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Things you need to know.

Before we get started today, I wanted to share with all of you some exciting news.

I’m teaming up with the folks over at Seven Figure Publishing. Seven Figure publishes a wealth of information and independent research on the markets. They are dedicated to giving their readers the tools needed to feel financially secure.

Their honest, unconventional, unbiased and independent financial forecasts have been recognized by numerous media sources including The Wall Street JournalThe Economist, CNBC, Fox Business News, Forbes, Reuters, and Bloomberg just to name a few.

I’m very excited to join the talented team at Seven Figure Publishing. And I have some exciting projects in the works that you’ll hear about in the weeks ahead.

So, what does this mean for you?

You will still receive my daily missive – not to worry.   That won’t change.

There are just a few housekeeping items to address…

The first thing you’ll notice is the “from” line in your emails will now say “Morning Thoughts” and will come from the email address Add that email address to your contacts list to make sure you never miss an issue.

Next, you’ll see a change to the design of the emails sent. The new style will reflect my new partnership with Seven Figure Publishing.

Finally, you can contact me directly with all feedback, questions and comments to Send me whatever’s on your mind for the day.

I’m excited about this new chapter and I hope you are too.  Now, on to today’s update…

Stocks slid as investors, traders and algo’s decided that they aren’t so sure that the trade talks scheduled for the end of the week are really going to produce anything concrete at all.   After waffling all day – teasing the unchanged line – stocks weakened into the bell.  By the end of the day – the Dow lost 95 pts, the S&P gave up 13 pts, the Nasdaq lost 26 pts and the Russell lost 3 pts.  

And then – what was rumored during the day – became reality after the bell rang…. –  Donny slapped 8 Chinese tech companies over human rights violations by putting them on the Blacklist – this just as trade negotiators are readying themselves for the high-level talks.  Now a commerce dept spokesman has tried to assure the mkts that this latest action is unrelated to the trade negotiations and that everyone should just relax………. Hmm? They may not be related, but you’d be short sighted if you think the algo’s will just ‘relax’ and it won’t affect mkt psyche, or the upcoming negotiations set for Thursday/Friday.  

Now look – everyone wants a trade deal and anything that smells of positive news will help the mkts – while anything that stinks will hurt the mkts – and it appears that this latest move doesn’t smell like a bed of roses at all.  European mkts are under pressure this morning and US futs are pointing lower with the Dow looking down by 161 pts, the S&P lower by 18 pts, the Nasdaq giving up 44 pts and the Russell losing 9 pts.    

The idea that the Chinese are not going to be so quick to sign the broad deal that Trump wants is surely going to be an issue for Donny – but what are you gonna do?  Vice Premier Liu He – has made it clear that any offer to the US will NOT include any commitment to reform current Chinese industrial policy or gov’t subsidies and that is sure to be a roadblock for the US. Now, as we know – this trade war has been dragging on for 22 months and both sides have imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on each other  – sending global mkts into a tailspin on one day, only to see them surge higher the next when it appears that a truce is at hand – but alas – a truce has never been achieved and the mkts continue to get battered as the trade war drags on…..

At first, we saw souring macro data in China and the far east as the trade war launched – then we watched it creep into Europe as the weeks turned into months and now it appears to be rearing its ugly head here at home.   Weaker US macro data over the past couple of weeks – has once again re-ignited the conversation about a coming recession – and yesterday I noted that the NABE (National Assoc Business Economics)  released their latest poll showing that 80% of economists polled now expect to see a recession – when ?  They aren’t sure – but it is coming (according to them).  Again, I would say – Tou Che!  That’s brilliant…of course it’s coming – but the jury is out about when and with what kind of intensity.  But that being said – let’s not despair – there should be a silver lining in all of this. The first is lower rates…. yes folks – the FED has all but laid out the path and made it clear that they stand ready to ‘push on that string’ and put a floor under stocks.  Second- you would think that as the data gets weaker and as the weakness begins to show itself here at home that maybe the Trump administration will be more amenable to making a deal.  You would think…but hey…what do I know?

In fact – Lizzy Warren – who is soaring in the polls ever since Trump dragged Joe and Hunter into the fray and Bernie suffered a heart attack – is being seen as someone that would be ‘even harder on China’ than Donny – besides all of the intellectual property stuff and gov’t subsidies – she will come down hard on them about climate change – considering that China is the biggest polluter in the world…….so maybe Xi Xi should reconsider – just in case he is betting that Trump gets elected OUT of office next November….

As noted, – European mkts and US futs are pointing lower.  In addition to investors continuing  to opine on the chances of any breakthrough….the Europeans are dealing with the fact that UK PM BoJo and German Chancellor Angie Merkel had a call this morning and ‘a source’ inside #10 Downing tells us that a BREXIT deal is ‘essentially impossible’. Both sides, as you can imagine, taking shots at each other – as they place blame…. Shadow BREXIT Secretary Sir Keir Starmer had this to say:

Mr. Johnson will never take responsibility for his own failure to put forward a credible deal”

He is calling on Parliament to “unite and prevent this reckless government crashing us out of the EU”.

So, you ask – what is a Shadow Secretary?  “It is the official opposition and consists of senior members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition who scrutinize their corresponding Gov’t ministers, develop alternative policies and hold the gov’t to account for its actions” – Wikipedia

Look – BoJo is insisting that the UK will exit the EU on the 31st with or without a deal…. but that ain’t happening….no matter how much he stamps his feet.  So, as we have been saying – the idea that the UK is going anywhere on October 31st is a pipe dream…. they will kick that can down the road – again.  All this uncertainty – coupled with the trade anxiety is causing mkts across the continent to come under pressure.  FTSE -0.20%, CAC 40 – 0.96%, DAX – 1.08%, EUROSTOXX -1.15%, SPAIN -1.27%, and ITALY -1.46%.  

This morning as discussed US futs are under pressure China trade and Blacklisted companies are at the top of the list…. Impeachment, coming earnings, and recession fears are at the bottom of the list (for now).  The South China Morning Post – is reporting that trade expectation are being ratcheted down – and Vice Premier Liu He will NOT carry the title of ‘Special Envoy’ which really means that Chinese President Xi Xi has not given him permission to agree to anything… why waste the time?  All very dramatic.  And the Blacklisted companies – oh boy – you can expect that Xi Xi will respond to that as well – in fact China’s foreign ministry said – ‘Stay tuned for retaliation’ – Doesn’t sound warm and fuzzy to me.

The S&P is now in the 2845 (200 dma) / 2950 range and it feels like the mkt wants to test the lows of lasts week (2860) once again… If the trade drama continues (more than likely) then I suspect that the path of least resistance is lower considering that earnings season is about to kick as well and there is plenty to worry about until we begin to hear what the CEO’s/CFO’s have to say about the future.  

Oil – which is now trading back at $52.10/barrel is trying to find support somewhere north of $51. Last week – oil traded down to $51.19 before rallying a bit.   Unrest now in Iraq and Ecuador is once again raising supply concerns – while the China trade is causing global demand concerns after Donny told us that a ‘quick deal is unlikely’.  Really?  Quick? – Dude – its been 22 months and there is no end in sight….

Take good care.


Seared Halibut w/Lemon Butter

You need to make the Lemon Butter and set aside. For this you will need:  Fresh lemon juice, s&p, the zest of 1 lemon and 1 stick of room temperature softened butter.  

In a bowl add all the ingredients and mix with a spatula – mix well.  You can then put it in the fridge so that it begins to get hard – allowing you to form it into a log.  Set aside.

Next – you need:  olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, fresh lemon juice garlic (smashed), 4 pieces of halibut and 2 large shallots.  

Now in a bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, s&p – using a whisk, blend it well.   Pour into a square glass dish.  Add the halibut and marinate it well.  Turning the pieces over and then over again to coat well.  Let it marinate on the counter for 10 – 15 mins or so.  

In a large frying pan – add some move olive oil and when its nice and hot – add the sliced shallots and sauté until they turn a nice toasty brown.  – Maybe 5 mins.  Remove and place on some paper towels and allow to drain.  

In the same pan – place the halibut and sear for 4 mins (depending on thickness) – flip and sear on the other side for another 3 or 4 mins.  The halibut should have a light pink center – remove and place on a warmed plate. Finish with the lemon butter and crispy shallots.  Serve with roasted potatoes and a mixed green salad with your favorite dressing.  

Buon Appetito.