Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Risk On - Risk Off Roller Coaster Is Expected In The Age Of Trump

Get used to volatility in the age of Trump.

Markets - especially stocks and bonds - are more than likely to correct and enter bear territory during Trump's administration. The bond bubble has been extended beyond its "use by" date and the stock rally since 2009 has been nothing short of miraculous, if one considers the creation of 11 trillion dollars (probably more) out of thin air to be the stuff of miracles.

Stocks and bonds are both overvalued, thus, we should experience a 10-year note at 3.0% or higher at some point in the near future, and stocks reversing course due to the competition and relative safety of bonds. Trump's policies are likely to exacerbate the condition of extreme overvaluation which will manifest itself in wild swings. He'll certainly get much needed help from the Fed, whose stated aim is to impose a regime of never-ending inflation.

Problem is, there are major distortions in the US and global economy, mostly the overhang from doing nothing to fix the issues of 2008 (actual bank failures). Let's see interest rates rise, stocks fall and somehow, inflation? A dubious argument at best.

Deflation is the friend of the frugal and that's what's coming. With less capital to blow on hookers and blow, the thrift-loving Americans in the heartland (forget the cesspool cities, they're toast) will benefit from all manner of liquidations and fire sales. It's a transfer of wealth from rich to poor and urban to rural that is long overdue. Most of the debt is tied to cities, not arable land and/or hunting/wilderness/undeveloped/underdeveloped properties.

One can get a unique impression from living in one of America's poorer areas, such as rural upstate New York, but you know what? Some people are thriving, those being land owners, farmers, growers, people with roadside stands, trade specialties, mechanical abilities and low overhead. It's pretty basic stuff, but large swaths of rural America are going to be very affordable and desirable. The cites, not so much. Pain for some, gain for others. The survivalist mentality had it right all along and will be proven winners in coming months and years.

As for today, two days before Mr. Trump assumes the office of president, markets were roiled again, lurching from one idea to another, up, then down, then sideways. European stocks were higher, WTI crude oil got smashed early but rebounded. Gold was flat, then lower; silver, always the outlier, hit its best level in a month, ended the day in New York down on the session, and has been trending higher into the inauguration, but options and futures settlements are closing fast (26th and 27th of January).

Mostly, stocks tread water and didn't offer much in the way of direction though by now, unless reading charts is grossly overrated, it's apparent that the Trump rally has run its course and Dow 20,000 is a fleeting memory.

At The Close 1.18.16:
Dow: 19,804.72, -22.05 (-0.11%)
NASDAQ: 5,555.65, +16.93 (0.31%)
S&P 500: 2,271.89, +4.00 (0.18%)
NYSE Composite: 11,196.11, -0.18 (-0.00%)

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