S&P 500 Outlook: Index Set to Put up Greatest Quarterly Return in Practically 10 Years

S&P 500 Outlook Speaking Factors:

The S&P 500 seems poised to finish March with its greatest quarterly efficiency since Q3 2009

“Window dressing” from fund managers and a excessive correlation between the S&P 500 and USDJPY presents an attention-grabbing alternative to comply with shared affect between the fairness and forex market

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S&P 500 Outlook: Index Set to Put up Greatest Quarterly Return in Practically 10 Years

The S&P 500 will finish March with the perfect quarterly efficiency since Q3 2009 if it is ready to shut above 2,807.89 in Friday’s session. Throughout the restoration from 2018’s rout, the index returned roughly 12% as of Thursday and at the moment trades in an space of congestion – ready for catalysts. With an unsure basic backdrop, quarter-end “window dressing” from mutual funds and different portfolio managers might look to shake up the index’s efficiency because it crosses the end line.

S&P 500 Quarterly Returns (Chart 1)

S&P 500 quarterly return chart

Window dressing is a technique utilized by fund managers – sometimes close to yr or quarter-end – wherein the supervisor seems to enhance the looks of their fund’s efficiency by adjusting the fund’s holdings. To pursue this plan, a fund supervisor sells underperforming shares within the portfolio and appears to buy high-flying shares which have dragged the broader S&P 500 greater over the quarter. As soon as executed, the supervisor can current the brand new portfolio – now filled with overperformers – to shoppers.

The apply creates the potential for vital quarter-end flows as managers scramble to purchase and promote a few of the index’s outliers. Given the unsure panorama of the S&P 500, elevated flows in a few of the extra delicate constituents might lead to heightened volatility and an intriguing alternative to capitalize on basic themes within the equities through publicity to the forex market.

USDJPY and S&P 500 Correlation

Throughout the first quarter, USDJPY has maintained a comparatively sturdy correlation with the S&P 500. Regardless of the dovish coverage plan out of the Federal Reserve, the Financial institution of Japan maintains a big yield differential to the Dollar by means of its personal ultra-dovish coverage. Thus, the comparatively risk-on US Greenback has traded greater versus the Yen, trailing the riskier S&P 500.

S&P 500 Value Chart Overlaid with USDJPY: four – Hour Time Body (January eight – March 28) (Chart 2)

S&P 500 and USDJPY correlation

With the S&P 500 just lately devoid of pattern dedication and an opaque basic backdrop, themes in USDJPY could also be simpler to isolate and extrapolate a place from. That mentioned, we will look to IG Shopper Sentiment Knowledge for perception on consumer positioning on each markets.

S&P 500 Outlook: Index Set to Post Best Quarterly Return in Nearly 10 Years

Shopper positioning reveals merchants are overwhelmingly brief on the S&P 500. Retail sentiment is extra typically a contrarian sign throughout tendencies because the class of merchants tends to hunt out reversal. Nonetheless, if the climb in danger property together with the US index is winded, that might show fortuitous – although not by means of foresight. Apparently, the positioning on USDJPY is much less clear – considerably defined by the less-than-perfect correlation with the S&P 500.

S&P 500 Outlook: Index Set to Post Best Quarterly Return in Nearly 10 Years

IG shoppers just lately shifted their positioning on USDJPY with merchants barely favoring the lengthy facet. Nonetheless, the proportion is almost cut up at 53% net-long which is a much less commanding sign than that supplied by consumer positioning on the S&P 500. Additional, the whole variety of brief positions on USDJPY has declined considerably over the past month as merchants closed positions to chop losses.

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In the meantime, the whole variety of merchants net-long has solely barely elevated over the identical time-frame. This means merchants are no-more bullish on the pair than they’ve been within the final month, simply less-bearish. Contemplating once more consumer positioning is a contrarian indicator in opposition to sturdy tendencies, the magnitude of brief positions on the S&P 500 and the combined positioning on USDJPY might point out a chance to discover the affect of the quarter-end window dressing of the S&P 500 by means of publicity to the USDJPY pair.

–Written by Peter Hanks, Junior Analyst for

Contact and comply with Peter on Twitter @PeterHanksFX

Learn extra: S&P 500 Outlook: Darkish Clouds Forming Over US Markets

DailyFX forecasts on a wide range of currencies such because the US Greenback or the Euro can be found from the DailyFX Buying and selling Guides web page. If you happen to’re seeking to enhance your buying and selling strategy, take a look at Traits of Profitable Merchants. And when you’re searching for an introductory primer to Forex, take a look at our New to FX Information.

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