As you can read in the reports out this morning, the French have conducted 150-some raids and have arrested a large number of people. And it all seems to have calmed markets a bit – with the French market about even, so far.
We do notice a few domestic oddities, like the break-in this weekend at an Army Reserve training facility in Massachusetts. No inventory details on what was taken but oh, my, how quickly terrorism is downplayed. Logically, there’s no way to know that, but for the press? They gobbled it up.
The U.S. market futures are up fractionally, so if some terrorism funding group was trying to make a killing (financially) on the killing (literal), it may not work out.
At the big picture level, we may be in a decline to lower levels to come this year, but there are times when an emotional releasing event – like Paris – can be a very interesting item to consider as we weigh what is ahead for markets.
In the large picture, we have been completing three waves up since the market lows in 2009. From there, leg one of the rally was from 2009 to late 2011, which we can label (1). Then we had a decline which would be the (2). Then a hell of a run to the top of (3) until a few months back. then we declined in a series of movements that still holds as a I, ii, iii, iv, of the larger (4) and we are likely somewhere around (5) with a I done with this possibly being a ii.
We would expect a iii to follow, then a bounce, and lastly,. a final decline that should still get us down to the 1,860 (or so) level on the S&P.
But it will be hard to call precisely because we see so many cross-currents to this market. The best we can do is look at the numbers as they come in a process that is very much like golf.
You go out, hit a ball (analog: make an investment) and then swing (some time) at it.
If it lands on the fairway, it’s equivalent to beating inflation by a bit and if it lands “in the rough” then it seems you may have lost a little money.
It has little to do with the meaning of life, which is largely egoic and ambition-driven once you’ve got enough to eat and a place to call your own.
Meanwhile: The Idiots Continue
Reports that the G20 promise to do more intelligence-sharing but that they are still not changing positions on Syria (hence refugees) is taken around here as evidence they may not be as much brains as people in the world.
At the seasonal/mind tripping margin, we have noted the G20 is in Turkey – which means an early Turkey dinner. Yet another subtle timing matter, yet subliminally important.
Political Spillover Runneth Over
To begin with, governors of two states have decided to stand up to the Obama administration which is trying to stack Syrian refugees into the United States. Then there is the presidential side of things…
Donald Trump approval is up to 42% – and he notes that France is very, very anti-gun and gee, don’t you suppose a few armed citizens might have reduced the body count?
Then there’s Ted Cruz who makes the point that you-know-who in the White House doesn’t seem particularly driven to defend America.
I’m thinking that we could rename the White House the Waffle House, but the brand is taken…
Meantime, on the other side of the aisle, the political money bag was non-responsive to the question “ Was Isis under-estimated?”
Let me see here: Clinton can’t take responsibility for Benghazi, email server crimes (which the FBI is still working as an active case) and now, can’t take responsibility for a lot of the serial policy screw-ups (and mis-assessments) that have unraveled that part of the world.
I’m doing my damnedest to look surprised, but failing miserably.
Teeing Up the Week
We have the Empire State Manufacturing Report from the NY Federal Reserve.
The November 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity declined for a fourth consecutive month for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index was little changed at -10.7. New orders and shipments also declined, although at a slower pace than last month. Price indexes suggested that input prices increased slightly, while selling prices were slightly lower. Labor market conditions continued to deteriorate, with survey indicators pointing to a decline in both employment levels and hours worked. Indexes for the six-month outlook were little changed from last month, and suggested that optimism about future conditions remained tepid, even though employment is expected to increase.
Charts and details here. Futures are only down 17 on the Dow side, so no one cares, apparently.
Tomorrow is the biggy – consumer price data.
Housing starts Wednesday and Leading Indicators Thursday, all leading into Friday, which except for the KC Fed manufacturing report, will be eminently worth skipping.
End of the Road for Corporations?
There’s a very thought-provoking piece out of Deutsche Bank. It says – in so many words – that the current slowdown in international trade could be a leading edge and events could continue sliding for years.
Baltic Dry Index is down to 560 and the Harpex Container Index is down seriously, too.
To put some numbers to it: The Harpex was running an index of 1,400 plus in 2008 and dropped down to 275 in the 2009 wash-out. It has rallied since, but has been steadily cropping since the recent high of 646 and is down to 389 as of this morning. Bunch of charts over here.
Super Hotel Chain
Apparently, my getting off the ranch to travel is having world-changing impacts…
I kinda like the name Marwood Hotels which would sound better that Starriott.
To Run or Mud?
That is the question, isn’t it?
Congrats to the new son-in-law for finishing the 24-hours of the World’s Toughest Mudder this weekend , here in Las Vegas. Coveted black headband for him.
Meantime, 45-thousand registered for the ever-so-more-tame Rock n Roll run here, as well.
We studiously looked up from the slots at the Mudders and runners.