A good news-bad news earnings season

Q4 earnings season is in full swing, and results are strong. With 59% of the S&P 500 having reported, both the EPS and sales beat rates are well ahead of historical averages. Moreover, forward 12-month EPS estimates surged 3.5% in a single week.     As well, estimates are surging across all market cap bands....

2020 is over, what’s the next pain trade?

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 Democrats’ trifecta win explained

Last weekend, I conducted an unscientific and low sample Twitter poll on the market perception of the Georgia special Senate elections. The results were surprising. Respondents were bullish on both a Republican and Democratic sweep.     As the results of the Georgia Senate race became clear, the analyst writing under the pseudonym Jesse Livermore...

The Roaring 20’s scenario, and what could go wrong

Happy New Year! Investors were happy to see the tumultuous 2020 come to a close. The past year has been one with little precedent. A pandemic brought the global economy to a screeching halt. The stock market crashed, and it was followed by an unprecedented level of fiscal and monetary response from authorities around the...

Time for another year-end FOMO stampede?

In late 2017, the stock market melted up in a FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) stampede as enthusiasm about the Trump tax cuts gripped investor psychology. The market corrected in early 2018 and rose steadily into October, though the advance could not be characterized as a melt-up. In late 2019, the market staged a similar...

How to outperform by 50-250% over 2-3 years

Investors are increasingly convinced that the cyclical and Great Rotation trade is very real and long-lasting (see Everything you need to know about the Great Rotation but were afraid to ask). That should be bullish for the S&P 500, right?   Well, sort of.   Despite the cyclical and reflationary tailwinds for stocks, the S&P...

Too far, too fast?

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.  ...

Will Mnuchin and COVID derail the cyclical rebound?

I hope that I haven't offended the market gods. Just after my bullish call for a cyclical recovery (see Everything you need to know about the Great Rotation but were afraid to ask), a number of contrary data points have appeared to cast doubt on the reflation thesis.   The markets were jolted by the...

Everything you need to know about the Great Rotation, but were afraid to ask

The market lurched upwards on Vaccine Monday on the Pfizer-BioNTech news that it had found promising results in its vaccine trial. In a "Great Rotation", investors piled into value stocks and abandoned former growth darlings. The Daily Shot published this chart from Goldman Sachs estimating how a successful vaccine rollout could impact sectors. But that's not...

Growth, interrupted?

Two weeks ago, I rhetorically asked if investors should be buying into the cyclical recovery theme (see Buy the cyclical and reflation trade?). Global green shoots of recovery were appearing, but I identified the "uncertainty of additional fiscal stimulus" as a key risk to the cyclical rebound thesis. Now that Biden appears to be winning...

Scenario planning ahead of the Big Event

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.  ...

Buy the cyclical and reflation trade?

The global economy seems to be setting up for a strong recovery. We are seeing a combination of easy monetary policy, slimmed-down supply chains, and a rebound in consumer confidence.     The cyclical and reflation trade is becoming the consensus view. However, there may still be time to board that train. Futures positioning in...

Does the economy even need more stimulus?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set a Tuesday deadline for an agreement for a coronavirus stimulus package before the election. Recent data begs the question of whether more stimulus is even needed.   Last Friday's retail sales print was astonishingly strong and beat market expectations. While retail sales statistics are notoriously noisy, September retail sales...

How to trade the election

With the US election just over two weeks away, it's time to look past the election and focus on how the economy and markets are likely to behave. Barry Ritholz correctly advised investors in a recent post to check their political beliefs at the door when analyzing markets. Stock prices have done slightly better under...

Broken Trends: How the world changed

The world is changing, but it changed even before Trump's COVID-19 news.     In the past few weeks, a couple of key macro trends have reversed themselves. The US Dollar, which large speculators had accumulated a crowded short position, stopped falling and began to turn up. In addition, inflation expectations, as measured by the...

A healthy rotation into cyclical stocks?

There is growing evidence that the stock market is undergoing a rotation from large cap technology to cyclical and reflation stocks. Exhibit A is the market action of the tech heavy NASDAQ 100, which violated a key rising channel and also violated its 50 day moving average (dma). By contrast, the broader S&P 500 is...

The 5 key macro indicators of Trump’s political fortunes (revisited)

Labor Day is the traditional kickoff of presidential election campaigns. Before that, only die-hard political pundits and devotees pay attention to the election. It is with that in mind we revisit the economic criteria for Trump’s political fortunes that I outlined just after his inauguration (see Forget politics! Here are the 5 key macro indicators...