Part Optimism, Part Skepticism from A Partial Trade Deal – Above the 40 (October 11, 2019)

AT40 = 52.4% of stocks are trading above their respective 40-day moving averages (DMAs)AT200 = 48.1% of stocks are trading above their respective 200DMAsVIX = 15.6Short-term Trading Call: cautiously bearish Stock Market Commentary A Broad-Based Re-Entry Two Fridays ago, buyers took the S&P 500 (SPY) back above its 50-day moving average (DMA). It was yet … Read more

How to Understand the Inverted Yield Curve and Its Relationship to Recessions

The Federal Reserve’s program of monetary tightening has been fighting the bond market since the process began about 3 years ago. Over that period, the Fed has painstakingly tried to hike rates in a way that would avoid roiling markets. Unfortunately for the Fed, long-term rates on U.S. Treasuries failed to cooperate and barely budged … Read more

The Relationship Between Recessions and Housing Starts

The latest airing of Marketplace included a segment titled “Making sense of housing market data.” The segment explained the five key housing data points that Marketplace uses to gauge the health of the housing market: housing starts, new home sales, existing home sales, pending home sales, and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. In my monthly … Read more

The Fed-Related Chart That Most Concerns the Stock Market

An on-going debate rages about whether or how fast the Fed should hike rates in 2019. Some even question the need for a rate hike in December. Indeed, the market has priced in a “only” a 65% chance of a rate hike next month. I say only because before the October sell-off and November’s weakness, … Read more

The Seasonal Trade On Home Builders Is Off to Its Worst Start Since 2009

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on March 28, 2016. Click here to read the entire piece.) Last December, I wrote about the shaky prospects for the seasonal trade on home builders. Sure enough, iShares US Home Construction (ITB) has not performed this badly on an absolute or … Read more

The Weak Relationship Between Bear Markets and Recessions

The February 4, 2016 edition of Nightly Business Report included a segment assessing the ability of the stock market to predict recessions. This is of course a timely piece given the stock market’s current plunge and growing recession fears arising from analyst commentary and softening economic data. Steve Liesman, chief economist for CNBC, took a … Read more

It Is A Low Rate World – Get Used to It

(This is an excerpt from an article I originally published on Seeking Alpha on September 24, 2015. Click here to read the entire piece.) {snip} After reading the actual speech by Andrew Haldane, titled ominously “How low can you go?,” I realized that the BBC had overly focused Haldane’s concluding remarks. I can understand the … Read more

Oil Has Been A Poor Leading Indicator for (Recent) Recessions

Every time oil drops these days, I notice hand-wringing about whether the fall indicates a recession is somewhere close on the horizon. There is an intuitive appeal to this assumption. Oil is still an engine of economic activity, so declining prices must indicate falling demand. What seems to be “different” this time is a true … Read more

ECRI Still Adamantly Campaigning for A Recession

On November 7, 2011, Lakshman Achuthan of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) appeared on CNBC again to talk about recession. Achuthan was very adamant in his insistence that the business cycle simply could not be reversed from its downward course. The talking points almost sounded like a campaign. It included precious gems like “divergence … Read more