We got the Fed's mintues yesterday, they were not helpful.
“Members agreed that the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment and inflation in the near term and was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.” – FOMC
Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged near zero at their July session and continued to buy Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds at a pace of about $120Bn a month. At a press conference following the meeting, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the path forward for the economy was “extraordinarily uncertain” and would depend on containing the virus. Results on that front have been mixed, with infections rising in several U.S. states, potentially weakening the recovery.
Officials had a long list of worries about the outlook, ranging from new waves of virus outbreak disrupting growth and crimping credit conditions, to waning fiscal support, as well as disruptions to foreign growth from the pandemic. Importantly, “several” said the long-run impact of the pandemic could result in business restructurings that may “slow the growth of the economy’s productive capacity for some time. Uncertainty is quite high. And I think uncertainty matters a lot for players in the economy and consequently for the economy itself,” said Thomas Barkin, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
He also said "The Fed is doing a lot to support the economy right now and we’re committed to continuing that support." I'm sure there are some (the people you can fool ALL of the time) who will take that as a positiive sign but, as I said in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, there's simply too many negatives to just focus on the positive in this market. We're heading into a period of great uncertainty and the best thing we can do right now is get to CASH!!!
We went over our Long-Term Portfolio Positions and decided which ones will stay and which ones will go and we'll be taking a knife to our other portfolios as well. We are officially flipping much more bearish here – after being generally neutral for the past couple of months, since the S&P first hit 3,200 in June and we thought that was too high. Now we're close to 3,400 and that is definitely too high, so what better time to sell our long positions than when they are over-extended at the top?
‘The S&P’s new highs are a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing about the hardship of millions of people on food stamps, or the millions about to be fired from service jobs, or the homeless, or the people who are just huddled at home waiting for the vaccine, which currently feels a lot like waiting for Godot.’ – Cramer
That’s CNBC’s Jim Cramer summoning his inner Samuel Beckett to talk about the disconnect between equities and the harsh reality of what’s going on in the U.S. economy. “We’ve had a magnificent V-shaped recovery in the stock market, but the stock market’s not a great reflection of the broader economy anymore. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out,” Cramer said. “Just look the stocks that have brought us to these levels — they’re not the recovery plays. In fact, they are the opposite. They are stocks that tend to do well, because of what we call secular considerations,” Cramer said, agreeing with my comments in yesterday's webinar.
“The winners in this market are the companies that are most divorced from the underlying economy,” Cramer said on his own “Mad Money” show last night. “The actual economy is in precarious shape, especially now that the government’s stimulus package has run out and Congress went home for the summer rather than trying to come up with a replacement.”
I don't often agree with Cramer but, at the moment, we're both saying SELLSELLSELL.