S&P 500: Stocks lift but jobs and profits a red flag

The S&P 500 has advanced steadily since breaking resistance at 3000.

S&P 500

Lifted by Fed liquidity injections in the repo market.

S&P 500 and Fed Assets

Optimism over improved global trade has spread, with the DJ Euro Stoxx 600 breaking resistance at 400.

DJ Euro Stoxx 600

South Korea’s KOSPI completed a double-bottom reversal to signal an up-trend.


And India’s Nifty Index broke resistance at 12,000.


Commodity prices remain low but rising Trend Index troughs on the DJ-UBS Commodity Index suggest that a bottom is forming.

DJ-UBS Commodity Index

Crude spiked up with rising US-Iran tensions but is expected to re-test support at 50 as supply threats fade.

Nymex Light Crude

Fedex recovered above primary support at 150, but the outlook for economic activity remains bearish.


Falling US wages growth warns of slowing job creation.

Average Hourly Wages

Declining employment growth highlights similar weakness.

Employment Growth

Initial jobless claims, while not alarming, are now starting to rise.

Initial Claims

Growth in weekly hours worked has slowed, with real GDP expected to follow.

Real GDP and Weekly Hours Worked

While GDP growth is slowing, corporate profits (before tax) are also declining as a percentage of GDP.

Corporate profits Before Tax/GDP

Market Capitalization of equities has spiked to a ratio of 20 times Corporate Profits (before tax), an extreme only previously seen in the Dotcom bubble.

Market Cap/Corporate Profits before Tax

The market can remain irrational for longer than you or I can stay solvent, but this is a clear warning to investors to stay on the defensive.

We maintain our view that stocks are over-valued and will remain under-weight equities (over-weight cash) until normal earnings multiples are restored.

Asia rallies

Asia rallied Monday on encouraging signs from Europe, with the Nikkei 225 testing 8300, the Seoul Composite (KOSPI) jumping to 1815, and Hang Seng above 18000. But a look at the quarterly chart of the Nikkei shows a long-term, bearish divergence on 63-day Twiggs Momentum, while the index is headed for a test of key support at 7000/7500. Unless we see a break above the descending trendline, the trend remains downward.

Nikkei 225 Index

South Korea’s Seoul Composite index is headed for another test of 1650 according to the weekly chart. 63-Day Twiggs Momentum oscillating well below zero indicates a strong primary down-trend. Failure of support would offer a target of 1350*.


* Target calculation: 1650 – ( 1950 – 1650 ) = 1350

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index recovered above 18000 Monday but the long-term trend remains downward. Steeply descending 63-day Twiggs Momentum warns of a strong primary down-trend.

Hang Seng Index

* Target calculation: 16 – ( 20 – 16 ) = 12

The Shanghai Composite index did not share the enthusiasm of other Asian markets, testing support at 2375.  Reversal of 13-week Twiggs Money Flow below zero warns of rising selling pressure. Failure of support at 2300 would offer a target of 2050*.

Shanghai Composite Index

* Target calculation: 2300 – ( 2550 – 2300 ) = 2050