The collision of global markets and social mood

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Louder The Alarm Bell Rings

Unless the S&P is creating a series of first and second waves to the downside, in which 1870.56 breaks hard today, I'm still not seeing a structure that is ready to give up.

In other words, higher prices could still materialize.

The developing structure looks very much like the rising wedge that got me so excited last month. It would be ironic if the market delivered on it anyway.

There is no reason why the market can't retrace a bit lower, perhaps to 1860 or below, before hitting new highs. There is no reason that it has to, either.

Overall, it's tough to be a buyer, and tough to be a seller here. In that it's Monday, the ideal thing for me is to let the market settle in for a while. Perhaps by the afternoon or Tuesday morning the picture will clear up. No sense guessing.

Elsewhere, there are signs of weirdness. Zero Hedge noted that in China, it appears that the first-ever bond default (even though it was only $14 million) is causing quite a stir. Copper in Shanghai was limit down (-5%) and the yuan dropped the most since 2008. Corporate bond prices are dropping and iron ore prices are tumbling as well. So this story appears larger than it looks. Or maybe it's just part of something much larger.

But I thought the most ominous chart for global markets was this one:

Basically the LME copper/gold ratio peaked at the same time as the Dow Jones Industrials, which have still failed to confirm the new highs in the S&P 500. The longer this non-confirmation persists, the louder the alarm bell rings.

And if you want to see true weirdness, look no further than this: She's an eyeful! Woman risks infection to get heart shaped platinum implanted in optic membrane for $3,000 because she 'likes extremes'

We're at several extremes in sentiment as measured by margin debt, bull/bear ratios, cash available for investment, put/call ratios, but this story brings it down to street level.

"I'm a person who likes extremes," she said.

When people have $3000 lying around to throw away on a fashion statement that could potentially blind them, the message is clear: social mood is at an extreme.

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