The highlight of our trip to Florence was the unscheduled visit to the Florence American Cemetery & Memorial. I spoke to scores of folks that all gave great recommendations on where to eat and what to see, but it was our guide that had a hunch this would be a good stop.
More than 4,400 burial plots of America’s greatest treasure, most marked by crosses, some by the Star of David, reminding the world that freedom isn’t free. Shout out to supervisor Mateo and his team of 13 dedicated workers. The site is immaculate, and their dedication is so deep, even when the administration stopped paying them for two weeks in 2013, they didn’t miss a day.
This puts a lot of things in perspective, and it is a handy reminder for all of us, as taking what we have for granted is easier to do now than anytime in the history of the republic. I’m told there are 26 such cemeteries and memorials around the world, of which most are outside the United States representing 160,000 Americans that fought and died protecting the world from tyranny.
God Bless America
Speaking of taking things for granted, It is really a luxury of sorts to be able to push a partisan impeachment of a sitting President when the act was considered a much more serious endeavor by the Founding Fathers. Today, two articles of impeachment go into effect. Its only nine pages, which are focused on “corruptly soliciting” foreign help. House Democrats are moving against their own best instincts for political reasons.
As for the market, there is no way President Trump will be found guilty of these charges in the US Senate. On the contrary, calling additional witnesses just as the public learns more from the IG report, and soon, more from AG Barr. More than likely, this episode will only strengthen the resolve of Trump voters and turn off more independents than it persuades.
This is NOT a reason to sell the market…period!
The only thing that can derail the US economy, and stock market rally, is the Federal Reserve. While there are no indications the Fed will vote to change rates today, bears are grasping for straws in the tone and language of the press conference. After a series of gaffs, and unforced efforts, Powell has taken to reading his notes. If he continues with that, the market should be fine.
If he’s drawn into pushing the administration and others questioning his actions, and tenure, we could see market turbulence. I don’t think he will take such a bait.
Meanwhile, bears are also hanging their hopes on a flattening yield curve. Keep an eye on the two- and ten-year yields, which are 20 bps apart, and that is fine.
The Tariff Clock is Ticking
Watch for the hype and scare tactics to reach crescendo levels related to the December 15th tariffs. There is no doubt the market will pull back on the event if it happens, but I wouldn’t panic. On the contrary, I have a list of amazing stocks I would love to own cheaper.
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There is quite a bit of economic news out this morning that we will cover in the Afternoon Note. For now, the futures are mixed with the Dow and the Nasdaq pointing lower, and the S&P 500 looking to open slightly higher ahead of the last Fed rate decision of 2019 at 2 PM ET.