Daily Commentary: January 16, 2024

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The Headlines Are Negative – Ignore Them

Posted by Pete Stolcers on January 16

The headlines over the weekend are very negative. The world “went to pot” in 3 days.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS TUESDAY – Last week the market erased the losses from the first trading week of the year and it is hugging the high from 2023. The world “went to pot” over the 3-day weekend and the futures are down almost 20 points.

China’ growth for 2024 is in question and Apple is dropping prices on new iPhones. It does not normally discount the new phones during the Chinese New Year and this is interpreted as a sign of soft Chinese consumer demand. China’s property developers and shadow banking industry are a potential credit threat and China is expected to announce a stimulus program. That means they will sell sovereign debt ($139B) to finance it.

The US will have to auction $2T in Treasuries this year and that will place upward pressure on yields.  Congress kicked the “budget can” down the road by six weeks and they can’t reach a deal.

The economic forum in Davos was hawkish on 2024 global growth and ECB members were hawkish.

Trump won the primary in Iowa by a larger than expected margin and that will create uncertainty.

The DPP Party won the election in Taiwan and this will strain relationships with China.

Yemen Houthi rebels are firing missiles at a US warship in the Red Sea.

How can you read these headlines and not be bearish? It important to read the headlines and to know what is driving the action, but it is also important to know if any of the headlines will have an actual impact on the market. None of these headlines are new and all we really need to watch is price action.

The market is trading right where it was in August. Have companies made more money in the last 6 months? Yes. That means balance sheets are stronger and they have more money. They are still trading at August valuations. Has the guidance been bearish? No. Are interest rates spiking? No, the Fed could ease this year. Is the economy tanking? No, GDP and job growth are strong.

The earnings and economic news is light this week. I am expecting recent market gains to be challenged and there will be some profit taking. I want to see the market hug the high from 2023. That will tell me that buyers are interested and they are offsetting profit taking. Eventually, buyers will exhaust the profit taking supply. They will need to be more aggressive and the market will breakout. I believe that time will come in the next week or two.

Wait for support and look for opportunities to buy.

Support is at AVWAPQ and resistance is at the high from Friday.

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