Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Market, Energy, And Political Page, Part 2, T+43 -- September 25, 2018

Consumer confidence making America great again: this is really quite incredible. I find it amazing what "the power of positive thinking" can bring. Consumer confidence is at the highest it has been in 18 years -- two lost decades finally behind us. Link here. Forecast: 132. Actual number blows through the forecast; the official, actual, real, honest-to-goodness number is 138.4. That "point-four" gives the final number some gravitas, some credence. Had it come in at 138.3 the reading would not have meant as much.

China trade war: when it gets right down to it, this is what the Chinese trade war is all about -- the Chinese are placing higher tariffs on food and manufactured goods, i.e, stuff they need and value-added products; on the other hand, the US is putting tariffs on plastic toys sold mostly at Christmas. One would have expected toy stores, Walmart, Target, etc, to be howling -- complaining that they can't get their Christmas stuff in time for the holiday seasons. But we haven't heard anything from Walmart, Target, etc., suggesting they are doing quite well, having found other markets (probably those in the US).
  • WMT: up about 0.6% today;
  • TGT: flat (down one cent on an $87 stock that used to go for well less than $60
  • BBY: down 1.5% today but not far off it's 52-week high
  • BABA: up about 0.4% today 
  • DE: well off it's 52-week high -- soybeans?
  • all four major indices up today, some just barely
Let's see, what else? Ah, there it is -- Trudeau can't close a deal. The US is prepared to move on with a "new" NAFTA without Canada. Just Mexico and the US, or as we call it down here, Tex-Mex.

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