Archive for May, 2010

Inflation Or Deflation?

Posted in CRB Total Return Index (CRB) on May 24th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Jim Donnelly, Olson Global Markets

A sharp three-week price decline in crude oil combined with setback in the value of copper (when measured in U.S. dollars) has the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Total Return Index turning lower. A recent surge in the value of the U.S. dollar has clearly been a large part of this story. Nevertheless, the direction of crude oil prices is being viewed by some as a proxy for the expectation of a slowdown in global economic growth.

Another aspect to the dynamic is that of inventory levels. With the Cushing Oklahoma oil storage facility this week reaching 37.9 million barrels and quickly nearing its peak operable capacity of about 41mm-42mm barrels, the front contract sank on Thursday in front of its May settlement. This facet of the equation is a reminder that the forces of supply and demand also have to be reckoned with.

In any event, the CRB index is now approaching a test of key “cross” trend line support now sitting at 245. Interestingly, the current technical setup for the CRB index does not yet reflect an oversold condition. As a result, the worry is that if the 245 support level should give way to selling pressures, a move down to the 205 level might be possible. A decline of this nature, if it occurred, would no doubt have a negative impact of equity prices, and at the same time force intermediate-to-long-term U.S. treasury yields to move lower still.

If, on the other hand, the 245 area can hold as support, an easing of recent bearish equity influences might occur. Unfortunately, the current technical set-up does not yet favor such relief.


The S&P 500 Index Likely To Retest Recent Low

Posted in The S&P 500 Index (SPX) on May 17th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

By Jim Donnelly, Olson Global Markets

With most technical oscillators on the weekly time frame now positioned bearishly, there appears to be a reasonable “risk” that the S&P 500 Index will “retest” its recent low of 1,065 sometime soon. That level represents both “mid-channel” and “cross” trend line supports on intermediate-term charts. From this vantage point, however, those weekly technical studies are not likely to enter into an oversold condition anytime soon.

On the positive side of the ledger, a spate of recent economic data does reflect improvements in a number of sectors in the U.S. That, in theory should cushion some negative price action equities might have to face in the days and weeks ahead. Nevertheless, uncertainly over efforts to stabilize the financial situation in Europe may keep investors off-balance for a while.

If that it true, or if the perception that the global economy should darken by way of civil unrest in Europe, increased political squabbling here and abroad, or signs of shrinking demand for goods and services collectively, a solid break below 1,065 could occur, If so, it would be viewed as a big negative that would likely point to a move toward key “channel bottom” support now located in the 923 area. Under those circumstances, one might expect fears of deflation to be rekindled resulting in a period of consumer retrenchment.