Trend Change Implications - April 2024

S&P 500 didn't produce even a fake opening upswing going for 5,235 – straight down since the bell through 5,207 led by tech. Bad breadth got even worse, bond market of course failed to recover Thursday‘s lost ground (preceding hot CPI and PPI called will introduce more stagflationary vibes alongside slowing down GDP growth), yet rate cut odds haven't moved much, and that to me reflects a vulnerability going into FOMC.

If in doubt, consider the barely there USD upswing Friday – good daily consolidation but once again 103.50 strong resistance called months earlier as a trouble maker not permitting the index getting far away from, looms – maybe 104 with backing and filling before slowing economy comes more into spotlight, ushering in implicit bets on Fed support of the economy to make a difference before Nov. Before that, higher for longer will reenter popular vocabulary some more.

BoJ is also set to start policy normalization in Apr as I called it to mid winter, and USD performance reflects stark deficit spending outside of a recession. It‘s though rather the more accommodative ECB mindful of eurozone economies flirting with recession, and yet EURUSD is still higher than where it was mid Feb – thanks to still easy global liquidity that would keep a lid on dollar appreciation.

No outhawking the Fed, and indeed there is room for a hawkish, not dovish surprise on Wednesday – fear not though more rate hikes, the disappointment would come on the rate cuts uncertainty front.

The S&P 500 correction barely started and has longer to run, leaving 5,115 Jun contract in peril for the weeks ahead. Just look at the on-off Russell 2000 performance (interest rate sensitive sectors) to see where this is going. The same for worrying combo of rising oil, gasoline, retail sales with discretionaries struggling – see yields starting to break higher, inflation protected securities (TIPS) appeal as well relative to TLT, and continuing rotation into materials and energy…

Yes, after a great stock market run, it‘s now up to real assets and the much touted gold, oil and copper that are to shine – with silver slowly joining in alongside miners. New spark? More evidence of inflation not leveling off, is all it takes.

Let‘s move right into the charts (all courtesy of www.stockcharts.com).

Gold, Silver and Miners

crude oil

Gold showed remarkable resilience Friday, miners held their own and silver rose – that‘s not the sign of a coming flush, but of reallocation to silver given inflation moving closer to the spotlight (for now, merely for its inability to keep declining). Targets are given in the caption – bullish flag is likely to be resolved to the upside following FOMC, where I don't see a huge hawkish surprise. Huge is the key word here.

Crude Oil

gold, silver and miners

Again, it‘s impossible to be bearish oil with $80 cleared and nicely defended Friday, yet mid $79s will be approached towards FOMC before oil rises again – in line with my stagflationary thesis on the horizon rising in prominence. Not a recession, but noticeable growth deceleration and inflation trending up to 4% and more (CPI through 4% and PPI through 4.6%, which also copper will keep loving.


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