The Mystery Of The "Spring Swoon" Revealed

Tyler Durden's picture

For the last few years, the US equity market has soared through Q4 and into Q1 and macro-economic indications have trended with them in a virtuous circle 'confirming' that this time it's different and recovery is 'on'. Then just as investors get all bulled up, convinced by the market's all-knowing-efficiency that the old normal is back and growth is returning, macro-economic data starts to disappoint expectations. This is initially shrugged off - "it's a transitory dip", "the market sees through this temporary weakness", "where else are you going to put your money?" - and the stock buying continues through the Winter. But there comes a time, when the divergence from economic reality grows too wide and the 'faith' that the market knows best starts to fade; and sure enough, each time, the market drops back rapidly to reality. What is the common denominator for this winter surge?

Simple - massive global central bank bailouts/injections in the months just before winter that levitate the market (and psychologically create 'hope' that is then extrapolated into future economic expectations which then after a one- to two-quarter lag, leads to disappointment as real economic data can't match the market's implied reality).

 

2010-11...

 

2011-12...

 

2012-13...

 

So while heretofore taboo topics such as seasonal adjustments have been put forward to explain this mysterious cyclical deterioration between the winter and spring season for three years in a row; it seems the answer is far simpler and more practical to our new normal reality - a Central Bank induced hope that floods from market to real economic hopes, is 'priced in' by analysts, then fails to live up to the reality simply because it was never a real trend anyway - that leaves the economists all looking at their Birinyi's rulers and wondering if once again, the extrapolators-in-chief are wrong...

 

Print, Rinse, Repeat...

 

Charts: Bloomberg