What you should and shouldn’t worry about in 2018

The end of December is filled with analyst forecasts for the following year. I would like to take this time to debunk some of the doomster myths about the stock market, and to outline some of the true risks that I worry about in the year to come. One of the major myths that have...

The VIX also rises

Deep in the recesses of my memory from my youth, I recall reading an Ernest Hemingway quote that went something like this: How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly. From The VIX Also Rises The VIX closed at an all-time low last week. Anyone who bought volatility in the last couple of...

Is 3% for 6 months enough to take equity risk?

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...

Equity lessons from the bond market

Political operative and former Clinton advisor James Carville once quipped that he wanted to be reincarnated as the bond market so that he could intimidate everybody. Equity investors and traders are well advised to remember that comment, as there is much to be learned from a cross-asset, or inter-market, viewpoint from bond market action. For...

The Fed has spoken (and what that means)

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...

Imagining the next bear 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...

All eyes on policy makers

Mid-week market update: As we wait to see if the stock market can break either up or down out of this narrow trading range, this week has been a light week for major market moving economic data, However, there are a number of political and non-economic developments to keep an eye on.     The Fed...

A market top checklist

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...

3 steps and a stumble: The bull and bear cases

Mid-week market update: It was no surprise that the Fed raised rates, as they had spent the last month widely telegraphing their intentions. This morning's release of February CPI tells the story. Headline CPI is near a 5-year high. Though core CPI (ex-food and energy) edged down, the latest reading of 2.2% is above the...

A tale of two markets

Mid-week market update: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Stock prices continue to surge ahead, while the bond market *ahem* is having its difficulties. The Dow Jones Industrials Average made another record high, followed by the Transportation Average. The combination of the dual all-time highs constitutes a Dow Theory...

Three key macro factors to watch in today`s market

I have spent a lot of time in these pages writing about the influence of macro-economic factors on market analysis. Indeed, Matt King at Citigroup recently highlighted the growing importance of macro factors on the equity market (chart via Bloomberg):   Here are three key macro factors that I have been watching now for clues...

A possible Non-Farm Payroll surprise?

Mid-week market update: In the wake of Federal Reserve vice chair Stanley Fischer's remarks about Friday's Job Report, the market is mainly playing a waiting game for the results of that announcement. However, there are signs that the Jobs Report may be setting up for a negative surprise which could be bullish for bond and...

FOMC preview: How hawkish the tone?

As we approach another FOMC this week, much of the short-term tone of the market will depend on the Fed. In order to analyze what the Fed is likely to do, let`s begin with their mandate, which is price stability (fighting inflation) and full employment. In addition, the Fed has taken on a third objective...

Yield curve: Correlation vs. causation edition

Further to my last post (see Three steps and a stumble?), I would like to clear up some misconceptions about how I interpret the yield curve and its investment implications. Much of the confusion revolves around the idea of correlation vs. causation. Yield curve inversions don't cause anything. Yield curve inversions are a signal (correlation)...

What does the crowded long position in bonds mean for stocks?

I encountered a couple of interesting observations about the bond market on the weekend. First, Tom McClellan pointed out that the latest Commitment of Traders report on bond futures shows that the commercial hedgers, who are thought to be the "smart money" are massively short the bond market.   As well, Mark Hulbert observed that bond...

2016: Time to get bearish and go “Zero Hedge”?

Trend Model signal summary Trend Model signal: Neutral Trading model: Bullish The Trend Model is an asset allocation model which applies trend following principles based on the inputs of global stock and commodity price. In essence, it seeks to answer the question, "Is the trend in the global economy expansion (bullish) or contraction (bearish)?" My inner...