Posts filed under “Cycles”

“Trade the First Day, then Stay Away”

This morning, the WSJ reports on a new trading pattern: First day of the month rally:

“Some traders have been adopting a new ritual in recent months—buying early on the first day of the month and selling by the day’s close—taking advantage of a peculiar phenomenon that has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average rise substantially on the first day of each month. That one-day move often has accounted for much of the Dow’s gains for the entire month.”

The article points to a likely source of the rally: Manufacturing data. It typically is released on the first day of the month. And, given the weak US Peso, “The manufacturing sector has been one consistent source of positive surprises during the economic recovery.”

Futures are strong this morning, with the SPX up 6, and the Nasdaq at plus 14, so yesterday’s rally does not look to be taking any steam out of the idea — yet.

These things tend to become self-fulfilling prophesies, at least for a while.

But one suspects that as these patterns become more widely understood, traders will anticipate them, and pull the gains forward. The Journal noted that the “last five days of the month have tended to see declines,” but I suspect that may no longer be the case (as yesterday’s rally showed).

Regardless, it is a phenomena that is worth watching . . .


Much of Month’s Move Is on First Day
WSJ, MARCH 1, 2011

Category: Cycles, Markets, Psychology

Presidential Chart Porn

With the recent passing of what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday — and with President Obama having  invoked his name — we have been treated to a steady stream of articles about our 40th president, most of them remembering him in the most glowing terms, particularly as it relates to his economic record. …Read More

Category: Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy, Markets, Politics

Probable Outcomes

Probable Outcomes by Ed Easterling.


Crestmont Research’s Ed Easterling is a fellow traveler — a student of long term secular bull and bear markets.

If you are interested in valuation, sentiment, historical data and sound principles, Easterling is your guy. I have repeatedly referenced his first book, Unexpected Returns: Understanding Secular Stock Market Cycles, over the years as a solid explantory of how markets cycle over decades.

A combination of investment science and art, Probable Outcomes describes the common approach of irrational hope versus a more rational view of the stock market in this book. And, I am a sucker for all of the full-color charts and graphs it contains.


Easterling has done it again. In an investing world obsessed with short-termism, Ed reminds us that the long-term matters, and that investors can prosper – handsomely – by recognizing that valuation and long-term secular trends have an immense impact on our own long-term investment success. Swimming against the current is for heroes and idiots, not for sensible mortals.
-Rob Arnott, Chairman & Founder, Research Affiliates, LLC; Former Editor, Financial Analysts Journal

As a practitioner and a teacher of finance and economics, I am captivated with Easterling’s insights and quantification of the important and critical role of price stability in producing superior investment returns.
-Harvey Rosenblum, Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Adjunct Professor of Finance, Southern Methodist University

Ed Easterling has hit another home run! Probable Outcomes is a brilliant follow-on to Unexpected Returns and masterfully explains, in an understandable way, the most likely directions for the stock market over the next decade. This essential resource prepares investors to succeed in volatile and challenging times. You will profit from the many valuable insights that are much more effective than hope. 
-John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

Probable Outcomes makes a strong case that the stock market over the coming decade at best will deliver only average returns to buy-and-hold investors. Once again, as in his splendid earlier book, Unexpected Returns, Ed Easterling tells investors not what they would like to hear, but instead what they need to know.
-Richard Sylla, Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets, NYU Stern School of Business; coauthor of A History of Interest Rates

Full chapter after the jump.

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Category: Books, Cycles

The Battle of Bull vs Bear

Good Thursday morning. We woke up in the states to see Futures under pressure, but off their worst levels of the morning. Following a day of 1-2% losses in Asia, European bourses gave up less than 1%, losing 50-75bps. US stocks are looking to open lower, as the bears make another attempt at some downward…Read More

Category: Cycles, Markets, Trading

Surprisingly Strong Q4 2010 Revenues

One of the knocks on last year’s earnings was that it was cost cutting was driving profitibility — not organic revenue growth. The recovery could not turn into an expansion, we were told, without solid revenue gains. Earnings may have surpassed Wall Street expectations for seven straight quarters, but sales have trailed forecasts since 2008….Read More

Category: Analysts, Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy

> Lakshman Achuthan discusses ECRI. He is not an economist. But all he hass done for 20 years is study recessions and recoveries. At ECRI, they make economic forecasts based on our leading indexes, none of it is based on the regressions, correlations or econometric models that drive most of the forecasts you hear about….Read More

Category: Cycles, Economy, Think Tank

Cyclical Swings within Secular Markets

I frequently discuss the 1966-1982 market cycle, with its cyclical bull and bear markets within the broader context of a longer secular bear market.

Ron Griess (of The Chart Store) has taken it this a step further, looking at ALL of the longer secular markets going back to 1927, including the cyclical markets occurring within those broader cycles.

Its fascinating stuff:

click for larger charts

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Category: Cycles, Markets, Technical Analysis

Recession Recovery by the Numbers

Awesome chartporn from the Atlantic showing the changes in the US wrought by the credit crisis and Great Recession: > click for truly ginormous chart > Source: What a difference two years makes Timothy Lavin January February 2011

Category: Cycles, Data Analysis, Digital Media, Markets

SPX Index Secular Markets (1900-2010)

We’ve taken many longer term looks at the markets (See, for example, this, this, this or this) but the following chart from UBS Technical Analyst Peter Lee really tickled my fancy: > click for larger graphic > Source: 2011 Technical Market Outlook Peter Lee – Chief Technical Strategist Wealth Management Research December 2010

Category: Cycles, Markets, Technical Analysis

NFIB: Modest Improvement and Correlation du jour

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its Small Business Economic Trends Report (SBET) [.pdf], and the news was an improvement over the prior month: The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism rose 1.5 points in November rising to 93.2, the highest reading since December 2007, and the fourth consecutive…Read More

Category: Consumer Spending, Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment