WASHINGTON, November 16, 2016 – Given the continuing chaos—most of it good—afflicting U.S. stocks and market averages, the Maven decided to take a short break from these columns earlier this week until things settled down a bit. At least change has been good in recent market action, as the surprise post-Trump victory celebration continued on a Wall Street that had mostly bet against him.
Wednesday, the rally lost some steam, with the Dow Jones Industrials (DJI) among the hardest hit, down some 67 points (-0.33 percent) as of 1:45 p.m. EST. The broad-based S&P 500 was running behind in the negative ink sweepstakes, down 5.61 points (-0.27 percent), while the tech-heavy NASDAQ was pinned in green ink territory for a change, currently trending up 17.10 points (+0.25 percent).
The NASDAQ took it on the chin last week and early this week after the Trump victory. Tech has been a major beneficiary of the Obama Administration’s collusion with Silicon Valley in the industry’s drive to replace as many American tech jobs as possible with green card holders, the better to improve profit margins by importing cheap labor.
With Trump on the side of actual American workers for a change and irritated by Silicon Valley bigwigs’ near-universal support for left-wing Democrats and eco-freaks, Wall Street figured there’d be an OK Corral-style confrontation between The (now President-elect) Donald and those overpaid, over-idolized California dreamers. Wall Street immediately took that perception out on tech stocks, notably Apple (symbol: AAPL).
During his campaign, Trump denounced Apple for refusing to unlock the San Bernardino terrorists’ iPhone to obtain any secret information on terrorist cells that may have resided therein. Post-election, that didn’t help AAPL either.
Today, Apple and others finally caught a bid after their collective post-election swoon, with the iPhone maker’s stock sharply up after a week long pummeling. AAPL shares are currently “thinking different,” gaining $2.74 per share to stand at $109.87 at least at the moment.
Alphabet (aka Google: GOOGL) is up nicely as well, while Facebook (FB) is down, given an admission today that its ad calculating measures may have been a bit off. Twitter (TWTR) is getting a slight bounce today as well, although that’s been muted by the news that its Thought Police have been banning Alt-right Twitterers for advocating racism and violence.
As usual, however, lefty tweets endorsing anti-Trump demonstrators as well as threats of violence against anyone who even considered voting for Trump continue to get a pass. It’s a Bizarro World for this fading tech media darling, and it’s easy to see why given the company’s latest episode of asinine virtue-signaling.
In other market-roiling news, the U.S. dollar briefly hit a 14-year high against a basket of world currencies before backing off a bit again. The trashing of the American bond market post-election and the concurrent sharp increase in interest rates over the last several days are likely to blame. This action is overdone, of course, at least to an extent, although bond traders’ recent negativity is mostly due to investors’ 80+ percent certainty that the Federal Reserve Bank will increase interest rates by 0.25 percent during its December meeting.
The dollar’s continued post-election robustness—largely attributable to what traders hope will be a more friendly business and banking environment under President Trump—was eroding the price of crude oil last week before crude’s sharp rally on Tuesday. That jump in price after a week of negativity was largely due to a perception that OPEC would really, really, for sure cut production, thus firming prices.
Anyone who believes this latest cover story is dwelling in Cloud Cuckoo land, however. Any production cut agreement by OPEC members will immediately be undermined by widespread cheating by weaker partners, and, of course, Iran, which never honors any agreement with anyone.
Crude oil prices were taken out back and shot Wednesday morning when reality dawned once again. U.S. oil inventory numbers revealed an unexpected and substantial jump in stockpiled black gold before mysteriously recovering for no obvious reason. WTI (U.S) crude is currently sitting at $45.81 bbl., unchanged from yesterday. We can’t make this stuff up.
Traders continue to enter this market at their own risk. No one on Wall Street really knows what to make of Trump’s impressive electoral victory, even a full week after it occurred. The media is back to trashing Trump, of course, or at least his people along with prospective cabinet appointees. The media elites are still bitter that they, like the bulk of this country’s pathologically dishonest pollsters, still have egg dripping off their collective faces, right in front of the American public that they despise, no less.
After all, it was the Deplorables—those ignorant, racist, non-degree holding yahoos—that made the media, the pollsters and the blow-dried, exquisitely coiffed punditocracy look like the jackasses they’ve been for decades. While a few of these charlatans have repented for their journalistic dishonesty (the nice way of putting it), most are doubling down, trashing the new administration before it takes office. As Glenn Reynolds would say, “It’s who they are. It’s what they do.”
The failed media elites and their Democrat masters are also blaming Trump himself for the Soros-financed anti-Trump street violence we are witnessing daily. The Maven predicts this violence and hate campaign will continue to keep things boiling until its culmination: the even greater violence that’s being carefully planned to derail Trump’s Inaugural Parade and celebration in Washington.