I have long had substantial respect for the monthly SPX chart, especially the MACD indicator.
Crosses in this measure have proven to be useful guides to future results for the market because
whipsaws have been few and far between. Monthly MACD is in the second panel of the chart:
The negative cross in early 2015 tipped off well the 15%+ decline that followed late last year and
carried into early 2016. Now there is a positive cross which confirmed the rally to new highs just
a short while back. The SPX reached an intermediate term overbought this summer, but if the
monthly MACD is taken at face value given its history, the market should trend higher for a period
of months going forward.
Looking from a reasonable perspective, how could this happen? Well, there could be a trend
extension continuation pattern based on the assumption the economy evades recession but does
not grow rapidly enough to foster a significant rise of inflation and a sustainable upturn in short
rates. Or it could be the result of a stronger economy and rebounding profits sufficient enough to
offset the hit to the p/e ratio from a program of gradually rising short rates and somewhat higher
inflation coupled with a degree of rotation out of bonds into stocks. The latter case would signal
the economic expansion was moving into a more mature phase when stocks can certainly rise.
The secondary fundamental indicators I use for the market have cleanly supported the rise of
the SPX since early this year, but implicit economic performance has fallen enough below par to
warrant caution in making either market or economic predictions for the year ahead.
There is growing chatter in the financial press that a Trump election victory could lead to a price
correction in stocks of 10% because it would represent, speaking euphemistically, a wild card.
But if the consensus of market players continues to support a Clinton victory, we could almost
as easily see a pull back on the premise of 'buy the rumor, sell the fact' as players focus in more
carefully on what a Clinton victory might really mean for the economy.
There is an old New Yorker admonition for times like these: Don't be no hero.
- 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 !!!