A possible volatility spike ahead

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: So far, the stock market seems to be following Jeff Hirsch’s seasonal map of June. The market was strong in the first couple of days, and it has mostly been flat this week. If history is any guide, it should start to weaken late this week.     Evidence is building that of a volatility spike ahead. …

Peak smart beta?

In Free by Cam Hui

A recent comment by Michael Mauboussin of Credit Suisse that nailed the dilemma of active managers, namely that using traditional approaches to alpha generation is akin to mining lower and lower grade ore: Exhibit 1 shows that the standard deviation of excess returns has trended lower for U.S. large capitalization mutual funds over the past five decades. The exhibit shows the …

Thrust and bust, or lower for longer?

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 …

Possible market turbulence ahead

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: Rob Hanna at Quantifiable Edges highlighted a historical study of what happens if the market pulls back after a persistent move to new highs, where yesterday (Tuesday) was day 0. If history is any guide, stock prices should grind higher over the next 10 days.     Today was day 1 of that trading setup, and the …

Thinking Straight 101

In Free by Cam Hui

Good afternoon, class. Welcome to another session of “Thinking Straight 101”. Your assignment today is to choose one of the topics below and write an essay for next week’s class: North Korea: George Friedman at Geopolitical Futures recently warned, “All the signs are there: The U.S. is telling North Korea, in no uncertain terms, that war is approaching.” Discuss the …

When does the market top out?

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 …

The market`s hurdles to sustainable new highs

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: So far, my recent VIX based buy signal has worked out according to plan (see A market top checklist). I emailed subscribers the buy signal from the trading system on Friday, which was triggered when the VIX Index rises above its upper Bollinger Band and then mean reverts below.     If history is any guide, stock …

(Chinese) blood in the streets?

In Free by Cam Hui

The worries about China ebbs and flows. The latest BAML Fund Manager Survey shows that China fears are at flood levels again.     Indeed, developments such as the inverted Chinese yield curve is creating a sense of peak anxiety.     I recently highlighted analysis indicating that China fears are overblown (see Are the Fed and PBoC taking away …

A market top checklist

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 …

From alpha to actual returns: Why your mileage will vary

In Free by Cam Hui

One of the characteristics of a good financial modeler is to know his model’s limitations. He know how and why they work, and under what circumstances they will fail. I have been asked a number of times in the past to disclose the returns of my trading account, or the signal dates of my trading model, whose out-of-sample buy and …

The island at SPX 2400

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: The SPX rose to a marginal new high this week but broken down through a narrow range due to the latest he said-he said dispute in Washington. The index appears to have formed an island reversal with bearish implications. The market has fallen through two gaps to test its support level at about the 50 day moving …

How I learned to stop worrying and love the low VIX

In Free by Cam Hui

Investor angst has been rising over the low level of the VIX Index. A simple glance at Google Trends tells the story of rising anxiety.     The VIX Index fell to single digits last week, though it recovered to above 10 by the end of the week. Nevertheless, current levels represent multi-year lows.     James Picerno at Capital …

How the bull will die

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 …

Two elections, two questions for investors

In Free by Cam Hui

In the past week, two key elections have been held that have important geopolitical, economic, and investment implications. First, remember this Time magazine cover? I indicated on February 6, 2017 that the cover may have marked Peak populism.     I suggested at the time to buy France and sell Germany as a pairs trade. That trade has certainly worked …

The right and wrong ways to use Rydex sentiment

In Free by Cam Hui

Rydex funds (now Guggenheim) were early pioneers in offering bull and bear funds, as well as to encouraging switching between bull and bear funds. This innovation attracted short-term traders who had previously been shunned by other mutual fund families. Consequently, Rydex fund assets became an important measure of short-term trader sentiment. Over the years, I have seen numerous analysts using …

Are the Fed and PBoC taking away the punch bowl?

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 next for gold?

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: My recent sector review was well received, especially when it was framed in the context of how a market cycle rotation works (see In the 3rd inning of a market cycle advance). As I don’t have much to update about the technical condition of the stock market, especially in light of the non-reaction to the FOMC meeting. …

Finding risk and opportunities from the BAML and Barron’s Big Money polls

In Free by Cam Hui

You may think that institutional money managers run in herds, but that is not necessarily true. Different managers have different mandates that color their views. As well, their geographical base can also create differences in opinions in how their view their world and markets. Barron’s published its quarterly Big Money poll of institutional money managers on the weekend. The Barron’s ...
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Should you sell in May and go away?

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 …

Just overbought, or a “good overbought” signal?

In Free by Cam Hui

Mid-week market update: In the past two weeks, I have become progressively more bullish on stocks (see A capitulation bottom? and Buy signals everywhere), based on the belief that the risk/reward trade-off was tilted in favor of the bulls. Even as the market bottomed with sentiment at crowded short levels, the rebound had been unusually weak with little bullish follow-through. …