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Market Bull

Major Averages Finish A Solid Week With Modest Gains

Major Averages Finish A Solid Week With Modest Gains
The Market Bull 2020

00:00 / 3:24

The Market Bull – January 17, 2020

The major averages finish a solid week with modest gains. Since Monday the S&P 500 is up 59 points or 1.8%, the NASDAQ added 178 points or 1.9%.

Construction activity handily beat expectations in December with housing starts jumping 16.9% to 1.608 million units annualized, a second large gain in the last 5-months. Permits fell 3.9% to 1.416 million units annualized. On a year ago basis starts advanced 40.8%. At a regional level starts in the West rose 19.8% and were up 72.7% from December 2018. It seems that the recent hiccup in the economic data was simply that, and not the beginning of a weakening trend.

Industrial production slipped .3% in December on a large decline in motor vehicle and parts production. This series has been particularly volatile in the last few months. Capacity utilization fell from 77.4% in November to 77% in December. Recent trade deals with China, Canada and Mexico should help the sector going forward. That said the ongoing Boeing 737 Max fiasco will continue to pressure this series and is likely to shave a few tenths of a percent off 1st quarter GDP, with aircraft and parts production expected to fall some 20%.

The latest review of the total costs involved with the bailouts from the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2009 by the MIT Sloan School of Management pegs the total cost at just 500 billion or about 3.5% of 2009 GDP or Gross Domestic Product. The largest direct beneficiaries of the bailouts were the unsecured creditors of financial institutions. The estimated cost stands in sharp contrast to popular accounts that claim there was no cost because the money was repaid, and with claims of costs in the trillions of dollars. A more reasoned and fair approach that takes much of the sting out of the fact that taxpayer funds were used to bailout various bank and financial institutions for their reckless and irresponsible behavior. The fact that the too big to fail or jail crowd was allowed to get even bigger I find particularly disturbing and I believe that the banksters should face a special assessment of some sort so as to make taxpayers whole. Public bailouts of private corporations is not capitalism, and the institutions involved need to have it made crystal clear to them that what they did was, and is, completely unacceptable.

Standard and Poors 500 Index closed at: 3,329.62 up 12.81
NASDAQ finished the day: 9,388.94 up 31.81
Gold ended trading at: $1,556.60 up $6.10


Lower Rates?

The Consumer Price Index or CPI rose a little less than expected in December gaining .2%. For 2019 the CPI advanced 2.3%. Another retail bloodbath in 2019.

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A Trade Deal With The Chinese?

The major averages closed with small gains to begin the week on little news. Though a trade deal with the Chinese is expected to be signed Wednesday.

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New Record Highs

With the confrontation with Iran fading into the distance the major averages continue to rise closing with modest gains to reach new record highs.

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The Iran Question Lingers

The major averages close with small losses on mixed economic data. The Iran question lingers, so far, it’s largely a non-event, but how much longer?

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Caleb Lawrence

Registered Investment Adviser

5321 Scotts Valley Drive
Suite #202
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Local: (831) 334-5318

After nearly 19 years of live radio it was time to move on to new projects. My daily economic update can still be found on my Blog and the I-Tunes and Google Play stores as a podcast. Or you can call my office 831-334-5318 and take advantage of my still “free” after 20+ years initial consultation.  Usually about an hour, will have an opportunity to get to know each other better and address your specific concerns on a one to one basis.