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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.

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.