Stocks: October 2007 vs. March 2014

By: Chris Ciovacco | Fri, Mar 7, 2014
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Fed's Fisher Down On QE

Taper

The Federal Reserve has signaled to the markets that economic data would have to veer significantly off their anticipated path to terminate the Fed's tapering process. Some additional taper-friendly remarks were made this week. From Reuters:

A U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker who has long criticized its bond-buying stimulus said on Wednesday the program has lasted too long, and there are signs it is now distorting financial markets and encouraging risk-taking. In a speech in Mexico City, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher amplified some lingering concerns that the central bank's policy stimulus is stoking asset-price bubbles that "may result in tears" for investors acting on bad incentives. "There are increasing signs quantitative easing has overstayed its welcome: Market distortions and acting on bad incentives are becoming more pervasive," he said of the asset purchases, which are sometimes called QE. "I fear that we are feeding imbalances similar to those that played a role in the run-up to the financial crisis," he said in prepared remarks to the Association of Mexican Banks.


2007: Would I Rather Be Long Or Short Stocks?

The weekly chart below shows the performance of longs (SPY) relative to shorts (SH). When the ratio rises, we would "rather be long" and when the ratio falls, the short side of the market is outperforming the long side. The weekly chart helps us stay with the dominant trend by filtering out some distracting day-to-day volatility present on a daily chart. The red and blue lines are moving averages which filter out some of the week-to-week volatility, allowing us to focus on the dominant weekly trend. Was the long vs. short chart helpful in 2007 when the stock market peaked? Yes, the chart took on an "I'd rather be short look" in October 2007 with the S&P still trading above 1,500. The S&P 500 did not find a bottom until reaching 666 in March 2009.

S&P500 2007 Chart


2014: What Is The Ratio Telling Us Now?

The chart continues to maintain an 'I'd rather be long stocks" look: (a) price is above the red and blue moving averages, and (b) the slopes of the red and blue moving averages are positive.

SPY:SH 2014 Weekly Chart


Investment Implications - The Evidence In Hand Is Bullish

Since bullish utopia never exists in the financial markets, our market model makes allocation decisions based on the weight of the evidence. The weight of the evidence aligns with the current bullish look of the long vs. short ratio. Consequently, we continue to hold U.S. stocks (SPY) and technology stocks (QQQ) as core portfolio positions. Unless the reaction to Friday's employment report brings buying support for bonds, we will consider reducing our already small exposure to Treasuries (TLT) Friday. The market's reaction to the employment report is more important than the report itself. In the first four trading days of the five day week, the S&P 500 tacked on 17 points. Over the same period, the Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) dropped 0.28%, telling us the demand for defensive assets continues to lag the demand for growth assets; that needs to change before the stock bears make any significant progress.


A Small Step For Ukraine

While market fear related to Ukraine has subsided a bit, it is still prudent to keep an eye on Mr. Putin. The House voted on Ukrainian aid this week. From MarketWatch:

The House of Representatives on Thursday easily approved legislation that would extend financial aid to Ukraine. The bill allows Ukraine up to $1 billion in loan guarantees, which the bill's sponsors say cover the risk of losses if Ukraine defaults. The vote was 385-23. Both chambers of Congress would need to approve the loan guarantees and the Senate is still working on its bill.

 


 

Chris Ciovacco

Author: Chris Ciovacco

Chris Ciovacco
Ciovacco Capital Management

Chris Ciovacco

Chris Ciovacco is the Chief Investment Officer for Ciovacco Capital Management, LLC. More on the web at www.ciovaccocapital.com.

All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Investment recommendations may change and readers are urged to check with their investment counselors and tax advisors before making any investment decisions. Opinions expressed in these reports may change without prior notice. This memorandum is based on information available to the public. No representation is made that it is accurate or complete. This memorandum is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned. The investments discussed or recommended in this report may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial position. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance. The price or value of the investments to which this report relates, either directly or indirectly, may fall or rise against the interest of investors. All prices and yields contained in this report are subject to change without notice. This information is based on hypothetical assumptions and is intended for illustrative purposes only. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE.

Ciovacco Capital Management, LLC is an independent money management firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. CCM helps individual investors and businesses, large & small; achieve improved investment results via research and globally diversified investment portfolios. Since we are a fee-based firm, our only objective is to help you protect and grow your assets. Our long-term, theme-oriented, buy-and-hold approach allows for portfolio rebalancing from time to time to adjust to new opportunities or changing market conditions.

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Source: The Contrarian Take http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelpollaro/
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