Saturday, June 04, 2011

Market commentary: Looking ahead to a critical juncture in the markets and the country

Before giving an outlook for the week ahead, I think it important to review where we are now and as usual I will be using a number of unique charts to se where we are and see if any trend emerges for a higher probability market call. To start this off I would like to focus first on the Dow.

In the chart below I have made a custom chart of the Dow from January 1st, 2010 to the close of the market yesterday, June 3rd. You will notice that I have drawn 2 blue trend lines showing the uptrend of the Dow one starting in July 2010 and the other more vertical line starting around Sept. 1st 2010. We are currently touching this line and will see whether we break below it next week or not. If we do break below it then the other lower line becomes the next major support level. You will notice that this week there was also a Volume spike with the selloff this week as is indicated in the lower chart. You will also notice that I have placed several dates on this chart which will be important to look at on a chart of the Put to Call ratio in my next series.

You can see from the chart below of the Put to Call ratio for the same period of all of 2010 and to the close of the market yesterday, that the Put to Call ratio closed yesterday at a reading of 1.24 and that the Put to Call ratio had not gone that high since 9/10/10. Compare that date on this chart to the chart above of the Dow and what happened after that high a reading was reached. The Dow started its climb which lasted almost a year.

The key to me here is to look at the Put to Call ratio for 1/2 the time before the 9/10/10 date. It was a period of higher variation in the ratio and correspondingly a wilder time in the Dow. There was a higher Put to call ratio of 1.53 during that period as you can see on the chart from a Dow of 11,200 down to a Dow of 9,800.

This next week is very critical for the market. If we break below the current uptrend line we could go much lower. With all the lack of action by the Congress on raising the debt ceiling, this is just adding gasoline on a potential firestorm. Within the next 30 days, Moody's is going to consider whether to lower the U.S. rating from triple AAA causing huge problems around the globe. This is an irresponsible action of Congress. Playing chicken with the debt crisis is similar to what Newt Gingrich did during the Clinton Presidency and shut down the government, but much worse. Back then it only affected U.S. workers and the American people some of which didn't get their Soc. Security checks. But this time we are giving the middle finger to the world and especially those who hold our debt and will not be so eager to fund our debt in the future should we default. These are very dangerous times.

So what would I do right now? I would be defensive right now. I wouldn't be a buyer of stocks until the trend became clearer. I would take some money off the table so if the market drops, I have locked in any profits I have gained over the past year. Watch the Put to Call ratio daily and see if we are going higher. While normally a 1.24 reading would be a Buy signal, we could get much higher Put to Call ratios in the near term and all they might be saying is not to be a buyer quite yet as there is a lot more downside.

Also, look at the Treasury Bond yields just from April 25th. I have been recording the data daily and this chart says that all interest rates have dropped, from a 3 month to a 30 year and I might add rather quickly. Ask yourself this question, why has the Fed wanted the interest rates so low and going lower? People on Fixed income are getting creamed. It's like the Fed is trying to get everyone to look for riskier investments and get their money out into circulation to "stimulate" the economy more. the 30 year Treasury Bonds are at only 4.21%.

Now that the Fed and our Government has taken on all the risk, they seem to want to unload that risk on you and me and our children and grandchildren's lives. There is a temporary solution to this. If we could come up with legislation to increase the debt limit, which must be raised no matter what else we do, then that would calm the markets. Then the Congress needs to identify a minimum of $4 Trillion it is going to reduce the national debt and still invest in certain growth ares where we must. Republicans and Democrats need to stop the idealogical battles and start to put the country first and find savings across the board. Defense must be trimmed, healthcare needs simplification and technology improvements, Foreign aid needs not to be routinely given, but subjected to new criteria as to whether they do something for America There should be some strings on repatriation of corporations funds abroad, so that if corporations are allowed to bring money back, they must create meaningful manufacturing and service jobs here to compete better in the world and ensure the survival of our Middle Class and our economy. We need high speed rail in America. It would mean less emissions and less pollution from cars. And the wealthiest Americans must pay more taxes! Let's get on with it!

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