Another Bubble Looking for a Pin

By: Toby Connor | Thu, Dec 26, 2013
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Well the Fed in its infinite wisdom has gone and done it again. They've created another bubble. And this bubble is arguably the 6th in the last 13 years (tech, real estate, credit, bond, oil, and now stocks - again). And let's footnote the Fed's creation of the present echo bubble in housing, for good measure.

If one steps back far enough they can see what's really happening. The Fed has now manufactured a parabolic move in the stock market. This parabola is much more aggressive (and thus even more unsustainable) than witnessed at either the 2000 or 2007 stock market tops.

SPX Weekly Chart

Now here is the problem - parabolas always collapse. There are never any exceptions. When the pin finds this bubble it's going to take down not only our stock market, but unleash a destructive force on the global economy.

SPX Weekly Chart 2

At some point profit taking starts as nervous professionals fearing a regression to the mean event start to lock in profits. As the big institutional money starts to come out of the market the selling begins to accelerate and the losses quickly mount.

The steeper the parabola the quicker the losses once the parabola breaks. It's not unusual to see 3-6 months of gains evaporate in the space of days when one of these structures collapses. I have a pretty good idea the level to which this market will fall initially, once the break begins; more on that in a minute.

The path creating this unsustainable market behavior began in 2011. If the Fed had just allowed the market to correct naturally and drop down into its 4 year cycle low in 2012 we would probably now be on a sustainable path into another secular bull market.

SPX Weekly Chart 3

Unfortunately the Fed made a catastrophic mistake. Instead of allowing the market to function naturally they began operation Twist, then LTRO, then QE3 and QE4. The result as you can see in the first chart is they've created a huge unsustainable parabolic move in the stock market. Try as they have to prevent corrections, the longer they allow this to continue the more devastating the crash is going to be when the market breaks.

Based on the extremely stretched nature of the current intermediate cycle (week 27) I'm looking for a top and the start of the collapse early next year. Possibly as we begin earnings season. If one is in the market trying to catch the last few percent of this upside price movement, please understand we are not in an investor environment this late in the bull market. This is short term trading only and at the first sign the crash has begun, get out and stay out.

Margin debt and money market funds are at levels indicating retail investors are now all in like they always are at market tops.

Equity Fund and ETF Assets Chart versus SPX
Source: sentimentrader.com

I expect we are going to see the market fall precipitously to test the previous bull market tops and erase most of last year's gains in a matter of days or weeks. At that point Yellen will panic and all thoughts of tapering will vanish. As a matter of fact I expect the Fed will increase QE, maybe drastically, to try and reflate the parabola.

SPX Weekly Chart 4

But the Fed's likely attempt to reflate and sustain the stock market will be futile, as the damage will already have been done. All they will accomplish is a violent echo rally common to all collapsing parabolas. From there the bear market will have begun and the more QE the Fed throws at the market, the more and faster the liquidity will leak into the commodity markets until inflation completely destroys the economy and the next recession gets underway.

The Fed thinks they are creating a "wealth effect". All they've really done is sow the seeds of the next crash.

 


 

Toby Connor

Author: Toby Connor

Toby Connor
Gold Scents

Gold Scents is a financial blog focused on the analysis of the stock market and the secular gold bull market. Subscriptions to the premium service include a daily and weekend market update emailed to subscribers. If you would like to be added to the email list that receives notice of new posts to Gold Scents, or have questions, email Toby.

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