Quarter-end turbulence

We are now approaching the September quarter-end, normally a volatile time for stocks. Investment managers tend to re-balance their portfolios after month-end, selling off poor performers and increasing cash balances to later take advantage of new opportunities. The result is that stocks tend to dip in October. If the fundamental under-pinning of the market is strong, they soon recover and continue on its merry way. But if there are serious flaws, the sell-off can turn into a rout — as in 1987 and 2007.

At present the market outlook appears sound and the bull market is likely to continue. I often use transport stock Fedex as a bellwether for the US economy. If the economy is robust, you can expect Fedex to display a solid up-trend. If weak, Fedex tends to lead the market lower. In November 2007 for example, on the monthly chart below, Fedex signaled a bear market several months ahead of the major indices. The present situation is quite the opposite, with the Fedex in a strong bull-trend, having recently respected support at $145. A 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero also suggests buying pressure. Economic activity is clearly improving.

Fedex

* Target calculation: 145 + ( 145 – 130 ) = 160

The S&P 500 break above 2010 proved to be a false break, with the market headed for a re-test of support at 1980. Breach would indicate another correction. Declining 21-day Twiggs Money Flow now indicates medium-term selling pressure; a fall below zero would warn of a primary down-trend.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, however, suggesting continuation of the bull market.

VIX Index

Dow Jones Industrial Average also retreated, testing its new support level at 17150. Reversal below 16950 would indicate a correction, while respect would suggest another advance. Declining 21-day Twiggs Money Flow also suggests medium-term selling pressure.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

My conclusion is that the bull market is sound, but likely to encounter some turbulence over the quarter-end. There may be a secondary correction, but respect of recent support levels would indicate a fresh advance.

S&P bullish but Asia, Europe weak

Weekly highlights:

  • Scotland votes “No” and the Pound rallies
  • Treasury yields (long-term) are rising and the Dollar strengthens
  • Gold and crude oil fall
  • European stocks remain bearish
  • Asian stocks also remain bearish despite Hong Kong/Shanghai breakout
  • US stocks still reflect a bull market

Stock markets

Dow Jones Europe Index is retracing after a weak rally that reached 335. Failure of support at 320 would signal a primary down-trend. Follow-through below 315 would confirm. A 13-week Twiggs Momentum peak below zero strengthens the bear signal.

* Target calculation: 320 – ( 340 – 320 ) = 300

Dow Jones Asia Index is testing primary support at 3200 despite bullishness on the Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Momentum warns of a test of 3100. Breach of 3200 would signal a primary down-trend, while follow-through below 3100 would confirm.

* Target calculation: 3100 + ( 3100 – 2800 ) = 3400

The S&P 500 recovered above 2000 to signal a fresh advance. Follow-through above 2010 confirms a target of 2100*. Reversal below 1980 is unlikely. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

The ASX 200 correction found support at 5300/5350. But 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero, after a long-term bearish divergence, warns of further weakness. Breach of 5300 would indicate a test of 5000. Recovery above 5550 is unlikely, but would suggest a fresh advance.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5350 ) = 5950

Dow, S&P 500 make new highs

Dow Jones Industrial Average followed through above 17150, confirming a primary advance to 18000*. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow suggests buying pressure. Reversal below support at 16950 is most unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 17150 + ( 17150 – 16350 ) = 17950

The S&P 500 similarly followed through above 2010, confirming a primary advance with a target of 2070*. Reversal below support at 1980 is most unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1990 + ( 1990 – 1910 ) = 2070

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is now back at 12, continuing to indicate low risk typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

S&P 500 healthy bounce

The S&P 500 bounced off support at 1980/1985 and is once again testing resistance at 2000. Follow-through above 2010 would confirm a primary advance, targeting 2100*. Failure of short-term support at 1980 remains unlikely, but would warn of a correction to 1950.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) retreated below 13, indicating low risk typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

Dow Jones Industrial Average breakout above 17150 would strengthen the bull signal, offering a target of 17500*. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow suggests buying pressure. Reversal below support at 16950 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

Dow finds support

Dow Jones Industrial Average found short-term support at 16950/17000. Follow-through above 17050 would indicate another attempt at 17150. And breakout above 17150 would offer a target of 17500*. Recovery of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow above 20% would indicate buying pressure. Reversal below support at 16950 is unlikely, but would test the rising trendline around 16700.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

The S&P 500 is testing support at 1980/1985. Monday’s long tail suggests short-term buying pressure; strengthened if 21-day Twiggs Money Flow starts to rise. Recovery above 2000 would indicate another rally. Follow-through above 2010 would signal an advance to 2100*. Failure of short-term support at 1980 is unlikely, but would warn of a correction to 1950.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) readings remain low, typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

The Nasdaq 100 is retracing to test its new support level at 4000. Respect of support is likely and would suggest an advance to 4250*. Failure of support at 4000, however, would warn of a correction to the primary trendline, around 3850. Completion of another 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would strengthen the bull signal.

Nasdaq 100

* Target calculation: 4000 + ( 4000 – 3750 ) = 4250

Europe uneasy

Weekly highlights:

  • The Dollar is strengthening
  • Treasury yields (long-term) are rising
  • Gold and crude oil are falling
  • European stocks are bearish
  • US stocks remain bullish

The tenuous ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine appears to be holding, but Europe faces another challenge this week, with a Scottish referendum on independence. Predictions of financial mayhem in the event of a “Yes” vote are, I feel, exaggerated in an attempt to influence the outcome. The official position of the UK government is:

“If a majority of those who vote want Scotland to be independent then Scotland would become an independent country after a process of negotiations.”

The “process of negotiations” is likely to be comprehensive and would resolve most outstanding uncertainties in an orderly fashion. There has been much debate over economic issues, but it is no coincidence that the referendum is being held in the same year as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, when Scots under Robert the Bruce defeated an English army led by Edward II to regain their independence.

Stock markets

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 remains hesitant, retreating from resistance at 3300. Consolidation above 3200 would be a bullish sign, while breach of 3100 would threaten primary support at 3000. Another 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would indicate buying pressure, but reversal below zero would warn of a down-trend.

* Target calculation: 3300 + ( 3300 – 3000 ) = 3600

The S&P 500 is edging lower and follow-through below 1980 would indicate another correction. Respect of support at 1950, however, would suggest that the up-trend is intact. Sideways movement on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow, reflects further consolidation.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) below 20 is typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

China’s Shanghai Composite Index breakout above 2250 signals a primary up-trend. The monthly chart, however, reflects further resistance at 2450/2500*. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates accelerating buying pressure. Reversal below 2250 is most unlikely, but would suggest further consolidation between 2000 and 2250.

Shanghai Composite Index

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

The ASX 200 broke support at 5540/5560, warning of a correction. Bearish divergence on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term selling pressure. Respect of support at 5440/5460 would indicate that the primary up-trend is intact, while a fall below 5360 would warn of a down-trend.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850

European ceasefire

Neil MacFarquhar reports in The New York Times:

After five months of intensifying combat that threatened to rip Ukraine apart and to reignite the Cold War, the Ukrainian government and separatist forces signed a cease-fire agreement on Friday that analysts considered highly tenuous in a country that remains a tinderbox…..

The agreement resembles, almost verbatim, a proposal for a truce issued by President Petro O. Poroshenko in June.

It includes amnesty for those who disarm and who did not commit serious crimes, and the exchange of all prisoners. Militias will be disbanded, and a 10-kilometer buffer zone — about six miles — will be established along the Russian-Ukrainian border. The area will be subject to joint patrols. The separatists have agreed to leave the administrative buildings they control and to allow broadcasts from Ukraine to resume on local television….

There appears plenty of skepticism as to whether the ceasefire will hold… and whether Russian forces will withdraw, but markets welcomed the announcement.

Germany’s DAX is testing resistance at 9700/9800. Breakout would indicate a fresh advance, while follow-through above 10000 would confirm a target of 11000. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above zero suggests selling pressure is easing. Retreat below 9250, however, would warn of another test of primary support at 9000.

DAX

* Target calculation: 10000 + ( 10000 – 9000 ) = 11000

The S&P 500 rallied above 2000. Follow-through above 2010 would confirm an advance to 2100*. Sideways movement on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow, however, suggests further consolidation. Reversal below 1990 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Shanghai Composite Index, responding to PBOC stimulus, broke resistance at 2250 to signal a primary up-trend. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates accelerating buying pressure. Target for the advance is 2500*. Reversal below 2250 is unlikely, but would suggest further consolidation between 2000 and 2250.

Shanghai Composite Index

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

The ASX 200 broke short-term support at 5620, but with both US and Chinese markets entering a bull phase retracement is likely to be short-lived. Breakout above 5680 would confirm an advance to 5850*. Bearish divergence on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow warns of medium-term selling pressure, but a trough above zero would indicate that buyers are back in control. Reversal below 5540 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of primary support.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850

Dow finds support

Dow Jones Industrial Average retraced to test support at 17000. Respect is likely and would indicate a fresh advance. Follow-through above 17150 would confirm a target of 17500*. Recovery of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow above its July peak would strengthen the signal. Reversal below 16950 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

The S&P 500 is also testing support — at 2000. Respect would offer a target of 2100*. Follow-through above 2005 would confirm. A small trough above zero on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow is encouraging, but reversal below 20% would warn of selling pressure. Failure of short-term support at 1985/1990 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

Low CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) readings are typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

Bellwether transport stock Fedex respected support at $144/$145, indicating another advance. Follow-through above $154/$155 would confirm a healthy up-trend — for both the stock and the economy. Likewise, a 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would suggest long-term buying pressure and another primary advance. Breach of support is unlikely, but would warn of a correction to primary support at $129/$130.

Fedex

* Target calculation: 145 + ( 145 – 130 ) = 160

S&P 500 E-mini tests support

The S&P 500 (September 2014) E-mini is retracing for another test of support at 2000. Markets were closed Monday for Labor Day. Respect of support is likely and would signal an advance to 2100*. Follow-through above 2004 would strengthen the signal. Breach of support at 2000 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction.

E-mini

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

War in Europe

Vladimir Putin has escalated the conflict in Eastern Ukraine with new incursions of tanks backed with artillery, anti-aircraft missile systems and up to 15,000 Russian troops. Intent on seizing as much territory as possible, he is banking on the US/European coalition responding with another slap on the wrist. Each weak response has only made Putin bolder. But where he may miscalculate is that the coalition is aware that its “stick-and-carrot” policy has failed and will be looking for a new approach.

Willingness of the Europeans to endure immediate economic pain in the belief that this will avert a long-term calamity is yet to be tested. Success will depend on France, Spain and Italy’s support for their Northern and Central European neighbours, who face a more immediate threat.

A significant step-up in sanctions is likely and the initial response from European markets will be negative. Sanctions are a two-edged sword and likely to hurt Europe almost as much as they do Russia. But NATO rearmament in the medium-term would somewhat offset the initial cost. Never underestimate the stimulus effect of war on local industry — provided the war is fought outside one’s borders

Germany’s DAX is running into stiff resistance as it approaches 9750. And 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero warns of selling pressure, threatening a reversal. Retreat below 9250 would strengthen the signal and failure of support at 8900/9000 would confirm a primary down-trend.

DAX

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

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 reversal below 3100 and 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero would add further weight to the (bear) signal.

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50

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

The S&P 500, unfazed by recent developments in Europe, broke resistance at 2000 to signal an advance to 2100*. A 21-Day Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero indicates rising (medium-term) buying pressure. Reversal below 1990 is unlikely, but would warn of another correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 2000 + ( 2000 – 1900 ) = 2100

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), shown here on a ten-year chart, indicates low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Shanghai Composite Index, responding to PBOC stimulus, is testing resistance at 2250. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Breakout would confirm a primary up-trend, signaling an advance to 2500*. Respect of resistance is less likely, but would suggest further consolidation.

Shanghai Composite Index

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

The ASX 200 is testing resistance at 5650. Continued strength in US and Chinese stocks would improve the chance of an ASX 200 breakout, suggesting an advance to 5850*. Bearish divergence on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow — shown here on a monthly chart — continues to warn of long-term selling pressure. But failure to cross below zero would negate this and completion of another trough above zero would indicate that buyers are back in control. Reversal below 5450 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of primary support.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850

Dow signals fresh advance

Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered above 17000, signaling a fresh advance. Follow-through above 17150 would confirm a target of 17500*. Leveling off of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow in recent days, however, indicates (short-term) resistance. Reversal below 16950 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of 16750.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

The S&P 500 is again testing resistance at 2000. Breakout would offer a target of 2250*. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above its recent (July 2014) high would confirm buying pressure. Reversal below 1950 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of (primary) support at 1900.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

Declining CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) readings suggest continuation of the bull market.

VIX Index

The Nasdaq 100 broke through the psychological level of 4000. Expect retracement to test the new support level. Respect is likely and would confirm another advance. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above its recent (July 2014) high would confirm buying pressure. Reversal below 4000 is unlikely but would warn of a test of support and the rising trendline at 3750.

NASDAQ 100

* Target calculation: 4000 + ( 4000 – 3750 ) = 4250

Putin antics fail to impress markets

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%.

Inflation breakeven rate

The ECB’s more austere approach, on the other hand, has caused a world of pain.

Market update

  • 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.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

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

S&P 500 VIX

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.

DAX

* 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.

Shanghai Composite Index

* 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.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5650 + ( 5650 – 5450 ) = 5850

The Stock Market’s Missing Ingredient | Bloomberg View

Barry Ritholz discusses why military conflicts around the globe and civil strife in Ferguson, Missouri have little impact on market performance:

….None of this seems to matter to Mr. Market. He continues to power on, oblivious to issues that don’t affect corporate earnings. They have, by the way, been stellar, growing at a 9 percent annual rate. Meanwhile, interest rates are still low and inflation is subdued.

Rarely have conditions for market gains been so promising at a time when investor psychology has been so negative. Gallup reports that only 7 percent of those surveyed were aware of last year’s scorching [29.7%] gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

via The Stock Market's Missing Ingredient – Bloomberg View.

Dow heading for 17000

Dow Jones Industrial Average is headed for another test of 17000/17100 after finding support at 16400/16500. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above its July high would indicate that buyers are back in control. Breakout above 17100 would offer a target of 17500*. Reversal below 16400 is unlikely, but would warn of a test of the primary trendline at 16000.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

The S&P 500 followed through above Friday’s high of 1965, suggesting another attempt at 2000. Completion of a trough above zero on 21-day Twiggs Money Flow would confirm buying pressure. Breakout above 2000 would offer a target of 2250*, but expect markets to remain cautious because of current geopolitical tensions. Reversal below 1950 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of support at 1900.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

Low CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) readings are typical of a bull market.

VIX Index

S&P 500 recovers but Europe remains weak

  • Europe continues to test support.
  • S&P 500 recovers.
  • VIX continues to indicate a bull market.
  • China bullish.
  • ASX 200 recovers.

Dow Jones Europe Index continues to test its primary trendline and support at 315/325. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero warns of a primary down-trend. Breach of primary support at 315 would confirm.

Dow Jones Europe Index

The S&P 500 recovered above 1950, suggesting another test of resistance at 2000. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow above its July high would suggest that buyers have taken control. Reversal below 1900 is unlikely, but would warn that the primary trend is slowing.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) remains low, suggesting a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Dow Jones Shanghai Index is testing resistance at 295. Breakout would confirm a primary up-trend. Respect of resistance, however, would indicate further consolidation.

Dow Jones Shanghai Index

ASX 200 recovery above 5550 also suggests another advance. Respect of zero by 13-week Twiggs Money Flow would strengthen the signal. Reversal below 5450 is unlikely, but would warn of another test of primary support.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5400 + ( 5400 – 5000 ) = 5800

Dow and S&P 500 find support

Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to test medium-term support at the December high of 16500. Breach of support would warn of a correction to the primary trendline — at 16000 — while respect of support would indicate another attempt at 17000. Failure of primary support at 15400/15600 remains unlikely, but would warn of reversal to a down-trend. Completion of another 13-week Twiggs Money Flow trough above zero would suggest long-term buying pressure and another primary advance.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

* Target calculation: 16500 + ( 16500 – 15500 ) = 17500

The S&P 500 found support at 1900. Recovery above 1950 would suggest another advance. Breach of primary support at 1750 remains unlikely. Completion of a higher trough on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow, with recovery above 32%, would indicate that buyers are back in control.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) retreated from its recent high, suggesting continuation of the bull market.

VIX Index

Europe tests primary support

Summary:

  • Europe threatens reversal to a down-trend.
  • S&P 500 finds support.
  • VIX continues to indicate a bull market.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite encounters selling pressure.
  • ASX 200 experiences a secondary correction.

Dow Jones Europe Index is testing the primary trendline and support at 315. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum below zero already warns of a primary down-trend. Breach of primary support at 315 would confirm. Respect of primary support and recovery above 330, however, would suggest that the primary trend is intact.

Dow Jones Europe Index

Germany’s DAX continues to test primary support at 9000. A long tail on Friday suggests short-term support. Failure of support would warn of a decline to 8000*, while respect would suggest another test of 10000.

DAX

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

The S&P 500 found support at 1900 and recovery above 1950 would indicate another advance. The latest decline on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow is relatively small and recovery above its July high would suggest that buyers have taken control. Failure of 1900, however, would warn that the primary trend is slowing.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) spiked upwards, to between 16 and 17, but remains low by historical standards and continues to suggest a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

China’s Shanghai Composite Index encountered selling pressure below resistance at 2250, with tall wicks/shadows on the last two weekly candles and a sharp fall in 13-week Twiggs Money Flow. Reversal below 2150 would warn of another test of primary support at 1990/2000. Follow-through above 2250, however, would confirm a primary up-trend.

Shanghai Composite

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

The ASX 200 is heading for a test of support at 5350/5400 and the primary trendline. Direction will largely be influenced by the US and Chinese markets, but reversal of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero — after long-term bearish divergence — would warn of strong selling pressure. Recovery above 5550 is unlikely at present, but would suggest another advance. Reversal below 5050 is also unlikely, but would signal a trend change.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5400 + ( 5400 – 5000 ) = 5800

Europe leads markets lower

Summary:

  • Europe retreats as the Ukraine/Russia crisis escalates.
  • S&P 500 displays milder selling pressure and the primary trend remains intact.
  • VIX continues to indicate a bull market.
  • China’s Shanghai Composite is bullish in the medium-term.
  • ASX 200 may experience a secondary correction, but the primary trend displays buying support.

European leaders are waking up to the seriousness of the menace posed by Russia in the East, summed up in a recent Der Spiegel editorial:

Europe, and we Germans, will certainly have to pay a price for sanctions. But the price would be incomparably greater were Putin allowed to continue to violate international law. Peace and security in Europe would then be in serious danger.

Vladimir Putin will not alter course because of a light slap on the wrist. President Obama is going to have to find Teddy Roosevelt’s “big stick” — misplacement of which is largely responsible for Russia’s current flagrant disregard of national borders. And Europe is going to have to endure real pain in order to face down the Russian threat in the East. Delivery of French Mistral warships, for example, would show that Europe remains divided and will encourage the Russian bear to grow even bolder.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said, however, that he doubted France would cancel the deal, despite coming under pressure from other Western leaders: “This is billions of euros. The French are very pragmatic. I doubt it [that the deal will be canceled].”
The Moscow Times

The whole of Europe is likely to have to share the cost of cancelling deals like this, but it is important to do so and present a united front.

Markets reacted negatively to the latest escalation, with Dow Jones Europe Index falling almost 6% over the last month. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum dipped below zero after several months of bearish divergence, warning not necessarily of a primary down-trend, but of a serious test of primary support at 315. Respect of 325 and the rising trendline would reassure that the primary trend is intact.

Dow Jones Europe Index

The S&P 500 displays milder selling pressure on 13-week Twiggs Money Flow and the correction is likely to test the rising trendline and support at 1850/1900, but not primary support at 1750. Respect of the zero line by 13-week Twiggs Money Flow would signal a buying opportunity for long-term investors. Recovery above 2000 is unlikely at present, but breakout would offer a (long-term) target of 2250*.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 – 750 ) = 2250

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) spiked upwards, but remains low by historical standards and continues to suggest a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

China’s Shanghai Composite Index broke resistance at 2150, suggesting a primary up-trend, but I will wait for confirmation from a follow-through above 2250. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 2050 is unlikely at present but would warn of another test of primary support at 1990/2000. The PBOC is simply kicking the can down the road by injecting more liquidity into the banking system. That may defer the eventual day of reckoning by a year or two, but it cannot be avoided. And each time the problem is deferred, it grows bigger. So the medium-term outlook may be improving, but I still have doubts about the long-term.

Shanghai Composite

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

The ASX 200 is likely to retrace to test the rising trendline around 5450, but 13-week Twiggs Money Flow holding above zero continues to indicate buying support. Recovery above 5600 is unlikely at present, but would present a target of 5800*. Reversal below 5050 would signal a trend change, but that is most unlikely despite current bearishness.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5400 + ( 5400 – 5000 ) = 5800