I should mention that Assurant has been added to the S&P 500. Could not happen to a more deserving company; they are truly innovators in the insurance industry.
And now, more on indicators, bullish, bearish, and otherwise:
- Low quality stocks outperformed in the first quarter, according to Merrill Lynch. That’s bullish in the short run, but not the intermediate term.
- LBO volume and private equity volume continue unabated.
- Economy feels like stagflation-lite. Low positive growth, and rising inflation.
- Inflation is rising globally, particularly in India and China.
- Mortgage interest payments in the US are a record high (since 1989) compared to Disposable Personal Income.
- Corporate credit metrics are deteriorating for both junk and high grade corporate debt, but are not critical yet.
- Equity REITs seem to be rolling over.
That’s all for now. Tomorrow is another day.
Full Disclosure: long AIZ