Sunday, June 10, 2018

Can America still lead the world?

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: 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.

A question of leadership
A picture is worth a thousand words. In light of the visible divisions at the G7 meeting, the question of whether America can continue to lead the world sounds out of place.

The question takes on a different context from an equity investor's viewpoint. The chart below shows that US stocks have been the only source of market leadership, which begs the question, "Can global stocks achieve new highs with only US stocks?" The chart below compares US, international developed markets (EAFE), and emerging market (EM) equities to the MSCI All-Country World Index (ACWI). US equities have been tracing out a saucer shaped base on a relative basis. EAFE have been weak in the past year, and they are testing a key relative support level. EM relative performance began to falter in late 2017, and relative strength has been rolling over.

Put it another way, can the other regions recover some of their mojo in order to propel global equities to new all-time highs? To answer that question, we take a tour around the world and analyze the macro and equity market outlooks of the three major trading blocs, the US, Europe, and China.

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

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