Election Results in N.Y.C. Indicate Political Backlash
Trump has already said that he’s “Made America Great Again”, so whatever problems he inherited, he’s already claimed to have solved, which means any problems that arise now are brand new, under Trump’s watch, and he and the Republicans are going to take the blame. An early warning sign of just how big a disaster this can be arrived yesterday in a N.Y.C. Congressional primary. You had a 10-term incumbent Democrat – the guy’s been in Congress for 20 years. These guys are impossible to get rid of – trying to get rid of them is like trying to get rid of herpes. Joseph Crowley had been unopposed for 14 years. 28-year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is going to be, if she wins, will be the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives. She is a former bartender with no real political experience other than being a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. They believe in the abolition of capitalism in favor of an economy run by either the workers or the government.
Oil Prices Prop up DJIA, but not Broader Markets
Even the surge in oil stocks was not enough to keep the U.S. stock market in the black today. The Dow Jones finished in the red by 165 points. That is a drop of .68 percent, but the broader markets which don’t have the exposure to the energy sector faired much worse. You had the composite down 116 points – 1.5% – and the Russell 2000 down almost 1.7%. Oil prices had a huge day today. They closed off the highs, but still up $1.80. $72.33 per barrel for the price of oil. We did get as high as $73.06 on West Texas earlier today, so this is a new high for the year. Remember, this is what helped the market avoid an 8-day losing streak when we got that 9th day rally, thanks to oil stocks; and I said at that time that I didn’t think that was good news for the markets because higher oil prices may be good for companies, but they’re not good for the overall economy. They’re even higher now and it will be an even bigger drag on the economy.
Trade Wars and Deficits Bearish for the Dollar
More importantly than the oil price in dollars is the oil price in euros, which continue to weaken against the dollar and other currencies, The dollar index had another strong day. We’re back above the 95 handle: 95.26. I think this is where the resistance is for the dollar, so I don’t expect much headway above 95 on the dollar index. I still think that the markets have this all wrong; a trade war is not a positive for the dollar. So everybody who is betting that all of these trade tensions escalating is somehow dollar positive, they’re wrong. Just as the people who are betting larger budget deficits are dollar bullish. Both of these events are dollar bearish, as the dollar bulls are soon going to find out.
Oil Prices Threaten Inflation in the Eurozone
In the meantime, the increasing price of oil is going to send Eurozone inflation blowing through the 2% ceiling. I talked about that in this podcast. They don’t have a 2% target in the Eurozone, like we supposedly have in the U.S. Here, the Fed is targeting 2%. They’ve even said they’re targeting higher than 2% to be symmetrical around 2%. But in the Eurozone, 2% is the ceiling. That’s why Draghi keeps saying we want to get close to, but below 2%, because it’s a hard ceiling. Why they’re trying to get close to it is beyond me because if you get too close to it you’re in danger of going above it.