74th Anniversary of D-Day
Equities start the day higher on the 74th anniversary of D-Day. Before I walked the halls of the University of Chicago to learn about numbers I spent four undergraduate years studying history (remember when parents only had to pay for 4?). For some reason I’ve always been fascinated with the past and no period of time intrigued me more than World War 2. Every June not only do I re-read Stephen Ambrose’s wonderful D-Day book but I read my original copy of the letter Eisenhower sent to the troops before they embarked to my children so they remember what happened on that day (I treasure that thing so much, I bought it at an antiquity store in Maine). The stakes were so impossibly high for our entire planet that no amount of exaggeration can possibly do it justice. I submit to you that June 6, 1944 was not only the most important day of the 20th century but it was one of the most important days in human history. The first waves to land at Omaha beach were from the Able and Baker companies of the 116th regiment, 29th infantry division and they were filled with young Americans sent to destroy a global menace. Most of them were just boys, barely older than my son, and they were FAR from home. Within minutes of landing in the Dog Green sector Able Company lost almost every single member including 19 men from a small town in rural Virginia. Some died on the water, some died on the beach, but the unit was effectively annihilated. If I could travel back to the past for even one minute I would head to that beach and I would kneel next to one of those men dying in the sand, I would cradle him in my arms and whisper in his ear “I know you are scared and want to go home but know this: you saved the world. You made it safe for countless generations including mine. My children’s names are William and Katherine and you made their future possible. In the next few hours soldiers from Allied nations will take these beaches and kill those who felled you, then they will march across Europe and wipe this blight from the history books. For as long as mankind walks the Earth it will be grateful to you and those who died fighting for its freedom. Rest now, be at peace.”
After the open we did our absolute best to continue this mini run we are on. The S&P, Nasdaq, and Russell2k have all been up 3 days in a row so we did our best to defend that. Zero economic data to speak of so let’s talk about dem stocks. $UAA is on a gigantic tear! The company formerly left for dead in the Fall of 2017 is up 65% YTD!! Not only that, it has a gap on the chart which requires another 15% move to fill! Steph Curry’s for everyone! TSLA gained 9% which made it stormy in Shortsville, EFX ripped 6% so I guess people have moved on from the whole “leak all our info onto the internet” thing, and banks did well because yields finally perked up. Losers…..let’s see…losers were FSLR and SPWR because solar stocks like to struggle from time to time (-4.5%), BF/B fell 6% because investors are bracing for tariffs on Jack Daniels. How stupid is that? Sigh. I’d be so mad if I lived in Lynchburg. Finally we have FAST which dropped 4% on slowing sales growth. By lunch we were trading on the highs and I was watching one of my favorite hotels in the world burn down. The poor Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge….sigh. By the way, I’m in London next week so we’re doing this recap from the road British style! Warm beer and mediocre weather for days!! (I actually love London, it’s the second best city in the world to Sydney, which is probably tied with Melbourne for my favorite. So maybe it’s the 3rd best. I’m not sure how the math works out here but we should move on)
The afternoon saw fresh highs as we put the rockiness of Feb-May further into the rear view mirror! Look what happens when we stop fretting over tweets and VIX ETFs and elections, we get that sweet sweet upside driven by 3.8% unemployment, 57 ISMs, 128 consumer confidence, 62.7 Chicago PMIs, near 700k New Home Sales, and double digit EPS growth for quarters to come. Markets correct thru time or price, we needed to reboot that late 2017 early 2018 rocket ship and it looks like we just did thru a bit of both. I bet we hit 2,800 this week and make a new all-time high by the end of June at the latest. One final snippet about D-Day: the logistics of it were so massive it was akin to moving every man, woman, and child in the cities of Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay WI, WITH THEIR CARS, across Lake Michigan in one night. How crazy is that? I can barely pack my car in one night to drive to Chicago. The world will never see anything like that ever again.
Final Score: Dow +139bps, S&P500 +85bps, Nasdaq +67bps, Rus2k +68bps
I have two links to end on tonight which I think are appropriate.
The first one is the wonderful Hymn to the Fallen written by John Williams which was made for Saving Private Ryan.
The second is an inspirational video that those who died on D-Day would want us to watch. 5 mins long, don’t miss it.
Have a good night