Trump says no rush to reach deal with China


The two days of talks ended with no deal on trade. They failed once again to come to terms on a deal and Mr. Trump stated he was in no hurry to reach a deal and the US will move forward with tariffs on all imports from China. That would mean $300 billion of goods subject to the tariffs. He did state we could remove the tariffs at any point as trade talks will continue. The good news for the market is some hope was offered, but there was also clarity in that we will levy the remaining tariffs. Does everyone like that outcome? Absolutely not and that opens a whole other level of speculation on the economic impact in both the US and China. The markets did manage to close higher on the day and pushed stocks into positive territory. We will see how the new week unfolds as we look forward.

The S&P 500 index closed up 10.6 points to 2881 with the October highs of 2930 in the rearview mirror. The continued worries about higher tariffs weigh on investors and the sellers remain in control despite the bounce off intraday lows. The 50 DMA remains in play as markets see intraday volatility on rumors and news. All of the eleven sectors closed higher on the day. Utilities and basic materials were the leading sectors. Consumer staples and healthcare were the laggards on the downside. The long-term trendline comes into question as they are tested on the downside move. We will watch how the current activity unfolds and if the buyers can maintain control. SPXL entry $33.50, stop $48.85 (adjusted).

The NASDAQ index closed up 6.3 points to close at 7916 and testing the 50 DMA. The technology continues to put pressure on the index. QQQ is our indicator as it moved back below the October highs. $185.05 was the level to hold, but that broke on Thursday. Managing our risk, taking our profits when prudent, and adding positions where the opportunities are presented remains our goal. The bounce produced some opportunities to buy an upside position on clearing the $152.51 mark to start the current trend. TQQQ entry $34.17. Stop $62.54 (STOP HIT). The long-term trendline has come into question again. Stop hit on our position and watching how it unfolds.

Small Cap index (IWM) the sector has been in a consolidation pattern and cleared resistance last week only to forfeit the gains this week. This brings the move higher into question and the downside risk returns. Entry $158.25. Stop $$154.90. The chart shows a clear reverse head and shoulder pattern with the breakout that has failed now. Honor the stop on the entry taken last week and manage the risk of the current environment.

Transports (IYT) hit some resistance at the $200.53 level and the index reversed on some solid selling. $190 is now the support to watch. 200 DMA is nearby as well. Managing the risk of our new position as we are near the stops. Entry $195.60. Stop $190. Sometimes the best-laid plans don’t work when emotions take over the direction in the sector.

The dollar (UUP) The reaction to the Fed comments and the China trade issues to push the dollar lower last week. The jobs report confirmed the Fed action at the FOMC and the dollar moved lower. The big question mark for the buck remains the trade tariffs with China. This week was negative to the resolution with the trade as China stalls and the US threatens sanctions and tariffs. The ETF closed at $26.15 and remains in a positive pattern holding support… Watching as this continues to unfold.

The Volatility Index (VIX) closed at 16.1 on Friday settling from an early spike higher. Solid bump higher in anxiety as the China trade agreement remains a big question mark for the markets. The tug-o-war between buyers and sellers being won by the sellers over the last week. UVXY entry at $33. Stop $40. (this is a highly volatile ETF base on the tracking index.) Watching the pre-market activity and willing to take some profit ($42) if there are signs of buyers coming into play. Sold 1/3 of position Wednesday @ $42. Sold 1/3 Thursday @ $45. Stop on balance Friday @ $40.

Economic Data: April starts a new round of data for the month of March… looking for some improvement over February.

FRIDAY, MAY 10th: Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.3% and below expectations. The core CPI rose just 0.1. Year-over-year numbers now stand at the magical 2% the Fed likes to see. The biggest concern in the numbers was rising rents and gasoline prices… both cut at the core of living expenses and discretionary income for consumers. Watching what the Fed says about this as well as how the economy responds.

THURSDAY, MAY 9th: Weekly jobless claims rose slightly. The trade deficit in line with projections. PPI (producer price index) shows a modest decline to keep inflation worries at bay. Wholesale inventories declined nicely in March and show some hope for growth. The Fed was out talking about the economy is good, interest rates are stable, and inflation under control.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8th: Consumer credit remains at the $15 billion mark… you would think in this economy it would be going down, not up. That is a bad sign should we have any type of recession.

TUESDAY, MAY 7th: Job openings rose to 7.5 million… not enough people willing to work. The benefits paid by government not to work outweighs the benefits of working. The handouts need to be reduced and the hand up increased.

MONDAY, MAY 6th: Nothing new on the day as investors focus on the tariff talks and Mr. Trumps response.

FRIDAY, May 3rd: April jobs report was better than expected adding 263,000 new jobs, the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, and average earnings rose 0.2%. Beating expectation is a good thing. ISM services index fell to 55.5 and missed expectations and confirming what we got from the ISM manufacturing data… slower growth.

THURSDAY, May 2nd: Weekly jobless claims were higher than expected at 230,000. The jobs report on Friday will put this in perspective along with the ADP report from Wednesday. Productivity rose and unit labor cost fell both showing positives for jobs. Factory orders rose 1.9% as a positive as well.

It is all about the progress following interest rates were hiked by the Fed… we continue for the fourth straight month to see slowing in the data. Eventually, this will show up in stock prices through earnings. Those have started and we are seeing mixed data from companies. Interpreting the data versus the emotions… following the trends.

(The notes above are posted daily based on the activity of the previous days trading. The BOLD/ITALIC comments are current day changes worth noting.)


Biotech (IBB) The selling stalled and found support near the $105 mark. The break lower was the small-cap stocks struggling. Holding support is positive for now, but no indications of a reversal currently. We don’t hold any positions in the sector currently. Looking for some clarity in the sector.

Semiconductors (SOXX) Tested below the $210 level and watching how this unfolds with some profit taking showing on the chart along with some support at the 50 DMA. Letting the emotions and news play out near term and this looking for the next opportunity in the sector. Entry $187.50. Stop $207.50 (HIT EXIT).

Software (IGV) Broke $167.88 and bounced back above the same level to create the December lows and start the new trend. $167 level added a trading position. Entry $167.90. Stop $214.80 (Stop Hit). Held the trend, but hit the stop. Watching how this unfolds. 50 DMA is of interest at this level.

REITs (IYR) Recovered from the uncertainty from the Fed and the economic outlook. The interest sensitive sector reacts when the Fed is in the headlines and speculation rises. Holding for now and letting the FOMC news settle. Broke $75.21 and bounced… trading opportunity on reversal above $75.21. Entry $75.25. Stop $85 (adjusted).

Treasury Yield 10 Year Bond (TNX) closed the week at 2.45% with some volatility in rates from the China/US trade talks. The bounce from the low in March has stalled with the uncertainty surrounding what the Fed will do going forward. Watching how this unfolds near term. TLT is a hold if you own bonds. Flight to safety related to the China tariff threats. TLT hit entry at $124. TMF $20.26. Watching how this unfolds.

Crude oil (USO) Found some support at $61.60 all week. The trek higher hit a roadblock with Trump’s comments concerning OPEC increase production. The sanctions in Venezuela and Iran, the tension in Lybia, and global data are weighing on supply, despite the data released by the US energy sector… the saga goes on. In the end, the data will prevail relative to pricing. Banked our profit in the position and looking for the next opportunity.

Emerging Markets (EEM) The bottoming pattern moves above the $43.80 resistance failed again as the issues with China-US trade talks remain a thorn in the side of the sector. Moved to $41 support and held. Entry $41. Stop $42 (stop hit). News driven sector and watching how the opportunities unfold.

Gold (GLD) building a base of support and looking for a catalyst to return to the uptrend. The dollar has been strong and outlook for global growth weak adding to the pressure on the metal. The downtrend is in play, but a bottom is forming near term. The Goldminers (GDX) offered a short side trade on the move lower and looking for a break above the $24.34 level. Entry $22.60. Stop $20.40 (adjusted) DUST.

MidCap (IJH) The uptrend from the December low tested with a move back to the $190.44 support. Watching if the bounce on Friday can follow through or more of the same? The attempt to break higher and through resistance at $197.60 reversed. Entry $190.45. Stop $193.10 (Stop Hit).

China (FXI/YINN) the country ETF is a good benchmark for what is taking place with the current news and tariffs. Not a good week for the ETF as it traded down 6.5% overall with a lot of activity. We did trade the short side of this with YANG. Entry $42.70. Stop $50. Watching how the new week unfolds.

(The notes above are posted every weekend and updated daily Bold Italics)


FRIDAY’s Scans for May 10th: The trade talks remain the key headline to watch for investors. The speculation on one side ended Friday as Trump stated he would levy tariffs on the remaining imports from China. The talks will continue along with the speculation. The upside bounce into the close on Friday was more relief of knowing what the White House plans to do than continued uncertainty of what may lie ahead. Taking it for what it is… news. CPI numbers were positive and hope springs eternal about the outlook.

  • China (FXI/YANG) Watching how this unfolds next week with some reality given on Friday and the speculation that builds into the outlook.
  • Uber (UBER) failed to impress on their debut on the NYSE. The stock fell 7.6% from the offering price of $45. Plenty of talk about this all day… Don’t chase butterflies.
  • Managing the risk of positions… stops were hit this week on long term holdings and we will watch how they respond from here. It is never a bad thing to bank gains and holding cash during uncertainty in the markets. We made some solid trades in the VIX index as well as the short side of China. Taking what the market offers.
  • Looking for some clarity in the coming week for stocks. Energy stocks are moving nicely at the individual level and looking for opportunities in the sector as a whole.
  • Best trading opportunities last week came from YANG, SOXS, EDZ, UVXY, and TECS.

THURSDAY’s Scans for May 9th: More challenges from the China-US trade talks. Trump attempted to help with comments of a letter received and hopes of an agreement this week. That helped ease the selling but there need to be results for the markets to hold up at this point. Plenty of downside tests and break of support levels, but the bounce helped keep some in play. Watching, managing our risk and looking for the opportunities that will result from the speculation.

  • Stops are hit on positions and we have sold, but we also will watch how they bounce should we get a resolution to the trade agreement. Leaders will lead and the laggards may not bounce.
  • Treasury Bonds (TLT) are the benefactor of fear and have risen on the news. Watching how they unfold.
  • China (FXI) down 9% since the trade news started. If this gets settled watch the upside opportunity here. The short side trade in YANG is still in play… looking to take some profit today and hold minimal position into the weekend.
  • Emerging Markets (EEM) also on the downside on the trade talks. Looking here for upside trade on resolution. No short side trades here currently.
  • Technology (XLK) downside move has my attention… semiconductors are weaker on earnings, growth projections, and speculation… watching how this unfolds.

WEDNESDAY’s Scans for May 8th: The threat remains relative to tariffs and the market is weighing its options. The selling in the last half hour shows the uncertainty and the continued worries about growth with Intel announcing lowered estimates at their shareholder’s meeting. The market is acting like it wants to test lower. I am not convinced we will see a big sell-off, but a test to the 50 or 200 DMA would be a possibility. As with any speculation or projections looking forward… we have to let the market validate the moves and then act accordingly. The futures are pointing lower this morning and watching how Thursday unfolds.

  • Tariffs – sell on the rumor and buy on the news? Some believe this may actually be sell on the news… depending on what is said. Don’t trade on speculation trade on reality.
  • Intel (INTC) gapped lower on earnings… added to the downside with comments at their shareholder meeting. At the 200 DMA and not looking good… shorts are in.
  • Volatility Index (VIX/UVXY) intraday movement was mixed. Locked in gain on one-third of position at $42 and looking at how today unfolds with futures trading lower.
  • China (FXI/YANG) managing the downside trade with resistance at $50 level. Willing to take some profit here as well at $50 on one-third of the position.
  • Natural Gas (UNG/UGAZ) double bottom pattern as the commodity attempts to move higher. Watching for the upside opportunity if it breaks higher.

TUESDAY’s Scans for May 7th: The threat of more tariffs is playing havoc with the markets as investors decide to what action to take. The sellers took control on Tuesday adding one to two percent downside to the charts. This brings back the importance of money management based on the goals and objectives of each position. It also raises the issue of understanding the market environment and how emotions can control the near term activity. Thus, we honor our stops, we manage our risk and look for the opportunity that results.

  • Downside risk exist purely on the comments from the President that Friday is the deadline to sign a new trade agreement with China. If we don’t the downside will be a reality adjustment to values as the market has priced in the agreement… thus, if we don’t have one it will take away the premium awarded. If however, we do sign an agreement the premium erased the last two days will likely be added back… thus, the emotions of uncertainty and their impact on the markets… we will honor our stops and act according to the outcome.
  • Trendlines… They are all in play relative to the downside. We are at some key support marks short term. Watching how this unfolds.
  • Treasury Bonds (TLT/TMF) trading opportunities presented on the fear and flight to safety. This is a trade only for now. If the threat of a correction grows this will become a longer term opportunity.
  • Volatility Index (UVXY) The emotions are on the rise. Thus, another trading opportunity created. This a trade only as well and we will look to take profit on this at the first sign of emotions settling.
  • China (FXI/YANG) downside trade risk is evidenced in the charts and the headlines. Short side trade opportunity presented… taken and managed accordingly with tight stops. If there is a settlement the stocks will rally. Yesterday China’s export data showed a drop in April… adding to the downside move.
  • US markets are reacting and the trading opportunities are adjusting as money rotates to safety. Watching how the balance of the week unfolds.

MONDAY’s Scans for May 6th: The comments from the White House on tariffs going into effect on Friday sent stocks lower early, but they did manage to rally back to erase most of the losses. Specific sectors impacted by the threat moved lower as basic materials and industrials led the downside moves. This is a new development for the markets and investors will make adjustments as we move towards the Friday deadline. The markets are currently priced for the tariff deal to be struct… if not, the reality of the change will send specific sectors lower if not the whole market. Watching how this unfolds in the coming days with our stops firmly in place.

  • Healthcare (XLV) added to the upside despite the selling overall.
  • Energy (XLE) held support along with crude oil (USO).
  • Telecom (IYZ) testing support at the $29.50 mark.
  • Volatility Index (VIX) moved to 15.4 as the uncertainty creates anxiety for traders and investors. UVXY approaches entry point… watching.
  • Emerging Markets (EEM/EDZ) approaches entry point for short side trade… emotions are high watching for clarity.

Sector Rotation of S&P 500 Index:

  • XLB – New lows and found support… got the move above the $50.35 mark. Entry $50.50. Stop $56.75 (Hit Stop). Upside hit resistance at the $58.13 level. Sold below the $56 support. $54.15 support held with bounce on Friday.
  • XLU – The utility sector found support at $51.11… moved above $52.72 for entry. Cleared $57.10 resistance and showing some near term topping. Watching and managing the risk. Entry $53. Stop $56.75. Topping pattern showing on the chart and the $57.12 level of support held with a solid bounce on Friday.
  • IYZ – Telecom has a rolling top pattern and hit our stops to lock in our gains. Broke $29.50 support and bounced off the 200 DMA on Friday… watching how it unfolds.
  • XLP – Consumer Staples found new lows and bounced. Cleared $50.50 and continued upside trend. Managing our risk. Entry $51.90. Stop $54.25 (adjusted). Solid bounce on Friday.
  • XLI – Industrials moved to near-term low and bounced. $65 level cleared for trade opportunity. Entry $65. Stop $76.50 (Hit Stop). Broke support hit stop and watching how it unfolds.
  • XLE – Energy stocks have struggled the last two weeks on the uncertainty about supply and production. Crude moved lower and the downside in stocks accelerated offering a short side entry on the break of support. ERY – Entry $39.60. Stop $42.
  • XLV –  Healthcare fell below the 200 DMA and accelerated. The cause of the doom-and-gloom for the sector is a proposed “Medicare for All” healthcare from Washington. Obviously rumor-driven… Found support bounced, offered reversal trade at $86.80 entry. Stop $88.50.
  • XLK – Technology moved to near-term lows and bounced. $61.70 cleared for trade opportunity. Entry $61.70. Stop $75.93 (adjusted). Tested the 50 DMA and holding for now… patience.
  • XLF – Financials moved to recent lows and bounced. $23.76 level cleared for trade. Entry $25.76. Stop $25.76. Cleared $26.33 level of resistance and followed through. Holding support of the February highs.
  • XLY – Consumer fell to near-term lows and bounced. $98.96 level cleared for trade. Entry $99. Stop $117.50 (adjusted). Cleared resistance at $113.50 level. Bounced at the 50 DMA.
  • RWR – REITs broke lower… bounced from lows clearing $93.21 resistance… positive upside move. Entry $88. Stop $95.50. Watching and managing the risk. Bounced from the test of support.

(The notes above are posted Weekly based on the activity of the previous weeks trading. The BOLD/ITALIC comments are current day changes worth noting.)

FINAL NOTES: What did we learn from the trading week?

Markets tested and held key support levels after trading lower all week. Key issue this week was a trade deal with China. No deal, but we did get clarity of why and what is happening for now. The indexes closed in the red for the week, but it could have been worse. Sectors broke lower and we hit stops on positions. We traded some volatility with the VIX. We traded the volatility in China. We exited where the risk rose and now we look to find the next opportunities as we move forward. Economic data was on the positive side with the PPI and CPI showing inflation under control. The Fed kept its line of communication being the economy is steady. The talk in Washington of social medical programs continues to raise concerns in the healthcare sector. Some sectors are moving higher, some are moving lower, some remain sideways. Plenty of question marks and only time will tell the outcome. There are some issues facing investors as the trade agreement has not materialized with China. We will continue looking at positions to take profits, adjust stops, and manage the risk of the current environment. Holding cash is not a bad thing during uncertain periods… remember one thing… you can make up for lost opportunities, but the loss of principle is much harder to regain. The goal is to avoid speculation and follow our disciplined strategy for each position. Taking it one day at a time.

All of the eleven sectors managed to close the week in negative territory as money continues to move with some rotation. Technology and industrials led the downside for the week and raising new questions about the trend. Gold found support, the dollar is holding steady, and the economic data will help the buy side and the rumors and speculation subside. Seven sectors remain in a positive uptrend with three moving sideways in consolidation patterns. One (XLE) has broken into a new downtrend short term. Crude is holding support at current levels. We continue to take this one day at a time. There are plenty of influencers in the markets currently and headlines are the drivers.

Disciplined entry and exit points allow you to manage your risk in up or downtrends. Investing and trading is a matter of a defined strategy implemented with discipline. It is not magic. It is not being a prophet. It is about following your strategy one day at a time. 

“Vision without action is a daydream… Action without vision is a nightmare.” Japanese proverb

The goal of these notes is to allow you, the investor, to learn how to see the market development as the progression through the sector develop based on news, speculation, and data. Data drives long-term results and develops trends… speculation and news are short-term drivers and offer higher risk trading opportunities. Through the use of both technical and fundamental data, we can have greater confidence in our trading strategies with a disciplined approach to investing and managing the risk of our money.