Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Morning Call--Confusion dissipates amid renew central bank promises

The Morning Call


The Market

The indices (DJIA 16865, S&P 1978) soared yesterday even deeper into overbought territory; but on lower volume and continuing mixed breadth. 

The VIX fell 14%, ending back below the lower boundary of a very short term uptrend.  If it remains there through the close today, the uptrend will be negated.

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 {16709-17442}, [c] in an intermediate term trading range {15842-18295}, [d] in a long term uptrend {5471-19343}, [e] and made a third higher high.

The S&P ended [a] below its 100 day moving average, now resistance, [b] below its 200 day moving average, now resistance [c] above the upper boundary of its short term downtrend {1872-1957}; if it remains there through the close on Thursday, the trend will revert to a trading range, [d] in an intermediate term trading range {1867-2134}, [e] in a long term uptrend {800-2161} and [f] made a second higher high.

            And---weak new high list (short):

The long Treasury was down 2% on heavy volume; however, it finished firmly within a short term uptrend and above its 100 day moving average. 

GLD declined .7%, ending in very short term and short term uptrends, as well as substantially above its 100 moving average. 

Bottom line: yesterday’s pin action appeared to solve the confusion problem with the S&P pushing above the upper boundary of its short term downtrend.  However, it was anything but convincing as volume stunk and breadth remained mixed.  That said, if the S&P confirms the break of its short term downtrend, the downside momentum will clearly be broken.  That would, in turn, suggest a potential assault on the all-time highs which I remain convinced will not be broached.
            Strength in March and April following down January and February (short):



            Yesterday’s economic data returned to upbeat: month to date retail chain store sales and February light vehicle sales were slightly disappointing, the February Markit manufacturing PMI came in in line, but the February ISM manufacturing index and January construction spending were better than expected.  Importantly, the latter two are both primary indicators; so they join last week’s positive primary indicator readings.

The latest from our resident economic optimist (medium):

            Those numbers notwithstanding, NY Fed head Dudley sang the dovish tune in a speech.  I suppose that provides the bulls with an unbeatable combination---better economic stats and an easy Fed.
On the other hand: the end of monetary policy effectiveness (short):

            Overseas, the February Chinese manufacturing PMI declined and the services PMI rose at the slowest rate since 2008; the February EU manufacturing PMI came in at 51.2 versus January’s reading of 52.3; Barclay’s cut its dividend.
            Mass unemployment begins in China (medium):

            ***overnight, Moody’s cut China’s credit rating.

            With respect to the above Chinese PMI numbers, investors concluded that this data will prompt the government to unleash the mother of all stimulus policies.  In addition, expectations are rising for the March 10 ECB meeting will also result in aggressive monetary easing---which was confirmed by another ‘whatever is necessary’ letter from Draghi to member bankers.

            ***overnight, the yuan continued to weaken.

            Draghi’s next move (medium):

Bottom line:  yesterday’s economic data follow through to last week’s upbeat primary indicators clearly adds weight to the possibility that I jumped the gun in calling for a recession.  I am not retreating but this series of positive numbers can’t be ignored.  And just to be clear, if I were to back off, it would be to our prior forecast of below average economic growth. 

On the other hand, the rest of the world is showing no sign of reversing its slide into recession; and the central bankers are showing no sign of wising up.  Indeed, if yesterday is any example, investor expectations for aggressive moves from the ECB and the Bank of China and less a hawkish tone from the Fed seem to be being built into equity prices.  While I may have to revise my recession scenario, nothing has occurred that would make me reconsider my concern that the untried and ineffective central bank QE/negative interest rate policies will not end well.

Greenspan: ‘we’re in trouble’ (short):

‘But given the past relationship between QEInfinity and investor jigginess, hope will likely continue to spring eternal.   If it does, it makes sense to use any rebound to take some profits in winners that have held up during recent decline.’

            Update on valuation.

            Who is buying and who is selling (short)?

       Investing for Survival
            How to manage risk when the Market owes you nothing.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B): FQ3 EPS of $0.94 in-line.
Revenue of $1.08B (-0.9% Y/Y) misses by $20M
Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) declares $0.025/share monthly dividend, in line with previous.
Though strongly disagreeing with United Technologies' (NYSE:UTX) concerns about regulatory and consumer risks to the deal, Honeywell (NYSE:HON) - recognizing the target's unwillingness to engage - is dropping its merger ambitions.


   This Week’s Data

            Month to date retail chain store sales were lower than in the prior week.

            The February Markit manufacturing PMI came in at 51.3, in line.

            The February ISM manufacturing index was reported at 49.5 versus expectations of 48.5.

            January construction spending increased 1.5% versus estimates of a rise of 0.5%.

                February light vehicle sales came in at 17.5 million units versus forecasts of 17.7 million units.       

                Weekly mortgage applications fell 4.8% while purchase applications were off 1.0%.

            The February ADP private payroll report showed a job gain of 214,000 jobs versus projections of an 185,000 increase.


            Is a huge monetary policy error coming? (medium):



Laura Ingraham on Marco Rubio (medium):

31% of government assets are student loans---think about that one (medium):

  International War Against Radical Islam

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