Daily Market Update – August 14, 2014 (Close)
With time running out to make this week more busy and pull a rabbit out of a hat as was done in each of the past three weeks, Wal-Mart didn’t help things, at all.
As it turned out, it didn’t really hurt either, but it definately didn’t help to push things along even further for a good cause.
At the level of Macys, whatever level of the shopping demographic that represents, the activity hasn’t been great and it got punished yesterday, even as its CEO, Terry Lundgren, is still referred to as the best retailer in American.
At the level of Wal-Mart things weren’t much better and the bottom line was only aided by reduced costs and not because of increased revenues. Disturbingly, they don’t envision any improvement in the coming quarter and they have now had a string of disappointing quarters.
So while we wait for other retailers to report, perhaps to see if those discretionary dollars have shifted elsewhere, there isn’t much else to do or much else to move this market, other than overseas events.
As what can only be considered a contra-indicator, as past assurances have been less than reliable predictors of future events, came word this morning that Russia is seeking to pursue its “humanitarian” agenda in Ukraine and was hoping to avoid bloodshed.
That can’t be good. In fact, if Google had a “Putin to English” translation tool, it may have interpreted his comment as saying “the only way to minimize bloodshed is through bloodshed,” which does make sense, although the idea is fairly chilling and if it becomes a reality would also send a chill into the market.
On top of that comes word that Europe is really slowing down. Not only did we learn last week that Italy is in recession, but this morning comes news of Germany’s woes, as its GDP shrunk in the past quarter and that’s before considering the impact of any reduced trading activity with Russia.
So as far as my hopes go for today to be the day that the rabbit appears and pops out of that hat, I wasn’t counting on it. I would have taken it, but I wasn’t counting on it.
After a few weeks of really nicely out-performing the S&P 500 with existing positions, this week, so far, isn’t keeping up, although that may change if some of the rollover income can be added to the mix, but the impetus for the move higher isn’t looking as if its going to be there.
Certainly there’s no news to propel it forward, but at some point I’m going to learn to never be surprised when the unexpected is what happens, since that so often seems to be the case.
At the moment there are some positions that may be assignment candidates or perhaps rollover candidates, as long as the market doesn’t throw a tantrum in the next 6.5 trading hours.