Market Macro Fails

For the first time since 2016 the BigFoot Market Macro Signal has gone negative. And we’re already set up for a potential whipsaw, as futures are pointing to a higher open that would put the SPX above the threshhold to flip the Macro back into buy territory.

Over the weekend the big announcement was a temporary truce between the US and China. The details are a little fuzzy, but basically, no new tariffs, and some rollbacks on a few – at least for the next 90 days.

This doesn’t mean the trade war is over. But it is positive progress. So we should be good to go, right?

Woah, woah… slow your roll. Just because we have a deferral of action doesn’t mean everything is okay. And technically, things are still unclear. In fact, if the futures pop higher today as expected, there’s good chance a pricing gap will materialize.

We’ve spoken many times on conference calls about how the markets abhor pricing gaps. And in this case, unless the market managed to push above 2825 or so, it’s likely we’ll dip back down to 2760 some time this week first to fill that price gap.

From a Macro perspective, we just want to see the markets finish the year above 2754. This should be enough to flip the signal back to a buy. Which is interesting, because last Friday’s close would have done it. But, alas, that’s not how the signal works.

We’re in a bit of technical no man’s land. There markets have had a double-dip this year, but the fundamental news is pretty optimistic. Jay Powell and the Fed gave the market the gift it was looking for (a more dovish stance), and Trump has softened on the trade war. Pricing multiples have fallen to essentially their low-point for the year. So there’s room for the markets to go up, but the mixed pricing signals also mean there’s room for the markets to dip a bit yet.

Given we’re already into December, and most of the earnings for the year area already over, it’s difficult to see a rationale for why the markets should push to all-time highs before the end of the year. In fact, given the mixed Macro signal from the software – and the anemic 40% long positions ratio – it’s difficult to see much more than a sideways market from here – even with the ‘big news’ about the deferral of the trade war with China.

Make no mistake, Monday is shaping up to a be a positive day for the markets, with the SPX likely to push above 2800 intra-day. But Monday may not be enough to shake off the bear-market chatter just yet… Tis the season for miracles, sure. And perhaps Santa is bringing more than coal for the year. But it doesn’t look like yuge breakout to finish the year at this point.

Interestingly enough, the ‘bear market’ may have already silently happened in the form of asset rotation. Many of the high-flying tech names have already had over 20% corrections in pricing. We just haven’t seen the entire market dip simultaneously. A move like that may be reserved for our next recessionary environment. When that actually occurs is still a subject of much debate.

For the week – enjoy the reprieve. Just don’t let a few days in the market head-fake you into thinking everything is all clear. Plenty of up days happen in bear markets. Better to keep your cool and play this one by the numbers IMO.

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