S&P 500 meets resistance while trade talks continue

Trade talks continue, accompanied by reassuring noises from participants. On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will update the House Ways and Mean Committee on progress with China while Donald Trump is away in Hanoi, schmoozing with his new best buddy Kim Jong Un. My guess is that one will prove as intractable as the other. Expect a major announcement in the next few weeks on both fronts but little change on the ground.

Both Kim and Xi play the long game. Trump is focused on next year’s elections and may be tempted to trade short-term gain for long-term pain.

“No matter how many tons of soybeans they buy if China gets to keep cheating & stealing trade secrets it won’t be a good deal for America, our workers or our national security,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted on Friday after Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said China offered to buy 10 million tons of soybeans as talks continued.(Bloomberg)

The S&P 500 is testing resistance at 2800. Retreat below 2600 would warn of another decline.

S&P 500

Volatility remains high, however, and a 21-day Volatility trough above 1.0% would signal a bear market.

S&P 500 Volatility

10-Year Treasury yields are testing support at 2.60% and a Trend Index peak below zero warns of buying pressure from investors (yields fall as prices rise). Two factors are driving yields lower: investors seeking safety and the Fed walking back its hawkish stance on interest rates.

10-Year Treasury Yield

It is likely that the bear market will continue for the foreseeable future. The strength of the next correction will confirm or refute this.

Men naturally despise those who court them, but respect those who do not give way to them.

~ Thucydides (460 – 400 B.C.)