Forecast For 2016 Is Simple: Sell Stocks, Buy Gold
Tyler Durden: As Wall Street axioms (Santa rally, January effect, as goes January etc.) are rapidly falling by the wayside at the start of 2016, following a chaotic but return-less 2015, the UBS analysts who correctly forecast last year’s volatility are out with their forecast for 2016. It’s simple – Sell Stocks, Buy Gold.
UBS Technical Analysts Michael Riesner and Marc Müller warn the seven-year cycle in equities is rolling over.
UBS expects S&P 500 to move into a 2Q top and fall into a full size bear market, with risk of a 20% to 30% correction into minimum later 2016 and worst case early 2017.
“The comeback of volatility was the title of our 2015 strategy. Last year’s rise in volatility was in our view just the beginning for a dramatic rise in cross-asset volatility over the next few years,”
Noting that while equities have had a good run, Risener and Muller warn, ”we are definitely more in the late stages of a bull market instead of being at the beginning of a new major breakout.”
Our key message for 2016 is that even if we were to see another extension in price and time, we see the 2009 bull cycle in a mature stage, which suggests the risk of seeing a significant bear cycle event in one to two years.
S&P-500 trades in 4th longest bull market since 1900 Bear markets are defined by a market decline of 20% and more. It’s a fact that since its March 2009 low, with 82 months and a performance of 220%, the S&P-500 now trades in its 4th longest and 5th strongest bull market since 1900. So from this angle alone we suggest the 2009 bull cycle has reached a mature stage.
Keep in mind, since 1937 the average downside in a 7-year cycle decline was 34%…
Having said that, if we look at equities globally the picture looks more diverse. Last year we said we think the May top in the MSCI World represents a major equity top. Our view is unchanged, and in this context it is important to understand and sort in the extent of last year’s summer correction. In the MSCI World universe, we saw in 20 out of 48 markets a correction of 20% and more (DAX -25%), which is per definition bear market territory. The MSCI Emerging Market has been factually trading in a bear market since 2011 but from its May top alone the EM complex lost another 28% into its late August low!
Together with the 200-day moving averages rolling over in more and more markets globally, the break of the 2011 bull trend in the Russell-2000 and the equally weighted Valueline-100 index in the US, as well as intact sell signals in our monthly trend work, we can clearly say that globally, a bear market is already underway in more and more markets; whereas the S&P- 500 has just corrected 13% from its May top, and where into H1 2016 we can still see the large and mega cap driven S&P-500, Dow Jones Industrial and Nasdaq Composite to hit a new all-time high.
In 2013, high yields topped out and particularly since 2014, we have a real bear market underway in the high yield segment, which in the meantime is forming a multi-year divergence versus the S&P-500, similar as prior to the major market tops in 2000 and 2007.
The bear market started with the energy complex but it is a trend, which is filtering through into other commodity themes, as well as Emerging Markets, Asia and at the end of the day into the Western world, which translated means we are running through a very classic credit cycle.
2016 is a Presidential Election year, which usually have a rather bullish track record in the 4-year cycle. However, if we look more selectively into this cycle there is a big divergence between a normal Presidential Election year and the 8th year of a presidential turn, which we highlighted red in chart 9.
Since 1920, more or less all 8th years of a presidential turn were amongst the worst election years.
Also, pattern-wise the two cycles have a very contrarian message where the average of all 8th years of a presidential turn is actually outright negative for next year, which we think would be quite a big surprise for most investors.
So if stocks are due for a 30% correction – what to do?