Morning Note: Morning Breadth — And — “Triumphal Linearism”

Yep, the calendar’s turned and a new administration’s assuming “power”, however, on too many days in my view so far this new year the opening market action smacks of 2020.

I’m hinting to the sheer concentration of the action.

As I type, the U.S.’s most-watched averages are nicely higher, but over half of the members of the two most-watched (the Dow and the S&P) of the most-watched are actually trading lower as I type. 

Utilities, financial, telecom and consumer staples stocks are all in the red to start the session, while materials and industrials are flatlined. 

Bottom line, we’re not talking healthy market action right here…

Asian equities rallied overnight, with 12 of the 16 markets we track closing higher.

Europe’s doing well as well this morning, with 15 of the 19 bourses we follow presently in the green.

Per the above, while this morning’s breadth is, well, like morning breath, the U.S. major averages are nicely higher to start the day: Dow up 146 (0.48%), SP500 up 0.83%, Nasdaq 1.30%, Russell 2000 up 0.68%. 

I.e., in terms of equities, it’s all about tech this morning…

The VIX (SP500 implied volatility) is down 4.52%. VXN (Nasdaq i.v.) is down 2.60%.

Oil futures are up 1.17%, gold’s up 0.78%, silver’s up 1.45%, copper futures are down 0.08% and the ag complex is down 0.54%.

The 10-year treasury is down (yield up) and the dollar is up 0.06%.

Led by tech, emerging market equities, silver, gold and base metals — while dragged by the sectors referenced above — our core portfolio is up 0.40% as I type.

As I’ve lamented herein ad nauseam over the years, the powers-that-be are obsessed with what is essentially a desperate desire to make linear that which is cyclical. The consequences of their actions, therefore, lead to financial bubbles — each bigger and badder than the last — over and over again.

“Triumphal linearism has shaped the very style of Western and (especially) American civilization. Before, when cyclical time reigned, people valued patience, ritual, the relatedness of parts to the whole, and the healing power of time-within-nature. Today, we value haste, iconoclasm, the disintegration of the whole into parts, and the power of time-outside-nature.”

–Strauss, William; Howe, Neil. The Fourth Turning 

Have a nice day!
Marty

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