DHUnplugged #679: Rally Santa Rally!

Heading toward the barn – traders looking for Santa to come though for December

November was a pretty spectacular month for stocks…

Oil – OPEC+ making some moves – crude prices diving.

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Warm Up
- Announcing the Winner - CROC's and Entries for the CTP Cup 2023

- Thanksgiving is over - heading into the end of the year and investors appear excited
- More strikes on  the horizon
- Black Friday numbers are in - surprise - no surprise|
- Temporary Cease Fire - Extended a few days
- A Limerick

Market Update
- Short week - great month.... Best month in 2023 for most indices
- AI got its grove back - Microsoft saved the day !
- -  VIX hits low since the pandemic
-  KRI indicator +4 and holding with several clusters
- Yields holding down - Housing numbers poor and economy slowly slowing
- OIL! OPEC+ delays meeting - oil plunges on Wednesday...
- Fed Parade of Talking heads is at it again....

- Slap in Face? OpenAI not anticipated to offer MSFT a board seat on its new board, according to The Information
- "It’s a sign that the board will prioritize safety practices ahead of investor returns."

Word Watch
- Seeing this word starting to seep into all sorts of areas
- Schwab ad: "An elevated experience tailor made for trader minds"
- Pinky up!

December - Traders and Investors heading for home....
- Santa Rally is a possibility, especially if we see a quick dump to get rid of some of this froth....
- So much bad news is baked in and plenty of momentum
- USD breaking below the 50-day - good for stocks  and commods

- FRIDAY - The VIX index of implied volatility on the S&P500 plunged to its lowest close since just before the COVID-19 shock unfolded in 2020 - an extreme some fear will inspire demand for options hedging and reversion back toward historic mean. It ticked back up to regain a foothold above 13 today.
- This is interesting as other metrics are calling for extreme overheat
- KRI +4 and holding with clusters (+5 or +6 is very concerning)
- S&P 500, NASDAQ all high (HIGH) levels of RSI - Spearman +97 (HIGH)
----- McClellan +137 (complex above zero line)

Markets Love it!
- Fed Governor Christopher Waller (voting FOMC member) in Q&A says if inflation continues to fall for several more months, the policy rate could be lowered; if there is a consistent decline in inflation, no reason for rates to remain really high

Black Friday Update
- Cut and paste every year
- US online revenue up 7.5% from last year: Adobe Analytics  (NOTE: Nominal - not adjusted for inflation)
- Black Friday shoppers spent a record $9.8 billion online in the US, Adobe Analytics reported, offering a positive sign for retailers facing lackluster sales forecasts for the holiday season.
- Demand for electronics, smartwatches, TVs and audio equipment helped boost the day’s online sales by 7.5% compared with last year.
- Consumers extended their budgets by leaning on buy-now, pay-later options, which climbed by 72% from the week before Thanksgiving (AFRM stock?)
--- On the other hand: US Black Friday sales rise 2.5%  (less than anticipated) according to Mastercard and  many looking for bargains
- E-commerce sales on Friday increased by 8.5% year-over-year as consumers shopped for deals online, while in-store sales increased by 1.1%, MasterCard Spendingpulse said.

Bank Closures  (JCD)
- Big banks like PNC Bank and JPMorgan Chase filed for closing several of their branches in multiple states last week amid a troubling pattern of rising branch shutdowns over the past years.
- Altogether, banks filed for shutting down 64 branches.
- The recent closures are part of a long-term branch shutdown trend that has been ongoing over the past several years. A report from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition shows that between 2017 and 2021, 9 percent of all bank branches shut down. The closure rate doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- According to data from S&P, there were 3,012 branch closures last year and 958 branch openings, leading to a net closure of 2,054 branches. This was the third consecutive year that net closings exceeded 2,000.
- One major factor that led to a surge in branch closures is the rise of digital banking, a trend that accelerated during the pandemic when people were stuck at their homes.

Health and Drugs
- Feels like 2024 could be the year of discovery
- CRSPR technology gets partial thumbs up - now we need to see if it has efficacy against Sickle Cell Late December)
- GSK said on Monday that its blood cancer drug Blenrep had reached a key goal in a late-stage trial, as the British drugmaker looks to bolster its oncology business after a series of setbacks. (No cure, but extends time before disease progresses)
- Let's not forget about all of the weight loss drugs  and potential (good) side effects
- - - VICTIMS of Weight Loss meds- Headwinds for Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) (robotic bariatric surgety)
----- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)) diabetes medicine and bariatric (new robtotic system to be released 2024)
- AND - plenty of $$ for healthcare/drug companies:

President Joe Biden will invoke a Cold War-era measure to boost investment in U.S. manufacturing of medicines and medical supplies that he has deemed important for national defense, the White House said.
- Biden will authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to use powers under the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to enable investments in "essential medicines," the White House said in a statement.
- The areas of investment also include "medical countermeasures," which include supplies that diagnose, prevent, or treat diseases related to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attacks.

- This deal is still pending
- iRobot falls, halted on volatility on drop below $37 after headlines cross that the EU has issued a warning that IRBT/Amazon (AMZN) deal could hurt competition

- North American pilots and flight attendants are pushing for better pay and working conditions during their talks over new job contracts with company managements.
- Members at some unions have voted to authorize a strike if a new contract is not reached. The aggressive stance comes as the U.S. airline industry struggles to boost staff levels to meet a surge in travel demand.
- Oh, and already hundreds of millions of $$$ added to payroll, vacation, sick and PTO benefits for

- The world's largest iceberg is on the move for the first time in more than three decades, scientists said last week.
- At almost 4,000 square km (1,500 square miles), the Antarctic iceberg called A23a is roughly three times the size of New York City.
- First big movement since 1986|
- Weighs approx 1 trillion metric tonnes

- Nvidia has told customers in China it is delaying the launch of a new artificial intelligence chip it designed to comply with U.S. export rules until the first quarter of next year, two sources familiar with the matter said.
- The delayed chip is the H20, the most powerful of three China-focused chips Nvidia has developed to comply with fresh U.S. export restrictions, the sources said, and could complicate its efforts to preserve market share in China against local rivals like Huawei
----- NVDA initially said that restrictions willhave NO maerial impact  then said it would  have some impact.
- MEANWHILE - reports that NVDA GPUs are being taken apart for reverse engineering in China to create AI chips - ?????

That time of year
- Birdflu
- Japan detected the first case of highly pathogenic H5-type bird flu this season at a poultry farm in the south of the country, public broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday.
- The local government in Saga prefecture will cull about 40,000 birds on the farm, NHK said, citing agriculture ministry officials it did not name.

- Admission prices for sporting events jumped 25.1% in October 2023 from the same month a year prior
- Part of the reason consumers may be seeing higher ticket prices for their favorite sports teams is because of the increasing use of dynamic pricing models, Matheson said.
- These structures allow ticket-selling platforms to fetch more or less per ticket, depending on demand for the event at any given moment.

More trouble in China
- Developer stocks and bonds plunged again Monday
- Beijing police are investigating suspected crimes committed by Zhongzhi Enterprise Group, a leading Chinese wealth manager, according to a social media post published by the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau on Saturday.
- Zhongzhi earlier this week told investors it is heavily insolvent with up to $64 billion in liabilities, threatening to reignite concerns that China's property debt crisis is spilling over into the broader financial sector.
- New concern for financial markets and developers solvency spilling over into other  areas

Announcing the Entries for the 2023 - DHUnplugged CTP Cup
- Matheau Phillips (2022 Winner)
- Anson Brady
- Taylor Rivera (2)
- Jeff Salcedo
- Jen Devall
- Mike Kazmierczak

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ANNOUNCING The Winner Closest to the Pin -
Croc's (CROX)

Winners will be getting great stuff like the new DHUnplugged Shirts (Designed by Jimbo) -
PLUS a one-of-a-kind DHUnplugged CTP Winner's certificate..




Al Irving

There once was a Fed quite spry,
Led by Powell, sharp-eyed and sly.
Interest rates danced,
Inflation's wild prance,
A financial waltz 'neath the economic sky.


Anthony Irante

In the realm of crypto so grand,
Bitcoin and Ethereum took a stand.
With blockchain they play,
In a decentralized way,
To reshape finance's command.

JCD Score ()

See this week’s stock picks HERE

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