Category Archives: stock market

A Focus on the Trends in Stocks, Bonds and Gold

In the end it is not so much about “predicting” what will happen next in the financial markets, but rather recognizing – and being prepared for – the potential risks, that makes the most difference in the long run.  So let’s start by looking at current trends.
Stocks
Let’s start with a most simple trend-following model that works like this:
-A sell signal occurs when the S&P 500 Index (SPX) registers two consecutive monthly closes below its 21-month moving average
-After a sell signal, a buy signal occurs when SPX register a single monthly close above its 10-month moving average.
Figure 1 displays recent activity.
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Figure 1 – SPX Trend-Following signals (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
The good news is that this model does a good job of being out of stocks during long bear markets (1973-74, 2000-2002, 2008-2009).  The bad news is that – like any trend-following model – it gets “whipsawed” from time to time.  In fact the two most recent signals resulted in missing out on the October 2015 and March 2016 rallies.
But note the use of the phrase “simple trend-following model” and the lack of phrases such as “precision market timing” and “you can’t lose trading the stock market”, etc.
For now the trend is up.  A few things to keep an eye on appear in Figures 2 and 3.  Figure 2 displays four major averages.  Keep an eye to see if these averages break out to the upside (see here) or if they move sideways to lower.
2Figure 2 – Four Major Market Averages (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
In addition, I suggest following the 4 tickers in Figure 3 for potential “early warnings” – i.e., if the major averages hit new highs that are not confirmed by the majority of the tickers in Figure 3.3
Figure 3 – Four potential “Early Warning” tickers  (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Bonds
My main “simple bond trend-following model” remains bearish.  As you can see in Figure 4, a buy signal for bonds occurs when the 5-week moving average for ticker EWJ (Japanese stocks) drops below its 30-week moving average and vice versa.
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Figure 4 – Ticker EWJ 5-week and 30-week moving average versus ticker TLT (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
A 2nd model using metals to trade bonds has been bullish of late but is close to dropping back into bearish territory.  Figure 5 displays the P/L from holding a long position of 1 t-bond futures contract ONLY when both the EWJ AND Metals models are bearish (red line) versus when EITHER model is bullish (blue line)
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Figure 5 – T-bond futures $ gain/loss when EWJ OR Metals Models are Bullish (blue line) versus when EWJ AND Metals Models are both Bearish (red line); August 1990-present
Gold
My most basic gold trend-following model is still bearish.  This model uses my “Anti-Gold Index” (comprised of tickers GLL, SPX, UUP and YCS).  It is bullish for gold when a Front-Weighted Moving Average (detailed here) is below the 55-week exponential moving average and vice versa.
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Figure 6 – Jay’s “Anti-Gold Index” versus ticker GLD (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Summary
So at the moment the stock model is bullish and the bond and gold models are bearish.  Are these trends certain to persist ad infinitum into the future?  Definitely not.  Will the models detailed here provide timely signals regarding when to get in or out the next time around?  Sorry, but it doesn’t always work that way with trend-following.
But as for me I prefer “riding the trend” to “predicting the future.”
Some painful lessons just stick with you I guess.
Jay Kaeppel  Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (http://www.aiqsystems.com) client. 
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

Four Things to Watch for Warning Signs

First things first: I am primarily a trend-follower (this is based on, a) the relative long-term benefits of following trends and b) my lack of ability to actually “predict” anything – but I digress).
As a trend-follower I love the fact that the stock market has been trending higher and the fact that there is so much “angst” regarding the “inevitable top.”  Still, like a lot of investors I try to spot “early warning signs” whenever possible.  Here are the four “things” I am following now for signs of trouble.
Fidelity Select Electronics
In Figure 1 you see, a) the blow-off top of 1999-2000 and b) today.  Are the two the same?  I guess only time will tell.  But the point is, I can’t help but think that if and when the bloom comes off of the electronics boom, overall trouble will follow.  Here is hoping that I am not as correct here as I was here.
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Figure 1 – Ticker FSELX (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Just asking.
Transportation Index
As you can see in Figure 2, the Dow Transports has a history of making double tops which is followed by trouble in the broader market.  Are we in the process of building another double top?  And will trouble follow if we are?  Dunno, hence the reason it is on my “Watch List” rather than on my “OH MY GOD SELL EVERYTHING NOW!!!!! List”.
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Figure 2 – Dow Transportation Index (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Ticker XIV
Ticker XIV is an ETF that is designed to track inverse the VIX Index. As a refresher, the VIX Index tends to “spike” higher when stocks fall sharply and to decline when stocks are rising and/or relatively quiet.  To put it in simpler terms, in a bull market ticker XIV will rise.  As you can see in Figure 3 one might argue that XIV has gone “parabolic”.  This is a potential warning sign (assuming you agree that the move is parabolic) as a parabolic price move for just about anything is almost invariably followed by, well, let’s just say, “not so pretty”.
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Figure 3 – Ticker XIV (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Let’s hope not.  Because if it does qualify as  parabolic that’s a very bad sign.
Ticker BID
This one may or may not be relevant but for what it is worth, Sotheby’s (ticker BID) has on several occasions served as something of a “leading indicator” at stock market tops (for the record it has also given some false signals, so this one is more for perspective purposes rather than actual trading purposes). Still, if this one tops out in conjunction with any or all of the above, it would likely serve as a useful warning sign.
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Figure 4 – Ticker BID (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Summary
There is no “urgent action” to be taken based on any of this.  Bottom line: Nothing in this article should trigger you to run for the exits.
Still, it might be wise to at least take a look around and “locate the exit nearest you.”
You know, just in case.
Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert) client. http://jayonthemarkets.com/
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

March and April (and the Train Rolls On)

The stock market is off to a flying start in 2017.  We have a buy signal from the January Barometer, the 40-Week Cycle just turned bullish  and most of the major U.S. indexes soaring to new all-time highs.  See Figure 1.

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Figure 1 – Major U.S. Average hitting new highs (charts courtesy AIQ TradingExpert Pro)

With the turn of the month near, what lies ahead for March and April?  Well, it’s the stock market, so of course no one really knows for sure.  Still, if history is an accurate guide (and unfortunately it isn’t always – and I hate that part), the odds for a continuation of the advance in the months just ahead may be pretty good.

Figure 2 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow Jones Industrials Average ONLY during the months of March and April starting in 1946.

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Figure 2 – Growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow Jones Industrials Average ONLY during the months of March and April (1946-2016)

For the record, the months of March and April combined:

*Showed a gain 53 times (75% of the time)

*Showed a loss 18 times (25% of the time)

*The average UP year showed a gain of +5.2%

*The average DOWN year showed a loss of (-3.3%)

*The largest Mar/Apr gain was +15.9% (1999)

*The largest Mar/Apr loss was (-6.0%) (1962)

Summary

So is the stock market train sure to “roll on” during the March/April timeframe?  Not at all.  But with “all systems Go” at the moment and with a historically favorable period approaching – and despite a lot of overly bullish sentiment beginning to bubble up – I feel compelled to stay on board at least until the next stop..

Jay Kaeppel

Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (http://www.aiqsystems.com) client. http://jayonthemarkets.com/

Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

Out With The Old (Part 1)

Before moving on to 2017 I want to revisit a couple of “old” ideas I wrote about recently.
One 9/23/16 I wrote this article detailing a very aggressive bond trading strategy.  The model detailed essentially combined two other models that I have used for a number of years – one a “timing” model, the other  a “seasonal” model.  If either model is bullish then ticker TMF (a triple leveraged long-term treasury bond fund) is held.
As shown in Figure 1, the first model turns:
*Bullish for Bonds when the 5-week moving average for ticker EWJ drops below the 30-week moving average for ticker EWJ
*Bearish for Bonds when the 5-week moving average for ticker EWJ rises above the 30-week moving average for ticker EWJ
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Figure 1 – Bond Bull and Bear signals using ticker EWJ (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
The second model simply holds bonds during the last 5 trading days of each month
The rules for Jay’s Very Risky Bond Model (JVRBM) are as follows:
Bullish for TMF if:
*Ticker EWJ 5-week MA < Ticker EWJ 30-week MA, OR
*Today is one of the last 5 trading days of the month
Bearish for TMF if:
*EWJ 5-week MA > EWJ 30-week MA AND today IS NOT one of the last 5 trading days of the month
Figure 2 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in TMF if the bullish conditions above apply since 4/16/2009 (when TMF started trading).
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Figure 2 – Growth  of $1,000 invested in ticker TMF when JVRBM is Bullish (4/16/2009-12/30/2016)
Figure 3 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in TMF is the bearish conditions above apply since 4/16/2009 (when TMF started trading).
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Figure 3 – Growth  of $1,000 invested in ticker TMF when JVRBM is Bearish (4/16/2009-12/30/2016)
For the record:
*During the Bullish periods in 2016 ticker TMF gained +72%
*During the Bearish periods in 2016 ticker TMF lost -43%
Figure 4 displays the growth of  $1,000 invested in ticker TMF during the Bullish versus Bearish periods in 2016.
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Figure 4 – Growth of $1,000 invested in TMF during Bullish versus Bearish periods (12/31/2015-12/31/2016)
All in all not a bad year (Just don’t forget high degree of risk).
Summary
Make no mistake, this is a trading method that entails a great deal of risk.  One can reasonably ask if a long position in a triple leveraged fund of any kind is really a good idea.
But, hey, the phrase “high risk, high reward” exists for a reason.
Jay Kaeppel

Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (http://www.aiqsystems.com) client. http://jayonthemarkets.com/

U.S. Stocks Lead, World Lags (Part II)

In my last piece I note that the U.S. stock market presently stands alone in terms of recent performance. While virtually every major U.S. stock market average has run to new highs in the last several weeks, not one other individual country has really even come close. While this might induce spontaneous chants of “USA, USA”, the truth is that this may not necessarily be a good thing.
This current disconnect will likely be resolved in one of two ways:

A) The USA will drag the rest of the world screaming and kicking to enjoy in our newfound prosperity (assuming of course that we finally stumble upon that actual newfound prosperity that the stock market is telling us we should be celebrating).
B) The USA fails to pull up the rest of the world and the US stock market gets “dragged down” with the rest of the world’s bourses.
This is the part in the article where a skilled market analyst would offer up a clear and concise opinion of what will happen next and why. And if one happens to stop by the office in the next few minutes or so I will ask him or her what they think. All I know is that at the moment the US stock market is in an uptrend and that the majority of the rest of the world’s stock markets are fair to middling at best (with many looking much worse).
Until something changes I will stick to the US market, thank you very much.
A Little “Worldly” Perspective
What follows is essentially the world (stock markets) in pictures. The purpose is simply to provide you with some perspective regarding the state of the markets around the globe.
The key thing to note is:
*Figure 1 shows U.S. stocks making new highs
*Figures 2 through 6 show the rest of the world’s stock markets lagging far behind
Click Figures 1 through 6 to enlarge
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Figure 1 – U.S. Stocks soaring to new highs (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert )
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Figure 2 – My Own Index of Single Country ETFs; -17% below 2014 high (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert )
Editor’s note: information on creating your own index of ETFs or any other tickers in TradingExpert can be found here http://www.aiqsystems.com/Feb06%20OBM.pdf on page 5, titled Ability to Create Industry Groups for Your Special Trading Needs….
In Figures 3 through 6 note that the overall “stock market malaise” is not limited to one portion of our earth, but rather stretches pretty far East, West, North, South and pretty much all points in between.
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Figure 3 – Middle East Stocks; -40% below 2007 high (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert )
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Figure 4 – European Stocks; -36% below 2007 high (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert )
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Figure 5 – Asia-Pacific Stocks;-17% below 2014 high (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert )
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Figure 6 – North/South America Stocks; -22% below 2011 high (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert )
Wishing you (please choose any or all of the following that are applicable):
*Merry Christmas
*Happy New Year
*Happy Holidays
*Joy
*Peace on Earth
*[Some other phrase that you do not find offensive here]

 

Jay Kaeppel

Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro ( AIQ Systems) client. http://jayonthemarkets.com/

U.S. Stocks Lead, World Lags

In this seemingly ever more divided and ever more electronic age, “perspective” is not a word (or action) that gets mentioned (or employed) with as much frequency as it used to.  The default approach for a lot of things appears to be:
a) Decide ones opinion
b) Take to the internet to shout categorically that said opinion is the only possible “correct” opinion
c) Excoriate anyone who disagrees
Well, sure that is one approach.  But when it comes to investing it is fairly important to raise one’s head and take a look around every once in awhile.
Hey, how about now?
The U.S. Stock Market Post Election
Since the election in November the U.S. stock market has been on a quite a tear, with the major market averages breaking out to new all-time highs as seen in Figure 1.
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Figure 1 – Major market U.S. averages breakout to new highs (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Now per a, b and c above, some will argue that this is a testament to the booming economy that #44 is leaving #45 while others will argue that it is a sign of new hope for the U.S. economy under a new adminstration.
My response: Whatever
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a bull market.  I hung in there all year despite a lot of doubts mostly because my trend-following indicators just kept staying bullish.  And they remain thus.  But like I said before a little perspective can sometimes go a long way.
A New (Republican) Administration
The historical fact is that the last 3 Republican administrations that followed Democratic administrations (Nixon, Reagan, Bush 43) did not experience great “stock market joy” during their first two years in office.  Specifically, the first 21 months of the new four-year election cycle (i.e., starting on Dec. 31st of the election year through the end of September of the mid-term year) for each of these prior administrations witnessed a fair amount of “pain.”
Peruse Figures 2, 3 and 4 (which displays the % gain or loss for the Dow Jones Industrials Average for 21 months starting on December 31st of the election year) and see if you notice a trend.
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Figure 2 – Dow % +(-); Dec-1968 thru Sep-1970 (Nixon – 1st 21 months)
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Figure 3 – Dow % +(-); Dec-1980 thru Sep-1982 (Reagan – 1st 21 months)
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Figure 4 – Dow % +(-); Dec-2000 thru Sep-2002 (Bush 43 – 1st 21 months)
The Good News is that there is no reason why this history has to repeat itself this time around.  The Bad News is….that it very well could.
The Current Euphoria
As I stated earlier, when it comes to bull markets, I vote “YES”.  I will take one anytime I can get it.  And I also try to avoid being one of those “know it all types” (in the interest of full disclosure I am actually more one of those “sneaky” types who tries to intimate that he actually does know it all by trying not to act like a know it all – which is technically probably worse.  But, hey, at least now you know) who routinely “talks down” a bull market (“Oh sure, things are great now but just you wait….” And so on).  That “just you wait” stuff gets really old after a short while.
So here we stand.  The major U.S. averages are bursting forth to new highs – so who am I to be a naysayer?  Still, there is that pesky “perceptive” thing I mentioned earlier.  Before getting too carried away with bullish euphoria please sear Figures 2, 3 and 4 above somewhere into the back of your brain – just in case.
Also note that the U.S. stock market is virtually alone in the world in terms of making new highs.  Figure 5 displays:
Ticker VTI – Vanguard Total (U.S.) Stock Market ETF
Ticker VEU – Vanguard All World ex-U.S. Stock Market ETF
To be clear, ticker VTI essentially covers the entire U.S. stock market.  Ticker VEU covers a broad array of major world stock  markets BUT does not include U.S. stocks.
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Figure 5 – U.S. Total Stock Market = New Highs; World Total Stock Market = NOT New Highs (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Note that the U.S. market has broken out strongly to new highs while the “whole world” of markets is nowhere close to doing so.  Certainly one can adopt the “What, me worry?” approach and argue that “the U.S. market will lead the other world markets to reach new highs.”  And maybe that will prove to be the case.
But as I will highlight soon – and as reflected by tickers VTI and VEU – the U.S. stock market looks great while virtually the rest of the markets around the globe look pretty not so great.  So please check back for Part II soon
In the meantime, enjoy the rally and the Holidays – I know I will.
Jay Kaeppel
Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (http://www.aiqsystems.com) client
 
 

It’s all relative you see

The markets have been shall we say been less than inspiring recently. Brexit came and went with a brief hiccup in the action and only in the last week or so has the volatility picked up. The Dow as you can see in this weekly chart is back the same level as December 2014

 

 

The VXX shows clearly the decline in volatility since the high back in 2011

 

The summer doldrums may be over, but during periods when the market is range bound, segments within the market are often performing very well or very poorly. One AIQ Report that can show the strength within segments is the Relative Strength Strong – Short Term. This report shows stocks in 3 month trend up and is a great report for those who trade with ‘the trend is your friend’. Here is Friday 9-16-2016 report. The report is ranked by the stocks with the best trend.

 

 

I highlighted 6 stocks in the top of this report. All have good trends in place, and all in the Oil and Exploration S&P 500 group. The group has performed quite well recently. The top 2 OILEXPO stocks CHK and DVN have both had a small pullback to their uptrend line. We’ll see how they do this week.

 

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Classic Flag Breakouts on CVX, NFG, TOT

Our Chart pattern Recognition tool had a wealth of gasoline related stocks have breakouts yesterday. The classic flag breakout on good volume could be seen on CVX, NFG and TOT.

Quick reminder on what a flag pattern is.

The flag pattern is considered a continuation pattern after a consolidation period. The flag is a rectangular shape, similar to  the pennant, but the pennant looks more like a triangle.

Usually there’s a strong price movement followed by sideways price movement which is the flag. The pattern is complete when prices breakout in the same direction as the initial price movement. The following move will be in the same direction as the prior sharp move. The move prior to the flag is called the pole.

The flag pattern forms a rectangle with two parallel trendlines that act as support and resistance for the price until the price breaks out. Usually the flag will slope in the opposite direction to the trend.

The buy or sell signal occurs when the price breaks through the support or resistance level, with the trend continuing in the same direction as the pole. The breakthrough should occur on heavier volume.

I’ve put all three charts together and you can clearly see the pole, flag and breakout. As noted above the volume on the breakout on TOT was reasonable. The Quality of the pattern was also considered high.

Incidentally the volume on NFG and CVX was not as significant.

The entire list of stocks that generated completed flags in our nightly report on 5/25/16 is below.

and check out this new video that shows how we automate this reporting every night using the Chart Pattern recognition plug-in for TradingExpert.

Tired of staring at charts time and time again? We have an app for that

Tired of staring at charts time and time again, not certain what is setting up?
Check out this chart of FITB, Fifth Third Bancorp, How would you have traded this over the last 6 months?
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Check out this completed falling wedge pattern from 02/12/16. You would have been alerted to this breakout on 2/12/16, the direction indicator suggested that prices will rise and they did.
Check out this completed falling wedge pattern from 02/12/16. You would have been alerted to this breakout on 2/12/16, the direction indicator suggested that prices will rise and they did.
 
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Or this inverse head and shoulders on 3/1/16, the direction indicator suggested prices would rise and they did.
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and check out this new video that shows the most recent price pattern we were alerted to on FITB on 5/13/16 AND how we automate this reporting every night.