That should read widely anticipated Quantitative Easing (QE) is not enough to save the economy from a contraction in the larger credit cycle, however titles need to be catchy. And that’s basically what sparked the sell-off in stocks yesterday, reflected in a reversal of high yield bonds, which as you know we have been expecting to lead equities (hot money) lower. We were of course not disappointed in this regard, however sentiment readings still leave scope for increasing volatility (both up and down) over the next week or so, as options expiry approaches on the 20th.
Past this, it’s important to recognize the possibility the intermediate-term trend turned down yesterday (a 90% + down day), which may or may not witness follow through near term. Along these lines Cisco came out with sobering results (and forecast) last night, which could mark a distinct turn for large cap tech moving forward, possibly leading to decelerating growth prospects in the go-go sectors of the US economy, if not contraction(s). Confirmation of this would come with a break lower out of the indicated diamond found in the NASDAQ 100 / Dow Ratio pictured below. (See Figure 1)
This is the only chart I will show you today in recognition of its importance, as when this ratio does break to the downside, which could occur quite soon (within days), stocks will undoubtedly follow. Although impossible to tell with the possibility of flash crashes ever-present, with indicators in the above already at depressed levels, one should not be expecting a great deal of downside moving forward; however without a doubt the risk of a plunge through the large round number at 1,000 on the S&P 500 (SPX) is within the realm of reasonable expectations. In fact, if the head and shoulders pattern in the trade plays out, a move closer to 900 should be the result. The timing associated with such a move should correspond to seasonal lows, which as you may know, puts us at late September, or early October.
On to a brief word on precious metals now. Despite deferential selling associated with broad market(s) weakness yesterday, gold, silver, and their related equities held up quite well, especially considering the cartel has been price capping aggressively of late. The reason for this retention is due to the negative sentiment in the sector, due to broadly based deflation expectations, evidenced in rising open interest put / call ratios (discussed in a previous analysis) across the sector.
Thus, our view on precious metals has not changed despite yesterday’s events. Gold and silver could get squeezed higher into options expiry next week (on the ETF’s and stocks), with the former reaching as high as $1225, and then fall off (assuming sentiment does not become increasingly bearish) with the larger equity complex into the October time frame. (i.e. an April / May top often leads to an October / November bottom.)
(Clearly this view was far too pessimistic. In fact, now, a breakout to the upside in September appears likely for reasons we address in our regular commentaries.)
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By Captain Hook
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