WASHINGTON, January 3, 2017 – Happy New Year to all! Today, Tuesday, January 3, we begin at the beginning on the first trading day of 2017 with markets hinting at a return to what may be left of the Trump-Santa Claus Rally that suddenly fizzled away at the tail end of December 2016.
Will Rally Part II have some staying power, or crumble away as Inauguration Day approaches? Our answer: Who knows?
All three major averages have held in modestly positive territory today now that those last-minute sellers—both tax-loss sellers and portfolio managers completing their fourth quarter 2016 window dressing activities—have finished dumping shares, at least for now.
But it’s a new year, and maybe this will be the year that us little guys can finally run the table. (As if!) But we do generally shoot for gains in excess of 8-12 percent, and we’d like to get back to that margin in 2017 after an admittedly mediocre 2016, largely the result of severe portfolio damage in the first two months of that year.
Improving performance, however, could prove at least slightly treacherous. We begin the year with just 17 days remaining in the most destructive Presidency for the average investor since, well, Grover Cleveland. Cleveland came into office for the second of his split two terms in 1893 just in time to preside over the catastrophic Panic of 1893.
Closer to our own time, George Bush took office as the 1999-2000 dot.bomb catastrophe hit markets, with seemingly dozens of grossly overpriced dot.com stocks taking a swan dive as duped investors, blinded by baseless high-tech promises, watched what happens to companies that never made any money and didn’t even really care whether they ever did.
Likewise, Barack Obama offered “hope and change” to all those damaged by the beginnings of the Great Recession near the end of Bush’s second term—damage he blamed on the Republicans. But that damage had really begun much, much earlier due to his own party’s relentless pressure on financial organizations to lend billions of dollars to utterly unqualified individuals for no-down payment interest-only mortgages, which, of course, none of these unqualified buyers could pay for when they got laid off during the Great Recession, adding to its staying power.
Hapless Americans “hoped” in Obama’s promised change. But, to borrow someone’s brilliant phraseology, Obama gave them “change” indeed, and he gave it to them good and hard.
The result is an economy and an employment rate that has only improved by means of Washington legal and monetary parlor tricks, aka smoke and mirrors, buttressed by a nearly 100 percent phalanx of media lies.
Now that Obama is on the way out and now that his fake charisma and brilliance have been finally exposed for the closet-Marxist ploys they always were, fed-up average Americans have voted into the nation’s highest office a genuine political wild card, a man who may actually deliver much of what he has promised. Or not.
However history reveals itself, 2017 will be a wild ride indeed, as Soros-paid thugs will attempt to thwart pretty much anything Donald Trump tries to do with predictably violent “demonstrations,” the better to provide the discredited media with their already pre-written “I told ya so” stories decrying the idiocy and mendacity of America’s totally ineffective new president.
But if anything, Trump has proven to be a wily and uncannily effective leader thus far. As America’s new president, he may very well tweet these preening, overpaid, self-important clowns into the oblivion they and their networks richly deserve. That would be a fine outcome indeed.
Since we begin this new trading year as we ended the last year, with a now-increasingly skeptical public trying to figure out just how the once-major media are lying about what’s going on in politics and the economy, it’s possible and even probable that investors in 2017 will be on an almost nonstop roller-coaster ride to… wherever it goes.
We’re going to tiptoe back into markets. But we will only get a clearer picture as to what’s really going on in 17 days. The new, Republican majority-led Congress has now been gaveled into session in Washington, D.C. On January 20, we’ll have our second opportunity for real “hope and change.” At that time, we’ll begin to see if a resurgence in American optimism can finally overcome Washington’s recent anti-business, anti-American Stalinist thuggery, which thus far has damaged the U.S. economy and many of its once-productive citizens for at least the past 8 years.
So, friends, if you have any champagne left, let’s lift a glass: Here’s hoping an entirely Republican-controlled Washington can finally throw off its traditional cowardice and torpor to restore at last American markets and the American spirit. Whether the media wants to admit it or not, the whole world is watching. It really is. We all need some hope and change, and we need it very badly.
We’ll keep you posted.
*Cartoon by Branco. Republished with permission and by arrangement with ComicallyIncorrect.