Saturday, January 3, 2015

MTU Weekend Ed. - 2015 Outlook (1/2/15 close)

... long term structure, decennial pattern, presidential cycle, intermediate term scenarios ...

As the recovery in stocks is approaching its 7th year in March 2015 and benchmark stock indexes are at record highs, the 2009 bottom likely concludes a fourth wave or wave A of a fourth wave. On the long term chart of the Dow, Chart 1 tracks the 2009 low as a fourth wave off the 1974 low while Chart 2 tracks the 2009 as a fourth wave at one larger degree (or wave A of the proposed fourth wave) off the 1932 low.

For 2015, "Conventional wisdom" is likely to emphasize potential support for stocks from the bullish tendency in the 5th year of the decennial pattern in U.S. stocks and in the 3rd year of the U.S. presidential cycle.

Chart 3 shows that over the past 100 years, the Dow has gained in every 5th year of each decade with a median return of 28.8%. While 2005 is an exception for the Dow (-0.6%), SP500 returned 3% that year.

However, note that the majority of those 5th-years are less than 5 years from prior lows.  Since 2015 is 6 to 7 years from the March 2009 low, it is a minority item from this perspective .   Given how far and how long the stock market has advanced since its 2009 low as well as the relatively weak performance of the 1995, we shouldn't be surprised if 2015 deviates from the perceived norm.

The 3rd year of the U.S. presidential cycle has been decidedly bullish (Char 4).  From 1915 to 2014,  22 of the 25 third-years in the presidential cycle (88%) have been up years for the Dow.  The average return (excluding dividends) has been north of 16%.  Let's see if 2015 can shape up to be a typical 3rd year in the presidential cycle.

In this context, without a bullish or bearish prior disposition, odds appear to favor a full five-wave run off the 2009 low, perhaps enabling Nasdaq indexes to exceed their Y2K peaks.  

Chart 5 and Chart 6 present our top tracking counts of SP500 since its March 2009 low.

The most bullish scenario is the green count in Chart 6, where wave [5]-up off the 2009 low is already in progress.  A potential equality between wave [1] and wave [5] projects to 2074, which represents a 30% return for wave [5]-up and 15+% return for 2015 at the high. The blue count in Chart 5 maps out a similar structure going forward, but at one-lesser-degree to conclude wave [3]-up (or [C]-up) off the 2009 low.

The most bearish scenario is the blue count in Chart 6, where wave 5 of (5) of wave [3]/[C]-up off the 2009 low is an expanding diagonal triangle.  The expanding EDT has satisfied its price structure requirement in time at the recent high of 2093.55 but is less ideal in the duration of its final leg. Sometime late 2015 would be an ideal topping area from the time perspective.  However, the subsequent decline points to at least the base of the expanding EDT which is around 1700 in SP500.

The red count in Chart 5 highlights an immediately bearish scenario, where wave [4]-down off the 2009 low has been in progress for a year but is tracing out an expanding triangle. Wave (e)-down of the proposed triangle is next, pointing to below the October 2014 low.