They call them “black swans” for a reason.
They come out of nowhere.
And they don’t happen when everyone is ready for them.
So, here we are in the doldrums of August, when some of the ugliest stock market events arrive and all the swoons of summers past are being replayed in the press.
It’s a well-scratched record.
Sure, volumes will fall, politicians will grow (blessedly) quiet, and market risk will become even more boring.
But the assumption of “ugly ducklings” from the corporate earnings season have become "new values" as almost every one of them beat earnings at a collectively blistering pace.
Morgan Housel writes:
"NEW YORK – The S&P 500 closed at a new high on Wednesday in what analysts hailed as the accumulated result of several hundred million people waking up every morning hoping to solve problems and improve their lives.
“The index finished up 4 points. Goldman Sachs strategist Bill Blake said the move was the result of unidentified marginal buyers being a little bit more motivated than unidentified marginal sellers. ‘We’ve now had 241 years of people in daily competitive pursuits to do things a little better, and those benefits add up over time. Mix that with some good luck and where we happen to be in the business cycle, and here we are,’ he said. ‘My job is to sound smart, but you can explain this stuff to a five year old,’ he laughed.
“Corporations earned $5.89 billion in after-tax profits. Financial advisors and middlemen took in $710 million in fees. The difference, Blake said, would accrue to investors over time.
“Analysts warned of several metric tons of dopamine and cortisol careening through the global economy, which they said created a near certainty of poor financial decisions. At some point, Blake said, these bad decisions create social proof and feed on each other, leading to recessions. “When is the next recession?” he asked. ‘I don’t know. Whenever the second mortgage you took out to buy a boat to appease your insecurity convinces your brother in-law to do the same, and his boat gives the boat salesman enough misguided confidence to become a day trader, and then all three of you crack under a collective bout of geopolitical bad luck or something. But we’ll move on.’
“About 9,000 new businesses formed on Wednesday. Another 8,200 dissolved. Analysts expect the trend to continue, calling it an ‘unmistakable example of basic capitalism.’
“Fifty-five million American children went to school Wednesday morning, leveraging the compounded knowledge of all previous generations. Analysts expect this to lead to a new generation of doctors, engineers, and problem solvers more advanced than any other in history. ‘This just keeps happening over and over again,’ one analyst said. ‘Progress for one group becomes a new baseline for the next, and it grows from there.’
“Three dozen political pundits yelled at each other on TV in front of an audience of 75 million. Meanwhile, a couple hundred million people were reasonable and productive in front of an audience of zero.
“Just over 1,700 patents were filed at the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, with a few expected to change the world over the coming decades. ‘Pretty damn cool’ said Sarah Donald, a PTO spokeswoman. ‘I wish more people paid attention to this kind of stuff.’
“Facebook stock fell $0.23 to close at $169.16. Four-hundred seventy one news outlets covered the move. No one knows why.”
“Analysts expect more of the same tomorrow, with the trend continuing into next week."
Damn he’s good.