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Banks, Transports Foreshadow Equities Decline

Banks, Transports Foreshadow Equities Decline

Former Westpac bankCourtesy of Ben, the Financial Ninja

FN: I’ve pointed out some of the divergences over the last few weeks that are mentioned in this Bloomberg article.

Banks Falling 23% Since May Foreshadow S&P 500 Slump (Update1): "Declines of more than 20 percent in regional banks and homebuilders and the failure of transportation companies to erase their annual loss may be signs the rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is about to fizzle.

Smaller lenders in the gauge lost 23 percent since climbing to a four-month peak on May 8, while builders tumbled 26 percent from May 4, when they reached the highest level since October. Concern that mortgage rates, credit losses and foreclosures are increasing spurred retreats in the companies forecast to be among the biggest beneficiaries of $12.8 trillion in government stimulus spending.

Slumps in bank stocks foreshadowed previous declines in the S&P 500 as investors focused on real-estate losses that curbed lending. Regional banks’ 51 percent plunge over 28 days starting Dec. 8 came a month before the S&P 500 began a 28 percent slump to a 12-year low of 676.53. The lenders’ all-time high in February 2007 occurred seven months before the S&P 500’s record.

FN: I pointed out three times that banks had stalled, rolled over and were threatening to break down in: Financials: Charts Say "Decision Time", Update1, Update2.

“If housing and credit led us into all this, they will have to stabilize,” said Mark Demos, a Minneapolis-based money manager at Fifth Third Asset Management, which oversees $18.7 billion. “There’s a growing concern that they’re not out of the woods. Less bad does not equal good.”

Speculation government spending will end the first global recession since World War II helped push up the S&P 500 by 15 percent since March 31, the biggest quarterly increase since 1998. Financial shares gained the most among the S&P 500’s 10 industry groups, rising 35 percent. Futures on the index rose 0.6 percent to 920.60 at 7:12 a.m. in New York today.

Stocks began to decline three weeks ago as economic reports spurred speculation the U.S. economy isn’t recovering fast enough to justify the S&P 500’s 36 percent advance since March 9. The Federal Reserve said in its June 10 Beige Book business survey that “stringent” loan conditions persist even amid signs the recession is moderating.

“This has been a government-induced rally,” said Jordan Irving, who helps manage more than $110 billion at Delaware Investments in Philadelphia. “We need to see some real positives coming from internal demand, as opposed to government- related demand, and it’s just not there.”…

Transportation_Museum, in Tokyo, Photo taken by LombrosoFN: Dow Theory requires confirmation from "the transports". There has been no such confirmation. I posted twice on this: Transports Diverge, Update1.

Lagging transportation stocks are another bad omen for the rally, according to strategists at Bank of America Corp. and Raymond James Financial Inc., who say gains in airlines, truckers and railroads usually precede economic rebounds.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average has fallen 7.3 percent this year, led by a 61 percent drop in Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines parent AMR Corp. The 2009 decline exceeds the 3.1 percent retreat in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 companies that are “leaders in their industries,” according to Dow Jones & Co., a unit of News Corp…

Full Bloomberg article here.

Photo: Former Westpac bank, now a service centre for the en:North Burnett Regional Council at en:Mundubbera, Queensland,  Author: Mattinbgn; license here.

 


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