The charts don’t look negative enough to motivate me to sell, but, then again, I am not feeling the urge to buy this dip. I suspect most people feel the same.

Sector Strength

Below is my spreadsheet of the major ETFs and their relative strength scores. I believe in owning the leaders, although that belief is now being tested because most of these leaders have been struggling lately. 

Let’s watch this spreadsheet closely to see if there are any significant changes in the coming weeks such as continued ticks higher in the strength of TLT or any of the other defensive ETFs.

The Emerging Market ETFs continue to show strength and are worth a look once the general market regains its footing.

Outlook Summary:

I am expecting a choppy, headline-driven, sideways market between now and the November elections. I still plan to buy the dips for short-term gain, but over time I plan to continue to reduce my overall exposure to stocks.

The expected US economic growth rate is back down to the 2% level.

Once again, the problems in Europe related to debt and the banking system are serious issues. SeekingAlpha 

Something else to consider is the Mueller investigation. I worry that the headlines generated by the investigation may rattle the markets more than people are currently anticipating. 

Based on market seasonality, Mike Burk is projecting a medium-term stock market peak in May which sounds about right to me.

I have been operating on the assumption that we have been experiencing mildly higher inflation, but the indicators are not behaving correctly. I still worry a lot about these insane Federal deficits, but maybe it will play out differently than expected. So I am removing, or maybe re-wording, the following statement.

“Higher rates are now a headwind for US stocks. The recent tax cut, the 300 billion spending increase, and the already out-of-control federal deficit are a set up for a very dangerous spike in interest rates.”

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