Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Morning Call--Are investors really starting to worry?


The Morning Call

3/20/18

The Market
         
    Technical

The indices (DJIA 24610, S&P 2712) were pounded yesterday, putting the pin action back in the ‘sell the rip’ mode.  Volume was down from Friday’s quad witching session; but that is not surprising.  Breadth was weak. 

The good news is that the indices are above both moving averages and within uptrends across all major timeframes. The bad news is that both Averages broke out of their developing pennant formations to the downside.  Historically, that means lower prices.  The technical assumption remains that long term stocks are going higher.  However, the question is, if there is more downside, will it be big enough to begin successfully challenging those moving averages or uptrends?

The VIX exploded upwards by 20%, ending above the upper boundary of its very short term downtrend; if it remains there through the close today, the downtrend will be negated. If the indices continue to slide, then the recent period of VIX calm may be over.  ‘If’ being the operative word.
               
The long Treasury declined, finishing right on the upper boundary of its former very short term downtrend just two day after negating it.  However, follow through on the downside is needed before that very short term downside is reestablished.  Whatever happens to the very short term trend, the momentum in TLT is still lower.  

The dollar fell.  While it is struggling to stabilize, the trend remains down.

GLD rose, regaining the lower boundary of its short term uptrend which it had broken on Friday.  So the chart remains upbeat.

Bottom line: the technicals of the equity market point higher for the long term; though very short term the pin action suggests some more downside.  It is not surprising that yesterday’s negative sentiment in the equity market spilled over to bonds and the dollar and helped gold.

    Fundamental

       Headlines

            There were no economic data releases yesterday.  But there was no shortage of news to keep the chattering class busy.

First, the GOP unveiled a $1.2 trillion spending bill.

                Which only adds to the problem that the national debt is growing faster than GDP (medium):

                Second, on Friday, Trump is set to unleash $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods (medium):

                Third, the Fed starts its March meeting today and as usual, investors are worried about a more hawkish outcome (a faster unwinding of QE).

            Plus, there were also a couple of potentially market impacting developments

            Facebook revealed a breach of over fifty million subscriber accounts.  That got investors worrying about the potential effect this could have on advertising revenue and the possibility of government intervention.

            As often happens in a period of negative sentiment, investor concern spilled over into the other social media stocks.  Remember the market capitalization of these stocks are a huge percentage of the indices and they are expensive, ala 2000 market. 

            And the Trump/FBI faceoff is getting nuttier by the minute and that seems to be causing the willies among investors.

                Bottom line: investors have a lot on their minds, some good, some bad.  Yesterday, bad clearly was in the forefront.  The question is, are investors really starting to get worried about uncontrolled spending, a clueless Fed and equity overvaluation or was this just a one day phenomena?

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
 
General Mills (NYSE:GIS) declares $0.49/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

Oracle (NYSE:ORCL): Q3 EPS of $0.83 beats by $0.11.
Revenue of $9.78B (+5.5% Y/Y) in-line.

Economics

   This Week’s Data

      US

     International

    Other

            Xi centralizes control over the Chinese financial sector (medium):

            Bitcoin collapses (medium):

What I am reading today

            The best investment advice (short):
           
            Ancient DNA is rewriting human history (medium):


Visit Investing for Survival’s website (http://investingforsurvival.com/home) to learn more about our Investment Strategy, Prices Disciplines and Subscriber Service.