Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Morning Call--Will the spiking dollar be a problem?

The Morning Call


The Market

All the indices (DJIA 18923, S&P 2180) had a good day, though volume declined (again).  Nonetheless, breadth remains quite strong, pushing ever further into overbought territory.  The VIX was down 7 ½%, closing below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), below its 200 day moving average (now support; if it remains there through the close on Friday, it will revert to resistance) and closed right on the lower boundary of  a very short term uptrend.  This trend has withstood eight challenges.  A break would clearly be good news for stocks; but if that trend holds, then stocks will likely have seen their best days.

The Dow ended [a] above on its 100 day moving average, now support, [b] above its 200 day moving average, now support, [c] in a short term uptrend {17952-20009}, [c] in an intermediate term uptrend {11544-24389} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5541-20148}.

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 {1995-2193}, [d] in an intermediate uptrend {1983-2585} and [e] in a long term uptrend {862-2400}. 

The long Treasury finally bounced after six down days.  This is more likely a sign of correcting an oversold condition versus anything really positive.  It closed below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), below its 200 day moving average (now resistance), below a key Fibonacci level, in a developing a very short term downtrend, in a short term trading range and in an intermediate term trading range.  Not a pretty picture and one that will require a lot of work to just not be ugly.

GLD also rallied, finishing below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), below its 200 day moving average (now resistance) and in a short term downtrend.  The good news is that it rebounded off the lower boundary of that short term downtrend.  The bad news is that (1) it’s a short term downtrend and (2) like the TLT, it is most likely correcting an oversold condition.

Bottom line: investors remain enthused about a likely turn for the better in the US economy.  As you know, I agree with that fundamental assessment.  My question, as it has been for the last two years, is price.  My answer is that earnings are going to have to improve dramatically and the discount factor (P/E) is going to have to improve from its current historically high level to justify these prices. 

Shorter term, stocks are getting more overbought, so some consolidation is in order.  Further, yesterday’s positive pin action notwithstanding, the indices are in diverging short term trends.  That needs to be corrected before drawing a conclusion on direction.

Bonds and gold both rallied, but that is likely nothing more than a bounce off an oversold condition.


            The US economic data releases yesterday were very upbeat: October retail sales (primary indicator), the NY Fed manufacturing index, October import and export prices, month to date retail chain store sales and September business inventories and sales all were ahead of expectations.

Overseas, the stats were not so good.  Third quarter EU GDP grew 0.3%, in line but on a recently downwardly revised estimates; German GDP was below forecasts and UK inflation was below expectations.

In other news, OPEC is making another diplomatic effort to reach an agreement on production cuts, sending oil prices higher as investors once again get dazzled by their BS.

            Finally, the dollar continues to surge.  I have mentioned this several times recently; but I haven’t shown you a picture.  This rally seemingly has been driven by the prospects for higher interest rate and a better economy under Trump.  Others are suggesting that it is the result of a dollar shortage.  I will leave it to you to decide which.  However, please note the prior times the dollar has spiked like it is now and compare it to the S&P chart.  It is not encouraging if you are a bull.

                Why is it rising (medium):       

            Will it short circuit the current Market uptrend? (medium):

            Bottom line: one couldn’t have asked for a more upbeat day: the US economic data made great reading and, I am sure, reinforced investors’ positive attitude about the economic future under a Trump regime.  However, while I am all in on a better economic outlook, its magnitude and timing are very much in question.  Plus, we have no idea about the consequences of a more confrontational trade policy and an expanding budget deficit. 

My caution may be totally misplaced and end up being dead wrong. Certainly, near term, it will appear that way.  But I keep coming back to the extraordinary level of current Valuations.  I can see stocks attacking the upper boundaries of their long term uptrends which would means a max upside of 6-10%.  On the other hand, even if our Valuation Model is under estimating current Fair Value by 50%, the downside is still 20-25%.  10% up/25% down is not a great risk/reward equation.

            If you haven’t already, I would build your portfolio’s cash position by selling a portion of those stocks that have performed well and all of your losers.

            The latest from Ray Dalio (medium):

            Analysts’ expectations and Market expectations (medium and a must read):

            My thought for the day: never invest in a stock if you can’t describe why you own in 25 words or less.  Investing is an extraordinary difficult undertaking.  The more factors you have to consider, the more ways you can be wrong.  Keep the investment thesis simple, then it is easier to recognize your potential mistakes.
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            You are not Stanley Druckenmiller.
    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
·         Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) declares $0.92/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.


   This Week’s Data

            Month to date retail chain store sales improved from the prior week’s reading.

            September business inventories rose 0.1% versus expectations of up 0.2%; sales increased 0.7%.

            Weekly mortgage applications fell 9.2% while purchase application were off 6.0%.

            October PPI came in flat versus estimates of a 0.3% advance; ex food and energy, it declined 0.2% versus forecasts of a rise of 0.2%.


            The latest from my favorite optimist (medium):

            All eyes are now on the Bank of Japan (short):

            And (short)

            Online loan defaults are soaring (medium):



The horror of it all, part 2 (medium):

Some stats on anti-immigrant memes (short):

  International War Against Radical Islam

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