After Russia-Ukraine worries tipped the S&P 500
into correction territory on Tuesday, investors are rightly asking what’s next?
In the wait for more developments, some grim-looking charts are floating around, like this one from Stuck in the Middle blogger @Mr Blonde _macro who shows the S&P 500 tracking the action from 2018. If that holds, the index could be headed for a bounce — then down we go.
“The pattern suggests some relief before anxiety builds into the mid-March FOMC meeting,” says the blogger. (h/t The Market Ear). Of course, it also shows another bounce to come.
As for that correction, history tells us equities tend to eventually rebound from those downturns, with recoveries a year later even in the case of a bear market. Evidence is piling up for that big pullback, says our call of the day from the founder & CEO of BullAndBearProfits.com, Jon Wolfenbarger.
After warning us in October, the newsletter editor who spent 22 years as an equity analyst at Allianz Global Investors, is now even more convinced. Among his evidence is this laundry list of assets he says now trading below their 250-day moving averages, viewed as a bearish signal by some:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones Transportation Average
US small-cap stocks
US Value Line Geometric Stock Index
International Developed Market Stocks
International Emerging Market Stocks
International small-cap stocks
US Government Bonds
Record-high stock valuations are also a worry, and the fact that big bear markets usually begin before recessions and sometimes interest rate increases begin, like in the ‘stagflationary’ late 1960s, 1970s and five times in Japan over the past 30 years, he said, in emailed comments summing up his newsletter thoughts.
Slowing global economic growth and money-supply, which could stall even further amid Fed tightening are also on his worry list.
As for his core advice, he’s doubling down on a call to buy inverse ETFS that rise when stocks are falling, as he notes the 2007 to 2009 S&P pullback swept up stocks, real estate, commodities and defensives.
“For example, the ProShares Short S&P 500 ETF
which is designed to move in the opposite direction as the S&P 500 on a daily basis, rose 89%. Similarly, the ProShares Short QQQ ETF
rose 96%,” he said. Others designed to move at twice the rate — the ProShares UltraShort S&P 500
ETFs — surged 184% and 210%, respectively, he said.
Commodities, meanwhile, could be in a sweet spot in case of 1970s stagflation, which a Russia-Ukraine crisis could exacerbate. Wolfenbarger looked at what happened to the asset class during the Disco days, also noting its attractiveness on a historical basis, versus stocks and growth:
Investors new to geopolitical tensions we’ve been seeing lately, should study that 1970s stagflation period, which was not kind to stock and bond investors, he said.
“Investors can make lots of money in that environment, but it will likely be in ways they have haven’t seen in over 40 years. Namely, investing in ETFs for commodities like energy, agriculture and metals, as well as buying inverse ETFs to profit from bear markets in both stocks and bonds,” said Wolfenbarger.
It looks like any summits for Thursday, between U.S. and Russian presidents and foreign ministers as more sanctions trickle out from the West, while Ukraine officials are sounding more concerned with its national security head calling for a nationwide state of emergency.
Opinion: Reddit’s retail investors are bullish on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Stock of home DIY group Lowe’s
are rising on strong results. TJX
are still to come. After the close, Ebay
Activision Blizzard shares
shook off reports of a delay to next year’s version of the “Call of Duty” videogame.
are rising, with oil
modestly higher and bonds
losing some of their haven luster. Asian stocks were higher overall, and European equities
The New Zealand dollar
is climbing after the country’s central bank hiked interest rates for the third time since late last year.
Our chart comes from Pepperstone’s head of research, Chris Weston, who sees gold in the palladium hills.
He argues the key component for catalytic converters and fuel cells is a “momentum play through $2,400 [an ounce], where a break could see this bull trend for 2500+.” It’s a clear Russia play — 50% of the world’s palladium is produced in that country.
With Russia’s push into separatist regions and sanctions priced in, risk could roll over again in case of a deeper push into Ukraine. Still, “energy remains the elephant in the room (for markets), and any belief that Russian production and supply will be impacted will likely cause a new leg up – nat gas, Brent, wheat, palladium – they are all on the radar,” he said.
Read: Russia’s move into Ukraine is boosting commodity prices — here’s what’s at stake
These were the top-searched tickers on MarketWatch as of 6 a.m. Eastern Time.
Digital World Acquisition Corp.
A 9,000 year-old perfectly intact shrine has been found in the Jordanian desert
Get ready for a “tighter and more electric” Oscars ceremony
Pricey meteorite fragments are on offer on offer at a Christie’s auction, along with a doghouse that survived a hit from one.
Need to Know starts early and is updated until the opening bell, but sign up here to get it delivered once to your email box. The emailed version will be sent out at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
Want more for the day ahead? Sign up for The Barron’s Daily, a morning briefing for investors, including exclusive commentary from Barron’s and MarketWatch writers.