A Glut of Energy Insider Buyers

Everyone hates the energy sector (Foreshadowing alert: Well, almost everyone).  And a quick perusal of Figure 1 clearly illustrates why the energy sector is unloved.

Figure 1 – Ticker XLE versus ticker QQQ (Courtesy TradingExpert)

Since ticker XLE (Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF) topped out in 2014:

*XLE has lost -65%

*QQQ has gained +210%

And in another kick in the head to the energy sector, Exxon (ticker XOM) was just kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Take that, losers!

So yeah, who wouldn’t hate energy stocks and decide to shun them?  Well, as it turns out, the answer to that question of late is “the people who know the energy business the best.”

Figure 2 from www.Sentimentrader.com displays the Insider Buy/Sell ratio for executives and other muckety-mucks running energy related corporations.  The picture speaks for itself.

Figure 2 – Energy Insider Buy/Sell Ratio (Courtesy Sentimentrader.com)

As you can see, energy corporate insiders have been on a massive buying binge of late.  Interestingly, they went on a buying binge in 2019 – apparently expecting an improvement in the sector – then the sector got waylaid by Covid-19.  Instead of bailing out the insiders really kicked their share buying into overdrive as you can see at the far right of Figure 2.

Figure 3 displays ticker XLE with an indicator that I developed by simply smoothing Larry Williams VixFix indicator.  The gist of the idea, is that when this indicator reaches an extreme high level and then turns down, it often highlights a “washed out” situation which may be followed by a bullish move.  Ticker XLE is presently nearing that point. 

EDITTORS NOTE: VixFix smoothed indicator code sections can be copied and pasted into EDS or you can download the indicator code in an EDS file from here and save it to your /wintes32/EDS Strategies folder.

This indicator is based on another indicator called VixFix which was developed many years ago by Larry Williams.

hivalclose is hival([close],22).  <<<<<The high closing price in that last 22 periods

vixfix is (((hivalclose-[low])/hivalclose)*100)+50. <<<(highest closing price in last 22 periods minus current period low) divided by highest closing price in last 22 periods (then multiplied by 100 and 50 added to arrive at vixfix value)

vixfixaverage is Expavg(vixfix,3). <<< 3-period exponential average of vixfix

vixfixaverageave is Expavg(vixfixaverage,7). <<<7-period exponential average of vixfixaverage

Figure 3 – Ticker XLE with oversold indicator (Courtesy TradingExpert)

What to make of all this?

Should savvy investors follow the insider’s lead and start piling into the energy sector?  Unfortunately, hindsight is the only way to know for sure.  But for what it is worth, my own answer is “probably, but maybe not just yet.”

Energy Seasonality

The primary reason for hesitation at this exact moment in time is seasonality.  Let’s use ticker FSESX (Fidelity Select Sector Energy Services) as a proxy for the broader energy index.  This fund’s first full month of trading was January 1986.  Figure 4 displays the cumulative total return for ticker FSESX ONLY during the months of June through November every year since 1986.

Figure 4 – FSESX cumulative % return June through October (1986-2020)

The cumulative total return during these months for holders of FSESX during June through November is -94.7%(!!!)  So, you see my hesitation with “piling in”.

Additionally – climate change concerns aside – much of the energy industry still revolves around crude oil.  Figure 4 displays the annual seasonal trend by month for crude oil.

Figure 5 – Crude Oil annual seasonal trend by Month (Courtesy Sentimentrader.com)

Seasonal trends can vary widely from year-to-year, and there is NO guarantee that trouble lies ahead in Sep-Oct-Nov for the energy sector.

But that is what history suggests.

Summary

The bottom line is this:

*Energy sector corporate insider buying should be seen as a bullish longer-term sign for the sector

*The energy sector is so beaten down, battered and unloved that it probably accurate to refer to the situation as “Blood in the Streets”

Based on these factors I look for energy to surprise investors in the years ahead.  That being said:

*Trying to pick the exact bottom in anything is typically a fool’s errand

*Getting bullish on the energy sector in early September is at times fraught with peril.

Sometime around December 1st it will be time to take a close look at the energy sector. If an actual uptrend develops or has already developed, the time may be write for investors to join the insiders.

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer: The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are based on research conducted and presented solely by the author.  The information presented represents the views of the author only and does not constitute a complete description of any investment service.  In addition, nothing presented herein should be construed as investment advice, as an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While the data is believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and the potential for illiquid markets.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There is risk of loss in all trading.  Back tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance.  Also, back tested performance results have certain inherent limitations and differs from actual performance because it is achieved with the benefit of hindsight.

Quick Market update video

The Expert System in TradingExpert Pro gave a 1 – 99 down signal on the Dow Jones on 8-27-20. The market internals based on the advancing vs declining issue in the New York market continue to diverge from the market price action.

The phase indicator used to confirm Expert Ratings turned down on 8-31-20. We usually look for a phase confirmation of an Expert Rating to occur within 3 days of the rating.

The changes made in the constituents of the Dow 30 effective 8-31-20

  • Salesforce.com replaced Exxon Mobil, Amgen replacedd Pfizer and Honeywell replaced Raytheon Technologies.
  • The changes were due to Apple’s 4-for-1 stock split, which significantly reduced the indexes exposure to the information technology sector.
  • The Dow 30 is a price weighted index.

Whither Apple?

OK, first off a true confession.  I hate it when some wise acre analyst acts like they are so smart and that everyone else is an idiot.  Its offensive and off-putting – not to mention arrogant.  And still in this case, all I can say is “Hi, my name is Jay.”

A lot of attention has been paid lately to the fact that AAPL is essentially swallowing up the whole world in terms of market capitalization.  As you can see in Figure 1, no single S&P 500 Index stock has ever had a higher market cap relative to the market cap of the entire Russell 2000 small-cap index.

Figure 1 – Largest S&P 500 Index stock as a % of entire Russell 200 Index (Courtesy Sentimentrader.com)

So of course, the easiest thing in the world to do is to be an offensive, off-putting and arrogant wise acre and say “Well, this can’t last.”  There, I said it.  With the caveat that I have no idea how far AAPL can run “before the deluge”, as a student of (more) market history (than I care to admit) I cannot ignore this gnawing feeling that this eventually “ends badly.”  Of course, I have been wrong plenty of times before and maybe things (Offensive, Off-Putting and Arrogant Trigger Warning!) “really will be different this time around.”  To get a sense of why I bring this all up, please keep reading.

In Figure 1 we also see some previous instances of a stock becoming “really large” in terms of market cap.  Let’s take a closer look at these instances.

IBM – 1979

Figure 2 – IBM (Courtesy  TradingExpert)

MSFT – 1999

Figure 3 – MSFT (Courtesy TradingExpert)

XOM – 2008

Figure 4 – XOM (Courtesy TradingExpert)

AAPL – 2012

Figure 5 – AAPL (Courtesy TradingExpert)

AAPL – 2020

Figure 6 – AAPL (Courtesy TradingExpert)

Summary

Small sample size? Yes.

Could AAPL continue to run to much higher levels? Absolutely

Do I still have that offensive, off-putting and slightly arrogant gut feeling that somewhere along the way AAPL takes a huge whack?

Sorry.  It’s just my nature.

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer: The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are based on research conducted and presented solely by the author.  The information presented represents the views of the author only and does not constitute a complete description of any investment service.  In addition, nothing presented herein should be construed as investment advice, as an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While the data is believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and the potential for illiquid markets.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There is risk of loss in all trading.  Back tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance.  Also, back tested performance results have certain inherent limitations and differs from actual performance because it is achieved with the benefit of hindsight.

Dow 30 MACD picture – Dotcom vs Covid

You may have seen some of the articles out there analyzing the skewed nature of the current market rally. As Joe Bartosiewicz in his August 8 Bartometer pointed out:

“The Top 15 Stocks in the S&P 500 account in Market Value 35% of the entire S&P 500 stock market. The Bottom 420 Stocks in the S&P 500 account in Market Value 33.8% of the entire S&P 500 stock market. This means that 15 stocks are controlling the entire S&P 500..”

The Dow Jones 30 index uses a price weighted criteria as part of it’s calculation, and also includes Apple; AAPL has more than doubled in price in under 5 months.

Given that there appears to be only a small basket of stocks leading this rally, we had a look back at the last time tech related stocks were driving the market higher; the dotcom bubble that ran through the 90s into the early 00s.

Monthly DJIA and MACD – left through 3/2002 – right through 10/2002

The first chart is a monthly of the Dow 30 with MACD indicator comparing the market 03/29//2002 as the dotcom bubble rolled over vs 7 months later. Students of divergence analysis, will tell you that MACD in late March 2002 clearly showed prices should be much lower still despite the @33 % rally from the September 2001 low. By late October 2002 the market had fallen again by @33%. At that time the market was close to @40% lower than the high at the start of 2000.

Monthly DJIA and MACD – left through 3/2002 – right through 8/2020

The second chart is a monthly of the Dow 30 on the right through 8/10/20 vs the rally peak of 03/29/2002. The current market has had a @50% rally from the low at the end of March 2020. The original correction was @37% from high to low, slightly bigger than the dotcom correction. The MACD, similar to 2002, is strongly diverging.

The decline in 2002, after the rally, took prices lower than the the prior bottom. If a similar pattern happens this time and the decline is @40% from the high of 29568, the Dow would at the 17700 level.

Join us for a special FREE WinWayCharts webinar – July 2, 2020

Yet more Power tools in your WinWayCharts plus a session on why you should use color studies in Charts

Thursday July 2, 2020 at 14:00 – 15:45

Part 1. Power tools in your WinWayCharts

An hour long session with UK Director Ray Foreman covering the power features in your WinWayCharts platform – great for new clients or those with more experience.

 

Part 2. Why you should use color studies in Charts

Steve Hill, founder of WinWayCharts will guide you through the powerful color studies tool in Charts and how you can take the indicators you already use and make them show signals on the price charts.

 

Join Ray Foreman and Steve Hill of WinWayCharts

Thursday July 2, 2020 14:00 – 16:00 BST

We look forward to having you join us.

The WinWayCharts Team

Questions? Call 0207 749 2205 or e-mail support@winwaycharts.com

AIQ Market Timing update 6-28-20

This video on the Market Timing signals in AIQ is also applicable for our WinWayCharts TradingExpert Market Timing. Check it out.

Market volatility continues. In this update we’ll take a look at the current AI signals on the Dow Jones. For folks less familiar with our AI engine here’s a recap of what we do.

TradingExpert Pro uses two AI knowledge bases, one specifically designed to issue market timing signals and the other designed to issue stock timing signals.

Each contains approximately 400 rules, but only a few “fire” on any given day.  In the language of expert systems, those rules that are found to be valid on a particular day are described as having “fired”.

Rules can fire in opposite directions.  When this happens, the bullish and bearish rules fight it out.  It’s only when bullish rules dominate that the Expert Rating signal is bullish, or when bearish rules dominate that the Expert Rating signal is bearish.

The Expert Rating consists of two values.

The upside rating is the value on the left and the downside rating is on the right.  Expert Ratings are based on a scale of 0 to 100.  An Expert Rating of 95 to 100 is considered a strong signal that the Stock or market may change direction.

An Expert Rating below 90 is considered meaningless.  A low rating means that there is not enough consistency in the rules that fired to translate to a signal.  The expert system has not found enough evidence to warrant a change from the last strong signal.

The Ultimate Ugly Contrarian Play

They always say you should buy when there is “blood in the street.”  They also say, “buy them when nobody wants them.”  So, let’s consider today what could be the most unloved, bombed out, everybody hates it “thing” in the world – coal.

Ugh, just the mention of the word coal elicits a recoiling response.  “Dirty energy!”  “Climate change inducing filth!” “Ban coal!”.  And so and so forth.  And maybe they have a point.  But “they” also say “facts are stubborn things” (OK, for the record, I think it’s a different “they” who says that but never mind about that right now).

So here is a stubborn fact: coal supplies about a quarter of the world’s primary energy and two-fifths of its electricity.  As I write, two of the fastest growing economies (at least they were as of a few months ago) – China and India – are not only heavily reliant upon coal for energy, but are still building more and more coal-fired plants.  Now I am making no comment on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing but the point is, it most definitely is a “thing.”

So however one feels about coal, the reality is that it is not going to go away anytime soon.  Does this mean it will “soar in value” anytime soon – or even ever for that matter?  Not necessarily.  But as an unloved commodity it’s sure is hard to beat coal.  And as “they” (they sure are a bunch of know it all’s they?) say, “opportunity is where you find it.”

Ticker KOL is an ETF that invests in coal industry related companies.  And what a dog it has been.  Figure 1 displays a monthly chart of price action.  Since peaking in June 2008 at $60.80 a share, it now stands at a measly $6.29 a share, a cool -89.6% below its peak.  And like a lot of things it has been in a freefall of late.

Figure 1 – Ticker KOL Monthly chart (Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert Pro)

So, is this a great time to buy KOL?  That’s not for me to say.  But for argument’s sake, Figure 2 displays a weekly chart of KOL with an indicator I call Vixfixaverageave (I know, I know), which is a version of an indicator developed a number of years ago by Larry Williams (Indicator code is at the end of the article).

Figure 2 – KOL weekly chart with Vixfixaverageave indicator (Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert Pro)

Note that Vixfixaverageave is presently above 90 on the weekly chart.  This level has been reached twice before – once in 2008 and once in 2016.  Following these two previous instances, once the indicator actually peaked and ticked lower for one week, KOL enjoyed some pretty spectacular moves.

To wit:

*Following the 12/19/08 Vixfixaverageave peak and reversal KOL advanced +252% over the next 27.5 months

*Following the 2/19/16 Vixfixaverageave peak and reversal KOL advanced +182% over the next 23.5 months

When will Vixfixaverageave peak and reverse on the weekly KOL chart?  There is no way to know.  One must just wait for it to happen.  And will it be time to buy KOL when this happens?  Again, that is not for me to say.  None of this is meant to imply that the bottom for KOL is an hand nor that a massive rally is imminent.

Still, if there is anything at all to contrarian investing, its hard to envision anything more contrarian that KOL.

Vixfixaverageave Calculations

hivalclose is hival([close],22).  <<<<<The high closing price in that last 22 periods

vixfix is (((hivalclose-[low])/hivalclose)*100)+50. <<<(highest closing price in last 22 periods minus current period low) divided by highest closing price in last 22 periods (then multiplied by 100 and 50 added to arrive at vixfix value)

vixfixaverage is Expavg(vixfix,3). <<< 3-period exponential average of vixfix

vixfixaverageave is Expavg(vixfixaverage,7). <<<7-period exponential average of vixfixaverage

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer: The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are based on research conducted and presented solely by the author.  The information presented does not represent the views of the author only and does not constitute a complete description of any investment service.  In addition, nothing presented herein should be construed as investment advice, as an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While the data is believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and the potential for illiquid markets.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There is risk of loss in all trading.  Back tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance.  Also, back tested performance results have certain inherent limitations and differs from actual performance because it is achieved with the benefit of hindsight.

Thoughts on the Energy Sector (just in case we ever leave our homes again)

In a few recent articles (for example here) I suggested that one day we would look back on this period as a terrific buying opportunity for energy related issues.  At the same time, I still have yet to become comfortable “pulling the trigger”.  Thank goodness for small favors.

Anyway, the overall sentiment still holds.  Energy is dirt cheap as are shares of most energy related stocks/ETFs etc.  Again, that doesn’t necessarily mean that now is the exact moment to “load up”.  To say that there is a wee bit of uncertainty regarding the future would be about the greatest understatement one could presently make.  Still, it is important to plan ahead and to be prepared when the time comes.  So, what follows should be considered “food for thought” and not “an immediate call to action.”

A Few Things Energy

Ticker TAN

According to conventional wisdom, the future is “green”.  I’ll be candid – I am all for green energy, as long as when I flip the switch the lights come on AND when I look at my energy bill I don’t faint.  So, let’s start with a “green” play.

Turth be told, ticker TAN (Invesco Solar Energy ETF) has never been much of a performer.  Still, its in the solar business which people keep telling me is “the future.”  In reality the primary thing it has going for it is that it hasn’t completely cratered to the same degree as just about every other stock in the energy sector.  As you can see in Figure 1, TAN actually bottomed out at $12.60 in 2012 and – despite a near 50% decline during the recent panic – is presently trading around $26 a share.  Not necessarily a screaming buy signal, but a nice relative performance as we will see in a moment.

Figure 1 – Ticker TAN (Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert Pro)

Ticker UGA

In a sure “Sign of the Times”, the Good News is that gasoline prices are at their lowest levels in year, while the Bad News is that we don’t have anywhere to drive to except the grocery store.  Figure 2 displays the chart for ticker UGA – the United States Gasoline Fund, and ETF that tracks the price of gasoline.

While attempting to “pick a bottom” is a fool’s errand, the primary point is that it is not that hard to envision the price of this ETF being significantly higher at some point in the years ahead.  Whether an investor has the fortitude to weather whatever the short-term uncertainty and the patience to see how the long-term plays out are the primary issues associated with contemplating this ticker at the moment.

Figure 2 – Ticker UGA (Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert Pro)

Ticker XLE

Ticker XLE is a play on the broad (mostly fossil fuel related) energy sector.  As you can see in Figure 3, XLE has plunged to price levels not since 2004. In addition, it presently yields roughly 8.8%.  That being said, an investor has to realistically expect that dividend payments in the hard-hit energy sector will see some significant cuts as things play out in the months ahead.

With an oil price war in full swing, not to mention a sharp decline in demand for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fundamentals for this sector are unlikely to improve soon.  Nevertheless, the reality is that – at least for the time being – the world runs on crude oil.  As a result, the current price range may one day be looked back upon as a once-in-a-generation buying opportunity.

Figure 3 – XLE (Courtesy ProfitSource by HUBB)

Ticker PAGP

OK, let’s throw in one obscure, totally speculative – yet fundamentally intriguing – thought for consideration.  Ticker PAGP (Plains GP Holdings, L.P.).  Here is what they do (straight from their website):

“Plains engages in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of crude oil and refined products, as well as in the storage of natural gas, and the processing, transportation, fractionation, storage, and marketing of natural gas liquids.

Assets include:

*17,965 miles of active crude oil and NGL pipelines and gathering systems (emphasis mine as these things will continue to function as long as crude and NG need to be moved – which they do)

*50 barges and 20 transport tugs

*109 million barrels of storage capacity

*1,600+ trucks and trailers

*9,100 rail cars”

The bottom line is that as long as crude oil and natural gas needs to be moved, PAGP has a niche in which to operate.  For the record, at $6.35 a share the stock’s present dividend comes to a yield of 22.7%.  Certainly, the prospect of a significant dividend cut is a Signiant risk associated with this stock.  But for the moment anyway the price is near an all-time low and the dividend yield is attractive.

Figure 4 – Ticker PAGP (Courtesy ProfitSource by HUBB)

Summary

As allows, DO NOT look upon what I have written as “recommendations.”  Particularly in the current environment.  They are simply “food for thought.”

Given current fundamentals:

*An ongoing oil price war (making drilling and refining unprofitable for many companies)

*An economy on shutdown (which cripples demand)

*An existential struggle between “green” energy and “traditional” fossil fuel-based sources (which creates uncertainty about future expectations)

All combine to make the energy sector a giant question mark at the present time.  But if the old adage that the time to buy is when there is “blood in the streets”, than investors might be well served in the long run to start thinking now about how much capital they might be willing to commit to energy, and what type of catalyst might prompt them to actually “take the plunge.”

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer: The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are based on research conducted and presented solely by the author.  The information presented does not represent the views of the author only and does not constitute a complete description of any investment service.  In addition, nothing presented herein should be construed as investment advice, as an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While the data is believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and the potential for illiquid markets.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There is risk of loss in all trading.  Back tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance.  Also, back tested performance results have certain inherent limitations and differs from actual performance because it is achieved with the benefit of hindsight.

HiLo Indicator Nears an Important Point

The old adage is that we should “buy when there is blood in the streets.”  It basically means to buy when things look their worst.  Well, for the record I am not actually a fan of this intonation. While it is probably a fair statement, I for one prefer to see some sign of hope – some sign of a trend reversal at the very least – before taking the plunge.

One historically useful indicator suggests we may be nearing that point.

I refer to this indicator as JKHiLo.  I included my initials in the acronym because I “developed” it.  OK, all I really did was take one guy’s useful indicator and multiply it by another guy’s useful indicator and voila.

In a nutshell JKHilo multiplies Norman Fosback’s HiLo Logic Index by Gerald Appel’s High/Low Indicator.

The Fosback HiLo Logic Index (FHLLI)

I wrote two articles here and here about this indicator.  In short, a very low number of stocks making new lows is bullish for the stock market – it indicates that stocks overall are going up and is bullish.  At the same time, a very low number of stocks making new highs is also (typically) ultimately bullish going forward, as it tends to signal a “washed out” market.

So this indicator:

*takes the lower of new highs and new lows each day

*divides that number by the total number of issues trades

*takes a 10-day moving average of daily readings

Specifically, the Fosback HiLo Logic Index (HLLI) is calculated as follows:

A=Daily Nasdaq New Highs

B=Daily Nasdaq New Lows

C=The lower of A and B

D=The total number of Nasdaq issues traded

E = (C / D) * 100

FHLLI = 10-day average of E

Readings above 2.15% are considered a sign of “churning”, i.e., a lot of new highs AND new lows.  Reading below 0.40% are considered “bullish” because either new highs OR new lows is very low.

The Fosback HiLo Logic Index finally dropped below 0.40% on 3/23/20.  Figure 1 displays the OTC Composite Index with this indicator through 12/31/2019.

Figure 1 – Fosback HiLo Logic Index

The Appel High/Low Indicator

This indicator (heretofore AHLI) is more of a trend-following indicator.  It simply divides the number of new highs each day by the total of new highs AND new lows, then takes a 10-day average.

The AHLI is calculated as follows:

A=Daily Nasdaq New Highs

B=Daily Nasdaq New Lows

C = A / (A+B)

AHLI = 10-day average of C

Figure 2 displays this indicator versus the OTC Composite from 12/29/17 through 3/23/20.

Figure 2 – Appel High/Low Indicator (x100; blue line) with OTC Composite (/100; red line); Dec17 through 3/23/20

Extremely low readings tend to highlight oversold market conditions.  For the record, an actual “buy signal” for this indicator occurs when it drops below 0.20 (or 20 in Figure 3 since the blue line is the indicator x 100) and then rises back above that level.

The JK Hilo Index (JKHiLo)

So then one day some young punk comes along and multiplies the Fosback indicator by the Appel indicator and has the audacity to add his own initials.  Some people. Anyway:

JKHiLo = (FHLLI x AHLI) x 500

A “12-month Buy Signal” occurs when this indicator:

*drops below 5.00

*then turns higher for one day

The first part of this signal has happened.  As of the close on 3/23/20 JKHL has plunged to 1.8.

Let’s look at previous instances when JKHL fell below 5.00 and then ticked higher for one day.

IMPORTANT: This upside reversal technically constitutes a “12-month buy signal”.  What does that mean?  It means:

*We expect the market to be higher 12-months later

*HOWEVER, it is NOT an “All Clear, Everything is Great, You Can’t Lose” signal

The bottom line is that it typically does NOT mark the actually bottom.  In most cases, another new low or at least a retest of the low follows within a few months.  But not always.

Figure 3 displays the 7 buy signals that have occurred since 1990.

A = Date of signal – i.e., date the JKHL indicator ticked up one day after dropping below 5

B = SPX closing price on date of signal

C = Subsequent low closing price for SPX

D = SPX closing price 12 months after signal date

E = # of trading days between date of signal and ultimate low

F = % decline by SPX from date of signal to ultimate low

G = % change in SPX closing price 1 year after date of signal

Figure 3 – JKHL 12-month buy signals

It is important to note that each previous “buy signal” was followed by further downside price movement prior to the ultimate low.  It ranged from 2 trading days in 2018 to 101 trading days in 2008.  6 of the 7 signals saw a further decline of no more than -6.3%.  But the 2008 signal saw the market continue to plunge another -31% of the following 3+ months.

So, like I said earlier, even when this indicator does turn up and generate a new signal, that DOES NOT mean “All Clear”.  Still, to get an idea of what we might expect, each of the previous signals are displayed in the Figures below.

Figure 4 – 1990 signal (-3.4% to low, +25.6% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Figure 5 – 1998 signal (-6.3% to low, +31.3% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Figure 6 – 2002 signal (-4.1% to low, +24.3% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Figure 7 – 2008 signal (-31.3% to low, +10.7% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Figure 8 – 2011 signal (-0.5% to low, +25.4% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Figure 9 – 2016 signal (-4.1% to low, +19.1% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Figure 10 – 2018 signal (-2.4% to low, +28.9% 12 months later)
(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

We DO NOT have a new signal yet, but JKHiLo is below 5, so it is just a matter of waiting for the daily value to tick higher for one day (and then – if history is a guide – waiting for the ultimate low to be put in before a subsequent rally).

Figure 11 – As of 3/23/20(Courtesy WinWayCharts TradingExpert)

Summary

Are we on the cusp of a new opportunity?  Or on the edge of a cliff?  In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, I can’t pretend to know the answer.  So, I rely on objective indicators to guide me.

At this moment in time the “trend-following” indicators are bearish and so caution is undoubtedly in order.  But other indicators such as the one discussed here remind us to remain alert to new opportunities.

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer: The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and are based on research conducted and presented solely by the author.  The information presented does not represent the views of the author only and does not constitute a complete description of any investment service.  In addition, nothing presented herein should be construed as investment advice, as an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While the data is believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  International investments are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and the potential for illiquid markets.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  There is risk of loss in all trading.  Back tested performance does not represent actual performance and should not be interpreted as an indication of such performance.  Also, back tested performance results have certain inherent limitations and differs from actual performance because it is achieved with the benefit of hindsight.

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