Wednesday, 27 March 2013

US vs the World - Trends Have Separated

One of the most perplexing things to me about this rally is how it has decoupled quite a bit from market indices in the rest of the world.  Generally, especially post-financial crisis, the macro factors have dominated the rallies and declines more than anything else.  As such, there has been an incredibly strong correlation between most of the major market indices.

However, look at the following charts:

The US S&P 500 index hit a low in mid Nov and then climbed steadily up.  A mild hiccup occurred at the end of Feb but the trend is clearly upwards and we are now hitting all time highs.

However, looking at Germany, while it also had a bottom in mid Nov, it rose to hit a peak at the beginning of February.  It is since down almost 7% since that high.  That's a big difference vs the US which is up 4% in that time frame.

The US trend looks even more perplexing if you look at the emerging markets.  As opposed to Germany which peaked in Feb, emerging markets peaked on the first day of the year and has been going down ever since.  Its now down almost 6% since that peak.

As I said, there are a lot of similarities in market movements today (notice all of them bottomed in mid Nov) and yet the US is the only one that pushed upwards continuously while almost all the other markets have fallen.  This short term discrepancy usually corrects itself...eventually.  So either the other markets will rally up or the US will drop.  Which do you think is more likely to happen?  This is not a clear sign but just a number of various indicators which makes me feel somewhat uneasy about the current US market trend.

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