MMA Weekly Column: September 30, 2019

REVIEW AND PREVIEW

A week that started out as Democrats’ big push to destroy Mr. Trump, could instead easily come to be known as the week that ended Mr. Biden’s run. – Kimberly Strassel, “Taking Out Joe Biden,” Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2019.

What we know of the call (for impeachment) underscores Mr. Trump’s greatest flaw as President, which is his political narcissism. Every decision boils down to how it affects him or his re-election prospects. Other Presidents have made similar calculations, but Mr. Trump lacks the basic filter to know when he is crossing a line that creates trouble for himself or the country. – Review and Outlook, “Trump’s Ukraine Call,” Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2019.

Impeachment.

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MMA Weekly Column: September 23, 2019

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As mid-level discussions take place this week between China and the U.S. amid an ongoing trade war, new reports indicate that President Trump might be prepared to escalate the situation should an agreement not be reached in the near future. – Brittany de Lea, “Is Trump Preparing to Ramp Up U.S., China Trade War?” September 19, 2019, https://www.foxbusiness.com.

Chinese trade negotiators had a sudden change of plans Friday, canceling a visit to meet U.S. farmers after they wrapped up trade talks in Washington this week. The cancellation put a damper on hopes that China would restart purchasing U.S. agricultural goods, which it had halted in April in retaliation against President Donald Trump’s tariffs. – Yun Li, “Chinese Trade Negotiators Cancel U.S. Farm Visit,” https://www.cnbc.com, September 20, 2019.

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MMA Weekly Column: September 16, 2019

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The U.S. budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time in seven years, the Treasury Department said Thursday. The federal government’s budget deficit rose by $200 billion in August to $1.067 trillion. It’s up 19 percent, or $169 billion, from the October to August period of last year. The national debt now stands at $22.5 trillion, up 13 percent since Trump took office in January 2017.– Jonathan Garber, “U.S. Budget Deficit Tops $1 Trillion,” https://www..foxbusiness.com, September 12, 2019.

The ECB announced a new quantitative easing program Thursday which will see 20 billion euros ($21.9 billion) per month of net asset purchases for as long as the central bank deems necessary. It also cut the rate on its main deposit facility by 10 basis points to -0.5%, a new record low, and introduced tiering measures to mitigate damage to banks’ balance sheets. – Elliot Smith, “European Stocks Close Higher After Aggressive ECB Stimulus,” https://www.cnbc.com, September 12, 2019.

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MMA Weekly Column: September 9, 2019

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Job growth continued at a tepid pace in August, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by just 130,000, thanks in large part to the temporary hiring of Census workers, the Labor Department reported Friday. Wage growth remained solid, with average hourly earnings increasing by 0.4% for the month and 3.2% over the year; both numbers were one-tenth of a percentage point better than expected. – Jeff Cox, “Job Growth Falls Short of Expectations as August Payrolls Rise June 130,000,” https://www.cnbc.com, September 6, 2019.

Temporary tariffs fired as first shots are now looking permanent and at higher rates than initially advertised. Opposing countries have shifted buying plans, with long-term implications. Company supply chains have been dislocated, and they will never go back to their pre-trade war conditions, as post-trade war long-term risks will remain in the psychology of business executives and have to be managed through supply-chain diversification. Tariffs are a tax on trade, and regardless of who pays the tax; trade is hurt. Thus, global trade is slowing, and as global trade slows, so does global economic growth – Bluford Putnam, “Trade War: Everything Has Changed,” September 4, 2019, https://www.cmegroup.com.

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MMA Weekly Column: September 2, 2019

U.S. markets will be closed on Monday in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

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Republican Sen. Thom Tillis is pushing for an investigation into the Federal Reserve’s independence, after a former agency president suggested policymakers should punish President Trump for the U.S.-China trade war by allowing the economy to tank, hurting his 2020 re-election chances. A member of the Senate Banking Committee, Tillis said he planned to ask the chairman, Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, to hold a hearing regarding Fed independence… Trump’s frequent criticisms have raised concerns about the independence of the Fed — prompting four former chairs to stress, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the need for the central bank to remain free of short-term political pressures. “It is critical to preserve the Federal Reserve’s ability to make decisions based on the best interests of the nation, not the interests of a small group of politicians,” wrote Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who have all, at one point, headed the Fed, appointed and reappointed by six different presidents, both Republican and Democratic. – Megan Henney, “GOP Senator Calls for Probe into Fed’s Independence,” https://www.foxbusiness.com, August 30, 2019.

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MMA Weekly Column: August 26, 2019

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Stocks fell on Friday after President Donald Trump ordered in a series tweets that U.S. companies find alternatives to their operations in China. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing… your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” Trump tweeted. “The threats always been out there but there’s been no need to provoke that,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities. “It’s almost like the administration was expecting the Fed to announce a rate cut at the Jackson hole meeting. And since Powell did not deliver, he went to defcon 5.” – Fed Imbert, “Trump Orders U.S. Companies to Look for Alternative to China,” https://www.cnbc.com, August 23, 2019.

Central banks are just getting started with monetary easing, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said, predicting U.S. interest rates will keep falling and follow global interest rates all the way down to zero. “We’re the only country that has an integer in front of our bond yields. We have 90% of the world’s investment-grade debt. We actually have rule of law and we have a decent economy. All the money is going to come here,” Bass, founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management, told CNBC on Tuesday.– Fred Imbert, “Kyle Bass Says U.S. Interest Rates Will Follow the Rest of the World to Zero – “This is Insane,” https://www.cnbc.com, August 20, 2019.

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MMA Weekly Column: August 19, 2019

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The yield curve is blaring a recession warning. The spread between the U.S. 2-year and 10-year yields on Wednesday turned negative for the first time since 2007. Such a development has occurred ahead of each and every U.S. recession of the last 50 years, sometimes leading by as much as 24 months. “Historically, the 2-10 has had better predictive ability of recession than equities,” Sri Kumar, president of the Santa Monica, California-based Sri-Kumar Global Strategies, told Fox Business. Jonathan Garber, “Recession Indicator, with Perfect Record Flashing Red,” https://www.foxbusiness.com.

The contrast is absolutely exquisite.

As I sit here in the Castello di Montegufoni, a 12th century castle nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy, listening to the sound of a gentle wind rustling the leaves of stately trees outside my window on a lazy Wednesday afternoon, while the sublime peach-colored light of the comforting Sun passes in and out of shadowy patterns forming across the splendid renaissance paintings on my ceilings and walls, I realize what a transcendent moment this is in my life. You see, I just got married to the most beautiful woman I have ever met, in the most perfect wedding ceremony, on a Rhine River cruise ship hired for this special event, consisting of 140 of the most beautiful people in the world – family and friends – that I know.

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MMA Weekly Column: August 5, 2019

Note: Due to travel, there will be no Free Weekly Forecast next week. However, if you are an active subscriber to any of our MMA Subscription Reports, keep an eye on your inbox for our annual Forecast pre-order sale starting this month. If you are not an active subscriber, you may want to consider taking out a subscription before August 12th to be part of this special sale.

The year 2020 is going to be an incredible cosmic year, which indicates a major shift and is likely to begin in world affairs, leadership, and financial markets. It’s not just a 1-2 year shift, this is the end and beginning of a 20, 60, 200, and 800-year cycle involving the Great Chronocrators, Jupiter and Saturn. To astrologers, this is known as the “Great Mutation.” You won’t want to miss this year’s Forecast Book and active subscribers to MMA Subscription Reports will get the best pre-order price we offer starting on August 12th.

REVIEW AND PREVIEW

“What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve was that this was the beginning of a lengthy and aggressive rate-cutting cycle which would keep pace with China, the European Union and other countries around the world,” Trump tweeted. But that’s not what the market got. At the press conference following the decision, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said, “Let me be clear – it’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts.” Powell also added that he didn’t say there would be “just one rate cut.” – Jonathan Garber, “Trump Bashes Fed’s Rate Cut,” https://www.foxbusiness.com/, August 1, 2019.

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MMA Weekly Column: July 22, 2019

Note: If you are an active subscriber to any of our MMA Subscription Reports, keep an eye on your inbox for our annual Forecast pre-order sale starting next month. If you are not an active subscriber, you may want to consider taking out a subscription before August 12th to be part of this special sale.

The year 2020 is going to be an incredible cosmic year, which indicates a major shift and is likely to begin in world affairs, leadership, and financial markets. It’s not just a 1-2 year shift, this is the end and beginning of a 20, 60, 200, and 800-year cycle involving the Great Chronocrator, Jupiter and Saturn. To astrologers, this is known as the “Great Mutation.” You won’t want to miss this year’s Forecast Book and active subscribers to MMA Subscription Reports will get the best pre-order price we offer starting on August 12th.

REVIEW AND PREVIEW

Stocks in the U.S. have had a good run this year, but that could end as soon as this quarter, said Jasslyn Yeo, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. That potential sell-off would be driven by a downward revision in earnings forecasts for next year, Yeo said. “In terms of timing, I think these two weeks will still be good for equity markets as we move into the Fed rate cut,” she said…After that expected Fed move, investors are set to turn their attention to other factors that influence stock prices, such as corporate earnings…“We think there could be a risk that (earnings) would head downwards,” – Yen Nee Lee, “J.P. Morgan Warns of Significant Sell-Off in U.S. Stocks This Quarter,” https://www.cnbc.com, July 26, 2019.

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MMA Weekly Column: July 22, 2019

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it seized a British tanker Friday in the Strait of Hormuz… The move by Iran follows the seizure of an Iranian tanker earlier this month by the British Royal Marines on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions and taking oil to Syria. Iran has called for the release of that ship, and earlier Friday, a British court in Gibraltar extended the detention of the Iranian oil tanker. The move comes a day after President Donald Trump told reporters that the USS Boxer downed a drone belonging to Iran. Iran responded by saying it did not own the drone, and the U.S. may have shot down one of its own. Oil prices moved higher, with West Texas Intermediate up about 1% at $55.98 per barrel just before the close. – Patti Domm, “Iran Says It Captured a British Oil Tanker; Oil Prices Jump,” https://www.cnbc.com, July 19, 2019.

President Donald Trump weighed into a simmering debate over Federal Reserve interest rate policy, saying Friday that the central bank needs to end its “crazy” tightening moves. In a series of tweets, the president addressed an unusual controversy stemming from a speech Thursday that New York Fed President John Williams delivered. Market participants initially took Williams’ remarks as indicative that the central bank was prepared to cut rates aggressively, by perhaps a half a percentage point. But a Fed spokesman soon walked back the comments, causing confusion over where policy is headed. – Jeff Cox, “Trump Wades Into Debate Over Controversial Fed Speech Thursday,” https://www.cnbc.com, July 19, 2019.

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