Trader: Stocks Are “Acting Like The Last Honest Man In Town”

As we discussed in a humorous post first thing this morning, it’s “Treason Tuesday!”

Yay!

And although you wouldn’t know it from looking at equities (which are characteristically oblivious), markets are concerned about the possibility that the President of the United States shared highly classified information about ISIS with a pair of Russians who he welcomed to the Oval Office just hours after firing the FBI Director in charge of investigating the administration’s ties to Moscow.

That rather surreal story weighed on an already shaky dollar and pushed Treasury yields lower as no one is quite sure how the drama in D.C. can possibly end without this President either resigning or being impeached. Sorry if that ruffles some partisan feathers, but it’s an accurate assessment of the harsh political reality.

Well, former FX trader Richard Breslow has some thoughts on this and also about what he thinks you may be doing wrong in terms of your trading strategy. There are a number of takeaways from the piece you’ll read below, but we suppose the most notable bits are:

  1. It’s a world where you thought you had dodged any weekend missteps and could get on with the week’s business as Monday booted off. Only to wake this morning to “Aides Race to Limit Fallout.” And it almost ceases to matter what it’s about this time.
  2. Equities investors are acting like the last honest man in town. Couldn’t care less about politics, geo or domestic. And aren’t ashamed to admit it. Give ’em tax cuts and deregulation and they’re happy. Throw in repatriation holidays to fund buybacks and they’re ecstatic. Add the sovereign wealth funds and they won’t even give you a dip to buy. Earnings per share is as outdated a concept as value investing. It is what it is, until it ain’t

Full note below…

Via Bloomberg

We’re constantly told that we should learn from every experience. Stick around long enough and you realize that there are some incidents you’d just as soon forget. But, be that as it may, it’s generally true. No where more so than in trading. The issue, of course, is, are you taking away the right lesson. Garbage in and garbage out is no way to improve yourself. And you actually won’t become a better investor, if your thesis is based on it’s better to be lucky than smart.

  • It’s a world where you thought you had dodged any weekend missteps and could get on with the week’s business as Monday booted off. Only to wake this morning to “Aides Race to Limit Fallout.” And it almost ceases to matter what it’s about this time. So the lessons you need to keep learning is what traders care about here and now and lean on those biases. Flavor of the moment trumps grand design
  • People have decided that it’s Europe’s turn to shine. Yes, there is that Italian election, but it’s not soon and political crisis fatigue has most definitely settled in. Not to mention, the Germans are suddenly talking uncharacteristically nice. I suspect that one has a sell-by date worth considering. The euro is trying to act the safe haven. Which makes it a buy on dips. Better growth is getting much more headline space than unemployment and structural mayhem. For the nonce
  • Investors are just not ready to abandon bond markets. And no one’s been more bemused than me. It doesn’t matter how many theoretical discussions you have about term premia and central bank balance sheets. Don’t take my word for it. Sovereign and IG issuance continues with a flourish, yet yields have gone nowhere and buyers are plentiful
  • The big story today hasn’t been supply concessions. It’s all about peripheral spreads coming in versus bunds. Until the U.S. 10-year closes safely above 2.43%, I can’t see the risk reward in even beginning to hate them. Go figure
  • The yen has gone from the easy risk-on or off- trade to tricky. As equities were making record highs, USD/JPY was busy putting in multiple days of lower highs and lows. Even as the commentary kept running to “snaps higher” on take your pick. It’s trying to break the recent pattern today, but it’s early. Worth a gander
  • For what seems like forever we’ve been talking about oil and commodities collapsing. Fracking, an utterly dysfunctional OPEC, weakening China, are among the reasons cited from the alarmists out in force. In the last week we heard just the opposite. With just as much conviction. Take a look at the charts. We are classically inside very well defined ranges. Skip the drama, trade the charts. They may be the only friend you have
  • Equities investors are acting like the last honest man in town. Couldn’t care less about politics, geo or domestic. And aren’t ashamed to admit it. Give ’em tax cuts and deregulation and they’re happy. Throw in repatriation holidays to fund buybacks and they’re ecstatic. Add the sovereign wealth funds and they won’t even give you a dip to buy. Earnings per share is as outdated a concept as value investing. It is what it is, until it ain’t
  • The world is becoming an increasingly emotional place. To an extreme. Right now, play on those emotions, not the facts
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