Early in 2015, I made a big deal out of warning that a downturn in the monthly MACD indicator
for the SPX did not bode well for the market outlook. And, it did not as the SPX dropped rather
sharply on three occasions through early 2016. This Aug. is far from complete, but to be fair, it
is worth noting that the SPX monthly MACD (middle panel of the chart), after falling sharply, is
now struggling to gain a positive reversal. SPX Monthly
Look, this move up in the MACD shorter term line may be just a quirk, but evidence over the long
term suggests the possibility of significant directional change for this monthly indicator is often worth
attention and interest. What, beyond merely freakish speculation, could sustain a rising market?
One argument would go as follows: The US economy will gradually regain expansion momentum.
the Fed will commence raising short rates very slowly. Because there is still slack in the economy,
not only will profits begin to recover, but market players, seeing potential for further growth, will
rotate out of bonds into stocks as they anticipate weakening bond prices and some upside in the
equities market. This development is what the range of my favorite economic and market indicators
suggest. We need to see some further improvement in the US economy and perhaps, some measures
of fiscal stimulus with a new administration in Washington in 2017 and, of course, a degree of
panic in the world's bond markets which are widely overvalued on a longer term basis.
As long as my indicators provide support, I will probably stick with this view for a while, even
with recognition that stocks are already overvalued as well as noting that there are a growing
number of social, economic and political dumpster fires around the world. Besides most of the
old guys out there like me are so reserved in their thinking, that a contrarian 'last hurrah' fits
my love of irony to a T.
- 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 !!!