Equities Start The Day Higher But...
Equities start the day higher but that’s leaves me a little bummed. I mean yes, its rainy and gray outside my window but futures up 13 pts should’ve cheered me up. Friday’s wallop has once again proven that we are in a trendless market. I got all optimistic the other day because the NYSE Composite was breaking out and the market was within sight of a new high but then it all came tumbling down like Danerys’ popularity ratings. What’s going on? Why has this choppy trend stayed with us for the past 6 months? I guess it’s probably a couple things 1) Europe is hot and so is Asia. The fanciest new trades are all across oceans from here. Everyone wants the Dax and the Hang Seng more than they want another round in the US. 2) People still refuse to embrace the market. About 52% of Americans aren’t even in this thing. 3) Greece lurks even 4 years later. I’m so glad we are still worrying about a Graccident or Grexit or whatever the new term is. Almost as reliable as death and taxes. 4) Transports struggle. One of my favorite sectors to watch and its mired in so much muck. How can the market rally while this sector dithers? There are more reasons than I care to list but it’s plainly apparent that we need a change in market character. We selloff, it fails, we move higher, that fails. A recurring pattern for the past 4 months that has us all treading endless water. What will break the stalemate? I guess the Fed could with dovish comments. Or maybe US Macro data will stop augering into the ground. Oil rally? Earnings? I guess those are possible too, but until you see a change in the way this thing trades cast a wary eye on the whole shebang. Shebang. She moves..she moves (you’ll sing it all day)
After the open, I upgraded my despair to mild interest as the market rallied 1%. So let me get this straight, down on Friday big just because and up on Monday just because? Arrggh. There was one stock today that I marveled at and that was OXM. Oxford Industries? I think they make those sweet Hawaiian shirts I bought at Tommy Bahamas. Wait..they do! They also make Lilly Pulitzer, which must be some kind of amazing clothes because they made the TGT supply chain cry “uncle”! Look at some of those pictures…is there a free bottle of Pappy Van Winkle with these things? I love marketing / stock stories like these, it proves that a good old fashioned idea done well still works in this crazy day and age. You don’t always need some startup with a hot new way to order kale in order to grow your net worth. What else…HAS rose 12% after earnings. I spent the weekend cleaning out my basement and I can tell you HAS must be half of it so this one makes sense. Other winners CSX, HAR, AMZN, and IBM. Imagine trying to ride the CSX train (yea I went there), it’s traded between 31-35 in the past 5 sessions. Nuts. This is a railroad with a near 10% range in a few days. Cue up Ozzy Osbourne.
The final hour saw us churn on the highs and while we didn’t close on them, we were certainly close enough. 2,100 up 0.9%. Tech stocks led the way and even those Transports I mentioned earlier did well. But no, I’m NOT falling for it! Nope. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me…..twice….well we won’t get fooled again. I’m not getting optimistic about this market until I see 2,130 - 2140, with suitable breadth and certain sectors performing well. Until then its noise at the top…you hear that market Gods? Noise at the top! What do I have to do to reverse jinx this thing higher?
Final score: Dow +117bps, S&P500 +92bps, Nasdaq +127bps, Rus2k +104bps
- Succinct Summation of the Days Events: Some overnight news out of China got us going in the right direction. Europe helped, but ultimately it was a “buy the dip” session like we’ve seen for the past few years. Still in the range though.
- After hrs earnings: IBM +2% (beat)
- Valuewalk has Einhorn’s latest letter. This quote had me a bit concerned: “…the opportunity set on the long side is quite constrained. Most of the investment thesis we have reviewed over the past several months can at best be described as late-cycle opportunites, with valuations that often ignore historical economic sensitivity. The operatin (and in some case activist) execution needed to achieve target results has to be rated at Triple Lindy difficulty levels.”
- This quote (from Slack’s CEO) also has me concerned (lotta concern for a Monday): “I’ve been in this industry for 20 years. This is the best time to raise money ever. It might be the best time for any kind of business in any industry to raise money for all of history, like since the time of the ancient Egyptians. It’s certainly the best time for late-stage start-ups to raise money from venture capitalists since this dynamic has been around.”
- I don’t know….I’m not sure I could take a bath in a salad bowl.
- Well….this is probably a top sign too: “For the first time since 2007, more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say their financial situation is “getting better,” a new Gallup pollshows. That’s up from a low of 29 percent three years ago.”
- Grantland’s Game of Thrones recap! Should be in EVERY Monday.
- Josh Brown answers “what’s the biggest threat to your portfolio”. Ultimately he says its “you” but I liked this part the best: “Hulbert had made the point that no one will see the thing coming that derails the economy or the market next time around. It certainly won’t be something that’s on the front page of the newspaper each day like Greece or interest rates. I would add in that we still cannot pinpoint the events that have marked previous market tops even in hindsight”. That’s the thing right? And what makes these random selloffs so frustrating. It’s not going to be some headline that spooks the market. We will never be able predict the top of this bull market. All we can do is have a plan, that’s it.
- This link, which you may or may not find bland, really touched me deep down. What it means to be a Dad.
- Remember when I used to post links about Chinese bridges to nowhere? Giant vacant shopping malls? Cities built with no occupants? Yea, this story shouldn’t surprise you at all. No one should be caught off guard here. “Chinese real-estate developer Kaisa has officially defaulted on its debt. This story has been developing for months, and it's confirmation of what can go wrong for investors who are making risky bets in an emerging economy.”
We’ll end tonight with a magic trick. I can’t say I understand how this one works but if it was done on live TV then WOW.
Have a good night.