Quick Takes

Today’s Quick Takes:

S&P 500 Breaks Longest Stretch of Calm in Half a Century

QT: There’s a subtle change going on with volatility. We’ve had higher lows and and yet again a spike to the trend line that was rejected. Volatility compression remains, but keeping track of the $VIX is key to inform risk/reward:

Quinnipiac University poll: Trump approval ratings near record low

QT: The relevance for markets: What’s the impact of support on tax reform? Mid-terms are in less than a year. This tax vote will be a political calculation of incumbents. Does support crack or not? Some Republicans have been frank about what’s driving this:

“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’ ” Collins replied.

Big money wants tax cuts. That’s not the base doing the talking. It’s the donor base talking. And hence it’s not a surprise that the core values of these tax cuts are geared to serve their interests.

However, since margins are thin, the above approval chart will also factor in with some Republicans who will face re-election in less than 12 months.

When push comes to shove they are loyal to their positions more than they are to Trump’s agenda. Lose 2 or 3 key votes and it ends like healthcare. Markets are unlikely to kind in their reaction of tax reform fails. A lot is at stake.

Amazon’s Cashierless Store Is Almost Ready for Prime Time

The Pain Ahead for Retail Chains

QT: Knowing how many people rely on retail jobs to make ends meet the continuing and accelerating job transformation will have a ravaging impact during the next recession. Don’t kid yourself. AI technology is coming.

Household debt rises by $116 billion as credit-card delinquencies pile up

QT: The data trends keep sending the same message: The unwind will be brutal. But as long as low rates keep the peace nobody cares I suppose.

Not Your Dad’s Yield-Curve Flattening; Bond World Has Changed

QT: When divergences don’t matter the fail safe explanation is: It’s different this time. Right.

Madagascar Wrestles With Worst Outbreak of Plague in Half a Century

QT: Terrifying kill stats coming from this outbreak. Humanity has been fortunate in the past 100 years. Massive advances in the medical field have helped keep ravaging diseases at bay. But antibiotics are beginning to meet their match in the ingenuity of nature to adapt to our efforts and resistant viruses and strains are proliferating. Our exponential growth as a species has made us ever more susceptible to something emerging we can’t stop in time. I hope the day never comes.

U.S. Jobless Claims at Six-Week High Amid Holiday Volatility

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Categories: Opinion

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