Posts Tagged ‘equities market’

IS THE “DEATH CROSS” A USEFUL INDICATOR?

IS THE “DEATH CROSS” A USEFUL INDICATOR?

Skull

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

At the March highs we were talking about death crosses.  No, not death crosses in the S&P, but the death cross in the one equity index that has proven to be even remotely leading over the course of the last 5 years – China. Today, everyone and their mother is chattering about the death cross in the S&P 500.  Is it of any use?  Jeff Kleintop at LPL says it’s nonsense:

“While much is made of the “death cross” of the S&P 500 50-day moving average falling below the 200-day, it has actually been a buying signal during these periods in the past. A good example of this took place in 2004 when during the soft spot in the recovery the 50-day crossed below the 200-day on August 17, 2004, just as the S&P 500 had completed the low point of its soft spot pullback and embarked upon a double-digit percent gain over the next three months.”

Pierre Lapointe, a macro strategist at Brockhouse Cooper agrees:

“The death cross IS nonsense. They’re no better than a flip of a coin to predict future returns. Check out these odds: Since 1970, only 10 of the 21 occurrences actually resulted in a market pullback a month after the death cross. Three months later, the market was down only 43% of the time. With odds like this, don’t short the market. Go to a casino — you’ll have more fun.”

The S&P 500 and the U.S. equity market has not proven to be a leading indicator of much in recent years.  Many even question its discounting capabilities at all.  The moral of this story?  Don’t wait until after a 15% decline in equities to jump on some technical analysis bandwagon.  Especially one from an index that has proven to be a leading indicator of just about nothing. 


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WHY THE GOOD JOBS REPORT COULD BE BAD NEWS FOR 2010

WHY THE GOOD JOBS REPORT COULD BE BAD NEWS FOR 2010

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Investors are likely to be increasingly concerned about rate increases over the coming months due to the much better than expected non-farm payrolls report.  Using the last few recessions as a reference point it is likely that equity gains could become increasingly difficult to come by as the Fed is pressured to remove their accommodative stance and other programs are wound down.

Teun Draaisma at Morgan Stanley recently noted this in his “tightening checklist”.   I would expect an upgrade across the checklist.  As we expected job creation is certain to begin by Q1 and Fed language should begin to change dramatically.

 WHY THE GOOD JOBS REPORT COULD BE BAD NEWS FOR 2010

Despite higher rates coming shortly, MS expects the rally to continue in the near-term.  I can’t disagree with this outlook.  Stocks are very buoyant heading into Christmas and it’s unlikely that this report will force the Fed’s hand immediately.  Like Draaisma, I believe the rally could move higher into year-end based on this optimism, but could then begin to sputter out as 2010 becomes a year of higher rates and transition into an economy without a government crutch.  MS analysts report:

We expect the sweet spot to last a bit longer. The cyclical bull market has some further to run, in our view.  We expect 20%+ earnings growth in 2010, equity valuations are still attractive versus rates, and sentiment is not ultra-bullish yet. We prefer equities to fixed income, and we expect a further 9% upside to reach our 1200 bull case target for MSCI Europe based on the mid-cycle multiple on mid-cycle earnings of 15x 12% ROE.

Lessons from past tightening cycles. The start of tightening phases tends to lead to some indigestion and a defensive rotation in equity markets, for two quarters or more. The 1994 and 2004 episodes led to a 16% and 8% fall in MSCI Europe over eight and five months. Sector performance was defensive, but Oil and Materials outperformed, too. In the aftermath of secular bear markets tightening phases have been more severe, with equities falling on average 25% over 13 months.

Draaisma notes that it’s silly trying to jump on the back end of a 70% rally in an attempt to time the final leg up.  As we wrote earlier this week:

But Draaisma


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