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The Morning Call--Market/Fed Codependency Remains Intact

|Includes: PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP)

The Morning Call

10/4/19

The Market

Technical

The Averages (26201, 2910) recovered a portion of Wednesday losses yesterday. But volume was down though breadth improved. The VIX fell 7 % ending above its 200 DMA for a third day (now resistance; if it remains there through the close today, it will revert to support) and above its 100 DMA (now support).

The good news is that (1) the indices made gap down opens on Wednesday and those need to be closed and (2) the Dow fell to its 200 DMA intraday and bounced. The bad news is that both Averages closed below their 100 DMA’s for a second day (both support; if they remain there through the close today, they will revert to resistance).

My assumption for the long term remains that the momentum is to the upside. However, if the Averages successfully challenge both MA’s or if they close Wednesday’s down gap open but fail to make a new high, I will have to start questioning that assumption.

The long bond was up another 1%, maintaining the strong recovery from the 9/4 selloff. GLD continued to bounce back above the lower boundary of the pennant formation shown in the chart on Monday (up ½ %); though intraday, it touched the upper boundary of that formation and retreated. The dollar was off one cent but remains in a solid uptrend.

QE by any other name.

QE By Any Other Name

Thursday in the charts.

The Hunt For Red October... Is Over

Fundamental

Headlines

Yesterday’s stats were weighed to the negative: weekly jobless claims, the September NY Fed ISM index and the September ISM nonmanufacturing index were below estimates while August factory orders/ex transportation and the September Markit services and composite PMI’s were in line.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-03/u-s-jobs-outlook-is-so-weak-it-echoes-months-when-disasters-hit?srnd=premium

Overseas, August EU retail sales were in line; its August PPI, September services and composite PMI’s were below expectations; as were September German services and composite PMI’s. The September Japanese services and composite PMI’s were in line.

Trade wars continue to threaten economic growth.

Trade-War Risk Continues To Rise, Threatening US Economy

Bottom line: the economic data continues to command the headlines. Unfortunately, they don’t read well. There is, of course, a perversity to this. The worst the stats get, the higher the odds of an easier Fed which, as we all know, has to date been the key driver of stock prices. That seems to have figured in yesterday’s pin action. As long as the investors believe that Fed liquidity will pump up asset prices, bad news is good news for the equity Market. ‘As long as’ being the operative words.

To be sure, there are factors that could activate those operative words: (1) no trade deal which would threaten to push earnings growth down dramatically, (2) domestic political turmoil which depresses investor psychology or (3) signs that the Fed has lost control of monetary policy [e.g. the current dollar liquidity problem].

Morgan Stanley thinks earnings expectations are about the drop.

Watch Out Below: Why Earnings Expectations Are About To Plunge

Corporate buybacks remain strong; and so does insider selling.

Corporate Buybacks Accelerate To Strongest Weekly Level In History

News on Stocks in Our Portfolios

PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP): Q3 Non-GAAP EPS of $1.56 beats by $0.05; GAAP EPS of $1.49 beats by $0.05.

Revenue of $17.19B (+4.2% Y/Y) beats by $260M.

Economics

This Week’s Data

US

Weekly jobless claims rose 4,000 versus expectations of being flat.

September nonfarm payroll grew by 136,000 versus an anticipated increase of 145,000;hourly earnings were flat versus +0.3%; the unemployment rate was 23.5% versus 3.7%

August factory orders were down 01.% versus consensus of -0.2%; ex transportation they were 0.0% versus +0.1%.

The August trade deficit was $54.9 billion versus projections of $54.5 billion.

The September Markit services PMI came in at 50.9, in line; the composite PMI was 51.0, also in line.

Markit Services PMI: "New business growth slides to lowest in survey history"

The September ISM nonmanufacturing index was 52.6 versus estimates of 55.0.

ISM Non-Manufacturing: Slower, but Continued Growth in September

International

The September German construction PMI was 50.1 versus expectations of 47.0.

September UK new car sales were up 1.3% versus consensus of -2.0%.

Other

The Fed’s immoral inflation policy.

The Fed's Immoral Inflation Policy | The American Spectator | Politics Is Too Important To Be Taken Seriously.

What I am reading today

The historic basis of the Japanese/South Korean trade dispute.

The Japan-South Korea Dispute: Part I

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Disclosure: I am/we are long PEP.