Callum Thomas


Head of Research
Topdown Charts

Callum is Head of Research at Topdown Charts. Topdown Charts is a chart-driven macro research house covering global Asset Allocation and Economics.


Chart Of The Week: Stay or Go? US Wage Growth is on the Rise...

Callum Thomas

This week it's wage inflation, but with a particular twist. Utilizing the great indicators from the innovative economics team at the Atlanta Fed, I have built a new indicator which I call the "Stay or Go Indicator". It is the difference between the annual wage growth figures for 'Job Switchers'... Show More

economy fed inflation monetary policy wage growth wage inflation

Chart Of The Week: Gold vs Real Yields

Callum Thomas

This week it's gold and real yields. A really important thing happened with interest rates in November last year which should be front of mind for investors thinking about gold. It is a reasonably well established understanding that gold prices trade inversely to real yields, and I'll explain why shortly.... Show More

Chart Of The Week: US Crude Oil Flows

Callum Thomas

This week it's US crude oil flows. Specifically, what we've got here is an interesting juxtaposition of crude oil imports and crude oil production for America. The chart is interesting due to the perspective it provides on US oil supplies: for much of recorded history the US got the majority... Show More

oil commodities crude oil energy sector MLP

Chart Of The Week: Equity Risk Premiums

Callum Thomas

This week the "Chart of the Week" shows the equity risk premium across a couple of key developed economy stockmarkets. The equity risk premium provides a unique perspective on valuation, which brings in not just what's going on with absolute valuations, but also reflects the opportunity cost or trade-off vs... Show More

equities asset allocation erp UK equities Developed Markets .

Chart Of The Week: Energy Stocks

Callum Thomas

This week the "Chart of the Week" looks at the energy sector of the S&P500 and specifically how it fits in in terms of market capitalization weight and share of total earnings across the index. Simply put, energy stocks have fallen to the lowest market cap weighting since late 2003... Show More

energy s&p500 crude oil energy sector energy stocks

Chart Of The Week: China Property Outlook

Callum Thomas

This week the "Chart of the Week" is focused on the outlook for China's property market. The Chinese property market is perhaps one of the most important markets in the world, if not the most. What happens to this market has direct flow-on effects to global commodity prices, emerging markets... Show More

commodities China china property Chinese property

Global Equities: The Top 10 PE10

Callum Thomas

Here's an updated scan across countries and regions to find the top (and bottom) PE10, and follows on from a previous version I shared back in August last year. Briefly on methodology, the PE10 is a stock market valuation metric which compares the stock index to the average earnings of... Show More

valuations global equities investment strategy

The top 10 Charts for 2018

Callum Thomas

I spent a lot of time in the 2017 End of Year Special Edition looking back across the year, covering some of my best charts and calls (and some of the worst!). But this article provides a look at the most important part of that report. Show More

A quick-take on Passive QT

Callum Thomas

As expected (by me and pretty much everyone else) the Fed held interest rates unchanged and announced that it would commence its balance sheet normalization plan in October. The balance sheet normalization plan involves gradually ceasing reinvestment of principal from maturing bonds, and will result in a passive/automatic run-down... Show More

Canada hikes again - what does it mean for the "CANZ economies"?

Callum Thomas

The Bank of Canada hiked interest rates another 25bps to 1.00% today, surprising most. As noted last time (following the July interest rate hike) Canada's housing market is running hot, and has all the hallmarks of a property price bubble. Show More

China July PMI bad and good

Callum Thomas

The official manufacturing PMI for China came in at 51.4 in July (51.5 expected, 51.7 previous), and the non-manufacturing PMI at 54.5 (54.9 previous). So at a headline level and at first glance the numbers were down and dissapointed against expectations. The 3-month moving average of the two combined was... Show More

commodities China pmi china pmi

Stockmarket Euphoriameter rises to a new post-crisis high

Callum Thomas

The Euphoriameter rose again in July, with the combined sentiment reading for the S&P500 lifted by higher forward PE ratios, a falling VIX, and rising levels of bullish sentiment in the surveys. The chart will probably trigger memories or comparisons to the 1990's because aside from the surge coming out... Show More

equities sentiment investor sentiment s&p500 US valuations

Global trade back to trend

Callum Thomas

The latest hard data on global trade activity show a picture of volumes returning to trend growth. The chart below shows global container throughput activity and you can see a clear dip down in 2015/16: a sort of mini-recession or near-miss global recession as I've explained it previously. In any... Show More

inflation exports imports global economy global trade

Institutional investors are capitulating

Callum Thomas

The latest State Street Investor Confidence Index data for July showed a distinct sense of upside capitulation. The headline global index was up 7.9 points to 108.9 - this was driven purely by North American institutional investors with the North Am index up 10pts to 112.1 which offset declines in... Show More

equities confidence investor sentiment s&p500

Global flash PMI ticks up in July

Callum Thomas

The July round of flash manufacturing PMIs showed a slight but important rebound in the "global flash manufacturing PMI" (an indicator I put together based on the Markit readings). The global flash reading was up +0.4pts to 54.3 - the highest since February this year. While the move is not... Show More

bonds pmi bond yields global economy

The stockmarket season is changing

Callum Thomas

Following on from the popular post on the seasonal turning point for the VIX last week, here's an insight into seasonality for the S&P500. The chart shows 2017 superimposed on the historical average price movement across the year, and it looks like a fairly decent fit, with the implication being... Show More

equities risk s&p500 correction s&p 500 seasonality

What's the difference between EM and DM anyway?

Callum Thomas

Anyone who has been paying attention to emerging markets will have noticed the very interesting price action going on there. But since it's getting more and more attention, it's worth revisiting the very definition of EM vs DM . Show More

emerging markets

Iron Ore Price = Chinese Real Estate FAI

Callum Thomas

If you care about the outlook for the iron ore price then you care about the outlook for the Chinese property market. A simple analysis shows that a major driver, if not the major driver, for the iron ore price is the pace of growth in real estate fixed asset... Show More

From QE to QT - What will happen to bond yields?

Callum Thomas

The latest FOMC meeting included the release of plans for balance sheet normalisation or a transition from QE to QT . Show More

fed quantitative easing bond yields fomc quantitative tightening

One chart to keep in mind going into FOMC

Callum Thomas

As the Fed meets to make its June monetary policy decisions, the consensus (and my view) is that they will hike interest rates again. This will add to the interest rate differential support for the US dollar and driver further policy divergence. This comes at a time where the US... Show More

Oops, the video link doesn't seem to be working, here's the URL:

On The Base Metal Boost -

Hi James, Yes exactly. It's the net change in loan interest rate spreads to bank funding costs... essentially whether or not banks are factoring in more credit risk into the interest rates they charge their customers

On SLOOS is saying something about US High Yield Credit -