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Baird Market and Investment Strategy

Weekly Market Notes

December 18, 2017
Dow Industrials 24651
S&P 500 2675
Please refer to Appendix Important Disclosures
Stock Market Technicals
The S&P 500 Index, Dow Industrials and NASDAQ finished at new record highs last week. The weight of the technical indicators
offers little evidence that the primary trend of the stock market is in significant
jeopardy. The broad market continues to support further gains. The NYSE
advance/decline line has made new highs along with the averages. Within the S&P
500 Index, 81% of the industry groups are in uptrends versus 50% in August. Economy: November retail sales surprise to
the upside; Core CPI Inflation reported at 0.1%
Seasonal factors offer a tailwind for stocks deep into the first quarter with stocks
in November; small-business optimism surges to
higher more than 72% of the time in the final two weeks of the year. Investor best level in 13 years
psychology is the largest concern as the widespread complacency seen for most of
Fed Policy: Fed raises fed funds level 25
2017 has shifted to outright optimism. Consumer confidence regarding the basis points points to three more hikes in 2018
economy has reached levels not seen in 17 years. Consumers are also bullish on
Sentiment: Investor optimism excessive
the stock market. The University of Michigans survey of consumer optimism potential headwind near term
toward equities is higher than the 2007 peak. Other signs of excessive optimism
Strongest Sectors: Financials, industrials
are found in the record margin debt, historically high valuations and mutual fund and consumer discretionary
and ETFs cash levels are at record low levels. Although it is unusual that stocks
encounter weakness at the end of the year, the first week of January is often
greeted by sellers who have waited to take profits late in the calendar year. Support is seen at 2575 to 2625 using the S&P 500.

Economy and Interest Rates

As widely expected, the Fed raised interest rates last week boosting the fed fund target range by 25 basis points to 1.25% -
1.50%. It was the third increase this year and the fifth time since 2015 that the Fed has hiked short-term interest rates. The move
was interpreted as a bullish sign by the financial markets. Fed Chair Janet Yellen reiterated what the economic data has been
shouting the past several months. The economy is gaining strength and gathering a measure of momentum. The fact that the
equity markets continue to climb in the face of rising interest rates argues the fed funds level would have to go higher before
impacting the economy and the financial markets. The Fed suggested that three more rate increases next year were likely but this
would depend on the labor markets remaining strong and the prospects for inflation. Although most of the economic data
continues to surprise to the upside, inflation remains conspicuously absent. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November
showed core inflation at just 0.1% with virtually no change year-over-year. Passage of the new tax legislation, however, is a wild
card in the equation next year. Lower taxes are expected to spur growth but at the risk of triggering inflation and a more
aggressive monetary policy.

Market Fundamentals
The performance by the equity markets in recent weeks has shadowed the potential passage of tax legislation before year end.
The largest risk to the stock market is that earnings growth decelerates in 2018 leaving an overvalued market vulnerable. But with
passage of tax legislation nearly assured this threat is significantly diminished. It is estimated that a cut in corporate taxes from
35% to 20% could enhance S&P 500 earnings by as much as 10%. This is important given that without the benefit of tax reform,
earnings acceleration is very difficult this deep into an economic recovery. Although it is difficult to predict what multiple the
market will provide a one-time tax event, this is more than offset by the potential for the improved prospects for capital spending.
Entering the new week the focus will be on a favorable outcome for tax legislation and the lure of Dow 25,000.


Bruce Bittles William Delwiche, CMT, CFA

Chief Investment Strategist Investment Strategist
941-906-2830 414-298-7802
Weekly Market Notes

Current Week Previous Week Indication

CBOE 10-Day Put/Call Ratio

84% 79% Neutral
Below 83% is bearish; Above 95% is bullish

CBOE 3-Day Equity Put/Call Ratio

58% 61% Bearish
Below 59% is bearish; Above 68% is bullish
VIX Volatility Index
9.4 9.6 Bearish
Below 11 is bearish; Above 20 is bullish
American Association of Individual Investors
Bulls: 45.0% Bulls: 36.9%
Twice as many bulls as bears is bearish; 2X more bears than Neutral
Bears: 28.1% Bears: 34.2%
bulls is bullish

Investors Intelligence (Advisory Services) Bulls: 61.9% Bulls: 64.2%

55% bulls considered bearish/more than 35% bears is bullish Bears: 15.2% Bears: 15.1%

National Assoc. of Active Investment Mgrs. (NAAIM)

109% 77% Bearish
Below 30% is bullish; Above 80% is bearish
Ned Davis Research Crowd Sentiment Poll Optimism Excessive Optimism Excessive Bearish

Ned Davis Research Daily Trading Sentiment Composite Optimism Optimism Excessive Neutral

RS Ranking RS
Current Previous Trend Sub-Industry Detail
Leaders: Homebuilding; Footwear; Casinos & Gaming; Publishing; Internet
Retail; Computer & Electronics Retail; Home Improvement Retail
1 ** 3 Laggards: Tires & Rubber; Motorcycle Manufacturers; Household
Appliances; Housewares & Specialties; Advertising;
Leaders: Real Estate Services
Financials 2 ** 1 Laggards: Multi-Line Insurance; Residential REIT's
Leaders: Communications Equipment; Electronic Equipment &
3 ** 2 Instruments; Electronic Manufacturing Services
Technology Laggards:
Materials 4 ** 5 -
Laggards: Construction Materials; Metal & Glass Containers
Leaders: Construction Machinery & Heavy Trucks; Trading Companies &
Industrials 5 ** 4 Distributors; Diversified Support Services; Railroads
Laggards: Building Products; Industrial Conglomerates
Telecom Services 6 8 Laggards:
Leaders: Hypermarket & Super Centers; Distillers & Vintners; Personal
Consumer Staples 7 6 + Products
Laggards: Drug Retail; Brewers; Agricultural Products
Leaders: Managed Health Care
Health Care 8 7 Laggards: Health Care Distributors
Leaders: Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing
Energy 9 10 Laggards: Oil & Gas Equipment & Services; Oil & Gas Exploration &
Production; Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation
Utilities 10 9 Laggards: Electric Utilities
** Denotes Current Relative Strength-Based Overweight Sectors

We wish everyone a happy and joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year

Next Market Notes January 8, 2018

Robert W. Baird & Co. Page 2 of 4

Weekly Market Notes

Appendix Important Disclosures and Analyst Certification

This is not a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any company, industry or security. The opinions
expressed here reflect our judgment at this date and are subject to change. The information has been obtained
from sources we consider to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, S&P 400 and Russell 2000 are unmanaged common stock indices
used to measure and report performance of various sectors of the stock market; direct investment in indices is
not available.
Baird is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license. Baird is regulated by the
United States Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and various other self-regulatory organizations and
those laws and regulations may differ from Australian laws. This report has been prepared in accordance with
the laws and regulations governing United States broker-dealers and not Australian laws.

Copyright 2017 Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated

Other Disclosures

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This material is distributed in the UK and the European Economic Area (EEA) by RWBL, which has an office at
Finsbury Circus House, 15 Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 7EB and is authorized and regulated by the Financial
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For the purposes of the FCA requirements, this investment research report is classified as investment research
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views of Robert W. Baird Limited or any other entity within the Baird Group, in particular Robert W. Baird & Co.
Incorporated, and (ii) may differ from the views of another individual of Robert W. Baird Limited.
All substantially material sources of the information contained in this report are disclosed. All sources of
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Robert W. Baird Group and or one of its affiliates may at any time have a long or short position in the
company/companies mentioned in this report. Where the Group holds a long or short position exceeding 0.5%
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This material is only directed at and is only made available to persons in the EEA who would satisfy the criteria of
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Robert W. Baird & Co. Page 3 of 4
Weekly Market Notes

Investment involves risk. The price of securities may fluctuate and past performance is not indicative of future
results. Any recommendation contained in the research report does not have regard to the specific investment
objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any individuals. You are advised to exercise caution in
relation to the research report. If you are in any doubt about any of the contents of this document, you should
obtain independent professional advice.
RWBL is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license. RWBL is regulated by the
FCA under UK laws, which may differ from Australian laws. As such, this document has not been prepared in
accordance with Australian laws.

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