Investor’s first read – Daily edge before the open

DJIA: 20,914

S&P 500: 2,378

Nasdaq  Comp.:5,900

Russell 2000:1,391

Monday,  March 20, 2017    9:16 a.m.

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      So far the stock market has ignored the dysfunction and attempt to ruthlessly dismember much of  the framework of our federal government supporting a broad cross section of needs and interests of all Americans.

       The money behind Trump, Stephen Bannon, chief strategist to Trump,  and Alt-Right Breitbart News is Robert Mercer, a hedge-fund billionaire who reportedly wants to see the U.S. government “shrunk down to the size of a pinhead.”

       Bannon, is on the same page, perhaps more callous.

       GREAT !   What are they going to replace it with ?

       We are well into the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency and everyone is totally clueless about what pieces will remain to be picked over if these newcomers have their way.

        Not only will Trumpcare deny more than 10 million of healthcare in its first year, but Trump’s Congressional wish list would gut many social services and safety nets tens of millions of Americans rely on.

        Maybe a billionaire doesn’t have to worry about healthcare, shelter, food, and subsistence, but  325,810,017 Americans do.

        Trump’s approval rating is now 37%, that compares with a 63% approval rating for Barack Obama at the same time in his presidency.

         Has it occurred to anyone, how much damage will be done to our economy, to our population in general, to the fabric of who we are as a nation, as a people, if this administration gets its way ?      

        How long can the stock market ignore this ?

        As I have been saying, probably as long as it takes for the Street to be certain that it will or won’t be awarded with corporate tax cuts, deregulation and crazy spending on a wall that will cost $22 billion and $54 billion on the mightiest military in the world to make it mightier, all at the expense of the American people.

        If the Street doesn’t get what it is praying for, there is a lot of downside before that disappointment is discounted.

        As I see it, our constitutional republic is in for the greatest test ever, even greater than the 1960s and 1970s. I would not be surprised if the Trump presidency does not survive two years, or if the Democrats win back both houses in 2018. I would not be surprised if the next two years are the most disruptive in memory, more than the Nixon/Watergate years.

       As investors, be ready for anything.

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      Look for a light week for reports on the economy. While Fed officials: Evans, George, Mester, Roesngren, Kaskari, Kaplan, Bullard, and Williams have speaking engagements this week, I doubt we will learn anything new after Fed Chief Janet Yellen’s press conference last Wednesday.

      Consumer expectations have been rising since Q4 last year.  Consumer Confidence is outpacing Consumer Sentiments, the main difference in lay terms being Confidence is planning to buy, Sentiments is expecting to buy “now.”

      So far, retail sales haven’t confirmed this enthusiasm. December and January were solid, but February soft. Maybe warmer weather will loosen purse strings. A long-awaited pick up in manufacturing may be upon us, both the Philly Fed and Empire State New Order Indexes are up sharply in March.

 

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SUPPORT “today”:DJIA:20,873;S&P 500:2,374;Nasdaq Comp.:5,891

RESISTANCE “today”:DJIA:20,976;S&P 500:2,385;Nasdaq Comp.:5.911

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CORPORATE EARNINGS (updated  March 3, 2014)

      Factset

Q1 earnings are projected to increase 9.0%.  2017 as a whole are projected at a plus 9.8% down from Dec. 31 estimates of 11.6%.  Currently, the P/E on trailing 12-month earnings is 19.8 x, and based on earnings 12 months out is 17.7 x. That compares with a 10-year average P/E of 13.9. 

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MY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS  of the 30 DJIA Companies:  (UPDATED 2/13/17)

 On occasion, I technically analyze each of the 30 DJIA stocks  for a reasonable risk, a more extreme risk, and an upside potential over the near-term. I add the results of each, then divide by the new DJIA “divisor” (0.14602) to get the DJIA for those levels. This gives me an internal check on the DJIA itself, especially if certain higher priced stocks are distorting the averages.
     As of  March 2, 2017,  a reasonable risk is 21,040 a more extreme risk is 20,938 Near-term upside potential is 21,367 .

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POLITICAL/STOCK MARKET

      At no time has the consideration of politics been more important in assessing a value for investments.

      According to Time Magazine, Trump has yet to nominate 505 of the 553 Executive Branch positions, just another indication his administration is in chaos. Apparently Trump doesn’t consider these positions essential.

     Time Magazine reports that only six departments, Commerce, Justice, Health and Human Services, Defense, Homeland Security and Transportation have Senate-confirmed positions  at headquarters nominate below the Secretary level.

The sum total of all the overreach, dishonesty and ineptness will eventually take a toll on results, and then the problems will surface for all to see, and it won’t be pretty.

      I just read the list of 80 programs that would lose federal funding under Trump’s proposed budget.   I can hear the snickers of right wingers who delight in seeing so many progressive programs that may get axed all to fund the already  mightiest military in the world.

      This stands to destabilize a country that is already divided by relentless lies from the very highest levels of our government.

      This is not making America great, it is ensuring beyond a doubt its demise going forward.  How can anyone who supports such a rape and pillage call themselves an Americans ?  Will anything be left worth defending.

       This is the enemy within, intent on imposing a political ideology on the United States, where exhaustive efforts have been made over the years to improve life and opportunity for as many Americans as possible.

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SLASH EPA FUNDS – DENY CLIMATE CHANGE

      Reuters reports Trump intends to slash 25% of the EPA’s budget related to climate-change designed to prevent air and water pollution, like lead contamination.

      WHY ? Is this kiss-ass for support from the polluters ?  Clearly, it is not what is best for future generations.

      What if the Republican deniers are WRONG ?  What if climate change (too hot/too cold) impairs the ability of  the world’s major sources of food to produce enough food at an affordable price ?

       Numerous surveys have been conducted over the years, including universities, NASA, and independent scientists. Support for addressing climate change ranged between 90% and 97%.

       Last September, a coalition of 25 military and national security experts, including those from both the Reagan and Bush administrations warned that climate change poses a “significant risk to US national and international security.”

TRUMPCARE  – Care cuts for people, tax cuts for top 2%

        We now have Trumpcare, a highly controversial healthcare deform bill, that replaces Obamacare and is certain to stir a lot of ugly Congressional and national debate and slow down progress on the other programs Congress wants to ram through.

      More importantly, it skewers Americans desperately in need of affordable healthcare – so characteristically  Republican !

  While still in development, Trumpcare could cause as many as 14 million Americans to lose their healthcare coverage next year according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), more in future years.  Reportedly, it hurts seniors by charging them five times the amount charged younger people, slashes Medicaid benefits for nursing home care, hurts women by eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood, including family planning services, and may force the closing of hospitals and rural health clinics  in rural areas.

       Trump urges Americans to be patient, that it could take several years for prices to drop.   How convenient, that gets him and his party past the mid-term elections.  “It’s going to be a thing of beauty,” he says. 

      

 EXPECT TRUMP TO PUT  THE NATION ON A WAR FOOTING !

      Expect the Trump administration to put the United States on a war footing within one year, probably regarding North Korea.  For one, it would justify its big military spend. For another, it would facilitate a mid-term election victory, since voters are reluctant to change  Congress significantly when the nation is gearing up for war.. It worked for George Bush in 2003.  Finally, it would deflect attention away from the Trump/Russia issue, that could sink the administration.

ALL OF THE ABOVE HAS THE POTENTIAL TO ADVERSELY IMPACT THE STOCK MARKET  AND   MERITS CONSIDERATION.                                                                

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Note: Source of weekly economic calendar and good recap of  indicators: mam.econoday.com.

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George Brooks
Investor’s first read
A Game-On Analysis, LLC publication

Brooks007read@aol.com

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Investor’s first read, is a Game-On Analysis, LLC publication for which George Brooks is sole owner, manager and writer.  Neither Game-On Analysis, LLC, nor George  Brooks  is  registered as an investment advisor.  Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. References to specific securities should not be construed  as particularized or as investment advice as recommendations that you or any investors purchase or sell these securities on their own account. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment in keeping with their tolerance for risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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