Moving Toward The Launch Pad
Friday's jobs report appears to have been a game changer. Just about the time everybody on the planet had decided that Yellen & Company didn't have the data it has been looking for to begin raising rates this year (with many believing that rates wouldn't rise next year either) Nonfarm Payrolls surged by 271K and the unemployment rate fell to 5%, which was the lowest level since April 2008.
Bam. Just like that, Ms. Yellen and her merry band of central bankers suddenly have the cover for the much ballyhooed "liftoff" of rates. Thus, we should expect the FOMC to announce an increase in the Federal Funds target rate from 0.0% to 0.25% at the December meeting.
Recall that Yellen had said she was looking for "some further improvement in the labor market." Well, now she's got it. And the markets appear to agree.
The Fed Funds futures now project a 69.8% probability of a rate hike in December. A poll of Wall Street showed that 15 out of 17 primary dealers now expect a rates to rise. Two-year Treasury yields spiked to an intraday high of 0.94% on Friday, which was the highest since 2010. The yield on the 10-year surged by nearly 4% to 2.33%. The U.S. dollar jumped. Gold dove. And traders bought banks with both hands.
In short, the liftoff trade appears to be "on."
But even before the jobs report surprised to the upside, the Fedspeak seemed to be suggesting that the time for moving to the launch pad was soon approaching.
Recall that the party line out of the Fed has been that all meetings are now "live" in terms of the potential to raise rates. Yellen used the words "live possibility" when referring to the December meeting and Vice Chair Fischer said that the Fed's 2% inflation target isn't far away. In short, this is Fedspeak for "we're gonna raise rates."
So there you have it - the time for liftoff appears to be nearing. The rocket is moving toward the launch pad. And traders and their fancy computers now have something new to focus on.
From a big picture standpoint, the fact that the Federal Reserve FINALLY believes it is okay to end their ZIRP campaign should be viewed as a good thing. This tells us that the patient is off of life support and can now stand on its own two feet. This tells us that job growth is strong. And this tells us that the FOMC is not worried about China or Europe.
Logic would suggest that if the economy is good, then earnings should follow. And if earnings improve, well, you get the idea.
But what traders decide to do with this new input in the near-term is anybody's guess. Stocks wound up little changed on Friday after the big surprise. And we will have to wait and see what the view is now that Wall Street gurus have had time to mull over the implications.
One thing I have learned over the years is to not try and predict what Ms. Market will do next. No, the best I can do is to try and understand why the market is doing what it is doing and where the important levels are. And on that note, the chart below makes the current lines in the sand very clear.
S&P 500 - Daily
View Larger Image
The bottom line would appear to be this. Stocks are overbought and now face heavy resistance. Therefore, a pullback of 2% - 3% wouldn't be surprising in the near-term. And if the bears get something going, the bulls will be watching how things unfold at the 2020 support level on the S&P 500.
So how will the market react now that the Fed is moving toward the launch pad? Stick around, this is gonna be interesting.
Publishing Note: I am traveling much of this week with a couple very early meetings. Thus, reports will be published as time and energy levels permit.
Today's Pre-Game Indicators
Here are the Pre-Market indicators we review each morning before the opening bell...
Major Foreign Markets:
Hong Kong: -0.61%
Crude Oil Futures: -$0.17 to $44.12
Gold: +$2.10 at $1089.80
Dollar: lower against the yen and pound, higher vs. pound
10-Year Bond Yield: Currently trading at 2.248%
Stock Indices in U.S. (relative to fair value):
S&P 500: -5.80
Dow Jones Industrial Average: -42
NASDAQ Composite: -12.95
Thought For The Day:
"Few can be as persuasive as those not hampered by the facts." --Anonymous
Here's wishing you green screens and all the best for a great day,
David D. Moenning
Founder and Chief Investment Strategist
Heritage Capital Research
Current Market Drivers
We strive to identify the driving forces behind the market action on a daily basis. The thinking is that if we can both identify and understand why stocks are doing what they are doing on a short-term basis; we are not likely to be surprised/blind-sided by a big move. Listed below are what we believe to be the driving forces of the current market (Listed in order of importance).
1. The State of Global Central Bank Policy
2. The State of China/Global Growth
3. The State of the U.S. Economy
The State of the Trend
We believe it is important to analyze the market using multiple time-frames. We define short-term as 3 days to 3 weeks, intermediate-term as 3 weeks to 6 months, and long-term as 6 months or more. Below are our current ratings of the three primary trends:
Short-Term Trend: Positive
(Chart below is S&P 500 daily over past 1 month)
Intermediate-Term Trend: Moderately Positive
(Chart below is S&P 500 daily over past 6 months)
Long-Term Trend: Moderately Positive
(Chart below is S&P 500 daily over past 2 years)
Key Technical Areas:
Traders as well as computerized algorithms are generally keenly aware of the important technical levels on the charts from a short-term basis. Below are the levels we deem important to watch today:
- Key Near-Term Support Zone(s) for S&P 500: 2020
- Key Near-Term Resistance Zone(s): 2135
The State of the Tape
Momentum indicators are designed to tell us about the technical health of a trend - I.E. if there is any "oomph" behind the move. Below are a handful of our favorite indicators relating to the market's "mo"...
- Trend and Breadth Confirmation Indicator (Short-Term): Positive
- Price Thrust Indicator: Positive
- Volume Thrust Indicator(NASDAQ): Neutral
- Breadth Thrust Indicator (NASDAQ): Neutral
- Short-Term Volume Relationship: Positive
- Technical Health of 100+ Industry Groups: Moderately Positive
The Early Warning Indicators
Markets travel in cycles. Thus we must constantly be on the lookout for changes in the direction of the trend. Looking at market sentiment and the overbought/sold conditions can provide "early warning signs" that a trend change may be near.
- S&P 500 Overbought/Oversold Conditions:
- Short-Term: Overbought
- Intermediate-Term: verbought
- Market Sentiment: Our primary sentiment model is Negative
The State of the Market Environment
One of the keys to long-term success in the stock market is stay in tune with the market's "big picture" environment in terms of risk versus reward.
- Weekly Market Environment Model Reading: Moderately Positive
Trend and Breadth Confirmation Indicator (Short-Term) Explained: History shows the most reliable market moves tend to occur when the breadth indices are in gear with the major market averages. When the breadth measures diverge, investors should take note that a trend reversal may be at hand. This indicator incorporates an All-Cap Dollar Weighted Equity Series and A/D Line. From 1998, when the A/D line is above its 5-day smoothing and the All-Cap Equal Weighted Equity Series is above its 25-day smoothing, the equity index has gained at a rate of +32.5% per year. When one of the indicators is above its smoothing, the equity index has gained at a rate of +13.3% per year. And when both are below, the equity index has lost +23.6% per year.
Price Thrust Indicator Explained: This indicator measures the 3-day rate of change of the Value Line Composite relative to the standard deviation of the 30-day average. When the Value Line's 3-day rate of change have moved above 0.5 standard deviation of the 30-day average ROC, a "thrust" occurs and since 2000, the Value Line Composite has gained ground at a rate of +20.6% per year. When the indicator is below 0.5 standard deviation of the 30-day, the Value Line has lost ground at a rate of -10.0% per year. And when neutral, the Value Line has gained at a rate of +5.9% per year.
Volume Thrust Indicator Explained: This indicator uses NASDAQ volume data to indicate bullish and bearish conditions for the NASDAQ Composite Index. The indicator plots the ratio of the 10-day total of NASDAQ daily advancing volume (i.e., the total volume traded in stocks which rose in price each day) to the 10-day total of daily declining volume (volume traded in stocks which fell each day). This ratio indicates when advancing stocks are attracting the majority of the volume (readings above 1.0) and when declining stocks are seeing the heaviest trading (readings below 1.0). This indicator thus supports the case that a rising market supported by heavier volume in the advancing issues tends to be the most bullish condition, while a declining market with downside volume dominating confirms bearish conditions. When in a positive mode, the NASDAQ Composite has gained at a rate of +38.3% per year, When neutral, the NASDAQ has gained at a rate of +13.3% per year. And when negative, the NASDAQ has lost at a rate of -8.5% per year.
Breadth Thrust Indicator Explained: This indicator uses the number of NASDAQ-listed stocks advancing and declining to indicate bullish or bearish breadth conditions for the NASDAQ Composite. The indicator plots the ratio of the 10-day total of the number of stocks rising on the NASDAQ each day to the 10-day total of the number of stocks declining each day. Using 10-day totals smooths the random daily fluctuations and gives indications on an intermediate-term basis. As expected, the NASDAQ Composite performs much better when the 10-day A/D ratio is high (strong breadth) and worse when the indicator is in its lower mode (weak breadth). The most bullish conditions for the NASDAQ when the 10-day A/D indicator is not only high, but has recently posted an extreme high reading and thus indicated a thrust of upside momentum. Bearish conditions are confirmed when the indicator is low and has recently signaled a downside breadth thrust. In positive mode, the NASDAQ has gained at a rate of +22.1% per year since 1981. In a neutral mode, the NASDAQ has gained at a rate of +14.5% per year. And when in a negative mode, the NASDAQ has lost at a rate of -6.4% per year.
Bull/Bear Volume Relationship Explained: This indicator plots both "supply" and "demand" volume lines. When the Demand Volume line is above the Supply Volume line, the indicator is bullish. From 1981, the stock market has gained at an average annual rate of +11.7% per year when in a bullish mode. When the Demand Volume line is below the Supply Volume line, the indicator is bearish. When the indicator has been bearish, the market has lost ground at a rate of -6.1% per year.
Technical Health of 100 Industry Groups Explained: Designed to provide a reading on the technical health of the overall market, this indicator takes the technical temperature of more than 100 industry sectors each week. Looking back to early 1980, when the model is rated as "positive," the S&P has averaged returns in excess of 23% per year. When the model carries a "neutral" reading, the S&P has returned over 11% per year. But when the model is rated "negative," stocks fall by more than -13% a year on average.
Weekly State of the Market Model Reading Explained:Different market environments require different investing strategies. To help us identify the current environment, we look to our longer-term State of the Market Model. This model is designed to tell us when risk factors are high, low, or uncertain. In short, this longer-term oriented, weekly model tells us whether the odds favor the bulls, bears, or neither team.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are those of Mr. David Moenning and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Moenning's opinions and viewpoints regarding the future of the markets should not be construed as recommendations. The analysis and information in this report is for informational purposes only. No part of the material presented in this report is intended as an investment recommendation or investment advice. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed nor any Portfolio constitutes a solicitation to purchase or sell securities or any investment program.
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The analysis provided is based on both technical and fundamental research and is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Although the information contained is derived from sources which are believed to be reliable, they cannot be guaranteed.
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