Masks Off or is that Risk Off?

May 20, 2020

Mish's Daily

By Mish Schneider

blankTuesday night we reminisced that on February 5th I wrote in a blog, “Although the last couple of days brought back euphoria into the market, with volatility hanging tough, one should be prepared for anything.”

That sentiment remains true right now.

With volatility holding recent lows while NASDAQ gets closer to all-time highs and the S&P 500 inches closer to 3000, complacency and euphoria are risk on terms.

Yet, as millions take off their mask and begin to congregate for the long Memorial Day weekend ahead, I only become more convinced that the stagflation theory will take shape once the summer season officially begins.

Stagflation is risk off.

The Fed minutes came out today.

Highlights of the FOMC:

“To support the flow of credit…, the Federal Reserve will continue to purchase Treasury securities and agency residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning…”

“In addition, the Open Market Desk will continue to offer large-scale overnight and term repurchase agreement operations…. The Committee….is prepared to adjust its plans as appropriate."

Will this ultimately keep equities in rally mode?


Could it ignite stagflation as the economy is under siege while the cost to borrow money is virtually nil.

Wait, there’s more.

Out of Germany today:
Germans paid to borrow as negative rates reach consumers

If the banks are paying you to borrow money, what might you do with that money? Save it? Doubtful-no interest rates to collect.

Spend it, very likely. Now multiply that not just by number of people globally, but also by businesses, and governments.

That is stagflation. Spending soars while supply dwindles.

Hence, consumer prices go up with the rising demand.

The economy still stagnates and voila-stagflation!

On another note, besides writing, I’ve been busy talking.

Here are two links:

The first is an interview with Jackie Pang from the Chinese TV station Phoenix TV. 

The other is today’s installment of Your Daily Five, presented by me and hosted by StockchartsTV.

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S&P 500 (SPY) 299.42 resistance with 290 support

Russell 2000 (IWM) 128.50 support with resistance 136.85

Dow (DIA) 240.50 support with resistance at 247.67

Nasdaq (QQQ) Seems determined to go to match if not make new highs. 225 support now

KRE (Regional Banks) Back over the 50-DMA if holds 34.00

SMH (Semiconductors) Gap to fill to 144.96. 135 support

IYT (Transportation) 155.60 resistance 143 support

IBB (Biotechnology) 131 support to hold

XRT (Retail) 38.50 to clear

Volatility Index (VXX) Inside day.

Junk Bonds (JNK) 100 cleared and has to hold

LQD (iShs iBoxx High yield Bonds) 132 April highs

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