This is Where Money Will Be Made This Week

By Graham Summers, MBA

The market is in a kind of macro-limbo.

Having juiced the markets higher with the promises of rates cuts, the Fed now finds itself in the absurd position of walking back these promises as A) stocks are at all time highs, B) the BLS continues to release manipulated jobs data to aid the Biden administration and C) the economy is allegedly growing at annualized rate of 4%+.

Regarding the jobs data…

It has become a running joke that the beancounters in Washington DC release absurdly positive economic data to aid the Biden administration, only to revise the data downward multiple times after the fact. Perhaps the single most ridiculous example of this occurred in 2022 when the Philadelphia Fed revealed that the BLS had overstated job growth in first half of the year by one million jobs.

I bring this up because the BLS was up to its usual shenanigans with the January jobs report released on Friday. In it the BLS claimed that the economy added 353,000 jobs in January 2024 instead of the expected 185,000.  Let’s be blunt here, if the economy was even close to as strong as the gimmicked data the BLS issues, the Biden administration’s approval ratings wouldn’t be in the toilet.

Politics aside, the issue with this jobs report is that it makes it impossible for the Fed to cut rates any time soon. After all, how can the Fed start easing monetary conditions when the economy is supposedly adding over 300,000 jobs per month and GDP is supposedly growing at 4.2%?!

And so the markets are in a kind of limbo. Everyone is bullish based on hopes of Fed rate cuts… but the Fed can’t cut rates with the data this strong. This opens the door to a market correction to take some of the “froth” out of stocks.

The S&P 500 hasn’t touched its 50-day moving average (DMA) in three months. The 50-DMA is represented by the blue line in the chart below. As you can see, it’s unusual for the S&P 500 NOT to touch this line for such a long period of time.

I would also add that the S&P 500 is ~5% above the 50-DMA. Historically, this degree of extension has market a top of sorts. 

With all of this in mind, the odds favor a correction to the 50-DMA (upper 4700s) some time in the next few weeks. After that, we’ll revisit our market forecast to see what’s next.

As I keep stating, you CAN outperform the overall market, but it takes a lot of work and insight!

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Posted by Phoenix Capital Research