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Morning Briefing Bullet Points & Chart Collections

2020

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” (+ +).