Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Spanksgiving Week and Beyond

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(First off, to any American readers, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving season gorgefest and good times with your families.  You will need the energy as we all prepare for the coming onslaught of decorating, carols, and christmas shopping in the coming weeks!)

Now, as I’m sure all are aware, Thanksgiving week was a snoozer for movement.  Despite that fact, market participation is strong across the board (with the exception of commodity-related equities which have been getting smacked around) and are not giving back any serious ground despite elevated levels.  When these conditions persist, they tend to cause shallow, grinding moves in the indices.  Moves like this can carry on for weeks or months.

Here is a chart of the VXV (3-month implied volatility) compared relative to the $VIX (1-month implied volatility).  It creates a ratio with which we can measure what option players are anticipating for the coming month(s).  Click to enlarge. (more…)

Insight on Automation

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A Sloper sent me an email, which I liked so much that I asked if I could make a post out of it; he kindly agreed to this, so here you are:

I read your post Pity the Sub Genius and agreed with a lot of what you wrote. However you missed what I think is the biggest killer of middle class jobs, and that is technological innovation. For sure many companies moved production overseas for the cheaper labor but I do not believe that to be the biggest reason for job loss. I can remember all through the 90’s up until today that one of the main drivers of corporate profits was the steady, incremental increases in productivity. Many interpreted that to mean employees were working harder or faster or becoming more efficient. What it really meant was that employees were being displaced by technology and that made the work flow more efficient while bringing costs down. (more…)

Huey, Dewey & Louie

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huey.dewey.louieLooking around the gold sector at some of those who have tried to keep ’em bullish all the way down. The peddlers of hope are irrepressible.

Huey writes that gold stocks are well supported by the enormous expansion in the global gold jewelry business. In fact, according to Huey Western mining stock shareholders stand to reap substantial reward from the relentless growth in gold jewellery demand.

Do you hear that? Not just have an end put to their misery but if they will just hang in there a while longer they will be in line for a substantial reward… all due to a supposed fundamental underpinning that has nothing to do with the investment case for gold miners… and is not nearly the best driver for gold either. Keep bafflin’ ’em with bullshit Huey. All the way down… unbelievable. (more…)