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Weekly Market Recap Oct 21, 2018

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After the heavy selling the week prior there was sure to be an oversold bounce and indeed last Tuesday brought much of that.  It is always interesting to see what happens after that bounce – often in this bull market, once the indexes turn back up they move like a freight train.  This time – thus far at least – the action has been less aggressive.  Selling on Thursday took the S&P 500 right back down to the 200 day moving average and rally attempts Friday were fruitless.  In whole the S&P 500 barely budged for the week.

Yields on the 10 year have thus far held their own “breakout” level:

The Chinese market had an interesting Friday with an “outside reversal” day to the upside – that is a day where the price went both below the low of the prior day, as well as the high.  This happened the day after the index notched a new 4 year low.  This week’s action in that country’s market will be a tad interesting to watch.

China’s GDP grew 6.5% between July and September from the same quarter a year earlier, down slightly from 6.7% growth in the previous quarter and falling short of analysts’ expectations of 6.6% growth. However, the disappointing results were shaken off after officials said they were focused on supporting the stock market.

Yet a new low in these home builder stocks – one wonders if they are telegraphing an end to the housing boom.  Existing-home sales fell 3.4% in August, the lowest level since November 2015.

“Recent sluggishness seems increasingly driven by softer demand from would-be home buyers in the face of two emerging trends: falling rents and rising mortgage interest rates,” said Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas. “It all adds up to a situation in which supply-side factors are becoming less critical in driving home sales as they give way to softening demand. There’s still a lot of energy left in the housing market, but the rapid rise of the past few years has clearly begun to level off.”

For the week the S&P 500 rose fractionally while the NASDAQ fell 0.6%.

Retail sales rose just 0.1% for the second month in a row, the government said Monday. Wall Street had expected a 0.6% increase.  After a string of strong sales, bars and restaurants saw a big dropoff. Sales sank 1.8% in September to mark the biggest decline since the end of 2016.

“The underlying strength and confidence of the consumer still appear to have legs, and consumer spending should remain robust in the coming quarters,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors. “As such, we expect retail sales should bounce back in the coming months.”

“The hurricane in the Carolinas may have been responsible for some of the headline weakness,” wrote economists at CIBC World Markets.

The minutes of the Fed’s September meeting, released Wednesday, showed that a majority of policy makers believe interest rates must continue to rise until policy becomes restrictive.

“The market is interpreting the Fed minutes as slightly hawkish,” said Lindsey Bell, investment strategist with CFRA. For a while the market didn’t believe the Fed was serious about raising rates four times this year and three times in 2019, she said. But that changed after hawkish comments from Fed Chairman Powell earlier this month.

Here is the 5 day weekly “intraday” chart of the S&P 500 … not via Jill Mislinski.

Remarkably there are countries out there where less than 5% of the population is connected to the internet.

The week ahead…

Earnings season will continue in earnest and we have some interesting charts to watch both here in the U.S. and China!

On the earnings front, 17% of companies in the S&P 500 have delivered third-quarter results so far. More companies are beating estimates than average, but the magnitude of the beats is smaller than average, said John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet.

Index charts:

Short term: A lot of work to do to fix some of this damage in both charts.

This Russell 2000 is just in rough shape.

The NYSE McClellan Oscillator was at a very extreme level so we said watch for an oversold bounce last week.  That happened.  Now some of that selling pressure is relieved – but we are still in the red and hence it’s signaling caution.

Long term: So far both these support lines are holding – sure would be interesting to see what happens if they broke.

Charts of interest / Big Movers:

Netflix (NFLX) rose 5.8% Wednesday after it reported better-than-expected quarterly results.  But you can see those gains evaporated in the weak action to close the week.  Interesting to see how international the company has become.

International Business Machines (IBM) announced a revenue miss following the close on Tuesday. Shares fell 7.63% Wednesday.

Thursday, Endocyte (ECYT) soared 50% after Novartis said it would buy the cancer-drug maker for $2.1 billion.

Friday, PayPal (PYPL) surged 9.4% after the company boosted its outlook for the fourth quarter.

Ebay (EBAY) tumbled 8.9% Friday after analysts at Stifel Nicolaus downgraded the stock from buy to hold, citing PayPal’s earnings release, which suggested that the online retail would post disappointing gross merchandise volume when it reports on Oct. 30.

Procter & Gamble (PG) jumped 8.8% after reporting it’s best quarterly sales numbers in five years Thursday.

Have a great week and we’ll see you back here Sunday!



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Jonathan Tepper Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Jonathan Tepper
Jonathan Tepper

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Jonathan Tepper is co-author of “The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition.” He is chairman of Variant Perception, a macroeconomic research group catering to asset managers and co-founded Demotix, a citizen-journalism photo newswire.

Tepper notes — Google and Facebook control over 70% of all search and linkage within the internet. Their algorithms are biased and guide users to go where they want them to go. Most need Google or Facebook to login to certain websites. So on a platform as vast as the internet, where is the competition?

There’s a lot of smart, wealthy, entrepreneurial focused people around the world – why are they not fighting back? There is virtually no interest by people in Silicon Valley to get into the search engine game. Any small competitor that tries to insert themselves into the industry gets bought out by their larger sized competitors. Jonathan encourages capitalism and companies becoming monopolies because of organic growth. Unfortunately, this is rarely how companies grow. Monopolies are usually formed due to political advantages and strong economic footholds. Jonathan describes the economy right now as “fake capitalism.”

What will it take to overturn a Google or Facebook or Amazon? Will they be dominating for the next 30 years? The central point of evolution is competition – the struggle for survival. In a perfect world, companies with the best and strongest traits would survive while the old and fat companies would die off rather than continue to thrive because of crony capitalism. Only time will tell if these mammoth sized companies will continue to push boundaries and prosper or if a younger more creative company will overthrow them.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Technology monopolies
  • Capitalism
  • Airline monopolies
  • Anti trust laws
  • Federal Reserve
  • The banking system
  • Fake capitalism
  • The Antitrust Paradox
  • Patents

“Economic freedom is essentially a per-requisite to political freedom.” – Jonathan Tepper

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Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

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Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has preceded previous recessions, and a sign that investors are more confident about current than future economic growth as the Federal Reserve raises rates.

The “two year” vs the “ten year” Treasury yield a lot of people like to watch and that hit its narrowest spread in 11 years.

There is no rush to be involved heavily in this market until this volatility sorts itself.    The obvious near term “upside drivers” now would be (a) a real trade peace between U.S. and China and (b) the market’s favorite thing – an easier Fed; in this case that would entail signals to the market that the rate hikes forecast for 2019 are no longer in the cards.   The latter is ALREADY being floated out to the investing community as the Fed has become a lackey for the market the past 20 years.

It’s always helpful to watch what major sectors are “strong” – in this case the type of sectors that institutional money flees into – utilities and consumer staples are holding up.

Meanwhile “growthy” areas like tech and industrials are sagging.

This whole move down was started by a spike in yields such as the 10 year – even with a big retreat this past week, the market did not respond positively.

This week was almost the exact opposite of the week prior with ~5% moves in the indexes either way week to week!  Now that’s some good ole volatility.  This week it was downward with the S&P 500 sinking 4.6% and the NASDAQ 4.9%.

On the economic front, ISM Services still came in a very healthy 60.7.  Readings over 60 aren’t too common; anything over 50 signals expansion.  Of course the market is a forward looking indicator.

As to the November employment data, the Labor Department estimated a gain of 155,000 vs expectations closer to 190,000.  The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, as expected. Average hourly earnings grew 6 cents per hour from October, or 0.2%, just shy of expectations, and grew by 3.1% year-over-year, their highest rate since 2009.

Here is the 5 day weekly “intraday” chart of the S&P 500 … via Jill Mislinski.

The week ahead…

Fun fact – there have been 57 1% moves in the S&P 500 in 2018 vs the very strange year of 2017 where the snoozer market only offered up 8 such days!  In terms of 2% moves, there were 0 in 2017, while there have been 16 in 2018.

The last Fed meeting comes the week after this (Dec 18-19) and one would expect more “leaks” about how 2019 is going to be more dovish than people expect.

Other than waiting for the leaks, watching the “flattening” yield curve will preoccupy the minds of many.

Index charts:

Short term: The S&P 500 spent exactly 1 session over our trend line (and the 200 day moving average) before getting crushed.  NASDAQ didn’t even try to go above the 200 day.  Looking at recent lows now becomes important – if those break, it would not be a positive.

The Russell 2000 still looks putrid.  It is now facing lows of February!

The NYSE McClellan Oscillator spent much of last week in the black actually – but for now this is not an indicator we are going to focus on a ton as the charts are saying negative things for now.

Long term: The NASDAQ is the chart that interests me as it has such a well defined channel.  Last week we said “So it appears 7500 is a good number to watch as a rally up and through that level would signal the index getting back in a channel it has been in for years!”

That didn’t happen – in fact the index got within a few points of 7500 – then was soundly rejected.  This is why charts are fun to evaluate.

Charts of interest / Big Movers:

Another rough week in brick & mortar retail:

Thursday, Children’s Place (PLCE) plunged 13%, hitting 13-month lows, after the retailer cut its earnings and margin outlook for the full year.

Friday Big Lots (BIG) traded down 23.1%, after a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss.

Also Friday, Ulta Beauty (ULTA) slumped more than 13%, after a Thursday evening earnings release that predicted weaker holiday sales that analysts hoped.

Altria announced it would take a 45% ownership stake in the cannabis firm Cronos Group (CRON).

Have a great week and we’ll see you back here Sunday!



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Follow the Opportunity with Michael Covel on Trend Following Radio

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Michael Covel
Michael Covel

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Trust but verify. Do you listen to media, teachers, etc. and blindly trust the information given? When listening to information or insight it is ok to trust, but you must verify. The vast majority of people choose to never second guess the source.

Michael’s first aha moment with looking outside the box was discovering the turtle story. There were a few things that caught his interest about the story–the trading experiment was seemingly repeatable, that systematic kind of trading was teachable and doable for anyone, and many of those involved in the experiment had moved on and made fortunes. Discovering trend following through the turtles led to many other avenues for Michael, including this podcast. Michael shares some of those insights learned over the years, including what he has learned during the evolution of this podcast.

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Turtle story
  • Bayesian mindset
  • Going with the flow
  • Open to new opportunities
  • Trend following philosophy
  • Holy grails

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