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Fallback Friday – Trump’s Parade Gets Rained On, S&P Teases 3,000

Wow are "THEY" trying hard to sell you this rally.  

The official close on the S&P 500 on Wednesday was 2,995.82 but they pushed and pushed once the volume went down at the close and hit 3,000 after hours but it all began to unwind at 3pm – as soon as the European Markets opened and the volume picked up.  That's a pretty strong indication that a lot of this "rally" is "fake, Fake, FAKE" but we can reserve judgment until 8:30, when we see the Non-Farm Payroll Report and the market's reaction to that.

As I noted on Tuesday, we're at the top (probably) of a 400-point run from 2,600 and, according to our fabulous 5% Rule™, we can expect a 20% pullback of this 15% move higher (2,990 actually) soi 400 points x 20% is 80 points back and since it's really 2,900 and since we like to round, we can say we expect to see 2,900 for a weak retrace of the run and somewhere between 2,800 and 2,840 (the real strong retrace from 3,000) should be a healthy pullback from here so that's the tendency we expect and now we'll see wha the data says.

8:30 Update:  Up 226,000 jobs!  That just blows away expectations of 160,000 and May was revised even lower, to 72,000 but this makes that look like an aberration and not a trend.  Unfortunately, Average Hourly Earnings are only up 0.2% so people have jobs but they aren't making any money.  You would think the markets would pop on that many jobs but no, too many jobs means the Fed is less likely to hike and their next meeting is July 31st, before the next jobs report – so this is what they'll be looking at and it would seem foolish for them to cut with these kinds of jobs numbers – where a HIKE is usually mandated.


"Fortunately" the jobs gains are mitigated by low wages so the Fed doesn't have pressure to raise rates but they would really have to twist themselves into knots in order to give Trump the cuts he wants and, of course, strong payrolls mean a strong demand for the Dollar and that's sending the Dollar up 0.5% which gets a pretty much equal and opposite reaction from the Dollar, sending S&P (/ES) Futures down 15 points (0.5%) – boy the math is easy from 3,000, isn't it?

See how easy it was for us to project a $750 rejection in the /ES Futures from 3,000?  We made that prediction on Tuesday and you had until 3am this morning to place your bets, so don't say we didn't tell you so.  Since the move is based on a Dollar pop against POSITIVE Payroll Data – we take our quick profits and run and we'll set new lines for the next leg lower – if there is one.  We have plenty of long-term option hedges so we don't need to press our luck with Futures plays.

When we're expecting a rejection at a key technical level, we look for chances to short, not to go long.  If the 3,000 line is taken and held for a few days, THEN we can get bullish and use 3,000 as a stop but the main opportunities are short at the moment.  California got hit by a pretty strong earthquake yesterday – a 6.4 out of Bakersfield, just 100 miles from LA and that's the strongest quake since Northridge during the 1994 World Series, which caused Billions in damage at the time!  Before we call it a close call and close the books – we should give things a couple of days to settle down.  

China is still demanding Trump remove all tariffs (so we're back to where we were when things broke down) and now Japan has unexpectedly announced that it was considering imposing stricter export controls on more items bound for South Korea, in an apparent effort to raise pressure on Seoul to help resolve a bilateral dispute over compensation for wartime labor. The envisaged plan comes in response to what Tokyo views as Seoul’s failure to address the months-long dispute properly and prevent it from hurting mutual trust between the two neighbors. 

Image result for japan korea cartoonExpanding the list of items, possibly to include electronic parts and related materials that can be diverted to military use, will likely exacerbate bilateral tensions, according to the Japan Times, and some within the government remain cautious about taking further steps, even though Japan has already announced that effective today, it will require manufacturers to file applications when they export to South Korea three materials used in the production of semiconductors and displays for smartphones and TVs.

This, along with the continuing threat of Rare Earth restriction from China, is a danger to the entire Global Semiconductor industry.  Japan's Abe is a mini-Trump and has been emboldened by the President's actions to try his own hand at applying economic pressure to achieve political goals.  

“We cannot give the preferential treatment that has been afforded until now, as the other country has not kept its promise,” Abe said during a nationally televised debate with leaders of other political parties, a day before official campaigning begins for the July 21 Upper House election. “This does not go against WTO agreements at all.”

South Korea controls 70% of the Global Chip Market and generally keeps about a 1-month supply of parts and materials while Japan's "review process" will take about 3 months so we're 45 days away (end of Aug) from a Worldwide Chip shortage that will grind the entire economy to a halt if this thing isn't resolved!  The case will indeed go before the WTO – but they have not been known for their speed in resolving matters.  

On the other hand, if you go by Samsung's Q2 earnings expectations, we may not need chips anymore as demand was so weak in Q2 that profits fell 56.3% from the same quarter last year  as sluggish demand for memory chips was exacerbated by the nagging US/China trade dispute.  Analysts were already expecting terrible numbers and this is merely a confirmation of the worst-case scenario but the Japan issue could make things much worse in Q3.

Fortunately, we're already using the Nasdaq as our primary hedge so this works well for our Member Portfolios (and see yesterdays' Mid-Year Portfolio Review for all of our recent adjustments).  As we expected, there's certainly nothing this morning that makes me want to cover our aggressive hedges into the weekend and it would be much healthier if we pull back to at least 2,900 next week – but this rally hasn't been "healthy" for a long time – which is why we're cautious in the first place.

Have a great weekend,

- Phil


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  1. So I hope all you guys came home safely after the Russian military show? Sure this was another page for the American comic book here in Europe.
    I see this morning already the air is going out of the baby Trump balloon.

  2. Good morning Yodi, the military show is just a smoke screen as America works towards emulating the grandeur of Europe and trying to figure out how to copy Europe's brilliant economic model of 13T in negative yielding debt

  3. Mike please it is just a great joke here in Europe. I think the man is just wasting US Tax money, surely there are other things to spend 2.5 Million $. Surely if he had to pay the smoke show out if his own pocket, he would have fished a little army tank out of his baby box!!!

  4. Yodi, I agree that it is a great joke, but, to me, saying a government wastes money is like saying the sky is blue

  5. Needed more lines!

  6. I wonder how many of these new jobs are lawyers in Washington!

    Or how many of these 226K jobs are second and third jobs for the 40% of American who can't afford the basic necessities.

  7. Phil

    Do think it’s a good time to sell AVGO puts  ? or wait 

    for a market  drop 

    Maybe 2021  190  


  8. Good Morning!

  9. Next time you plug your phone in again, thank a child — "A CBS News investigation has found child labor being used in the dangerous mining of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mineral cobalt is used in virtually all batteries in common devices, including cellphones, laptops and even electric vehicles."

  10. mikezuela 


    not sure if you are aware of


    Child labour in cocoa production

  11. cocoa/qcmike, something to think about the next time I eat a candy bar, uggh

  12. Good morning! 

    Military Parade/Yodi – We are well on the way, aren't we?  William Harrison got the flu giving his speech on Inauguration Day and was our shortest-serving President.  It's all I could think about watching Trump in the rain yesterday….

    Negative yields/Mike – Unfortunately, Europe's model is to seem like a safe haven compared to the madman across the water.  

    But is it in your conscience that you're after

    Another glimpse of a madman across the water – Elton John

    $2.5M/Yodi – I don't know where you heard that but I'd say 10x at least.  

    More lines/StJ – Usually that's a great sign to short.   Lots and lots of people with 2 jobs.  How do you have a life?  Essentially, if all you do is work, sleep and eat – how are you better off than a slave?  I know people love to say FREEDOM! but what is freedom if all you do is work?  

    AVGO/QC – As they buyer of SYMC, I'd think they drop off a bit and, since I think we're heading for a general correction – I don't think it's a good time to jump on short puts.  

    Cobalt/Mike – Hey, I used to deliver papers when I was 10 – where were the news teams?  blush

    Image result for cobalt mine children

    Yikes, looks like another leg down.  Nas hitting -1% at 7,800 and that's down 88 so we'll see if it's intra-day bouncy to 7,815 (weak) and 7,835 (strong).  

  13. Mike
    Child Labor. One has to see things always from two sides of the fence.
    Looking back at my own youth, when other boys plaid soccer in the street, I needed to help my father work the garden. We needed to stay alive.
    To earn some money during vacations I worked at building sides schlepping blocks and concrete.
    We did not get any handouts.
    The other day at the immigration authorities in Germany, I came across an African with his two wives and  more than six children, looking for handouts in Germany.
    Regret to say in some countries you will find time did not change to my youth. Possible the kids lost their father and what option do they have to support a 10 headed family?
    Surely to collect coco beans is not the hardest work you will find.
    How much are you prepared to spend of your income to feed a ten headed family?
    Possible you will say as many others not my fault they have 10 children and no food on the table.
    Yes this is for me reality.

  14. minus 26 at the S&P looks like it rained on the parade! It would be nice to see some one better than a clown to sell BS

  15. trump quote: "rain is wet"….. :)

  16. Speaking of poor labor conditions – I still love John Oliver:

    97 rejected on the Dollar, another reason to bounce.  

    • The financial sector is the only one of the 11 S&P 500 industry sectors on the rise after stronger-than-expected job gains in June complicates the case for a Fed rate cut at the end of this month.
    • Federal funds futures trading now points overwhelmingly to a 25-basis-point cut on July 31, according to the CME FedWatch Tool; probability for a 50-bps cut shrinks to 2.8% from 32.3% a week ago.
    • State Street's SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KBE) rises 0.8%.
    • Bank of America (BAC +0.4%), Morgan Stanley (MS +0.6%), and Wells Fargo (WFC +0.5%) are the strongest gainers among U.S.-based megabanks.
    • The SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEARCA:KRE) gains even more, up 1.1%.
    • Among notable regional bank movers: Huntington Bancshares (HBAN +1.2%), Regions Financial (RF +0.9%), Comerica (CMA +1.4%), and KeyCorp (KEY +1.2%).
    • Atlantic Equities analyst John Heagerty says the odds that banks will report weaker net interest margins in Q2 aren't fully factored in to the market even as investors are already expecting softer trading and investment banking revenue.
    • "There is clear potential for investor disappointment at the upcoming results" after bank stock rallied in the past month due to the Fed's stress tests last month and the Fed's more dovish tone overall.
    • Steady loan growth and a pick-up in mortgage activity may partly offset NIM pressure; auto lending has rebounded, but credit-card activity has weakened and business lending has slowed.
    • Repeats overweight on Citigroup (NYSE:C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).
    • June nonfarm payrolls: +224K vs. 160K consensus, previous +72K (revised from +75K).
    • Unemployment rate: 3.7% vs. 3.6% consensus, previous 3.6%.

    • Unpacking the June jobs report, average hourly earnings rose only 0.2% from May and increased 3.1% Y/Y.
    • In other words, even with unemployment near 50-year lows, inflation hasn't picked up.
    • "Wage growth has noticeably decelerated as average hourly earnings increased by a paltry 0.2% on the month," observes Joseph Brusuelas, RSM US chief economist.
    • "We still expect a 25-bps rate cut by Fed on July 30, but 50 bps cut now off the table," Brusuelas writes via Twitter.
    • “The data are unlikely to stop the Fed from easing at this month’s meeting,” Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, told Reuters.
    • Slightly higher-than-expected unemployment is a result of an increased labor force, not higher unemployment, says Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at Center on Budget.
    • Six-month rolling average of Y/Y nominal wage growth suggests trend is "stalled or even trailingoff a bit," Bernstein adds, tacking on a chart to his tweet.
    • It's clear job gains are slowing from 2018; employment growth averaged 172K per month this year vs. an average monthly gain of 223K in 2018.
    • Notable job gains in professional and business services (+51K), health care (+35K), and in transportation and warehousing (+24K).
    • Canadian employment fell 2.2K in June, shy of estimates for a gain of 9.9K. The unemployment rate ticked higher to 5.5%, inline with expectations.
    • The soft print, combined with strong headline numbers in the U.S. jobs report, has sent the loonie (NYSEARCA:FXClower by 0.5% vs. the greenback.

    • Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is 2.5% lower after a note from UBS warning on ad-market downside in the near term.
    • Pointing to conversations the firm held at its TMI conference along with agency checks, analyst Jerry Liu says despite downside risk to core growth in the second half, search and feed growth will accelerate into next year, with monetization of its smart mini programs a "bright spot."
    • The UBS price target of $145 now implies 25% upside, though the firm is staying Neutral.
    • Other sell-side analysts rate it Outperform on average, and Seeking Alpha authors are Bullish, while Baidu has a Quant Rating of Very Bearish.
    • Mining companies Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) and BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) are sharply lower in early action after the China Securities Journal warns that the Chinese government is being asked to take action over the spike in iron ore prices that could be tied to excessive speculation.
    • Iron ore prices are down about 5% off the development on different exchanges, while shares of Rio Tinto are 4.98% lower premarket in the U.S. and BHP Group is off 3.88%. Vale is 2.25% lower, while Fortescue Metals Group (OTCQX:FSUMFdropped 4.35% in Sydney earlier today.
    • Walmart (NYSE:WMTreports same-store sales in Mexico were up 4.7% in June and total sales were 6.0% higher.
    • For the first six months of the year, same-store sales in Mexico were up 5.1% and total sales rose 6.1%.
    • Walmart also reports same-store sales rose 5.4% in June for the Central American business and were 3.5% higher for the first six months of the year.
    • As of June 30, Walmart operated 2,470 stores in Mexico and 821 in Central America
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) announces that Q2 deliveries in China including joint ventures fell 12.2% to 753,926 vehicles. Deliveries have now fallen for four consecutive quarters.
    • Sales by brand: Buick -14.1% Y/Y to 198K, Chevrolet -18.5% to 107K, Cadillac +36.6% to 67K, Wuling -0.9% to 246K, Baojun -31.8% to 136K.
    • Looking ahead, GM says it's well prepared to transition to the new China 6 emission standard. It is introducing a record of about 20 new and refreshed models in China this year, which are all China 6 compliant. Around two-thirds will arrive in the second half, with a sharpened focus on luxury vehicles and midsize/large SUVs.
    • Ford (NYSE:F) announces sales in China fell 21.7% in Q2.
    • Sales were up 24% from the level seen in Q1.
    • Sales by brand: Ford -28% to 92,885 units, Lincoln +7% to 12,404, JMC -13.1% to 48,753.
    • Ford says it has taken aggressive actions to reduce dealer inventory, increase showroom traffic, stabilize transaction prices and improve dealer profitability. Dealers' day supply ended the month at 28 days, the lowest level in the past 18 months.
    • Shares of Ford are down 0.10% premarket to $10.19.
    • The Baltic Dry Index is starting to catch some attention after rising for 15 consecutive days. Prices are higher across the Capesize, Panamax and Supramax sub-indices that measure different sizes of carries or merchant ships. Rates in both hemispheres have shown strength throughout the week and demand for iron ore has boosted rates for larger vessels.
    • "Considering that the BDI tends to reflect Chinese resource demand in real time, there would appear to be a good likelihood that commodity supply-demand will take a turn for the better, at least versus May-June," noted Nomura strategist Masanari Takada on the upturn.
    • "The BDI does have a seasonal tendency to improve in July, but the pace of improvement this time around is quite marked," he added.
    • German industrial orders fell even more than expected, a bellwether for ongoing weakness in the sector for the months ahead alongside additional pointers to slowdowns in engineering and manufacturing.
    • Contracts were expected to show a very small decline after modest gains over the past two months, but dropped 2.2%.
    • Foreign contracts dropped by 4.3% as demand from non-eurozone countries slid.
    • “What misery!" says VP Bank economist Thomas Gitzel. “Given the significant decline in incoming orders, industrial production will remain extremely weak in the second half of the year and that increases the risk of recession for the German economy.”
    • The leading candidate to replace Theresa May as the U.K.'s prime minister, Boris Johnson, said the government needs to find a way to tax global tech giants on their income, Reuters reports.
    • “I think it’s deeply unfair that high street businesses are paying tax through the nose… whereas the internet giants, the FAANGs — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — are paying virtually nothing,” Johnson said at an event in York in northern England.

    Tesla: The Great American Car Company 

    • Top representatives of the U.S. and China will talk by phone in the coming week as they seek to resolve the trade war between the two countries, according to White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow.
    • It's still unclear about the timeline for relaunching face-to-face talks, but Kudlow said those would begin "soon" and that an announcement would be forthcoming.
    • The U.K's competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (GOOGGOOGL) over their dominance in digital advertising, with the two tech giants taking in an estimated 61% share of digital advertising revenues in the country.
    • The probe builds on a U.K. government review published in March and comes as big tech companies face scrutiny by regulators around the world over their size and influence on consumers and their data.
    • 86% of Americans plan to observe Independence Day this year and are expected to spend $6.7B on food for cookouts, barbecues and picnics, according to the National Retail Federation.
    • The amount of people celebrating July 4th is the lowest percentage in the last 10 years, with historical data averaging between 87%-90%.
    • Total amount of spending also declined last year to $6.9B from $7.2B, and data suggests the trend will continue this holiday.

    I see way too many signs like this that the economy is weaker than we are being led to believe.  Sadly, it's very possible that the data we're getting from our government is no more reliable than the crap the Soviets used to put out back in the day to convince their people how "GREAT" things were. 

  17. Yodi, excellent points, I am thinking we should all pay more for batteries to improve that situation

  18. Batteries for cars is just another hype. I cannot talk for the US but here in Europe one  has only a few charging stations to charge thousands of cars. To just my situation, and I am one of thousands, pulling a RV over 1500 KM. It is cold on the autobahn my wife ask to put the heater on. Ahead we have Stau, possible an accident on the road ahead of us. But my car has to charge as well the fridge of the RV. After two hours of Stau, hurray we moving again. But now my cars battery has not even enough power to get me to the next possible loading station. Hopefully I can reach still the far away loading station. But my God there are already 10 guys in line to plug in.
    Well here I have no option but get out my barbeque not only to heat us up a bit, but as well wait for hours to get charged again. The trip possible will take me a month which I normally do in three comfortable days.
    Great to have a good old Merc diesel!!!!!

  19. Charging/Yodi – They have to take the whole thing seriously and develop infrastructure to support EVs.  So far, that's not happeningl.

    Well, we're back to being down just 0.5% so call these strong bounce lines almost.  7,825 on /NQ and we were waiting for 7,835 so we'll see if that comes and it should be lined up with 26,900, 2,985 and 1,575 IF we are going to make it or, we might just fail these bounces and plunge back down as nervous traders lighten up into the weekend.

  20. Phil it is not only the charging stations it is the time it takes to charge, as long as it takes longer to charge up than filling up with fuel, it is only a fools dream.

  21. Tehran fumes as Britain seizes Iranian oil tanker over Syria sanctions

  22. What Middle-Class Families Want Politicians to Know

  23. Here's our rally maker:

    • The New York Fed boosts its Q2 GDP growth estimate by 0.2 percentage point to 1.5% and pushes up its Q3 estimate by 0.5 pp to 1.7%.
    • Cites positive surprises from exports and imports data, ISM manufacturing survey, and employment data for most of the increase.

    Wow, 1.5% – Can I please pay 25x earnings for stocks now?

    And this helped too (funny how they came out at the same time):

    • President Donald Trump took the opportunity to renew his call for the Fed to cut interest rates today.
    • Says U.S. economy "would be like a rocket ship" if interest rates were lower.
    • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also keeps to the talking point, saying, "They should take back the interest rate hike" that the central bank implemented in December.

    Out of control! 

    •'s (AMZN -0.6%) Kuiper project — planned to offer satellite-based broadband Internet access -- has filed for permission from the FCC to launch 3,236 satellites.
    • FCC approval was a necessary step for the project, which outlined its plans in April filings with the ITU.
    • The company plans the project to offer service to tens of millions of underserved customers around the world, including in the United States.

    Image result for satellite pollution cartoon

  24. We're so hung up on Capitalism and individuality that we think it's OK for one company to launch 3,236 satellites?  The pollution from the rockets alone would be staggering.  So let's say we "only" grant permission to companies that REALLY need satelllites like, AMZN, T, S, VZ, SIRI, AAPL, WMT, TGT, COST, GE, MSFT, CMCSA, IBM, UPS, FDX, DIS, CHTR, NFLX…  just a few who could use the same logic as AMZN to NEED a space presence and then there's all the other countries and their companies.  

    Why not just launch a global system that's SHARED?  Then it could be managed and upgraded.  

    This is what was in our Florida sky on Weds:

    FOX 13 viewer photo

    That's a Chinese satellite burning up on re-entry.  They said it was 2 tons and 30-feet long, could have destroyed a town if it hadn't broken up.  Apparently, this happens globally once a month – they have no control and no plan over where they land – it's just that the Earth is mostly empty (and mostly ocean) so it's very rare when people see this in populated areas.  

  25. Did everyone leave?  

    I have family over but I keep looking at chat to see if anyone's around….

    Russell went green at 1,578 but others still down 0.2% with 35 mins to go. 

    Completely meaningless, low-volume day.

    /CL back to $57.50, /RB hit $1.93 but pulling off that line. /NG popped and still $2.40.

    Yawn otherwise…

    Well, if no one is around then:

    Have a great weekend,

     - Phil

  26. This is why I usually take this week off!

  27. Have a great weekend, Phil!  I am at work and taking advantage of the quiet to catch up on some things.  

  28. Heh. I'm back in Altadena, but still jet-lagged – trying to remember how to speak English after four months of speaking Korean except for about two hours a week.

    Jut playing /YM at the moment – entertaining…

  29. Well, it's good to know someone is out there! 

  30. Bigger earthquake just hit the same spot, 7.1 – that’s what I was worried about.  

  31. Earthquake- have been living in SoCal now for almost 5 years and experienced my first one of note. Previously have felt some tremors but very slight, hardly noticeable lasting only a few seconds. Last evening at 8:18 while sitting and reading I initially felt my chair moving side to side which got my attention. I stood up and the whole house was swaying; computer monitors were rattling and pendant lights hanging from the ceiling were moving back and forth like they were blowing in the wind. The whole event lasted perhaps a minute and the sensation of the floor and walls moving was indeed creepy and a bit disorienting. Fortunately , no damage locally but reports from around the epicenter in the town of Ridgecrest (which is about 100 miles from me) indicate more road damage and some fires and no power/gas. 

    Interesting that the Caltech and USGS experts providing regular updates note that a 7.1 quake occurs about every 20 years so statistically normal. Damage in Ridgecrest is yet to be fully evaluated but the community is somewhat rural. The experts clearly indicate that much more serious consequences can be expected when, not if, a 7.1 hits LA metro. 

  32. Ridgecrest is a modern town, so all the buildings are earthquake resistant, especially as that's an area that gets a lot of quakes. If that 7.1 were to hit in LA, though – remember the Northridge quake? That was, IIRC, a 6.4.

    By the way, I felt both Thursday and Friday's quakes – ground moving, leaves on the trees trembling, things swinging, cats freaking out. Scary, but living here in Altadena – or almost anywhere in southern California – what really frightens me is wildfires.

  33. Snow- from what the Caltech gurus say, active faults are throughout CA so earthquake risk is the price we pay for the excellent year round climate. As to wildfires, one can mitigate that risk somewhat by where one lives. Building restrictions in "fire zones" commentary always seems to percolate when the blazes are raging. I do agree on the fear factor, though. 2 years ago I observed a small fire erupt about a 1/2 mile from my front door. Indeed scary to see dozens of acres blackened within minutes. With a bit of wind, the infernos are fast and furious.   

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