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Oct 05 2018

Time To Get Contrary With Commodities?

  • Oct 5, 2018

After a strong 2016 and a “Bridesmaid” (i.e., sector runner-up) performance in 2017, the Materials sector seemed primed to benefit from the “late cycle” character of the economy in 2018.

Oct 05 2018

Investor Temperament And The “Tape”

  • Oct 5, 2018

In the first week of October, the share of newsletter bulls topped 61% just as the NYSE percentage slid to 41%. Maybe it’s a seasonal thing… the last time that happened was October 2007.

Apr 06 2018

A Troublesome Commodity Pattern...

  • Apr 6, 2018

During each of the last five months, the U.S. economy has shown a broadening array of “late-cycle” characteristics.

Apr 06 2018

“What, Me Worry?”

  • Apr 6, 2018

Our shortest-term put/call measure has yet to reflect the level of fear usually triggered by a correction of this size. Meanwhile, the market setback has done almost nothing to stymy the optimism of either market newsletter writers or mutual fund timers.

Jan 06 2018

A Long-Term Take On Sentiment

  • Jan 6, 2018

We impatiently published this study two months ago instead of properly waiting for full-year numbers.

Jan 05 2018

A Long-Term Take On Sentiment

  • Jan 5, 2018

Tax cuts, a strong economy, and daily stock market records have lifted measures of investor sentiment to levels not seen in two decades. But sentiment is only a slightly better timing tool than valuations (which is not saying much), and there’s plenty of room for excitement to build before a final top is at hand.

Dec 07 2017

Not A Tipping Point, But A “Toggle” Point?

  • Dec 7, 2017

Evidently, being a bull in a bull market is no longer good enough.

Nov 07 2017

A Longer-Term Take On Sentiment

  • Nov 7, 2017

Stock market bears had a field day when the latest Investors Intelligence sentiment survey (Chart 1) saw the percentage of bullish newsletter writers spike to its “highest level since 1987.”

Oct 06 2017

Thoughts On Sentiment

  • Oct 6, 2017

The MTI’s Attitudinal category has held stable over the last several months, an impressive (and contrarily bullish) feat considering the steady onslaught of new bull market highs.

Mar 07 2017

A “Good Year” To Start The Year

  • Mar 7, 2017

The S&P 500 was up 6.4% YTD through March 3rd, a bit above its average annualized gain of 5.9% since 1926. In other words, 2017 would be a good year if the books were closed today.

Dec 07 2016

Stock Market Observations

  • Dec 7, 2016

We revisit our “Red Flag Indicator” of prior bull market tops versus today. Usually most of these internal market measures will deteriorate in advance of the final bull market peak. At the latest S&P high, three of the seven leading measures had raised Red Flags, by not confirming, but two of them (DJ Transports and the NYSE A/D Line), are within just ticks of new bull market highs.

Jul 08 2016

Bond Bubble Spills Into Equities

  • Jul 8, 2016

The S&P 500 once again remains on the verge of a new bull market high, thanks in large part to the bubble in another asset class: Bonds.

May 06 2016

EM: Improved Sentiment But Macro Risks Still Dominate

  • May 6, 2016

Positive forces may be transient. Be wary of EM’s high correlation to commodities and Chinese stocks.

Mar 07 2016

Bottom-Fishing In Energy: Beware Of Bankruptcy Risks

  • Mar 7, 2016

New developments have lifted sentiment toward oil and Energy names, but we caution bottom-fishers to be mindful of risks. The fundamentals in the oil patch do not yet support strong oil prices going forward.

Feb 05 2016

Overthinking Market Sentiment

  • Feb 5, 2016

This month’s “Of Special Interest” allots eight pages to the (opposition) view that the correction is over, featuring charts we find the most threatening to our bearish stance. Based on its sudden popularity among the press and punditry, the indicator in this chart—highlighting the air-pocket in investor confidence—perhaps should have been part of that feature. Here’s why it wasn’t.

Nov 06 2015

Market Sentiment Check

  • Nov 6, 2015

One of the drawbacks advantages of tracking so many market indicators is that one can invariably cherry-pick a single measure that supports a given narrative.

Oct 07 2015

Sentiment, The Economy & The Fed

  • Oct 7, 2015

We wrote in the January book that 2015 would serve up no shortage of excuses for the Fed to hold off on tightening all year. Whatever window the Fed may have had is now closed.

Sep 09 2015

Expect A "Round Trip" In Sentiment

  • Sep 9, 2015

When the “most hated bull market on record” finally suffers a steep decline, it’s reasonable to expect that the hatred might evolve into true revulsion.

Aug 07 2015

Stock Market Observations

  • Aug 7, 2015

The U.S. stock market has largely shrugged off the latest round of worries related to China’s stock market collapse, the new down-leg in crude oil, a more hawkish tone in Fed-speak, and sizable second-quarter declines in S&P 500 sales and earnings.

Jul 08 2015

Beware The New ‘Wall Of Worry’

  • Jul 8, 2015

The Volume Oscillator discussed in this section is one of several encouraging developments within our Attitudinal work that has sent that category to its least negative reading (-57, Chart 1) since July 2013.

Feb 06 2015

A Few Thoughts (And A Lot Of Charts) On The Oil Collapse

  • Feb 6, 2015

Has the recent collapse in crude oil prices presented us with a good opportunity for an outright commodity investment? No. Energy stocks aren’t on our radar screen either.

Jan 08 2015

Sentiment: Frothier Than You Think

  • Jan 8, 2015

Last year will certainly go down as the bull market year in which investors were finally retrained (as they usually are, late in every bull market) to buy the dips. Most of our Attitudinal measures—ranging from option activity and bear fund assets, to surveys of investor sentiment—show retail investors finally shaking off the worry that gripped them for most of the bull market’s first five years.

Dec 05 2014

Stuck In Neutral?

  • Dec 5, 2014

Extreme market viewpoints get the headlines, but it’s baked into our disciplines that we will (occasionally) be noncommittal.

Dec 05 2014

Commodity Sentiment Crushed, Yet Commodity Stock Valuations Above Boom Levels

  • Dec 5, 2014

We’ve been negative on industrial commodities for some time, reflecting the persistently (and unsustainably) high levels of investment evidenced by our Global Group analyses of commodity-oriented industries.

Nov 07 2014

Sentiment: Back To The Brink?

  • Nov 7, 2014

Investors are becoming more and more comfortable buying stock market dips. This is obviously latecycle behavior, but sentiment measures alone aren’t enough to tell us how late.

Jun 06 2014

Commodities: Not A New Bull

  • Jun 6, 2014

The year’s second biggest surprise (next to the relentless drop in bond yields) might be the YTD bounce in the major commodity indexes.

Apr 08 2014

Time For A Spring Shower?

  • Apr 8, 2014

The stock market staged a two-day bearish reversal beginning a few hours after the release of the March employment report, a decline that could —based on the bearish status of a single MTI category (Attitudinal)—carry further before it is finished. But with the S&P 500 (and many other U.S. equity indexes) recording a bull market high as recently as April 2, it’s too early to argue the market top is “in.”

Mar 07 2014

Stock Market Observations

  • Mar 7, 2014

With our equity exposure high and our disciplines still tilting bullish, we’re naturally more concerned with what might go wrong than missing out on some kind of 2013 repeat.

Aug 07 2013

A Comprehensive Look At The Emerging Markets: Diagnosis And Prognosis

  • Aug 7, 2013

We examine Emerging Markets from both the top-down and bottom-up perspectives as we try to identify where to move and what to expect. We check in on two successful EM thematic group ideas as well.

Jul 09 2013

Major Trend Moves To Neutral, But Not All Hope For The Bulls Is Lost

  • Jul 9, 2013

Deteriorating Technicals drove the move to Neutral, but a new positive reading in the Attitudinal category gives some hope to the bulls.

May 01 2013

Cashing In Some Chips

  • May 1, 2013

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s grown weary of the media’s “Sell In May” obsession in the last several weeks. In my case, I felt this old piece of stock market wisdom would be late by at least two weeks here in 2013. (But, as of early May, I was wrong.)

May 01 2013

Ruminations On The Major Trend Index

  • May 1, 2013

There are many reasons to think the MTI’s cautionary message should be taken seriously.

May 01 2013

Everyone's A Contrarian!

  • May 1, 2013

The analysis of stock market sentiment is an area that’s become especially prone to selective perception, what with the explosion in creative, New-Economy ways to measure investor mood (Twitter activity, Google searches on key phrases, etc.). By the sheer law of large numbers, a market commentator with any view whatsoever can now ferret out enough data points or market anecdotes to paint him/herself as a maligned and misunderstood contrarian.

Feb 06 2013

New Highs, And Then What?

  • Feb 6, 2013

We are in clear view of the “Twin Peaks” S&P 500 highs of the last decade and these should be eclipsed by mid-year. But when the S&P 500 is adjusted for inflation or denominated in Swiss Francs or Gold these highs may prove elusive.



Feb 06 2013

Ringing In The New Year On A Wide Range Of Topics

  • Feb 6, 2013

Did we just get a Technical “all clear” sign? Is the trading day getting you down? What about corporate earnings, or sovereign debt and the stock market?


Dec 06 2012

The Outlook For Commodity Stocks

  • Dec 6, 2012

Energy looks cheaper and appears much more washed out from a sentiment perspective. Contrarians looking for commodity exposure should favor this sector over Materials. 

Sep 07 2012

Sentiment And “Seasonals” Collide

  • Sep 7, 2012

Stock market sentiment is overheated, at least on a short-term basis. But does excessively optimistic market sentiment lead to worse September-October market action? Yes it does, but the observations are limited.

Sep 07 2012

Major Trend Index Fading As “That Time Of Year” Looms

  • Sep 7, 2012

With “That Time Of Year” approaching and the Major Trend Index not too far above the neutral zone, we review nine factors impacting the stock market from a glass-half-empty perspective.

Jun 06 2012

Where To Invest? A Graphical View of Global Equity Markets

  • Jun 6, 2012

Taking into account the variety of total return contributors, we conclude that no one regional equity market stands out as a slam dunk investment idea.

May 04 2012

Trying To Forget May 2011 (...and May 2010)

  • May 4, 2012

Trying to forget the April tops of the past two years appears to be difficult for many as sentiment measures remain relatively dismal (which is a stock market positive). What insight can we gain from this?