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2018 EXCERPTS FROM PRIOR WEEKS BELOW:    
May 07—11, 2018   EARNINGS TAKE BACK SEAT TO CENTRAL BANKERS plus Welcome Back I-Bank Conferences  The tide has shifted again, and though Wednesday is flooded with Earnings Reports, it’s really the central bankers on the Economic Calendar worth attention. In fact, I suspect the Richmond Fed’s Thomas Barkin may be set for his coming out party, Monday, when he’s scheduled to speak at George Mason University. If he’s spoken before it escaped my notice. He was installed on January 1st of this year. Given all the Fedheads speaking at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Machines Learning Finance Conference, it’s a bit surprising that he wasn’t on the schedule. But it’s not just the Federal Reserve Banks that are offering up speakers, the BoJ is set to release its March Meeting Minutes, before the US Markets open on Monday, the New Zealand central bank is holding a Monetary Policy Meeting, the MPC decision due out Wednesday, overnight, while the BoJ will also release its summary of Opinions from its April 26—27 Meeting the same night, while the BoE will hold a Monetary Policy Meeting, and release the results overnight Wednesday, also.

Outside the central bankers, there’s FTSE Russell Indexes’ Reconstitution Rank on Friday, with 2 more updates in June, before the reconstituted indexes make their debut after the close, on June 22nd.And it that wasn’t enough, there’s the Treasury intending to auction 30-year Bonds on Thursday, the 10-years meeting some resistance, so 30 could be a disaster—you never know. A softish April Employment Report last Friday has some thinking that, perhaps, Caterpillar’s CFO had it right—the high water mark was 18Q1.

I did my best to highlight the scheduled Earnings Releases I suspect will attract the most attention but it’s not always for their earnings, specifically. Taken Tyson, Monday. Are the Chinese pulling back from buying the chicken feet because of US Tariffs? Then, what are the odds that 3 big brewers would report on Wednesday? Who, you wonder? AmBev S.A., Anheuser-Busch, and Craft Brewing. All we’d need is Constellation Brands, which has already reported, and Sam Adams, and the entire industry would be reporting Wednesday. Likewise, there are a number of solar-related names reporting this week, and more than a few entertainment companies. Then, again, it should be interesting to hear how IAC’s chairman, Barry Diller, also chairman of Match Group, both reporting on Wednesday, downplay the risk of FaceBook’s entry into dating. Then, Thursday, Kelly Services is reporting, the company usually an early warning sign of economies slowing down, since the first thing they do is freeze hiring, before they even get to laying off some workers.

And it can’t be a coincidence that a Timeshare merger was announced, last week, just as ARDA World & Global Time Shares start their meeting in Las Vegas, today, Sunday, as I write. I-banks are back in the conference mix, though many of them are venturing to the Orient for their meetings and, in some cases, Tours, which both JPMorgan & Citibank plan, even as Macquarie plans a Greater China Conference on Thursday, even as UBS hosts China A-Shares in New York, Monday. Macquarie’s Business Services C-Suite Conference, in Boston, starting Thursday, sounds like a fresher topic—certainly less trod ground than Healthcare, which happens to be the biggest I-bank event of the week. It’s also the oldest, Deutsche Bank’s 43rd Annual Health Care Conference, starting Tuesday, in Boston. But then, Citi is hosting Consumer Staples on Monday, and Goldman is doing the same on Tuesday. Then, again, on Tuesday, both Wells Fargo & Oppenheimer are hosting Industrials, in NY.

All in, it will be a busy week, the hundred some odd companies reporting earnings a bit of a sideshow to the main events. Those start with Central Bankers yapping on both sides of the Atlantic, then move to I-bank conferences. But there is something to be said for this week’s earnings, they usually end a period of 3—4 weeks of market indigestion that typically accompanies both the earnings season and income tax season. By the week after this one, the bulls might be able to flex some muscle, as the Street decides the best earnings season in years thanks to a tax cut ushered in some optimism for the 3 quarters ahead. It wasn’t all bad.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence
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April 30—May 04, 2018  
 2nd DELUGE of EARNINGS + CENTRAL BANKERS   After last week’s $229B of issuance, the US Treasury provides a light week, with 4-week Bills, amount not yet announced, and both 3- & 6-month Bills Monday, and that’s it. Of course, the FOMC meets this week, post-Meeting Statement on Wednesday, at 2pm but virtually the entire FOMC will be speaking this week, albeit, not until the end of the week. The happy rate hikers speaking at the Hoover Institution (Stanford University), Friday and Saturday, before Gov Quarles does double duty next Sunday, at the 23rd Annual Financial Markets Conference on "Machines Learning Finance," a somewhat unexpected topic for the Federal Reserve’s Banking Supervision governor.

It’s not just US central bankers speaking. Tuesday’s Bk of Canada’s Poloz speaks, Wednesday, in addition to the FOMC statement, the Norges Bank (Norway) monetary policy committee meets on rates, while the ECB’s Constancio & Coeure speak on "Fostering Banking Union & Capital Markets," and the Bk of France’s Galhau speaks, at the Bank of France/European Investment Bank jointly host a conference on Investment in France: Gearing up for momentum, in Paris, while, by Thursday, the St Louis Federal Reserve s hosting its Advances in Research Conference, with a surprising lack of FOMC leaders in attendance. But feat not, the Swiss National Bank’s Gov Jordan will be speaking, on the Vollgeld Initiative—a movement that wants to see every penny lent by financial institutions backed by cash or gold. (No, I didn’t see Rand Paul or his father on their Agenda). Then, Friday, the Hoover Institution hosts a smorgasbord of FOMC members for its "Currencies, Capital & Central Bank Balances: A Policy Conference." Fed Gov Quarles & San Francisco (soon to be NY Fed) Pres Williams present on "Financial Stability, Regulations & the Balance Sheet." Before the day is out, the Fed’s Bostic, George & Kaplan will, also speak. And even so, the highlight of the week may well be next Saturday’s Yahoo stream of Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger’s Q&A with shareholders at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, a weekend event known, also, as Woodstock for Capitalists.

Which brings us to Earnings, this week’s volume of reports only slightly smaller than last week’s. And though it may feel like every important company has reported, already, let me point out a few you might be overlooking: Monday, Akamai, Allergan, McDonald’s, & Vornado Realty Trust, to name just 4 out of a larger group highlighted. Tuesday, Aetna, Allstate, American Tower, Anadarko Petroleum, Apple, ADM, AutoNation, BP, Eaton, Gilead, HCA Healthcare, Kindred Health, Merck, Mondelez, Pfizer, Sabre, Scotts-Miracle-Gro, Seagate Technology, Tapestry (formerly Coach), Under Armour, Wellcare Group, & Yum China are just a few of the names highlighted.

Wednesday, reports are scheduled from AIG, AmerisourceBergen Brunswick, Apache, Automatic Data Processing, Avis Car Rental, Beazer Homes, CDW, Cerner Corp, CF Corp, Clorox, CVS Caremark, DinEquity, Energizer, Equinix, Estee Lauder, Express Scripts, FireEye, Host Hotels & Resorts, Humana, Hyatt Hotels, Kraft Heinz, Madison Square Garden, MasterCard, MetLife, Molson Coors Brewing, Murphy Oil, Norwegian Cruise Lines (2 days before its analyst meeting), Novo Nordisk, NXP Semiconductor, Prudential Financial, Republic Services, Scientific Games, newly public Spotify, Square, Tableau Software, Taylor Morrison Homes, Tesla, Wayfair, Wyndham Hotels, YUM! Brands, and Zoetis. I won’t even try and pull out just a few names for Thursday, given how many significant reports have been highlighted, already. Skim the last two days of the week yourself, and then look deeper into the daily lists, if you wish. It’s simply another ridiculous week for earnings, no ifs and or buts about it. Why does the entire public vacation-ownership segment seem to be scheduled to report on Thursday? Beats me but most are somewhat recently spun out of their original, hotel parent. And Alibaba stands out for me, Friday, just as Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Meeting does for others, Saturday, competition for the Kentucky Derby, the Triple Crown’s opening leg. For the record, my naming some of these companies I’m not endorsing them or, sometimes, not even interested in them but either the Street, traders or the media must be, for me to embolden them.

Which brings us to Events, where the number of I-bank meetings remain slight, because the Earnings calendar is so heavy. Which makes it ironic that so many oil companies are scheduled to report, even as Offshore Technology starts Monday, Credit Suisse an exception, hosting a concurrent meeting & tour. The Interactive Ad Bureau’s week-long schedule of NewFronts, this week, starts on Monday, with FaceBook, New York Times, and Viacom. A day later, FaceBook’s F8 Developer Conference could shine the brightest, Tuesday, as developers surely await the changes they should expect after the Cambridge Analytica disaster. NewFronts, fo those who vaguely recall the term are the digital equivalents to the major networks’ UpFronts—it’s when companies try and pre-sell ad space on their digital (internet) websites.

All in, it will be another insane week, the spotlight, thanks to NewFronts, still on the internet companies that have already reported, even as the rest of the big names are scheduled for this week, BABA included. Plus, the schedule promises a surfeit of energy names, hotels, hospitals, insurers, and large biotechs, plus cult names like Tesla, who Whitney Tilson may well mention during his "Art, Pain & Opportunity of Short Selling " presentation, Thursday, an event CNBC will definitely cover, since it’s the sponsor. And much as this week will, for some, be all about waiting to hear the Q&A from Buffett & Munger next Saturday, for most of the Street, the biggie will be this Friday’s Unemployment Report. (You know I’m waiting to see the final revisions to February, the shortest month of the year which has, so far, delivered the largest number of jobs added in years—over 300K.) The FOMC meeting statement, Wednesday, will be Jerome Powell’s 2nd, so his emphasis is still evolving in the Street’s eyes. The Minutes for his first meeting as chief was filled with uncertainty, especially about what the tax cuts & budget passed means for the economic outlook. For all the central bankers speaking this week, Powell is not among them. That seems odd, unless he’s trying to develop his voice in private, before taking his place more prominently, at some of the events his underlings are populating. And that’s odd, given that his first duty as FOMC Chief was the semi-annual testimony before Congress, in February. You can’t make your grand entrance twice!.

Historically, this is the last week of earning-related hesitation before a post-earnings relief rally, celebrating getting through earning season without getting bludgeoned to death by huge misses. No need to jump the gun before later in the week, unless you have a particularly strong opinion about where the Unemployment Report will come out. .

ECONOMIC:
(Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be only one factor in more complete due diligence.
 

April 23—27, 2018 
EARNINGS SLAM    IMF and orld Bank Group Meetings? Who cares? G7 & G20 meetings on the sidelines? No one cares. A slug of US Housing Data? Unlikely to change the trajectory of interest rates, the Treasury making up for lost time, this week, by auctioning off $229B of debt, the 5 & 7-year Debt not going as smoothly as some might hope, of late, higher rates not a cure-all and starting to ding stocks. .

This week’s Sohn Conference might make things worse, since its value investing speakers are likely to point out a lack of value available in stocks at current levels. Also this week, March Durable Goods Orders & Shipments, and the first crack at Q1 GDP. One facet of GDP is the Personal Consumption Expenditures—PCE, upon which the FOMC bases its inflation snapshot. Of course, the first estimate of GDP isn’t often close to the final, 3 months later but the initial guess is often the one that attracts the biggest reaction. The Blue Chip Consensus ranges around 2.5% but the
Atlanta Fed shows GDP far from the 3.0—4.0% Trump and his team promised. In fact, there’s a chance GDP will barely make it to 2.0%, at least in the first pass. The Feb GDP estimate of nearly 5.0% a mystery to one and all. Then, again, harsh snowstorms, right into April, must cut into productivity, just as Sunday’s southern deluge of rain kept everyone inside.

There are, also, central bank rate decisions expected from Sweden’s Riksbank, the ECB, and the BoJ. Mario Draghi has promised that European rates would go nowhere until, at least, past September, though some are betting the ECB will withdraw some of its stimulus before the year ends.

The week will be flooded by the sheer number of companies scheduled to report earnings this week. It can only be considered a slam. Sheer volume, as well as some of the biggest FANGs will influence what tech does this week and, possibly, beyond, as Alphabet (Google) (Monday), Amazon (Thursday), Facebook (Wednesday), and Microsoft (Thursday) report, as do Comcast (Wednesday), Charter Communications (Friday),, & Time Warner (Thursday), not to mention Royal Dutch Shell (Thursday), and on Friday, both Chevron, & ExxonMobil. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of companies scheduled to report, which should make this THE week for earnings. The volume will drown out almost everything else but equity investors should not overlook what’s happening with interest rates because rates are starting to reach damaging levels, that will make everything from cars to mortgages more expensive. Higher rates have the power to lower company earnings, and lower consumption. While credit card companies haven’t yet raised their rates on the best customers, that can only be around the corner, crimping consumption even more.

Surviving the week won’t be easy but if you do, perhaps you’ll end the week at the movies, seeing Disney’s "Avengers: Infinity War," which it turns out, is debuting before Black Panther has finished its run in theaters.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the authors, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
 

April 15—20, 2018 
FOMC RARELY AS UNCERTAIN AS IT SOUNDS NOW     The following 3 paragraphs excerpted from the much longer FOMC Minutes of March 20th—21st Meeting stood out for me. First, they don’t know how tariffs, retaliation, or tax cuts will impact the economy, yet, they didn’t shy from raising rates at the meeting, or forecasting more rate hikes to come. So whether Street economists see 3 or 4 more rate hikes coming, they know no more or less than the members of the FOMC, who aren’t really sure how anything will pan out.

Participants did not see the steel and aluminum tariffs, by themselves, as likely to have a significant effect on the national economic outlook, but a strong majority of participants viewed the prospect of retaliatory trade actions by other countries, as well as other issues and uncertainties associated with trade policies, as downside risks for the U.S. economy. Contacts in the agricultural sector reported feeling particularly vulnerable to retaliation.

Tax changes enacted late last year and the recent federal budget agreement, taken together, were expected to provide a significant boost to output over the next few years. However, participants generally regarded the magnitude and timing of the economic effects of the fiscal policy changes as uncertain, partly because there have been few historical examples of expansionary fiscal policy being implemented when the economy was operating at a high level of resource utilization.

Participants agreed that the longer-run normal federal funds rate was likely lower than in the past, in part because of secular forces that had put downward pressure on real interest rates. Several participants expressed the judgment that it would likely become appropriate at some point for the Committee to set the federal funds rate above its longer-run normal value for a time. Some participants suggested that, at some point, it might become necessary to revise statement language to acknowledge that, in pursuit of the Committee's statutory mandate and consistent with the median of participants' policy rate projections in the SEP, monetary policy eventually would likely gradually move from an accommodative stance to being a neutral or restraining factor for economic activity.

The Economic schedule is filled with FOMC speakers, as well as central bankers from other countries, given the joint Spring meetings of the World Bank Group & IMF. That Joint Meeting is always accompanied by meetings of other groups timed to take advantage of the central bankers from around the world who intend to participate in the schedule. In truth, both the World Bank & IMF host their own, individual, spring meetings starting the 17th, then join for the Joint meetings on the 19th—22nd.

Speaking of meetings, future meetings of the House of Representatives will look drastically different, a year from now. Republican members are planning to retire in record numbers, the Speaker of the House, as well. So I wondered how much a representative makes for living away from home, for months at a time, aside from the perks like staff salary allowances, and housing allowances. What’s it worth in pensions to have put up with all the muck and dirt slung at the House. Paul Ryan’s pending retirement income is quite modest, after 20 years, and explains why a former House or Senate member would set out on the speaker circuit, and write a book.

At 48, Paul Ryan can claim his pension in 2 years, collecting a Federal Employees’ Retirement System pension of nearly $85K p/annum, $76K of which is for his 20 years of service as Congressman, another $6,493 for toiling as a staffer in Congress. FERS contributions have been mandatory since 1984. When he’s older, Ryan will be able to collect Social Security, as well, plus whatever he’s put away in the Congressional equivalent of a 401(K) plan, a Thrift Savings Plan. Of course, Ryan will make real money once his one-year "cooling off" period ends, that period the Congressional equivalent of a non-compete. Afterwards, he can make 6-figures as a lobbyist, consultant, or any other job he may be offered. Evidently, Congress anticipated the pot at the end of the rainbow, as speakers, boards of directors, and other more lucrative possibilities, when setting such a small pension for members. How else to justify explain such a puny pension after 20 years of flying back & forth to Wisconsin, and 3 years as the leader of the US House?

The Economic Calendar also includes the typical monthly releases; Housing data Monday & Tuesday, as well as March Retail Sales Monday, which analysts expect to reverse weakness in Jan & Feb, tax-refund related delays to some spending. Canada’s monetary policy committee meets Wednesday, the country’s data expected to be released throughout the week, Friday March CPI & Feb Retail Sales. Most interesting, perhaps, Fed Gov Quarles testimony in Congress, Tuesday and Thursday, the first appointed point person on banking supervision and regulation in years—a position that never got filled under Obama.

The biggest week of earnings, so far, starts Monday, with Bank of America, Netflix, & Charles Schwab 3 highlights. In the past, Bank Earnings usually lifted markets that were, shortly thereafter, brought down by successive reports from the rest of industry. This time, banks reported strong earnings, last week, none of which seemed to please the street—not even when accompanied by strong outlooks.

Tuesday could prove another important day for earnings, with Goldman Sachs, CSX Railroad, Interactive Brokers, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kinder Morgan, Lam Research, Omnicon, United Airlines, and UnitedHealth set to report. Wednesday, note American Express, Morgan Stanley, Robert Half Associates, Steel Dynamics, Textron, & US Bank Corp.

On Thursday, note Alliance Data, Bk of NY Mellon, Blackstone, Keybanc, Philip Morris, PPG, Quest Diagnostics, & Taiwan Semiconductor, leading into Friday: Baker-Hughes a GE Company, GE, Honeywell, Kansas City Southern (Rail), Manpower, Procter & Gamble, Regions Financial, Schlumberger, Stanley Works, State Street, SunTrust, & Waste Management, a hefty cross section of every sector but Utilities & REITs, which are yet to come. The week, in short, will clear out the last of the most important financials to report, ex-insurers.

Former FBI director James Comey interview debuts Sunday, at 10pm on 20/20, with George Stephanopoulos lobbing the questions. Tuesday his book, "A Higher Loyalty" launches, and I sure hope it’s better than Wolfe’s "Fire & Fury," because that’s a terrible book, very poorly written.

What about Industry & I-bank Events? The schedule dries up during the heart of earnings season, and especially when the IMF & World Bank are set to take center stage. The biggest conference, AACR, the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting is usually a highlight of the spring. It was surprising that analysts weren’t stepping out more, last week, bulling the biotechs & pharma companies scheduled to have research unveiled. Amgen sent a press release about studies to be revealed at AACR, while Gilead did the same on NASH, at HIV & Co-Infections in Whistler, the Liver Meeting in Paris France, and the British Society of Haematology in the UK. Also notable this week, the International Home Furnishings Market, in High Point. Cruise Lines should be in focus as Cruise3Sixty gets underway in Ft Lauderdale. Norwegian is the latest to provide a horrible experience to passengers, renovating a vessel were people were on a $10K cruise. Then, there are people who keep falling off cruise ships, usually because they were drunk as skunks, and trips where rape committed by cruise employees are hush-hushed. If you want to subject yourself to lawlessness, a cruise is an easy way to accomplish that, the noro and roto viruses often the least of passenger worries.

The Denver Gold Group is hosting the European Gold Forum in Zurich, just as gold is finding some favor. Bigger still, Business Aviation Asia, in Shanghai—which I’m typing just as "60 Minutes" is finishing its hack of AllegiantAir. Watch the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Supply Chain Summit, given Trump is working on offsets to tariffs & repercussions, which should be a highlight. HIDA, the healthcare distributors e-Commerce Conference strikes me as a rebuttal to the possibility that Amazon could enter the field, even though there’s never, before, been an eCommerce event for the healthcare distributors. Then, again, I can’t remember a world congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis & Musculoskeletal Diseases in Poland, before. Or, you could just sneak away to Indio California, and let loose at Coachella.

Meantime, if you’re still long, be looking for levels to get out. The Trump honeymoon is dead, and even a great earnings season won’t be sufficient to drive stocks up.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
 

April 09—13, 2018  
CONGRESS BACK IN SESSION    Congress back in session rarely good for sentiment though it was pretty low the last week, without Congress around. And FaceBook’s CEO/Founder Zuckerberg will be before the Senate Tuesday, and the House on Wednesday. Given the Trump market gains have been reversing, with a mid-term election ahead, expect members of Congress to posture Tuesday & Wednesday, perhaps chafé at the thought that Zuck could buy them all and have plenty of assets left over. Still, there’s been little said about Cambridge Analytics’ help to Trump & the Republican Party. Why’s that?

The other big even of the week is the Release of Minutes of the FOMC March 20—21st out Wednesday, at 2pm. Given how little is known about new Chair Powell’s positions on much of anything (aside from his comments in a speech, last Friday), there is much that might be learned from the minutes—including the rise in members to 7 out of 15, from 4 earlier, in favor of faster rate hikes. Then again, it’s a shame there’s been so much backlash against th4e appointment of San Francisco Fed’s leader, John Wiliams, to take over from retiring William Dudley in NY. Why wasn’t Dudley appointed to head up the entire FOMC? Surely, that’s why he’s leaving, because Powell was chosen over Dudley, when we don’t even know if Dudley was in contention. US PPI & CPI, Tues/Wed. not likely to attract much concern, no matter how much attention they might attract. Amazon is the most deflationary force in history. As long as it’s growth anything better than 25%, it will continue to exert downward pressure on US Prices. March Chain Store Sales, Thursday? Not only don’t enough companies report their monthly sales to glean any intelligence but Quarterly insight doesn’t arrive until May.

Earnings don’t become interesting until Thursday’s BlackRock & Delta Airlines, and even more so Friday, with JPMorgan, PNC & Wells Fargo. BIG things are expected—17% earnings growth, much of it from significantly lower corporate taxes but, also, from heightened trading activity in March, when stock market volatility picked up to the benefit of JPMorgan, and next week, Goldman Sachs & Morgan Stanley. It’s not equally important to PNC or Wells. On the other hand, BlackRock’s fund flows could suggest some institutions lightening up on investments in favor of cash.

Broadcasters are meeting in Las Vegas but the real battle remains in a Federal Court, where AT&T is fighting with the government to complete its merger with Time Warner.

Tuesday’s Events, including Jefferies Complement Therapeutics, Digital (Auto) Dealer Conference, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer Spring Conference, and the Nat’l Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting are evens worth noting, even though MIPTV Global TV & Digital Content Market will draw more media, in Cannes France, thanks to celebrity attendees. Stem Cell Research & Regenerative Medicine, Thursday, is probably more eagerly awaited than most. Then, again, EASL, an International Liver Conference will, no doubt, be market moving.

Don’t tell General Mills and Kellogg but it seems at least half of their high cost problems could be solved with the trade spat, since China will surely try to buy fewer soybeans, oats, and wheat from the US. Now, if transport costs could only come down, too, there’d be no reason to even try to raise consumer prices for their cereals. And, of course, there isn’t much that will help shareholders overcome their aversion to the price GIS is paying for Blue Buffalo Pet Products but, hey! You can’t have everything.

The downside momentum didn’t look as awful on the charts as one might have expected after Friday’s 572 decline in the DJIA on Friday. Democrats were filled with "woe is me" when Trump won the election. Now that their worst fears are being realized, in a trade spat with China—a spat that can’t hurt China as much as it could US farmers, in particular. The Trump momentum trade is over. Now, it’s time to sell the rips rather than buy the dips, unless reaction to this week’s earnings are a heck of a lot more bullish than I expect.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here.)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing Contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
  

April 01—06, 2018   MARKET WILL CONTINUE TO SEEK DIRECTION   If you think April will suddenly reverse the volatility and pressure of March, think again—at least until the due date for US Income taxes passes, on 04/17. That’s because procrastinators everywhere have until then to fund retirement accounts, whether at 401 K’s at work or IRAs, while older workers & retirees must complete their mandatory, annual retirement withdrawal, or to file their taxes or extension request but pay the taxes that are due—even if they take an automatic, 6-month extension. So, there’s a flood of money moving in and out of brokerage & mutual fund & retirement accounts, last minute funding, offsetting last minute withdrawals. April has often delivered the best gains for the DJIA but, often, those gains don’t start racking up until a week start until the later part of the month. That 2nd half of the month brings the start of Q1 earnings releases, most of that from financials. And that should be good for the bulls, since their taxes are falling significantly, and most—Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays & Wells Fargo excepted—have shed the burden of fines and penalties. Along that line, note the CCAR & Dodd-Frank stress tests are due by the 5th, Thursday, the results to be announced in June.

One of the most interesting events, this week, may well be around the larger amounts of debt the Fed allows to roll off with reinvestment onto its balance sheet.. As of April, the New York Federal Reserve will be reinvesting in the same class of debt only amounts that are in excess of $18B in maturing Treasuries, and in excess of $12B of Agency MBS. When the Fed first started holding back some of the funds maturing, to leave the cash on its balance sheet until sent to the US Treasury, last October 2017, the amount of Treasuries allowed to roll off was at only $6B, and for Agencies, the amount was merely $4B. As Sen Dirkson once said, "a billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money." Given that the amounts not reinvested will continue to increase, quarterly, for a couple of more years, the weekly release of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet (Thursdays, after market close) will become a more closely inspected document than it appears to be, now.

And, of course, the March US Unemployment Rate will be released Friday. Given the outsized number reported for February--313,000 jobs added--expect revisions. Makes no sense that the shortest month of the year (Feb), and one that saw the middle of the country & east coast slammed with paralyzing snow storms, shows the best hiring in years. The Feb report at an incomprehensible.313,000, would surprise even more if there isn’t a large revision released with the March report.. The number of Motor Vehicles sold in March is the other item on the Economic calendar likely to be closely scrutinized. Again, a short month & snow storms that paralyzed a decent portion of the country weighs against record sales. And even if there was a record set, the size of incentives will surely be held up in dispute.

The Earnings schedule is for one of the lightest weeks of the year. Discretionary outfits that sell to consumers are the bulk of the slight report, CarMax, Fed’s, Lennar, and PriceSmart speak for themselves. Monsanto reports Thursday, and will not hold a post-release conference call because its take-out by Bayer is pending. I was sure that CFIUS would block this deal but it doesn’t appear to be in mortal danger, at all. Schnitzer is a steel company, so it ‘s first out of the gate to project how much the Trump tariffs on steel will mean to a US Company. Conn’s is scheduled to report, Thursday at 10am cdt on the 5th, Thursday. It was, not too long ago, bankrupt and closed a serious number of stores. However, in addition to any damage it might have suffered from Hurricane Harvey, there’s an equally tantalizing possibility that the damage wrought by Harvey spurred a serious surge in sales of appliances and other household goods. I wouldn’t buy a new dishwasher from a company I wasn’t sure would be a round in a few months,or in a year but other people wouldn’t care and buy from whomever’s price is best. For me, CONN is a pariah, for others a salvation, given how much of its business is built on credit extended to buyers, those borrowers, often, on shaky ground.

As for Events, there are barely any.. Here, kids were off from school for a week, starting March 19th. Other school districts were closed last week, and still more this week. So, given investment banks can’t send inquiries to every school district or portfolio manager, it appears the I-banks just avoided scheduling too many activities for this week. Starting with Morgan Stanley’s Healthcare Insight Panel, through Credit Suisse’s 4th Australian Corporate Day, in Boston, of all places, through Cowen’s Annual Future of the Consumer Conference, and Jefferies Immuno-Oncology/Cell Therapy Summit, in Boston, and its Healthcare REIT Summit in NY, there is I-bank activity each day this week but nothing like the typical, winter week.. And none of them likely to move the market or sector.

I don’t expect moves as large as we saw on several days in the past 2 weeks but also don’t expect the bulls to show they won the March war. On the contrary, I expect more swings up and down because traders aren’t sure which swing to bet on, and won’t know until the earnings from financials start arriving the week of April 9th, through the week of April 16th which coincides with IRS’ tax due date, on the 17th. (15th is a Sunday, the 16th is Founder’s Day, when some IRS offices are closed.) Just recall that even when financials please, and stocks run up in response, the reports scheduled for the last week of the month may not please as much as banks do but, benefiting from a lower tax rate, should still report big comparative upside versus last year’s Q1.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, here. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The Opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.

March 27—20, 2018  
MARCH’S END CAN'T COME SOON ENOUGH FOR BULLS    March’s end can’t come soon enough for the bulls but is coming fairly fast, with most Western Markets closed Friday, including US Markets, & Treasuries closing early on Thursday, to usher in the Easter Holiday. Passover, likewise, arrives on Good Friday, at sundown, a Sabbath start requiring a few extra prayers to push back dinner.

As is typical for the end of any month, housing data will dominate the releases, including the S&P Case/Shiller Jan 20-city Home Price Index Tuesday, NAR’s US Feb pending Home Sales Wednesday, and the final update on US 17Q4 GDP, also Wednesday. The US Treasury will auctions only $29B 7-year Notes but the longer durations have been shunned of late, and could put the kabbosh on Quarter’s end. And what a quarter it’s been, gains racked up in January given back, and then some, in March.

Spring seasonal clothing sales usually ramp into Easter. Not this year: Not only is Easter so early Good Friday falls in March but a Nor’easterner blanketed the East Coast with snow, which puts a chill on sales of spring fashions. Next year, comparisons will be tough since Good Friday isn’t until April 19th. Even those used to markets that serve up surprises, will be surprised by the comparisons.

Earnings are, again, dominated by discretionary companies, though the number of reports start slimming down until mid-April, when the banks report in quantity. And it might be mid-April’s bank earnings that it takes to reduce the extremes we’ve seen for 4 weeks or more. Before the next earnings cycle starts in mid-April, though, we’ll have to get through the FOMC Minutes, on the 11th, which may reveal more about where the Powell FOMC is headed than the 43 minute post-meeting press conference did. Powell did throw out the tidbit that PCE remains the FOMC’s favored assessment of consumer inflation but not much more.

As for Events, the NCAA’s March Madness will not be as big a distraction as it was last week, since the number of teams that remain in the hunt have been trimmed considerably. NVdia is one stock to watch, as it hosts its Investor Day on Tuesday. Jefferies’ Consumer IR Summit might be the star of Tuesday’s other events, since it’s rich with retailers & restaurants, while WWD’s Men’s Wear and Global Shop will add to the interest in discretionary names that came to life in Feb. JPMorgan’s Wednesday West Coast Energy Infrastructure/MLP 1x1 Forum couldn’t be more perfectly timed for those who want to know what the MLP tax ruling handed down last week means for the group and any specific names attending. Barclays Materials ROC Stars Conference is well timed because the Street has hosted one healthcare conference after another, since JPM’s in January, and it’s time for fresh topics. Needham does seem to bat cleanup on that topic, which probably won’t offer anything new.

The forces of end of month & quarter will compete with the Portfolio Managers who’ll be trying their best to salvage how the Quarter looks to their mutual fund investors. VIX isn’t as high as it should be given the steep decline seen last week. Stocks could go either way, this week but the downside conviction could be stronger than any upside impulse. What happened to 50 cents? Remember the guy or firm that was buying downside puts waiting for a pullback? None of the weekend press either mentioned him or the profits he made last week, though they did during the early February pullback. It would be a shame to learn there were so few short the market into last week’s massacre there are few who need to buy to close out their positions into the weekend holiday. That’s bad for the bulls, if there are still any.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only. Full International Economic Calendar, here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
  

March 19—23, 2018   POWELL the STAR    Some are talking up the FOMC going for a half point increase this week, instead of the quarter point hikes that started in Dec 2016. How could someone think Powell is going to disrupt the markets on what’s really his debut as the chief. Instead, I think anything new he’s contemplating adding to his Fed will be glimpsed in the minutes, due out on April 11th. I doubt that he’s thinking about half point increases but think Powell could cut a different path by adding a press conference after each meeting, instead of the quarterly ones that Bernanke & Yellen adhered to. In fact, it’s something he briefly touched on in his Senate confirmation hearing testimony—and something even Yellen dismissed by saying, "I suspect you folks will show up if we suddenly add a press conference to the schedule, at the end of the first day of out 2-day meetings. And that’s something I wonder about, also: Single day meetings were commonplace pre-2008 disaster but haven’t appeared in the past 11 years. With the unwinding of its balance sheet on automatic pilot (the amounts allowed to roll off rise on April 1st), and inflation still not close enough to 2.0% to satisfy the Fed doves, Neel Kashkari of the Minneapolis Fed would strenuously voice objection to a half point hike, especially with the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow just lowered to less than 2.0%, the magic but illusive Fed goal. And trust me, Kashkari’s not one easily quieted by any chairman—no matter how new or long standing.

There are other central bank meetings this week, the 2nd most important the Bank of England, Carney’s press conference likely to attract some Financial TV attention on Thursday morning, before the open. RBA (Aussie) March Meeting Minutes will be out, overnight, Monday. Brazil’s Central Bank Rate will be set Wednesday, while the SNB (Swiss National Bank) releases its Annual Report on that night, even as the G20 Central Bankers & Finance Ministers are supposed to be in Buenos Aires (Argentina) for one of 4 meetings that segment of the G20 planned for this year.

The Earnings Calendar is surprisingly heavy with retailers, an apparel manufacturer, a couple of restaurants, and 3 solar firms. The only names reporting with the power to infect the market—or their sector, are homebuilders Lennar & KB Homes, database tech Oracle (Monday), FedEx (Tuesday), and Micron Technology (Thursday), along with consultant Accenture, that day, also. Nike and Finish Line report on Thursday, along with Micron Technology, while the one to watch may well be Lands’ End, as Sears tees up new lists of stores to be closed with virtually every press release. Lambert has people with signs standing on corners on the main drag through town, promising up to 80% and the fixtures for sale but that means he’s closing Lands’ End stores more quickly than LE could replace them. And maybe it won’t, given that catalog & online sales were its primary channels, for decades. Meanwhile, the Solar Companies reporting are likely to be key players at Solar Power Finance & Investment, in San Diego, starting Tuesday.

Now, with respect to 2 major tech companies reporting this week, ACN & ORCL, I have a point to make about IBM, should either of the two reporting give traders a reason to sell down IBM. The company Introduced a new mainframe in Sept 15th, 2017. As a rule, sales and signed maintenance contracts start adding to profits about 9—12 months after introduction—as machines at customers’ on beta test start converting to sales. If IBM doesn’t knock the cover off the ball in April, it probably will by its July report. Some of this might be reaching analysts’ ears at THINK & InterConnect, in Las Vegas, starting Monday. Ironically, Microsoft starts its Tech Summit the same day, in San Francisco but it’s AT&T’s Federal Trial to restore its deal with Time Warner that might catch a lot more press, at least for the first week of what the judge said is expected to take eight weeks. But, if you’re waiting with call options for MU to blow past analysts’ consensus, when it reports Thursday, take not of Wafers to Wall Street—changing Investor perceptions, growing trends in Semiconductors, then keep an eye on Qualcomm & nVidia, QCOM’s shareholders holding out for a higher bid undone by presidential decree, even as it appears that’s not top for NVDA anywhere in sight.

Macquarie Consumer Bright Ideas range from Hilton & IMAX to Las Vegas Sands, Ralph Lauren, Target, Tiffany, & Vail Resorts, and lots more. Many of the same companies will show up at Telsey Advisory Group’s 10th Annual Spring Consumer Conference (TAG born in the wake of Bear Stearns’ sale to JPM, and Lehman’s collapse). Dana Telsey is still widely respected by the Street, and a frequent CNBC guest. More retailers will appear at ShopTalk, which started Sunday.

It’s a little weird that Winnebego always seems to report earnings in the middle of a convention, the industry’s 97th started Sunday. GDC, for Game Developers & independents starts Monday but in recent years has been eclipsed by Licensing, usually in NY, in June. With Toys R Us liquidating, there’s going to be a lot IP looking to sign deals with new entities, so they can replace Toys’ share. Platts 14th Annual Steel Markets North America will be in Chicago, starting Tuesday, the day Morgan Stanley opens its European Financials Conference in London.

OpCo’s Healthcare Conference starting Tuesday feels like "yet, another healthcare conference," after 8 major ones that started back in January, with JPMorgan. Bk of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Industrials will get more attention in London, though it’s Thursday’s line up that’s most intriquing: ATD for Truck Dealers, NADA for the Auto Dealers Association, aided by J.D. Power’s Automotive Summit, And Automotive News’ Retail Forum @NADA. So how did MATS (Mid-America Trucking Show) wind up on the same dates, but instead of in Vegas, where ATD & Automotive Dealers meet, in Louisville KY. J.D. Power, for those curious, was bought by the Chinese.

And it all that wasn’t enough, S&P does some quarterly rebalancing, after the quarterly index options & futures expire. And you sure want that on your radar screen, as well, even if Jerome "Jay" Powell will be the star of the show. I expect him to be Yellen 2, early in his term.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence..

March 12—16, 2018   WEEK BETWEEN    This week is the week between, notable, mostly, for the amount of debt the US Treasury is going to auction, in contrast to last week’s light schedule. Monday’s 10-year Notes & Tuesday’s 30-year Bonds are the most dangerous, based on recent auctions. The longer the terms, the worse the debt has fared, even with the rest of the world offering much lower rates on their sovereign debt. The Street will have its eye on next week, this entire week, in anticipation of Jerome Powell’s first post-meeting Press Conference, and the updated forecasts of FOMC members. Do any now see 4 rate hikes this year? Better put: How many now see 4 rate hikes this year, in anticipation of Trump’s tax reform juicing business earnings.

The 313K jobs added in Feb just doesn’t ring true for me. Not only was it a short month—not even a leap day to it—but a snow storm kept many from reaching jobs they might have otherwise. So, unless all those added jobs—say 113K of them in excess of Street’s assumptions—all were hired to plow snow, I expect that 313K print will be revised away over the next 2 years. And watch out if either US Feb CPI (Tues), PPI (Wed) or Retail Sales (Wed) suggest a whiff of inflation. It’s what got stocks down in early February, last week’s Employment Report backing off the bigger rise seen in Jan. As for NAHB’s March Housing Market Index, Thursday, now’s about the time for analysts to speak out in builders’ favor, in anticipation of a strong spring selling season before mortgage rates move even higher. .

It’s a light earnings week, the biggest names in retail already out with reports, this week’s reports more curiosity than market movers, perhaps with the exception of Broadcom & Ulta Salon, (Thursday), and Tiffany Friday, with a quiet nod to Signet & Williams-Sonoma, both Wednesday. Still, with the exception of Broadcom (AVGO), better watched for its Qualcomm bid, interrupted by CFIUS, for now, there’s no earth shattering reports on their way this week.

Trust me, The Quadruple Witch Expiration Friday will be more significant than any of the Economic Data or Earnings. Still, the Events Calendar has some events worth pointing out. Cowen & Barclays host Healthcare, or Health Care & Healthcare respectively, Monday & Tuesday. Citi drops into Shipping Day at the Capital Link 12th Shipping Forum, while RayJay does the same at OFC & Satellite 2018. Stephens has some of the most narrow events planned, mostly on the West Coast, the participants named on the calendar. Ditto Deutsche Bank with Basic Materials, on Wednesday, even if Trump’s Infrastructure plans have gone nowhere, and probably won’t go far while Gary Cohn’s seat in the white House is vacant. So watch that Quad Witch, and remain prepared for S&P’s rebalancing, since it’s likely to result in financials & technology representing heavier weightings. And some give back after last week’s outsized gains seem in order, too.

ECONOMIC: (Highiights, only, below Full International Economic Calendar here)  

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author's, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.

March 05—09, 2018  
TARIFFS NOT AS ORIGINALLY SHOT ACROSS THE BOW?  There seemed to be some back tracking on the severity of tariffs the Trump White house will levy on steel & aluminum, over the weekend. At a minimum, there was talk about exemptions, which is all well and good, but doesn’t solve the problem of the enhanced influence Peter Navarro may be having on the President.

Note how little debt the Treasury is planning on offering this week. Three-month, 6-month, and 4 week is It! That may help keep stocks from falling too much more, especially if the rumored exemptions become reality. But with so many central bankers speaking—our own, as well as the rate setting committees in Australia, Canada, at the ECB, and, finally, into Friday, the BoJ. The latter has dropped the taper bomb with no repercussions, as yet.

The Earnings Calendar is concentrated around consumer names, including many retailers & restaurants. Target & Ross Stores should lead on Tuesday, Costco Wholesale & Dollar Tree on Wednesday, Kroger on Thursday, though I also emboldened a few names that are less followed, because it might be time to give them more attention. In the same vein, note the analyst meetings, this week, Chevron, Lam Research & Target on Tuesday, when half the tech analysts will be focused on Qualcomm, and the nominees to its board that Broadcom is asking shareholders to approve. Given that QCOM basically told AVGO that it will take more money than what’s been offered, I suspect shareholders will hold their ground with current management. ExxonMobil is hosting its Analyst Day Wednesday, Cott on Thursday, while Bank of NY Mellon, CBRE, & USG on Friday.

Big Events include IHS Markit CERAWEEK, which starts on Monday, the 5th, include well known speakers Dr Daniel Yergin, DoE Sec’y Rick Perry, Saudi Armaco’s Amin Nasser, GM CEO Mary Barra, RDS.A CEO, OPEC Sec’y General Barkindo, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the leaders of OXY, BP, IEA, UAE Minister of Industry & Energy, DUK, FCX’s LNG, Trafigura, Xcoal Energy, SLB, Siemens, Reliance Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy, DOW Chemical, FERC, Edison Int’l, PG&E, Exelon, EMR, Petronas, COP, CPN, HES, YPF, BHGE and more So one highlight of the week.

Also starting Monday, Deutsche Bank’s Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach—if the NY area and other East Coast airports can reopen. There’s a break before JPMorgan opens Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum starting Thursday, a day on which Bank of America/Merrill Lynch hosts Refining.

A fantastic 16-month run up after the election doesn’t have the excesses wrung out of it by 3 or 5 days of selling. Still, should the White House include exemptions from the Steel & Aluminum tariffs, as rumored over the weekend, then a bounce would not surprise but it won’t solve the problem of Navarro’s growing clout, or the wild man elected President who loves to shock & awe.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, below. Complete International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed is the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
       

February, 26th—March 2nd, 2018  
CAN POWELL TALK AND SAY SOMETHING?   FOMC chief Powell’s testimony at House Financial Services Cmte moved to Tuesday from Wednesday, due to a scheduling issue. He reprises his testimony in the Senate on Thursday. This will be his first solo testimony, at which we’re not likely to learn as much about his positions as the Street wants to know. For balance, ECB’s Draghi testifies at the EU Parliament, Sunday night (Monday European time). His days are numbered, since his term ends next year, and there’s already jockeying for his position. While we’re on the subject, other Central bankers speaking include Bullard, Vice chairman Quarles, even as Governors at NGA will split up, Monday, and meet with either Trump or Pence at the White House.

Big Economic Data is centered around housing, including Monday’s Jan New Home Sales, & Tuesday’s Case Shiller Dec Home Price Index & FHFA’s Dec Home Price Index. December? Why would the Street wait for that when Zillow and other sites are updated sooner? OK, Ok, FHFA I get because it compares sales of a specific house with its prior sale but S&P Case Shiller CoreLogix? They have time to add more titles but not to push out the data faster?

One big event, this week, is in Barcelona, rather than the US. It’s the GSM Mobile World Congress, Samsung supposed to debut its Galaxy S9 at the show, on Sunday, before the show officially opened. Sony’s Monday press conference presumably is to unveil a new smartphone, too, while Huawei is expected to launch its latest, even as HMD Global, holder of the Nokia licenses, is expected to debut at least one new smartphone.

Other big events this week, closer to home, include Morgan Stanley’s Tech, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco, JPMorgan’s Global Emerging Markets & Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance both meet in Miami Beach, and overlap. There’s, also, the 11th Annual Medicaid Managed care Summit, Citi’s Asset Management, Broker Dealers & Market Structure Conference, BAC/MER’s Global Agriculture & Materials Conference, KBW Cards, Payments & Financial Technology, in NY. The largest US corporate meeting is AAAI Jointly with the World Allergy Congress, starting Friday, in Orlando.

All in, a very busy week with much of what happens dependent on what Jay Powell says in 2-days of Congressional testimony. He may not have mastered the art of saying a lot without saying anything but, then, maybe he’ll be more like Janet Yellen, and not really look to do anything but honestly guide markets and rates. The questions is what’s his favorite indicator? For Yellen, it was PCE—Core Personal Consumption Expenditures. For Powell? That is the question.

Consumer names own Earnings, this week, including Macy*s, Nordstrom, JCPenney, TJX, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, FootLocker, Lowe’s, Big lots, Gap Stores, Kohl’s, to name just a few. My bet is JPMorgan Chase’s analyst meeting will be more influential. Furthermore, I expect some of the air that’s was blown into retailers after holiday sales were not as devastating as in past years to leave the shares after they report. The wonder wasn’t that Walmart fell after it reported a miss but that the Street had fallen so in love with WMT, into its Q4 results. The two stores closest to me are still filthy, poorly stocked but distasteful locations that no one seems to care about.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.

February 19—23, 2018   ANOTHER SHORT WEEK THAT COULD FEEL LONGER THAN IT IS   I thought about highlighting Walmart’s earnings, or maybe WMT & Home Depot earnings, and stopping there (both Tuesday) but, in the end, the volume of restaurants reporting weighed against that fleeting thought, suggesting more angles for consumer spending to be examined. Still, I think the week amounts to those 2 reports, because the FOMC Minutes, out Wednesday, will still reflect the Yellen Federal Reserve, not lead by Jay Powell. Put February 28th on your calendar for his starring role at Congress.

Otherwise, what stands out this week is China’s Lunar New Year celebrations, which means no guidance from the far east. And that’s unfortunate, in a week that includes so much Treasury Debt at Auction, including $55B worth of 4-week bills, an amount I can’t say I ever remember seeing. Add in larger than previous 3-, & 6-month Bills, plus 5- and 7-year Notes (Wed/Thurs), and the Asian absence could be felt, the longer the term, the more dampened interest, of late.

And it’s not like we’re not going to hear a lot from FOMC speakers, this week. It’s bonanza time, some on the Street fairly vocal in their wish that Powell would tamp down the competing viewpoints espoused intra-meetings.

The Conservative Political Action Committee meeting just outside D.C. promises Trump, VP Pence, Ed Sec’y Betsy DeVos, Sean Hannity, Ajit Pai, Mick Mulvaney, Sen. Ted Cruz, Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison, UK’s Nigel Farage, and many others that aren’t equal bold-faced names. Still, that grumbling you hear during the week may just be liberals nursing stomach aches. NGA, the National Governors Winter Meeting is also in D.C, this week, a speaking invitation to the Pres. no doubt out months ago. If that’s happening, it’s impossible to say. The Event Website offers a skeletal Agenda, without details. It won’t be a repeat of CPAC, though.

In other Events, CAGNY(Consumer Analysts of NY) stands out, Monday, because the package foods industry, the dominant speakers, need some inflation to grow their earnings. One surprise invitee is JNJ. Wednesday also stands out because both Citi & Barclays are hosting separate Industrials Conferences that start that day, both in Miami. What were the odds? Thursday’s 94th USDA Ag Outlook Forum: The Roots of Prosperity is scheduled at a time when farmers are looking at some of their worst earnings, another group that could use some inflation to boost prices of commodities.

So, a market that’s a little directionless without Asia doesn’t mean stocks can’t continue their recovery, but does increase the odds that stocks may be looking up at nearby resistance, and feel a need to chop around consolidating the territory already recouped since the Fed Chief Powell swear-in sell off that started on 02/05.

I have 2 off-topic comments: Since when does flying down a mile-long ice structure at 60 mph, on a lunch tray with handles constitute sport? I realize some "sports" Ndate back to win men went out with guns & clubs to catch dinner but skeleton? Are you kidding me, calling it a sport?

And then, I have to say something about the Parkland massacre, which occurred less than 11 miles from where we live, and 2 years ago, might have trapped one of our god children in the madness. I get that the constitution allows for citizens to arm but nowhere in the constitution did the founding fathers either explicitly or by inferrence extend that right to automatic weapons which they could neither anticipate nor cite. It is time for automatic weapons to be left to law enforcement and the armed forces but kept out of citizens hands. Sandi

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.

February 12—16, 2018  
HOW DOES THE STREET REACT TO BLOWING UP THE DEFICIT BY ANOTHER $200B?   Whether the latest volatility runs its course by this week could depend on how the Street reacts to Trump proposing adding another $200B to the deficit on infrastructure spending. Recall, the problems started in the debt markets, so that’s what must be watched, still. Meanwhile, 3 weeks sick makes me wonder how deeply this year’s flu epidemic curtailed worker productivity.

ECONOMIC: (Full Int'l Economic Calendar here)

© 2018 Sandi Lynne Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
 
                                                              
February 05—09, 2018   CORRECTION COULD FIND A BOTTOM BY END OF WEEK      Sandi’s still very sick and doing as much as she can.

Time was, Super Bowl was a 4-day weekend of events for fans who’d spend $20--$45 to roam through football fandom. For 2018, the festivities have been going on since Jan 29th, and there was, even, a 19th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. This surprises me because I attended one of the Super Bowl weekends in Miami, maybe even more than 19 years ago, and this is the 1st time I’ve seen a "Gospel" celebration on the schedule. Tix were $20, and some were still available as of Thursday afternoon, 02/01. Here’s the other head scratcher I found on the NFL site: A location is listed for drop off and pick up of Uber, Taxi’s, & Lyft but no vehicles for hire—Limo, Sprinter, Mini Bus or Motor Coach--is allowed to drop off or pick up at US Bank Stadium. I realize Super Bowl moves around, so all NFL teams get a chance to host the game—and rake in all the bucks associated with the event but, really, given the early February scheduling, why wouldn’t the NFL pick a stadium in a warmer climate than Minneapolis? Even the covered stadium doesn’t spare anyone the inhuman sub-zero temps getting there and back

ECONOMIC: (See FULL International Economic Calendar Here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
 

January 22—26, 2018 
FLU GOT ME DOWN, Sandi  Sick as a dog this past 4 days, so the Full International Economic Calendar didn’t get made. Below the best we could do.

ECONOMIC: (
Full International Economic Calendar can be viewed, here)
SUNDAY, 01/21

MONDAY, 01/22
IMF World Economic Outlook Press Conference (Davos)

TUESDAY, 01/23
WEC: World Economic Forum
Annual Meeting (Davos-Klosters, Suisse thru 26tth)
Bloomberg Year Ahead & Smart Economic (Davos thru 24th)
NAFTA talks Resume (Montreal Canada)

WEDNESDAY, 01/24

THURSDAY, 01/25

FRIDAY, 01/26

EARNINGS: We know longer separate pre-market from after market earnings releases. We cover only the major money center banks, the largest regionals, and foreign banks traded in the US. We ignore "the" in a corporate name unless it’s integral ot the ticker.

MONDAY, 01/22: BRO, HAL, HMST, IIVI, ISRG?, JJSF?, LOGI?, NFLX, PETS, RMD, STLD, SYK, AMTD, UBS, WTFC, WWD, ZION

TUESDAY, 01/23: ARAY, ATI, BKU, BEDU, CNI, COF, CREE, DLB, FITB, FUL, HBAN, JNJ, KMB, LPL?, MRCY, MDP, NAVI, NAP, EDU, NVR, OSIS, BPOP, PG, PLD, QSII, SEIC, SMED, STT, SNV, TESS, TXN, TSS, TRMK, UFI, UAL, VZ, VRTS, WAT, WBS

WEDNESDAY, 01/24: ABT, AMP, APH, AZPN, AUDC, BHGE, BANR, BGG, CLS, CNS, CMCSA, CVLT, CMRE, CCI, DFS, DST?, ETH, FFIV, F, GD, GE, GWW, HXL, ITW?, LRCX, LVS, LM, MJCO?, HZO, MRLN, MRTN, NSC, NTRS, NVS, OPY, PGR, RJF, RBBN, RLI, RHI, ROK, ROL, RCL, RES, SLG, SWK, SMCI, TROW, TEL, TER?, URI, UTX, VAR, WHR?, WYNN, XLNX

THURSDAY, 01/25: MMM, EGHT, ABAX, ALK, ADS, AAL, AEP, AIT, AJG, AVT, AVX, BIIB, BDN, CCMP, CRR, CAT, CE, CELG, CLF, CVTI, DLX, DGII, ETFC, FII, FCAU?, FLEX, FCX, HP, HTH, INTC, ISCA, JBLU, LRN, KTEC, KLAC, LLL, LANC, MATW, MXIM, MKC, MSCC, NOC, ORI, OSK, PGC, PKI, PX, RTN, RCI, SHW, LUV, SBUX, STM, SIVB, TAL, TMST, UNP, WDC

FRIDAY, 01/26: ABBV, APD, CL, DWCH, GNTX, HRC, HON, LEA, VIVO, MOG/A, NEE, NEP, NG, OIIM, POL, COL, USAP, WRLD

EVENTS:
CONTINUING SUNDAY, 01/21

1st Stock Trades After Options/formerly LEAPS Settle
Argus Media Americas Crude Summit @Petroleum Markets Week (Houston TX)
Winter Rheumatology Symposium (Snowmass Village CO thru 26th)
Int’l Headache Academy (Los Angeles CA thru 22nd)
Enigma: Emerging Threats & Novel Attacks (Santa Clara CA)
Men’s Haute Couture Week (Paris France)
Imprinted Sportswear (Long Beach CA)
CHA Crafts & Hobby MEGA Conference/Trade Show (Phoenix AZ thru 22nd)
DLD18 Digital Life Design (Munich Germany thru 22nd)
BioInformatics (Madeira Portugal)
AO—Australian Open Tennis Championship, 1st of 4 majors (Melbourne thru 28th)
Sundance Film & Arts Festival (Park City UT thru 28th)

STARTING SUNDAY, 01/21
Inside ETFs (Hollywood FL thru 24th)
VRC Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (Vancouver Canada thru 22nd)
RILA Retail CEO Forum (Tucson AZ thru 25th)
NDIA Winter Simulation Innovation Workshop (Orlando FL thru 26th)
Keystone Organ Crosstalk in Obesity & BioEnergetics + Metabolic Diseases Symposium (Keystone CO thru 25th)
PTC’18 Pacific Telecommunications Council (Honolulu HI thru 24th)
Fancy Foods Show (San Francisco thru 23rd)
24th Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards (Los Angeles and TNT + TBS TV)

MONDAY, 01/22
Health Benefits
Conference/Expo (Clearwater Beach FL thru 24th)
Tour d’ALIS Americas Lodging Investment Summit (Los Angeles thru 24th)
Citi @ALIS Lodging Summit Meetings (Los Angeles)
DDP: Drug Delivery Partnerships (Palm Beach Gardens FL thru 24th)
PMWC Precision Medicine World Conference (Mountain View CA thru 24th)
World Stem Cell Summit (Miami FL thru 25th)
CleanTech Forum (San Francisco thru 24th)
Macquarie A-Share Corporate Day (NY thru 23rd)
Call Center Summit (New Orleans LA thru 25th)
SIA SnowSports Industries America (Denver CO thru 24th)
AHR (HV/AC) Expo (Chicago IL thru 24th)
FETC: Future of Education Technology Conference (Orlando thru 26th)
Women’s Haute Couture Week (Paris France thru 25th)
LSE SU Alternative Investments Conference (London thru 23rd)
Credit Suisse HK/China Analyst Relay II Showcase (Hong Kong)
European 3D Summit (Dresden Germany thru 24th)
Nike (NKE) hosting Macquarie clients at Hdqtrs (Beavertown OR)

TUESDAY, 01/23
IECI: Electric National Business Summit (Las Vegas NV thru 24th)
DistribuTECH (San Antonio TX thru 25th)
MPMC Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Media Trade Council (Santa Ana CA thru 25th)
PGA (Golf) Merchandise Show & Demo Day (Orlando FL thru 26th)
AHA (Heart) International Stroke Conference (Los Angeles thru 28th)
IC3 Int’l Capital & Cannabis Conference (Miami FL thru 24th)
World of Concrete (Las Vegas thru 26th)
Pool & Spa Show (Atlantic City NJ thru 25th)
Scotiabank Multi-Family Residential Panel (Toronto Canada)
Euromoney 20th Global Airfinance Conference (Dublin Ireland thru 25th)
Future WAN ’18, an SD-WAN
virtual summit (thru 26th)
EFI (EFII) Connect: Users Conference (Las Vegas thru 26th)
Progressive Insurance (PGR) New York Boat Show (NY thru 28th)

WEDNESDAY, 01/24
CFANY (formerly NYSSA) American Gas Ass’n Luncheon (NY)
CIBC 21st Annual Whistler Institutional Investor Conference (Whistler BC Canada thru 27th)
Int’l FCStone Coffee Futures, Options & Structured Products Risk Management Seminar (Miami FL thru 26th)
IREI VIP: Vision, Insights & Perspectives Americas (Dana Pt CA thru 28th)
Yankee Dental Congress (Boston MA thru 27th)
ASTD Tech Knowledge Conference/Expo (San Jose CA thru 26th)
Deutsche Bank dbAccess Retail Store Tour (Manchester UK thru 26th)
MGF Global Games Forum (London thru 25th)
BETT Education Technology (London thru 27th)
Citi A-Share & Connect Day (Shenzhen China thru 25th)
China Int’l Printed & Flexible Electronics + Emerging Technologies (Shanghai thru 26th)
ISPO Beijing (Beijing China thru 27th)
Microsoft (MSFT) Tech Summit (Birmingham UK thru 25th)
Philip Morris’ (PM) IQOS System with Marlboro Heatsticks, including menthol Heatsticks, (MRTPA-Modified Risk Tobacco Product Applications) before FDA Tobacco Products Scientific AdCom
OSCAR Nominees Announced (Hollywood CA)

THURSDAY, 01/25
ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium (San Francisco thru 27th)
SNMMI Society of Cancer Research-Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging Mid-Winter Meeting (Orlando thru 27th)
SurfExpo (Orlando thru 27th)
Guelph Organic Conference (Ontario Canada thru 28th)
Citi GPS: Risk Launch 2018 (London)
4th Annual Future of Healthcare Investor Forum (London)
34th IHS Display Search Japan (Tokyo thru 26th)
EGA (European Generic Ass’n) 17th Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Conference (London thru 26th)
Taco Bell (YUM) beings offering $1 Nacho Fries in the US

FRIDAY, 01/26
Food Marketing Institute Mid-Winter Executive Conference (Miami thru 29th)
School Mental Health: Treating Students K to 12 (Boston thru 27th)
American Bus Association Marketplace (Charlotte NC thru 30th)
Altria (MO), Reynolds America (RAI), Philip Morris Int’l (PM): FDA lays out approach to evaluating nicotine replacement therapies (NRT)
MOVIES OPENING:
"Maze Runner: The Death Cure" with Rosa Salazar, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, based on the novel "The Death Cure," it’s the finale of The Maze Runner Saga, from 20th Century Fox (FOXA). "Hostiles," with Rosamund Pike, Scott Shepherd, Christian Bale, Stella Cooper, a period Western. Originally distributed to a limited number of theaters, on 12/22/17, Entertainment Studios bought US rights and is taking it wide, now. "Kickboxer: Retaliation," with Alain Moussi, Christopher Lambert, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mike Tyson, & Sara Malakul Lane, a follow-up to "Kickboxer: Vengeance," distributed by Our House Films.

SATURDAY, 01/27
SPIE Photonics West (San Francisco thru 02/01)
Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons Annual +AATS Tech-Con (Ft Lauderdale FL thru 31st)
AACR Obesity & Cancer (Austin TX thru 30th)
ASTA 58th Annual Vegetable & Flower Seed Conference (San Diego thru 30th)    

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
 

January 15—19, 2018  HOLIDAY WEEK WON’T FEEL LIKE ONE BY FRIDAY  Throw a dart on any day the rest of the week and you’ll find an important entry on the Economic Calendar. Some of the most important data will seep out from China & the UK, China’s growth essential to the worldwide growth & stability, the UK’s plan to exit the EU intensifying, as the clock keeps ticking. Then, there’s $135B in shorter term debt a boatload that will be easily absorbed. In addition to Jerome Powell’s appointment to head the Federal Reserve, which will be voted on, again, Wednesday, there are Evans & Kaplan speaking to Reinsurance Executives, Bk of Canada Gov Poloz and his Deputy Wilkins speaking after their monetary policy committee wraps a meeting, and the Fed’s Evans & Kaplan speaking, too, to the Reinsurance Executive Roundtable, hosted by the ACLI (American Council of Life Insurers), in Palm Beach FL, along with the Fed’s Mester on monetary policy communications, hosted by ACLI (Am. Council of Life Insurers), in a brisker New Jersey.

Some of the Economic Calendar highlights are on housing, including China’s Dec. Property/House Prices, and the US’s NAHB Jan Housing Market Index, & Dec Housing Starts/Building Permits, along with the UK’s Dec RICS House Price balance. And, dare we say it, OPEC’s release of its monthly Oil Market Report, Thursday, when both Crude & Natural Gas will be released by the EIA, Monday’s holiday pushing crude stats out by one day. Also out Thursday, China’s 17Q4 GDP, Dec. Retail Sales, Fixed Asset Investment, and Industrial Production. Wed. we’ll get the US Dec Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization, snow storms likely to push up utility production, a large part of IP & CU every month.

And overhanging it all is the midnight, Friday, Jan 19th deadline for Congress to fund the government, or risk a government shutdown, which Trump said, at one time, might be good for the country. Really? They lock workers out of office buildings, send them home to nervously plot how to pay bills, without a paycheck coming in, all to collect back pay for days no one worked, once the "shut down" is over. And with a President as erratic as Trump, for all we know, he’ll make the funds for building the southern wall to block off Mexico a prerequisite for his signature on whatever continuing resolution or budget Congress sends to him. The Pope will be visiting South America this week, perhaps he’d like to put in a good word for hard working Americans, who fear the world is going to h—in a hand basket. Friday is notable for another deadline—the last day to trade January options that started as LEAPs up to 3 years ago. Those new to the market may not realize how recently weekly options were added, so not familiar with LEAPS that started trading as long ago as 2014.

The Earnings Calendar is, once again, dominated by financials, including Citigroup, Bk of America, Goldman Sachs, US Bank, American Express, Bk of New York Mellon, BB&T, KeyBanc, Morgan Stanley, Citizens Financial, Regions Financial, SunTrust, & Synchrony. A finance line up every bit as influential as last week’s. And if that weren’t enough, there’s CSX, Canadian Pacific & Kansas City Southern, teed up to report, along with UnitedHealth, Kinder Morgan, PPG, Taiwan Semiconductor, and Schlumberger, each a heavy weight in its sector.

Which brings us to the Events Calendar, well stocked this week, too. Start with NAIAS, the North American International Auto Show, put on by the Auto Industry, with related events from IEEE (Electrical Engineers), Automotive News World Congress at NAIAS, Deutsche Bank 2018 Global Auto Industry Conference, and IHS Markit Annual Briefing @NAIAS. Markit owns J D Power but the Power auto event is not concurrent with this week’s. However, the European Auto Salon takes place in Brussels, Belgium, starting Sunday, putting autos at the center of 2 continents.

Another, literally big show is the NRF BIG Show, in NY, which is more about the physical shop and processes than a fashion show. At BIG Show, one can order hangers and price tickets but not the clothes on which they’ll hang. Jefferies Winter Consumer Summit includes apparel manufacturers & sellers along with hotels & restaurants. Oddly enough, news out of SIHH Luxury Watch—Haute Horlogerie could trump some bigger events because the state of the high end watch industry has become a serious datapoint for deciphering the penetration of smart watches & other wearable technology, even as what’s going on at the very top of the luxury watch market says a lot about the spending by wealthy people, as well as those who must answer to the state, like wealthy Chinese buyers.

Also Sunday, Southern Seed, Plant & Animal Genome XXVI, Clinical Dermatology, and an S&P Global Platts Aluminum Symposium, along with Heart Failure, Retina, and State of the Brain. Monday, while markets were closed, Jefferies opened its 7th Winter Consumer Summit, Sunday, while ISS runs Semi Strategy Symposium, and ISS Strategic Materials Conference. Both meet at Half Moon Bay CA. NATPE (Nat’l Ass’n of TV Programming Execs) gets a lot of attention, as billions of advertising moves from TV to the small screen of mobile phones. MoffetNathanson is just one I-bank hosting clients at NATPE.

Another multi-leg event is Argus Media’s Petroleum Week which includes Americas Crude Summit, America’s LPG Summit, and America’s Motor Fuels Summit, all in Houston TX. Wolfe Research is hosting a "Thunder & Lightning" tour around Tulsa & Oklahoma City, visiting WPX energy, Devon Energy, Gulfport Energy, and Continental Resources. Wednesday, Peters & Co starts its Winter Energy Conference, in Alberta, while RBC is just one of 2 I-banks hosting Private Company Energy Conferences. The other is Credit Suisse. Wolfe also hosts an Oil & Gas Earnings Preview Lunch, Thursday.

It’ll be a busy week that won’t feel "shortened," by any stretch of the imagination. The fact that financials, again, dominate the Earning Calendar takes the spotlight off the reported earnings, to shine brightly on the out quarters. Based on last week’s reports, expect near term write downs and charges required by the tax cut bill, though reserves for taxes will be far lower, going forward, sprucing up the future bottom line. Rails, PPG, and Taiwan Semiconductor offer less history, since last week wasn’t populated by peers. Still, with companies benefiting the most from the tax cut bill passed, there’s reason to expect forecasts that won’t upset anyone. (We won’t discuss how hard hit the same companies may look next year, when they’re comping against one time adjustments from this year, because there’ll be plenty of time for that. Bear in mind, the $1k employee bonuses announced recently are all one-off, which leaves workers with lower income, next year. When reality catches up with the calendar, employees will look shafted, while companies will look like the big beneficiaries they are, indeed.) What might start upsetting the market is the cost of gasoline at the pump, which is rising everywhere, not nearly caught up with the price of a barrel of crude, at recent times. Some retailers will complain about refunds arriving late, the IRS not even accepting tax filings until Jan 29th.

Last week’s huge gains were surprising. Expect a period of consolidation, at the least. I will personally being going farther, by looking for ways I can actively protect my gains.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)  

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the authors, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.

January 08—12, 2018  
EARNINGS SEASON SNUCK UP ON US    For all the hooplah around "Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House," Michael Wolff’s book on the Trump White House, neither the book nor the New York Magazine with an excerpt were available at the local Barnes & Noble. And that’s why the chain is likely to go 6 feet under—even the one here, directly across the street from the entrance to FAU. And there was no help to help, so when I looked up the book on the "help desk" computer, I was mistaken for an employee, and asked to look up Fire & Fury, about seven times before the computer return the message that it won’t be in until 01/09, the disk 3 days later.

There are 3 major events, this week, that will dominate the newsfeed: CES (Consumer Electronics Show), JPMorgan Healthcare, and ICR Conference, the latter with separate schedules for public and non-public companies. What’s remarkable is the number of I-bank events scheduled around all 3 events, in a last throwback to the mid-90’s, and COMDEX, when those in-the-know could time options purchases on Microsoft and, (back then), Compaq, timed to capitalize on the dinners Goldman Sachs would host on successive days, and the upgrades for each of them that arrived like clock work the day after the dinner at which each starred. And back then, it was not only Goldie’s dinners, cocktail parties, and morning after upgrades that made COMDEX such a tradable event, but the dates of COMDEX itself, when there was no internet to search. In fact, Wall Street In Advance began as a full year’s printed calendar, the top events neatly featured on the days those events started. At one time, COMDEX was bigger than everything.

CES Intel CEO Krzanich delivers the Keynote on Monday, while nVidia keynotes Sunday night, before Intel. NVDA wowed in 2017, talking about its autonomous cars & AI that needs its chips. INTC can no longer pretend it has nothing to fear from NVDA, as the latter has successfully convinced investors and analysts that it moved from graphics chips to chips that power servers, autonomous vehicles and AI. Ironically, Intel is expected to roll out lots of new chips, at CES, especially high end ones for laptops & gaming but including a chipset that includes an AMD graphics chip—a rare collaboration between the two, on the I7 CPU that incorporates an AMD Radeon GPU chip, suggesting how serious INTC is about matching and surpassing NVDA. Some are eager to hear what CEO Krzanich plans in AR/VR after it shut down Project Alloy, its VR headset project. INTC does have a project to stream MLB games in VR. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai canceled his scheduled appearance at CES, citing death threats. JPM & Citi host events at CES.

Many retailers & apparel/shoe manufacturers, restaurants & leisure parks will be updating their Qtr outlook at the 20th ICR, this week. I.e. Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell is scheduled to keynote at noon, on the 9th, updating its holiday sales guidance. It won’t be alone, Others not appearing at ICR, like Tiffany, schedule a separate holiday (November/ December) sales update, for TIF, on Jan 17th. (While the timing for TIF’s call hasn’t been announced, yet, 8:30am is when it hosts earnings conference calls.) The best way to gauge when holiday sales updates will arrive, short of looking up every company individually, would be to load the ICR Conference
presentation schedule, and assume every company on the agenda plans to update holiday sales, on the 8th or 9th. Private companies present on the 10th. There’s one track for retailers, on the 8th, in the morning, that starts with SEAS, moves to ASNA, CROX, LE, LULU, CHS, before the luncheon keynote. On a separate track, it’s restaurants: RUTH, CHUY, FOGO, RRGB, TACO. I-banks like Citi are hosting clients here, too. ICR is the meeting that has the most satellite meetings of I-banks and their clients, including Wells Fargo, Citi, Raymond James, and more

And then, there’s the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, that attracts more "satellite" events than any other, throughout the year. Even Leerink, one of the most respected Biotech I-banks schedules events to coincide with JPM.

Normally, I’d be pointing out all the Fed Reserve speakers, this week but with a new sheriff coming to town, I feel about those events the way I did about last week’s Fed minutes from its Dec meeting—new voters and a new chief made the minutes of little interest. But, with the two doves who dissented against the rate rise in Dec leaving the voting panel, and at least one emphatic hawk getting a vote in 2018—Loretta Mester—we’re all in the dark until we’ve seen a couple of meetings, and the minutes that result. John Williams, also joining the voting in Feb., is more hawkish than the rest of the FOMC except Mester. Mester spoke of 3, or even 4 hikes this year, while Williams seemed to endorse the 3 already planned by the SEP (Member projections last released in Dec.) And let’s not forget that NY Fed Pres/CEO William Dudley is leaving this year, probably by the summer, which might be additional discomfort, as the Powell/ Quarles FOMC unfolds. Then again, Bostic is a newbie, speaking on Monday but talks to Rotary Clubs rarely are a setting for policy position speeches. And so it’s said, Yellen has said she’ll leave when her successor is sworn in. Everyone assumes that will be AFTER the Jan 30—31 meeting, on Feb 3rd, when her first and only term will end. But who’s to say Trump won’t see to Powell’s swearing in, sooner, ending Yellen’s term faster than expected—fast enough to put Powell in the chair at the head of the table, by the late January meeting.

Bits & Pieces: NAHB, the Nat’l Association of Homebuilders assembles for its annual show, starting Tuesday, which is the day Goldman Sachs is hosting a Global Energy Conference, both, coincidentally, in Florida which makes them attractive getaways after last week’s Bombcyclone. Pfizer said, Saturday, it will stop searching for drugs to treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, giving up a fight that has cost so much and delivered so little. If Disney looks soft, that might be because "Star War: The Last Jedi" opened to very underwhelming ticket sales, in China ($28.7m over the weekend). The two Koreas are meeting this week, though I can’t imagine what will come of it: A promise not to bomb each other, when the North Korean midget wants to bomb the US? The Treasury is offering a boatload of debt, this week, and what bothers me is the amount of 3-, & 6-month debt on offer, every month, even as rates are rising and being pushed higher by the FOMC, elevating the costs to service that debt. At one time, Treas Sec’y Mnuchin seemed to favor really, really, long term debt, of the 50-year & 100 year really long but, instead, $90B of debt on offer this week will mature by summer, while 3-year Notes will amount to just $24B, 10-year $20B, and 30-year a mere $12B, the latter 2 reopenings.

And then, Earnings Season begins this week, Friday a huge day because BlackRock, JPMorgan, PNC, and Wells Fargo reporting, at the end of a week that will have, also, included Delta Airlines, K B Homes, and Lennar. And watch out for CY17 Economic Data, because the Dec. Employment Report was soft.

ECONOMIC: (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)

© Sandi Lynne 2018 Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.
      

January 01—05, 2018
MORE PROFIT-TAKING TO START? Typically, the first few days of a new year start with some selling, as gains or losses were delayed until the new year. The balance switches after the December Employment Report is issues, late in the week, which also coincides with retail investors sending more funds to their mutual funds, which helps offset the selling.

Watch also the amount of principal the Federal Reserve allows to run-off without reimbursement because it doubles, as of this month, through Q1. For this Quarter, the amount that will be allowed to run off without reinvestment is double the amount of Treasuries & Agency MBS run off since the bank first started to hold back some reinvestment, in October. $12B in Treasuries & $8B in Agency MBS.
Addendum here.)

Daiwa P.U.R.E. Energy stands for Power, Utilities, Renewables & Environment., the first conference of the year (Hong Kong thru 5th). The one to watch, however, is the American Economic Association’s Annual Meeting, at which central bankers are the stars. In fact, time was the first week after the New Year was flush with major I-bank events but that’s not true this year. The Biggie is AEA, concurrent with ASSA (Allied Social Science Association) Annual. Rarely have central bankers been out in such a heavy presence so soon after the New Year celebration, and they’ll remain out through next weekend.

The call for this week, more selling than seen to end the year, which won’t be nearly offset by fresh funds flooding into the market & mutual funds, at least not until late in the week, coincident with the December Unemployment Report.

ECONOMIC:  (Highlights, only, below. Full International Economic Calendar here)
        EARLIER COMMENTS FROM 2017 HERE


© Sandi Lynne Nothing contained in this commentary should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The opinions expressed are the author’s, alone, and should be just one factor in more complete due diligence.

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