Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Morning Call---Look out below

The Morning Call


The Market

The Averages  (23553, 2741) just couldn’t hold Tuesday’s bounce yesterday and, in the process, got more oversold.  The technical highlights included the S&P finishing below (1) the lower boundary of its short term trading range; if it remains there through the close on Friday, it will reset to a downtrend and (2) the lower boundary of its intermediate term uptrend; if it remains there through the close next Monday, it will reset to a trading range.

TLT, GLD and UUP maintained the major reversals that began on Tuesday.  TLT and GLD fell but their charts remained positive.  UUP continued to rally. 

I posed the question in yesterday’s Morning Call ‘did all the above reversals mark the end of the investor anxiety?’  Given yesterday’s pin action, the question should have been ‘are the reversals in TLT, GLD and UUP just a trading blip or are they starting to forecast a major change/incident in the economy as they did from late 2018 to their recent peak (low)?’ ---for instance, a Market rattling credit/liquidity event which would explain higher yields, lower gold prices and a strong dollar.



            Wednesday in the charts.



Yesterday’s stats were mildly positive:  February budget deficit was lower than anticipated and weekly mortgage and purchase application were up; February CPI was a little hotter than expected though core CPI was in line; month to date retail chain store sales declined at the same rate as the prior week.

            Overseas, the January UK trade balance was very positive while industrial production, GDP and construction output were negative; manufacturing production was in line.

            The risks:

            The coronavirus

                        Keeping an eye on South Korea.

                        Four questions regarding the coronavirus.
                        WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic.

                        The coronavirus and the mispricing and misallocation of assets.

                        Dealing with the coronavirus is like dealing with 9/11.

            The Fed

                        Fed increases size of repo facility.

                        ***overnight, more.

                        ECB leaves rates unchanged but increases QE.

            Bottom line: 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.

Bear market rallies.

            Earnings expectations are starting to plunge.

      Subscriber Alert

            The stock prices of General Dynamics (GD) and MSC Industrial (MSM) traded into the Buy Value Ranges.  The Dividend Growth Portfolio owns a one half position in GD having Sold Half in late 2017.  At the open today, the Dividend Growth Portfolio will Buy a one half position in GD.  It will also Buy a one half position in MSM.

    News on Stocks in Our Portfolios


   This Week’s Data


            The February budget deficit was $235.0 billion versus expectations of $236.3 billion.

            February PPI came in at -0.6% versus forecasts of -0.1%; core PPI was -0.3% versus +0.1%.

            Weekly jobless claims fell 4,000 versus projections of a 3,000 increase.

            February Japanese PPI fell 0.4% versus estimates of -0.3%.

            January EU industrial production rose 2.3% versus consensus of +1.4%.


            January 2020 snapshot of US/China trade.
            China shock hitting Germany’s largest port.

What I am reading today


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