WASHINGTON. As I write today’s column, Hurricane Dorian is bearing down, hard, toward Florida and America’s Southeast coast. It’s not the kind of September Song we want to hear. Legend, and at least some market stats, tell us that September is the cruelest month. And from the looks of the current weather reports, at least, Hurricane Dorian could be bearing down on Wall Street, too. Add President Trump’s latest tariff hikes. And it looks like September 2019 could be getting off to a very bad start for investors.
September is (usually) the cruelest month
Investors have feared the month of October since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. But over a longer period of time, most damage to the market has tended to cluster around September, although that month is by no means a universal disaster all the time. Even so, this year’s September Wall of Worry is building out a lot faster today than President Trump’s Mexican-funded Wall.
Those accursed China tariff hikes
Experienced investors remain on edge waiting for Mr Market to return from his Labor Day Holiday and begin trading once again on Tuesday, September 3. Both they and Wall Street have plenty to worry about, too. For starters President Trump’s latest tariff hikes on China formally went into effect on September 1.
You know, it’s really too bad that Trump went and started the trade war that China started during the Clinton Administration. What a nutcase. What this means, according to America’s always insightful newspapers and financial sites, is that we’re all gonna die.
Interest rate issues remain. And now, Hurricane Dorian is at hand
Interest rates remain inverted, meaning we’re all going to go broke soon, probably by Christmas. Maybe sooner. And, as we’ve already noted – according to at least one source – America’s Southeast Coast is about to get hit by Hurricane Dorian – a Category 6 or 7 hurricane – any moment now. (You read that right. Keep reading. We’ll get back to this.) Which likely means, at least from maybe Florida to North Carolina, everyone’s gonna to die. Again.
This is negative harmonic convergence by an order of magnitude. If you believe it. As doctrinaire skeptics, we don’t. So let’s step back and take a look.
A look at the just-concluded bi-polar August investment action
For traders and investors – and yours truly – August 2019 was actually a bizarre, sometimes scary month. Several times, markets and averages tanked, big time, seeming to confirm that another Great Recession could start soon. Maybe even tomorrow. Just take a look at this truly bi-polar chart of S&P 500 trading activity in August, particularly in the final days of the month. (Chart by Carl Swenlin via Stockcharts.com’s public page.)
But then, sometimes over a day or two, stocks and market averages would snap right back, sending the bears to the showers. Only to watch them return the very next day. Why all the buying after all the panic selling by supposedly savvy Wall Street experts. Algorithms run amok? The War of the Machines?
September’s disaster porn headlines include wild trading and Hurricane Dorian. Because Trump
Was August a preview of an even worse September? We’ll just have to see. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the current disaster porn swirling around the US economy, the US stock market, the US environment, and whatever else America’s so-called “knowledge class” tells us we should worry about. 24/7 no less.
Let’s start with the weather, which indeed could cause quite a lot of trouble here, perhaps starting shortly after I post today’s column. First, this terrifying yet highly novel graf clipped from a Michael Snyder piece via an end-of-times page entitled End of the American Dream. (Subtitle: Life As You Have Known It Will Never Be The Same Again…)
Global Warming Climate Change. Again?
“Hurricane Dorian is already setting all sorts of records, and it hasn’t even reached the United States yet. As I write this article, this ‘lawnmower from the sky’ is ripping through the Bahamas with immense fury. The east coast could potentially be the next target, and widespread evacuations have already been ordered all along the Florida coastline, and that even includes President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. For many years, there has been a tremendous amount of debate in the scientific community about whether we should add a new category to the Saffir Simpson scale because of how powerful hurricanes are becoming. Many meteorologists have advocated adding a ‘Category 6’ or even a ‘Category 7’ to the scale, and without a doubt the power of Hurricane Dorian will almost certainly renew that debate. And as you will see below, if the scale had already been expanded, Hurricane Dorian would likely be considered to be a ‘Category 6’ storm right now.”
Superstorm Dorian to wreck Wall Street, too?
So, this hurricane is going to be bigger and worser than Katrina. Or maybe “Superstorm Sandy,” which was only a “Superstorm” because it hit all America’s Very Important People living in New York City.
Right. Smells like some
global warming climate change spin here. In other words, “See. Everything is getting hugely worse all the time, and will get worse and worse unless we stop everybody but Democrats and movie stars from using fossil fuels to keep warm. Right now.” What a crock.
Sure, a really bad hurricane hitting America’s most populous coast could cause serious economic damage, not to mention loss of life. But raising such fears contributes greatly to the never-ending tsumani of scare headlines the left is aiming at Americans to prepare the battlefield for Election 2020. And perhaps crash the stock market to emphasize the point.
In point of fact, hurricane measurements are accurate as they stand. And even as I write this, Dorian has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm after briefly peaking out at 5 over the hapless Bahamas. So what happened to Mike Snyder’s mandatory new categories? Never mind. (You should read the rest of this site.) Hat tip to ZeroHedge for this link.
Corporate America turns wimpy. Again. (If you believe the MSM)
As for land-based economic storms, let’s try out this typically disinformative CNBC piece by Jessica Bursztynsky. In it, Bursztynsky discusses the predictable reaction to Trump’s increasingly tough China tariff regime from some in America’s increasingly Manichean business community.
“Corporate America is ‘becoming an increasingly unhappy group’ with President Donald Trump’s tariff strategy in the U.S.-China trade war, management specialist Jeffrey Sonnenfeld told CNBC on Friday.
“However, CEOs of U.S. companies are in a quandary, added Sonnenfeld on “Squawk Box,” as the first batch of 15% tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports goes into effect Sunday, with the rest imposed on Dec. 15.
“While many top executives are ‘very disappointed’ with the escalation of the trade conflict, some also feel a crackdown on China’s trade practices was long overdue, said Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management.
“‘They’re also really unhappy with China and feel they’re being treated unfairly and have extensive documentation how they justify that,’ he said….”
CEOs: If you like Trump’s economic policies in general, then quit trashing him and voting Democrat
We’ve been hearing corporate whining like this since Trump’s inauguration. In point of fact, a great many businessmen and captains of industry love Trump’s personal and corporate tax cuts and love his slash-and-burn treatment of time-and-money-wasting anti-business Federal regulations as well. But will they support Trump or vote for him in 2020? Fat chance. Because they’re mostly Democrats masquerading as fake socialists. Socialists even more fake than Pocahontas Warren’s American Indian ancestry.
These business dudes only bellyache about tariffs because they might have a slight impact on CEO bonus packages later this year. If they were really worried about trade issues, they could have demanded that the Clinton and Obama administrations put a halt to the regular Chinese thefts of American technology and know-how as a price for doing business in that still very Communist country.
Again, this is more fake news, exaggerating the negative in the build-up to the next election. And CEOs: Lay off the virtue signaling. Otherwise, you’ll get Obama on steroids in January 2021. Think about it.
The left is in a full court press against Trump as they prepare the battlefield for Election 2020. Expect absolutely nothing but negative headlines from Democrat presidential candidates and their media minions for the next 13 or so months. And don’t be surprised if all these idiots succeed only in tanking the economy and aborting the long-awaited economic recovery of America’s middle-class. A class that Barack Obama took great care to weaken during his eight miserable years as America’s first socialist president.
Prudent investors should consider maintaining a high cash position until the smoke clears from all this week’s bafflegab. And until America gets to assess the damage that a soon-to-be-weakening Class 4 or Class 3 Hurricane Dorian actually wreaks on the Southeast Coast. There’s no point in taking this storm lightly. Wall Street likely won’t. But there’s really no point in succumbing to media-fed, ad rich weather news terrorism either. In other words, let’s not panic until it’s time.
– Headline image: Path cone of Hurricane Dorian as calculated by NOAA, updated as of 1:37 p.m. ET, September 2, 2019. US government chart, public domain.