Nineteen Years After 9/11, Americans Fail To Unite Under Crisis

Posted: Sep 11, 2020 1:11 PM
Nineteen Years After 9/11, Americans Fail To Unite Under Crisis

Source: AP Photo/J. David Ake

Remarkably, it has been nineteen years since America was attacked on September 11, 2001. We united as a nation. And we took the fight to our new monstrous enemy. I usually pay tribute at the firehouse of Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, which lost the most men on that fateful day when the entire shift of fifteen firefighters were killed saving New Yorkers.

However, it’s ironic, today’s monstrous enemy inhibits the kind of ceremonies that would honor all the heroes of 9/11.  Sadly, our current fight has not united the nation. Today, perhaps we can focus a little more on what we have in common rather than what separates us.  

Never Forget

Big GDP Bounce

Goldman Sachs (GS) just announced that it sees third-quarter (3Q2020) Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up 35%, and the Atlanta Fed is at 30.8%, which means we could be looking at a historic rebound, but now the market is looking past this quarter. 

To see the chart, click here.

The news would resonate more, however, if there was a sense of more fiscal stimulus on the way.  Instead, Congress continues to drop that ball; and now the goalpost seems farther away, and it’s influencing the stock market.

I just cannot believe this is happening. It’s like a slow-motion train wreck that speaks volumes about the sad state of politics. The so-called Senate ‘skinny bill’ had reasonable requests, but it was never going to go far without an additional $1,200 stimulus checks. I get that Republicans wanted to get the vote on the record to show they tried, but those kinds of games are misplaced against the backdrop of economic urgency.

On the other hand, the $3.5 trillion relief bill passed by the Democrats is a gargantuan mess that was never serious. It was too far from reality to even serve as an honest starting point for negotiations. For a while, the market ignored the hijinks of D.C., but no more. The stock market is showing its frustration and fear, knowing this miraculous economic bounce needs another nudge. 

I would not be surprised to hear from the Federal Reserve any day now, as they have already telegraphed that they would come to the rescue should Congress blow this. But they have also made it clear their tools have to go through banking channels, and would not be as powerful or as immediate as a fiscal stimulus.

I just do not think Congress is listening; therefore, the stock market will make them listen with the kind of message that cannot be ignored.

Technical View

The S&P 500 closed right at its 50-day moving average. When it didn’t hold in February, it was like someone opened a trapdoor. Holding is a major test.

Portfolio Approach

Took profits on a Consumer Discretionary name in the Hotline Model Portfolio.  It was up 7.0% (original position) and 26.7%on the reiterated position, while the S&P 500 was down -0.6% and -4.9%, respectively, during the same period. I f you are not currently a subscriber to our Hotline Service, contact your account representative or email to get started today.

Today’s Session

It’s a solemn day for the market to have to pass a big test, but that’s the situation. The S&P 500 needs to hold above its 50-day moving average.