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Are You Paying Attention to the Advance Decline Indicator?

How useful is the Advance Decline (A/D) indicator and what can it tell us? The A/D indicator is a breadth indicator and signal used for determining a shift in the directional trend of aggregate markets. It measures the difference between the number of advancing and declining stocks on a daily basis. In doing so, it can provide insight into market sentiment. A rising line signals the cumulative strength of rising stocks in proportion to declining stocks and conversely a falling trend line shows the preponderance of stocks falling in proportion to stocks that are rising. As with every signal there are nuances to understanding the data outputs of the signal itself which in turn can require evaluation in combination with other technical indicators.

As mentioned, when an index is rallying and the A/D line is rising it reflects strong participation among companies in the trend. However, if the index is rising but the A/D line is rising only marginally or remains unchanged, it could indicate that the rally in the index is due to the rise of only a small number of market leaders. Conversely, if indexes are falling but the A/D line is steady or even rising, it can indicate that fewer stocks in aggregate are declining.

On Thursday January 12th 2023, the ratio of advancing to declining stocks on the NYSE closed above 1.97. The last time this happened was in June 2020, when stocks were rallying out of the COVID-induced bear market. This is the 25th time that this has occurred in the last 75 years. In all 24 prior instances the stock market was higher 12 months later. There are no guarrantees of course that the same will happen in this instance. History can signal probabilities but every market cycle and time in history has its own unique attributes.

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Life Expectancy, Social Security & Retirement

Happy New Year! We hope that you enjoyed the festive season and time with family. As we begin another year it is worth reflecting on our good fortune that we are living in an era of remarkable advances in health care that have prolonged the average lifetime. In 1875, the average life expectancy in the USA was 40 years old. By 1960 (85 years later) the average life expectancy in the USA was 69.77years and in 2019, it was 78.79 years. Life expectancy has almost doubled since 1875. It has fallen since 2020 due to the increase in mortality rate resulting from COVID and currently stands at 77.28 years in 2022. Men typically on average have a lesser lifespan reaching approximately 74 years of age whereas women on average live to about 80 years. As medicine advances at an exponential rate with the convergence of quantum computing, biotechnology, genomics, regenerative medicine, research and many other related disciplines, the pace at which healthcare is advancing is accelerating and we can expect the average life expectancy to keep rising alongside these advances.

This is, of course good news for human beings but it also means we need to plan for living longer. As we live through the great inflation since the advent of COVID and a challenging bear market, it's important to revisit retirement plans on a regular basis and re-calibrate if needed to realize the retirement you are planning for.

An important factor that will influence your retirement income are social security benefits and the age you start claiming them.It is important to understand the financial implications  of when you choose to claim social security. For example, it is estimated that overall benefits, on average, will be approximately 76% higher (inflation adjusted) if you start claiming social secuirity at the age of 70 versus the age of 62. That may be counter-intuitive but when you factor in the early-retirement reduction penalty and conversely the delayed retirement credits (DCR's) that increase your retirement by 8% per annum for each year through the age of 70, this is not the case. Only 7% of all retirees wait to claim social security until the age of 70 despite this.

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Proof Positive or Not? The Fed, Rate Hikes and Disinflation

Has the inflation tide turned? Core CPI was forecast to increase 0.3% month-over-month and 6.1% for the year but came in recently at 0.2% and 6% respectively. Food on the other hand (which is not part of Core CPI) has continued to rise as have the costs of shelter.

In the bond market, long-term Treasury yields are starting to fall. Analysts are projecting that these will continue to fall into 2023. The 10-Year Treasury yield topped out at 4.3% a few weeks ago and finished at 3.49% a few days ago, down more than 80 basis points from its peak.

Also of note: The U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI has declined over the last few months into territory below 50 which signals falling demand. Each time the index has fallen below 50 - over the past 50 years - the 10-Year Treasury yield has proceeded to fall over the following few quarters, notably this also occurred during the era of high inflation of the 1970's. Falling treasury yields have an inverse correlation in the past with higher risk beta stocks rising

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Is the Economy Slowing? Realistic Interest Benchmark Forecasts May Signal the Beginning of a Reset

The end of "hope" may be a net positive when it comes to market expectations in a bear market. Up until recently the markets have been relying on a constant drip of an illusory - any moment now - "Fed Turnabout Cocktail". Each time the Federal Reserve dissappoints with renewed commitment to its hawkish policy, the markets pout. Volatility is the ineivtable result with almost daily commentary about the latest thoughts of the members of the Federal Reserve and upcoming economic indicators.

The markets have now - at last - factored in benchmark rates of between 4.9-5.4% which is closer to what the Federal Reserve has indicated as potentially possible. While markets and media talk about a pending recession in lock step with Federal Reserve policy, some argue that we are already in a recession. The markets are now factoring in or discounting the future on a more realistic basis which means a greater acceptance of what is likely and less hopeful about any imminent Federal Reserve policy turnabout. 

Federal reserve actions are slow to filter into the economy but as we mentioned in our previous article, there are signs of demand slowing appearing in the economy. Container prices which are seen as a more current indicator of economic demand have dropped from sky high prices of around $20,000 during the peak COVID era to the low $2-3,000 range today. Job openings are down substantially. Residentail real estate prices are falling. Commodity prices from lumber to copper are down from their recent highs. If it takes 260 hours for the world's largest supertankers to turn around, how much time does it take for the worlds largest economy?

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Recent Trends in GDP and Consumer Demand

The Fed Reserve and inflation have been primary market talking points. Today we will take a look at recent trends in GDP and consumer demand. While the Fed is doing all it can - with its tools - to put the breaks on consumer demand and inflation, the data - across multiple key indicators - shows clear signs that the economy is starting to slow.

After two consecutive negative GDP growth quarters, The GDPNow forecast for the the third quarter of 2022 has been falling steadily since August when it was projected at 2.5% to sub 0.3% as of last week, Tuesday. We will have a better estimate of GDP for the third quarter by the end of October. The trend and forecast shows consecutive declining growth.

The trend in slowing growth is also reflected by declining activity in inbound containers at major US ports. This is considered a coincident demand indicator and reflective of immediate shifting trends in consumer demand. Global commodity and food prices are showing some signs of price easing but remain high year over year. Jonathan Golub, Credit Suisse;s chief U.S. equity strategist maintains that: "Futures indicate that Food and Energy prices should fall -5.7% and -11.8% by year end 2023, while Goods inflation has declined from 12.3% to 7.0% since February,” he wrote. “Over the past year, Services and Rents are up less than Headline CPI (5.5% and 5.8% vs. 8.5%).”

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Hawley Advisors
1600 South Main Street, Suite 190
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Phone: 925-906-9800
Fax: 925-906-9884
info@hawleyadvisors.com

 

 

Hawley Advisors is an investment advisor, registered with the State of California. Any investment ideas or strategies on this website are for the purposes of education and general information only and should not be construed as specific investment advice. For more information about our firm please check the SEC Public Disclosure website: https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/

 

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