A new breadth thrust buy signal?

Mid-week market update: Bulls were disappointed when the Zweig Breadth Thrust buy signal didn’t achieve its objective when the ZBT Indicator failed to rise from oversold to overbought in 10 trading days. But they received a consolation when it reached a late overbought reading on Monday, which was two days late.     Do the...

What’s driving stock prices right now?

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...

The market meaning of a gold breakout

Gold bulls became very excited when gold prices tested overhead resistance at the 2000–2100 level. In the past, such tests had been met with selling pressure, but technical analysts would interpret a definitive breakout at these levels as opening the door to significant upside.   Moreover, the bottom panel of the accompanying chart shows that...

A better tone from the Treasury market

Mid-week market update: There was a lot of angst last week about how Treasury market, whose yields had been rising steadily, was the main driver of risk appetite. When I saw this cartoon circulating, I thought that it marked the top in yields as a contrarian indicator. Indeed, the bond market rallied when Bill Ackman...

Stocks want to go to the party, but bonds won’t go in the car

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...

The term premium red herring

About a week ago, market anxiety was high over surging Treasury yields, which was attributed to concerns over a soaring fiscal deficit and a rising supply of Treasury paper. This led to upward pressure on the term premium, or compensation for holding longer duration assets, and real yields.     Here’s what has happened since...

What’s spooking the bond market, and why it matters to equities

What’s bothering the bond market? The 10-year Treasury yield (blue line) has shot up to levels last seen just before the GFC. The surge in yields has occurred just as investors are seeing better news on inflation. At the same time, core PCE (red line) has been falling. Shouldn’t that be good news for the...

The TARA risk from Japan

Strategists coined the term TINA (There Is No Alternative) for describing equities as an asset class during the low-interest rate era. Now that rates have risen, there is a new acronym, TARA (There Are Reasonable Alternatives). Today, U.S. faces a TARA challenge from elevated Treasury yields. The forward P/E ratio of the S&P 500 had...

Could a credit event derail the equity bull?

Is the soft landing here? Wall Street strategists have been racing to reduce their recession odds in the last week. More importantly, Fed Chair Powell revealed during the post-FOMC meeting press conference that Fed staff had upgraded its forecast from a mild recession in H2 2023 to no recession.   In the past few weeks,...

How to position for the coming growth slowdown

The International Monetary Fund published its latest World Economic Outlook. It cut its global GDP growth estimate by 0.1% from 2.9% in January to 2.8%. More ominously, it issued a warning about a growing risk of recession in the advanced economies from financial instability risk from bank failures: “A hard landing — particularly for advanced...

A risk of transitory disinflation

The main event last week for US investors was the FOMC decision. As expected, the Fed raised rates by a quarter-point and underlined that "ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate". Powell went on to clarify that "ongoing increases" translated to a "couple" of rate hikes, which would put the terminal rate at...

The stealth change in market leadership you may have missed

It's time to conduct one of my periodic market leadership reviews. The review will be done through different viewpoints, starting from the top from an asset lens, a global equity lens, and finally through a factor, or style, lens.   The primary tool for my analysis is the Relative Rotation Graph, or RRG chart, which...

The Fed cratered stock-bond diversification, what’s next?

The performance of balanced funds has become especially challenging in 2022. In most recessionary equity bear markets, falling stock prices were offset by rising bond prices or falling bond yields. The fixed income component of a balanced fund portfolio has usually acted as a counterweight to equities.     Not so in 2022. You would...

How to trade the Fed Whisperer rally

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...

How inflation is a game changer for portfolios

In light of the dismal performance in the first nine months of a 60/40 portfolio in 2022, it's time to ask, "What's changed and what adjustments should investors make to their portfolios?"     The answer is inflation, and it's a game changer. The correlation between stocks and bond increasingly rise as inflation rises. In...

How I learned to stop worrying and love the bond market

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...

What’s “Black Swan” in Chinese?

Mid-week market update: Here we go again. Just when you thought world events were under control, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan raised the geopolitical risk premium.     And just as I predicted on the weekend (see In what world is fighting the Fed a good idea?), we've had a cacophony of Fed...

Cutting through the noise: Why today’s Fed decision doesn’t matter

Mid-week market update: It's always difficult to make a stock market comment on FOMC announcement day. Equity prices can exhibit strong reversals after the announcement and press conference. As well, it's also not unusual for the move to reverse itself the next day.   It's not clear whether the 2023 FOMC pattern of weakness into...