The seven reasons why this cycle is different

One of the key risks to the stock market is earnings expectations. As recession risk rises, it has been unusual to see forward 12-month EPS estimates continue to rise. The latest update finally shows that earnings expectations are beginning to stall. S&P 500 estimates are flat for the week, up a miniscule 0.01, while small-cap...

The Fed braces for a harder landing

Even before the FOMC meeting and in a survey period that ended on June 10, 2022, which was the day of the hot May CPI print, the respondents to the BoA Global Fund Manager Survey showed a high degree of anxiety about a recession.     Here is the bad news. At the post-FOMC meeting...

How the FOMC meeting script played out

Mid-week market update: Can the stock market follow the script for past FOMC meetings in 2022? In each of the cases this year, the market weakened ahead of the meeting and rallied afterwards. The only deviation from the script occurred at the May FOMC meeting, when stock prices fell to new lows after a post-meeting...

A liquidation panic

I know that Friday’s CPI print was ugly, but it seems to have sparked a “correlations converging to 1” liquidation panic where everything is getting sold today. The good news is such panics usually don’t last long.   Several readers highlighted analysis from Rob Hanna of Quantifiable Edges of a rare Inverse Zweig Breadth Thrust....

In search of the bullish catalyst

I have pointed out before that the last time the 10-year Treasury yield was at these levels, the S&P 500 was trading at a forward P/E of 14-16. The current forward P/E is 16.8, which is slightly above that range. In order for stock prices to rise, at least one of two things has to...

From FOMO to GIDOT (Glad I Don’t Own That)

Legendary investor John Templeton once said: Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell. Where are we in the market cycle? From a long-term...

The commodity canary in the coalmine is falling over

One of the main elements of my Trend Asset Allocation Model is commodity prices as a real-time indicator of global growth. As well, John Authers recently wrote, "The commodity market is a real-time attempt to assimilate geopolitical developments, growth fears, and shocks to supply and demand, so it’s an important place to look for the...

FOMC reaction: I told you so

Mid-week market update: Happy Price Stability Day to you!   Ahead of the FOMC meeting, I had been pounding the table that market expectations were unrealistically hawkish. The market was discounting strong rate hikes well beyond the Fed's stated median neutral rate of 2.4%, according to the March Summary of Economic Projections.     Combine...

A sentiment preview of FOMC week

Since the publication of my weekend trading update (see Will the Fed rally or tank markets?), a number of additional sentiment readings have come to light that may be relevant to traders and investors. The historic almost off-the-chart levels of bearishness of the AAII weekly sentiment survey has been known for several days, but there's...

Will the Fed rally or tank markets next week?

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...

Peak hawkishness = Risk-on?

The Economist is becoming known as a source of the contrarian magazine cover indicator. As the world holds its collective breath for the FOMC decision next week, the recent cover of the magazine begs a number of important questions for investors. How far beyond the inflation-fighting curve is the Fed? What are the likely policy...

How to time the recession stock market bottom

Recession fears have arrived on Main Street. From a statistical perspective, Google searches for "recession" have spiked.     From an anecdotal perspective, recession talk has emerged as the talk of the party.     These conditions beg three crucial questions for investors: Will there be a recession? If so, how much of the slowdown...

Cyclicals catch a bid, but…

Mid-week market update: Cyclical industries have caught a bid in the last week. That's not a big surprise as they have been badly clobbered relative to the market. Transportation stocks exhibited impressive strength as they regained relative support turned resistance level. However, the relative performance of all of the other industries was either below relative...

US equity investors are playing with fire

In bull markets, valuation generally doesn`t matter very much unless it reaches a nosebleed extreme, such as the NASDAQ Bubble. In bear markets, valuation defines the downside risk in equity prices.   As the Powell Fed has signaled it is dead set on a hawkish policy that does not preclude inducing a recession, valuation will...

What matters more, the war or the Fed?

An unusual divergence has appeared between the VIX Index and MOVE, which measures the implied volatility of the bond market. While MOVE has spiked, VIX has fallen.      The difference in the two indicators can be explained by two forces that affect markets today, namely geopolitical risk and macro risk as defined by the...

Imagining War and Peace

The Russia-Ukraine war has dealt an unexpected shock to the global economy and markets. Even as the world began an uneven recovery from the COVID Crash of 2020 and inflation pressures began to rise, the war has spiked geopolitical risk premiums and exacerbated supply chain difficulties and added more inflationary pressures. From an economic perspective,...