The "What Ian Can See" WICS trading information newsletter - previous edition.
Ian's weekly look at the world economic situation. Members get access to the current edition, searchable archives, chart analysis and one-to-one mentoring on your trading.
Gosh - isn't it amazing how quickly three Wicsless weeks go by? I doubt if you even had time to miss me! It's quite amusing/interesting though, to note how little has changed since the last ramble on 25th March. Dodgy Donald - the Pest from the West? has been banging on about his trade war with China that's going to save the Yank economy, while Notmaggie went on what the meeja called a "whistle stop Brexit reassurance tour of Blighty". That should scare us more than Dodgy's actions, I reckon. And now of course there's this Syria business on the go, which of course reinforces the concept of a good war distracting public attention from what's really going on. And there's good reason for politicos wanting nobody to know what's going on, that's for sure. There again, do the politicians actually have any real idea about things in general? You're well aware of course that I'm the merest tad on the cynical side when it comes to anything involving politics, and nothing happening of late encourages me to change that notion. I can't recall who coined the phrase "weapons of mass distraction" but for sure, that's the situation at the moment! As someone once observed, you always know when politicians are lying, because their lips move and words come out....
So what actually is going on in the financial arena then? I'm sorry to say "more of the same old, same old" but at the moment that about sums things up as regards the past few weeks. We're still in the very early stages of the new bear market - indeed we're so early that almost nobody else has turned up yet to get the party properly under way. But fear not, "down" is undoubtedly the new overall direction for most of the major world indices as their component stocks start to feel the winds of change a'blowin'.....
Faceplant, Tesla - has my Really Scary Granny's crystal ball not been predicting a wee bit of bother for companies such as those, for quite some considerable time, while all the world was claiming they were "the future"? Who can remember the dotcom boom? If you can remember that era, then you're far too old to be employed as a hedge fund manager nowadays.... Ho ho ho. And does anyone who's sane really believe they're going to make money out of Spotify by holding its stock?
In fact, here's a piece about Tesla to consider.
Out in the real world, it really is still a case of "things stumbling along, with most folks doing their best to make a month's salary last for longer than three weeks" as we progress through 2018. Jobs continue to leak away, but with no single redundancy programme big enough to attract interest from the big media companies - so nobody is paying any real attention unless they are individually affected. But the numbers add up nevertheless! 1500 GM jobs in Ohio, an as yet indeterminate number at House of Fraser and Carpetright, 450 at Conoco in Aberdeen, 90 at Petrofac, 1000 at Jaguar Land Rover, the Carillion total now at 1825....and so it goes on! Moody's ratings agency is suggesting that UK car sales will fall another 5.5% this year, after the March numbers were down 15.7% year on year according to the SMMT. "The worst performing market of all big European countries" according to the ratings agency - so I daresay a few vehicle sales staff may also be getting a close look at the old P45 this year. Back across the Pond, Bloomberg reports that "The sub prime auto bubble has burst" while it also claims that US consumers now have $1.04trn in outstanding credit card debt. Hopping back to Blighty, the ONS reckons that UK household savings are at a "record low" as reported by the Torygraph. Likewise, UK Finance reports that credit card growth is "at a twelve year high." In the Yoorozone, Reuters tells us that the ECB has "found 10bn euros in bank loan shortcomings, and that some banks lied about their balance sheets." Hmm, I find that hard to believe, don't you? I mean, a bank telling porkies? Never! Deutsche Bank, anyone??
Then there's Brexit to consider. Must you, Williams? Well, not really, but I find it highly amusing that the Norwegians are now sticking a longship oar into the matter, with the suggestion that they won't tolerate any kind of deal for the Brits that's better than what they already have. Ho ho ho. Maybe they need to remember that their market is just the merest tad smaller than Blighty's? (Don't get the wrong idea here though - I have nothing at all against Norwegians other than their pushing and shoving in Swedish supermarkets, and I'm certainly not a Brexiteer! I doubt however if Norway would have a lot of clout in Brussels.) But I also doubt very much if the Weegies need to worry, because Blighty ain't gonna get much of a deal, if indeed any deal at all.
OK - that's plenty serious stuff for one weekend, so onward to sillier matters (not that Brexit ain't silly of course....) First, how about the "heightened French border security at Dover" over Easter? Nothing to do with zee French getting even over Brexit of course, oh no, not at all, no. Even sillier (although not for him of course) are Damien Hirst's spotty "pictures" costing between £360000 and £1.2m. Oh dear oh dear. In fact, far too dear. 99p would be nearer the mark. Next was the piece in Der Spiegel (a German rag) about the head of VW's justification of his ten million yooro salary - "it compensates for the risk of jail". In his case, maybe that's fair enough?
And how about the BBC news report that claims there are "serious defects in nineteen Edinburgh council buildings"? Listen, there are defects in all council buildings everywhere. They're known as councillors. The BBC also ran a report that said "North Korea missile could reach UK in months". Gosh, even if they used a pigeon to deliver it, it would get here faster than that.
Then there's that daft Scottish road thingie - the North Coast 500. I have mentioned it before of course, on the basis that "daft" is indeed the word, partly because so much of it is single track, upon which most drivers unfamiliar with such things (ie most drivers...) drive like total idiots and partly because there are almost no facilities such as hotels, restaurants, public toilets etc etc along its route. Anyway, it seems that the next piece of lunacy attached to it is that a joke university (aka Inverness Technical College) is advertising for someone to do a PhD thesis on it...... Another ho ho ho is called for here methinks. It reminds me of the late, great "Scotland the What" team and one of their sketches about a councillor who sat as a magistrate in Aberdeen. His name was Cooncillor Alexander Swick PhD. When asked if that meant he was a Doctor of Philosophy, his response was "No - Peterheed." (Peterhead, which he allegedly represented.) Well, I found it funny - so there!
Onward then to a few not so silly bits and pieces, and first, a Torygraph piece about these so-called bucket lists. So, so true!.
Then there's the matter of British electric plugs, as in changing to them from French/Swedish ones.... A nightmare, basically. They are just so stupid, compared to other types! Aaghhhhh.
Next in "not silly" - indeed in "excellent" is the proposal to start charging deposits on bottles and cans. Why they ever stopped doing so is the real mystery, but at least now there's a bit of hope. Yes, idiot scumbags will still chuck such things away, but then there will be people picking 'em up to get the dosh for them. Often in Germany when Mme W and I have been travelling through and stopping at service stations or waiting in Kiel ferryport, we see folk trawling through the bins for cans and bottles, and any that are discarded on the pavement are very quickly picked up by somebody with an eye for a few cents.
Finally, global warming. Yes, 'tis another of my wee annoyances when I read all the garbage that claims it's entirely human-led, and it was interesting to read (in the New Scientist, I think) that the so-called Gulf Stream (more correctly, the North Atlantic Drift) is now at its weakest in 1600 years. If you're a longstanding sufferer of these rambles, you'll be well aware that I have banged on about this before, but I make no apology, because over the millennia it has switched off altogether more than once, thus bringing mighty cold six month long winters to northern Europe, including Blighty. Buy your thermals now while prices are still low......
OK - enough nonsense for one weekend then!
Onward to some charts, and first there's a look at Deutsche Bank, given my "wee hint" earlier. It's in a bit of a countertrend channel, with a pretty high risk of falling below $14. Then the rising wedge on the Intel Corp chart has been well and truly broken, while the trendline on the Just Eat picture has also been broken and the subsequent retrace has meantime hit that previous trendline more or less exactly. Classic stuff! I love it. Finally, the Dow (DJIA) which keeps trying to get out of the channel I drew a while back, but keeps failing to do so more or less bang on the top line thereof. There are two levels to consider, I reckon. See what you think!
That's all for this fine weekend then folks - see you next weekend!
All the best
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