The indices (DJIA 21574, S&P 2460) closed mixed yesterday (Dow down, S&P up) but neither by much. Both remained above the upper boundary of their recent one month trading range. Volume was flat, remaining at a low level; and breadth was weak. They remain firmly in uptrends defined by their 100 and 200 day moving averages and uptrends across all timeframes. At the moment, I see nothing, technically speaking, to inhibit the Averages’ challenge of the upper boundaries of their long term uptrends---now circa 24198/2763.
The VIX (9.9) was up slightly, but still finished below the lower boundary its intermediate term trading range for the fourth day (resetting to a downtrend) and the lower boundary of its long term trading range for the third day (if it remains there through the close Thursday, it will reset to a downtrend).
The long Treasury was up again on volume, ending well above its 200 day moving average as well as the lower boundary of its very short term uptrend. The move was sufficient that I am leaving both trends positive.
The dollar got smacked, making its pin action more ugly than ever. UUP is below its 100 and 200 day moving averages, within a very short term downtrend and is nearing the lower boundary of its short term trading range.
GLD was up, closing above its 200 day moving average (if it remains there through the close on Friday, it will revert to support) and is nearing its 100 day moving average. So clearly, this chart is improving.
Bottom line: stocks turned in another flattish day, holding above the recent trading range despite multiple sources of bad news and providing continuing evidence that investor optimism prevails whatever the news flow. TLT, UUP and GLD are all reflecting an expectation of a weaker economy/lower rate environment---which the stock boys apparently aren’t worried about. Relax and watch for a potential challenge of the upper boundaries of the Averages long term uptrends. But be sure to initiate or build your cash position using a portion of your winners as a source of funds (remember sell high, buy low).
How an Elliott wave analyst looks at the current market (short):
How the Stock Traders’ Almanac looks at the current market (short):
The economic stats were again disappointing: both import and export prices were down, month to date retail chain store sales lower and the July housing index below estimates.
***overnight, a member of the ECB governing council said that monetary accommodation was still needed, suggesting the narrative that will forthcoming at tomorrow’s ECB meeting.
Further the Bank of Japan appears ready to abandon its 2% inflation target. That ought to mean that it will also abandon its QE Infinity policy since it was adopted to push inflation up; but it ought to have abandoned QE long ago. So you never know what these guys will do.
Add in the failure of the senate healthcare proposal and some earnings reports coming in below expectations and the result was a discouraging day. On the other hand, the house released a goldilocks FY2018 budget plan which appears to be a bit long on hope. Of course, this is just the opening salvo, so expect more changes.
Goldman on the failed healthcare bill, the new house budget proposal and the upcoming debt ceiling debate (medium):
Bottom line: it was poor news day; so why shouldn’t stock prices be up? Probably because the ECB and BOJ continue to pump up global liquidity. Sooner or later, the price is going to be paid for the gross mispricing and misallocation of assets. I just don’t know when. I do know that I want to own cash when it happens.
ECB balance sheet now bigger than the Fed’s (short):
Willful blindness (medium):
My thought for the day: one of the reasons behind my focus of dividend paying stocks is evidence that expected future earnings growth is faster when current payout ratios are high and slowest when payout ratios are low---contradicting the commonly held belief that substantial reinvestment of retained earnings fuel faster future earnings growth. The primary reason behind this seeming contradiction is the tendency of managements to misallocate excess capital toward empire building, value destructive acquisitions and stock buy backs.
Investing for Survival
Perceived versus real risk tolerances.
News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM): Q2 EPS of $2.97 beats by $0.23.
W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW): Q2 EPS of $2.74 beats by $0.09.
This Week’s Data
Month to date retail chain store sales grew slower than in the prior week.
The July housing index was reported at 64 versus consensus of 68.
Weekly mortgage and purchase applications rose.
June housing starts were up 8.2% versus expectations of up 7.1%; permits increased 7.3% versus estimates of up 3.2%.
Update on student loans (medium):
The quiet demise of austerity (medium):
Update on social security solvency (medium):
Brief update on China’s economy (short):
Swampland’s ten commandants (medium):
International War Against Radical Islam
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