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Mon, 20th February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “stock market” Tag

Dividends in Japan double from financial-crisis low

Japan’s publicly traded companies continue to return more profit to shareholders, with dividends headed toward a record 11.8 trillion yen ($104 billion) for fiscal 2016.

Payouts are on track to rise for a seventh straight year, climbing 7% from fiscal 2015 and doubling from the fiscal 2009 low in the wake of the global financial crisis. More than 600, or roughly 30%, of the companies with March book-closings plan to resume or increase dividends, as overall corporate profit looks set to reach a new high this fiscal year. Figures are based on Nikkei calculations of distributed and planned payouts.

 KDDI boosted its projected full-year payout earlier this month to 85 yen per share, up 15 yen from a year earlier and 5 yen more than previously planned. The mobile carrier is expected to report a record profit on the strength of increased data revenue.

The recovery in the resource market has put trading houses and related companies in a position to raise dividends as well. Mitsubishi Corp. had reported its first-ever net loss in fiscal 2015, hit by impairment charges from resource concessions. But with earnings rebounding sharply, the company plans to hike the full-year payout to 70 yen per share — up 20 yen from the prior year and equal to the previous high.

Advantest is among those boosting its payout ratio, or the portion of profit distributed as dividends. The manufacturer of chip-testing equipment is lifting the minimum ratio to 30% from 20% on a consolidated basis.

“We need to raise shareholder returns in order to retain long-term investors,” President Yoshiaki Yoshida said.

Tokyo Seimitsu, which produces chipmaking equipment, will increase its payout ratio and raise dividends even though net profit is projected to decline.

Retail investors directly hold just under 20% of listed companies’ shares, based on surveys by the Tokyo Stock Exchange and others. This means roughly 2 trillion yen will flow into pocketbooks, helping to underpin consumer spending.

Increased dividends help improve capital efficiency, a factor that can lead share prices higher.

“The ability of Japanese companies to sustain generous shareholder returns will influence the direction of Japan’s stock market,” said Kengo Nishiyama of Nomura Securities.

As Le Pen Odds Surge; French Stock Market Risk Hits 5-Year High, Credit Risk Spikes

Marine Le Pen’s French election victory odds reached their highest level of the campaign overnight and it appears global investors are starting to panic-bid protection against the consequences for French stocks…

Oddschecker indicates Le Pen’s incessant rise in popularity…

The Entire World Is “Overbought”

After an initial delay, global stock markets have joined the Trump-flation euphoria in recent weeks. In fact, despite the dismal decline in global earnings, global stocks are now within inches of April 2015’s record highs, and are now the most overbought since July 2014.

Everything is awsome in the world again…

When global stocks reached this level previously, they plunged over 20% in the next 6 months.

When global stocks were this overbought in 2014, they plunged over 10% in 5 weeks.

Oh, just one more thing…

Trade accordingly.

Global stock barometer a whisker away from record peak

Global large-and-mid capitalisation stocks have climbed to within easy striking distance of setting a new all-time high for the first time in almost two years, led by a strong performance by US equities.

The MSCI all-world index, which tracks companies in 46 countries that account for 85 per cent of the investable equities market, closed on Monday at 441.14, just 0.35 per cent away from the all-time high it struck in May 2015.

The gauge has climbed by 23.5 per cent over the past 12 months, partly reflecting a sharp rebound from a fall at the start of last year.

Equity bourses around the world have been lifted by a brightening outlook for the world economy, along with a recovery in the price of oil.

World Bank economists reckon global growth will accelerate from 2.3 per cent in 2016, to 2.7 per cent this year, and 2.9 per cent the next year. The optimism has come as central banks in Europe and Asia have loosened monetary policy in a bid to spur faster growth.

In the US, the Federal Reserve has pledged to only “gradually” tighten policy. Some economists have also marked-up their estimates for the rate of expansion for the world’s biggest developed economy on expectations that Donald Trump and a Republican Congress will roll-out business-friendly policies.

Credit Suisse Announces Another 6,500 Layoffs After Reporting 2016 Loss

After Credit Suisse reported yet another significant loss for the full year 2016, amounting to 2.35 billion Swiss francs, more than the CHF2.07bn expected, the Swiss banking giant said it was looking to lay off up to 6,500 workers and said it was examining alternatives to a planned stock market listing of its Swiss business.

“We’re setting a target now of between 5,500 and 6,500 for 2017,” Chief Financial Officer David Mathers said in a call with analysts on Tuesday after the bank published earnings. The bank did not specify where the extra cuts would come but said this would include contractors, consultants and staff, Reuters reported.

For the fourth quarter, Credit Suisse reported a 2.35 billion franc net loss, largely on the back of a roughly $2 billion charge to settle U.S. claims the bank misled investors in the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.  Despite the loss, Credit Suisse proposed an unchanged dividend of 0.70 francs per share, in line with market expectations.

CEO Tidjane Thiam, who took over at Switzerland’s second biggest bank just over 18 months ago, is shifting the group more toward wealth management and putting less emphasis on investment banking. As part of his turnaround plans, the bank is looking to cut billions of dollars in costs and cut a net 7,250 jobs in 2016 with more to follow this year.

Overnight US Market :Dow closes back above 20,000, Nasdaq hits record

Banks and other financial companies led stocks higher on Wall Street Friday as President Trump prepares to scale back financial industry regulations. Buyers were also encouraged by a pickup in hiring in January. Small-company stocks, which stand to benefit more than others from stronger economic growth, make sharp gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped back above the 20,000 level as the blue-chip index rose 186.55 points, or 0.9%, to close at 20,071.46. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 16.57, or 0.7%, to 2297.43, moving within one point of its record closing high of 2298.37. The Nasdaq composite index added 30.57, or 0.5%, to set a new record closing high of 5666.77.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks climbed 1.5% to 1,377.84. Smaller, domestically-focused companies may have more to gain than their larger peers from faster growth in the U.S. The Russell made large gains at the end of 2016 based on those hopes.

The stock market rally kicked off early after the government reported that U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in January, higher than last year’s average monthly gain of 187,000 and a sign that President Donald Trump has inherited a robust job market. The unemployment rate ticked up to a low 4.8% from 4.7% in December, but for a good reason: More people started looking for work. The percentage of adults working or looking for jobs increased to its highest level since September.

Financial firms rose after President Donald Trump took his first steps aimed at scaling back regulations on the industry. He signed an order that directs the Treasury Secretary to look for potential changes to the Dodd-Frank law, which reshaped financial regulations after the 2008-09 financial crisis and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The order doesn’t have any immediate impact, but suggests Trump is intent on reducing regulations, which could boost profits for financial companies and banks.

Dow components Visa (V) and Goldman Sachs (GS) jumped 4.6%, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) added 3.1% and American Express (AXP) gained 2%. Smaller banks, which could find it easier to lend money if regulations are cut, also traded higher.

Corporate Inequality is evident in U.S. stock returns

Inequality has been a fixture for U.S. stock investors over the decades, if research by Arizona State University Professor Hendrik Bessembinder is any guide. Twenty percent of the wealth that equities generated between July 1926 and December 2015 came from only 14 of about 26,000 shares, according to his calculations. Bessembinder provided the data in a study published last month on the Social Science Research Network, an online repository.

Corporate Inequality 

My take on how to read financial news headlines

Headline: Stocks Rose/Fell Today by 1% Because of _______
How to read it: Millions of shares traded hands today because investors all have different goals, strategies, risk profiles, holding periods and ideas.

Headline: [Popular economist/fund manager] Expects Market Volatility to Pick Up Later This Year
How to read it: Saying you expect volatility to pick up at some point in the future is like saying you expect it to rain at some point in the future. And volatility works both ways — to the upside and the downside — so really this is just a way of saying the markets will fluctuate, which of course they will.

Headline: George Soros Gained/Lost $1 Billion
How to read it: Soros has around $25 billion so what he does with his money shouldn’t concern most investors.

Headline: Markets Got Slaughtered Today: A Sign of Worse Things to Come?
How to read it: No one ever really knows why stocks rise or fall on a single day. The market is up just over 50% of all trading days and down just under 50% of all trading days so you can never put too much stock in any one day.

Headline: Investors Are Dealing With More Uncertainty
How to read it: The future is always uncertain. The past just feels more certain because now we know what really happened.

Headline: Are Market Overbought Here? 
How to read it: Ask us again in a few months.

Headline: [Democrats/Republicans/current or past president] Caused X% of Economic or Stock Market Growth
How to read it: Presidents or political parties don’t personally control economies or stock markets made up of millions of participants and trillions of dollars all wrapped up within a complex adaptive system. These things don’t come with levers that you can pull to make them rise or fall.

Headline: The Stock Market Enters a Painful Correction
How to read it: Retirement savers rejoice as stocks fall on the week. Those with decades to save & invest should hope it continues.

Headline: _____ Could Cause Gold Could Rise to $1500/oz.
How to read it: Total guess. No one has a clue.

Headline: Is This the Stock-Picker’s Market We’ve Been Waiting For?
How to read it: It’s both always and never a stock-picker’s markets because it all depends on the quality of the stock-picker, not the market.

Headline: Goldman Sachs Expects Stocks to Rally For the Next 3 Months
How to read it: Big financial firms have so many strategists that there will surely be a research piece put out in the coming days that totally contradicts whatever they just predicted.

Headline: When Will the Fed Raise Rates?
How to read it: Has Fed policy really ever helped you make better investment decisions? Even if you knew exactly what they were going to do in the future you still have no idea how other investors will react. 

Headline: Investors Panic as Stocks Enter a Bear Market
How to read it: Don’t panic — expected returns and dividend yields go up during bear markets. This is a good thing for long-term investors.

Headline: A Perfect Storm Caused Markets to Fall
How to read it: Stuff happens in the markets and we like to attach important-sounding narratives to everything. 100-year storms now seem to come around once a month or so.

“China’s Carl Icahn” Hedge Fund Billionaire Sentenced To Five And A Half Years In Prison

Back in late 2015, when the Chinese stock bubble had violently burst and was suffering daily moves of 10% in either direction as retail traders scrambled to get out of what until recently was a “sure thing”, Beijing did what it does best, and found a convenient scapegoat on which to blame the market crash – which was function of the country’s relentless debt bubble and lack of trading regulations – in late 2015 it arrested one of the most prominent hedge fund traders, Xu Xiang, also known as “hedge fund brother No. 1” and “China’s Carl Icahn” for his phenomenal, and rigged, winning record in the stock market, who ran the Shanghai-based Zexi Investment.

 Which is not to say that Xu wasn’t engaged in shady activites: while the country’s stock prices plummeted in 2015, Zexi’s investments earned an average 218%, far more than the second-most profitable player, Shen Zhou Mu Fund, which reported a 94% yield, according to market analysis website Licai.com.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -72 points

The Dow Jones industrial average erased its gain for the year on Thursday, part of a pullback for stock indexes as Treasury yields continued their upward march.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 72 points, or 0.4%, to 19,732.40. That puts the Dow down about 32 points for the year and will makes this the fifth straight day of losses. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.4% to 2,263.69. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.3% to 5,540.08.

Four stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.

Stocks have slowed in 2017 following an electrifying jump higher since Election Day. Investors are waiting to see what a Donald Trump presidency will really mean for stocks. They’ve already seen the optimistic case, as shown in the nearly 6% jump for the S&P 500 since Donald Trump’s surprise victory of the White House, propelled by expectations for lower taxes and less regulation on businesses.

But on the possible downside, increased tariffs or trade restrictions could mean drops in profits for big U.S. companies.

Bond yields continued their march higher, and the 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.47% from 2.43% late Wednesday. Yields have generally been climbing since Election Day on expectations that President-elect Donald Trump’s policies will spur more inflation and economic growth. The 10-year yield is still below its perch above 2.60% that it reached in mid-December, but it’s well above the 2.09% yield it was at a year ago.

Reports have shown that the U.S. economy has been improving recently, and the latest on Thursday showed encouraging signs for the housing and labor markets. The fewest number of workers sought unemployment claims last week in 43 years, a sign that corporate layoffs are subsiding.