It looked like equities might be in store for a modest correction following the escalation of military actions in Iran. But just like that, the conflict appeared to be resolved and normal market conditions quickly returned.
Both large-caps and small-caps are mostly flashing buy signals, although small-caps have much less conviction. Small-caps already trail the S&P 500 by 2% in the early days of 2020 and show little interest in gaining market leadership. Investors are largely sticking to large-cap growth names with energy retreating from its recent rally fueled by the rise in crude oil prices.
Treasuries drew some safe haven trades amid the Iran beef, but it appears that any momentum that built has dissipated. TIPS look particularly intriguing here if this week's December inflation data yields any signs of higher than expected pricing pressures. I don't suspect it will at least for this month, but my view is that this remains an underrated risk by investors and should drive the 2020 narrative that eventually shifts buyers to asset classes, such as emerging markets and precious metals.
Speaking of precious metals, gold and silver have continued pushing higher in recent weeks although the short-term rally has evened out. I've been most interested in watching precious metals continue to push higher despite a lack of followthrough from other defensive sectors. The story is the same here - gold to $1700 and silver to $20.
On the currency front, the Chinese yuan looks red across the board, but I expect that to turn more bullish throughout the week since the U.S. appears ready to remove the "currency manipulator" label on China.
Here is the full scorecard for the week ahead.