Posts Tagged ‘market cycles’

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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The Question “Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?” Creates False Premises

The Question "Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?" Creates False Premises

Courtesy of Mish

Josh Lipton writing for Minyanville is asking the question Are Stocks a Screaming Buy Relative to Bonds?

Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research takes one side of the debate and says "stocks are cheap" according to a model, now dubbed the “Fed’s Stock Valuation Model”.

I am quoted in the article, taking a different view of course, but I want to add to the thoughts I expressed in the article.

First a few snips from Lipton’s article …

Certainly, by employing some basic measures to compare the relative value of stocks and bonds, equities appear attractive. Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research made the case this morning that stocks seem cheap and bonds seem expensive according to a simple model that compares the market’s earnings yield to the US Treasury bond yield.

Yardeni first started studying this model after seeing it mentioned in the Federal Reserve Board’s Monetary Policy Report to the Congress dated July 1997. The strategist dubbed it the “Fed’s Stock Valuation Model” (FSVM), and that’s what it’s been called ever since.

During the week of August 13, Yardeni says, the forward P/E of the S&P 500 was 11.8. The forward earnings yield, which is just the reciprocal of the P/E, was 8.5%. The 10-year Treasury bond’s yield is 2.60% this morning. So its P/E, which is the reciprocal of the yield, is 38.5.

According to the FSVM, that means stocks are 64.8% undervalued relative to bonds.

James Swanson, chief investment strategist at MFS Investment Management, agrees that stocks now look cheap relative to bonds and that, as an asset class, equities boast more opportunity for investors looking ahead.

In short, the stock market is now priced for an economic future that Swanson thinks remains unlikely. “This only makes sense if the world is going into a deflationary scenario,” the strategist says. “Otherwise, this is a mispricing.”

Yes, stocks might look cheap relative to bonds, but that’s because the economic outlook remains bleak. Mike Shedlock, a well-known registered investment adviser for Sitka Pacific Capital Management, argues that the economy is already mired in deflation, a dangerous downward spiral in prices that will prove lethal for corporate profits.

"Why are Treasury yields low?" Shedlock asks. "It’s because the economy is in recession."

Furthermore, Shedlock argues that investors are ultimately best advised

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The Bear Market and Depression: How Close to the Bottom?

When discussing Robert Prechter, reactions can be strong, ranging from the extreme of hero worship to the other extreme of complete skepticism.  So while Robert Prechter has a cult-like following of Elliott-Wavers, others (such as Damien of Wall St. Cheat Sheet) seriously ask whether he is certifiably insane.  My own thoughts are mixed, with conclusions pending. – Ilene 

The Bear Market and Depression: How Close to the Bottom?

By Elliott Wave International

Robert Prechter thinks about markets and wave patterns, and goes back to the 1700s, the 1800s, and — most tellingly for our time now — the early 1900s when the Great Depression weighed down the United States in the late 1920s and early 1930s. With this large wash of history in mind, he is able to explain why he thinks we have a long way to go to get to the bottom of this bear market.

Here is an excerpt from the EWI Independent Investor eBook, in which Robert answers the question: How close to the bottom are we?

* * * * * 

Originally written by Robert Prechter for The Elliott Wave Theorist, January 2009

Some people contact us and say, “People are more bearish than I have ever seen them. This has to be a bottom.” The first half of this statement may well be true for many market observers. If one has been in the market for less than 14 years, one has never seen people this bearish. But market sentiment over those years was a historical anomaly. The annual dividend payout from stocks reached its lowest level ever: less than half the previous record. The P/E ratio reached its highest level ever: double the previous record. The price-to-book value ratio went into the stratosphere, as did the ratio between corporate bond yields and the same corporations’ stock dividend yields.

During nine and a half of those years, from October 1998 to March 2008, optimism dominated so consistently that bulls outnumbered bears among advisors (per the Investors Intelligence polls) for 481 out of 490 weeks. Investors got so used to this period of euphoria and financial excess that they have taken it as the norm.

With that period as a benchmark, the moderate slippage in optimism since 2007 does appear as a severe change. But observe a subtle irony: When commentators agree that investors are too bearish, they say so to
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Investor Psychology Cycle – Are We “There” Yet?

Investor Psychology Cycle – Are We “There” Yet?

Courtesy of Prieur du Plessis at Investment Postcards from Cape Town 

As the pendulum swings between greed and fear, investors typically become over-enthusiastic during bull markets and over-despondent as the bear’s growl grows louder.

It stands to reason that in order to be a successful investor, it is important to distance yourself from the herd mentality and to take objective decisions based on fundamental reasons.

The typical behaviour of investors is linked to the so-called investor psychology cycle, as illustrated below.

Before seeking to apply the cycle to the present stock market situation, let’s consider a short definition of each of the stages.

Contempt: According to the cycle, a bull market typically starts when a market is at a low and investors scorn stocks.

Doubt and suspicion: They try to decide whether what they have left should be invested in a safe haven such as a money market fund. They have burnt their fingers with stocks and vow never to invest again.

Caution: The market then gradually starts showing signs of recovery. Most investors remain cautious, but prudent investors are already drooling at the possibility of profit.

Confidence: As stock prices rise, investors’ feeling of mistrust changes to confidence and ultimately to enthusiasm. Most investors start buying their stocks at this stage.

Enthusiasm: During the enthusiasm stage, prudent investors are already starting to take profits and get out of the stock market, because they realize that the bull market is coming to an end.

Greed and conviction: Investors’ enthusiasm is followed by greed, which is often accompanied by numerous IPOs on the stock market.

Indifference: Investors look beyond unsustainably high price-earnings ratios.

Dismissal: As the market declines, investors show a lack or interest that quickly turns to dismissal.

Denial: Then they reach the denial stage where they regularly affirm their belief that the market definitely cannot fall any further.

Fear, panic and contempt: Concern starts to take a hold and fear, panic and despair soon follow. Investors again start scorning the market and once again they vow never to invest in stocks again.

In order to determine where in the stock market cycle we find ourselves, the challenge is to identify the prevalent stage of the psychological…
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Basic Technical Patterns: The Foundation of Common Pattern Identification

Pharmboy’s latest chapter in his TA eBook – Chapter 7! - Ilene 

Links for previous chapters:

1. Understanding Market Cycles: The Art of Market Timing (Chp. 1),

2. Dow’s Theory of Markets (Chp. 2),

3 & 4. Fundamental vs. Technical Analysis and Types of Technical Trading (Chps. 3 & 4).

5. Stock Charting Basics: How to Read & Understand Stock Charts (Chp. 5 here.) 

6. Using Moving Averages for Long and Short Trades (Chp. 6)

Basic Technical Patterns: The Foundation of Common Pattern Identification

Courtesy of Pharmboy of Phil’s Stock World 

History tends to repeat itself, and trend lines, triangles, and other patterns do work in TA.  Charts show the collective opinions of all market participants for that day, month, or whatever timeframe that is used.  Charts are direct evidence of the trader’s beliefs and feelings, and each movement reflects a bit of human emotion (or at least it did before speed trading – HAL9000).  So, it should be no surprise that patterns repeat themselves over and over.

In Figure 1 below, typical up trends and down trends are shown.  These zigzag patterns are seen all the time, but why do they form?  Let’s say someone bought a stock at a certain point.  If that stock went up, but pulled back to the original purchase price, they will often think that it’s an opportunity to buy more at their original price, thus adding to their position.  This is also the same for shorts when they are able to short a stock at the same price they shorted previously. Then why do peaks form? People sell (or cover) to take profits.  Obviously, any increase in selling will pull the stock back.  Those who bought at a lower level may start buying again.  This repeats and repeats until 1) there is no more stock left for people to buy, or 2) there is too much supply and not enough buyers.  On a larger scale, this is how bull and bear markets begin and end.

Figure 1  Typical up and down trends.

The following basic chart…
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Bearish Sentiment At 22-Year Low

Bearish Sentiment At 22-Year Low

Courtesy of Adam Sharp’s Bearish News

The latest sentiment reading by Investors Intelligence shows a disturbing trend. Only 15.6% of financial newsletters are currently bearish on equities.

Last time the bearish indicator was this low was April 1987. A few months later (Black Monday) the DJIA dropped 21% in a single day:

In other words – when everything seems peachy — watch out. Turns out that peaks and troughs in investor sentiment are pretty good contra-indicators. Bullish sentiment tends to peak as bubbles are near their top, and vice versa.

From the revamped and newly Bloombergesque Business Week:

Bull standing on pile of coins, snorting

Pessimism about U.S. stocks among newsletter writers fell to the lowest level since April 1987, six months before the equity market crash known as Black Monday, following the biggest rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in seven decades.

The proportion of bearish publications among about 140 tracked by Investors Intelligence fell to 15.6 percent yesterday from 16.7 percent a week earlier. Sentiment has improved since October 2008, when the financial crisis drove the figure to a 14-year high of 54.4 percent. After plunging 38 percent in 2008, the S&P 500 has risen 25 percent this year.

This is not to say markets wont’ run again in 2010. Irrational bull markets can last much longer than you’d think. The momentum they build up is impossible to fight. Gotta wait for that to break before getting seriously short. Example – After the bearish-sentiment index bottomed in 1987, the market rallied another 14% before crashing.

Smart investors like Bill Fleckenstein have been highlighting the credit bubble since the mid-1990’s. And today markets are more irrational than ever. Government intervention is preventing market cycles from proceeding like never before.

Industries like housing, banking, and commercial real estate have become completely dependent on government support. Their future (and that of our currency) depend on whether our leaders will extend or end this support. It’s a ludicrous, manipulated market.

So far America’s leaders have repeatedly demonstrated that they have zero tolerance for economic pain. Their support for the financial markets seems unlimited, no matter the long-term cost. I don’t see that changing without something drastic hapenning – another huge round of bailouts, a shift in the political landscape, or something…
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Zero Hedge

Caught On Tape: China Builds A Bridge In Just 43 Hours

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

When you have a billion people willing to work instead of expecting free "stuff", anything's possible... Earlier this year, a Chinese construction company had erected a 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days. This time the Chinese have built an overpass in mere 43 hours!

Workers took apart the old structure of Beijing's Sanyuan Bridge in a few hours. Then they brought an entire piece of concrete to bridge the gap and paved it over, reports

To build the bridge, over 1300 tonnes of new surfacing m...

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Phil's Favorites

Giving "Thanks" To The Fed - Holiday Dinner Has Never Been More Expensive

Happy Thanksgiving!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As you’re probably aware, the Fed has a hard time spotting asset bubbles. Just as there was no housing bubble in 2006 according to the honorable and exceptionally “courageous” Ben Bernanke, there’s no bubble in equities today and certainly no ZIRP-induced fixed income bubble either. 

The other thing the Eccles cabal has trouble spotting - and this is of course inextricably linked to an inability to spot speculative excess - is inflation.

Nevermind the fact that housing costs have ...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

25 Years of Stock Market Milestones for China (Bloomberg)

This year has been a wild ride for Chinese stocks, something that long-time investors have come to expect from a country that's seen 55 bull and bear markets since the ruling Communist Party first allowed equity trading in 1990. As the Shanghai Stock Exchange celebrates it's 25th anniversary on Thursday, here's a look at some of the key milestones on China's path from equity-market upstart to $7 trillion behemoth.

Oil rig count falls (Business Insider)

The US oil rig count ...

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Chart School

Status Quo Maintained - Happy Thanksgiving!

Courtesy of Declan.

Holiday trading kicked into gear, although volume for the S&P managed to push into a technical accumulation day. Things are likely to remain quiet through to next week and any sharp moves at this stage have a high risk of failure.

The top performing index on the day was the Russell 2000. It managed to add another decent gain o keep the string of higher closes running. It didn't quite close above 1,200, but it may do so Friday (with the aforementioned caveat of holiday trading). Overall action in this index has been positive, and relative performance to other indices continues to improve.

The Nasdaq is also ready to break higher. ...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David 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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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500 – Dangerous for bull case, if prices turn weak here!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


The S&P 500 remains inside of a rising channel that has been in place since 2010. The 5-year trend is up.

The 5-month trend is a different story, at this time.

Over the past 5-months, the S&P 500 has created a series of “falling weekly closing highs,” which is represented by line (1) above.

The S&P is testing this falling resistance line at (2) above.

If weakness takes place at (2) above, at falling resistance, it would be concerning price action for the bullish case!


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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 23rd, 2015

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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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's Computing Network is More Powerful than 525 Googles and 10,000 Banks!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

I've decided to build our startup - Veritaseum, a peer-to-peer financial services platform, directly on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Many queried why I would voluntarily give up a lucrative advisory and consulting business to chase virtual coins in cyberspace. That's exactly why I decided to do it. That level of misunderstanding of what is essentially the second coming of the Internet gave me a fundamental advantage over those who had deeper connections, more capital and more firepower. I was the first mover advantage holder.

You see, Bitcoin is not about coins, currency or price pops. It is a massive computing net...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


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!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

Thank you for you time!

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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