13 March 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Jumping the Shark

"Businesses invest to meet anticipated or actual demand. Not because they have more money. Why is there little demand, not business investment, is the real question. Demand is weak because there is little increase in disposable income for all but the wealthy and high end professionals

Isn't it rather premature to render such evaluation at this point? Maybe. Spokesmen for corporate America confirming to White House thus far primary use of corp tax cuts will be buybacks and dividends. White House did not expect that outcome, should have asked SEC to have fresh look at SEC reg 10b-18 to curb execs use of buybacks at time of tax cuts...

Ultimately the key question ahead for Fed & other Central Banks is how to manage deleverage of economies and financial markets w/o a market crash from such a high level of debt--or at least moderate a downslide."

Dr. Harald Malmgren, twitter 3/13/18

The big news was when President Trump fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Trump and Tillerson disagreed on a number of points, particularly the current accord with Iran, and the general approach of using diplomacy and partnering with allies, rather than beating the war drums and trying to go it alone.   I think there are points to make for and against both approaches.

The manner in which Tillerson was fired by a public tweet while he was out of country was about as low class a form of management that you might see.  He did not even get a personal phone call until around noon.

This management style is unworthy of anyone occupying such an important position. 

I could not see anyone with real world accomplishments and self-respect wanting to sign on for this Cabinet, unless it is for some specific purpose or ambition.   You know, like Gary Cohn sticking around only long enough to help pass huge tax breaks for his cronies.

And speaking of  unworthy opportunists, Trump's choice of Larry Kudlow as his Chief Economic Advisor is mind-boggling.  Kudlow is not an economist, being primarily a spokesmodel for Wall Street and a media personality. 

The markets took all this disarray in the most powerful government in the world a bit hard. And so stocks gave up any pretensions of a higher leg up today, and dropped with some conviction and volume for a change.

The Dollar also dipped, giving a little boost to the precious metals.

The CPI number came out mild, and within expectations. I don't think this will have any impact on the FOMC, which wants to raise rates for its own purposes. I think we are on course for three rate hikes unless the wheels fall off the stock market. The FOMC will raise rates 25 bp next week.

There will be a stock option expiration this Friday, so we might expect more gimmicky market moves as the Street continues to suck the life out of the American economy and the mechanisms of capital formation and distribution.

Have a pleasant evening.