THE BOTTOM LINE: Market euphoria at a 20-year high and Rich Greenfield defends the stock everyone loves to hate

This week:

  • Rich Greenfield of BTIG answers all of our questions about the future of tech and media. Greenfield says that he loves Twitter and not just because everyone else hates it. Greenfield isn’t nearly as excited about ESPN and is as glum as usual about the future for legacy cable networks. Greenfield also presents an interesting thesis on how voice technology could be the final nail in the coffin for traditional networks.
  • The yield curve has been flattening steadily over the past six months. The yield on the ten-year bond is only about 80 bps more than the two-year. This is expected as the Fed has been raising the short end of the curve and the market doesn’t seem to be worried about inflation. However, if you are worried about inflation now might be a good time to consider TIPS…
  • According to bond portfolio manager Bill Irving of Fidelity Investments, TIPS look somewhat cheap relative to treasuries after underperforming for the past few months. Irving also points out that spreads on corporate and high-yield bonds are tight and implied volatility on bonds is very low. Which means it may make sense to consider reducing risk there.
  • This week we take another look at the high market valuations while also considering the extremely low levels of fear in the market as measured by the VIX. In the past David Bianco of Deutsche Bank has said if you look at the ratio of the S&P P/E to the VIX it can help identify complacency in the market. This makes sense intuitively because at times when valuations seem high it would reason that people would protect their portfolios if they were expecting a correction. As people buy protection, the implied volatility in the market rises along with the cost of that protection. But we aren’t seeing increased implied volatility. Instead the VIX is hanging out around 10, calm as can be.

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