Bull and Baird Blog - October 12, 2016

Equities start the day lower as CUBS WIN…CUBS WIN. Alright my friends, prepare for a life story because I need to relate Cubs fandom to the stock market. I lived in Chicago in 2003, the last time the Cubs played in the NLCS. It was a glorious time:  no kids, a good job, still my in 20s, a condo near the L, and Wrigley Field was 3 blocks from my home. Cubs fever gripped the city as Prior, Wood, Sosa and Alou promised to end the curse. My wife and I trundled up to the ballfield for Game 6 on October 14, 2003. We drank Old Style, ate hot dogs, did a shot in the Cubby Bear, and prepped for a celebration of the Cubs first World Series appearance since the Ottoman empire broke up. Well…you all know what happened….Bartman decided he needed a souvenir and the rest is etched in Chicago sports history. Highs, Lows, and endless boredom…that’s what it’s like to be a Cubs fan and that’s what it’s like to sit here and watch this market. 99% of the time is boredom, a pitching duel that ends in a 1-0 score and all you want to do is go home and never watch baseball again. The rest of the time is split between enjoying late game heroics (last night) and despairing as a decades old curse rears its ugly head. What I want you to take away from this little chat is that 1) you should be rooting for the Cubs. Only someone who drinks vast amounts of hatorade while attending the Playa Hata’s Ball would want to see Chicago lose and 2) while big moves in the stock market make headlines most of the time nothing is happening, much like your average baseball game. Yesterday we fell 1.5% because AA whiffed and the Dollar keeps making new highs. But pay it no mind, it was not a Bartman incident, it was just another random selloff that happens from time to time. We will never know when the next bad event happens and we will never know when the next bear market begins so my lesson to you is this:  enjoy the ride, don’t stress too much, be prepared for all contingencies but realize that most of the time nothing is happening. Man….I can’t even tell you how bummed we were walking home after that game.

After the open nothing happened. I mean literally sideways all the way until the Fed minutes came out at 2pm ET. I swear I write on the absolute quietest days, what is wrong with me? 1.5% selloff on Tuesday and not a peep outta me. I suck. Reading the Fed minutes one thing is still painfully clear: there is no consensus at all about what to do in Nov or Dec. Some of them think it’s appropriate to hike soon and others prefer to wait for more convincing evidence about inflation. Smartest people on the planet and still no consensus….are you ready for more sideways markets because hoo boy. Guess what, they aren’t going to hike in November. I know I know, this is the first place you’ve heard that said so when you speak of me, speak well.  What about Dec? I’ll tell you what, after reading these here minutes it doesn’t feel any higher than 50/50. Winners were KR, BB,  LB, SWK, and CCI.  Losers HUM, ENDP, MOS, MYL, and REGN.   

The rest of the day brought nothing special at all and we closed at 2,139, up 12bps. Have we broken our sideways trend yet? Nope, but we are back near the lows of it. CSX reports and then we get the banks so if you’re looking for a menu of catalysts it’s pretty measly. Anyway thanks for tuning into my Cubs related blog for today. Feel free to stick around this week when we discuss such topics as “Candy Corn should be banned” and “why Pumpkin beer is dumb”.  

Final Score:  Dow +9bps, S&P500 +11bps, Nasdaq -15bps, Rus2k -3bps.

News Highlights:

  • Succinct Summation of the Day’s Events:  Very small rally off yesterday’s pounding. Fed minutes gave no real concrete indication either way (nor do they ever to be honest).
  • Cullen on buying a home:  “as I argue in my book, a house should be a place you LIVE in. It’s not an investment or a mere financial decision. It’s an asset you live in mainly because of the intangibles, not because of the financials”.
  • Now this is camping!!  
  • What is the new normal for GDP growthI've made the argument before, based on demographics, that 2% is the new 4% for GDP.
  • Why does AMZN love Prime members so much?  Check out this chart
  • It isn’t just Wall St facing a secular decline
  • This really is the best city in the world.
  • No pressure, really
  • Awesome satellite pictures here
  • Is this a function of poor retirement savings? Or people living longer? Or what?
  • You have to find a way to play this trend because it’s coming our way... “On demographics, a large cohort had been moving into the 20 to 29 year old age group (a key age group for renters).  Going forward, a large cohort will be moving into the 30 to 39 age group (a key for ownership).” 
  • I’m starting to think that Jeff Bezos will go down in history books next to Edison and Jobs.  “Regret can also be highly motivating. Before he decided to start Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos had a secure and well-paid position at the investment company D. E. Shaw & Co. in New York. Starting an online bookstore in Seattle was going to be a big leap — something that his boss (that’s D. E. Shaw) advised him to think about carefully. Says Bezos:  “The framework I found, which made the decision incredibly easy, was what I called — which only a nerd would call — a “regret minimization framework.” So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.” I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this”

Tonight I have one of those video that makes your stomach churn right before the end.   Is it just me or do you cringe right before he hits too?


Have a good night