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

Jan 07 2023

In No Hurry To Nowhere

  • Jan 7, 2023

With the stock market horrors of 2022 already well-lamented by others, we tried hard to a come up with a longer-term, cheerier take on the recent state of things. We’ll confess... it was challenge.

Jan 07 2023

A “Curve”-Ball We Didn’t See Coming...

  • Jan 7, 2023

Market veterans know there’s just one thing more probable than a recession after the yield curve inverts: Yield curve denial among a large group of sell-side economists and market strategists! Indeed, the earliest of those dismissals occurred last March—a month before the first of more than a dozen iterations of a yield curve inversion. 

Jan 07 2023

A One-Hundred-Year Market Echo

  • Jan 7, 2023

Hopes that this decade might see a repeat of the “Roaring Twenties” took a hit last year. But there’s plenty of time to recover, and bulls will be encouraged to learn that cumulative stock market performance for this decade, thus far, is better than at the same point in the Roaring 1920s.  

Jan 07 2023

A 2023 Forecast… From 1875!

  • Jan 7, 2023

Our grandmother mailed us the accompanying clipping from a Minneapolis newspaper when we entered the investment business in 1990—just as she’d done for our uncle when he became a securities analyst 20 years earlier.

Jan 07 2023

VLT: “A Swing” And “A Miss”

  • Jan 7, 2023

We suspected November’s “low-risk” VLT Momentum BUY signal on the Dow Jones Industrials might turn out badly, and we were right: The Dow’s decline last month was enough to cause VLT to roll back over, which officially “rescinds” that signal. 

Jan 07 2023

2023 Time Cycles: Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad

  • Jan 7, 2023

2022 was a nasty year for the stock market, but a wonderful one for market numerologists. This year is a different story. Two of the three calendar patterns are bullish, including the one in which we put the most stock (pun intended): The Presidential Election Cycle. 

Jan 07 2023

Another Misfire?

  • Jan 7, 2023

A signal from the newest addition to our Technical category seems to have gone awry. On November 30th, the percentage of S&P 500 stocks trading above their 50-day moving average topped 90%, thereby issuing the second “breadth-thrust” signal in four months.

Jan 04 2023

2022 Asset Allocation Review

  • Jan 4, 2023

We’ve heard for eons that “Low bond yields justify high equity valuations.” Value-conscious investors might have described this conundrum another way: “Low future returns in one asset class justify low future returns in another.” (Mysteriously, only the first rendition became a CNBC catch-phrase.)

Dec 07 2022

Calling “Bull” On Calls For A New Bull

  • Dec 7, 2022

Seriously, another “new bull”—coming so quickly after this summer’s “new bull?” We’ll see. We’re not ones to dismiss price action, because stock prices, in and of themselves, are an important “fundamental.” 
But we’ve seen the Dow go rogue like this once before, and it didn’t end well. 

Dec 07 2022

Illiquidity Rules The Day

  • Dec 7, 2022

Nearly everyone would cite high inflation as the dominant theme of 2022. But we think that the evaporation of a one-time ocean of liquidity better explains the horrendous backdrop for stocks and bonds. High inflation sped up the rate of evaporation, but it was going to occur anyway. 

Dec 07 2022

Don’t Trust The Thrust…

  • Dec 7, 2022

Jay Powell’s speech on November 30th triggered a 1,000-point intraday reversal on the DJIA and left us wondering who might have slipped the Chairman a recent copy of the Green Book.

Dec 07 2022

Goodbye Inflation, Hello Recession?

  • Dec 7, 2022

Unlike the five prior cycle peaks, this year’s inflation peak materialized during an ongoing economic expansion. That implies the “post-peak” monetary policy has never been tighter than today—making a soft landing even more improbable.

Dec 07 2022

The Inversion Before The Inversion

  • Dec 7, 2022

We found the spread between the “Expectations” and “Present Situation” series (the “Confidence Gap”) has historically moved almost in lockstep with the yield curve. As the Confidence Gap plummeted throughout 2021, the implication was the yield curve would soon follow. After some initial resistance, it did. 

Dec 07 2022

Not If, But When

  • Dec 7, 2022

Economists who believe a 2023 recession will be avoided, may not know it but they are “messing with perfection.” Since August, we’ve chronicled several developments that have, without fail, correctly forecasted past recessions, or confirmed that one was already underway. 

Dec 07 2022

“The Streak” Is In Jeopardy…

  • Dec 7, 2022

With less than a month to go, our hypothetical All Asset, No Authority (AANA) Portfolio seems likely to beat the S&P 500 on an annual basis for the first time since 2011. However, it’s doubtful that many real-world, institutional multi-asset portfolios were as heavily exposed as AANA to the best-performing assets—commodities and gold.

Dec 07 2022

Mixed Messages From VLT

  • Dec 7, 2022

While VLT for the S&P 500 continued to trend lower in November, the DJIA calculation edged higher and triggered a new BUY signal. The message could soon get more confusing: A BUY signal for the Russell 2000 would be triggered if that index closes December above 1,813, while the S&P 500 and NASDAQ would have to climb more than 11% and 15%, respectively, to trigger a VLT BUY.

Nov 05 2022

A 2022 Trifecta?

  • Nov 5, 2022

Our Major Trend Index has four factor categories, and three of them (Valuation, Cyclical, Technical) remain negative. Yes, the bearish “trifecta.” If that sounds like a reprint of one of our Monday MTI memos, bear with us (pun intended). We thought the MTI—with over 125 inputs—was pretty exhaustive. It turns out that it’s lacking entire categories pertinent to stock market action:

Nov 05 2022

Beware Of The Changing Of The Guard

  • Nov 5, 2022

A rotation from Growth to Value resumed in grand fashion in October. Qualitatively, new leadership sounds like a good thing. Statistically, bulls ought to hope that the tape gets back into gear.

Nov 05 2022

Economy Soaking Up Scarce Money Supply

  • Nov 5, 2022

There might be “too much money chasing too few goods,” but some monetary measures imply there’s “no longer enough money” to finance production of those goods and still support a stock market that’s far from cheap.

Nov 05 2022

Which Yield Curve?

  • Nov 5, 2022

Last month’s inversion in the 10-Yr./3-Mo. Treasury spread further tilts an already lopsided scale in favor of a U.S. recession in 2023. That spread has been considered the gold standard from an economic forecasting perspective, and is the basis for the New York Fed’s Recession Probability estimate (which, by the way, should break above its critical 35% threshold when it’s published later this month.)