Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Morning Call---Holiday melt up?

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages (27462, 3078) had another good day on Monday, continuing the trend of improving upside momentum (1) the Dow’s advance puts in back in sync with the S&P and (2) the VIX was up on an up Dow day, relieving a somewhat oversold condition and giving equities more upside before getting overbought.  Volume was down and breadth improved---though it continues to get more overbought.

My assumption remains that momentum is to the upside; but there are still some negatives:  (1) October 11th gap up opens need to be closed, (2) both had gap up opens yesterday, and (3) breadth is nearer to overbought.

The risk of a melt up is real.

TLT fell 1 3/8, making a third lower high and closing right on its 100 DMA---again threatening to break its upward momentum.  The dollar was up 3/8 %, bouncing off and the lower boundary of its short term uptrend, voiding last Thursday’s break---clearly a plus.  Gold declined ¼%, but remained above the upper boundary of that pennant formation.  However, I am still uncertain about the strength of the directional move following the breakout from the tip. 

TLT, UUP and GLD remain at potentially critical junctures.  We know the Averages are telling us to tip toe through the tulips.  But the rest of the indicators are near levels that, if successfully challenged, would mark a directional change.  How they follow through should tell us a good deal about underlying investor sentiment and economic outlook.

            Monday in the charts.


            Yesterday’s stats were mixed:  September factory orders fell more than forecast while the October NY ISM came in ahead of expectations.
            Overseas, the data was upbeat: the final October German and EU manufacturing PMI’s as well the final October UK construction PMI were better than anticipated.

            There were several headlines on trade out of China, none positive and directly contradictory to the those out of the White House:

            (1 ) Chinese media talks down Phase One deal.
(2) plus, rumors (operative word) are circulating that Chinese will again raise Phase One demands at the last minute.
            ***overnight, another rumor is adrift that the US is considering rolling back the tariffs imposed in September.

            The other item that I thought worth focusing on is that NotQE has now pushed the Fed’s balance sheet back above $4 trillion.
Bottom line: the third quarter earnings season continues to come in ahead of expectations and the Market is now in the most favorable trading period of the year.  More importantly, the Fed is pouring money into the financial system like a California firefighter. 

On the other hand, the headlines on the US/China trade deal are so confusing that it should give investors pause.  To be sure, this is all part of the negotiating process.  But, I have never thought that there would be a deal, unless it was a plus for the Chinese but  gave the appearance of a Trump win.  Here is where the impeachment process comes into play; that is, does Trump think that he needs positive trade headlines to offset the DC sh*t show? 

I still believe that huge segments of the stock market are grossly overvalued; and that any further advance will only make them more so.  So, while it makes sense that equities could trade higher through year end, they will do it without me.  Indeed, if any of  my stocks get pushed into their Sell Half Range, I will act accordingly.

            Update on valuations.
Navigating a volatile market.

                JP Morgan reducing its own risk exposure.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios


   This Week’s Data


            September factory orders fell 0.6% versus estimates of -0.5%.

            October NY ISM came in 47.7 versus consensus of 45.8.

The September trade deficit was $52.5 billion, in line.


            The October Chinese Caixin services PMI was 51.1 versus expectations of 52.8; the composite PMI was 52.0 versus 51.1.

            The October UK services PMI was 50.0 versus forecasts of 39.2.

            The September EU PPI was +0.1%, in line.


            Framing lumber prices up YoY.

            Time to reevaluate Dodd Frank?

            The problem with economics.

            Business investment since the passage of the Trump tax cut.

            US announces new project to compete with the Chinese Belt and Road infrastructure plan.

What I am reading today
            Higher prescription drug costs are not due to price but to age.

            Three signs that you are on track for early retirement.
            No safe spaces.

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