As of this month, the world’s population is now 7.2 billion.
According to U.N. data, half of the people around the globe (3.6 billion) live in just a half-dozen countries. China has the world’s largest population (1.4 billion), followed by India (1.3 billion). The next most-populous nations – the United States, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan – combined have less than 1 billion people.
The demographic future for the U.S. and the world looks very different than the recent past.
For example, the U.N. projects that during this century, the number of people living to at least age 100 will increase more than 100-fold, from 181,000 in the year 2000 to over 20 million in the year 2100.
There is always something working. It still surprises me how often it changes.
For example, take a look at Coffee's rise.
The chart below shows the top-and-bottom performing markets so far this year. The data is color coded based on sector. The first column shows year-to-date performance, followed by six columns of the most recent yearly market performances.
This indicator has been trending slightly downward for about a month now, but it hasn't fallen below the 75% mark for quite some time. Generally, whenever this breadth reading gets above the 80% level, the market is due for a breather.
In contrast, less than 50% of NASDAQ stocks are above their 200-day moving averages.
According to Martin Pring, that means that relatively few stocks are participating in the rally, and an even lower number are registering new highs. Moreover, there are currently slightly more stocks at new 52-week lows than highs, even though the NASDAQ is very close to its bull market high
Obviously, business effects the economy of states. But, as the Washington Post notes, businesses are not created equally - bigger businesses naturally have outsized influence, generating more revenue, paying more taxes and employing more people.
The following chart shows the largest company, by revenue, in each state. Some of these seem like easy guesses. For example: GM in Michigan, ExxonMobil in Texas, Berkshire Hathaway in Nebraska, Nike in Oregon, Walmart in Arkansas, and FedEx in Tennesse.
Personally, when I have to choose between something straightforward or something complex - simple is better.
For example, when large "Smart Money" traders show their directional bias, it often pays to follow in their tracks.
Another technique would be to bet against the smaller retail "Dumb Money" traders (because, historically, they are often wrong at major turning points.
However, if I have to decide between following "Smart Money" or doing the opposite of what "Dumb Money" does ... then in the absence of other information, following Smart Money wins because it is more straightforward and simpler.
The chart, below, compares the bets made by small traders (a.k.a. the "Dumb Money"), to those of large commercial hedgers (a.k.a. the "Smart Money").
In practice, Confidence Index readings rarely get below 30% or above 70% (they usually stay between 40% and 60%). When they move outside of those bands, it's time to pay attention.
Even more noteworthy is when there is a wide confidence spread between the bets made by the Dumb Money and Smart Money traders. This type of sentiment spread only happens a few times a year. We often get substantial reversals when it happens.
Consequently, you might want to note this chart from SentimentTrader. It shows that the confidence spread is at extreme levels.
Conventional trading wisdom says that Crowds are usually wrong at turning-points. That doesn't mean they are wrong all the time (yet, as discussed, it makes sense to notice when the Smart Money clearly disagrees). So, after such a strong rally, this is the kind of data that causes me to pay closer attention.
Could this be a trend-break? Will Smart Money start actively making Bearish bets?
Price is the primary indicator, and until it breaks down, expect that dips will be met with buying.
Lapthorne notes: "The number of 1% down days for the S&P 500 in any given year has averaged 27 since 1969; the S&P 500 has seen just 16 1% down days over the last 12 months. It has now been [almost 500] days since a market correction of 10% or more, the fourth longest period on record, and, as we show below, the annualized peak to trough loss has only been 5% compared to typical annual draw-down of 15%."
As you can see, recently, volatility has been dramatically below normal.