Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Morning Call--A light at the end of the tunnel?

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages  (18591, 2237) blew off another massive addition to QEInfinity and continued their dramatic deterioration.  Momentum remains undeterred to the downside with almost no visible support until ~ 15399/1810.  That said, on a very short term basis, stocks are very oversold; plus, the VIX declined yesterday (a big down day).

TLT, GLD and UUP continued their volatility.  TLT soared again, remaining technically strong.  GLD rallied on big volume, finishing in an uptrend as well as halting its downward momentum by closing above its 100 DMA (if it remains there through the close on Wednesday, it will revert to support) and the 200 DMA (if it remains there through the close on Thursday, it will revert to support).  The UUP was off fractionally but that didn’t impact its push higher.  Overall, the message remains that investors are seeking safety.

            Monday in the charts.


While it looked last week like the likely coronavirus induced economic slowdown was finally starting to show up in the numbers, positive comparisons remain.  Yesterday, the February Chicago Fed national activity index was better than anticipated.  Likewise, overseas, March EU consumer confidence was down but not as much as expected.

            The two main headlines yesterday were:  

(1)   the inability of the senate to come up with a compromise fiscal stimulus bill to offset the damage being done by the mandated shutdown of the country.  The only thing worse than our political class trying to buy its way out of a self-induced crisis is our political class trying to buy its way out of a self-induced crisis on a partisan agenda.

Overnight, the news got better with both parties talking up the likelihood of a compromise bill.

(2)   more on yesterday’s Fed neutron bomb liquidity injection.

            And apparently there is more where that came from.

            Other headlines:

            The coronavirus

                        Latest data     

                        ***overnight update.

                        ***overnight, Trump says coronavirus restrictions will be lifted soon.

Coronavirus deaths by country and US state.

                        Potential good news on the coronavirus.

                        More good news. (China)

                        More. (South Korea)

                        More. (Italy)

                        Reopen.  Fast.
                        Trump weighs easing ‘stay at home’ restrictions.

                        The case for guaranteeing lost income.

                        A proposal for social insurance.

                                The worse policies are made during crises.

                                How big a fiscal package is needed?
                Bottom line: while there is not yet any solid indication of peak infections/deaths from the coronavirus, we are starting to get some positive anecdotal evidence.  Further, our ruling class is working overtime generating ideas/programs to not only address curbing the spread of the virus but also the economic fallout.  Those efforts will almost surely generate positive results (though the question is, will they be worth it?).


(1)   the Fed’s massive QEV will probably mitigate some of the concerns that I have expressed regarding a financial crisis in the corporate debt markets.  It likely won’t stop the initial bankruptcies but it should short circuit the transmission of insolvencies to other entities, i.e. the Fed will buy the debt of the bankrupt company.  So, while the Fed actions won’t prevent problems/bankruptcies, it will lessen their impact on the financial system.  That said longer term, this will only make worse the mispricing of risk/the misallocation of assets which renders the economy less efficient in the rational distribution of resources/stimulating growth,

(2)   signs are growing that Trump is coming to the realization that the cure for the coronavirus is more harmful than the disease itself.  In addition, the statistics on infections/deaths in China, South Korea and Italy are starting to provide a pattern of the overall impact on the virus which is not nearly as bad as the doomsayers would have us believe. 

            I am starting to see a dim light at the end of the tunnel at this moment---and with it the ability to quantify the economic damage.
My strategy remains: when the stocks of companies that you want to own are down 50% or more and/or are selling into their Buy Value Ranges, that is the time to put cash reserves to work---you know sell high, buy low.  That said, I am no Market timing guru; so, a slow steady buy program on down days is the best I can do at buying low.

                S&P dividend expectations.

                Managing your money through a draw down.

                Buying during a crisis.

                Buying during a massive liquidity impulse.

                Latest from David Tepper.

       Subscriber Alert

            Earlier this year, AbbVie Inc (ABBV) was Added to the Dividend Growth and High Yield Buy List, but neither Portfolio purchased share.  At the open, the Dividend Growth and High Yield Portfolios will Buy ABBV.

            The Fed continues to shovel liquidity into the Markets.  In my opinion, that will ultimately lead to increased inflationary pressures in the economy.  Accordingly, all our Portfolios are Adding to their positions in the Gold Miners ETF (GDX) at the Market open.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
            Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) declares $0.2325/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.


   This Week’s Data



            March EU consumer confidence came in at -11.6 versus estimates of -14.2.

            The January Japanese leading economic indicators were 90.5 versus consensus of 90.3; the March Japanese flash manufacturing PMI came in at 44.8 versus consensus of 43.7; the services PMI was 32.7 versus 41.8; the composite PMI was 35.8 versus 42.5.

            The March German flash manufacturing PMI was 45.7 versus forecasts of 39.6; the services PMI was 34.5 versus 42.3; the composite PMI was 44.8 versus 39.0.

            The March EU flash manufacturing PMI was 45.7 versus projections of 39.0; the services PMI was 28.4 versus 39.0; the composite PMI was 31.4 versus 38.8.

            The March UK flash manufacturing PMI was 48.0 versus expectations of 45.0; the services PMI was 35.7 versus 45.0; the composite PMI was 37.1 versus 45.1.


What I am reading today

            How not to kill your spouse and other tips for working from home.

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