Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

One Month Hence

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The inability of the stock market to hold a downtrend more than two days is driving me insane (again). It has been two years since there has even been a drop off lasting a couple of weeks.

It was just a month ago that we were in the throes of an all-too-brief bout of excitement. But, looking back, it’s evident that 90% of the move was confined to just two trading sessions. Yep. That was it. For two years of waiting, we got just two days of glory. The next morning was a panic low, and bang, we were back into the unending quagmire.

panicbot (more…)

What’s Hot & What’s Not in US Markets

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Depicted on the following graphs are percentages gained/lost in Major Indices and Major Sectors over a longer term (1 year), a medium term (year-to-date), and a short term (the past week).

They are presented, simply, to illustrate where they are relative to those three timeframes.

My only comments are as follows:

  • Major Indices: Utilities, Small Caps and Transports continue to underperform, and I’d monitor Small Caps, in particular, as I outlined in yesterday’s article, for further signs of weakness and an indicator of further equity risk-off activity.
  • Major Sectors: Energy, Consumer Staples, Health Care and Utilities continue to underperform, but I’d keep an eye on Financials for any evidence of further weakening, as I recently described here.

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Weaponizing Intellect

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My fear for the future of the human race is grounded in two contrasting but related facts: (1) I am supposed to be extremely intelligent (2) I consider myself an idiot. In other words, if, based upon hard data from tests, the vast majority of people are less intelligent than me, yet if I consider myself just barely able to function and be a responsible member of society, where on earth are we all heading? I mean, come on – – I suck – – but most people suck even worse.

It wasn’t long ago that this wouldn’t have mattered at all. At any given point in human history, you could have created a bell curve of intelligence among all living humans. And yet how much has it truly mattered until recently?

In the year 1100, if you were far and away the most brilliant person in your entire village, would it have helped you at all? Would anyone have cared? Of course not! Because you just need to shovel the pig shit into a pile just like everyone else. Intellect was irrelevant. (more…)

Digging Deeper

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A story making the rounds quite a bit on Tuesday was about the young man who torched his $4 million trading account by betting it all on XIV which, as we all know, got completely destroyed in a manner that most would have never fathomed possible. ZeroHedge featured this story for many hours as its header post.

I like sleuthing around, so I decided to dig deeper into this anonymous fellow who lost all this money. After some digging, I figured out his name was Gregory, he lives in Singapore, and he’s one of those gunslingers that hangs out on Reddit’s “Wall Street Bets” forum. In case there’s any doubt about the youthful male nature of such a place, the animated graphic at the top of the forum leaves nothing to the imagination: (more…)

Very Mixed Feelings

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You think I’d be happy.

After all, days like Friday and Monday come along, oh, just about never. We have, in almost no time., seen bullish hubris hit with a flamethrower (perhaps even supplied by Mr. Musk). We have seen our smug bull friends have their accounts decimated (quite literally). And as for the White House, not only has it stopped tweeting about market highs, it issued some lame-ass little statement about how the fundamental economy was still strong and everything was going to be just peachy. Don’t you worry your fuzzy little heads.

All the same, I feel kind of lousy. it comes from three places, I suppose. (more…)

Said and Done

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Completely by chance, I stumbled across this video of a 17 year old high school junior named Sam Berns who had an extremely rare disease that aged him at a highly accelerated rate. Even though he was 17, he looked 90. I clicked the link out of curiosity, but I was transfixed for the entire video.

As I was watching it, I thought to myself, “He looks so frail – – I wonder if he’s still alive.” But I soon found out that a very short time after this video was made, he died – – basically of “old age”, in spite of being in high school. The simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we might be. But we are all God’s creatures.  I hope you find the video inspiring.

True Believer Syndrome

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I’m going to start with a tale from about 180 years ago. In the early 1840s, a religious leader named William Miller believed the second coming of Jesus was foretold in the Bible with mathematical accuracy, and using a myriad of verses and tidbits from the Bible, he sought to compute as closely as possible when exactly J.C. was going to come back.

prophetcy

At first, he didn’t offer anything very exact:

Using an interpretive principle known as the day-year principle, Miller, along with others, interpreted a prophetic “day” to read not as a 24-hour period, but rather as a calendar year. Miller became convinced that the 2,300-day period started in 457 B.C. with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem by Artaxerxes I of Persia. His interpretation led him to believe and promote the year 1843. Despite the urging of his supporters, Miller never announced an exact date for the expected Second Advent. But he did narrow the time period to sometime in the Jewish year 5604, stating: “My principles in brief, are, that Jesus Christ will come again to this earth, cleanse, purify, and take possession of the same, with all the saints, sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.” (more…)