Tug of War

Investor’s first read – Daily edge before the open
DJIA:20,896
S&P 500: 2,390
Nasdaq  Comp.:6,121
Russell 2000: 1,382
Monday, May 15, 2017    9:08 a.m.
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      The Street would love to step in and buy aggressively in expectation of huge corporate tax cuts, deregulation of those pesky regulations, and the big spend on our military and infrastructure.
       The administration justifies the deficit resulting from a shortfall in revenues from tax cuts and increased expenditures by its projected increase in business, specifically $2 trillion over ten years.

        Holding the Street back from going all-in, is the possibility none of these perks will happen anytime soon, if at all.
        The Trump administration is preoccupied with speculation that Trump’s associates colluded with Russian operatives to tarnish Clinton’s reputation and embellish Trump’s prior to the election
        Longer term, there is a risk that these measures to juice the economy  will trigger one last wild speculative surge in the economy and stock market before a  recession hits.
       The current economic expansion starting in June 2009 is 96 months old compared with  the average of 58.4 months over the last 11 cycles ( 1945 – 2009).  However, it still has a bit to go to top the 1991 – 2001 expansion of 120 months.
        Trump’s plan to goose the economy with powerful stimulants doesn’t seem necessary, even with the soft spots that have been showing up recently. They would be more effective in bringing the economy out of a recession.
         With interest rates still low, the Fed has little ammo to do the job if a recession hits anytime soon.

TODAY
         The key today will be – can the market hold its early gains ? A rally failure would suggest another spike down. The DJIA needs to close above 21,000 and the S&P 500 above 2,400 to tip the scales in favor of the bulls.
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SUPPORT “today”:DJIA:20,837;S&P 500:2,384; Nasdaq Comp.:6,105
RESISTANCE:“today”:DJIA:20,947;S&P500:2,396;NASDAQ Comp.:6,133

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CORPORATE EARNINGS
(updated  May 15, 2017)
Factset
      Q1 earnings are projected to increase 13.6%. Q2 growth  is projected at +6.8%, Q3 at +7.5%, and Q4 at +12.4%. For 2017 as a whole growth is projected at a plus 9.9%.  Currently, the P/E on forward  earnings is 17.5 x. That compares with a 10-year average P/E of 14.0.
Note: These numbers change frequently.
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MY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS  of the 30 DJIA Companies
:  (UPDATED 4/28/17)
      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  April 25, 2017,  a reasonable risk is 20,763 a more extreme risk is 20,571.Near-term upside potential is 21,333
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POLITICAL/STOCK MARKET

OPINION:  I’ve been writing about the stock market, companies and related subjects for 49 years. That stretch has included  seven bear/bull markets, wars, domestic and international crises, rank speculation, two market declines of 50%, political scandals, financial institution meltdowns, dramatic technological changes, grand bull markets.
      I have never seen or imagined that the integrity of our country would be disgraced by the narcissistic  behavior of its President, Donald Trump where truth has no meaning.
      There is immeasurable risk here, as an extremist tight-wing Congress attempts to dismantle all the hard fought legislation passed over the years, intended to improve the quality of life for most of its citizens, strength of its institutions, competiveness of its corporations, and international stability.
       The downside is unthinkable. 
        What breeds hope is, that the bizarre action of the Trump administration and Congress has rallied huge numbers of people seeking to win back the country we want it to be, once was, and damn well should be, not a private party enjoyed by a few.
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HEALTHCARE:  NOW THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS OWN IT !
NOTE:
This is just the beginning and information is still sketchy. One excellent source is the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation (www.kff.org)
      The House narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) last week by a vote of 217 to 213. 
      The House failed twice to pass a similar version. The bill was rushed through without pursuing standard practices – discussions and cost and consequence scoring, by the CBO.

      It now goes to the Senate where it will encounter changes and possibly rejection. Senator Susan Collins, Maine, says there is no timeline for Senate consideration, only that she expects the Senate to take its time and do it right.
      AHCA is not the law of the land yet. All this negativity and uncertainty must make it next to impossible for Insurance companies to project risk and coverage.  That in itself stands to press ACA to the edge.      

       Republicans will now move on to tax deform where it will tip the scales further in favor of corporations and upper income persons.

THE RISK !      

      If successful, this administration’s late-stage stimulus will set the stage for a huge shortfall in US government receipts, resulting in the need to gut  dozens of government programs that address need and quality of life.
        For the most part Republicans, greedy bankers and financial institutions gave us the “Great Recession/Bear Market” 2007-2009.  The next one will be worse, because the government will lack the fiscal stimuli to pull the country out of its depressed state. 
       Can’t happen ?   Weren’t safeguards imposed through Dodd-Frank to prevent another meltdown ?
       Yes, however the House voted Thursday to roll back many of those measures, which they claim have slowed down economic growth. This is the same pattern of corporate “permissiveness” that set the stage for the 2007 – 2009 crash. ”Read “Too Big To Fail” by Sorkin, just don’t make it bedtime reading. 

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STARVE the BEAST  !
     Trump’s plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 15% from 35% would trigger a $2.4 trillion shortfall in government revenues, forcing massive cuts to government programs, as well as increased taxes in other areas to offset the loss.   

     This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Republicans to fulfill their dream to devastate social programs across the board, i.e. slash government income and there is no alternative but to gut government programs. 
      It’s called “Starve The Beast,” and will result in a vast reduction in the quality of life of most Americans, especially those who put Trump in office.
      Congress will waste little time seizing an opportunity of their lifetime – to ruthlessly, senselessly and wantonly dismember a system that works well without the intrusion of Republicans.

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I AM KEEPING THE FOLLOWING ALIVE BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN UPSTAGED BY TRUMP’S 100-DAY STAMPEDE TO  SAVE FACE.
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PREUTERS WORLD NEWS APRIL 19, 4:20 PM
“A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.
      Russian documents appear to confirm what U.S. intelligence agencies have believed  all along that Russia influenced the outcome of our presidential election. 
      Yesterday, Reuters released documents, which were prepared by the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies[https://en.riss/], after the election that confirm this conclusion.
      It recommended that a, “propaganda campaign on social media and Russian backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barach Obama, the seven officials said.”
     Additionally, a second institute document recommended Russia end its pro-Trump propaganda and intensify messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation.
      So far, investigations by U.S. institutions and Congress have not concluded collusion between Trump’s team and Russian operatives occurred.
     But U.S. investigations are still being conducted.
     I personally believe collusion DID take place, and odds are GOOD that it reaches far beyond collusion, that based on what I see and how people in the administration are acting.
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TRUMP  – TOAST ?
      Just a hunch, but I think collusion regarding influencing the election is only part of something much bigger, like major league money transfers for options on oil investments, real estate holdings, and land deals. That’s why it is taking so much time.
      If we begin to see more and more of VP Pence, it may suggest the end for Trump is getting closer. Clearly, the inside knows something is about to break.  Trump is “toast,” IMVHO.
      There are so many people who know so much, and they are going to be watching out for number ONE, and that is not Donald Trump.

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WHY TRUMP WOULD PUT US  ON  A WAR FOOTING !
       THE STAGE IS BEING SET NOW !
      
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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CORPORATE EARNINGS (updated  April 14, 2017)
Factset
      Q1 earnings are projected to increase 13.5%. Q2 growth  is projected at +7.2%, Q3 at +7.7%, and Q4 at +12.5%. For 2017 as a whole growth is projected at a plus 10.0%.  Currently, the P/E on forward  earnings is 17.5 x. That compares with a 10-year average P/E of 14.0. Energy is the big contributor to Q1, S&P 500 growth.  While its percentage growth rate cannot be calculated since the sector was losing money a year ago it is in the black to the tune of $8.5 billion vs. a loss of $1.5 billion in Q1 2016. Materials:
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MY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS  of the 30 DJIA Companies
:  (UPDATED 4/28/17)
      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  April 25, 2017,  a reasonable risk is 20,763 a more extreme risk is 20,571.Near-term upside potential is 21,333
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ODDS FAVOR
1-Trump’s presidency will implode within three years, Bannon will be gone, along with Breitbart News and Alt-Right’ influence.
2-Trump will put the United States on a war footing with North Korea in coming months with or without China’s cooperation.

Conclusion: It is happening now
3-Expect major domestic violence this summer as alt-Right groups confront protestors against tax reform and Congress’ gutting of a host of popular government programs.

Conclusion: It started on Easter weekend in Berkeley.
4-Seeds of a recession will be planted as Congress guts programs needed and used by millions.  Stock market has its final run.
5-Social Security and Medicare will be targeted for drastic changes if the Republicans hold control of both houses in 2018 and Congress is successful in gutting most of social service programs and the EPA per Trump’s wish list.     
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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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