On a Knife-Edge

On a Knife-Edge

S&P 500 recaptured 4,700s on little change in market breadth and ever so slowly coming back to life HYG. Credit markets made a risk-on move, but HYG isn‘t leading the charge on a medium-term basis in the least – it‘s improving, but the stiff headwinds in bonds are being felt. Given the CPI discussed at length on Friday, it‘s still a relative success. Make no mistake though, time is running short in this topping process, and trouble is going to strike earliest after the winter Olympics.

Global economic activity might be peaking here, and liquidity around the world is shrinking already – copper isn‘t too fond of that. The Fed might attempt to double the monthly pace of tapering to $30bn next, but I doubt how far they would be able to get at such a pace. Inflation and contraction in economic growth are going to be midterms‘ hot potatoes, and monetary policy change might be attempted. Tough choices for the Fed missed the boat in tapering by more than a few months. 2022 is going to be tough as we‘ll see more tapering, market-forced rate hikes (perhaps as many as 2-3 – how much closer would yield curve control get then?), higher taxes and higher oil prices.

Stocks are still likely to deliver more gains in spite of all the negative divergences to bonds or other indices (hello, Russell 2000). Copper would be my indicator as to how far further we have to go before GDP growth around the world peaks. Oil is ready for strong medium-term gains, and I‘m not looking for precious metals to yield much ground. Silver though is more vulnerable unless inflation returns to the spotlight. Cryptos do likewise have issues extending gains sharply.

All in all, volatility is making a return, and it isn‘t a good news for the bulls.

Let‘s move right into the charts (all courtesy of www.stockcharts.com).

S&P 500 and Nasdaq Outlook

On a Knife-Edge - 1

S&P 500 advance continues, and I‘m looking for ATHs to give in. It will take a while, but the balancing on a tightrope act continues.

Credit Markets

On a Knife-Edge - 2

HYG strength didn‘t convince, but it didn‘t disappoint either – the constellation remains conducive to further stock market gains. So far and still conducive.

Gold, Silver and Miners

On a Knife-Edge - 3

Precious metals are stronger than miners, and the lackluster, sideways performance is likely to continue for now – fresh Fed policy mistake is awaited, and it‘s actually bullish that gold and silver aren‘t facing more trouble when the consensus expectation is faster taper.

Crude Oil

On a Knife-Edge - 4

Crude oil upswing is still struggligh at $72, and remains favored to go higher with passage of time as excess production capacity keeps shrinking while demand isn‘t being hit (no, the world isn‘t going the lockdowns route this time).

Copper

On a Knife-Edge - 5

High time copper stopped hesitating, for its sideways trading is sending a signal about future GDP growth. The jury is still out in the red metal‘s long basing pattern – a battle of positive fundamentals against shrinking liquidity and possibly slowing growth.

Bitcoin and Ethereum

On a Knife-Edge - 6

Bitcoin and Ethereum bottom searching goes on, and I suspect at least a test of Friday‘s lows is coming. I don‘t see too many signs of exuberance returning right away as Ethereum hasn‘t yet started to outperform.

Summary

  1. S&P 500 bulls continue climbing a wall of worry even if credit markets don‘t confirm entirely. Risk-on and real assets rally is likely to continue, and the road would be getting bumpier over time. The Fed won‘t overcome market expectations, and the last week of Nov (first week of balance sheet contraction) pace wouldn‘t be consistently beaten without consequences down the road. Select commodities and precious metals are already feeling the pinch, but there is no sending them to bear markets. Get ready for the twin scourge of persistent inflation and slowdown in growth to start biting increasingly more.

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Monica Kingsley

Monica Kingsley

Monica Kingsley is a trader and financial markets analyst. Checking dozens of charts daily, she integrates their messages with economics and in-depth experience. Trade calls and writing are her cup of tea as much as studies in market histories. Having been at the financial markets when the Great Recession arrived, she experienced many bull and bear markets - be it in stocks, bonds, gold and silver. Check her out at https://www.monicakingsley.co