A long-term view

By Colin Twiggs
December 8th, 2014 10:30 a.m. AEDT (6:30 p.m. ET)

Advice herein is provided for the general information of readers and does not have regard to any particular person's investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly, no reader should act on the basis of any information contained herein without first having consulted a suitably qualified financial advisor.

Performance at 30th November 2014

Research & Investment's ASX200 Prime Momentum strategy returned +6.33%* for the 12 months ended 30th November 2014, compared to +4.30% for the ASX200 Accumulation Index. Below-average returns are attributable to the sell-off of momentum stocks in the last 6 months. Macroeconomic and volatility filters continue to indicate low to moderate risk, however, and we maintain full exposure to equities in expectation of a recovery.

ASX200 Prime Momentum

The S&P 500 Momentum strategy returned 17.82% since inception on 4th November 2013, or 19.82% when measured in Australian dollars. The S&P 500 Total Return Index delivered 20.42% (in USD) over the same period. Divergence between the ASX 200 and S&P 500 is expected to continue and investors should consider splitting their investment between the two markets.

* Results are unaudited and subject to revision.

A long-term view

Better than expected US jobs data and strong German factory orders helped to rally markets Friday. Also, ECB chief Mario Draghi's Thursday announcement is seen as supporting broad-based asset purchases (QE) early in 2015. A long-term view of major markets may help to place current activity in perspective.

The S&P 500 continues a strong advance, with rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicating medium-term buying pressure. Long-term and medium targets coincide at 2250* and we should expect further resistance at this level.

S&P 500 Index

* Target calculation: 1500 + ( 1500 - 750 ) = 2250; 2050 + ( 2050 - 1850 ) = 2250

CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continues to indicate low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

Germany's DAX broke resistance at its earlier high of 10000, suggesting a further advance. Recovery of 13-week Twiggs Momentum above zero indicates continuation of the up-trend. The long-term target is 12500*, though I cannot see this being reached until tensions in Eastern Europe are resolved.


* Target calculation: 7500 + ( 7500 - 2500 ) = 12500

The Footsie is testing long-term resistance at 6900/7000. Respect of the zero line by 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow indicates long-term buying pressure. Breakout above 7000 would signal a fresh primary advance, with a long-term target of 10500*.

FTSE 100

* Target calculation: 7000 + ( 7000 - 3500 ) = 10500

China's Shanghai Composite Index broke resistance at 2500 and is likely to test the 2009 high at 3500. Rising 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates strong (medium-term) buying pressure.

Shanghai Composite Index

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index is testing resistance at its 2007 high of 18000. 13-Week Twiggs Money Flow respecting the zero line indicates long-term buying pressure. Breakout would signal another primary advance. A long-term target of 28000* seems unachievable unless one factors in rising inflation and continued devaluation of the yen.

Nikkei 225 Index

* Target calculation: 18000 + ( 18000 - 8000 ) = 28000

Weak ASX 200 performance is highlighted by the distance below its 2007 high of 6850. Falling commodity prices have retarded the recovery and are likely to continue for some time ahead.

The 2005-2008 Australian commodities boom was squandered, damaging local industry and hampering the current recovery. Norway successfully weathered a similar commodities boom in the 1990s, protecting local industry while establishing a sovereign wealth fund that is the envy of its peers. Their fiscal discipline set a precedent which should be followed by any resource-rich country looking to navigate a sustainable path through a commodities boom and avoid the dreaded "Dutch Disease".

Respect of support at 5000 would indicate the primary up-trend is intact — but declining 13-week Twiggs Money Flow indicates selling pressure. Reversal of TMF below zero or breach of support at 5000/5150 would warn of a down-trend.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5000 + ( 5000 - 4000 ) = 6000

The daily chart shows a slightly improved perspective. 21-Day Twiggs Money Flow oscillating around zero signals indecision. Recovery above 5400 would suggest the correction is over. But reversal below 5200 is as likely and would warn of a test of primary support at 5120/5150.

ASX 200 daily

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realise that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events....... Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.

Winston Churchill (on the Anglo-Boer War)


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