Uncertainty is the New Certainty

Markets found some footing last week after a multi-week slide. However, futures are pointing to a drop yet again, presumably because of the most recent Trump Tweet regarding Iran.

So flip a coin. The SPX found a decent amount of support at the 2800 level. There also appears to be a decent amount of resistance around 2900. Not sure there’s a reason this market will break out of this range for the week. After bleeding off most of the year’s momentum in the past two weeks, we could be in for some sideways action while participants sort out the news.

For now, look for a sideways move for the week. A move of the SPX below 2800 — even intra-day — could be a sign of further downside on the horizon. There seems to be little catalyst (short of a formally inked trade deal with China) to push the market through any of the upward resistance right now.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

The Trade Wars Begin

While it sounds like an episode from Star Wars, this may not be fantasy. The trade talks between the US and China appear to be breaking down. At this point, both sides are talking new tariffs. And the speculation about just how quickly the world will come to an end has begun.

Putting political commentary aside, what does this mean for investors?

In a word: it’s bad.

Futures are getting hammered as markets appear poised to drop about 2% across the board. The 10-year treasury yield has also dropped as people seek safe-haven assets. Even the BigFoot database has dropped from over 82% long to around 75% long. So this is becoming more than just a squawking media cycle.

Support may be tough to find in this market. There’s been such a steady climb the last month that there are very few ‘stops’ on the way back down. The first noteworthy area the markets reversed is the intra-day low set back on March 27th at 2787.

Here are key support levels from there: 200-day moving average is at 2776. 100-day moving average is at 2749. And then there’s the March 8th low of 2722.

All of these levels imply a drop of over 3% for the week.

The only silver lining to this situation is that it could end. Should a deal be reached, markets would now view this as a VERY positive event that could push things to all-time highs in short order. Otherwise, the upward momentum is shot. We’re now looking at a sideways pattern where the markets have to find their footing, re-test a few times, and see if they can grind higher.

So yes, this news is damaging. Unless something happens today that gives the market a hard reversal — something that has this market finishing in the green today (which, frankly, is hard to rationalize given the current data) — there’s likely more damage to come.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

The Tariff Tantrum

Markets are bracing for a drop after the weekend announcement that tariffs on Chinese goods are not only back on the table but bigger than before.

What this translates to for the markets is uncertainty. For the past couple of months the China trade negotiations were largely an after-thought. This brings things back to the forefront.

Trying to understand (or predict) how China will respond is a study in both culture, gamesmanship, and so much more. And frankly, it’s beyond the scope of this blogger. Instead, let’s focus on what the market may look at.

Futures are set to open significantly lower. The SPX appears ready to test the 2900 support level. This is a fairly significant emotional line in the sand for traders. It’s also a big round number. But it’s well above the 50-day moving average of 2852.

A drop below the 50-day moving average this week would be psychologically damaging – especially when many folks begin to get suspicious about the “sell in May and go away” adage.

The 50-day moving average is about 3.7% lower than Friday’s close. A one-week drop of this magnitude would likely throw the markets into a sideways pattern while more news gets sorted out. It doesn’t mean it’s time to brace for a bear market. But we could be in for several weeks of increased volatility and sideways moves as trade negotiations move front-and-center for a while.

Despite the fact that the tariffs will hurt China significantly, there’s no guarantee they will respond as hoped. So this could drag on for a while. And it could have a real impact on GDP and growth for the S&P500 companies. A roll-back to the beginning of 2Q19 is easily possible. That would put the SPX back between 2786 and 2852. If China responds with tariffs of their own, it could push things down even further (although the economic impact of these tariffs would likely be less damaging to the US as we import more than we export from China).

It is way to early to suggest the US bull market is dead because of this. Quite the contrary, economic data remains robust. So while this is a bump in the road — and certainly it increased uncertainty — and likely volatility with it — it’s entirely possible the markets will pull back a bit, find their footing, and continue forward. Consider the fact there are still few more attractive options for yield than the US stock market (even with these new tariffs on Chinese goods).

If you think about all the options available to you — be they super-low-interest-rate fixed-income products, foreign equities, real estate. or commodities — there are still few options that look more attractive than US equities when comparing the overall risk-to-reward opportunities. This should keep a bid under the US market (or at least reduce the likelihood of a massive wave of selling).

Whatever the case, we should have more clarity as the week rolls on. For now, there’s a bunch of speculation and guessing as the markets try to sort this stuff out. As the data becomes clear, we’ll get a better understanding of where things are headed.

For the week, look at the 2900/2912 level for the first area of SPX support. After that, we may fall all the way to the 50-day moving average at 2852.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

This Should Be It

The moment everyone’s been waiting for should finally be here: SPX closing at all-time highs. The likelihood we see this at some point this week is extremely high (like 80% or more). The question is, will we close above this level for the week?

While the are chinks in the economic armor, the momentum in this market seems unconcerned… for now. Instead, we climb the wall of worry.

One concern about this move is the light volume. Lighter volume can be a recipe for volatility spikes. But so far, the lower volume seems to be a key part of the recipe pushing things higher.

For the week, watch for SPX to take out the intra-day high of 2940.91 set in October 2018. Once this level is breached, we’re in rarefied air. There’s not a specific ‘level’ the market should hunt for, other than Fibonacci levels (based on where to where though?). So the next thing to watch is the ‘usual suspects’ of 2950, 2975, 2994 (seems to always be just a little more than 5 points when we get close to a Big Round Number) and 3000.

On the down-side, support should hold at 2900 – at least for this week. If not, we have bigger issues to examine.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

Thin Air

The SPX is in a difficult spot. On the one hand, momentum in the smaller-cap stocks looks questionable; prices are above monthly trend; and earnings season has many concerned growth may be waning.

On the other hand, the prior intra-day high of just over 2940 is within striking distance.

So which way does the market go?

This is a tough call given that things seem pretty fairly valued at these levels. If you’re looking for a clear catalyst that drives equities higher, we may not know it until after the market has already placed its bets.

Markets aren’t in the business of sitting around and waiting for all the data to materialize. Often times they place their bets. Last week may have been an indicator as prices climbed while volumes dwindled.

Futures have indicated a fairly mixed open.

The trick looking forward is that the technical signals are mixed. At this point, the SPX is sitting atop a trend looking for a direction. Do we break out higher or retrace?

A healthy move for this market (SPX) would be to pull back to the 2860/2800 level the reverse to push on to new highs. What appears more likely is a move to take out the 2940 highs, followed by an even tougher decision about whether or not things should move higher from there.

The air is getting pretty thin at these levels. Markets seem to have moved higher not because of the news but because of a lack of reason for the trend to break. This makes things more fragile. A negative announcement could trigger the next 10% pull-back. But that doesn’t seem to be the prerogative of the markets lately. Given the now tired adage of TINA (there is no alternative), it appears the probability the SPX crosses the 3000 level this calendar year is still pretty likely.

SPX for the week

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

Technical Headwinds for SPX this Week

After a 7-day win streak the SPX may be bumping into some short-term resistance. We’re now spitting distance from SPX 2900, but the index is out ahead of most of its metrics at this point.

In fact, the SPX is more than 1.5 standard deviations above its 21-trading-day average. It’s above the 50, 100, and 200-day moving averages- and it’s above it’s 21-day linear regression.

In most of the traditional ways you’d analyze this market, it’s over-bought at this point. That makes for the high potential of short-term profit taking from traders and professional money managers.

The next thing to watch for on the horizon is Q2-earnings season. We’re running right into the throws of that now, with Alcoa reporting on April 17th. Those numbers should have a significant sway over the momentum of the SPX.

For the week, we may give a little back, with 2870’s to as low as 2830 being on the radar depending on the news cycle (the latter number being fairly extreme for a one-week move).

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.



No Foolin’

You can say what you want about the news tape. You can parse the economic data. You can look at the yield curve. And in spite of it all, the technical pattern is looking more and more like a re-test of the 2019 highs will be tested by the SPX.

SPX futures are indicating a spike higher at the open. This after the index has been consolidating around the 2800 level since late February.

Last week’s close above 2800, along with this morning’s futures pop, are a good indicator the that March 21 highs of the year will be tested (and likely surpassed) today.

If this occurs, it’s probable 2800 shifts from being the previous resistance level to the new support level. This gives the SPX the opportunity to push higher, re-testing last year’s highs, and possibly going even higher.

It would take a genuine shift in both economic data and policy to change the trend if this breakout occurs. For the time being, this can almost be called a stability bonus. Even though most media outlets like to stir the pot, the news narrative has not materially changed. And, more importantly, the FOMC rhetoric hasn’t changed.

This stability lends a degree of comfort for the markets. It’s possible we can see slight multiple expansion from these levels simply because, while negative, the current information cycle still indicates less ‘unknown,’ and therefore more risk can be priced higher.

Well, that, plus fixed income just has no meat left on the bone. So anyone looking for yield is forced into the deep end of the credit pool, or back into the stock markets. So the TINA market (there is no alternative) remains part of the story.

However you slice and dice it, the markets look to have a good shot at pushing higher over the next few weeks.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

No Man’s Land

If you’re looking for some kind of directional indication from the short-term, the markets aren’t hearing it.

Since the Christmas Eve lows of last year, this market has been on a tear… until the last two weeks or so. Now it seems escape velocity is waning. Each time the SPX hits 2800 momentum seems to dry up.

After last week’s negative move the 200-day moving average is back on the menu. The question is, will it be support or resistance?

Given the earnings season is largely behind us, the markets now get to shift to economic reports and politics. But don’t be fooled – the real story remains the FOMC. As long as the cheap money remains in play, there’s little reason for investors to go elsewhere for returns.

Technical signals are pretty benign here. The upside momentum may be washing out, but there’s no significant downside to speak of yet either. This leaves us with a few key support levels in the short-term: 2742; 2722; and 2679.

To translate this into percentages, there’s about a 2.5% downside risk this week (according to technicals). There’s a similar amount of upside. Looks like we’re range-bound in the short-term until the market gets some news to confirm a directional break-out. So far, 2800 continues to be resistance.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.



Upward Bias for the SPX This Week

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different
types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance
that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product
(including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by
BigFoot), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly
in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance
level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due
to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the
content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you
should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the
receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from BigFoot. To the
extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue
discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the
professional advisor of his/her choosing. BigFoot is neither a law firm nor a certified
public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal
or accounting advice. A copy of the BigFoot’s current written disclosure statement
discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.