As the silver CoT report data systematically, almost robotically degraded into the September 2012 top (despite the seemingly bullish coming of QE3) NFTRH used to ask week after week “Who are those guys?” doing its best Butch Cassidy while evaluating the gathering short interest.
Below is the CoT graph from NFTRH 203 dated September 9, 2012. Week after week ‘those guys’ were ganging up on silver and we all know what soon happened; a harsh bear market down leg for the precious metals.
This article at Hard Assets Investor talks about Jeff Gunlach’s bullish gold call for 2014 and uses Dylan Grice’s 2012 call as an example of how the end of the world (i.e. gold’s safe haven value) can be put on hold indefinitely.
So is Gundlach wrong today? Grice wasn’t necessarily wrong in 2012. What he called “the largest credit inflation in financial history, a credit hyperinflation” has instead rolled on…taking asset prices higher and crushing interest rates. But it hasn’t, as yet, hit the value of money itself.
Nor will it hit the value of money, especially the US dollar, until all confidence is lost in the system. We are about a million miles away from that condition right now (see second chart below). Confidence will be lost first in the assets that are benefiting from the inflation – like stocks, so strategically at the heart of the wealth effect that policy makers are trying to stimulate – and then in policy makers themselves. Then we’d have a big bull market in gold for all to see.
We have been talking about how there had been no bubble in US stocks and how the economy is doing just fine. We have also been talking about how the bubble is in policy and that the economy and stock bull market have been created – yes, like Frankenstein’s monster once again – out of this policy bubble.
Will wonders never cease? As you may know, I read the financial MSM to get a feel for what the casual market participant is reading, what the majority is being told is the truth. Usually it is some combo of self-promoters and agenda (sometimes political) driven bulls and bears.
The following is one of a wide range of analytical topics covered in NFTRH 293’s 35 pages this week, much of which is straight ahead technical analysis. But the T Bond market is usually central to an overall macro view at any given time. This segment is not meant to provide actionable direction (other than perhaps to prepare for a potential rise in T bonds yields), it is meant to dig into the mechanics beneath the financial markets in an effort to have people consider that there is much more going on with markets than simple nominal TA or conventional fundamental analysis (PE ratios, growth metrics, reported economic data, etc.) can account for.
US Treasury Bonds
Yields on long-term Treasuries have continued to decline in line with our view that was contrary the ‘Great Rotation’ (out of bonds) hype. The [30-year] especially is now close to support and the next play seems like it could be rising yields and declining T bonds.
The 30-year ‘Continuum’ view above makes the simple case that players had to be put offside believing in the ‘Great Rotation’ at 4% yields. The nearly half-year decline since then has now satisfied the chart as yields have come to our 3.1% to 3.2% target range, where there is support.
Well, Loretta Mester looks a little hawkish anyway.
She also looks a little like…
To which I’d refer back to my first public article ever written back in the quaint days of Alan Greenspan’s trail blazing foray into financial market experimentation. FrankenMarket Lives. Pardon the Hyperinflation reference. It was the first thing I ever wrote! Young(er) and more naive.
Anyway, it all comes back around and makes sense if you give it enough time.
“The real issue is that the Fed has expanded its tool kit so dramatically…” –Andrew Huszar
In line with our theme of outlandish and immoral (in my opinion) Fed policy a former Fed official calls QE a backdoor bailout of Wall Street, which anyone with two functioning brain cells knows to be the case. The Andrew Huszar Op/Ed (Wall Street Journal) Confessions of a Quantitative Easer is I suppose old news, but it illustrates what we have been hammering on for so long now; that Fed policy is serving to pump the stock market and pump up the wallets of asset owners.
QE gets about 10 times the notoriety of ZIRP, but I’ll still maintain that it is this evil tool in the Fed’s ‘tool kit’ that is the main and continuing blight on the system as it not only rewards asset owners and speculators, but punishes those least able to speculate due to limited funds.
Please review this chart again and behold the rigged market. Anyone arguing that the bull market in US stocks is normal is being intellectually dishonest. Yet like agent Mulder I want to believe in the healthy bull story*, but I have to believe the data that has drawn the lines on the chart above.
Many people would consider a drop in the S&P 500 to the 1550-1600 area to be a bad thing. But if the bull is real, and if a secular bull market truly has been created out of manipulation of the T bond market (QE’s bond buying and ZIRP’s 0% rates) then a pullback to test that zone would be normal, would it not? It would feel bad but in reality a successful test of the big breakout would launch the grand new bull. SPX has to drop down to test support sooner or later, doesn’t it?
Well no, it doesn’t because the other side of the coin in the post’s title is ‘When Good is Bad’, meaning that an upside blow off in markets – if that is what is fomenting – would be very bad, as in ‘Silver 2011′ bad, for the stock market with a successful test of support unlikely. That is because a manic blow off would be a terminal event.
We have talked about what is negative for the US stock market. From the signal in the banks vs. S&P 500 to a young uptrend in long-term T bonds vs. the S&P 500. Here is the 2011-2014 market leading BKX-SPX in breakdown mode.
Throw in a bearish divergence in the Equity Put/Call ratio, an elevated Gold-Silver ratio right at resistance and Junk bond vs. Treasury/Investment Grade and the signs of a bearish market are not only there, they have manifested in some pretty good downside in the growth and momentum areas.
But aside from the Dow and Tranny already noted, there are other things that bears should pay attention to, starting as we often do with the Semiconductor index.
Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) was instigated by a credit induced collapse of the US financial system and perpetuated in December of 2008 by desperate financial policy makers as a fix to problems they created in the first place.
In reality, it is simply an epic distortion of normal economic signals that cleaned up the mess created by previous policy distortions (like the commercial credit bubble of the Greenspan era) by systematically (5+ years and running) main lining new distortions into the system.
So in addition to this picture, which could one day hang in a monetary museum with the title ‘Grandma and Her Savings Account Bail Out Wealthy Asset Owners’, let’s take a walk down memory lane and marvel at some other pictures created by this policy…
Along with the highly publicized loss of leadership from big tech, the US stock market is now in danger of losing another, and possibly more important leader, the piggies or banking sector.
While the weekly chart of BKX has not yet broken down, it is very close to doing so after sporting a negative RSI divergence for the better part of the last year. We should not jump the gun with bearish scenarios, but as always we want to be among those looking forward and ready, just like in 2007, which was the last time BKX-SPX began to roll over in earnest.
Ukraine war hype, China demand drop, GOFO mysteries… these are the short term noise inputs on the gold sector.
US Treasury bond yield spreads, gold vs. commodities (i.e. the ‘real’ price of gold), gold vs. the stock market… these are some of the fundamental considerations that actually matter and they have taken a hit since January.
It is easy to say ‘I am bullish in the big picture’ (measured in years) but it is not so easy to actively manage in the smaller pictures (measured in days, weeks and months) with all of the above noise inputs and more bombarding the poor individual player.
We use shorter term charts to manage the shorter time frames. Daily charts have most recently indicated a bearish set up as bear flags formed across the precious metals complex (with the exception of silver, which never got going to begin with) last week. Weekly charts continue to indicate that an extended and oh so grinding bottom may be forming, but that includes the potential for ups and downs, also known as volatility.
There is also a lot of noise lately in the stock market. The US stock bull celebrated its 5th birthday last month. The last 2 cycles (the manic phase of the secular bull ended 2000 and the cyclical bull ended 2007) were each approximately 5 years long. Today let’s retreat to the calm of the long term monthly charts and get a snapshot of the big picture.
The S&P 500 has a measured target of around 2190 that we have had open as a possibility since the big breakout occurred in early 2013. A measured target is just that, a measurement; simple math. It is not a directive and therefore 2190 is not hype, it is just a possibility.