Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Morning Call---Money supply is shrinking

The Morning Call


The Market

Yesterday, the indices (DJIA 18202, S&P 2144) managed to put together a second up day in a row---a rarity of late.  Volume increases; breadth continued to improve.  The VIX was down another 6%, but closing [a] slightly below its 100 day moving average (support; if it remains there through the close on Friday, it will revert to resistance), [b] below its 200 day moving average (now resistance), [c] in a short term downtrend and [d] in a very short term uptrend.  If the VIX is able to hold below its 100 day moving average it will improve the short term outlook for stocks.

The Dow ended [a] below its 100 day moving average, now resistance, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] in a short term trading range {17092-18693}, [c] in an intermediate term uptrend {11503-24348} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5541-19431}.

The S&P finished [a] above its 100 day moving average, now resistance (if it remains there through the close on Friday, it will revert to support), [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] in a short term trading range {1995-2193}, [d] in an intermediate uptrend {1964-2566} and [e] in a long term uptrend {862-2400}. 

The long Treasury was unchanged, closing below its 100 day moving average (resistance), within a very short term downtrend, above a key Fibonacci level and within short term, intermediate term and long term uptrends.  Long term, TLT’s chart is still healthy; but short term not so much so.

GLD rose, but ended below its 100 day moving average (resistance) and in a short term downtrend.  However, it finished right on its 200 day moving average and above a key Fibonacci level.  It is trying to stabilize after a rough couple of months.

Bottom line: the Averages bounced yesterday; however, they continue to test their 100 day moving averages (now resistance) with the S&P closing above its MA.  This pin action continues to suggest turmoil around an inflection point.


            Yesterday’s US economic data was mixed: weekly mortgage and purchase applications were up;             September housing starts were terrible while building permits were ahead of consensus.  In addition, the Fed’s latest Beige Book report painted a rosy picture of the economy.

Overseas, September UK unemployment was reported, in line as did third quarter Chinese GDP growth---however, industrial production was less than expected and retail sales in line with growth driven by increased government spending, record bank lending and a red hot property market.

            ***overnight, the ECB left key interest rates unchanged.

            I have spent the last five years thrashing the Fed over the excess liquidity created by QE, et al.  As time went on, I paid less and less attention to the money supply figures because, after a while, all the liquidity pumping efforts of the Fed rendered them relatively meaningless.  Yesterday one of the guys that I pay attention to pointed out that the money supply has been in a sharp decline of late.  If you can remember that far back, there was a time when under normal monetary conditions, a decline in the money supply usually was a sign of Fed tightening and forewarned of rising inflation and/or a decline in economic activity.  Of course, these are not normal times; so the current actions by the Fed to shrink money supply may have little import.  But it is another factor that we need to pay closer attention to.

            A new study on the impact of QE on the economy and the financial markets (medium):  Bottom line: QEI worked, the rest not so much.

Bottom line:  the picture remains fuzzy regarding the economic data: the trend in third quarter earnings reports (though as the season progresses, the overall trend has been improving; nonetheless, it remains early), the direction of central bank monetary policy (which, if not already murky enough, is getting more so as inflation fears rise and, as mentioned above, money supply shrinks), the economic consequences of a Brexit and an OPEC production cut.  As long as clarity is lacking, the Market is apt to churn directionlessly.  If you haven’t already, take the opportunity to build your cash position by lightening up on your winners and selling your losers.

            My thought for the day: remember that for investment managers career risk is more important than Market risk.  By that I mean that this group is more concerned about looking bad if they fail than looking good if they succeed.  In other words, they would rather take a guaranteed lost in a company that is a Street favorite than the chance to make a profit in an unknown company.  I remember back in the 1970’s when I was working for a major investment counseling firm, I bought gold stocks for my clients.  My boss went nuts, excoriating me because no one (at the firm) would criticize me for losing money in IBM (which they did) but they would fire me (which they did) if I made money in gold stocks (which I did).

       Investing for Survival
            Drawdown based risk parity.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
            Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC): Q3 EPS of $1.24 misses by $0.05.
Revenue of $3.94B (+0.5% Y/Y) misses by $80M

  Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW): Q3 EPS of $1.50 beats by $0.01.
Revenue of $3.5B (+4.5% Y/Y) in-line.


   This Week’s Data

            The latest Fed Beige Book report showed that the economy was growing modestly, labor markets were tight and real estate was healthy.

            Weekly jobless claims rose 13,000 versus expectations of up 4,000.

            The October Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index came in at 9.7 versus estimates of 7.0.

            Cass Freight index takes another dive (medium):

            Quote of the day (short):

            Possible new investors in Deutschebank (medium):



The carbon tax (medium):

  International War Against Radical Islam

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