Yesterday, the indices (DJIA 23580, S&P 2601) turned in a mixed day (Dow up, S&P down). Volume was up, but off a short and calm trading day on Friday. Breadth has been improving but not to the extent that I would have thought given the pin action. Nonetheless, the bottom line is that both of the Averages remain above their 100 and 200 day moving averages and are in uptrends across all time frames---with the assumption being that stock prices are going higher.
The VIX (9.9) was up 2 ½%, managing to close right on the lower boundary of its long term trading range, stopping the clock on its recent break. However, it finished below its 100 day moving average (now resistance) and its 200 day moving average (now resistance). It remains on the brink of testing the July low, again.
The long Treasury was down fractionally, but remained above its 100 day moving average (now support), above its 200 day moving average (now support) and above the lower boundaries of its very short term uptrend, short term trading range and long term uptrend. Other area of the long bond complex continue to perform poorly, suggesting a safety concern.
The dollar was up slightly, but ended below its 100 and 200 day moving averages (now resistance) and solidly within a short term downtrend---not reflective of economic strength or confidence in the US.
Gold continues to inch higher, closing for above its 100 day moving average for the third day---so maybe it is starting to break the gravitational hold of that MA. I am still going to wait a couple of days before making that call. It remained above its 200 moving average (now support) and in a short term uptrend. Again not indicative of economic strength or higher rates.
Bottom line: hasn’t changed---long term, the indices remain strong viz a viz their moving averages and uptrends across all timeframes. Short term, they are above the resistance level marked by their August highs, meaning that there is no resistance between current price levels and the upper boundaries of the Averages long term uptrends. The technical assumption has to be that stocks are going higher.
Trading in UUP, GLD and TLT are back in sync with themselves (sluggish economy, weak interest rates) but out of kilter with the VIX and stocks. I remain confused and uncomfortable with the overall technical picture.
Yesterday’s economic data was mixed---October new home sales were gangbusters while the November Dallas Fed manufacturing index was disappointing. However, new home sales are a primary indicator, so the overall weight is to the positive.
Overseas, October Chinese industrial profits were below estimates.
This will be a busy month for fiscal/monetary news. Congress has 15 legislative days left until year end and a very full agenda. Here is what it faces besides tax reform (medium):
As of this morning (medium):
Deficits matter (medium):
On schedule today is the testimony of Fed chair nominee Powell before the senate banking committee. The text of his opening remarks was released last night after the Market close. Bottom line, nothing new in terms of monetary policy implications. That said, even if he was planning on blowing the place up, I am not sure his remarks or subsequent comments would be different from what we will get.
The Yellen put (medium):
Bottom line: those new home sales numbers were stunning assuming that there is no funny business in their computation. Another sign that the economy is gaining a little life. Hope springs eternal that tax reform will be enacted; though given its current form, I can’t fathom why it generates an ounce of enthusiasm. Nonetheless, the economy has some momentum; the Market clearly has momentum. So for the moment any cognitive dissonance resulting from the divergent behavior in bonds, the dollar and gold, an exploding national debt, a $4 trillion Fed balance sheet and equity valuations that are at historically elevated levels remains a minimal.
As long as that continues, in my opinion, investors should be building cash by selling a portion of their winners and all of their losers. As a reminder, my portfolios are ~50% in cash; and I sleep very well at night.
The perfect storm (medium):
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News on Stocks in Our Portfolios
Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS): Q4 EPS of C$1.65 misses by C$0.01.
This Week’s Data
October new home sales rose 6.2% versus expectations of down 7.0%.
The November Dallas Fed manufacturing index was reported at 19.4 versus estimates of 24.5.
The October US trade deficit was $68.3 billion versus forecasts of $64.8 billion.
I haven’t spent much time on bitcoin. Here is a good starter (medium):
An update on Brexit and the capital structure of the UK banks (medium):
Chinese regulators continue to push the unwind of that country’s credit bubble (medium):
International War Against Radical Islam
A deal between Syria and Israel? (medium):
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