.5%.

But this low level of bearishness is actually something of a contrarian signal for stocks, according to AAII. “Historically, the S&P 500 index has realized lower-than-average (3.8% versus 4.5%) and lower-than-median (4.2% versus 5.2%) six-month returns following [unusually low bearish sentiment] readings,” the AAII said.

Individual investors finally turn bullish, as stock market nears all-time highs

3.Consumer Discretionary New Highs Last Week But Retailers Lag.

XRT-Retailers ETF-Held 2017 lows but still well below previous highs.

From The Morning Brew

U.S. retailers have announced more store closures so far this year (5,994) than they did in the entirety of 2018 (5,864), Coresight Research reports. We’ll save you a calendar check: It’s April 13.

Two mall mainstays have accounted for more than half of the yellow tape:

  • Payless ShoeSource said it will close all 2,500 of its U.S. stores when it filed for bankruptcy in February.
  • Gymboree announced closings of 800 stores when it, too, filed for bankruptcy in January.

Curious about the record? It was set in 2017, when nearly 8,000 retail store closures were announced.

But records are made to be broken

In a report this week, UBS estimated that 75,000 stores selling furniture, electronics, and clothing will close by 2026—nearly 11,000/year. The projection doesn’t account for a recession or a dramatic surge in nudist living: It’s a result of growth in consumer spending online.

  • Online shopping is expected to comprise 25% of total U.S. retail sales in 2026, up from 16% of overall sales currently.
  • For every 1% increase in online penetration, 8,000-8,500 stores will be forced to close.

4.High Quality vs. Low Quality Malls.

5.China Showing Improvement All-Around.

The Daily Shot

6.Crude Bounce to $70 …Commodities Overall Still Below Highs.

CRB Commodity Index-Held 2017 Lows But Still Well Below 2018 Highs.

7.Fourth Quarter 2018 Share Buybacks Soared 63% Year Over Year…..The Question Everyone is Asking…..

What Would Stocks Do in “a World Without Buybacks,” Goldman Asks

by Wolf Richter • Apr 8, 2019 • 104 Comments • Email to a friend

Companies buying back their own shares has “consistently been the largest source of US equity demand.” Without them, “demand for shares would fall dramatically.” Too painful to even imagine.

Goldman Sachs asked a nerve-racking question and came up with an equally nerve-racking answer: What would happen to stocks “in a world without buybacks.” Because buybacks are a huge deal.

In the fourth quarter 2018, share repurchases soared 62.8% from a year earlier to a record $223 billion, beating the prior quarterly record set in the third quarter last year, of $204 billion, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices on March 25. It was the fourth quarterly record in a row, the longest such streak in the 20 years of the data. For the whole year 2018, share buybacks soared 55% year-over-year to a record $806 billion, beating the prior record of $589 billion set in 2007 by a blistering 37%!

Share buybacks had already peaked in 2015 and ticked down in 2016 and 2017. Then the tax reform act became effective on January 1, 2018, and share buybacks skyrocketed.

The record buybacks in Q4 came even as stock prices declined on average 5.3%, according to S&P Down Jones Indices. On some bad days during the quarter, corporations were about the only ones left buying their shares.

For the year 2018, these were the top super-duper buyback queens:

  • Apple: $74.2 billion
  • Oracle: $29.3 billion
  • Wells Fargo $21.0 billion
  • Microsoft: $16.3 billion
  • Merck: $9.1 billion

But who, outside of corporations buying back their own shares, was buying shares? Goldman Sachs strategists answered this question in a report cited by Bloomberg, that used data from the Federal Reserve to determine “net US equity demand.” These are the largest investor categories other than corporate buybacks, five-year totals:

  • Foreign investors shed $234 billion.
  • Pension funds shed $901 billion, possibly to keep asset-class allocations on target as share prices soared.
  • Stock mutual funds shed $217 billion.
  • Life insurers added 61 billion
  • Households added $223 billion.


8. 60% of IPOs this Year from Healthcare Sector.
The IPO market has come storming back. Nasdaq’s head of healthcare listings gave us the lay of the land. (IBB)

Rebecca Ungarino

  • The initial-public-offering market is ramping back up after seeing its quietest quarter in three years.
  • Healthcare listings are dominating the slate of new companies coming to market this year.
  • Jordan Saxe, the Nasdaq’s head of healthcare listings, gave Markets Insider an inside look at what investors should know about the active healthcare IPO market.

“The biggest trend really that’s happening is the speed at which these companies actually come to market,” he said in a recent interview at the Nasdaq Marketsite in New York. “There used to be this blueprint where you raised some money, did some lab tests, waited around, raised some more money, did a phase I, did a crossover round, then you’d wait 12 months.”

Now a typical path might look something like this: companies will have a “monster” Series A round of funding, then begin a crossover round of funding, and then launch an initial public offering.

“The compression of the timeline is definitely happening, and I think that’s because investors are willing to support those types of opportunities” across the biotech space, he said.

As for the concerning trends in the IPO market that investors should be paying attention to, Saxe pointed to where a company trades relative to the range in which it was initially priced — though he believes the first few days of trading are often “irrelevant” for healthcare and biotech names.

“You look at how the deals price within the range, and the range that the banks set, and then how they actually map back to that on the IPO day. That to me is the real indicator,” he said.

“You can look at how much money is being poured into the system,” but ultimately, “it’s how the money is being deployed, and then the outcomes that you’re getting for that deployment, that is the real measurement.”

9.Top Reasons People Have A Netflix Subscription.

Found at Bluegrass Capital




To each their own, they say—and it’s true. Different personalities enjoy and thrive in entirely different circumstances and environments. While ISFJs love routine and stability, ENTPs need room to explore the outskirts of each project and role they adopt.

On the flip side, what depletes you is also thoroughly unique. Some can’t stand detail-oriented tasks, while others have no patience for teamwork or theory. If you’ve ever found yourself burnt out and can’t understand why (or don’t know how to turn things around), your Myers-Briggs personality type can help you understand. (Don’t know what your MBTI is? Read this first!)

Get more insight into what depletes you—and tips for recovering from burnout—according to your Myers-Briggs personality type.


You tend to burn out when dealing with high-conflict environments or when trying to please everyone. It’s hard for you to say no to events and obligations.

You know you’re burnt out when: You find yourself stressing about what could or might happen (instead of what likely will), or dwelling on random negative events.

To re-energize yourself: Surround yourself with people you know and trust who can provide the right perspective to your problems or help you break out of a funk.


ESFJs tend to burn out when they’re unable to schedule efficiently, make firm plans, or see their friends. When you don’t socialize, you tend to get bogged down in work.

You know you’re burnt out when: You overthink seemingly everything: whether or not your best friend is mad at you, whether or not you turned off the curling iron before leaving home, whether or not there was a typo in that email you just sent—everything.

To re-energize yourself: Schedule two or three nights a week with some of your close friends, and self-soothe with a bubble bath, relaxing music, and a glass of wine.


ISTJs tend to feel burnt out when they take on too much work, whether at home or at the office. Ever the diligent, responsible person, you typically step up for more tasks than you should. Your mantra is, “If you want something done, do it yourself.”

You know you’re burnt out when: You make mountains out of molehills. You get angry easily and tend to start conflicts you’d usually rather avoid. You stress about all the things that could go wrong in the future.

To re-energize yourself: Surround yourself with familiar things, like your family, a hobby, your favorite running path, even your favorite show you keep rewatching on Netflix. After that, do some -bare-essentials schedule planning for what needs to be done and what needs to be gone from your schedule.


Things like your team not managing workflow well enough or your partner not planning out an orderly travel schedule, make you want to tear out your hair because you’re easily stressed out from inefficiencies.

You know you’re burnt out when: You start to feel oddly emotional, don’t want to partake in hobbies that usually give you joy, and may feel like sulking.

To re-energize yourself: Take some time for yourself, doing whatever feels right to relieve the stress— whether it’s working out or getting ice cream, or something else entirely. Target your inefficiencies with a plan of action to overcome them, and then finally execute it.


ESFPs burn out when they’re forced to follow strict schedules. When you don’t get out and see your friends, you might also become overly irritable and antsy.

You know you’re burnt out when: You focus on a potential negative outcome, believing all roads lead to a single devastating end. You may also assume the worst in others.

To re-energize yourself: Get out of the house, see the people you love, and make sure to be physically active. You’re a doer, so do things that turn off your “worry” function.


You burn out when you’re forced to dwell in rigid environments, unable to use your creativity to express yourself. If you’re forced to socialize with small-talk or engage in behaviors that don’t feel in line with your value system, you’ll also deplete your energy.

You know you’re burnt out when: You snap at others about their inadequacies and seek to control instead of develop and adapt.

To re-energize yourself: Get in touch with your feelings. Try listening to sad music and having a good cry. Spend time on your own for several days (maybe even take a solo trip!), creating beautiful art or doing activities that bring you joy.


ESTPs don’t function well in rigid, super-structured environments and become stressed by them. Similarly, if you’re in a relationship that limits your freedoms or forces you to commit to too many plans, you may become overly taxed.

You know you’re burnt out when: You start to think one conflict is the end of the world, or your partner’s needs forever constrain your independence. You’re unable to see the bigger picture at all.

To re-energize yourself: Get out of the house. Have an unplanned day, or even week, where you can do with your free time whatever you’d like. Talk to your friend, boss, or partner to get clarity. By actually voicing your fears, you may find that they’re not as big as you think.


ISTPs become stressed when forced to follow a strict set of rules or the standard social contract for any length of time. You also hate discussing endless theories and would like to focus on concrete details; you like to act and do instead of discuss and imagine.

You know you’re burnt out when: You’re highly irritable and sometimes emotional. You’re critical of your friends and may isolate yourself.

To re-energize yourself: Spend some time on your own to re-center. ISTPs love physical activity, long drives, solo travel, and working on independent projects.


ENFPs burn out if they explore too many options—dating, socializing, new business ideas, new travel ideas, etc. You want it all, and it’s exhausting if you don’t find balance.

You know you’re burnt out when: You start noticing physical problems derived from the burnout, like fatigue, susceptibility to illness, headaches, or other ailments.

To re-energize yourself: Prioritize obligations, desires, and time for rest and self-care. When you’re tired, make sure you stop running. Your health is too important.


Environments that stunt creativity or demand a lot of output under a specific time frame are especially taxing for you. You certainly make time for those who are important to you, but you also become extremely stressed when you’re managing others’ emotions for extended periods.

You know you’re burnt out when: You become extremely harsh or critical of others, lashing out and making outlandish demands.

To re-energize yourself: Nourish your soul, whether by taking a long walk through nature or a shower, doing your hair, and painting your nails. Take a short timeout from others until you feel a sense of internal balance.


You spend a lot of time caring for others, but doing this too much can burn you out. Not only are you a pseudo-therapist, but you’re the first one to bring soup to an ill loved one, volunteer to host a party for a friend’s birthday, or step up to organize an office outing.

You know you’re burnt out when: You start to overanalyze others’ responses to you, like worrying about whether they’re upset with you, whether you did the right thing, or whether you said the wrong thing.

To re-energize yourself: Organize your week ahead. Plan one or two outings with friends who lift you up, without ever depleting you. Focus on solo self-care, including writing, making travel plans, and adjusting your dream board.


INFJs typically burn out when they’re forced to do formulaic task work or when they’re in environments that are heavy on external stimuli, like lights and noise. You absolutely crave down time to think and dream, so detail-oriented jobs will suck the life out of you.

You know you’re burnt out when: You lean into your indulgences, whether it’s sweet treats, shopping, or alcohol.

To re-energize yourself: Clear your social calendar and focus on yourself. Take time for the things you love, but don’t do enough of, like workouts, reading, a haircut, or a manicure. Making plans for the future helps to center you.


INTJs burn out when they’re overextend socially or with activities. You require a lot of downtime for thinking and learning, and don’t like to fill your calendar with excessive events and gatherings.

You know you’re burnt out when: You get moody, and may lash out at people for grievances at times when you’d normally hold your tongue. You also may indulge in shopping, eating, drinking or other vices.

To re-energize yourself: Set aside time to work your way through a solo project from start to finish. Making plans, executing tasks, and creating something is hugely cathartic for you.


When you’re not allowed the freedom to roam, mentally, you’re at risk of burning out. You dislike detail-oriented task work, and would rather focus on advancing theories, starting thoughtful debates, or creating systems for others to utilize.

You know you’re burnt out when: You may become overly sensitive to others’ feelings, perhaps even annoyed with those feelings. You might be bothered by those who aren’t reacting positively to you.

To re-energize yourself: Read, write, or work on a project you tossed aside in the midst of your busy life. INTPs are most at home in their minds, on their own, and it’s important to re-attach to your thinking side.


ENTPs want to do everything and explore every idea. You do enter a state of burnout, though, when you don’t know your limits. If you’re in a job or home environment not suited to you, you’ll be burning the candle at both ends — doing depleting task work, as well as going out with friends and indulging to escape it.

You know you’re burnt out when: You start feeling physical ramifications of exhaustion. You’re spending more time with friends or going on dates in an attempt to avoid your problems.

To re-energize yourself: Start setting goals again. You tend to forget and can run around aimlessly. Take a week, and identify a few things you want to accomplish within the next 6 to 12 months. Just having goals can keep you moving toward your targets, without needing to waste energy in the process.


You’re often a decision-maker, but you definitely burn out when you’re trying to stay on top of your game. Decision-fatigue is real, and so is your work ethic; it’ll drive you into the ground.

You know you’re burnt out when: You succumb to your emotions easily, whether you’re feeling fear, happiness, anger or sadness. You have a short fuse, and you’re very reactive.

To re-energize yourself: See friends, and dig down deep with them to uncover how you’re really doing. ENTJs have trouble identifying and understanding their emotions, but you’re an extrovert at your core, and working through all your feels can be hugely beneficial.

Want more MBTI intel? Here’s the best way to start your day, and signs you need to break up, according to your personality type.