A Test of the Stock Market’s Most Predictable Pattern – The Market Breadth

Stock Market Commentary The S&P 500 (SPY) is a key driver of the stock market’s most predictable pattern. The index’s relentless rise this year has held the majority of the trading action above the 20-day moving average (DMA) (the dotted line in the chart below). Brief dips below the 20DMA set up tests of the … Read more

A Comfortable Calm – Housing Market Review (August, 2021)

Housing Market Intro and Summary Despite more evidence of slowing conditions in the housing market, home builder stocks remained relatively resilient in August. The underlying dynamics of demand remain in place even as housing prices remain lofty and continue to conjure up images of a housing bubble for market commentators and pundits. A supportive Federal … Read more

J-Pow Sprinkles Just Enough Fairy Dust on the Stock Market – The Market Breadth

Stock Market Commentary Say whatever you want, Jerome (Jay) Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, affectionately known as J-Pow, has become a master orchestrator of the stock market. Other Federal Reserve Board members peppered the airwaves with hawkish talk about tapering and inflation in the days preceding Powell’s address at this year’s Jackson Hole, … Read more

What If the Stock Market’s Value Is Fed-Adjusted?

The Stock Market’s Value The U.S. Federal Reserve’s dual mandate is stable prices and maximum employment. Yet, when the Fed sets monetary policy, the most direct and immediate impact plays out in financial markets. When the Fed eases monetary policy, the dominant theme the last 20 years, asset prices invariably increase. Indeed, over the years … Read more

How to Play Catch-Up With the Housing Market

The early 2000s built upon the 1990s momentum for extending home loans to as many people as possible. The drive culminated in the “ownership society” which incentivized the financial system to over-extend credit and fuel a housing bubble. That bubble collapsed spectacularly from 2008 to 2009. In the wake, builders became very wary about building … Read more

A Rare Stumble for the Stock Market As Oversold Conditions Loom – Above the 40 (June 18, 2021)

Stock Market Commentary The Federal Reserve seemed to change the rules of the game. To-date, easy money policies and stubborn dovishness in the face of rising inflation was a formula for higher asset prices, reflation and inflation-friendly trades, and even rising fears of an over-heating economy. Last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell shifted the … Read more

Powell Served Up the Ball On Inflation, Bullard Delivered the Slam Dunk

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell served up the alley-oop and James Bullard delivered the slam dunk. While the latest statement on monetary policy had nothing to say about a hawkish turn at the Fed, Powell served up notice during the press conference. Powell noted growth and inflation prospects that exceeded prior expectations, which in turn … Read more

Normalization Places Fresh Pressures on the Spring Selling Season – Housing Market Review (May, 2021)

Housing Market Intro and Summary The Spring selling season looked like it started strong for new home sales. The data for April reveal a story evolving differently. Absolute inventories rose for both existing and new homes and yet sales declined. Housing starts also suffered a setback. Median prices of homes soared, especially for new homes, … Read more

Realtors Rebound Despite Housing’s Supply Shortage

I heard this tweet referenced twice in the financial media: the first time unsourced and the second time sourced. I must assume that the bizarre data points of the U.S. housing market from Glenn Kelman, Redfin’s CEO, went viral. Redfin’s commentary and observations on the housing market are typically astute and insightful, but this particular … Read more

South African Rand Boosted By Central Bank Confidence

Last November, the South African rand (USD/ZAR) finished reversing its pandemic related losses against the U.S. dollar. Along the way I pointed out the benefits of getting long the South African rand. This week, USD/ZAR dropped to levels last seen in January, 2020. The rand looks to strengthen further based on the confidence expressed by … Read more