Macro events have been big nothingburgers

Mid-week market update: The big macro events of this week hasn’t really moved the needle on risk appetite. The market didn’t react much to the Quarterly Refunding Announcement detailing the schedule of Treasury issuance. The JOLTS report showed slightly weaker than expected job openings, but quits and layoffs declined as well, indicating a general deceleration...

Why the first Fed rate cut will be later than June

Sometimes being Fed Chair is a trying easy job. During the last post-FOMC press conference, Powell was given numerous opportunities to interpret the data in a hawkish fashion. Instead, he took a dovish tone.   As one of many examples, Jenna Smialek of the New York Times asked if strengthening in the labour market would...

It’s all about expectations

Mid-week market update: Four weeks ago, I published NVIDIA at the bat, in which I discussed the market expectations for leading AI stock NVIDIA ahead of its earnings report. NVIDIA came out with a strong report that exceeded Street expectations, and the stock reacted with a price gap the following day.     Fast forward...

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...

Is transitory disinflation here to stay?

I’ve discussed the risk of transitory disinflation before, and it manifested itself in the form of hotter-than-expected January CPI and PPI reports. The reports rattled the bond market and expectations of the first quarter-point rate cut has been pushed out from May to June and a slower rate cut trajectory for the remainder of year....

Numerous wildcards add up to ST volatility

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...

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...

High conviction idea: Buy U.S. financials

The Fed has clearly pivoted. It indicated at its December FOMC meeting that, for all intents and purposes, it was done hiking and the “dot plot” is projecting three quarter-point rate cuts in 2024 against a soft landing backdrop. Fed Chair Jerome Powell was given ample opportunity to push back against the dovish narrative. Instead,...

Get ready for the year-end rally

Mid-week market update: The Fed delivered a dovish pause today. In addition, Powell was given opportunities to push back with bearish scenarios, such as raising concerns over the recent risk-on rally as a sign that financial conditions are loosening, or the elevated levels of super-core inflation, but he declined to do so. It is becoming...

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...

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...

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...

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...

A hawkish pause, but don’t panic

Mid-week market update: It was a hawkish pause. The Fed’s decided to leave rates unchanged, but in the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP), it acknowledged that the economy is strong than its June projections. More importantly, the Fed Funds target for the end of this year remains unchanged, indicating that FOMC members expect another quarter-point...

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...

It’s not just about the Fed

Mid-week market update: The market reaction to the FOMC decision was mostly a yawn. The Fed raised rates by a quarter-point, which was expected, and Powell refused to commit to further hikes while repeating his data dependency mantra.  As a consequence, the S&P 500 was mostly unchanged from before the decision to after the close....