ASX under pressure

The S&P 500 continues to test resistance at 2050, the upper bound of the broadening wedge. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow suggests buying pressure. Breakout would offer a target of 2250*. Reversal below 2000 is less likely, but would warn of another correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2050 + ( 2050 – 1850 ) = 2250

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) indicates low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 is testing resistance at 3140. Breakout would indicate an advance to 3300. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow oscillating around zero suggests indecision. Respect of 3140 would test primary support at 3000.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

The Shanghai Composite Index retraced to test support at 2440, while declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure. Reversal below the rising trendline at 2400 would warn of a correction, while respect would suggest trend strength.

Shanghai Composite

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is weaker. Reversal below 23000 would warn of a test of primary support at 21200/21500. Twiggs Money Flow (13-week) reversal below zero would also be a strong bear signal.

HSI

The ASX 200 is undergoing another correction. Respect of support at 5250/5300 would indicate reasonable trend strength, but declining 21-day Twiggs Money Flow suggests medium-term selling pressure. With both Energy and Metals & Mining sectors under pressure, a test of primary support at 5120/5150 is likely.

ASX 200

The Aussie Dollar is also falling, having reversed below primary support at $0.8650 to signal a decline to $0.80*.

Aussie Dollar

* Target calculation: 0.87 – ( 0.94 – 0.87 ) = 0.80

A quiet week in the markets

  • US stocks continue their bull-trend
  • European stocks strengthen
  • China likewise
  • ASX retraces to test support

The S&P 500 is testing the upper border of a broadening wedge formation. Retracement that respects support at 2000 would enhance the bull signal and offer a target of 2280*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates buyers are in control. Reversal below 2000 and the rising trendline is unlikely, but would signal another correction.

S&P 500 Index

* Target calculation: 2040 + ( 2040 – 1820 ) = 2280

Dow Jones Industrial Average has already broken above a similar broadening wedge formation, offering a long-term target of 19000*.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 17500 + ( 17500 – 16000 ) = 19000

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continues to reflect low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Germany’s DAX is testing resistance at 9400/9500, but 13-week Twiggs Money Flow remains weak. Reversal of TMF below zero would warn of another correction. Reversal below 9000 would confirm a primary down-trend. Follow-through above 9500 is less likely, but would suggest another test of 10000.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000

The Footsie proved more robust, breaking resistance, at 6500/6560 to signal a test of 6900. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow is rising strongly, signaling buyers are in control.

FTSE 100

China’s Shanghai Composite Index broke resistance at its 2013 high of 2440, signaling an advance. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow reversal below its rising trendline, however, would warn of (medium-term) selling pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2400 + ( 2400 – 2300 ) = 2500

The ASX 200 retraced to test support at 5440/5450. Respect would signal another test of the August high at 5650/5660. Failure of support would indicate a test of 5250/5300 and a weaker up-trend. Reversal below 5250 remains unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support. A 21-day Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would signal long-term buying pressure.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5300 ) = 6000

Will the stock market collapse when QE is withdrawn?

This chart in Westpac’s Northern Exposure chart summary implies that US stocks rely on Fed balance sheet expansion (QE) for support.

Fed Securities Held Outright v. S&P 500

The curve shows an almost perfect fit. There are just two things wrong with it. First, the scales on the left and right sides of the chart are not proportionate: the scale on the left compares a 9 times increase to a 3 times increase on the right. Second, while the Fed has expanded its balance sheet to more than $4 Trillion, a large percentage of that money has washed straight back to the Fed — deposited by banks as excess reserves.

Fed Total Assets and Excess Reserves

The impact on the working monetary base (monetary base adjusted for excess reserves) is far smaller: a rise of 66% (or $544 billion) over the past 7 years.

Fed Total Assets minus Excess Reserves compared to Working Monetary Base

A chart since 1985 shows nominal GDP (GDP before adjustment for inflation) normally expanded between 5% and 7.5% a year outside of recessions. But NGDP has not recovered above 5% after 2008. This may be partly attributable to lower inflation, but the Fed would clearly want to see NGDP above 5% — roughly 3% real growth and 2% inflation.

Working Monetary Base Growth compared to NGDP

We can also see that growth of below 5% in the working monetary base is often precursor to a recession, 1995/1996 being one exception. The second is when the Fed took their foot off the gas pedal too early, after QE1 in 2010, but were able to resume in time to head off a major contraction. They have been far more circumspect the second time and are likely to maintain monetary base growth North of 5%. Too sharp a slow-down would be cause for concern.

When we calculate the ratio of total US stock market capitalisation to the working monetary base [blue line] it is apparent that market response to the increase in monetary base is far more cautious than it was in 1998/1999.

Working Monetary Base Growth compared to NGDP

With Forward Price to Earnings Ratios for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq close to their long-term average (Westpac Northern Exposure, Page 118), I consider the likelihood of the QE taper precipitating a major market collapse to be remote.

Sensex narrow consolidation

India’s Sensex displays narrow consolidation below resistance at 28000, suggesting continuation of the up-trend. Reversal below 27000 and the secondary trendline is less likely, but would warn of a correction. Troughs above zero on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicate buying pressure.

Sensex

* Target calculation: 28000 + ( 28000 – 27000 ) = 29000

Dow, Nasdaq advance

Broadening wedges are not patterns on which I place a great deal of reliance, but you can depend on them to generate false signals — in both directions. Dow Jones Industrial Average broke resistance at 17300 and has now penetrated the upper border of the broadening wedge. Follow-through above 17600 would confirm a primary advance with a target of 19000*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates long-term buying pressure. Reversal below 17000 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support and the rising trendline at 16000.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 17500 + ( 17500 – 16000 ) = 19000

The Nasdaq 100 offers a target of 4500*, having broken resistance at 4100. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow drifting sideways reflects a lack of enthusiasm, but recovery above 35% would flag renewed buying pressure. Reversal below 4000 is unlikely.

Nasdaq 100

* Target calculation: 4100 + ( 4100 – 3700 ) = 4500

S&P 500 bullish but Europe and China encounter resistance

Retracement of the S&P 500 respected its new support level at 2000, confirming a primary advance with a target of 2150*. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above the declining trendline indicates buyers are back in control. Reversal below 2000 and the rising trendline is unlikely, but would signal another correction.

S&P 500 Index

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1850 ) = 2150

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) at 13 indicates low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Germany’s DAX found resistance at 9400 and retracement to test support at 9000 is likely. Failure of the former primary support level at 8900/9000 would confirm a primary down-trend. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero would also indicate that sellers dominate.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000

The Footsie also encountered resistance, at 6500/6560. Respect of this level would warn of a primary down-trend, but rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow suggests medium-term buying pressure.

FTSE 100

China’s Shanghai Composite Index is testing its 2013 high of 2440. Declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow warns of (medium-term) resistance.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2400 + ( 2400 – 2300 ) = 2500

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also found resistance, at 24000. Reversal below 23000 would confirm a primary down-trend. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero would strengthen the bear signal.

Hang Seng Index

The ASX 200, influenced by both the US and China, is testing resistance at 5550. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow (above zero) indicates medium-term buying pressure. Expect a test of 5650/5660. Reversal below 5380/5400 is less likely, but would warn that sellers have resumed control. I have lowered the target to 6000* because of constant back-filling in recent months.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5300 ) = 6000

ASX rallies while Aussie Dollar finds support

The Australian Dollar is consolidating between (primary) support at $0.8650 and resistance at $0.8900. Respect of support suggests another test of $0.89, while a failed swing (reversal below $0.8850) would warn of a downward breakout. Continuation of the primary down-trend is likely and breach of $0.8650 would signal a decline with a target of $0.80*.

AUDUSD

* Target calculation: 0.87 – ( 0.94 – 0.87 ) = 0.80

The ASX 200 is headed for a test of 5660. Retracement is likely, but respect of support at 5440 would strengthen the bull signal. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow continues to indicate medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 5440 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of 5250.

ASX 200

The ASX 200 VIX continues to indicate low risk typical of a bull market.

ASX 200

Asia: Governor Kuroda bets on QE

Aggressive asset purchases by the Bank of Japan shows Governor Kuroda’s willingness to back his QE policy to the hilt. The Yen has weakened significantly against the Dollar over the last two years and this trend is likely to continue.

USDJPY

The Nikkei 225 surged through 16300, signaling a fresh advance. The long-term target is 18000*. Reversal below 16000 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above zero indicates medium-term buying pressure.

Nikkei 225

* Target calculation: 16000 + ( 16000 – 14000 ) = 18000

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is testing resistance at 24000. Reversal below 23000 would warn of a primary down-trend. Breach of 21200 would confirm. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero would strengthen the bear signal. Follow-through above 25000 is unlikely, but would signal another primary advance.

Hang Seng Index

China’s Shanghai Composite Index respected support at 2250, strengthening the bull signal. Follow-through above 2450 would confirm a primary up-trend. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow remains in an up-trend, signaling medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 2250 is unlikely, but would warn of trend weakness.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2250 + ( 2250 – 2000 ) = 2500

India’s Sensex continues in a primary up-trend, testing resistance at 28000. Troughs above zero on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicate buying pressure. Short retracements rather than stronger corrections also suggest buying pressure. Breakout above 28000 would indicate an advance to 29000. The index is becoming over-extended, but may remain so for some time. Reversal below 27000 and the secondary trendline is less likely, but would indicate a correction to the primary trendline around 25000.

Sensex

* Target calculation: 27000 + ( 27000 – 26000 ) = 28000

DAX and Footsie weakness

Having signaled a primary down-trend with a break below 8900, Germany’s DAX recovered above 9000 to warn of a potential bear trap. After finding resistance at 9400, reversal below 8900 would confirm the down-trend, while follow-through above 9400 would suggest another test of 10000. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow recovered above zero, but reversal (below) is likely and would indicate long-term selling pressure.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000

The Footsie found resistance at 6550. Reversal below 6200 would confirm a primary down-trend, while follow-through above 6550 would indicate another test of 6900. Oscillation of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow largely above zero, however, suggests long-term buying pressure.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 6500 – ( 6900 – 6500 ) = 6100

Canada: TSX 60 finds resistance

Canada’s TSX 60 rallied to 850 before finding resistance. Reversal below 820 would warn of a primary down-trend. Retreat of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero would strengthen the bear signal. Follow-through of the index above 865 is less likely, but would indicate another test of 900.

TSX 60

S&P 500 and Nasdaq retracement

The S&P 500 is likely to retrace to test the new support level at 2000. Respect would confirm a fresh advance with a target of 2150*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates buying pressure. Reversal below 2000 is unlikely, but would warn of a bull trap (correction).

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1850 ) = 2150

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) at 14 continues to indicate low risk typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

The Nasdaq 100 is in a similar situation, having broken resistance at 4100. Retracement that respects support at 4000 would confirm a fresh advance, offering a target of 4500*. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above 35% would flag buying pressure.

Nasdaq 100

* Target calculation: 4100 + ( 4100 – 3700 ) = 4500

Dow and S&P 500 make new highs

  • US stocks have reaffirmed their bull market
  • European stocks are recovering
  • China and Japan signal up-trends
  • ASX is rising

The new reporting season is under way and fund managers are now looking for opportunities rather than selling off under-performers.

Dow Jones Industrial Average made a new high, above 17300, signaling a primary advance. Reversal below 17000 and the rising trendline is most unlikely, but would warn of another correction. Target for the advance is 18000*.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 17000 + ( 17000 – 16000 ) = 18000

The S&P 500 similarly made a new high, signaling a fresh advance. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow (above zero) indicates medium-term buying pressure. Target for the advance is 2150*. Reversal below 2000 and the rising trendline is unlikely, but would signal another correction.

S&P 500 Index

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1850 ) = 2150

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) at 14 indicates low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 continues to advance above its former primary support level at 3000. Long tails on the weekly candlesticks and recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above zero indicate buying pressure. Expect another test of 3300. Reversal below 3000 is less likely, but would signal a primary down-trend.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

* Target calculation: 3000 – ( 3300 – 3000 ) = 2700

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rallied above its recent high at 2400, confirming a primary up-trend. Target for the new advance is 2500*. and the rising trendline, warning of a correction. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough (above zero) indicates medium-term buying pressure; completion of a trough high above zero would signal trend strength.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2400 + ( 2400 – 2300 ) = 2500

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index broke resistance at 16300, signaling an advance with a long-term target of 18000*. Reversal below 16000 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction.

Nikkei 225 Index

* Target calculation: 16000 + ( 16000 – 14000 ) = 18000

The ASX 200 is headed for a test of resistance at 5660. Brief retracement at 5440 and rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow (above zero) both indicate medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 5440 is unlikely, but would indicate a test of 5250. I have lowered the target to 6000* because of constant back-filling in recent months.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5300 ) = 6000

Are corporate profit margins sustainable?

Market capitalization as a percentage of (US) GNP is climbing and some commentators have been predicting a reversion to the mean — a substantial fall in market cap.

US Market Cap to GNP

But corporate profits have been climbing at a similar rate.

US Corporate Profits to GNP

Wages surged as a percentage of value added in the first quarter (2014) and profit margins fell sharply, adding fresh impetus to the bear outlook. But margins recovered to 10.6% in the second quarter.

Employee Compensation and Profits as Percentage of Gross Value Added

Further gains in the third quarter would suggest that profits are sustainable. Research by Morgan Stanley supports this view, revealing that improved profit margins are largely attributable to the top 50 mega-corporations in the US:

Mega cap companies (the largest 50 by size) have been able to pull their margins away from the smaller companies through globalization, productivity, scale, cost of capital, and taxes, among other reasons. We argue against frameworks that call for near-term mean reversion and base equity return algorithms off the concept of overearning. Why? The margins for the mega cap cohort in the last two downturns of 2001 and 2008 were well above the HIGHEST margins achieved during the 1974-1994 period. To us, this is a powerful indication that the mega cap cohort is unlikely to mean revert back to the 1970s to 1990s average level.

(From Sam Ro at Business Insider)

Also interesting is The Bank of England’s surprise at the lack of inflation in response to falling unemployment. One would expect wage rates to rise when slack is taken up in the labor market, but this has failed to materialize. It may be that unemployment is understated — and a rising participation rate will keep the lid on wages. If this happens in the US it would add further support for sustainable profit margins.

ASX breaks resistance

The Australian Dollar continues to test resistance at $0.8900. Tall shadows in the past few weeks suggest committed sellers. Breach of primary support at $0.8650 would warn of another decline. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero also indicates a primary down-trend.

AUDUSD

* Target calculation: 0.87 – ( 0.94 – 0.87 ) = 0.80

ASX 200 broke resistance at 5440, suggesting another test of 5660. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 5440, however, would warn of a test of support at 5250.

ASX 200

The ASX 200 VIX below 15 continues to indicate low risk typical of a bull market.

ASX 200

Europe: Selling pressure

Germany’s DAX is testing resistance at 9000. Reversal below 8900 would suggest another decline with a target of 8000*. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow below zero warns of long-term selling pressure; a peak below zero would confirm a primary down-trend. Recovery above 9000 is unlikely, but would suggest a rally to 9800.

DAX

* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000

The Footsie has also run into resistance, at 6400/6500. Respect would signal a decline to 6100*. Declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure, but nowhere near as weak as the DAX.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 6500 – ( 6900 – 6500 ) = 6100

Dow & Nasdaq buying pressure

Dow Jones Industrial Average penetrated its descending trendline, suggesting that the correction is over. Recovery above 17000 would signal an advance to 18000* — confirmed if follow-through above resistance at 17300. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Respect of resistance at 17000 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of 16350.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 17000 + ( 17000 – 16000 ) = 18000

The Nasdaq 100 recovered above its descending trendline and resistance at 4000, signaling an advance to 4500*. Follow-through above 4100 would confirm. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above 35% would flag buying pressure. Reversal below 4000 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of another test of the rising trendline.

Nasdaq 100

* Target calculation: 4100 + ( 4100 – 3700 ) = 4500

October correction nearing end

  • DAX and FTSE in a down-trend
  • China and Hong Kong retreat
  • US stocks remain in a bull market
  • ASX ends correction

The new reporting season is under way and fund managers are now looking for opportunities rather than selling off under-performers.

The S&P 500 broke resistance at 1900 and 1925. Penetration of the descending trendline suggests that the October correction is over. Recovery of 21-Day Twiggs Money Flow above zero indicates medium-term buying pressure. Expect a test of resistance at 2000 followed by consolidation or retracement to confirm support at 1925. Narrow consolidation below 2000 would be a bullish sign.

S&P 500 Index

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1850 ) = 2150

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) at 16 again indicates low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

The Nasdaq 100 recovered above resistance at 4000, indicating a fresh advance. Penetration of the descending trendline signals that the correction is over. Completion of a 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough high above zero would indicate long-term buying pressure. Reversal below 4000 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of support.

Nasdaq 100

* Target calculation: 4100 + ( 4100 – 3800 ) = 4400

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 recovered above its former primary support level at 3000, suggesting a bear trap. The primary trend remains downward, but recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above zero would suggest another test of 3300.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000

China’s Shanghai Composite Index retreated below support at 2340/2350 and the rising trendline, warning of a correction. A 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would confirm the primary up-trend, while reversal below zero would warn of a bear market.

Shanghai Composite Index

The ASX 200 recovered above resistance at 5250 and 5350 and the descending trendline, indicating that the correction is over. Breach of resistance at 5450 would signal another test of 5650. Bullish divergence and rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow (above zero) indicate medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 5350 is unlikely, but would indicate another test of 5120.

ASX 200

ASX 200 breaks resistance

The ASX 200 broke resistance at 5340/5350 in the first hour of trading this morning. Expect retracement to test the new support level on the hourly chart. Respect would confirm that the correction is over.

ASX 200