Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

In a US bull market and with 10-year bonds soaring, should equity investors be worried?

US indices have hit multiple all-time highs this year and the nine-year bull market remains intact, recent weakness notwithstanding.

Global economy is in late cycle, record 85 per cent of fund managers surveyed say

  US president Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on October 4th  in Rochester, Minnesota, ahead of the midterm elections. Photograph:    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Merrill Lynch says elections could have implications for fiscal policy and foreign ties

US president Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Washington on Thursday. The president’s grasp of basic economics is even weaker than it already appears to be. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

This is the week when the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day fall in eight months

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk: After he publicly apologised for criticising an analyst, Tesla’s share value soared by almost $5 billion, making it “maybe the most valuable apology of all time”. File Photograph:  Joe Skipper/Reuters

Facebook, Apple and Uber have done the mea culpa – but an apology can go awry

A Nike Ad featuring American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick on display in New York last month. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP

Growing number of firms finding principle doesn’t have to be at expense of business

Canada is to legalise medicinal cannabis next month. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch survey showing pessimism may be good news for contrarians

US president Donald Trump has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to look into doing away with mandatory quarterly reports for public companies. Photograph:   Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Focusing on quarterly earnings estimates, critics say, promotes corporate short-termism

September 10th, 2008. If a survey by robo-advisory firm Betterment survey is a guide, most people in Ireland have little idea the last decade was a good time to be invested in stocks. Photograph: Jeremy Bales/Bloomberg News

Why ‘dumb neighbours getting richer than you’ provides an invaluable lesson for us all

“Investing is simple”, as Warren Buffett once quipped, “but not easy”. Photograph: iStock

Notion that past gains were inevitable and future is murky is bedevilled by hindsight bias

Wall Street. It took Amazon just 165 trading sessions to grow its market value from $600bn in January to $1 trillion, the Wall Street Journal noted last week. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Last week’s ISM Manufacturing Index reading will certainly encourage bulls.

An employee of Lehman Brothers carries a box out of the company’s HQ building (background) while dodging the media assembled outside on September 15th, 2008, in New York. Photograph: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Interestingly, long-term investors in Ireland have not fared badly over the last decade

An electronic stock board. Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The recent breakout to all-time highs suggests the bull market is alive and well

In 2013, analyst Tim Lee forecast that the Turkish lira, then trading at 1.9 to the US dollar, would collapse to 7.2. The 7 level was breached last month. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Many experts were given Nostradamus status in the aftermath of the financial crisis

US president Donald Trump continues to overestimate his importance to the stock market. Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

This time it’s different as many investors hold more cash or bonds

The current bull market could run for another two and a half years, according to JP Morgan. Photograph: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

US bull market isn’t quite as extraordinarily long as it might appear

A Tesla Model S electric vehicle recharging. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk’s inability to avoid controversy hasn’t helped the share price of electric car company recently. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

Merrill Lynch monthly fund manager survey suggests indices haven’t yet bottomed

Apple has been the biggest company in the world for most of the last seven years and has comfortably outperformed the S&P 500 over that period. Illustration: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

The technology giant’s market dominance has followed long periods of disappointment

Elon Musk, chief executive and founder of Tesla Motors. Musk’s claim that he wants to take Tesla private to remove “distraction and short-term thinking” is ironic. File photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Scepticism over what would be the largest leveraged buyout ever is understandable

Bill Miller. Had he retired in 2006, everyone “would have thought I was a genius”, he said last year. “By 2009, I was like an idiot.” Photograph: Heidi Gutman/Getty Images

The luckiest investors end up with five times as much money as the unluckiest ones

Subsidies in areas such as solar storage and wind power mean they are “becoming economic far faster than anyone realised”, billionaire Jeremy Grantham says. Photograph: VCG

Ethical investors can outperform if they engage with corporate sinners

A monitor displays Apple Inc stock information at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York on August 2nd. Apple Inc. became the first US-based company with a market value of $1 trillion, four decades after it was co-founded by Steve Jobs in a Silicon Valley garage and later revolutionized the worlds of computing, music and mobile communications. Photograph: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

The European stock market is much cheaper than the US and it’s likely to stay that way for some time

Facebook missed estimates and issued “jaw-dropping guidance,” as GBH Insights put it, saying profit margins would plummet from 44 per cent to the “mid-30s” for more than two years. Photograph: Johannes Berg/Bloomberg

Quick rebound unlikely as growth slowdown guidance prompts biggest one-day loss ever

Bad weather has been shown to affect people’s moods, driving “fatigue, anxiety, depression and limited attention to work”. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Weather and mood influence investors’ decision-making, new research indicates

Many investors fear indices are overly dependent on high-flying technology stocks – particularly Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Yields are levelling off after long bull run but market peak may be some way off yet

 Elon Musk: his paedo slur is further evidence the Tesla founder is a very thin-skinned soul who cannot stand having his judgment questioned. Photograph: Kiichiro Sato/AP

Will Amazon pip Apple to the post to become US’s first trillion-dollar company?

Man or machine? Computers increasingly dominate today’s investment world.

Computers increasingly dominate today’s investment world, but they can only go so far

BAML’s Bull & Bear Indicator  is now on the verge of giving a trading buy signal. Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Stocktake: Fourteen bear market signals suggest bull’s race is almost run

It’s hard to believe there’s “no bright line level of the stock market that’s going to change policy”, as US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross put it last week. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

US administration will be keeping close eye on markets in the coming months

Investing is one of the “rare areas where passivity is usually the better strategy”, but people’s instinct might be to assume strong investment performance is more likely if the fund manager works hard.

While most active funds underperform, investors persist in belief hard work pays

Apple’s current dominance pales in comparison to that enjoyed by IBM in the mid-1980s. Photograph: by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Some say sector is in a bubble, but current race looks more sustainable than dotcom days

Although the rhetoric coming from the Trump administration is “pretty wild and heated”, the reality has been “pretty mild”. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

It would be a ‘big deal for profits even if it isn’t as big of a deal for the economy’

Shares fell to their lowest level in nearly two years last week in China, and are now down 19 per cent since January. Photograph: Jerome Favre

Stocktake: Elon Musk taunts short sellers and GE exits Dow Jones index

Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon argue that quarterly earnings guidance “often leads to an unhealthy focus on short-term profits”. Photograph: Donald Bowers/Getty Images

Many see the case for quarterly guidance from companies as increasingly tenuous

The combined value of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet – the FAAMGs, as they are sometimes known – is just shy of $4 trillion. Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images

The tech advance has been led by companies with some eye-watering valuation multiples

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Fund managers are overweight US equities for the first time in 15 months. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Positioning on Europe ‘not yet fully defensive’, says Merrill Lynch

Greenpeace activists demonstrate at the entrance to the Volkswagen  plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, in  2015. “When a company runs afoul of the social consensus . . . investors have an opportunity.” Photograph:  Peter Steffen

Trading decisions made in fury permit investors to harness ‘the outrage cycle’

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). US stocks reached the highest since mid-March, tracking peers in Europe and Asia. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

More ‘all-or-nothing days’, Trump ‘greatness’, and gains consolidated

The notion that stocks are inevitably a good long-term bet ignores the fact that equities have not always survived troubled periods.

Focusing on successes while ignoring past failures is a major flaw in data analysis

Traders on the floor of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Bryan R Smith/AFP/Getty Images

In the past 10 downturns, the S&P 500 was actually higher seven times

President Donald Trump and vice-president Mike Pence examine an iconic Yellow Iron from Caterpillar. There has been much focus on the warning from Caterpillar’s chief executive  that the first quarter of 2018 might prove to be a “high watermark” for the company. Photograph:  Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Bears see this as temporary but bulls think profit margins have risen to a permanently higher plateau

Oil prices have risen some 50 per cent over the last year – the 11th biggest price spike in the last 70 years. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Dove-like Fed, Musk meltdown and bulls have the edge

Warren Buffett:  was written off in the late 1990s only to come roaring back when the technology bubble burst. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Stocktake: with value stocks in a slump, the tortoise and hare approach may lose its appeal

Fair bet: Paddy Power  shares soared following a US supreme court ruling ending a federal ban on US sports betting. Photograph: Paddy Power Betfair/PA Wire

Soros and those Tesla bonds; cryptocurrency scammers still profiting from the gullible

Billions of dollars were wiped off the value of Tesla stock after the company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, ignored questions from two analysts during the recent earnings conference call. Photograph: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Markets took fright after the entrepreneur lashed out at analysts

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he would short bitcoin if there was an easy way to do it. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Stocktake: Market volatility falls but lengthy correction in stock prices continues

Many high-profile investors share a scepticism towards Tesla, one of the most shorted stocks on the US market. Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

High prices are sustained as speculators believe they can sell on to ‘greater fool’

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Michael Nagle/ Bloomberg

Stocktake: Investors fret over rising bond yields

P Morgan Chase HQ in  New York. JP Morgan says stocks tend to rise more when repurchases are announced than when the transactions actually occur. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

A record number of companies have issued upward earnings guidance, according to FactSet data

A trader passes the word on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Six factors to keep in mind as volatile stock markets nurse double-digit ‘correction’

Just over three years ago, Netflix was valued at about $20bn; today, the streaming giant is worth some $145bn.  Photograph: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Merrill Lynch says that bulls are currently being ‘silenced, not routed’

Are you “susceptible”, “infected” or “immune” to Bitcoin? Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Bitcoin ‘virus’ peaks; Barclays’ equity study; Buffet the billionaire boy

Stop-loss orders are a risk management tool designed to cut your potential losses before they get out of hand. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stop-loss orders switch you out of market when price falls below designated point

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: Donald Trump’s tweets have hit Amazon’s share prices. Photograph: Alessandro Di Marco

Stocktake: Paulsen urges caution; volatility returns; stocks breach 200-day average

One study found the average Nasdaq investor underperformed the index by 5.3 percentage points annually over a 30-year period. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

There is a danger investors will let their emotions get the better of them in turbulent times

 New York Stock Exchange: Some weeks back, everyone was worrying the US economy might overheat. Now, everyone’s worrying about a recession.  Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

CFD clampdown, US yield curve concerns and accepting end of S&P winning streak

Elevated pay ratios have long been justified by the notion that you have to pay for top talent. Photograph: iStock

Estimates suggest chiefs in US are paid about 300 times more than the average worker

 Facebook stock  dipped below its 200-day moving average last week. Photograph: AFP

Stocktake: Facebook stock down $60bn over Cambridge Analytica’s revelations

More than half of respondents believed bitcoin was in a bubble when it was trading at $2,200. A few months later, bitcoin had more than doubled and was trading at $5,300, but fewer people now believed they were witnessing a bubble. Photograph: Sascha  Steinbach/EPA

Is it really that difficult to go against the herd? In a nutshell, yes

Bullish sentiment, as measured by the weekly American Association of Individual Investor polls, has averaged less than 37 per cent since the rally began in 2009. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Proinsias O’Mahony: Muted sentiment has lengthened the bull market

A Cherry Coke bottle featuring an image of US investor Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway, founded by Buffett, is Coca-Cola’s largest investor. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Sheer size of Berkshire Hathaway will inevitably constrain its performance

The good news is Trump’s responsiveness to market movements may prevent him from doing anything too silly.Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

In a normal market, last week’s declines would hardly be noticed, but this has not been a normal market

Is it wrong to say a fund manager has lost his touch just because he has lagged over a particular period? Or might it be the case that their original success was little more than luck, and they have now been found out?

Performance does not persist, as shown by the latest scorecard from S&P Dow Jones Indices

Jerome Powell: Investors, accustomed to “dovish” former Fed chiefs such as Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, may have been disconcerted by Powell’s “demeanour and forcefulness”. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Stocktake: Fed chair strikes ‘hawkish tone’. Plus: S&P’s fall and rise; tech stocks power back

 “The central truth of the investment business is that investment behaviour is driven by career risk,”  GMO founder Jeremy Grantham opined in a famous 2012 note. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Why is herding such a problem in financial markets?

Yields between 2 and 3 per cent represent the “sweet spot” for stocks, Merrill Lynch cautioned in a report last week. Photograph: iStock

Stocktake: Why you should delete your investing app from your smartphone

Is this finally bear market time? Photograph: iStock

Investors should have taken advantage of the recent weakness in the market

Amid the ongoing agonising about US inflation and the interest rate outlook,  stocks are enjoying a very fine earnings season. Photograph: Getty Images

Stocktake: despite strong market rebound, stocks likely to retest recent lows

Seven ways to understand the recent rollercoaster stock market

Proinsias O’Mahony: Seven nerve-calming steps to help you make sense of it all

New Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell is untested but is likely to follow Janet Yellen’s dovish script. Photograph:  Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Stocks may suffer further near-term falls but a bear market remains unlikely

 Donald Trump: no other US president has allied himself so closely to the stock market. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

‘If you claim the rise, you own the fall’

  Janet Yellen: despite an excellent term as head of the  Federal Reserve,   she was passed over for a second term by US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

In a normal market, last week’s declines would hardly be noticed, but this has not been a normal market

The very long bull market shows no signs of letting up. Photograph  Spencer Platt/Getty

Stocktake: Investors are still jumping in as FOMO trumps worry of losing money

Netflix has become the latest company to enjoy a market capitalisation in excess of $100 billion. Photograph:  Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Stocktake: US stocks set for bumper earnings season as S&P 500 surge continues

Data showed that 96.7 per cent of the visitors to one bitcoin-related website were male.

Cryptocurrency craze overwhelmingly male just like countless past bubbles

Graffiti at the site of the new £355 million Royal Liverpool Hospital, which was being built by Carillion: Many  are to blame for the Carillion debacle, but short sellers are not among them. Photograph: Pat Hurst/PA

The cryptocurrency is volatile and its future value trajectory is anyone’s guess

Markets have enjoyed a very strong start to the year and the northward ascent is triggering giddiness among investors

Ordinarily, market over-reactions are short-lived, but not with cryptocurrency-related stocks

Some of the highest Cape readings in history were registered prior to major market crashes, and the indicator has long been used by long-term investors to establish whether equities are cheap or expensive. Photograph: iStock

The Cape ratio is twice as high as its average, but no one is panicking yet

Wall Street sign in front of the NYSE. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

. . . Or will the not too hot, not too cold Goldilocks market persist?

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock Exchange. Twenty-seventeen was the first year in history that US stocks gained in every single month. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Gains of over 50% predicted, with no sign of bull market party ending soon

“The ‘Stock Trader’s Almanac’ suggests a failure to stick to the seasonal script can be an indicator further short-term pain is in store – hence the expression, ‘If Santa Claus should fail to call, bears may come to Broad and Wall.’” Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Seasonal boost to stocks found even where Christmas is not a leading holiday

Investors have fallen under bitcoin’s spell. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Stocktake: The rise of the cryptocurrency has sparked a wave of FOMO – fear of missing out

Bitcoin’s advance dwarfs all but one bubble in financial history – the Dutch tulip mania in the 17th century. Photograph:  Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Warren Buffett, Howard Marks and Nobel economist Robert Shiller have warned the craze will end badly

US president Donald Trump and US vice president Mike Pence: investors seemed underwhelmed by Trump’s tax cuts. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Stocktake: Tech stock fall is factor-led. Plus: Trump’s tax cuts; Weinstein’s ‘comeback’

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen: academic heavyweight whose expertise helped guide her through what has been a tumultuous decade in financial markets. Photograph: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

After a decade of unprecedented financial experimentation caution is warranted

“Pointing out the insanity surrounding bitcoin invariably catalyses apoplectic reactions from supporters protesting sceptics don’t ‘get it’.” Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Stocktake: Indications of speculative bubble in cryptocurrency’s wild ride

December has traditionally been the strongest month for stocks and money managers will be eyeing another Santa Claus rally. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Investors wary of FAANG’s hefty valuations may turn to Asian tech stocks

Pedestrians  reflected in a stock market indicator board in Tokyo, November 2017. Photograph: Epa/Franck Robichon

Stocktake: Is Japan a freak case, the exception to the ‘buy and hold’ rule?

Traders on the floor of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, as  Donald Trump delivers a televised statement from the White House.  Photograph:  Bryan R Smith/AFP/Getty Images

The US president’s knowledge of how the markets actually work could be improved

Prof Robert Shiller: a study has examined the S&P 500’s cyclically-adjusted price-earnings ratio, a widely-followed metric popularised by the Nobel economist.   Photograph: AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Why European equities falling seven days in a row is not a cause for panic

About one in five US companies are likely to be “distorting” earnings at any one time, according to a survey of almost 400 CFOs published in the Financial Analysts’ Journal last year. Illustration: Getty Images

Beware companies that consistently hit their quarterly earnings targets – they may be cleverly manipulating the figures and headin(...)

Wu Wenhui, co-chief executive officer of China Literature, celebrates as the online bookshop owned by Tencent jumped 100 per cent on its Hong Kong Stock Exchange debut.  Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Stocktake: word is out on China Literature; stocks defy gravity; Woodford sticks with Brexit

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Absence of stock market volatility at a time of global uncertainty a mystery

Harry Redknapp has joined the cryptocurrency party, tweeting last month: “proper excited about Mobile Cryptocurrency!” Photograph:  Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Momentum may be about to accelerate as stocks enter seasonally strongest part of year

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street”:  Ruthlessness is often prized in financial circles but it turns out that nice guys don’t always finish last

Bitcoin surpassed $6,000 last week so it’s a good time to ask, is it overpriced?

There’s broad agreement that the US market is one of the world’s priciest and that it’s richly valued relative to history. File photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The US market looks pricey relative to Europe, but it always does. What might cause the valuation gap to narrow?

Donald Trump: The 1,000-point thresholds “continue to drop like flies these days”, noted Bespoke Investment Group. This was the fifth such crossing since Trump’s election win last November. Photograph:  Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Barrons warn markets ‘could be at risk of another computer-driven meltdown’

Richard Thaler, the father of behavioural finance. Once a niche field, behavioural economics is decidedly mainstream these days. Photograph:  Tannen Maury/EPA

We can all learn from the man who so closely observes the quirks that govern our financial decision-making

 October 19th, 1987: A trader holds his head at the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as panic selling sweeps Wall Street. File photograph: Maria Bastone/Getty

30 years on from the infamous stock market fall, its memory still fascinates

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