WASHINGTON, March 14, 2016 – It’s nearly 3 p.m. EDT as we write this, and stocks almost across the board are marking time either flat or slightly up on the day thus far. With Tuesday’s winner-take-all primaries in Florida and Ohio, the Street has its eyes on the still protean 2016 presidential race and what it might mean for stocks.
Markets opened down after Monday’s opening bell, with the Dow quickly dropping 50 points before settling down and creeping back up again. After a crazy rally sustained through most of last week, the market remained oversold, so perhaps some sideways movement will be the best thing here, at least for keeping the bull case intact.
After flirting with $40 over the weekend, Brent crude dropped sharply this morning and WTI even more so. Both measures are currently off their lows, however, despite Iran’s predictable “we ain’t cooperating” with any oil freeze promises. That’s just the sort of thing we can expect from Iran’s mad mullahs, as anything the rest of the world is for, they’re against.
It’s all rhetoric anyway, as any “freeze” on the part of OPEC producers will be violated anyway, particularly by Iran, which wants as many petrodollars (or yuan) as they can get their hands on, the better to advance the cause of Armageddon.
In other news, markets await the Fed’s latest reading of the tea leaves, due out this coming Wednesday. The still mildly bullish tone of this overbought market seems to hint that the fix is in and there’ll be no interest rate jump until at least June. That outcome seems likely. But if the Fed’s lofty pronouncements should include a surprise March-announced rate hike, investors will want to head with all due speed to their local fallout shelters.
Otherwise, the big news today and tomorrow will not be stocks or the Fed. Rather, it will be a renewed focus on politics, the results of which could potentially determine whether this country remains the last bastion of relatively free capitalism or descends into the ruinous chaos of Europe’s clearly failed version of Socialism Lite.
With regard to this wild political rumpus, it’s been instructive to read select comments to various articles over at ZeroHedge and elsewhere. We’ve been collecting them, and the ones we’ve picked deserve a read because, we think, they pick up the current largely pro-Trump zeitgeist out there in the hinterlands. Please note, they appear here as is, without edits:
- American voters are pissed off at the politicians, Central Bankers, Wall Street, and the top 1%!! All of them combined took away the middle class. Sweep them all out in the coming election.
- Trump is an American 1% who makes his money in the US so it is in his interest to rise the US tide to lift all boats. The same can probably be said of the oh so evil Koch brothers. Soros, Buffett, Clinton, etc, not so much.
- People can say whatever they like about Donald Trump. It remains fact that the man is a true American in the sense that he loves this country. Can you say the same for Hillary? Someone who has clearly served the Internationalist Agenda since day 1.
- While I don’t necessarily think he’s “the answer to America’s problems”, I have yet to see a better candidate. Call him “the shiniest turd in the pile”.
- He sure as s**t knows more about job creation than Hillary, with her NAFTA pimping husband.
So tell us what you really think, folks.
On other fronts, foreign stocks and ETFs, particularly those in Europe, deserve another look-see this week, given the fact that ECB head Mario Draghi finally actually did something over the weekend, announcing the ECB will be purchasing oodles of corporate bonds, not government bonds. That could actually be quite stimulative. We shall see.
Currently, we are looking for opportunities to get involved if it makes any sense. Ditto with foreign country ETFs that could benefit from firmer energy prices. Individual stocks, which we actually prefer, are a bit pricey now, so we’ll need to wait on those to see if they come in a bit.