Sunday, July 22, 2018

How the equity bulls and bears may both be right

Preface: Explaining our market timing models
We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The "Ultimate Market Timing Model" is a long-term market timing model based on the research outlined in our post, Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade.

The Trend Model is an asset allocation model which applies trend following principles based on the inputs of global stock and commodity price. This model has a shorter time horizon and tends to turn over about 4-6 times a year. In essence, it seeks to answer the question, "Is the trend in the global economy expansion (bullish) or contraction (bearish)?"

My inner trader uses the trading component of the Trend Model to look for changes in the direction of the main Trend Model signal. A bullish Trend Model signal that gets less bullish is a trading "sell" signal. Conversely, a bearish Trend Model signal that gets less bearish is a trading "buy" signal. The history of actual out-of-sample (not backtested) signals of the trading model are shown by the arrows in the chart below. The turnover rate of the trading model is high, and it has varied between 150% to 200% per month.

Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here.

The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Neutral*
  • Trading model: Bullish*
* The performance chart and model readings have been delayed by a week out of respect to our paying subscribers.

Update schedule: I generally update model readings on my site on weekends and tweet mid-week observations at @humblestudent. Subscribers receive real-time alerts of trading model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts is shown here.

The Zen of Bull and Bear
The latest BAML Fund Manager Survey shows that institutional managers have turned decidedly cautious on the outlook for the global economy. Profit expectations are tanking, positioning has turned more defensive, as global equity weights are being trimmed, and bond weights are rising, though managers remain underweight the asset class.

At the same time, the SPX has staged an upside breakout from a cup and handle formation, with an upside target of 2925-2960. The bullish surge is supported by a recovery in both European and China-related markets.

Who is right, the bulls or the bears? How about both? The difference may be just a question of different time horizons.

The full post can be found at our new site here.

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