This Monday, May 20, markets opened with the S&P 500 down .67% on news of the trade war.
On Tuesday, they recovered.
On Thursday, they were down more than 1.19%.
Now, as you know if you’ve been following Critical Signals Report, there’s something much worse than that coming to the markets.
So it’s more important than ever that you know exactly what’s coming, when, and what to do about it.
That’s why, as you enjoy this Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to show you precisely what the Critical Signals Report Storm Tracker is currently saying about the coming recession.
And most importantly, how to best prepare your portfolio.
The Four Blips on the Storm Tracker You Need to Know
Last week was a tough week on the global-macro front, comparatively speaking.
First and foremost, the Storm Tracker ramped up a few notches from 39 knots to 45 knots.
As I said before, the recessionary wind speeds are at 45 knots, then your cash position should be 45%, as you see in this chart here.
The Storm Tracker parses nearly 100 variables, which means quite a few of these are deteriorating.
Everything you see in Critical Signals Report flows from the Storm Tracker.
It sets the pace for the week ahead and importantly impacts the cash position in the Crash Portfolio.
We’ll get to that in a moment.
For now, let’s quickly parse what’s changed since I recently introduced Storm Tracker to you.
First, consensus recession probabilities are rising … sharply.
Here’s a chart of the NY Fed Recession Probability Indicator, which has reliably increased ahead of past recessions.
The New York Fed’s current probability of a next recession rose to 27% last week.
As you can see from the chart, this is about where it was when the 2001 recession kicked in.
Then there’s the 2008 recession, which kicked in at a 40% reading – and we’re over halfway there today!
The obvious take away here is that recession probabilities are mounting, even at the Fed.
Thus, you need to prepare.
Second, U.S. and global GDP growth forecasts are falling … sharply.
As we’ve written elsewhere, the Fed doesn’t report GDP with a great deal of accuracy…
Nevertheless, for public GDP forecasting, we like the Atlanta Fed Now Forecast for the U.S., as it updates so frequently.
This chart is about as concerning as it gets.
The Atlanta Fed is suggesting GDP will fall 75% from its highs back in July of last year.
Here at Critical Signals Report, I’m currently tracking a recession to hit landfall (i.e. your portfolio) in Q1 of 2020.
By this metric, it appears well on its way.
Third, the U.S. yield curve continues to invert, as it frequently does before recessions.
A total of 4 legs are pointing down (inverting) in the US Yield Curve below.
A leg down was added recently, contributing to the rise in our Storm Tracker reading.
And fourth, two of our more important leading indicators flipped from bullish to bearish over this last week.
Namely U.S. Industrial Production and the U.S. Conference Board Coincident Composite Index, an index that tracks economic variables that tend to change with changes in the overall economy year-over-year (YoY).
Take a look.
What to do?
Stick with the Critical Signals Report, where I’ll be showing you how to prepare and what to do.
You saw the Crash Portfolio in Part 4 of our 4-part introductory series.
Here’s what’s broadly indicated now … and what’s working now …
Namely there’s a healthy risk-management allocation to cash (45%, equal to Storm Tracker’s Recession wind-speed reading), and the rest to fixed income, equities (long and short) and to alternative investments.
As we move forward here at the Critical Signals Report, I’ll be sharing more specific allocations within these sectors, but here’s a preview …
They include allocations to long large cap stocks, short equity indexes (some leveraged through inverses), and a whole lot to U.S. and global fixed income to enjoy some appreciation as investors pile into bonds.
Bottom line: storm clouds are gathering as trade wars and other “stormy” indicators loom larger week by the week, although the possibility of a Fed-driven “melt-up” looms, should the Fed take those short-term interest down a couple of notches to revive a deteriorating stock market.
Have a great weekend, and of course, on this special holiday, we give a deeply heartfelt thanks to all who served our country and to those in particular who gave their lives doing so.
We remember them with the highest of highest regard.
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May 25 2019