July 2018 will mark the 108th month of the economic recovery, making it the second longest expansion in history. Another 12-months or so and it will be the longest ever. Moreover, the consensus of economists foresees little trouble ahead.
What would you do if I handed you a map to the Holy Grail of investing? Would you toss it in the trash because Nobel Laureate economists say it’s impossible to beat the market with less risk? Or would you give it a thorough read to see if there is any validity? Let’s find out.
Stocks are most vulnerable when optimism is at an extreme and its long-term trend reverses. This is when careless investment decisions are exposed, as well. Right now, the P/E is well above its 48-month MA and secondary up trendline, and is showing no signs of weakness.
In the fall of 1981, the twenty-year US bond yield peaked slightly above 15% and has been zig zagging down through each successive business cycle since. During the last one hundred and sixty-years or so, the average secular, (very long-term) trend in rates has lasted around twenty seven-years. After thirty five-years of declining rates, the current secular bear is getting long in the tooth.
Anyone thinking that we may get a repeat of the spectacular 2001-2008 and 2009-2011 rallies in commodities may have to think again, at least that’s what’s being hinted at by many of the long-term technical indicators. You could say it depends on what the definition of the word “is” is, to quote a well-known Clintonian expression. In this case, it all depends on what the direction of the secular trend is, as we explain later.
A major anxiety amongst stock market participants revolves around two key factors that appear to be on a collision course. The first is an overvalued stock market. The second, is an emerging trend of rising interest rates.
The purpose of this article is to make the case for a primary trend rise in yields. If this assumption turns out to be correct, it is within the realm of possibilities that this same rally may also be a turn in the tide for the initial advance in a new, very long-term or secular uptrend.