Much has been made of the rise in relative positive surprises in US macro data as a support for the equity market (even as bottom-up earnings and outlooks suggest otherwise). This has as much to do with macro-strategists overly-emotional downgrades and upgrades as the data itself (in all its manipulated glory). However, four times in the last six years, the macro surprise index for the US has reached two-standard deviations above its mean – and each time has marked a top in macro surprises. Just this past week, the US macro surprise index reached two-standard deviations from its mean once again – and while bond markets have started to reflect that reality (as we noted here), the rest of the market appears not to have got the message that, perhaps, this iss as good as it gets this cycle around.
Upper pane – Citi US Economic Surprise Index (and 50DMA)
Lower pane – 3 month rate-of-change and two-standard-deviation level