Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Morning Call--Trump disappoints. Will Powell?

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages (27691, 3091) turned in a second day of mixed performance (Dow unchanged, S&P up).  Volume was up slightly (but still quite low); but breadth was flat but remains in overbought territory. The VIX was down a penny---continuing to support the breadth overbought reading. 

My assumption remains that momentum is to the upside; but there are still some short term negatives:  (1) October 11th gap up opens need to be closed and (2) the VIX and breadth suggest equities are overbought.

The bond market was up ½%, bouncing off the lower boundary of its very short term uptrend---its first challenge post 100 DMA reversion to resistance.  If that boundary can hold, then the worst may be over for TLT.

The dollar rose 1/8% and remains strong.

Gold advanced ¼ %, but momentum remains to the downside with little support visible before it hits its 200 DMA (six points lower).  Given the pin action in TLT and UUP, gold’s rise may just be a reflexive bounce off a somewhat oversold condition.

            Tuesday in the charts.



Yesterday’s numbers were disappointing.  Month to date retail chain store sales growth slowed and the October small business optimism index was below estimates.

Overseas, the data was turned positive.  October Japanese machine tool orders and September UK personal income were less than anticipated while weekly UK unemployment rose, September unemployment, preliminary Q3 productivity, November EU and German economic sentiment were above expectations.

            The main headline of the day was Trump’s speech to the Economics Club of New York in which he patted himself on the back (as always), beat the Fed about the head and shoulders (again) but was noncommittal on a US/China trade deal. 

            ***overnight, Trump cranked up rhetoric, threatening China will higher tariffs if there is no Phase One deal.

            China’s unofficial response.

            I think that this analyst makes an interesting point:  since industrial policy and IP theft are the motivating factors behind the US/China trade dispute, it seems reasonable to focus on combating those specific policies, per the below example, versus a broader trade/tariff war.  So, a Phase One that is accompanied by ‘national defense’ measures to combat unfair Chinese trade practices could work.
            And as November 2020 looms, middle class tax cuts are back on the table.

            Bottom line: the data isn’t supporting the current Market narrative that the economy is about to improve its rate of growth.  Trump’s speech (1) was somewhat disappointing to those wanting a trade deal, though the consensus remains that one is coming and (2) advocated the Fed embrace negative interest rates which, if implemented, would only make the misallocation and mispricing of assets worse.  Meanwhile, his chief economic advisor indicated that additional tax cuts are being considered at a time when the economy is at full employment and the budget deficit and national debt grow ever larger. 

            I don’t think that I could come up with a worse set of headlines, barring Iran nuking Israel.  Yet the investors appear unconcerned.  Thank you NotQE. (we will get a update on that from a Powell speech today)

            I will continue to focus on those stocks that have traded into the Sell Half Range and act accordingly.  

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) declares $0.91/share quarterly dividend, 15.2% increase from prior dividend of $0.79.


   This Week’s Data


            Month to date retail chain store sales growth slowed from the prior week.

            Weekly mortgage applications rose 9.6% and purchase applications were up 5.1%.

            October CPI came in at +0.4% versus estimates of +0.3%; core CPI was +0.2%, in line


            October Japanese PPI increased 1.1% versus expectations of +1.2%.

            October German CPI was +0.1%. in line.
            October UK PPI was -0.1% versus estimates of +0.1%; CPI was -0.2% versus -0.1%; core CPI was +0.1% versus flat.

            September EU industrial production advanced 0.1% versus consensus of -0.3%.


            Update on auto loans.

            The leading index for commercial real estate was up in October.

            The rising Chinese demand for pork.

            The latest on Brexit.

What I am reading today
             The Warren Medicare for All plan has been released.  Here is an initial take on the math.

            Reducing stress.  Now I know why I love the beach so much.

            Scientists detect huge thermonuclear blast in space.

            Lessons from a master.

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