Friday, June 29, 2018

The Morning Call---The economy is not that strong

The Morning Call


We leave this morning for a fourth of July break and will return July 9th.  If anything untoward occurs, I will blog.  Have a great holiday.

The Market

The Averages (DJIA 24216, S&P 2716) bounced on lower volume yesterday.  Breadth improved.  The Dow finished below its 100 day moving average (now resistance) and the S&P closed above its MA (now support).  The DJIA ended below its 200 day moving average for a second day (now support; if it remains there through the close on Monday, it will revert to resistance) while the S&P remains above its MA (now support).  The Dow is in a short term trading range, the S&P in a short term uptrend. 
                The VIX fell 5 %, closing back below its 100 day moving average, negating Wednesday’s break, above its 200 day moving average for a fourth day, reverting to support.  (it continues to see saw above and below this MA) and within a short term trading range.  It looks like it bottomed in early June. 

The long Treasury was up slightly, ending above its 100 day moving average, the lower boundary of its long term uptrend and its 200 day moving average for a second day (now resistance; if it remains there through the close on Monday, it will revert to support) and remained in a short term downtrend.  It is clearly challenging the trading area bounded by the 100 DMA and the lower boundary of its long term uptrend and the 200 DMA and the upper boundary of its short term downtrend.

The dollar was unchanged, finishing above both moving averages and within a short term and very short term uptrend.

Gold was down another ¼ %, ending below its 100 and 200 day moving averages and in a short term downtrend.
Bottom line: the pin action improved a bit yesterday, though the DJIA’s technical position continues to deteriorate and both of the indices’ 100 day moving averages are rolling over.  In addition, the dollar and the long bond continue to trade like a safe haven---confirming somewhat the DJIA’s performance. On the other hand, the S&P remains above both moving averages and within uptrends across all timeframes.   As long as the S&P remains firmly in an uptrend, the assumption has to be that momentum remains to the upside.

            Yesterday in the charts (medium):



            Yesterday’s economic data reports continued this week’s poor performance: weekly jobless claims rose more than expected plus (the third revised) first quarter GDP growth and the June Kansas City Fed manufacturing index were disappointing.  The one positive stat was that first quarter corporate profits improved from 4Q2017.
            ***overnight, the ECB, as part of its bond buying program, is considering investing in longer dated bonds which will (1) flatten the EU bond yield curve and (2) extend the life of any unwinding of its QE.

            For once in the last week, trade was off front page.  Indeed, it was a pretty slow news day.  Perhaps the biggest headline came after the Market close.  The Fed released the results of stage two of its stress test which addresses the banks’ ability/freedom to pay out capital to shareholders.  Not surprisingly, Deutschebank’s US subsidiary didn’t fare well.  But in addition, the Fed limited the proposed payouts of Goldman and Morgan Stanley, though they can still make some payout.  Following the release, virtually every bank announced a dividend increase and stock buyback. The importance here is that US banks are in much better shape to sustain negative events than they were in 2008.

Bottom line: while trade dominated the news cycle this week, the economic releases were quite negative including the primary indicators---which support my thesis that the economy isn’t nearly as strong as many contend.  As you know, I believe that second quarter numbers will be an improvement from the first quarter, probably stimulated by the tax increases.  But there has been no sustained consistency in the numbers.  Meaning, if I am correct, it will be necessitate not only the lowering of consensus EPS growth estimates but also P/E assumptions. (must read)

And it will only exacerbate the Market’s major problems from the rising level of consumer, corporate and government debt, the dollar funding problems of the emerging markets, including China and the Fed unwinding QE
    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Nike (NYSE:NKE): Q4 EPS of $0.69 beats by $0.05.
Revenue of $9.8B (+12.9% Y/Y) beats by $390M.


   This Week’s Data

            The June Kansas City Fed manufacturing index was reported at 28 versus May’s reading of 29.

            May personal income rose 0.4%, in line; however, personal spending was up 0.2% versus expectations of up 0.4%.




            We are probably near peak housing (medium):

            Money supply growth slows (medium):

What I am reading today

            The next bear market could speak a retirement crisis (medium):
                Iran reopens nuclear facility (medium):

                      Italy refuses to sign EU summit statement (medium):

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