Stocks: Winter is coming

GDP grew by a solid 10.64% for the 12 months ended March ’22 but that is in nominal terms.


GDP for the quarter slowed to 1.58%, while real GDP fell to -0.36%. Not only is growth slowing but inflation is taking a bigger bite.

GDP & Real GDP

The implicit price deflator climbed to 1.94% for the quarter — almost 8.0% when annualized.

GDP Implicit Price Deflator

Growth is expected to decline further as long-term interest rates rise.

10-Year Treasury Yield & Moody's Baa Corporate Bond Yield

Conventional monetary policy would be for the Fed to hike the funds rate (gray below) above CPI (red). But, with CPI at 8.56% for the 12 months to March and FFR at 0.20%, the Fed may be tempted to try unconventional methods to ease inflationary pressures.

Fed Funds Rate & CPI

That includes shrinking its $9 trillion balance sheet (QT).

During the pandemic, the Fed purchased almost $5 trillion of securities. The resulting shortage of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) caused long-terms yields to fall and a migration of investors to equities in search of yield.

The Fed is expected to commence QT in May at the rate of $95 billion per month — $60 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in MBS — after a phase-in over the first three months. Long-term Treasury yields are likely to rise even faster, accompanied by a reverse flow from equities into bonds.

S&P 500 & Fed Total Assets

S&P 500 breach of support at 4200, signaling a bear market, would anticipate this.


Fed rate hikes combined with QT are expected to drive long-term interest rates higher and cause an outflow from equities into bonds.

A bear market (Winter) is coming.

Gold breaks trendline

Treasury yields remain weak, with the 10-year yield testing support at 2.0 percent. Declining interest rates improve demand for gold but a subdued inflation outlook has the opposite effect.

10-Year Treasury Yields

The Fed has stopped QE, with total assets leveling off around $4.5 Trillion. Expansion of excess bank reserves on deposit with the Fed, which softened the inflationary impact of QE, halted a little earlier.

Fed Total Assets compared to Excess Reserves

The latter is contracting at a slightly faster pace, so the net effect (change in Total Assets minus Excess Reserves) remains stimulatory. Reversal below zero on the chart below would warn of a contraction.

Fed Total Assets minus Excess Reserves

The Dollar is weakening in line with interest rates, with the Dollar Index headed for a test of support at 93. 13-Week Twiggs Momentum crossed below zero, warning of a primary down-trend. Breach of primary support at 93 would confirm.

Dollar Index

A weaker Dollar would drive up gold. Spot gold broke its long-term descending trendline and is headed for a test of resistance at $1200/ounce. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero would suggest a primary up-trend, but it would be prudent to wait for confirmation from a trough above zero and breakout above $1200.

Spot Gold

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