Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Donald Trump Moves Markets; Hugo Salinas Price Details Decline In International Reserves

It was back to work on Tuesday for US speculators, and the mood was gloomy as president-elect Donald Trump quipped that the "dollar is too strong," which sent world markets into a wild frenzy.

Asian and European markets had already been upset on Monday, while the US rested for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but on Trump's vocalizing of displeasure, US markets took it to heart.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average backed away from the formerly-attainable 20,000 mark, down 110 points on Monday before a late rally slashed the losses in half.

It is apparent that the euphoria over Trump has faded significantly and American investors are heading for safer shores, mostly in bonds and cash, though precious metals may have even more appeal with gold and silver both making new highs for the year on significant gains. Spot silver stood at 17.175 and gold at 1216.70 at the close of trading in New York, but the rally may be just beginning to heat up.

Hugo Salinas Price makes important notice of the abrupt decline in international reserves. Of all the reports on matters economic, his may be the most acute and insightful. It's a must read and should be given careful consideration due to Mr. Price's status among economic thinkers.

At the Close 1.17.16:
Dow: 19,826.77, -58.96 (-0.30%)
NASDAQ: 5,538.73, -35.39 (-0.63%)
S&P 500: 2,267.89, -6.75 (-0.30%)
NYSE Composite: 11,190.76, -36.41 (-0.32%)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

NASDAQ Posts Seventh Record Of 2017; Dow Flat; Gold Outperforming All Other Assets

As America lurches toward inauguration day (Jan. 20), stocks remain a mixed bag.

The Dow ended the week with a small loss on Friday as the NASDAQ rose to another record close, its seventh this year.

For the week, the NAZ was up nearly one percent. The Dow's loss was minor, at less than one half percent (-0.39%), but the broader S&P and NYSE composite suffered almost no depreciation.

Overall, it was fairly uneventful in markets, which is odd, given the cross-currents blowing through the political and economic spectrum.

Next week, with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as America's 45th president putting a final glow on the proceedings, promises to be a more volatile period, shortened by one day, as markets are idle for Monday's Martin Luther King holiday.

Ominously, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remains positioned below the expected 20,000 level but has been flat as a pancake for the past four weeks.

WTI crude oil remains mired in the mid-fifties, while gold, the year's best-performing asset thus far, pierced the 1200/oz. mark on Friday but fell off and closed at 1196.90 the ounce.

At The Close 1.13.16:
Dow: 19,885.73, -5.27 (-0.03%)
NASDAQ: 5,574.12, +26.63 (0.48%)
S&P 500: 2,274.64, +4.20 (0.18%)
NYSE Composite: 11,227.17, +23.02 (0.21%)

Week Ending 1.13.16:
Dow: -78.07 (-0.39%)
NASDAQ: +53.06 (0.96%)
S&P 500: -2.34 (-0.10%)
NYSE Composite: -10.45 (-0.09%)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Stocks Slump, Regain Ground In Anxious Session

Yesterday, it was big pharma that took a hit after Donald Trump singled them out in his press conference, saying that the US government would begin bidding lower prices for many prescription drugs.

Today, health care insurance companies took the hit - if only briefly - as the senate pushed forward a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare. Aetna, Anthem, Cigna and United Health were among a handful of companies that felt some shock at the open.

The Senate voted 51-48 on a measure to repeal the current president's signature health initiative. The measure now will move to the house where its passage is all but assured, with the membership heavily weighted with Republicans.

As for the rest of the market, stocks went red at the open and trimmed early losses after 11:00 am ET. The Dow was down more than 180 points in the early going, but manage to recover almost two thirds of the losses as the session dragged forward.

Missing from the narrative today was the chorus of "Dow 20000," as the industrial index extended its failed attempt at the historic milestone for the 22nd straight session.

Maybe tomorrow...

At The Close 1.12.16:
Dow: 19,891.00, -63.28 (-0.32%)
NASDAQ: 5,547.49, -16.16 (-0.29%)
S&P 500: 2,270.44, -4.88 (-0.21%)
NYSE Composite: 11,204.15, -22.63 (-0.20%)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump Presser A Non-Event; America Awaits Inauguration

Though widely-anticipated as a market moving event, President-Elect Donald J. Trump's press conference at 11;00 ET today was more or less an exercise in sell the hype, buy the news.

Trump handled questions about the "fake news" Russian dossiers widely circulated by CNN and other outlets and quickly dismissed them as nonsense. The audacious level of mendacity displayed by the mainstream media in the run-up to the inauguration of America's 45th president has been unconscionable and unprecedented, but the Donald managed to deflect any potential harm as the media and intelligence community reports have been devoid of facts or proof of their veracity.

Other than waving off and refusing to take questions from anybody from CNN, Trump laid out basically the same nebulous outlines upon which he campaigned, without getting too specific. Thus, what the market wanted was not what they received, but traders were assuaged by the one-hour appearance and resumed trading within the prevailing range of the past month, between 19,800 and 19,999.

If the market seems moribund, it's likely the result of non-specifics from the soon-to-be-sitting president, meaning this regime of up-down-up-down may persist through the next week, culminating in next Friday's inauguration.

Otherwise, it was another uneventful day, with the Dow still planted just south of 20K.

At the Close 1.11.16
Dow: 19,954.28, +98.75 (0.50%)
NASDAQ: 5,563.65, +11.83 (0.21%)
S&P 500: 2,275.32, +6.42 (0.28%)
NYSE Composite: 11,221.92, +38.59 (0.35%)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dow 20000 No Go Again; Is The Trump Rally Over?

In 2016, having first crossed the 19,800 point on December 12 and closing above 19,900 the following day, one would have thought that crossing the 20,000 rubicon for the Dow Jones Industrial Average would have been a slam dunk before New Year.

It wasn't and it still isn't. Like the final five yards on a scoring football drive, the final 100-200 points on the widely-watched blue chip index are proving to be tough, resistant, and, at this point, possibly a field goal attempt would be in order. Or a punt.

Including the 12th of December, it's been 20 days since the "Dow 20,000" baseball caps began circulating, but nobody's been able to don one just yet. There has been more than a fair share of drama over the simply psychological level, especially this past Friday, when the average fell just 0.37 points short of making magic.

But twenty days of hanging just below the number is giving some investors cause to pause and consider that the eight-year bull market - and more specifically, the massive post-election Trump rally - is finally tiring and about to head back to the corral. And if that happens, the confidence so prevalent the past few months will have been for naught unless one had the foresight to sell into the rally at some point.

Stocks continue to be highly valued, some say overbought. The last meaningful decline was in January of last year when the Dow and other indices took a hit somewhere between 12 and 15%. Though that particular correction never materialized into a bear market, it was a confidence-shaker and those who suffered losses are wont to forget it.

Taking a stab in the dark, it would appear that speculators are more interested in NASDAQ stocks, which continue to tear up new highs, just as the Dow is stalling. Could the NAZ pull the Dow along with it, or does the Dow hold the losing hand with which it will eventually pull down the composite, S&P, transports, et. al.?

With the Dow ending today roughly 150 points from the requisite top, it's still out there for the taking, though there seems to be no catalyst for any kind of extended move, so, reiterating past posts, even if the Dow makes the mark, it's doubtful it would hold for long. A correction is in the cards and it's likely to be swift rather than a slow grind, so day traders must keep stop losses close to the vest and hang on with all their fright. Yes, that's no typo. Fear and greed rule the markets and the fear index is on the rise.

At the Close 1.10.16:
Dow: 19,855.53, -31.85 (-0.16%)
NASDAQ: 5,551.82, +20.00 (0.36%)
S&P 500: 2,268.90, 0.00 (0.00%)
NYSE Composite: 11,183.33, +13.54 (0.12%)