Macro Liquidity continues to bulge. The stock market has followed. It became oversold versus the surge in liquidity that the Fed initiated in March 2020. And it hasn’t looked back since. Should we expect to see stock prices become overbought again before the next big crash?
Both bonds and stocks have weakened over the past 2 weeks. It’s a sign that the Fed isn’t supplying enough QE. We’ve known for a long time that it wasn’t enough to support twin bull moves in both asset classes. Have we reached the tipping point where it’s insufficient for either to move higher while…
Back in September I wrote to you about why I was giving up on the banking system indicators. I’ve reposted that rant in an addendum to this report. Essentially it boils down to this. Every time there’s a critical problem in the banking system due to banker malfeasance, the Fed steps in to paper it over and reward the criminals.
The Fed continues to fund roughly 85% of new Treasury issuance. It affirmed at last week’s FOMC meeting that it won’t cut QE for the foreseeable future, and it will add, if needed. That means that if the Treasury needs to borrow more, the Fed will add more QE.
But it’s now apparent that the Treasury won’t borrow more for the foreseeable future. The new stimulus bill that we now know is about to pass will cost $900 billion. But the Treasury has $1.6 trillion in cash on hand.
This has huge implications for the stock and bond markets.
The Fed’s policy remains stable at about $170 billion per month in QE, give or take a few billion depending on the level of MBS replacements. The balance sheet is growing on trend. The stock market is tracking with it, as usual.
This will lead to a huge problem when the economy begins to react to enlarged stimulus.
This report discusses how to position trading strategy to take advantage.
Here’s the problem. When rates are falling, there are more sales, and especially more refi. So the prepayments go up, and the Fed sees a greater reduction in its MBS holdings. Those reductions had been running at the rate of $65-70 billion per month through last month, based on the prepayment rate in the market in prior months. The Fed then bought that much from the dealers in the following months.
In this Part 2 of the report, I cover the remaining interesting and important indicators that comprise the CLI. Each has its own story to tell, but they all lead to the same conclusion. Still bullish, and, unbelievably, one key component says that the stock market is oversold.
I find it difficult to wrap my head around that. But I won’t argue with it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 53 years of watching markets virtually every day, it’s not to argue with impartial indicators. They don’t care what I think should happen. They just show what is happening.
Are You Kidding Me?
Can this be right? Did the stock market become oversold in mid October versus Composite Liquidity. This chart said that it did. And even after this huge 2 week rally, it’s still much closer to oversold than overbought. The S&P 500 is still near the bottom of the liquidity band.
It’s very similar to a look it had in July 2011. That preceded 4 years of a relentless, virtually unbroken bullish string.
What should cause us to expect change?
We’ve had two working theses over the past few months. One is that the Fed is no longer pumping enough cash into dealer accounts to keep an endless bull trend going. Instead, at best, there’s only enough for rotation between stocks and bonds.
The second thesis was that because dealers are so leveraged, any fall in bond prices, reflected in an increase in bond yields, would mean big trouble for the markets.
The market has the benefit of $115 billion in Fed mid-month QE MBS purchase settlements this week. That would normally be very bullish. It’s notable that the market has not done more with it. And why not? Still massive Treasury supply along with surging corporate debt and equity issuance is absorbing most QE. There’s not…