Monday, April 9, 2018

Evaluating Jim Paulsen's market warning

I have been a fan of Jim Paulsen for quite some time. The chart below depicts the track record of my major market calls. His work formed the basis for my timely post in May 2015 (see Why I am bearish (and what would change my mind)), which was received with great skepticism at the time.

The track record of my major market calls

This time, though, I believe that Jim Paulsen's warning for the equity market outlined in this Bloomberg article is off the mark. Paulsen's cautionary signal for the stock market is based on his Market Message Indicator, which has rolled over. The indicator is described in the following way:
The gauge takes five different data points into account: how the stock market is performing relative to the bond market, cyclical stocks relative to defensive stocks, corporate bond spreads, the copper-to-gold price ratio, and a U.S. dollar index. The goal is to devise a gauge that acts as a proxy for broad market stress.
I have annotated (in red) in the chart below the subsequent peak in the stock market after this indicator gave a sell signal. This indicator is far from infallible, but the market has weakened the last few times this indicator peaked and rolled over. During the study period that begins in 1980, some sell signals simply did not work, or there were long delays between the sell signal and the actual peak.

Here is what I think Paulsen is missing.

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

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