Sunday, June 23, 2019

Caution: Market is mis-pricing trade talks risk

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 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: 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.

Signs of complacency
I have been writing in these pages that the market faced two key sources of near-term volatility. The first was the uncertainty of the FOMC decision. Approaching the meeting, the market was expecting three quarter-point rate cuts by year-end, with the first occurring in July. The Powell Fed delivered a dovish hold. The bond market reacted with a bull steepening, and stock prices soared.

The next key event is the Trump-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Osaka. In the wake of the Fed decision, the ensuing equity market euphoria is seemingly discounting a successful conclusion to the trade talks. Our trade war factor, which is measured by the relative performance of an ETF of Russell 1000 stocks with pure domestic revenues, is indicating a dramatic decline in trade tensions.

While I have no idea how the trade talks will be resolved, some caution is warranted as the market appears to be mis-pricing trade talks risk.

The full post can be found here.

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