Leo Haviland provides clients with original, provocative, cutting-edge fundamental supply/demand and technical research on major financial marketplaces and trends. He also offers independent consulting and risk management advice.

Haviland’s expertise is macro. He focuses on the intertwining of equity, debt, currency, and commodity arenas, including the political players, regulatory approaches, social factors, and rhetoric that affect them. In a changing and dynamic global economy, Haviland’s mission remains constant – to give timely, value-added marketplace insights and foresights.

Leo Haviland has three decades of experience in the Wall Street trading environment. He has worked for Goldman Sachs, Sempra Energy Trading, and other institutions. In his research and sales career in stock, interest rate, foreign exchange, and commodity battlefields, he has dealt with numerous and diverse financial institutions and individuals. Haviland is a graduate of the University of Chicago (Phi Beta Kappa) and the Cornell Law School.


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“I’m goin’ down the road feelin’ bad
I don’t want to be treated this-a-way.” Bill Monroe, the Grateful Dead, and other musicians have performed versions of the traditional song, “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad”



American stock indices “in general” inspire an assortment of stories regarding them, including reasons for their past, present, and future levels and trends. Many of these descriptions and analyses regarding broad benchmarks such as the S+P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average appear relatively unique to the United States. However, economic regions and financial marketplaces around the world have increasingly intertwined during the course of globalization in recent decades, and especially during the past several years.

Therefore the directional travels (bull and bear adventures) of America’s stock marketplace increasingly have tended to parallel those of other significant advanced countries and regions. In recent years, the trends of emerging marketplace stocks “in general” increasingly have interconnected with those of leading advanced nations. Consequently, narratives and explanations regarding a broad “national” stock marketplace indicator such as the S+P 500 often involve those of equity barometers elsewhere (as well as interest rate, currency, and commodity movements).


History underscores that across the fields of these various stock marketplace signposts, the timing of key price turns and the duration and extent (percentage distance travelled) of very important trend moves are not always exactly the same or extremely close. But they often are.


After establishing important bottoms together in first quarter 2016 (and during the preceding price decline), the key American stock indices and those of other important advanced nations and the “overall” emerging stock marketplace have traded closely together from the directional and marketplace timing perspective. Though the bull moves since first quarter 2016 in these assorted domains did not all cover the same distance, all were very substantial. Their rallies since around the time of the November 2016 United States Presidential election were impressive. Investors and other stock owners, Wall Street, and the financial media cheered the majestic ascent. Heated advice to “buy the dip” became widespread as the S+P 500 climbed and as price declines tended to become less substantial in percentage terms.

However, the glorious bull move in American and other related stock marketplace halted in first quarter 2018. A mournful “correction”, a decline of roughly ten percent, ensued. The disturbing decline in the S+P 500 and other significant global stock marketplace indices probably will continue. However, if the S+P 500 and other equity benchmarks manage to surpass their January 2018 highs, they probably will not do so by much.


For further economic and political analysis, see “There Will Be Blood: Financial Battlefields” (2/9/18), “Busload of Faith: Financial Marketplaces” (1/15/18), “Marketplace Vehicles: Going Mobile” (12/13/17), “History on Stage: Marketplace Scenes” (8/9/17), and other essays.

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Global Stock Marketplaces- Winter of Discontent (3-5-18)


The oil driller Daniel Plainview declares in the 2007 movie, “There Will Be Blood” (Paul Thomas Anderson, director): “Ladies and gentlemen…Now, you have a great chance here, but bear in mind, you can lose it all if you’re not careful.” Perhaps Biblical passages inspired this film’s title. For example, see the Old Testament’s Book of Joel (2:30) and the New Testament’s Book of The Acts of the Apostles (2:19); note also the Book of Exodus (7:17-21).



The sustained rise in US Treasury yields and the ongoing fall in the broad real trade-weighted US dollar (including the UST and dollar’s intertwined breakthroughs of key points in January 2018) helped to lead (propel) the recent bloody slide in the S+P 500 and other stock marketplaces, including emerging ones. The S+P 500’s recent high, 1/26/18’s 2873, probably was a major top. For commodities “in general” (broad S&P GSCI), their January 2018 high is a very important top.

Memories of the 2007-09 global economic disaster surely influence many observers. Yet the 2018 economic (financial; debt) and political environments differ in key respects from those of 2007-09. Although fearful “flights to quality” may cause declines in UST yields from recent highs, the overall trend for the UST 10 year note yield probably remains upward. Amidst the carnage of the dreadful 2007-09 crisis, the broad real trade-weighted US dollar (“TWD”) rallied (from April 2008 to March 2009). The TWD may rally somewhat from January 2018’s 94.3 level. However, the TWD’s bear trend probably will resume, and the TWD likely will fall beneath 94.3.


The Federal Reserve and other central banks might offer soothing rhetoric if wounds to financial (interest rate and stock) players were widespread and substantial. Yet as the Federal Reserve is normalizing its balance sheet, that potential rescuer currently is much less likely than it was during the QE money printing era (including the taper tantrum events) to charge into battle and start purchasing UST. The current bloated Fed balance sheet argues that the Fed “has fired off a great many of its bullets already”. The US monetary policy scene is different from the 2007-09 disaster and its aftermath. And most economic growth forecasts remain fairly optimistic. Why would the Fed scramble to renew a highly accommodative monetary stance when inflation apparently is moving toward its beloved two percent goal? In addition, the Fed probably believes that the current and prospective US federal fiscal stance is very stimulative.

Therefore a ten percent fall in the S+P 500 probably does not trouble the Fed and its central banking comrades much nowadays. However, the Fed probably would rapidly roll out propaganda to support (“talk up”) stocks and generally boost consumer and business confidence if the S+P 500 nosedive looked likely to approach twenty percent (many experts define a bear marketplace in stocks as one of twenty percent or more).

Yet apart from rhetoric, would the Federal Reserve revisit its arsenal of weapons and resume quantitative easing (buy and hold UST), or at least slow down or stop the current program of reducing the size of its huge balance sheet, because of a brutal and shocking stock decline? A modest bloodbath (roughly ten percent drop from the top) in equities alone would not ignite Fed action (and related policy responses by its comrades) on the money printing front (or inspire the Fed to slow or halt its balance sheet reduction scheme). Arguably it will take a fall of about twenty percent (and perhaps more) in the S+P 500 (alongside similar equity declines around the globe) in conjunction with growing and substantial fears of a sharp reduction in US and international economic growth (GDP) rates. Nevertheless, despite the widespread faith of many marketplace generals and their troops in the wisdom and power of central banks (especially the Fed) as well as the evidence of much of the past several years, dramatic Fed rescue action does not inevitably guarantee sustained significant US stock marketplace rallies.

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There Will Be Blood- Financial Battlefields (2-9-18)


In his song “Busload of Faith”, Lou Reed chants: “you need a busload of faith to get by”.



The United States 10 year government note is a widely-watched marketplace benchmark and guide. It ended its major bull move in summer 2016, establishing a yield bottom on 7/6/16 at 1.32 percent. Although the rate for the US Treasury 10 year note has walked peacefully sideways in a fairly narrow path over the past year or so, its yield nevertheless on balance has crept upward from its 9/8/17 interim trough at just over two percent toward its critical barrier around 2.65pc. In the UST’s bear move, the UST yield probably will pierce this 2.65pc target in the near term, with 1/2/14’s 3.05pc elevation the next height in sight.

After establishing a major top in December 2016/January 2017 at 103.2, the broad real trade-weighted US dollar (“TWD”; Federal Reserve, H.10; monthly average) slipped 7.8 percent to 95.2 in September 2017, slightly below crucial support around 96.2 to 96.6. Despite a slight bounce for a couple of months following that September depth, the TWD has renewed its bearish assault on 96.2/96.6 and probably will break decisively beneath that floor (and September 2017’s minor low) relatively soon.


Economic phenomena and fields interrelate in various fashions. Apparent links and relationships between financial (and political) variables and trends (including convergence/divergence and lead/lag ones) of course can change, sometimes dramatically. In any case, although marketplace history is not marketplace destiny, historical analysis still can offer guidance regarding future probabilities.

The current intertwined relationship and trends of rising US Treasury yields alongside the weakening United States dollar likely is of substantial significance for financial marketplaces in general, not just US government interest rates and key currencies.

History signals that climbing US interest rate yields often precede (connect with; lead to) pinnacles in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S+P 500. In the current economic and political landscape, further feebleness in the broad real trade-weighted US dollar probably will warn of (or confirm) important tops in advanced nation and emerging marketplace stock marketplace benchmarks.


See “Marketplace Vehicles: Going Mobile” (12/13/17), “History on Stage: Marketplace Scenes” (8/9/17), and other essays.

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Busload of Faith- Financial Marketplaces (1-15-18)

MARKETPLACE VEHICLES: GOING MOBILE © Leo Haviland, December 13, 2017

The Cars ask in their song “Drive”:
“Who’s gonna tell you when it’s too late
Who’s gonna tell you things aren’t so great”?



To the majority of Wall Street marketplace observers, price fluctuations for at least the past few months in many key benchmarks such as the United States government 10 year note, the broad real US trade-weighted dollar, and the S+P 500 generally have seemed relatively peaceful. Many players are rather complacent. However, history reveals that the relative lack of dramatic movement (“volatility”) according to such perspectives of course does preclude greater and ongoing violent future swings. Though the outward landscape of the given financial realm may seem calm, powerful intertwined and shifting forces may lurk beneath, perhaps eventually and possibly suddenly causing substantial tremors in one or more economic (and political) domains.

Confidence yardsticks for US consumers and small businesses are high. American unemployment has slipped substantially in recent years. Yet the fierce political conflicts around the globe between assorted camps, including various right and left wing populist crews and diverse establishment (elite) groups, hint at and probably reflect strong, entangled, and contending variables in economic spheres. The long-running accommodative monetary schemes by the key global central banks such as the Federal Reserve Board, European Central Bank, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan reflect not only their devotion to their interpretation of their beloved legislative mandates. Sustained marketplace manipulation programs such as yield repression and money printing (quantitative easing) also aim at sparking and sustaining economic outcomes favorable to (or at least protective of) the economic and political interests of “the establishment”. Central banks do not want the establishment’s boat to get rocked too much or capsize!

In America and many other regions around the world, sharp cultural divisions involve more than just economic (or “class”) quarrels and concerns regarding financial opportunities and mobility. Partisan feuds involve politics, whether Democrats versus Republicans, liberal versus conservative, the quality of the current Presidential leadership, and so on. Yet fervent debates and frequent anger on Main Street regarding issues relating to race/ethnicity, sex/gender, age, religion, geography, the environment, and so on probably reflect economic (political) splits and consequently hint at the potential for marketplaces to become inflamed.


In any case, the US Treasury 10 year note and the broad real trade-weighted dollar (“TWD”) are two important marketplace vehicles currently near critical levels. The key US 10 government note height is around 2.65 percent, that in the TWD around 96.2 to 96.6. A sustained rise in the UST above that level or a decisive TWD breakdown under 96.0 (and especially if both events occurred) might reflect and probably would increase price volatility in those fields. Such significant moves in rates and the dollar probably also would spark a substantial reversal of the current bull trend in the S+P 500 (and related advanced and emerging marketplace stock arenas). Commodities “in general” in this scenario likely would decline as well.

The enthusiastic “buy the dips” chorus for US equities likely will not remain forever fashionable or successful. What happens if the American Congress does not enact tax “reform” in the near future? Suppose observers focus more closely on the long run US federal budget deficit and debt issues (and debt problems in China, Japan, and elsewhere)? What if US corporate earnings do not sustain notable growth? Will such events (or a US dollar decline; or higher interest rates or central bank threats of these; or some other phenomenon such as trade wars, the North Korea nuclear issue, or further petroleum price rallies) help to stop the train of the glorious long bull market trend for the S+P 500?


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Marketplace Vehicles- Going Mobile (12-13-17)
Charts- Trade-Weighted US Dollar and UST 10 Year Note (for essay Marketplace Vehicles- Going Mobile, 12-13-17)