Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Morning Call--The stock guys think it was noise

The Morning Call

10/6/16

The Market
         
    Technical

  Yesterday, the indices (DJIA 18282, S&P 2159) made another strong recovery after a dysfunctional day.  Volume was flat; breadth mixed to slightly positive.  The VIX was down 5%, closing below its 100 day moving average and in a short term downtrend---which remains supportive of stocks.  Nonetheless, it is still in a very short term uptrend---a negative. 

The Dow ended [a]  above its 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] within a short term uptrend {18167-19890}, [c] in an intermediate term uptrend {11437-24282} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5541-19431}.

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 {2139-2375}, [d] in an intermediate uptrend {1955-2557} and [e] in a long term uptrend {862-2400}. 

The long Treasury had yet another bad day on heavy volume.  Again, it was accompanied in its decline by virtually the entire debt complex.  A couple of upbeat economic stats kept the concern alive of a December Fed rate hike.  It closed below its 100 day moving average for the second day; if it remains there through the close today, this MA will revert from support to resistance.  It did manage to finish within very short term, intermediate term and long term uptrends.  TLT’s chart is getting ever more squirrelly.

GLD was down on heavy volume, finishing below a key Fibonacci level, below its 100 day moving average for the second day (if it remains there through the close today, it will revert from support to resistance) and below the lower boundary of its a short term trading range (if it remains there through the close today, it will reset to a downtrend).  As I noted previously, this is chart is getting progressively more unhealthy.

Bottom line: I posed the question yesterday as to whether Tuesday’s negative Market pin action reflected investors awakening to the potential end of QE (which had been suggested in one form or the other by the BOJ, the Fed and the ECB) or just Market noise.  For the stock Market, the answer appears to be…………Market noise.  If so, this would be twice in as many weeks that investors have reacted negatively to potential bad news, then somehow recovered their optimism the following day and pushed stock prices back up.  As I noted before, as long as bad news is ignored or magically reinterpreted, the assumption has to be that stock prices are going higher, likely challenging their recent highs.

On the other hand, bond and gold investors were not quite so positive.  So either (1) this group continues to believe rates are going higher while the stock guys chase rainbows or (2) higher rates are going to be a plus for equities and I am going to be dead wrong on my call that unwinding QE will result in an unwinding of asset mispricing.

    Fundamental

       Headlines

            There was lots of economic data reported yesterday and, on balance, it was positive: the September ISM nonmanufacturing index and the Markit services PMI were well ahead of expectations; the September ADP private payrolls report and the August US trade deficit were disappointing; weekly mortgage applications were up while purchase applications were down and August factory orders were up but the July stat was revised down by more than the August increase. 

            Overseas, the numbers turned negative: EU Markit September Composite PMI was the weakest since January 2015; the UK Markit September services PMI was below forecasts.

            ***overnight August German factory orders were strong.

            Meanwhile, the global financial system remains at the forefront of news:

            IMF sounds alarm on global debt (medium):

            Is the ECB really serious? (medium):

            The rescue of Italy’s Monte dei Paschi (medium):

            I along with others have been pointing out the problem at Deutschebank has less to do with funding and more to do with its derivatives exposure.  Well, the ECB is now proposing a solution to that---the taxpayer (read’m and weep):

Bottom line: I said yesterday: ‘it is way too soon to know whether or not the central bankers are indeed finally realizing that the whole QE, NIRP, ZIRP policy has been an abject failure.  Further, even if they have, we don’t know if they have the cojones to follow through when Market prices start to unwind the aforementioned asset mispricing and misallocation.  Further, we don’t know how Markets will react if the central bankers chicken out and restart QE, NIRP, ZIRP or take it one step beyond and start buying corporate stocks and bonds.  In fact, we don’t even know if yesterday was just Market noise.’ 

Given the stock Market’s pin action yesterday, it looks like the latter alternative best describes what occurred on Tuesday.  However, if you are a bond or gold investor, it does not, suggesting the question of Market noise is still unanswered.  I think we need more time before concluding one way or the other.

            Ray Dalio’s message to the NY Fed (medium):

My thought for the day:  Beating the stock market is a zero-sum game, before costs.  So invest in a well-diversified portfolio and eliminate as many of the administrative costs (fees, commissions and taxes) as possible.
       
       Investing for Survival
   
            Life lessons from Jesse Livermore.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
 
Economics

   This Week’s Data

            The Markit September services PMI came in at 52.3 versus the prior reading of 51.0.

            August factory orders rose 0.2% versus expectations of -0.2%, but the July number was revised down by 0.5%.

            The September ISM nonmanufacturing index was reported at 57.1 versus estimates of 52.9

                        Weekly jobless claims fell 5,000 versus forecasts of a 2,000 rise.

   Other

            BofA warns of a recession (medium):

            Ed Yardini warns against the idea of the buying stocks (medium and a must read):

Politics

  Domestic

  International War Against Radical Islam


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