Most of the time the U.S. stock market looks to 3 factors (call them the “pillars” that support the stock market) to support its upward trend – let’s grade each of the pillars.
CONSUMER SPENDING: This grade is reduced to a B (favorable) due to the a slowdown in spending. It may be weather related. We will find out in the next 2 months.
THE FED AND ITS POLICIES: We continue to grade this factor an A+ (extremely favorable) because the FED cannot do much more than it is doing to support the stock market and asset prices.
BUSINESS PROFITABILITY: This factor’s grade is a C (average). Early results of quarterly earnings are promising. Perhaps, 2015 will not be such an “average” year after all.
OTHER CONCERNS: The “Heat Map” is indicating the U.S. stock market is in OK shape ASSUMING no international crisis. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of crisis, we rate these international risks collectively as a 2, the same as last week. These risks deserve our ongoing attention.