Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Morning Call---Back to an uptrend?

The Morning Call


The Market

The indices (DJIA 16620, S&P 1945) smoked yesterday, as breadth improved but volume declined.  The VIX was off 6%, ending right on the lower boundary of a very short term uptrend as well as its 100 day moving average---so it is on the cusp of becoming much more positive for stocks.

Speaking of volatility (short):

   The Dow closed [a] below its 100 day moving average, now resistance, [b] below its 200 day moving average, now resistance, [c] below the lower boundary of a short term downtrend {16748-17499}, [c] above the lower boundary of its intermediate term trading range {15842-18295}, [d] in a long term uptrend {5471-19343}, [e] however, it is now above the last lower high.

The S&P finished [a] below its 100 day moving average, now resistance, [b] below its 200 day moving average, now resistance [c] below the lower boundary of its short term downtrend {1883-1970}, [d] within its intermediate term trading range {1867-2134}, [e] in a long term uptrend {800-2161} and [f] still within a series of lower highs but blew the 1928 resistance level. 

I checked our internal indicator last night.  The results as of the close yesterday: the primary trend of each stock in a universe of 142 stocks was (1) 36 uptrends, (2) 58 trading ranges and (3) 48 downtrends.  This is negative relative to the indices, but is actually a stronger showing than I expected.

The long Treasury was down slightly, ending  [a] within its short and intermediate term trading ranges, [b] well above its upward trending 100 day moving average and [c]  above the lower boundary of a very short term uptrend. 

GLD fell 1.7%, but remained within very short term and short term uptrends as well as above an upward trending 100 day moving average. 
Bottom line:  the S&P’s negating of its reset to a downtrend last week was followed yesterday with it closing above the 1928 Fibonacci resistance level, the Dow finishing at its first higher high since last November and the VIX looking like it could turn positive for stocks.  So we are starting to see some challenges on the upside.  On the other hand, the Averages are extremely short term overbought, volume has not been very convincing and the pin action in TLT and GLD is hinting that not all investors are as bullish as the stock boys.  There remains more work to do on the upside before the possibility of a return to former highs can be considered.



            Yesterday’s US economic news was mixed: the January Chicago Fed national activity index was very upbeat while the February flash manufacturing index was below expectations---the former was certainly the more important of the two.  However, of a more anecdotal nature, the latest Cleveland Fed financial stress index pointed to market instability.

Overseas, February manufacturing PMI’s joined the US in negative reads: EU composite PMI hit a fourteen month low, with French and German readings in negative territory and the February Japanese flash PMI came in below forecast.  So our own outlook continues to get no help from anyone, anywhere.

***overnight, February German business sentiment declined.

In other news, the Bank of China continued to inject liquidity into the banking system while the central government stepped up (again) its threats against the any criticism of the economy or the markets---a sure sign that somebody is worried.

Bottom line:  last Friday’s summation couldn’t say it better:  the sum of economic indicators for the last six months both here and abroad is discouraging; and this is despite more QE from multiple central banks.  Every day I link to articles written by guys who are smarter and have deeper background on monetary policy than me; and they are all concerned about the risks associated with unwinding QE. I have extreme difficulty believing that the Averages, currently only 10% off their all-time highs, properly reflect the odds of a recession or those risks about which the aforementioned experts are concerned.

I am not suggesting that investors run for the hills.  But it does make sense to use the current rebound to take some profits in winners that have held up during recent decline.

            The latest from Mohamed El Erian (medium):

            The latest from Raoul Pal (medium):

       Investing for Survival
            Investing lessons from behavioral psychology.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Home Depot (NYSE:HD): Q4 EPS of $1.17 beats by $0.07.
Revenue of $21B (+9.6% Y/Y) beats by $610M

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) declares $0.69/ quarterly dividend, 16.9% increase from prior dividend of $0.59


   This Week’s Data

            The February flash PMI manufacturing index was reported at 51.0 versus estimates of 52.5.


            Martin Feldstein on the economy (short):

            Pricing in a Brexit (medium):

            More fallout from negative interest rates (short):

            Japan’s problem (medium and a must read):



  International War Against Radical Islam

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