The Stock Market’s Great Fool Theory – Gold Seek







 — Published: Wednesday, 17 April 2019 | Print  | Disqus 

By: Dave Kranzler

The current stock market is the most dangerous stock market I have seen in my 34+ year career as a financial markets professional. This includes 1987, 1999-2000 and 2007-2008. The run-up in stocks has been largely a product of momentum-chasing hedge fund algos on behalf of the large universe of sophisticated hedge funds which are desperate for performance. In the context of the obviously deteriorating economic fundamentals, the performance-chasing game has become a combination of FOMO – “fear of missing out” – and the Greater Fool Theory – praying someone else will pay more for the stock than you just paid. There’s also likely some official intervention going on as well per the chart below.

Most, if not all, of you are aware of the degree to which the Trump Administration – primarily The Donald and Larry Kudlow – are using the ongoing the trade negotiations to issue opportunistic headline statements about the progress of a potential deal at times when the market appears ready to drop off a cliff and for which Trump’s advisors know the hedge fund fund algos will respond positively. This chart shows this “positive trade war news” effect (from Northman Trader w/my edits):

The problem with relying on this device is that eventually the market will fatigue of “false-positive” news releases and revert to bona-fide price-discovery.

To see an example of the algos’ response to a headline report and the subsequent “price-discovery” action, let’s examine the release of Bed Bath and Beyond’s (BBBY – $17.99) earnings. BBBY announced its Q4 2018 earnings on Wednesday this past week after the close:

The initial headlines reported an earnings “beat.” The algos drove the stock from its $19.40 closing price to as high as $21.27 on those headlines. But in the real world, the details of BBBY’s financial statements showed that sales declined both in Q4 vs Q4 2018 and for the full-year 2018 vs 2017. Even adding back the large impairment charge which BBBY took in Q4 this year, operating income was still down 37% vs Q4 2017. The stock closed Wednesday’s extended hours trading session 18% below the headline-driven high-tick. This is what happens when reality gets its claws into the market.

The best example of the Greater Fool Theory right now is the semiconductor sector. Semiconductors are “hyper” cyclical. The companies mint money in a strong economy and come close to hemorrhaging to death in recessions. The SMH ETF has gone up 55% since the Fed/Trump began re-inflating the stock bubble. Some individual stocks have nearly doubled.

I’m sorry I missed the opportunity to get long this sector on December 26th. But, given that the move up has been in complete defiance of the actual industry fundamentals, would I have held onto a long position until today? Probably not. The momentum-junkies have been chasing the sector higher with fury based on the faith in the “second-half of 2019” recovery narrative currently preached by CEO’s who have to deliver bad results in Q1 and take a chain-saw to guidance for 2Q. But the message is: “trust me, there’s a huge recovery coming in Q3”

Semiconductor CEO’s are notorious for rose-colored forecasts for the market out in the future. Interestingly, a German wafer manufacturer issued stern, if not refreshingly honest, guidance for 2019 when it said that previous guidance was “under the condition that order intake would need to revive meaningfully in the second half of 2019.” The Company went on to explain that “because of the general economic slowdown and geopolitical uncertainties as well as ongoing inventory corrections in the whole value chain, the timing of a market rebound is not visible.”

Wafers are the building block for semiconductors and integrate circuits. Siltronic is a leading global wafer manufacturer. If Siltronic is seeing a meaningful decline in wafer orders, it means the companies that make the semiconductors and integrated circuits are flush with inventory that reflects lack of demand from companies that use chips to manufacture the end-user products.

The higher probability trade right now is to short the semiconductor sector (along with the overall stock market). Trading volume across the board is declining, standard market internals are fading and sentiment is back to extreme bullishness (Barron’s cover two weeks ago wondered, “is the bull unstoppable?”).

I can hear a bell in the distance signalling the top. I suspect a large herd of price-chasers will realize collectively all at once that there’s going to be a rush to find the next Greater Fool but the Greater Fool will be those stuck at the top.

The above commentary is an excerpt from my weekly subscription newsletter. I bought puts on a semiconductor stock today that has gone parabolic despite horrendous numbers for Q4.  I’ll be discussing that stock and a couple others this Sunday. To learn more, click on this link:  Short Seller’s Journal information






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 — Published: Wednesday, 17 April 2019 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

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AMZN – Amazon Air launches daily service to Omaha, Nebraska

The relentless beat of expansion for the Amazon Air express network continued Thursday with the launch of daily service to Omaha, Nebraska.Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) said an inaugural flight operated by partner Silver Airways using an ATR72-500 turboprop arrived at Eppley Airfield from its regional air hub in Fort Worth, Texas. Package handling at the airport is being provided by GAT Airline Ground Support.The daily service will support faster deliveries for Prime members in Nebraska and western Iowa, areas that are seeing increased demand for online orders. Amazon opened its first fulfillment center in Nebraska, in Papillion, last year.Amazon Air last month began flying to Wichita, Kansas. It has added about a dozen destinations to its network in the past year.Silver Airways, a privately held regional airline based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that operates passenger service in the Southeast, Bahamas and the Caribbean with small propeller aircraft and seaplanes, is Amazon’s latest outsourced transportation partner. It began flying under contract with Amazon in November, serving Des Moines, Iowa, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Alliance Fort Worth Airport.Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.RELATED NEWS:Amazon Air begins daily express delivery to Wichita, Kansas

KSS – Kohl's Responds to Director Nominations from Macellum Advisors; Company Reaffirms Commitment to Maximize Value for All Shareholders

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS) (“Kohl’s” or the “Company”) today issued the following statement regarding Macellum Advisors GP, LLC’s (“Macellum”) announcement of its nomination of directors for election to the Kohl’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) at the Company’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “2022 Annual Meeting”):

Kohl’s believes Macellum’s effort to take control of the Board is unjustified and counterproductive. Kohl’s appointed two of Macellum’s designees, along with an additional mutually agreed upon designee, to its Board pursuant to the 2021 settlement agreement with Macellum and certain other shareholders. All members of the Kohl’s Board, other than its CEO, are independent.

Macellum’s claim that Kohl’s Board is not equipped to evaluate sale opportunities is groundless. The Board designated its Finance Committee, which is comprised entirely of independent directors, was formed pursuant to the settlement with Macellum and includes one of Macellum’s 2021 designees, to lead the review of any expressions of interest. Additionally, the Company and the Board have engaged financial advisors, including Goldman Sachs and PJT Partners, and have asked Goldman Sachs to engage with interested parties.

Furthermore, Macellum’s claim to be “disappointed and shocked” by Kohl’s rejection of the previously disclosed expressions of interest is disingenuous. Macellum has on multiple occasions stated publicly that Kohl’s is worth “at least $100 per share.”

Finally, Macellum’s comments on the Board’s adoption of a limited-duration shareholder rights plan are misleading. The Board adopted the rights plan to protect shareholder value by ensuring that the Board can conduct an orderly review of any expressions of interest and by preventing any person or group from gaining control of Kohl’s through open market accumulation.

The rights plan does not preclude the Board from considering any offers that recognize the value of the Company. Macellum itself publicly acknowledged on February 4 that the shareholder rights plan Kohl’s adopted is “still a stop, look and listen mechanism.” As demonstrated by Macellum’s latest announcement, the rights plan also does not impact shareholders’ ability to initiate a proxy contest.

The Board reaffirms its commitment to maximizing the long-term value of the Company. It will continue to pursue all reasonable opportunities to drive value, consistent with its fiduciary obligations.

Our strategy is delivering results.

As we previously announced, based on our performance in 2021, we are positioned to exceed our key 2023 financial goals two years ahead of plan. Our work to fundamentally restructure the business allowed us to achieve a nine-year high operating margin in Q3, and record Q3 earnings per share, positioning us to achieve significantly enhanced profitability going forward. These results reflect our strategic focus on transforming the operating model and making Kohl’s the leading omnichannel destination for the active and casual lifestyle.

We are optimistic about significant value creation in both the near and long term as a result of our transformational strategy. As one example, we have rolled out 200 Sephora at Kohl’s shops to date and expect to launch an additional 650 shops in the next two years, including over 400 in 2022. As we noted in our 2021 third quarter earnings, we are seeing an incremental mid-single-digit lift to store sales where we have opened Sephora at Kohl’s shops, and more than 25% of Sephora at Kohl’s shoppers are new to Kohl’s.

Kohl’s looks forward to sharing additional details on the progress against its growth strategy as well as an updated financial framework and capital allocation strategy at the previously announced Investor Day on March 7, 2022.

Shareholders are not required to take any action at this time.

The Board will present its recommendation regarding director nominees in Kohl’s definitive proxy statement and other materials, to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and made available to all shareholders eligible to vote at the 2022 Annual Meeting. The Company will announce details regarding the 2022 Annual Meeting in due course.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements include information concerning the Board’s review of expressions of interest and the Company’s business strategies, plans, and objectives. The Company intends forward-looking terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “anticipates,” “plans,” or similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the forward-looking statements. You should understand that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of strategic action, performance, or results. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, risks described more fully in Item 1A in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is expressly incorporated herein by reference, and other factors as may periodically be described in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Forward-looking statements relate to the date initially made, and Kohl’s undertakes no obligation to update them.

Important Shareholder Information and Where You Can Find It

Kohl’s intends to file a proxy statement and BLUE proxy card with the SEC in connection with the solicitation of proxies for Kohl’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “Proxy Statement” and such meeting the “2022 Annual Meeting”). Kohl’s, its directors and certain of its executive officers will be participants in the solicitation of proxies from shareholders in respect of the 2022 Annual Meeting. Information regarding the names of Kohl’s directors and executive officers and their respective interests in Kohl’s by security holdings or otherwise is set forth in Kohl’s proxy statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, filed with the SEC on March 19, 2021 (the “2021 Proxy Statement”) and in Kohl’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on April 14, 2021 (together with the 2021 Proxy Statement, the “2021 Filings”). To the extent holdings of such participants in Kohl’s securities have changed since the amounts described in the 2021 Filings or were otherwise not included, such changes or amounts have been reflected on Initial Statements of Beneficial Ownership on Form 3 or Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC or will be filed within the time period specified by Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and the regulations thereunder. Additional information is available in Kohl’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the first three quarters of the fiscal year ended January 29, 2022 filed with the SEC on June 3, 2021, September 2, 2021 and December 2, 2021, respectively. Details concerning the nominees of Kohl’s Board of Directors for election at the 2022 Annual Meeting will be included in the Proxy Statement. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING DECISION, INVESTORS AND SHAREHOLDERS OF KOHL’S ARE URGED TO READ ALL RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH OR FURNISHED TO THE SEC, INCLUDING KOHL’S DEFINITIVE PROXY STATEMENT, ANY SUPPLEMENTS THERETO AND THE ACCOMPANYING BLUE PROXY CARD BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and shareholders will be able to obtain a copy of the definitive Proxy Statement and other documents filed by Kohl’s free of charge from the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. Copies will also be available at no charge on the Kohl’s website at investors.kohls.com.

About Kohl’s

Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading omnichannel retailer. With more than 1,100 stores in 49 states and the online convenience of Kohls.com and the Kohl’s App, Kohl’s offers amazing national and exclusive brands at incredible savings for families nationwide. Kohl’s is uniquely positioned to deliver against its strategy and its vision to be the most trusted retailer of choice for the active and casual lifestyle. Kohl’s is committed to progress in its diversity and inclusion pledges, and the company’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) stewardship. For a list of store locations or to shop online, visit Kohls.com. For more information about Kohl’s impact in the community or how to join our winning team, visit Corporate.Kohls.com or follow @KohlsNews on Twitter.

PBI – Pitney Bowes Recognized as One of America's Best Large Employers 2022 by Forbes Magazine

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, has been named one of America’s Best Large Employers for 2022 by Forbes magazine. This is the third year the company has been included in the rankings.

“Our people are the heart of our business. They are the ones that make Pitney Bowes a great place to work,” said Marc B. Lautenbach, President and CEO. “We are extremely honored to be included among the best employers in America. It reinforces Pitney Bowes reputation as a company that provides excellent employment opportunities, and more importantly the reservoir of good will that exists between the company and the people that work here.”

America’s Best Employers 2022 were identified in an independent survey taken by approximately 60,000 American employees working for companies with more than 1,000 workers in the United States. In total, 1,000 employers were recognized across 25 different industry sectors. The list is divided into two rankings: 500 large and 500 midsize employers. The evaluation was based on direct and indirect recommendations from respondents who were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employer to friends and family.

Pitney Bowes 2021 engagement survey results showed 84% of Pitney Bowes employees would recommend Pitney Bowes as a good place to work.

Other recognitions by Forbes include World’s Best Employers 2021, America’s Best Employers for Women 2021 and Best Employers for Diversity 2021. Early this year, Pitney Bowes earned a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index for the second consecutive year and was named to Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index (GEI) 2022.

To learn more about what makes Pitney Bowes a Best Employer visit https://www.pitneybowes.com/us/newsroom/forbes-americas-best-employers.html.

About Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) is a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services to more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. Small business, retail, enterprise, and government clients around the world rely on Pitney Bowes to remove the complexity of sending mail and parcels. For the latest news, corporate announcements and financial results visit https://www.pitneybowes.com/us/newsroom.html. For additional information visit Pitney Bowes at www.pitneybowes.com.