Showing posts with label Maxine Waters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maxine Waters. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Stocks Stumble Again, Dow Loses All November Gains; Germany's DAX Tumbling

After a while, one gets the impression that the bottom is going to fall out at some point, the only matter being one of when, and, maybe, by how much.

Stocks trended lower for a fourth straight day, with the Dow plunging by more than 350 points midway through the session, giving up all of its gains for November (some 1075 points). The NASDAQ led in percentage terms, down nine-tenths of a percent, with the S&P giving up early gains as well.

As usual, it could have been worse. The Dow slumped below 25,000 for the first time in two weeks, and while big, round numbers are flashy, the 25,000 level has no particular importance other than acting as a psychological figure.

Consumer prices rose by the most in nine months, as the October CPI came in with a "hot" 0.3% increase, fueling more concern that the Fed will continue raising interest rates at its December meeting, as planned. By now, the December federal funds increase should have been priced in, so, accusing inflation as the culprit de jour is probably a bit off the mark. What's really causing the continuation of the selling is more than likely a move by smart money out of stocks and into bonds or cash equivalents. With a 10-year treasury note offering well beyond three percent interest with no risk, some of the money leaving the market is surely headed that way, though corporate bonds are similarly attractive, albeit with a little more risk premia.

The major indices are still less than 10 percent off their all-time highs, making valuation a true issue. Post midterm elections, it appears that the federal government will be largely dysfunctional for the next two years, blunting any of President Trump's economic initiatives, and Maxine Waters proclamation that banking regulations will be tightened isn't winning any popularity contests on Wall Street. Waters is the chair-in-waiting of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees banks and other financial institutions.

There's considerable concern over the smooth continuation of government, more even than there has been since the Gore-Bush election selection fiasco of 2000. Taken by any measure, Trump's policies in the first two years of his administration have been business-friendly, and the newly-elected Democrat majority in the House not only threatens to stop any progress that's been made, but actually reverse it by plunging Washington into chaos with investigations and special committees designed to strip the president of his power and possibly lead to impeachment.

Such an unstable environment gives pause to business expansion decisions while also worrying large investors. Thus, stocks are acting as a proxy for politics, which is not their best function, and the results could be devastating if the Democrats don't back down from their overly strident positions.

Given such a climate, is there any wonder stocks cannot gain traction, even with unemployment at historic lows?

Another concern is the state of foreign markets, which remain moribund at best, the DAX, Germany's main stock index has been falling in conjunction with US stocks, and it recently broke a key "neckline" in an obvious head-and-shoulders pattern according to analysts at The German market could enter bear market territory in a matter of weeks, if not days, an important element in gauging world stock performance and a general indicator of economic health in the Eurozone.

These are just a few of the elements pushing hard against investors.

While the Dow is still 1000 points from an official correction, the NASDAQ re-entered the correction zone on Monday and the tech sector - which had been the driver of rallies - threatens to pull the entire stock complex down with it.

Amazon may be celebrating a coup in gaining sweet deals for its new HQ2 in Virginia and New York, but the rest of the tech world is not such a happy place.

Dow Jones Industrial Average November Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
11/1/18 25,380.74 +264.98 +264.98
11/2/18 25,270.83 -109.91 +155.07
11/5/18 25,461.70 +190.87 +345.94
11/6/18 25,635.01 +173.31 +519.25
11/7/18 26,180.30 +545.29 +1064.54
11/8/18 26,191.22 +10.92 +1075.46
11/9/18 25,989.30 -201.92 +873.54
11/12/18 25,387.18 -602.12 +271.42
11/13/18 25,286.49 -100.69 +170.27
11/14/18 25,080.50 -205.99 -35.72

At the Close, Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,080.50, -205.99 (-0.81%)
NASDAQ: 7,136.39, -64.48 (-0.90%)
S&P 500: 2,701.58, -20.60 (-0.76%)
NYSE Composite: 12,280.73, -47.57 (-0.39%)