The Bond market is Indicating that The Rate of Inflation is not an issue in 2017
Bonds should have continued to plunge, but notice that bonds bottomed in April and have started to trend higher. After the July rate hike, bonds should have taken out their April lows, but they did not. Instead, they went on to put in a series of higher lows; higher lows are usually indicative of higher prices. Furthermore, the stock market hardly reacted to the last rate hike; after a very mild reaction, it has continued to trend higher.
We tend to focus more on the technical and psychological outlook, and both are indicating that inflation is still not an issue. The Gold market is also indicating that inflation is not an issue. Last July Gold traded past $1400; at that time rates were lower and the US dollar was trading at higher levels. But today rates are higher today, and the dollar is trading lower than it was in 2016, but Gold instead trading at or above $1400 can’t even trade above $1300 for a sustained period.
Mass Psychology seems to support the theory that US inflation is not a big problem
The psychological factor does not support higher prices; the economy is not doing well as the consumer is not spending wildly. Consumer confidence is increasing, but consumer spending is not marching in tandem with consumer confidence. Income growth is weak; the rise in incomes and net worth has primarily benefited high income and high net worth households. These are the same individuals that have the most money invested in the stock market which has tripled since its March 2009 lows.
We have listed a plethora of factors that illustrate that inflation is not an issue; at least not yet.
Even James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve of St Louis went seems to be in agreement
“Low inflation has been the major surprise of the era,”
He also went on to state that he was still waiting for inflation to return to the 2% ranges and would not support any increases in the Fed’s benchmark rate until 2018 to allow inflationary forces to recover. He might have to wait a lot longer than that. AI and technology, in general, are going to continue to fuel lower prices. The retail sector is in freefall; the remaining players battle it out, and price wars will continue for the foreseeable future. Food prices are going to plunge due to the price war that new entrants like Lidl and Amazon have triggered.
The bond market is not supporting the higher inflationary outlook, in fact by all measures the bond market appears to be building momentum to trend higher.
US Jobs Report misses the mark
The unemployment rate edged up to 4.4% and wages barely grew. Only 156,000 jobs were added as opposed to the 180,000 consensus number.
The retail sector continued to get hammered; retailers shed 9,00 jobs, while the public sector shed another 9000 jobs.
“In months where there are anomalies like this, we look at the three-month average, which is 185,000,” said Michael Gapen, chief United States economist at Barclays. “The labor market is healthy, but we still have the conundrum that solid employment gains haven’t translated into faster wage growth.”
One wild card in the second half of 2017 will be gasoline prices. The surge following Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas will leave less money for consumers to spend on other goods and services.
“For the economy, it’s steady as she goes, but for the markets, it’s Goldilocks,” said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, referring to the not-too-hot, not-too-cold August payroll increase. NY Times
The markets are holding up well and trending higher as we stated they would all along in 2016 and now in 2017. Until the sentiment turns bullish the markets are expected to trend higher.
Price of Copper probably a bullish Development for the Stock market
Many pundits associate higher copper prices with inflation. This is the wrong metric to look at; higher copper prices are usually associated with an improving economy.
Copper has traded past a key resistance point ($3.00) and it has managed to close above this important level on a monthly basis. The long term outlook for copper is now bullish and will remain so as long as it does not close below 2.80 on a monthly basis. Copper is facing resistance in the 3.20-3.25 ranges and as it is now trading in the extremely overbought ranges. As copper is now trading in the extremely overbought ranges, it is more likely to let out some steam before trading past this zone. A healthy consolidation will provide copper with the force necessary to challenge the 3.20 ranges and trade as high as $3.80 with a possible overshoot to $4.00, provided it does not close below $2.80 on a monthly basis.
Now that copper has traded past $3.00 on a monthly basis, the Fed deserves another pat on the back for they have managed to further cement the illusion that this economic recovery is real. Copper is seen as a barometer for economic growth, so pulling off a Houdini here is probably going propel a lot of former naysayers to embrace this economic recovery.
Mass Sentiment is still Negative so Stock Market likely to Correct only
Combining this data with the action in the Copper markets leads us to believe that the stock market is more likely to experience a correction than an outright crash. Higher copper prices are usually indicative of higher stock market prices. Therefore, the copper markets are confirming that the long term trend is still intact.
What about the Inflation issue?
The chart below puts an end to that argument for now. If inflation were an issue, the velocity of M2 money stock would be trending upwards. Until it starts to trend upwards, inflation is not an issue and the focus should be on higher stock market prices.
Don’t focus on the noise; focus on the trend as it’s your friend and everything else is your foe.
The Dow would have to drop below 9000 to break below the main uptrend line; an unlikely event in the near future. However, this does not mean it’s impossible. Every once in awhile the markets experience a monumental crash that can shave of as much as 60% of the Markets current value. In this is instance we are using weekly charts; each bar on the chart represents one week’s worth of data. Straight off the bat, you can see that back breaking corrections translate into long term buying opportunities. Remember when there is blood in the streets and the masses are in panic mode, the opportunity is knocking.
Market Crashes are Buying Opportunities
The first zone comes into play at 16,000. If the Dow closes below this level on a monthly basis then there is a chance it could trade as low as 13,000. However, based on the current market sentiment, there is very little likelihood of such a scenario coming to pass. Mass Psychology is very clear when it comes to dealing with stock market crashes. Market crash on a note of Euphoria and bottom on a note of despair. Mass psychology states that optimum time to get into the markets is when the masses are in panic mode.
A fortress of support comes into play at the 13,000-13,500 ranges
To trade any lower than this level, the Dow would need to close below the above ranges on a quarterly basis. If it were to do that then the main uptrend line could be tested. Note that this trend will continue to trending upwards, so in 12 months, the trend line could move from the 9000 ranges to the 10,000 plus ranges.
Buy the Fear Sell the Joy
The individuals who arrive at the party late are the first ones to come out and mistake a correction for a crash.The crowd panics when it sees blood in the streets; instead of joining the crowd do something different take advantage of stock market crashes and buy as the crowd dumps quality stocks and flees for the exits.
Crash or correction boils down to the angle of observance
What is stunning to one, could appear ugly to another; it comes down to the angle of observance. Alter the angle and the image changes. Mass media and most experts try to alter the angle and direct you to see what they want you to see. They are in the fear “Selling Business” because fear sells, so they focus on creating a mountain out of a mole hill.
History clearly indicates that the Astute investors build very large stakes when there is blood in the streets. Moreover, they keep building these positions as long as the main driving force is fear. Take a look at the current Bull market; the Dow is trading at 22,000 and the masses are still nervous. It’s history in the making. The masses are always on the wrong side of the markets in the long run.
The astute investor always views financial disasters through a bullish lens. Instead of panicking they take advantage of stock market crashes.
Normality highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps100, 000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.
R. D. Laing 1927-1989, British Psychiatrist
The Dow appears to have broken through the top of the Channel formation that fell in the 20,800-21,000 ranges. If it closes above 21,300 on a monthly basis then despite the markets being overbought, the Dow could surge past 22K before running into a strong zone of resistance. Market Update June 18, 2017
Give the resiliency of this market; the Dow could very easily trade to 22K before it trades to 19K. The masses need to show some enthusiasm; if they don’t and the market pulls back strongly, then it has to be viewed as a screaming buy. For now, the masses seem to be locked in the pessimistic mode. The bullish sentiment has never traded to the 60% ranges even once this year; it did not even make it to the 55% ranges, and that is very telling. On the same token, the number of individuals in the neutral camp has generally continued to trend higher and higher. Market Update July 6, 2017
What’s next for the Dow?
Not only did the Dow trade to 22K but it surpassed this target and is now dangerously close to striking 23K. The sentiment is still not bullish, so the path of least resistance is upward. As for Dow 30K; there is a good chance that the Dow could strike this target. We discuss that in full detail in this article titled “Dow Could Trade to 30K But not before This Happens ”
If you prefer to watch a video; then the video covers the essential points of the above article
The data below serves as further proof that the economic recovery is nothing but an illusion. It has only benefited those who don’t really need it. The rich have become even richer, the middle class has vanished and the poor are becoming even poorer.
Real incomes have been flat to down slightly for the average household in the bottom 60% since 1980 (while they have been up for the top 40%).
Those in the top 40% now have on average 10 times as much wealth as those in the bottom 60%. That is up from six times as much in 1980.
Only about a third of the bottom 60% saves any of its income (in cash or financial assets).
Only about a third of families in the bottom 60% have retirement savings accounts—e.g., pensions, 401(k)s—which average less than $20,000.
For those in the bottom 60%, premature deaths are up by about 20% since 2000. The biggest contributors to that change are an increase in deaths by drugs/poisoning (up two times since 2000) and an increase in suicides (up over 50% since 2000).
The top 40% spend four times more on education than the bottom 60%.
The average household income for main income earners without a college degree is half that of the average college graduate.
Since 1980, divorce rates have more than doubled among middle-aged whites without college degrees, from 11% to 23%.
The number of prime-age white men without college degrees not in the labor force has increased from 7% to 15% since 1980. Full Story
What should you do?
Sentiment indicates the masses are not bullish so this market is not ready to crash. Instead of panicking make a list of stocks you would like to own and when the market’s pullback, buy these quality stocks at a huge discount.
Stubbornness does have its helpful features. You always know what you’re going to be thinking tomorrow.
Expert after expert is busy proclaiming that the world is about to come to grinding halt again.
They never seem to let up on pushing this sewage onto the unsuspecting masses. This is a clear example of insanity in action; mouthing the same thing over and over again with the desperate hope that this time the outcome will be different. The outcome will not be different this time, at least not yet. These guys should focus on writing fiction for reality seems to elude them completely. For years we have stated (and rightly so) that until the sentiment changes, this market will continue to soar higher and higher.
Here is a small sample of the flood of articles that were pushed out this month. If one simply glances through them, one would almost be compelled to think that the writers shared the same notes. There is almost no originality in these articles. The theme is the same, just because it’s October the focus is on the disaster aspect of the 1987 crash. Almost no one mentions that it proved to be a monumental buying opportunity. The focus is oh the financial world came to a grinding halt. Only it did not, the only that came to a halt was the rubbish the predecessors of today’s experts were uttering back in 1987. This reinforces the view that most financial writers have chosen the wrong profession One word sums all this nonsense “Rubbish.”
Could the 1987 stock market crash happen again? – Reuters
Black Monday anniversary: How the 2017 stock market compares with 1987 – Market Watch
Black Monday: 30 years after 1987 stock market crash… Wall Street raises fears of REPEAT- express.co.uk
Thursday marks 30th anniversary of the Black Monday stock market crash – courier-journal
Buy Climax at 30th Anniversary of 1987 Stock Market Crash – Money Show
The Crash of ’87, From the Wall Street Players Who Lived It – Bloomberg
Black Monday: Can a 1987-style stock market crash happen again? – USA Today
So are we stating that the stock market will never crash?
No that is not what we are stating. The market will crash, but for the astute investor, “crash” is the wrong word to use. A strong correction is more likely as most astute investors got into this market a long time ago. It is the crowd that will eventually decide to embrace close to the top that will experience this crash that the experts have been hyping about for years.
This market will experience one strong correction before it crashes, but the moment the Dow sheds 1000 points or more these experts will crawl from the rocks they were hiding under and start screaming bloody murder. To which our response is, please scream as loud as you can; for it will push the markets lower creating a better buying opportunity for us. This is exactly what we said in Aug of 2015 before Trump won and countless times before and after that.
This market is extremely overbought so a pullback ranging from 1500-3000 points should surprise no one and it certainly should not be construed as a crash but viewed as market releasing a well-deserved dose of steam. To state otherwise, would simply be disingenuous, which seems to be the only real qualification these so-called experts posses
Market Sentiment indicates that the crowd is far from Ecstatic
The Bullish sentiment has risen somewhat, and the crowd is not as anxious as it was at the beginning of this month or last month, but until the readings indicate this crowd is euphoric, a crash is unlikely. Many people state that most people don’t have money to invest in the markets. We beg to differ; look at whats going on in the Bitcoin market, now that is a market showing some signs of Euphoria; the stock market in comparison is at the lukewarm stage.
Buy The Fear & Sell The Noise
The only thing that is going to crash and has been crashing since 2008 is the egos of these “know it all” experts. If any of them had even listened to themselves half of the time; they would have bankrupted themselves several times over. The fact that they are still around chiming the same rubbish is clear proof that they don’t believe a word they are putting to print and therefore neither should you.
Why Not Try Something New For A Change
Make a list of stocks you would love to own at a discount. When the market lets out a nice dose of steam, instead of fleeing for the hills, you can purchase top quality stocks for a discount
The sheer volume of these articles validates our view that the masses are from bullish and a crash is unlikely. Until the sentiment or the trend changes, all strong corrections should be viewed through a bullish lens.
Obstinacy is the result of the will forcing itself into the place of the intellect.
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. Arthur Schopenhauer
Gold bottomed in 2002, and it took nine years for its trade to a high of roughly $1900 (September 2011). Contrast that to Bitcoin, in less than 1/3rd of the amount of time it is showing gains of more than 11,000%. It took nine years for Gold to show gains of roughly 700% and Gold has given up a substantial portion of those gains.
We bailed out of Gold in 2011 for two reasons:
Gold was trading in the extremely overbought ranges, and the Gold Bug Camp could not contain their glee; they thought the sky was the limit. Instead, they found out that the Ground was a lot closer.
The masses were not embracing Gold, and they refused to treat or view it as a currency.
Only those from the hard money camp continued to believe that Gold was a currency, but sadly their numbers are dwindling with the passage of each day. The masses view Bitcoin as cool and secure; a feat Gold has struggled to achieve and is not likely to achieve in the foreseeable future. Whether this is true or not, hardly matters for when it comes to investing, perceptions are all that matter.
Does this mean the precious metals sector is dead?
Well, that depends on what one means by dead. Gold has performed abysmally since (it topped out) 2011. The money supply soared, and Gold tanked, not exactly a good sign. In doing the opposite of what was expected from it, Gold cemented the view that it was an ancient relic that has no place in today’s monetary system. We are speaking in terms of Mass Perception. What we think, matters not; we follow trends, and we don’t waste time trying to look at things from a personal vantage point. There are many reasons for Gold’s underperformance after 2011; one of them was the “velocity of the money supply” which all but stalled after 2011. However, the masses don’t waste time on details like this. They look for simple cause and effect answers. Money supply soared, Gold did nothing, and hence Gold is a waste of time. A bit simplistic but that’s the mass mindset for you. However, looking forward some factors could limit Gold’s lustre
Demand for Gold continues to drop
India’s gold consumption is likely to drop to its lowest in eight years in 2017, hit by government moves to make bullion trading more transparent and by faltering demand from some rural areas, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday.
Evidence of weaker appetite in a country where gold is used in everything from investment to wedding gifts could drag on global prices that have been hovering near their highest in three weeks. India is the word’s No 2 consumer of gold behind China.Full Story
The Dollar appears to be putting in a base
The dollar topped in early 2017 and what did Gold do? Absolutely nothing; instead of surging to new highs it could not even trade past its July 2016 highs. The dollar, in contrast, has been going through a well deserved period of consolidation after mounting a stunning rally that started in 2011. It tested support and held, and as long as it does not close below 90 on a monthly basis, the outlook will remain bullish. Consequently, a monthly close above 94.50 will open the possibility for a test of the old highs.
The dollar is getting ready to mount a rally, demand for Gold is declining, and Gold has been unable to trade past $1350 even in the face of a weaker dollar. Then we have the Bitcoin market, which the masses (especially millennia’s) find to be a lot more exciting and rewarding than Gold. All these factors don’t bode well for Gold. It appears that Gold is likely to test the 1000 ranges unless it decides to diverge and trend upwards in tandem with the dollar. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is now in the feeding frenzy stage, so this market is ripe for a correction. However, the upward move is still not over. After a hard correction, Bitcoin is likely to resume its upward trend.
Gold will probably never experience a move akin to that of Bitcoin, but that does not mean it won’t make for a good investment one day. For now, the trend is neutral; a weekly close below $1100 will darken the outlook for Gold, but a monthly close above $1350 will indicate that Gold is ready to trend higher.
Word to the wise
Never fall in love with any investment. In the end, it’s the trend that you should pay attention to, for no sector can trend upwards forever. The odds of the Dow trading to 29,000 are far better than of Gold trading to $1900.
US Dollar Finally Hit Bottom and Gold could be heading lower
The theme from the Gold bug camp for so long has been; Gold is going to soar to the moon. What many forget is that these fools have been singing this same song for decades. Instead of soaring to the moon, Gold has been licking the dust for almost 7 years. It topped off in 2011 and since then the action has all down with a few false breakouts that the misguided Gold bugs mistook for the beginning of a new bull run.
We are not against Gold or the precious metals sectors; we actually favour the hard money doctrine, but the problem is that view is not shared by the majority. Mark Dice illustrated that most individuals would take a candy bar over a 10oz bar of Silver.
Now many would respond by saying these people are stupid, etc. That’s not the point, the point is that most people no longer view Gold as currency; instead, they view it as some ancient relic.
Is the Dollar getting ready to Rally?
The bigger issue is that the Dollar appears to be putting in a base. The dollar has mounted a very strong rally since it bottomed out in 2011, so the current consolidation is to be expected. The dollar is holding firmly at 90; a zone of strong support. As long as the dollar does not close below 90 on a monthly basis the outlook will remain bullish. With the passage of the Trump’s Tax package, the outlook for the dollar and the stock market has brightened significantly pushing Gold even deeper into the shadows. If the Dollar can close above 94.50 on a monthly basis, the groundwork will be laid for a test of the old highs.
Gold, on the other hand, looks like it’s going nowhere
The dollar topped in early 2017 and did the Gold market respond positively to this event. The reaction was muted at best. Instead of surging to new highs it could not even trade past its July 2016 highs. To make matters worse, gold put in a lower high than it did in July of 2016, even though the dollar traded below its 2016 lows.
Other bearish factors
Instead of putting in a series of higher lows, Gold has been putting in a series of low highs since 2013.
It has not managed to trade above $1350 for more than a brief period. This illustrates that demand is not robust and the market is not pricing in all the negative news. Until Gold can trade above $1350 on a monthly basis, the outlook will remain Neutral to bearish.
If the US Dollar Finally Hit Bottom, then it should be testing its old highs within 12-15 months
The dollar is oversold and the pattern is still bullish. It has gone through an extensive consolidation phase and it is now trading in the oversold ranges. A monthly close above 94.50 will solidify the longer-term outlook and indicate that the dollar is ready to test and possible challenge it’s all-time highs.
A contrarian investor focuses on the facts and not the noise
We are going to use the precious metals to illustrate some of the Psychological principles of being a Contrarian investor. Keep in mind that most contrarian investors are not real contrarians but fall under the category of Fashion contrarians.
Contrarian investing is based on taking a position that is opposite to that of the masses. In general contrarian, investors get in an investment too early as their analysis is based on doing the opposite of the masses. In contrast mass psychology dictates that you wait for the emotion to hit a boiling point, euphoria or panic before a position is taken. Mass psychology involves the actual study of what the masses are doing as opposed to just determining that their current action is wrong and using that information to take a position in the opposite direction.
A contrarian Investor takes a position that is contrary to the Masses
Contrarians only take a position that is contrary to the masses and that about wraps up the ideology of being a contrarian today. Very few of today’s contrarians are true contrarians; they fall into the category of fashion contrarians.
Investors that adopt the doctrine of mass psychology correctly look for something more. Mass psychology takes the principle of contrarian investing and then pushes it to the next level.
Mass psychology focuses on extreme situations
Students of Mass Psychology look for extreme type situations. In other words, sentiment should not just be bullish before an opposing strategy is put into play, it should be at the boiling point and only then will the student of mass psychology look for an exit and attempt to take an opposing position to that of the masses. To illustrate this point, we will use the following example.
The commodities sector has several components to it, two of them being the Gold and Silver. Throughout 2002 and early 2003, the hate and disgust for both these sectors were extremely high. Fast forward to 2004 and Gold was being mentioned everywhere; even CNBC had a little ticker that stated what the price of Gold was throughout the day. The hate or disgust for both these sectors was no longer there, and even though both these sectors have a long way to go before the masses fully embrace them, they did not provide a psychological basis for taking an opposing position to that of the masses in 2004.
Gold went on to soar to untold heights, heights that most would have deemed impossible in 2003. All along the way we continually stated that Gold would continue to trade higher and higher until 2011. We warned our subscribers to bail out of Gold very close to the top.
A Contrarian Investor pays close attention to what the masses are doing
Even though the masses have still not fully embraced Gold, this concept does not matter in the long run. A more important criterion would be to find out what % of investors has taken positions in these sectors or not. Next one would try to find out what the Gold bugs (the most bullish individuals ever created on earth) are doing. If all the Gold bugs are bullish, then based on the contrarian rules of investing you should take a contrary to a neutral position because all the individuals in your group are now optimistic.
Do not pay attention to the masses; they know not what they are doing when it comes to investing
Should one care what the masses are doing that much or focus on the Gold bugs (the group) that are emotionally tied up with Gold? The masses in general, will not embrace Gold fully until it becomes fashionable and by then a large portion of the Bull Run will be a thing of the past. In the last Gold Bull Run, the masses did not even know what was going on, let alone take a position in this sector.
So one measure would be to determine if all the people who believe in Gold have already taken positions if they have then the market has become saturated. The only way the market can continue its upward run is for momentum players to jump on the bandwagon. These players have very short time spans of concentration, and thus, they jump in and out very fast. Once they decide to bail out the corrective phase could be very painful as was the case of precious metals topped out in 2011. The housing collapse and internet bubble serve as two stark reminders of what happens once momentum has run its course.
A Good Contrarian Investor understand the core principles of Mass Psychology
Mass psychology is the constant analysis of the playing field to determine how the game is being played. Are the rules changing, are the players become more aggressive or docile, is the playing field soft, rocky or worse yet on extremely high and treacherous ground. One has to take measures at different levels and then compare it the pattern you have already established from past observations.
In this sense, mass psychology is dynamic compared to the methodology most contrarians put into play. Contrarians do not measure their position relative to those of other contrarians; they only measure their position relative to that of the masses, and therefore, they fail to obtain a vital piece of data. This usually results in pain, misery and taking on substantial losses In, other words; they do not measure the intensity of emotion in their camp.
The gold bugs are a classic example of contrarian investing gone wrong. They moved from the Euphoric phase to the having found religion period, to the gnashing of teeth and pure misery phase, as they watched Gold plunge from 1800 ranges down to the 1000 ranges. They still cannot fathom why this happened, especially as trillions of more dollars have been created since 2011.
The Internet boom lasted one-year longer after all the TA and contrarian indicators were in the extremely bearish zones. Euphoria for this sector was running sky-high. If one had shorted the markets based on these contrarian factors only one would have lost one’s pants and well as underwear. In other words, you would have most likely lost a small fortune.
Gold bugs should have banked some of their profits. Instead, they continued to plough money into Gold, and as it pulled back, they jumped in joy and added even more. Once the correction moved from the mild to the wild phase, they panicked and started to pray. Today the sentiment is almost as bearish as it was in 2003. From a long term perspective, a great buying opportunity could be at hand.
Be A true Contrarian Investor and not a fashion contrarian
Most so-called contrarians were caught flat-footed when the Equity markets mounted this huge rally from Oct 2004. Their contrarian indicators suggested that taking a short or neutral position was the right thing to do. Only 10% of the investors can win at any given time. The moment the number surges past this level (no matter what side of the fence they are on contrarian or the masses side); the markets will adjust to bring this ratio back to its norm.
Investing based on psychology amounts to not only taking a position against the masses but also against the fashion contrarians. Once sentiment has reached the boiling point, one should go into cash; risk takers can consider shorting the markets. Finally, less attention is being given to the precious metals sector, so establishing a position now could be viewed as a prudent long term investment.
On the same token, most investors and experts expected the Market to Crash after Trump won and we stated that it would create a buying opportunity just as Brexit did. In fact, since 2013 we have been stating that a stock market crash was a long way in the making and that all strong pullback should be viewed through a bullish lens.