Friday, October 18, 2019

The Morning Call--Laboring to get to all-time highs

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages (27025, 2997) experienced another relatively calm day, finishing up fractionally on flat volume and mixed breadth.  Still, they ended solidly above both MA’s and in uptrends across all timeframes.   The VIX was up (slightly unusual for an up day in stocks) remaining above its 9/20 low.  Two other somewhat worrisome details are (1) the indices seem to be struggling to get back to their 9/20 highs much less their all-time highs and (2) the October 11th gap up opens which need to be closed.  That said, my assumption remains that momentum is to the upside and that the all-time highs (27398, 3027) will be challenged. 

            Gold was up, ending above the lower boundary of its pennant formation, leaving that technical pattern intact.  TLT was down slightly, remaining close to challenging its 100 DMA but finishing in uptrends across all time frames. 

The dollar was down 3/8% and is threatening its upward momentum by approaching both its 100 DMA and the lower boundary of its short term uptrend.  This pin action doesn’t make any sense in the midst of a dollar funding shortage (though traders tell me it is due to strong pound and euro reacting to the increased odds of a negotiated Brexit)---which continues. 

            World dollar liquidity is crashing.

            Thursday in the charts.

What rising insider stock sales mean---or not.



Yesterday’s data did not make for good reading: September industrial production/capacity utilization (primary indicator),  September housing starts (primary indicator) and the October Philly Fed manufacturing index were below expectations while
weekly jobless claims and September building permits were above.

‘Soft data’ continues to weaken.

            The latest Atlanta Fed GDPNow forecast.

            Overseas, August EU construction output was less than anticipated; September retail sales were in line though ex fuel they were above estimates.

            Aside from the numbers, the rest of the headlines were generally upbeat.

(1)   China put out a statement indicating that it wants a deal.

(2)   while events are moving fast on Brexit and  there are still hurdles, it appears that a deal can be made.
(3)   US and Turkey appear to have a deal, hopefully halting the violence in Syria and the political discord at home.

Bottom line:  yesterday was a juxtaposition of news---lousy economic numbers and other big news items providing positive headlines. And the net impact was basically a wash.  Which means to me is that there is not much conviction among buyers or sellers.  However, given current valuations, I think that the upside from a blockbuster positive news event is less than the downside from a negative one.  With that risk/reward equation, I am not running for the hills but I do want some cash reserves.  My sources of funds have been the stocks of companies that have deteriorating fundamentals or that have traded into their Sell Half Range.

            NotQE---if it quacks like a duck.

            More on valuation.
    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) declares $0.95/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.56 in-line; GAAP EPS of $0.60 beats by $0.04.
Revenue of $9.5B (+8.0% Y/Y) beats by $80M.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) declares $0.40/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $1.50 beats by $0.03; GAAP EPS of $1.56 beats by $0.08.
Revenue of $5.02B (+6.4% Y/Y) misses by $10M.
Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.43 beats by $0.03; GAAP EPS of -$8.22.
Revenue of $8.54B (+0.5% Y/Y) beats by $40M.


   This Week’s Data


            September industrial production fell 0.4% versus estimates of -0.1%; capacity utilization was 77.5% versus 77.9%.


            September Japanese CPI came in at 0.0% versus forecasts of +0.3%; ex food and energy, it was +0.5% versus +0.7%.

            Q3 Chinese GDP was up 1.5%, in line; September YoY industrial production was up 5.8% versus 5.0%, capacity utilization was 76.4% versus 76.6% and retail sales were +5.4%, in line.


What I am reading today

            Einstein and the bomb.

            Cost of renting versus owning.

            The NY Times looks at Sanders’ Medicare for all’ plan.

            What to do with the small increase in Social Security benefits in 2020.
            McConnell says get ready for a senate impeachment trial.
            Your UN dollars at work.

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