Tag Archives | S&P 500

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US financial markets defy gravity

Blog readers can choose their favourite leading indicator this week. In financial markets, the US S&P 500 index continued its recent rally. If you believe the bullish analysts; a Greek default, lengthy arguments between Germany and France, and the need to expand the Eurozone bailout fund into the €1-2trn range ($1.4-2.8trn), are all good news. […]

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Financial markets party whilst petchems remain weak

Financial markets continued their start of quarter rally last week. But their volatility amazes even seasoned observers. The US Dow Jones Index has moved at least 100 points in 57 of the last 58 days, for example, whilst crude oil jumped $3/bbl on Friday alone. Of course, the continued correlation between stock and oil markets […]

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‘Computers say buy….sell….buy….sell…’

Petchem markets are continuing to act as leading indicators for the global economy. The IeC Downturn Alert shows there was no September rebound in orders after the holiday period. October will have to bring a sudden, and powerful reversal of the downward trend. Otherwise Q4 could be very difficult indeed. Benzene, the blog’s favourite market […]

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Boom/Gloom Index confirms the downturn

The IeC Boom/Gloom Index seems to have done its job. It was launched in June 2009, as a way of reflecting the extremely positive sentiment then building in financial markets. And as the chart shows, it remained bullish until July (blue column). Since then it has plunged back to the low levels seen between Q4 […]

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Downturn continues as financial markets sink

ICIS pricing is a very valuable resource, particularly at market turning points. It highlighted the start of the current downturn in April, when reporting that buyers had moved to operating on a ‘hand to mouth’ basis. Now, its market editors are highlighting the fragility of demand due to ‘economic uncertainty’. This is the moment when […]

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Markets fall as politicians argue

The blog’s IeC Downturn Alert is now 3 months old. The aim was to provide enough time for readers to develop robust contingency plans, as a new global downturn became more and more likely. A key issue is that dysfunctional political systems in the eurozone, USA and China seem unable to deliver sensible solutions to […]

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High stocks lead buyers to hold back purchases

Buyers’ behaviour has changed completely since the IeC Downturn Alert launched 7 weeks ago. ICIS news reported Friday a large polypropylene consumer commenting: “I am not buying a lot, just one or two trucks at a time. I kept a high stock level when prices were going up, so now I am using that up. […]

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Markets down 9% – 15% since Downturn Alert began

When the blog launched its IeC Downturn Alert in early May, it noted that “they don’t ring bells at market turning points”. However, it hoped that the Alert would provide a replacement. It seems to be doing its job. As the chart above shows, prices for all the products highlighted are now down between 9% […]

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P/E ratios drop back to more realistic levels

Source: www.chartoftheday.comThe price/earnings (P/E) ratio is the most fundamental measure of stock market value. If investors are optimistic, they will pay a high price per unit of earnings. If they are cautious, then the ratio will be lower. Thus the above chart from chartoftheday.com highlights a very significant secular change underway in investor mindsets. It […]

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Traders focus on correlations, not fundamentals

Investors on Wall Street are no longer bothering with the boring detail of company performance. That’s the conclusion from a new study by Barclays Capital, on the correlation between movements in the S&P 500 and individual stocks. Instead, they are piling into the ‘correlation trade’, as high-speed computers now often account for over 60% of […]

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