Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Morning Call--What trade war?

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages (DJIA 24776, S&P 2784) had another strong up day, though some of the surge was short covering as trade war fears faded.  Volume was up only modestly, ditto breadth.   The Dow finished above its 100 day moving average (now resistance; if it remains there through the close on Wednesday, it will revert to support), above its 200 day moving average for a second day (now resistance; if it remains there through the close on Wednesday, it will revert to support) and within a short term trading range.  The S&P ended above both moving averages and in uptrends across all timeframes.  The assumption is that prices are going higher.

 VIX fell another 5 %, closing below its 100 day moving average (now resistance), below its 200 day moving average for a second day (now support; if it remains there through the close on Wednesday, it will revert to resistance) and within a short term trading range.  It is nearing the May/June double bottom; suggesting that stocks may have to labor for any further short term advances.

The long Treasury was off ½%, falling away from its challenge of the upper boundary of its short term downtrend (I know I said uptrend yesterday.  Sorry for the confusion) but remains well above its 100 and 200 day moving averages and is in a long term uptrend. 

            The dollar recovered fractionally, remaining well above both moving averages and in a short term uptrend. It continues to perform somewhat at odds with the long bond.

            Gold was up another ¼%, but its pin action still looks like nothing more than a dead cat bounce.  It is still below both moving averages and in a short term downtrend.

            Bottom line: the DJIA’s pin action continues to improve bringing ever closer to harmonizing with the S&P---a plus sign for future stock movement.   I believe that I have figured out what has been for me the confusing performances of TLT, UUP and GLD.  This all makes sense if investors are betting on a relatively positive US economy (relatively is the operative word) versus the rest of the world’s economy.  However, if true (global economic activity is slowing and could deteriorate even further if a trade war breaks out), I don’t still don’t want to be fully invested in the equities in a relatively upbeat economy when their prices are already a short hair off their all-time highs.   In other words, if you don’t own some cash, this is probably a good time to do so.



            One economic release yesterday: May consumer credit soared higher.
            While there wasn’t a lot of trade news yesterday, there does seem to be a growing consensus that Trump/US is going to win any confrontation, resulting a big plus for the economy.  As you know, I have been hopeful for such an outcome and, if it occurs, am convinced that it will have a positive impact on US long term secular economic growth.

            A Reagan moment for international trade (medium):

                How ugly could a trade war get? (medium):
Bottom line: ‘investors seem to have regained their happy feet based on the assumptions of a new improved secular economic growth rate, a satisfactory outcome to the trade talks and a Fed that will not spoil the party.  And they may be correct.’  However, they appear unconcerned about the growing, already stratospheric, level of debt in the US/globe.  The latest consumer credit report amplifies that point.  This debt simply pulls demand forward and then slows it as the debt is paid off.  I am unsure just how much of a negative offset this is to the positives generated by deregulation and possibly a fairer trade regime.  But as I noted above, I don’t think it prudent to hope for the best when stock prices are already at highs.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP): Q2 EPS of $1.61 beats by $0.09.
Revenue of $16.09B (+2.4% Y/Y) beats by $50M.


   This Week’s Data


            Consumer credits in May advanced $24.6 billion versus expectations of $12.4 billion.

            The July small business optimism index was reported at 107.2 versus estimates of 106.3.


            July German economic sentiment came in at -24.7 versus forecasts of -19.0.

            June Chinese CPI was up Y/Y 1.9%, in line; PPI was up Y/Y 4.7% versus its May reading of 4.1%.


            More on corporate profits from my optimist (medium):

            This article discusses the impact, or lack thereof, of QE.  However, the only effect the author is measuring is on interest rates movement (medium):

            US heavy truck sales rise (short):

            Oil prices may be heading higher (medium):

            Inflation according to the NY and Atlanta Feds (medium):

What I am reading today

            Lessons from poker players (medium):
            Lessons from Cliff Arness (medium):

A progressive’s view on illegal immigrants (medium):

            Investing 50 years ago (short):

            More on the pension crisis (medium):

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