STRATEGIES

Big declines in both the yen and crude oil may be giving the market a sneak peek at a near-term correction. But whether or not you believe a correction would be healthy at this stage, MoneyShow's Tom Aspray shares his market analysis and what you should watch for this week.

The action Friday in the stock market was overshadowed by the sharp declines in crude oil and gold in early trading. The widely watched SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) dropped to its lowest level since last August, and the nearby crude oil contract was down close to 2% during the day. Both did close above the early lows.

The major averages closed the week pretty much unchanged, even though the S&P 500 made new rally highs during the week. Meanwhile, the debate in the financial media continues to pit the generally bearish traders against the fundamental money managers, who consider many stocks to still be undervalued.

Of course, many of these money managers have had this view for some time, while traders can change their views several times during the same week. I try to analyze the market in terms of risk, and since mid-December the number of good-risk buying opportunities has declined significantly.

As we head into the long weekend, we also have the G20 meeting, where the focus is likely to be on the Bank of Japan's action to weaken the yen, as well as the deteriorating state of the Eurozone economy.

The so-called currency wars-better defined as competitive devaluation-have gotten a lot of press lately, particularly by those who are pessimistic about the economy and the stock market.

The currency war in the 1930s was facilitated by many countries going off the gold standard, as they tried to revive their economies by lowering the value of their currencies. Lately, many have been fixated on the recent weakness in the yen, as the dollar-yen rate has recently risen from around 75.5 yen to the dollar to 93.5.

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The long-term chart of the exchange rate shows that it is barely a blip, as the long-term downtrend (line a) goes back to 1976, when the rate was 305 yen per dollar. I was analyzing the Yen in the early 1980s, when it traded from 199 to 277. It would now take a rise above 121 just to break the downtrend (line b) that goes back to 1990.

Just since last November, the yen has gained 25% against the Swedish krona, and some fear that after the last week's disappointing data on the Eurozone economy, there will be more pressure to weaken the euro by lowering rates.

The long-term chart of the euro-dollar exchange rate shows a series of lower highs since 2007 (line c). A decisive break below the support that goes back to 2010 (line d), now at 1.2260, would project a much weaker euro.

The bottom line for right now is that the long-term trends for both the yen and euro have not changed. They should be monitored, as this may change later in the year. And for those investing in country ETFs, as I pointed out recently, it is important to analyze the status of the country's currency before you invest.

NEXT: What to Watch

Tickers Mentioned: GLD, IWM, QQQ, DIA, SPY