### Combining Market, Unemployment and Interest Rate Trends

**December 19, 2017** - Economic Indicators, Technical Trading

In reaction to “Combine Market Trend and Economic Trend Signals?”, a subscriber suggested adding an interest rate trend signal to those for the U.S. stock market and U.S. unemployment rate for the purpose of timing the S&P 500 Index (SP500). To investigate, we look at combining:

- The 10-month simple moving average (SMA10) for the SP500. The trend is positive (negative) when the index is above (below) its SMA10.
- The 12-month simple moving average (SMA12) for the seasonally adjusted U.S. civilian unemployment rate (UR). The trend is positive (negative) when UR is below (above) its SMA12.
- SMA12 for the average monthly 3-month U.S. Treasury bill yield (T-bill). The trend is positive (negative) when T-bill is below (above) its SMA12.

We consider scenarios when the SP500 trend is positive, the UR trend is positive, the T-bill trend is positive, at least one trend is positive (>=1), at least two trends are positive (>=2) or all three trends are positive (All). For total return calculations, we adjust the SP500 monthly with estimated dividends from the Shiller dataset. When not in the index, we assume return on cash from the broker is the specified T-bill yield. We focus on gross compound annual growth rate (CAGR), maximum drawdown (MaxDD) and annual Sharpe ratio as key performance metrics. We use the average monthly T-bill yield during a year as the risk-free rate for that year in Sharpe ratio calculations. While we do not apply any stocks-cash switching frictions, we do calculate the number of switches for each scenario. Using the specified monthly data through October 2017, *we find that:* Keep Reading