A Simple SP500 Timing Model

We track hundreds of different economic, fundamental, technical, sentiment, and cycle indicators. Some are stand alone and only help us discern particular situations while others are full blown timing models that we use to get in and out of the market. Some are very complex with ten and even twenty inputs ranging from jobless claims, to put call ratios, to nickel, to the advance decline line. Essentially anything that we test that helps to give us an edge we use to some degree or other. As global macro traders we of course have several models for every market that we trade, as well as models that only point us to markets showing abnormal movement.

As of a few days ago we had one of our longer term SP500 timing models trigger a buy signal. This timing model is very simple and only uses the NYSE Advance Decline line and the SP500 closing price. This models esge is not huge but it is solid and historically you are risking about 1:1 meaning that the historical return is almost the same as the worst historical drawdown.

In our newsletter and in our own trading we rarely use a model as an automatic buy or sell signal but we do use them to tell us which dorection to trade. Right now this extremely simple model is showing that the advance delcine line has finally been able to have a sustained run and break above its long term trend, in this case the 150-day moving average. Again we don’t, and don’t recommend, trading directly off of these signals as almost every model we track can be improved upon by selecting better entry and exit points but they do helo us tremendously in our trading.

SP500-NYSE Advance Decline Line


As you can guess we are becoming increasingly bullish after being bearish for the better part of two years. Who knows if this rally will continue as there are a ton, and maybe a trillion tons, of harsh economic realities and hardships, but for now the trend is up and we are starting to lean to the long side.

Happy Trading,

P.S. If you are getting value out of our posts, you can do us a favor by linking to us with your site or blog and mentioning The Macro Trader to any of your friends that trade.

Equity Risk Meter

Our Equity Risk Meter essentially measures how bullish or bearish we are towards the US Markets.   The higher the reading the less risk there is in the market and the lower it goes the more risk there is.

Right now for instance the meter is reading 12.5%, which is very bearish.  As you can see we have been bearish for some time now and very bearish since mid June, enabling us to avoid almost all of the downturn in the stock market.  When the meter starts to climb we become more and more bullish and look towards the longside.  For now we are essentially on the sidelines sitting in cash.

Equity Risk Meter

We will be posting our risk meter for US equities each week.  If you would like to follow it you can either come to the site each week or simply subscribe to our RSS feed.  Using RSS you will be able to either receive our posts as an e-mail or in your RSS reader.

Happy Trading,

The Macro Trader

Systematic Investing and Trading

Here at we use several different strategies across several asset classes. Why do we do this? For several reasons not the least of which is so that we can find and exploit as many of the best risk to reward situations as possible. If you tie yourself to one strategy or one asset class you are limiting your potential opportunites.

In this article we will focus on using systems. As we have already mentioned we use several systems. Some are purely automatic. If they say buy we will go and buy if they say to sell we will sell. We also have several systems that leave us a lot of discretion as to what we do. We look at many different variables depending on the asset class and time horizon. For instance in some of our short term systems we only use prices of the actual instrument to determine buys and sells. On some of our longer term systems we use economic data such as interest rates, market valuations, technical studies, inflation, competing yields, etc.

Right now we have several systems for domestic and foreign equities, domestic bonds (treasuries, corporates, and junk), precious metals, currencies, commodities, volatility trading, and asset allocation. All of the systems we use have historically beaten their benchmarks with less risk. So over time we can expect to outperform.

As noted earlier we also have systems that leave us with varying amounts of discretion. Some of the systems are only used to alert us of a potential trade. We then go in and look to see if we feel it is worth doing. For instance one of our systems is designed to highlight potential option trades across several different indexes. Its main variable is volatility. While we could possibly use it as a stand alone system at this point in time we think it is better used to highlight potential opportunities.

So how do we use it? We update it every week and most weeks it will show us a few different areas worth looking at. We than go in and research those potential trades to assess the situation. If the right conditions are present and we can see a catalyst we will then go in and put on the trade. If not we will continue monitoring the situation in case it changes. While we only put on about a third of the trades that it presents us we feel it is an invaluable tool because it highlights many situations that we would otherwise miss. To sum it up in one sentence it highlights promising situations. That is but one example of using a systematic process in our trading.

In summary using systematic processes in trading allow us to cover more asset classes and more countries. It allows us to spot more opportunities and to more consistently achieve above average and less correlated returns.

Happy Trading,

The Macro Trader