The Party Is Over ! Use Rally to Raise Crash Reserve

INVESTOR’S first – Daily edge before the open
S&P 500: 2,844
Nasdaq Comp.:7,726
Russell 2000:1,487
TuesdayAugust  6, 2019
  8:46 a.m.

This is the rally I referred to in Yesterday’s blog, “Technical  Rally Possible at Any Time – Highly Risky.” That is exactly what this is.
    Expect the Trump administration to release anything possible designed to stabilize  this free-fall. My guess it will be plans to renew tariff talks with China or comments by China about the yuan
The White House-friendly Fed will trumpet talk of one or two more rate cuts by year-end both attempts to stop the carnage.
      This is looking more  and more like the beginning of a bear market, keeping in mind fed rate cuts preceded every recession going back to 1955.
It looks like the BIG  money is starting to jump  ship, breaking ranks with the quant/algo types who desperately need to reprogram their computers before getting crushed by reality.
A lot of investors have gotten hurt by the Fed, which irresponsibly sucked investors into the market with its hype  first, talk of rate cuts and an economy that is “in a good place,” then with last week’s rate cut.
This is all  amateurish folly. While able to move markets with just a few words, the Fed simply is unable to understand market action and gross overvaluation of stocks.
They should acknowledge the seriousness of  the weakness in our economy and global economies and let the market find a comfort level, but NEVER gloss it over and encourage investors to jump into a market that is overvalued.  Shame !
The Fed did a great job in the 2007 – 2009 Great Recession/Bear Market, but failed to prepare for the  recession that looms today by overstaying QE.
The horse has left the barn (the bear his/her den). If this is not the big downer, it is previews of coming attractions.
        This is why I have continually urged a sizable crash reserve. The new normal now is the flash crash, a vertical plunge in stock prices that strikes without enough warning to do some  selling.
         So what does an investor do now ?  A trader can act swiftly moving in on weakness to buy technically oversold stocks, then just as swiftly take profits on a rebound.
If this is the beginning of a 35% -45% crunch  investors, indifferent to risk, are in for  super angst.
A purely technical scenario:  Boeing (BA: 331) 
briefly broke below 330 but failed to follow through this time. Based on price action, it looks like it will rally to 339 before dropping to 307 where another rally should take place before dropping below 300 to the mid-200s. Just a technical opinion – a warning for some, opportunity for others.
The Trump administration and Fed will release whatever info it can muster up to stabilize this market and it may work temporarily
Minor Support: DJIA:25,619; S&P 500:2,82,829;Nasdaq Comp.:7,686
Minor Resistance: DJIA:25,997; S&P500:2,881;Nasdaq Comp.:7,797
A rally failure this afternoon would put these minor support levels at risk leading to a steep [plunge as more of the BIG money breaks ranks.
Monday, August 5, “Technical Rally Possible at Any Time – Highly Risky”

I have been on record for warning that we are in the early stages of a recession and data over the weekend  in InvesTech Research’s interim bulletin indicates just that with graphs highlighting the ISM Manufacturing Index (Purchase Managers ), the ISM  New Orders Manufacturing Index and Chicago Business Barometer all on the threshold of crossing into no growth territory.
While Consumer Confidence (present and future) indices are at all-time highs, this extreme exuberance  normal at business expansion peaks.
However, JP Morgan is bullish, urging clients to us the current weakness to add stocks to their portfolios.
Granted, the sharp sell-off at the open stands to attract traders, the risks are high – just too many visible  and sub-surface negatives for a sustained rally in a market that is historically over valued.
If enough institutions agree, we will get a rally from these levels, but they are in the money management business and can’t afford to be bearish..
At much higher levels last Wednesday morningand before the Fed announcement of a rate cut, I headline “Traders – Sell the Rate Cut,” feeling the action was already priced in the market and the market was over due for a correction.
With the help of Trump’s Thursday warning to China of another 10% tariff on Chinese exports on September 1, the market tumbled and looks like it will follow through today before an attempt to rally today.
Nimble traders can exploit these wide swings in the market, but investors need a crash reserve.
Tuesday, August 2, 2019 “More Tariffs    Bluster….or Blunder ?”
We are now in a correction phase of the Fed-induced rally from mid-June to mid-July.  Whether that becomes more of a correction depends on just how spooked the Street gets from President Trump’s threat to not just raise tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods 10% on September 1, but may even up it to 25% or more.
That sounds like bluster, but the uncertainty that can be created over the remaining 29 days of August is capable of  hammering a  market that has been run up unnecessarily on hopes of a rate cut.
Obviously with individual, household, business and corporate and government debt at inflated levels higher rates would have been a disaster.
But who can afford to borrow at this point.
Well, possibly Corporations buying back their own stock, but stocks are still pricey, so how much sense does that make ?
We have been riding the crest of a rising wave of unrealistic expectations, also known as a bubble.
I have urged readers to establish a crash reserve in line with their tolerance for risk for over a year.
The pattern has been for the market to snap back after corrections, which some may interpret as a reason to ignore risk.  Right ……..but at one’s potential demise.
August 1, 2019  “Fed Scares Stiff of Recession in an Election Year”    

While the Fed finally cut its fed funds rate a quarter point to 2.00 – 2.25 percent, to better line US interest rates up with global rates, but more so because they see a recession looming..
But  a quarter point wasn’t enough for President Trump who wanted a one-half point cut to ensure 2020 won’t be a recession year.
Early signs of a recession are already present, and while a worsening of the economy may be delayed a smidge, this economy is showing signs of  tiring.
The market took a hit yesterday, partly because the rate cut wasn’t greater, but also because the Fed’s action was designed to head off a recession, which  has not been discounted by the stock market averages.
As I have  been saying, there have been bear markets without recessions, but not recessions without a bear market.
       The market should  rally briefly then sell off to test yesterday’s lows before attempting to regain the ground it lost yesterday.

Wednesday   July 31 “Traders – Sell a Rate Cut”

      The BIG day !  The Fed has been hinting at a rate cut since January when it suddenly reversed its policy of raising rates to one of ease – the reason – it wanted to head off a recession that threatened to strike in 2020, a presidential election year.
It’s hype was the main reason Q4’s 20% plunge in the S&P 500 was reversed and it surged 28% in seven months.   That’s power – raw power.
       The Street expects a rate cut  at 2:00 p.m. today.
If it doesn’t happen, the market will take a hit, how much depends on what Fed Chair Jerome Powell says in his press conference at 2:30.
I expect him to have good things to say about the economy even if  the Fed cuts its fed funds rate to head off a recession.
If they don’t cut its rate, he will allude to the possibility of a cut in September (no FOMC meeting in August).
One way or another, he will try to stabilize a market that has risen a lot in a short period of time.
IMHO, the Fed has acted irresponsibly over the last seven months. It panicked after Q4’s 20% plunge in the market, as well as in response to rising signs of a recession, Without really acknowledging the latter, it gave the Street reason to believe it would cut its rate and in essence cover its back in the event the market plunged  again.
         So, here we are at all-time highs, 28% above the December 26 lows and still facing the prospect of a recession, which the market hasn’t discounted.
While there have been bear markets without a recession there has never been a recession without a bear market.
         My message to the Fed – let the market find a level that discounts current and possible events – don’t tamper with the level of stock prices.  If the Fed can’t head off a recession this stock market has a long way down to go to discount a recession and the Fed is responsible for investors getting hurt.

Tuesday July 30  “Stock Market Bubble to Burst”

      I don’t know when the bubble will burst, maybe today, tomorrow, next week, month, or four months from now.  Bubbles just keep inflating until – POP !
As a bubble, the more the stock market goes up in face of  deteriorating U.S. and global economies and struggling corporate earnings   growth, the greater the risk.
Forget that dividends discounted into the future crap, the value of a stock on a given day is what buyers and sellers say it is.
On October 3, 2018,  buyers and sellers said the S&P 500 was worth 2,939.  On December 26, they said the S&P 500 was worth 2,346, or 20.4% less.
Now they think it is worth 3,025.
If the Fed did not intervene with lip service starting in January this year, the market would trade a lot lower than it is now, much closer to reality in face of the looming adversity the Fed is trying to head off.
Investors, the pros and the manipulators behind the scene ramp up greed and fear to extreme turning points at bull market tops and bear market bottoms.
         This time the Fed’s attempt to micro-manage the economy and stock market as we head into a presidential election year has sucked investors into stocks at levels where the downside risk far exceeds the upside potential.
         While that should be good news economically, in that it suggests the Fed is not spooked by the economy’s softness, it wouldn’t go over big with the Street which has run stocks up in anticipation of a cut.
My concern is that just one major piece unexpected bad news or that  one major institution will break ranks, and sell and the spell will be broken and we will be in a savage bear market that will start off with a 12% to 18% free-fall, then down another 35% down too boot.
That’s the risk I see , risk here deserves respect.
What No One on Wall Street Wants to Hear
>We are in the late innings of an economic expansion, so a recession is a good bet. The current expansion started in June 2009, has lasted 120 months, the longest  in history, twice as long as the average length of 11 cycles since 1945.
> Of the 10 recessions since 1950, the average time between the low point in the unemployment rate and the start of a recession was just 3.8 months.  The unemployment rate is 3.6% which was hit in May.  Technically, we won’t know when the start of the current recession is official for months after the fact, since that conclusion is  reached by the Nat’l Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and they consider  host of economic indicators.
>Bear markets lead the beginning of recessions by 3 to 12 months.  The current bull market at 123 months is 4 times the average of the last 15 bulls going back to 1957
 >Nine out of the last 10 recessions have occurred with a Republican in the White House.
George Brooks
Investor’s first
A Game-On Analysis, LLC publication
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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