The Stock Market
DELRAY BEACH, Florida – “The Donald” breathed a sigh of relief yesterday. He and other rich people got a break from the beating they’ve been taking: Stocks bounced, with the Dow ending yesterday’s session up more than 600 points.
The gears have been stripped, and they look rusty…
Photo credit: Jonathon Cianfrani
A Post Mortem – the Influence of Black Box Systems
Here is a brief update on the recent market action and what we think one should watch out for now. First of all, we already noted in our last market update that something about the recent “mini crash” was quite unusual. For one thing, it started to get serious in an options expiration week, which happens only rarely. One rather scary precedent is actually the 1987 crash: on that occasion the market declined sharply during expiration week and crashed the following Monday.
Photo credit: Oocoskun – dreamstime.com
A “Large and Dramatic Downturn”
TIVOLI, New York – We hadn’t even had our morning coffee on Friday when we got an alarming message from Stephen Jones, who does stock market research for us.
Stephen – a former equity analyst at Value Line – has been working on a proprietary indicator. The aim is to give us a better understanding of the expected returns on stocks, given today’s rich valuations.
The Odds Favor a “Warning Shot” Scenario – but there is a “But”
As regular readers have probably noticed, we have upped the frequency of our “caution is advised” posts on the stock market in recent weeks in light of the market’s increasingly deteriorating internals. Although one never knows when exactly such warning signs may begin to matter, it is always a good bet that they eventually will. Last week the market delivered a little wake-up call to the hitherto rather complacent majority of market participants, by essentially wiping out 9 months worth of gains in more or less just four trading days.
Asian Markets Plunge
“Alright boys, you may stride forth and massacre them with gay abandon.”
“What is it?”
“How shall we be able to tell the heretics from the true believers?”
“Just kill them all. The Lord will recognize his own”
- Papal legate Arnaud-Amaury, Cistercian abbot-commander of the crusader army explaining to his officer Ceasar of Heisterbach how to deal with the inhabitants of Bézier, AD 1209
Sometimes it Works
When we recently discussed the sudden drop in the demand for luxury consumer goods in China (see “Sign of the Bear” for details), we offered inter alia a chart of the Shanghai Composite (this one) with the words:
“The Shanghai Composite Index – a triangle has now formed in the index in the wake of unprecedented government intervention. Unfortunately, triangles are usually trend continuation formations”
It seems that unfortunately, they really are:
The Original Anecdote
There is a well-known – though likely apocryphal – anecdote from the end of the roaring 20s. It involves Joseph P. Kennedy, US ambassador to the UK from the late 1930s to mid 1940s. Before he entered the civil service and politics, he had made a name (and a fortune) for himself as a businessman and investor. On Wall Street he inter alia ran the Libby-Owens-Ford stock pool with a number of Irishmen, a loose association of investors pooling their resources and dedicated to manipulating the hell out of Libby-Owens-Ford stock by deftly using insider information to their advantage.
Today he would be deemed a criminal, but at the time his activities on the stock exchange were perfectly legal and he was widely admired for being a wily operator. Rightly so, we should add.
Meet Joseph P. Kennedy, wily Wall Street operator.
Photo credit: Wide World Photos
A Look at the Broader Market’s Internals
We have previously discussed the stock market’s deteriorating internals, and in light of recent market weakness want to take a brief look at the broader market in the form if the NYSE Index (NYA). First it has to be noted that a majority of the stocks in the NYA are already in bearish trends. The chart below shows the NYA and the percentage of stocks above their 200 day and 50 day moving averages, which is 39.16% and 33.77% respectively.
When more than 60% of stocks in the broader market trade below their 200 dma with the SPX not too far off an all time high, it is clear that cap-weighted indexes are helped up by an ever smaller number of big cap stocks. This typically happens near important trend changes, but it is not always certain that the market will decline significantly when such a divergence occurs.
Is he about to make his entrance?
Cartoon via wallstreetsurvivor.com
Junk Rolling Over
TIVOLI, New York – Chinese stocks fell hard on Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite plunged more than 6% – the biggest fall in three weeks. Our research team in Beijing is downcast.
“Nobody here wants to hear about stocks,” they tell us.
Image credit: AP
TIVOLI, New York – It’s hot here in the Hudson River valley. People are taking it easy, sitting on benches in the shade. We had to put in a window air-conditioner to take some of the heat out. Still, we sweat… and we wait for the cool of the evening.
The markets are lackluster too. A little up. A little down. Languid. Summertime slow. We have been focusing on technology – sometimes directly, often obliquely. It is the subject of our next monthly issue of The Bill Bonner Letter, requiring us to do some homework with the help of our resident tech expert, Jeff Brown.
ABC News Photo Illustration
Most read in the last 20 days:
- The Stock Market in Trouble - How Bad Can it Get?
A Look at the Broader Market's Internals We have previously discussed the stock market's deteriorating internals, and in light of recent market weakness want to take a brief look at the broader market in the form if the NYSE Index (NYA). First it has to be noted that a majority of the stocks in the NYA are already in bearish trends. The chart below shows the NYA and the percentage of stocks above their 200 day and 50 day moving averages, which is 39.16% and 33.77% respectively. When...
- Gold Stocks at an Interesting Juncture
A Fascinating Parallel We have recently discussed the sentiment and positioning backdrop in gold on two separate occasion, as it has once again reached rarely encountered extremes (see “Gold Panic” and “Gold and the Grave Dancers” for details). Image via bullionstreet.com Not much has changed on that front, except for the fact that small speculators have increased their net short position in COMEX gold futures to the highest level in nearly three decades last...
- Gold Stocks: A Playable Rally May Be Beginning as Junk Bonds Crater
Gold Stocks Jump and Retrace 50% Last week we discussed the potential for a rally in the gold sector (see: “Gold Stocks at an Interesting Juncture” for details). Gold stocks jumped early in the week and then retraced almost precisely 50% of the initial move higher, in the process closing a gap that was left behind on Wednesday. Image credit: dreamstime.com Interestingly, for the first time in many months, there were three up days in a row prior to the...
- A new Multi-Year High in Buying by Gold Sector Insiders
Latest Data from INK Show A Huge Surge in Insider Buying As our friends at INK Research in Canada have pointed out to us, insiders at gold companies have made use of the recent sell-off in the sector to load up on shares to an extent not seen in many years. Image source: bidness etc The INK insider buy/sell indicator for gold stocks has peaked just one day after China's initial devaluation announcement at nearly 1,200%: INK's gold insider sentiment...
- Is Crude Oil Close to a Low?
Panicky Headlines Everybody knows that there is a never-ending glut in crude oil, right? Who knew about it a year ago? Not everybody, that much is certain. The problem with what everybody knows is of course that it is often not worth knowing. Photo credit: Alamy Today a friend pointed two articles out to us that have been published yesterday and today. Their headlines say it all. The Wall Street Journal writes “No End in Sight for Oil Glut” - and proceeds to...
- The Stock Market's Panic Potential
The Odds Favor a “Warning Shot” Scenario - but there is a “But” As regular readers have probably noticed, we have upped the frequency of our “caution is advised” posts on the stock market in recent weeks in light of the market's increasingly deteriorating internals. Although one never knows when exactly such warning signs may begin to matter, it is always a good bet that they eventually will. Last week the market delivered a little wake-up call to the hitherto rather...
- The Donald and China, or The Fallacy of Protectionism
Not Every Populist Topic is Worth Exploiting For reasons that will forever remain a mystery to us, mercantilism and protectionism actually hold enormous popular appeal. The best explanation we can come up with for this phenomenon is that the support for such policies is based on a mixture of economic ignorance and relentless propaganda by vested interests over the past, say, four centuries. Still, it is almost comical that people are so vociferously clamoring for policies that can actually...
- The Economy is in Liquidation Mode
Capital Consumption If you’re an American over a certain age, you remember roller skating rinks (I have no idea if it caught on in other countries). This industry boomed in the 1970’s disco era. However, by the mid 1980’s, the fad was fading. Imagine running a rink company at the end of the craze. You know it is not going to survive for long. How do you operate your business? The birthplace of roller disco turned out to be edible, sort of Photo via...
- Real Wealth and Phantom Wealth – Secular Boom and Bust
The Things that Produce Real Wealth vs. Phantom Wealth Our friend Michael Pollaro, the keeper of long-term data on the true money supply and author at Forbes as well as occasionally a guest author on this site, recently sent us the following chart of a relationship he keeps a close eye on. It depicts the annual change rate in new orders for non-defense capital goods and compares this series to the Wilshire total market index. Photo via...
- The Stock Market After the Mini Crash
A Post Mortem – the Influence of Black Box Systems Here is a brief update on the recent market action and what we think one should watch out for now. First of all, we already noted in our last market update that something about the recent “mini crash” was quite unusual. For one thing, it started to get serious in an options expiration week, which happens only rarely. One rather scary precedent is actually the 1987 crash: on that occasion the market declined sharply during expiration...