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The Morning Call--All Eyes On Powell

|Includes: Cummins Inc. (CMI), PG

The Morning Call

7/10/19

The Market

Technical

The Averages (26783, 2979) were mixed yesterday (Dow down, S&P up). Both remain above both MA’s and in uptrends across all time frames. Volume was flat and anemic; breadth was weak. Still momentum is to the upside; so, my assumption is that they will challenge the upper boundary of their long term uptrends (29947, 3191). Nevertheless, there are some negative: (1) short term, last Friday’s gap up opens need to be closed and (2) long term, all the other non-stock indices are pointing to a need for safety which is contrary to the current pin action in stocks.

The VIX was up 1%, but remained below both MA’s and in a very short term downtrend. So, impetus is lower. However, as I noted yesterday, it is near its historic low, suggesting limited additional downside.

The long bond rose five cents---now twelve cents away from the upper boundary of its short term trading range. Importantly, a successful challenge will reset its long term trend to up. Nonetheless, it is above both MA’s and in a very short term uptrend. In addition, it had a gap down open on Friday which needs to be filled---which if it happens, would start another challenge of the upper boundary of the short term trading range. It continues to act as a safety trade.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/08/investing/30-year-bond-federal-funds-rate-economy/index.html

Italian 100 years bonds are massively oversubscribed.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-09/italys-50-year-bonds-are-6x-oversubscribed-investors-lose-their-minds

The dollar was up two cents, ending above both MA’s and in a short term uptrend. However, it made a gap up open on Friday which needs to be closed. I still believe that its pin action reflects its role as a safety trade.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-09/weaponizing-dollar-has-accelerated-demise-us-empire

GLD advanced 3/8%, continuing its strong uptrend (above both MA’s and in a short term uptrend). Still, it has made one gap up and one gap down opens and those need to be dealt with. That said, it continues to act as a safety trade.

Bottom line: despite being overbought and the need to fill gap up opens from the prior week, the Averages appear on their way to challenging the upper boundaries of their long term uptrends.

It is remains disconcerting that volume is low (versus high volume in bonds, the dollar and gold which are pointing to recession/or the need for a safety trade), breadth is weakening, other equity indices have failed to confirm the breakout of the Dow/S&P and the VIX has been acting unconventionally for the last couple of weeks.

Tuesday in the charts.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-09/dow-suffers-longest-losing-streak-4-months-bitcoin-bullion-bounce

Fundamental

Headlines

Two minor datapoints were released yesterday: month to date retail chain store sales fell less than in the prior week while the May job openings were below consensus. Nothing overseas.

Q2 GDP outlook stumbles.

http://www.capitalspectator.com/us-q2-gdp-outlook-stumbles-ahead-of-this-months-initial-report/

Housing remains the weakest link.

https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2019/07/09/housing-remains-the-weakest-link

It was a quiet news day, reflecting Powell’s nothing burger speech. My guess is that he didn’t want to upstage his appearance to in congress.

Powell’s failing Fed.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-09/powells-verschlimmbessern-fed

Bottom line: the economic data continues to reflect a sluggish (at best) economy. As you know, I am not convinced that a recession is in the picture; but the yellow light in flashing on growth becoming even more sluggish---which will likely have a negative impact on corporate profits. And that would make current valuations even more extreme.

Of course, that means nothing given the Market/Fed co-dependency. Powell starts his two days of congressional testimony today. Plus, the Fed will release the minutes from the last FOMC meeting. If the narrative remains dovish, stocks are likely to maintain an upward trajectory.

Liquidity fears hit UK equity fund.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/07/liquidity-fears-hit-other-uk-equity-funds-as-investors-remain-trapped-in-woodford-fund.html

News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) declares $0.7459/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

Cummins (NYSE:CMI) declares $1.311/share quarterly dividend, 15% increase from prior dividend of $1.14.

Economics

This Week’s Data

US

Month to date retail chain store sales fell less than in the prior week.

The May JOLTS (job openings) came in at 7.3 million versus estimates of 7.5 million.

https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2019/07/bls-job-openings-mostly-unchanged-at-73.html

Weekly mortgage applications declined 2.4% while purchase applications rose 2.3%

International

June Japanese PPI was -0.5% versus expectations of -0.3%.

June Chinese CPI was -0.1%, in line; PPI was unchanged versus +0.3%.

May UK trade deficit was -L2.3 billion versus forecasts of -L2.6 billion; GDP was +0.3%, in line; industrial production was +1.4 versus +1.5%; construction spending was +1.7% versus +0.9%; YoY GDP was +1.5% versus +1.3%.

Other

The economic impact of a higher minimum wage.

http://coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2019/07/minimum-wage-increases-are-mostly-paid-for-by-consumers.html

What I am reading today

How to get better sleep.

https://www.cnet.com/news/white-noise-pink-noise-blue-noise-brown-noise/?ftag=COS-05-10aaa0b

Edmund Burke; one of conservatism’s founding fathers.

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/one-of-conservatisms-founding-fathers

The Epstein case.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-09/snyder-epstein-case-has-potential-be-biggest-scandal-american-history

Update.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-10/bombshell-alex-acosta-reportedly-claimed-jeffrey-epstein-belonged-intelligence

Quote of the day.

https://cafehayek.com/2019/07/quotation-of-the-day-2848.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CafeHayek+%28Cafe+Hayek%29

What is the magic number for retirement savings?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/07/how-much-does-retirement-cost-1-million-magic-number/1669433001/

When to claim social security benefits.

https://www.nextavenue.org/trillion-retirees-social-security/

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Disclosure: I am/we are long PG.