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The Best of Kass

This week I listened to J.P. Morgan Funds' Chief Global Strategist and Head of the Global Market Insights Strategy Team David Kelly with Tom Keene on Bloomberg. Kelly described further easing as toxic. He recommended raising interest rates to more normalized levels.

And I agree.

From my perch, Ben Bernanke has lost his way home, and a U.S. stock market buoyed by the promise or notion of a monetary put is misguided.

At the time of publication, Kass had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Shorting Mister Softee for a Trade
Originally published on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 9:59 a.m. EDT.
  • I shorted some shares at $30.60.
  • I am taking a short rental in Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) now at $30.60.

    This morning, Wells Fargo makes a possibly actionable move in cutting its personal computer industry forecast from +3.7% to flat for this year and from +6% to +5.8% in 2013. Wells is lowering Microsoft's first-quarter earnings estimate from 65 cents a share to 59 cents a share and sales estimate from $17.3 billion to $16.9 billion.

    For these reasons and others, I expect that Intel's (INTC) numbers will be lowered as well.

    At the time of publication, Kass was short Microsoft.

    Home Prices Keep Climbing
    Originally published on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 2:09 p.m. EDT.
  • I expect national home prices to rise by 2.5% to 3.0% this year and 3.0% to 5.0% next year.
  • For some time I have written that the U.S. housing market would be the primary bright spot in the domestic economy.

    Previously, the CoreLogic and National Association of Realtors indices exhibited home price rises.

    This morning, the June 2012 S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose by 0.5% (20-city composite) year over year vs. the expectation for a decline of 0.3% and 2.3% vs. May 2012 (0.9% seasonally adjusted).

    This is the sixth straight month of increases, and the year-over-year rise is the first since 2010.

    Importantly, the price increase was broad-based, with 20 of 20 cities posting monthly gains and 18 of 20 cities showing annual improvement (13 showing positive gains).

    I expect national home prices to rise by 2.5% to 3.0% this year and 3.0% to 5.0% next year.

    With mortgage rates low, home prices cheap relative to income and rents and an eventual easing up in lending standards, the residential real estate market has commenced a durable and long-lived recovery that could continue through most of this decade and provide an important catalyst to better economic growth in 2014-2017.
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