Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Morning Call--No more confusion

The Morning Call


The Market

The indices (DJIA 17716, S&P 2066) rallied on the back of dovish March FOMC minutes, though not enough to regain their very short term uptrends thereby voiding them.   Volume declined while breadth improved.    The VIX fell 8 ½%, finishing back below the upper boundary of its very short term downtrend, negating Tuesday’s break.  In addition, it remained below its 100 day moving average. 

The Dow closed [a] above its 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] back below the upper boundary of its short term trading range {15431-17758}, negating Friday’s break, [c] in an intermediate term trading range {15842-18295} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5471-19343}.

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 trading range {1867-2081}, [d] in an intermediate term trading range {1867-2134} and [e] in a long term uptrend {800-2161}. 

The long Treasury declined, but still closed within a very short term uptrend, a short term uptrend, above its 100 day moving average and above a Fibonacci support level. 

            The coming wave of defaults (medium):

GLD continued to churn, ending within a very short term downtrend and below a key Fibonacci support level.

Bottom line:  investors’ love affair with an easy Fed just won’t be denied as the Averages recouped most of Tuesday’s loses on FOMC minutes that proved sufficiently dovish.  However, nothing really changed my major technical takeaways; (1) stocks are at a level of heavy congestion and so it makes sense that some momentum would be lost and (2) my assumption is that the Averages will challenge their all-time highs.



            Only one minor US datapoint was released yesterday: weekly mortgage applications improved but purchase applications fell.

            Nonetheless, investors still had plenty to get jiggy about:

(1)   Kuwait and Russia suggested that an agreement on an oil production freeze could be reached at the upcoming OPEC meeting.   I have this vision of US investors dressed as Charlie Brown and OPEC as Lucy in the cartoon in which Lucy is holding a football for Charlie Brown to kick and promises time after time that she won’t jerk it just before he is to kick---but always does to the laughter of all [except Charlie Brown].

(2)   the minutes from the last FOMC meeting were released and helped bring some clarity to the recent seeming contradiction of the several Fed officials hawkish speeches and that of a very dovish Yellen---the most important point being that some of those hawkish Fed members were not ‘voting’ members [voting rotates among Fed officials].  So while a rate hike in April was debated, concern about the global economy was the more predominant theme.  The result was that most voting members seemed to think a very slow rise in rates through 2018 was appropriate.  In short, whatever imagined ‘rebellion’ within the Fed to Yellen’s dovishness did not show up in the voting.

                  The Fed can’t save us (medium):

Bottom line:  investors have the good news---the wet dream of higher oil prices and fairy tale offered easy money forever.  And stocks are seemingly reflecting that good news while ignoring a deteriorating global economy and an upcoming earnings season that is not likely to provide a lot of great headlines. 

Today I want to discuss a corollary to my theme yesterday---which was to raise cash at current nosebleed valuation levels.  That is to pre-plan the level at which you put that cash back to work.  What I call our Buy Discipline.  Mine is to wait until a stock I want to own is at or near a historically low relative and absolute low.  If that is too extreme for you, then decide to put 20% of your cash to work when a stock you want to own is down 10% and another 20% when it is down 20%.  Change either of these percentages anyway you want.  The point is to have them.  This discipline allows you to make your investment decision in an unemotional environment, rather than waiting till a time when all those about you are panicking. 

In short, have a Buy Discipline that forces you to invest cash at a time when you may least want to; just like having a Sell Discipline that forces you to raise cash at a time that you may least want to.

Update on valuation (short):

The impact of stock buybacks on intrinsic value (medium):

       Investing for Survival
            Bubbles do exist.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
·         Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) declares $0.53/share quarterly dividend in line with previous.
·         Forward yield 2.34%


   This Week’s Data

            Weekly jobless claims fell 9,000 versus expectations of a 4,000 decline.


            Here is a counterpoint to yesterday’s post on auto loans (medium):




            Is this Dutch referendum another step in the breakup of the EU? (medium):

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