Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Morning Call---And now the fun begins

The Morning Call


The Market

The indices (DJIA 17990, S&P 2091) sat on the sidelines yesterday, awaiting today’s Fed meeting and tomorrow’s Bank of Japan meeting. Volume rose, breadth was weaker and the VIX continues to look like it has found a bottom.

The Dow closed [a] above its 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] within a short term uptrend {17594-18549}, [c] in an intermediate term trading range {15842-18295} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5541-19413}.

The S&P finished [a] above its 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] within a short term uptrend {2090-2192}, [d] in an intermediate term trading range {1867-2134} and [e] in a long term uptrend {800-2161}. 

The long Treasury was off again, drawing ever closer to its 100 day moving average.  A break below that MA would be a negative and heighten the risk that inflation could be raising its head.

GLD rose, finishing within in a short term uptrend and above its 100 day moving average and a key Fibonacci level.  This pin action also suggests investors are starting to worry about inflation.

Bottom line:  the indices took a break ahead of today’s Fed meeting.  There is nothing in the technicals to alter my assumptions: stocks are in heavily congested territory, so the upward progress will be more plodding but I expect them to challenge their all-time highs and fail.

            Sell in May and go away? (medium):



            Yesterday’s economic releases were mixed to negative: the April Richmond Fed manufacturing index was above estimates, the February Case Shiller home price index was in line, while April consumer confidence was less than anticipated and March durable goods orders (primary indicator) were very subpar.   Nothing from abroad.        

            ***overnight, first quarter UK GDP growth slowed but April German consumer confidence rose.

            The excitement will start this afternoon with the release of the FOMC statement.  I say excitement; actually expectations are that the tone and substance of the Fed policy is unlikely to change.  Still, Fed days always get investors all atwitter; so we should see some pickup in activity this afternoon. 

            How the Fed ignored the Constitution (medium):

            To be followed soon thereafter by the Bank of Japan, which meets tomorrow (actually tonight in the US).  There should be more fireworks coming out of this meeting because the BOJ has been signaling more easing but without revealing its extent.  That should mean a wider spread in expectations and, hence, a larger likelihood of either disappointing or exceeding them.  That said, however little the increase in easing, it is still just digs the BOJ in a deeper policy hole.     

Bottom line: the economic data remains negative.  This earnings season is not exactly inspiring (but as the optimist would say, earnings are beating lowered expectations).   The central bankers don’t get it.  Indeed, the only questions before investors are how deep the bulls**t will be coming out of today’s Fed meeting and to what additional extremes the Japanese are willing to go in order to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they will to go down in that annuals of economic history as the perpetuators of one of the most economically destructive monetary policies ever.

            My thought today is for investors with less than a $1,000,000 portfolio to focus, at least, a majority of their assets in exchange traded funds (ETF).  These are funds that offer a (relatively) passive managed diversified portfolio of securities that may reflect an index (e.g. S&P 500), or an industry segment (e.g. energy), or a country (e.g. Germany) or geographic area (e.g. Europe) or, in the case of bonds, a quality range (investment grade, junk), or a geographic exposure (EU bonds) or……….you get the picture.  They can offer exposure as broad or specialized as you may want. 

            Their advantages are:

(1)   cost: management fees are, generally, quite inexpensive; the investor is not stuck with paying higher broker commissions on a large number of small trades; and they are largely passively managed, which is to say, the funds themselves don’t do a lot of trading, again avoiding broker commissions,

(2)   choice: the ETF world has virtually every country, industrial sector, investment strategy sliced and diced so that you can structure your assets exactly as you want.  You decide how much of your portfolio is invested in bonds versus stocks, foreign versus US securities, etc.

(3)   diversification: they allow you to buy a well-diversified exposure no matter how much you may want to own.  For instance, I may want to own a five percent position in US REIT’s.  But if I have a $500,000 portfolio, that is a $25,000 holding.  From a cost effective perspective, that means I have to choice one REIT if I want a direct participation.  However, I can buy $25,000 of the Vanguard REIT ETF and that helps diversify away the specific risk of owning single stock.

All you have to do is allocate how you want your assets invested, then go to sites like ETF.COM and select those ETF’s that fit your goal.  You can also go to our site to see how we structure our ETF Portfolio and the ETF’s that Portfolio owns.

       Investing for Survival
            The emotional and psychological risks in investing.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): FQ2 EPS of $1.90 misses by $0.10.
Revenue of $50.6B (-12.8% Y/Y) misses by $1.37B.

AT&T (NYSE:T): Q1 EPS of $0.72 beats by $0.03.
Revenue of $40.5B (+24.3% Y/Y) in-line.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide (NASDAQ:CHRW): Q1 EPS of $0.83 beats by $0.01.
Revenue of $3.07B (-7.0% Y/Y) misses by $100M.

Boeing (NYSE:BA): Q1 EPS of $1.74 misses by $0.09.
Revenue of $22.63B (+2.2% Y/Y) beats by $1.19B

General Dynamics (NYSE:GD): Q1 EPS of $2.34 beats by $0.18.
Revenue of $7.72B (-0.8% Y/Y) beats by $30M.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX): Q1 EPS of $1.47 beats by $0.08.
Revenue of $13.36B (+0.3% Y/Y) beats by $180M


   This Week’s Data

            Month to date retail chain store sales grew more than in the prior week.

            The February Case Shiller home price index was up 0.7%, in line.

            April consumer confidence came in at 94.2 versus expectations of 96.0

            The April Richmond Fed manufacturing index was reported at 14 versus estimates of 12.

                Weekly mortgage applications fell 4.1% while purchase applications dropped 2.0%.

            The March US traded deficit came in at $56.9 billion versus consensus of $62.6 billion.




Thoughts on crime and punishment (short):

  International War Against Radical Islam

            More on the Saudi’s, the production cut and 9/11 (medium):

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