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Wednesday Weakovery – Indexes Fail to Bounce, Held Back by Weak Earnings


That's the weak bounce line on the S&P 500 and, as we predicted in yesterday morning's report, that's right where we ended up, though it was only due to a "stick save" into the close, which popped the S&P up to 2,881, but this morning, when we're back to 2,861 because that 20-point afternoon surge was nonsense – meant to entice retail traders into buying the dips (while the big boys sell into the bounces).  

That's what our 5% Rule™ is for – to prevent us from chasing false rallies or panicking over normal corrections.  The 5% Rule™ works best when bots are doing most of the trading and that's a trend that's worked well all decade and should continue to do so as we begin to look forward to the next decade as well.

Yesterday morning, in our Live Member Chat Room, we calculated the bounce lines for the other indexes as well so, to summarize here (green or red determined by Futures at 8:30 am):

  • Dow 25,000 is the mid-point and bounce lines are 25,550 (weak) and 26,100 (strong)
  • S&P 2,850 is the mid-point and bounce lines are 2,880 (weak) and 2,910 (strong)
  • Nasdaq 7,200 is the mid-point and bounce lines are 7,360 (weak) and 7,520 (strong)
  • Russell 1,440 is the mid-point and bounce lines are 1,472 (weak) and 1,504 (strong) 

Before we had our Big Chart (thanks StJ), we just had the little spreadsheet in the corner of the Big Chart and that's really all you need to gauge the health and we simply count the red and green boxes and, if things are getting redder, the market is getting weaker and if things are getting greener, the market is getting stronger and anything that happens in-between those lines is meaningless.  

Of course, the above bounce lines are just measuring the short-term action but we also apply them to weekly and monthly charts so we are able to plot our trading ranges over years of time.  Another big factor in why the 5% Rule™ is so accurate is because, at the heart, it's based first and foremost of the FUNDAMENTAL values of the stocks or indexes we're tracking – not just on some silly chart action.   The 5% Rule™ is not TA – it's just MATH!  

These levels are also useful to see which index to short in the Futures, if the S&P fails the 2,850 line, then we pick the index that has the furthest left to fall as our primary short and, at the moment, that would be the Nasdaq (/NQ) below the 7,450 line with tight stops above OR if the S&P crosses back over the 2,850 line.  1,500 on the Russell (/RTY) is another great shorting spot because the 1,500 line is such a good backstop to set your stop over. 

And, of course, our call from Monday morning's Report still stands when I called the massive crash, saying:

Meanwhile, the markets are starting off down another 1.5-2% this morning as we're completing the first half of the much-anticipated post-Fed correction.  We expect to see those 200-day moving averages get tested and that's another 1,000 points down on the Dow to 25,500 so still shortable when it fails the 26,000 line for $2,500 per contract at goal.

As you can see, we hit 25,500 on the nose Monday afternoon and, this morning, we got another chance to make another $2,500 per contract doing the same thing we did Monday.  See – trading futures is not that complicated – you just have to pay attention to the support and resistance lines and don't be an idiot and try to guess where things are going when we're in-between those lines.  That's not complicated, is it?

Remember, I can only tell you what is likely to happen and how to make money trading it – that is the extent of my powers!  

ImagePeople are freaking out again this morning and Gold (/YG) is back over $1,500 an ounce for the first time since early 2013 and we hit $1,500 on the way up in 2011, while the Fed and other Central Banks were flooding the World with money – similar to what's happening now as THREE (3) Central Banks cut their rates today:  India (0.35), New Zealand (0.5) and Thailand (0.25) causing our Tweeter in Chief to demand that our Fed cut rates to keep up – even though they just cut them last week and those banks are trying to keep up with us – MADNESS!

Aside from needing low rates to prevent the economy from collapsing during an election year, Trump is very worried about the prospect of returning to the private sector so he wants rates as low as possible so he can borrow as much money as possible before he defaults on the next round of suckers who do business with him (at the moment – it's the American people!).

Here's a couple of charts that summarize the situation quite nicely:

The Dollar Index was at 102.5 when Trump took office in Jan, 2017 and now it's at 97.31, which is down 5% and Gold was at $1,150 in Jan, 2017 and is now $1,500, which is up 30% – as it's not just US investors panicking into Gold.   Trump says he's lowering your taxes but a 5% devaluation of the Dollar isn't just a tax on what you earn (since the Dollars you earn have 5% less buying power) but a tax on EVERYTHING YOU OWN as well.  

That's why these idiotic tax cuts are nonsense and only benefit the investor class (the Top 1% own 80% of the investments) as they (we) are the ones buying stocks and buying Gold (and GOLD is one I've been banging the table on for quite a while) and benefitting from the weak Dollar by making 30% on our Gold investments against 5% losses of our Dollars.  That is the opposite of what is happening to the Bottom 99%, who have no gold bars in their safes – not even a Krugerand! – and they are not protected from Trump's weak-Dollar stealth tax that removes 5% of their wealth and lowers their effective wages

That's why YOU (Top 1%) can think the economy is in great shape while it's really falling apart – it is great for us but "cord cutting" and "coverage gaps" and "Dollar Store trends" that you think is a good investing premise are life and death decisions made by the Bottom 80% who have to choose between entertainment, health care or food on a daily basis.  


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  1. Giving back 1/2 of yesterday's gains in the futures this morning!

  2. Great advice from the VP yesterday:

    But Pence’s “number one” piece of advice on dealing with criticism was this: “Spend more time on your knees than on the internet.”

    This has of course led to trouble in the White House before!

  3. Interesting observations:

    The upshot is that neither side has much to gain from speaking frankly about the economy: Partisan Democrats are unlikely to praise its accomplishments, lest they undercut their 2020 nominee; and conservative Republicans are unlikely to explain its basis, lest they sound like hypocrites—or, even worse, closet Keynesians. They’ll talk about the tax cut while ignoring the indisputable fact that they jump-started the economy with the very stimulus tools they decried as unacceptable under Obama—even as millions of families struggled with unemployment.

  4. Of course some people are simply spreading lies:

    So if you are like many other Americans, your aversion to taxes may stem in part from a lack of appreciation for what the government actually does for you. Surely, the U.S. government (like any other large organization) has many inefficiencies. However, when so much of what the government does is “submerged” from view, it is no wonder that citizen perceptions lean away from an appreciation of what government does and toward a desire to dismantle it.

  5. Morning, All!

    It's webinar day! 1pm (eastern), here:

  6. Gold powers to six-year high

    Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) this morning is up another 1.4% to $1,505 per ounce – its highest since early 2013 (when it was on the way down from $1,800).

    Silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) is up 2.9% to $16.92 – its highest since late 2017.

  7. I love it when Phil points out a good fake bounce and I can short /NQ for 100 points or so… an annoying hold overnight but looking real nice at 7420!

  8. *weak bounce, not fake bounce.

  9. Good Morning!

  10. Trump (and his cronies) have managed to politicized everything now – the DOJ and the intelligence agencies were on their way but they are making it worse! Now the Fed is getting assaulted every day.

  11. Good morning!

    Below 2,850 is bad but not too much follow-up though the bounce is to be expected as we hit 25,500 again (and congrats to all who shorted /YM again!).  So now we'll see how this bounce stacks up to the last one – if it looks weaker – that's very bad.

    All in all, this is just what we expected to happen within the context of getting a 10% correction – the pause at 5%, weak bounce and then resume. 

    Pence/StJ – He's like a cartoon character.  

    Image result for simpsons reverend lovejoy animated gif

    Image result for simpsons reverend lovejoy animated gif

    Well done Ati!  It was weak AND fake (into the close yesterday)

    Fed/StJ – And what Trump doesn't (or maybe does) understand is that both the Dollar and the Fed operate on FAITH and destroying that faith can cripple both and be a disaster for the US.  Putin wins again!  Just a coincidence: No collusion, No obstruction….

    Image result for trump no collusion animated gif

    Image result for trump no collusion animated gif

    Image result for trump no collusion animated gif

    Image result for moscow mitch

  12. Anyone shorting some TLT here? Cannot resist legging into put spreads.

  13. I guess Amazon will need more delivery trucks:

    FedEx is still busy cutting its ties with Amazon. The courier company has declined to renew its contract for Amazon ground deliveries when it expires at the end of August, leaving just an international delivery contract between the two. FedEx isn't shy about the reasoning, either — it's about independence. […[ (just 1.3 percent of FedEx's 2018 revenue came from Amazon)

  14. TLT/Ati – We're already short in the STP – not doing well.

    Oil diving on big builds:

    • EIA Petroleum Inventories: Crude +2.4M barrels vs. -2.8M consensus, -8.5M last week.
    • Gasoline +4.4M barrels vs. -0.7M consensus, -1.8M last week.
    • Distillates +1.5M barrels vs. +0.5M consensus, -0.9M last week.
    • Futures -2.55% to $52.26.
    • Firearms-related stocks are lower after President Trump indicates there is "very strong" political appetite in Congress for legislation on tightening background checks. He also states that there is no political appetite for a ban on assault rifles.
    • The selling pressure coincides with broad market declines.
    • On watch: American OutDoor Brands (AOBC -2.7%), Vista Outdoors (VSTO -3.5%), Sturm, Ruger (RGR -1.6%).
    • Early strength in stocks has turned to major weakness, with the major U.S. futures indices now all down by 1%. Money is gushing into government paper, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield threatening to drop below 1.6%, and the German 10-year Bund now yielding -0.59%. Oh, and Spanish 10-year yields are within a handful of basis points of going negative.
    • President Trump has taken to Twitter to again criticize the Federal Reserve for being too tight, and gold has blasted through $1,500 per ounce.
    • Given the above, why not buy some crypto? Bitcoin (BTC-USD) continues its run, up another 5.7% to $12,116. Other players like Ether (ETH-USD), Litecoin (LTC-USD), Ripple (XRP-USD), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD) are seeing far more modest advances.

  15. ROFL:

    Image result for moscow mitch

    Would be more funny if it wasn't the fate of our Democracy hanging in the balance…

  16. Wow, gold hit $1,520!

    • Jefferies strategist Steven DeSanctis goes overweight on real estate for the first time in his career, explaining in a note that "interest rates around the globe are NOT going anywhere and US rates are tethered to the global markets and thus heading lower."
    • 10-year Treasury yield fell by 8 basis points overnight to 1.63%.
    • "Quest for yield can be quenched by real estate," writes DeSantis, who has worked in financial services since the late 1990s.
    • Jefferies real estate analyst Jon Petersen favors industrial and apartment real estate plays like Rexford Industrial Realty (REXR -0.5%), Stag Industrial (STAG -0.1%), and UDR (UDR -0.7%).
    • The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) has slid 18.3% amid today's market downdraft following a miss on Q2 revenues and higher costs that weighed on operating profit.
    • Revenues grew 5.2% to $436.3M, but adjusted operating profit dropped to $55.6M from $59.4M.
    • The company added 197,000 net new digital-only subscriptions — 131,000 from core news and the rest from Cooking and Crossword subs. Total subscriptions have hit 4.7M.
    • "While profitability declined in the quarter, that is in large part a result of continued investment into growing our subscription business," says CEO Mark Thompson.
    • For Q3, the company expects subscription revenues to grow in the low to mid-single digits, and digital-only subscription revenue to increase in the mid-teens. Ad revenues should decline in the high single digits. "We expect a more challenging second half of 2019 in digital advertising revenue as a result of comparisons against strong performance in the same period in 2018."
    • And operating costs are expected to increase by high single digits amid continuing investment in digital drivers.
    • Conference call to come at 11 a.m. ET.
    • Press release

  17. Stocks regained ground around the world and U.S. futures ticked higher after China’s central bank signaled it wouldn’t let the yuan fall much further, a day after escalating trade tensions triggered sharp declines on Wall Street.

    Disney’s Quarterly Revenue Surges but Profit Drops

    Disney’s acquisition of several key 21st Century Fox properties, along with streaming service Hulu, drove revenue past $20 billion in the latest period but also cut into profit. Shares fell after hours.

  18. What happened to ETM?  Ouch!

  19. How about having an other poke at IBM by selling the 21 135 put for 16$

  20. Mitch / Phil – No irony in "policy disagreements used to portray the other side as unpatriotic". The MO of Mitch and his colleagues the last 20 years!

  21. FTR down 22% at 0.96 as they took a $5Bn Goodwill hit.  No bombshells on the CC, just a long, hard restructuring slog.  

    Churn creeping back up and no one is patient enough to see if that's a trend or just a one-off.

    It's that interest expense that scares the crap out of people.

    Well, in the LTP, we don't have any short puts, just 40,000 shares and 200 short 2021 $2 calls.  We'll have to DD on the shares but not today.

    OOP has 6,000 shares and we'll just sell 60 of the 2021 $2 puts, now $1.40 to lower our basis – but not today. 

    ETM/Palotay – Missed on earnings and bought two podcasters for $68M, which is a lot for a $500M company to spend.  

    Entercom Communications (NYSE:ETM) has tanked 41% on heavy volume after its Q2 earnings, where its missed consensus on top and bottom lines and moved on two podcast-related acquisitions.

    The company bought Pineapple Street Media for $18M, and has a deal in principle to acquire Cadence 13 valuing that company about $50M, according to Dow Jones.

    Those deals are set to make Entercom one of the country's three largest podcast enterprises, the company says.

    Revenues grew 2.3% Y/Y to $380.7M and operating income rose sharply, to $64.8M from $27.6M.

    EBITDA rose 7% to $87.6M.

    As of June 30, the company has $976M of senior debt, $325M in second-lien notes and $400M in senior notes, along with $30M cash on hand.

    Press release

    IBM/Yodi – Well we already have it as it's our Stock of the Year:

    IBM Short Put 2020 17-JAN 145.00 PUT [IBM @ $138.05 $-2.68] -10 1/17/2018 (163) $-18,100 $18.10 $-4.28 $-12.18     $13.83 $1.49 $4,275 23.6% $-13,825
    IBM Long Call 2021 15-JAN 110.00 CALL [IBM @ $138.05 $-2.68] 25 10/30/2018 (527) $40,000 $16.00 $13.95     $29.95 $-1.55 $34,875 87.2% $74,875
    IBM Short Call 2021 15-JAN 140.00 CALL [IBM @ $138.05 $-2.68] -25 10/30/2018 (527) $-16,175 $6.47 $4.78     $11.25 $-1.20 $-11,950 -73.9% $-28,125

    I'm not in a buying mood at the moment – waiting for the other market shoe to drop.

  22. Wow, quite the recovery.  

    • The Nasdaq, rises 0.1%, erasing its earlier decline as the S&P 500 and Dow pare most of their losses.
    • The S&P, now down 0.2%, had fallen as much as 2.0% and the Dow, off 0.4%, had slumped as much as 2.3%.
    • Five of the 11 S&P 500 industry sectors are now in positive territory, with consumer staples (+1.0%) and materials (+0.8%) gaining the most; energy (-1.7%) and financials (-1.7%) continue to lag the the broader market.
    • 10-year Treasury yield falls 4 basis points to 1.67% vs. 1.63% earlier.
    • Crude oil sinks 4.5% to $51.21 per barrel.
    • Gold continues climbing, up 2.0% to $1,514.20 per ounce.
    • "As long as inflation continues to behave the way it has, I think we have capacity to pursue these accommodative stances in support of the economy and sustaining the expansion and maximum employment," said Chicago Fed President Charles Evans to reporters at an event in Chicago.
    •  “There is a role for risk management, and you could take the view, as I have, that inflation alone would call for more accommodation than we’ve put in place with just our last meeting,” he said.
    • Still, he says he needs to look at data first before concluding that increased headwinds will require more accommodation.
    • Evans, a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, voted for the 25-basis point cut at last week's meeting.
    • His view contrasts with the two dissenting members of the FOMC, who didn't see a reason to cut rates at that time.
    • Previously: Fed cuts rates for first time in over a decade (July 31)
    • Japan's government will approve some exports of semi manufacturing materials to South Korea for the first time since the export tightening in July, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
    • The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry determined there wasn't a risk the shipments would help create military equipment.
    • The ministry could announce the approvals as soon as tomorrow, but the shipment and order details will likely remain confidential.
    • Samsung (OTC:SSNNF,OTC:SSNLF) and SK Hynix (OTC:HXSCF,OTC:HXSCL) took the largest hit in the trade tightening and Micron (MU -2.2%) was also impacted. But the share prices rallied as DRAM spot prices soared 12% after the initial news, the largest jump since 2017.
    • Post updated to add more context to the final bullet.
    • Mall landlords may start to offer loans to help keep struggling retailers afloat, helping to keep malls occupied.
    • Specifically, PJ Solomon, a boutique bank, has organized talks with several mall owners to pursue such a plan for retailer Forever 21, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
    • The model being considered would convert rent and other liabilities into secured debt that would help distressed companies stay out of court, according to the people.
    • If the borrower does fail, the arrangement gives landlords a stronger hand in the restructuring process because lenders get a higher priority in a bankruptcy.
    • The landlords could also use the status to bid for assets, swapping unpaid claims for ownership.
    • Three years ago, Simon Property Group and General Growth Properties (now part of Brookfield Property Partners) bought Aeropostale to save more than 200 of the clothing chain's stores.
    • Over 7,500 U.S. retail stores have closed this year, according to Coresight Research; less than half of U.S. malls are likely to survive the industry's disruption, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Lindsay Dutch.

    Still, not an impressive follow-through from yesterday on the whole.  Still miles from a real recovery.

    • June Consumer Credit increases $14.6B (M/M) vs. $16.0B consensus and $17.8B prior (revised from $17.1B).
    • According to White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, President Trump will deliver a major speech on his healthcare plan next month. He was scheduled to do so this week, but decided to postpone it after the recent mass shootings.
    • During the panicky action this morning, the 10-year Treasury yield dipped as far as 1.59%. It's bounced four basis points since, but still remains down sharply for the day and for the month.
    • On the short end, traders are beginning to price in a decent chance of an emergency rate cut prior to the Fed's September meeting, and surely a 50 basis point move at that meeting.
    • The S&P has bounced to just a 0.8% decline at the moment, but the financial sector (XLF -2.3%) is underperforming by a mile. The Bank SPDR (KBE -2.4%), and the Regional Bank SPDR (KRE -2.4%)
    • Individual names: Bank of America (BAC -3.4%), Wells Fargo (WFC -3.3%), JPMorgan (JPM-3.5%), PNC Financial (PNC -4.1%), U.S. Bancorp (USB -2.7%), Fifth Third (FITB -3.6%), KeyCorp (KEY -4.4%), Comerica (CMA -4.4%), Brighthouse (BHF -4%), MetLife (MET -2.3%), Schwab (SCHW -4.8%), E*Trade (ETFC -5.1%)
    • Gold prices power past $1,500/oz., +2.5% to $1,521.50, extending the yellow metal's YTD advance to 18%.
    • "The rally seems set to roll on as no one is expecting any immediate progress on the trade front and the proactive easing efforts from central banks globally," Oanda's Edward Moya writes. "When the Fed capitulates later this month, that could be the catalyst to support the drive towards the $1,650/oz. level."
    • "We see the ongoing steep rise in the gold price as an expression of the high risk aversion among market participants," says Commerzbank's Daniel Briesemann. "Gold is quite clearly still in demand as a safe haven in the current market environment, as reflected, among other things, in continuing ETF inflows."
    • While President Trump's tariffs against China have poured into the U.S. Treasury, the increase has basically been offset by aid to U.S. farmers, the Wall Street Journal reports.
    • As of June 30, the government has pulled in $63B in tariffs over the previous 12 months, according to Treasury data, and the rate is increasing.
    • In June, $6B in tariffs were collected by the U.S., up from $5.3B in May and $4.8B in April.
    • U.S. is on track to collect $72B in tariffs annually and could hit $100B that Trump has estimated if the new 10%% tariffs on $300B of Chinese goods takes effect on Sept. 1.
    • Pre-Trump era tariffs ran about $30B a year and the new tariffs have brought in a cumulative $27B, roughly the same size as the rescue programs authorized for farmers.
    • But there are reasons that the tariffs may never hit the $100B/year level Trump projects — for one, as the trade war intensifies, trade with China is declining. Once the U.S.'s largest trading partner, China has fallen behind Mexico and Canada so far this year.
    • Disney (NYSE:DIS) declines 5.4% after reporting disappointing Q3 after the close yesterday.
    • Pulling some points from last night's conference call:
    • Domestic theme park attendance fell 3% during the quarter, with the decline at Disneyland Resort primarily driven by lower passholder visitation "as we managed demand for the first few weeks after opening Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in order to maintain a high level of guest satisfaction," said CFO Christine McCarthy.
    • Sees the acquisition of 21st Century Fox and taking full operational control of Hulu hurting Q4 EPS before purchase accounting by about 45 cents.
    • Sees Direct-to-Consumer and International segment generating ~$900M of operating losses in Q4, about a $560M increase from last year's Q4.
    • Sees Media Networks' operating income declining ~10% Y/Y on lower program sales and higher content-development expense.
    • Previously: Disney -3% as Q3 growth falls short of consensus (Aug. 6)
    • Theme parks trade higher after Disney reports higher average guest spending at its properties in Q2. Higher average ticket prices and an increase in food, beverage and merchandise spending helped to offset some traffic weakness during the quarter.
    • Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN) is up 3.92%, while SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) is 2.74% higher and Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE:SIX) is 0.80% higher. The gains come on a day that the Dow Jones is off 1.36% and the S&P 500 is 1.03% lower.
    • Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman is insisting on a $2T valuation for Aramco (ARMCO), even though some bankers and company insiders say the target should be trimmed to ~$1.5T, Reuters reports, citing industry and banking sources.
    • The prince reportedly has stuck with his $2T valuation even as some banks think it will be a struggle amid weaker oil prices and efforts by some countries to shift away from fossil fuels to curb global warming.
    • With Aramco talking again to banks about an IPO, its board is meeting later this week and likely will discuss the company's value, according to the report.
    • Even at $1.5T, Aramco would be worth at least 50% more than the world's most valuable companies – Microsoft with ~$1T, and Apple and Amazon at ~$900B each.
    • The U.S. Treasury Department's move earlier this week to designate China a currency manipulator lacks heat in that it carries no real penalties in the short-term, writes KBW's Brian Gardner.
    • Rather, the U.S.'s action reflects a deteriorating diplomatic environment with no end in sight in the U.S.-China dispute, and that will help fuel a risk-off trade sentiment, Gardner says.
    • "The recent round of threats of tariffs and responses suggests to us that both sides are so dug in that neither can be seen as giving into the other," he writes.
    • Also he sees the potential for China to take non-tariff actions against U.S. companies operating in China, and "it is no longer out of the question that it could reduce its holdings of U.S. treasuries."

  23. Phil, do you like any banks at this point / price?  Is this a good time to buy into banks?  TIA.

  24. Banks/Robert – Remind me tomorrow, I have to run now.  

    Officially we closed up 55 so a fading continuation of yesterday's bounce and 2,884 is just over weak on /ES and we really needed strong (2,910) to call it a recovery. 

    Still, on the whole, it's a non-confirming day in either direction.

  25. Medicare to cover breakthrough gene therapy for some cancers

  26. Mayors push Senate to return to Washington for gun bill vote

  27. Dangerous miscalculations