financialsense.com / JEFFREY D SAUT / 03/20/2017
“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose” (Climb)
I spent last week climbing the mountains of Idaho and Utah, seeing accounts and doing presentations for our financial advisors and their clients. In my absence, the stock market did some climbing of its own as the S&P 500 (SPX/2378.25) came within five points of its all-time closing high (on an intraday basis), causing one old Wall Street wag to comment, “Can you spell double top?!” The challenge of the all-time highs came on last Wednesday’s “celebratory climb” following Ms. Yellen’s rate ratchet of 25 basis points, which occurred amid a string of softening economic statistics (sidebar: The Taylor Rule suggests the Fed is behind the curve by over 260 basis points). Despite last “Wednesday’s Win”, the SPX had no upside follow-through on Thursday, or even in Friday’s “quadruple witch twitch,” leaving it trapped in its 2350-2400 trading range that has existed since mid-February. Interestingly, given said rate rise, the 10-year T’note’s yield actually fell from Wednesday’s pre-FOMC announcement of over 2.6% into Friday’s close of ~2.5%. Almost on cue, the US Dollar Index (DXY) declined from Tuesday’s intraday high of 101.79 to close the week at 100.31. Over that same timeframe, crude oil prices rose from $47.09 to $48.78, and gold rallied from $1196.80/ounce to $1229.80. On a very short-term basis, using NO fundamental analysis and just looking at the price charts, the 10-year T’note’s yield appears to have peaked (Chart 1 on page 3), crude oil looks to have bottomed (Chart 2), gold has the appearance of a bottom (Chart 3), and the S&P 500 looks toppy (Chart 4).