Healthcare Bill To Stall – Market Tumble Continues

By Megan Davies and Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Trump Trade could start looking more like a Trump Tantrum if the new U.S. administration’s healthcare bill stalls in Congress, prompting worries on Wall Street about tax cuts and other measures aimed at promoting economic growth.

Investors are dialing back hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump will swiftly enact his agenda, with a Thursday vote on a healthcare bill a litmus test which could give stock investors another reason to sell.

“If the vote doesn’t pass, or is postponed, it will cast a lot of doubt on the Trump trades,” said the influential bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive at DoubleLine Capital.

U.S. stocks rallied after the November presidential election, with the S&P 500 posting a string of record highs up to earlier this month, on bets that the pro-growth Trump agenda would be quickly pushed by a Republican Party with majorities in both chambers of Congress.

 

Investors extrapolated that a stalling bill could mean uphill battles for other Trump proposals. Trump and Republican congressional leaders appeared to be losing the battle to get enough support to pass it.

Any hint of further trouble for Trump’s agenda, especially his proposed tax cut, could precipitate a stock market correction, said Byron Wien, veteran investor and vice chairman of Blackstone (NYSE:BX) Advisory Partners.

I expect markets to continue lower well into next week, as those who’ve not yet sold “freak out” at the last minute…then sell into the waterfall. Sound familiar? Stocks will bounce sure…so if you are holding now…you likely lose a few nights sleep but “its too late to sell now”. 

How many days / weeks ago did I suggest to “raise cash” and look for another great entry opportunity?

Read the rest here.

EUR/USD Update – Kong Books Profits

I don’t leave money one table, and when looking at “the macro” hey – a trade is a trade “within” this framework.

I’m booking some 230 pips profit on a long and hard-fought battle/trade – long EUR/USD around 1.05

Markets suck and you know it. You think you’re right – but you’re wrong. I think I’m wrong and I’m right etc… This is no time to be a hotshot as the sky is cloudy, the water muddy, the day-to-day ( without question ) – unclear.

You need to be right “more times than you are wrong” – get it? If you are still searching for some kind of “krystal ball” here on the ol Internet well…..I advise you to stay tuned here, as well go visit your local psychic. This is likely as good as it gets.

Don’t get me wrong as I will never EVER apologize. If you go bet the farm with your piddly 2k trade account and choose to roll the dice – all power to you baby. Moving forward I will do the following:

Simply look to re – enter “short risk” when yet another grand opportunity arises..just around the corner.

Short USD, long EUR and JPY

Short AUD , NZD and CAD

Gold = hold.

Gold can kiss my ass……these long term trade ideas are exactly that. Long term. You don’t expect to get rich overnight but…..wait – Do you ever expect to get rich overnight?

Calm yourself newbies. Watch and learn. This is the big boys game.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Forex Kong Books Profits

               Forex Kong Books Profits

 

 

 

 

AUD/JPY – Focus On Risk Appetite

Well…..

Now that we’ve got that out-of-the-way ( the Fed’s sill little rate hike, and of course the nearly “not covered” debt ceiling debacle) we can move on. It’s time for more “mind bending macro market analysis” considering that these last few calls have been bang on the money. In short…..the U.S Dollar “plunge” shall continue, as both gold and The Euro continue to move higher. Further riches will be made with this simple concept burned into the back of your skull like a bad tattoo.

Let’s have a quick look at the weekly chart of my old friend AUD/JPY and refresh our memories, as to how this currency pair can help you gauge risk appetite with another simple concept.

AUD/JPY UP = Risk on.

AUD/JPY DOWN = Risk off.

                                                                       AUD/JPY – Risk on vs risk off

You can see how AUD/JPY has been trading completely flat for the past 10-12 weeks as U.S Stocks have really only taken a small leg higher during the same period of time. U.S Stocks are always ALWAYS the last to go when risk appetite ( and the machines on Wall St ) switch from “buy” to “sell”. Always.

AUD/JPY has been up against very solid resistance for an extended period of time, and if “all was well” would surely have broken through, and climbed higher along side U.S Equities some time ago.

Such is clearly not the case as this currency pair has “literally” miles to fall. And fall it shall.

I am currently tracking this pair but not getting excited about entry “short” until I see a nice solid read candle and a decisive break lower. Even 85.00 and lower to truly seal the deal.

You see how this works right? I’m “tracking / observing” market activity with a pre conceived notion of at least two ( if not two hundred ) things.

  1. AUD/JPY ( a significant indicator of risk appetite in markets in general ) is trading in a range against significant over head resistance.
  2. A significant break lower should “clear the field” and is suggestive of a much larger shift from “risk on to risk off” across markets in general.

Eezy Peezy when you have a plan. Do YOU have a plan? There could be 1000 pips below this currency pairs current price.

Damn rights I’m still short USD. Damn rights I still own NUGT. Damn rights I’m killing it long EUR/USD.

Any questions today? I’m back in the saddle.

 

 

 

Debt Ceiling Wednesday – Rate Hike Too?

Unfortunately….for those of you who’s investment and trading decisions depend solely on the grunt’s and groans of some smart mouthed Silverback with an attitude – I am busy today.

An esteemed  colleague and I have been summoned to the head offices of Google San Fran – where we will be building time machines, slipping microchips under our skin, and dancing through holographic simulations of the future. Jealousy will get you everywhere. I’ll post some pics later this week.

The Euro has continued higher – as expected. The U.S Dollar has taken its beating over the past few days and ( in my view ) will continue to get hammered –  as expected. And good ol’ gold has now put in its daily cycle low somewhere here around 1200.00 per ounce.

The current trade hypothesis still resting on the fact that “whatever happens” on Wednesday with respect to both interest rates rising and the U.S debt ceiling being reached “again”…The U.S Dollar sees its day, and continues South.

This “could” stretch another month if indeed the powers that be somehow appease markets – by what? Raising both interest rates AND raise the debt ceiling? This I truly have to see with my own eyes to truly get the full sense of just how “totally F’d” this system is.

I don’t particularly enjoy trading ahead of macro news events, but in the case will take it on the chin one way or another.

Good luck to all over the next 48 hours…you’ll likely need it.

Best advice…..don’t move a  muscle til ‘after the announcements on Wednesday….and even then – don’t get “trigger happy” Thursday morning either.

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Forex_Kong_Space_Future

 

March Rate Hike – Already Priced In

The near term strength in The U.S Dollar ( although still no higher than 5 days ago…. ) is a ramp into the proposed rate hike and a clear “sell on the news” trade. It’s so obvious. Staring you right in the face as Gold’s near term slide looks to FINALLY end – in the congestion zone around 1200.00

Looks pretty clear to me, as per the previous post and information provided by James Rickards.  A “nominal rate hike” with stocks at all time highs ( when else could these bozos possibly even consider it ) and perhaps a short-term “extension” of this ridiculous euphoria….then reality, as both stocks and The U.S Dollar hit the skids.

  • USD/JPY should hit resistance around 114.85-114.95 and that will be that.
  • EUR/USD is perfectly fine here around 1.0525-1.055 ( as it’s STILL above 1.05 despite USD bounce )
  • AUD/JPY ( our “risk barometer” ) hasn’t even budged. No breakout. No nothin so…..

Don’t get too excited. Nothing has changed except of course –  further bad news on trade deficit with China and of course…..Trump instability / Tweetfest and generally nuttiness – still on the rise.

 

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           Forex_Kong_Working

 

Market Participants – How Can’t You See This?

Please Read: I’ve highlighted the significant bits.

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Jim Rickards – Markets Are Experiencing Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term to describe a situation where perception and reality are out of sync.

It’s similar to what most people refer to as “denial.” The patient sees things one way, but the reality is different. Of course, it’s just a matter of time before reality prevails and the patient is jolted back to reality. This process can be fast or slow, easy or painful, but the important thing to bear in mind is reality always wins.

Something like cognitive dissonance is going on in markets right now. Markets have been temporarily euphoric over Trump’s tax, regulatory and spending policies. Those policies are important to business and credit cycles and economic growth.

The perception is that happy days are here again. The new Trump administration is expected to pour trillions of dollars of stimulus spending and tax cuts into the economy. Immediately after the Nov. 8 election, investors took a quick look at Trump’s policies and decided they liked what they saw.

Trump wants lower taxes, less regulation and higher infrastructure spending. Corporate profits and consumer spending benefit from lower taxes. Banks and pharmaceutical companies benefit from less regulation. Construction firms and defense contractors benefit from infrastructure spending. There seemed to be something for everyone, and the stock market took off like a Roman candle.

And indeed, the major stock indexes hit one record closing after another. The Dow topped 20,000 this week before pulling back. The dollar has been trading near a 14-year high, although it’s slipped in recent days. Gold was moving mostly sideways until it broke out again over the past few days.

Bank stocks went vertical in expectations of wider net interest margins (from Fed rate hikes) and less regulation (from Dodd-Frank reform). Happy days, indeed.

Reality is another matter. I’ve been warning my readers lately that the Trump trade is levitating in thin air and is ready for a fall. Now that reality could be beginning to sink in.

It’s far from clear how much of the Trump economic agenda will see the light of day. Congress wants to offset tax cuts in one area with tax increases in another so they are “revenue neutral.” That takes away the stimulus. Less regulation for banks won’t help the economy if bankers lead us into another financial meltdown like 2008.

Infrastructure spending will increase the debt-to-GDP ratio past the already high level of 105%, putting the U.S. closer to a sovereign debt crisis like Greece. As I wrote Tuesday, many believe a 60% debt-to-GDP ratio retards growth. That’s the standard the ECB uses for members of the Eurozone. Scholars Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart put the figure at 90%.

Again, the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is currently at 105%, as stated, and heading higher. Under any standard, the U.S. is at the point where more debt produces less growth rather than more. This is one more reason why the Trump infrastructure spending plan will not produce the hoped for growth. And if infrastructure is funded privately, you’ll need tools and user fees to pay the bondholders, which is just another form of tax increase.

There’s almost no way Trump’s policies can supply the stimulus the market is pricing in. The Dow Jones index peaked on Jan. 26, 2017, one day after cracking the mythical 20,000 mark. It’s now trading around 19,900. The downhill trend may continue and get steeper soon.

Productivity has stalled out in recent months. Economists are not sure why. It could be due to lack of investment by business, or that workers are not being trained in useful skills, or that everyone is spending too much time on social media. Whatever the cause, productivity is flat.

Fourth-quarter GDP came in at 1.9%, below expectations — the final chapter on the worst year of U.S. growth since 2011 when the economy was still healing from the global financial crisis. The strong dollar is a major headwind to growth, along with flat labor force participation and weak productivity growth.

Growth in a major economy is simply the sum of increases in the labor force plus increases in productivity. Think about it. How many people are working and what is the output per worker? That’s it; that’s all there is. The reality is that the workforce is not growing.

Labor force participation is near 40-year lows and is expected to decline further for demographic reasons. Birthrates have never been this low since the Great Depression. The U.S. used to get a labor force lift from immigration, but that might dry up because of Trump’s policies. We’ll have to wait and see.

A flat labor force plus flat productivity equals a flat economy, or almost zero nominal growth. That’s reality.

kong and rickards

                                                        How will this situation be resolved?

Either growth will rebound based on “animal spirits” and the Trump stimulus working better than expected or markets will collapse once they realize the growth is not coming. By “collapse,” I mean a violent stock market correction, a falling dollar and major rallies in bonds and gold. We expect the latter.

Financial crises are not mainly about the business cycle. They’re about investor psychology, sudden shocks and the instability of the financial system. Right now investors are skittish, numerous shocks are waiting to happen and the system is highly unstable due to overleverage and nontransparency.

Despite Trump’s best efforts and positive policies, a collapse could happen any day unless radical steps are taken to prevent it — such as breaking up big banks and banning derivatives. I’ve been warning about this for a while, but now mainstream economists see the danger too. Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, for example, sees a stock market crash coming that could be worse than 1929 or 2000. I hope he’s wrong.

The problem with a financial panic is that panicked investors don’t care if the president is a Democrat or a Republican; they just want their money back. The same dynamic applies to natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes.

Once the disaster starts, the dynamics have a life of their own and don’t care if the victims are liberals or conservatives. Everyone gets hurt just the same. I’m not hoping for it, but this is a lesson Trump may learn the hard way.

Above I said collapse means a violent stock market correction, a falling dollar and major rallies in bonds and gold. I expect the latter. The long-term trends favor gold if U.S. growth continues disappoint.

The strong dollar story can’t last, so it won’t. The Trump administration has clearly signaled that the day of the strong dollar is over. When you see a coordinated attack on the dollar from the White House, the Treasury and the Fed, you can bet the dollar will weaken. That means a higher dollar price for gold.

The dollar may get one last boost from a Fed rate hike in March, but after that, even the Fed will acknowledge that they got it wrong again and start another easing cycle with happy talk and forward guidance.

For now, investors should not stand in front of a moving train. Keep cash ready and be prepared to move into gold, bonds and the euro. In fact, it’s not too soon to leg into those positions now.

Instead of watching the tape or short-term trends, my advice is to stay focused on the long-term trends. That’s how you’ll make the most money and preserve wealth in adversity.

kong and rickards

 
                                             – Source, James Rickards via the Daily Reckoning
                                                                            Who is James Rickards?

Don’t Panic – There Is Time To Prepare

These things take time so…let’s just take a minute and re group.

The entire blog / financial community at large is pretty much sitting at a stand still, with a couple of “ridiculous” factors and circumstances in play. Get a load of this….March 15th is not only the DAY the debt ceiling “freeze” does exactly that – but ALSO the day the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates?? Can you wrap your head around that? Can you?

The dichotomy here is unprecedented. I see the debt ceiling biz being completely and totally “blacked out” in the main stream media, as it could very likely lead to government shutdown, as well as some pretty “snappy headlines out there” when the world at large is again reminded….The United States is again 100% flat broke.

I would assume “the powers that be” will keep things lofty moving into the 15th, then regardless of an interest rate hike or not….you’d have to expect our “long-awaited sell off / correction” to start, which will likely take us well past May ( as I also feel that SELL IN MAY will be in effect this year ).

In a broad sense I’d be looking to put some protection in place…start raising cash for a much better time and place to “jump back in”.

There is very likely one more  push higher later this year ( and it could very well be a whopper ) so maybe July/Aug would be a great time to grab that cash…..and put it back to use moving into the fall.

EUR longs looking good. NUGT pissing me off.

Forex_Kong

              Forex_Kong

Buy EUR/USD – Before Tuesday Afternoon

You’re going to want to buy EUR before Tuesday.

This trade fits into the exact same framework we have been working with…with respect to The U.S Dollar taking a very large nose dive –  very, very soon. You can see in the chart below that EUR/USD has now put in an absolutely “classic swing low” right at the 50 day moving average…after completing only the first daily cycle of this new “intermediate cycle”. This suggests that we’ve got several more daily cycles to go ( lasting somewhere between 30-35 days each) before this upswing completes.

I would imagine the 200 day moving average ( marked in red ) should be the next target. That’s some 350 – 400 pips!

Buy EUR Before Tues Afternoon

These correlations with The Euro, USD and Gold are batting near 100% right now….as you can’t have The Euro rise without USD moving decidedly lower. The same thing goes for Gold, and if you really want to nail this…feel free to get long The Japanese Yen ( JPY ) as well. Yen chart looks exactly the same as EURO.

So…only one more asset class to consider here right? U.S Equities.

I can’t stand the stock market right now, as it’s continued rise goes against just about every fundamental principle I can drum up. There are too many indicators and factors to list – all suggesting this thing tops out  soon…or at the very least – makes a serious correction. The stock market is cyclical and there is not a single thing “any acting president” can do to change that.

Trump has certainly “empowered the common man” with the talk of bringing jobs back, and I can certainly appreciate that but…..it won’t last. Unfortunately for stock buyers – foreign exchange leads the way and the message is painfully clear.

This thing needs a complete and total reset before some incredible turn around in the U.S economy will be realized.

Wash rinse repeat people. You know this. Has it ever been any different?

USD Update – Failed Daily Cycle

The U.S Dollar has now breached the low from the previous daily cycle….confirming that this “next cycle” will also manifest as a “left translated cycle” and take the dollar decidedly lower.

But first we bounce.

We bounce higher in a confirmed downtrend so…you don’t go buying this dip in USD bonehead. You wait 4-6 days ( 6 at most I imagine ) and “sell the rip” as we are in a downtrend. Patience is everything when trading, as you’ve got to fight that “urge” to get in there…and be involved every minute of the day.

I can honestly say that these days ( having long since been through the emotional torment experienced when learning ) I spent more like 85% of my time plotting / scheming / observing markets than I do “actually trading”.

Magically…..the less I trade – the more money I make…but don’t confuse this with “investing”. Yes I believe that gold and silver have bottomed, the Euro will rise and USD will fall…JPY will surge and U.S equities will soon take a substantial hit so….

Investing is 100% totally / absolutely / without question OUT!  I trade…..and I trade assets I believe to be in longer term trends. I don’t consider it investing.

Most of the standard correlations are looking pretty good right now ie…USD down has The Euro and commodities ( priced in USD ) moving higher…and The Japanese Yen flying cuz money borrowed some years ago is now repatriating to the place of its origin. Yen up = U.S equities down.

The fact that this thing has traded sideways for this long must have many of you looking at your portfolios and wondering – why haven’t I done so well this past year?

How much “higher” can you really expect anything to climb in the face of a dramatically waning “appetite for risk”.

The planet is completely freaked out about Trump. Good or bad….I have no opinion, but I can tell you this….markets hate uncertainty, and the future looks “more than uncertain” to say the least.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Kong Sells Miners – Buying Again Soon

Over the past 2 days. I’ve sold GPL, IMG and NUGT for a 28% return on the trades.

I’m still holding short USD/JPY as well long EUR/USD.

I expect this to be a “shallow dip” with respect to the gold and silver related stocks, so I will be scaling back in to these and more here shortly. On this next entry I am going to do my best to actually “buy and hold” something for at least a couple of weeks / if not months but then again…….we’ll see how that goes.

The larger macro turn in both USD as well commodities is slowly making its way…so there is still plenty of time to start building positions.

 

 

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