Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Morning Call--How firm will the Chinese stand in their yuan devaluation?

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages (25717, 2844) got hammered yesterday.  They finished below (1) the lower boundaries of their very short term uptrends; if they remain there through the close today, the trends will be voided and (2) their 100 DMA’s; if they remain there through the close on Wednesday, they will revert to resistance.   As I noted yesterday, if both support levels are successfully challenged, it raises the possibility that the move above its all-time high was a false breakout.  On the other hand, (1) both ended above their 200 DMA, though just barely in the case of the Dow, and (2) both had gap down opens which need to be filled.  That points to some kind of bounce even if the indices are ultimately headed lower. 

The VIX soared 37 ¾%.  It has now voided a very short term uptrend, reverted its 100 DMA to support and has been above its 200 DMA for a third day (if it remains there through the close today, it will revert to support).  Let’s see if these challenges are a harbinger of similar behavior of stocks.

The long bond jumped 1 ¾% on huge volume and now reset its short, intermediate and long term trends to up.  However, it experienced a gap up open which needs to be closed.

The dollar fell ½% but remains in short and long term uptrends and above both MA’s.  Like stocks, it had a gap down open which needs to be filled.  However, it did close below the upper boundary of its former long term trading range just one day after resetting to an uptrend.  That may indicate a false break out.  Follow through.

Gold jumped 1 3/8%, reestablishing a very short term uptrend and remaining within a short term uptrend and above both MA’s.  It also experienced a gap up open which needs to be closed.

Bottom line: as ugly as yesterday was, it is important to remember that the indices remain solidly in short, intermediate and long term uptrends.  Indeed, the lower boundaries of their short term uptrends are a good distance away: 23495/2522.  So, it will take a lot more downside before the Averages longer term upward momentum will be in question.  Nonetheless, yesterday’s shellacking could be warning shot.  Follow through.

The long bond and gold acted as I would have expected given the headlines.  Though I was surprised that the dollar declined in the face of the yuan devaluation. 

Monday in the charts.



            Yesterday’s US economic stats were weighed to the positive: the July Markit services and composite PMI’s were better than forecasts while the July ISM nonmanufacturing index was disappointing.

            Overseas, the July Chinese Caixin services and composite PMI’s were above estimates; the July German services and composite PMI’s were below; the July EU services PMI was above, the composite PMI was in line; the July UK services PMI was better, though July auto sales were not good.

            The main headline of the day was the fall in the Chinese yuan.  The big issue is, was this a move in the trade war (which the Chinese government can control) or is it reflective of a currency crisis (which the Chinese government may be unable to control).  Remember the Chinese financial system is highly leveraged and depends on dollars (which are now more expensive) for trade with the rest of the world.  If economic conditions are weakening (also remember the government controls what gets reported), investors may be exiting the yuan on fears of a financial crisis.  At this point, we have no way of knowing which alternative is the case.  But the latter poses a far greater danger to the global economy.
            The Chinese perspective.

            What is next?
Late yesterday, the US labeled a currency manipulator.  What that means.
***overnight, Chinese stabilize the yuan.

            Bottom line: a depreciating yuan whether it occurs deliberately or not, will not be helpful to global growth.  It is too soon to say that this will materially impact US growth. 

            However, we know that if it negatively effects stock prices. the Fed will almost assuredly be more aggressive in easing monetary policy.   And given the current Fed/Market co-dependency, the assumption has to be that the Markets will respond positively.   So, the only question is how far the Fed will let equity prices drop before stepping in.  In other words, I don’t think that this selloff presages a mean reversion process.  That is probably only going to happen when investors come to realize just how inept the Fed has been in administering to the economy.

            Nonetheless, if a decent selloff occurs, I will likely begin nibbling away at my growing list of purchase candidates.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.94 in-line; GAAP EPS of $0.97 beats by $0.03.
Revenue of $4.47B (+0.2% Y/Y) misses by $350M.

Becton, Dickinson (NYSE:BDX): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $3.08 beats by $0.02; GAAP EPS of $1.51 misses by $0.29.
Revenue of $4.35B (+1.6% Y/Y) misses by $20M.


   This Week’s Data


            The July Markit services PMI came in at 53.0 versus projections of 52.2; the composite PMI was 52.6 versus 51.6.

            The July ISM nonmanufacturing index was reported at 53.7 versus estimates of 55.5.

            July light vehicle sales equaled 16.8 million units versus consensus of 16.9 million units.


            June Japanese household spending fell 2.8% versus expectations of -3.0%; cash earnings were up 0.4% versus -0.9%; leading economic indicators came in at 93.3 versus 93.6.

            June German factory orders rose 3.5% versus projections of +0.5%; the construction PMI was 49.5 versus 50.9.


What I am reading today


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