Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Morning Call--I'm back

The Morning Call


The Market
                The good news is that absolutely nothing has changed in the S&P chart in the last four weeks.  The index continues to smoke to the upside, remaining above the MA’s and in uptrends across all timeframes.  There is little technical evidence that this will change in the near future.

                The long bond hasn’t altered its trading pattern.  After falling back from the upper boundary of its intermediate term uptrend, it went on to revert its 100 DMA from support to resistance and reset its very short uptrend to a trading range.

                The whackage in the dollar continued.  Both MA’s have reverted to resistance and its short term trend has reset to down.

                Gold made a nice recovery over the last month, now trading above both MA’s and in short term and very short term uptrends.

As you might expect in a strong up Market, the VIX hovers around all-time lows and gives no sign that sentiment could be turning negative.

                Bottom line: the S&P, TLT and VIX are all suggesting that the economy and prospects for better earnings growth are improving.  However, the dollar should be acting better and GLD worse under such a scenario; so, they represent cautionary signals.



            During the week of 12/16, the US numbers were neutral while the overseas stats were positive; the week of 12/23, the US data was positive, the overseas numbers were negative; the week of 12/30, the US and overseas stats were negative; however, the weeks of 1/6 and 1/13 were both quite positive not only for the US but also across all the major global economies. Score: in the last 223 weeks, seventy-three were positive, one hundred and one negative and fifty neutral. 

In sum, the US numbers continue to portray the economy as sluggish.  However, the marked improvement in the economic stats in the last two weeks helps feed the notion that the US can avoid a recession---though I would by no means conclude that some kind of ‘lift off’ is occurring.  Much more is needed for that.
            For the economic optimists---don’t worry about debt.  One question, what about all that mortgage debt in 2008 and what about that leverage in hedge funds today?


            For the true Fed believers.

            Rounding out this day of optimism, John Mauldin actually pinned an upbeat long term outlook.

            But there is always that nagging problem of valuations.

            And the Fed. (must read)

            Jeff Gundlach’s latest take on Fed policy.

            Bottom line: as long as investors buy into the notion that the Fed will forever have the Market’s back, stock prices are likely to go higher.  However, sooner or later, expansive monetary policy that only benefits equities versus the real economy will push valuations to such extremes that an ‘emperor’s new clothes’ moment seems inevitable.  May not happen for a year, two years.  But when it does, cash reserves will look awfully good.  Enjoy the ride; but consider taking some profits in your big winners.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios


   This Week’s Data



            October UK payrolls grew faster than anticipated while November average earnings were up 3.2% versus forecasts of up 3.1%.

            November Japanese industrial production fell 1.0% versus estimates of -0.9%.

            December German PPI came in at 0.1% versus expectations of +0.2%.

            January EU economic sentiment came in at 26.7 versus consensus of 15.0.


            IMF cuts global economic outlook, again.

            Baltic Dry index continues to decline.

            Update on Brexit.

            The latest on the oil market.

What I am reading today

            The survival function of Roman emperors.
            The ethics of your financial affairs.
            The math of debt.

            Update on bitcoin.

            Quote of the day.

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