By far the dominant theme for the broad market since late 2013 has been the relatively persistent
loss of positive price momentum. Over this period through year - end 2015, The yr/yr rate of
change for the weekly closing price has fallen from +30 % down to -.7% (top panel of chart)
SPX Weekly. Declines from +30% yr/yr are often more precipitous than shown on the chart and
are often referred to as "valley of death" moves. The current animal is a little different. It reflects
the ending of the Fed's huge QE program, the subsequent shrinkage of positive economic momentum
and a negative turn in profits and, finally, the Fed's decision to further tighten monetary policy
via raising short rates. This process has transpired against a positive backdrop of continued, albeit
modest global economic growth, still historically low interest rates, and minimal inflation.
The flatness in the market this past year has ended the clear cyclical uptrends in place. The market
did enter a downtrend late in the year, but this appears inconclusive so far. So we enter 2016 with
a stock market that has no clear direction, has seen a winnowing of breadth and a persistent rise
in selling pressure to oversold levels. Note, interestingly, that the MACD reading on the chart has
turned positive, but note as well the absence of recent "lift" or strong momentum in the indicator.
I have seen about 25 'guesstimates' from strategists for the SPX going forward. Most of them fall
into a range of SPX 2000 - 2250 for year - end 2016 including that of yours truly who is at 2160.
Continuation of the downtrends in the indicators shown in the chart now imply a down market,
so you need to keep a wary eye on this chart.
You should also scroll down to the 12/13/15 post "Stock Market -- Quick Weekly Profile" and
keep an eye on the last chart linked to (TRIN). This shows a clear oversold condition.
MY BEST TO ALL FOR A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR......
- 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 !!!