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Inside The Stock Market ...trends, cross-currents, and outlook

Sep 08 2022

No Rest For The Weary

  • Sep 8, 2022

If there’s a polar opposite to “Goldilocks,” this must be it. Not too hot and not too cold? What about both? Job growth and inflation are hot enough to force the Fed to follow through on its hawkish promises. But the leading indicators continue to warn us of oncoming cold. The odds that the porridge settles at the right temperature, without an intervening recession, look longer by the day.

Sep 08 2022

Tightening Into A Slowdown: Month Seven

  • Sep 8, 2022

An economy can slow to a standstill on a “real” basis while growing rapidly in nominal terms; it happens in emerging economies all the time. But this dichotomous condition now afflicts most of the developed world.

Sep 08 2022

A Year That Was Cursed From The Start

  • Sep 8, 2022

In January we put it bluntly: “Longer-term time cycles don’t line up for a prosperous 2022.” Not only is it a mid-term election year, but also a Shmita Year. Eight months later, the S&P 500 loss through August has exceeded 10% for only the twelfth time since 1926.

Sep 08 2022

Fake-Out Or Break-Out?

  • Sep 8, 2022

“Don’t fight the Fed” was profitable advice dispensed almost daily by bulls in the 2nd half of 2020 and all of 2021. It’s been valuable advice in 2022, as well. However, when the Fed turned hostile earlier this year, the bulls deviated from their own sound advice and looked for new narratives.

Sep 08 2022

From “Thrust” To “Bust” In Three Weeks

  • Sep 8, 2022

If a new bull began in June, the August 31st “super-oversold” signal would be the first ever during the first three months after a bear market low. In 1962, such a reading occurred in the bull’s fourth month—which is probably why some analysts are now using that year as a possible analog for the rest of 2022.

Sep 08 2022

Labor Is The Limiting Factor

  • Sep 8, 2022

If the economy slips into recession, the Fed will get all the blame. But it’s worth taking a step back to consider that the die has already been cast: The “capacity” for the U.S. economy to grow is nearly exhausted. Specifically, we’re referring to the capacity available in the labor market.

Sep 08 2022

It’s Been Ugly Across The Board

  • Sep 8, 2022

Aside from a couple specialized approaches, 2022 is shaping up as the second-worst year for “multi-asset” investing since at least 1973. It seems money printing supported more than just the equity subset.

Sep 08 2022

Another Stab At The “Downside”

  • Sep 8, 2022

How far might the S&P 500 fall in a recessionary bear market? The 2002 and 2020 stock market lows were both produced by “recessionary” bears; based on history back to the 1920s, those two lows stand out as the priciest bear market bottoms on record—and it’s not even close.

Aug 05 2022

Overheated?

  • Aug 5, 2022

Living in Minneapolis, we’re bewildered by the absence of research considering global warming as potentially a good thing for certain organisms. That’s especially true for creatures where the science is almost nonexistent—like the stock market. Record heat wave? Bring it on!

Aug 05 2022

“Toro Nuevo” Or Mirage?

  • Aug 5, 2022

While our breadth measures do not consider this rally to be thrust-worthy, when based on nothing more than performance, it’s difficult to distinguish between the “first up-leg” in a new bull market and a bear-market rally. The vital signs at present appear to be more in-line with the latter (although making that conclusion based on price action, alone, is hardly better than a coin toss).

Aug 05 2022

Bear Market Rallies In Context

  • Aug 5, 2022

The 2022 bear market is the 13th cyclical bear since 1950, and it’s already joined the mightiest half of its predecessors based on the fact that it’s actually contained a bear-market rally. Six of the prior 12 bear markets weren’t interrupted by even one rally of at least 10%.

Aug 05 2022

LEI On The Precipice

  • Aug 5, 2022

The LEI’s 3.6% six-month annualized loss through September 2006 was the largest decline not followed almost immediately by a recession. This year, the LEI contracted by 3.7% over the six months through June—if a recession is avoided in the current experience, it would be the most misleading signal in the history of the LEI as currently constructed.

Aug 05 2022

The Yield Curve: Two “Perfect Records” At Stake

  • Aug 5, 2022

Yield curve action is getting harder to dismiss by the day. But which curve is the most relevant? We tried to answer that question in disciplined fashion in April. To our surprise, the “2s10s” spread that’s ubiquitous in bond-land scored near the bottom of the pack.

Aug 05 2022

Job Market Suddenly “Laboring”

  • Aug 5, 2022

We cringe when we hear the Treasury Secretary or a regional Fed bank president dismiss the possibility of recession on the basis of “low unemployment and strong job gains.” Those measures are as “laggy” as any economic statistics the government publishes.

Aug 05 2022

Valuations: Living Beyond One’s Means?

  • Aug 5, 2022

We won’t dispute that investors were not genuinely frightened at the June market lows, or that fears have evaporated following a 13% rally in the S&P 500. The distress is understandable: For 26 traumatizing days in 2022, our S&P 500 Normalized P/E multiple traded below its 1957-to-date top decile!

Aug 05 2022

Confidence Cracking?

  • Aug 5, 2022

The theory of “contrary opinion” is important to market analysis, but so is an understanding of its limitations. When investor-sentiment surveys dipped sharply in late January, we warned that the declines (which are usually signals to “buy”) might instead mark the beginning of an important trend change. 

Aug 05 2022

The Rally: Impressive, But Not Yet “Thrust-Worthy”

  • Aug 5, 2022

Many technicians contend that the rebound off June’s lows triggered a bear-market-killing “breadth thrust.” Several gauges we monitor to capture this phenomenon contradict that claim. None has reached a threshold that is extreme enough to qualify as a thrust.

Aug 05 2022

Multi-Asset: Winning By Losing Less

  • Aug 5, 2022

At the beginning of the year, we liked the chances for the “Donut Portfolio” to break its 10-year losing streak against the S&P 500. As a refresher, the Donut holds six of seven key assets in equal weights. The S&P 500 is excluded—a decision probably only suitable for allocators who are self-employed. 

Jul 08 2022

Break Out The Checkbook!

  • Jul 8, 2022

We apologize for that terribly misleading teaser of a title, but the bills for the stock-market mania of 2020-2021 are piling up. Inflation is one of them, lately increasing each month as relentlessly as cable TV used to. And for the 10% of households who own 90% of the stocks, market air-pockets such as June’s are like “surprise” medical bills: There’s rarely just one

Jul 08 2022

More Signs Of Peak Inflation

  • Jul 8, 2022

As suggested in our June 24th, Chart of the Week, the peak in consumer inflation (+8.6% in May) has likely either occurred or is imminent. Consumers should thank the stock market, which in 2022 has taken up its occasional role as inflation-fighter after the Fed abdicated throughout 2021.