The Market Shrugs Off Both Harvey and Kim

On the one hand it isn’t so surprising that on balance our indicators are unchanged over the past week. After all, it is end of August, a month that typically doesn’t show much in the way of new trends.

On the other hand, what an August this has been. Not only has it witnessed the most torrential rains the country ever has experienced completely deluged our fourth-largest city. It also has featured a defiant North Korea, which, after receiving pats on the back from both President Trump and Secretary Tillerson for its supposed restraint, rewarded them by launching a missile over Japan.

Stocks initially gapped down but then found their footing and actually managed a small gain. Yes, that was a minor victory for our bullish indicators, but even more, perhaps, it was a statement that markets are ruthlessly motivated by calculations of monetary impact. The market’s response to Hurricane Harvey was a case of some winners and some losers cancelling each other out. As for Korea, it remains a case of what can we do about it. As long as the answer is very little, the market will tend to ignore it, and our indicators should remain subject to the underlying monetary and economic trends.

We probably will not change our portfolio until next week. We intend to make more frequent trades, generally with Monday or Tuesday the likeliest day to initiate a trade (obviously not this Labor Day Monday). But stay alert on other days, as there will be occasional exceptions.

Right now, our buy signals on the S&P 500 and on oil stocks remain intact. Oil itself also is on a buy signal. Disappointingly, though, both gold and gold stocks are flashing red. We have not acted on these signals because gold and stocks tend to be negatively correlated, and given our three stock recommendations we would be putting too many eggs in the same basket.

In addition, we continue to believe that over the longer haul gold will go dramatically higher. Still a short position in either the metal or in gold stocks is a possibility in the near future.

Silver is neutral. We think the divergence from gold is based on silver’s role as an industrial metal. Our indicator for industrial commodities is bullish, and while there are very few ETFs that focus on industrial commodities and have good liquidity, we are looking at a number of stocks. Bonds also are in positive territory, which is a little surprising given bullish readings on both stocks and commodities. Finally, our dollar indicator while in positive territory is not strong enough to merit a buy rating. Our gut feeling is that the buck has gone down too much, especially against the euro, and we would probably recommend calls if the indicators improved a bit more.

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