Holiday book alert: Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World by Winthrop H. Smith, Jr. is a “first-rate read” per Reading the Markets.

Quote of the day

Mark Hulbert, “If you really want to act and think like a billionaire, then focus your entrepreneurial energies on producing something that the world needs. The stock market will be there after you make your fortune.”  (Marketwatch)

Chart of the day


Comparing the decline in oil stocks to previous blow-ups.  (Bespoke)


Big $VIX spikes in December lead to positive returns through year-end.  (Dana Lyons)

Only 30% of global equity markets are trading above their 200 day moving averages.  (Short Side of Long)

Low-vol has been the flavor of the year.  (FT)


Five lessons learned from 2014.  (Alliance Bernstein)

Commodities trend better than stocks.  (Adam Grimes)

Why we all need more process.  (Better Beta)

Why ignore the benefits of international markets, Mr. Bogle?  (Irrelevant Investor)


Some crucial facts on global oil demand.  (A Dash of Insight)

Can big oil meet their dividends?  (Charles Sizemore)

Why America seems to have shaken its oil addiction.  (Bloomberg)

Lending Club

Lending Club ($LC) is being valued as a tech company.  (WSJ)

What Lending Club did right.  (Marketwatch)

How the financial crisis helped to launch Lending Club.  (Fortune)


Insider trading just got easier.  (CNBC)

How the big activist investors have done this year.  (Dealbook)

$0 commission online broker Robinhood is live.  (Buzzfeed, Wired, TechCrunch)

Bond ETFs

On the use of relative strength with muni bond ETFs.  (Theta Trend via @WholeStreetRT)

Breaking down high yield bond fund returns by sector.  (FT Alphaville)

How to spot a bad bond fund.  (Morningstar)


The consumer is doing pretty well: November retail sales exceed expectations.  (Capital Spectator)

Weekly initial jobless claims continue to trend well below 300,000.  (Calculated Risk)

You are working way too much.  (Economist)

Earlier on Abnormal Returns

Controlling your behavior: ETF edition.  (Abnormal Returns)

What you might have missed in our Wednesday linkfest.  (Abnormal Returns)

Gift guides

Finance-oriented stuff including The Art of Value Investing.  (Market Folly)

KD recommends the game Cards Against Humanity this holiday season.  (Kid Dynamite)

Gifts for your hedge fund guy including Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns. (Barry Ritholtz)

The best headphones rated including the #1 rated AKS K551.  (Marco Arment)

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