Summary: The Nasdaq closed at a new all-time high (ATH) on Friday. It has risen 6 days in a row. A number of studies suggest that it should continue to rise further, and that SPX should follow it, probably also to a new ATH. That is the near term set up as equities enter March options expiration week.
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Last Friday's 2% intraday turnaround continued this past week. US equities gained 4% (from Alphatrends). Enlarge any chart by clicking on it.
Summary: The macro data from the past month continues to mostly point to positive growth. On balance, the evidence suggests the imminent onset of a recession is unlikely.
The bond market agrees with the macro data. The yield curve has 'inverted' (10 year yields less than 2-year yields) ahead of every recession in the past 40 years (arrows). The lag between inversion and the start of the next recession has been long: at least a year and in several instances as long as 2-3 years. On this basis, the current expansion will likely last through 2018 at a minimum. Enlarge any image by clicking on it.
Summary: The long term trend in US equities remains firmly higher. Expectations should be for equities to rise in the months ahead. The near term directional edge is more muted. Worldwide, equities are in the process of retesting their February lows. The US is being held up mostly by technology and financial stocks. Whether the US follows the rest of the world lower is largely dependent on politics: specifically, whether trade war rhetoric evolves from saber rattling to reality. March and the upcoming OpX week are a strong seasonal tailwind.
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After falling 12% from their January high, and then bouncing 10% from their February low, equities fell 5% during the past week. A 2% turnaround on Friday eased some of the losses, with SPX closing down 2% for the week (from Alphatrends). Enlarge any chart by clicking on it.