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Gary Townsend - Since 2007, a founding partner, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Hill-Townsend Capital LLC, a long/short equity financial sector fund based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Mr. Townsend has 30 years banking, regulatory, and investment experience. He started his business career in 1978, as... More
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  • U.S. Futures Advance; China Improves After Injection; Europe Edges Higher 0 comments
    Jan 21, 2014 9:21 AM | about stocks: DOW, DD

    This morning. Today, U.S. equity futures suggest moderate opening gains. In Asia, equity indexes closed higher, as Shanghai improved after Monday's weakness, largely on market liquidity concerns. In Europe, bourses are modestly higher. The DAX closed Friday at another record high. Wednesday's Nikkei 225 March 2014 (NKH4) equity futures are up +0.443%.

    This morning, economic reporting is light worldwide. News focuses on Chinese monetary authority's action to inject liquidity into short-term debt markets. The financials, the focus of last week's earnings reports, well exceeded consensus expectations on both earnings and revenues. This week's earnings focus turns to the industrials. Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) disappointed. DuPont (NYSE:DD) surprised positively. Otherwise, commentary focuses on the U.S. bond markets, which have weakened from Friday's close, and currency and commodity price developments.

    Friday, U.S. equity markets closed mixed. The DJ Industrials (Private:DJI) rose +0.25%, while the Nasdaq, S&P 500 (SPX), and NYSE composite fell -0.50%, -0.39%, and -0.32%, respectively. The DJ Transports (TRAN) fell -0.39%. On options expiration, NYSE volume rose +36.5% to 1.30x the 15-day moving average. The U.S. equity market outlook is "confirmed uptrend". The uptrend commenced on September 8th.

    Trading desks described a busier session, in which (despite earnings reports) attention focused more on improving macro factors. Action was consistent with the consolidation activity seen through this month. With SPX equities trading at a full 16.7x 2013 earnings multiple, attention focuses on 2014 earnings and valuations (16.7x times survey $118.08 2014 SPX operating earnings suggests a 1971.03 SPX level next year, a +7.20% rise).

    Technicals were little changed. Most SPX market segments closed lower. Market breadth was negative, and up volume lagged down volume. Volatility fell. Treasury bond markets strengthened. The U.S. Treasury 10-year bond yield fell -2.20 bps to 2.8194%, compared to 2.8414% at the prior close.

    This morning, 10-year U.S. Treasury yields are up +1.48 bps at 2.8194%, compared to the prior close. Spanish and Italian 10-year debt yields are 3.72% and 3.82%, respectively, compared to 3.69% and 3.80% the prior day. The U.S. dollar is mixed. The Japanese yen is modestly weaker.

    U.S. options markets are unchanged at neutral to bullish, compared to neutral to bullish the prior day. The CBOE SKEW rose +2.40% to 139.62, compared to 136.35 the prior day, above a neutral range (115-120), and above 130, which generally correlates well with market tops.

    In pre-market futures trading, March SPX equity futures (SPH4) price near the top of a 1833-1843 trading range. After a fair value adjustment of -1.65 points, SPX equity futures price at 1841.75, up +9.15 points. The SPX opens +0.20% above its 20-day moving average, and +1.72%, +4.76%, and +8.42% above its respective 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. Initial resistance is 1844.75. Initial support is 1833.94, then 1829.18.

    In Asia, equity markets closed higher. The Nikkei 225 index (NYSEARCA:NKY) closed up +0.99%. The Hang Sang index (HSI) rose +0.45%, and the Shanghai composite (SHCOMP) rose +0.86% from Monday's oversold condition. Last week, indexes ended mixed, but at least -1.62% lower in 2014. The indexes closed mixed in December. All closed higher in November. The NKY and HSI are bull markets. Today's volumes are unavailable.

    Economic reporting was light. Commentary focused on commodities, currency, and earnings developments. The Japanese yen weakened modestly. In China, short-term interbank lending rates fell sharply as monetary officials added liquidity. 7-day Shibo rates declined to 6.36%, from 5.53% the prior day.

    Regional relative strength indexes (RSI) suggest that Japanese and Hong Kong equities are in a neutral (30-70) range, while Chinese equity markets remain oversold. The NKY RSI rose to 52.38, compared to 49.01 the prior day. The HSI RSI ended at 49.34, compared to 46.30 the prior day. The SHCOMP's RSI improved to 33.19, compared to 26.67 the prior session, which was below the prior recent 27.45 December 20th low. On June 27, 2013, the index's RSI fell to a low of 15.27, which was also last year's low index close.

    This week, the NKY and SHCOMP are up +0.39% and +0.17%, respectively, while the HSI is down -0.43%. Last week, NKY closed down -1.12%, the HSI closed up +1.26%, and the SHCOMP closed down -0.41%. In January, the NKY is down -3.04%, and the HSI and SHCOMP are down -1.17% and -5.09%, respectively. In December, the NKY rose +4.02%. The HSI and SHCOMP closed down -2.41% and -4.71%, respectively.

    In 2014, the NKY is down -3.04%. The HSI and SHCOMP are down -1.17% and -5.09%, respectively. In 2013, the NKY rose +56.7%. The HSI closed up +2.87%. The SHCOMP closed down -6.75%. In 2012, the NKY rose +1.37%. The HSI rose +22.9%. The SHCOMP rose +3.17%.

    In Japan, the NKY closed at 15,795.96, compared to 15,734.46 the prior day and -59.4% below its late-1989 38,915.87 high close. The index gapped higher to open above 15,700 and rose to a mid-session 15,894.68 intraday high. The index eased through the afternoon, narrowing gains. The index closed -0.12% below its 20-day moving average, but +2.61%, +6.78%, and +10.6% above its respective 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. Most market segments closed higher. Leaders were consumer services, health care, and technology, which rose at least +1.22%. Financials rose +0.77%. Laggards were consumer goods, which rose +0.41%, and oil and gas and utilities, which fell at least -0.29%.

    In China, the HSI closed at 23,033.12, compared to 22,928.95 at the prior day close. The index closed -3.67% below its recent December 3rd 23,910.47 high, but +26.7% above its 18,185.59 June 4, 2012 low. The index opened at 23,040 and rallied to an early afternoon 23,139.65 intraday high, but weakened through the afternoon. Market segments closed mixed. Leaders were consumer goods, financials, and telecommunications, which rose at least +0.64%. Laggards were industrials, consumer services, and oil and gas, which fell at least -0.73%.

    In Shanghai, the SHCOMP closed at 2,008.31, compared to 1,991.25 at the prior close, a slender +2.99% above the 1,950.01 June 27th close, last year's low. The index rallied to an early 2,014.03 intraday high, then traded narrowly through the close. All market segments closed at least +0.09% higher. Leaders were consumer services, technology, and telecommunications, which rose at least +1.58%. Laggards were basic materials, financials, and oil and gas.

    In Europe, the major equity indexes are modestly higher, while Milan and Madrid are mixed. Intraday, the DAX trades at a record high. The Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +0.35%, +0.10%, +0.22%, +0.31%, and +0.39%, respectively. Last week, the indexes closed at least +1.31% higher. They are at least +0.94% higher in January. All closed higher in December.

    European bourses have recently outperformed U.S. equity indexes. Euro Stoxx50 relative strength (RSI) is 64.03, up from 63.28 at the prior close, and much better than December 13th's oversold 32.71. Its lowest recent RSI level was 25.77 on June 24th, which marked the year's 2,494.54 closing low.

    Today, the Euro Stoxx50 trades at 3,164.12, -0.15% below its 3,168.76 January 15th post-2008 high close, and -39.7% below its 5,249.55 March 31, 2000, all-time closing high. The index opened slightly higher and set a late-morning 3,170.30 intraday high, but then eased slightly. Most market segments are higher. Leaders are consumer goods, basic materials, and financials, which are at least +0.37% higher. Laggards are industrials, utilities, and technology, which are down at least -0.10%.

    This week, the Euro Stoxx 50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +0.32%, +0.22%, +0.20%, and +0.12%, respectively. The prior week, the Euro Stoxx 50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX closed up +0.97%, +0.14%, +0.07%, and +0.40%, respectively. In January, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +1.77%, +1.41%, +0.94%, and +2.12%, respectively. In December, the Euro Soxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX closed up +0.72%, +1.48%, +0.02%, and +1.56%, respectively. In 2013, the indexes closed up +18.0%, +14.4%, +18.0%, and +25.5%, respectively, compared to +13.8%, +5.84%, +15.2%, and +29.1% the prior year.

    4Q2013 SPX Earnings. Of 57 (of 499) reporting companies, 37 or 64.9% surprised positively on earnings, with an average +7.65% surprise average. Of reporting companies, 38 or 66.7% reported sales or revenues above estimates. The average sales/revenue surprise is +1.11%. Financials lead with +13.8% EPS and +2.06% revenue surprises.

    Valuation. The SPX trades at 16.7x estimated 2013 earnings ($110.15), 15.6x estimated 2014 earnings ($118.08), 14.0x estimated 2015 earnings ($131.31), and 12.6x estimated 2016 earnings ($146.00). The 10-year average median price/earnings multiple is 15.9x. Analysts expect 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 earnings to grow +6.52%, +14.2%, +11.1%, and 11.3%, respectively.

    The BKX trades at 16.3x 2012 adjusted EPS ($4.32), 12.6x estimated 2013 earnings ($5.60), 11.4x estimated 2014 earnings ($6.16), and 10.0x 2015 earnings ($7.03). Analysts expect 2013, 2014, and 2015 EPS will grow +29.5%, +10.1%, and +14.0%, respectively.

    Composite, index, and equity options. Options markets are unchanged at neutral to bullish, compared to neutral to bullish the prior session. Composite options are bullish, index options are bullish, and equity options are neutral. The composite put/call ratio is 0.70, compared to 0.78 the prior day, and better than 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.73 and 0.72, respectively. The index put/call ratio is 0.77, compared to 0.88 the prior day, and worse than its 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.77 and 0.81, respectively. The equity put/call ratio closed the day at 0.69, compared to 0.74 the prior day, and worse than its 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.71 and 0.69, respectively.

    NYSE Volume, Breadth Indicators. Volume rose +36.5% to 893.13 million shares, compared to 654.11 million shares the prior day, 1.30x the 686.82 million shares 20-day moving average. Market breadth was negative, and up volume lagged down volume. Advancing stocks led by -552 (compared to +492 the prior day), or 0.69:1. Up volume was 0.52:1 down volume.

    Distribution day count and market outlook. The market outlook is "confirmed uptrend". The current uptrend commenced on September 9th, when the SPX opened at 1655.17, with a subsequent gain of +11.5%. The distribution count is 8 for the DJI, and 7 on the SPX, NYSE composite, and Nasdaq.

    Libor, LOIS, Currencies, Treasuries, Commodities:

    · USD LIBOR is 0.08960%, compared to 0.08860% the prior day. USD 3-month LIBOR is 0.23660%, down from 0.23710% the prior day, and compares to the January 4, 2013, recent peak of 0.58250%.

    · The US Libor-OIS (LOIS) spread is 16.060 bps, compared to 15.310 bps the prior day, and compares to the recent June 12, 2012, 46.785 bps high. Euribor-OIS is 10.200 bps, up from 11.200 bps the prior day, and down from the December 27, 2011, high of 98.800 bps. Moves in the LOIS indicate changes in intra-bank lending risk premiums.

    · The 3-month Euro basis swap is -2.543, compared to -1.705 bps the prior day, up from a trough of -147.00 bps on December 14, 2011, but far better than a normal -10 bps and -40 bps range.

    · Spanish 10-year debt yields are 3.72%, up from 3.69% the prior day. Italian 10-year debt yields are at 3.82%, compared to 3.80% the prior day. German 10-year debt yields are 1.75%, compared to 1.74% the prior day. Japanese 10-year debt yields are 0.69%, compared to 0.67% the prior day.

    · The U.S. government overnight repo rate is +3 bps, compared to +3 bps the prior day. The January 2, 2013, 45 bps rate was the highest since late 2008. The record -2 bps low was on October 22, 2013.

    · U.S. Treasury yields are slightly higher, with 2- and 10-year maturities yielding 0.380% and 2.851%, respectively, compared to 0.371% and 2.819% Friday. The yield curve widened +2.310 bps, with the 2- to 10-year spread at +2.471%, compared to 2.448% the prior day. In the past year, the 2- and 10-year spread varied from a low of +1.429% on May 1, 2013, to a high of +2.648% on December 31, 2013.

    · The U.S. dollar is slightly stronger compared to the Japanese yen, euro, and British pound. The dollar trades at US$81.362, compared to a US$81.388 intraday high and US$81.225 the prior day, and mixed compared to its $80.607 50-day, US$80.551 100-day, and US$81.472 200-day averages. The euro trades at US$1.3522, compared to a US$1.3517 intraday low and US$1.3552 the prior day. The euro trades worse compared to its US$1.3630 50-day and US$1.3572 100-day averages, and compares to a multi-year low of US$1.1877 on June 7, 2010. In Japan, the dollar trades at ¥104.68, compared to ¥104.18 the prior day. The yen trades worse than its 50-day moving average ¥103.16, but better than its January 1st 105.31 closing low, its weakest prior multi-year closing low.

    · Citigroup Economic Surprise Index worsened to 64.70, compared to 66.60 the prior day. The index is worse compared to its respective +68.70 5-day and +66.34 10-day moving averages. The index turned positive on February 25th and moved to a March 25th high of 30.20, but turned negative again on May 6th and fell to a low of -32.90 on June 10th. The index improved and turned positive on July 30th and rose to 53.30 on October 1st, but subsequently fell on dollar weakness to -2.10 on October 31st. It has subsequently consistently strengthened. After a lag, the CESIUSD correlates with EPS revisions.

    · Commodities prices are mixed, with higher energy, lower precious metals, lower aluminum and copper, and mostly lower agriculture prices.

    Volatility, Skew:

    · The CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX) closed at 12.44, down -0.72%, from 12.53 at the prior close. The VIX is -4.56% below the 13.04 20-day moving average. Its 30-day high is 16.75. Its 30-day low is 11.69. The index's all-time closing low is 9.31 on December 22, 1993. The long-term average is 20.14.

    · The Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index (V2X) is 16.09, up +0.26% from 15.74 at the prior day's close. The V2X index trades -5.79% below its 17.08 20-day moving average, -15.6% below the 19.07 30-day high, and +9.16% above the 14.74 30-day low.

    · The Hang Seng volatility index (VHSI) closed at 14.48, up +4.48% from 13.87 the prior day. The VHSI index trades -2.58% below its 14.86 20-day moving average. Its lowest historical close was 11.72, on June 30, 2005.

    · CBOE SKEW (SKEW) rose +2.40% to 139.62, compared to 1136.35 the prior day, above a neutral (115-120) range and above 130, a level which correlates well with market tops. The recent high was a record 143.20 on December 20th. Its recent low was 112.47 on May 25, 2013. Spikes in excess of 130 correlate well with short-term market tops, though not in October or November. The prior record high was 139.25, on March 12, 2012. The index rarely falls below 110, last on July 31, 2009. The index correlates with market tail risks, the cost of buying out-of-the-money, long-dated options, i.e., options not affected by expirations. A rise suggests that investors are buying more puts than calls, a bearish signal.

    U.S. Economic Reporting and News:

    · None.

    Overseas Economic Reporting and News:

    · Japan - December YoY supermarket sales fell -0.8%, compared to +0.7% prior.

    · Eurozone - January ZEW survey expectations were 73.3, compared to 68.3 prior.

    · German - January ZEW survey expectations were 61.7, compared to 64.0 survey and 62.0 prior.

    · United Kingdom - January CBI business optimism was 21, compared to 25.0 survey and 24.0 prior.

    Company Ratings/News:

    • SBNY - Reports 4Q2013 adjusted EPS of $1.34, compared to the $1.27 estimate. Revenues were $184.343 million, compared to $181.462 million estimate.

    Friday's Trade. With the month's options expiration, volume was greater and above, and U.S. equity markets closed mixed. The DJI rose +0.25%, while the SPX, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite, fell -0.39%, -0.50%, and -0.32%, respectively.

    The U.S. equity market outlook is "confirmed uptrend". The uptrend commenced on September 8th.

    Market breadth was negative, with gainers 0.69:1 losing stocks. Most SPX market segments closed lower.

    On options expiration, NYSE volume rose +36.5% to 893.13 million shares, compared to 654.11 million shares the prior day, 1.30x the 686.82 million share 20-day moving average volume. On the day, bond markets strengthened. The U.S. 10-year yield opened at 2.8414%, traded to 2.8581% by mid-afternoon, but then fell sharply to the close. The rate ended at 2.8194%, down -2.20 bps compared to the prior close.

    From its prior day 1845.89 close, SPX futures suggested moderate opening losses. The index opened below 1844 and slipped to a mid-morning 1840 low before finding support. The index rallied to breakeven in early afternoon, then slipped through the afternoon to a late 1835.23 intraday low. The index ended at 1838.70. The index closed +71.1% above the 1074.77 October 4, 2011, intraday low.

    The DJ Transportation index (TRAN) fell -0.39%, compared to the DJI's +0.25% gain. From its prior 7,503.83 close, the TRAN gapped lower and set an early 7,404.93 intraday low, then trended higher to a mid-afternoon 7,452.26 intraday high. The index closed at 7,427.46. Volume rose +22.3% to 1.47:1 average 15-day volume. The TRAN closed +0.98% and +2.73% above its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages, and +6.92% and +12.0% above its respective 100- and 200-day moving averages.

    Market volatility rose, as the VIX ended at 12.44, down -0.72% from 12.53 at the prior close. Despite a weaker market, the VIX fell in early trading to a late morning 12.04 intraday low, and only recovered the prior close in early afternoon. The index rose to a late 12.93 intraday high, but fell sharply into the close. The VIX closed -4.56% below the 13.04 20-day moving average. The VIX's all-time closing low was 9.31, on December 22, 1993.

    The broader market's technical factors were little changed. All exchanges closed above the 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. SPX relative strength (RSI) eased to 56.49, compared to 60.34 the prior day, in a neutral range. The RSI is down from an overbought 71.26 on December 31st, when the SPX closed at its record high, but up from an oversold 39.19 on October 9th. The CBOE put/call skew rose +2.40% to 139.62, compared to 136.35 the prior day, well above a neutral 115-120 range, and above 130, which correlates well with short-term market tops.

    Last week, the DJI and Nasdaq closed up +0.13% and +0.55%, respectively, while the SPX and NYSE composite closed are down -0.20% and -0.65%. The prior week, the SPX, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +0.60%, +1.03%, and +0.72%, respectively, while the DJI closed off -0.20%. In January, the Nasdaq is up +0.50%, while the SPX, DJI and NYSE composite are down -0.52%, -0.71%, and -0.55%, respectively. In December, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +2.36%, +3.05%, +2.87%, and +2.13%, respectively.

    In 2013, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +29.6%, +26.5%, +38.2%, +23.2%, respectively. All closed at least +5.91% higher in 2012.

    KBW Bank Index (BKX). On greater and above average volume, the BKX closed at 70.31, down -0.34% from 70.55 at the prior day's close, its 7th close above 70.0 in the past 8 sessions. After strong Morgan Stanley earnings, the index initially traded higher to an early 70.88 intraday high, but reversed lower by mid-afternoon to a late 70.19 intraday low. Volume rose +72.1% to 89.340 million shares, compared to 51.906 million shares the prior day, 1.73x the 51.635 million share 15-day moving average.

    Large cap banks underperformed the regional banks, as the KBW regional banking index (KRX) rose +0.52%.

    Last week, the BKX closed down -0.65%, compared to the prior week's +1.87% gain. In January, the BKX is up +1.52%. In December, the BKX rose +2.18%. In 2013, the BKX rose +35.1%, better than the SPX's +29.6% rise. In 2012, the index rose +18.1%, compared to a +13.4% rise in the SPX.

    The BKX is now +18.8% better than the June 24th 59.19 close, its worst since May 13th. The index crossed above 50 on December 17, 2012, 60 on May 15, 2013, and 70 on January 8, 2014. The BKX closed +115.9% above the 32.56 intraday low on October 4, 2011. Large-cap bank stocks have outperformed the broader market's rebound, with the SPX up +71.1% in the same period.

    The BKX index closed -41.9% below its February 20, 2007, record 121.06 high. The BKX is up +277.6% from its 18.62 March 6, 2009, closing low.

    Technical indicators were little changed. The index closed +0.92% and +3.57% above its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages. The index closed +6.98% and +10.7% above its respective 100- and 200-day moving averages. The 20-day moving average rose +12 bps to 69.67. The 67.89 50-day moving average rose +12 bps. Its 100-day moving average rose +6 bps to 65.72, and the 200-day moving average rose +8 bps to 63.54. The 20-day closed (by +1.78 points) below the 50-day, and the gap fell -1 bp. The 50-day moving average closed (by +4.35 points) above the 200-day moving average, and the gap widened +5 bps. The 100-day moving average closed (by +2.18 points) above the 200-day moving average, and the gap narrowed -2 bps.

    The directional movement indicator narrowed to +14.227, compared to 16.516 the prior day, its 20th consecutive positive reading. Relative strength fell to 59.41, compared to 61.81 the prior day, in a neutral range and down from an overbought 71.88 and 75.56 in the prior week's final two days. The lowest most recent RSI level was 31.08 on November 14, 2012, which is also the date of the BKX's 2012 closing low. Next resistance is 70.73; next support is at 70.04.

    Price and Selling Exhaustion/Trend Reversal (based on TD sequential):

    S&P 500 Index (SPX) - On a monthly basis, the SPX initiated a buy setup in June 2008, with the month's 1404.05 high setting the resistance level. The setup perfected at 735.09 in February 2009. A sell setup ensued in May 2009. In September 2010, a follow-on setup began. The May 2009 setup perfected in January 2010. Its countdown completed in January 2012, closing at 1312.41 and setting a 1429.36 risk level. The follow-on setup perfected in May 2011. In March 2012, the index closed at 1408.47, above resistance, suggesting further upside. In September 2012, the index closed at 1440.67, above the 1429.36 risk level and suggesting the likelihood of further upside. In October and November, the index closed below the risk level, but above support. Also, the follow-on countdown rose to 8 in September 2012, but hasn't subsequently progressed. In August 2012, the index initiated a new sell setup, which perfected in April 2013. In May, the sell countdown stemming with the May 2011 perfection completed, setting a risk level of 1793.08, based on May's 105.90 range and 1687.18 high. In December, the index closed up +2.36% at 1848.36, compared to 1805.81 the prior month and 1632.97 four months prior. The May 2013 sell countdown progressed to 6. The index closed +3.08% above the risk level.

    On a weekly basis, on January 4th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected the week ending March 1. On August 2nd, the March 1st sell countdown completed and set a 1737.48 risk level, based on the week's 27.81 point range and 1709.67 high. The week ending August 16th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. On September 13th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell countdown which completed on November 8th and initiated a sell countdown. In the week ending January 17th, the index fell -0.20% to 1838.70, compared to 1842.37 the prior week and its 1818.32 close four weeks prior. The December 20th sell setup progressed to 5. The November 8th 8 sell countdown is unchanged since January 3rd. The index closed +5.83% above the 1737.48 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on October 22nd, the SPX completed the September 16th sell countdown and set a 1774.00 risk level, based on the day's 12.85 high/low range and 1759.33 intraday high. Also, the October 10th sell setup perfected, initiating a sell countdown, which completed on November 29th. The completion set a 1,823.12 risk level, based on the day's 9.57 point range and 1803.98 intraday high. On December 11, 2013, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. December 31st, the December 18th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On January 14th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On Friday, the SPX fell -0.39% to 1838.70, compared to 1845.89 the prior day and 1819.20 4 days prior. The January 14th sell setup progressed to 4. The December 31st 5 sell countdown was unchanged. The index closed +0.85% above the 1823.12 risk level.

    KBW Bank Index (BKX) - On a monthly basis, the BKX perfected a buy setup in December 2007, but has yet to complete its associated buy countdown, which is has been a deferred 13 since April 2011. That same month, the BKX initiated a buy setup, but the setup has remained unperfected since December 2011, when the index closed at 39.38. The buy countdown would complete with a close below 28.72, the February 2009 close with an 8 buy countdown. In September 2012, the index initiated a sell setup, which perfected in May 2013. In December, the index closed up +2.18% at 69.26, compared to 67.78 November-end and 62.21 four months prior. The May 2013 sell countdown progressed to 6.

    On a weekly basis, a bullish price flip occurred on July 27, 2012, and the sell setup perfected the following September 21st. Subsequent trends were weak until December 7, when the index initiated a new sell setup, which perfected on February 1, 2013. On February 22nd, the September 21st sell countdown completed and set a 56.93 risk level. On July 19th, the February 1st sell countdown completed and set a 68.29 risk level, based on the day's 2.24 point range and 66.05 intraday high. On October 18th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on December 20th. For the week ending January 17th, the BKX closed down -0.65% at 70.31, compared to 70.77 the prior week and 68.35 four weeks prior. The December 20th sell countdown progressed to 4. The index closed +2.96% above the 68.29 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on August 8th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which completed on August 19th and initiated a buy countdown. On September 16th, the September 4th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. The October 22nd, the October 10th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On November 8th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on November 21st, initiating a sell countdown with completed on December 16th. The completion set a 69.11 risk level. On December 31st, the December 17th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On January 2nd, the October 22nd sell countdown completed and set a 69.69 risk level. On January 17th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. Friday, the index fell -0.34% to 70.31, compared to 70.55 the prior day and 69.85 four days prior. The December 31st 8 sell countdown was unchanged. The index closed +1.02% above the 69.69 risk level.

    CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX) - On a monthly basis, the VIX perfected a sell setup in October 2007. The associated sell countdown progressed to a deferred 13 in June 2012, but is subsequently unchanged. In May a bullish flip initiated a sell countdown. The VIX ended December down -0.15% at 13.72, compared to 13.70 at the end of November and 17.01 at the end of August. The bearish index flip canceled a 1 sell setup and initiated a buy setup.

    On a weekly basis, the VIX perfected a buy setup on January 27, 2012, and a sell setup on June 8th, followed by another perfected buy setup on August 10th. On April 12th, the VIX completed the buy countdown associated with the August 10th, setup, which also established a 9.17 risk level. The week ending January 17th, the VIX rose +2.47% to 12.44, compared to 12.14 the prior week, and 13.79 4 weeks prior. The December 27th buy setup progressed to 4. The index closed +35.7% above the 9.17 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on May 20th a bullish flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on May 31st and initiated a sell countdown. On June 26th, a bearish flip initiated a buy countdown, which perfected on July 9th, when a sell countdown was initiated. On September 13th, the September 4th buy setup perfected. On September 18th, a bearish flip initiated a buy setup. On September 20th, the July 9th buy countdown completed. On October 10th, a bearish index flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on October 22nd. The associated sell countdown commenced on October 23rd, which completed on December 26th and set a 10.88 risk level. On January 16th, the bullish index flip initiated a sell setup. Friday, the VIX fell -0.72% to 12.44, compared to 12.53 the prior day and 13.28 at the 4 days' prior close. The bearish rate flip canceled the January 15th 2 sell setup and initiated a buy setup. The VIX closed +14.3% above the 10.88 risk level.

    U.S. 10-year Bond Index (USGG10YR) - On a monthly basis, the USGG10YR began a downward trend from 5.0506% in May 2006, perfecting a sell setup in April 2008 (at 3.7295%) and completing the associated buy countdown in June 2011 (at 3.1600%), when it produced a 1.1121% risk factor. A subsequent 9 buy setup perfected in May 2012, with the rate at 1.5578%. In September 2012, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. The rate ended December 2013 up +28.37 bps at 3.0282%, compared to 2.7445% the prior month and 2.7839% 4 months prior. The May 2013 sell setup perfected and initiated a sell setup.

    On a weekly basis, Trends were weak until a May 3rd bullish rate flip (at 1.7382%) initiated a sell setup, which perfected on June 28th, when the rate ended at 2.4857%. On October 18th, the February 1st sell countdown completed, setting a 3.2260% risk level, based on the September 6th weekly 22.110 bps range and 3.0050% intraweek high. On November 8th, a bullish rate flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on January 3rd. The week of January 10th, a bearish rate flip initiated a buy setup. For the week ended January 17th, the rate fell -3.85 bps to 2.8194%, compared to 2.8579% the prior Friday and 2.8886% four weeks prior. The January 10th buy setup progressed to 2. The June 28th 11 sell countdown is unchanged since January 3rd. The rate closed -40.60 bps below the 3.2260% risk level.

    On a daily basis, on June 24th, the May 20th sell countdown completed, setting a 2.8150% risk level, based on the June 24th 15.03 bps trading range and 2.6647% intraday high. On September 24th, the September 11th buy setup perfected. On December 31st, the December 18th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On January 9th, a bearish rate flip initiated a buy setup. On Friday, the rate fell -2.20 bps to 2.8194%, compared to 2.8414% the prior day and 2.8257% four days prior. The January 9th buy setup progressed to 7. The December 31st 3 sell countdown is unchanged since January 15th. The rate closed +0.44 bps above the 2.8150% risk level.

    EURUSD Spot Exchange Rate (EURUSD Cross) - On a monthly basis, Euro Dollar cross perfected a buy setup on May 30, 2008, at 1.554. Subsequent monthly trends were weak until December 31, 2009, when a monthly decline of -4.56% brought the index to 1.4321. The downward move continued until July 2010, when from 1.2238, the index rose +7.10%, with an unperfected buy setup in August 2010. The index failed to establish much strong upward momentum, however, peaking at the end of April 2011 at 1.4807, but then trending lower to retest the July 2010 lows. In March, a bearish price initiated a buy setup. The cross ended December up +1.12% at 1.3743, compared to 1.3591 the prior month and 1.3222 4 months prior. The July 2013 sell setup progressed to 6. The 9 buy countdown progressed is unchanged since March 2013.

    On a weekly basis, on September 27th, the April 12th sell countdown completed, setting a 1.4008 risk level. On December 27th, a bearish rate flip initiated a buy setup. The week of January 17th, the index fell -0.94% to end at 1.3541, compared to 1.3670 the prior week and 1.3673 4 weeks prior. The December 27th buy setup progressed to 3. The cross closed -3.42% below the 1.4008 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on July 10th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on July 22nd. On September 16th, the July 2nd sell countdown completed. On September 19th, the September 9th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On October 28th, the October 16th sell setup perfected. On November 8th, the October 29th buy setup perfected and initiated a buy countdown. On January 15th, a bullish price flip initiated a buy setup. With Monday's +0.08% higher close, the EURUSD cross ended at 1.3552, compared to 1.3541 the prior day and 1.3605 four days prior. The January 15th buy setup progressed to 4. The November 8th buy countdown remains an uncompleted 13. The cross closed -0.21% above the 1.3580 risk level.

    Euro Stoxx 50 (SX5E) - On a monthly basis, the Euro Stoxx50 perfected a sell setup on May 31, 2007. It perfected a buy setup on September 30, 2008. The buy countdown completed in May 2012. A bullish price flip in August 2012 initiated a sell setup, which perfected in May 2013 and initiated a sell countdown. In December, the index closed up +0.60% at 3,105.22, compared to 3,086.64 the prior month and 2,721.37 four months prior. The July 31st sell setup progressed to 6. The May 2013 sell countdown progressed to 5.

    On a weekly basis, a November 23, 2012, bullish price flip initiated a sell setup that perfected January 18, 2013. On August 16th, the January 19th sell countdown completed and set a 2,909.37 risk level, based on the August 16th week's 53.48 range and 2,855.89 intraweek high. The week of September 13th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup which perfected on November 11th, which initiated a sell countdown. The week of December 6th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. In the week ended January 17th, the index rose +1.61% to 3,154.10, compared to 3,104.15 the prior week and 3,049.35 at the 4 weeks' prior close. The December 27th sell setup progressed to 4. The November 11th sell countdown progressed to 4. The index closed +8.41% above the 2,909.37 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on September 17th, the September 5th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown, which completed on October 21st. On October 21st, the October 9th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown, which established a 3,056.96 risk level. On December 3rd, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on December 13th. On January 7th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on January 17th. Monday, the index fell -0.03% to 3,153.17, compared to 3,154.10 the prior day and 3,119.53 at the prior 4 days' close. On January 20th, the bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. The index closed +3.15% above the 3,056.96 risk level.

    Nikkei 225 (NKY) - On a monthly basis, the NKY perfected a buy setup on April 30, 2009 (at 8,828.26), but subsequently traded narrowly until November, 2012, when the index rose +5.80%, following an increase of +1.50% in October, and initiated a sell setup. In July 2013, the November 2012 sell setup perfected. In September, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. In December, the index rose +4.02% to 16,291.31, compared to 15,661.87 the prior month and 13,388.86 four months prior. The September 30th sell setup progressed to 4. The sell countdown associated with the July 2013 perfection progressed to 2.

    On a weekly basis, the NKY perfected a sell setup on March 9th, and a subsequent buy setup on June 1st with a countdown of 8. The index initiated a sell setup on October 26th, and on December 21st, the sell setup perfected. Notably, on December 28th, the index closed at 10,395.18, +2.01% above 10,190.35 resistance (its April 4th weekly high), suggesting further upside. The sell countdown associated with the December 21st perfection completed April 5th and set a 14,645.46 risk level, based on the 1,419.84 point range on that day and 13,225.62 intraday high. On January 10th, the November 15th sell setup perfected. For the week ending January 17th, the index closed down -1.12% at 15,734.46, compared to 15,912.06 the prior week and 15,870.42 four weeks prior. The bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. The index closed +8.65% above the 14,645.46 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on September 2nd a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on September 12th. The associated sell countdown initiated on September 18th. On October 10th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On October 22nd, the September 18th sell countdown completed and set a risk level of 14,935.79. On November 21st, the November 11th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On December 26th, the November 21st sell countdown completed and set a 16,362.09 risk level. On January 14th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. Tuesday, the index rose +0.99% to 15,795.96, compared to 15,641.68 the prior day and 15,808.73 four days prior. The bullish price flip canceled the January 14th 5 buy setup and initiated a sell setup. The index closed -3.46% below the 16,362.09 risk level.

    Hang Sang Index (HSI) - On a monthly basis, the HSI perfected a buy countdown on March 31, 2009, and two subsequent perfected upward setups on December 31, 2009 and May 31, 2011. In February, the index closed at 23,020.27, completing the sell countdown stemming from the May 2011 perfection. The completed countdown set a 27,194.16 risk level. A bullish price flip in September 2012 initiated a sell setup. A bearish price flip in May 2013 initiated a buy setup. In December, the index fell -2.41% to 23,306.39, compared to 23,881.29 the prior month and 21,743.10 four months prior. The September 2013 sell setup progressed to 4. The index closed -14.3% below the risk level.

    On a weekly basis, the HSI perfected a sell setup on March 2, 2012, and the associated sell countdown completed on September 21, 2012, and set a 22,357.00 risk level, based on the September 14, 2012, when it set a 22,357.00 risk level. The index perfected two sell setups on November 9th and February 1st. A buy setup initiated the following week and perfected on April 5th, initiating a sell countdown. On December 20th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. For the week ended January 17th, the index closed up +1.26% to 23,133.35, compared to 22,846.25 the prior week and 22,812.18 four weeks prior. The bullish price flip canceled the December 20th 4 buy setup and initiated a sell setup. The April 5th 11 buy countdown was unchanged. The index closed +3.47% above the 22,357.00 risk level.

    On a daily basis, on April 19th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on May 2nd and initiated a sell countdown. On June 4th, the May 23rd buy setup perfected and initiated a buy countdown. On June 20th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. On June 25th, the June 4th buy countdown completed and set a 18,860.42 risk level, which is based on the day's 565.94 trading range and 19,426.36 intraday low. On September 12th, the September 2nd sell setup perfected and on September 16th, a sell countdown initiated. On November 4th, the September 16th sell countdown completed and set a 23,991.23 risk level. On December 11th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on December 23rd. On Tuesday, the index rose +0.45% to 23,033.12, compared to 22,928.95 the prior day and 22,902.00 four days prior. The January 15th sell setup progressed to 5. The December 23rd 4 buy countdown was unchanged. The index closed -3.99% below the 23,991.23 risk level.

    Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) - On a monthly basis, the SHCOMP perfected a buy setup on September 30, 2008, and subsequently rallied to an August 31, 2009, high, but without perfecting a subsequent sell setup. In May 2011, the SHCOMP assumed a downward trend and perfected a buy setup on January 31, 2012. The perfection initiated a buy setup. In April 2013, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. In December, the index closed down -4.71% to 2,115.98, compared to 2,220.50 the prior month and 2,098.38 four months prior. The October 2013 sell setup progressed to 3. The January 2012 9 buy countdown is unchanged since July 2013.

    On a weekly basis, on December 14th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup at 2,059.47. That setup perfected on February 8th, with a 2,432.40 close, up +18.1%. On September 20th, the July 26th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On December 20th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup. On January 17th, the index closed the week down -0.41% to 2,004.95, compared to 2,013.30 the prior week and 2,084.79 four weeks prior. The December 20th buy setup progressed to 5. The September 20th 6 sell countdown is unchanged since December 6th.

    On a daily basis, On August 13th, the August 1st sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown, which perfected on October 10th. On September 3rd a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup and initiated a sell countdown. On November 28th, the October 10th sell countdown completed, setting a 2,259.57 risk level. On December 10th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on December 20th and initiated a buy countdown. On January 20th, the January 3rd buy setup perfected and initiated a buy countdown. Tuesday, the index rose +0.86% to 2,008.31, compared to 1,991.25 at the prior close and 2,023.35 4 days prior. The December 20th 11 buy countdown was unchanged. The index closed -11.1% below the 2,259.57 risk level.

    SPX, DJI, RTY, TRAN, CCMP, NYA, VIX, SKEW, NKY, EURUSD, USGG10YR, HSI, SHCOMP, SX5E, CAC, DAX, FTSE, JPY, GBP, EUR

    Stocks: DOW, DD
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