Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Positioning for a Bremain result

Mid-week market update: Even though the polls show the two sides running neck and neck, my inner trader is positioning for a Remain result in the UK referendum for the following reasons.
  • Polling internals indicate momentum towards Remain;
  • Bookmaker odds overwhelmingly favor Remain over Leave; and
  • Market anxiety is rising - so a "buy the rumor, sell the news" position is not warranted.
This is obviously a speculative trade and much could go wrong. The pollsters totally missed the results of the last UK election. In addition, severe weather in southeast England could affect turnout and therefore skew results.

The full post can be found at our new site here.







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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Brexit Pandora's Box

For my (mainly) American friends, file this under "why you don't understand Europe":

The Vietnam War was a war that scarred the national psyche and dramatically changed the tone of American foreign policy for a generation. If you visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC today, you will find roughly 58,000 names of fallen soldiers from that period. Now imagine if instead of losing 58,000 soldiers, the United States lost 2.5 million during the Vietnam War. For a country like the US of roughly 300 million people, that kind of casualty rate would mean that virtually every household in America would be touched by combat death, whether it's a father, son, brother, uncle, friend or neighbor. Then 25-30 years later, which is roughly the span between the Vietnam War and 9/11, the country got involved in another conflict with a similar death toll.

Imagine the resulting national trauma.

That's what happened to many European countries in the First and Second World Wars - and the losses quoted would be roughly what the equivalent losses are for the US on an equivalent per capita basis on par with many European countries.

The full post can be found at our new site here.







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Sunday, June 19, 2016

How the S&P 500 can get to 2200 and beyond

Preface: Explaining our market timing models
We maintain several market timing models, each with differing time horizons. The "Ultimate Market Timing Model" is a long-term market timing model based on research outlined in our post Building the ultimate market timing model. This model tends to generate only a handful of signals each decade.

The Trend Model is an asset allocation model which applies trend following principles based on the inputs of global stock and commodity price. This model has a shorter time horizon and tends to turn over about 4-6 times a year. In essence, it seeks to answer the question, "Is the trend in the global economy expansion (bullish) or contraction (bearish)?"

My inner trader uses the trading component of the Trend Model to look for changes in direction of the main Trend Model signal. A bullish Trend Model signal that gets less bullish is a trading "sell" signal. Conversely, a bearish Trend Model signal that gets less bullish is a trading "buy" signal. The history of actual out-of-sample (not backtested) signals of the trading model are shown by the arrows in the chart below. Past trading of the trading model has shown turnover rates of about 200% per month.



The latest signals of each model are as follows:
  • Ultimate market timing model: Buy equities*
  • Trend Model signal: Neutral*
  • Trading model: Bearish*
The performance chart and model readings have been delayed by a week out of respect to our paying subscribers.

Update schedule: I generally update model readings on my site on weekends and tweet any changes during the week at @humblestudent. Subscribers will also receive email notices of any changes in my trading portfolio.


Where's the growth?
My last post (see Why you need to give the bull case a chance) elicited a considerable amount of comment. Most of the pushback I got on the equity bull case amounted to a question of, "Where's the growth coming from?"

I recognize the concerns. As this chart from Factset shows, the equity market has had to endure five consecutive quarters of falling year-over-year EPS growth. How can anyone possibly be bullish under such circumstances?


In this post, I would like to explain my bull case for stocks, with an initial SPX target of 2200 and, depending on the Fed's reaction function, up to 2400-2500.

The full post can be found at our new site here.








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If you found the above post to be of interest, come over to the new site and check out our track record. We have something for traders and investors alike: