Dave Nicoski ...
  • Ross LaDuke
EUR 45.65 For Business Accounts Only

Vermilion Compass: Weekly Equity Strategy

U.S. Dollar (DXY) and Treasury Yields Breaking Out

Since early-July, and reiterated in last week's U.S. Macro Vision (9/19/23), we have expected to see 4300-4325 act as major support on the S&P 500, while also noting in our 8/29/23 Compass that we expected consolidation between 4300-4325 support and 4600 resistance until the end of September, and possibly longer. Though there is still hope that this 4300-4325 support zone holds, odds of a deeper pullback to SPX 4165-4200/the 200-day MA have increased following major breakouts in the U.S. dollar (DXY) and Treasury yields (2-, 10-, and 30-year), coupled with 1+ year uptrend violations on the Russell Small- and Mid-Cap Growth indexes (IWO, IWP), and breakdowns below 34,280 on the Dow, $180 on the Russell 2000 (IWM), $472 on Semiconductors (SOXX), $81 on Homebuilders (ITB), and $104-$105 on Industrials (XLI)... see charts below and page 3.

Major Supports Holding. Despite the aforementioned breakdowns, there continues to be several other indexes/Sectors that remain above major 1-2-year price supports (in addition to 4300-4325 on the S&P 500). This includes $92-93 on MSCI ACWI (ACWI), $28 on equal-weighted Technology (RSPT), $163 on cap-weighted Technology (XLK), and $155-157 on Dow Jones Internet (FDN). The Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) is also holding above 3.5-month support at $355. One could argue that this list of indexes/Sectors that are above support still outweighs the list of indexes/Sectors breaking below support (certainly in terms of market cap). Again, if more of these supports start to break, it would likely mean a test of SPX 4165-4200/the 200-day MA... see pages 4-5.
Risk-On Signals. High yield spreads remain near 1+ year narrows; this is a clear risk-on signal from the credit market. RS for defensive Sectors including Utilities (XLU) and Staples (XLP) remain in 9-month downtrends, another risk-on signal. RS on the XLU has ticked higher in recent weeks, but not to any meaningful extent, and it is not being confirmed by RS improvement on the XLP; we would need to see sustained outperformance from both of them in order to provide a true risk-off signal... see page 6.
Adtalem Global Education Inc.

Adtalem Global Education provides educational services. The company's institutions and companies provide an array of programs across medical and healthcare, financial services and business and law. The company's segments include: Medical and Healthcare, which includes Chamberlain University and Medical and Veterinary Schools that provide educational programs in nursing and health professions, respectively; Financial Services, which includes Becker Professional Education that provides education serving the accounting and finance professions; and Business and Law, which includes Adtalem Education of Brazil institution that focuses in business, engineering, healthcare, law, management, medical and technology.

Aflac Incorporated

Aflac, through its subsidiaries, provides financial protection to people worldwide. The company's principal business is supplemental health and life insurance products. The company's insurance business consists of two reporting segments: Aflac Japan, which are designed to help consumers pay for medical and nonmedical costs that are not reimbursed under Japan's national health insurance system; and Aflac U.S., which the insurance products to provide supplemental coverage for people who already have primary medical or primary insurance coverage. The Aflac Japan's insurance products includes of cancer insurance, and medical insurance; and Aflac U.S. products includes of accident insurance, among others.

Allstate Corporation

Allstate is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the company is engaged in the property and casualty insurance business. The company's segments include: Allstate Protection, which provides private passenger auto, homeowners, other personal lines and commercial insurance; Service Businesses, which includes SquareTrade that provides consumer protection plans and related technical support; Allstate Life, which provides interest-sensitive and variable life insurance products, as well as distributes non-proprietary retirement products; and Allstate Benefits, which provides voluntary benefits products, including life, accident, critical illness, and other health insurance products.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class B

Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company. Co.'s subsidiaries are engaged in several business activities which include: underwriting private passenger automobile insurance; operation of a railroad system in North America; regulated electric and gas utility; manufacturing of products including industrial, consumer and building products; wholesale distribution of groceries and non-food items; provider of services including aviation pilot training, electronic components distribution and retailing businesses, including automotive dealerships; and manufactured housing and related consumer financing, transportation equipment, manufacturing and leasing, and furniture leasing.

Chubb Limited

Fidelity National Financial Inc. - FNF Group

Fidelity National Financial is a provider of title insurance, escrow and other title-related services, including trust activities, trustee sales guarantees, recordings and reconveyances and home warranty products and transaction services to the real estate and mortgage industries. The company has two segments: Title, which consists of the operations of the company's title insurance underwriters and related businesses which provide title insurance and escrow and other title-related services including trust activities, trustee sales guarantees, and home warranty products; and Corporate and Other, which includes the operations of the parent holding company, and the company's real estate technology subsidiaries.

Globe Life Inc.

Globe Life is an insurance holding company. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, the company provides a variety of life and supplemental health insurance products and annuities to customers. The company's segments are: life insurance, which writes a variety of nonparticipating ordinary life insurance products including whole-life, term life, and other life insurance; health insurance, which provides Medicare Supplement and limited-benefit supplemental health insurance products that include primarily critical illness and accident plans; annuities, which include single-premium and flexible-premium deferred annuities; and investments, which consist primarily of investment-grade securities.

Laureate Education Inc. Class A

Laureate Education is engaged in providing higher education programs and services to students through an international network of licensed universities and higher education institutions (institutions). The company's programs are provided through institutions that are campus-based and internet-based, or through electronically distributed educational programs. The company has five reportable segments: Brazil; Mexico; Andean; Rest of World; and Online and Partnerships. The company's Online and Partnerships segment principally consists of Walden University.

Lincoln Educational Services

Lincoln Educational Services provides post-secondary education to high school graduates and working adults. The company provides programs in automotive technology, skilled trades, which include heating, ventilating and air conditioning, welding and computerized numerical control and electronic systems technology, among other programs; healthcare services, which include nursing, dental assistant, medical administrative assistant, among other programs; hospitality services, which include culinary, therapeutic massage, cosmetology and aesthetics; and information technology, which consists of information technology programs.

Markel Corporation

Markel is a financial holding company. The company's business operations are: Underwriting, which comprised of risk-bearing insurance and reinsurance operations; Investing, which is primarily related to underwriting operations; Markel Ventures, Inc., includes controlling interests in a portfolio of businesses that operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace; Insurance-linked securities, which include investment fund managers that provide investment products, including insurance-linked securities, catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps and weather derivatives; and Program services, which serves as a fronting platform that provides access to property and casualty insurance market.

MetLife Inc.

MetLife, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, provides insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. The company's segments include: United States; Asia; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and MetLife Holdings. In the United States, the company provides a variety of insurance and financial services products, including life, dental, disability, property and casualty, guaranteed interest, stable value and annuities to both individuals and groups. Outside the United States, the company provides life, medical, dental, credit and other accident and health insurance, as well as annuities, endowment and retirement and savings products to both individuals and groups.

Old Republic International Corporation

Old Republic International is a holding company engaged in the business of insurance underwriting and related services. Through its regulated insurance company subsidiaries, the company conducts its operations in three main segments: General Insurance Group, which is a commercial lines insurance business focused on liability insurance coverages; Title Insurance Group, which consists mainly of the issuance of policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records, which contain information concerning interests in real property; and the Republic Financial Indemnity Group Run-off Business, which consists of mortgage guaranty and consumer credit indemnity operations.

Perdoceo Education Corp

Career Education's academic institutions provide education to students in a variety of disciplines through online, campus-based and blended learning programs. The company's reporting segments are: Colorado Technical University, which provides industry-relevant degree programs and academic programs in the career-oriented disciplines of business studies, nursing, computer science, engineering, information systems and technology, cybersecurity and healthcare management; and American InterContinental University, which helps personnel get the degree and provides academic programs in the career-oriented disciplines of business studies, information technologies, education and criminal justice.

Progressive Corporation

Progressive is an insurance holding company. The company's insurance subsidiaries and affiliates provide personal and commercial auto insurance, personal residential property insurance, and other insurance and related services. The company's Personal Lines segment writes insurance for personal autos and recreational and other vehicles. The Commercial Lines segment writes auto-related primary liability and physical damage insurance, and business-related general liability and property insurance, each predominately for small businesses. The company focuses on property insurance for homes, condos, manufactured homes, and renters, as well as personal umbrella insurance and primary and excess flood insurance.

Prudential Financial Inc.

Prudential Financial is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the company provides a range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related products and services, mutual funds and investment management. The company provides these products and services to individual and institutional customers. The company's principal operations are comprised of PGIM (its global investment management business), its United States Businesses (consisting of its United States Workplace Solutions, United States Individual Solutions, and Assurance IQ divisions), its International Businesses, the Closed Block division and its Corporate and Other operations.

Stride Inc

Travelers Companies Inc.

Travelers Companies is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the company is engaged in providing commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations and individuals. The company's segments include: Business Insurance, which provides property and casualty insurance and insurance-related services; Bond and Specialty Insurance, which provides surety, fidelity, management liability, professional liability, and other property and casualty coverages and related risk management services, and certain specialty insurance products; and Personal Insurance, which writes property and casualty insurance covering individuals' personal risks.

Universal Technical Institute Inc.

Universal Technical Institute is a provider of postsecondary education for students seeking careers as automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians as well as welders and computer numeric control machining technicians. The company provides certificate, diploma or degree programs under the banner of several brands, including Universal Technical Institute, Motorcycle Mechanics Institute and Marine Mechanics Institute and NASCAR Technical Institute. Additionally, the company provides manufacturer specific advanced training (MSAT) programs, including student-paid electives, at its campuses and manufacturer or dealer sponsored training at certain campuses and training centers.


Unum Group is an insurance holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the company is a provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company has three segments: Unum US, which includes group long-term and short-term disability products, group life and accidental death and dismemberment products, and supplemental and voluntary lines of business, including individual disability and dental and vision products; Unum International, which includes its operations in the United Kingdom and Poland; and Colonial Life, which includes accident, sickness, and disability products, including dental and vision products, life products, and cancer and critical illness products.

W. R. Berkley Corporation

W. R. Berkley is an insurance holding company. The company operates in two segments of the property casualty insurance business: Insurance, which includes commercial insurance business, including excess and surplus lines, admitted lines and specialty personal lines throughout the United States, as well as insurance business in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, Scandinavia, Asia and Australia; and Reinsurance, which provides reinsurance business on a facultative and treaty basis, primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and South Africa.

Vermilion Research
Vermilion Research

Vermilion Research delivers timely, actionable, and unique research inputs to professional investors. Our research strategists highlight securities which we believe are at major inflection points, based on our various proprietary technical indicators, and offer asymmetric risk/return profiles. We believe our research methodology, which is not limited by industry sector or market capitalization, enables us to deliver superior investment recommendations.

Our process begins by organizing all actively traded stocks into coherent sectors, then into logical industry groups. We then apply our proprietary relative strength tools to identify developing price trends. Once attractive trends are identified within a selected sectors or groups, we screen for individual stocks which we believe offer the best risk/reward profile. Vermilion offers U.S. and global equity market research products. Vermilion’s research team, which has received numerous awards and accolades, has a combined 70 year of experience in the analysis of investment securities.

Dave Nicoski

Ross LaDuke

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