Corporate Profit Recession


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Last week, the yield curve inverted, when the 10-year Treasury bond yield fell below the two-year Treasury bond yield. An inverted yield curve has always predicted a profits recession. Moreover, yield curve inversions have always predicted slower economic growth or recession.

The first chart below is an SPX 2 1/2 year weekly chart. Major support levels are the previous four-year high at 1,246, middle of weekly Bollinger Band at 1,230, and there are several support levels around 1,200, i. e. Price-by-Volume bar, lower line of the rising wedge, and lower weekly Bollinger Band. Also, 1,200 may be psychological support.

Major resistance is the multi-year Fibonacci level at 1,253, and the falling 20-day MA, currently at 1,262. Also, SPX fell below the December low at 1,249 Friday and that became resistance throughout the day. The chart suggests SPX will fall to the lower line of the rising wedge within three months, i. e. to 1,200.

Normally, the first two days in January are bullish (although, the market fell sharply over the first two days of last January). So, if SPX rises to around 1,260, next week, that may be an opportunity to buy SPX puts. However, a break below 1,246 may accelerate selling to 1,230, which may be an opportunity to buy calls.

Monday is a holiday. Economic reports next week are: Tuesday-Construction Spending, ISM Index, and FOMC Minutes, Wednesday-Factory Orders, and Auto Sales, Thursday-Unemployment Claims, ISM Services, and Oil Inventories, and Friday-Nonfarm Payrolls, Hourly Earnings, and the Unemployment Rate.

Some holiday retail sales data will be reported next week. Earnings season starts the week after next. However, the inverted yield curve may dampen optimism about future earnings. Also, the FOMC meets January 31st and Bernanke will replace Greenspan. Moreover, OPEC meets in late January.

The next FOMC meeting will be critical for both the stock and bond markets. If the FOMC tightens again January 31st, I suspect, the stock market will fall and the yield curve will invert further, i. e. short-term yields will rise more than long-term yields, since bond yields are not much higher than the Fed Funds Rate.

However, if the FOMC pauses, that would immediately boost the stock market, while the yield curve would steepen, i. e. short-term yields will rise less than long-term yields. Regardless, after the next FOMC meeting, bond yields should rise. So, TLT (long-bond ETF) may be a short. The similar same period second chart indicates resistance at upper Bollinger Band.

If low and inverted yields persist in January, the stock market may fall into the FOMC meeting, while TLT rises (and bond yields fall further). Consequently, the performance of TLT (and long-bond yields) may predict the stock market, over the next few months. However, it may be a rocky January for financial markets, until there's greater clarity from the Fed.

Charts available at Forum Index Market Overview section.

Arthur Albert Eckart is the founder and owner of PeakTrader . Arthur has worked for commercial banks, e. g. Wells Fargo, Banc One, and First Commerce Technologies, during the 1980s and 1990s. He has also worked for Janus Funds from 1999-00. Arthur Eckart has a BA & MA in Economics from the University of Colorado. He has worked on options portfolio optimization since 1998.

Mr Eckart has developed a comprehensive trading methodology using economics, portfolio optimization, and technical analysis to maximize return and minimize risk at the same time and over time. This methodology has resulted in excellent returns with low risk over the past four years.


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