Socio-economic

September 2018 Charts on the Move Video

The bulls were out in force as we closed out the third quarter. With the expected year end rally, 2018 looks to be another strong year for the market…. the US stock market. Bonds, commodities and foreign investments continue to under-perform and act as an anchor to portfolios. Mean reversion will eventually show up but, based upon the charts, Q42018 seems like more of the same.

My Q3 recap video can be viewed in the link below.

https://youtu.be/MgUbcV8Ckb8

Rarefied Air

Scouring through 100’s of charts it becomes obvious investors have a clear idea on which companies they expect to benefit from the current political climate. One that immediately jumped out at me can be seen below in the chart of the Aerospace and Defense ETF, ITA. As you can it has broken out to new highs after consolidating for 6 months and using the 200 day moving average as a trampoline to propel higher. With RSI momentum unwinding during the consolidation, it appears to have a lot of room to move higher before investors need concern themselves with being overbought and expecting a pullback

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The pattern’s (rectangle) target is still some $12 higher than where we closed yesterday. Keep in mind targets don’t mean a whole lot when stocks have entered rarefied air (new, all-time highs). As such, I expect ITA to likely ignore and blow right through it as long as this bull market has legs.

Times They Are A’ Changin’

A decade ago, not one Chinese company made it in the list of the worldwide top 20 tech giants (based upon company valuations). Now, they hold 3 of the top 10 and 9 of the top 20.

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Is this a temporary passing like what happened with Japanese companies in the ‘80s? Or is just the beginning of a longer term shift of power eastward?

Inversion

When economist talk about the “yield curve” they are really just referring to a plot of yield versus varying bond maturities. An inverted curve is when the difference between the yields of long term bonds (usually 10 year) rates to short (usually 2 year) is negative (short term yields are higher than long). This is a very closely watched benchmark by knowledgeable investors because we know every recession that has occurred in the US over the past 60 years has been preceded by an inverted yield curve, according to research from the San Francisco Fed. Curve inversions have correctly signaled all nine recessions since 1955 and had only one false positive, in the mid-1960s, when an inversion was followed by an economic slowdown but not an official recession, according to the Fed’s data. 

While the US yield curve is still positive (NOT inverted) the global curve just recently inverted for the first time since 2007 where its inversion lasted briefly (less than 6 months).  I have not seen any studies that show if global yield curve inversion has the same strong correlation to economic slowdowns (recessions) as it has in the US, so the implications of the crossover may or may not be of significance.   

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As a minimum though, it raises a warning flag for investors to take the portfolio off autopilot and have a plan. There is no question, a recession, if it were to ensue around the world would likely drag the US along. Economic slowdowns are rarely ever good for stock prices and when combined with us being in the latter stages of the 2009 economic recovery cycle while stock prices are at very extended valuations, next year looks like it could be shaping up to present challenges investors have not had to face in many years.

May 2018 Charts on the Move Video

The US stock markets continue to consolidate and digest its huge 2017 year run-up and subsequent double digit correction. The lone exception being small cap stocks as they have moved on to all-time highs. Will the rest of the market follow suit?  The benefit of the doubt has to be given to the prior underlying trend but I don't think the answer will be resolved any time soon. Until then, check out this month's Charts on the Move video at the link below  ...

https://youtu.be/XQLqeDGpNCA