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Chart Of The Week

Jan 14 2022

Limping Into Wildcard Weekend With A Compound Fracture

  • Jan 14, 2022

We wrote in the latest Green Book that a breadth indicator that should be more well-known than it is—the High/Low Logic Index (or HLLI)—had moved to “maximum negative” right at the cycle high in the NASDAQ Composite on November 19th. Specifically, the 10-week moving average of this indicator showed a perilous internal condition in which too many NASDAQ stocks were reaching 52-week New Highs and New Lows simultaneously. That’s the very definition of a “fractured” market, and has preceded some important NASDAQ declines. There have also been a couple of premature warnings, as in the summers of 1996 and 2019.

 

Dec 30 2021

2022 Earnings: Place Your Bets

  • Dec 30, 2021

It’s once again that time of year for what our founder deemed the great “thermal pollution.” Market pundits and prognosticators will divine, guess, and predict all that the market will bring in the new year.

Dec 23 2021

Can Santa Cap-Off A Stellar Year?

  • Dec 23, 2021

The S&P 500 is flirting with new all-time highs, and the news gets even better for followers of seasonal patterns: The Santa Claus rally has yet to officially begin!

Dec 17 2021

A Religious Calendar Calls For A 2022 (Market) Sabbatical

  • Dec 17, 2021

With the most speculative year in U.S. stock market history drawing to a close, we could probably all use a rest. How about a rest that lasts 12 months?

The year 2022 on the Jewish calendar is a Shmita year—historically considered to be a year of rest, or sabbatical, following six years of work. Unfortunately, markets have frequently taken this suggestion quite literally! There’s been a major financial disruption in seven of the eight Shmita years dating back to 1966:

Nov 18 2021

Powell’s Dovish Accomplice

  • Nov 18, 2021

Last week we argued that U.S. money growth remains way too high to reasonably expect a peak in consumer price inflation during the next few months. At the peaks of the last five bouts of inflation of 5% or more, real growth in the M2 money supply had turned negative in four cases and had slipped to less than 1% in the other one. Today, real M2 is growing at nearly a 7% rate.

Nov 12 2021

Timing Is Troubling For “Team Transitory”

  • Nov 12, 2021

From the start of the inflation upswing this spring, pundits cited well-known disinflationary factors they believe will soon halt the current inflationary upswing—like free trade, the speed of technological advance, and aging populations globally. 

Oct 15 2021

Long-Term Returns: You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best!

  • Oct 15, 2021

In a possible sign we’re not getting enough oxygen at current valuation altitudes, we decided to replace the usual mean-reversion technique with a much friendlier approach that we’ve dubbed “maximum attraction.”

Sep 30 2021

Where's The "Meme" Reversion?

  • Sep 30, 2021

The recent bout of market turbulence has taken a little shine off of the two most famous meme stocks. Still, the elevated levels at which both AMC and GameStop trade can be described as nothing short of spectacular.

Sep 24 2021

The EPS Recovery And "The Cycle"

  • Sep 24, 2021

In a couple of weeks, final second quarter EPS for the S&P 500 will confirm the fastest recovery ever from a recession-related earnings decline. That’s old news, and before it has even hit the tape. But we’ve had a sneak peak from the monthly, 12-month trailing EPS numbers published by MSCI for its USA Large Cap Index. Those figures showed that EPS exceeded their pre-COVID peak in May, and the latest reading (through August) is already 22% above the prior high! Simple trendline analysis suggests that EPS for U.S. Large Caps are likely higher today than they would have been in the absence of the COVID pandemic and hyper-stimulative response. 

 

Sep 10 2021

Why Is Confidence “Inverted?”

  • Sep 10, 2021

Stimulus and soaring stock prices have contributed to the fastest consumer-confidence rebound of any economic recovery on record. Yet the manner in which this bounce has unfolded is anything but “early cycle.”
 

Aug 19 2021

Value Turns Discerning

  • Aug 19, 2021

The weakness in Value* over the last few months has gotten a lot of attention (Chart 1). While we are still on board with the “Value trade” in general, a subtle but distinct change within the theme has emerged. There is a clear bid for Quality, which had not happened in the massive post-Covid junk rally until recently.

Jul 30 2021

The 2021 EPS Rocket Ship

  • Jul 30, 2021

If you want to see a rocket ship, there’s no need to crane your neck upwards to see the latest exploits of our billionaire space cowboys. Rather, look to our earnings glidepath chart and marvel at the contrails of the 2021 full year operating earnings for the S&P 500.  

Jul 23 2021

It’s Not “Whether” You Sold In May, It’s “What”

  • Jul 23, 2021

Those who heeded the old advice to “Sell In May” have missed out on an additional 5% gain (and counting) so far in 2021. However, the best way to have played this seasonal anomaly over the years was not to have “sold-out,” but rather to have “reduced the beta” of one’s equity holdings versus cutting equity exposure outright. That strategy has paid-off handsomely the last three months, even as this “Nothin’ Matters And What If It Did” stock-market powers higher.

Jul 16 2021

A Closer Look At The “Rule Of Twenty”

  • Jul 16, 2021

Inflation and its potential impact on the stock market is the topic du jour, resurrecting ideas that were in vogue 30- to 40-years ago.

Steve Leuthold’s 1980 book, The Myths of Inflation and Investing, provided an exhaustive review of the evidence. But for lighter reading, more appropriate for a summer Friday, we revisit the “Rule of Twenty” developed by strategist Jim Moltz in the early 1980s.

Jun 25 2021

Visualizing U.S. Stock Market Dominance

  • Jun 25, 2021

It’s near the year’s mid-point and U.S. equities are doing what they’ve done nearly every year since the onset of the Great Financial Crisis: trouncing their foreign counterparts. The S&P 500’s YTD gain of 13.5% is about 500 basis points better than EAFE’s, and 800 basis points above that of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

Jun 18 2021

Price to Book: Obsolete, Or Just Misunderstood?

  • Jun 18, 2021

The Value style has broadly underperformed for more than ten years, and the blame for this dismal decade has often been placed squarely on the Price to Book metric. Could it be that Price to Book’s sullied reputation is undeserved?

Jun 10 2021

Stock/Bond Disconnect?

  • Jun 10, 2021

In the May Green Book, and again in the May 21st issue of “Chart of the Week,” we discussed the trailing one-year correlation between weekly percentage changes in the S&P 500 and the 10-year Treasury bond yield. Rollovers from high levels in this correlation have signaled most of the important pullbacks in the bond market over the last 20 years.

May 28 2021

Real Yields: Interesting, But Not So Helpful

  • May 28, 2021

After Consumer Price Inflation spiked to a 12 1/2-year high of 4.2% in April, there’s been a torrent of analysis decrying the collapse of “real yields”—including the real Treasury-bond yield, real S&P 500 dividend yield, and even the real S&P 500 earnings yield. Since all of these yields already traded at extremely low nominal levels, the inflation adjustment makes every one of them look even worse. For example, the real yield on 10-year Treasuries just sunk to -2.60%, the lowest reading since 1980 (Chart 1).

May 21 2021

What The Two-Month Stall In Bond Yields Tells Us

  • May 21, 2021

The 10-year Treasury yield has absorbed the past two months’ worsening inflation numbers by going exactly “nowhere.” Bond investors seem to be all-in on the Fed thesis that the inflation pickup is just transitory.

During the recent consolidation, however, the Treasury yield showed a subtle change in character—one that suggests there might be more inflation paranoia than meets the eye. The 10-year yield’s daily correlation with stock price movements flipped negative, and then plummeted toward a 21-year low. 

May 12 2021

Active Vs. Passive Return Drivers March 2021 Update

  • May 12, 2021

Our ongoing research into the relative performance of active vs. passive styles reveals that market conditions play a significant role in the active/passive return cycle. We identified a set of metrics that describe the market conditions we believe influence which management style is more likely to outperform. This note updates our data through March 2021.