A few months ago, markets feared a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula. Those fears have now largely dissipated but been replaced by fears of a massive trade war with China. There is always a small probability that our fears may be realized but most market fears are not.
Unless you want to follow in the footsteps of some media-driven forecasters, and anticipate ten of the next two recessions, you need to focus on the data and not on your fears.
I have always used Fedex as a bellwether of economic activity in the USA. Shipments of goods are an excellent barometer of the economic climate — and closely tied to quarterly earnings which in the long-run drive prices.
Unfortunately Fedex stock price is likely to become less reliable over time as an indicator of economic activity, with the entry of a new competitor: Amazon.
But Fedex produces excellent quarterly statistics of parcel shipments which remain a useful gauge of economic conditions.
Parcel shipments for the quarter ended May 31, 2018 are up 1.1% on the same quarter in 2017. And the annual average is rising. Not fantastic but a step in the right direction, suggesting that earnings for the next quarter will improve.
The S&P 500 is testing its long-term rising trendline. Respect of support at 2700 would suggest another advance. Breakout above 2800 would strengthen the signal.
The Nasdaq 100 retraced to test its new support level at 7000. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index hints at selling pressure. Breach of support would warn of another test of primary support at 6300. Lengthy consolidation would be likely. Respect of 7000, while less likely, on the other hand, would signal a fresh advance.
Discount the obvious, bet on the unexpected.
~ George Soros