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Consumer Sentiment At 10-year Lows Spurs Stocks Higher

The latest University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey fell sharply to a new 10-year low. Despite dour consumer sentiment, investor sentiment is optimistic….

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This article was originally published by Real Investment Advice

The latest University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey fell sharply to a new 10-year low. Despite dour consumer sentiment, investor sentiment is optimistic. Stocks rallied on Friday despite little news and light volume. Given the recent spate of weak volume, it doesn’t take much to move markets. Likely some of the impetus is coming from the options markets which seem to be increasingly the marginal driver of stock prices. With options expiration occurring on Thursday, we should prepare for the possibility of significant swings this week.


What To Watch Today

Economy

  • 8:30 a.m. ET: Empire Manufacturing, November (22 expected, 19.8 in prior print)

Earnings

Pre-market

  • 7:00 a.m. ET: Oatly (OTLY) to report adjusted losses of 10 cents on revenue of $185.69 million
  • WeWork (WEto report quarterly results before market open

Post-market

  • 4:10 p.m. ET: Endeavor Group Holdings (EDRto report adjusted earnings of 15 cents on revenue of $1.32 billion 
  • After market close: Lucid Group (LCID) to report adjusted losses of 18 cents on revenue of $1.25 billion

Market Stalls Ahead Of Options Expiration

Unlike recent weeks, this past week saw the market begin to consolidate recent gains ahead of options expiration next Friday. However, as we discussed previously, pullbacks have occurred with regularity. Interestingly, as noted by the vertical lines in the chart below, these pullbacks occur near option expirations.

Given the options expire next week, is there more volatility coming? Maybe. As noted in the chart above, the MACD signal is very close to triggering a short-term “sell” signal from an elevated level, and the market remains very overbought.

Furthermore, as noted last week, our “money flow sell signal” triggered a “sell signal.” The combination of the sell signals, very light volume, and weak breadth certainly warrants some caution heading into next week.

investor sentiment is tied to options expiration

Does this mean the market will experience a significant contraction? A pullback to the short-term moving averages would not be surprising and would encompass about a 3-4% drawdown.

What would cause such a correction? I don’t know. However, we are entering the mutual fund distribution season where fund managers need to distribution capital gains, dividends, and interest. Given that most funds are carrying very low cash levels, they will likely have to sell holdings to make those distributions.

However, the good news is that a pullback would set the market up for the traditional end-of-year “Santa Claus” rally.

It’s Transitory They Say

Inflation is surging

Consumer Sentiment and JOLTs

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Survey fell more than expected to 62.8. The one-year inflation expectation ticked up from 4.8% to 4.9%. The report states: “Consumer sentiment fell in early November to its lowest level in a decade due to an escalating inflation rate and the growing belief among consumers that no effective policies have yet been developed to reduce the damage from surging inflation.”

The BLS reports there are now 10.438 million job openings, slightly better than forecasts of 10.30 million. The two graphs below show the extreme imbalance between the number of job openings and the unemployment rate. The ratio of the two in the bottom graph is at 20-year highs. The “quits” rate rose from 2.9% to 3%, another sign of a robust labor market. Our latest article, What a Rate Hike in 2022 Might Mean for “Stonks“, discusses how the labor market is much healthier than the Fed believes.

job openings and unemplyoment

Rivian vs Ford and Gm

Rivian (RIVN) is the latest company to benefit from the electric vehicle stock craze. Its stock went public on Wednesday and now has a market cap of over $100 billion. We thought it would be helpful to compare RIVN to Ford and GM for proper context. Keep in mind, both Ford and GM, have numerous electric vehicles for sale and more models in the pipeline.

  • Ford has a market cap of approximately $80 billion and GM is at $90 billion.
  • Rivian’s revenue will range between zero and $1 million this quarter. Ford and GM have revenue of approximately $135 billion each.
  • Ford has EBITDA of over $12 billion for the last 12 months and GM is nearly double Ford at $23.8 billion. RIVN lost over $1.5 billion.

Speculative investors are putting the cart well ahead of the horse. They seem enamored with new entrants without contemplating established automakers with extensive financial and manufacturing means competitive electric vehicles for sale.

JNJ is Splitting Into Two

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) will split into two companies, separating consumer health goods from its medical devices and prescription drug businesses. The split will occur within the next two years. Shares of JNJ are up on the news. We currently hold a 1.5% of JNJ in the Equity Model. (Rumor is the two new companies will just be called Johnson)

Buybacks Gone Bad

The chart below, courtesy of Charlie Bilello, compares IBM’s market cap to its buybacks and declining shares outstanding. Over the last 20 years, IBM has repurchased $132 billion worth of its shares. Its current market cap is now only $113 billion. Simply, they threw away a lot of money. Imagine what its market cap would be had they invested the $132 billion into other companies or projects that would boost earnings?

IBM and stock buybacks

Yield Curves Are Starting to Invert

An inversion in the 2-year/10-year U.S. Treasury yield curve is frequently a precursor for a recession and accordingly well followed by investors. Other parts of the yield curve can give us hints about the future shape of the 2-year/10-year curve. For instance, the graph below shows the 20-year/30-year yield curve. It is currently inverted by about five basis points, having flattened by nearly 30bps in the last year. While not a precursor for a recession necessarily, it does warn the entire curve is flattening.  The last time the 20-year/30-year curve was inverted was in the period leading up to and during the financial crisis.

Bond yield curve inverts

The post Consumer Sentiment At 10-year Lows Spurs Stocks Higher appeared first on RIA.



Economics

Bullish Island Reversal

You can blame Omicron or elevated valuations or call it a
Fed taper tantrum. Bottom line, the market was overbought entering the
seasonally weak beginning…

You can blame Omicron or elevated valuations or call it a
Fed taper tantrum. Bottom line, the market was overbought entering the
seasonally weak beginning of December. In a year with big gains early December
tax-loss selling, some profit taking and yearend portfolio restructuring is not
surprising.

All of the above and some geopolitical worries likely
conspired collectively to cause the recent selloff. But today’s action in DJIA
(the oldest reliable benchmark we know) as shown in the chart above created a
bullish island reversal. DJIA also bounced off the uptrend line from the June
and September lows right near the 200-day moving average and above support at 33700.
Today’s rally also closed the island gap near 35600, which is also around support/resistance
at the August high. And to top it off there was a new MACD Buy crossover and
histogram confirmation.

So, technically speaking the market likely found some solid
support here and is poised to rally to continuing new highs into yearend on the
still super accommodative monetary policy and rather robust economic and
corporate readings.

Our outlook remains bullish for the remainder of 2021 and as
long as the proverbial stuff doesn’t hit the fan, new highs are likely before
yearend and we would not be surprised to see the S&P 500 encroach upon the
big round number of 5000. 2022 will likely be a different case and we will
address that thoroughly in our 2022 Annual Forecast to subscribers next week.




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Economics

When Idiocy Becomes Hardwired

When Idiocy Becomes Hardwired

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

At this point, virtually all of us over the age of forty…

When Idiocy Becomes Hardwired

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

At this point, virtually all of us over the age of forty have encountered enough “snowflakes” (those Millennials who have a meltdown if anything they say or believe is challenged) to understand that, increasingly, young people are being systemically coddled to the point that they cannot cope with their “reality” being questioned.

The post-war baby boomers were the first “spoiled” generation, with tens of millions of children raised under the concept that, “I don’t want my children to have to experience the hardships that I faced growing up.”

Those jurisdictions that prospered most (the EU, US, Canada, etc.) were, not coincidentally, the ones where this form of childrearing became most prevalent.

The net result was the ’60s generation – young adults who could be praised for their idealism in pursuing the peace movement, the civil rights movement, and equal rights for women. But those same young adults were spoiled to the degree that many felt that it made perfect sense that they should attend expensive colleges but spend much of their study time pursuing sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Flunking out or dropping out was not seen as a major issue and very few of them felt any particular guilt about having squandered their parents’ life savings in the process.

The boomer generation then became the yuppies as they hit middle age, and not surprisingly, many coddled their own children even more than they themselves had been coddled.

As a result of ever-greater indulgence with each new generation of children, tens of millions of Millennials now display the result of parents doing all they can to remove every possible hardship from their children’s experience, no matter how small.

Many in their generation never had to do chores, have a paper route, or get good grades in order to be given an exceptional reward, such as a cell phone. They grew to adulthood without any understanding of cause and effect, effort and reward.

Theoretically, the outcome was to be a generation that was free from troubles, free from stress, who would have only happy thoughts. The trouble with this ideal was that, by the time they reached adulthood, many of the critical life’s lessons had been missing from their upbringing.

In the years during which their brains were biologically expanding and developing, they had been hardwired to expect continued indulgence throughout their lives. Any thought that they had was treated as valid, even if it was insupportable in logic.

And, today, we’re witnessing the fruits of this upbringing. Tens of millions of Millennials have never learned the concept of humility. They’re often unable to cope with their thoughts and perceptions being questioned and, in fact, often cannot think outside of themselves to understand the thoughts and perceptions of others.

They tend to be offended extremely easily and, worse, don’t know what to do when this occurs. They have such a high perception of their own self-importance that they can’t cope with being confronted, regardless of the validity of the other person’s reasoning. How they feel is far more important than logic or fact.

Hypersensitive vulnerability is a major consequence, but a greater casualty is Truth. Truth has gone from being fundamental to being something “optional” – subjective or relative and of lesser importance than someone being offended or hurt.

Of course, it would be easy to simply fob these young adults off as emotional mutants – spiteful narcissists – who cannot survive school without the school’s provision of safe spaces, cookies, puppies, and hug sessions.

Previous generations of students (my own included) were often intimidated when presented with course books that had titles like Elements of Calculus and Analytic Geometry. But such books had their purpose. They were part of what had to be dealt with in order to be prepared for the adult world of ever-expanding technology.

In addition, it was expected that any student be prepared to learn (at university, if he had not already done so at home), to consider all points of view, including those less palatable. In debating classes, he’d be expected to take any side of any argument and argue it as best he could.

In large measure, these requirements have disappeared from institutions of higher learning, and in their place, colleges provide colouring books, Play-Doh, and cry closets.

At the same time as a generation of “snowflakes” is being created, the same jurisdictions that are most prominently creating them (the above-mentioned EU, US, Canada, etc.) are facing, not just a generation of young adults who have a meltdown when challenged in some small way. They’re facing an international economic and political meltdown of epic proportions.

Several generations of business and political leaders have created the greatest “kick the can” bubble that the world has ever witnessed.

We can’t pinpoint the day on which this bubble will pop, but it would appear that we may now be quite close, as those who have been kicking the can have been running out of the means to continue.

The approach of a crisis is doubly concerning, as, historically, whenever generations of older people destroy their economy from within, it invariably falls to the younger generation to dig the country out of the resultant rubble.

Never in history has a crisis of such great proportions loomed and yet, never in history has the unfortunate generation that will inherit the damage been so unequivocally incapable of coping with that damage.

As unpleasant as it may be to accept, there’s no solution for idiocy. Any society that has hardwired a generation of its children to be unable to cope will find that that generation will be a lost one.

It will, in fact, be the following generation – the one that has grown up during the aftermath of the collapse – that will, of necessity, develop the skills needed to cope with an actual recovery.

So, does that mean that the world will be in chaos for more than a generation before the next batch of people can be raised to cope?

Well, no. Actually, that’s already happening. In Europe, where the Millennial trend exists, western Europeans have been growing up coddled and incapable, whilst eastern Europeans, who have experienced war and hardship, are growing up to be quite capable of handling whatever hardships come their way. Likewise, in Asia, the percentage of young people who are being raised to understand that they must soon shoulder the responsibility of the future is quite high.

And elsewhere in the world – outside the sphere of the EU, US, Canada, etc. – the same is largely true.

As has been forever true throughout history, civilisation does not come to a halt. It’s a “movable feast” that merely changes geographic locations from one era to another.

Always, as one star burns out, another takes its place. What’s of paramount importance is to read the tea leaves – to see the future coming and adjust for it.

*  *  *

Polls suggest that a majority of Millennials now favor socialism. And a growing number favor outright communism. Sometime this year, Millennials are expected to surpass Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation. This is one of the reasons Bernie Sanders and other socialists are soaring in popularity. And when the next crisis hits, the situation will likely reach a tipping point. That’s exactly why Doug Casey and his team just released this urgent video outlining exactly what’s going to happen… and how you can protect yourself and even profit from the situation. Click here to watch it now.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 12/07/2021 – 17:25

Author: Tyler Durden

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Economics

Omicron Study Scare Stuns ‘Face-Ripping’ FOMO Short-Squeeze

Omicron Study Scare Stuns ‘Face-Ripping’ FOMO Short-Squeeze

Everything was awesome today…

UNTIL…

Headlines from a South African…

Omicron Study Scare Stuns ‘Face-Ripping’ FOMO Short-Squeeze

Everything was awesome today…

UNTIL…

Headlines from a South African study hit, suggesting a 40-fold reduction in neutralization capacity of the Pfizer vaccine vs Omicron... which suggest hospitals will get overwhelmed (due to its hyper-transmissibility) but it is notably less severe (especially for healthy people)…

Omicron’s ability to evade vaccine and infection-induced immunity is “robust but not complete,” said the research head of a laboratory at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa.

…and that sent stocks lower late in the day (although still a good day overall)…

And slammed ‘recovery’ stocks relative to ‘stay at home’ stocks…

But then again… it wouldn’t be the US equity market if a last minute total buying-panic didn’t send the Nasdaq up 100 points in 4 minutes…

*  *  *

As we detailed earlier…A China RRR cut? Omicron anxiety easing? Whatever it was, bubble markets exploded higher today…

Source: Bloomberg

But before we all get excited about “what the market is saying”, let’s bear in mind that today also saw the USA, USA, USA suffer its biggest decline in worker productivity since Q2 1960 (yeah 61 years ago!!!)…

Source: Bloomberg

Which is perfect because today saw unprofitable tech company’s best 2-day swing since April 2020 (+13.5%)…

Source: Bloomberg

Today’s melt-up from the moment the US cash markets opened (until around the European close) was impressive to say the least but also note that stonks were bid as China opened… and as Europe opened…

This is The Dow’s best 2 days since Nov 2020! Nasdaq surged 3% today – its biggest daily gain since March. Bear in mind that roughly 66% of the Nasdaq is in a bear market with losses of over 20%, while 35% of the Nasdaq is down over 50%!

The surge in the majors pushed The Dow (and only The Dow) up to unchanged, very briefly, from the Omicron emergence cliff after Thanksgiving. However, everything seemed to run out of momentum at that point…

Nasdaq and The Dow exploded above their 50DMAs, the S&P extended its gains well above its 50DMA. The Dow ripped up to its 100-/200-DMA but couldn’t extend the gains…

The 2-day ‘face-ripping’ short-squeeze off yesterday’s opening lows is the largest swing since March…

Source: Bloomberg

‘Recovery’ stocks notably outperformed today relative to ‘Stay at Home’ stocks as Omicron anxiety fades. They are now well above Omicron emergence levels and starting to erase the European lockdown anxiety losses…

Source: Bloomberg

‘Retail Favorites’ had their biggest day since Jan 2021…

Source: Bloomberg

Treasury yields were higher on the day with the short-end underperforming (2Y +6bps, 30Y +3bps), but as the chart below shows, the selling was all in the US session again…

Source: Bloomberg

The 10Y Yield was higher again but did not breach 1.50%, retracing the move post-Powell hawkish hearing…

Source: Bloomberg

The yield curve flattened notably today (2s30s) as the short-end priced in rate-hikes and long-end priced in policy mistakes…

Source: Bloomberg

The dollar ended lower on the day but again traded in a narrow range…

Source: Bloomberg

WTI topped $73 today, extending the gains from the last couple of days. However, oil prices remain well down from pre-Omicron levels…

And as oil prices ripped higher, so did US Breakeven inflation rates, but remain well down from pre-Omicron anxiety levels…

Source: Bloomberg

Crypto was mixed today with Bitcoin higher (tagging $52k) and Ethereum lower (after topping $4400)…

Source: Bloomberg

Gold ended modestly higher today but still below $1800 and well below pre-Omicron levels….

Finally, despite the equity market soaring unrelentlessly the last couple of days, STIRs have shifted considerably more hawkishly now pricing in 2 rate-hikes by September and a 75% chance of a rate-hike by May 2022 – there is no way the stock market is ready for that…

Source: Bloomberg

And Powell is not about to jawbone that back down.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 12/07/2021 – 16:01





Author: Tyler Durden

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