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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STOCK MARKETPLACES: AT THE CROSSROADS © Leo Haviland, September 4, 2017

“Money beats soul, every time.” “Roadhouse Blues”, by The Doors, with John Lee Hooker



Many observers (including stock owners) are complacent about prospects for the emergence of significant stock marketplace declines, particularly in regard to the United States stock arena. Even a ten percent drop in US equities would shock many audiences. The S+P 500 and related American benchmarks nevertheless have been in the process of establishing an important top. The glorious long run bull advance in American stocks which started with the S+P 500’s major bottom at 667 on 3/6/09 probably is at or near its end. The S+P 500’s record height to date is 8/8//17’s 2491. That S+P 500 elevation probably will not be exceeded by much, if at all.

American stocks “in general”, although not an isolated island, have their own “individual” stories, as do assorted other stock marketplaces, whether in relation to earnings, valuations, or other phenomena. Yet marketplace history in recent years suggests that prices of stock marketplace signposts for other advanced (developed) nations and for emerging marketplaces “in general” likely will accompany any notable downtrend (including a bear move) in US equities.


Admittedly, since first quarter 2016, and especially after around America’s November 2016 Presidential election, emerging stock marketplaces generally have rallied alongside the S+P 500 and its domestic comrades such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite, and Wilshire 5000. But the MSCI Emerging Stock Markets Index, from Morgan Stanley (“MXEF”), a guide for emerging stock marketplaces, is around major resistance and (unlike the S+P 500) well below all-time highs.

Owners of (particularly “investors”) American and international equities hopeful of enjoying further upward rides should note other significant yellow warning lights. In mid-year 2017, leading European and Japanese stock marketplaces established highs. The S+P 500’s 6/19/17 interim top at 2454 occurred around the time of these highs. However, these European and Japanese mid-2017 stock tops have not been broken. And the S+P 500’s August 2017 high exceeds its June 2017 one by only 1.5 percent.

But after their dreary troughs in first quarter 2016, didn’t Germany’s DAX and the United Kingdom’s FTSE exceed their spring 2015 plateaus, as did the S+P 500 (5/20/15 high 2135). Yes, but the April 2015 summit for a broader measure for European stock performance, the STOXX Europe 600 Index (“SXXP”), remains intact. Japan’s June 2015 Nikkei height likewise remains a roadblock.

The adventures of Canada’s S+P/Toronto Stock Exchange Composite Index (“SPTSX”) are also a bearish sign to worldwide stock marketplaces. It has failed to vault over its February 2017 top (established prior to the mid-2017 ones in Europe and Japan). Also, February 2017’s SPTSX plateau edged only 1.6 percent above its September 2014 pinnacle.

FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW to download this article as a PDF file.
Stock Marketplaces- at the Crossroads (9-4-17)


The broad real trade-weighted United States dollar (TWD) not only will remain relatively weak, but also it probably will test its July 2011 bottom around 80.5 in the relatively near future.

Within and between currency, interest rate, stock, and commodity domains, observers debate marketplace intertwining, convergence/divergence, and lead/lag relationships and issues. In any event, since the economic crisis walked onto the world stage in mid-2007, and especially after its acceleration during 2008, many marketplace gurus ardently have promoted the guideline that a “weak US dollar equals strong US (and many other) stock marketplaces, strong dollar equals weak US stocks”. This beloved relationship probably no longer holds. In the current theater, the weak US dollar (and any further deterioration in it) now probably translates into falling American stock marketplace prices (use the S+P 500 as a benchmark). In addition, a still-relatively weak TWD (one not sustaining a venture much above its June 2012 peak at 86.3) will not bolster equities much if at all.

In recent months, and especially in the past several weeks, US dollar cross rates have displayed competing perspectives regarding dollar strength. Thus the dollar sometimes appears to be walking a tightrope. The US dollar has rallied recently against the currencies of many developing (and some rather developed) nations and assorted emerging marketplace nations. Several of these domains represent key commodity producers. However, the US dollar has eroded in recent weeks against the currencies of several of its major trading partners such as the Japanese Yen and Euro FX. The dollar remains relatively feeble against the Chinese renminbi as well. This weakness in these key crosses underlines not only the current weakness in the TWD, but also warns that the TWD is quite vulnerable to renewed declines. Moreover, falls of the US dollar in these key crosses (as does the weakness in the TWD in general) indicate that further declines in the US stock marketplace loom ahead (despite the Federal Reserve’s longstanding accommodative policies.

This viewpoint on intertwined US dollar and US equity weakness fits the stories of the dive in emerging marketplace equities (which began in 4/27/11; the “MSCI emerging stock markets index”/MXEF at 1212) and the fall in commodity prices (broad Goldman Sachs Commodity Index’s major downtrend commenced in spring 2011 with the 4/11 and 5/2/11 highs at 762), as well as the bear trend in US government notes. Yields for the 10 year UST bottomed 7/25/12 around 1.38pc; they established other important floors at 1.55pc (11/16/12) and 1.61pc (5/1/13). Note the fall in the MXEF from its 5/9/13 high around 1065 alongside the rise in US rates (especially from the 5/1/13 depth) in the context of the slump in many emerging/developing/commodity producing marketplace cross rates versus the dollar. Keep in mind the timing links (similar directional moves) in recent years between the MXEF and the S+P 500 (even though the S+P 500 climbed to new highs after spring 2011). The renewed faltering in emerging stock marketplaces in recent weeks warns of a notable fall in the S+P 500.

The S+P 500’s high on 5/22/13 near 1687 probably represents (or is very close to) a very significant high.


FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW to download this market essay as a PDF file.
Seeking Directions- US Dollar Retreats, Advances, and Relationships (6-14-13)
Japanese Yen versus US Dollar Chart (6-14-13)