Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Is this the peak?

Exhibit 1 - Dow Jones
The Dow Jones closed yesterday (Feb 27) at 20,837.44, and is down 25.50 today to close at 20,812.24.  It could go higher tomorrow, but it seems like it is running out of steam.

Exhibit 2 - Commercial and Industrial Loans
Commercial and industrial loans have plateaued.  They have been flat at about $2.1 trillion for 4 months now.  "The timing of a turning point may not be perfectly aligned with the beginning of a recession, but it’s close.And turning points become clear only after CI loans are in a real downdraft. Before then, we just have our suspicions. For now, we have four months of stagnation, a first since the trough of the Financial Crisis, and a sign that companies have become more reluctant to borrow from banks."

Exhibit 3 - NYSE Margin Debt
This hit an all-time high in January 2017 of $513,278 million.  I've written about this before.  It could be a danger signal or it could be nothing.

Exhibit 4 - Initial Jobless Claims
The 4-week moving average is at 241,000, which is at the lowest level in 47 years (since 1970).  It appears to be at a low.  And once it hits a low, it doesn't stick around, it starts going up quickly.

This recovery could still go on longer.  But I think the March 15 date will panic the market.  We will see.  Some point will be the high and yesterday might be it.

Disclaimer:  My track record on this is horrible.  The last time I though a crisis was imminent was Sept. 30, 2016, and before that on September 11, 2015, and I could find more.  I am not saying a crisis is imminent now.  I am just saying that this may be a peak, and there may be a recession within 6 to 18 months.

Update:  The housing bubble is starting to pop worldwide.

Update 2:  The Dow closed on March 1, 2017 at 21,115.55.  Let's see where it is on March 16.

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