Friday, July 22, 2016

The Morning Call--Stocks down, will wonders ever cease?

The Morning Call


The Market

Well, at least we know that stock prices can decline.  Yesterday the indices (DJIA 18517, S&P 2165) fell. Volume remains low, breadth weakened slightly.  The VIX (12.7) bounced back to the lower boundary of a short term trading range that had reset to a downtrend on Wednesday.  As always when a newly reset trend reverses and then challenges that reset, follow through becomes key to direction.  If the VIX continues to rally, I will reinstate the short term trading range; if it falls back the downtrend will remain.

The Dow closed [a] above its rising 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] within a short term uptrend {17317-19067}, [c] within intermediate term uptrend{11243-23973} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5541-19461}.

The S&P finished [a] above its rising 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] within a short term uptrend {2025-2264}, [d] within its intermediate term uptrend {1903-2505} and [e] in a long term uptrend {862-2246}. 

The long Treasury rose slightly but on heavy volume.  It bounced off a key Fibonacci level and continued to trade above its 100 day moving average and well within very short term, short term, intermediate term and long term uptrends. 

GLD rose 1.5%, rebounding off the lower boundary of a very short term uptrend and ending above its 100 day moving average and within short term and intermediate term uptrends.

Bottom line:  yesterday’s decline is hardly an omen of things to come.  Momentum remains to the upside; but (1) volume remains anemic and (2) the VIX could be putting in a low.  Nonetheless, the onus is on the bears to mount a strong follow through before there is any reason to think that the Averages aren’t going to challenge the upper boundaries of their long term uptrends. 


            We received most of this week’s US economic data yesterday:  weekly jobless claims, the June Chicago national activity index and June existing home sales were better than expected while the July Philly Fed index was less and the June leading economic indicators were in line.

            Overseas, UK retail sales declined while the Chinese suspended reporting several economic indicators.  In addition, the Draghi took a page out of the Yellen playbook, delivering a ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’ policy statement: rates were left unchanged but the narrative was much less dovish than many expected but he hinted at the need for an Italian bank bailout.

            ***the July EU flash composite PMI declined but less than expected while the UK composite was a disaster; the July Japanese manufacturing PMI rose slightly but remained in negative territory.

            Bottom line: this week’s US economic data is ending on a positive note, keeping the ‘recovery’ narrative alive.  Until that notion gets challenged, the central banks slam on the brakes or some negative exogenous event occurs, the path of least resistance for stock prices is to the upside.  That said, equities are in nosebleed territory, so chasing prices at these levels is, in my opinion, only for the strong hearted trader.  Indeed, valuation is so overextended, the only reasonable strategy at this point is use the current strength to pare back your big winners and get rid of any losers.
            More on valuation (medium and today’s must read):

            My thought for the day:  even if you don’t agree with me about current valuations, at least consider eliminating any margin debt.  Utilizing margin today exhibits many of the biases I have been discussing of late: herding behavior, recency bias and optimism bias. 
Yes, you feel all warm and fuzzy on the up days; but leverage cuts both ways.  Bear markets historically are quick and vicious.  The window to sell stays open for only a short time.  You don’t want to be on margin when this starts; and with all due respect, you are not smart enough to know when it does.
        Investing for Survival

            Thinking about how much you can tolerate to lose.
    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) declares $0.35/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB): Q2 EPS of $0.23 beats by $0.02.
Revenue of $7.2B (-20.1% Y/Y) beats by $70M.

T&T (NYSE:T): Q2 EPS of $0.72 in-line.
Revenue of $40.5B (+22.7% Y/Y) misses by $130M.

V.F. (NYSE:VFC): Q2 EPS of $0.35 beats by $0.01.
Revenue of $2.45B (-2.4% Y/Y) misses by $80M


   This Week’s Data

            June existing home sales rose 1.1% versus expectations of being down less than 1%.

            The June leading economic indicators rose 0.3%, in line.




Update on Obamacare (medium):

Quote of the day (short):

  International War Against Radical Islam

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