As in January of 2013 (ahead of an economic up cycle) and Q4 2017-Q1 2018 (ahead of an economic ripple that began in 2018) the Semiconductor sector and in particular its Semi Equipment sub-sector are front and center in forming our analysis about coming events. Excerpted from the January 20th edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 535…
Semiconductor Sector – Watch the Early Bird in 2019
This one is special for me. I started my work life many moons ago as a participant with the Semi sector [circa 1983-1993], painfully learning first hand how violent the cyclical turns can be. Dialing ahead a couple decades, in January of 2013 NFTRH began a narrative that saw the then up-turning Semi Equipment bookings (this data is unfortunately no longer published) lead the sector, general manufacturing and eventually the whole raft of components that make up the economy into a cyclical up-turn.
Continue reading Semiconductor Sector (NFTRH 535 Excerpt)
The 3 Amigos were a blogger’s way of not boring himself to death while fleshing out important macro indicators month after month.
Amigo #1 (SPX/Gold ratio) got home and dropped from target. What’s more, it has taken back the ratio’s equivalent of the entire Trump rally and that is an eventuality we are very open to on nominal SPX as well.
The gaps are interesting and among several possibilities for 2019 we could see fear, loathing and a fill of the lower gap (a greed gap of sorts) prior to a filling of the upper gap, which could blow out the stock bull in manic fashion one day. Relax, it’s just one of several possible road maps. For now, we simply state that SPX/Gold reached a very viable target and dutifully dropped with the market stress.
Amigo #2 (30yr Treasury yield AKA the Continuum) got the bond bears on the wrong side of the boat and kept them there for a couple of months before the big reversal (back below the monthly EMA 100) that came along with the risk ‘off’ rush amid Q4 2018’s market stress.
Continue reading Amigos 1 & 2 Arrive, #3 Still Out There (as yield curve flattens)
I was going to look around to see if I could find a media article out there (complete with a TA trying to sound really important) that would be appropriate to be made fun of in our little Men Who Stare at Charts series. But then I decided to create my own chart, stare at it a little, post it and talk about it (hopefully not too self-importantly).
Introducing an all too busy long-term (monthly) view of the Gold/Silver ratio, along with some key nominal markets.
The Continuum in the lower panel symbolizes the deflationary backbone that has been in place for decades. I maintain that this is a firm marker against which the Fed inflates money supplies, manipulates bonds and by extension manipulates inflation signals. We have been on a theme that like Jerome Powell or hate him, he knows exactly what he is doing because to do otherwise (promote ongoing bubbles on top of bubbles) would in essence end the Fed’s racket, as symbolized by a real breakout in long-term yields.
Continue reading The Men Who Stare at Charts: Decades of Disinflation & 7 Years Post-Op Twist
In January of 2018 we noted a cyclical leader (Semiconductor Fab Equipment) in trouble: Semi Canary Still Chirping, But He’s Gonna Croak in 2018.
We also ran a series of articles featuring the happy-go-lucky 3 Amigos (of the macro) in order to gauge a point when larger herds of investors would become aware of cyclical issues facing the global (including the US) economy. Each Amigo (SPX/Gold Ratio, Long-term Treasury yields and a flattening Yield Curve) would ride with the good times but signal an end to those good times when reaching destination (Amigos 1 & 2 got home but #3, the Yield Curve is still out there). Here is the latest Amigos status update from October: SPX/Gold, 30yr Yields & Yield Curve.
Today I would like to stick with a cyclical macro view, but do so through a lens filtered by the ultimate counter-cyclical asset, gold. As market participants, we are lost if we do not have road maps. That is why we (NFTRH) gauged Semi Equipment vs. Semi (and Tech), the unified messages of the macro Amigo indicators and many other breadth and cyclical indicators along the way to safely guide us to Q4 2018, which has been a challenge for many, but business as usual for those of us who were prepared.
Continue reading Cyclical Assets vs. Gold
One of the most disturbing scenes in the series Breaking Bad was when Todd shoots and kills a boy on a dirt bike after he witnessed Heisenberg, Jesse and Todd heist 900 gallons of methylamine. Jesse: “Todd, that Opie Dead Eyed piece of shit…”
That is similar to the feeling I got after the Fed hiked the funds rate as expected, but then declined to offer the stock market much relief for its ongoing temper tantrum.
What’s this? The Fed is not doing as the vast majority of market participants expect it to do? The Fed is not taking active measures to boost asset prices?
My theory has been that since the 2016 election the Fed has firmed its resolve to extricate itself from a dangerous situation; caught with its pants down as Trump/Republican fiscal (i.e. politically instigated) stimulus was going to be laid on top of already extreme monetary stimulus.
Continue reading Jerome ‘Dead Eye’ Powell
Below are the Opening Notes and Bond Market segments from last Sunday’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 530. Jerome Powell was actually more firm than I expected. Atta boy Jay! Aside from my prognostication the more important stuff (IMO) begins at the 4th paragraph. That is where I put on my tin foil hat and tell what I think. It does seem to dovetail with what we saw today out of the Fed chief.
Opening Notes: FOMC at Center Stage
It is likely that the Fed is going to raise the Funds rate on Wednesday because this is a confidence game and a Fed suddenly showing weakness and doubt could exacerbate the market’s already frayed nerves. As a side note the 76% reading of CME futures traders expecting the hike to happen has not changed in the last few weeks.
But US and global authorities can read charts and as a person with some short positions I am well aware that they have people who can read charts as well. It’s not complicated; the market (SPX) needs to hold here or it could be an express (or possibly a slow moving) elevator to SPX 2100.
Continue reading FOMC at Center Stage (NFTRH 530 excerpt)
Our target for the first half of 2019 is and has been the 2100 to 2200 area for the S&P 500. A friend asked…
I’ve been meaning to ask (and possibly) know the answer, 2100-2200 for H1 2019 is your ultimate bear market target or opening act?
Opening act. It could be the ultimate target because there is a lot of support at that area and a good solid bear phase could put the Fed on ice and impose some changes to Donald Trump’s bull in a China shop policy style.
So for now I see no reason to make dire proclamations beyond that key support level, as so much will depend on incoming information in 2019. At this point, even 2100-2200 is not technically in the bag because the US stock market clung to last ditch daily chart support, as per the marginally favored short-term NFTRH view. So all of we bear callers need to remember that as ugly as the charts are, support is not broken until it is… broken.
I was going to cover this in NFTRH 530‘s Opening Notes segment, but why not make it a public post and save NFTRH’s virtual ink for more immediate issues going on with the markets? Before we dial out to a couple of simple SPX charts showing the prospective downside targets, lets review the situation with a less than simple chart.
Continue reading How Low Could the S&P 500 Go?
The macro has moved through a time of moderately rising inflationary concerns when economies were cycling up, many commodities were firm and risk was ‘on’. Contrary to the views of inflation-oriented gold bugs, that was not the time to buy gold stocks.
As I have belabored again and again, the right time is when the inflation view is on the outs, gold is rising vs. stock markets, the economy is in question, risks of a steepening yield curve take center stage (the flattening is so mature now that steepening will be a clear and present risk moving forward) and by extension of all of those conditions, confidence declines.
In short, the improving sector and macro fundamentals I’ve been writing about for a few months now continue to slam home as the cyclical world pivots counter-cyclical. And what do you know? Gold stocks are reacting as they should. Well, it’s about time, guys!
Continue reading Gold Stocks Acting as They Should During Market Stress
“The Harbinger of Doom”? Of course we (well, the media) are talking about the yield curve AKA Amigo #3 of our 3 happy-go-lucky riders of the macro. I have annoyed you repeatedly with this imagery in order to show that three important macro factors needed to finish riding before situation turns decidedly negative.
Amigo 1: SPX (or stocks in general)/Gold Ratio
Amigo 2: 30 Year Treasury Yield
Amigo 3: Yield Curve
In honor of Amigo 3’s arrival to prime time let’s have a good old fashioned Amigos update (going in reverse order) and see if we can annoy a few more people along the way. :-)
Clicking the headline yields a Bloomberg article all about various yield curves and all the doomed news you can use, including a hyperactive interview with an expert bringing us all up to speed on the situation.
Continue reading “Harbinger of Doom”: Amigo 3 in Play, But Real Doom Awaits
The Fed blinked. This was not news to Macro Tourist Kevin Muir or readers of Biiwii.com, which is very pleased to publish his work.
Fed Finally Blinks
Amid a weakening global economy, gathering signs of weakening in the US economy and a dump in inflation expectations, Jerome Powell implied that the Fed may be going on hold for a while after a December rate hike.
This graph from SG Cross Asset Research/Equity Quant by way of Kevin Muir’s article attempts to show that the accumulated rate hike tightening and “shadow” tightening as a result of QE suspension has now met or exceeded the levels that preceded the last two economic recessions.
Continue reading A Post-Powell View of USD, S&P 500 and Gold
The following is excerpted from the Opening Notes segment in this week’s edition of Notes From the Rabbit Hole, NFTRH 525 (out on Sunday, November 11). It pretty much came out of nowhere after I did a comparison of Google searches for “inflation” and “deflation” while checking Google Trends for another aspect of the report.
The Google Machine Inspires a Discussion about Inflation & Deflation
Switching gears, while I was in the Google machine I decided to compare two terms that are at the heart of our investment management going forward; “Inflation” and “Deflation”.
It is no surprise that inflation is always much more often searched for because well, they are inflating in one form or another constantly. Whether it is through outrageously experimental monetary policy under the Bernanke Fed or supposedly sound fiscal policy under the Trump administration, it is all designed to raise prices and enrich asset owners, while leveraging debt (which is where the potential for deflation comes in).
Continue reading The Google Machine Inspires a Discussion about Inflation and Deflation
I decided a couple weeks ago add a regular segment where I just talk about some things I think I know about a given market or situation based on the previous week’s activity. This is before I get myself educated on the latest market data and information. I need the weekly work I do in NFTRH as much as anyone. Without it, I can be rudderless and prone to my own biases.
This is just one small, less mission-critical aspect of NFTRH (representing 2 of 52 on-point pages across the markets) and the funny thing is, I think it stands up to much of the premium stuff out there in its entirety for any given week. But then, I am biased and as such I think NFTRH is better than any other market report or newsletter that I know of out there.
So here’s what I thought I knew about the stock market before beginning NFTRH 523…
Continue reading A New NFTRH Segment: Opening Notes – US Stock Market