Here’s another heap of my random market musings and research clips from sources outside of my own cranial vault. Today, we will look at the potential of the markets in the 1 month and 1 year horizons. Then we will examine the energy trade and copper. I hope they help with your own market and trading prognostications.
Short termed rally
Investors seized last week’s PPI inflation report as more evidence inflation pressures are easing.
Following the CPI and PPI reports, investors bought into the prospect of a shorter tightening cycle as falling prices decrease pressure on the Fed to keep raising rates. The lower terminal rate projections unleashed a wave of buying, with the S&P 500 gaining +10.5% since September 30th. That wave is certainly being helped by the Thanksgiving seasonal trade:
“Since 1950, the S&P 500 Index has gained an average of 0.65% during the week of the US Thanksgiving holiday with a frequency of success showing a rather upbeat 68%. The Wednesday prior to the holiday and the Friday after tend to encompass the vast majority of this strength with gains over these two days averaging 0.33% and 0.29%, respectively, and a frequency of success for each of those days surpassing 72%.” – Jon Vialoux, EquityClock
While seasonality and technicals could continue to support a year-end equity market rally, the market is clearly trading on hope!
Potential for pain after the rally
Keep in mind: TINA is not in charge anymore. There is now an alternative to equities, and it’s highly attractive after this year’s spike in Treasury yields. See my recent blogs on the long bond play here and here. In addition, most analysts agree that equity risk premiums are still too tight given the current macro backdrop.
With a recession coming, do you think that earnings will rise to meet current equity premiums?
Finally, there’s that inflation thing going on. Do you really think the BOC and Fed can bring it down to 2%?
For those who beleive the market can hold its premium in a recession and that inflation will fall to 2%… I’ve got a special bottle of snake oil I’d love to sell you – its good for all ailments.
However, if you think it may end up landing closer to 4% like I do, there’s opportunity in hard assets. More on that later…
And now, for a brief bit of stress for buy n’ hold investors to consider. Here’s a chart with the SPX’s uber-long termed trendline showing some scary potential….
To be a little less alarming, I will re-post a chart of my potential targets for the SPX. Note that the first target of 3600 was hit and successfully held. Until that is broken, we must consider that level to be continued support.
Having said that, the market is at best consolidating — until the SPX breaks its last peak near 4300 and the 200 day SPX at just over 4060.
If the SPX breaks support, the support targets do imply a possible floor near 2500 – aka the trendline (big red arrow) in the scary chart above. Many layers before that, though. And, it appears that 3600 has held. So far….anyway.
Look out below: Morgan Stanley
“Our highest conviction view across the board is that 2023 bottom up consensus earnings are materially too high,” he wrote in a note this week. “On that score, we revise our 2023 EPS forecast another 8 per cent lower.” The market’s realization that profit growth will be much slower than expected will send the S&P 500 much lower – between 16 and 24 per cent from current levels by Morgan Stanley’s estimation – before recovering by year end.
If Mr. Wilson is right, 2023 could turn out to be a lucrative year for investors able to keep their cool during an early-year sell-off. Adding risk assets as forward earnings assumptions decline would allow for outsized returns in the latter half of the year.
Long-Term Bull Case for Oil vs Short Term Headwinds
Oil is taking it on the chin of late. As one reader noted, Saudi is opening up the taps to allow for more output. Meanwhile, Russian oil is being restricted. So – as one of the regular readers asked – what’s the reason for oils pullback?
There are several reasons for oil to be soft. For one, October and November have shown a tendency to be the weaker of the months for crude demand seasonally.
However, there are other factors peculiar to the times that exacerbate short-term softness in the oil patch. While most analysts remain optimistic that China will reopen, such reopening will be slow, and halting, with a dozen reversals between now and summer. Each reversal will be regarded as a shocking development by markets, though by this time one hopes each shock will be briefer than the last.
Technically, the daily chart shows a consolidation pattern between the high-$70’s and the low $90’s. Oil is below both of its important SMA’s (50 & 200). Its neartermed oversold. Probably due for a rally back to the $90 area at some point soon. Recall that I have noted that ValueTrend is NOT back into the energy trade, but we are anticipating the restocking of SPR’s, the Russian restrictions, and the eventual reopening of China as bullish. Meanwhile, I view it as a traders market until we see a move well over $93.
From Larry McDonald of Beartraps: “As far as any price cap on oil from G7, the G7 itself doesn’t fully know what it is doing, so it is hard for the rest of us to bring clarity to that which is essentially a muddle. Short term, Russian oil flows are strong before the December 5th EU crude embargo. Furthermore, as happens on occasions, though not with any predictable regularity, the quality of WTI has deteriorated somewhat in its recent vintages, blunting demand thereby. Soaring dirty tanker rates also dampen WTI demand. For longer-term investors, naturally, this is all welcome news as one builds multi-year investments. For short-term traders, the pattern should be desultory, with inexplicable rallies capped by equally inexplicable declines, all of which will be explained away after the fact. Long term it remains true that underinvestment and a growing population equals higher crude oil prices. That won’t change with the headlines”
Metals – copper
At ValueTrend, we are slowly, gingerly stepping into materials again, having sold out early 2022. Here’s the copper chart. It tried breaking out, and may be back into its consolidation pattern. If it can break out and hold, we will go in aggressively. Some of the factors that impact oil also impact copper and the metals. Particularly the reopening of China. And, a longer termed higher inflation rate.
If the seasonal trends play out, then copper, and the metals should move from December to May.
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