While we piddle a bit in the market, the real art of making money belongs to those who master the art of timing.  A deeper discussion in this morning’s Coping section following this.

The question we can broadly ask this morning is a Trump Trend Change at hand?

There are several reasons to believe this may be the case:

First, there is the Fox News report that “Susan Rice requested to unmask names of Trump transition officials, sources say...” which is mainly not reported by the anti-Trump media.

And if you’re not clear on how bias works in media, the report here should help clarify who’s where.

And now, Rand Paul is calling for Rice to be called to testify under oath.

This revelation might bolster public belief in Trump because “wiretap Trump Tower” would be essentially correct, if proven.  So we are not surprised the MSM buries the story.  Not in the least.

A second major move is the Trump administration, via attorney general Jeff Sessions, is ordering a Justice review of all Obama instigated police department reform  agreements.

There’s a strong feeling in America than local policing is a local matter. 

The Justice Department separately is also making it clear that companies may not discriminate against U.S. workers.

Perhaps not a direct consequence, but U.S. manufacturing did expand again in March according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Ye t another point put on the board Monday was the president earmarking his first quarter’s salary to the National Park Service.

When you hear critics of Trump, ask them how many democratic presidents served for $1 per year.  Some would have still be overpaid, as we see it.  These developments seem likely to play well with the base.

Last, but not least:  Republicans are suddenly back on the stick about healthcare reform again with new legislation being kicked around.

To be sure, our list of “usual suspects” in the media will be tripping all over themselves to paint healthcare reform as a disaster for the sick, rather than as massive payoff to the insurance industry,  but we prefer to wait and see what is actually passed by the House and Senate before getting too worked up.

So the point?

Well, back to the idea of “inflection points” – that moment in sports where the ball changes hands and one team goes on to win.

This is not to say an inflection point is at hand, but it is to remind ourselves that one may be at hand.

While there is a track for the S&P 500 to fall another 100 points, a couple of quick “turn-overs” to borrow the sports phrase, could change the dynamics of the game very quickly in here.

We ask every morning: Where’s the inflection point…and today is as good a day as any to be asking.

International Trade

Press release du jour, please?

“The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $43.6 billion in February, down $4.6 billion from $48.2 billion in January, revised. February exports were $192.9 billion, $0.4 billion more than January exports. February imports were $236.4 billion, $4.3 billion less than January imports.

The February decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $4.6 billion to $65.0 billion and an increase in the services surplus of less than $0.1 billion to $21.4 billion.

You want optics?  We got optics…

An hour before the open, the Dow was looking to  open down 60 points.

Factory orders will be out at 10 Eastern. ADP March hiring data tomorrow morning and that’s where markets might begin to move.  Which way?  Standing by…

Something we haven’t mentioned for a good while is the Baltic Dry Ships index.  Stands at 1,282 – about twice what it was five years ago.  So yes, trade demand continues.

Thumbing Through Press Releases

This one caught my eye – deals with HELOC shopping:

CHERRY HILL, N.J., April 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Although the Fed’s recent interest rate hike signals renewed confidence in our economy and job market, many homeowners and home equity line of credit (HELOC) borrowers are questioning how this increase will impact their loans. According to recent research from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, both current and potential borrowers put interest rates at the top of their lists as a deciding factor when it comes to taking out a loan.

Among the roughly 1,350 homeowners surveyed nationally in early March for TD Bank’s second annual Home Equity Sentiment Index, nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said interest rates were the most influential factor in taking out a HELOC. This is in comparison to all other options, including fees, loan amount, draw period length and even trust in their lender.

And here’s an odd one:  Boom times ahead for licorice?

According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research, “Global Licorice Extracts Market (By Form Powder, Semi-fluid/Paste and Block, By Type Pharmaceutical Grade, Food Grade and Feed Grade, By Application Pharmaceutical, Tobacco, Food and Beverage and Others) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2017 2025” was valued in terms of revenue at USD 1,700.0 million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 2,393.9 million by the end of the forecast period 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.0% from 2017 to 2025.

Licorice root is used in making the extract, while the hard woody plant is pulped and boiled to further refine the content. Licorice is the root of the licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra) plant from which a sweet flavor is extracted and used in various industries as a sweetening agent. In addition, it also offers various health benefits by acting as an antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and hepato-protective agent. Licorice extracts find huge application in food items, tobacco, beverages, herbal medicines, pharmaceutical industry, and a variety of skin care products. The market is segmented on the basis of product form, type, and application. The global market for licorice extracts is anticipated to expand at a considerable rate during the forecast period owing to an increased demand for them in various end user industries due to their natural origin.

Has us eyeing the south 16 acres – better crop than Southern Pines?

Internal Migration to Arizona?

Note from Census to tuck away:

“Maricopa County, Ariz., replaced Harris County, Texas, as the county with the nation’s highest annual population growth, according to population estimates released today.”

The Dirty War

The L.A. Times reports this morning upwards of 60 people being killed in an apparent nerve gas attack in Syria.

We have to wonder if there isn’t some “messaging” going on in background not far from the public’s view?

I ask because of the St. Petersburg metro attack in Russia that is being blamed on a “suicide bomber” with up to 15 being killed.

Coincidence – or a tit-for-tat?  When the players are big enough, the front of a dirty war may be up to 24,901 miles in length.

More coffee?  SSDD.

Thinking the Unthinkable Day
Coping: With Inflection Points