Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Morning Call---Zzzzzzzzzz


The Morning Call

5/9/18

The Market
         
    Technical

The indices (DJIA 24360, S&P 2671) turned in a mixed performance yesterday (Dow up, S&P down). Volume was up; breadth improved.   The S&P finished slightly above the upper boundary of its very short term downtrend.  Clearly, this is not the kind of vicious break that I have expected.  That said, the margin above the trend line is so small, it may mean nothing. Further, on two prior challenges of the very short term downtrend, the S&P closed above that boundary for one day and then fell back. On the other hand, maybe I am wrong, the S&P is breaking to the upside and the violent break was just my supposition.

Both of the Averages closed below their 100 day moving averages (now resistance) and above their 200 day moving averages (now support).  The DJIA closed in a short term trading range but in intermediate and long term uptrends.  The S&P is in uptrends across all timeframes. The short term technical picture remains cloudy---but that could be coming to an end.  Longer term, the assumption is that equity prices will continue to rise.

                The VIX was down fractionally for a second day, remaining stuck between its 100 day moving average on the upside and its 200 day moving average as well as the lower boundary of its short term trading range on the downside.  Its recent weakness suggests higher stock prices.
               
The long Treasury sold off slightly again, leaving it hovering above the lower boundary to its long term uptrend and facing serious overhead resistance from its 100 and 200 day moving averages and the upper boundary of a short term downtrend.


The dollar continue its surge, pushing it to within pennies of the upper boundary of its newly reset intermediate term trading range and holding above its 100 and 200 day moving averages (now support).
               
GLD ended higher, finishing above its 200 day moving average (now support) and in a newly reset short term trading range.  However, it remained below its 100 day moving average (now resistance).
               
Bottom line: I clearly have to take note of yesterday’s S&P close above the upper boundary of its very short term downtrend.  However, this wouldn’t be the first time this boundary was tested briefly and failed.  As always, follow through is key. 

TLT continues to move nearer another challenge of the lower boundary of its long term uptrend.  A break would point to higher long term interest rates.  At the moment, the strong pin action in the dollar appears to be driving TLT down.  On the other hand, while gold has been trading near several key support levels, the strong dollar has not pushed it to any challenges.  That is not usual.  However, as I have noted every day, the recent price action in all the indicators suggests a good deal of investor turmoil/confusion as multiple support/resistance levels are being challenged.

Price instability/uncertainty remains for the moment.  The question is duration.    Patience.  I love my cash.
           
    Fundamental

       Headlines

            Yesterday’s economic stats were mixed: the April small business optimism index was below estimates while month to date retail chain store sales grew faster than in the prior week. 

            Overseas, the April Chinese/US trade deficit increased and March German industrial production was better than expected.

            The event of the day was Trump’s announcement that the US would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.  I will leave to FOX and CNN to analyze the geopolitical implications.  I look at the Market and assume that investors had already well discounted it or that they didn’t care or both.

            OK, one bit of analysis (medium):

            So much for the Trump/Xi phone call yesterday morning (short):
           
            Bottom line: my focus remains on the implication of irresponsible fiscal and monetary policy on the long term effect on earnings, interest rates and long term economic growth and their impact on Market valuations

            David Stockman fiscal policy (medium and a must read):

The Fed’s balance sheet strategy (medium):

            If I was fully invested, I would definitely lighten my equity exposure.  I continue to appreciate my Price Discipline which forces me to Sell Half when a stock meets its price objective. 


            Goldman on the current positioning of hedge funds (medium):

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
 
Expeditors (NASDAQ:EXPD): Q1 EPS of $0.76 beats by $0.11.
Revenue of $1.85B (+19.4% Y/Y) beats by $130M.

Cummins (NYSE:CMI) declares $1.08/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

3M (NYSE:MMM) declares $1.36/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

Economics

   This Week’s Data

      US

            Month to date retail chain store sales grew faster than in the prior week.

            Weekly mortgage applications fell 0.4% while purchase applications were down 0.2%.

            April PPI was up 0.1% versus consensus of up 0.3%; ex food and energy, it was up 0.2%, in line.
           
     International

    Other

            Is the current expansion’s days numbered? (medium):

                        Counterpoint (medium):

            An argument that higher production costs won’t lead to inflation (medium):

            Updating money supply stats (medium):

What I am reading today

            Update on Brexit (medium):

            Generating an investment return (medium):

            Arbitraging human behavior (medium):

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