Is this the tipping point for Peak Oil? Matt Simmons, the author of Twilight in the Desert, has asserted numerous times that when Saudi oil production rolls over, then we are looking at the peak of global oil production as there is little chance of replacing Saudi production. Now Khalid al-Falih, head of Saudi Aramco, has warned that Saudi Arabia will start to wane in the coming years as domestic demand surges and spare capacity drops.
What's the difference between a single hedge fund’s hiccup and a hedge fund strategy's return? Zero Hedge reports that market neutral funds are getting “carted out feet first” and cites the performance of the Highbridge HSKAX Index:
The Highbridge HSKAX index just suffered its biggest drop since March 2009. Market Neutral players are getting carted out feet first…
Actually, HSKAX is actually a fund, not an index. Here is the performance of the HFRX Equity Market Neutral Index. While performance has hit an air pocket, the chart below shows that drawdowns are not that serious and market neutral funds can’t be characterized as getting “carted out feet first.”
Is a crowded long threatening the bull run in equities? Further to my last post about the fragility of the financial system, the combination of excessive bullishness stock sentiment and bearish bond sentiment is highly worrisome for equity bulls. Alan Abelson noted in Barrons:
Alan Newman, a crack technician, and chief cook and bottle washer at newsletter CrossCurrents, offers another intriguing contrary-sentiment indicator in his latest commentary. It’s based on investor preferences in mutual funds, and he credits some Rydex charts on the Decisionpoint Website with supplying the necessary info.The Barrons Spring 2010 Big Money poll also shows an unbelievable reading of 1% of institutional money managers bullish and 78% bearish on the safe haven of US Treasuries.
Recently, Alan relates, money-market and bear-fund assets both fell to multiyear lows, while bull- and sector-fund assets mounted to their highest levels since the October 2007 market peak. Currently, he reports, there is roughly $7.50 in bull and sector funds for every $1 in bear-market fund assets, which he calls “the most ridiculously one-sided sentiment we have seen since the tech mania convinced folks that no price was too high to pay.”
As a confirmation of the cautious view from the sentiment indicators, Mark Hulbert also reported excessive bullishness among short-term Nasdaq market timers. All these signs point to likely corrective action by the stock market in the near term.
Sell in May...