Thursday, October 3, 2019

Not ... yet ...

This perma-bear may be the only one who believes right now that we still have that one more high left in the tank, and soon.  We are close to the top and the start of the meltdown, but there is a very simple reason why I think we have one last rally and high ahead.

Trump must resolve the stand-off with China.  He simply cannot proceed into the turning of the business cycle into recession with the China tariffs in place.  Any third-rate reporter from the USA Today could mail this one in, about how Trump brought back Smoot-Hawley and destroyed the great Obama economy.  A China deal must happen, any deal, any face-saving compromise, or Trump will be on the hook for what is coming and not see a second term.

And China needs this, too.  They desperately need our food.  The pork crisis in China is dire and threatens food prices and social stability.  At this point, Xi, too, would like nothing more than to settle this for now and take it up later, return to playing the "long game" for a while longer.

The tariffs kick in again on October 15, but I don't think Trump will wait that long.  We through a pin through critical support today and managed to close back inside -- a stern warning that the next break will keep going.

SPX daily

Trump is out of time and must make a deal now with China.  Even subjects like Huawei can be tabled for the moment, because no one is really looking forward to the cap-ex spending on a nationwide 5g wireless network anyway.  What if they eased the limits on Huawei but no one bought their wares?  We do not need 5g, and can't afford to implement it at the moment.

A trade deal, leaked soon and signed over the weekend, completes the rally at 3094 SPX by next week.  There is resistance at 3050, which we will probably take out, an "overthrow" of a trendline.

After October 10, the Fed closes out its latest repo program and we will see if anyone still needs fast cash.  Coincidentally, October 11th marked the high for the year 2007.  There is some symmetry here; let's start by looking at the beautiful 2008 crash tape.

SPX crash 2007-2009

We take the tape and copy it, as a graphical representation, and drag it into the present-day, fit it to the curve and constraints of the giant megaphone top we have drawn since January, 2018.  See the retests and well-proportioned bounces?

SPX daily with 2008 tape overlay

The narrative is plain enough.  We test the lower supports, bounce into January again, with all eyes on the Fed, and when it declines to provide a full QE program at its January meeting, we lose that support and experience something far worse than the last cycle.  Perhaps by the time the Fed is ready to intervene, events and leverage are in motion and a grim trend cannot be stopped.

2020 off a cliff - who knows?

But won't it take more time?  Why should it?  That is the meaning of a true crisis, the point of recognition and scramble for the exits.  Forced selling.  Margin calls.  Who still believes that we can get growth out of debt?  Oh, are there value investors out there prowling for diamonds in the rough?  How about stock buybacks with corporate debt?  Will the VIX break 100?

Trump can blame the Fed, or the Democrats, or Brexit, but he absolutely cannot have the tariff issue around by then if he wants to be re-elected.  He could even be impeached and convicted (of whatever, because reasons) in the Senate.  And I do think he can see a second term, even with this disaster, if he is able to expose and implode the Democrat party apparatus with their scandals and high treason against the nation.

But let's see if we can complete this topping pattern first, on positive trade news.