Week of May 19 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

May 22nd, 2017

“Investors tend to confuse short-term volatility with long-term risk. The longer the time period, the lower the risk of holding equities. People focus too much on the short term, week-to-week and month-to-month price changes, and don’t pay enough attention to the long-term potential.” – Richard Driehaus

1. Saudi Arabia and Russia Agreed to Crude Production Cut – Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s top two producers, said that a crude production cut would be extended from the middle of this year until March 2018. While the output cut will initially be on the same volume terms as before, they hope other producers will join in their efforts. OPEC is due to meet in Vienna on May 25.
2. Ford Planning Major Job Cuts — Looking to boost profits and its sliding stock price, Ford (NYSE:F) plans to slash its global workforce (currently 200K) by about 10%, WSJ reported. The job cuts are expected to be outlined as early as this week. Ford shares have suffered during CEO Mark Fields’s three-year tenure and the company’s market value has slipped far behind those of Tesla (TSLA) and General Motors (NYSE:GM).
3. Brazil Sinks Deeper Into Political Crisis — a fresh political crisis is hitting Brazil, reminiscent of last year’s impeachment saga, following reports that President Temer was secretly recorded discussing hush money pay-offs to a jailed associate. According to Brazil’s O Globo, the tapes were presented to prosecutors as part of a plea bargain by Joesley and Wesley Batista, brothers who run the country’s biggest meat-packing firm JBS.
4. Greece Adopts More Austerity Measures — Greece’s parliament has approved a raft of fresh austerity measures, including pension cuts and tax hikes sought by the nation’s foreign creditors. The step paves the way for eurozone finance ministers to clear the next disbursement of funds to Athens when they meet to discuss ways to lighten the country’s debt burden.
5. AAII Bullish Sentiment Crashes — according to the latest weekly AAII survey, bullish sentiment dropped from 32.73% down to 23.85%. That drop is the largest one-week decline since July 2015 and takes bullish sentiment down to its lowest level since last November’s election. Bullish sentiment has now been below 50% for a record 124 straight weeks.

Meanwhile, bearish sentiment increased by less than half as much as bullish sentiment declined. However, at a level of 34.25%, more than a third of individual investors consider themselves bearish.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of May 12 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

May 15th, 2017

“Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” – Anton Chekhov

1. Landslide Win for Emmanuel Macron in France — Emmanuel Macron is set to become the youngest president in French history after winning 66% of Sunday’s runoff vote vs. National Front leader Marine Le Pen. He declared “I will fight with all my strength against the divisions that are undermining us,”. While his victory strengthens France’s place in the EU, he’ll soon have to prove his fledgling political party, En Marche, is capable of winning a majority in June’s legislative elections.
2. Key ETFs Asset Class Performance Matrix for May — the star of 2017 for US equity indices has been the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ), which is up 16.24% YTD. Both the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) and Dow 30 (NYSEARCA:DIA) are up around 6%. Meanwhile, Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) is down more than 10%.

3. VIX (Fear Index) Back to It’s Pre-Crash Lows – the VIX fell to the lowest level since December 1993, including Monday’s 9.77 close, a finish in the single digits has only been managed 11 times for the VIX. The VIX, which is built using the implied volatilities of a wide range of S&P 500 index options, is meant to be forward-looking and is calculated from both calls and puts. It’s often referred to as the “investor fear gauge.”
4. Tesla Updates on Solar Roof initiative on Musk’s Grand Idea — Elon Musk’s vision for a grand unification of his clean-energy ambitions—combining solar power, home batteries, and electric cars in transformative of new solar roof project. Tesla’s first two styles of its solar roof – “black glass smooth” and “textured” – will be priced at about $21.85 per square foot. That’s more expensive than a typical roof, but less pricey than a roof with traditional solar and back-up batteries. The product will come “with a warranty for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first,” as Tesla reported.
5. China Unveiled ‘One Belt, One Road’ — China’s President Xi unveiled detail plans for his “Belt and Road Initiative”. Over fifty agreements signed to advance the project, which aims to build a new Silk Road connecting Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The vast logistics and transport network would involve 65 nations that together account for one-third of global GDP.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of May 6 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

May 8th, 2017

“Move on, understand what happened in the past but do not have an emotional attachment to it.” — unknown

1. Venezuela Hikes Minimum Wage Again Amid Crisis – responding to protests and an economic crisis, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro has raised the nation’s minimum wage by another 60%. It’s the third pay hike he’s ordered this year and the 15th since he became president in 2013. Still, none of the increases will come close to keeping up with the nation’s inflation, which is expected to rise by more than 1,600% in 2017.
2. Target Continues Urban Expansion in NY Lower East Side – the NY lower east side is about to get its first Target (NYSE:TGT). The retailer has signed a lease to open a 22,500 square-foot store at the 1.9M-square-foot development stretching across several Manhattan blocks called Essex Crossing. Target, which had 32 small format locations at the end of 2016, expects to have more than 130 in cities and dense areas by the end of 2019.
3. 5G Network In the Work by 2020 Plan by T-Mobile — helped by the airwaves it acquired for $8B in last month’s FCC spectrum auction, T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) expects to deploy a 5G network nationwide by 2020. The pledge comes as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) pour billions of dollars into wireless airwave licenses that might support the technology.
4. Puerto Rico Files for Historic $70 Billion Debt Restructuring – Puerto Rico’s federal oversight board filed with a U.S. court to use bankruptcy-like proceedings to slash the island’s $70 billion debt after failing to strike an agreement with bondholders. The process called Title III, created by a U.S. law enacted last year to help Puerto Rico emerge from its debt crisis, allows the government to use the courts to cut debt amassed by more than a dozen agencies.
5. FOMC Stays on Hold, Rate Hikes Remain on Tap — the Fed kept interest rates on hold at its May meeting at 0.75%-1%, but maintained expectations for further 2017 rate hikes. In a unanimous statement – the committee said it “views the slowing in growth during the first quarter as likely to be transitory” and believes the “fundamentals… remain solid.”.
6. The House passed the American Health Care Act To Replace of Obamacare — President Trump said in the Rose Garden after the House passed the American Health Care Act by a slim margin of 217 to 213. The legislation now faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where several Republican members have signaled it could see major revisions. Reports also indicate that the chamber could write its own version of a bill.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Apr 28 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

May 2nd, 2017

“Know what you own, and know why you own it.” - Peter Lynch

1. U.S. Moves to Impose 20% Tariff on Canadian Lumber — the Trump administration has taken a first step toward imposing a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood timber – the type of wood used for residential home construction. About $5B of Canadian exports to the U.S. will be subject to the tax. The decision is preliminary and still has to go through a couple of bureaucracies before any tariff is collected.
2. East Coast Refiners Eye Texas Oil Delivery Via Ship — U.S. East Coast refiners, including Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) and Monroe Energy (NYSE:DAL), are looking to move more crude by ship from Texas into the Philadelphia area. It’s the latest twist in a trade flow upheaval resulting from the opening of more pipelines in North Dakota; as the discounts of Bakken crude disappeared, so did the rail cars that transported the commodity.
3. Retail Store “Brick-and-Mortar” Closings at Record Pace — american retailers are closing stores at a record pace, with 2,880 retail closing announcements this year, more than double the number from the same period in 2016. Just last week, Bebe Stores (NASDAQ:BEBE) said it would close its remaining 170 shops and sell only online, while Rue21 announced plans to close about 400 of its 1,100 locations. If the pace continues, more retailers will close shop than during the 2008 recession.
4. South Korea Deploys Parts of THAAD System in a Deterrent of N. Korea — amid high tensions on the Peninsula, the U.S. military has started moving key parts of its controversial THAAD anti-missile defense system to a deployment site in South Korea. The move, which has angered North Korea, China and Russia, prompted protests by hundreds of local residents and was denounced by the frontrunner in South Korea’s presidential election.
5. China Concerned by U.S. Aluminum Probe — China is concerned by the second U.S. national security trade probe into imports of aluminum and hopes to resolve the dispute through talks, according to Commerce Ministry spokesman Sun Jiwen. “It’s very, very dangerous, obviously, from a national defense point of view” only to have one producer of a material needed for defense, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross declared, citing applications in armor and advanced aircraft.
6. 1Q GDP Weakest in Three Years, as Consumer Spending Falters — gross domestic product increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate also as the government cut back on defense spending. A measure of private domestic demand increased at a 2.2 percent rate last quarter. First-quarter GDP tends to under-perform because of difficulties with the calculation of data that the government has acknowledged regarding the seasonal quirk and temporary restraints.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Apr 21 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

April 24th, 2017

“A long-term-oriented value investor is a batter in a game where no balls or strikes are called, allowing dozens, even hundreds, of pitches to go by, including many at which other batters would swing. Value investors are students of the game; they learn from every pitch, those at which they swing and those they let pass by. They are not influenced by the way others are performing; they are motivated only by their own results. They have infinite patience and are willing to wait until they are thrown a pitch they can handle – an undervalued investment opportunity. “ — Warren Buffett

1. UK PM’s Theresa May Calls Snap Election — Theresa May has called a snap general election in the U.K., with the vote to be held on June 8. With a 19 point lead in polls over her nearest rivals, it seems to be an opportunity for her Conservative party to gain a sizeable majority as Brexit negotiations get underway.
2. Trump Pushes ‘Buy American, Hire American’ — President Trump was in Kenosha, Wisconsin to sign an order dubbed “Buy American, Hire American” at the headquarters of the Snap-on (NYSE:SNA) tool company. It will direct federal agencies to recommend changes in the H-1B visa program and examine their purchasing systems to more effectively favor buying American goods.
3. Baidu to “Open Source” Self-Driving Technology – Baidu hopes to get autonomous vehicle companies to share a common platform, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) will share its self-driving technology, while partnering in the sourcing of components and hardware. The project, named Apollo after the lunar landing program, will launch for the restricted environment in July before gradually introducing capabilities on city roads by 2020.
4. Hearing Scheduled on April 26 for Dodd-Frank Overhaul — representative Jeb Hensarling has unveiled a GOP-crafted plan to replace Dodd-Frank and will hold a hearing to discuss the updated version of the Financial CHOICE Act on April 26. The 600-page bill is targeting a “pro-growth, pro-consumer” alternative that would end “too-big-to-fail” bailouts, bring significant reforms to the CFPB, and provide some regulatory relief for certain financial institutions.
5. U.S. Soda Sales Drop Again — with consumers choosing healthier options and a slew of sugar taxes, U.S. soda and energy drink sales decreased about 1.2% in 2016, falling for the 12th year in a row, according to trade publication Beverage Digest. However, total sales dollars increased 2% to $80.6B as soft drink makers pushed smaller packs at higher prices per ounce, while lowering emphasis on large discounts packs. Companies effected are: KO, PEP, DPS, MNST, FIZZ.
6. AAII Bullish Market Sentiment Declined Again — according to the weekly AAII survey, bullish sentiment declined to 25.71% from 28.97%. That’s the lowest weekly print since the election and a record 120th straight week of sub-50% readings. Looking at the chart below, bullish sentiment has clearly broken its string of higher highs that had been in place since mid-2016.

Also, bearish sentiment has seen a small uptick, rising from 37.38% up to 38.70%.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Apr 14 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

April 17th, 2017

“The desire for constant action irrespective of underlying conditions is responsible for many losses in Wall Street even among the professionals, who feel that they must take home some money every day, as though they were working for regular wages.” – Jesse Livermore

1. FOMC Chairwoman Yellen Latest Statement On Economy – It’s ‘Pretty healthy’ and Doesn’t Need Fed’s Help — the economy’s doing pretty well and doesn’t necessarily need a step on the accelerator from the Fed, Chairwoman Janet Yellen says, but the “neutral” ending spot for short-term interest rates is “pretty low.” On a recent speech at the University of Michigan, she didn’t tip the Fed’s approach either way, but characterized the central bank as near its twin goals of full employment and inflation control.
2. China Investigates Top Insurance Regulator — the anti-corruption crackdown in China rose to a new level over the weekend after the head of China’s insurance regulator fell into the spotlight. China Insurance Regulatory Commission leader Xiang Junbo was charged with serious disciplinary violations, a phrasing typically associated with graft. Xaing has led the insurance regulator since 2011 and has been vocal about finding “financial crocodiles” while on the job.
3. China’s Export Outlook Beats Expectations, Points to Continued Strength — China’s 2017 export outlook brightened after the government reported better than expected trade growth for March and as U.S. President Trump suddenly declared China is not a currency manipulator. China’s exports rose at the fastest pace in more than two years in March, up 16.4% Y/Y, while import growth remained strong at 20.2%; the country’s crude oil imports hit a record high of nearly 9.2M bbl/day. Analysts said the stronger trade data reinforces the growing view that economic activity in China has remained resilient and that global manufacturing is improving.
4. IEA Cuts Oil outlook for 2017 Demand Growth, Sees Second Straight Annual Drop — the International Energy Agency (IEA) lowered its forecast for 2017 global oil demand growth to 1.3M bbl/day in its latest monthly market report, with growth expected to slow in 2017 for second year in a row. OPEC’s oil production fell by 365K bbl/day in March, bringing the cartel’s compliance to its supply commitments to 99% and likely smoothing talks as members begin to consider the prospect of extending production cuts. Meanwhile, the IEA says production in the U.S. rose to 9M bbl/day in March from a trough of 8.6M bbl/day last September.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Apr 7 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

April 10th, 2017

“I measure what’s going on, and I adapt to it. I try to get my ego out of the way. The market is smarter than I am so I bend.” – Martin Zweig

1. Q1 2017 Performance Summary — courtesy of BIG, as shown in the sector performance chart below, Technology did most of the heavy lifting this quarter with a rally of 12.4%, or more than double the S&P 500’s gains. Behind Technology, Consumer Discretionary rallied 8.2%, while Health Care gained 8%. On the downside, the only two sectors that were down on the quarter were Energy (-7.2%) and Telecom Services (-4.8%). Besides these two sectors, others that underperformed during Q1 were Financials, Real Estate, Industrials, and Materials.

2. US Trade Deficit Drops Sharply to $43.6 Billion in February — the Commerce Department reported the deficit fell to $43.6 billion in February, 9.6 per cent below January’s deficit of $48.2 billion. Imports dropped 1.8 per cent to $236.4 billion as the flow of Chinese goods tumbled by $8.6 billion, led by a big drop in cellphone imports.
3. Payless ShoeSource Files for Bankruptcy — Payless ShoeSource has filed for bankruptcy, marking the 10th filing by a national retail chain this year. As part of its restructuring, the company will close nearly 400 stores as it attempts to boost its balance sheet and restructure its debt load. Chains that compete with Payless include DSW (NYSE:DSW) and Caleres (NYSE:CAL).
4. Trump Rattles Putin With Strikes on Syria, Escalating Civil War – U.S. President Donald Trump bombed the Russia-backed forces of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for the first time, escalating a six-year civil war and heightening tensions between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. Trump ordered the launching of dozens of cruise missiles from U.S. warships after accusing Assad’s regime of killing scores of civilians with poison gas. What started as a Syrian crackdown on protests in Damascus has morphed into a conflict involving the U.S., Russia, Iran and Turkey, as well as multiple extremist groups and militias backed by regional powers such as Saudi Arabia.
5. AAII weekly Market sentiment — according to the weekly sentiment survey from AAII, only 28.3% of individual investors considered themselves bullish in the last week. That’s down from an already low reading of 30.2% last week, and it’s the lowest weekly reading seen since before the election. This week’s decline also extends the record streak of consecutive weekly readings where bullish sentiment was below 50% to 118.

Bearish sentiment rose to just under 40% this week (39.6%), marking the fourth week in the last five where bears have outnumbered bulls.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Mar 31 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

April 4th, 2017

“When I get hurt in the market, I get the hell out. It doesn’t matter at all where the market is trading. I just get out, because I believe that once you’re hurt in the market, your decisions are going to be far less objective than they are when you’re doing well… If you stick around when the market is severely against you, sooner or later they are going to carry you out.” – Randy McKay

1. OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Producers Meeting in Kuwait Agreed to Evaluate Six More Months of Oil Output Cuts — a joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers has agreed to evaluate whether a global pact to limit supplies should be extended by six months. At a meeting in Kuwait, the committee requested a technical group and the OPEC Secretariat “review the oil market conditions and revert… in April, 2017 regarding the extension of the voluntary production adjustments.”
2. Comcast to Expand Streaming Service — Comcast is planning to rebrand and expand a streaming video option for broadband subscribers who do not want to pay for a traditional cable package. The service, dubbed Xfinity Instant TV, will be priced as low as $15 a month to roughly $40 a month, sources told Reuters. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) will include major broadcast networks as well as add-on options.
3. Brexit Process Set to Begin — British’s PM Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty with a hand-delivered letter to EU President Donald Tusk. That process set the stage for two years of landmark negotiations, including trade, immigration and the future of Britain’s $2.6T economy. While the Brexit decision last summer came as a surprise and rocked markets, stocks quickly recovered and have since notched record highs.
4. Trump “Border Wall” Extend the Bids Process Until April 4, 2017 — companies looking to build President Trump’s border wall will now have until April 4 to submit offers after the DHS extended deadline. Almost 700 businesses have already placed bids, including U.S. Concrete (NASDAQ:USCR), KBR, Martin Marietta (NYSE:MLM) and Fluor (NYSE:FLR). The wall must be at least 18 feet high, can’t be climbed, prevents digging below it for at least six feet and has a U.S.-facing side that is “aesthetically pleasing.”
5. BlackRock Stock-Picking Goes High-Tech — the evolution of stock picking has taken a toll on jobs and fees at BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) after the world’s biggest money manager said it will increasingly rely on data-mining technology to make investment decisions. Over forty staff will be laid off, including some portfolio managers. The revamp marks BlackRock’s biggest attempt to rejuvenate its actively managed equities business as investors shift to ETFs.
6. U.S. 4Q GDP Revised Upward to 2.1% on Consumption — the U.S. economy grew 2.1% in the fourth quarter versus estimated for 2%. The data reinforce the underlying story of the U.S. economy: the seven-year expansion continues to be led by consumers, who are cushioned by a firm labor market and rising confidence. At the same time, rising corporate profits could provide continued momentum for hiring and support further capital investment.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Mar 24 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

March 27th, 2017

“Letting losses run is the most serious mistake made by most investors.” – William O’Neil

1. U.S. Weighs Broad Sanctions on North Korea — the Trump administration is considering imposing sanctions aimed at cutting North Korea off from the global financial system as a response to its nuclear threats and missile tests. The penalties would be part of a multi-pronged approach of increased economic and diplomatic pressure, especially on Chinese banks and firms that do the most business with Pyongyang.
2. Target’s Store Makeover Plan — Target’s first fully redesigned shop in Houston will include two separate entrances: one for time-crunched grocery shoppers, and another for those who want to browse fashion or beauty. The company will use the design, which also includes order pickup parking spots, as a starting point for the 500 stores it plans to make over in 2018 and 2019. It’s part of the $7B investment Target (NYSE:TGT) disclosed last month.
3. Gain in the S&P500 YTD Made up of MegaCap Stocks –the S&P 500 is up over 6% already in 2017, but thus far it has only been large-cap stocks. Courtesy of BIG, In the chart below, decile 1 (labeled “Largest”) contains the largest 10% of stocks in the index at the start of the year. Decile 2 contains the next largest 10%, and so on and so forth until you get to the last decile (labeled “Smallest”), which contains the smallest 10% of stocks in the index.

4. Apple Is Closer to Manufacturing Phones in India — WSJ reported that Taiwanese contract manufacturer Winstron Corp. could start making the iPhone 6 and 6S models at its plant in Bangalore as soon as April, and add the assembly of Apple’s cheaper SE model in three months. India has one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets, and Apple currently only has about a 4 percent share of it. As the Indian population of 1.2 billion people continues to grow, the move presents an opportunity for the company to boost sales.
5. Oil Dropped for the Third Week Ahead of Kuwait meeting — oil is set for its third weekly drop ahead of this weekend’s meeting in Kuwait, at which OPEC and its production-cutting allies will assess the effectiveness of their actions to date. Talks will also be overshadowed by the question of whether the persisting glut requires curbs to be extended beyond the summer.

The week ahead — Economic data from

Week of Mar 17 2017 Weekly Recap & The Week Ahead

March 21st, 2017

“The trick is not to be the hottest stock-picker, the winningest forecaster, or the developer of the neatest model; such victories are transient. The trick is to survive! Performing that trick requires a strong stomach for being wrong because we are all going to be wrong more often then we expect. “ — Peter Bernstein

1. Intel To Buy Mobileye for $14B-$15B — Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) agreed to buy Mobileye (NYSE:MBLY), a leading manufacturer of software for autonomous vehicles, for $14B-$15B. There are no industry standards for relatively nascent driverless-car technology, and being in the lead now could set Intel up for long-term dominance. The move, if approved, would leapfrog Intel ahead of Qualcomm and Nvidia, said Rolland. That’s even as Qualcomm’s pending $39 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NXPI, -0.22% gives it a suite of automotive chips and Nvidia’s partnership with Bosch and Audi puts it on track to get Level 4 driverless cars—almost fully autonomous—on the road by 2020.
2. Pershing’s Ackman Exits Valeant(VRX) — Long-time Valeant Pharmaceuticals bull Bill Ackman has apparently waved the white flag. CNBC reports that he sold 27.2M shares for around $11 each, taking a loss of more than $3B after trying to rescue the struggling drug company for some 18 months.
3. International Energy Agency (IEA) Noted Oil demand to ease in 2017 — in its latest monthly report, the IEA cautioned that the market was still dealing with a vast amount of past supply, but added the compliance rate from OPEC’s production cuts averaged 98% during the first two months of the deal. While oil demand is expected to drop from 1.6M bpd last year to 1.4M bpd in 2017.
4. The U.S. Federal Reserve Raised Interest Rates For The Second Time In Three Months — the decision by the FOMC to lift the target overnight interest rate by 25 basis points to a range of 0.75 percent to 1.00 percent marked a convincing step in the Fed’s effort to return monetary policy to a more normal footing. The Fed also stuck to its outlook for two additional rate increases this year and three more in 2018. The central bank lifted rates once in 2016. However, they did not flag any plan to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening, with the policy-setting committee reiterating and Yellen emphasizing that future rate increases would be “gradual.” At the current pace, rates would not return to a neutral level until the end of 2019.

The week ahead — Economic data from

May 2017
« Apr    
The information provided by The EGS Blog is based on sources believed to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed to be accurate. There is no guarantee that the recommendations of The EGS Blog will be profitable or will not be subject to losses. The information provided by The EGS Blog is not a recommendation or a solicitation that any particular investor should purchase or sell any particular security in any amount, or at all. The investments discussed or recommended herein may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial position. At any time EGS LLC and its principals may maintain positions that are contrary to positions announced within the subscription service. In no event will The EGS Blog be liable to you or anyone else for any incidental, consequential, special, or indirect damage (including but not limited to lost profits or trading losses). PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS

© Copyright 2017 Market Outlook All Rights Reserved
Design by EGS Sponsored by Equity Guidance LLC