Bullish and bearish signals from volatility

Mid-week market update: Volatility indexes are flashing a number of signals of interest. In the past few weeks, a yawning gap has opened out between MOVE, which measures bond volatility, and VIX, which measures equity volatility. The divergence has begun to close in the last couple of days as the VIX has risen and the...

Trading the gold flash crash

Gold prices crashed overnight when a flood of sell orders hit the illiquid Asian markets. Prices fell below the 1700 mark but recovered. This has the smell of a margin clerk liquidation, which is often the sign of capitulation.      Is this an opportunity to buy gold?     The top-down view The sudden...

Boo! Powell scares the children!

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 I meant to say was…

After a number of discussions with readers, there appears to have been some misunderstanding over my recent post (see The bond market tempts FAIT). I did not mean to imply that the advance in bond prices is an intermediate-term move, only a tactical counter-trend rally. The decline in Treasury yields can be attributable to: The...

What a bond market rally could mean for your investments

The trader Alex Barrow recently observed that the sentiment backdrop is setting up for a bond market rally.     While Barron's is not as reliable as The Economist as a contrarian magazine cover indicator, the stars appear to be lining up for a counter-trend rally in bond prices. Here is what a potential bond...

60/40 resilience in an inflation age

The fiscal and monetary authorities of the developed world are engaged in a great macroeconomic experiment. Governments are spending enormous sums to combat the recessionary effects of the pandemic and central banks are allowing monetary policy to stay loose in order to accommodate the fiscal stimulus. Eventually, inflation and inflation expectations are bound to rise....

What gold tells us about Fed policy expectations

Mid-week market update: It can be difficult to discern the market's short-term outlook on an FOMC meeting day, but the Fed has spoken, and the market reaction has important signals for equity investors from an inter-market, or cross-asset, analytical basis. The first important signal comes from gold prices. Gold staged an upside breakout to a...

Pockets of opportunity in an uncertain 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...

What gold tells us about confidence

How badly has the pandemic affected the global economy? The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has some answers in a recent report. It expects global human development to decline for the first time this year, and EM economies will bear the brunt of the impact. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that up to half...

Peering into 2020: New decade, new paradigm

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...

Questions for Judy Shelton and gold standard supporters

President Trump has nominated Judy Shelton as one of the candidates for the open seats on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. While Shelton is a controversial nominee, she is less problematical than the previous two, Herman Cain and Stephen Moore. While I certainly understand the reasoning behind a gold-backed currency, which is a way...

What’s up with gold?

Mid-week market update: Gold staged an upside breakout from a multi-year base, which got a lot of technicians excited. The point and figure chart upside targets range from about 1630 to the mid-1700s, depending on how the parameters are set.     Before you pile in and buy, let me educate you on the causes...

When should you buy gold?

Goldbugs got excited recently when the gold stock to gold ratio turned up sharply after the gold price consolidated sideways subsequent to breaking up from a downtrend. Past episodes have been bullish signals for bullion prices.     On the other hand, the front page of Barron's may also be a contrarian magazine cover bearish...