Investor’s first read – Daily edge before the open
S&P 500: 2,425
Russell 2000: 1,415
Monday, July 10, 2017 8:39 a.m.
The Street’s highfliers – Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), APPLE (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Alphabet (GOOG) found some support last Thursday, giving bulls hope the six-day slide was over.
The group has been under selling pressure, dragging other stocks lower raising concerns for a more serious correction. There is room for traders to hit ‘n run here, but odds favor sellers lurk above the market.
Q2 earnings will begin to come on stream, and they could be better than expected. While factset.com is projecting a 6.5% growth rate for the S&P 500, it wouldn’t be surprised if that rate jumps to 9.5%. Q1 earnings were projected to increase 9.0% on March 31, but came in at 14% when all reports were in.
The current price/earnings rate is 17.3, well above the 10-year average of 14 owing to Street expectations that the administration will deliver a tax cut, deregulation and a big spend on the military and/or infrastructure.
An unexpected increase in earnings beyond current projections would add to the Street’s bullishness, assuming the administration’s stimulus doesn’t get stalled, or is disappointing as an end result.
The Trump administration is not out of the woods on collusion (or enabling) Russia’s influence on the 2016 election, in spite of Trump’s urgings to “move on” and play patty cake with Russia president Vladimir Putin.
We haven’t heard much about infrastructure spending, primarily because it would cost beaucoup bucks. The administration will drag it out to whet appetites on the Street. Its solution would be private/public partnerships, which sounds good but has its ingrown costs. The “private” part wants a big return, so it would be a trade off – the country gets infrastructure improvement, but it’ll cost ! uh huh.
Last week’s G-20 meet did not answer what everyone wanted – some clarity on Russia’s meddling with the 2016 election, therefore that issue continues to be a drag on the stock market, simply because it is possible at any time very bad news will arise out of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, or just surface like Sunday’s breaking news about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer offering disparaging news about Hillary Clinton shortly after Trump’s nomination. This could get ugly, since it involves the son of a person running for president seeking hurtful information on the prime opponent from a country considered our adversary. Also attending was Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and Paul Manafort (???).
If this administration blows up, the market will take a hit. If it is found that Vice President Mike Pence was more involved than reported to date the market will take a huge hit.
The market should be able to log in a couple of decent days here, but must hold above last Thursday’s lows (DJIA: 21,305, S&P 500: 2,407, Nasdaq Comp.: 6,081).
SUPPORT “today”:DJIA:21,341;S&P 500:2,418:Nasdaq Comp.:6,121
RESISTANCE “today” DJIA:21,481;S&P 500:2,433;Nasdaq Comp.:6,171
CORPORATE EARNINGS (updated June 30 , 2017)
Q1 earnings increased 14.0%. Q2 growth is projected at +6.5 %, Q3 at +7.3%, and Q4 at +12.4%. For 2017 as a whole growth is projected at a plus 9.8%. Currently, the P/E on forward earnings is 17.3 x. That compares with a 10-year average P/E of 14.0.
Note: These numbers change frequently. Factset.com is well worth a visit, it breaks its projections down by industry
MY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS of the 30 DJIA Companies: (UPDATED 6/13/17)
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 June 15, 2017, a reasonable risk is 21,951 a more extreme risk is 20,703.Near-term upside potential is 21,418.
The Hamburg G-20 summit produced little in new information, in fact it confirms what we and the world knows, that President Trump plans to go his own way on trade, strategic partnerships and the environment . He stayed on-message most of the time except for his silly tweets Friday about John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager and the hacking of the DNC’s server. Podesta struck back with, “Dude, get your head in the game. You’re representing the US at the G20.” Am I really seeing all this, please spare me.
While staying on-message is Trump’s big problem, a bigger problem yet is the message. He trumpets the “America First” mantra, as if no president in the past has ever put America first.
Because he does not believe in global warming, he has withdrawn the United States from the Paris Accord, though 19 of the G-20 subscribe to it, not to mention the dozens of Scientists who specialize in climate.
G-20 leaders were also concerned about a trade war starting if Trump imposes punitive tariffs on steel imports.
An isolationist policy on trade just opens the door for other countries to fill the void, especially China.
It was more of a lovefest than slugfest with Trump raising the Russia meddling issue twice during their two hour meeting, but each got what they wanted – “moving on” to other issues after Putin denied Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Trump caved, opting to reject the NSA, FBI and CIA conclusion that Russia meddled.
Trump tweeted Sunday that the he and Putie discussed forming a Cyber Security unit, a joint operation with Russia to counter cyberattacks. Please, someone tell me this didn’t happen. How many foxes can this henhouse hold ?
U.S Ambassador to the U.N. defended the idea, acknowledging we will never trust Russia, “But you keep those you don’t trust closer.” Yikes !
The idea has attracted sharp criticism form Senators Graham and McCain, that’s just for starters.
Summing up the Trump/Putin, Clint Watts, Foreign Policy Research Institute put it this way –“Trump got elected, Putin got Trump.”
The Wall Street Journal editorial board, often critical of Trump, called Trump’s speech to the G-20 as “defining,” an affirmative defense of Western tradition. The Journal was suddenly relieved that Trump acted presidential for a change, no longer given to obnoxious tweets and self contradictions. This haste to deny the obvious is a prime example of the Deviancy Down Syndrom where ineptness is accepted as the norm if on a rare occasion competence surfaces. (see below: Time to Visit Psycho).
WHAT ? Ken Blackwell on the Election Integrity Commission ? Really ?
I don’t have space here, but wikipedia him, or google, “Was the 2004 Election Stolen ?”
Co-Chair with Vice President Mike Pence is Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, known to be obsessed with voter fraud, though no meaningful fraud has ever been documented. The Commission has required all states to submit complete voter files, which will be stored on a web site operated by the U.S. Army before being stored on computers in the White House – WHOA ! This lends itself to hacking, as well as data mining, the misuse of the data for any number of reasons – all bad.
WAKE UP AMERICA, THESE EXTREMIST RIGHT WINGERS want to take over our country ! This is their big chance, they control the presidency both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, Fox News, et al. These are not Republicans or conservatives, these are Congressional Anarchists. Do your homework.
TRUMP’S ETHICS ADVISOR RESIGNS !
Walter Shaub resigned as the ethics watchdog and took the job as head of the Ethics Practice at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to strengthening existing ethics laws. Shaub had repeatedly urged President Trump to distance himself from his business interests.
REMOVING TRUMP FROM OFFICE
Can Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, U.S. Constitution – Remove Trump ?
It’s a stretch. The key for his removal is ”that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Section 4 mentions nothing that he is unfit, delusional, unbalanced, crazy, impulsive, irrational, impaired, sociopathic, psychopathic, narcissistic.
That would be the threshold that would have to be crossed if Trump is removed from office via Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. There is no precedent
It isn’t just Democrats, liberals, moderates and reasonable people who find Trump caustic, and dangerous, conservatives like George Will, David Brooks and Ross Douthart are also urging his removal.
First, there are four ways to get rid of Trump – death, resignation, impeachment and Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.
The procedure employing the 25th Amendment requires the Vice President and the majority of the cabinet of 15 (8) to vote to remove the president. They would submit their declaration in writing to the President pro tempore ( Sen. Orrin Hatch) and Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and the Vice President will immediately assume to office as acting president.
However, the president may contend the move by submitting his own letter to the President pro tempore and Speaker of the House, that he believes he is capable of performing his duties, in which case he will resume the office of presidency.
The Vice President and Cabinet members may then resubmit their declaration at which point Congress would vote within 48 hours if in session. If not, Congress will act within 21 days where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove him.
TIME TO REVISIT PSYCHO !
In May, I headlined “Dumbing Down – American Tradition ?”
The American voter, many politicians, our former friends abroad, and the press are trying to understand how “this” could happen in America. With Trump, it’s simple, he’s a narcissist – vain, egotistic, selfish, manipulative, boastful, shameless, incapable of criticism and resistance, defensive, arrogant, entitled, abusive, vindictive, untruthful, and a denier of reality. An estimated 1% of all people have this disorder, unfortunately America has one for its president.
He never would have been elected if his only voter was the Republican of yore, centrists or conservatives who stood on their principals, but compromised on issues to get things done in the best interests of America, unlike the Freedom Caucus office holder, (constitutional anarchists) determined to shred all progress of the past and replace it with their little narrow focused, privileged fiefdom.
Many Republicans vote Republican, trusting their party will pick competent candidates – same with Democrats.
This time around was different. A fairly large group of persons voted for Trump fully knowing what he is, and that’s not a person you want as a friend, neighbor, relative, employer, husband or family member. He made no bones about it, he is a bad influence on young people, young adults.
SO WHY DID THEY VOTE FOR HIM ?
Confirmation bias: the tendency to interpret, perceive, or recall information in a way that confirms one’s pre-existing beliefs even when faced with irrefutable proof to the contrary and even voting against one’s own interest. They do it all the time. Credit lack of information, or simply the inability to mentally and emotionally process information accurately and without bias.
Deviancy Down syndrome: Essentially, this is the acceptance of poor behavior and performance as the norm, a dumbing down of expectations.
In spite of all of Trump’s nonsensical bluster and tweets, even his critics are relieved when he has a moment of sanity, hopeful that a new Trump has emerged, one who acts presidential. Why is inferior behavior acceptable ? Don’t know, but my guess is people feel less inferior when a high level official like Trump acts inferior too.
DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT: A cognitive bias whereby people of low mental or physical ability actually perceive themselves as excelling in those areas. Columnist, George Will recently touched on this, concluding Trump suffers from a dangerous disability, not only because he’s ignorant, and ignorant of his ignorance, but because he does not know what it is to know something.”
WOW ! You said that, George ? Another way to say it would be, a person who thinks they know everything on all subjects. Clearly, we don’t have to look far for one of these. It’s a failure to recognize their own shortcomings, so they conclude they have none. Voters in this category don’t feel they need to do any research on qualifications or policies, what comes to their mind is perceived as “fact.”
TRUMP TO PUT US ON A WAR FOOTING !
I moved this one up in the queue, due to a recent Trump tweet that help from China “has not worked.”
On January 12, I noted:
“I am sure of one thing, the United States will be on a war footing in the spring of 2018. Two things, it will juice the economy….may push war hawks to act on military expenditures; two, ensure support for the mid-term elections. (Investor’s first read.com.)
In April, Trump told the Financial Times, “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.” In June, he said, “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out.”
This looks like a countdown to military action, or brinkmanship so dire that North Korea comes to the table.
Strategically, Trump would want to put the country on a war footing with North Korea closer to the election in 2018, but if the Russia investigation gets too hot, he may want to begin the process earlier as a distraction.
A Consult/Politico poll shows 43% of Americans want Congress to begin procedures for the impeachment of President Trump.
The U.S. Constitution enables Congress to remove a president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Intitially, the House votes on one or more articles of impeachment- if a majority vote is reached, he is impeached. BUT, impeachment only means indictment. The Senate holds a trial overseen by the chief justice and Supreme Court. A group of House members serve as prosecutors and the Senate as jurors. If two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he is removed from office and the vice president takes over.
“Connect the Dots.” This investigation is open-ended
Nigel Farage – President Trump- Jeffrey Sessions – Robert Mercer – Cambridge Analytics – Bannon- Carter Page – Kushner (Jared and Ivanka) – Eric Prince – Donald and Eric Trump – Wilbur Ross – Michael Cohen – Ezra Cohen Watnick – Michael Flynn – JD Gordon – Christopher Steele – Michael Caputo -Breitbart News – Roger Stone – Julian Assange – Paul Manafort – Rick Gates – Jill Stein – Sam Clovis – Kellyanne and George Conway – Peter W. Smith (deceased) Russia’s Felix Sater – Sergey Gorkov – Sergey Kislak, ambassador to the U.S., all connect directly or indirectly to the Trump/Russia investigation and some have a connection to Brexit, as well.
According to the “Observer,” Mercer’s Cambridge Analytica was connected with Canada’s AggregateIQ through an intellectual property agreement and worked together on the Brexit referendum. Aggregate is also a data mining company. While Mercer was a big supporter of Trump, there is no known connection between AggregateIQ and Trump’s campaign staff.
The Palmer Report.com recently reported that Peter W. Smith (deceased) sought to collude with Russian hackers stealing emails from Trump’s opposition while claiming to be working with Michael Flynn.
The Wall Street Journal just released two articles, one documenting Smith had some kind of recruiting connection with Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway. Unfortunately, Smith cannot be contacted to further confirm the story as he died of unknown causes shortly after his disclosure to the Journal.
Additionally, IMHO, Vice President Mike Pence simply had to be aware of what was happening in the campaign, but is being shielded because he is the second in command if President Trump is impeached and convicted or forced to resign. Stephen Miller, Joseph E. Schmitz may be of interest to the FBI for information they possess relating to the FBI investigation.
According to CNN Politics, Marc Kasowitz has represented Trump for personal and business matters for years. Worth noting, Kasowitz is defending Russian bank, OJSC Sberbank in U.S. court, as well as a Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties with the Kremlin.
Note: Source of weekly economic calendar and good recap of indicators: mam.econoday.com.
Investor’s first read
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.