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U.S. Futures Mixed Ahead Of U.S. Employment Report

This morning. Since August 15th, the U.S. equity market trend is "in correction". Earnings season is largely concluded, with 352 of 495 S&P 500 companies having reported with better EPS and 271 better revenues than consensus, though critics argue that the better EPS is largely due to cost cutting and that revenue growth remains unimpressive. Notwithstanding, 2013-2015 annual EPS estimates improved in August, compared to July-end and the start of the current season. This morning, futures are mixed.

Wednesday, U.S. equity markets opened tentative, but rallied strongly and ended with its best gains since August 22nd fed by stronger than expected auto sales. Trading desks reported a continuation of themes - nervousness regarding September, static political narrative, a lack of clarity regarding Fed policy and leadership - with the pain trade now higher.

Technicals improved as the SPX recaptured its 10- and 100-day moving averages. Most SPX market segments closed higher. Market breadth was positive. Volatility fell. U.S. Treasury bond yields rose +2.90 basis points to 2.8966%.

Today, there are several focuses. The week is shortened by Monday's Labor Day holiday, and concludes tomorrow with the August U.S. employment report, which likely will have large implication on the mid-month FOMC meeting, when its zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and bond purchase taper will again be reviewed. Economic reports include August vehicle sales, August ADP employment change, the latest weeks' jobless claims, and nonfarm productivity and unit labor costs.

In Asia, Japanese equities closed with mixed, with strong results in Hong Kong. Friday's Nikkei 225 (NKU3) equity futures are up +0.286%. In Europe, equities are moderately higher and near their intraday highs. Commentary focuses on the latest U.S. economic reports and today's ECB and BOE interest rate inactions. Emerging markets' weakness is an ongoing investment theme, along with associated currency and interest rate moves.

This morning, long-term U.S. Treasury yields are 2.9339%, compared to 2.8966% at the prior close. Spanish and Italian 10-year debt yields are 4.52% and 4.44%, respectively, compared to 4.51% and 4.42% the prior day. The U.S. dollar is mixed. U.S. options markets are neutral to bullish, unchanged from the prior day. The CBOE skew remains in a neutral range.

In pre-market futures trading, September SPX equity futures are modestly higher, and near the top of a 1652-1656 range. After a fair value adjustment of -1.72 points, SPX equity futures are at 1653.25, up +1.73 points. The SPX opens -0.46% and -0.60% below its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages, and +0.77% and +5.62% above its respective 100- and 200-day moving average.

In Asia, equity markets closed mixed. The Nikkei 225 (NYSEARCA:NKY) closed up +0.08%. The Hang Seng (HSI) rose +1.22%. The Shanghai composite (SHCOMP) fell -0.24%. Volumes are unavailable.

Commentary focused on Japan's planned sales tax increase, scheduled for April, recent positive U.S. economic trends, and currency and commodities developments.

The NKY's relative strength index (RSI) rose to 56.57, from 56.37 the prior day, in a neutral 30-70 range. The index's RSI is down from an overbought 82.61 on May 22nd, up from a low of 34.42 on June 13th, and down from 64.16 on July 23rd. The HSI's RSI eased to 62.72, from 58.32 the prior day. The SHCOMP's RSI rose to 62.45, from 64.45 the prior day, and up from June 27th's grossly oversold 15.27.

This week, the NKY is up +5.05%, the HSI is up +3.99%, and the SHCOMP is up +1.15%. Last week, the NKY closed down -1.99% gain, while the HSI posted a loss of -0.60% and the SHCOMP gained +1.99%. In September, the NKY is up +5.05%, the HSI is up +3.99%, and SHCOMP is up +1.15%. In August, the NKY closed up +2.27%, the HSI closed up +2.33%, and the SHCOMP closed with a +6.49% gain.

In 2013, the NKY is up +35.3%. The HSI is down -0.26%. The SHCOMP is down -6.47%. In 2012, the NKY rose +1.37%. The HSI rose +22.9%. The SHCOMP rose +3.17%.

In Japan, the NKY closed at 14,064.82, up from 14,053.87 the prior day, its best close since August 6th, but -10.0% below its May 22nd 15,627.26 high. The index gapped higher lower to open above 14,125, but traded back to breakeven through the morning session and dropped to the 13,981.52 intraday low in early afternoon. The index rallied and reversed higher to its mid-afternoon 144,156.50 intraday high, then fell back to breakeven in the final hour. The index closed +3.18%, +0.71%, +1.30%, and +13.3% above its respective 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages. Most market segments closed higher. Leaders were oil and gas, utilities, and industrials, which rose at least +0.33%. Financials rose +0.05%. Laggards were consumer services, technology, and telecommunications, which fell at least -0.04%.

In China, the HSI closed at 22,597.97, down from 22,326.22 at the prior close. The index closed -5.14% below its January 30th 23,882.06 high, but +24.3% above its 18,185.59 June 4, 2012 low. The index gapped higher to open above 22,525 and trended higher to a mid-afternoon 22,682.94 intraday high. The index eased through the final 90 minutes. The index closed +2.56% and +4.71% above its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages. Most market segments closed higher. Leaders were technology, consumer goods, and financials, which rose at least +1.47%. Laggards were basic materials and oil and gas, which rose at least +0.40%, and telecommunications, which fell -0.53%.

In Shanghai, the SHCOMP closed at 2,122.43, down from 2,127.62 at the prior close, and +8.84% above the 1,950.01 June 27th closing low. The index traded narrowly through the morning session, with a 2,115.29 mid-morning low, and breakeven in early afternoon. The SHCOMP closed +1.66% and +3.82% above its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages. Market segments closed mixed. Leaders were technology, health care, and consumer goods, which rose at least +0.35%. Financials fell -0.40%. Laggards were utilities, telecommunications, and basic materials, which fell at least -0.790%.

In Europe, the major equity indexes are modestly higher. The Euro Stoxx50 (SX5E), FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +0.26%, +0.32%, +0.33%, +0.17%, respectively. The Spanish IBEX 35 is up +0.24%. The Italian FTSE MIB is up +0.43%.

Economic reporting focuses on September ECB and BOE interest rate benchmarks, and U.S. economic developments ahead of tomorrow's September employment reports.

On August 14th, the SX5E set a new 2,852.08 52-week high, though -46.9% below its March 31, 2000, all-time closing high. European bourses have recently outperformed U.S. equity indexes. SX5E relative strength (RSI) improved to 48.64, from 47.44 at the prior close, and down from an overbought 72.74 on August 14th.

From its 2,758.29 prior day's close, the SX5E opened slightly higher, but rallied to an early 2,777.88 intraday high, then reversed lower to 2,748.56 late in the morning session. The index subsequently improved to 2,770 and currently trades at 2,765.33. Market segments are mixed. Leaders are industrials, telecommunications, and consumer services, which are at least +0.69% higher. Financials are up +0.61%. Laggards are oil and gas, technology, and basic materials, which are down at least -0.41%.

This week, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +1.67%, +1.49%, +1.57%, and +1.47%, respectively. Last week, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX closed down -3.70%, -1.22%, -3.33%, and -3.73%, respectively. In September, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +1.67%, +1.49%, +1.57%, and +1.47%, respectively. In August, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX closed down -1.18%, -3.14%, -1.48%, and -2.09%, respectively. In 2013, the Euro Stoxx50, FTSE 100, CAC 40, and DAX are up +4.97%, +10.4%, +9.73%, and +8.01%. In 2012, the indexes closed up +13.8%, +5.84%, +15.2%, and +29.1%, respectively.

2Q2013 SPX Earnings. Of 493 (of 499) reporting companies, 352 or 71.4% surprised positively on earnings, with a +2.71% surprise average. Of reporting companies, 271 or 55.1% reported sales or revenues in excess of estimates. The average sales/revenue surprise is +0.49%.

Valuation. The SPX trades at 16.0x 2012 earnings ($103.41), 15.0x estimated 2013 earnings ($110.50), 13.5x estimated 2014 earnings ($122.42), and 12.2x estimated 2015 earnings ($135.52). The 10-year average median price/earnings multiple is 15.9x. Analysts expect 2013, 2014, and 2015 earnings to grow +6.81% and +10.8%, and +10.7%respectively.

Composite, index, and equity options. Options markets are neutral to bullish, unchanged from 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 0.80, compared to 0.74 the prior day, and better than 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.88 and 0.89, respectively. The index put/call ratio is 0.76, compared to 0.83 the prior day, and better than its 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.96 and 1.04, respectively. The equity put/call ratio closed the day at 0.77, compared to 0.71 the prior day, and better than its 5- and 10-period moving averages of 0.84 and 0.84, respectively.

NYSE Volume, Breadth Indicators. Volume fell -7.49% to 728.13 million shares, from 787.121 million shares the prior day, 1.11x the 653.68 million share 20-day moving average. Market breadth was positive, and up volume led down volume. Advancing stocks led decliners by +1,282 (compared to +268 the prior day), or 2.49:1. Up volume was 3.60:1 down volume.

Distribution day count. The current corrective trend began on August 15th, following a uptrend that commenced on July 11th.

Libor, LOIS, Currencies, Treasuries, Commodities:

· USD LIBOR is 0.11650%, compared to 0.11580% the prior day. USD 3-month LIBOR is 0.25810%, down from 0.25900% the prior day, and compares to the January 4, 2013, recent peak of 0.58250%.

· The US Libor-OIS (LOIS) spread is 15.81 bps, down from 16.21 bps the prior day, and compares to the January 6th high of 50.050 bps. Euribor-OIS is 12.50 bps, down from 12.70 bps the prior day, and down from the December 27, 2011, high of 98.80 bps. Moves in the LOIS indicate changes in intra-bank lending risk premiums.

· The 3-month Euro basis swap is -10.677, compared to -10.471 bps the prior day, up from a trough of -147.00 bps on December 14, 2011, and below a normal -10 bps and -40 bps range.

· Spanish 10-year debt yields are 4.53%, up from 4.51% the prior day and up from the 4.039% May 3rd low. Italian 10-year debt yields are at 4.44%, up from 4.42% the prior day, and up from the 3.822% May 3rd low. German 10-year debt yields are 2.00%, compared to 1.94% the prior day. Japanese 10-year debt yields are 0.78%, compared to 0.78% the prior day.

· The U.S. government overnight repo rate is 8 bps, compared to 9 bps the prior day. The January 2, 2013, 45 bps rate was the highest since late 2008. The 0.00 bps low was on January 31, 2009.

· U.S. Treasury yields are higher, with 2- and 10-year maturities yielding 0.490% and 2.938%, respectively, compared to 0.470% and 2.897% Tuesday. The yield curve widened +2.110 bps, with the 2- to 10-year spread at +2.448%, compared to 2.427% the prior day. In the past year, the 2- and 10-year spread varied from a low of +1.548% on August 31, 2012, to a high of +2.538% on August 22, 2013.

· The U.S. dollar is weaker compared euro and British pound, but stronger compared to the Japanese yen. The dollar trades at US$82.168, compared to a US$82.179 intraday low and US$82.169 the prior day, and mixed compared to its $82.186 50-day, US$82.383 100-day, and US$81.663 200-day averages. The euro trades at US$1.32112, compared to a US$1.3218 intraday high and US$1.3207 the prior day. The euro trades mixed compared to its US$1.3200 50-day and US$1.3139 100-day averages, and compares to a multi-year low of US$1.1877 on June 7, 2010. In Japan, the dollar trades at ¥99.89, compared to ¥99.74 the prior day. The yen trades worse than its 50-day moving average ¥98.82, and better than its May 17th 103.21 closing low.

· Citigroup Economic Surprise Index worsened to 36.00, from 36.80 the prior day. The index is better compared to its respective +33.36 and +30.43 5-day and 10-day moving averages. The index signaled exhaustion on December 20th, and from 55.76 moved lower to -30.80 on January 30th. 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 a high of 40.60 on August 15th. After a lag, the CESIUSD correlates with EPS revisions.

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

Volatility, Skew:

· The CBOE SPX Volatility Index (VIX) closed at 15.88, down -4.39% from 16.61 at the prior close. The VIX is +7.43% above its 14.78 20-day moving average. Its 30-day high is 17.81. Its 30-day low is 11.83. The index's all-time closing low is 11.26 on June 30, 1993. The long-term average is 20.18.

· At mid-session, the Euro Stoxx 50 volatility index (V2X) is 21.61, down -2.21% from 22.09 at the prior day's close. The V2X index trades +11.6% above its 19.36 20-day moving average, -11.0% below the 24.27 30-day high, and +34.7% above the 16.04 30-day low.

· The Hang Seng volatility index (VHSI) closed Wednesday at 18.06, down -4.49% from 18.91 the prior day. The VHSI index trades +0.07% above its 18.05 20-day moving average. Its lowest historical close was 11.72, on June 30, 2005.

· CBOE SKEW (SKEW) closed at 116.97, up +0.21% from 116.97 at the prior day's close, and within a neutral (115-120) range. The recent low was 112.47 on May 25, 2013. Spikes in excess of 130 (as on February 15 and 18, 2013 and previously on September 21, and March 12, 15, and 16, 2012) correlate well with short-term market tops. The recent high closes were 130.46 on February 15th and 130.60 on September 21st. 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:

· August total vehicle sales were 16.02 million, compared to 15.80 million survey and 15.73 million revised prior.

· August YoY Challenger job cuts rose 56.5%, compared to +2.3% prior.

· August ADP employment change was 176K, compared to 182K survey and 198k revised prior.

· The latest weeks' respective initial and continuing jobless claims were 323K and 2951K, compared to 330K and 2985K survey and 332K and 2994K revised prior.

· Final 2Q2013 nonfarm productivity was 2.3%, with 1.6% survey and +0.9% prior. Unit labor costs rose 0.0%, compared to +0.8% survey and +1.4% prior.

· At 10:00, July factory orders, with -3.4% survey and +1.5% prior.

· August ISM non-manufacturing composite, with 55.0 survey and 56.0 prior.

Overseas Economic Reporting and News:

· Eurozone - ECB interest rates were left unchanged at +0.50%, in-line with survey and prior.

· United Kingdom - BOE interest rates were left unchanged at +0.50%, in-line with survey and prior.

Company Ratings/News:

  • None.

Wednesday's Trade. On lower, but above average volume, U.S. equity markets produced a strong rally after reports of exceptional August vehicle sales. Despite the rally, since August 15th, the market trend is "in correction".

Futures indicated a flat open, and markets opened tentatively, but improved as car manufacturing reports showed strong August sales. Indexes rallied to mid-afternoon highs, then traded narrowly into the close. The Nasdaq rose +1.00%, followed by the SPX, NYSE composite, and DJI, which +0.81%, +0.72%, and +0.65%, respectively. Market breadth was positive, with gainers 2.49:1 losing stocks. Most SPX market segments closed higher. Leaders were telecommunications, health care, and industrials, which rose at least +0.95%. Laggards were financials and oil and gas, which rose at least +0.52%, and utilities, which fell -0.13%.

NYSE volume fell -7.49% to 728.13 million shares, from 787.12 million shares the prior day, +1.11x the 653.68 million share 20-day moving average volume. U.S. 10-year yields rose +2.90 bps to 2.8966%, from 2.8576% at the prior close.

SPX futures pointed to a modestly higher open, but from its 1639.77 prior close, the index fell to an early 1637.41 intraday low, then reversed higher in early trading and rose to a mid-afternoon 1655.72 intraday high. The index closed at 1653.08, -3.31% below the August 2nd record close. The index closed +53.8% above the 1074.77 October 4, 2011, intraday low.

The TRAN ended at 6,343.95, 6,270.98, up +1.16%, compared to the DJI's +0.65% gain. From its 6,270.98 prior close, the TRAN rose modestly in early trading, then rallied strongly to 6,310 by 10:00, and 6,330 by mid-session. The index set a late 6,350.19 intraday high. The index closed at 6,343.95, -4.89% below its August 1st 6,670.06 record close. Volume fell -17.3% to 1.06:1 average volume. The TRAN closed -0.74% and -0.92% below its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages. The index ended ++0.25% and +5.45% above its 200-day moving average.

Market volatility fell. From its prior 16.61 prior close, the VIX rose to an early 17.01 intraday high, but immediately reversed lower and fell to a mid-session 15.77 intraday low. The index eased higher to 16.00 through the afternoon. The index closed at 15.88, down -4.39% on the day and +7.43% above its 14.78 20-day moving average. The VIX's all-time closing low was 11.26, set June 30, 1993.

The broader market's technical factors improved marginally. The SPX closed above its 5-, 10-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages, but below its 20- and 50-day moving averages. SPX relative strength (RSI) improved to 41.49, from 41.05 the prior day. The CBOE put/call skew rose +0.21% to 116.97, from 116.72 the prior day, but within a neutral 115-120 range.

Last week, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq and NYSE composite fell -1.84%, -1.33%, -1.86%, and -2.16%, respectively. The prior week, the SPX, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +0.46%, +1.53%, and +0.10%, while the DJI ended with a -0.47% loss. In August, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite are down -3.01%, -4.36%, -0.91%, and -2.61%, respectively. In July, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite closed up +4.95%, +3.96%, +6.56%, and 4.90%, respectively.

In 2013, the SPX, DJI, Nasdaq, and NYSE composite are up +150%, +13.2%, +19.6%, +10.5%, respectively. All closed at least +5.91% higher in 2012. Immediate SPX resistance is 1639. Immediate support is 1627, then 1622.

KBW Bank Index (BKX). On lower, but above average volume, the BKX closed at 62.94, up +0.72% from 62.50 at the prior day's close. The index opened tentatively, falling to an early 62.40 intraday low, but rallied to an early afternoon 63.19 intraday high. The index eased to support at 62.90 through the close. Volume fell -1.87% to 49.788 million shares, compared to 50.735 million shares the prior day, 1.05x the 47.467 million share 15-day moving average.

Large cap banks outperformed the regional banks' performance, as the KBW regional banking index (KRX) rose +0.28%.

This week the BKX is up +1.17%. Last week, the BKX closed down -4.16%. In September, the BKX is up +1.17%. In August, the BKX is closed down -5.41%. For the year, the BKX is up +22.7%, better than the SPX's +15.9% rise. In 2012, the index rose +18.9%, compared to a +13.4% rise in the SPX.

The BKX is now +6.34% better than the June 24th 59.19 close, its worst since May 13th. The index crossed above 50 on December 17th and 60 on August 5, 2012. The BKX closed +93.3% 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 +53.8% in the same period.

The BKX index closed -48.0% below its February 20, 2007, record 121.06 high. The BKX is up +238.0% from its 18.62 March 6, 2009, closing low.

Technical indicators improved. The index closed again above its 5-day moving average, but below its 10-, 20- and 50-day moving averages. The index closed above its 100- and 200-day moving averages. The index closed -1.91% and -2.28% below its respective 20- and 50-day moving averages. The index closed +1.94% and +9.38% above its respective 100- and 200-day moving averages. The index has closed above its 100-day moving average since August 7, 2012. The 20-day moving average fell -16 bps. The 50-day moving average rose +7 bps. Its 100-day moving average rose +7 bps, and the 200-day moving average rose +8 bps. The 20-day closed (by -0.25 points) below the 50-day, and the gap narrowed -23 bps. The 50-day moving average closed (by +6.87 points) above the 200-day moving average, and the gap narrowed -1 bp. The 100-day moving average closed (by +4.20 points) above the 200-day moving average, and the gap fell -1 bp.

The directional movement indicator improved to -10.731, from -11.446 the prior day, continuing the string of negative readings since August 15th. Relative strength improved to 41.49, from 37.41 the prior day, moving above the bottom of a neutral 30-70 range. Its recent lowest level was 31.08 on November 14, 2012, which is also the BKX's 52-week closing low. Next resistance is 63.29; next support is at 62.50.

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

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 August, the index closed at 1632.97, down -3.13% from 1685.73 the prior month and 1597.57 four months prior. The May 2013 3 sell countdown is unchanged since June. The index closed -8.93% below the risk level.

On a weekly basis, the SPX signaled selling exhaustion the week ended June 8th, during which the SPX traded to an intraweek 1266.74 low on June 4th, and then perfected a weekly buy setup with its 1325.66 close. The next week's bullish price flip initiated a sell setup that perfected on August 10th at 1405.87. On January 4th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected the week ending March 1. On January 31st, the sell countdown associated with August 10th perfection completed. 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. In the week ending August 30th, the index closed down -1.84% to 1632.97, from 1663.50 the prior week and its 1709.67 close four weeks prior. The August 16th buy setup progressed to 3. The index closed -6.02% below the 1737.48 risk level.

On a daily basis, the SPX perfected a sell setup on March 13th, with a 1552.52 close. On April 29th, the March 13th sell countdown. On May 2nd, a bullish price flip initiated a follow-on sell setup, and on May 14th, the sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown, which completed on July 8th. The completion set a risk level of 1725.50, based on the 38.32 point May 22nd trading range and 1,687.18 intraday high. On June 26th, a bullish price flip initiated another follow-on sell setup, and this setup perfected on July 9th and initiated a sell countdown. On August 1st, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On Wednesday, the SPX rose +0.81% to 1653.08, compared to 1639.77 the prior day and 1634.96 4 days prior. The September 4th sell setup progressed to 2. The July 9th sell countdown is a deferred 13. The index closed -4.20% below the 1725.50 risk level.

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 August, the index closed at 62.98, down -5.41% from 65.77 at July-end and 61.60 four months prior. The May 2013 sell countdown progressed to 4.

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 August 30th, the BKX closed at 64.21, down -4.16% from 64.91 the prior week and 66.95 four weeks prior. The August 16th buy setup progressed to 3. The index closed -8.90% below the 68.29 risk level.

On a daily basis, on December 17th, the 50.62 close above the November 1st 50.45 close and above the prior two days' close completed a sell countdown and initiated a sell setup, which perfected on February 13th. On March 14th, the sell setup closed above 57.22 and perfected. On March 19th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup with a 56.84 close. On April 1st, the buy setup perfected. On May 3rd, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On May 15th, the sell setup perfected. On June 26th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on July 9th and initiated a sell countdown. On July 2nd, the index completed its May 15th sell countdown, which set a 64.06 risk level, based on the May 30th 1.14 point high/low range and 62.92 close. On July 24th, the July 12th sell setup perfected, but did not initiate a sell countdown. On August 8th a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which completed on August 19th and initiated a buy countdown. Wednesday, the index rose +0.70% to 62.94, compared to 62.50 the prior day and 62.45 four days prior. The September 4th sell setup progressed to 2. The August 19th 3 buy countdown was unchanged. The index closed -1.75% below its 64.06 risk level.

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 August at 17.01, up +26.5% from 17.01, compared to 13.45 at the end of July and 13.52 at the end of April. The May 2013 sell setup progressed to 4.

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 August 30th, the VIX rose 21.7% to 17.01, from 13.98 the prior week, and 11.98 4 weeks prior. The August 16th sell setup progressed to 3. The index closed +85.5% above the 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. Wednesday, the VIX fell -4.39% to 15.88, compared to 16.61 the prior day and 16.49 at the 4 days' prior close. The September 4th buy setup progressed to 2. Since August 26th, the July 9th buy countdown is a deferred 13. The VIX closed +52.6% above the 10.41 risk level.

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 August at 2.7839%, compared to 2.5762% the prior month and 1.6717% 4 months prior. The May 2013 sell setup progressed to 4.

On a weekly basis, on December 7th, a bullish rate flip (at 1.6215%) initiated a sell setup, which perfected on February 1st. The perfection initiated a sell setup. Subsequent 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%. For the week ended August 30th, the rate ended at 2.7839%, compared to 2.8146% the prior Friday and 2.5960% four weeks prior. The August 16th sell setup progressed to 3. The February 1st 11 sell countdown was unchanged.

On a daily basis, on February 20th, a bearish rate flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on March 4th. On April 8th, the buy setup perfected. On April 15th, the buy countdown associated with the March 4th perfection completed and set a 1.6098% risk level, based on the April 5th 10.61 bps range between the intraday high and low rate and 1.7159% close. On May 15th, the May 3rd buy setup perfected. 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 Wednesday, the rate rose +3.90 bps to 2.8966%, compared to 2.8576% the prior day and 2.7653% four days prior. The September 3rd sell setup progressed to 3. The rate closed +8.16 bps above the 2.8150% risk level.

EUR, USD 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 August at 1.3222, down -0.60% from 1.3302 the prior month and 1.3168 4 months prior. The July 2013 sell setup progressed to 2. The 9 buy countdown progressed is unchanged since March.

On a weekly basis, the cross perfected a buy setup on January 6th, followed by another buy setup and completed countdown on June 1, 2012, when the cross closed at 1.2434. The cross completed a buy countdown on July 27th, and set a 1.1964 risk level. The index initiated an sell setup the week ended August 3rd, when it closed at 1.2387, and the setup perfected on September 28, with a 1.2860 close. On January 18th, the index completed a sell setup at 1.336. The week of August 30th, the index fell -1.20% to end at 1.3222, 1.3383 the prior week and 1.3276 4 weeks prior. The bearish price flip canceled the July 19th 6 sell setup and initiated a buy setup. The sell countdown associated with the September 28th perfection is a deferred 13, unchanged since June 7th. The cross closed +10.1% above the 1.1964 risk level.

On a daily basis, on February 14th, a bearish price flip initiated a sell setup, which subsequently perfected on February 26th. On April 4th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on April 12th. On June 7th, the sell countdown associated with the April 12th perfection completed. The completion set a 1.3537 risk level, based on the June 6th 0.0231 trading range and 1.3306 intraday high. On June 11th, the May 29th sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. On July 2nd, the June 20th buy setup perfected and initiated a buy countdown. On July 10th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on July 22nd. The perfection canceled the July 2nd buy countdown. With Wednesday's +0.28% higher close, the EURUSD cross ended at 1.3207, compared to 1.3170 the prior day and 1.3241 four days prior. The August 28th buy setup progressed to 6. The July 22nd 11 sell countdown is unchanged since August 20th. The cross closed -2.36% below the 1.3537 risk level.

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 August, the index closed at 2,721.37, down -1.18% from 2,753.97 the prior month and 2,712.00 four months prior. The July 31st sell setup progressed to 2. The May 2013 sell countdown is unchanged since May 2013.

On a weekly basis, a bullish price flip the week of November 23rd (2,557.03 close) initiated a sell setup that perfected on January 18th at 2,709.59, up +5.97%. The sell countdown associated with the August 10th perfection also completed on January 18th, when the index closed at 2,709.59, up +24.2% over the June 15th bullish price flip. The completion set a 2,785.45 risk level. Since January 18th, the subsequent trend was lower, until a bullish price flip in the week ending July 12th. On August 16th, the sell countdown stemming from the January 18th perfection 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. In the week ended August 30th, the index fell -3.70% to 2,721.37, compared to 2,826.05 the prior week and 2,811.00 at the 4 weeks' prior close. The bearish price flip canceled the July 12th 7 sell setup and initiated a buy setup. The index closed -6.46% below the 2,909.37 risk level.

On a daily basis, on January 3rd, the index completed the associated countdown (with a 2,701.22 close) and set a 2,786.57 risk level, based on the prior day's 2,711.25 high and 51.46 intraday range. On March 14th, the March 4th sell setup perfected. On March 18th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on March 28th, and initiated a buy countdown. On April 23rd, a bullish price flip initiated a sell countdown, which perfected on May 3rd. On June 12th, the May 31st buy setup perfected and initiated a buy countdown. On July 8th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup, which perfected on July 18th and initiated a sell countdown. On August 15th, the July 18th sell countdown completed and set a 2,876.19 risk level, based on the day's 32.11 point range and 2835.86 close. Wednesday, the index rose +0.18% to 2,758.29, compared to 2,727.52 the prior day and 2,758.31 at the prior 4 days' close. The September 3rd buy setup progressed to 3. The index closed -4.10% below the 2,876.19 risk level.

Nikkei - 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 progressed to 9, but did not perfect. In August, the index fell -2.04% at 13,388.86, compared to 13,668.32 the prior month and 13,860.86 four months prior. The bearish price flip initiated a buy setup.

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. For the week ending August 30th, the index closed up +1.99% at 13,388.86, compared to 13,660.55 the prior week and 14,466.16 four weeks' prior. The August 9th buy setup progressed to 4. The index closed -6.73% below the risk level.

On a daily basis, on March 27th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on April 15th. On May 7th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On May 17th, the sell setup perfected; also, the sell countdown associated with the April 26th perfection completed. The completion set a 15,412.34 risk level, which is based on the May 16th 15,155.72 intraday high and 276.21 point range. On June 4th, the May 23rd buy setup perfected and initiated a buy countdown. On July 10th, the June 28th sell setup perfected, cancelled the June 4th 7 buy countdown, and initiated a sell countdown. On August 2nd, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On September 4th, the July 10th sell countdown completed. The completion set a 15,493.30 risk level, based on the July 19th 540.01 point range and 14,953.29 high. Thursday, the index rose +0.08% to 14,064.82, from 14,053.87 the prior day and 13,388.86 four days prior. The September 2nd sell setup progressed to 4. The index closed -9.20% below the 15,412.34 risk level.

Hang Sang - 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 August, the index declined -0.70% to 21,731.37, compared to 21,883.66 the prior month and 22,737.01 four months prior. The May 2013 buy setup progressed to 4. The index closed -20.1% 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 August 30th, the index closed down -0.60% to 21,731.37, compared to 21,863.51 the prior week and 22,190.97 four weeks prior. The August 23rd buy setup progressed to 2. The April 5th buy countdown progressed to 7. The index closed -2.80% below the 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 Thursday, the index rose +1.22% to 22,597.97, compared to 22,326.22 the prior day and 21,731.37 four days prior. The September 2nd sell setup progressed to 4. The index closed +19.8% above the 18,860.42 risk level.

Shanghai Composite - 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 August, the index closed up +5.25% at 2,098.38, compared to 1,993.80 the prior month and 2,177.91 four months prior. The April 30th buy setup progressed to 5. The January 2012 9 buy countdown was unchanged.

On a weekly basis, the SHCOMP last perfected a buy setup on April 8, 2011. The index has subsequently trended lower, with a downward perfected setup on September 23, 2011, and January 6, 2012 countdown completion, when it closed at 2,163.40. The index rallied to a high of 2,476.22 during the week ending March 16th, but without perfecting an upward setup. On July 13th, the index perfected a buy setup. In subsequent weeks, it traded below the sales exhaustion target of 2148.45 to a 1980.12 close on November 30th, when the buy countdown reached 11. 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 August 30th, the index closed the week up 1.99% at 2,098.38, compared to 2,057.46 the prior week and 2,029.42 four weeks prior. The July 26th sell setup progressed to 6.

On a daily basis, On December 4th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On January 14th, the sell setup that began on December 25th perfected; also, the bullish price flip initiated a follow-on sell setup. On March 26th, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on April 9th. On June 3rd, a bearish price flip initiated a buy setup, which perfected on June 19th, and initiated a buy countdown. On June 7th, the April 9th buy countdown completed and set a 2,142.63 buy risk level. On July 29th, a bullish price flip initiated a sell setup. On July 30th, the June 19th buy countdown completed and set a 1,735.74 risk level, based on the June 25th 113.91 point trading range and 1,849.65 intraday low. On August 13th, the August 1st sell setup perfected and initiated a sell countdown. Thursday, the index fell -0.24% to 2,122.43, compared to 2,127.62 at the prior close and 2,098.38 4 days prior. The September 3rd sell setup progressed to 3. The August 13th 6 sell countdown was unchanged. The index closed +22.3% above the July 30th risk level.