Relax, it’s just a mid-cycle expansion

The market adopted a risk-off tone when headline Q1 GDP came in lower than expected at 1.6%, compared to an expected 2.5%. More importantly, core PCE rose at an annualized rate of 3.4%, which was hotter than expectations and led to stagflation fears. Upon closer inspection, nominal GDP growth was dragged down by the combination...

Doesn’t Fed policy matter to stocks anymore?

During Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, he said that it will likely be appropriate to begin cutting rates “at some point this year”. At the same time, he reiterated the message that other Fed officials sent to the markets that the Fed is not ready...

How Trump’s isolationism threatens long-term equity returns

Now that Donald Trump has become the presumptive Republican nominee for President, Wall Street is scrambling to model how a Trump White House may affect capital markets. A recent Bloomberg article summarized the consensus: Bond market: Expect rising yields from upward pressures on term premium. Currencies: Rising yields will put a bid under the USD....

Don’t fight the Fed (or the macro trend)

As the 10-year Treasury yield flirts with the 4% level and the yield curve steepens from its inverted condition, it’s worthwhile to keep in mind that the universe is unfolding as it should. Monetary conditions are tight, inflation is moderating, the jobs market, though tight, is weakening, and the economy is chugging along with no...

What growth stock price action reveal about rate expectations

The S&P 500 staged an upside breakout in December through a cup and handle pattern but it was rejected at all-time-high resistance, which is a somewhat disappointing development.     Instead of worrying about whether it can rally through resistance, here is another index that staged a cup and handle breakout, but to all-time-highs. It’s...

What traders and investors should think about in 2024

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 happens after the momentum chase?

The Zweig Breadth Thrust buy signal in early November sparked a price surge and a price momentum chase. Already, the S&P 500 made a late-day charge above 4600 for a new recovery high.   The price momentum factor is defined as stocks that beat the market continue to beat the market. The red line in...

Assessing economic risk through the Biden-Xi meeting lens

The markets took a risk-on tone in the wake of a softer-than-expected CPI report, followed by a tame PPI report and strong retail sales print. Even before these reports, Mohamed El-Erian issued a warning about the goldilocks scenario of lower oil prices and falling bond yields.     Is market psychology in a “bad news...

Nine reason why this rally has legs

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 a soft landing looks like

Has the Fed managed to achieve a soft landing? If so, Jerome Powell will go down in Federal Reserve history as a legend, and one of the greatest Fed Chairs who occupied that position.   There is some cause for optimism. The latest flash PMIs show that U.S. and China manufacturing PMI on the rebound,...

Trust (the bull), but verify (there’s no recession)

 It’s finally happened. The monthly MACD of the NYSE Composite turned positive at the end of July. This has been a reliable long-term buy signal in the past. The sell rule in this model is a negative 14-month divergences.     In the words of Ronald Reagan when he was negotiating an arms control treaty...

The risks to the disinflation and soft-landing bull case

Ever since the softer-than-expected June CPI report, the Wall Street narrative has pivoted toward disinflation and a soft landing. The disinflationary trend had been building for some time and inflation has been surprising to the downside around the world.      As a consequence, the markets have taken a risk-on tone in anticipation of less...

The soft landing vs. slowdown debate

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 to watch for in a pivotal earnings season

The Q2 earnings reporting season could be a pivotal one. Earnings reports and subsequent corporate guidance are likely to give investors greater clarity on whether the economy is softening into a slowdown or undergoing a soft landing and recovery. The preliminary picture is a fragile recovery. Forward guidance for Q2 has improved from Q1. Negative...

The mystery in the NFP report

 I’ve been thinking about the nonfarm payroll report that was reported on Friday. Employment has been gradually slipping from a 5 and 8 handle to about 200K today. The June headline payroll report came in at 209K, which was under consensus expectations. The big surprise was the decline in the unemployment rate.      ...

Why our Ultimate Market Timing Model is cautious

 I recently had a discussion with a reader about my Ultimate Market Timing Model (UMTM). The UMTM is an extremely low turnover model that flashes signals once every few years and is designed to limit the extremes of the downside tail-risk of owning equities. When extreme downside risk is minimized, investors can afford to take...