Back in January of this year, I argued that the market was way overbought and that the odds of
continued strong, positive performance were very low. Here we are in October with the SPX
trading a little below its Jan. high.The big premium in the SPX over its 40 week m/a has finally
been wrung out. Long term, the market is still in a positive mode, but barely so. Moreover, the
intermediate term reading of the important MACD indicator is on the cusp of turning down and,
the major supporting trend lines have all been violated. Conveniently, the SPX has just had an
OK test of the 40 week m/a. However, from a technical perspective it will soon need a fresh upleg
to keep the bull intact. SPX Weekly
From a cyclical perspective, the economy is gracefully edging into the twilight of its expansion
period. The labor market has tightened with skilled workers now at a premium. There is some
idle productive capacity in the system, but we cannot be sure how economic it is. On the plus
side, my short term credit supply / demand pressure gauge is in reasonable balance and banking
system liquidity is in decent shape. Inflation has been accelerating, but the trend has been rather
mild and uneven. Interest rates, short to long term, remain in firm cyclical up trends although
the bond market, ever sensitive to the degree of economic momentum, continues volatile.
Business sales and earnings growth has exceeded expectations this year and with inflation
running mild, investor consensus now has the SPX rising to the 3000 level as the current year
winds down, with further gains projected through mid - 2019. Beyond that point, market
players are considerably less sure of continued progress.
I do not now have a compelling argument to deny the bulls another round of up sweep for
the SPX over the next six to nine months. But do not tarry boys.
- 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 !!!