Thursday, May 15, 2014

April 1 was the peak

There are several indicators that the economy peaked on about April 1.

1. The Russell 2000 hit an all time-high on Mar 4, 2014 of 1208.65, and has been flat or declined slightly ever since.
2. The SP 500 reached 1878.04 on Mar 7.  It reached a high of 1897.45 on May 13, which is not really that much higher.
3. The DJIA reached 16452.72 on Mar 7.  The high was 16576 on Dec 31, 2014. The all-time high was 16715.44 on May 13.  This is quite a bit higher than the number on Mar 7.  This just shows that most of the stocks had hit their peak, just not the blue-chippers.
4.  NYSE margin debt declined a little in March.
5. The 10-year Treasury rate peaked at 3.02 on Dec 31, 2014.  On Mar 7, it was at 2.80.  On Apr 2, it was at 2.82.  It has never been that high since, and is currently at 2.54.
6. The public portion of the national debt was at 12,617 bn on Mar 30. As of May 12, it was 12,480 bn.  While this is good from a fiscal sanity perspective, it is not good from a short-term financial flows perspective.  This is $140 bn of tax revenue that was removed from the economy.
7.  For what it is worth, my M6 index was flat during April, indicating a peak on Mar 30.

Other indicators to watch are new orders, and TMCDO, which still haven't peaked.  And the WLIW, which is still positive.

What does this mean?  Probably that a recession will begin within a few months.  Or the economy could muddle through more than a year before some black swan event causes the bottom to drop out.

I've called a recession before and been wrong.  Specifically, on December 21, 2012 (when gold prices started declining), July 26, 2013 (when I thought the Dow topped out), and on August 29, 2013 (when orders hit a peak), and on December 12, 2013.  So my track record is pretty bad.  But even a stopped clock is accurate twice a day, right?

See also Chartist Friend 2014 Stock Market Top Call.

It seems all the drivers of the economy as well as the artificial stimulus have run out of steam.  The government deficits are much smaller.  The Fed is still pumping at a reduced rate, but excess reserves suck up the extra money.  Traditional bank loans (the main component of M2) are not increasing.  The stock market is flat or declining.

No comments:

Post a Comment