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VRA Investing Podcast: Beyond the Headlines, Consumer Strength Fuels Market Optimism and an Earnings Season Preview – Kip Herriage – January 29, 2024

The all-time highs continue for our markets as earnings season kicks into high gear this week. Tune into today's VRA Podcast as Kip breaks down the must-watch earnings reports from tech titans like Microsoft and Apple as we antici ...

Posted On January 29, 2024Episode 1315

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About This Episode

The all-time highs continue for our markets as earnings season kicks into high gear this week. Tune into today's VRA Podcast as Kip breaks down the must-watch earnings reports from tech titans like Microsoft and Apple as we anticipate groundbreaking discussion on AI and the tech sector's transformative role in the economy


Don’t look back because the market is closed. Good Monday afternoon, everyone. Kip Herriage here with the daily VRA investing podcast.

Hope you had a good day today. We were gone for a few days last week, we went to an investment conference in Florida. I may make a comment on some interesting insights from that. Things are very different than they were in the very, very at this event. And I think it gives us some unique insights from a contrarian point of view into the longevity that’s in front of us for this big bull market that’s just underway.

Cover that a little bit. Markets hitting all time highs again today. That’s both. The Dow Jones SP 500 all time highs again today. Again. This is when bull markets start. They don’t end at all time highs. That’s when bull markets really start, hit all time highs.

That’s when no one in that investment has a loss. It’s a great thing about owning a stock if you’re a momentum investor, if you don’t know anything about it, momentum investors, this is their theory and it works, especially in bull markets. When a stock or an index, it’s an all time high. No one that owns that investment has a loss in it. That means they’re not inclined to sell. They’re not motivated to sell. They’re motivated to buy more. This is when big moves begin.

We think that’s underway now. Small caps, they led the way. I’ll talk about that a little bit. Love this group here again, the semis have been just a house on fire from the bear market lows of October 2022. Even that continued today. As overbought as that group is that little shakeout we’ve had the last few days. And the semis may already be over with because earnings are coming out right. Let’s start there.

You know what? Let’s start with the markets first. Get that out of the way. Again, all time highs today. Dow Jones up 224. Everything finishing at the highs today, by the way, great smart money hour today. Good internals. This is a good day today. This is a good day today in advance of mega cap tech earnings to start tomorrow.

Dow Jones again up six tenths to 1%. All time high Sq 100 up almost eight tenths to 1% all time high. Nasdaq up one point. This is textbook day, by the way. Nasdaq up 1.1% today. And rust 2000 small caps up 1.7%, leading the way higher. However, the sector leading the way higher was the semis. Again, just garlic strong, folks, garlic strong for this group.

And it says so much about, understand what I’m saying here for our new folks. When you see the semis hitting all time high after all time high, and they didn’t do it today, by the way, but they have been doing it. They’ve been leading this bull market higher. That is the tell. That is the tell. It’s been the tell from the birth of quantitative easing. Frankly, I don’t see many people saying what I just said, but it’s bible. We have the evidence to back it up and that’s why we track them so closely.

Semis today up 1.7%, again, leading everything higher today right there with rust 2000, by the way. Of course, Rush 2000 is an index versus a sector ETF. Right. But again, very good day today. Let me go ahead and mention this conference before I forget about it, because two years ago we attended this conference, two and three years ago. We didn’t go last year, but two and three years ago we attended it. Tyler did three years ago we both did last year. And then Josh and Tyler and myself went this year and two years ago, it was packed.

It was packed. Big room, right? Big event center. And the market was rocking. And know it was Rona year and it was packed. People want to get to Florida, by the way, so they could get rid of their lockdowns, right. And be able to actually go have fun. Florida, of course, is wide open. And so I expected the same this year.

I mean, the market’s been a house on fire, right. All time highs. I expected to be a big event, and it wasn’t maybe a third of the people that may be close, maybe a third of the people in attendance there. Now here’s why that matters. I think, you know, I’m going with this. When this event is sold out a month ahead of time and you can’t get a seat unless you act early, that’s when we’ll know that this bull market is fully engaged. Because when almost nobody’s there, or at least a third of the people are there, that tells you that people aren’t believers. There’s still negativity.

It’s still, people haven’t bought into it, people haven’t, that aren’t in stocks. Right. Again, it was, otherwise it was a very good event. I like smaller events. You get a chance to meet with the people you really want to. But I found that interesting. So it’s another tell. It’s like we talk about with the IP, IPO market.

Again, we keep making this analogy to the 1995 to 2000 melt up, which I see this clearly as again, for our newer listeners here, and we have added a lot of new members, new subscribers, new clients here over the last couple, four weeks. Welcome to you. Appreciate your listen as always. So we have a great group here and love your feedback. Please keep it coming. Again, I was a broker during that time frame, became a broker in 85 state of Wall Street 15 years. But from 95 to 2000, during the melt up, there were two years where we had more than 100 ipos. In that given year, that went up more than 100% on the day they came out, the day they went public.

And there was one year where we had, what was it? 100 ipos that went up more than 300% on day one. Now, juxtapose that with where we are now. We don’t have ipos. The IPO market is dead. And so again, it’s another signifier, identifier of where we are in this market. This is the beginning. This is the birth of a new bull market, folks. That’s the important thing.

And I was on Fox Business last week, and over the weekend I was on with Wayne Allen root on his show on real Americans voice. And again, I make the same point. It’s important that people understand this is a structural bull market. Structural bull market, meaning that it’s going up because of structural reasons, foundational strengths. And for us, it’s all about the consumer and about corporate strength. We’ve talked about these pretty much every time I go on any tv show or do an interview or as you know from my VRA letter write ups, we try to feature this at least once a week or so for our new people. And also just a reminder to people, because so many people, like, I have a lot of friends. I have a lot of friends that you know, you’ll know their name, people that you know that just think, there’s no way what I’m saying could be true.

When I talk about consumer net worth being all time high, home prices all time high, net equity in homes all time high. The fact that one third of homeowners own their home outright with no mortgage, I can keep going, right? Consumers have paid off 25, have 25% less debt to disposable income they did 15 years ago. Corporate debt to market caps at 50 year lows. The ability to lever up is unbelievable. And the pushback that I get is. But, Ben, aren’t you watching the news? Kip? Don’t you see all the reports coming out about how bad the economy is, how bad the consumer is? I’m like, have you never heard of fake news? Do you not understand? Didn’t trump educate you? At least educate you on that point about fake news? I think people think it only applies to mainstream media and not financial media. Folks, fake news applies to all media. Understand this.

That’s why we do our homework. As I tell people every day, there’s a wall where people can’t see through, they can’t see the facts. I’m telling them. I’ve got like 1015 different metrics that are all most available current financial data that back up what I’m saying about how strong this consumer hadn’t been this strong in decades. Now of course we have two americas. That’s a given. Okay. I tried to make that clear on Wayne’s show this weekend.

I don’t know how well it landed but we have two not, I’m not even trying to debate that point. Of course we do. But folks, when have we not had two Americas, right? I’m talking about again, this comes across very cold. I don’t mean it to be, but I deal in facts, right? And our job is to beat the markets, to make money, especially in this bull market. I think it’s a generational bull market. We’ve said that for a long time. Okay? We think the Dow is going to 100,000. It’s time to be locked in.

This is that bull market. And it’s just you got to stay locked into the actual facts, not the propaganda and not the psyop of negativity that is very real that is out there. So that’s where we’re going to stay rooted in the facts. And that means it’s a structural bull market because the consumer and american companies are in great shape. And the cold part is the America that matters to Americas, the America that matters is killing it. There’s never been a better time to be an American with money. The opportunities are everywhere. Cryptocurrencies, look at, we have financial engineering taking place at all levels, not just the Federal Reserve.

It’s taking place everywhere. Innovation, revolution. Look what’s happening in cryptocurrencies right now. Approved by the SEC. It’s legitimate. Okay, talk about that more. Just a moment as well. Big things happening there.

Of course, we’re also aggressively long bitcoin as well having meetings with people that are showing us other ideas in the crypto space. One of my favorite is, well you know what, I’ll save it for another time. But there’s some really exciting ideas coming down the pipeline here. And look, if you’ve got a good idea for a company in my experience, it’s really easy to raise money right now because everybody’s got it. Again, the America that matters to the markets, people have it. So that’s really been our theme now for over a year. And that’s why this market is going to continue to head higher. It’s a big week, folks.

This is a big week. Let’s cover that now because more companies report this week for fourth quarter than I think 19% of all s and p 500 companies are going to be reporting this week, led by the big boys, right? $10 trillion in market cap companies report on Tuesday and Thursday alone. Five companies worth more than $10 trillion report tomorrow and Thursday. They are Microsoft and Alphabet tomorrow. And then Thursday, Apple, Amazon and Meta. What do you think they’re going to do? How many times are they going to mention artificial intelligence? How many times are they going to mention innovation that’s taking place? How many times are they going to mention disruptive technologies? Because this is where we are again. This part two. But this one’s different.

[00:11:05]: is real. These companies actually are real. They’re well established, right? They’ve got billions and billions and billions of dollars in the bank of 95 to 2000. Those companies were not real. They sounded sexy and exciting because the Internet and everything around the Internet was new, right? And we can see the future looked amazing. But it was premature. That’s why 89% of the companies were out of business in just a few years. This ain’t that.

This is the real deal, folks. These companies are delivering and just wait to see what’s going to happen in innovation. We wrote some of our forecasts and predictions about innovation in the big bribe. And there’s just so many areas in medical research, biomedical, genetic research, space exploration. Again, innovation, disruptive technologies. Again, a big theme of Kathy woods, which is why we’re such big fans of hers. We have a different way of picking stocks than she does. We actually own some of the same stocks.

Right? Like I bought Tesla at 18, told everybody I owned it. I screwed up and didn’t recommend it in time before it got out of hand. Of course, we’re long it now, but we own some of the same stocks but for different reasons. But she’s got a fantastic innovation and disruption team and we’ve learned a lot from reading what they’ve put out, but it’s accurate. And so there’s a lot of Kathy Wood haters out there, and I’m sorry, but they’re wrong. They’re idiots. She’s right again, she may not be right on all the stocks that she’s recommended. I’m not a fan of Coinbase.

That’s one of her biggest holdings. I don’t get that story, especially now with bitcoin being SEC approved. Why do you need a wallet? Most people don’t. Right. It’s like telling people you have to hold your gold in a safe deposit box. No, people don’t want to be told where to own it. They want to hold it where they can trade it. And see, that’s the beauty of the SEC approval.

Obviously, there are other applications. Some people do want to hold it off book. I get it. But again, the broad market doesn’t want to do that. So my point, Kathy Wood, is that the macro stuff, she gets incredibly well and she’s been exactly right. And I think she’s going to continue to make a lot of money for herself and her clients. But we have a different approach here. But anyway, again, big earnings week this week, $10 trillion in market cap reporting.

And again, as always, it’s not the news that matters, it’s the market’s reaction to that news. That’s what matters. The reaction is to tell. It’s not the news. I rarely read financial statements anymore. For earnings reports, I rarely read them. I read the headline numbers. I see if they beat.

I rarely even read the rest of it. Now, the guidance I like to hear, but the rest of it doesn’t matter. Why is that? Because the price action tells you everything. Like you, I don’t have 28 hours in a day to go through all. We do a lot of things here. We have 1516 different holdings in all these different industries. At the same time we’re growing our business. I don’t have time to delve into all these.

We don’t have a huge team here, a research team to do that. It’s me and Tyler on the research side. So we have to focus our energy where it’s best served and price action allows us to do that. So again, the reaction to these big earnings is going to be key. And I think that’s what we saw today. Even in an overbought market, it just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter. Unless we get really bad news and the reaction is bad, then it would matter.

But that’s not been the case so far, has it? This morning we put out a bit of an update on cover. You with them quickly. Here again, the viewer investing system is at ten of twelve screens. Bullish. We’ve never ever been at twelve of twelve screens. Bullish. Ten to twelve is about where we get. I don’t remember being at eleven to twelve.

I think ten to twelve is the highest we’ve been. But again, it goes back over 30 years. So there may have been a time we were at eleven to twelve, but the bottom line is we’re there, this is as good as it gets. And some people might get, well, that sounds like it could be a top. No, this is not a top. We’re going to get to eleven to twelve once the small caps start participating and we get more broadening action. That’s really been the biggest drain on some of our screens. But that’s beginning.

It happened today for sure. And this is again the evolution of a bull market. We’re seeing it happen right for our eyes. So tech is short term of a bot, but again, does it matter? Probably not. But again, the key is we’re just now hitting all time highs. This is when major bull markets start to accelerate. We’re only in the first inning of the innovation revolution. And again, this is not just going to be a 2024 story, this is going to be a multi year story.

This is very exciting time to be an investor, folks, especially in us markets. That’s where liquidity is, that’s where everybody wants to be. Just another important point. I believe we’re in the second year of a new bull market. Second year of new bull markets have been higher 100% of the time since 1952, with an average turn of about 14% in the SPF. Hundred again. And we think it’s going to be a much better year than that. We’re on record as saying we’re looking for 40% gains.

That’s from last October’s lows for small caps. We’re what, 14% of the way there? I think we’ll get to 40% plus. I think it’s going to be a great year for tech and small caps and special situation stocks. Seasonality and the analytics are highly bullish here. As I’ve talked about earlier, small caps semis have been leading the way. When the semis are leading, there is no better tell and we’re overbought in the semis again. Will it matter? It’s mattered for a few days, probably. That’s about it.

The Fed is pivoting. Remember this is another big thing, right? Remember the phrase don’t fight the tape, don’t fight the Fed? Well, here we are. The tape is price action. The tape is telling you, go long. What’s the Fed doing? Fed’s getting ready to cut. So don’t fight either one of them again. Momentum from all of these different metrics we look at is firmly in favor of the bulls. We repeat that we’re in the roaring two thousand and twenty s and our five megatrends from our book, the big broad, will continue to play out as they have since we wrote that book in October of 2022.

For those that are worried, okay, could I be buying now like an important top kit? Because who hasn’t done that, right? It’s so easy to buy when the market’s at all time highs because everybody’s like, you feel safer, you’re joining the crowd, right? That’s not what we want to do, by the way. However, we don’t see those concerns. And here’s why. Here’s one of the biggest reasons. This is not, as of today’s close, by the way, that’ll be updated here in a few minutes. But as Friday’s close, 76.6% of the SPF hundred is trading above its 50 day moving average. That’s nothing. Okay? That’s nothing.

When we get to 929-3949 5% again, we’re at 76.6%. Now we’ll start sounding the alarm about a short term market peak. But we’re not there. It’s even better. On the 200 day moving average, only 73.4% of the SBF hundred is trading above its 200 day moving average. Again, these are not only not high readings, but for a market hitting all time highs, these are ridiculously small readings. So there’s no froth in this market yet. There’s no irrational exuberance.

It’s just not here. We’ll let you know what it is. Again, we like being right. We like being good market timers. I would tell you if things look copy, they do not. Sentiment is a little bullish, but look, that’s what happens in a bull market. That’s going straight up, right? Also, this week is a big week. Of course, the Federal Reserve is going to be meeting starting tomorrow and Wednesday.

The Fed statement Wednesday at 02:00 p.m., eastern, followed by the rock star Jay Powell. Worst Fed shared history, who may actually be getting this one right. By the way, we’ve called this the great reset. Of course, he caused the problem to begin with, so it’s hard to give him any credit. However, we believe the highs for rates are in. I think that’ll be confirmed by the Fed. We’re not going to, obviously, no more rate hikes, and I believe they’re going to cut in March. I know that I’m in the minority there, but I believe they cut in March and here’s why.

Okay, the Fed’s going to cut, we believe, three to four times this year. I know a lot of people are saying 4567 times, we think three to four. But they’re going to cut in March because the inflation data we’re about to get next month for the CPI, and we have more inflation data this week, by the way, core pc related stuff that’s going to continue to show disinflation. Ed Hyman, the great 50 year economist at Evercore, probably the best. I think he is the best in the business. Just phenomenal guy. I’m going to put this out in tomorrow’s very letter because he’s seeing disinflation in the US and globally. Like major signs of disinflation.

We’ve been reporting that here. And so I think that’s going to pick up speed into next month’s CPI and PPI data. And again, that’s going to feed right into a Fed March meeting where they’re going, okay, economy is slowing, we’re seeing layoffs are starting to pick up. As long as these jobs reports start to be soft, show a little softness. Right. With disinflation clearly picking up speed. The one thing the Fed does not want, the one thing bankers don’t want is deflation. Okay? So this is something they’re very cognizant of.

They can wreck the whole system with deflation. That’s when borrowing stops. And of course, without borrowing, money stops working. That’s our system. We’re a debt based system. So point being, Fed meeting, I think is going to be very friendly. I think it’ll be dovish. Of course, Powell will always try to say some things to make him sound, know, hawkish.

But no one’s going to believe that. No one’s going to believe that. I’m kind of shocked, frankly, that people that have done what I do and what they’ve been doing this 2030 years plus like we have still think rates are going higher from here. That makes absolutely zero sense to me. Okay. And so I just don’t see it. And so again, we called the high in rates at 5% on the ten year. Right now it’s below 4.1%.

Big move. Lower today in rates today. I think that continues. Our forecast is for, by the end of 2025, the ten year will be below two and a half percent. Again, we’re just below 4.1% now. So again, we think again, we’ve had a reset, and that fed front running is now underway. Global disinflation and the innovation revolution. Again, innovation, disruptive technologies, what does that do? It brings down the cost of things, and that’s going to filter throughout society.

That’ll become more and more clear as people begin to see, okay, there’s something really different happening here with technology. It’s making our lives better. And by the way, it’s also creating more jobs. That’s what technology does. So I think the bears on that that think robots can take everybody’s job. Guess what? Someone’s going to have to be there to build the robots. Technology always creates more jobs. That’s always been a constant throughout the world, really.

So I doubt that it’s going to change now. Again, we think we’re in a very good place, except for what’s happened in DC with the leadership that. Oh, my goodness. Right. That’s another story for another time. But anyway, the markets do look very good. Again, structural bull market of size and scope, and we are going to remain very bullish for a long time. Again, I want to talk just a minute about small caps.

Leatherway, how today again, up 1.7%. Small caps trading at 20 year lows valuations compared to big caps. Small Caps are still 20% below all time highs. I think there’s a lot of money being made there. I think China is going to have a big, big move higher this year. We like chinese tech stocks. We have specific holding there. So I think there are a lot of ways to invest where you can buy something that hasn’t gone up yet.

But as the market keeps broadening out, you can add to positions other than just owning the semis and your favorite tech stocks. I think this is that kind of bull market. It’s a stock picker and it’s an index, an ETF picker’s market. And I’m not at all talking about day trading. I’m talking about position building and getting involved in using overbought, oversold levels to either take some profits or add to positions. That is our approach here under the hood today. Good day. Today in the eternals, we had Nasdaq.

Even when the markets were kind of soft this morning, Nasdaq still looked good. Nasdaq finished better than two to one advanced decline. But look at this, man. What is this? Let me run this real quick. Late refresh here. Pretty good reading here for Nasdaq on volume. Yeah, almost 79% of volume day for Nasdaq. That’s a very good reading.

Volume for NYSE was about two and a half one to positive. So not as good as NAS. Still two and a half one to positive. I mean, that’s very good reading. And we had. What is this boy? See, this is starting to actually, here’s more evidence. We’re starting to broaden it out. We had 412 stocks today, hit a new 52 week high to just 113, hitting a new 52 week low.

412 stocks hitting a 52 week high. Starting to broaden out again. That’s been a bugaboo for us. These internals have not been good. I should say. They’ve not been great. They’ve been decent. But today is a good reading.

Very good reading. And our sector wise today, also pretty good here today as well. Very good. Matter of fact, we had ten of eleven sp 500 sectors finished higher of the day, led to the upside by consumer discretionary at 1.4%. That’s a good sign. People are buying things they don’t need. That’s a sign of a good economy, folks. Technology, expensive things they don’t need.

Technology up 1%. Communication services also up nine tenths to 1%. Right at 1%. Again, everything higher except energy, which is only down fractionally. So it’s a very good day today. And our commodity watch today, gold today up $14 an ounce. Again, rates lower. This is a very seasonally bullish time for this group.

The miners still are participating. It’s so frustrating. But gold today up 14. The miners will participate. I’ve got so much data, both fundamental and technical, that points to a major move higher in the miners that they’re just value traps at this point. But I think there are a lot of great reasons. The best time to own this group is when the Fed’s getting ready to cut rates. The average move higher in the last three rate cutting cycles for GDX has been 180%.

Right. And so that’s coming. It’s a great time to build positions here. Gold today up nicely at 71% at 2050 an ounce. Silver up 1.9% today at 23 31. Copper today was essentially flat at three. No, sorry, it’s up almost 1% at three. Eightyland.

Robert Friedland, one of the probably top two or three names in mining in our generation. Our time is just salivating about copper. And on all these platforms, speaking is only Bob Freeman can. This guy gets it. And he said, the move higher is coming in. Copper is going to be astronomical. I put my money on Bob. I’ve made a lot of money with Bob Friedland.

Our subscribers have as well I always bet on Bob Friedland. Copper looks like a great play. And again, that’s a mining stock. I think they’re all going to participate. He loves copper here. Crude oil today down a dollar a barrel at 76 93. Again, the drama over the weekend with arena back rebels, a lot of folks. Here we go, World War three.

I think the story is very sketchy, frankly. And you can’t trust anything out of this administration. So the markets tell you otherwise. In this case, the market is telling you there’s not a lot to be afraid of there. 5 million today. Let’s cover a bitcoin quickly. 43,157, up 2.8% today, up 1185 right now as I speak. In 94 days, the having takes place again, the SP approval already taken place.

There was a buy the rumor sell the news event, which is pretty common. Very common. But there was also more behind it. FTX, the bankrupt company with the bogus guy that the don’t. Sam Bankman free. There you go. I don’t even know if he’s jewish. It just looks like a jufro to me, you know what I mean? Sam Bankman Free and his company FTX, they had the bankrupt, of course.

Well, that’s been for selling taking place for selling has been taking place in bitcoin from that bankrupt fund. And apparently that’s over now. So I think the combination of, again, Sec approval, the fact it’s a legitimate asset now that can’t be taken away, that’s very big. The having that’s going to take place is going to take place in, I think it’s 94 days. And it’s going to make mining of bitcoins that much more expensive and that much more time consuming. Okay. Again, that’s what these halvings do. So one every, what, four years or so.

And that’s coming up soon. I think a combination. And so many people now are beginning to learn about cryptocurrencies. Again, very bullish on this group. I think this year, I think bitcoin hits 100,000. This is the year. I think that it does. And again, we’ll see.

I know people say it’s going to a million with only 21 million bitcoin going to be in existence. They’re probably right at some point. Okay. I think you have to have exposure to this group, even if it’s small, even if it’s 1% of your portfolio, have exposure to this group. I think that makes a lot of sense for most investors. Anyway. Hey, folks, always appreciate you listening. Hope you had a great day.

Maybe a better night. We’ll see you back here again tomorrow after the close.

Podcast Newsletter

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Time Stamps

00:00 Semis up 1.7%, leading everything higher today.
06:00 Emphasizing structural bull market and consumer strength.
06:54 Consumer net worth and financial stability at all-time high
10:19 Big week for earnings reports from tech giants.
14:52 Near peak, but room to grow ahead.
19:21 Fed to cut rates 3-4 times this year.
20:02 Economy slowing, Fed cautious about deflation.
23:11 Diverse market offers opportunities for position building.
27:56 Bitcoin halving increases legitimacy and mining costs.

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