Peak S&P 500 P/E Multiple?

By Kevin Muir 

Let’s talk earnings for a bit. Specifically, how the 2017 tax cut affected S&P 500 earnings.

We all know the story. America’s corporate tax rate was uncompetitive and created distortions in the economy that prevented companies from investing in the U.S. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was designed to level the playing field and in the process, create all sorts of high-paying jobs. The Federal corporate tax rate was slashed from 35% to 21%.

There can be no doubt the effects were immediately felt in the corporate sector.

One-year forward earnings-per-share estimates for the S&P 500 jumped from 145 to 160 almost overnight. Investors applauded Trump’s policies with gusto.

Stock market traders especially fell all over themselves with jubilation about the tax cuts. No one wanted to write any pink tickets before year-end. And even when the calendar year turned over, the wall of buying just kept coming. January turned into an absurd food fight as investors chased stocks higher and higher. Earnings had just been given a huge adrenaline shot in the arm and the rush to buy stocks overwhelmed any sense of caution.

Continue reading Peak S&P 500 P/E Multiple?

Weekly S&P 500 #ChartStorm

By Callum Thomas

Those that follow my personal account on Twitter will be familiar with my weekly S&P 500 #ChartStorm in which I pick out 10 charts on the S&P 500 to tweet. Typically I’ll pick a couple of themes and hammer them home with the charts, but sometimes it’s just a selection of charts that will add to your perspective and help inform your own view – whether its bearish, bullish, or something else!

The purpose of this note is to add some extra context beyond the 140 characters of Twitter. It’s worth noting that the aim of the #ChartStorm isn’t necessarily to arrive at a certain view but to highlight charts and themes worth paying attention to.

So here’s the another S&P 500 #ChartStorm write-up!

1. VIX Futures Curve Indicator: First up is a look at the VXV vs VIX (i.e. 3-month VIX futures price vs the spot VIX).  The reason this is a useful and interesting indicator is that when it undertakes extreme movements to the downside i.e. the VIX spikes beyond the futures price, it can present a kind of oversold or buying signal.  This is because it basically implies that options traders are bidding up implied volatility i.e. they are more fearful vs futures traders. Of course with the benefit of hindsight, fear is sometimes rational and sometimes irrational.

Bottom line: The VXV vs VIX indicator remains in fear/oversold mode.

Continue reading Weekly S&P 500 #ChartStorm

The Warning Shots of 2007

By Steve Saville

For a market analyst there is an irresistible temptation to seek out one or more historical parallels to the current situation. The idea is that clues about what’s going to happen in the future can be found by looking at what happened following similar price action in the past. Sometimes this method works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Assuming that the decline from the January-2018 peak is a short-term correction that will run its course before the end March (my assumption since the correction’s beginning in late-January), the recent price action probably is akin to what happened in February-March of 2007. In late-February of 2007 the SPX had been grinding its way upward in relentless fashion for many months. The VIX was near an all-time low and there was no sign in the price action that anything untoward was about to happen, even though some cracks had begun to appear in the mortgage-financing and real-estate bubbles. Then, out of the blue, there was a 5% plunge in the SPX. On the following daily chart this plunge is labeled “Warning shot 1″.

Continue reading The Warning Shots of 2007

The Negative Impact of Friday’s Low Volume

By Rob Hanna

I mentioned in a Tweet on Friday that the low volume on Friday’s rally was a bit concerning. The study below is one I featured in the subscriber letter this weekend. It examined other times substantial rallies occurred during uptrends on very light volume.


Stats here suggest a downside edge. Perhaps not a huge edge, but in my view one that appears strong enough to warrant some consideration when establishing my short-term bias. So traders may want to keep this in mind as we begin a new week. I will also note that I ran the same test, but switched the volume requirement to “NOT the lightest in 20 days”. Of course there were many more instances. With volume not coming in extremely low, the average trade flipped to moderately positive across the board. This suggests the low volume is a factor.

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