Sunday, July 7, 2019

Europe: An ugly duckling about to be a swan?

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.

Buy the ugly duckling?
In the past few weeks, these pages have been all trade war, all the time. While that was not the original intent of this publication, headlines have conspired to turn the focus on the Sino-American relationship. Now that an uneasy truce is in place, it is time to switch gears and turn the spotlight on other unexplored parts of the market.

Finance literature since the Great Financial Crisis has been filled with the imagery of swans. Black swans. White swans. Grey swans. What is missing is the ugly duckling that grew up to be a swan. More importantly, what if an investor could identify an ugly duckling before it becomes a swan?

I have identified such a candidate. The chart below shows the relative performance of US stocks against the MSCI All-Country World Index (ACWI) in black, and the Euro STOXX 50 against ACWI in green. While there is no question that US stocks have been the winners, eurozone equities are in the process of making a broad saucer based relative bottom, and may be poised for a period of outperformance. The relative bottoming process is especially remarkable in light of the current environment of global trade uncertainty, which may be a signal of investor capitulation and the inability to respond to bad news.

The full post can be found here.

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