GLOBAL ECONOMICS AND POLITICS
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 have been passing my life in guessing what I might meet with beyond the next hill, or around the next corner.” Wellington, the British military commander who defeated Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo (“Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations”, ed. Robert Heinl, Jr.)
Cultural observers differ in their subjective perspectives, arguments, and conclusions regarding economic phenomena, including the prices of and variables relating to interest rate, stock, foreign exchange, commodity, real estate, and other marketplaces. They consequently develop and express a variety of personal views as to whether a given financial price or price relationship level (or trend), or an economic (commercial; business) or political situation substantially relevant to them, has reached or soon will attain a very important point or stage. Thus figuratively speaking, a marketplace (its level and trend) or an economic (or political scene) is or shortly will be at a crossroads. For example, the S+P 500, inflation, Federal Reserve policy, or the American federal fiscal situation can arrive at a crossroads.
Looking forward, people ask “what will happen from here?” People devotedly select, review, and weigh information to ascertain (develop personal opinions regarding) probabilities for a range of potential outcomes in the aftermath of this key situation. They differ in their views of “the” past and “the” present. In their forecasting (risk evaluation) process, some sentinels analyze the distance and duration a given price move has traveled or eventually (potentially) may move. In various fashions, prophets assess perceived interrelationships between interest rate, stock, foreign exchange, and other marketplaces.
Hence competitive financial arenas fill with diverse and enthusiastic bulls and bears (and neutral players) talking and acting in a variety of ways. Arrays of investors and speculators and traders and hedgers and risk managers ardently promote and behave according to competing viewpoints and probability assessments. Typically, each player views its own subjective analysis and outlook as “reasonable”, and probably at least as reasonable (intelligent, rational) as that of others. Consequently, we hear fervent rhetoric and see artful pictures relating not only to probabilities, but also patterns and trends, support and resistance, critical levels and turning points, breakout and breakdown, continuation and reversal, convergence and divergence, and lead and lags.
Many believe that some cultural situations are more difficult to predict than others. In any case, imagine future hypothetical (potential) events regarding a given marketplace (such as the S+P 500 or the United States Treasury 10 year note) or a particular economic or political battlefield (such as “the” US or global economy; American political wars). For some particular potential outcomes (including a related process creating it), many marketplace warriors will label the result as unlikely or very unlikely or unusual (against the odds; having little chance), or even unreasonable, irrational, extraordinary, incredible, unbelievable, astounding, surprising, crazy, impossible, and so forth.
Nevertheless, cultural history, including that of marketplaces, of course evidences that what many (or even the great majority of) clairvoyants viewed as very unlikely to occur indeed has happened. So in practice, many scouts look out for and consider so-called “tail risks” (subjectively highly unlikely outcomes) to some degree. A trader once said: “In commodities, the impossible happens at least once a year.” Besides, what will be highly unlikely or surprising to one cultural observer may not be so to another.
Let’s review several financial marketplaces which appear to be at or near a crossroads.
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Marketplace Crossroads (9-4-23)
“It’s déjà vu all over again!”, declared Yogi Berra, a famous baseball star.
OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSION
Given the great significance of the United States within the global economy, both Wall Street and Main Street spend much attention and energy focusing on the American economic scene. Benchmark American stock indices such as the S+P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average to some extent probably reflect the overall health of and potential for the American economy.
United States stock marketplace trends and phenomena intertwine with those of other global stock arenas. Prices and trends for (and assorted other economic, political, and social variables influencing) US signpost stock indices such as the S+P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average interrelate with those of key American and global interest rate, currency, commodity, real estate, and other economic domains. History reveals that these cultural relationships can and do change, sometimes slowly, sometimes rapidly. Convergence and divergence (lead/lag) patterns between marketplaces can and do shift or transform.
Price levels and trends for these key American equity marketplaces therefore attract and sustain widespread and domestic international attention.
US interest rate, dollar, commodity, real estate, and other marketplace trends entangle with and influence American stock trends.
“Long Run Historical Entanglement: US Interest Rate and Stock Trends” (7/6/23) concluded: “Many times over the past century, significantly increasing United States interest rates have preceded a major peak, or at least a noteworthy top, in key stock marketplace benchmarks such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S+P 500. The yield climb sometimes has occurred over a rather extended time span. The arithmetical (basis point) change has not always been large. Sometimes the yield advance has extended past the time of the stock pinnacle.”
“Given the historic pattern in which UST [US Treasury; focus on the UST 10 year note] yield increases “lead” to peaks in key American stock benchmarks such as the S+P 500, do signs of a noteworthy rising yield trend exist on the interest rate front? Yes.” And “the pattern of rising UST 10 year note yields likely is leading to another peak in the S+P 500. This stock marketplace peak probably will occur relatively soon, probably within the next few weeks or months. However, even if the S+P 500 continues to climb, it probably will not exceed its January 2022 peak by much if at all.”
The UST 10 year note yield broke through 3/2/23’s 4.09 percent interim high with 8/3/23’s 4.20 percent high. It thus is approaching 10/21/22’s 4.34 percent top, attained around the time of the S+P 500’s crucial trough on 10/13/22 at 3492.
Given the importance of price trends in widely watched US equity indices such as the S+P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, stock and other marketplace players and observers should review and assess long run bear (and bull) marketplace history for those American benchmarks.
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US Stocks Over the Long Run- Bear Marketplace History (8-4-23)