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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.

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.

Don’t expect much from a three and a half day trading week. Holiday weeks like this traditionally mean lower trading volume – and often higher volatility. Given the most recent few weeks in the market though, sentiment seems to be shifting. The Q4-Santa Claus Rally is in danger of passing us by. Post-Thanksgiving we’re really only talking about four more weeks of trading for the year when you consider window dressing, capital gains reporting, and the other holidays that will keep people home and away from the trading floor. Given the lack of trading momentum headed into this week, this market may not have much left in the tank.

This week should be a decent tell for the remainder of the year. Watch to see if the markets can find support above 2715. Otherwise, this market may find itself on Santa’s naughty list for the rest of the year.

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.

Get Back to Work

Vacation season is officially in the rear-view mirror.  Almost every school in the country is done with summer and back to the grind.  And the next break in the action won’t really occur until the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Look for volume to start climbing.

Let’s skip the fluff and get right to the chase:  the technicals are still showing bull signals at this time.  The media cycle is all aflutter about trade deals and the woes of the presidency.  Meanwhile, earnings are up, and interest rates are still tame.  This seems to be the only thing market participants care about right now.  Speculating on what out-there news story will take down Trump just hasn’t been profitable.

So what do the technicals tell us?  So far, the 2900 level is the next battle.  While markets closed at new highs, there may be some consolidation between 2870 and 2910 or so while participants settle into this new range.  Otherwise, the markets could shoot up toward the 2940 levels this week.

Over the weekend futures got as high as 2912.50 before pulling back to start this week.  The early indication is that the pull-back is likely to lead to an opening level similar to last Friday’s close.  It looks like the underlying momentum could turn positive though, pushing things higher.  If this market gets a little push, it could climb very quickly.

For the week, look for a positive bias.  It appears one of two likely options are in the set-up:  1) the market does some back-and-forth between 2870 and 2910,  or 2) the market finds its footing early and climbs passed 2925 while hunting for 2940 or so.  If option 2 happens, 2910 should become a new line of support 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.