Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday July 25th -- Summer doldrums & squaring the market with politics

The markets are set to open, and we can expect a flat day!  That was true 20 years ago, when the market was traded by people -- and people go on holidays.  Today, the vast majority of trading is done by machines, and machines don't take holidays (well they do take a break when they update the algos).

Big news this weekend, Trump got a bump!  He is now ahead of Clinton in the national polls -- how such a man achieves this is beyond understanding.  Did America hear his toxic message full of falsehood?  I suspect not, I suspect they don't really care because unlike the market politics goes to sleep during the summer months.  Starting today is the Democrats' turn to do their dog and pony show.  The press is agog as to whether it will be a clusterfuck as the GOP's sad affaire was last week, or if it will be borring as hell.  My guess is borring.  The Bernie supporters will vent their spleen for a day (maybe less) and will unit behind Clinton.

Several years ago, I met with a childhood friend who was a proud supporter of Ralph Nader.  I kindly suggested that its guys like him that handed the election to G.W. Bush, instead of the Democrats.  He didn't agree (although the maths supported my assertion) he sincerely believed that his vote of protest was important and that he made a difference in the election -- I said I totally agreed, you made sure that Bush would be elected!  Needless to say that we have not spoken much since.  It is a sickness of the left, to support lost causes, and its entirely possible that like my childhood friend several on the left will feel betrayed because their guy lost, and will therefore not vote, since the only vote that counts is the one for your candidate.  Granted I am hoping that many Republican will do the same in November -- because if you cannot stand your party's candidate, why bother to vote at all!

While I was writing these first few sentences the market opened and its down a bit, but then its kind of a given.  The algos will play with the market and see if they can create a market direction (up or down is of little importance),   The truth is that after last week the markets wants down -- its been an amazing month for the market -- the S&P500 is up more than 8% in 30 days -- that's powerful upswing; which makes Trump's statement of last week a bit difficult to square with the market enthusiasm... anyway, we are at the end of July, most big pension funds are on holidays -- the bosses are anyway, and there are few instruction that boil down to:  Don't fuck-up our positions.  That means that the real money (aka investors) is being ultra conservative.  Only big signals will trigger movements.  Which is a pain for the algo crowd that needs volatility.

It is entirely possible that Clinton will provide that excitement.  After all several thousands in the GOP want her jailed (for some imaginary crime) or even better hung or shot by a firing squad.

In the mean time, a 8% bump in the S&P500 is a signal to consolidate...on the other hand YoY its only a 4% rise in the market (granted a new all time high), so do as you wish, 'cause I got nothing!


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