As a lifetime member of the Wall Street Curmudgeon's Club, I'm beginning to feel just a little bit uncomfortable.
Yes, I know its just the beginning of the new year, and that everyone is still basking in the glow of the holidays. But still, there's just a little bit too much good cheer to make me feel right.
Oh sure, we still have too much debt in the system, and I've noted that the Fed has to constantly inject funds into the overnight repo markets just to keep them afloat. And all that seems about right, it lets me get together with my other Curmudgeons and discuss, over a vintage glass of Chardonnay, how the world is falling apart.
But I have to tell you that this next week is trying my patience…
On Monday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu is coming to Washington to, of all things, sign the Phase 1 Trade Agreement between China and the US.
Now hold on just a minute: Lui He, is the hardliner from Beijing, the one they send into nix deals, not ratify them. He's their Doctor No, the bad guy who never saw an agreement that he liked.
But by all accounts, he's on his way, and it appears that Phase 1 will be signed.
And wait, this week the Senate Finance Committee just passed the USMCA, and by all accounts, it too will pass the Senate, perhaps this week.
The USMCA is the agreement between Canada Mexico and the United States which by all accounts should be a real boon between these three nations.
It replaces the outdated NAFTA agreement, which seemed to accomplish little other than moving American jobs overseas.
It looks to be yet another piece of good news, and the reason many of us Curmudgeons are getting indigestion.
And speaking of Trade, on Tuesday we got the news that the US Trade Deficit had declined by 8%%. In the Curmudgeon Club, we were quick to label this decease as totally “Unexpected.” But you have to wonder if this can continue?
Even more unexpected, was the announcement by Ford and General Motors, that they were actually hiring. About 1,500 part-time employees at the two firms, will be given full-time jobs.
It seems that one of the provisions in those recent tariffs are that certain auto parts must be sourced from the United States, and this is having the unexpected result of new jobs.
Who'd have thought?
Finally, on Tuesday next week will be the official/unofficial beginning of the earnings season. With three of the four big banks reporting: JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.
Expectations for this earnings season are muted, to say the least. With most analysts looking for OK but certainly not great results from last quarter.They think that the softness experienced in the 3rd quarter will continue over to the 4th. And it might have gotten worse.
But what if that “mid-course correction” by the Fed. That's when they reversed direction and started lowering rates again. What if the mid-course correction worked? And the quarter turns out stronger than we thought?
Oh, my head. I think I'm going to need an aspirin with that Chardonnay.
I do hope you'll join me for this coming week, I have a feeling it's going to be one of the most important weeks we've seen in a long while.