Market Briefing For Wednesday, Sept. 22

True to form market behavior gave no mixed signals on Tuesday. It was up with a bounce, then dipped, bounced, and faded as it went on-hold ahead of the FOMC meeting. The Fed doesn't hike rates in recessions, but what we've got is recessed sectors because of supply inadequacies, not low demand. So in a sense it's a tiger that wants to leap, but is still restrained by a cage.

tiger in cage during daytime


That cage of course is primarily COVID, given a presumption that responsibility of money managers to avoid Chinese stocks is going to be sufficient if indeed (as hinted) President Xi will move to prevent a worst-case Evergrande (EGRNF) fiasco.

Executive summary:

  • Stocks fluctuated in the outlined manner, taking it on the chin a bit more, after Goldman Sachs decided to forecast a more-hawkish Fed move.
  • Of course Goldman 'might' have a clue, so the rebound backed-off on it, and frankly we've felt the Fed should stop being wuzzy and start tapering.
  • While the Senior Indexes might have the next phase of projected decline, in my view better to get it done now, and set-up an ensuing rebound than to risk diddling around much longer, causing a more dangerous retreat.
  • For now the 100-DMA could be penetrated in the wake of a 'taper start' of course and some traders say that's dangerous, well define dangerous.
  • Short-term traders care and managers often don't want lower prices, but they are not thinking ahead to 2022, whereas getting this fear of 'when or if' the Fed will commence tapering behind the market would be bullish.
  • Suffice to say, tapering would be short-term probably bearish and merely continue what we're already in structurally for the S&P, longer-term sort of bullish or at least neutral.
  • One reason I say 'sort of' bullish is that barring a 'true' COVID cure (unlikely although I could be cynical and say like HIV or cancer, big pharma does a lot better selling never-ending treatments or vaccines, than cures, and of course there are still critics of Fauci who say he gave us the HIV vaccine, and that's true ignorance Senator.. as there is no vaccine yet for HIV).
  • And that is possibly (we're not sure) why certain regulators or pharmas seem so hostile (it seems) towards Sorrento (SRNE), because they are studying both vaccines and physically testing (drops) products that kill COVID and / or treat it, without necessarily requiring constant dosing or jabs.
  • Government itself is failing to adequately fund treatment therapeutics or barely talk about monoclonal antibodies, because the affordable low-dose pharma company that has that is Sorrento, not the major pharmas... does it work... we'll find out.. the UK test data should be known soon.
  • In the interim 'launch' of Sorrento's CoviStix website could be imminent if they have or expect to have the FDA's EUA almost immediately, we don't know that, but do know they are manufacturing inventory in San Diego, of course how much is not known, and the nearly-live website probably is a reflection of their being ready to move quickly upon an FDA approval.
  • The 9 month delay of the EUA was probably because CEO Dr. Ji asked for an approval using reagents from a Chinese lab that were rejected by the FDA previously, therefore that was a (dumb?) business decision 'as if' FDA would accept that, now that it's all in San Diego should be different.
  • Despite controversy and premature touting a cure a year ago, Sorrento at this point 'probably' has the goods to really come-through, but still even at this point the 'proof is in the pudding', and everyone wants some pudding.
  • Having the EUA for CoviStix would be sufficient pudding to get this rolling or restore credibility to Sorrento among professionals, on the other hand if Dr. Ji hadn't damaged it last year, this stock wouldn't likely be available at 8 now, it remains speculative, but will probably double + if he delivers.
  • By the way, even the big players Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) quietly admit they're working on a 'revised vaccine' to cover the variants (jabs #'s 4,5, and 6?), so again they probably want to move inventory with expiring 'shelf life' of this December or January, hence the urgent press to 'get jabbed now' by any sort of first generation vaccine (by Christmas they'll cheer 'gen 2').
  • If I failed to note yesterday, there's been insider buying in modest sums, at LightPath Technologies (LPTH), may not be huge but a big encouraging, very candidly the stock has elated and disappointed repeatedly for years, but they have done important work during the pandemic related to security as well as temperature checks and so on, and even in the NASA programs.
  • Several states are moving to breakup the 'code-share' American Airlines (AAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) deal, mostly focused on JFK and Boston Logan, I think their stocks don't care much, although this is more important for JetBlue.
  • Although JetBlue offers nearly-comparable business seating (not dining) at comparable transatlantic fares to premium-coach on legacy carriers, it is very competitive between the U.S. and U.K. and business travelers will likely stay with legacy carriers for both connections and price for now, so domestically it depends if you're on American's FF program or not, that of JetBlue alone was o.k., but again limited with respect to connections.
  • For now, Delta benefits most from travel waivers for vaccinated flyers, as they're the largest U.S. transatlantic carrier (keep in mind Delta owns 48% of Virgin Atlantic, so that gives them often the most flights to London.
  • In the general flying realm, FedEx (FDX) number were down, but unlike shipping that was constrained by port closures (due to COVID), this is often lack of cargo worthy of rapid (pricier) shipment, and that was/is due to COVID.
  • Oh I was in-error, China did not reopen Tuesday, it does Wednesday, so all the 'reassurances' from China are opinions of leaders, not markets, so we'll see, most American viewpoints are trying to 'handicap' Evergrande as not being significant.
  • Some see the solid Treasury Auction today as indicative of 'little worry', but I'll take the other side of that, in-so-much as most demand was as usual foreign but can reflect further fund movements out of China.
  • And yes, with the frantic buying of Treasuries probably from China, it could provide 'cover' for the Fed to initiate their plans for 'tapering'.

Bottom-line: the market bounced, fluctuated, and faded slightly ahead of the Fed's FOMC concluding statement, and that was generally the expectation. It also leaves S&P (SPX) in position to rally and challenge today's highs 'if' it's happy in the wake of the Fed, or conversely to go right down and visit the 100-DMA, if it's not. Either way this is likely an expected lull within a corrective pattern.

This is an excerpt from Gene Inger's Daily Briefing, which typically includes one or two videos as well as more charts and analyses. You can subscribe for  more

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William K. 2 years ago Member's comment

Good article, enough information and news.