A sentimental warning for bulls and bears

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: Recently, there have been numerous data points indicating excessive bullishness from different segments of the market: Retail investors are all-in Institutional investor bullish sentiment is off the charts Cash is at a two-decade low in global investor portfolios RIA sentiment are at bullish extremes Hedge funds are in a crowded long in equities These giddy sentiment readings …

A track record update

In Free by Cam Hui

I have had a number of subscribers ask me to extend the chart of my longer term calls, which had only gone back two years. The chart below shows the highlights of my posts back to 2013, which are intended for investors with a 6-24 month time horizon. I haven’t been always right. On occasion, I was early, late, or …

Why I am cautious on the market

In Free by Cam Hui

Preface: Explaining our market timing models We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The “Ultimate Market Timing Model” is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade. The Trend Model is an asset …

A frothy, over-extended stock market

In Free by Cam Hui

I just wanted to follow up to yesterday’s post (see Don’t relax yet, the week isn’t over). One of the key developments that I had been watching has been the recent hawkish evolution in Fedspeak. Last night, uber-dove Lael Brainard gave an extraordinarily hawkish speech. She started with the following remarks: The economy appears to be at a transition. We …

Don’t relax yet, the week isn’t over

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: Boy, was I wrong. Two weeks ago, I wrote Why the S&P 500 won’t get to 2400 (in this rally). Despite today’s market strength, stock prices may be restrained by a case of round number-itis as the Dow crosses the 21,000 mark and the SPX tests the 2,400 level. In addition, the market’s reaction to President Trump’s speech …

How Buffett’s business empire could unravel

In Free by Cam Hui

Josh Brown had a terrific comment about the secret of Warren Buffett’s success. Buffett is unabashedly “permabullish” on America: One of the hallmarks of Berkshire’s success has been its willingness to raise or lower its formidable cash hoard in response to the presence (or lack thereof) of viable investing opportunities. One of the other hallmarks of Buffett’s approach has been …

Brace for a volatility spike

In Free by Cam Hui

Preface: Explaining our market timing models We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The “Ultimate Market Timing Model” is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade. The Trend Model is an asset …

Solving the data puzzle at the center of monetary policy

In Free by Cam Hui

There has been much hand wringing by economists over the falling labor force participation rate (LFPR). As the chart below shows, the prime age LFPR, which is not affected by the age demographic effect of retiring Baby Boomers, have not recovered to levels before the Great Recession.     The lack of recovery in LFPR has caused great consternation over …

Stay cautious, but wait for the break

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: Markets behave different at tops and bottoms. Bottoms are often V-shaped and reflect panic. Tops are usually slower to develop. Hence the trader’s adage, “Take the stairs up, and escalator down.” I have been writing that the US equity market appears to be extended short-term and ripe for a pullback, but that was last week and about …

Negative real yields = Equity sell signal?

In Free by Cam Hui

A reader asked me my opinion about this tweet by Nautilus Research. According to this study, equities have performed poorly once the inflation-adjusted 10-year Treasury yield turns negative. With real yields barely positive today, Nautilus went on to ask rhetorically if the Fed is behind the inflation fighting curve.     Since the publication of that study, The January YoY …

Watch what they do, not just what they say

In Free by Cam Hui

Preface: Explaining our market timing models We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The “Ultimate Market Timing Model” is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade. The Trend Model is an asset …

Why the S&P 500 won’t get to 2400 (in this rally)

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: As the major market averages make new all-time highs, I conducted an informal and unscientific Twitter poll. I was surprised to see how bullish respondents were.     Let’s just cut to the chase – forget it. Neither the fundamental nor the technical backdrop is ready for an advance of that magnitude. Even though the earnings and …

Cry Havoc, and slip loose the dogs of (trade) war!

In Free by Cam Hui

The WSJ reported that the Trump administration is considering a new tactic in managing its trade relationship with China. Here is the Bloomberg recap for those without a WSJ subscription: Under the plan, the commerce secretary would designate the practice of currency manipulation as an unfair subsidy when employed by any country, instead of singling out China, the newspaper reported. …

Why this uncanny recession indicator may not work this time

In Free by Cam Hui

The chart below depicts the yield curve, as measured by spread between the 10-year and 2-year Treasury yields, (blue line) and equity returns (grey line). The yield curve has been an uncanny recession forecaster. It has inverted ahead of every single recession, and warned of major equity bear markets.     Unfortunately, this indicator may not work this time. Tim …

A blow-off top, or a wimpy top?

In Free by Cam Hui

Preface: Explaining our market timing models We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The “Ultimate Market Timing Model” is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade. The Trend Model is an asset …

What’s wrong with the VIX?

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: Increasingly, I have seen cases being made for an equity market correction. This Bloomberg article, “Five charts that say not all is well in the markets” summarizes the bear case well. Uncertainty is at a record high: The number of news stories using the word “uncertainty” is surging. Wall Street vs. Washington: While the Global Economic Uncertainty …

Peak populism?

In Free by Cam Hui

Technical analysts often use the magazine cover indicator as a contrarian indicator. When an idea has become so commonplace that it becomes the cover of a major magazine, the public is all-in and it’s time to sell. The Economist reported on an ad hoc study by Greg Marks and Brent Donnelly at Citigroup using covers from The Economist and did …

Still bullish after my chartist’s round-the-world trip

In Free by Cam Hui

Preface: Explaining our market timing models We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The “Ultimate Market Timing Model” is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade. The Trend Model is an asset …

An island reversal sell signal?

In Free by Cam Hui

In response to my last post (see Watching the USD for clues to equity market direction), an alert reader pointed that the SPX had formed a bearish island reversal.     Wikipedia explained the island reversal formation this way: In stock trading and technical analysis, an island reversal is a candlestick pattern with compact trading activity within a range of …

Watching the USD for clues to equity market direction

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: With stock prices pulling back to test its technical breakout to record highs, it is perhaps appropriate to watch other asset classes for clues to equity market direction, especially on a day when the FOMC made its monetary policy announcement. From a cross-asset perspective, there is much riding on the direction of the USD. As the chart …