Markets are buoyant with the S&P 500 headed for another test of its all-time high at 2950. Bearish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow warns of secondary selling pressure but the overall technical outlook looks promising.
So why should it not be a good time to invest in stocks?
First, the yield curve warns of a recession in the next 6 to 18 months. The 10-year Treasury yield is below the yield on 3-month T-bills, indicating a negative yield curve. This is our most reliable recession signal, with 100% accuracy since the early 1960s.
Annual jobs growth has declined since January. Further declines in the next few months would further strengthen the recession warning.
Small cap stocks in the Russell 2000 lag well behind the S&P 500, indicating that investors are de-risking.
Cyclical sectors like Automobiles & Components also offer an early warning, anticipating slower consumer spending on durables such as housing, clothing and automobiles.
Lastly, the historic Price-Earnings ratio is above 20 (PE and PEmax are equal at present), indicating stocks are over-priced.
It’s a good time to be cautious.