Can We Repeat 2023?

January 2, 2024

In these way-too-interesting times, there aren’t many publications that would trumpet a New Year’s Eve headline like the one above. It topped the front page of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, however, a tribute to the Sunshine State’s winning performance on the playing field. Two college basketball teams, University of Miami and Florida American University, made it to the NCAA Final Four, while the Panthers and the Miami Heat did much better than expected in, respectively, professional hockey and professional basketball.

Many investors, too, will be hoping for a repeat of 2023. The S&Ps tacked on nearly 1,000 points since the start of the year, and that is bound to have raised their expectations for more of the same in 2024. My own forecast suggests they may be in for disappointment. Although I see the broad averages going at least somewhat higher, a moonshot looks doubtful. That’s because shares of Microsoft, currently trading for around $375, look incapable of exceeding a granite ‘Hidden Pivot’ ceiling at $430 without experiencing a major correction or a bear market first. MSFT has taken AAPL’s place as my #1 stock-market bellwether because iPhone sales will be extremely vulnerable in a recession, even as subscription revenues for Microsoft Windows/Outlook continue to roll in no matter what happens to the global economy. MSFT is therefore the single most important stock in the world, and when its long roll of the dice sevens out, that will signal the end of the stock market’s near-vertical climb.

Bullion Gathering Strength

If there is great news coming for investors, look for it to happen in the bullion sector. Silver and gold have spent more than three years consolidating for a push that will turn $2000 into bedrock support for the latter. The move has been such a long time in coming because it will herald an earth-shaking shift toward deflation in the global economy. The big surprise will be a soaring dollar driven by short-covering rather than by dismal ‘fundamentals.’

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