Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Morning Call--The unsinkable Molly Market

The Morning Call


The Market

The indices (DJIA 19549, S&P 2241) exploded higher yesterday on enormous volume.  Breadth strengthened, extending prices into even more overbought territory.   The VIX (12.2) actually rallied 4%, but remained below its 200 day moving average (now resistance) below its 100 day moving average (now resistance) and within a short term downtrend.  It would seem really contradictory on such a powerful up day to suggest that the VIX was stabilizing above the lower boundary of its intermediate term trading range (10.38).

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 {18150-20200}, [c] in an intermediate term uptrend {11604-24454} 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 uptrend {2116-2460}, [d] in an intermediate uptrend {2000-2602} and [e] in a long term uptrend {881-2419}. 

The long Treasury (120.4) rose fractionally, closing below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), below its 200 day moving average (now resistance), below a key Fibonacci level and in a very short term downtrend.  The question that I raised yesterday is, will it challenge the lower boundary of its short term trading range (117.3) and the lower boundary of its intermediate term trading range (115.3) or is attempting to build a base?  Too soon to know.

GLD also moved up, ending below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), below its 200 day moving average (now resistance) and below the lower boundary of its short term downtrend.  Like TLT, it seems to be trying to stabilize at a key Fibonacci level.

The dollar drifted lower, remaining below the upper boundary of its short term trading range.  It would appear that its recent challenge of that boundary is over for the time being.  However, it is still in a strong very short term uptrend and well above its 100 and 200 day moving averages.

Bottom line: price is truth and the truth is the indices are going higher, likely targeting the upper boundaries of their long term uptrends.  I am less amazed by the pin action than I am about the volume.  It has been stunning.  Short term, it almost certainly suggests further upward momentum; longer term, I have to wonder if it isn’t a sign of a speculative blow off.  I recognize that is talking my book; but it is still a valid question.  

TLT’s (seconded by the entire fixed income complex’s) better performance continue to support the notion that it is trying to find a base.  Even though GLD’s short term chart is just as ugly as TLT’s, it too seems to be attempting to stabilize.


            It was a slow day for economic releases which weren’t all that great anyway: weekly mortgage applications fell while purchase applications rose and October consumer credit grew slower than anticipated.

            Overseas, the European Commission fined three major banks, one of which is JP Morgan (not again), E485 million in a Euribor rate price fixing; UK industrial production declined the most in eight months; China’s foreign exchange reserves fell for the fifth straight month and Russia said that it would abide by the OPEC production cut agreement.

            Update on the Monte Paschi bailout (in) (medium):

            ***overnight, November Chinese exports and imports improved slightly, revised third quarter Japanese GDP was much lower than originally reported, British parliament voted to proceed with Brexit by March 31, 2017, and the ECB surprised everyone by announcing that it will begin tapering its bond buying program.

Bottom line: all in all, there is not much there to explain yesterday’s pin action.  There was some talk that there is going to be some upcoming changes in the S&P index that had the index funds scrambling in anticipation---but that doesn’t do much for me as an explanation.  Probably the best reason was that a majority of investors, like moi, had been were growing increasingly cautious, had too much cash (or were short) and scrambled to participate. 

Which leads to my thought of the day: the great disadvantage of being an institutional investor is that your professional reputation forces you to focus on chasing short term performance irrespective of your best judgment about long term valuation.  That ultimately penalizes the investor because it (1) increases transaction costs and (2) prompts an equal and opposite reaction when short term performance worries force a sale.

I want to reemphasize a point that I have been making of late.  My primary investment objective is to minimize losses in my portfolio not maximize gains.  That means that it would be stupid for me at this point to take the risks associated with buying stocks that are at or near their historical high valuations on the thesis that there might be another 5% upside.  As I have noted before, I would rather be wrong short term and miss some upside than be wrong long term and take a big hit to the principal value of my portfolio. 

            The latest from David Rosenberg (medium):

       Investing for Survival
            The key to successful investing,

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) declares $0.76/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.


   This Week’s Data

            October consumer credit advanced $16 billion versus expectations of growth of $19 billion.

            Weekly jobless claims fell by 10,000 versus estimates of a 7,000 decline.


            The EU financial crisis is more a function of irresponsible lending than irresponsible spending (medium and today’s must read):

            Problems in India (medium):

            Corporate taxes in the Trump world (medium):



Three new Trump nominees.



  International War Against Radical Islam

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