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Early Signs Indicate a Santa Claus Rally

For all the pain 2020 has caused, it looks like there may be one more gift this year: a Santa Clause Rally?

Let’s skip the suspense of fundamental musings – after all, none of us can predict the future. instead, we’ll look at the quantatative data. What’s it suggesting may play out?

The technical pattern unfolding under this market is showing surprising strength. First, all but the DJIA indexes have regained their buy signals in the BigFoot system. This suggests volatility is on the decline (and perhaps uncertainty as well).

The individual signals on the indexes are a positive sign, but a look under the hood of the BigFoot system reveals even more news. Currently the system is monitoring over 11,700 positions, and over 83% of those positions have long signals. About 2/3 of the long positions have buy signals. And the number of buy signals has been increasing throughout November.

The increase in buy signals in the BigFoot system reflects declining short-term volatility in the system. This makes sense in the larger context of the markets. November may outpace August for monthly gains.

Looking ahead, it seems unlikely the markets can maintain the pace of November for the end of the year. However, the technical pattern suggests the month of December can be positive and move higher from here.

There is a lot of underlying strength in a number of trend lines. The 50, 100, and 200 day moving averages are all positive. Linear regression trackers are all positive. The slope of the quarter, month, and weekly trading trends are all positive. In short, there are very few trend-tracking data points a computer algo can use to get bearish right now.

Some analysts may suggest the market is over-bought here. While the data does imply this, (we’re over one standard deviation above the last month’s trading range now) there are other influences that need to be considered. First, the upward move has a lot of technical trend strength. This pattern indicates we could extend higher for several weeks, remaining in the over-bought area for longer than expected.

Second, the sequence or returns – with August being strong, September and October being weak, the November being strong again – have enough wide swings to again throw off many trading algo’s. The patterns just don’t quite conform in the short-term.

It’s the intermediate term that looks promising. It’s long enough to show a positive pattern, but short enough not to look much past Q4-2020. It even makes a little sense.

Between now and the end of the year the fundamental story is promising. With the Georgia Senate race undecided, the most extreme Biden tax plans are on hold (assuming the Senate doesn’t flip blue). So markets look to the end of the year, with a stimulus-friendly administration walking into the White House, and a likely Covid vaccine rolling out soon. Both of these should bolster market sentiment for a few more weeks given no additional data. And neither should change the Fed’s policy approach.

Then there’s the untold story. It’s the end of the year. Many Wall Street analysts pegged 3800 as the number for S&P 500 2020. And bonuses are on the line. (So the cynic in me is watching for a rally to make sure those traders and analysts hit their holiday bonus numbers).

Of course, it is 2020. So literally anything could happen. Earthquake? Volcano? Ice age? At this point, only the boldest of us would rule anything out. But, statistically, the outcome looks positive. So, at least for now – for December – some hope remains that we can finish strong.

S&P 500 going to 3800 is still not out of the cards for the year. For the week, it looks like a slow start, with futures suggesting a negative open. This wouldn’t be surprising after last week’s Thanksgiving-shorted trading session. Once traders re-position a bit for the home stretch of the year, we’ll see if markets don’t find some traction.

So be good boys and girls. We’ll see if the market brings a present for the end of the month, or if 2020 delivers another lump of coal.

Let the Games Begin

Last Friday finished at all-time highs for the SPX. Today, Futures look to open flat. Tech giants continue to drive this market higher. The rest of the market may even be starting to gain a bid. But there’s an elephant (and a donkey) in the middle of the room: the election.

A lot of folks are betting the future of this market on the election.

It’s tricky, because on one hand, things like tax policy and the idea of being ‘business friendly’ look so vastly different on paper. On the other hand, both parties seem to spend more than we have, make promises they can’t keep, or generally point fingers at the other team only to do the exact same thing they cry foul for when it’s their turn. So perhaps it’s less different than many care to admit.

Regardless, the reality is the election is two months away, and market participants are very interested in the outcome. It’s a classic backdrop for volatility.

Currently volatility has been on the decline and seems relatively benign. We’ll see if September’s historic reputation of being a challenging month for the markets lives up to the hype.

For now, the technical picture remains mixed: a strong uptrend that appears to be continuing, with an odds-beating sequence of positive returns that begs for mean reversion.

Since we’re already at all-time highs there really isn’t ‘resistance’ for the markets to the up-side. There’s just a general trend that continues. And that trend extends up near 3450 for the S&P 500.

Support is a slightly different game. At all time highs, we can look backwards in time for key areas the market once challenged. In this case, the stand-out support area appears to be the previous February high-water mark at 3393.

Markets are pretty tricky to call when they’re achieving all-time highs. The temptation is to believe they must fail first. This need not be the case though. In spite of all the chaos and theories that this market must go down before it can go up, markets can rise to even-all-time-higher levels from here.

The critical question to ask is: where does the money go if it’s not in the market? And are folks willing to sit on the sidelines and watch things go higher?

Mechanically speaking, markets can rise on thin volume (in some cases easier than on high volume). So a rising market does not need a lot of believers; it just needs more buyers than sellers. And since the Fed has made most everything else pretty unattractive to buy, you can do the math.

So as we send off August, send the kids back to school (or do we???), look forward to an election, and the upcoming holiday season, we’ll see how things evolve. So far, the market is not forecasting its own demise. But we’ll see if the fears of would-be-stock-buyers manifest in a self-fulfilling prophecy of bear stampedes… or not.

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.

S&P500 Enters Over-Bought Territory

Last week was another strong showing for the SPX in 2019.  In fact, so far, there have only been 3 negatives closes for the year.  The last time we saw the markets start this strong was… oh yeah, last year.  Then, in February, everything tanked.

This is not to say that everything is gearing up to tank again.  But it is to say the markets may be getting out ahead of themselves a bit.

Perhaps the biggest difference between 2018 and 2019 is where the markets have been.  After 2017’s strong upward move, the markets were still pushing higher.  After 2018’s late-year collapse, the markets are still recovering.

From a technical perspective, we’re now in a fragile zone.  The fundamental data is holding thus far.  So a bottom may have been put in on Christmas Eve 2018.  Typically you’ll get some kind of pull-back — or even a re-test — after the drop and bounce the markets have just experienced.  The key is where to measure from.

The low on Christmas Eve of last year is a pretty easy spot to peg on the charts.  From that point, we saw a v-bottom recovery up until today.  How high this initial bounce goes is yet to be determined.  As of last Friday, the SPX crossed above its 50-day moving average.  However, it’s still below it’s 100 and 200-day moving averages.

If a relatively typical 50-percent retracement were to occur at this point, we could measure between either the 50, 100, or 200-day moving average back to Christmas Eve.  Doing this, we get either 2554, 2548, or 2495.  We can also toss 2516 in there based on last Friday’s close.  That’s anywhere from a 4.3-to-6.5 percent pull-back from Friday’s close.

What happens if support fails at these levels?  Well, it gets tricky.  There’s sort of a last-resort number at 2480.  But if that level gets violated, we’re looking at 2408 or a full-blow re-test of the Christmas Eve lows.  We do not want to discuss the outcome if the markets hit a lower low.  Let’s just say we could be partying like it’s 1999…  or maybe 2150.

What happens if we don’t get a pull-back at all?  Outcome unclear.

If there is no pull-back, presumably it’s because we’ve seen a material shift in expectations for the economy.  As of now, people are on the look-out for recessionary signals.  So anything that pushes that probability farther out into the future would be greeted as good news to this markets.  And we could see a drive even further towards the 2825-2884 range — or perhaps significantly higher.

So enjoy the January effect.  But before you get too excited about the possibility of a market melt-up, let’s all take a deep breath and see if we can breach the 200-day moving average and close above this level for a couple weeks.  That would be a strong signal that the Christmas hangover was behind us.  Until such time, we’re not out of the woods on this thing yet.

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.

 

Danger Zone

After a pretty good rally from the December 24, 2018 lows, the markets may be in for a tough week as they enter the ‘danger zone’ of resistance.

During the slide from the October 2018 highs, the markets oscillated around the 2600-2650 or so levels. These numbers are not precise, but they’re close enough to be ‘big fat round numbers’ the market can latch on to. And many traders will likely be paying attention.

The last time the markets hit this danger zone, they rallied higher but failed. Ultimately, the markets dropped lower. This is a set-up for a test of this support/resistance level, as previous support, once breached, becomes resistance on the way back up.

Right now the sentiment in the market is delicate. While the beginning of 2019 has been a nice rally off the prior-year lows, the economic environment is quite uncertain. Fundamental data may say things are okay, but the market is still searching for bad news. And so far, all news is viewed with suspicion, and greeted with the benefit of the doubt.

You need to look no further than the 10-year treasury yield to see that markets are nervous. Theories about for how and why the US economy is actually in far worse shape than the data would indicate. What seems to be sorely lacking is the actual data that says we’re in for a major recession. You know what they say about self-fulfilling prophecies though?… Look hard enough and it will appear.

For this week, the market looks to be opening down, likely because of negative news out of China. But we also have the ongoing government shutdown and a few other data points the markets can muse about as well. So look for negative sentiment early on.

On the downside, look for 2535 as support for the SPX. On the upside, 2625ish should be the first tier of resistance. 2535 is simply last week’s opening price for the SPX. If we lose all of the gains from last week, expect some follow-through and more downside movement as markets like to re-test lows before sounding the all-clear. And if we really are entering a bear market, the probability of this re-test of high.

Should a breach of support occur we we’ll discuss things at that time. For now, even a week at a time looks to be a wild ride.

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.

New Year’s Shift

Happy New Year!

This is the first full week of trading for the year – so back to work!

Markets are trying to shake off the December 2018 hangover. Last week’s first trading week sure made it interesting. The big news was the blowout jobs report last Friday coupled with the more Dovish tones from the Fed. This cocktail was the recipe for a huge rally on Friday.

Has this changed anything? Only the short-term outlook. It seems everyone had written off the economy for dead in December. With the Fed tightening, it was only a matter of time before the recession word came into play. But then the jobs numbers came out.

Realistically, the problems are unchanged from last year. The difference is outlook on the Fed. If the money supply isn’t going to be choked off even more aggressively (because, remember, they’re still reducing their balance sheet and no longer buying bonds), perhaps the economy can continue to grow.

Plus the American public is about to get a very real look at whether or not they will experience personal tax savings under this new plan. It’s been a popular target because of growing deficits at the Federal level, but folks are about to get a direct taste of ‘what’s in it for me.’

Some good news on China talks, the Federal government starts operating again (this is less of a concern to the market than the media would have you believe), and some decent earnings numbers and guidance in Q1 and this market could be back on track in short order.

The Fed shifts to more hawkish, trade talks with China drag on with no change, or we start to see numbers indicating an actual economic slowdown, and this market could head south all over again.

So for now, we wait a couple weeks and see how the data shapes up.

If you want to be a stickler, the SPX actually hit a 20% drop from peak-to-trough during December. So one could argue we’ve had the shortest bear market we’ve ever seen. Strangely, no one seems to be saying that. The talking heads keep talking about when the bull will die… so apparently an intra-day swing, or a one-day blip, isn’t how they want to measure things.

For the week, it look for 2408 support, and really no upside resistance to speak of, so 2575/2600. If this seems like a comically large range for a technical call… it is. But that’s what happens when you’ve had the kind of volatility that wrapped up last year. Things get blown-out, over-sold, and the algo’s get a little wild. Until volatility subsides (if), this may be typical for a while.

Cheers and fingers crossed for a great 2019!

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.

2018 Lows in Sight

Looks like the stock markets made Santa’s naughty list. Last week seemed like things were stabilizing until the Friday afternoon selloff threw that idea out the window. At this point, sentiment is shot. It’s the end of the year. And the Fed has backed itself into a corner – damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. Because, despite decent earnings and decent economic data, the perception is the economy is rolling over.

So it looks like the lows of 2018 may be revisited soon. Friday’s price action already pulled the major indexes back into correction territory. There’s just very little traction to be had. And unless Jay Powell pulls a rabbit out of his hat, there seems to be little for the market to get excited about this year.

Short of a formally inked trade deal with China, it appears the high for the year was put in back in October. And it appears the low for the year may yet to be seen.

For the week, look for continued volatility as the market searches for a low around 2532 intra-day. If the SPX breach of this level and you have to start looking into 2017-year for support levels… we’ll cross that bridge if (or perhaps when) we get to it. Judging from the futures markets, Monday will open lower. If the Fed-speak is wrong though, a 60-ish point decline for the week is more than possible.

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.

Searching for Support

After another ugly week of down-side, reports all over the internet insist the futures are indicating a drop for the US stock markets today. Will it happen? Maybe.

Over the weekend stocks dropped in Europe, China, Japan and the like. US Futures were also down about 1% or so from Friday’s close. But futures have climbed back to about even overnight. This puts the markets in an interesting spot.

The 2630ish level was a big one as it markets the October and November low points for the SPX. The index has now visited this level 4 times. The prior three times markets found support and rallied. The fourth time was last Friday – and the markets closed at this level.

So, does the market rally from this point? Trade sideways? Or is there more downside?

From a technical perspective, it’s difficult to call. The short-term signal is for a bounce higher from here. Markets appear over-sold, and the news driving things down appears to be more about rumors than it does about economic data. If one wrong utterance about China and trade can take the markets down 100 SPX points, one has to wonder what a right utterance could do.

Longer term, the technical picture is concerning. It’s a tale of two big-picture events. Does the bull market regroup can go higher, or are we in for a more significant big-picture pull back (aka bear market)? And IF it were a bear, how far does it drop from here? On one hand, there’s a figure of about 27% decline. On the other, more than 40%.

The thing is, the economic data doesn’t support a 40% pull-back. It just doesn’t tell this story. Even if you can squiggle some lines on charts and talk about how this could happen, what economic reality must come to pass in order to generate such a mess?

Answer: who knows? We can all speculate. Perhaps it’s the failure of a major state pension plan. Perhaps it’s a full-blown trade war with China. Perhaps it’s a nuclear missile launch from North Korea. Whatever the black swan event, it’s not ‘known’ by the markets. So it’s tough to call it priced in.

At this point, the markets have priced in a lot of bad news. Multiples have fallen. Many stocks are in bear market territory. And, in many cases, if it weren’t for the cap-weighted nature of the indexes, you’d see that many of the non-mega-cap stocks have already gone through bear-like corrections.

This week should be interesting. If 2630 or so holds, it’s a good sign. If not, there’s little indication where the next level of support is. We will likely re-visit the February lows for the market. For the SPX, that’s another 100 points of downside from here (or just under 4%).

Get your Santa rally caps on. This market may need it.

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.

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.

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 Outlook Still Unclear

While the long-term trend support seems to be in place (around the 200-day moving average), the intermediate-term numbers are all over the place.

This week is an interesting set-up.  The futures over the weekend are indicating a strong positive open for the week.  And over 1000 companies report earnings this week.  This, paired with very little Fed activity, should make for a decent backdrop for the markets.

Looking at the technical data, it’s a tale of two markets.  One market has the SPX running back to over 2825 this week.  The other has the SPX failing down to about 2675.  The volatility range looks like it could be quite high this week.  The bias, fortunately, appears to be positive.

The last several weeks have taken a lot of the wind out of the sales of this market.  While it doesn’t appear a full-blown bear is yet upon us, the BigFoot database has now fallen from the mid-70’s in terms of percent long, to low 50’s.  This is a meaningful shift.

On the one hand, money has been in motion, so some new opportunities should arise.  On the other hand, money has been in motion, and there’s clearly a shakeup.  Tech, in particular, has taken a hard hit in October.

Given that all three macro indicators remain positive, the backdrop for a major decline still hasn’t materialized yet.  Once the elections are over perhaps the markets can get a better idea which direction they’d like to commit.  For now, look for continued volatility, with a positive bias 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.

Mixed Signals Everywhere

With so many ‘this is good, but this is bad’ data points out there, it’s difficult to make heads or tails of this market.  Bull or bear?  Maybe the answer is neither… for now.

The interesting thing that’s been going on, really since Janet Yellen stepped down as FOMC chair, is that volatility — in general — spiked.

Intra-day volatility has remained pretty high.  But week-to-week, it seems like the swings are starting to normalize somewhat.  Could it be as simple as the markets getting used to Jerome Powell at the FOMC now — and realizing there has not been a significant policy shift nor a radical departure in communication style from the Fed?  And if so, is there really that much of a reason to expect the bears to drag this thing down much further?

If the market is primarily concerned with the cost of capital, it seems the corporate earnings picture is proving that the incremental rate hikes are yet to have a significant impact on things.  And the tax cuts are still just being realized in the system.  So…  geopolitics… which haven’t been a significant influencer of the markets (or even volatility for that matter) for the past several years, are all the sudden the big concern for the markets?  Don’t seem to jive with how the markets have behaved the last few years.

Seems more like the markets have to decide whether or not the ‘peak earnings’ theory throw out there by CAT is the real question.  And so far, the answer appears to be no.  So apparently it’s not what have you done for me lately, but what are you going to do for me next, that the market is looking for.

On last week’s conference call we discussed the pennant pattern the S&P500 has been forming through most of 2018.  This week the number to watch is 2688.  A close above this level for the week could be the start of a break-out that has this market re-test the 2018 highs published in January (fun stuff).  A close below the 200-day moving average (currently 2611, but call support 2600) would be a break-out to the other side, and signal a move lower.

We’ll see if this week signals a ‘sell in May and go away’ event, or if the old wive’s tales or the markets are nothing but baloney.  Have a great week!

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