Investing Advice: Business Cycle Points to Rising Risk

Posted On May 30, 2018 12:17 pm

Stocks took a tumble yesterday and volatility jumped, ostensibly on concerns Italy is heading towards both a debt induced financial crisis and a potentially divisive political swing towards populism. Today’s investing advice will explain how to manage the risks involved in this highly volatile climate.

Steve Miller who posts under the @askslim moniker issued this report over the weekend in which he sees current cycle, both technical and fundamental, pointing to increased risk for the market.

Here’s his technical breakdown of the SPX chart which targets a new leg down.

And here is his fundamental analysis:

The news cycle last week continued to revolve around the President Donald Trump, with dramatic statements on trade and international relations that were sometimes reversed shortly thereafter. However, the market appears to have adapted to this bluster, simply chopping around in a small range. This begs the question, does the market increasingly perceive this as noise intended to divert attention from other issues – or is this just “Trump tactics”?

The week began on Sunday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announcing on Fox News that the US and China had agreed to suspend their proposed tariffs and focus on negotiating a wider trade agreement. On Monday, the S&P 500 opened higher, gaining 20 points or 0.7% by the close. Yet tariff beneficiaries such as US Steel (X) fell nearly 4%.

On Tuesday, the Chinese government announced it would reduce import taxes on automobiles from the current level of 25% to 14% on new cars and from 10% to 6% on components. Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) rallied on the news, as did as European automakers. However, the broader US and Chinese stock markets both declined on the day.

Wednesday began with an early morning tweet from Trump in which he reversed Sunday’s optimism with regard to trade negotiations. “In the end we will probably have to use a different structure,” he explained, “as this will be too hard to get done.” Stocks chopped around, ending 9 points higher by the close. The main driver though may have been Fed minutes that were perceived as dovish, due in part to a willingness to let inflation temporarily move higher.

Later that day, Trump directed the Commerce Department to investigate whether imports represent a threat to US automakers. “There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry,” explained Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

 Related: Treasuries Are Off to a Rough Start This Year – And Here’s Why

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About author

Steve Smith

Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.

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