News for the Week of May 15 – May 26, 2017
by David Abuaf, CFA
Investment Manager, RJFS
Government / Political / non-Economic
- At least 19 people were killed and about 50 others injured by a suspected suicide bomber at a concert hall in Manchester, England
- Trump and Netanyahu said Iranian aggression has united Israelis and Arabs and brought Middle East peace closer than ever
- Flynn said he would not cooperate with Senate demand for documents, citing his constitutional rights against self-incrimination
- SCOTUS found that North Carolina’s congressional map was drawn by GOP lawmakers to disadvantage black voters
- Texas’ governor is set to sign into law a bill to penalize school administrators who fail to report teachers’ sexual misconduct – this sounds like it’s 30 years too late.
- Saudi Arabia and the US unveiling over $400B in deals and potential investments during the president’s visit to Riyadh
- Trump faced resistance in Congress over a budget plan that relies heavily on cuts to social programs and aggressive growth projections
- The NRA is framing legislation that would make it easier to buy gun silencers as a public health issue
- The House GOP health-overhaul bill would leave 23 million more people uninsured while reducing the federal deficit by $119B in the next decade compared with current law, according to a CBO estimate
- The Republican candidate won a Montana special election for the House as he faces allegations that he assaulted a reporter
General Markets / Economic
- The Fed is unlikely to return to its pre-crisis role on the sidelines of financial markets after its expansive stimulus, analysts say
- New home sales fell sharply in April, a potential sign of weakening in the market amid rising prices and limited inventories
- Huntsman is near an accord to merge with Swiss rival Clariant, in an all stock deal that would create a chemicals giant with a combined market value of about $14B
- Fiat Chrysler was sued by the Justice Department, which alleged the car maker used illegal software to cheat on emissions tests
- Honeywell will decide whether to break off its aerospace division by the fall
- And they say being a college athlete is tough? The University of Georgia’s football team had a DJ booth installed in their locker room!
- More than 100 Olympic medals from Rio will be replaced as they are falling apart
- Imagine sitting in a coffee shop and working (ha! That’s a stretch, I hate those self-righteous people, anyways…) when a few loud patrons behind you start speaking very loudly. Their discussion? What to name their new company. So, this guy (the one “working”) promptly buys the naming rights and website to their new company – talk about passive aggressive! This actually happened somewhere in the UK
- A woman trying to buy a birthday card called police when she was accidentally barricaded inside a CVS store in central Florida. She entered the store at 9:50 and headed towards the checkout a shade after 10pm when she triggered a motion sensor alarm and found herself barricaded in. Funny aside, let’s be real, if you’re shopping for a birthday card at CVS, do you really need more than 3 minutes!?
- Grape, a 20-year-old Humboldt penguin at the Tobu Zoo in Japan was dumped by his “girlfriend.” However, he has found solace as he is now in love once more, this time with a cardboard cut-out of a Japanese anime character.
- Amazing fact of the year: Cows that have lived for generations on sloped, mountainous land adapt to their environment by being born with front legs that are slightly shorter than their back legs to make grazing easier!
Commentary for the Week of May 15 – May 26, 2017
by David Abuaf, CFA
Investment Manager, RJFS
As we’ve seen so many times this year, the market decided that it could ignore what could have – or should have – been marker moving headlines: a bombing in the UK, a China credit-rating downgrade; a former CIA director fretting over potential Russian influence in the Trump administration; and a Federal Reserve intent on raising rates and shrinking its balance sheet.
It’s easy to imagine any one of these events causing the market to fall. Instead, stocks surged ahead. “...all of it could have delivered a bad week,” says Michael Shaoul of Marketfield Asset Management. He notes the continued strength shows “the markets want to go higher.”
If they do, it is difficult to foresee what might change that. Friday saw the release of May payrolls data, while earlier in the week durable goods orders and new home sales were released. All three economic indicators were mediocre or disappointing; but nary a blip was seen in the market!
Jim Paulsen – an independent strategist – chalks that resilience up to the better than expected data coming from abroad. In the past, when US data would weaken, the markets would worry that there was no one else to pick up the slack, and the market would experience its annual growth scare. But European economic data has been surprisingly strong in Germany, Japan, and even emerging markets are holding up better than might be expected. Such strength, says Paulsen, could limit the size of the drops in the US market, even if something like payrolls disappoints. “they matter less than they did previously just because there’s more growth in the world.”
All opinions presented are those of David Abuaf, and not of Raymond James or Forman Investment Services.
This information is not a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments discussed and has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. This information is not intended as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security referred to herein.
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the services or opinions of Michael Shaoul, Marketfield Asset Management or Jim Paulsen.
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