Macro Briefing: 19 June 2018

Trump threatens another $200 bill in tariffs on Chinese imports: Bloomberg
China vows to retaliate over latest US threat of new tariffs: Reuters
N. Korea’s Kim Jon Un returns to China: NY Times
White House defends controversial child-separation policy at border: Reuters
UK prime minister facing new challenges in Brexit policy: Bloomberg
Senate votes to reimpose US ban on Chinese telecom giant ZTE: Politico
US homebuilder sentiment stumbled in June after lumber costs spike: CNBC
38% of Americans satisfied with US direction, a 12-year high: Gallup

My R Book On Portfolio Analytics Has Been Published

Quantitative Investment Portfolio Analytics In R: An Introduction To R For Modeling Portfolio Risk and Return rolled off the presses earlier today for the first time. The book is currently available as a softback title. Stay tuned for details on an upcoming Kindle version. Meantime, after nearly four years of writing in my “spare” time, I’m thrilled (and relieved) to announce that my third book has arrived. You can find the table of contents here. In the days ahead I’ll publish a chapter excerpt on CapitalSpectator.com, including code. Stay tuned.

Meantime, courtesy of the book’s release, your editor is now rolling in free time for evenings and weekends for the foreseeable future. Just in time for the summer!

Macro Briefing: 18 June 2018

Migration politcy threatens German chancellor’s political future: Bloomberg
Trade war fears are weighing on global commerce: NY Times
Global stocks and oil prices fall on Monday as trade spat heats up: Reuters
Consumer Sentiment Index for US rose to 3-month high in early June: CNBC
US industrial output slipped 0.1% in May: AP
NY Fed Mfg Index in June jumps to highest level in 8 months: MW
Big companies are grabbing a larger share of the workforce: NY Times

Book Bits | 16 June 2018

Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments
By Michael Batnick
Review via The Wall Street Journal
If I had to write one sentence that is true always and everywhere, it would be this: Smart investors did stupid things again today.
A new book, “Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments,” by Michael Batnick, director of research at Ritholtz Wealth Management in New York, is the latest proof of that. It’s also a reminder that making mistakes with your money is normal, human and hard to avoid.
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Consumer Discretionary Overtakes Tech As Sector Leader In 2018

Consumer discretionary stocks are now the top-performing sector year to date, based on a set of exchange-traded funds through yesterday’s close (June 14). Although technology shares had been the leading sector in 2018, a strong rally this month in consumer discretionary companies has lifted this slice of the stock market to the top performance slot for the year so far. Tech shares overall, by comparison, have posted mild gains in June.
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Macro Briefing: 15 June 2018

US approves second round of tariffs on Chinese goods: Reuters
European Central Bank decides to end bond-buying program: Bloomberg
China’s growth is slowing as gov’t pinches access to easy money: NY Times
Retail spending in US jumped 0.8% in May, the most in 6 months: Reuters
US import prices rose a strong 0.6% in May: Reuters
US jobless claims fell 4,000 last week to 218,000: MarketWatch
Business inventories in the US rebounded in April: MarketWatch
Millionaires, billionaires control nearly half of global personal wealth: Bloomberg
SEC official: bitcoin and ether are not securities: Yahoo Finance
GDPNow estimate of US Q2 growth ticks up to strong +4.8%: Atlanta Fed

A New Book For Portfolio Analysis Using R

Later this month I’ll be publishing my third book: Quantitative Investment Portfolio Analytics In R: An Introduction To R For Modeling Portfolio Risk and Return. Although there are already many R books on the market, this one serves a particular niche: a short guide for recovering Excel addicts running relatively sophisticated analytics on investment portfolios and bumping up against the limits of spreadsheets.
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US Small Cap Stocks Continue To Outperform Big Caps This Year

The rally in shares of small-capitalization shares relative to large caps has accelerated in recent weeks. A month ago, the Russell 2000 (a widely followed gauge of small companies) was ahead of its large-cap counterpart (Russell 1000) by roughly three percentage points year to date. The small-cap edge has since widened to nearly five percentage points, as of yesterday’s close (June 13).
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