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Market Strength Whipsaw

Over the past week my core measures of market strength whipsawed. The category went positive last week, then went back to negative yesterday. Another thing of note is that my core measures of stock market risk fell substantially. This indicates a foundational weakening in market action (as opposed to my market risk indicator which looks for fear in the market). The core portfolio allocations have changed to the following: Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 5/7/2018) Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 70% long high beta stocks and 30% short the S&P 500 Index (or use an ETF like SH) Long / Cash portfolio: 40% long and 60% cash

 
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Market Quality and Strength Falter

Over the past week my core measures of market quality and strength fell below zero. One thing of note is that perceptions of risk aren’t rising much (yet). So, we’re seeing core weakness without a lot of concern. We’ll just have to wait to see if the weakness turns to fear or if this is simply a whip saw. The weakness in market quality and strength changes the core portfolio allocations as noted below. As always, use your own personal risk tolerance to structure your own portfolio. Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% Long (Since 5/7/2018) Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 70% long high beta stocks and 30% short the S&P 500 Index (or use an ETF like SH) Long / Cash portfolio: 40% long and 60% cash  

 
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Market Risk Warning Clears

My market risk indicator finally cleared its warning that was issued on 2/9/2018. We didn’t get the further downside that I expected (based on the odds), but our longs performed well enough that it blunted the loss from the volatility hedge (which held up relatively well due to a volatile month). My portfolio suffered a .6% loss. I feel it’s money well spent to sleep well at night when the market is in question. Most of my core market health indicators have strengthened since the last update. However, my core measures of risk still haven’t recovered. This measure is longer term in nature than my market risk indicator so it tends to take longer to clear. With everything added up the portfolio allocations are now as follows. Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use an ETF like SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long

 
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Weakness Without Much Fear

Over the past week, most of my core market health indicators fell. Most notably, my measures of market strength went negative. This changes the core portfolio allocations (below). Another thing that was interesting this week is that the fear everyone is talking about isn’t showing up in my Market Risk Indicator yet. The most sensitive components of that indicator think the saber rattling this week is a non-event event. That’s not to say a negative risk reaction won’t materialize, but until it does we have to operate under the assumption that this event will quickly fade as a market moving issue. The new portfolio allocations are as follows: Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF with symbol SH) Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (Since 11/11/2016) One thing you can keep an eye on is the bullish percent index (BPSPX). It is still a good distance above my

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Trying to Break Higher

Over the past week, my core market health indicators mostly moved higher. With the exception of market risk, they’re compressing around the zero line. This usually happens near inflection points where the market breaks hard one way or the other. Market risk isn’t showing up so that gives the edge to the bulls. The current dip looks much more like a rotation before a rally than a long term top being made.   My measures of market trend moved into positive territory this week. As a result, the portfolio allocations have changed as noted below. As always, use your own risk tolerance to structure your portfolio. Long / Cash portfolio: 40% long and 60% cash Long / Short portfolio: 70% long high beta stocks and 30% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF with symbol SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016)  

 
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Measures of Strength and Economy Go Negative

Over the past week, some serious damage has been done to my core stock market health indicators. Most notably, the measures of the economy and market strength have gone negative. The changes the portfolio allocations as follows. Long / Cash portfolio: 60% long and 40% cash Long / Short portfolio: 80% long high beta stocks and 20% short the S&p 500 Index (or use an inverse etf like SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016)   As always, use your own risk tolerance and read on the market to guide your investment decisions.

 
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Back to Full Exposure

170113MarketHealth

Over the past week, all of my core market health indicators rose. Most notably, are my measures of market quality. This category of indicators went negative just two weeks ago, then flipped back to positive this week. Normally, the core indicators don’t whipsaw because they are attempting to catch intermediate term trends. In fact, there were only a handful of times in the last 16 years where a category went negative for only two weeks. This is the first occurrence of a category whipsawing without any of the other categories already in negative territory. With measures of market quality now positive the core portfolio allocations are as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 100% long Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 100% long high beta stocks Volatility Hedged Portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016)  

 
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Another Year of Whipsaws

170102DowTheoryLong

2015 was a year of intermediate term whipsaws. 2016 saw longer term indicators whipsawing. The longest term indicator I follow is Dow Theory. It looks for trends that last from one to three years (or longer). As a result, Dow Theory gives a lot of leeway to counter trend moves. It’s common to have a 10% or 15% correction during a long term bull market that doesn’t change Dow Theory’s long term trend. You can see some examples during the long term uptrend from mid 2009 to early 2016 in the chart below. Zooming in to the last few years, you can see what appeared to be a long term trend change according to Dow Theory. In August of 2015, both the industrials (DJIA) and the transports (DJTA) had large enough corrections to mark Dow Theory secondary lows. In December of that year, DJTA broke below its secondary low point and created a bearish non-confirmation in the indexes. In February 2016, DJTA broke its secondary low point. This created a

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Raising Cash

161230MarketHealth

Over the past week my core market health indicators continued to fall. Most notably was the measures of market quality, which fell below zero. This changes the core portfolio allocations as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF with symbol SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 11/11/2016)

 
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Setting Up for Year End Rally

161007MarketHealth

Over the past week, my core measures of market quality moved back above zero. During the same period my measures of market trend and strength surged higher as well. The strength in these indicators suggest that the market will rally into year end. Earning season could change the market’s opinion, but without major problems during the first few weeks I suspect we’ll be off to the races. The move in market quality changes the current core portfolio allocations as follows: Long / Cash portfolio: 80% long and 20% cash Long / Short portfolio: 90% long high beta stocks and 10% short the S&P 500 Index (or use the ETF SH) Volatility Hedged portfolio: 100% long (since 7/5/2016) Here is a chart that shows the core portfolio allocations over the past year. Green lines represent adding long exposure. Yellow is raising cash or adding hedges. Red is an aggressive hedge using mid term volatility. Another sign that market participants are expecting a year end rally comes from the ratio between the

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