Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Assessing the technical damage

Mid-week market update: The stock market weakened on Monday when Trump's early morning tweet indicated that he was slapping on steel and aluminum tariffs on Argentina and Brazil. The sell-off continued into Tuesday when Trump said in a news conference that he was in no hurry to do a trade deal with China, and he was willing to wait until after the 2020 election.


The market was already vulnerable to a tumble two weeks ago when it violated a rising trend line. This was followed by a rally to kiss the daily upper Bollinger Band, but it could not rally above the breached trend line.

The SPX gapped down on Tuesday, but formed what appeared to be a reversal candle, which was accompanied by a mild oversold reading on the 5-day RSI. The reversal was confirmed when this morning when equity future began to bounce back in sympathy with European stocks. The rally was further boosted by a Bloomberg report that "the U.S. and China are moving closer to agreeing on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back in a phase-one trade deal despite tensions over Hong Kong and Xinjiang".

How serious was the sell-off? What's the technical damage?

The full post can be found here.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Achilles Heel of my bull case

In response to my last post (see Buy signal confirmed: It's a global bull), I received an email yesterday from a long-time reader who observed that I was channeling the perennially bullish Chris Ciovacco. While my post yesterday highlighted the monthly MACD buy signal on global stocks, Ciovacco's latest weekly video referenced the monthly MACD buy signal on the DJIA.

That said, no one could accuse me of being a permabull or permabear. My track record of major market speaks for itself. Most notably, I was correctly cautious in August 2018 ahead of the major top, and turned bullish just after the bottom in January 2019. While I was overly cautious during the summer and I expected a deeper valuation reset, I did turn bullish again after the market's upside breakout in late October.



If history is any guide, past monthly MACD buy signals have seen prices higher 6 and 12 months later 100% of the time. However, there is one Achilles Heel of the bull case, and it's China.


The full post can be found here.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Buy signal confirmed: It's a global bull

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Bullish*
  • Trading model: Neutral*
* 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.



Long-term buy signal confirmed
A month ago, I highlighted a long-term technical buy MACD signal on the monthly Wilshire 5000 chart. The buy signal was not evident in global or non-US equities. As the month of November drew to a close, I can confirm that the rest of the world has caught up, and similar MACD buy signals can be found in other markets. History shows that these displays of long-term price momentum have resolved themselves in strong multi-year gains, and the index has seen gains 6 and 12 months later 100% of the time.


This week, we review sector leadership, and where the best upside potential can be found in the markets.

The full post can be found here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Short-term risks are rising

Mid-week market update: Even though I remain constructive on the intermediate term market outlook, short-term risks are rising. The VIX Index fell below its lower Bollinger Band on Monday, which is an indication of an overbought market. In addition, the index is flashing a negative divergence on its 5-day RSI.


The full post can be found here.




Don't forget our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Monday, November 25, 2019

IS a trade deal imminent?

On Friday, Trump said that a trade deal with China was "potentially very close" (via CNBC):
President Donald Trump on Friday said that a long-negotiated trade deal with China is “potentially very close” following reports that an agreement might not be reached until next year.

Trump was speaking on one of his favorite television programs, “Fox and Friends,” the morning after House Democrats wrapped up a second week of public impeachment hearings.

“The bottom line is, we have a very good chance to make a deal,” Trump said.
Over the weekend, CNBC further reported "China plans stronger protections for intellectual property rights". In addition, Chinese official media said that both sides are "very close to a phase one deal". Are these signs that the logjam is broken? Are we on the verge of a "Phase One" deal?

Why haven't the odds of a Trump-Xi meeting moved on PredictIt? This contract is a good, albeit illiquid, proxy for the odds of a "Phase One" deal.


The full post can be found here.


Don't forget our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Global cyclical recovery: Easy come, easy go?

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Bullish*
  • 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.



Cyclical recovery losing steam?
About a month ago, I had suggested that investors position themselves for a global cyclical rebound (see An upcoming seismic shift in factor returns). Since then, the stock market has rallied to fresh highs, and more and more investors have jumped on the cyclical rebound bandwagon, such as Goldman Sachs (via CNBC):
“The equity market is anticipating an acceleration in US economic growth during the coming months,” David Kostin, Goldman’s chief U.S. equity strategist, said in a note Friday. “Investors who want to capture further cyclical upside can improve risk-reward by narrowing their focus to select cyclical stocks.”
Credit Suisse came out with a similar bullish equity market forecast based on a "reversal of decelerating economics":



Jim Paulsen at the Leuthold Group is also tilting towards more cyclical exposure.


Just as everyone starts climbing on the bandwagon, the yield curve steepened, which is a signal that the bond market expects better growth, but flattened again back to roughly where it started.


It is therefore useful to issue an interim report card on the cyclical recovery thesis, and see how things are going.

The full post can be found here.






Don't forget our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A pause in the melt-up?

Mid-week market update: Is the market about to pause in its run-up? The latest development from Hong Kong may serve as a catalyst. In the wake of the passage of the Senate bill affirming support for the Hong Kong protesters, the bill will have to be reconciled with a similar House version, where it will arrive on President Trump`s desk for signature. China has already denounced the bill as unwarranted interference in its internal affairs. There is a chance that Trump will view it as leverage in the latest round of "Phase One" negotiations. No wonder the PredictIt odds of a Trump-Xi meeting, which is a proxy for a deal, is tanking.


A more liquid contract, the offshore yuan, has also been weakening. This is another indication that the market's expectations of a "Phase One" deal is facing.


This tweet from Chinese official media Global Times editor Hu Xijin confirmed the sudden frosty turn in the trade discussions.



Is the prospect that an unraveling trade deal enough to spook the stock market?

The full post can be found here.






Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Could this FOMO surge be a mirage?

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Bullish*
  • 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.



New market highs
Two weeks ago, I indicated that investors should buy the breakout (see Buy the breakout, recession risk limited). I cited as bullish factors strong price momentum, low recession risk, evidence of a global cyclical recovery, and evidence of institutions and hedge funds caught offside with excessively defensive portfolios.

Since then, US equity indices have soared to all-time highs, and non-US markets have risen to new recovery highs. Seemingly overnight, all the bears seem to have capitulated and turned bullish.



While I remain bullish, good investors always examine their assumptions. What could derail this bull case?

The full post can be found here.







Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A correction in price, or time?

Mid-week market update: What to make of today's market? It is obviously overbought. The 14-day RSI is skirting the 70 level, which defines an overbought condition and that has been the reading at which past advances have temporarily stalled. Arguably, the 5-day RSI is flashing a series of "good overbought" conditions indicating strong price momentum, though it did signal a minor bearish divergence.



Neither Trump's speech yesterday nor Powell's testimony today revealed much new information to move the stock market. However, the market did hit a minor air pocket today over a WSJ report that the trade talks hit a snag over agricultural purchases, but the weakness has been only a blip and can hardly be described as catastrophic.
Trade talks between the U.S. and China have hit a snag over farm purchases, according to people familiar with the matter, creating another obstacle as Beijing and Washington try to lock down the limited trade deal President Trump outlined last month.

Mr. Trump has said China has agreed to buy up to $50 billion in U.S. soybeans, pork and other agricultural products annually. But China is leery of putting a numerical commitment in the text of a potential agreement, according to the people.

Beijing wants to avoid cutting a deal that looks one-sided in Washington’s favor, some of the people said, and also wants to have a way out should trade tensions escalate again.

“We can always stop the purchases if things get worse again,” said one Chinese official.
Traders will have to rely on technical analysis to read the tea leaves. Overbought conditions can generally be resolved in two ways, either a correction in price, or time. What's the most likely outcome?

The full post can be found here.




Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Monday, November 11, 2019

The biggest risk to the cyclical recovery

Evidence is piling up that the economy is undergoing a cyclical recovery after a soft patch. The technical picture confirms the cyclical rebound narrative. The market relative performance of cyclical sectors and industries are all turning up. Semiconductors are now the market leaders, though they look a little extended short-term.


The full post can be found here.




Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

How far can stock prices rise?

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Bullish*
  • 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 art of upside target projection
It has become evident to technical analysts that the stock market has staged a convincing upside breakout. Not only have the major global averages broken out to the upside, the monthly charts of selected indices have flashed MACD buy signals. In the past, such buy signals have indicated significant price gains, with only minor downside risk.



In that case, what is the upside potential for stocks? We estimate targets using a variety of technical and fundamental techniques, and arrived at some different answers.

The full post can be found here.





Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Market nearing the stall zone

Mid-week market update: Don't get me wrong, I am still bullish. The Wilshire 5000 flashed an important MACD buy signal on the monthly chart at the end of October. While MACD sell signals have been hit-and-miss, buy signals have historically resolved themselves in strong gains with minimal drawdowns.



The MSCI World xUS Index also flashed an interim monthly buy signal, assuming that it stays at these levels by the end of November.


These are all unequivocally bullish signals for stock prices in the longer term, but short-term conditions suggest that the market is nearing a stall zone.

The full post can be found here.






Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.



We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Buy the breakout, recession risk limited

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Neutral*
  • Trading model: Bearish*
* 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.



Buy the breakout!
Did anyone notice the upside breakout in the global equity indices? The breakout was not only evident in the US, but it was broad and global in nature. This is an unambiguously sign to get bullish on equities. Investors with intermediate and long term horizons should buy the breakout.



I would like to reconcile the recession risk raised by a number of readers. While a number of indicators, such as the recent yield curve inversion, tanking CEO confidence, falling ISM and Markit PMIs, and so on, are signaling recession, how can I possibly be equity bullish in the face of these risks?


The full post can be found here.





Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.


We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Any more precautionary cuts?

Mid-week market update: Now that the Fed has cut rates a third time, and the upside breakout in the SPX and NDX are holding, what's next?



Are the series of precautionary cuts over?

The full post can be found here.





Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.


We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Scary Halloween story: How a weak USD could hand China a major victory

I have written before how a strong USD can be a negative for global financial stability. There are  many EM borrowers who have borrowed in the offshore USD market, and a rising USD puts a strain on their finances.

In addition, FactSet reported that companies with foreign domestic exposure have exhibited worse sales growth than companies with domestic exposure.


The USD Index staged an upside breakout out of a multi-year cup and saucer pattern with bullish implications, which was bearish for global risk appetite. More recently, it fell below the breakout line, which should be bullish for global assets. Indeed, the bottom panel shows that the relative performance of EM stocks is making a broad based bottom, just as the USD weakened.


Here is the scary Halloween story to be told around the campfire. A falling USD has the potential to hand China a major geopolitical victory without firing a single shot. In the ancient text, The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote that a general could win by arraying his forces to exploit his enemy`s weaknesses. That way, he can achieve victory without bloodshed if it becomes evident that the enemy will collapse before any fighting begins.

Here is a little known but glaring weakness that Beijing could exploit.

The full post can be found here.




Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.


We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Art of the Deal, Phase One edition

The markets began to take on a risk-on tone on Friday when the news that American and Chinese negotiators had "made headway on specific issues and the two sides are close to finalizing some sections of the agreement". Bloomberg went on to report today that the text of the "phase one" agreement is basically done, and the agreement will be signed when Trump meets Xi at the APEC summit in Chile in mid-November:
China said parts of the text for the first phase of a trade deal with the U.S. are “basically completed” as the two sides reached a consensus in areas including standards used by agricultural regulators.

The Saturday comments followed a call Friday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The trade negotiators “agreed to properly resolve their core concerns and confirmed that the technical consultations of some of the text agreement were basically completed,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Saturday.


With our trade war factor in roughly neutral territory, we try to answer the following questions:
  • What's on the table in the "phase one" deal?
  • What are the prospects for "phase two"?
  • What are the market and political implications of such a deal?
The full post can be found here.




Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.


We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

An upcoming seismic market shift in factor returns

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.


The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Neutral*
  • Trading model: Bearish*
* 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.



A seismic shift ahead
Last week, I highlighted the rising bifurcation of US and non-US equity markets (see The stealth decoupling sneaking up on portfolios). Further factor analysis reveals a possible seismic shift in cross-asset and factor return patterns, beginning with a steepening yield curve that is signaling better economic growth expectations.



The full post can be found here.


Announcing our Thanksgiving $2 Sale!
We are proud of our Trend Asset Allocation Model, which showed a steady record of improving performance and reducing risk against a passive 60/40 benchmark in a simulation using actual signals.


We are announcing our Thanksgiving Sale $2 sale, where you can get 14 months for the price of a 12 month annual subscription, plus $2 off! Just use the coupon code Thanksgiving2019 when you sign up for an annual subscription (two month adjustment will be made within 24 hours after checkout). This offer expires at midnight, Pacific Time, on US Thanksgiving weekend (December 1, 2019). Subscribe here.

Existing subscribers who would like to extend their subscription for 14 months at the price of 12 at their current subscription price, please drop me a note by email.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

SPX 3000 round number-itis

Mid-week market update: At week ago, I identified two technical triangle formations to watch (see Why small caps are lagging (and what it means)). Since then, both the SPX and NDX have struggled at key resistance levels despite a generally positive news background of earnings beats, and now they have moved sideways through a rising trend line. The obvious short-term downside target are the gaps to be filled below (shown in grey).



The market seems to be afflicted with a case of SPX round number-itis, where the index advance stalls when it reaches a round number.

The full post can be found here.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The stealth decoupling sneaking up on portfolios

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 Asset Allocation 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 a trading model, which is a blend of price momentum (is the Trend Model becoming more bullish, or bearish?) and overbought/oversold extremes (don't buy if the trend is overbought, and vice versa). Subscribers receive real-time alerts of model changes, and a hypothetical trading record of the those email alerts are updated weekly here. The hypothetical trading record of the trading model of the real-time alerts that began in March 2016 is shown below.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Bearish*
  • Trading model: Bearish*
* 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.



A stealth decoupling
As the Sino-American trade war has progressed into Cold War 2.0, a consensus is emerging among analysts that the Chinese economy is starting to decouple from the rest of the world. However, in the short run, there is a stealth and surprising decoupling in performance occurring in global equity markets. It's the US market from the rest of the world.

This development is important because US equities amount to roughly half of global equity market capitalization. The chart below of major markets relative to MSCI All-Country World Index (ACWI) tells the story. US relative strength peaked out in late August and began to roll over in September. At the same time, Japan has been climbing steadily, Europe has broken out of a bottoming process, and EM equities appear to be making a relative strength bottom.



We consider the implications of this emerging trend, and what it means for equity investors.

The full post can be found here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Why small caps are lagging (and what it means)

Mid-week market update: One of the investing puzzles that has appeared in the last few months is the mystery of small cap underperformings. The USD Index has been strong over the last three months, which should create an earnings headwind for large cap multi-nationals with foreign operations. Instead, the relative performance of megacaps have been flat to up over this period, while mid and small cap stocks have lagged.


I unravel performance at a sector level, and discovered some unexpected insights about possible market direction.

The full post can be found here.