S&P 500: Treasuries reflect flight to safety

10-Year Treasury yields plunged below 2.0% on Donald Trump’s announcement of further tariffs (10% on $300bn) on China. The fall reflects rising demand for Treasuries as a safe haven in these turbulent times.

10-Year Treasury Yield

The spread between 10-Year and 3-Month Treasuries recovered above zero. This is a bearish sign: recession normally follows the recovery and not the initial inversion.

10-Year 3-Month Treasury Spread

The S&P 500 retreated below 3000 on Trump’s announcement, strengthening the bearish divergence signal on Twiggs Money Flow which warns of a correction. A test of support at 2750 is likely.

S&P 500

The Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) is expected to test primary support at 145. Small cap stocks have lagged the S&P 500 this year, highlighting risk aversion.

Russell 2000 Small Caps Index

Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 600, reflecting large cap stocks in the European Union, is similarly headed for a test of primary support at 365. Strong bearish divergence on the Trend Index warns of a reversal.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

Falling commodity prices reflect market concerns for the global economy. A Nymex Light Crude breach of $51/barrel would signal a primary down-trend. Declining peaks on the Trend Index warn of selling pressure.

Nymex Light Crude

The DJ-UBS Commodity Index is similarly headed for a test of support at 75. Breach would signal a primary down-trend. A peak near zero on the Trend Index warns of strong selling pressure.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

Dr Copper, often used as a barometer of the global economy, has breached primary support at 5800, signaling a decline. Again, a Trend Index peak below zero warns of strong selling pressure.


Employment stats for July have improved slightly, with Average Hourly Wages growth easing to 3.3% (Total Private).

Average Hourly Wage

And annual payroll growth ticked up to 1.5%

Employment Growth & FFR

But weekly hours worked are declining, warning that real GDP will decline further, after printing 2.3% for the second quarter.

Real GDP & Weekly Hours Worked

I have warned my clients to cut exposure to the market. It’s a good time to be cautious.

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”

~ Benjamin Graham

China threatened by loss of US trade

The threat of a US-China trade war has rattled investors, with the Shanghai Composite Index breaking primary support at 2700 to signal another decline. Trend Index peaks below zero warn of strong selling pressure. Long-term target is the 2012 to 2014 lows at 2000.

Shanghai Composite Index

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is also under the pump, breaking support at 28,000 to warn of another decline.

Hang Seng Index

Copper prices, a good barometer of the Chinese economy, are also falling. Breach of $6,000 offers a target of $5,500/tonne.

Copper S1

The Yuan has fallen almost 10 percent, testing support at 14.5 US cents. Failure of the PBOC to support the Yuan (by selling some of their $3 trillion of foreign reserves) may cushion the economic impact in the short-term but only invites further escalation from the Trump administration.

Chinese Yuan/USD

There is no easy way out. Trump clearly has the upper hand in trade negotiations.

Shanghai breaches support

Copper is testing long-term support at 5400, suggesting weak demand from China. Breach would signal a primary down-trend.

Copper A Grade

The Yuan has enjoyed a respite, consolidating in a narrow line for several weeks. But this is likely to prove temporary, with further advances of the Dollar against the Yuan eroding PBOC foreign exchange reserves.


Shanghai’s Composite Index broke support at 3100, signaling a primary down-trend, but the long tail indicates buying support. Recovery above 3100 would suggest a false signal (or government intervention) while respect of resistance would confirm the down-trend.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target medium-term: May 2016 low of 2800

Dr Copper tests support

Copper is widely considered to be a barometer of the global economy, with prices rising when the outlook improves. Currently A-grade Copper is testing support at 5400. Breach would confirm Chinese selling pressure, offering a target of long-term support at 4500.

A-grade Copper

China’s infrastructure boom is over

China has been on a record-breaking infrastructure binge over the last decade, but that era is coming to an end. Fall of the Baltic Dry Index below its 2008 low illustrates the decline of bulk commodity imports like iron ore and coking and thermal coal, important inputs in the construction of new infrastructure and housing.

Baltic Dry Index

High-end commodities like copper held up far better since 2008, but they too are now on the decline.


With the end of the infrastructure boom, China’s economy may well prove to be a one-trick pony. Transition from a state-directed infrastructure ‘miracle’ to a broad-based consumer society will be a lot more difficult.

Gold breaks key support level

A monthly chart of Gold shows the breach of support at $1200/ounce, offering a long-term target of $1000*. Another 13-week Twiggs Momentum peak below zero strengthens the signal. Retracement that respects the new resistance level at $1200 would confirm. Recovery above 1200 is unlikely.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1200 – ( 1400 – 1200 ) = 1000

Crude Oil

Crude is also falling — in response to the rising Dollar as well as expanding supply. The long-term target for Brent crude is $60*.

Brent Crude

* Target calculation: 90 – ( 120 – 90 ) = 60

…And $50/barrel for Nymex Light Crude. Follow-through below $75 would confirm the down-trend.

Nymex Crude

* Target calculation: 80 – ( 110 – 80 ) = 50


Copper is below its 2011 low of $6800/tonne, reflecting weak demand from China. Follow-through below $6600 would confirm a primary down-trend.


Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index has already broken support at 125, suggesting a test of its 2009 low at 100.

Dow Jones UBS Commodity Index

Crude and bulk commodities fall but nickel, aluminum rally

Crude oil prices are falling. Nymex Light Crude is testing primary support at $92/barrel and Brent Crude at $99/barrel. Breach of support would signal a down-trend.

Nymex WTI Crude

Commodity prices remain low, in line with sluggish world trade.

But that does not tell the full story.

Bulk commodity prices are falling as Chinese construction slows…

Bulk Commodities

…While copper prices recovered above 7000/tonne. Penetration of the declining trendline suggests that the down-trend is slowing. Breakout above 7400 would strengthen the signal.


And aluminum alloy…


…and nickel show surprising strength, signaling an up-trend.


Crude and commodities weaken

Crude oil prices are falling. Nymex Light Crude broke support at $98/barrel, signaling a test of primary support at $92/barrel, while Brent Crude is testing primary support at $104. Retreat of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero already warns of a Nymex (CL) down-trend.

Nymex WTI Crude

Commodity prices are being dragged down, with Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index heading for a test of primary support at 122. Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero strengthens the bear signal.

Dow Jones UBS Commodities Index

Copper prices are also testing primary support, reflecting a weak Chinese economy. Breach of $6800/tonne would warn of a primary decline. Follow-through below $6400/tonne would confirm.


Gold losing its luster

Inflation pressures are easing and Elliot Clarke summarizes Westpac’s outlook for US inflation as follows:

This week we decompose the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) deflator to assess what inflation pressures currently exist and how they are likely to develop. The conclusion is that the inflation picture argues for an extended period of extremely accommodative policy settings and it may even serve to delay the timing of the initial interest rate increase well beyond the timeframe currently envisaged by markets.

Soft treasury yields, a weak dollar and weaker gold price tend to support this view.

Interest Rates and the Dollar

The yield on ten-year Treasury Notes is ranging in a narrow band between 2.60 percent and 2.80 percent. Breakout above 2.80 would indicate an advance to 3.50 percent* — confirmed if there is follow-through above 3.00 percent — but declining 13-week Twiggs Momentum continues to warn of weakness. Breach of primary support at 2.50 percent is as likely and would signal a primary down-trend.

10-Year Treasury Yields

* Target calculation: 3.00 + ( 3.00 – 2.50 ) = 3.50

The Dollar Index is testing medium-term resistance at 80.50. Breakout would suggest that a bottom is forming, but only recovery above 81.50 would signal a trend change. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum oscillating below zero, however, is typical of a primary down-trend. Breach of primary support at 79.00 would signal a decline to 76.50*.

Dollar Index

* Target calculation: 79.0 – ( 81.5 – 79.0 ) = 76.5

Gold and Silver

Silver failed to imitate gold’s performance in the first quarter and is headed for a test of primary support at $19/ounce. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum likewise failed to cross to above zero, suggesting continuation of the primary down-trend. Breach of primary support would offer a target of $16, while respect of support would test resistance at $22/ounce.

Spot Silver

Spot gold is undergoing a strong correction, having breached the rising trendline and support at $1320/ounce. The outlook remains bullish, but breach of primary support by Silver or continued decline of 13-week Twiggs Momentum below zero would negate this. Failure of primary support at $1200 is unlikely, but would offer a target of $1000/ounce*.

Spot Gold

* Target calculation: 1200 – ( 1400 – 1200 ) = 1000


Copper is a commodity rather than a precious metal, but is also used as a store of value. At present, copper is testing long-term support at $6800/tonne. Follow-through below $6600 would signal continuation of the primary down-trend to $6000/tonne*. Recovery above the descending trendline (at $7000) is unlikely, but would suggest that a bottom is forming.


* Target calculation: 6750 – ( 7500 – 6750 ) = 6000

Dr Copper: China weakening

Falling copper prices reflect a weakening Chinese economy. Follow-through below $6600/tonne, after breaching primary support at $6800, signals a primary down-trend.