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Morning Briefing Bullet Points & Chart Collections

2020

The Way Forward
(1) A happy Monday for a change. (2) A list of positives. (3) Getting worse at a slower pace. (4) CVS offering Abbott’s test in two cities. (5) Bill Ackman and Neil Diamond don’t have much in common. (6) Pandemic’s theme song offers the way forward. (7) Analysts just got the GVC recession memo. (8) Bear-market rally or looking past the doom and gloom to good times again? (9) B-52 money: Bazooka and helicopter analogies seem so yesterday and puny. (10) The Great Rebalancing.

Analyze This
(1) Neil Diamond’s song may be a good antidote. (2) Industry analysts tend to be too optimistic during good times. (3) They don’t see recession coming and turn too pessimistic as economy starts to recover. (4) Our Earnings Squiggles Framework shows it all. (5) Biggest downward earnings revisions occur during recessions. (6) Modeling earnings now using 2008-09 experience. (7) Lehman Moment: March 16 White House Guidelines set stage for shutting down the economy. (8) Focus on 2021. (9) Forward earnings just starting to take a dive. (10) Bad versus Ugly scenarios for S&P 500. Bad is the new Good. (11) B-52 money will pour into numerous industries. (12) A few industries are already booming as a result of GVC. (13) Joe’s daughter’s university has a vaccine for COVID-19.

Buddy, Can You Spare $2 Trillion?
(1) The government shows it CARES. (2) Health providers get virus-related expenses reimbursed. (3) Airline industry gets grants and loans. (4) Government may ask for equity in exchange for its helping hand. (5) Companies taking government funding can’t pay dividends or buy back shares. (6) No life preservers for cruise lines. (7) Fed can provide loans to companies large and small. (8) Small businesses can keep the money for free if they hold onto their employees through September. (9) Virus-infected industries cutting dividends and eliminating stock buybacks. (10) Many other industries will do the same as recession hits their profits and cash flow.

After the Pandemic
(1) After the Great Virus Crisis, how will the economy be different? (2) A steep global recession with massive fiscal and monetary stimulus. (3) Demand likely to remain in shock longer than supply after GVC. (4) Moving supply chains closer to home is necessary and costly. (5) From just-in-time to just-in-case. (6) Aggregate demand is in shock. (7) Roundtrip for China’s M-PMI. (8) As parts supplies increase in China, demand for them falls everywhere else. (9) Massive job losses and plunging consumer confidence ahead. (10) Fiscal and monetary policies to the rescue, again?

More on Earnings & Valuation During the Great Virus Crisis
(1) Slashing revenues and earnings estimates. (2) The Great Disruption. (3) Industry analysts have lots of downward revisions to work on from their home offices. (4) Blue Angels show the way forward. (5) Forward earnings going down. (6) Analysts will probably be too pessimistic on 2021 by the end of this year. (7) Refusing to give in to viral bearishness, we think market bottomed a week ago and are seeing some blue in the sky. (8) B-52 money is thawing the credit freeze. (9) Please keep your distance and wear a mask.

P/E x E in a Bear Market
(1) Fed Chair Buzz Lightyear: “QE4ever, to infinity and beyond!” (2) Pandemic of fear triggered by virus pandemic triggered a mad dash for cash. (3) Massive flows out of bond funds caused credit spreads to spike. (4) Fed had lots of practice playing Whac-a-Mole in the credit markets. (5) The buyer of last resort is now buying investment-grade corporate bonds and ETFs. (6) New record high of over $5 trillion for Fed’s balance sheet, with more record highs ahead. (7) Fed set to lend $4 trillion above and beyond QE4ever. (8) More like B-52 money than helicopter money. (9) The deficits of last resort. (10) Last week’s “bull market” is facing a major earnings abyss in coming weeks. (11) Using 2007-09 to benchmark 2019-21. (12) There is a path forward to ending the GVC.

Monitoring Earnings & Valuation During the Pandemic
(1) Analysts break out the shears. (2) Profit margins losing their Trump tax-cut bump. (3) Confidence in earnings estimates crumbles to 2010 lows. (4) Forecasting earnings depends on guessing when businesses can get back to business. (5) Most sectors’ valuations have sunk to lows not seen since the GFC. (6) Will forward P/Es rebound as earnings estimates get cut? (7) Hey, big spender: Handful of S&P 500 CEOs gobble up their companies’ stock at March’s depressed prices. (8) Energy sector sees the most buying, followed by COVID-19-infected businesses. (9) The Simons buy Simon shares, the Icahns double down on Newell Brands.

Searching for Silver Bullets
(1) The Lone Ranger. (2) A horse named “Silver” and a gun full of silver bullets. (3) Cure worse than the disease? Social distancing crushing global economy. (4) Make millions of masks, and make us wear them when we go out of the house. (5) Eight other steps to free us from house arrest. (6) We disagree with the CDC’s case against surgical masks. (7) Don’t fight the Fed. (8) China’s economy may be recovering, but their overseas customers are falling into a severe recession. (9) Good news: Busts are followed by booms. (10) Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team’s report may be too alarmist.

The Lender of Last Resort
(1) Let’s not get depressed. (2) Martial law for seniors and others. (3) Great Virus Crisis versus Great Financial Crisis. (4) Social distancing should work. (5) Mass testing would help. (6) Adding makeshift hospital capacity. (7) The Fed is flying the money helicopter to infinity and beyond. (8) Commodity prices tanking now. (9) S&P 500 revenues growth estimates getting cut. (10) S&P 500 earnings growth estimates getting slashed for Q1-Q4, but remain too optimistic. (11) US railcar loadings bearish for industrial production and merchandise trade.

The Great Virus Crisis
(1) GVC is a world war, but not WWIII. (2) Mobilizing resources to fight the virus. (3) Scrambling for cures and vaccines. (4) US case counts by states: Why is Washington so high, while Florida is so low? (5) The Kirkland outbreak. (6) Good news in China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Mexico. (7) Bad news in Europe and US trigger social distancing responses, which should work. (8) The similarity between virologists and economists. (9) From the Good to the Bad and the Ugly in two weeks. (10) Soaring unemployment, plunging GDP. (11) Start of the Zombie Apocalypse in the credit markets? Or can Fed rescue corporates and munis? (12) This too shall pass…if we all stay home and flatten the infection curve. (13) Fiscal and monetary policies should buy us some time. (14) Movie reviews since 2005.

Collateral Damage from the War Against the Virus
(1) COVID-19 ripple effects and plummeting oil prices slam Financials. (2) Life insurers hurt by low rates, falling investments, and fears of higher mortality. (3) Crash in oil hurts some regional banks. (4) Large banks’ stock buybacks on hold. (5) Companies hit hardest draw on revolvers. (6) Market correction makes investment banking business uncertain. (7) Travel industry needs a vacation. (8) Cruise lines, airlines, and hotels all visit the White House. (9) A deal with Uncle Sam may mean dilution for shareholders.

Helicopter Money May Help To Unlock the Economic Lockdown
(1) Trump’s pivot from relaxing to social distancing. (2) The invisible enemy is very contagious. (3) Flattening the infection curve. (4) False and true rumors. (5) Official and voluntary lockdowns. (6) Fiscal and monetary math: TARP2 + QE4 = helicopter money! (7) So is 2020 the same as 1987-88, 2008-09, or 2015-16? (8) Witch’s brew: health, economic, and financial crisis. (9) Pandemic earnings and valuations.

March 17, 2020

Audio

Declaration of War
(1) The panic question. (2) Fear is the cure. (3) Lowering GDP and earnings estimates again. (4) Ranges make more sense than point estimates. (5) Fed is running out of ammo and shock-and-awe. (6) The Fed’s Zombie problem. (7) Mobilizing the troops during wartime. (8) The zero-immunity problem. (9) The R0 Factor. (10) Listen to Dr Fauci. (11) Six feet apart beats six feet under. (12) Flattening the curve. (13) Case studies. (14) Stay healthy, please!

The Best Cure for a Viral Pandemic Is a Viral Panic
(1) Panic may be a healthy response to viral pandemic. (2) Blaming the kids for the seasonal flu. (3) The benefits of online education and work. (4) The weather theory makes sense, but is controversial. (5) It’s getting warmer in Wuhan. (6) China vs Italy. (7) Is the H1N1 outbreak of 2009 relevant? (8) Mad dash for cash caused widespread market illiquidity last week. (9) VIX and credit spreads blew out last Thursday. (10) Commodities signaling a less bad outcome? (11) Germany and US policy responses helped to boost stocks on Friday.

Fear for All
(1) It’s officially a pandemic. (2) Global recession is underway as both healthy and sick people stay home. (3) Lowering our US GDP forecast to a growth recession for Q2 & Q3, but also raising odds of outright recession from 35% to 45%. (4) No change in our earnings recession forecasts for Q1 & Q2. (5) S&P 500 target: Pushing 3500 to mid-2021, while aiming for 2900 by year-end. (6) The kids are home. (7) Governor Cuomo and Chancellor Merkel saving us or scaring us? (8) Credit-quality spreads signaling credit crunch. (9) Waiting for a policy response: Helicopter money? (10) Fed, running out of ammo, may ask Congress for permission to buy corporate securities. (11) Clash of the Titans in the Oil Patch.

All About Earnings
(1) Q4 S&P 500 revenues and earnings are out. (2) Revenues rose 6.8% y/y during Q4 to new record high. (3) Earnings dipped in Q4, rising only 2.0% y/y. (4) Profit margin also dipped, but in record-high territory. (5) Utilities and Financials lead the earnings gainers, while Energy and Materials lead the losers. (6) IT leads in the profit margin derby. (7) Industry analysts cutting their Q1 & Q2 earnings forecasts, which remain too high relative to our forecast. (8) Record dividends.

Pandemic Pandemonium
(1) Fear continues to spread faster than reported virus cases. (2) Balance of good vs bad news on virus tips toward the former. (3) Virus stats in China and South Korea improve as those in Italy and France worsen. (4) Panic Attack #66 is the most fearful of them all. (5) It all depends on whether the virus goes away or stays. (6) Was that a capitulation bottom yesterday? Maybe not. (7) Putin and MBS playing chicken in the oil patch, with both hoping to hurt each other along with US frackers. (8) Flight to quality has turned into a panic in Treasury market. (9) Reaching for safety instead of yield. (10) Credit quality spreads widening. Signs of a credit crunch? (11) Déjà vu: Energy-related junk bonds in distress, as in 2015

Three Coins in the Fountain
(1) Spooky bond market. (2) Nostalgia. (3) Coronavirus math: What if lots more people are infected but with mild symptoms? (4) Coronavirus worldometer. (5) The relevance of Tom Hanks, Kelly Clarkson, and Clint Eastwood. (6) Putting subjective probabilities on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: 65%/25%/10%. (7) Good: Panic Attack #66 ends soon as pandemic of fear recedes too—65%. (8) Stocks are cheap compared to bonds. (9) S&P 500 forward revenues and earnings remain amazingly resilient at record highs. (10) Bad: Excessively high Fear Factor causes a recession and a bear market—25%. (11) Ugly: Zombie Apocalypse—10%; to avert, the Fed will ZIRP and QE again, and rev up the monetary helicopters. (12) Movie review: “The Invisible Man” (+).

‘We Are Very Much Alive!’
(1) COVID-19 pushes scientists to find solutions fast. (2) Big money is being thrown at the problem. (3) Novel vaccines using mRNA are being tested. (4) Mice helping out. (5) Chinese using CTs and blood tests to better diagnose the illness. (6) Gilead’s drug, remdesivir, is being tested as a treatment. (7) Health care stocks celebrate Biden’s Super Tuesday win. (8) Moderate Dems lining up like good soldiers. (9) Health care sector stocks have underperformed while still delivering earnings.

The BS Virus
(1) Investors prefer Biden over Sanders. (2) Centrists uniting against Sanders in Democratic party. (3) Socialism is a virus that won’t go away. (4) From Rousseau and Robespierre to Castro and Sanders. (5) Fed’s medicine cabinet doesn’t include any vaccines for viruses. (6) Analysts chopping Q1 and Q2 earnings estimates. (7) Lots more earnings warnings coming soon. (8) No sign of a pickup in inflation.

Back to Business
(1) Viral lyrics: Getting to know you, getting to know all about you. (2) May or may not be highly contagious, lethal, and seasonal. (3) Mild symptoms might be undercounted, exaggerating the death rate. (4) Time to consider extreme measures to stop auto accidents? (5) Tech to the rescue? (6) Shaving GDP outlook. (7) Virus bad for capital spending and exports, good for residential investment. (8) M-PMI around 50 corresponds to 2.1% real GDP growth, but also to low-single-digits S&P 500 revenues growth. (9) Truck tonnage index in record-high territory, but truck sales taking a dive recently. (10) Growth in railcar loadings of containers is still weak, reflecting Trump’s deescalated trade wars. (11) Now global health crisis is infecting global trade. (12) Swedes leading the way in e-currency.

COVID-19: The Plot Sickens
(1) We are all virologists now. (2) Most of us can breathe easy. (3) Staying healthy. (4) P/E-led meltup followed by P/E-led meltdown. (5) The previous four seven-day freefalls occurred in bear markets. (6) No longer overbought. (7) FAANGMs cheaper, but not cheap. (8) A bad week for Stay Home as people stay home. (9) Lowering our earnings estimates, but the sun will come out later this year. (10) Industry analysts still too optimistic about earnings. (11) Extreme measures may contain virus while depressing global growth. (12) Really ugly Chinese PMIs. (13) Powell ready to provide a shock-and-awe rate cut? Would it help or hurt? (14) Let’s hope cover-story curse kills COVID-19 as it did previous viruses.

Damage Assessment
(1) Flu vs COVID-19: More alike than different. (2) Keep your distance, don’t touch your face, and wash your hands. (3) COVID-19 less deadly than flu so far, based on number of deaths. (4) S&P 500 down, but not yet in correction territory. (5) Travel-related stocks hit hardest. (6) Valuations getting more reasonable. (7) Beware of cuts to earnings that may be in the near future. (8) Bonds and oil not convinced all the bad news is out.

Government Measures To Stop COVID-19 Triggering Pandemic of Fear
(1) Updating our assessment of COVID-19 crisis. (2) Government actions and warnings to stem virus making Panic Attack #66 the most fearsome of them all. (3) Quarantines and fears of quarantines around the world raising risk of global recession and bear market in stocks. (4) In US, CDC official warns public to prepare for school closings even though she says virus risk is low! (5) Government measures should stop virus, but risk killing us with fear. (6) Flu kills people of all ages, while COVID-19 kills old people (numerous in China) and has spared children younger than 10 so far. (7) Sick happens. (8) COVID-19 can be spread by people with no symptoms. (9) US consumers have nothing to fear but fear about COVID-19 coming to our neighborhoods.

Anatomy of a Virus
(1) Panic Attack #66 hit investors hard yesterday. (2) A viral panic attack. (3) In the spring, there should be healthier weather. (4) Counting on the flu model. (5) Travel and tourism industries are sick. (6) P/E-led correction following P/E-led meltup. (7) The man from WHO isn’t ready to call it a pandemic despite spread to Iran, Italy, and Korea. (8) Getting harder to breathe for millions of small businesses. (9) Fed may need to deliver a couple more rate cuts to keep US economy in a good place. (10) Wuhan Institute of Virology may be China’s Chernobyl.

Snorting vs Sneezing Bull
(1) Known unknown and known knowns. (2) Fed’s policy report mentions COVID-19 as a risk, but Clarida says US economy remains strong and uninfected. (3) China is a weak link in global supply chains. (4) Impressive rebound in February’s manufacturing activity according to NY & Philly Fed surveys. (5) US factories getting a boost from strong housing starts. (6) Consumer optimism lifted by lots of jobs. (7) LEI and CESI confirm economy still expanding. (8) February’s flash PMIs weakened in US and Japan, improved in Eurozone. (9) Bull sneezed on Friday. (10) Investors reaching for yield in bond and stock markets. (11) Tech accounts for nearly half of capital spending. (12) Outperforming stocks include those of the Stay Home, LargeCap, and Growth varieties. (13) Movie review: “The Traitor” (+ + +).

Small World
(1) China’s quarantine disrupts global supply chains. (2) Chinese factory workers are staying home. (3) Coronavirus hits Apple’s demand for phones and supplies of parts. (4) Some auto companies facing parts shortages too. (5) Flying parts on jets. (6) At new highs, stocks still taking it all in stride. (7) Global MSCI forward earnings and revenue estimates holding up. (8) However, industry analysts are starting to cut their S&P 500 earnings estimates for Q1-Q3. (9) Musk’s hyperloop getting bored toward reality in Vegas.

In a Good Place?
(1) Some light reading. (2) From good to very good. (3) Beware of Fed mantras. (4) US beats China currently in the health department. (5) Soft patch in US manufacturing not worrying Fed. (6) Powell is pleased to see labor force participation rate rising. (7) Housing and consumer spending looking good, while capital spending is not so good. (8) Advanced economies should advance as trade tensions ease. (9) Fed worrying more about subdued inflation than feverish virus. (10) Submerging emerging economies are a concern. (11) China’s virus mentioned several times in Fed’s report. (12) Lots of risky businesses in the corporate debt markets. (13) Running out of room to lower interest rates.

Valentine’s Day: Investors Still Love Stocks
(1) Love (for stocks) conquers all (including viruses). (2) Our 3500 target on S&P 500 is 3.5% from here. (3) SuperCaps leading the way. (4) Latest weekly proxies show revenues and earnings growth picking up—but that was before the virus outbreak. (5) Stocks remain on a liquidity diet catered by the major central banks. (6) Fed’s balance sheet expanding again. (7) GDPNow still tracking north of 2.0% for Q1. (8) Consumers may be stuffed with stuff. (9) Online shopping accounting for over a third of GAFO sales. (10) More single than married people in US. (11) Consumers are saving more.

US Stocks With Immunity
(1) Markets feeling better after shaking off the coronavirus. (2) Even the most sickly industries bounced on Wednesday. (3) Investors still loving FAANGMs and LargeCap Growth stocks. (4) Look, Ma, no steering wheel! Feds give first approval for autonomous car. (5) Nuro and many other players fighting for the autonomous vehicle delivery business. (6) Waymo’s AV taxi service offering limited rides around Phoenix. (7) GM and Ford have a long road ahead. (8) Musk says AV coming, but playing defense on Autopilot crashes. (9) Chinese food prices soaring, while retail sales may fall to Earth.

Powell’s Vaccine
(1) So far, coronavirus is a minor panic attack for stocks. (2) Investors betting virus will soon go away or that Fed will inject liquidity if it infects global economic growth. (3) Powell is “closely monitoring” the situation. (4) No sign of virus in forward revenues or earnings, yet. (5) Industry analysts are cutting Q1-Q3 earnings, but boosting Q4. (6) FAANGMs remain immune to the virus and are leading the meltup. (7) There’s no place like S&P 500 Homebuilders during the coronavirus outbreak. (8) Millennials starting to turn into homeowners.

China’s Chernobyl?
(1) Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and China’s syndromes. (2) The collapse of corrupt regimes. (3) Will Dr. Li’s death lead to the China Spring? (4) Autocrats are sickening. (5) Another reason to leave China. (6) The Great Quarantine of China. (7) Signs of life in global PMIs during January, just before the virus made headline news. (8) Eurozone sentiment may have bottomed, though German auto production has not. (9) US productivity growth is moving in the right direction

Hysteria vs Hysteresis
(1) Pessimism vs optimism. (2) Timeline of the viral impact on DJIA. (3) A major known unknown. (4) Online dashboard showing rising body count. (5) Monitoring financial markets for clues. (6) Chinese stocks, copper/gold price ratio, and bond yield signaling risk-off. (7) S&P 500 Energy and Materials have been infected. (8) Stay Home again until virus crisis blows over. (9) Homebuilders and video games outperforming cruise lines, casinos, hotels, and air freight. (10) The US labor market is hot, yet wage inflation is not. (11) Powell says there is room to run as long as labor force participation rate continues to rise.

Social Insurance Is Inflating
(1) Comparing and contrasting. (2) Ford vs Tesla. (3) Insurance brokers vs insurance companies. (4) Rising premiums help the top line. (5) Low interest rates are a drag. (6) Social inflation translation: juries on the war path and attorneys on the hunt. (7) Anti-solar panels generate electricity while the moon shines.

Central Bankers Agonistes
(1) The sun is shining brighter in the US still. (2) Healthier to Stay Home during coronavirus outbreak. (3) Stocks aren’t cheap in the US compared to elsewhere in the world. (4) US revenues and earnings fundamentals look better than elsewhere in the world. (5) Fed is on hold for now, but the next rate move might be lower rather than higher. (6) inflation remains stubbornly below central bankers’ 2.0% target. (7) Powell’s list of six major uncertainties. (8) ECB and BOJ sticking with negative official interest rates, while buying more assets. (9) PBOC injecting liquidity to combat the virus. (10) Waiting on Fed and ECB reviews of their monetary policies.

The NABNAB Scenario
(1) Taking a break from the virus, and DC too. (2) The secret formula is NABNAB 2-2-2. (3) Failing to stall. (4) The Trauma of 2008 is still boosting profit margins today. (5) Productivity could be a game changer. (6) Consumers continue to spend, especially on health care. (7) Real wages at record high and rising along a trend line of 1.2% real annual growth. (8) Capital-spending growth falls along with CEO confidence. (9) Tech-related capital spending at record high. (10) Some evidence of Millennials turning from renters to homeowners. (11) Other possible sources of GDP strength in 2020: defense, infrastructure, and trade.

Made in China
(1) On the road again. (2) Unmasked man. (3) Coronavirus going viral. (4) Not as bad as the flu? (5) Great Quarantine of China. (6) Wet markets full of weird and tainted meats. (7) Coronavirus makes it into the Panic Attacks record book as #66. (8) Before the virus hit the tape, forward revenues and forward earnings rose to new record highs. (9) LargeCaps dropping less than SMidCaps. (10) Why is Growth beating Value again? (11) Stay Home beating Go Global during health crisis. (12) Movie review: “Little Women” (+).

Content Wars
(1) Crowded streaming market makes grabbing eyeballs harder. (2) Netflix growing fastest but spending more cash than it has. (3) Netflix says good-bye to departing Friends and relocating Office. (4) Competitors start hoarding content; Netflix responds by developing its own. (5) Comcast proud of Peacock; AT&T bets on HBO Now. (6) UK bids adieu to EU, now has lots to do. (7) UK’s stock market lags other countries’ in price performance and valuation.

Climate for a Change
(1) LargeCap’s forward revenues & earnings beat the SMidCaps. (2) Profit margins lower for stocks of all sizes. (3) No new high for SmallCap index price. (4) Valuation for SMidCaps worsened compared to LargeCap. (5) Coronavirus fears spread through markets. (6) FAANGMs causing P/E divergence between LargeCap and SMidCaps. (7) Global elite and youth activists debate climate change in Davos. (8) Global prosperity linked to carbon emissions? (9) IPCC says eight years left before planet gets too hot. (10) Corporate CEOs focused on sustainability for good. (11) Capital reallocated to sustainable investments.

Something To Fear
(1) When wishes come true. (2) P/E-led meltup increases risk of correction. (3) From nothing to fear to fearing a pandemic. (4) We are all virologists now. (5) China’s autocrats: part of the solution or part of the problem? (6) China syndrome: a major health crisis has been waiting to happen. (7) Has technical picture been too bullish? (8) Too many winners? (9) Valuation models: different strokes for different folks. (10) Misery Adjusted P/E is neutral. (11) Sticking with 3500 S&P 500 target by year-end.

Going Viral?
(1) Panic attacks vs bear markets. (2) Going for a ride with the Blue Angels. (3) Will latest virus outbreak be Panic Attack #66, or something much worse? (4) SARS, MERS, EVD, and now nCoV. (5) We are all virologists now. (6) Bad start to the Year of the Rat in China. (7) Signs of global life in commodity prices and flash M-PMIs. (8) Housing-led growth in US during 2020? (9) US leading indicators may have run out of room to signal economic expansion. (10) Railcar loadings are depressing, while truck tonnage is upbeat. (11) Neither boom nor bust in global forward revenues and earnings. (12) What’s the message from the bond market? (13) Movie review: Jojo Rabbit (+).

Staying Defensive in a World of Danger
(1) Dangerous world means more defense spending. (2) Boeing shares grounded, but most other aerospace & defense stocks flying high. (3) Mergers, spending on aircraft, missile defense, and space all help. (4) If Dems win Oval Office, there may be trouble for defense stocks ahead. (5) Venture capital funding a bit soft in Q4 but strong for 2019 as a whole. (6) Internet companies are receiving the most funding, especially software as a service.

Happy Chinese New Year
(1) Pigs, rats, and politicians. (2) Pandemics and plagues. (3) China rapidly becoming the world’s largest nursing home as a result of ongoing urbanization and previous one-child policy. (4) Real retail sales growth cut by over two-thirds in past 10 years. (5) Less bang per yuan of monetary easing. (6) Soaring food prices depressing retail sales too. (7) China’s PPI is a good indicator of global growth, and is deflating slightly. (8) Vehicle sales weak in China. (9) Trump’s trade deal with China looks good on paper. (10) Tariffs won’t be eliminated until Phase 2 deal is done. (11) IMF sees modest pickup in global economic growth ahead. (12) Commodity prices are showing signs of life, as are European auto sales.

Love Songs for Investors
(1) To the moon. (2) Sinatra’s stock market. (3) Powell gets blame for Q4-2018 meltdown and credit for meltup since then. (4) Fed giving more weight to inflation indicators; so should investors. (5) Fed is back in patient mode as inflation remains subdued. (6) The CPI has an upward bias relative to PCED. (7) Trump is the stock market’s rainmaker. (8) Trump morphing global multilateral trade system into bilateral one. (9) GDP growth: more of the same. (10) Wage gains aren’t inflationary if driven by productivity. (11) Real wages suggesting faster productivity growth. (12) Movie review: “Bombshell” (+).

Banking on the Trade Deal
(1) Analysts following Financials have low expectations for 2020. (2) Financials stocks rallied last year. (3) JPM/Citi blow past Q4 estimates. (4) Trade deal may boost lending and open Chinese market. (5) Yield curve has reversed its inversion. (6) Q4 fixed-income trading surge will mean tougher comps in 2020. (7) CECL keeps accountants busy. (8) Rally means happy investors but pricey stocks. (9) China gets closer to introducing a digital yuan; Fed’s Brainard suggests more gradual change in US.

Lots of Good News
(1) Tough comps for 2019 earnings. (2) 2020 should be better for earnings. (3) S&P 500 forward revenues and earnings at record highs. (4) Forward earnings implies a 9% increase in earnings this year. (5) Last year’s worries are so yesterday. (6) The Mullahs are cornered, and must fear the US after their top general was droned. (7) Is there method to Trump’s madness? (8) Trump’s favorite popularity poll is the stock market. (9) Valuation multiples are flying closer to the sun.

The Fed: Rounding up the Usual Suspects
(1) Running out of basis points. (2) Bernanke’s presidential address. (3) Bernanke promotes QE as permanent tool for Fed. (4) QE plus forward guidance = 300bps cut in federal funds rate, according to Big Ben. (5) Yellen and Powell agree with Bernanke. (6) Summers sees “last hurrah” for central banks. (7) FOMC’s annual rotation still leaves the Fed on hold. (8) A roundup of the views of Fed officials. (9) “In a good place.” (10) Powell is patient again. (11) The global economy remains relatively weak, and is on Fed’s radar screen.

Stocks & Bonds: In the Fast Lane
(1) Back to the future: forward P/E back at 18.4. (2) Getting closer to 3500 too fast, too soon. (3) S&P 500 forward revenues at new high, while forward earnings has stalled. (4) Is the stock market discounting a productivity growth rebound in the decade ahead? (5) Technology: from jets to main frames to PCs to a brave new world. (6) Reach-for-yield driving stock and bond prices higher. (7) Falling high yields. (8) Counting the number of jobs versus the number of workers. (9) Percentage of full-time workers highest since March 2008. (10) Movie review: “1917” (+ +).

The Vegas Show
(1) 2030 is only 10 years away. (2) A future full of futuristic gadgets. (3) Elon Musk on our roofs. (4) Elon Musk’s new battery. (5) Microbes as household pets. (6) A Crispr future. (7) Smart toilets. (8) 3-D plus one. (9) Musk in our brains. (10) Flying cars. (11) We will all be Jetsons. (12) What’s cheap, what’s not cheap in the S&P 500. (13) Paying up for safety.

Will Inflation Make a Comeback in 2020?
(1) Another 2%+ quarter for real GDP. (2) Good news and not-so-good news in trade. (3) Purchasing managers are upbeat in services, still depressed in manufacturing. (4) No growth in factory orders. (5) Truck and rail traffic are on the weak side. (6) Auto sales are cruising at the same speed. (7) Employment indicators still showing a strong labor market. (8) Big issue in 2020: Will rising wage inflation boost price inflation? (9) More wage inflation in services than in goods industries. (10) Competitive pressures should keep a lid on price inflation and stimulate productivity.

More Happy Dividend Returns in 2020?
(1) Is the market high on a sugar high provided by the central banks? (2) Investors should not be preachers. (3) The problem with P/E-led meltups. (4) The Fed’s balance sheet is expanding again. (5) The ECB’s balance sheet is expanding again. (6) The BOJ’s balance sheet never stopped expanding. (7) The PBOC has cut reserve requirements 7 times since early 2018. (8) Dividends growing solidly despite earnings growth recession. (9) Dividends’ CAGR trend is around 6% still. (10) Latest bull market in S&P 500 hugging 2% dividend yield valuation model. (11) Compounding dividends are the 8th Wonder of the World.

Nothing To Fear But Nothing To Fear (and Iran)
(1) Iran again. (2) Executive action in Baghdad. (3) The ’20s vs the ’70s. (4) Is there more upside left in stocks following the Roaring ’10s? (5) The wall of worry. (6) Less to worry about? (7) Will Iran be Panic Attack #66? (8) The meltup could be on hold depending on geopolitical developments in the Middle East. (9) The valuation question. (10) The earnings question. (11) The global growth question. (12) Global manufacturing remained depressed according to December’s M-PMIs. (13) Movie review: “Richard Jewell” (+ +).