The oft-cited magazine cover indicator > suggests that by the time an investment theme makes it onto the cover of a general interest publication like Time or Newsweek, the real move has likely already been made.
In the television age, "The Simpsons" might be a good substitute. In this week s episode, the family was foreclosed on, hilariously satirizing the real-life drama now affecting many homeowners. Could this be the sign the worst of the housing crisis is over?
There is some precedent here. Fans will recall
," in which Bart s web show Angry Dad is bought by an Internet company just as the technology boom craters. Ironically, that episode premiered on April 28, 2002, right as dotcom stocks began a
from bear-market lows.
Interactive Week Index (IIX) - 4/28/02 through 3/12/05>
Market Tears on TV
It has been estimated that as much as 45% of the world s wealth has been destroyed over the past 18 months, a collapse that has affected everybody from the billionaire to the busboy. When the history of this era is written, one of the most honest images will have to be Hong Kong stock commentator Agnes Wu Man-Ching bursting into tears upon seeing shares of HSBC (HBC)
I ve been there, Agnes, as has everybody who s ever experienced the helpless feeling of watching a dearly held position crumble. Shares have since rebounded throughout the week.
EXTERNAL OBJECT PLACEHOLDER: src=http://www.youtube.com/v/9P61kM9JJLw&hl=en&fs=1 height=344 width=425
Tin s Own Tune
Lately almost every asset class seems to move in lockstep. When stocks rally, so does gold, oil, preferred shares and corporate bonds.
For those looking to bet on an economic recovery but who are leery of adding another highly correlated asset, consider tin, which boasts no historical correlation to stocks or bonds and only a modest 0.49% correlation to commodities as an asset class.
Tin's Weak Correlations:
|Source: iPath ETN|
|Dow Jones-AIG Tin Total Return ETN||1.00|
|S&P GSCI Total Return Commodity Index||0.49|
|Barclays Aggregate Bond Index||0.05|
The Dow Jones-AIG Tin Total Return Sub-Index (JJT)
Is It Time for Tin?
The Dow Jones-AIG Tin Total Return Sub-Index (NYSE: JJT) - 6 months>
Trading Floor Transformed
At one point the Chicago Mercantile Exchange covered two floors of this mammoth office building, where floor trading flourished from 1983 up until last year, when the pits were integrated with those at the neighboring Chicago Board of Trade. Knowing that a cubicle or water cooler can t exactly fit into a trading pit, new owner Tishman Speyer is currently converting the historic trading floors to office space.
Former CME Trading Floors, Chicago, March 12, 2009>
Jay s Stimulus Plan
Last year we applauded Neil Diamond for offering refunds to thousands of concertgoers after a poor live performance.
Similar kudos are now due to Jay Leno, a major car aficionado who announced plans for a free show next month for anybody out of work in Detroit. Given the fact that Michigan boasts the country s highest unemployment rate, Leno s classy gesture provides the state with a bit of good news just when they need it the most. Bravo, Jay!