Financials to Oil Ratio as a Bottom Indicator

Includes: USO, XLF
by: Bill Luby

Two numbers have been moving consistently in the wrong direction for the US economy during the past few months: oil prices and bank loan portfolio quality.

The chart below, which reflects a ratio of the valuation of financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) to crude oil prices (NYSEARCA:USO), neatly captures the recent double threat posed by trends in these two sectors.

You can make an excellent argument that a bottom will not be in until at least one of the two trends, probably both, have reversed. My thinking is that the XLF:USO ratio chart is an excellent tool to monitor those two trends and pinpoint the turnaround. At the very least, I consider the XLF:USO ratio to be a reasonable proxy for two of the major headwinds that the markets are grappling with.

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