Risk-On! – The HCM-BuyLine® Flashes Buy

Risk-On! – The HCM-BuyLine® Flashes Buy

February 16, 2023

From the desk of Vance Howard:

The HCM-BuyLine® is positive, and risk should be taken. Pullbacks should be considered buyable. We have been adding exposure to equities and are near 100% back in the market. What can investors expect? Volatility, and I highlight that word for emphasis because there is a lot of fear out there due to the bruising 2022 market, not just for stocks but also the worst bond market in over 40 years. So, anytime Fed chair Powell steps in front of a microphone, hold on because the markets are going to move, and which direction is anyone’s guess. With the HCM-BuyLine® being positive the odds are a 73% chance that the market will continue to climb higher, and a 27% chance it does not hold and rolls over. In that case we again reduce our exposure to equity. 

What could be a very encouraging sign that not only are we now in an uptrend, but that a new bull market could be developing is the S&P 500 is setting what looks like a cup and handle pattern. The cup and handle is one of the more powerful technical chart patterns there is. They do not set up very often, but when they do set up and follow through, it usually leads to a very explosive and long-lasting rally. Time will tell.

Consumer prices firmed up in January, driven by a rebound in energy and continued strong gains in shelter. Additionally, revisions to the seasonal adjustment factors converted the 0.1% decline in December to a 0.1% increase and showed stronger price growth in Q4 overall than previously estimated. Year-to-year price growth eased less than expected. Coming on the back of strong payrolls growth and further tightening in labor market conditions in January, this report confirms that the Fed is not yet done raising rates.

We currently expect two more rate hikes this year before the Fed pauses to evaluate the impact of cumulative tightening. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.5%, the most since last June, and above the consensus of 0.4%. Energy prices rose 2.0%, following two consecutive declines, while food prices rose 0.5%, still much stronger than the 0.15% average monthly gain in the year prior to the pandemic.

Core CPI, which excludes energy and food, increased 0.4%, the most in four months, and above the consensus of 0.3%. Shelter was the biggest contributor, up 0.7%, accounting for more than half of the increase in the core. Both rent and owners’ equivalent rent rose by the same amount. Shelter’s increase was off the peak of 0.8% at the end of last year, but still near the biggest gain since August 1990. While private surveys show that rents have already started to decline, the change is captured in the much broader shelter CPI with a significant lag. We expect shelter CPI to moderate later this year.

Vance Howard

This communication is issued by Howard Capital Management, Inc. It is for informational purposes and is not an official confirmation of terms. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, nor is it a complete statement of the financial products or markets referred to. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice. Howard Capital Management, Inc. may maintain long or short positions in the financial instruments referred to and may transact in them as principal or agent. Unless stated specifically otherwise, this is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell and any prices or quotations contained herein are indicative only. To the extent permitted by law, Howard Capital Management, Inc. does not accept any liability arising from the use of this communication. Howard Capital Management is an SEC-registered investment advisor which only does business where it is properly registered or is otherwise exempt from registration. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the advisor has attained a particular level of skill or ability. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.HCM-011222.01

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