ASX 200 breakout

Strong earnings reports and continued interest in major banks lifted the ASX 200. Rising Trend Index troughs signal buying pressure. Breakout above 6300 offers a short-term target of 6500.

ASX 200

The ASX 300 Banks index followed through above 8100, indicating another rally with a medium-term target of 8500 (long-term 8750).

ASX 300 Banks Index

But the ASX 300 Metals & Mining index broke support at 3750, warning of a test of primary support at 3400. Fears of a US-China trade war are likely to undermine commodity prices.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

I am also wary of banks because of higher funding costs, falling credit growth and rising default risk .

So the primary trend on the ASX 200 is up but I remain cautious, holding over 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

S&P 500 earnings surge

Of companies in the S&P 500 index, 90.2% have reported their results for the quarter. According to S&P Dow Jones Indices:

  • Sales growth at 11.0% year-on-year (Y/Y) is close to a potential record.
  • The earnings beat rate of 78% is also historically high, compared to an average of 67%.
  • Operating margins are at a record 11.58%, compared to an average of 8.08% over the last 20 years.

Forward earnings estimates are climbing, driving the forward Price-Earnings ratio to a more comfortable 17.6 compared to its March 2015 high of 23.9.

S&P 500 Forward Earnings Estimates

Valuations based on historic earnings remain high, but P/E multiples have fallen to 22.02 from 24.16 in the last quarter. The long-term chart below compares the index price to previous highest annual EPS, to eliminate distortions caused by sudden falls in earnings.

S&P 500 Price-earnings based on Maximum Previous Earnngs

The current earnings multiple is still significantly higher than the 18.86 reached prior to the 1929 Wall Street crash and 18.69 in October 1987. But high valuations don’t cause market crashes. Sudden falls in earnings do. And there is little sign of that at present.

The S&P 500 is retracing for another test of its new support level at 2800. Respect would signal an advance to 3000. Declining Money Flow warns of selling pressure but this appears secondary in nature, with the indicator still well above the zero line.

S&P 500

The Nasdaq 100 also warns of a correction, with bearish divergence on Twiggs Money Flow. Again this appears secondary in nature because of the indicator’s position relative to the zero line. Expect a test of support at 7000.

Nasdaq 100

ASX 200 buying pressure

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index continues to test support at 3750. Breach of support and the rising trendline would warn of a correction to 3400.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index recovered above 8000, the false break suggesting another rally, targeting 8500.

ASX 300 Banks Index

I remain wary of banks, however, because of higher funding costs, falling credit growth and rising default risk .

The ASX 200 continues to test resistance at 6300. Rising Twiggs Money Flow troughs signal buying pressure. Breakout above 6300 would present a short-term target of 6500.

ASX 200

The primary trend is upward but economic indicators and the potential impact of a US-China trade war make me cautious. I hold more than 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

S&P 500 rallies while inflation subdued

Average hourly earnings growth came in at 2.7% (All Employees) for the 12 months ended July 2018. Growth in average hourly earnings is an excellent gauge of underlying inflationary pressures in the economy, which remain subdued.

Average Hourly Wages Growth

Consumer price index (CPI) growth is slightly higher, at 2.8% for June 2018, but lower core CPI (2.2%) suggests that food and energy prices are partly to blame.

Consumer Price Index and Core CPI

The S&P 500 respected support at 2800, signaling an advance to 3000. Declining 21-day Volatility suggests that market risk is declining and the market is returning to business as usual.

S&P 500

The Nasdaq 100 shook off recent Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) tremors and is testing resistance at 7400. Breakout is likely and would offer a target of 7800.

Nasdaq 100

ASX 200 retreats

The two largest sectors in the ASX 200 are both retreating from recent highs.

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index is testing support at 3750. Breach of support and the rising trendline would warn of a test of primary support at 3400.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index reversed below its short-term support level at 8000, warning of a test of primary support at 7300.

ASX 300 Banks Index

The banking sector faces the prospect of higher funding costs, falling credit growth and rising default risk and I remain cautious despite penetration of the descending trendline which suggests that a bottom is forming.

The ASX 200 retreated from resistance at 6300. Breach of short-term support at 6200 would warn of a correction.

ASX 200

The primary trend is upward but economic indicators warn of rising headwinds and a potential bear market. I remain cautious, with more than 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

Bears in the East, Bulls in the West

Market fears of a trade war appear to be easing but investors in China and South Korea remain cautious.

The Shanghai Composite Index is retracing to test resistance at the former primary support level at 3000.

Shanghai Composite Index

Dow Jones – UBS Commodity Index shows a similar retracement in commodity prices.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

While crude oil prices have found support at the LT rising trendline.

Nymex Light Crude

South Korea’s Seoul Composite Index is in a primary down-trend but retracement to test the former primary support level at 2350 is likely.

Seoul Composite Index

Japan is more isolated and the Nikkei 225 is testing resistance at 23,000. A rising Trend Index suggests that breakout is likely, which would test the January high at 24,000.

Nikkei 225 Index

India is stronger, with the Nifty breaking resistance at its January high of 11,100 to signal a primary advance with a target of 12,000. But first, expect retracement to test the new support level.

Nifty Index

Europe

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600 was boosted by news that the EU-US trade dispute is settled. A Trend Index trough above zero signals strong buying pressure. and another test of 400 is likely.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600 Index

A bullish saucer pattern on the Footsie suggest further gains. The Trend Index trough above zero indicates buying pressure. Breakout of the index above 7800 would signal another advance, with a target of 8200.

FTSE 100 Index

North America

The Nasdaq 100 retreated when Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR) reported disappointing growth for the quarter. Bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of selling pressure but this appears secondary and support at 7000 is likely to hold. Respect would confirm another advance.

Nasdaq 100

Friday’s retreat is also evident on the S&P 500 daily chart. Expect retracement to test new support at 2800. A strong GDP result should strengthen support.

S&P 500

Canada’s TSX 60 retraced to test the new support level at 970. Respect would signal a test of 1000 but breach is as likely, testing support at 940.

TSX 60 Index

Iron ore bounce lifts the ASX

Iron ore spot prices bounced off support at $63/tonne. Follow-through above $68 would suggest another rally to test resistance at $80 but that seems unlikely given the current threat of a trade war.

Iron Ore Spot Price

The ASX 300 Metals & Mining index found support at 3750. Breakout above 4000 would signal another advance but reversal below 3750 and a correction to test primary support at 3400 are more likely if iron ore retreats.

ASX 300 Metals & Mining

The ASX 300 Banks index continues to consolidate in a bullish narrow band above its new support level at 8000. Follow-through above 8100 would suggest another advance, with a target of 8700. The index is still in a primary down-trend but it is evident that a bottom is forming. A higher low on the next correction, followed by a new high, would signal the start of a primary up-trend.

ASX 300 Banks Index

The banking sector faces the prospect of higher funding costs, falling credit growth and rising default risk and I remain wary.

The ASX 200 is again testing resistance at 6300. Breakout would signal a primary advance with a target of the October 2007 high at 6750.

ASX 200

Technical signals suggest a primary advance while economic indicators warn of rising headwinds and a potential bear market. I remain cautious, with more than 30% cash in the Australian Growth portfolio.

Gold breaches primary support

The Dollar price of gold breached support at $1240/ounce, signaling a primary down-trend. A long tail indicates active buyers and we can expect retracement to test the new resistance level at $1250.

Spot Gold in USD

The Dollar Index continues to test strong resistance at 95.

Dollar Index

But Chinese selling to support the Yuan has not materialized in sufficient magnitude to reverse Dollar strength. Dollar Index breakout above 95 is likely to spur selling of gold.

CNY/USD

The Australian Dollar has not weakened sufficiently to protect local gold miners, with the price of Gold in Australian Dollars falling sharply.

Gold Price in AUD

The All Ordinaries Gold Index (XGD) broke support at 4950. Expect a test of 4600.

All Ordinaries Gold Index

Downside risk to Australian gold stocks is rising.