Friday, January 6, 2017

The Morning Call---This is not free enterprise

The Morning Call


The Market

Yesterday, the indices (DJIA 19899, S&P 2269) rested.  Volume declined but is still high.  Breadth was mixed again and is beginning to ease off its overbought condition.   The VIX (11.7) fell another 1 ½ %, closing below its 200 day moving average (now resistance), below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), within a short term downtrend and moved slightly closer to the lower boundary of its intermediate term trading range (10.3).
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 {18372-20422}, [c] in an intermediate term uptrend {11662-24512} and [d] in a long term uptrend {5720-20271}.

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 {2147-2491}, [d] in an intermediate uptrend {2015-2617} and [e] in a long term uptrend {881-2419}. 

The long Treasury spiked 1 ½ % on better volume.  It still ended in a very short term downtrend, in a short term trading range and below the 100 day moving average (now resistance) falling further below its 200 day moving average (now resistance).  TLT still has plenty of room to rebound before it meets any of the multiple resistance levels/ threatens to break any major downtrends.

GLD (112.5) continues to mimic TLT, rising 1 ½ % but remaining in a short term downtrend and below its 100 day moving average (now resistance) which continues to push further below its 200 day moving average (now resistance).   Also like TLT, it can recover significantly before threatening to challenge major resistance/downtrends.

The dollar continued its pattern of acting in reverse of GLD and TLT, dropping 1% but finishing considerably above multiple support levels---so it can fall a lot and not challenge its 100 or 200 day moving averages or its short term uptrend.  It did decline well below the (in question) upper boundary of its intermediate term trading range (I mistakenly wrote short term trading range yesterday); so I am leaving that trend as a trading range. 

Bottom line: my assumption continues to be that the indices will at least challenge the 20000/2300 levels; and if victorious, there is no resistance between those levels and the upper boundaries of their long term uptrends.  But as you know, I don’t believe any such challenge (of the upper boundaries) will be successful.
            The real action seems to be in a rebound from extreme positions by TLT, GLD and UUP.  Part of this has been the result of a huge rise in Chinese short term interest rates which pushed the yuan higher, so the dollar fell, causing US interest rates to decline and gold to catch a bid.  I have opined several times recently that if the weakening Chinese economy and the declining yuan continued, at some point they would start impacting global economies and markets.  That seems to be occurring now.  I am making no predictions on how long it will last or the magnitude of that impact.  But we need to closely monitor events.
            For the bulls (medium):



            Yesterday’s US economic data turned mixed: the December ISM nonmanufacturing index and weekly jobless claims were better than expected while the December ADP private payroll report and the December Markit services PMI were below estimates.

            Overseas, the December UK services PMI and the December Chinese services and composite PMI’s were all above their November readings.

            As I noted above, I think that most important development yesterday was the explosion in the Chinese overnight lending rate.  (It hit 80% to give you an idea.)  It is more important how long the circumstances leading to this move last.  I have no clue on that but Kyle Bass seems to think it is not transitory.   

                        ***overnight, the volatility continues.

                        Currency problems are now starting to plague Mexico, another major US trading partner (medium):

            It also bears mentioning that Trump continues his campaign of trying to muscle companies to alter business decisions---yesterday it was Toyota and ATT/Time Warner.  To be sure, to date he has been getting what he wants.  But I am not sure it is a plus for the US economy long term to have the president imposing his views on the operating decisions of US corporations.  If he wants to present legislation to alter tax or trade policies and it gets legislative approval, that’s great.  Those changes in policies can then become part of the multiple economic factors that businesses must consider in making their decisions.  But picking individual companies to threaten over decisions made within the confines of current law is not the way the free enterprise system works.  And with all due respect to all those overwhelmed by Trump euphoria, this is a decided negative to the economy.

Bottom line:  not only could better business and consumer sentiment lead to better numbers, but also the actual Trump/GOP fiscal/regulatory policy changes, if they occur, would very likely do so.  This week’s economic data, especially from overseas, could certainly be a sign of the former; and I have altered our short term outlook in anticipation of that.  However, I need to see implementation of the latter to alter our long term forecast.

That said, not everything is coming up roses.  Trump euphoria aside, I don’t see his hammering businesses who are making economic decisions for the benefit for their shareholders and acting within the law as a plus.  Nor do I think it smart to call the democratic leader of the senate a clown.  Trump may have majorities in both houses, but he still needs at least a neutral minority.  Reagan used to sip whisky with Tip O’Neal.  Calling opposition leaders clowns hardly improves your negotiating position.  Finally, the recent measures by China to stem the decline in the yuan have had severe consequences.  I am not saying those will persist; but it is concerning.

My thought for the day: investors tend to run in herds---bullish or bearish. And investment institutions herd just as much as individuals.  Investments chosen by one institution often predict the investment choices of other institutions by a remarkable degree. It’s why market bubbles occur – in tulips, baseball cards, real estate and stocks.
     Investing for Survival
            Distrust forecasts.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

   This Week’s Data

            The December Markit services PMI came in at 53.9 versus 54.9 the prior month.

            The December ISM nonmanufacturing index was reported at 57.2 versus expectations of 56.8.

            December nonfarm payrolls rose 156,000 versus estimates of 175,000; however, the November number was revised from up 178,000 to up 204,000.

            The November US trade deficit came in at $45.2 billion versus forecasts of $44.5 billion,


            Quote of the day (short):



  International War Against Radical Islam

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