Big-Blow-Off Techs – Q3 Earnings Loom

INVESTOR’S first read.com – Daily edge before the open
DJIA: 28,837
S&P 500: 3,534
Nasdaq Comp.:11,876
Russell: 1,649
Tuesday October 13, 2020    9:05 a.m.
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brooksie01@aol.com
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November 15, 2019 (DJIA – 28,004)   I Called for a bear market to start in January, that the initial plunge would be 12%-18% – “straight down.” It started mid-February, dropped 16.3%, rallied then  plunged another 32.8%.
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January 20, 2020 (DJIA:29,348) My blog,  “INSANITY,” projected a bear market decline of  30% – 45%. The DJIA plunged 38.4% in 21 days.
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With the DJIA at 18,591on March 24, I wrote that , while I see lower prices later in the year, I expect a big rally with the upside potential of DJIA 22,037 (S&P 500 : 2,617) – it went higher.
With the DJIA at 23,942 (S&P 500) on April 15, I
called for  an end to  rally, up 29% but well short of  today.   how far the rally extended.  On May 18, I began to warn of  Bubble #2
August 6, I headline “SELL” with DJIA at 27,201 (S&P 500:3,327). Another “Fed” bubble.
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Shortly, Q3 earnings will hit the Street with tech stocks looking better, but the S&P 500 logging in a loss of 15% or worse.  That could explain the surge in tech stocks yesterday.
The gap open is indicative of panicked short covering .
If the S&P 500 was overvalued before COVID-19 struck, how overvalued is it now that corporate earnings are lower and the economy needs yet another stimulus package to survive ?
Economically, we are experiencing a sharp rebound from severely depressed economic conditions in Q1 and Q2.  The Street is expecting the rebound to continue, however 30 million Americans are still out of work, businesses are still closing, and COVID is on a tear in 29 states as we enter the Flu season.
Without unprecedented Fed and government stimulation packages, we would be in a depression.
Two different methods of calculating the price/earnings ratio of the S&P 500 indicate the S&P is anywhere from 42% (FactSet) tom 90% (Shiller) overvalued compared to  a 10-yeararithmetic mean.
Let’s toss out the Shiller P/E and we are still seriously overvalued.
Why ?  I blame the buy-biased algorithms used by many institutions  to value the stock market.
As noted yesterday when I quoted Goldman’s Amy Joseph Cohen  who is warning of significant downside risk. She agrees that many of the variables faced today “can’t fit into our models.”
      If this is true for most of the Street’s models (algos), the market is extremely vulnerable in light of the overvaluation reflected in the S&P 500’s P/Es.
BOTTOM LINE:
Yesterday’s headline here was, “Short Squeeze in Techs- Potential for Plunge Rises.”  I called the market’s action a “second and final top,” a “death knell” for the rebound since March as uncertainty about chaos in the election process on top of a dysfunctional administration weigh-in on investor confidence.
That, I noted,  would chop the market off at the knees.
Already we are seeing problems for voters. Technical problems caused voters hours of waiting in Atlanta. This will get ugly.
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Resistance:  DJIA: 28,895; SPX: 3,540; COMP: 12,000; QQQ: 301
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Follow up projection for leading growth stocks:   RISK For A DECLINE POSTED WED: SEPT. 16
My supports held up very nicely, even produced good trading opportunities.
Price: Close 9/16
          Proj. Support       Low       10/12
Facebook (FB: 263)                       251                      244       Close:     275
Amazon (AMZN:3,078)             2,907                    2,871      Close:  3,442
Apple (AAPL: 112)                         103                       103      Close:      124
Netflix: (NFLX: 483)                       437                      466       Close:      540
Google (GOOG: 1,520)              1,451                   1,406       Close:  1,569
Tesla (TSLA: 441)                           377                       407      Close:      442
Microsoft (MSFT: 215)                 191                       196       Close:      221
Key near-term resistance: The news sensitivity of this market complicates picking support and resistance levels – down one day on news, up the next. It looks like we are seeing short covering in the techs, new buying risky. RESISTANCE STARTS: FB:279; AMZN:3,379*; AAPL: 131; NFLX: 547; GOOG: 1,583*; TSLA: 454*; MSFT: 225        * Update
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RECENT POSTS:
Monday October 12, 2020 (DJIA:28,586) “Short Squeeze in Techs – Potential for Plunge Rises”

This looks like  the second and final top in the recovery that started March 23 is underway. I still expect another stimulus package, so that may extend it.
It looks like a short squeeze in Techs and spike in the  rest of market, dangerous because a lot of investors will be fooled.
A MarketWatch headline Friday, “Goldman’s Abby Joseph Cohen Warns Over Considerable Market Downside” called attention to something I have warned about for over a year.
 The highly regarded market strategist told Bloomberg TV, “I am quite concerned that there could be considerable downside, depending on factors that we can’t fit into our models.”
The KEY here is her reference to “factors we can’t fit into our models.”
That’s the problem, that’s why the buy-only algos , which  have been in the drivers seat for years except  for  a 21-day flash crash in February/March, are not reflecting reality.
Her models, as well as many on the Streets, have not been programmed to factor in all the uncertainties and negatives looming out there well past election day.  The market’s action is grossly misleading. The market has been overvalued for more than a year, because the Street’s algos have not been programmed for what is happening.
Nothing in our past compares to what we are facing now. The prospect of an long contested election result, potential for bloodshed, and the potential for armed insurrection if our authoritarian president refuses to accept  loss and his ability to orchestrate division between Americans.
Michigan is an example, the foiled attempt to kidnap its Democratic governor by a well-armed militia group.
BOTTOM LINE:
This rally could be the death knell for the market’s rebound from the March lows.  I would like to think the recent strength reflects to possibility of a Democrat sweep in November, December, January or however long it takes to finalize the results, but the market’s extreme overvaluation suggests the need for a correction.
Looming out there is the potential for chaos, a dysfunctional government becoming extremely dysfunctional, an interruption of the basic day-in and day-out functioning of our government, a question about who is in charge.
That would chop the market off at the knees.
       With Cohen’s admission that her “models” cannot factor-in what is happening now, she is really suggesting that most of the models (algos)  can’t factor-in what is happening now and are giving us a false read on the market’s strength and  therefore vulnerability.
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Resistance:  DJIA: 28,651; SPX: 3,485; COMP: 11,47111,622; QQQ: 286
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Follow up projection for leading growth stocks:   RISK For A DECLINE POSTED WED: SEPT. 16
My supports held up very nicely, even produced good trading opportunities.
Price: Close 9/16
          Proj. Support       Low       10/7
Facebook (FB: 263)                       251                      244       Close:     264
Amazon (AMZN:3,078)             2,907                    2,871      Close:  3,285
Apple (AAPL: 112)                         103                       103      Close:      117
Netflix: (NFLX: 483)                       437                      466       Close:      538
Google (GOOG: 1,520)              1,451                   1,406       Close:   1,514
Tesla (TSLA: 441)                           377                       407      Close:      433
Microsoft (MSFT: 215)                 191                       196       Close:     215
Key near-term resistance: The news sensitivity of this market complicates picking support and resistance levels – down one day on news, up the next. It looks like we are seeing short covering in the techs, new buying risky. RESISTANCE STARTS: FB:279*; AMZN:3,361; AAPL: 125*; NFLX: 547*; GOOG: 1,547*; TSLA: 461; MSFT: 223*        * Update
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Friday October 9, 2020 (DJIA: 28,425) “Look For a Stimulus Expectation Spike Today”
     With the Biden/Harris lead widening, is fear of a contested election fading ?  Is that why the market is pressing higher ?
Or, is it a stimulus package of $1.85 – $2.0 trillion ?
The latter makes sense, but nothing would surprise me about reversing the will of the people on November 3 and beyond.  Guns have to come off the street. What happened in Michigan  is un-American -That’s what happens in a banana republic.  That’s just one of many reasons Trump has to GO !
      No thinking American wants a lawless country, and that’s where this is headed. If we get there, reversal before unthinkable damage is done, is tough to achieve.
      There are times when politics matter. This is one of them. These are NOT conservatives, I would love to see the conservatives of yore return.
Many have swung over, like George Will, for example.
I think this economy is phony, stock market is phony and administration is phony. Something has to give – let’s start with overvalued stock prices.
BOTTOM LINE:
It helps to step back and examine how you are feeling about the market, not your real “gut,” but where your “fear level” is.  Is it safe to add to positions ?
Today,  my fear level is low, though my gut says be sure to have enough cash and sit close to the exit with  equity positions.
After all, the market snaps back after every correction, a stimulus is a good bet in a presidential election year, what’s there to worry about ?
A low fear level is a signal
to doubt your instincts. I am not sure I am explaining this well enough, we can be an indicator, if we are able to objectively sense our feeling.  Boasting about a great trade is a warning signal, as is jumping into another position immediately after a big score.
Plenty !   That’s the kind of complacency  that can precede a correction –   Getting on the right side of the market isn’t that easy.
BOTTOM LINE:
      Odds favor a spike in prices today or in a couple days followed by a correction. Whether that correction becomes a nasty setback depends on what news hits the market when it is ready for a rebound.
An announcement of another stimulus package could be the spike.
It’s just a little too quiet out there, i.e., just about the time  one thinks it is safe to load up on the latest hype – you find out it was a dumb idea.
We are in a “news whipsaw” now, so decisions based on the latest news is likely to be wrong.
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Resistance:  DJIA: 28,561; SPX: 3,460; COMP: 11,471; QQQ: 283
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Follow up projection for leading growth stocks:   RISK For A DECLINE POSTED WED: SEPT. 16
My supports held up very nicely, even produced good trading opportunities.
Price: Close 9/16
          Proj. Support       Low       10/7
Facebook (FB: 263)                       251                      244       Close:     264
Amazon (AMZN:3,078)             2,907                    2,871      Close:  3,190
Apple (AAPL: 112)                         103                       103      Close:      115
Netflix: (NFLX: 483)                       437                      466       Close:      532
Google (GOOG: 1,520)              1,451                   1,406       Close:   1,465
Tesla (TSLA: 441)                           377                       407      Close:      426
Microsoft (MSFT: 215)                 191                       196       Close:     210
Key near-term resistance: The news sensitivity of this market complicates picking support and resistance levels – down one day on news, up the next.  RESISTANCE STARTS: FB:272*; AMZN:3,197; AAPL: 115.50*; NFLX: 547*; GOOG: 1,513*; TSLA: 428; MSFT: 214*        * Update
This group has been struggling, though failure to extend the correction that started in early September may chase shorts, ergo one more spike.   There could be a quick trade here…..for the nimble, that is.
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Thursday October 8, 2020 (DJIA: 28,303) “Street Not Afraid of Biden/Harris”

The News whipsaw is back !   In short – buying or shorting the news in this market is treacherous, don’t try it.
Insanity – at the top ! after four years of this, I should not be surprised that in the Street is beginning to see a Biden victory as bullish.
Last night’s Harris/Pence debate iced the cake.

MarketWatch’s Mark DeCambre’s subhead yesterday was, “Is the Market Pricing in  a Democrat Sweep ?”
      Yes, it  would likely mean higher taxes for corporations they can handle it, their 40%  tax cut by   the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” was over the top, especially since individuals only got in the neighborhood of a 1% cut, higher for big earners.
What a Democratic  clean sweep would mean is a return to predictability, the rule of law and  an end to the divisiveness coming down from the top. That alone is bullish.
Besides, the Street and corporate America have already  got what they wanted, a nice extension of Obama’s economic recovery and  bull market.
So a flip flop would make sense, it  just comes as a surprise to me for a Street that has been in the Trump camp for four years.
Like his Democrat predecessor,  Biden would inherit a mess. The rebuild of confidence, international ties, and economy would take time. The hard clean up work would take time, unpopular decisions would have to be made on trade, foreign relations, taxes and paying for infrastructure programs after so much has been spent on propping a failing economy up with stimulus  and  bailouts.
BOTTOM LINE:

Money can be made in late stage bull markets – the fever is up, appetites have been whetted, people are making money and they don’t want the party to end.
Regardless of who wins, a correction/bear market is imminent. They happen, and can come out of nowhere.
It appears the Street is betting on an economy that is totally impervious to a rebound in COVID on top of the onset of the flu season, however, that is drawing to an inside straight.
      A bear market will start when  the BIG money breaks ranks, stops buying and sells in size.
      Up to now, buyers on the dip have been rewarded and will continue to do so  until the dip before the next bear market.
But it really doesn’t seem possible, the market Has rebounded from dozens of corrections, some pretty severe.
A bear market just doesn’t seem possible, does it ?    Well, none of those in the past have either.
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Resistance:  DJIA: 28,487; SPX: 3,438; COMP: 11,438; QQQ: 282
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Follow up projection for leading growth stocks:   RISK For A DECLINE POSTED WED: SEPT. 16
My supports held up very nicely, even produced good trading opportunities.
Price: Close 9/16
          Proj. Support       Low       10/7
Facebook (FB: 263)                       251                      244       Close:     258
Amazon (AMZN:3,078)             2,907                    2,871      Close:  3,225
Apple (AAPL: 112)                         103                       103      Close:      115
Netflix: (NFLX: 483)                       437                      466       Close:      535
Google (GOOG: 1,520)              1,451                   1,406       Close:   1,460
Tesla (TSLA: 441)                           377                       407      Close:      425
Microsoft (MSFT: 215)                 191                       196       Close:     209
Key near-term resistance: The news sensitivity of this market complicates picking support and resistance levels – down one day on news, up the next.  RESISTANCE STARTS: FB:259*; AMZN:3,215; AAPL: 116*; NFLX: 540*; GOOG: 1,470*; TSLA: 429; MSFT: 209*        * Update
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Wednesday October 7, 2020  (DJIA: 27,772) “Two More Months of This ! Raise Cash”
A human wrecking ball !
     Trump must go before he wrecks the whole store.  Too much is at stake. The do-nothing Senate must show up. The U.S. House has passed 395 bills that Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, refuses to even bring to the floor.
This is unparalleled  dysfunction. This is what brings nations down.
Unthinkable as it may be in the Hamptons, this political blundering is what brings stock markets down.
This senseless mayhem at the top levels of our government cuts to the core of the foundation of  stability across the board.  Undermine the core and it all goes south, including the stock market.
As so many people and businesses suffer, the stock market is the last man standing.  As soon  a few big hitters stop buying, it all crumbles.
In a speech to the NABE yesterday, Fed Chair Powell urged Congress to pass another stimulus bill, saying the economic recovery faces a “longer than expected slog back to full recovery.
Trump’s response was to tweet to his team to stop negotiating with congressional Democrats on a stimulus until after the election, when he planned a “major stimulus bill” ……if he wins the election.
       The stock market plunged in response.
The message is obvious, vote for me, and you’ll get your stimulus.               Is this happening in our country ?    Is this the SELL signal that has threatened to take the market down 35%-45%, because we have a deranged president who will be in office for three more months, God forbid another four years ?
It shouldn’t  matter what one’s politics are.  This is just another indication  that the strongest person in the whole world is delusional.
People are hurting, businesses on the edge, and their president can only tweet nonsense.
BOTTOM LINE:
      It means, as a nation, the economy and Stock market is  on the edge. It means at any time, we could see BIG money STOP BUYING and create a vacuum that no one is willing to fill – 2020 Flash Crash #2.
Algos are in there buying this morning, as if nothing is happening to our country.
Resistance starts:
DJIA: 28,125
S&P 500:3,398
Nasdaq Comp.: 11,265
QQQ: 279
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Tuesday  October 7, 2020 (DJIA:28,148)  “Street Now Favors Biden ?”

This has become such a news sensitive market jerking one way, than another like a drunk line dancer.
      Are shorts being chased once again, if so, is it because the Street is worried that Trump will  lose re-election, or is it worried he will win ?
      After four years, the Street may opt for sanity, an end to the rape and pillage of our democratic republic and the daily effort to divide us as Americans.
       Never has the value of  the “rule of law”  been more evident, the importance of truthfulness vs. daily lying and optics.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE STOCK MARKET ?
So far – nothing.  There is something about risk the Street doesn’t get, spoiled by 11 years of economic expansion and bull market interrupted briefly this year for a COVOID moment.
Rigid buy-only algos have  driven stock prices far beyond realistic levels, levels not seen in a hundred years.
What will trigger a reality check ?   How about a touch of acrophobia, or FOMO – not fear of missing out on a buying opportunity, but fear of missing a selling opportunity before the big  flush.”
BOTTOM LINE:
The bear market that started in February was over in a couple months, juiced by unprecedented Fed and Congressional stimulus, which triggered a sharp rebound in the economy possibly enough to cause the  NBER to announce the recession is over in a month or two.
So much damage has been done by COVID and the necessary response to COVID, and now we are seeing a rebound in COVID infections  as Flu season begins – a double-dip recession ?
No way !     Really ?   How about recessions in Jan. 1980 – July 1980 and July 1981 – Nov. 1982.
At some point, the charade will end – no more hype by the Fed, the Administration and Street. That’s when the stock market will thumb its nose at the algos and head south for the winter.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell will present his position on the economy and trade  today.  He is mainly responsible for stock market bubble #1 Jan.2019 – Feb. 2020, and bubble #2 – March 2020 to the present.
Appointed to his prestigious office by President Trump, it can be assumed he will  attempt to inflate the bubble further.

Monday October 6, 20920 (DJIA: 27,682) “Will Covid Surge Impact a Struggling Economy”
What to do: Decide your tolerance for risk and raise the amount of cash necessary to cover it….and don’t worry about what other investors are doing, don’t listen to the boasts about their scores.– stay with your plan. The new normal is the flash crash, a swift plunge of 10%  12%.  So far, most have recovered within a reasonable amount of time – don’t count on that happening next time.

Why didn’t the market take a bigger hit Friday ?  Probably because so much of the trading is computerized (algorithms) and what happened Friday isn’t plugged into the algos’ programming – the difference between a computer and the human brain.
I expect a stimulus bill of $2.0 trillion before Nov. 3 (of course).  I think it is built into the market’s prices, but in truth, passage would confirm my belief that another wave of  unemployment, closings, bankruptcies, and another slump in business looms.
Possible, is an announcement by the NBER that the recession that started in February is over, owing to the sharp rebound in the economy from severely depressed levels earlier in the year.
Q3 GDP will be announced at  the end of October, and show a  rebound of more than 25% at an annual rate, but that is from depressed levels.  Close to 30 million Americans are on the unemployment rolls. While 857,000 jobs were added in September, that is down from 1.4 million added in August and 1.7 million in July.  Reportedly, more layoffs are planned for retail, airlines, financial services, and oil.
Consumer Confidence (current and future expectations) is rebounding sharply from severely depressed levels earlier in the year, but still below peaks hit prior to COVID-19.
But COVID is surging again in New York, California, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and the upper mid-west, especially in states that are re-opened and students are returning to school..
Just about the time it appeared safe to step out to pre-COVID lifestyles, risk raises its ugly head.
BOTTOM LINE:
        Today’s rebound is suspect since the presidency is in question, and COVID is on the rampage again.  President Trump’s joyride-photo-op  yesterday raises questions about his stability.  Congress has not been kept in the loop on his condition, a serious risk to national security.  BIZZARE !
This kind of irresponsible, immature behavior has never been experienced with past presidents.   But like I noted above, the Street’s algos are not programmed for the dire risks such behavior poses. Maybe we won’t pay a price, however based on time-tested measures of value, stocks are historically overvalued.
        But the Street isn’t phased by outlandish domestic and international events.  That’s arrogance, and you know what that precedes.
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Near-term Resistance/support levels for the market indexes.
Resistance begins at: DJIA:27,900; S&P 500: 3,373; Nasdaq Comp.: 11,176
Support is: DJIA: 27,720; S&P 500: 3,355; Nasdaq Comp.: 11,110
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Follow up to last week’s projection for leading growth stocks:   RISK For A DECLINE POSTED WED: SEPT. 16
My supports held up very nicely, even produced good trading opportunities.
Price: Close 9/16
          Proj. Support       Low       10/2
Facebook (FB: 263)                       251                      244       Close:     265
Amazon (AMZN:3,078)             2,907                    2,871      Close:  3,199
Apple (AAPL: 112)                         103                       103      Close:      116
Netflix: (NFLX: 483)                       437                      466       Close:      520
Google (GOOG: 1,520)              1,451                   1,406       Close:   1,486
Tesla (TSLA: 441)                           377                       407      Close:     425
Microsoft (MSFT: 215)                 191                       196       Close:    210
Key near-term resistance:
FB:262*; AMZN:3,140; AAPL: 114*; NFLX: 507*; GOOG: 1,466*; TSLA: 420; MSFT: 207*        * Update
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George Brooks
Investor’s first read.com
brooksie01@aol.com
A Game-On Analysis, LLC publication
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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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