Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Morning Call--The positive news out of government in years

The Morning Call


The Market

The see saw continues with indices (DJIA 16492, S&P 1969) closing big to the upside.  The Dow ended [a] below its 100 and 200 day moving averages, both of which represent resistance, [b] in a short term downtrend {17013-17932}, [c] in an intermediate term trading range {15842-18295}and [d] in a long term uptrend {5369-19175}.

The S&P finished [a] below its 100 and 200 day moving averages, both of which represent resistance, [b] below the upper boundary of a very short term downtrend, [c] in a short term downtrend {2022-2086}, [d] within an intermediate term uptrend {1906-2679} and [e] a long term uptrend {797-2145}. 

The three most notable observations are (1) the Averages voided the break of the lower boundaries of those developing pennant patterns and then traded above the upper boundaries of these formations.  At the close last night, the indices were at the point of the pennant; so where they end today relative to that point would, in technical lore, indicate the short term direction of prices, (2) the Averages have now weathered the second test of the lower boundaries of their intermediate term trends.  Clearly a big plus and (3) the S&P remains below the 1970 level---though only be a short hair.  In a similar vein, as great as yesterday’s bounce was, stocks didn’t even get back to last week’s levels.  As I continue to note, the extreme volatility makes any directional call speculative. 

Don’t trust big up days (medium):

Volume was down slightly; unsurprisingly, breadth improved, though the flow of funds indicator remains negative. The VIX dropped 10%, still ending [a] above its 100 day moving average, now support, [b] within a short term uptrend, [c] within an intermediate term trading range {it remains well above the upper boundary of its former intermediate term downtrend} and [d] a long term trading range.

The long Treasury fell 1.5%, finished above its 100 day moving average and within short and intermediate term trading ranges. 

GLD rose fractionally but closed in downtrends across all timeframes and below its 100 day moving average.  It can still build a bottom were it to fail to successfully challenge its July/August lows.  But that is yet to be seen. 

Oil was up, remains below its 100 day moving average and within a short term trading range and intermediate and long term downtrends.

The dollar declined, closing below its 100 day moving average, which is now resistance, and within short and intermediate term trading ranges. 

Bottom line: the Averages continue the dramatically churn in something of a no man’s land between the lower boundaries of their intermediate term trends and the upper boundaries of the short term downtrends.  Unfortunately the width of that zone is considerable; so stocks can continue their current volatile trading and not threaten either set of trends.  So very short term, direction is to be determined.  That said, as long as the lower boundaries of the indices intermediate term trends hold, the Market is in a simple correction in a bull market.

The long Treasury’s pin action continues to suggest a Fed rate hike and a stronger economy.  As you know, I don’t think that this scenario will occur. 



            One minor US datapoint was released yesterday: the August small business optimism index was slightly below estimates.  Not much information value.

            However, overseas there was lots to digest: August Chinese imports plunged, exports off 5.5%; August German exports and imports improved; second quarter EU GDP was up 0.4% versus expectations of up 0.3%; second quarter Japanese GDP dropped 1.2%.  In addition, it was reported that China sold $94 billion US Treasuries in August, overnight further tightened capital controls and has spent 600 billion yuan to date in stock market ‘plunge protection’.

            Another sign of a global slowdown (short):

            With respect to the latter, the Chinese government altered its intervention pattern on Tuesday.  On prior occasions when their stock market was down in early trading, the government immediately stepped in to buy stocks only to have the market decline into the close.  Yesterday, it waited until the final hour of trading before it began its effort to push prices back up, resulting in a positive finish---which the rest of the world then traded on.

            ***overnight, finally governments are getting the picture and doing something constructive as opposed to more QE Infinity, to wit, Abe is pledging to cut taxes by 330 basis points while China is lowering taxes on small businesses and allocating more money to infrastructure projects.  Whether this is too little too late is ‘to be determined’; but at least it is a positive step.  Meanwhile in the UK, their trade numbers, industrial production and manufacturing production all declined.

Bottom line:  absent the Chinese changed strategy in ‘plunge protection’, I didn’t see much encouraging in the information flow yesterday.  On the other hand, one element of anecdotal evidence was quite positive; that was a nice bounce in commodity prices---which as you know have cratered in recent times.  Whether this means that supply/demand have reached rough equilibrium or it was just a one day outlier is yet to be determined. 

Nothing above suggests that, in my analysis, stocks aren’t overvalued. Of course, they have been overvalued for the last eighteen months in that analysis, so how smart am I?  Being too early is being wrong and I have been wrong.  But being too early doesn’t mean that stocks aren’t overvalued; it just means that other factors have been of greater importance to the Market---like QEInfinity.  And as long as investors believe in the infallibility of the Fed, I am going to stay wrong.  But once investors realize that the Fed has been focused on the wrong thing (the Market) and has harmed the economy not just from QEInfinity but also has botched the exit therefrom, there is only going to be one ‘first guy out the door’.

I remain of the opinion that near term investors are focusing less on fundamentals and more on the technicals. The keys to watch are (1) the boundaries of the developing pennant formation and (2) whether the indices will challenge their intermediate term trends and whether or not those challenges are successful. 

While we are waiting, do nothing.

            More on valuation (short):

            The latest from John Hussman (medium):

       Investing for Survival

            Asset allocation: make it personal (medium):
    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

   This Week’s Data

            Weekly mortgage applications fell 6.5% while purchase applications were down 1.0%.




The Social Security disability fund will be broke next year (short):

  International War Against Radical Islam

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