Here is a chart from Gary Tanashian through SlopeOfHope’s charting facility, which could be argued legitimises the current steep ascent in US stocks:
In fact the sharply rising monetary base is directly contributing to those rising corporate profits, as government spending (debt) has been the key driver of corporate profits since 2008:
Therefore, if the US Fed begins to withdraw stimulus, disappointment in corporate profits is likely, as the chart shows the traditional profits driver of private investment has collapsed and not recovered over the last few years. Once again, this fits with demographics, and we should therefore not expect private investment to ramp up significantly again any time soon. So it’s in the hands of the US government and Fed. Maintain or increase stimulus, corporate profits should keep rising; decrease or end stimulus, corporate profits should retreat.
Turning to the monetary base, equities are not the only correlated class. In fact, gold has had a tighter correlation, until 2013. Here 2000-2012:
Gold displayed a similar correlation with government debt, also until 2013.
The first shows the debt limit, which will be back on the agenda soon, and surely must keep rising, whilst they retain the need to stimulate, which they will due to demographics. The second shows debt as a percentage of GDP, which actually fell back a little in H1 2013 (my extension on the chart). The reason for that was better than expected economic growth and a trimming in certain areas of government spending. Total debt continues to rise at a historically rapid rate.
So are these correlations with gold broken, or is gold set to come back? One more chart shows that the US dollar and treasury yields have been largely inversely correlated with gold and the pair strengthening for much of 2013 has been a key factor in gold’s decline:
In my opinion, gold’s relations with money supply and debt levels are logically sound, and both money supply and debt should continue to rise into the future under the demographic trends. I therefore I expect gold can restore its bull market if the US dollar and treasury yields tip again into sideways or declining trends. If the US economy strengthens and a little inflation is restored, then this is unlikely to happen and gold will remain in the doldrums. However, demographics and debt suggest the Fed will have to keep fighting to maintain growth and keep deflation at bay (taper disappointment, yields suppression, new measures to attempt to inflate), which could bring about such a reversal in fortunes.
I still expect equities can go a little more parabolic first, under a typical solar maximum speculation push. However the warning flags already in place of dumb/smart money, trading volumes, margin debt and trading credit balances, and overvaluations (e.g. Q ratio) suggest it is most likely limited in duration and size. I would go with something like this from trader Moe:
A further 10% gain in a rapid time, with a catalyst being collective major breakouts in the major global indices, to get to some crazy extreme indicator readings, and a subsequent termination. My first checkpoint is the start of December, because the 3rd is the new moon and as of the 4th geomagnetism is forecast to ramp up again. If equities can rally hard and fast into that point, with a spread of indicators flashing, then I would suggest that could be the earliest point for declines to set in (barring any external shocks). If, however, equities can rally through the seasonally strong Xmas period, and solar intensity stays high into the beginning of 2014, then the next checkpoint would be early January.