Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Fed National Activity Index’

Bob Bronson on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index

Bob Bronson on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Earlier today I posted some charts on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI). A few hours later I received an email from Bob Bronson, a market historian whose theory of market cycles — the Bronson Asset Allocation Cycle (BAAC) — I featured a few months ago.

The email included the annotated chart below with the following comment:

"While Doug Short, who does excellent work, may be reluctant to draw any conclusions from the down sloping all-data linear best-fit line, with the addition of the currently much more negatively sloped midline (line arrows) of the high-low volatility envelope, we’re prepared to claim that the sharply deteriorating growth rate combination pattern clearly shows the U.S. economy is still in the grip of an an ultimately deflationary economic Supercycle Bear Market Period Winter, which we quantify both fundamentally and technically and forecasted more than 12 years ago. Track record and explanatory documentation are available on request from Bob Bronson."

Bob, thanks for the kind words. Yes, I’m somewhat reluctant to make a double-dip recession forecast. However, I do see it as a distinct possibility. I’ll be tracking this index over the next several months, and I’ll occasionally revisit your visual forecast to see how the numbers compare.  

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A Perspective on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index

A Perspective on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index 

Courtesy of Doug Short 

Over the past few days I’ve been studying the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index (CFNAI), a monthly indicator designed to gauge overall economic activity and related inflationary pressure. It is a composite of 85 monthly indicators as explained in this background PDF file on the Chicago Fed’s website.

I generated the first chart below from the historical data dating from March 1967. The red dots show the indicator itself, which is quite noisy, and the 3-month moving average (CFNAI-MA3), which is more useful for showing trends. I’ve also highlighted official recessions, with the latest bounded by the St. Louis Federal Reserve’s estimated end date. The official end, of course, is the provenance of the National Bureau of Economic Analysis, which often makes its call after a year or more from the start or end. 

The next chart highlights the -0.7 level. The latest Chicago Fed release explains:

"When the CFNAI-MA3 value moves below -0.70 following a period of economic expansion, there is an increasing likelihood that a recession has begun. Conversely, when the CFNAI-MA3 value moves above -0.70 following a period of economic contraction, there is an increasing likelihood that a recession has ended."

With the exception of the 1973-75 recession, the -0.7 level has coincided fairly closely with recession boundaries. The 1973-75 event was perhaps an outlier because of the rapid rise of inflation following the 1973 Oil Embargo. Otherwise a cross below -0.7 level has synchronized within a month or two of a recession start. A cross above the level has lagged recession ends by 2-4 months. 

Here’s a chart of the CFNAI without the MA3 overlay — for the purpose of highlighting the high inter-month volatility. Consider: the index has ranged from a high 2.57 to a low of -4.78 with a average monthly change of 0.59. That’s 8% of the entire index range!

In the final chart I’ve let Excel draw a linear regression through the CFNAI data series. The slope confirms the casual impression of the previous charts that National Activity, as a function of the 85 indicators in the index, has been declining since the late 1960s. I’m reluctant to draw any conclusions from the slope, but…
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Zero Hedge

Nigeria Slashes Oil Prices, Admits There Is A "Huge" Cargo Glut

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Something ironic happened on the way to OPEC's alleged production cut: the world finds itself drowning in excess oil.

We touched on this first last week when we observed that according to the latest OPEC monthly production numbers, OPEC had produced a record 33.4mmbpd, with some expectations that by the time the November Vinna OPEC summit takes place, there will be another million barrels in output.  And while the market, or at least the marginal price setting alg...

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Alluvial Capital Management Q3 2016 Letter: Long MMAC Capital Management

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

David Water‘s Alluvial Capital Management client letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2016.

Also see

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Phil's Favorites

Existing Home Sales Surge 3.2%, Median Price Declines 2.4%

Courtesy of Mish.

Existing home sales jumped 3.2% to 5.47 million at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate vs. the Bloomberg Econoday consensus of 5.35 million SAAR.

However, the report was not entirely glowing. Median prices declined 2.4% and August was revised lower by 0.6%.


Existing home sales surged 3.2 percent in September to a 5.470 million annualized rate that exceeds Econoday’s high estimate. The key single-family component leads the report, up 4.1 percent to a 4.860 million rate while condos, where choices are limited and permits for new building are on the rise, fell 3.2 percent to a 610,000 rate.

Home owners have been re...

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Market News

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Financial Markets and Economy

China Capital Flow Crackdown Results in $148 Billion Bust (Bloomberg)

China’s campaign to crack down on illegal capital outflows saw its currency regulator bust underground banking operations that involved more than 1 trillion yuan ($148 billion).

European banks risk lagging Wall Street in blockchain race (Reuters)

The blockchain technology behind bitcoin was designed to do away with banks. In an ironic reverse, investment banks are now racing t...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper, Dangerous place should it slip!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

I doubt that one needs to be reminded that Doc Copper remains in a downtrend, creating lower highs and lower lows since it highs back in 2011. This down trend finds itself facing what could be a critical short-term test of support at this time.


Since 2011, almost every time Copper has moved above its 200MA line, it ended up being much closer to a high than a low!

Over the past 12-months, Copper has created a na...

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Insider Scoop

Exclusive: Ecoark Looks To Tackle The $160 Billion Food Waste Problem

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The fresh food supply chain undergoes a ton of waste. The loss in fresh food nearly costs producers and retailers $160 billion in the US alone. Despite this huge sum, the market to cut down this waste has largely gone unaddressed by corporate America.

Ecoark Holdings Inc (OTC: EARK) is taking steps to address this market and it could ultimately be a win for several parties: the grower, the retailer and the c... more from Insider

Members' Corner

More on GFC, SOL and SOB

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

Over at SA, following up on Monday's - A Higher Standard of Living? SOL or SOB? 

AriCool - "NN, thanks for the detailed (and entertaining) response. I'll take a stab at two of your points:

re "Yet, the earnings of both men and women fell. How can household incomes go up when the earnings of both sexes go down? Easy: The number of workers per household went up."

I beg to disagree. That is no evidence of falling SoL b/c at the same time from the 50s to 90s the size of houses soared to become McMansions, number cars per family and rate of buy new car quickl...

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Chart School

Neutral Day for Indices

Courtesy of Declan.

Markets were unable to build on premarket gains, but did manage to finish the day where they started.

The S&P closed with a narrow range doji, a doji which finished below Friday's bearish black candlestick. The pattern of the last five days is playing more in bears favour, but with support around 2,115 holding there is still a chance a broad swing low is in play; confirmation comes on a move above 2,160. Trading volume sided with bulls on a confirmed accumulation day.

The Nasdaq was able to push above Fri...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 17th, 2016

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Digital Currencies

Gold, Silver and Blockchain - Fintech Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Currency Debasement and Cashless

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Jan Skoyles

I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.


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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

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