NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Developing economies have been on the offensive, enacting wide-scale easing of monetary policy, which has pushed money into American markets.While many have cited the lack of economic support as a reason for risk assets to pull back, markets are getting comfortable with the "new normal." The new normal brings with it lower growth measures, around 2% growth in gross domestic product, and overall acceptable, yet not remarkable, economic readings.
The pair below is of S&P Equal Weight ETF (RSP) over SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). The pair measures market breadth, or the number of companies participating in price action. If the pair moves up on days that equity markets nominally move up, then there was broad participation in the move. Broad moves are more favorable to a trend's strength than moves without broad participation. As we can be seen below, the pair has broken out of its trend sideways. This push higher signals that investors are bullish on U.S. equities and that risk-on sectors are going to continue their uptrend. Equity indexes look slightly overbought, and so a near-term consolidation could be in order. The next pair uses Treasury markets to measure risk sentiment in the U.S. economy. The chart below is of Barclays 1-3 Year Treasury Bond Fund (SHY) over Barclays 20 Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT). As the pair moves higher, the yield curve steepens. A steeper yield curve is bullish for risk assets. The pair has recently broken out of its downtrend and continues to push higher alongside equities. Bond markets tend to predict future movements in equities, and so when this pair begins to falter, investors should begin to set their portfolios in a more defensive position.