Since it feels like we may be at a major turning point in the markets, I thought it'd be useful to review our current outlook with regards to the various key markets. As always, please take these musings with a grain of salt - I'm just an armchair trader and blogger, after all!
It sure feels like the dollar is ready to explode up once again. We got our standard fare retracement after the last rally, which turned traders from very bullish to very bearish. And now, a sharp surge over the past two weeks has the buck looking like it may have put in a significant bottom:
As mentioned many times, we think the Dollar is THE key to all the markets. If this dollar rally is for real, then that would certainly look bearish for...
We've got a couple of strikes against the bull being back on Wall Street:
- This latest rally has all come on declining (basically anemic) volume
- The S&P and DOW are tracing out bearish head-and-shoulders patterns
While a surge to new highs on strong volume could negate the bearish cases, the risk/reward from here looks to be heavily weighted to the downside. And if stocks are falling, so should...
The Euro and Most Commodities
The Euro has traded exactly opposite the Dollar. So you'd expect a Dollar rally to roughly coincide with a Euro/Stock/Commodity decline.
In the commodity sector, energy and the industrials would probably take the worst licking. Agriculture normally would be OK, but it does look like prices in wheat and other grains have gotten ahead of the underlying fundamentals.
I think I'm going to give up on predicting what gold will do. Though (maybe I can't help myself) - if you forced me to pick, I'd say it's heading down before it heads up, due to the pervasive bullishness in favor of the yellow relic.
But I've been wrong on gold to date, so I can't claim to have much of a clue here.
On the surface, you'd expect bonds (at least US Treasuries) to rally in tandem with a declining stock market as a "flight to safety" play. That was the script in 2008.
However there is extreme bullishness about bonds right now - so I'd leave room for a near term decline. Future bond prices and rates are a tough, if not impossible, forecast to make. After all, how many people (myself included) have gotten creamed in the "one-way" trade of betting on the inevitability of rising interest rates? So I think I'll stay away from this market, too.
Summing Up The Markets
Bottom line - watch the dollar. If it rallies like we think it will, then I'd expect to see another bout of "Dollar Up, Most Everything Else Down". I wouldn't want to try to pick a winner if this happens - we saw what happened from Oct '07 until March '09, when there was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide.
Note: All charts courtesy of StockCharts.com
Disclosure: Long UUP, and short the S&P 500 via futures and SDS