Market Matters Report / Market Matters Weekend Report Sunday 11th November 2018

By Market Matters 11 November 18

Market Matters Weekend Report Sunday 11th November 2018

Market Matters Weekend Report Sunday 11th November 2018

What a cracking Weekend in Sydney - I was out on the Harbour yesterday and whenever I get out it’s hard not think how lucky we are to live in such a place – simply sensational!

The ASX200 enjoyed a positive week closing up +1.2%, a solid effort following the previous strong bounce, plus NAB traded ex-dividend 99c fully franked on Thursday – next week we will see Macquarie Bank (ASX:MQG), ANZ Bank (ASX:ANZ), Westpac (ASX:WBC) and Orica (ASX:ORI) all reward their shareholders, as they trade ex-dividend which will take ~15-points from the index. As November kicked into gear we saw the banking sector lead the gains with CBA +3.8% and ANZ +6.3% with market support also coming from the real estate and high growth end of town while the resources/energy space ended the week mixed.

We will look into the different sectors in more detail later in the report but our underlying contrarian view remains banks will outperform into 2019 while the high growth / valuation stocks have ended their multi-year period of outperformance -  this will take more than a few bad weeks to unwind.

Over recent weeks numerous statistics have been thrown at investors from all angles, I think it’s time to stand back and keep it simple:

1 – November is seasonally the second worst month of the year for local stocks, with an average decline of -1.86% over the last decade, however that stat is very much dependent on the market’s fate in October. A good October = poor November and vice versa. 

2 – Since WW2 following the American mid-terms US stocks have been higher 100% of the time one year later and this obviously includes the full mix of Democrat and Republican victories in both the House and Senate.

3 –  The average rise over the year following the mid-terms is a huge +17% and that’s not from any panic lows in the year but simply after the vote.

Hence followers of these statistics would be looking for weak days to buy both local and US stocks, but we question if after the longest bull market in history whether it’s time for the 100% result from the last 18 mid-terms to have a hiccup on the 19th .

The ASX200 has hit our 5925 target making us far more cautious short term.

We actually see 2 likely scenarios unfolding over the next few weeks:

A – The market experiences a corrective pullback towards 5800 prior to an assault well above the psychological 6000 area.

B – The October weakness returns with a vengeance and stocks retest, and probably break, the 5600 area.

At this stage MM’s preferred scenario is A, implying the next 100-point for the local market is down, as said above some of this will come from a few major stocks trading ex-dividend next week.

The SPI futures are pointing to an open down around 30-points on Monday led by BHP which fell 80c / 2.4% in the US, plus Macquarie Bank (MQQ) and ANZ Bank (ANZ) trade ex-divided.

ASX200 Chart

Global Indices

The US high valuation / growth end of town started Octobers decline which led to an almost contagion like sell-off in global stocks and it appears to have heralded the end of the markets bounce, at least for now. The NASDAQ closed last week -2.3% below its Wednesday high compared to the Dow which only retraced -1.1% and remains within striking distance of its all-time high.

I’ve gone out on a limb below and shown how we expect stocks to move in the next few weeks but it’s important to understand that a few “big” hours in either direction could change this picture – current volatility should not be underestimated.

US NASDAQ Chart

Interestingly the less high growth / tech based Dow looks far more constructive than the NASDAQ, it closed less than 4% below its all-time high on Friday, even after a 202-point pullback.

Investors remain concerned that the post GFC economic recovery is faltering with leading indicators like weak car sales catching peoples attention  which is causing the outperformance by the more traditional blue chips as opposed to the growth dominated NASDAQ.

US Dow Jones Chart

Before investors panic they should consider MM’s long term outlook for US stocks and in particular the high growth / valuation NADAQ index:

Our view is the NASDAQ is likely to spend the next few years consolidating post GFC gains in a very similar manner to 2015-6 – our “best guess” is now between 8000 and 6000. If were correct this is an extremely exciting time for active investors with their finger on the pulse in a period where human emotions, led by “Fear & Greed”, can significantly hinder an investors returns.

The important point is to remain flexible, be prepared to sell strength and have ammunition to buy panic weakness.

NASDAQ Chart

Moving on from the US to the global equity market as a whole and the technical picture here may surprise many but we have to look at markets in the cold light of day, not how they “feel” during any particular week.

1 – The bullish uptrend from its 684 low back in March 2009 remains clearly intact.

2 – The chart pattern has been literally copybook stuff since the GFC low including two identical retracements of 355-points.

3 – The market traded in a perfect Neutral Pattern (normal distribution) between January 2018 and October 2018 before the spike down to 1958.

4 – The close back above 2040, in the direction of the trend, is very bullish targeting almost 10% upside, and probably more.

MM is bullish global equities from a risk / reward perspective with stops below 1950 i.e. around 5% below Fridays close.

At this junction we remember what we’ve written on more than one occasion over recent weeks  - “the path of most pain for bearish fund managers is probably up to fresh-all time highs”

MSCI World Index Chart

Updated Macro Outlook

This is the time to stand back and consider the bigger picture especially as the longest bull market in history approaches its 10-year anniversary – simple statistics tell us that the likelihood of a meaningful correction is increasing every month that passes. We see a 4 major factors looming that will dictate how we invest into 2019 and beyond:

1 – The market has rallied strongly post-GFC and is generally trading between fair value and expensive depending on what sectors are under the microscope i.e.do not chase strength.

2 – Central banks have commenced normalizing interest rates led by the Fed i.e. global interest rates are going up and the easy monetary environment is over - it will become an amazing case study in years to come analysing / attempting to comprehend negative interest rates!

3 – Earning season in the US, especially the banking sector, was solid but we are entering a huge period for correct stock / sector selection with any corporate misses being punished mercilessly. A few years ago they were regarded as buying opportunities, not today.

4 – While the US mid-terms are behind us we still have plenty of political / economic uncertainty on the horizon including the US-China trade war, BREXIT and the Italian budget concerns.

Markets are now assuming the US will go into a recession in 2019/20 as is best illustrated by the almost 40% correction in the US construction stocks during 2018 - over the same time US indices have been making fresh all-time highs albeit in a very choppy manner.

Stocks / sector exposed to economic growth are having a tough time locally and globally as markets get set for what it believes will be the next global economic step – a recession – just look at James Hardie (ASXJHX) and Boral ASX:BLD)

Our concern for equities is that fund managers maybe wrong as many have already been in 2018, perhaps the obvious recession is not next. Wages and input costs are rising suggesting that  inflation could become the elephant in the room, we must all acknowledge that the greatest amount of fuel in history has been thrown on this fire since the GFC.

If inflation does kick in rates will rise faster than many imagine and in our opinion very few are positioned for this scenario, including us – high inflation is generally good for gold, oil and materials, certainly there are no signs that fund managers are chasing these sectors today with crude oil correcting over 20% in the last 2-months i.e. this is something to watch for as the market impact will likely be dramatic.

We stick with our opinion that global bond yields are going higher hence we have no interest in the “yield play” end of town, even if they do enjoy a “bid tone” in periods of unease i.e. Real Estate and Utilities are not for us until further notice.

US Building sector Chart

The $US has become a key barometer to the health of stocks in 2018 as it’s attracted funds in terms of uncertainty / major volatility, hence a handle on the $US is a handle on stocks.

MM has nailed the $US in 2018 calling it down early followed by a strong rally which is what’s unfolded, so what now?

Unfortunately the pictures unclear at present, we can see a rally towards 100 which implies stocks lower or a correction back towards 94 which would probably be accompanied by equity strength, we see a 50-50 picture for the $US = no help!

The $US Index Chart

1 The Banking Sector

Dividend season kicks fully into gear next week with ANZ (ASX:ANZ), Macquarie (ASX:MQG) and Westpac (ASX:WBC) banks all trading ex-dividend. However its not just the dividend hungry who have chased our banks since Octobers panic sell off, with CBA (ASX:CBA) who traded ex-dividend in August rallying almost 9% from its October low.

MM is sticking with our unpopular thesis that the banks will be fine over the next 1-2 years while providing excellent yields e.g. Westpac (ASX:WBC) 6.8% fully franked on Tuesday.

In the Australian Financial Review (AFR) over the weekend I read an article quoting Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urging banks to ease their lending – the Royal Commission + APRA before has caused tighter lending which in turn adds pressure to Australian housing prices, arguably the backbone of our economy. Kenneth Hayne will release his final report in February 2019 and it will be interesting to see its overall tone, if its too anti-banks / lending the average guy in the street will suffer just when consumer sentiment is wanning on a few fronts. Last week the RBA alluded to similar concerns:

"While housing credit conditions are tighter than they have been for some time, growth in the demand for credit has also slowed," the RBA said. I think its more a fact that the availability of credit has reduced – its simply harder to get a loan.

I believe this will ultimately become good news for banks as the government / RBA needs them to lend = make money!

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Chart

2 Three stocks we like today.

Its interesting that when we are sitting on the fence as to the short-term direction for stocks as 3 buying opportunities are jumping out at us.

Some of our competition lead with this style of headline  every week but this is probably only our second / third time since our inception – not sure if I should be excited or scarred!

1 Orica (ORI) $18.47

Chemical business Orica (ASX:ORI) rallied strongly last week, a great performance considering Goldman Sachs (GS) put a sell recommendation on the stock targeting close to $16.

The company’s recent first half profit of $324m clearly pleased other investors in the market, I feel GS are walking a tightrope with this call because in the same breath they are saying the stock has the worst behind it.

Technically we are bullish ORI with stops below $17, or around 8% lower plus we like it’s almost zero correlation to the ASX200 – technically referred to as a very low Beta stock.

MM is bullish ORI targeting a break of 2017 highs while using stops below $17, solid risk / reward.

Orica (ORI) Chart

2 IDP Education (IEL) $9.67

International student placement business IDP Education (IEL) has enjoyed a great year and we believe it has further to run. Their revenue grew 24% in 2018 to $487m, while we acknowledge the international student sector is “hot” we like IEL for a quick 20% move into 2019.

MM is bullish IEL targeting $12 with stops below $8.90 – great risk / reward.

IDP Education (IEL) Chart

3 Challenger (CGF) $9.84

Challenger (ASX:CGF) was a market darling in 2016/7 but slowly but surely we’ve seen the stock retreat following our exit and bearish opinion last year – we felt the stock was too owned and priced for perfection. At the time we did not forecast a 33% correction but CGF sits in the unloved financials space where valuations remain depressed – CGF is trading on an Est P/E for 2019 of 14.9x while Janus Henderson (ASX:JHG) is trading on Est 8.33x for 2019.

CGF is now trading on multi-month lows with the most recent decline appearing to be triggered by news that the introduction of comprehensive income products for retirement (CIPR) has been pushed back to 2022, limiting the company’s medium term growth. We’ve always liked CGF’s business / products just not the price it commanded however now into current weakness it’s a different story.

MM likes CGF under $9.75 with initial stops below $8.

NB We’ve been very patient with this stock having sold our position back in November 2017, just shy of $14.

Challenger (CGF) Chart

3 Are the growth stocks a smorgasbord of opportunity?

The movements we are seeing in the high growth / valuation sector are enormous – fortnightly 20% swings are not normal but fun if your on the correct end of things.

We are looking to “play” with ~5% of the MM Platinum Portfolio within this group of stocks when / if opportunities arrive BUT we stress if in doubt stay out!

MM is a buyer of APX below $9.50.

Recently we called the stock to bounce to ~$12 it got there too fast for us to jump on board and only spent a few hours in our sell area – these are now active investment stocks most definitely not buy and hold candidates.

Appen Ltd (APX) Chart

Conversely market old timer in comparison Seek (SEK) looks set to correct back towards $12, significantly lower but this is a medium / long term call.

Seek (SEK) Chart

4 Iron ore stocks are not firm believers

We’ve briefly looked at iron ore this week because it’s been rallying strongly since March, gaining 16% from the years low, but the stocks who produce the bulk commodity have not been particularly excited with the strength – it feels like there’s a degree of inevitability in investors hearts that the China dream is coming to an inevitable end.

Since March Fortescue (ASX:FMG) is down ~2% even after its recent strong 20% bounce, Rio (ASX:RIO) is up 11% and BHP is up 18% - only BHP has kept pace with iron ore.

Iron Ore v Fortescue Metals (FMG) Chart

BHP and RIO have outperformed FMG due to their capital management programs and because of the lingering doubts around the grade of FMG’s iron ore.

MM is currently long RIO with a target ~$90 and still prefers it over BHP at current levels.

Unfortunately FMG didn’t give us the opportunity to go long below $3.50 in the Platinum Portfolio as was outlined in previous reports, at current levels we are now neutral and will retain the position in the Income Portfolio.

BHP Billiton (BHP) v RIO Tinto (RIO) Chart

Conclusion

As subscribers know we are looking for a more defensive portfolio at this point in time i.e. stocks that provides a constant dividend and stable earnings regardless of the state of the overall stock market, however we think allocating a small portion of the portfolio to shorter term opportunities makes sense.

We remain mildly positive moving into Christmas but we do intend to increase our cash holdings into strength, ideally a Christmas rally towards 6100.

In the bigger picture we believe we are entering an active investors dream i.e. buy weakness and sell strength as illustrated in the global indices section with special reference to the tech based NASDAQ.

Chart of the week.

On Friday night chipmaker Skyworks plunged after results signalled a slowdown in smartphone demand although we note Apple did relatively ok only closing down -1.9%.

In our opinion this stock is most definitely not a falling knife to try and catch.

MM is bearish Skyworks targeting another +20% downside and by definition this makes us cautious on other chipmakers

Skyworks (SWKS) US Chart

Investment of the week.

At current prices I like the 2 Three stocks we like today.” discussed earlier and If I again go out on a limb the order of preference is:

IDP Education (IEL), Orica (ORI) and then Challenger (CFG).

Trade of the week.

CYB looks to have found support around $4.50 and we expect the stock to rotate between $4.50 and $5 i.e. a clear trading range.

MM likes $4.50  but is a seller around $5

CYBG Plc (CYB) Chart

Our Holdings

Our positions as of Friday. All past activity can also be viewed on the website through this link

Weekend Chart Pack

The weekend report includes a vast number of charts covering both domestic and international markets, including stock, indices, interest rates, currencies, sectors and more. This is the engine room of our weekend analysis. We encourage subscribers to utilise this resource which is available by clicking below.

Have a great day!

James & the Market Matters Team

Disclosure

Market Matters may hold stocks mentioned in this report. Subscribers can view a full list of holdings on the website by clicking here. Positions are updated each Friday, or after the session when positions are traded.

Disclaimer

All figures contained from sources believed to be accurate.  Market Matters does not make any representation of warranty as to the accuracy of the figures and disclaims any liability resulting from any inaccuracy.  Prices as at 11/11/2018

Reports and other documents published on this website and email (‘Reports’) are authored by Market Matters and the reports represent the views of Market Matters. The MarketMatters Report is based on technical analysis of companies, commodities and the market in general. Technical analysis focuses on interpreting charts and other data to determine what the market sentiment about a particular financial product is, or will be. Unlike fundamental analysis, it does not involve a detailed review of the company’s financial position.

The Reports contain general, as opposed to personal, advice. That means they are prepared for multiple distributions without consideration of your investment objectives, financial situation and needs (‘Personal Circumstances’). Accordingly, any advice given is not a recommendation that a particular course of action is suitable for you and the advice is therefore not to be acted on as investment advice. You must assess whether or not any advice is appropriate for your Personal Circumstances before making any investment decisions. You can either make this assessment yourself, or if you require a personal recommendation, you can seek the assistance of a financial advisor.  Market Matters or its author(s) accepts no responsibility for any losses or damages resulting from decisions made from or because of information within this publication. Investing and trading in financial products are always risky, so you should do your own research before buying or selling a financial product.

The Reports are published by Market Matters in good faith based on the facts known to it at the time of their preparation and do not purport to contain all relevant information with respect to the financial products to which they relate. Although the Reports are based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Market Matters does not make any representation or warranty that they are accurate, complete or up to date and Market Matters accepts no obligation to correct or update the information or opinions in the Reports. Market Matters may publish content sourced from external content providers. 

If you rely on a Report, you do so at your own risk. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Any projections are estimates only and may not be realised in the future. Except to the extent that liability under any law cannot be excluded, Market Matters disclaims liability for all loss or damage arising as a result of any opinion, advice, recommendation, representation or information expressly or impliedly published in or in relation to this report notwithstanding any error or omission including negligence.