Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Morning Call--Was this chapter 2 in the Art of the Deal?

The Morning Call

6/27/18

The Market
         
    Technical

The Averages (DJIA 24283, S&P 2723) stabilized yesterday after Monday’s trashing.  Volume declined and breadth was mixed.  The Dow finished below its 100 day moving average (now resistance) while the S&P remained above (now support).  The DJIA ended right on its 200 day moving average (again) while the S&P remains well above its MA (both now support).  The Dow is in a short term trading range, the S&P in a short term uptrend. 

                The VIX fell 8 %, closing below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), above its 200 day moving average for a second day (now resistance; if it remains through the close on Thursday, it will revert to support.  Remember it has see sawed above and below this MA over the last three weeks) and within a short term trading range.  It looks like it bottomed in early June. 

The long Treasury was up, ending above its 100 day moving average and the lower boundary of its long term uptrend but below its 200 day moving average (though it is getting closer) and remained in a short term downtrend.  It seems trapped in the range defined by those indicators.

The dollar was up ½ %, finishing back above the lower boundary of its very short term uptrend, negating Monday’s break.  It remains above both moving averages and within a short term uptrend.

Gold was down ½ %, ending below its 100 and 200 day moving averages and in a short term downtrend.
               
Bottom line: the DJIA’s pin action continues to be sloppy on a very short term basis---it is below its 100 day moving average, closed right on its 200 day moving average.  Meanwhile, the S&P remains above both its moving averages and in uptrends across all timeframes.  The only negative for the S&P is that its 100 day moving average is rolling over (along with the Dow’s).  Until the S&P is in sync with the Dow, it is too soon to get negative. 

On the other hand, bonds and the dollar finally got back on the same page, if you view them as a safety trade.  Gold, which is normally a safety trade, continues to be just a lousy trade.

           
    Fundamental

       Headlines

            Yesterday’s economic releases were negative: month to date retail chain store sales, the April Case Shiller home price index and June consumer confidence were below expectations while the June Richmond Fed manufacturing index was above.

            Trade remains front and center though the news was a bit more sanguine:
      
            Trump appears to be backing off some threats on Chinese theft of IP in light of proposed changes in CIFUS---though I have found nothing specific about what those changes are. (medium):

            More: (medium):

            ***overnight, Trump softens his position on IP theft as House passes strengthened CIFUS legislation (medium):

            Canada (which recently criticized US tariffs) joins the US imposing antidumping tariffs on Chinese steel (short):

            I noted in yesterday’s Morning Call that while the outcome of Trump’s trade policy (which could be a negative) is still an unknown, the impact of the rapidly increasing of US debt (which is known) will likely be a negative for growth.  Here is an IMF study supporting that thesis.  Having said that, 90% of the IMF’s output is bullsh*t.

            Bottom line: yesterday’s trade headlines are a great example how volatile the rhetoric on this issue is becoming.  And given the overnight news, all that we may have been witnessing is another chapter in the ‘art of the deal’.   So, I just don’t see how investors can start discounting of an unknown outcome to any meaningful degree.  As a result, the VIX may go nuts; but I think that it will be directionless. 

If that proves correct, then absent some other event, stock valuations should remain near current levels.  I look at this as a blessing for those who have not yet raised cash.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
 
FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS): Q3 EPS of $2.18 beats by $0.05.
Revenue of $339.9M (+8.9% Y/Y) in-line.

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) declares $0.25/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS): Q4 EPS of $0.79 beats by $0.07.

Revenue of $3.89B (+2.1% Y/Y) in-line.
General Mills (NYSE:GIS) declares $0.49/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

Economics

   This Week’s Data

      US

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

            The April Case Shiller home price index rose 0.2% versus expectations of +0.5%.

            The June Richmond Fed manufacturing index came in at 20 versus estimates of 16.

            June consumer confidence was reported at 126.4 versus forecasts of 128.1.

                Weekly mortgage applications declined 4.9%; purchase applications were off 6.0%.

            May durable goods orders fell 0.6%, in line; ex transportation, they dropped 0.3% versus consensus of +0.5%.

            The May trade deficit was $64.8 billion versus projections of $68.8 billion.

     International

    Other

            The EU train wreck (medium):

           

            More on the dollar funding problem; this time in China (medium and a must read):

What I am reading today
           
Thoughts on immigration (short):
 
            Thoughts on passive investing (medium):

            Rioting in Tehran (medium):

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