Clear Skies for Equities; But What About Gold?

June 4, 2017

Weekly Market Outlook

By Keith Schneider

blankUS Equities markets didn’t even blink with the announcement that the United States is now aligned with Syria in rejecting the Paris Climate Accord. How that relates to good business over the longer term seems elusive. This week’s market action demonstrates how equities pricing horizon is all about the next quarter.

Hence, all our key indexes closed at all-time highs with the NASDQ 100 (QQQ) up over 21% YTD. All key US equity indexes were up with the benchmark S&P 500 (SPY) up 1% on a four-day week. The only thing that seems to make sense since our status as leader of the free world is now in question, is that the US dollar is in retreat.

On the political chessboard, Putin punted on claiming that there was no interference originating from Russia.  He did state that the Russia government had nothing to do with tampering with our election and blamed the meddling on “patriotic” Russians.

Mr. Market focused on hard economic data which has been primarily good. The chance of a recession now seems remote. Unemployment data was mostly good with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.3% with compensation growth the strongest in over 8 years. The exception to generally good news was retail sales which continues to slide along with overall employment growth.

Getting to the details on the state of the current rally, overall volume was very light for the week. Retail (XRT), Financial (XLF) and the Energy sector (XLE) remain weak and in bear phases with sector leadership driven by Technology, Semiconductors and Utilities.

Even with the price action for equities in a strong bull trend, risk off indicators continue to wave a caution flag. Junk debt is lagging a strong US bond market with utilities (XLU) handily outperforming stocks. Huh?

Emerging markets and Eurozone stocks continue to lead. Gold is starting to look better and is now gaining some relative strength against the SPY which is not surprising since it currently trades at low relative levels not seen in almost a decade. It looks downright cheap versus crypto currencies which can be viewed as a hedge against fiat currencies.

For more on this fresh development on gold and our usual weekly analysis check out this week’s video.

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