Intermarket OutlookAs of 05/17/2019
The current economic environment in the US appears to be weakly deflationary. The outlook for US stocks is bullish. Commodities are neutral. Bonds are bullish.
Detailed asset class performance breakdowns can be viewed here. High-level intermarket trends are examined more closely below.The Dollar, Commodities and Bonds
The US dollar’s outlook has been bullish since May, 2018 (chart). A rising dollar is deflationary and points to lower commodity prices.
Base metal prices are declining relative to bond prices (chart). The ratio of base metals to bonds generally declines when economic weakness and deflation are prevalent.
What’s more, prices across the broad commodity complex are falling relative to bond prices (chart). A falling commodity-to-bond price ratio is deflationary and often precedes or coincides with lower interest rates. Lower rates in turn are usually supportive of stocks.Stocks, Bonds and Risk Appetite
Looking in general at US large-cap stocks, near-term price action appears to be bullish. Mid-term action is bullish and long-term action is bullish (chart).
Consumer discretionary stocks are outperforming consumer staples (chart). Discretionary stocks tend to lead when the economy is perceived to be buoyant or expanding.
Financial stocks are underperforming utility stocks (chart). This is typical when economic conditions are seen as faltering and volatility is expected to rise.
Lastly, high-yield “junk” bonds are outperforming “risk-free” US treasuries on the whole (chart) as credit spreads narrow. Credit spreads generally narrow when investor appetite for risky assets is robust or increasing. That fact, in turn, is near-term positive for stocks.