Stocks could see a further 6 percent rise this year, according to strategist Ed Yardeni. » Read More
Former Reagan administration OMB director David Stockman sees stocks falling, and it's all thanks to Trump. » Read More
One market expert warns that while stocks may be rallying, the political climate could wreck havoc on the market. » Read More
By: Brian Price
One of Wall Street’s biggest bulls has an unnerving message for investors: A near-term storm is on the horizon for stocks. » Read More
It hasn't been a great few months for oil, but one technical analyst believes crude could be headed for $70 per barrel in the near future.
Despite bearish outlooks like from Goldman Sachs, which predicted this week that oil will be trapped in the $45 to $50 range, Orips Research chief market technician Zev Spiro sees oil surging again. This time, it could rally about 50 percent above current levels.
According to Spiro, oil's impending rally has been building from a technical perspective since last year. Looking at a weekly chart of crude, Spiro points out that a "head and shoulders bottoming pattern" began in July of last year. An inverse head and shoulders pattern like the one on Spiro's weekly chart is seen as an indication that an uptrend could be on its way.
There's one more thing Spiro needs to see before he's sure.
"This large complex bottoming pattern could trigger a confirmed move above the horizontal neckline in the $50-$51 area," he said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "[This] would signal a primary uptrend with a minimum expected price objective in the $73 to $76 area."
But the surge may only come after more losses for oil in the short term. A daily chart of oil shows Spiro that a so-called "bearish evening star pattern" formed in August, which could spell more movement to the downside in the next few weeks.
"The pattern indicated minor resistance at the height of $48.75 and a possible pullback in the near term," said Spiro.
Nevertheless, Spiro maintains a bullish outlook for oil based on long-term patterns that he sees developing.
"Despite the potential for lower prices in the near term, the overall picture is bullish as prices are forming the right side of this large bottoming pattern," he explained.
Based on what he sees in the charts, Spiro argues that investors have two potential buying opportunities in oil. The first would be when oil pulls back to its current support around $43.50, and the second when oil breaks above Spiro's neckline area of $50 to 51.
On Friday morning, oil traded around $47.
If you're waiting for Fed Chair Janet Yellen to give some guidance as to when she will hike interest rates, don't hold your breath — says one Wall Street firm.
"The market is hoping that she's going to give us clarification, not only on long-term monetary policies, but also some clarity on current monetary policy," explained JPMorgan's Priscilla Hancock on CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. "[However], it's likely that the market is going to be disappointed. [It] would be wise not to expect too much from Janet going into Friday."
Ahead of the upcoming Jackson Hole conference where Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak, investors are indeed pining for some concrete insight as to what the Fed's next move will be. However, Hancock firmly believes that Yellen's approach will remain extremely cautious and that it will continue to focus on a variety of factors including risk management and global monetary conditions.
This notion does come amid some recent hawkish rhetoric from San Francisco Fed President John Williams and New York Fed President William Dudley, but Hancock doesn't not envision a rate hike in the fall.
"We're still calling for a December rate hike," explained Hancock. "It seems to me that the GDP numbers and inflation are moving us down the path to where the Fed is going to look to a December hike. That is our base case."
In the second quarter of 2016, U.S. GDP increased at a yearly rate of 1.2 percent as inflation has steadily declined through the summer months.
Going forward, JPMorgan anticipates an extremely tight trading range for yields to continue, regardless of positive economic data, as the market remains cautious alongside Yellen.
"It's hard for the curve to flatten significantly from here," said Hancock. "Likewise, it's hard for the curve to steepen." Hancock reasons that this is because central banks are buying a significant amount of bonds every month, which limits the amount of movement global investors from Europe and Japan can cause through the trading of U.S. Treasurys.
In the last month, the U.S. 10-year has lost just 1 percent while the two- and five-year notes remain unchanged.
"Everybody is searching for yield," concluded Hancock. "Now we have a situation where the technicals are 'uber' strong and the demand is extraordinary. Any tiny tick up in rates is just met by demand. That's keeping yields down and it's keeping spreads tight."
As equities continue to defy history and edge higher in August, a top Wall Street bank is keeping an eye on one key bearish indicator.
"We've had a couple of weekly candle patterns, which suggest that there's some indecision about the market," said Chief Equity Technical Strategist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Stephen Suttmeier on CNBC's "Futures Now" on Thursday.
Suttmeier emphasized that while his team remains bullish on the S&P 500, traders should consider the candles in order to draw conclusions about the market's next move during the second half of August. Candlesticks show movement over a given period of time and the shape demonstrates highs and lows as well as opening and closing prices.
Suttmeier illustrated that in recent weeks, the technicals for the S&P 500 appear to be bearish and that the recent occurrence of two types of candles have been troubling. During the last week of July and during the second week of August, a "doji" occurred, which is when the open and close remain at comparable levels and ultimately represent a sign of indecision on Wall Street.
The other recent bearish candle was a "hanging man," which occurred during the first week of August. This type of candle is considered to be a risky pattern and shows an increase for the likelihood of an interim top. In conjunction, these candles could represent some near-term downside, but Suttmeier remains optimistic that a drop could set-up a base for gains in the long-term.
"We do think that the S&P could settle and find support somewhere around 2,147," noted Suttmeier. "However, the breakout should remain intact and we do see much further upside."
Year to date, the S&P 500 is up 7 percent and has gained 19 percent since the February lows. The index was relatively flat this past week and ended down less than 1 percent.
Ultimately, Suttmeier explained that, despite recent bearish signs in the market, the reasons for optimism remain strong.
"I think we've got a lot of things going for us: breadth, volume internals and the credit markets are firm," said Suttmeier while discussing why the S&P 500 has remained in a cyclical bull market since March 2009, the second longest stretch in history.
Investors may be thrilled about the current bull market, but one market watcher believes that paying attention to volume is a better way to maximize their profit.
Paul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group, took a look at the performance of the S&P 500 Index over the years as it compared to volume. What he found was a huge difference in returns on days with below-average market volume, and on days when it was above-average.
"The cumulative return of the S&P 500 during this bull market on below average volume days [increased] 823 percent," said Hickey Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "Cumulative return of the S&P 500 on above average volume days [saw] a decline of 65 percent."
One well-known market bull believes that stocks are set to keep climbing, but is looking for a key catalyst to drive further market growth.
Jeremy Siegel, professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, appeared on CNBC's "Trading Nation" in July to predict that equities could jump by as much as 15 percent in the second half of the year. In an appearance Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now" he reinforced his outlook, though this time with the caveat that a strong earnings season is needed or the market could see its wings clipped.
"I think we need an earnings acceleration If we really want to get this market moving," said Siegel. "But in the presence of a 1.5 percent 10-year [Treasury note yield], low rates, the Fed [giving] at most one increase [this year] and the dividend yield on the stock market being over 2 percent, people are saying, 'Hey, it's not bad being here.'"
While investors have been thrilled with the continual highs set by today's markets, there has also been a touch of caution even in spite of the good news. Three consecutive quarters of lower productivity growth, weak GDP expansion around the world and record low inflation have caused even a market bull like Siegel to temper their predictions for a market rally.
But with a steady earnings season, things could change. Big tech stocks like Apple and Facebook have led the charge in second-quarter earnings, while financials have recovered somewhat with many of the big banks beating estimates. Biotech companies have also performed relatively well, with giants like Amgen and Biogen crushing estimates, sending their stocks soaring in the aftermath.
The successes have been offset, however, by other sectors that have seen disappointing results. While a handful of retail's big names, like Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, have managed to beat earnings estimates, investors are still urged to approach them with caution given the industry's struggles this year. Energy earnings have also disappointed this quarter, with big names like Exxon Mobil missing estimates by large margins.
Siegel still sees the S&P 500 headed above 2,300 this year, which means that the index would have to rise about another 6 percent based on Wednesday's level of 2,177.34. But Siegel is also looking at possible rallies in the Nasdaq and the Dow to take the markets higher.
More specifically, Siegel believes that if a catalyst like earnings appears to drive growth, the Dow could beat its intraday record of 18,622.01, which the index set in late July.
"We'll get over 19,000, that isn't much from now [and] it could reach near 20,000 if we get a meaningful acceleration in GDP and earnings growth, [along with] getting oil back towards $50 to $55," said Siegel. "That would revive the energy sector, which has been a big drain on earnings."
But at the same time, the current economic environment could also mean that all three indexes fall short of reaching their full potential, especially if the rest of this season's earnings reports don't pick up.
"I don't think there's going to be that much deviation between the S&P, the Dow and the Nasdaq, [with] the Nasdaq [being] more tech heavy, [and] the tech sector has been doing well," he added. "That's really where the only real growth tends to be, but I think all of them are going to be up less than 10 percent this year unless we get a meaningful acceleration in the second half of the year."
Crude's recent brush with levels close to $40 per barrel has made a lot of energy watchers nervous, but a top market analyst believes that international events will conspire to send oil prices sharply higher over the next several months.
Helima Croft, the global head of commodities strategy at RBC Capital Markets, identified supply talk surrounding Libya and Nigeria as two "bearish red herrings" for the oil market. Instability in both countries has sharply curtailed production in both OPEC member states, with Nigerian supply cut in half as militants target the country's pipelines.
"Right now there is kind of this fear that we could get 900,000 additional barrels [per day] out of Libya, the head of the national company said that by year-end," Croft said last week on CNBC's "Futures Now."
Meanwhile, "there's this view that because Nigeria [has] resumed these amnesty payments, it's going to bounce back as well [with] 400,000, 500,000 barrels," she added, referring to funds the country is providing to militants in order to halt attacks on Nigeria's oil arteries.
Nevertheless, "we just think those producers are going to remain distressed," Croft said, meaning that global oil supplies will likely remain crimped, putting upward pressure on prices.
Amid global oversupply and a strong U.S. dollar, crude's downward spiral will continue, according to one of Wall Street's largest firms. But that may not be terrible news for all investors.
"Oil could get down to the $35 per barrel level, which would most certainly at this point take the equity markets with it," Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Paul Ciana told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday.
In January, crude and equities traded in a near identical correlation before the February lows. Ciana explained that with crude now down 21 percent from the year-to-date highs, he's concerned that eventually equities may feel the impact. Then, global markets could see another spike in volatility as investors grow worry about a correction.
Crude fell more than 1 percent on Tuesday to settle at its lowest level since April. On Wednesday, U.S. crude was up slightly but still below $40 a barrel.
"We could see the beta between crude and global markets increase again," Ciana said, referring to volatility. "Oil has reached the target from the technical top, and seasonals point to weakness in September to October."
Seasonal patterns may be the biggest headwind for crude, since prices typically peak in August toward the end of the summer U.S. driving season and then decline on average through November. With crude at the lows in August, Ciana sees trouble.
"Crude oil is already down so much from the June [$51 per barrel] highs," he said. Ultimately, Ciana said, this week's break below $40 could lead to a retracement of the year-to-date high-low range of $35.84. However, this movement could also provide a fresh opportunity for commodity investors in the mid-term.
"The next trade for crude oil would be to let it get down to the mid-30s and let some of that risk offset sentiment," Ciana said. "Let some of the headlines run and then take a stab at actually buying crude oil."
Ciana concluded that, at an intermediary trend perspective, if crude can hold the $35 support level the technical set-up would be in place to begin forming the right shoulder of a head-and-shoulders bottom pattern.
"From that point, we would need to see crude rally up to test the neckline and break through $52. That could launch crude oil much higher into 2017," Ciana said.
As the race for the White House heats up, former U.S. Representative Ron Paul says neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump offer what the U.S. economy needs right now.
"I think neither one will restore a great, great economy, because I think there's too many mistakes out there, too much mal-investment, too much debt, too much pain to correct these things," Paul said last week on CNBC's "Futures Now."
The Libertarian firebrand has long predicted a bubble in stocks, and doesn't see Trump or Clinton offering solutions to the issues he feels plague the economy.
"I'm still looking for my third candidate," the former Republican Party presidential candidate said.
"I want just to move in the direction of less spending, less taxes, less regulations, less pruning of money, less power in the financial system, less power from the Federal Reserve and I don't see that candidate that will do that."
After a strong first half of the year, oil just posted its worst month since July 2015.
Despite fears that the commodity could retest the mid-$30 range, one closely-followed oil watcher is especially bullish on where energy is heading in the coming months and years—and investors should not get comfortable with currently low prices.
"It may get a little uglier with some European refinery shutdowns," admitted Tom Kloza recently on CNBC's "Futures Now" when discussing the potential for a near-term slowdown in the U.S. "But this is very seasonal."
The global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) explained that, while he expects to see a $39 handle for oil in the coming weeks, prices will see significant gains in the long-term.
"I'm pretty comfortable in predicting that crude oil prices will be much higher one year from now, two years from now, and three years from now with prices perhaps in the $50 to $75 range," Kloza told CNBC.
"But, like the New York Yankees, we may have to waddle through a long period of mediocrity and pain until things turn around," he added.
Crude oil hit a 2016 high of $51.67 on June 9, but has since fallen nearly to 20 percent.
"Speak softly and carry a big stick."
"When it comes to rate hikes, the Fed has no stick. All they can do is speak loudly," explained the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital on Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now" when discussing the Fed's strategy in 2016. "The Fed has been bluffing. They're finished tightening."
Furthermore, Schiff believes that the Fed already has the wheels in motion to enact another round of quantitative easing, but wants to represent the possibility of another rate hike to the market. Schiff maintained that if the Fed chooses to raise rates, the whole U.S. economy could implode.
"Instead, they keep positioning that they're about to raise rates, but then they keep coming up with one excuse after another," claimed Schiff, who stuck to the bearish view that the U.S. economy is on the doorstep of another recession.
"I think what they're going to do to ease monetary policy going forward is to adjust their rhetoric," explained Schiff, who noted that the Fed lacks mobility, with only a quarter of a point to maneuver within if it chooses to lower rates. "They'll start talking about not raising rates soon, then they may admit that they no longer have a bias to tightening, then they can say they have a bias to easing."
Schiff was also quick to dismiss Fed policy as the key driver behind this year's rally. Rather, he believes the market's ability to absorb Brexit aftershocks is what has helped stocks climb to record levels in 2016.
"When Brexit happened, central banks starting talking about more stimulus," noted Schiff. "I think it was Brexit that took the Fed out of the game. That's what caused the rally."
Since Britain's vote to the leave the EU, the Dow and S&P rallied 6 and 7 percent from the lows, respectively. With speculation that rates would be lowered around the world, Schiff believes the rally is "phony" and is based on the belief that there will be cheap money readily available for investors.
Schiff added that flawed central bank policies around the world have led to a "bond bubble" and warned investors about the draw of high-yielding treasuries.
"I don't own any bonds," he explained when pressed by "Futures Now" trader Scott Nations on why his bond fund is underperforming the market. "It's a bond fund that has no bonds, because I don't want to participate in a bond bubble. When the bond bubble bursts, my bond fund is going to be number one. All I have is very short-term debt in foreign currencies."
When confronted further by Nations about his call of no interest rates in 2015, Schiff was adamant that a quarter of a point is nothing to write home about.
"If you go back to late 2014, the consensus among most of the people that came on your show was that by the end of this year, the Fed will have raised interest rates between 6 and 8 times," argued Schiff. "I said they wouldn't raise them at all. Everybody was off by a mile! Nobody got closer than me!"
Of course, the Fed raised once in 2015, which led Schiff to maintain that he was far closer to being correct versus his colleagues on Wall Street.
"I knew that the Fed couldn't raise rates! The fact that they did one trivial quarter-point rate hike, and then back-tracked and took [other hikes] off the table proves that I was right," said Schiff. "They raised interest rates, the markets got crushed and the only reason the markets rallied back was because they stopped raising rates!"
The Fed will announce its July rate decision today with additional announcements scheduled for September, November and December. Schiff concluded that the Fed's next move will be a cut, not an increase in rates.
CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through its CME Globex electronic trading platform and trading facilities in New York and Chicago.
Take your trading to the next level with a platform that lets you trade stocks, options, futures and forex all in one place with no platform or data with no trade minimums. Open an account with TD Ameritrade and get up to $600 cash.