Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Stocks End Losing Streak On Vix Fix Buying Spree

Apparently, somebody at the controls of the VIX machine, the one that supposedly measures market volatility, cranked the mechanism down on Tuesday, after the thing just ran off on its own Monday, spiking above 14 (14.85 at the open Monday morning) for the first time in what seems like eons.

Not that it mattered to anybody in particular, but there were some worries deep in the bowels of Wall Street's finest casinos, brokerages the the completely contrived and extremely overbought rally would not extend into year nine with gusto, so the eight-day losing streak for the Dow was dealt a swift, manipulated whipping, as stocks took off at the open and continued a steady ascent throughout the session.

According to various and supposed "expert analysts" in places like Yahoo Finance, Market Watch and Bloomberg, Tuesday's rally was the result of impressive consumer confidence, as though the average consumer has any truck with stocks, other than, of course, being roped and prodded into various pension and 401k schemes designed to enrich their advisors retirement portfolio.

As the case may be, consumer confidence is largely tied to Wall Street's excessive enthusiasm and outrageous fees, insofar as the supine congress and the brilliant politicians in the District of Columbia (that's D.C., for all you low information investors) have decided that financial advisors and retirement planners do not have to work in a fiduciary capacity, as was supposed to be required under part of the Dodd-Frank reforms. That's not an issue now, however, as these investment "pros" can once again lead the naive retail consumers into their own vehicles with their own sets of fees and refinements. It's a lovely arrangement... for the brokerages.

Just so nobody is confused, the casino always wins, and today was further proof. Now, wait until you're 57 1/2, or 59 1/2, or 62 or 65 or 70, to begin feeling the joy of getting roughly 5-10% less return on your hard earned money than if you had just invested it yourself in a no-load mutual fund or some safe bonds, or, perish the thought, gold or silver, the latter of which continues heading higher (over $18/ounce), despite the best efforts of the central bank cartel to suppress the price, as they did again today with gold.

Funny how the only real money (intrinsic value) in the world continues to be spat upon, denigrated, and by the elite supra-nationals in our midst.

King Midas is spinning in his crypt.

At the Close, 3/28/17:
Dow: 20,701.50, +150.52 (0.73%)
NASDAQ: 5,875.14, +34.77 (0.60%)
S&P 500: 2,358.57, +16.98 (0.73%)
NYSE Composite: 11,493.84, +79.51 (0.70%)

WARNING: Congressional Democrats Are Detrimental To The Health Of The Stock Market

Just in case anybody's keeping score, Monday marked the eighth straight day of losses for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Only the buoyant NASDAQ finished with gains, a sign that there are still plenty of speculative players plying "animal spirits" despite evidence to the contrary, i.e., the VIX spiked above 13, stocks cannot maintain momentum. The eight straight losing sessions is the longest for the Dow since August 2011.

Primary drivers for the recent about face from all-time highs are politicians in Washington, now about to erupt into all-out war between the two parties over everything from the fake "Russians hacked the election" story, to blocking the confirmation of Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, to walking back and away from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R). Claiming he is unfit for the job, Democrats are calling for him to step down, amid accusations that he met secretly with President Trump over concerns that the incoming president was bugged by outgoing president Barack Obama's administration in November, December and January.

The Kafkaesque nature of recent developments in congress can only help make Wall Street even more jittery than it already is. Democrats have been bolstered by the stumbling attempt by Republicans in the House to overturn Obamacare, as Speak of the House, Paul Ryan, cancelled a vote on the proposed measure, which was hastily prepared and loaded with amendments and proposals that left the bill dead on arrival.

It has become crystal clear that Democrats in congress are still upset of losing the presidential election last November and trying to obstruct and delay any attempts by the current administration to fix what is wrong with the country. The new delaying tactics are designed to extend to the next recess, on April 7, at which point the Democrats can return to their districts and/or devise new tactics to thwart the smooth operation of government over a two-week span. Congress won't reconvene until the 25th of April once the recess is called.

The obvious battle being waged in Washington is not good for anyone investing in anything (except safe havens: bonds silver, gold), until one side emerges victorious and a path forward can be envisioned. Since there's little to no chance of either side claiming a decisive victory, investors should be aware and prepared for a long period of indecision and therefore, wild swings in markets and individual stocks. Nothing is safe within an environment of stealth, obfuscation, denial, lies, and feigned surprise as exists in the halls of congress leading the political sphere.

A well-defined move of funds to cash, bonds, and precious metals will offer a signal that a bear market is dead ahead, something which should be expected to occur in any case, as the current bull run is overextended and built upon mountains of debt and stock buybacks.

Developments to come - both from Washington and Wall Street - may prove deadly to bullish sentiment and frightening to anyone who still has a memory of what "normal" should look like.


At The Close 3.27.17:
Dow: 20,550.98, -45.74 (-0.22%)
NASDAQ: 5,840.37, +11.64 (0.20%)
S&P 500: 2,341.59, -2.39 (-0.10%)
NYSE Composite: 11,414.33, -4.56 (-0.04%)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stocks Slip As Ryan Pulls Obamacare Repeal/Replace Bill

Lacking the necessary support from rank-and-file Republicans, House Speaker Paul Ryan yanked the Obamacare Repeal and Replace Bill that had been scheduled for a vote today in the House of Representatives just as US stock markets closed.

The bill had been on shaky ground for weeks as various splinter groups within the Republican party had issues with the wording and its hasty implementation.

According to various polls, the American public didn't appreciate the bill much either, as it was getting to be regarded as Obamacare-Lite.

This leaves the Republicans, especially Speaker Ryan, with plenty of egg on their faces and an uphill battle in the congress against entrenched, obstructionist Democrats.

Most sane people are seeking relief from the poorly-named Affordable Care Act (ACA) that has featured skyrocketing healthcare premiums and absurd deductibles, most upwards of $5000 per year.

Though the official word that the bill had been pulled came moments before the Wall Street close, apparently there were many who saw it coming. The Dow Industrials ended a see-saw week with a near 60-point loss. The S&P and NYSE Composite finished with losses as well, though the NASDAQ managed a small gain.

All major indices were lower for the week.

At The Close, 3/24/17:
Dow: 20,596.72, -59.86 (-0.29%)
NASDAQ: 5,828.74, +11.04 (0.19%)
S&P 500: 2,343.98, -1.98 (-0.08%)
NYSE Composite: 11,419.14, -11.76 (-0.10%)

For the Week:
Dow: -317.90 (-1.52%)
NASDAQ: -72-26 (-1.22%)
S&P 500: -34.27 (-1.44%)
NYSE Composite: -170.13 (-1.47)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

America And The World Approaches The Brink Of Disaster

Let's get back to business here.

Whether or not anybody wishes to admit or observe it, America is in the midst of a crisis of almost unimaginable proportions.

We have a federal government teetering on complete disintegration over a variety of issues, including, but surely not limited to: the repeal/replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or ObamaCare); a runaway, subversive intelligence community; a Democrat party that is intent upon destroying the presidency of Donald Trump and thwarting him at every opportunity, with capable assistance from the fake media establishment in the guise of the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and especially CNN (Criminally Neurotic Network); a Treasury nearly $20 trillion in debt and congress not even close to any agreement on any kind of fiscal budget or even discussion of such as the debt ceiling is being superceded.

There's more with which to deal, like crime, illegal aliens, Trump's temporary immigration ban, terrorism and such, but the issues before our broken congress are the main drivers taking the nation to the brink of disaster and quite possibly over the edge.

Not wishing to sound too pessimistic concerning the current state of affairs in the former land of the free, individual freedoms are at the core of what ails this country. If anything can be accomplished by our elected representatives, it would be first to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or, at the very least, permanently remove the individual mandate that requires every taxpayer to purchase health care or face increasingly punitive fines for failing to comply.

As it stands, the IRS is reportedly not enforcing the "law", conforming to President Trump's first Executive Order, issued on the day of his inauguration, in which he instructed all federal agencies "to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden..."
The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
-- Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome

So, we have lawlessness being visibly encouraged, though it is directed against a law, the ACA, that carries within it, in the form of the individual mandate, a certain unconstitutionality, codified by a corrupted federal judiciary, i.e., the Supreme Court. Incidentally, that same Supreme Court is hopeless, deadlocked with eight justices, until, perhaps, the Senate decides to confirm the President's nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to take the positioned vacated by the late Antonin Scalia.

While Washington continues to devolve and approach the gates of hell, apparently driving chariots of fire, like gawkers and bookmakers, Wall Street insiders drives the market up, down, sideways and to its breaking point. The entire retail sector - with Sears leading the charge - is collapsing. Radio Shack recently re-entered bankruptcy, hopefully for the final time, and Payless Shoes is on the block. Malls across America are fast becoming nothing more than exercise walking routes for seniors rather than the shopping "experiences" for which they were designed.

We are changing, but we are not growing. The bulk of any profit is eaten alive by taxes, regulations, corporate executives, hackers and other thieves. In the end, there's little left for the common man.

And that's a crying shame, because the common man (and woman) is the person who built the country, who made it great, who is watching it self-destruct and who has nothing to do with the great default that is upon us.

The government is the problem, and seeking solutions from that very same government, be it federal, state, or local, is not a winning strategy. We will only get more of the same, and the same will only sink the nation further into the morass of stupidity, overspending, and normalcy bias with which we are currently plagued.

Our current malaise is not a democrat or republican issue. It is not liberal nor conservative. It is purely greed, avarice and corruption at every level that has besieged our once-great nation and if ever the United States of America is going to become - as the current resident of the White House proposes - great again, we must begin to call out the corrupt, the purposefully vague, the unequivocally deceitful, rapacious legislators and governors and bureaucrats that have lain waste to our nation, and all those who either back them, encourage them, enable them or act as apologists for them.

We are as close to systemic breakdown in our culture, our politic, and our economy than at any time since World War II, and that is a frightening prospect. More frightening, however, is the idea, the very concept, that ordinary people expect positive results from the very people who promulgated the predicament in the first place.

If Mr. Trump, the preeminent deal-maker of this generation, is unable to come to grips and compromise with the congress and the judiciary, it's likely that all that America has stood for will have been for naught, for we will bear witness to the destruction of the world's greatest constitutional republic in history.

But, if the wise and courageous among us will act, the destruction may yet be avoided. We face the fight of our lives over the next few years, and we cannot afford to fail.

It's not just economy at stake, but liberty and life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Midday View: Stocks, Oil Being Crushed, Dow Down Over 200 Points; Silver, Gold Rallying

Sorry to be away so long, folks, but car issues, Spring storms and internet incapacity have had Money Daily on extended camp schedule.

Not to worry, however, as stocks are tumbling midday on Tuesday. The usual culprits are blamed (President Trump and banks), but oil is also down hard, continuing the recent trend, trading in the mid-$47 range.

On the bright side, gold and silver are surging, perhaps as a notification to the world's leaders that fiat currencies backed by empty promises cannot outlast tangible assets or real money.

A little pressed for time at the present, this will be followed up on Wednesday, all willing.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fed Raises Rates, Wall Street Doesn't Blink

As the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate to 0.75-1.00% on Wednesday, investors and traders barely took notice of the highly-anticipated move, sending stocks higher on the day and taking a basically taking the day off Thursday. Stocks were flat-lined at the close.

All in seems to be the order of the day, so long as the Fed isn't too interested in raising rates again too soon.

More on this and other important topics in the Money Daily weekend recap, Friday afternoon and Saturday.

For now, we're just happy to have survived the great blizzard of 2017. Lots of snow, lots of wind, not much fun, but, happily, it's over.

At the close, 3.16.17:
Dow: 20,934.55 -15.55 (-0.07%)
NASDAQ: 5,900.76, 0.71 (0.01%)
S&P 500: 2,381.38, -3.88 (-0.16%)
NYSE Composite: 11,600.24, 9.93 (0.09%)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Despite Near-Surety Of Fed Rate Hike, Stocks Gain To Close Out Week

Editor's Note: This weekend edition may be the last Money Daily posting until Thursday of this week as incredibly bad weather has persisted in our neck of the woods, a recent windstorm knocking out power to over a quarter million of our neighbors immediately to the West. Bone-chilling temperatures and a major snowstorm are predicted for the early part of this coming week. Money Daily will return to a regular daily posting once weather conditions permit.

Investors took Friday's non-farm payroll (NFP) report of 235,000 net new jobs added to the US economy in February as genuine good news, despite the nearly foregone conclusion that the robust figure would make the case for a federal funds rate increase by the FOMC of the Federal Reserve a fait acommpli. The gains snapped a recent string of losing sessions on the major indices.

In reality, the idea of a rate increase of 25 basis points shouldn't be worrying to anybody, especially with the federal funds overnight rate remaining at or below zero for 14 of the past 17 years and the last eight straight.

A 0.25% increase would move the rate to 0.75-1.00, a number that the Fed has been apprehensive of since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Since then, they and their fellow travelers in central banking have added trillions in liquidity to the fractured system, saving it from complete collapse.

In the process, however, they have managed to dilute the currencies of most nations, notably those of Japan and the European Union. While rate increases by the US may be a panacea, they could impact other nationas and the global economy in a variety of ways. As the last crisis was liquidity-driven, expect any future crises to be based upon sovereign solvency or faith in national currencies, all of which are backed by nothing more than the faith and (ahem) credit of the issuing country.

The globe is one giant Ponzi scheme, in which everybody buys each others currencies, hoping beyond hope that nobody defaults in a messy manner. Thus far, central banking institutions have managed to avoid large-scale default, but there's no guarantee that such benign conditions will avail themselves indefinitely.

On the other hand, with the ability to conjure dollars, euros and yen out of thin air at their whim, the central bankers are holding all the cards, even though they're bluffing into their sleeves. The system may fail at some point, but it's more likely that gradualism will prevail, making the case that the most important aspect of one's finances may not be generation of income or growth, but preservation of what one already owns.

At The Close, Friday, March 9, 2017:
Dow: 20,902.98, +44.79 (0.21%)
NASDAQ: 5,861.73, +22.92 (0.39%)
S&P 500: 2,372.60, +7.73 (0.33%)
NYSE Composite: 11,500.76, +43.12 (0.38%)

For the Week:
Dow: -102.73 (-0.49%)
NASDAQ: -9.03 (-0.15%)
S&P 500: -10.52 (-0.44%)
NYSE Composite: -97.61 (-0.84%)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Is Good News, Good News? February NFP 255,000; Fed Sure To Hike Rates Next Week

As was expected, the February non-farm payroll number was massive, with the US labor force expanding by 235,000 jobs according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, the excellent report supplying plenty of cover for the Federal Reserve to increase the federal funds rate when the FOMC meets next Tuesday and Wednesday.

While the jobs report has Americans ecstatic over the prospects for jobs as the first year of the Trump administration ensues, raising interest rates is not such a universally-loved subject as low rates have largely fueled the eight-year rally which continues on Wall Street.

If the Fed decides to hike rates when they meet next week, it will be the second such advance in three months. In December, the Fed increased the federal funds rate to a range of 0.50-.0.75%. The stock market shrugged it off, advancing sharply since, though the past week has seen the major averages pull back from all-time highs.

An increase to 0.75-1.00% next week would hardly be earth-shattering or even noticeable to most. Some mortgage and credit card debt is tied to the rate, though more are gauged to the prime rate, which hasn't seen much movement throughout the economic expansion.

So, perhaps the good news from the jobs report will translate into genuine good news for the economy. It will, if it slows down the pace of stock buybacks which have fueled the rally, and doesn't crimp the Main Street economy, which is beginning to show positive signs.

At The Close, 4.9.17:
Dow: 20,858.19 +2.46 (0.01%)
NASDAQ: 5,838.81, +1.25 (0.02%)
S&P 500: 2,364.87, +1.89 (0.08%)
NYSE Composite: 11,457.64, +9.43 (0.08%)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Stocks Down Third Straight Session As NFP Looms

One would assume that a good jobs number on Friday would be good for stocks, but, as the economy goes, the Fed goes against it, with tightening via a raise in the federal funds rate almost a surety if the NFP number for February comes in strong, as suggested by Wednesday's ADP figure of 298,000 new jobs added in the month.

That's the backwardness of the stock market, fueled almost entirely by cheap credit and share repurchases (buybacks) over the past eight years. In fact, today marks the 8th anniversary of the market bottom in 2009, and its been nothing but accommodation by the Fed and happy talk from the press ever since.

Thus, stocks fell for the third straight session and fourth in five days, with the exception of the NASDAQ, where speculators have still not succumbed to the axe of profit-taking.

In a sign that the narrative may be unraveling, WTI crude oil fell sharply on Wednesday, closing under $50 a barrel for the first time since December after another survey showed massive gluts in crude and distillates. This should transfer into good news for drivers as the spring and summer driving months come into focus with lower prices at the pump.

Oil has experienced a glut of magnificent proportions over the past two years with demand down and supply at or near record levels. The price of +$50 has been fueled largely by speculation, as is everything else in the financial sector. With interest rates set to increase, perhaps the malinvestments and speculative frenzy can abate and true price discovery ensue.

At The Close, 3.8.17:
Dow: 20,855.73, -69.03 (-0.33%)
NASDAQ: 5,837.55, +3.62 (0.06%)
S&P 500: 2,362.98, -5.41 (-0.23%)
NYSE Composite: 11,448.21, -58.11 (-0.51%)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Stocks Lower Again In Sluggish Trade

For the second straight session and the third in the past four, the major indices closed in the red as US equities seem to have reached the top of the proverbial "wall of worry."

More than any one thing, the investment community is concerned about the Fed raising rates next week, though the unusually highly charged political environment could be taking its toll on an overstretched market.

Stocks are not supposed to be prone to politics, but that is the unitary condition that is emerging, in which all aspects of economics, politics and religion become intertwined.

AT THE CLOSE, 3/7/17:
Dow: 20,924.76, -29.58 (-0.14%)
NASDAQ: 5,833.93, -15.25 (-0.26%)
S&P 500: 2,368.38, -6.93 (-0.29%)
NYSE Composite: 11,506.32, -41.47 (-0.36%)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Major Indices Lower To Start Week As FOMC Decision Looms

As investors weighed the risks of a March increase in the federal funds rate, all major averages slipped to open the week on Wall Street.

Members of the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee (FOMC) have been widely suggestive that they would approve a 0.25% increase in the federal funds rate when they meet next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14 and 15.

Thus, with money tightening, investors are squaring up positions or exiting the market in search of opportunity, primarily ending up in cash or bonds. Wall Street has rallied strongly since the election of Donald Trump as president back in November, but it appears the Fed is about to empty the punch bowl of nearly-free funding for speculators.

At The Close, 3.6.17:
Dow: 20,954.34, -51.37 (-0.24%)
NASDAQ: 5,849.18, -21.58 (-0.37%)
S&P 500: 2,375.31, -7.81 (-0.33%)
NYSE Composite: 11,547.79, -50.58 (-0.44%)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Recap: Wild Wall Street Ride Continues Push Higher

Amid the swirling winds of Washington's political circus, the nation's financial sector continued to take all the body blows, low blows, and talking head shots dished out by the deep state in perfect stride, carrying the averages to new highs on Wednesday following President Trump's speech before a joint assembly of congress.

With one eye on the political process and the other on the Federal Reserve, stocks continued to dance forward into March, with two key dates upcoming: Friday, March 10, when the February non-farm payroll report is released, and, Wednesday, March 15, the conclusion of a two-day FOMC meeting largely expected to result in an increase in the federal funds rate, from 0.50-0.75 to 0.75 to 1.00.

The jobs report will be crucial in terms of setting the agenda for the Fed governors. If expectations are met and job growth continues to be robust, the Fed will almost certainly announce a rate hike. Falling short of expectations could lead to another month of inaction on interest rates.

In any case, stocks were pumped after the presidential address in which Mr. Trump reiterated promises to build a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States, repeal and replace Obamacare, and set forth an overall economic agenda that will include budget cuts to various agencies, a trillion dollar infrastructure plan and a rejiggering of the tax code.

Should the President succeed even marginally on his lofty economic goals, stock pickers may well find themselves in a condition to ignore any moves by the Fed, freeing speculators from the tired monologue that has led the market for the past eight years running and continue the now third-longest expansion in stock market history.

Shrugging off such ancient notions as fundamental valuations and price-earnings ratios, investors have taken the stock markets literally to uncharted territories. The US dollar remains the currency of choice in most of the world and with that oil and most commodity prices have slumped and/or stabilized. Bonds continue to vacillate, though short term rates are beginning to show signs of stress, especially in consideration of upcoming budget and debt ceiling debates. Also on the minds of many in the investing community are elections in the Netherlands (in two weeks) and France (April 23) where populist candidates in the Donald Trump style are engaged in hotly contested races.

The populist surge sweeping the globe is unlikely to be quelled soon, either by technocrats in the European Union or entrenched politicians across a wide swath of nations, from Malaysia to Japan to Italy and Germany. The middle class in developed nations, having been squeezed financially by globalization, is in nearly full revolt. All the while, giant corporations appear confident that they will weather the ongoing stormy crises.

At the Close, 3.3.17:
Dow: 21,005.71, +2.74 (0.01%)
NASDAQ: 5,870.75, +9.53 (0.16%)
S&P 500: 2,383.12, +1.20 (0.05%)
NYSE Composite: 11,598.37, +22.46 (0.19%)

Since the election in early November, the NYSE Comp. and S&P 500 have closed higher 12 of 17 weeks, the Dow and NASDAQ, 13 of 17.

For the week ending 3.3.17:
Dow: +183.95 (0.88%)
NASDAQ: +25.45 (0.44%)
S&P 500: +15.78 (0.67%)
NYSE Composite: +57.08 (0.49%)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Stock Markets Backtrack In Advance of February NFP Jobs Report

Editor's Note: Sincere apologies to readers for the incorrect posting this morning. February Non-farm payroll data will not be released until March 10, instead of the usual first Friday of the month. Money Daily reported below that the NFP data would be out TODAY, March 3, but that is not the case. We seriously regret the error.

Following Wednesday's massive upturn in markets on the heels of President Trump's speech, Thursday was a bit of a reality check for gamblers in the Wall Street Casino.

Smart one - and there were plenty of them - took their quick profits and are likely sitting in cash ahead of Friday's non-farm payroll report from the tarnished Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Since February is a short month, expectations for another bump in payrolls may very well be disappointed, to a degree not previously factored.

ADP reported fewer jobs created in the private sector for February than expected. The 139,000 American workers hired to private-sector payrolls in February was below economists' consensus forecast of 155,000. Additionally, ADP revised their January figure to 127,000 from 175,000. That's a mighty big decline which was overshadowed by Wednesday's shock and awe euphoria.

While the NFP does not exactly mirror ADP, it usually tracks pretty well, though the BLS is notorious for using metrics such as the business birth/death model to goose numbers toward the desired result.

Non-farm payroll data will be released Friday morning at 8:30 am ET. There may well be fireworks if the number falls short of the lowered-bar expectations of 157,000 net new jobs.

At The Close, 3.2.17:
Dow: 21,002.97, -112.58 (-0.53%)
NASDAQ: 5,861.22, -42.81 (-0.73%)
S&P 500: 2,381.92, -14.04 (-0.59%)
NYSE Composite: 11,575.91, -85.31 (-0.73%)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Trump Effect: Stocks Roar To New All-Time Highs Following Presidential Address

How important President Donald Trump's speech before a joint assembly on congress Tuesday night was is not easy to gauge, but, from a Wall Street perspective, he must have hit the high notes perfectly because all major averages were straight up at the opening bell and continued to add to gains throughout Wednesday's session.

The Dow, which blew away the 20,000 Rubicon less than a month ago, added nearly 1.5%, or 303 points, its largest one-day gain since early December. With Industrials leading the way, the other three major averages broke out as well, with the S&P pretty much reaching highs that analysts had been predicting as end-of-year results, yet we're barely two months into the new year.

How this kind of euphoria will eventually manifest itself is still a mystery, especially with stocks tacking higher despite consistent warnings of a valuation trap being set. While stocks continue to ramp on a daily basis, corporate reports are not following the same tune. Additionally, analysts from various houses also revised first quarter GDP estimates lower, with Goldman Sachs and the Atlanta Fed looking for 1.8% growth. JP Morgan and Bank of America are even more pessimistic, at 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively.

In the main, what companies behind the stocks are counting on is a relaxed regulatory environment under President Trump's administration. The President has already issued a variety of pro-business executive orders and his commitment to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is also being viewed as a positive on two fronts. First, it will free up consumer funds from an expensive mandated coverage nightmare; second, companies will probably get breaks as well in group coverage.

Adding to the speculative high spirits are items currently under the radar such as the President's budget, which includes massive cost-cutting across agencies, a one trillion dollar infrastruture plan that Mr. Trump touched on it in his speech, and trade negotiations with countries outside the framework of international treaties such as NAFTA, TPP and the World Bank.

All told, President Trump's first six weeks in office have been nothing short of miraculous for stocks, though it will take some time to see how it all plays out. Either stock pickers have been set up for a major catastrophe or the enthusiasm and honesty of the new president will indeed guide America and American business interests to new heights.

Lurking in the shadows behind the presidential bluster is the Federal Reserve, which meets in two weeks to decide whether to raise federal funds rates or keep them at current levels. Money is on them keeping the rates at the current 0.50-0.75, though even an increase of 25 basis points would seem to be inadequate to quiet Wall Street's enthusiasm.

At the Close, 3.1.17:
Dow: 21,115.55 +303.31 (1.46%)
NASDAQ: 5,904.03 +78.59 (1.35%)
S&P 500: 2,395.96, +32.32 (1.37%)
NYSE Composite: 11,661.22, +148.83 (1.29%)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Dow Winning Streak Ends At 12, Should Resume Promptly

Stocks ended a historic run of 12 straight winning sessions on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, tying the mark set in January of 1987, finishing the month of February on a dour note, though overall, stocks were fantastic for the month and so far in 2017.

With a possible March rate hike still two weeks away, there's still plenty of time to jump upon the Wall Street bandwagon. Since stocks apparently have no downside, more money will be pumped into the market by the almighty algos, probably beginning on March 1.

The old adage, "don't fight the tape," is in play as fundamentals have been tossed to the curb in favor of momentum-chasing. Stocks should continue to climb until they don't.

At The Close, 2.28.17:
Dow: 20,812.24, -25.20 (-0.12%)
NASDAQ: 5,825.44, -36.46 (-0.62%)
S&P 500: 2,363.64, -6.11 (-0.26%)
NYSE Composite: 11,512.39, -45.96 (-0.40%)