As The Markets Keep Dreaming, Listen For These Alarms

Markets have no memory. So once again they are rallying based on false hopes that central bankers will save them from themselves.

Despite a stealth bear market in many stocks, the major indices have recovered all of their 2015 losses in October. They’ve been boosted by several factors – large cap tech stocks, expectations for a delay in Fed tightening, more European QE, and further interest rate cuts by an increasingly desperate China…Such are the stuff that dreams are made of in the terminal stages of one of the biggest bull markets in history.

As I’ve written before, I believe that bull market is over and we are now likely entering a bear market. There are too many macroeconomic headwinds to sustain further stock market gains. The Chinese economic miracle is over. Commodity prices are not going to recover any time soon (indeed, while stocks were rising last week, oil prices were dropping again).

U.S. economic growth remains tepid while the rest of the world is downright weak. And the geopolitical situation continues to fracture while America is facing a highly divisive election. We could end up electing either a far left liberal, hell-bent on spending the country deeper into insolvency, or a wild card Republican whose sheer unpredictability could scare the bejesus out of markets.

Bloated Large Caps Buoy The Indices

With the exception of large tech stocks and McDonalds (MCD), third quarter earnings have been disappointing. But in a world dominated by cap-weighted indexes and central banks promising more goodies, all it took was great earnings reports from Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN) and Google -now Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) – to move the market higher. These three behemoths alone were responsible for half of the S&P’s 1.1% gain on Friday.

Overall, the S&P 500 (SPY) added 2.1%, or 42 points, last week, to move back into positive territory for the year at 2075.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA)  jumped 2.5%, or 431 points, to 17,646.70. And the Nasdaq Composite Index, home to these tech giants, soared by 3% to 5031.86.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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