Sunday, November 19, 2017

Buildup to a Crisis

A crisis appears to be just over the horizon.  It looks to involve the United States.  It could be quite serious and involve mass casualties, or it may be a market disruption with injuries of an economic nature.  I’m finding this one difficult to pin down much beyond "there's a thing here."   It may be that there is no single crisis, but that this marks the beginning of a series of crises.  I will explain the possibilities I am looking at for this initial period through December 3.  Perhaps you can figure it out.   

I track and analyze social mood daily, weekly, and even at longer time frames.  Research spanning two decades shows that internet search trend patterns can give a glimpse into near future categories of news events as well as upcoming market changes.  While the stock market may be overdue for a sharp drop, my primary concern at this moment is a crisis event (whether market related or not) that is likely to occur in the next two weeks.

The method I use begins with converting internet search trends to four primary Mood Qualities, Vulnerable, Expansive, Manic, and Controlled.  The first step in analysis is to look at their changing values relative to each other, and identify any recognizable patterns (see chart below).  This graph of squiggly lines implies that the primary outlook during Thanksgiving week is a combination of a pattern I call “Rose Colored Glasses” and another which points to denial or delusion.  Together these paint a picture of a week where people really would like to tune out negative news, and find a bright side to things if at all possible.  The following week, however, appears to be a crisis point.

Looking at the distribution of social mood geographically can give us more information about the type of crisis to watch for.  Below are global and U.S. MoodMaps for the period of November 19-26.  The WorldMood map shows the U.S. in an aggressive mood, an unstable region around Kazakhstan, and an area marked “destructive” in Northern Chile.  I have no further information about the non-U.S. regions, but they warrant keeping an eye on, as they show an elevated risk as trouble spots. 

A look at the U.S. MoodMap for this same period (below) does not give us any clue about the “aggression” seen on the global map (but hold that thought).  The green area over the East Coast, depicts the kind of mood often described as “the calm before the storm,” or sometimes as “cricket sounds.”  This goes well with the mood pattern from the spaghetti line graph we were looking at earlier, and the idea of trying to look past anything negative or “denial.”

Often the pattern earlier identified as “aggressive” on the world map will coincide with military escalation, or at least with geopolitical bluster.  Yet, without a region showing up as a target of such aggression, it’s of little imminent concern.  Turning the page, so to speak, we will look at the following week’s maps (below).

For November 27 – December 3, the U.S. is shown as destructive and/or disruptive.  The only other region identified as significant is North and South Korea and Japan which are shown as defensive and/or risk averse.  The two weeks' world maps together imply one possible scenario as the United States upping the rhetoric or action in the situation with North Korea during this period.  

Yet again, there is another picture coming from the United States MoodMap.  There is a region showing as “disruptive” centered around New York.  This particular configuration can mean several things.  1) Disruptive activity such as protests or even terrorist activity.  2) Being New York, it can indicate market disruption.  3) A disruptive natural event.  4) Last, but not least, being New York, it could also point to a final Manic market rally.

The only way I can see putting both the global and U.S. maps for this week together would be some type of market disruption that affects the U.S. and East Asia in particular.  However, there can be more than one thing happening here.

In summary, the weekly mood pattern tells us to watch for a crisis event on some level as soon as the weekend following Thanksgiving through Monday December 3.  The maps caution of one possible scenario being the United States escalating the North Korea situation, another possibility being a New York disruptive event such as mass protests, or even terrorist activity.  There could be a disruptive market event, or possibly a severe weather event.  A note of caution to those looking to short the stock market: even IF there is a disruptive market event at some point before December 3, that does not mean there won't be a large rally before or after that.

These maps as well as the mood timeline are not crystal balls, and don't tell us what necessarily will happen.  However, more often than not, they give us a glimpse of a future mood category which in turn allows us to make an educated guess at the type of event(s) which might accompany a given societal "response."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The One Song-- It All Points to This

A refreshingly deep discussion about the One appeared of all places on a site where my postings as an analyst are usually confined to what the general mood will be tomorrow and how that will affect the markets. I'd like to share the original post and my posted reply.  -- Dr. C.
Their post:
What if, our concept of our individuality is built on a more primitive time where there's more connection between you and I that meets the eye?
What if, knowledge that we learned, idea that pops in our mind is bits and bytes that floats in the "air" carried by a "carrier", that can only be received by a certain state of mind?
What if, this bits and bytes, carried by a carrier, in form that we may yet to discover that connects human mind and is influence by all that there was, all that there is and all that will be?
What if, in the grand of "things" that is known to human today, i.e. the planets, the universe, the solar system, has a way of connecting/influencing human mind, by that carrier wave/energy, able to cause mass sentiment net behavior?
What if the planets of our solar system, dances around the sun, position in such a way, not unlike our four fingers on a guitar chord, when sync in harmony, create a frequency wave that create sound we call music?
What if these combinations of planets, position, distance, reflective angle of energy from the sun are able to create a harmonious wave that is able to influence and create a net human mood that we term as bullish, bearish etc...
What if we are able to find that music note and able to forecast the human mood?
So this is what I want to find out. In the primitive mind of mine, I may fail but stubborn as a mule, I will try.
My reply:
I think you're on to something. Very cool stuff. These "notes" are what I believe I am measuring, or at least measuring a reflection of in the work I do. When I tell people that my team forecasted a N.E. Japan event a few weeks before Fukishima happened they ask, how does our internet searches or social mood, etc. cause an earthquake? They miss the point, but I believe you are on to it. There is one grand song playing and it shows up in me and you and our trading and in earthquakes and tornadoes. I'm sticking a probe in internet search trends because it gives me a good picture of some of the notes playing. This song plays out in what we are interested in and searching on the internet first, it plays out in what the market does a bit later, and in the news slightly after that. I don't know why, but that allows us to listen to the song somewhere that plays earlier, and get an idea of how that will look when it plays out in something else later.
I think the main reason I do what I am doing is that I want to find a way to undeniably demonstrate that there is rhyme and reason to the universe, that there is connection, and that we are all a part of the one Song.
Thanks for the opportunity to share.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

U.S. Terrorist Alert through October 12, 2017

Analysis of internet search trend patterns show a high risk of increased terrorist activity through October 12.  Geographical analysis indicates the highest probability within the U.S. is in the area surrounding Denver, Co.  I hope I have your attention, as an alert such as this is not given lightly.  Let me explain how this is arrived at.

Research spanning two decades shows that daily internet search trends can indicate changes in markets as well as alert to categories of upcoming news events several days before they occur.  Likewise, weekly trends can be used to show changes in markets and categories of news events several weeks before they occur.  Because we are looking at U.S. trends here, it will reflect U.S. and world events which have an emotional impact on people in the United States.

During the time of the source data for this alert, the iPhone 8 and X were announced, Hurricane Irma was completing its run of destruction, and NFL pro football season was beginning.  To convert what we were collectively focusing on at that time into numbers that can be analyzed, we start out with translating the search trends into themes.  For the period in question, this was technology, business, wind, rain, nature, uncertainty, death, men, and sports.  This is then converted into relative intensities of what we call four primary mood qualities: Vulnerable, Expansive, Manic, and Controlled.

The chart below may look like colorful spaghetti, but it gives us a great deal of information on when certain types of events are more likely to occur.  The specific configuration that is showing up for the week ahead (the orange Manic line on top, and the gray Controlled line on the bottom) has occurred only one other time this past year (week ending 5/19).  This pattern indicates societal disruption.  When it shows up on a daily scale, it is usually associated with protests or strikes, but can also be associated with "random violence" and increased terrorist activity.  When it shows up on a weekly scale, it almost always is associated with increased terrorist activity.  The terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England occurred on May 22.  While the timing of market reactions is much more precise, it’s not uncommon for news events to slightly lag behind the mood pattern.

If one looks closely at the above chart, it can be seen that the week of 5/19 and the upcoming week ending 10/6 occur in the area marked “Mood/Effect Inversion.”  The “normal” configuration, the gray Controlled line on top and the orange Manic line on the bottom occurred once this year for the week ending 6/9.  On June 14, a group of Republican lawmakers were attacked by a gunman at a baseball field in Virginia.

Analyzing the geographic distribution of our search trend data, we produced the map below.  The black area marked “destructive” is significant, but it is not clear what this is referring to.  It could be pointing to California, or to something in Mexico or Central America that is serious enough to impact (on an emotional level) people in the United States.  There is nothing to do with this other than wait and see what it might be about.  However, the orange circle very close to the Denver, Colorado area is quite specific.  It’s of the type we are on the lookout for (disruptive) and it’s pointing to a very specific area.  While this does not imply that we are certain that a terrorist attack will occur in the Denver area by October 12, it does mean that during a period where increased terrorist activity is likely, that the highest probability for such an event to occur within the U.S. is near Denver, Colorado.  It’s also important to note that we have not yet completed the map for October 8-15 which could provide us with further insight.

US MoodMap October 1-8, 2017

Update Oct. 2, 2017: So far there have been a mass shooting in Las Vegas, terrorist attacks in France and Canada, and violent protests in Catalonia, and the week has just begun.  It's possible that the MoodMap was off and there will be no Denver event.  Perhaps Las Vegas was it.  Let's hope and pray that there is nothing more!

Because this science is in its infancy, we are still learning how to read the MoodMaps.  At times what appears to be multiple events, is actually one event at the center which combines the qualities of all the "pieces."  When the Disruptive component and the Destructive component are taken as one event, it can be seen in the map below that Las Vegas is right in the center.  Surely that event was both destructive and disruptive.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

North Korea Explodes: WorldMood 30 July – 13 August, 2017

The North Korea situation is going to get worse before it gets better.  That is what our latest WorldMood map is implying.  Our previous map, which covered July 17-31, 2017 indicated a “volatile” North Korea.  On July 28, there was news of a new missile launch.  There may be a different response this time from what has been the status quo.  The latest map (below) paints the entire East Asia region red.

North Korea Explodes: WorldMood 30 July – 13 August, 2017

For the next week or two, a region which includes North and South Korea, Japan, and China is likely to be in the news quite a bit.  While it’s possible that there could be several different volatile circumstances developing in China, Japan, and Korea, the simplest way to view this from current information would be that the instability of the North Korea situation is likely to expand and become quite heated in the near term.  Other areas that stand out from a “background normal” in the coming two weeks are Somalia aggressiveness and a destructive theme in West Africa.

What is the source of this information?  From research that spans two decades, we take internet search trend data and translate that to near future social mood.  This is analyzed geographically to produce a MoodMap

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Update July 18. 2017
Item #2: Russia Threatens Retaliatory Measures over Seized U.S. Mansions

Update July 28, 2017
Russia "asserts their position" with a sanctions retaliation. N. Korea "returns to the headlines" escalating that situation with a missile launch.   The WorldMood map for the next two weeks (will post soon) implies an extremely volatile situation in the region of North and South Korea, Japan and China.  My guess is that this thing gets more intense over the next few days.

Update July 30, 2017
Last day of this map Russia cuts size of U.S. diplomatic mission.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

WorldMood July 17-31, 2017

Last week, the region including Turkey, Syria, and Iraq was highlighted as an area that could receive additional attention for destruction or destructiveness.  Early in the week, rubble, destruction, and bodies were in the news coverage of the area even as victory was being declared by Iraq over ISIS and a ceasefire was announced for Syria.  On July 4, N. Korea launched a ballistic missile, yet the timing we had been using for our maps showed an "explosive" N. Korea situation for the week following the launch.  While tensions were elevated and news coverage of the ICBM launch was in the news early in the week, we have decided that it's necessary to expand the timing of our map coverage to two weeks, as the explosive description would have best included the week of the launch.  

The map below covers the period approximately July 17-31, 2017.  A few areas stand out from "background normal" and are listed below the map.   What's our source of information?  Over a decade of research shows that what we collectively focus on, as seen in our top weekly internet search trends, tends to show up as types of news events a few weeks later. The mood conveyed by the search trends can be quantified and even analyzed geographically.

WorldMood July 17-31, 2017

WorldMood July 17 - 31, 2017:

The few identified global regions for this period that stand out from the background are:

1) N. Korea should return to the headlines over the next two weeks as the situation there becomes heated or volatile.

2) Russia is highlighted as "assertive."  Watch for them to flex their muscles or assert their positions over this period.

3) A region in southwestern China is marked "disruptive."  This mood configuration often is associated with social disruption (civil unrest, protests, and/or terrorist activity).  Because of the particular area highlighted (near the Himalayas), it could also coincide with an earthquake event.

4) Syria and Iraq are marked as "emotional."  This is not surprising as there's been so much upheaval there recently.  The U.K. is also highlighted as emotional.  It's not clear at this time what this might be referring to.  In addition to "emotional" this same configuration can be associated with "wet" or lots of rain.

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Less Friendly World: June 5-11, 2017

Searching the internet for a view of next week’s world (June 5-11, 2017) shows it to be a much less friendly place than it was this past week.   How do I find a map of next week’s “world” on the internet?  To those familiar with our work, you know that we take top search trends and convert them into four primary mood qualities, which in turn gives us a near future glimpse of likely types of news events and market movement.  Doing this for various countries around the world, and processing that with Geographical Information Software allows us to produce a map we call WorldMood (below).

WorldMood June 5 - 11, 2017: An Unfriendly World

Here are the highlights for next week:
  1. The arrow between Europe and the U.S. that was marked “negotiations” last week, now says “cessation.”  There may be previous areas of commerce or communications that are abruptly terminated this week.  This could be a fallout from the pullout of the Paris Agreement by the U.S. or from something else.
  2. A possible “hot spot” is where Russia meets the area of Georgia and Azerbaijan.
  3. The Persian Gulf is another potential “hot spot.”  Watch for potential disruption or surprises there.  Also several countries (Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and Oman) are in the area marked “Disruptive.”  This may highlight civil unrest or an uptick in terrorist activity.
  4. China is in an aggressive mood.  Hmmm….  There is also a spot of “disruption” in the Sichuan Province area.  We’ll keep an eye on that to see what might develop.
  5. The U.K. is in a serious mood.  Is this grief from last week's terrorist attacks or is there something even bigger to be somber about?
  6. Kazakhstan is in a serious mood.  This may be related to whatever is happening with Russia and other areas nearby.
In the midst of a troubled world, may your own world be one of peace in the week ahead.

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Update: June 5, 2017
Wow! The Persian Gulf Crisis showed up on the map BEFORE it happened!  (See item #3 in the "highlights for next week" list).

Update: June 7, 2017
Jeepers!  Another hit on item #3.  I thought the idea of a terrorist attack in Iran was a strange idea, but that's what we got!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

WorldMood... Coming Soon

This is a celebration of the return to a project that had to be put aside in 2012.  Previous events that were detected using the WorldMood methodology (aka MoodCompass) include the Arab Spring uprising, the Fukishima event (see TV news video), and a Persian Gulf blockade attempt by Iran.
What is WorldMood?  Similar to what is done each day to obtain U.S. mood and market forecasts, top internet search trends from a sampling of countries around the world are being gathered by our team and processed by geographic analysis software.  We currently have enough data to begin a weekly look at the mood of the world on a country by country basis.  When looking at weekly scale data (as opposed to monthly) it's difficult, for instance, to tell if an "aggressive" country implies that they are likely to start dropping bombs that week, but it does tell us that there is an elevated risk of a geopolitical escalation from other weeks. We anticipate monthly scale analysis in the early fall.  With both weekly and monthly analysis, we will have an even better picture of significant changes to watch for.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy weekly WorldMood profiles.  The first one will be out in a few days!!!