My primary fundamentals are all trending negative, save for short term interest rates. On the
wise premise that you should not signal "buy" or "sell" until the indicators say so, the "easy
money" buy signal, as frayed as it is, still does not signal it is time to significantly reduce
equity exposure. Though there is no "sell" in place, market risk is elevated because history
shows the SPX does not perform well during periods following the the termination of very
large bouts of quantitative easing such as occurred this past autumn.
My secondary indicators are, on balance, positive. For openers, there is excess liquidity in the
system relative to the current needs of the real economy, which now features modest real growth
and minimal inflation. As well, there is a steep positive slope to the yield curve (30 yr Treas. % -
3mo. Bill Yield). This shows no real pressure on the economy from the Fed. In like manner,
short term rates are way below my measure of economic momentum measured yr/yr. Too, my
business profits leading indicators have turned modestly positve in recent months. Finally, the
price of oil is not in a rapid uptrend, which can destabilize the economy.
More broadly, there is still slack in the US economy and no danger of immediate overheating.
In my mind, that leaves the odds favorable for a another cyclical up leg for this market, with
timing of origination far from clear as the market may have to get past increases to short rates
The momentum of the SPX since last autumn when QE 3 ended has fizzled out. SPX Daily
The SPX has actually entered a short term corrective phase and is mildly oversold against its
25 day m/a. As well, it is sitting on its 200 day m/a which itself is flattening. The key short run
RSI and MACD indicators are also down trending, and the VIX volatility (fear) index is
approaching a short term oversold. There is not a classical sharp short term oversold in place
now, but the market is approaching it. The SPX has drifted off the uptrend lines in place
dating back to late 2011, and is now still nearly 3% above linear support at 2000. Not Quite
out of the woods yet.
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!