Gold shifts to negative beta vs. stocks

Gold’s correlation with stocks comes and goes — sometimes it’s extremely high, sometimes negative and sometimes it has none at all. It’s been pretty high for much of the last 12 months, but has turned negative since March. At times on a minute-by-minute scale it moves almost tick for tick opposite stocks (much like the treasury bond or Japanese yen).

5-day view:

12-month view:

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To me, the temporary nature of intermarket correlations means trading each market on its own technicals.

With every new low in the VIX, I buy more puts

Still in favor are Dec 2011 SPY LEAPS of various strikes, and today I’m eying market darlings Apple and Goldman. The chatter on these two being recession-proof is reaching a fever pitch, and while there is a kernel of truth to that story, their stock prices leave no room for error at these levels. Actually, even if these companies continue to prosper, their stocks will deflate as the market assigns lower multiples to the earnings of its strongest as well as weakest components.

REITS (proxy IYR) can’t hold up much longer either, their short-squeeze having run out of steam while rents start to plummet in earnest.

The question of the summer is how high this market will go while the global reprieve in mood lasts. That the NASDAQ is leading the pack reminds me of late 2007, when the market had started to roll over but the “tech horsemen” (AAPL, RIMM, AMZN, GOOG) kept on rising, against all reason. The fact that it has already reached such heights is a big warning sign. It has almost filled its October gap, a very nice target for a corrective bounce.

Above chart from google finance. BTW, check out wikinvest if you get a chance. It’s got a lot over google and yahoo’s stock pages.

Elliott Wave theory holds that corrections move in three waves (impulse moves in five), so this current push could be viewed as the C-wave in an A-B-C move. When it exhausts, a sea change may ensue, not just a minor reversal. With no fundamental support above SPX 400 (and weak support there), just such a paradigm shift is very much on the table.