#MarketTiming the second biggest mountain in the stock market range

Great article and charts from Visual Capitalist:

VISUALIZING THE LONGEST BULL MARKETS IN THE MODERN ERA

If this current bull market can hold for two more months, it will become the longest bull market in the modern era, topping the dot-come bubble.

Uh, did I slip and say “bubble”?

The question, as always, is what comes next and when.

What comes next is obvious – what goes up also goes down. The “when” is the tricky part but it would seem the when is getting closer by the day. I find it hard to believe in percentage gain it can top the dot-com mania but it is possible. If it does, it’s likely the higher it goes, the farther it falls.

One of the most famous quotes in investing history is from Bernard Baruch: “I made my money by selling too soon.”

Might want to keep Baruch in mind as each market pundit, each brokerage analyst, each brokerage, continues to say invest now, invest for the long term, while staring at the second highest mountain in the great rocky stock market range.

(click on link or this chart for a larger view)

#HousingStocks and the three little bears…

It is nearly impossible to call a market top before it becomes obvious it has already happened but the housing stocks have come closest in the past to doing it.

Which is why I keep an eye on LEN, KBH, DHI, MDC, NVR, TOL, PHM AND TOL. If all is not quite well with the market (and the economy for that matter), they are often the first to show the strain.

As far back as December of last year I posted an entry here at what I suspected might the first warning sign:

Gonna Huff and Puff and Blow Your House Down

And again in early February of this year, as the SPY began to break down, being led by the housing sector, I posted a warning here to also watch the banking stocks:

Housing stocks – the tails that wag the banking dogs

And finally this last April 24th, another post looking back at the history of these tell-tale stocks:

Housing stocks – Remembering 2008

Which bring us to today.

The ten-year bond rate went through 3% for the first time since 2011, with no sign of turning back, and it appears (obviously) the housing sector did not like it (see the chart panel below).

In 2007, this sector had a long sideways to up move after the initial hard break that had all the stock pundits (on CNBC and elsewhere) proclaiming the market pull back was over. The banks were even making new highs at the time (they are not now).

Then the plunge began into 2008.

The hard break in this sector this year has many of these same housing stocks down 20% already. And they have moved generally sideways — some with a downward bias — since mid-February before today’s four and five percent drops as it appears they are breaking down from their months-long consolidations just like last time.

On the chart panel below, see LEN, DHI, TOL and HOV particularly.

Is this the sign the bears have noticed this Goldilocks bull market has been eating their porridge and sleeping in their bed for far too long? There is a chance they are about to chase her out of the house running for her life into the deep dark forest of the time to come. And if so, the banking stocks will scurry after…

(click on the chart for a larger view)

Declining Margin Debt – the bullish scenario

Margin debt, money borrowed to leverage the market, has for now topped and is in decline. Before the top in February it had reached levels far beyond the surges in 2000 and 2007, which could be an ominous indication of what is to come when and if margin debt continues to unravel.

See the chart below and the charts in the link.

Does the fact that it is coming down as major players try to ease out of their leveraged positions mean the market, measured by the S&P 500 stock index (SPX), has also topped? For the time being it would appear it has but history would say that’s not necessarily so.

MARGIN DEBT AND THE MARKET

From the link:

“The first chart shows the two series in real terms — adjusted for inflation to today’s dollar using the Consumer Price Index as the deflator. At the 1997 start date, we were well into the Boomer Bull Market that began in 1982 and approaching the start of the Tech Bubble that shaped investor sentiment during the second half of the decade. The astonishing surge in leverage in late 1999 peaked in March 2000, the same month that the S&P 500 hit its all-time daily high, although the highest monthly close for that year was five months later in August. A similar surge began in 2006, peaking in July 2007, three months before the market peak.”

Simply put, that would mean there is at least another new high coming in the new few months (the summer rally?) before any significant bearish behavior in the stocks.

The heads up is to say those highs, if they come, will be opportunities to sell, or at least tighten stops on long-term investments. A second look at the chart shows that the SPX, coming off highs in margin debt, declines close to 50%. Those were real bear markets. The next one could be worse. Regardless, no matter how low it goes, it is best to be avoided.

There are two possibilities it could be somewhat different this time. One, margin debt itself could surge to another new high along with a strong months-long market rally (see the jingle-jangle in 2015 on the chart); or two, the top is already in and the next leg down (given how astronomically high the margin debt is beyond 2000 and 2007) could be a dead bull dropping right out of the sky (they can not fly forever).

(click on the chart for larger view)

#BankStocks – as GS and DB tumble…

It is on my my mind that we’re seeing 2007 all over again in the financial sector stocks.

During the pullback in the SPX since January, housing stocks and the bank stocks have been breaking support and beginning to “stair-step” down (see the chart below), led to the a possible 2008 cellar by DB and now with GS (a bellwether, no less) following suit.

The rest of those I follow – JPM, BAC, WFC, USB – are sitting right on support. It the market takes another hard hit (like tomorrow?), they could all be in solid downtrends.

Needless to say, as the banks and the general market tend to feed on each other in up trends, they can also eat other alive to the downside too.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – Swing signals swing again…

Yesterday my swing signals for Price, Breadth and Volatility were all on sells. The market went up. Today the signals (see below) have swung again to buys. Across the board.

I’m assuming the market is going up tomorrow.

But the indexes are overbought and the internals are falling apart. Something has to give, sometime…

Sometime, needless to say, is an awfully vague term.

If this sounds like I have no confidence in these signals I don’t intend it to. They are reliable for swing trading. XIV, for instance, is up 67% year-to-date on the Price signal, up 55% on the breadth signal and 80% on the volatility signal (appropriately). See the chart panel below – from left to right Price, Breadth, Volatility.

It’s the market, at this point, going up and up and up relentlessly that bothers me. We’ve seen this before and it’s great while it lasts but it is not, in the end, going to be different this time.

SWING TRADING SIGNALS:

LONG-TERM BREADTH: Sell (Day 17).

PRICE: Buy. (Day 1).
SHORT-TERM BREADTH: Buy. (Day 1).
VOLATILITY: Buy, (Day 1).

CONTEXT:

SPY CLOSE – 259.11
QQQ CLOSE – 176.24
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (54, falling, neutral level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 23 Buys; 11 Overbought, 6 Oversold, 5 new buys today, 7 new sells.

(click on the chart panel for a larger view)

#MarketPerspective – waiting for the Fed…

Given how strong the trend is at the moment, the only thing that could kill this stock market rally is the Federal Reserve… Oh, yeah, Wednesday is the “Fed Day.”

So is the Fed going to kill it? It would take a drastic rate increase maybe, or a statement that the sky is falling. And even then, given how this Bull has shucked off every lance it takes, even a drastic something or other might not do it.

I suspect once the Fed suspense is over, either in the aftermath of the meeting announcement Wednesday or Thursday, QQQ is going to vault past its two weeks of resistance at about 146.59 (see chart below) and run like a bull enraged. Needless to say, if that happens, it will take everything in the market with it. SPY has already limped on up.

What I’ve just said is the old market adage: “the trend is your friend.”

Now what if is isn’t, or we are at the end of it?

It is as if the market has been chopping sideways for a couple of weeks just waiting. My nifty-fifty stock list has just registered 25 buys and 25 sells for two days in a row as if completely confused as to which way to go. Going into the Wednesday’s Fed Day, two of my three swing signals are on sells – short-term breath and volatility – but swing price and the most important long-term breadth buys are still in place. Beyond the technical signals, there are many signs that this bull is vulnerable – NYSE margin debt alone at its astronomical level beyond 2000 and 2007 should be making everyone’s hair fall out. CNN Money’s Fear and Greed Index is at an extreme greed level and could turn at any time. Margin debt and fear can feed on themselves and when then do nothing can stop them.

And I’ve just saw a sentiment survey that says retail investors have never been so bullish. In the rhyming of market history that is not good, they always get screwed in the end.

Geez, it’s still a bull market but like all bull markets it doesn’t make it easy. It’s not like anyone want it all left up to the Fed.

SWING TRADING SIGNALS:

PRICE: Buy. (Day 3).
SHORT-TERM BREADTH: Sell. (Day 2).
VOLATILITY: Sell, (Day 1).

CONTEXT:

LONG-TERM BREADTH: Buy (Day 17).
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (81 rising, extreme greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 25 Buys; 13 Overbought, 7 Oversold, 4 new buys today, 3 new sells.

Stocks meeting the criteria for a 5-minute on the open Wednesday: only FB.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – chopping at highs…

Kind of a weird choppy day.

Dow up a lot, SPY and Russell touch new highs, Nasdaq not hardly up at all.

And yet two of my three end-of-the-day signals – price and short-term breadth – are on buys signals, the third – volatility – missed registering a buy today by a whisper so I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Long-term breadth remains positive so there is a good chance the market does move higher tomorrow.

This is a ragged and scary market now which is what bull markets do to traders while investors just blithely hold on until all hell breaks loose (as it always does eventually). The VIX particularly at the moment is making a low not since 2007 just before the last time hell came to visit.

SWING TRADING SIGNALS:

PRICE: Positive. Long (Trade Day 2).
SHORT-TERM BREADTH: Negative. Flat (Day 1).
VOLATILITY: a sell on tomorrow’s open, Flat (Day 2).

CONTEXT:

LONG-TERM BREADTH: Positive (Day 10).
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (81, rocketed to the extreme greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 30 Buys, flying; 22 Overbought, 3 Oversold, 8 new buys today, 3 new sells.

(click on chart for a larger view)
MASTER2017-04-17_1628

$USD – a vote on the country ever day…

Given that currency trading is a vote by the whole world on your country every day and now that President Blowhard believes the dollar’s recent rise was because of “confidence” in him instead of an overflow from the Obama Administration, the US dollar is likely to decline now.

Trump commented that yesterday that the dollar was too strong because of “confidence in me”, but the currency has been going sideways to down since his inauguration.  Confidence in him?  More likely a rising lack of confidence.

And of course, the US dollar always does decline in Republican Administrations.

That was never more pronounced in historical terms than the day George W. Bush made his “Axis of Evil” speech.  That moment was the precise top for the dollar in his term.  It was as the entire world heard that and thought that guy is crazy and ran for cover.  It declined 40 percent and has not completely recovered.  No analysts ever seem to want to talk about it, preferring to say a weaker dollar makes American multi-national companies more competitive, but think what a drop of 40 percent in net worth means to the biggest economy in the world.

Subsequently, from the day Obama locked up the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2008 the dollar bottomed.  It was as if dollar bulls knew he would be President and were, after the raging uncertainties of the Bush Administration, damn happy he would be.  There were some wild swings in the currency as Obama battled Congressional Republican obstruction (shutting down the government…) but once he was reelected, it was clear sailing to the upside until now.

So what now?

The new era of raging uncertainties is just beginning so, despite professed Fed Reserve tightening, it is probably best to be defensive, if not downright bearish, on the US dollar.

(right click on the chart for a larger view)

USD2017-04-12_1312

Mirror, mirror, what’s the fairest rally?

This is a follow-up to the entry below entitled “To Brexit Or To Exit”.

It was suggested the current rally would continue to mirror the immediate post-Brexit, rally as it has been doing week-by-week since the election.  That continued today as the market put another spike up right on time (see the bars in the red ovals on the right and the left).

If the mirroring is to continue the market should put in two more up days this week before beginning a long chop-chop, likely for the rest of the year.

And it was suggested the rally would likely resume today into the end the week.  That is still likely unless the Fed kills it with news tomorrow.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

it_rhymes3