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“Welcome to the last in my series of columns on the year ahead. In my four earlier ones, I covered why December was lousy and why stocks are on the right side of a swift V-shaped recovery. U.S. stocks have climbed more than 10 percent since the market close on Christmas Eve. Accompanied by wild wiggles, the rest of 2019 should be similarly happy.
On December 17, I explained how stocks’ have averaged 34 percent before dividends in the 12 months after all of history’s correction bottoms (meaning a drop of 10 to 19.99 percent in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index).
Assuming December 24 remains the bottom, this correction ended later in a calendar year than any correction or bear market ever. An average aftermath now would make 2019 simply stellar, and surprise almost everyone. That’s bullish.
Maybe December 24 wasn’t the bottom. We can’t know for sure. But there were abundant bottomish signals. Mutual fund outflows reached levels only associated with major market bottoms. December outflows matched March, 2009, when the last bear market ended. U.S. stock market liquidity sank like a brick, also echoing prior lows.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."