2018 Predictions & Results

[The Keystone Speculator receives accolades for 2018 with the most accurate forecast on the SPX at 2440 (the S&P 500 ends 2018 at 2507). In addition, Keystone calls both the January 2018 and late September 2018 stock market tops using negative divergence techniques and other tools as was explained on the blog.

The hits keep on coming. In 2018, Keystone forecasted the demise of the FAANG’s (FB, AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, GOOGL) explaining this with the monthly charts. And, the piece de resistance, the Keybot the Quant algorithm, Keystone’s proprietary trading model, returning a phenomenal +35.3% in 2018. That will get your attention especially when the benchmark SPX tanked -6.3%.

In 2018, Keystone is correct on 155 predictions and incorrect on 80 for a 66% correct rating on the forecast.]

'The Keystone Speculator' 2018 Predictions; 'Demand' and 'Inflation' are Godot

It’s time for another year of predictions and forecasts that will provide comic relief in December 2018.
Making predictions one year in advance may seem like a fool’s errand but it is an important exercise that hones long-term forecasting abilities.
The Wall Street analysts predict more big gains in stocks this year with several analysts and strategists calling for SPX 3000 (S&P 500) and higher.
Keystone remains at the bottom rung of the ladder again this year with the low number forecast. Canaccord's Tony Dwyer remains the uber bull.
The end of the 18-year stock market cycle should exert bearishness on stocks; it is very surprising it has not over the last year or two.
The central bankers are powerful and continued easy money from the ECB and BOJ, as well as the ongoing low rates from the Fed, fuel the stock market gains. The central bankers are the market.
'Demand' and 'Inflation' are the key words for this year, actually the lack thereof. Like the famous play where Godot never arrives, both demand and inflation will be Godot in 2018. Inflation has been Godot the last few years despite the Federal Reserve proclaiming that persistent low inflation is 'transitory'.
Demand will be Godot this year. Halfway through the year, analysts, traders and politicians will collectively shrug shoulders asking, "Where's the demand?"
Market participants will realize the positive economic data especially car sales and housing numbers to end 2017 and begin 2018 is mainly due to the hurricane and monsoon rebuilding. The economic activity will likely peter out continuing a many-year pattern of fits and starts.
The optimism and market euphoria is off-the-charts to begin 2018 and the stock market is launching higher in the early days, but as the year plays out, the lack of demand will roll the economy over to the downside and the 'R' word will be mentioned more (recession).
The lack of demand will be a consistent theme around the world moving global economies towards recession.
US retail sales will plummet in 2018 as the bulk of purchases during the holiday season were made with credit cards. Auto and housing markets will roll over.
The tax cuts will not provide as much stimulus as expected and not spur the economy as hoped.
2018 will be the year that confidence is lost in the central bankers leading to trouble in the markets and the economy. The stock market has moved higher with a record-breaking rally since March 2009 because of central banker stimulus. The central banker joy ends this year as the ECB and BOJ sputter and Powell is shaky at the Federal Reserve.
Some market picks that will be interesting to follow this year are included at the end.

Read on if you dare. Hiding under the desk is optional. The following dissertation is excellent bedtime reading because it is guaranteed to put you asleep!

NOTE: Do not confuse Keystone’s predictions and prognostications for this year with actual trading positions which change frequently as markets change.

President Trump is optimistic predicting the Dow Jones Industrials will hit 30,000.(he only missed it by 7,000)

The S&P 500 begins 2018 at 2674.

Wall Street Prognostications for the S&P 500 (SPX) for the end of 2018;
(Many of these forecasts are bumping higher in early 2018)
Canaccord 3100
Fundstrat (Lee) 3025 (3000-3300)
Credit Suisse 3000+
Evercore 3000
Bank of Montreal 2950
UBS 2900
Wells Fargo 2863
Jefferies 2855
Deutsche Bank 2850
Goldman Sachs 2850
Bank of America 2800
Morgan Stanley 2750
Stifel Nicolaus 2750
Scotia Bank 2750
Citigroup 2800
HSBC 2650
Keystone Speculator 2440 (everyone was wrong except Keystone; theyear ended at 2507)

The big banks and trading houses above are looking for S&P earnings from 140 to 160 with a PE at 18 to 20 which targets the SPX from 2520 to 3200.

SPX High for 2018: 2842 (2941 is record high in 2018) (y)
SPX Closing Price for 2018 (SPX Begins at 2674): 2440 (-8.8% drop) (excellent;2507) (y)
SPX Low for 2018: 2340 (2350-ish almost hit the number exactly) (y)
[The current price at 2674 reflects S&P 500 earnings at say, $137 with a PE of 19.5 or $141 at 19.0. The Wall Street consensus is expecting earnings at $140 to $160 in 2018 which would target the SPX 2660-3040 range. The 2007 stock market top occurred with a 20.3 PE and the 2000 top with a 26.2 PE. The current 19-ish PE is misleading since the RUT small caps are well above a 20 PE for the last few years and the 19 is an artificially lower number due to the obscene and aggressive stock repurchase programs (buybacks) courtesy of central banker easy money. Using a 30% or more correlation for the buybacks, the current PE would be more in the 21-26 range if the ongoing buyback orgy never occurred. Or, put another way, earnings would be about -30% lower. Bob Shiller’s Cape PE is above 28 consistent with prior major market tops (its historical average over 130 years is 16.7). Keystone is bearish since the 18-year stock cycle should exert some bearish influence in 2018. The 18-year secular bear 2000-2018 is going into the 18-year secular bull 2018-2036 so the bear should do a little bit of growling over the next couple years. Keystone projects earnings to drop to $120 to 130, far lower than anyone expects. There is no demand in the economy. For the year, the average earnings are forecasted by Wall Street at about $145. For Keystone's back of the napkin calculation, at $125, with a PE of 19.5, places the SPX at 2440 (or with the elevated earnings at, say, 145, and a PE that drops to 16.8 due to trouble in markets, is 2440).]

Dow Industrials Range in 2018 (INDU starts at 24780): 20100-26200 (21.7K-27.0K) (y)

Dow Industrials Closing Price for 2018 (INDU): 22250 (23K) (y)
Nasdaq Composite Range (COMPQ starts at 6900): 6000-7320 (6.2K-8.1K) (y)
Nasdaq Composite Closing Price (COMPQ): 6280 (6.6K) (n)
Russell 2000 Industrials Range (RUT starts at 1536): 1250-1625 (1270-1750) (y)
Russell 2000 Industrials Closing Price (RUT): 1350 (excellent call; 1350-ish) (y)
Dollar Range (USD starts at 91.70): 82-95 (88-98) (n)
Dollar Closing Price (USD): 90 (95)  (n)
Dollar/Yen Range (USDJPY starts at 112.65): 101 - 115 (104-115) (y)
Dollar/Yen Closing Price (USDJPY): 105 (109) (n)
Euro Range (XEU starts at 1.206): 1.12-1.32 (1.12-1.25) (y)
Euro Closing Price (XEU): 1.22 (1.14) (n)
2-Year Note Yield Range (UST2Y starts at 1.91%): 1.38% - 2.70% (1.95%-3.00%) (n)
2-Year Note Closing Yield (UST2Y):  1.97% (2.50%) (n)
5-Year Note Yield Range (UST5Y starts at 2.25%):  1.90% - 2.90% (2.30%-3.10%) (n)
5-Year Note Closing Yield (UST5Y):  2.37% (2.45%) (y)
10-Year Note Yield Range (UST10Y or TNX starts at 2.55%): 1.90% - 2.80% (2.50%-3.25%) (n)
10-Year Note Closing Yield (UST30Y or TNX): 2.65% (2.65%-ish) (y)
30-Year Note Yield Range (UST30Y or TYX starts at 2.81%): 2.59% - 3.33% (2.80%-3.45%) (n)
30-Year Note Closing Yield (UST30Y or TYX): 2.93% (2.96%-ish) (y)
Will the Yield Curve Invert? No, but the flattening behavior continues. Stocks can fall into a bear market without an inverted yield curve as they did in five notable periods; early 1962, 1976-1978, 1987 into the crash, 1998 and 2011. (yes, good call, the 2-10 did not invert but the 2-5's and 3-5's did)
2-10 Spread at End of Year (Starts at 64 basis points): 68; range of 40 to 75 (yield curve flattens down to 40 bips) (its about 12 to 16 bips got down to 9 bips a hair from inversion) (n)

Unemployment Rate % Range (4.1% at start of year): 4.0% - 4.7% (will not print a 3-handle)
Unemployment Rate % December 2016: 4.6% (n)
Will Any Monthly Jobs Report During 2017 Be Under 200K Jobs? How Many? Yes, nine. (y)
Will Wage Inflation Appear in 2018? No, wages will stay flat below 3% per year, without wage inflation, the Federal Reserve cannot succeed at creating inflation. Wages may bump higher early in the year due to companies hiking some wages but then will peter out as the year plays out. Wages are Godot so inflation is Godot. (n)
US GDP Average during 2018:  2.45% Demand will be Godot so economic activity will be lackluster disappointing everyone. (President Trump promises 3%, 4%, 5% and even higher GDP this year)(n)

WTIC Oil Range (WTIC starts at 60.23): 46.60 - 65.00 
WTIC Oil Closing Price (WTIC): 54.00 (46) (n)
Brent Oil Range (BRENT starts at 66.50): 52.00 - 73.00 (n)
Brent Oil Closing Price (BRENT): 57.00 (y)
Natty Gas Range (NATGAS starts at 2.97): 2.30 - 4.00 (2.6-4.8) (y)
Natty Gas Closing Price (NATGAS): 3.25 (y)
Gold Range (GOLD starts at 1305): 1250 - 1360  (y)
Gold Closing Price (GOLD): 1300 (y)
Silver Range (SILVER starts at 17.04): 15 - 19  (y)
Silver Closing Price (SILVER): 17 (n)
Copper Range (COPPER starts at 3.29): 2.60 - 3.40 (y)
Copper Closing Price (COPPER): 2.62 (y)
Commodities Range (CRB starts at 194): 175 - 200 (y)
Commodities Closing Price (CRB): 197  (n)
China Growth Rate % Average for 2018 above or below +6.5%?: Above since the communists massage the data. (y)
BDI (Baltic Dry Index starts at 1366) Range: 440 - 2300 (y)
BDI at end of 2018: 1050 a weak Baltic  (y)

Financials Sector (XLF starts at 28.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Regional Banks (KRE starts at 59.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Semiconductors Sector (SOX starts at 1262) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Technology Sector (XLK starts at 64.21) Higher or Lower in 2018? Flat to Lower (y)
Airlines Sector (XAL starts at 117.37) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Energy Sector (XLE starts at 72.73) Higher or Lower in 2018? Higher  (n)
Oil & Gas Exploration Sector (XOP starts at 37.50) Higher or Lower in 2018? Higher (n)
Industrials Sector (XLI starts at 75.78) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Materials Sector (XLB starts at 60.81) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Transportation Sector (TRAN starts at 10640) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Transportation Sector (IYT starts at 193) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Retail Sector (RTH starts at 91.63) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Retail Sector (XRT starts at 45.47) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Consumer Discretionary Sector (XLY starts at 99.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Consumer Staples Sector (XLP starts at 57.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Homebuilders (XHB starts at 44.30) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Home Construction (ITB starts at 43.83) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower  (y)
Health Care Sector (XLV starts at 83.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (n)
Biotech Sector (IBB starts at 107.52) Higher or Lower in 2018? Higher (n)
Real Estate Sector (XLRE starts at 33.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
Utilities Sector (UTIL starts at 723) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (n)
Utilities Sector (XLU starts at 52.71) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (n)
Telecom Sector (VOX starts at 91.71) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)
REIT's  Sector (VNQ starts at 83.00) Higher or Lower in 2018? Lower (y)

The 18-year cycle is the most reliable stock cycle and is currently in a secular bear from 2000 to 2018. Dramatic cyclical rallies are very common in the secular bears such as 2003-2007 and from March 2009 to present. However, it is odd that the bear has not growled to end the 18-year cycle. The 18-year cycle may be right translated into 2019 and 2020. The secular bear cycle should finish with negativity. Then the secular bull 18-year cycle begins from 2018-2036 with inflation in play and then hyperinflation in the 2020's. Keystone is a technician at heart so he must go with the expected negativity of the end of the 2000-2018 secular bear stock market cycle. The S&P 500 is expected to finish lower on the year. (y)

Keystone forecasts that stocks will peak out in mid-January and take a sharp fall of 40 to 120 S&P handles into February. Stocks then recover to record highs in March but then collapse again in late March and April. Stocks rebound again and print at the record highs in late April early May for a significant market top.

So that would be three tops (triple-top) during the first half of the year and each top is only a small amount higher than the prior top. The market is hitting overhead exhaustion.
The stock market will print a significant major top in the March-June window.
The stock market top this year will be a multi-month and multi-year top. The long rally from March 2009 will finally end.(y)
If stocks do not print the major top in March-June, then the major top will print in September-October.
A major catalyst for markets is the February paycheck increase. President Trump promised 'yyyyuge' increases in pay for all Americans due to the tax bill. Americans will be joyful and perhaps spend more if the extra money is large but if the paycheck gains are paltry, it will not help the economy and a negative mood will develop. The latter outcome is expected.
Keystone's Eclipse Indicator shows potential for stock market tops +/- 2 weeks around the following dates; 1/7/18, 3/7/18, 6/27/18 and 8/27/18.(y)

The stock market trouble will not be due to inflation, higher yields, inverted yield curve and such, as the consensus on Wall Street expects (those that are bearish), but instead a lingering disinflation and deflation, lack of wage growth, sluggish demand, and a slowing world economy that slips into recession (absolutely no one expects this outcome in 2018). (no recession but the call is good) 
One-half of America is struggling since the 2008-2009 financial crisis and life has only gotten more difficult so do not look for these folks to spur spending or growth.
The upper middle class and wealthy, exposed to the stock market, and enjoying well-paying jobs, are happy as can be and wondering what everyone is complaining about. These folks, however, have been supporting the economy for the last few years but they can only buy so many homes, new cars, electronic gadgets and so forth. Demand will disappoint as the weeks play out. The well-to-do will spend less and the bottom half of the country remains in a quagmire. The have's already have most new stuff they need from buying over the last few years and the have not's continue having nothing and are only left to watch the wealthy enjoy life each day without a care in the world.

Top line revenue numbers for companies will remain challenged and roll over lower. Lack of top line growth will be mentioned in the quarterly earnings reports more as the year plays out.
Earnings for the S&P will be sub 140 falling far short of the rosy forecasts of 140 to 160.(n)
There remains a great overcapacity of commodities and goods around the world. The lack of demand for products will stifle economic activity and disappoint those looking for a recovery. Economic demand will be on a milk carton.(y)
Copper will trend lower this year as everyone realizes demand is weak.(y)
Commodities will remain subdued in a lingering global deflationary environment although prices will be basing and starting to become buoyant throughout the year.(y)
Natural gas and LNG-associated stocks should be positive this year such as CBI, MTRX and GLNG.(n)
Grains and ag plays are a favorite long this year such as JJG, WEET (thinly traded), SSG and DBA. They have been bludgeoned. They have potential to far outperform the broad market. If you prefer to buy stocks and let them sit for a while, consider an ag play for a couple year hold for your long portfolio. The ag sector will outperform this year.(n)

Traders will realize much of the strong economic activity to end 2017 and begin 2018 is due to hurricane rebuilding and replacement and not a structural recovery.
Peak auto comes back into play this year. The hurricanes created demand last year but car inventories will be rising too fast come summer. Dealer lots will be filled with vehicles.(y)
Tesla has its come-uppance this year as competitors come on line especially the luxury car makers that will offer electric vehicles. I would rather drive a BMW electric car than a Tesla.
Also, the lower end will attack Tesla with Chevy Volt electric vehicles doing well gobbling up the remaining people interested in electric cars. CEO Musk will have to eat his words from a couple years ago when he was laughing at the Volt inferring that it was an inconsequential little piece of garbage.
The electric car industry is whacked this year. Everyone that wanted an electric car has already climbed on board. The sales projections for electric vehicles will be exposed as way overblown and too optimistic. Most Americans prefer their gas-guzzlers. Interest in electric cars wanes. This year will be known as the year of the 'electric vehicle flop'.(n)
Driverless cars are further away from mainstream use than thought. There will be niche uses such as trucking and open-pit mining but the public will not be sitting in a completely driverless car daily for another 20 years.(y)
The public will not be happy with autonomous trucks on the interstate since they move too slow in the slow lane; an accident will occur and people will dislike the trucks more. (n)
TSLA will be in major financial trouble this year faltering on the edge of solvency. Musk will not have a good year and his standing as a genius will be questioned.(y)
TSLA will crumble as a company when the recession hits in the future.

The 'R' word (recession) will be mentioned increasingly more as the year proceeds.
A long overdue recession is expected to begin in 2018.(n)
The buyback activity fades as the year plays out. It will receive an initial bump from repatriated funds.(n)
M&A activity will continue early in the year but fade away as the year plays out (y)
The Unemployment Rate will not print a 3-handle this year (95% of Wall Street says the low 3-handle is guaranteed).(n)
Wage growth will continue disappointing in the US. Wages will remain flat at the 2.5% to 3.00% annual rate and lower causing concern at the Fed. Inflation, which the Federal Reserve has tried to create for eight years with Keynesian money printing, cannot exist without wages increasing.(y)
When the recession begins and hits, young people will be shocked since they never experienced a recession before.
Much of the fancy technology and start-up companies will die overnight when the recession hits. Young folks will be shocked how their job seemed so important and their contribution so vital, but the boss drop-kicks them into the parking lot.
The key housing and auto sectors will weaken this year dragging the overall economy lower and surprising economists and analysts.(y)

Even though Trump plans on providing stimulus, tax cuts and deregulation, stocks are already very highly valued. Trump’s plans will be slow to implement and stocks have already priced in most of the move higher.(y)
The cuts to regulations will prove not to be as much of a stimulus for banks and businesses as thought.(y)
For retail stocks, there will be many bankruptcies and store closings continuing this year as the US remains highly overstored.(y)
SHLD will be in deeper financial trouble and require a structuring with more outside money or a bankruptcy.(y)
BONT will go belly-up and require a restructuring.(y)
Department stores will be weak such as M, TGT, JCP and SHLD. People are more price conscious so discount outlets such as BURL and TJX will hold up well this year and dollar stores such as DLTR and DG.(y)
Malls will lose anchor stores such as a Macy's but the discount retailers will occupy these anchor spots and mall traffic will actually increase a hair after a many-year drought. The ladies love to shop for discounted clothes. This behavior is disinflationary.(n)

TWTR will travel choppy through 20-32 this year and print a positive year.
TWTR will be taken out this year and the stock will jump to 52. (not taken out but got to 48)(y) 
Uber will continue to be plagued by problems and an IPO remains in the distance perhaps 2019.(y)
All five FAANG (FB, AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, GOOGL) stocks will finish lower on the year.
High-flying stocks such as AAPL, FB, AMZN, NFLX and GOOGL are all set up to print a significant market top, more than likely a multi-year top, and roll over. The carnage will create a gloomy mood in markets this year and add to the negativity as the months play out especially into year-end.
Facebook is peaking as the year begins. FB rolls over first this year followed by AAPL, then GOOGL, AMZN and NFLX.
Social internet reaches a peaking phase as many people realize they are wasting their lives trying to impress a bunch of strangers. Sites such as Facebook experience maximum ad income. Investors become disillusioned in the sector. SOCL is a short. (Netflix finished higher but that deserves a yes) (y)

A backlash occurs against Fcebook Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix, etc..., for intruding too much in personal lives. (y)
Restaurateurs will be beaten severely this year including DRI, WEN, MCD.(y)
Deal-making will boost the miners GDXJ and GDX.(y)
Diagnostic sciences and testing companies will perform well such as FMI and IBM.(n)

UTIL, utilities, collapsing into a correction, -10%, is a bad omen for the stock market despite record highs printing daily. This is extremely odd market behavior and will likely resolve in the bears favor. (yes but utes then outperformed)   
High-yield plays are a short this year such as JNK and HYG. (y)
The Puerto Rico debt problem will fester and send high-yield plays lower. The sogginess in the energy patch will create a drag on high-yield plays. (y)
The Dividend Stock Bubble will burst sending SDY and DVY lower. Investors will be disappointed that a 3% divvy looks trivial as capital quickly disappears with price depreciation. (y)

Virtual technology and AI (artificial intelligence) will move forward in niche areas such as gaming, medical and travel applications but overall, the public is not interested. The technology has not lived up to the hype. Cost is a problem. Many humans become dizzy or nauseated from the technology. The augmented and virtual reality fields will move forward very slowly and with more subdued enthusiasm. (y)
Computer wearables will continue to struggle. Apple Watch will not be the success that CEO Cook expects. Common people do not have the money to spend on this stuff. The watches and other devices are purchased and hyped by tech enthusiasts, programmers and app developers since their livelihoods depend on people buying the products. (y)

The Wall Street consensus expects inflation to ramp up here forward, however, Keystone's forecast is that disinflation and deflation will linger another year or two before the path to inflation appears. (y)
2018 is a ‘bigger fool’ year for the stock market. Whoever is buying now is the bigger fool that will turn around during the year to sell and realize there is no one there. The bigger fool is the one holding the bag. (y)
There will be a major ETF incident this year where everyone is trying to exit at the same time and it causes a major market disruption. Index future exacerbated the 1987 crash perhaps ETF's are the 2018 version. (volatility products crash) (y)
A major flash crash will occur this year a la 5/6/10 despite the safe guards in place.(n)
The stock exchanges will be exposed for sweeping incidents under the rug and not doing enough to prevent the major disruption that creates a loss of confidence in the stock market.(n)

The US dollar, euro, Treasury yields, gold and silver move choppy sideways all year long
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will trade choppy sideways all year so those calling for a crash in digital currencies will be wrong and those calling for a wild upside rally will be wrong.(n)
Bitcoin starts 2018 at 13616 and will move through 6K-25K and end the year at 12K.(n)
The excessive chatter about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will subside as the year plays out. (y)

The euro will be much stronger than ECB President Draghi desires and he will have trouble bringing it down which shows the first serious cracks in the central banker's power over markets.(n)
Germany sputters as the euro refuses to moderate lower. (y)
Italy, the sick man of Europe, becomes seriously ill. (y)
Global traders will begin losing confidence in the central bankers starting with the ECB that begins stumbling as Germany, Europe's economic engine, sputters on the higher euro. (y)
The ECB loses credibility since their toolbox is limited.(n)
The  scrutiny on central bankers carries over to the BOJ.
The world is awash in liquidity so many bad business decisions have been made in recent years and these hens begin coming home to roost this year.(n)

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell makes a mistep in the spring. (in the Fall but correct)
The consensus expects a March hike, June hike and December hike although the bond market is more towards 2 hikes and the enthusiastic inflationists are looking for 4 hikes. Powell will balk in March but the market will be pricing in the hike. Confidence will be shaken in the Fed.(n)
The economic data will be disappointing so the chances for rate hikes lessens which creates a stock market rally in that April-May period which is the major top in the market.
By summer time, confidence is shaken in the ECB, BOJ and Fed since inflation is Godot and economic growth is not as strong as hoped.(y) 

The world's major indexes will place multi-month and multi-year tops this year starting with Germany's DAX that rolls over first. That will be followed by London's FTSE then India's BSE and Japan's NIKK. South Korea's KOSPI and Hong Kong's HSI will then roll over. The US major stock indexes will then roll over.(y) 
The term global synchronized growth (GSG) or synchronized global growth (SGG) will fall into the dustbin of history as the world's economies sputter and is perhaps replaced with global synchronized weakness (GSW).(y) 
Confidence is lost in the ECB and BOJ as the DAX and NIKK roll over to the downside.(y) 

The DAX leads Europe and the world lower as the first major stock index to roll over and begins establishing lower lows and lower high all year long.
The slump in the DAX will get everyone's attention in Jan-Mar and create confusion and uncertainty in markets.(y) 
The FTSE will peak out and roll over after the DAX, early in the year, and the weakness in Germany and the UK begins creating serious angst across the pond.(y) 
The UK economy suffers as citizens argue over another Brexit referendum. British citizens become disillusioned with its dysfunctional government.(y) 
UK Prime Minister May does not last the year.(n)
After May departs, the new UK PM and Trump strike trade deals and the US and UK forge tighter ties as the year draws to a close. (n)
Deutsche Bank will be a big story this year and there will be worries that it is creating contagion and a new banking crisis. Trouble at DB begins to create more Europe-wide angst.(y) 
Greece will rear its ugly head again creating drama as it needs more bailout money as the European economy begins falling apart.(y) 
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese bank problems that were swept under the rug resurface. 
Social unrest increases in many nations around the globe.(y) 
OPEC is a den of thieves. The cartel will lose its credibility this year (what little it has). The cartel had lost relevance years ago but cobbled together significance during 2016 to stabilize oil prices with productions freezes and cuts. The producers will be cheating on the agreement and stabbing each other in the back. OPEC will be in disarray.(n)
The North American shale producers will ramp up oil production this year replacing what OPEC has cut. A world glut in oil will not abate and oil prices will sink sideways to lower. (y) 
The regional wars across the Middle East will become more violent (which provides support to oil prices) and the US will become involved. People will begin talking about "WW III" in relation to the Middle East descending into chaos.(y) 
Turkey is a boiling cauldron of trouble and will be an epicenter of activity in the Middle East. Unrest and violence will increase in and around Turkey.(y) 
Turkey will clamp down on the Kurds.(y) 

Protectionism, a la the 1930's, will increase this year around the world including intellectual property.(y) 
Protectionism which will slow down technological and medical advances (less global cooperation and exchange of information).(y) 
Protectionism will increase as the slowing global economy causes countries to continue slitting each other’s throats. Tariffs are increasing in solar, steel and wine sectors and will spill over into many other sectors and industries as each nation attempts to protect their own industries. The result is like the Great Depression in the 1930’s where everyone drags each other down the sewer hole. The deflation and disinflationary environment continues despite the Wall Street consensus that promised inflation at the start of the year.(y) 
Relations between President's Trump and Xi deteriorate as the year proceeds. Communist Xi smiles at America while he twists a knife in Uncle Sam's back.(y) 
China and the US slip into a trade and currency war dragging the global economy along.(y) 
Capital outflows will continue from China.(y) 
China’s economy is in serious trouble and will perform a faceplant this year which hurts the global economy and markets. China will finally receive the long-awaited financial crisis due to a decade of overbuilding. The shadow banking system in China will unravel in a similar pattern as the 2008-2009 US financial crisis.(n)
The US will expand ties and business with India .(y) but the BSE and Nifty indexes will trend sideways to sideways lower and end the year negative..(n)

Before the end of the year, Americans become disenchanted with Trump as his policies take too long to implement and other problems crop up. A recession is on the come and the economy becomes sicker as the year moves along.(y)
The Federal debt will move higher under Trump and create a rift in the republican party. The so-called conservatives are the same as liberals when it comes to Keynesian spending and piling on more debt.(y)
The Democratic Party will win plenty of seats in the November mid-term elections and take back at least one-house in Congress paving the way for a lame-duck Trump. (democrats took the House).(y)

Donny Trump, Jr, and Jared Kushner, President Trump's son and son-in-law, respectively, are dragged into a quagmire about the Russia meeting since they were dealing with a foreign government to dig up dirt on Hillary Clinton. The democrats are just as corrupt as the republicans as nefarious behavior and breaches of the Constitution will be exposed on both sides. The FBI is corrupt as well. Thus, Donny Jr and Kushner may remain in limbo and used as pawns. President Trump will be told to toe the line until he exits stage right, otherwise Donny and Jared will be sharing a bunk at the bighouse. Everything including the Clinton scandals will be swept under the rug. This is the guaranteed outcome in crony America.(n)

President Trump will act forcefully on foreign soil militarily since he will have to back up his braggadocio talk. Foreign leaders will test Trump to see if he backs up what he says and the US military will let everyone know that he does.
The US Navy increases activity in the South China Sea pushing back against China's military expansion.(y)
The Ukraine proxy war between the US and Russia will grow more violent as Putin becomes more aggressive in eastern Ukraine. More Russia troops amass at the border.(y)

A drone hits a commercial airplane.
Drone warfare becomes more prevalent.(y)
World governments will begin placing facilities more and more underground as drones become cluttering the sky. Underground tunnel-boring machines, drill bits and all industries supporting excavation and underground infrastructure should do well going forward. Humans will seek underground shelters at an increased rate..(n)

The United States will finally spend money on updating and protecting the electrical grid from solar flares and other plasma events..(n)
Terrorists may attack the electrical grid system potentially trying to damage the towers supporting high tension wires with explosives. Terrorists may use rifles taking aim at substation electrical equipment in an effort to cripple power stations employing attacks at multiple stations at the same time..(n)
Wild fires will continue in the US and found to be started by radical Islamic extremists..(y)

The student loan problem begins to hit the fan. (n)
The subprime auto loan problem begins to hit the fan.(n)
Repatriated funds from overseas will be much less than thought..(y)
The repatriated money will go to stock buy backs and the Whitehouse and President Trump will receive heat for this as the year plays out..(y)
The Whitehosue will downplay the number of companies using tax savings and repatriated funds for buybacks rather than hire workers or buy equipment as promised..(y)
Americans will become more disillusioned with the government and lose confidence..(y)
Americans will lose confidence in the spook agencies such as FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.., as more stories of corruption and internal nefarious affairs are told..(y)
Law enforcement will use technology more for handling criminals including ankle monitors, alcohol monitors and ignition system locks for alcoholics..(y)
Prison populations can be decreased by using ankle monitors.

A suitcase nuke or biological weapon will go off in a major western City around the globe (US, Europe, Japan or Australia). The nuclear contamination would be minor as well as the biological threat. Perhaps a few blocks of a city are cordoned off for clean-up. The nuke angle is unlikely. It is much easier for a terrorist to get hold of a biological agent so this is more likely and there may be an event where it is distributed via aerosol spraying something nasty on a crowd of people that are assembled. The event will likely have more of an impact psychologically to the populace than the death and injury it causes which should be minimal.
If this heinous act occurs on US soil, and the stock market tanks, this terrorism act will be blamed for the stock market selloff and economic difficulties ahead rather than the Federal Reserve or other central banks that have created massive bubbles since March 2009.(n)

The further demise of American journalism occurs and the corresponding rise of the “Citizen Journalist” takes hold. Keystone has explained how 70% of the media and news flow in the United States is from democrat-leaning writers and journalists such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, Rolling Stone, Facebook and Twitter.  30% of the US media provides news touting the republican perspective such as Fox News, American Spectator, Rush Limbaugh, and Mark Levin. Unbiased news does not exist in America. These allegiances will become more prevalent. Google "America's Fake News Keystone Scribe" to bring up an excellent article that explains the news bias in the United States..(y)

The United States splits further into tribes. The rich and poor tribes. The black, white, Hispanic, etc....., tribes. The republican and democrat tribes. The Catholic, Jewish, Muslim etc..., tribes. The US becomes more split with people sticking to groups (tribes) of like-minded folks rather than embracing diversity. The tribes talk past each other and no one is listening to what the other says. 
.(y)This behavior sets up social unrest as the recession arrives.(n)

A new ‘frugality’ will take hold in America which reinforces the theme of lack of demand in the economy and a disinflationary and deflationary vibe. Young people do not chase the materialistic goods to the extent of older people..(y)

A cash society will increase in the US similar to the 1970's (the last time there was a huge split between rich and poor). The one-half of America that were abandoned by the Federal Reserve in favor of making the other one-half of America that own stocks wealthy will stretch their family budgets by avoiding paying taxes in every way possible. More people will work “under the table” for cash which will cut the Federal, state and local governments out of tax revenue. Products and services will be exchanged for cash so taxes will not have to be paid. When the economy turns south and folks lose their jobs, the government tax bases will be hit had with a double whammy; less revenue from folks out of work and less revenue due to a cash society increasing. Many communities that continue to spend obscene amounts of money on technology and other gadgets and militarization equipment for their local communities will quickly fall into financial trouble. When the economy falters slipping into recession, things go downhill very fast.(n)

Congress will begin discussions to implement a cashless-society in the United States. Lawmakers know that people will be working under the table more and dealing in cash to avoid paying taxes so the politicians will try to get legislation in place before the use of cash becomes too prevalent again. The general public will be disagreeable to a cash-less society approach for America and generally skeptical of what any politician says here on out.

More countries will try to push towards a cashless society (India and China) but the citizens will be hesitant to jump on the band wagon and black market activity in goods will increase.
Barter systems will increase in the countries going cashless which will screw the governments out of tax money.(y)

Social unrest will increase in America. The common folks will rise up in revolt realizing they were sold down the river by the Federal Reserve and US government. The distrust in US authority will increase dramatically and the split between the social classes (rich versus poor) will widen even farther. The spread between rich and poor in America is at the widest in 50 years. The Federal Reserve has made the wealthy filthy rich and created the huge wealth gap that will breed social unrest. The social unrest, animosity and violence will be exacerbated by the economy weakening into recession. The blame for the future trouble in the US can be laid at the feet of the Keynesian's Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen and Powell.(n)

Attacks on the wealthy population will increase both physically and property-wise when the recession arrives.
Expensive cars will be keyed with more frequency and tires slashed. Spray painting graffiti on mansions will become more common. The rich will begin seeking gated communities for safety as the separation between rich and poor increases in America and social protests become more violent.(n)
As the stock market is weak and company layoffs increase in 2018 into 2019, CEO’s will become targets of mob mentality with protestors showing up at their residential houses reminiscent of the days of pitchforks and torches. The wealthy will have to live in gated communities with security guards. CEO’s and other corporate executives will become very worried about their safety.(n)

There will be more hurricanes and monsoons than expected as well as volcano's and earthquakes.(y)
The adverse weather in 2018 will create crop shortages and the ag plays will outperform the soggy broad market.(n)
A geologic event involving plate movements or winds will occur which creates a huge tsunami wave event that lands ashore of a coastal nation. (y)The vertical height of the wall of water will shock people on how such a large wave could even be possible. Concern grows for coastal cities on how to protect against rogue waves. (n)

One or two major geopolitical event/s such as war, terrorism, and/or a pandemic will occur this year. 
(n) The timing will align with a stock market selloff perhaps in the March-June window. The event will be blamed and cited as the reason for the stock market selloff just like in 2001 when 9-11 was blamed for the stock market drop when in fact the economy and underpinnings of the stock market were far weaker than touted at the time. The war or other event will be blamed for the selloff in equities as a means to protect the Federal Reserve. The Fed will never be blamed for creating this sick Keynesian financial system. The Fed will always be protected even though they are at fault. This is why Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen and Powell in 2018 remain relaxed and calm at all times; they know how the inside baseball game is played and they will always be protected and never be blamed. Instead, the major negative event/s will be blamed for the downfall of the economy and markets and the Fed will be touted as saviors and intelligent protectors of the financial system. This is the way the crony capitalism game is played in the US.

Here are some of Keystone’s individual stock picks for 2018 with the prices at the start of the year. If the markets are as weak as Keystone expects as the year plays out, almost any stock on the long side would not be attractive while short plays should be in vogue all year long.

As always, do not invest in any of these picks unless you want to lose your money; always ask your financial advisor for guidance before placing any trade.

Potential Long Plays for 2018

SH , DOG or other single short ETF's. Start buying and adding to the positions once per month from March through the end of the year. These ETF's will move higher if the stock indexes roll over during the year as Keystone predicts above. For the adventurous and risk-takers, the 2x short ETF's such as SDS and TWM may be attractive. Do  not play any 3x ETF's since they are solely designed to take your money. Ditto any volatility ETF; avoid these like the plague since they will simply take your money.
SH (March price) (short S&P 500 ETF)(y)
DOG (March price) (short Dow 30 ETF)(y)
HDGE (March price) (bear ETF)(y)

MGPHF 2.00 (penny stock; graphene) (big disappointment it crashes in 2018 but Keystone still likes the graphene sector.)
NSRCF 0.045 (penny stock; graphene miner)(y)
DBA 18.78 (ag)(n)
JJG 24.39 (grains)(n)
JO 15.97 (coffee)(n)
SSG 10.35 (sugar)(y)
TWTR 24.12 (social internet; real-time news feed; not a big winner but it should be positive this year)(y)
NVGS 9.94 (propane; portable gas units; Wilbur Ross)(n)
BKD 10.17 (senior REIT)(n)
FMI 67.90 (diagnostic science and testing)(n)
IBM 154.30 (tech; diagnostic testing)(n)
RIOT (buy on pull back to 7-14; sell above 26) (cryptocurrency play)
FNSR 20.58 (communications)(y)
MJX 33.61 (marijuana ETF) (was a winning sector in 2018) (y)
GDXJ 34.50 (junior gold miners)(n)
GDX 23.37 (gold miner)(n)

Potential Short Plays for 2018
FB short from 188 and higher (social internet; the top is in as the year begins for Facebook)(y)
AAPL short from 177  and higher(y)
AMZN short from 1305 and higher (King Bezos's massive online retail empire)(y)
NFLX short from 225 and higher (media)(y)
GOOGL short from 1131 and higher (tech)(y)
SOCL short from 35 and higher (social internet ETF)(y)
TSLA short from 360 and higher (electric cars)(y)
JNK short from 37 and higher (high-yield)(y)
HYG short from 88 and higher (high-yield)(y)
LQD short from 121 and higher (high-yield)(y)
MUB short from 110 and higher (muni's)(y)
AGG short from 109 and higher (bond ETF)(n)
BND short from 82 and higher (bond ETF)(n)
SDY short from 96 and higher (divvy ETF)(y)
DVY short from 102 and higher (divvy ETF) (y)
DRI short from 99 and higher (restaurant)(y)
WEN short from 17 and higher (restaurant)(y)
MCD short from 173 and higher (restaurant)(n)
XHB short from 48 and higher (homebuilders)(y)
ITB short from 47 and higher (home construction)(y)
LIT short from 42 and higher (lithium ETF)(y)
ALB short from 144 and higher (chemicals)(y)

Keystone's Past Year's Predictions (about two-thirds of the above predictions for 2018 would be expected to come true):
2018 Predictions were 65% Correct
2017 Predictions were 44% Correct
2016 Predictions were 57% Correct
2015 Predictions were 64% Correct
2014 Predictions were 66% Correct
2013 Predictions were 60% Correct
2012 Predictions were 64% Correct
2011 Predictions were 60% Correct

An Abbreviated List of Keystone's Notable Predictions and Market Calls:

Predicted the 2018 Top in the FAANG Stocks (FB, AAPL, AMZN, NFLX, GOOGL)

Predicted the September 2018 Stock Market Top Telling Investors to get Out
Predicted the January 2018 Collapse in High-Yield HYG and JNK
Predicted the January 2018 Stock Market Top
Predicted the Top in UTIL (Utilities) November 2017
Predicted the Top in ULTA in May-June 2017
Predicted the Top in US 10-Year Yield (double-top) at start of 2017
Predicted the Top in US Dollar Index at 104 at start of 2017
Predicted the October 2016 Top in High Yield HYG and JNK
Predicted the Top in Utilities in July 2016
Predicted the Bottom in TWTR in 2016
Predicted the Stock Market Bottom February 2016
Predicted the Commodities Deflation in 2014-2015
Predicted the Sugar Rally in 2015
Predicted the Stock Market Top and Selloff in July-August 2015
Predicted the Multi-Year Stock Market Top in Spring 2015
Predicted the AAPL Top in June-July 2015
Predicted the Stock Market Tops July 2014, September 2014 and December 2014
Predicted the Top in High-Yield Instruments in 2014 and 2015 (HYG and JNK)
Predicted the US Dollar Rally beginning Summer 2014
Predicted the Stock Market Top in Late December 2013 Early 2014
Predicted the Coffee Rally in Late 2013 Early 2014 via JO
Predicted the AA Bottom in 2013
Predicted the Stock Market Tops in May 2013 and July 2013
Predicted the Dollar/Yen Appreciation (Yen Weakness) Starting in 2012
Predicted the President Obama Re-Election Win One Year in Advance
Predicted the Natty Gas Bottom in 2012
Predicted the AAPL Tops in April 2012 and September 2012
Predicted the Stock Market Tops in February 2011, May 2011 and July 2011
Predicted the Stock Market Top in April 2010
Predicted the Stock Market Top in October 2007
Warned of the Impending Real Estate Bubble 2002-2005
Warned of the Impending Dot-Com Bubble 1998-1999

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