As earnings season chugs along it’s starting to look like analysts may have tempered their expectations a bit too much during the 4th quarter, which is typical. As you can see in the chart below, actual earnings (blue bars) have a steady habit of coming in above estimates (gray bars).
Article Category: Primary Trend
I want to begin today with a look at ACWI - the All-Country World Index ETF, which you can see in the top panel below. This ETF tracks the MSCI benchmark and provides exposure to large and mid-cap companies across 23 developed markets and 24 emerging markets. Approximately 85% of investable global equities are included in this index.
Over the last few months we’ve talked a lot about the idea that it is global growth, as opposed to domestic growth, that is presenting the biggest challenges for financial markets. Unfortunately, that message remains relatively unchanged, and is creating a mixed picture for investors.
Let’s begin with a look at economic conditions abroad, and then we’ll circle back to some the not-so-bad developments here in the States.
I’ve been sitting here parsing through all kinds of economic data trying to make the case for a bear market, and I’ll be honest – it’s tough. There just aren’t many data points that portend a rolling over of the business cycle, or primary trend.
There are of course a few, such as the declines in housing starts and building permits (shown below), but other than that, most leading indicators remain in firm uptrends (the S&P 500 being the notable exception).
Let’s begin today’s note with a quick update on the S&P 500. Two weeks ago, on October 30th, I suggested that a possible short-term bottom was coming into view based on relative price action in the VIX and small-caps.
As it turns out, the October 29th bottom did hold, and the S&P subsequently rallied back up to where it began its second leg down (at approximately 2815). From there, we had three down days of increasing magnitude, followed by today’s attempt at a rally.