For all his macho posturing, Vladimir Putin has demonstrated an inability to move financial markets with his antics in Eastern Ukraine. His latest incursion towards Luhansk, with white-painted military trucks bearing aid to the rebel-held city, unchecked by the Red Cross, passed barely noticed. Instead markets are intently focused on nuances from a 68-year old Jewish mum at Jackson Hole, who also happens to chair the Federal Reserve.
I would have loved to call Janet Yellen a “grandmother”, but son Robert Akerlof — himself a PhD in Economics — does not claim any offspring on his CV. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Husband, George Akerlof, is a Nobel prize-winning economist and professor emeritus at University of California, Berkeley.
The image below highlights the differences between the Fed and the ECB:
The Fed’s more stimulatory approach has paid dividends in terms of economic growth and employment while inflation expectations remain muted. The inflation breakeven rate — 10-year Treasury yield minus the yield on equivalent inflation-indexed securities — continues to range between 2.0% and 2.50%.
The ECB’s more austere approach, on the other hand, has caused a world of pain.
- S&P 500 tests 2000.
- VIX continues to indicate a bull market.
- DAX hesitant rally.
- China bullish.
- ASX 200 faces strong resistance.
The S&P 500 hesitated after making a new high on Thursday, but there was no dramatic fall in response to news from Eastern Ukraine. Expect retracement towards 1950, followed by another test of 2000. 21-Day Twiggs Money Flow is likely to re-test the zero line, but respect would indicate strong buying pressure. Breach of support at 1900, warning of a reversal, remains unlikely.
* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250
Declining CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) indicates low risk, typical of a bull market.
Germany’s DAX rallied above 9300 on the weekly chart, but 13-week Twiggs Money Flow warns of continued selling pressure. Reversal below support at 8900/9000 would warn of a primary down-trend.
* Target calculation: 9000 – ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 8000
Shanghai Composite Index is testing resistance at 2250. Breakout would confirm a primary up-trend, signaling an advance to 2500*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Respect of resistance, however, would suggest further consolidation.
* Target calculation: 2250 + ( 2250 – 2000 ) = 2500
Tall wicks on ASX 200 daily candles indicate strong resistance at 5650. Respect would suggest retracement to 5550, while follow-through would be a strong bull signal, suggesting an advance to 5850*. Another 21-day Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would indicate long-term buying pressure. Reversal below 5450 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of primary support.
* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850