June Retail Sales Were Disappointing.

Tuesday, July 15, 9:25 a.m.

Consumer spending accounts for 66% of the U.S. economy. Except for spending on new cars, it has been worrisome. Concerns increased last week with warnings from the likes of WalMart, The Container Store chain, Family Dollar Stores, clothing chain Gap, and others, of slowing sales.

So, as I said in Saturday’s blog, today’s Retail Sales report would be important regarding whether the economy is recovering from the winter slowdown.

U.S. retail sales were up almost 1.0% in February, almost 1.5% in March, but only 0.5% in April, and 0.5% in May (revised this morning from the initial report of 0.3%).

The consensus forecast was that they would be up 0.6% in June.

They didn’t come close to even that. June retail sales were just reported, and were up only 0.2%, the slowest pace in five months.

That does not indicate a big bounce back from pent-up demand created by the winter weather, at least from consumer spending.

European markets rallied as expected.

I also noted in Saturday’s blog that in their declines European markets had become so short-term oversold beneath their 50-day moving averages that a rally off the oversold conditions was likely.

And European market were up quite strongly yesterday, but not near enough to alleviate the oversold condition.

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They got more dismal news from Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, this morning that has the rally halted at least for the moment.

It was reported this morning that German investor confidence declined for the 7th straight month in July, dropping from 29.8 in June, to 27.1 in July.

In Europe, retail sales and industrial production has been declining as well as incoming orders. The disappointing German data comes after a recent string of disappointing news from the euro zone, adding to concerns that economic growth in Europe has stalled.

But the European markets are still short-term oversold.

U.S. market still short-term overbought.. 

Yesterday’s triple-digit rally in the U.S. was impressive, but did not change the short-term risk of the overbought condition above 50-day moving averages and trend-lines, and sell signals on short-term technical indicators.

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Bu the short-term may be unimportant. What about the intermediate-term?

Other Voices: 

Richard Ross, Auerbach: “It’s very difficult to assail the technicals . . . . . We’ve been above the 150-week moving average for quite some time. In fact, you have to go back to the period of 1982 to 1987 to find a similar type period from a technical standpoint when we were above trend for so long. And we all know how things ended in 1987.”

Gina Sanchez, Chantical Global: “The economy contracted 2.9% in the first quarter, and corporate results were mediocre. The market is trading as if it expects to make up the losses throughout the rest of this year, but the International Monetary Fund estimates show that may not happen. . . . . And if you look at FactSet right now, 111 companies have come out with earnings guidance. Of those, 84 companies have given negative guidance. That’s 76 percent of companies, and that’s after a weak first quarter. So if you’re expecting them to be gaining that back, the guidance isn’t suggesting that.”

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:    The Bond Rally Is Not a Good Omen for the Stock Market

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is a new in-depth ‘Gold, Bonds, Dollar, Inflation’ update from last evening in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website. And the next edition of the newsletter will be out tomorrow.

Yesterday in the U.S. Market. 

A positive day, although an afternoon selloff knocked the Dow down 77 points from its mid-day high when it was up 188 points. Volume was just under 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE.

The Dow closed up 111 points, or 0.7%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.5%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.5%. The Nasdaq closed up 0.6%. The Nasdaq 100 closed up 0.6%. The Russell 2000 closed up 0.5%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.7%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 1.1%.

Gold plunged $30 an ounce to $1,307.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed down 0.1%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed down 0.4%.

European Markets closed up as expected yesterday.

The London FTSE closed up 0.8%. The German DAX closed up 1.2%. France’s CAC closed up 0.8%. Belgium closed up 1.0%. Denmark closed up 0.9%. Finland closed up 1.4%. Greece closed up 2.0%.  Ireland closed up 1.0%. Italy closed up 0.4%. Netherlands closed up 0.7%. Norway closed up 1.2%. Portugal closed up 0.6%. Spain closed up 0.6%. Switzerland closed up 1.2%.

Asian Markets closed up last night.

The Asia Dow closed up 0.4%. Among individual countries:

Australia closed unchanged. China closed up 0.2%. Hong Kong closed up 0.5%. India up 0.9%. Indonesia closed up 1.0%. Japan closed up 0.6%. Malaysia closed up 0.1%. New Zealand closed down 0.2%. South Korea closed up 0.9%. Singapore closed up 0.1%. Taiwan closed up 0.5%. Thailand closed down 0.3%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are mixed and flat this morning.

The Europe Dow is down 0.2%.

The London FTSE is down 0.1%. The German DAX is down 0.1%. France’s CAC is down 0.2%. Belgium is up 0.2%. Denmark is down 0.2%. Finland is down 0.3%. Greece is up 0.1%. Ireland is up 0.3%. Italy is down 0.3%. Netherlands is down 0.2%. Norway is up 0.3%. Portugal is up 0.2%. Spain is down 0.5%. Switzerland is up 0.2%

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

Oil is down $1.19 a barrel, at $99.72, back under $100.

Gold is up $2 an ounce at $1,309.

This week’s Economic Reports:

This week will be see a number of important economic reports, including Retail Sales, the Producer Price Index, the Fed’s Beige Book, New Housing Starts, etc. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

There were no economic reports in the U.S. yesterday.

This morning’s reports were that Retail Sales were up only 0.2% in June after rising only 0.5% in May, significantly missing the consensus forecast of a rise of 0.6%. The Empire State (NY) Mfg Index improved to 25.6 in July from 19.3 in June.

The pre-open indicators have not been affected by the reports so far. 

Our Pre-open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being up 25 points or so at the open.

I’ll be back with the next post on Thursday morning at 9:25 a.m.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:    The Bond Rally Is Not a Good Omen for the Stock Market

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is a new in-depth ‘Gold, Bonds, Dollar, Inflation’ update from last evening in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website. And the next edition of the newsletter will be out tomorrow.

Non-Subscribers:

If you haven’t done so yet, check out our new bull market/bear market indicator (BBMI) by clicking here: Market Timing Strategy

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**** End of Today’s post*****

Europe’s markets are oversold – at least short-term.

Saturday, July 12, 11:15 a.m.

The U.S. market continues to hold up well, in fact is short-term overbought above short-term moving averages and trend-lines.

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Not so for markets in Europe, which have broken beneath their 50-day m.a.’s. Some, if not most, have now given back all their gains of 2014 and are down for the year.

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However, their plunges have been so sudden that most are short-term oversold beneath their 50-day m.a. to a degree likely to result in a short-term rally off the oversold condition.

The key will be whether they can break back above the 50-day and resume their bull markets, as they did after previous short-term plunges, or whether the 50-day m.a. will now be overhead resistance as has happened in Ireland.

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Next week’s retail sales report will be important in U.S.

Consumer spending accounts for 66% of the U.S. economy. Except for spending on new cars, it has been worrisome.

The concerns increased this week with warnings from the likes of WalMart, The Container Store chain, Family Dollar Stores, clothing chain Gap, and others, of slowing sales.

Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, said, “We are experiencing a retail funk. While consumers are buying homes and cars most segments of retail are, like us, seeing more challenging sales than we had hoped for early in 2014.”

But Jack Kleinhenz, president of the National Retail Federation, noting the strong jobs report and tick up in consumer confidence, remains optimistic.

Retail sales for June will be released at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday. We will see then who has the most accurate picture, the NRF, or those on the front line at the retail outlets.

Retail sales spiked up in January and February, but mostly on car sales. They were up only 0.5% in April, and then only up 0.3% in May. And even then it was mostly car sales, which jumped 1.4% in May. Minus car sales, overall retail sales were up only 0.1% in May (versus the consensus forecast of a 0.5% increase excluding cars).

The retail sales numbers include both the durable goods and non-durable goods (including food) portions of consumer spending, so are a clear picture of 66% of the economy’s strength.

Retail sales have been one of the major drags on the economic recovery since 2011. The month-to- month numbers are volatile, but the year-over-year numbers (the red line in the chart) show the trend.

If the economy is bouncing back we need to see that show up in overall June sales, not just automobiles.

[Chart]

Economic forecasts are coming down.

With the mix of 2nd quarter economic reports not as robust as previously forecast, economists are again cutting their forecasts for 2nd quarter and full year economic growth.

The NABE reported yesterday that the average forecast for 2nd quarter GDP growth has fallen to 3.0% from 3.5% in the June survey, while the forecast for full year growth is now 1.6%, down sharply from the 2.5% in the June survey. If accurate, this year’s growth will be the slowest since the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Yet the stock market is unworried, rising to new highs?

Short-term market patterns.

A down week for the U.S. market. Was it just the usual following of short-term patterns?

The previous week was up sharply under the influence of the ‘monthly strength period’ (the last two days of the month and the first four trading days of the following month), and the usual kneejerk initial positive reaction to a surprise in the monthly jobs reports.

The week after the ‘monthly strength period’ tends to be negative. And the initial reaction to the monthly jobs report in either direction is usually reversed in subsequent days. That is what happened this week. So the patterns continue to work out. 

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:   The Bond Rally Is Not a Good Omen for the Stock Market

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter will be out on Wednesday in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Non-Subscribers:

Check out our new bull market/bear market indicator (BBMI) by clicking here: Market Timing Strategy !

U.S. market yesterday.

A mixed day on light volume of less than 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE.

The Dow closed up 28 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.3%. The NYSE Composite closed down 0.1%. The Nasdaq closed up 0.4%. The Nasdaq 100 closed up 0.6%. The Russell 2000 closed down 0.2%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.3%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 0.5%.

Gold closed down $1 at $1,338 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed up 0.1%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed up 0.6%.

Asian markets mostly closed down in their last session of the week.

Asian markets closed down Thursday night (Friday in the U.S.).

The Asia Dow closed down 0.9%.

Among individual markets:

Australia closed up 0.4%. China closed up 0.4%. Hong Kong closed down 0.1%. India closed down 1.4%. Indonesia closed down 1.3%. Japan closed down 0.3%. Malaysia closed down 0.4%. New Zealand closed down 0.5%. South Korea closed down 0.7%. Singapore closed up 0.7%. Taiwan closed down 0.7%. Thailand closed up 0.7%.

European markets bounced back fractionally yesterday from recent losses.

The Europe Dow closed up 0.1%. Among individual countries:

The London FTSE closed up 0.3%. The German DAX closed up 0.1%. France’s CAC closed up 0.4%. Belgium closed down 0.3%. Denmark closed up 0.4%. Finland closed down 0.1%. Greece closed up 0.3%. Ireland closed up 0.2%. Italy closed up 0.6%. The Netherlands closed up 0.1%. Norway closed up 0.3%. Portugal closed up 0.6%. Spain closed up 0.1%. Switzerland closed down 0.1%.

Global markets for the week. 

Not a pretty week. Biggest losses in Europe, India, and Russell 2000.

THIS WEEK (July 11)
DJIA 16943 - 0.7%
S&P 500 1967 - 0.9%
NYSE 10936 - 1.5%
NASDAQ 4415 - 1.6%
NASD 100 3904 - 0.5%
Russ 2000 1159 - 4.1%
DJTransprts 8254 - 0.5%
DJ Utilities 559 + 0.9%
XOI Oils 1,656 - 1.9%
Gold bull. 1,338 + 1.4%
GoldStcks 104.07 + 2.6%
Canada 15125 - 0.6%
London 6690 - 2.6%
Germany 9666 - 3.4%
France 4316 - 3.4%
Hong Kong 23233 - 1.3%
Japan 15164 - 1.8%
Australia 5474 - 0.7%
S. Korea 1988 - 1.1%
India 25024 - 3.6%
Indonesia 5032 + 2.6%
Brazil 54846 + 1.5%
Mexico 43481 - 0.1%
China 2143 - 0.6%
LAST WEEK (July 4)
DJIA 17068 + 1.3%
S&P 500 1985 + 1.3%
NYSE 11104 + 1.2%
NASDAQ 4485 + 2.0%
NASD 100 3923 + 2.1%
Russ 2000 1208 + 1.6%
DJTransprts 8294 + 1.5%
DJ Utilities 554 - 3.1%
XOI Oils 1,688 + 0.2%
Gold bull. 1,320 + 0.4%
GoldStcks 101.48 + 2.4%
Canada 15214 + 0.8%
London 6866 + 1.6%
Germany 10009 + 2.0%
France 4468 + 0.7%
Hong Kong 23546 + 1.4%
Japan 15437 + 2.3%
Australia 5511 + 1.5%
S. Korea 2009 + 1.1%
India 25962 + 3.4%
Indonesia 4905 + 1.2%
Brazil 55055 + 1.7%
Mexico 43518 + 2.4%
China 2156 + 1.1%
PREVIOUS WEEK (June 27)
DJIA 16851 - 0.6%
S&P 500 1960 - 0.1%
NYSE 10974 - 0.4%
NASDAQ 4397 + 0.7%
NASD 100 3844 + 1.1%
Russ 2000 1189 + 0.1%
DJTransprts 8175 - 0.4%
DJ Utilities 572 + 0.9%
XOI Oils 1,684 - 1.9%
Gold bull. 1,315 0
GoldStcks 99.10 + 0.7%
Canada 15094 - 0.1%
London 6757 - 1.0%
Germany 9815 - 1.7%
France 4436 - 2.3%
Hong Kong 23221 + 0.1%
Japan 15095 - 1.7%
Australia 5429 + 0.5%
S. Korea 1988 + 1.0%
India 25099 - 0.1%
Indonesia 4845 - 0.1%
Brazil 53161 - 2.7%
Mexico 42493 - 0.9%
China 2132 + 0.5%

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Next week’s Economic Reports:

Next week will be see a number of important economic reports, including Retail Sales, the Producer Price Index, the Fed’s Beige Book, New Housing Starts, etc. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:   The Bond Rally Is Not a Good Omen for the Stock Market

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, the new issue of the newsletter will be out on Wednesday in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

I’ll be back with the next blog post Tuesday morning at 9:25 a.m., with those retail sales numbers for June.

Non-Subscribers:

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

(The equivalent of four or five normal newsletters at the cost of one)

  • Access to Premium Content area of this Blog, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday a.m.
  • A 6-page Mid-Week Markets Report every week.
  • A 4 to 6 page Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar Report every three weeks.
  • A 4 to 6 page Global Market Report every three weeks.
  • The 8-page Street Smart Report newsletter every 3 weeks.
  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
  • Two specific portfolios (Seasonal Timing & Technical Analysis Timing)
  • Sy’s weekly column on markets and the economy every Friday.

Market, sector, stock, gold, bond, and dollar buy and sell signals, short-sales, long-side and ‘inverse’ etf’s, mutual funds. Highly regarded and in our 26th year. As a bonus for a one-year subscription you will also receive my latest book Beat the Market the Easy Way- Proven Seasonal Strategies That Double the Market’s Performance. Click here for subscription information.

This blog appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning and at occasional times in between! Follow it via the RSS feed or follow it in Twitter (the ‘handle’ is @streetsmartpost) so you won’t miss any posts.

**** End of Today’s post*****

Increased volatility could flip the switch on complacency.

Thursday, July 10, 9:25 a.m.

It’s no secret that volatility has been unusually low and benign. It can be seen in the volatility index VIX.

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It’s also no secret that low volatility breeds investor complacency.

What’s to worry about if the Dow moves only in fractional increments, may not manage new highs by more than a fraction before pulling back, but also doesn’t decline by more than a fraction before bouncing back to yet another fractional new high.

What’s to worry about if the market is incapable of even 3% declines, let alone the 10% correction that is supposedly overdue.

But is a return of normal volatility overdue?

At this point, long periods of triple-digit moves by the Dow of 200, 300, 400 points a day in one direction or the other, sometimes several in a row, have been pretty much forgotten.

Yet it was not that long ago. In one worrisome time last summer there was one period when there were 15 days out of 21 when the Dow closed up or down by triple-digits, the worst a one-day plunge of 353 points, and down 718 points over one four-day stretch. (Yet altogether there was not even a 10% correction overall).

But what would a return of such volatility do to the current unusual degree of investor complacency?

Would it even encourage short-sellers back into action? 

And as we have been showing you, the market is short-term overbought and our short-term indicators have been on a sell signal for two weeks now. We have also been concerned about European markets as we showed you a couple of days ago, and they have collapsed further since.

The Stock Traders Almanac points out that volatility tends to increase in the summer after the July 4 holiday.

Will volatility return and flip the switch on complacency?

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Jobs Report Not As Positive For Economy As Some Think

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth Markets Report (stocks, gold, bonds) from yesterday afternoon in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Yesterday in the U.S. Market. 

A positive day, half of which came after the release of the minutes of the last FOMC meeting.  Volume was light at under 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE.

The Dow closed up 78 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.5%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.4%. The Nasdaq closed up 0.8%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 0.3%. The Russell 2000 closed up 0.1%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.5%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 0.1%.

Gold closed up $9 an ounce at $1,328.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed down 0.2%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed up 0.1%.

European Markets were mixed yesterday.

Among individual markets:

The London FTSE closed down 0.3%. The German DAX closed up 0.4%. France’s CAC closed up 0.4%. Belgium closed up 0.1%. Denmark closed down 0.7%. Finland closed up 0.2%. Greece closed down 1.7%.  Ireland closed up 0.3%. Italy closed up 0.9%. Netherlands closed up 0.2%. Norway closed up 0.1%. Portugal plunged 2.1%. Spain closed up 0.5%. Switzerland closed down 0.2%.

Asian Markets closed up last night.

The Asia Dow closed up 0.3%. Among individual countries:

Australia closed up 0.2%. China closed down 0.1%. Hong Kong closed up 0.3%. India closed down 0.3%. Indonesia closed up 1.5%. Japan closed down 0.6%. Malaysia closed up 0.2%. New Zealand closed up 0.1%. South Korea closed up 0.1%. Singapore closed down 0.2%. Taiwan closed up 0.8%. Thailand closed up 0.7%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are down sharply this morning.

The Europe Dow is down 1.7%.

The London FTSE is down 0.9%. The German DAX is down 1.5. France’s CAC is down 1.7%. Belgium is down 1.4%. Denmark is down 1.0%. Finland is down 1.2%. Greece is plunging 2.4%. Ireland is down 1.1%. Italy is down 2.6%. Netherlands is down 1.8%. Norway is down 2.0%. Portugal is plunging 4.3%. Spain is down 2.7%. Switzerland is down 1.0%

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

Oil is down $.43 a barrel, at $101.86

Gold is surging up $19 an ounce at $1,343.

This week’s Economic Reports:

This week is an extremely quiet week for economic reports, but they include unemployment claims and the minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC meeting. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

There were no economic reports in the U.S. Monday.

Tuesday’s only report is that the Small Business Optimism Index fell in June, with those expecting the economy to improve plunging 10 points from 0 to –10, yet those planning to add workers was up for the month.

Yesterday’s only report was the release of the minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC meeting, in which we saw nothing of importance that had not been revealed in the Fed’s statement after the meeting and Fed Chair Yellen’s press conference after the last meeting.

Today’s only report is the weekly unemployment report, which showed new claims fell by 11,000 last week to 304,000. The four-week m.a. declined by 3,500 to 311,500. They are now at their lowest level in 7 years. That would be since 2007. Great news for those who believe employment is a leading indicator for the economy.

The report has had no effect on the pre-open indicators which are more concerned about the additional collapse in European markets.

Our Pre-open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being down 160 points or so at the open.

I’ll be back with the next post on Saturday morning, as usual later than on the weekdays, probably around 12 noon.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Jobs Report Not As Positive For Economy As Some Think

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth Markets Report (stocks, gold, bonds) from yesterday afternoon in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Non-Subscribers:

If you haven’t done so yet, check out our new bull market/bear market indicator (BBMI) by clicking here: Market Timing Strategy

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

(The equivalent of four or five normal newsletters at the cost of one)

  • Access to Premium Content area of this Blog, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday a.m.
  • A 6-page Mid-Week Markets Report every week.
  • A 4 to 6 page Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar Report every three weeks.
  • A 4 to 6 page Global Market Report every three weeks.
  • The 8-page Street Smart Report newsletter every 3 weeks.
  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
  • Two specific portfolios (Seasonal Timing & Technical Analysis Timing)
  • Sy’s weekly column on markets and the economy every Friday.

Market, sector, stock, gold, bond, and dollar buy and sell signals, short-sales, long-side and ‘inverse’ etf’s, mutual funds. Highly regarded and in our 26th year. As a bonus for a one-year subscription you will also receive my latest book Beat the Market the Easy Way- Proven Seasonal Strategies That Double the Market’s Performance. Click here for subscription information.

This blog appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning!

**** End of Today’s post*****

Is Europe’s economy cooling off too?

Tuesday, July 8, 9:25 a.m.

The euro-zone’s economy grew only 0.2% in the first quarter, only 0.8% in Germany, Europe’s largest economy. But economists expect a substantial recovery in the 2nd quarter, and for the euro-zone ‘s overall economy to grow 1.1% for the year.

And while the European Central Bank agrees, it also promises to keep key interest rates low for an extended period of time. (Sound familiar?).

However, Germany and the euro-zone received disappointing economic news this morning. After a disappointing German factory orders report on Friday, a disappointing industrial production report yesterday, this morning’s report was that both imports and exports fell in Germany in May.

It was also reported this morning that overall production in the U.K. fell 0.7% in May, with manufacturing production falling 1.3%.

It is creating more concern that Europe’s economy is cooling, and has European stocks down this morning for the third straight day.

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Oddities in the numbers? 

It was reported this morning that the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.6 in June to 95, and within its components that those expecting the economy to improve plunged 10 points from 0 to negative –10.

Yet those with job openings, and those planning to add workers, were up for the month.???

And WalMart’s president said in an interview published this morning that the jobs recovery is not producing improving sales at the world’s largest retailer. He said consumers in the lower- and middle-income spending bracket have changed their spending habits in ways that are "not the best thing in the world for a retailer. . . . . They’re adapting to what has been a difficult macroeconomic situation. . . . . We do better when the GDP is growing, when the economy’s good, and we really need that in the long run for the business to improve."

Jobs aren’t helping? I’ll say again, jobs are a lagging indicator, remaining negative for quite some time when the economy begins to recover from recessions, and remaining strong for quite some time after the economy has begun to slow.

U.S. market is short-term overbought again . 

The market is short-term overbought above 50-day moving averages and trend-lines again, and the market’s internal strength is again not confirming the market’s new highs (internal strength is making lower highs).

But that was also the situation in June. 

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To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Jobs Report Not As Positive For Economy As Some Think

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there will be an in-depth Markets Report (stocks, gold, bonds) tomorrow in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Yesterday in the U.S. Market. 

A negative day, the degree of overall negativity masked by last hour buy-programs in a few blue chips that lifted the Dow and S&P 500 off their lows. Volume was 0.6 billion shares traded on the NYSE, not bad for a summer Monday after a long weekend.

Market breadth was decidedly negative, with more than twice as many stocks down as up on the NYSE, and more than four times as many down as up on the Nasdaq.

The Dow closed down 44 points, or 0.3%. The S&P 500 closed down 0.4%. The NYSE Composite closed down 0.6%. The Nasdaq closed down 0.8%. The Nasdaq 100 closed down 0.3%. The Russell 2000 plunged 1.8%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed down 1.0%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed up 0.3%.

Gold closed down $2 an ounce at $1,317.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed up 0.1%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed up 0.7%.

European Markets closed down sharply yesterday.

The Europe Dow closed down 1.0%. Among individual markets:

The London FTSE closed down 0.6%. The German DAX closed down 1.0%. France’s CAC closed down 1.4%. Belgium closed down 0.6%. Denmark closed down 0.6%. Finland closed down 0.7%. Greece closed down 0.1%.  Ireland closed down 1.1%. Italy closed down 1.3%. Netherlands closed down 1.1%. Norway closed down 0.1%. Portugal closed down 1.7%. Spain closed down 1.1%. Switzerland closed down 0.8%.

Asian Markets were mostly down last night.

The Asia Dow closed down 0.4%. Among individual countries:

Australia closed down 0.1%. China closed up 0.2%. Hong Kong closed unchanged. India plunged 2.0%. Indonesia closed up 0.7%. Japan closed down 0.4%. Malaysia closed down 0.1%. New Zealand closed down 0.4%. South Korea closed down 0.1%. Singapore closed down 0.3%. Taiwan closed up 0.1%. Thailand closed up 0.3%.

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Markets This Morning:

European markets are down again this morning.

The Europe Dow is down 0.6%.

The London FTSE is down 0.7%. The German DAX is down 0.7%. France’s CAC is down 0.7%. Belgium is down 0.7%. Denmark is down 0.5%. Finland is down 1.0%. Greece is plunging 3.3%. Ireland is down 0.9%. Italy is down 1.9%. Netherlands is down 0.5%. Norway is down 0.6%. Portugal is down 2.2%. Spain is down 1.3%. Switzerland is down 0.3%

This Morning in the U.S. Market:

Oil is up $.11 a barrel, at $103.64

Gold is up $7 an ounce at $1,324.

This week’s Economic Reports:

This week will be an extremely quiet week for economic reports, but they include unemployment claims and the minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC meeting. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

There were no economic reports in the U.S. yesterday.

This morning’s only report is that the Small Business Optimism Index fell in June, with those expecting the economy to improve plunging 10 points from 0 to –10, yet those planning to add workers was up for the month.

Our Pre-open Indicators:

Our pre-open indicators are pointing to the Dow being down 60 points or so at the open.

I’ll be back with the next post on Thursday morning at 9:25 a.m.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here:  Jobs Report Not As Positive For Economy As Some Think

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there will be an in-depth Markets Report (stocks, gold, bonds) tomorrow in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Non-Subscribers:

If you haven’t done so yet, check out our new bull market/bear market indicator (BBMI) by clicking here: Market Timing Strategy

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

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This blog appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning!

**** End of Today’s post*****

What are the odds of still higher market highs?

Saturday, July 5, 12:40. 

The market plunged in January, and recovered only into a going nowhere sideways trading range for the next three months into May. It then broke out to the upside, stalled a bit, but this week spiked up to another new high.

070514a

As a result, the first half of the year, which was looking hesitant if not toppy, has turned out to be quite positive, with the Dow now up 2.9% for the year, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq up more than 7%.

It accomplished those new highs even with widespread warnings that valuation levels, overbought conditions, investor complacency, public investor participation (stock and fund holdings), margin debt, insider selling, corporate IPO and M&A activity, earnings growth slowing, and a long list of other conditions similar to those seen, not at previous buying opportunities, but at prior significant market tops.

It accomplished the new highs even though the economy has been stumbling, GDP plunging to negative growth of 2.9% in the 1st quarter, and expectations for the second quarter and the full year being revised down, to looking at another year of a sub-par economy, more than five years after the recession ended.

It accomplished those new highs even though the bull market has already doubled since the 2009 low, an exemplary accomplishment for a bull market under any circumstances let alone in an anemic economic recovery.

It accomplished those new highs even though everyone by now must be well aware that this has become the third longest lasting bull market in history, and is without the economic foundation of previous bull markets.

  • The 1920’s bull market lasted almost 9 years in the rip-roaring economy of the ‘roaring twenties’ – and then crashed 90%.
  • The 1990’s bull market lasted almost ten years in the rip-roaring economy of the 1990’s – and then plunged 50% (the Nasdaq 78%).
  • The 2003-2007 bull market lasted five years – and crashed 50% in the 2007-2009 bear market and financial meltdown.
    This bull market has now lasted 5.3 years.
    It also accomplished these new highs in spite of the S&P 500 now having gone 1,004 days without a normal 10% correction. It’s the longest stretch without a 10% correction since the 1,127 day run from July 1984 to August 1987, 30 years ago – which ended with the 1987 crash, the S&P 500 being down 37%, scaring then also confident investors out of the market for several years.

We all recognize that it was accomplished, at least until the end of last year, by six years of unprecedented government rescue and stimulus efforts.

Yet  it has continued in the first half of this year even though the Fed is withdrawing the stimulus punchbowl, with monthly QE already cut back from $85 billion a month in December to $45 billion, and coming down at a rate of $10 billion a month.

And this year’s continuing positive activity is taking place in the market’s unfavorable season of May to October, and in the usually negative 2nd year of the Four-Year Presidential Cycle.

It can always be different this time in some areas.

As proven in 1999, investors can become even more confident, valuations (p/e ratios, etc.) can become even more extreme.

But the above is a very long list of conditions that would all have to defy the odds.

On Seasonality and the Four-Year Presidential Cycle.

I replied several weeks ago to the numerous claims in the media that seasonality has ‘obviously’ failed this year since the market is higher than it was in May.

Those claims will probably flare up again with this week’s new highs.

A brief reminder:

The history of moving out of the market into cash in the May to October period substantially out-performing the market over the long-term, while taking only 50% of market risk, is clearly proven. Not only in numerous academic studies going back many years, but in the 15-year performance of our own Seasonal Timing Strategy.

But, it is true it doesn’t work in every individual year. The market does make further gains in the summer months in some years.

However, it cannot be judged as having failed when we are not even mid-way through the unfavorable season.

The history is not that the market tops out in May and remains negative until October, only that sometime during that period there is most often a correction worth standing aside for.

And while the market sometimes does top out in April or May, most often the decline takes place from late July to sometime in the October/November time-frame.

Thus the statistics of the three-month period of August, September, October being the worst three-month period of the year on average.

But is there hope in the Four-Year Presidential Cycle?

The very long history of the Presidential Cycle is that each Administration primes the pump in the 3rd and 4th years of their term to make sure the economy and stock market are strong and in positive trends when re-election time rolls around.

The pump-priming produces excesses in the economy and market that must be corrected after the election. The history is that those corrections are allowed to take place in the first two years of the next cycle, and then the pump-priming begins again in the 3rd and 4th year. The result is that most serious corrections and bear markets take place in the first two years of the Presidential cycle.

History shows that it doesn’t matter which party is in office.

As Jeremy Grantham, CEO of international wealth management firm GMO says, “All markets tend to drop in the first two years of a presidential cycle. The key for people to remember is that whoever is president has astonishingly little effect, whereas the cycle itself, the desire for the incumbent party to get re-elected, is clear in the data. . . . . . . . . . . The precipitating factor is economic housecleaning by officials in Washington. Presidential Administrations want to correct imbalances in the economy in the first two years of their term, so they will have breathing room in year-three to stimulate the economy and set things up for the next election. . . . . . An unintended consequence is that the stock market usually falls in the first two years of the cycle.”

The pattern is so persistent that studies going back many years and updated as recently as 2013, show that, to quote one study, “Stock market lows have occurred surprisingly close to mid-term congressional elections, or approximately two years before presidential elections”.

That is in the November time-frame of the 2nd year of the Presidential Cycle. (it’s interesting how closely that ties in with the annual seasonality, which on average sees a low in the October/November time-frame each year).

Of the 18 presidential cycles of the last 70 years (through 2012), the market low in the presidential cycle took place in the first year of the cycle four times, in the 2nd year twelve times, and once each in the third, and fourth year. So most lows were seen in the second year, and most of those lows took place between August and October, the most in October.

So neither the annual seasonal pattern, nor the Four-Year Presidential pattern can be judged at this point, as we have yet to enter the ominous August-November period.

By the way, an academic study out of Pepperdine University, going back to 1953, shows that the Four-Year Presidential Cycle is so consistent and important that between 1953 and 2012, an investor putting $1,000 in the market in October in the second year of each presidential cycle, and leaving it there until the end of the next election year, and then moving to cash until October of the second year of the next presidential cycle, would have turned the $1,000 into $204,689 by 2012.

However, a buy and hold investor holding through the presidential cycles would have run into so many corrections and bear markets that he would have turned that $1,000 into only $44,086. Investing on the cycle more than quadrupled the market and the buy and hold investor, while taking only 60% of market risk, (and avoiding the probability of bailing out with large losses after bear markets took place).

 image

For those who like to point out that Sell in May seasonality does not work every year, and the Four-Year Presidential Cycle doesn’t work in every cycle, so neither are reliable, note that the presidential cycle worked out extremely well long-term even counting its worst failure ever, when the 2008 meltdown took place in the usually positive 3rd and 4th years of President Bush Jr.’s second term.

But that does bring me to a glimmer of hope that the market could avoid the negativity of the 2nd year this year, which is President Obama’s second term.

Given all the other negatives, it’s not much.

But when presidents are serving a second term, the cycle does not play out as consistently. The unfortunate part of that is that we wind up wishing it had.

For instance, the cycle worked out normally in President Reagan’s first term, with the 1981-1982 recession and bear market taking place in the first two years of the term, and then recovering strongly in the third year. But in his second term, his administration continued to prime the pump, the economy and stock market remained strong, and did not correct until the third year, with the devastating 1987 crash.

In President Clinton’s second term, the rip-roaring 1990’s bull market continued through the first three years of his second term, no correction in the first two years. And the resulting over-heated market rolled over into the devastating 2000-2002 bear market in the 4th year of his second term.

The cycle also worked normally in President Bush Jr.’s first term, with the devastating bear market that had begun in 2000, continuing through the first two years of his first term and then a strong recovery in the 3rd and 4th years. But in his second term, a correction did not take place in the first or second year of the term, allowing the excesses to build higher, and the 2007-2009 meltdown took place in year 3 and 4 of the cycle.

In President Obama’s first term, there was a correction in the first year, the 2007-2009 meltdown continuing into March of his first term. That had the Dow down 25% by March, 2009, the first year of his term, before the current bull market began.

But in his second term, there was no correction in the first year, and so far not this year, in the second year.

So, there is that going for the possibility of no correction in the first or second year this time. Obama is in his second term.

It’s not likely given the list of negatives at the top of the post. The other differences are that in the second terms of Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, the economy was strong and still growing, while, in Obama’s second term, the economy is still anemic, potentially even slowing from that anemic condition, while the excess of valuations, investor bullishness, etc., are already at highs seen at previous market tops.

One last comment. We had probably better hope the cycle works out normally this time, with a correction to an October low. Because then we can breathe easily and expect sizable gains in the third and fourth years. But in those few times when it didn’t work out normally in the first or second year, the 1987 crash took place in the third year, the 2000-2002 crash began in Clinton’s 4th year, and the 2007-2009 meltdown began in the third and fourth year of Bush’s second term.

Investor sentiment.

Meanwhile, the investor bullishness and complacency already was of concern, and the new highs this week will probably create more excitement and make it even more pronounced.

I received an e-mail Thursday after the jobs report, pointing out how the market grinding out new highs proves that I, and the billionaire ‘smart money’ people whose warnings I have been quoting to show that I am not out on the caution limb alone, have been wrong and will continue to be.

I can only add that this year, research firm Dalbar Inc., released another update of their studies of investor behavior, and found nothing has changed in the 30 years they have conducted the studies. Public investors rush into bull markets very late and then become excited when they begin making profits, do not heed the warnings, and wind up being so beaten up in the next bear market, that the cycle repeats.

The latest study covered the 30-year period from 1983 – 2013. It revealed that investors in U.S. stock funds earned an average annualized return of only 3.7% during that period, even though the S&P 500 generated an average annual return of 11.1%. Louis Harvey, president of Dalbar, says, “Investors continue to move their money into and out of the market at the wrong times. They get excited at tops and then panic at lows, and they hurt themselves.”

Summing up: I’m not terribly excited by the week’s new highs, still neutral on the market going forward, with odds favoring that our next signal and positioning will be for a correction.

Other Voices.

Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. economic expansion is entering its sixth year with a shiny exterior after the best stretch of job growth in almost a decade. But under the hood, the recovery’s engine continues to sputter. . . . . Overall economic growth in the second quarter of the year may not prove robust enough to offset the first quarter’s weather-induced 2.9% annualized rate of contraction. Consumer spending remains weak, a consequence of a labor market delivering new jobs but skimpy wage growth. And the share of Americans working or looking for work—the so-called labor-force participation rate—still hovers near its lowest levels since the late 1970s, despite steady hiring. . . . Hopes for a big second-quarter rebound are now too beginning to wither.”

Short-term patterns continue to work out.

The ‘monthly strength period’ was due to begin a week ago yesterday and to run through Monday. So far it has.

The next pattern is for the market to be negative in the week following the monthly strength period.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here: Jobs Report Not As Positive For Economy As Some Think

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth Markets Report from Wednesday evening in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

Non-Subscribers:

Check out our new bull market/bear market indicator (BBMI) by clicking here: Market Timing Strategy !

U.S. market last trading day of week.

A positive day in the half-day Thursday going into the weekend. Negative day for safe havens gold, bonds, and utilities.

The Dow closed up 92 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 closed up 0.6%. The NYSE Composite closed up 0.5%. The Nasdaq closed up 0.6%. The Nasdaq 100 closed up 0.6%. The Russell 2000 closed up 0.7%. The DJ Transportation Avg. closed up 0.8%. The DJ Utilities Avg closed down 1.1%.

Gold closed down $6 at $1,320 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar etf UUP closed up 0.4%.

The 20-yr bond etf TLT closed down 0.4%.

Asian markets mostly closed mixed in their last session of the week.

Asian markets closed mixed Thursday night (Friday in the U.S.).

Among individual markets:

Australia closed down 0.6%. China closed down 0.2%. Hong Kong closed up 0.1%. India closed up 0.5%. Indonesia closed up 0.4%. Japan closed up 0.6%. Malaysia closed down 0.2%. New Zealand closed up 0.4%. South Korea closed down 0.2%. Singapore closed down 0.1%. Taiwan closed down 0.2%. Thailand closed up 0.2%.

European markets closed down yesterday.

The Europe Dow closed down 0.6%. Among individual countries:

The London FTSE closed unchanged. The German DAX closed down 0.2%. France’s CAC closed down 0.1%. Belgium closed down 0.5%. Denmark closed down 0.4%. Finland closed down 0.7%. Greece closed down 0.8%. Ireland closed down 0.5%. Italy closed down 1.5%. The Netherlands closed down 0.2%. Norway closed down 0.2%. Portugal closed down 0.8%. Spain closed down 0.7%. Switzerland closed down 0.2%.

Global markets for the week. 

A great week everywhere.

THIS WEEK (July 4)
DJIA 17068 + 1.3%
S&P 500 1985 + 1.3%
NYSE 11104 + 1.2%
NASDAQ 4485 + 2.0%
NASD 100 3923 + 2.1%
Russ 2000 1208 + 1.6%
DJTransprts 8294 + 1.5%
DJ Utilities 554 - 3.1%
XOI Oils 1,688 + 0.2%
Gold bull. 1,320 + 0.4%
GoldStcks 101.48 + 2.4%
Canada 15214 + 0.8%
London 6866 + 1.6%
Germany 10009 + 2.0%
France 4468 + 0.7%
Hong Kong 23546 + 1.4%
Japan 15437 + 2.3%
Australia 5511 + 1.5%
S. Korea 2009 + 1.1%
India 25962 + 3.4%
Indonesia 4905 + 1.2%
Brazil 55055 + 1.7%
Mexico 43518 + 2.4%
China 2156 + 1.1%
LAST WEEK (June 27)
DJIA 16851 - 0.6%
S&P 500 1960 - 0.1%
NYSE 10974 - 0.4%
NASDAQ 4397 + 0.7%
NASD 100 3844 + 1.1%
Russ 2000 1189 + 0.1%
DJTransprts 8175 - 0.4%
DJ Utilities 572 + 0.9%
XOI Oils 1,684 - 1.9%
Gold bull. 1,315 0
GoldStcks 99.10 + 0.7%
Canada 15094 - 0.1%
London 6757 - 1.0%
Germany 9815 - 1.7%
France 4436 - 2.3%
Hong Kong 23221 + 0.1%
Japan 15095 - 1.7%
Australia 5429 + 0.5%
S. Korea 1988 + 1.0%
India 25099 - 0.1%
Indonesia 4845 - 0.1%
Brazil 53161 - 2.7%
Mexico 42493 - 0.9%
China 2132 + 0.5%
PREVIOUS WEEK (June 20)
DJIA 16947 + 1.0%
S&P 500 1962 + 1.3%
NYSE 11018 + 1.5%
NASDAQ 4368 + 1.3%
NASD 100 3802 + 0.7%
Russ 2000 1188 + 2.2%
DJTransprts 8205 + 2.0%
DJ Utilities 566 + 4.4%
XOI Oils 1,717 + 2.4%
Gold bull. 1,315 + 3.0%
GoldStcks 98.46 + 6.7%
Canada 15108 + 0.7%
London 6825 + 0.7%
Germany 9987 + 0.8%
France 4541 - 0.1%
Hong Kong 23194 - 0.5%
Japan 15349 + 1.7%
Australia 5401 + 0.3%
S. Korea 1968 - 1.1%
India 25105 - 0.5%
Indonesia 4847 - 1.6%
Brazil 54642 - 0.2%
Mexico 42865 + 0.9%
China 2122 - 2.1%

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NOTE: To gain access call our subscription office at 1-386-943-4081 (week-days only). If you can afford two cups of coffee a week you can afford the cost of 25.95 a month ($6.50 a week). For that you also receive the full Street Smart Report advisory service (newsletter, hotlines, in depth mid-week reports on stocks, gold ,bonds, etc.). Or to subscribe online click here: https://streetsmart.securesites.net/order.html

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Next week’s Economic Reports:

Next week will be an extremely quiet week for economic reports, but will include unemployment claims and the minutes of the Fed’s last FOMC meeting. To see the full list and times click here, and look at the left side of the page it takes you to.

To read my weekend newspaper column click here: Jobs Report Not As Positive For Economy As Some Think

Subscribers to Street Smart Report:

In addition to the charts and signals in the ‘premium content’ area of this blog, there is an in-depth Markets Report from Wednesday evening in your secure area of the Street Smart Report website.

I’ll be back with the next blog post Tuesday morning at 9:25 a.m.

Non-Subscribers:

Check out our new bull market/bear market indicator (BBMI) by clicking here: Market Timing Strategy !

SUBSCRIBE NOW! To get all of this:

(The equivalent of four or five normal newsletters at the cost of one)

  • Access to Premium Content area of this Blog, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday a.m.
  • A 6-page Mid-Week Markets Report every week.
  • A 4 to 6 page Gold, Bonds, U.S. Dollar Report every three weeks.
  • A 4 to 6 page Global Market Report every three weeks.
  • The 8-page Street Smart Report newsletter every 3 weeks.
  • Hotline Updates whenever signals or recommendations change.
  • Two specific portfolios (Seasonal Timing & Technical Analysis Timing)
  • Sy’s weekly column on markets and the economy every Friday.

Market, sector, stock, gold, bond, and dollar buy and sell signals, short-sales, long-side and ‘inverse’ etf’s, mutual funds. Highly regarded and in our 26th year. As a bonus for a one-year subscription you will also receive my latest book Beat the Market the Easy Way- Proven Seasonal Strategies That Double the Market’s Performance. Click here for subscription information.

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**** End of Today’s post*****

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