Political cycle or business cycle?

Is today’s cyclical bull market all about Donald J. Trump, as the financial media insists?  Or are other factors at play?  We know that a bull market was signaled by classic breadth thrust, well ahead of the November election.  We also know that the popular press is addicted to proximate cause and spurious correlation.  Financial journalists have a dubious track record at best. 

It’s possible, therefore, that the current bull market is more of a business-cycle phenomenon than a political phenomenon.  Yes, politics are important.  And Trump is a wild card.  But let’s not lose sight of the business cycle.  If you don’t believe that businesses are innovating, check out the new robot from Boston Dynamics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Google, Inc.

Wow!  Technological progress is alive and well.  And it’s probably the main driver of the bull-market advance.  So please take headline news with a pinch of salt.  Stories ascribing market action to current political events are probably more convenience than fact.  Watch for the words “as,” “on,” “after,” “ahead of,” and “despite.” 

“Market down ahead of Trump speech”

“Dow up as Trump does X, Y, or Z”

These are the weasel words of specious reasoning.  Don’t be fooled by proximate cause.  Pay most attention to underlying trend.


Source: Boston Dynamics (editing mine)

By | 2017-03-04T15:53:25+00:00 March 4th, 2017|Categories: Market Strategy Report|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mark Ungewitter is a Senior Vice President & Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company. He was formerly Director of Portfolio Management at Investors Bank and Trust in Boston, Massachusetts. He holds an M.S. from Bentley University and a B.S. from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is a member of the American Association of Professional Technical Analysts.

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