Trump Play Charles Atlas While The Russian's Cruise off the Coast of CT

Trump unleashes on the media in a hastily called press conference - saying that his message is being ' filtered' and that he needed to talk directly to the people, he wanted to lay out the message and the progress his administration has made in the past month.... saying that
 
"I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos...yet that is exactly the opposite.  The administration is running like a 'fine-tuned' machine despite the fact that I can't get my cabinet approved."
 
You could hear the phones go silent - when he approached the lectern.....everyone wondering what he was about to say....was it about the Russian's again, or the fact that they are sailing 30 miles off of the coast of Connecticut in what is defined as 'international waters' - are the Russians trying to taunt Trump or the American people?  (It appears that the American's are getting a bit more worked up about this than the administration) .... in fact - CNBC.com runs with the headline:
 
"Ignore That Spy Ship off the Coast - The Russians Aren't Coming"
 
I mean does anyone really think that we are on the brink of another Cuban Missile Crisis?  (This crisis was a 13 day confrontation, October 16-28th 1962 - between the US and the Russians as WE placed ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey causing the Russians to place ballistic missiles in Cuba.  This confrontation was the closest that the world ever came to a full scale nuclear war - and was in direct response by the Russians to the 'Bay Of Pigs' disaster that happened in April 1961.....but THAT is another story...)
 
Now while it is NOT the first time that the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov has sailed close to US shores - it is causing a bit of concern for many of the left wing media outlets.....  Lest they (the media) forget that  WE have US Navy Warships in the Black Sea - patrolling those 'international waters' as well (off the coast of Russia as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Turkey and Georgia) ....Ships that have been cruising in and out since the Crimea (Ukrainian) crisis broke out in 2014....In fact it was reported that "Russian Fighter Jets 'buzz' US Warship in Black Sea" just hours ago..... And that US Warship is defined as an American Guided Missile Destroyer - USS Porter.  This guided 'Destroyer' has been sailing in 'international waters' since having completed joint military exercises with our NATO ally - Romania. 
 
Or was Trump going to go try and make nice with the media - finally realizing that it may be better to play in the sandbox than outside of it.....THAT was not happening....in fact - Trump stood up and threw sand in their faces (think of that Charles Atlas media blitz back in the 1960's)  setting off another round of attacks by the media suggesting that his mental capacity is waning - The likes of Jake Tapper, Sheppard Smith, Wolfy Blitzer, Andy Cooper etc...all taking to the airwaves to denounce Trump.....yet the mkt did not react at all...in fact - it was more entertainment than message.....
 
And that story about the $4 bil hedge fund - Catalyst Hedged Futures Strategy Fund - and how they lost some $600 million in the last couple of weeks - due to a 'failed strategy' did have some buzzing - but did little to affect the mkts....and that makes some sense right - I mean the S&P alone has a $20 trillion mkt value and while the futures mkts do trade billions of dollars every day - it IS a stretch to think that one $4 billion hedge fund is responsible for moving the whole mkt...in fact - I'm gonna go out a limb here and say - CHALLENGE!.   I mean this story was all the buzz on Twitter, on chat rooms, and on trading desks...but that is more because of how traders interpret the failings of others....Remember - it is a BLOOD sport....and the story yesterday was more about 'gossip' than anything significant. (Sure it is significant for the Catalyst fund and some of their investors - but it means absolutely nothing for the rest of us....) ...and that is what the mkt told you as well....
 
The mkt - while entertained with all of these sideshows is remaining focused on the promise of REFORMS - Tax, Economic and Regulatory.  The mkt is also focused on the broader macro data points and what those points will mean to the FED and future policy...so after all the drama yesterday - what did the mkt do? 
 
Well the Dow closed UP 8 pts and the S&P closed lower by 2 pts, Nasdaq down by 4 pts and the Russell (mid-cap/sm cap) was off by 5 pts..  This is NOTHING to write home about....these are insignificant moves in the bigger picture.....but the fear is - What will be the catalyst?  What will cause investors/traders run for the exits?  Well - LACK of REFORM now will be the catalyst.....in fighting within the Republican party - that suggests that Trump will not get what the mkt expects will be cause for concern....
 
Eco data will also play a role here.....are we starting to really see improvement in the broader measures?  Is Europe and Asia turning the corner as well?  Will negative rates in those parts of the world - suddenly go positive as Central bankers at the ECB (European Central Bank) or BoJ (Bank of Japan) or RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) or PBoC (People's Bank of China) - suddenly get faced with overheating economies after all of these years of near zero interest rates? 
 
And what role will the FED play?  Calls for higher rates sooner rather than later are now the siren call - almost daily - so are investors ready for that?  While I do not see a rate rise in March (nor do I think does the mkt) - what happens if Yellen 'surprises' us?  Remember - what I said the other day....she set the table at the Humphrey Hawkins Testimony - she OPENED that door.....but did not commit - or did she?  That is what the mkt and investors will now have to discern...and if rates do rise but the eco data fails to support it -then what?  Can you say 'correction'? 
 
 
US futures are down 4 pts in early trading....as the profit taking that started yesterday moves into the final day of trading before the long weekend.  Remember - US mkts are closed on Monday for Presidents day - so do not be surprised to see some weakness as the day wears on.......There are zero economic reports today, but we will hear from Cleveland's Fed President Loretta Mester - But this will NOT be a mkt mover at all.....The talk will surely be about the Trump Press conference and what it means for the country.....talk of impeachment is already making the talk show circuit - Vegas bookies are beginning to post odds on how long this circus (meaning the whole of Washington DC) will go on...
 
My sense is that the mkt will waffle around - it may find short term 'really' short term support in line here around 2335- but the truth is real support is closer to 2300 with the 50 dma at 2276. 
 
European mkts are all trading a bit lower as they pause to take a breath  after earnings, better eco data and the strong rallies that have taken most of those mkts higher.....UK retail sales - the only notable report today missed estimates and fell 0.3% vs. the exp of rising 0.3%.  FTSE + 0.30%, CAC 40 -0.84%, DAX  -0.27%, EUROSTOXX -0.48%, SPAIN -0.66% and ITALY  -1%. 

Take good care -  Have a great weekend....
 


Classic Reuben w/ RUSSIAN Dressing 

How great are these sandwiches and considering all the chatter about Vlad and the Russians - I figured why not a good Rueben with RUSSIAN DRESSING. 
 
For this you need: Butter, rye bread, deli sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, drained and the Russian Dressing - (Now some people use Thousand Island - but today it's about the Russians!)
 
Using a griddle - put it on the stove and heat it up. Butter one side of each bread slice. Spread non-buttered sides with plenty of Russian Dressing .  Next layer 1 slice of med sliced Swiss cheese, then add the corned beef,  some sauerkraut and then another slice of Swiss cheese. Top with another slice of bread - remember the Russian Dressing goes on the 'inside' while the buttered side is on the outside.  
 
Place on the griddle and then put a piece of wax paper on the side that is up.  Now put one of those griddle weights on the wax paper to PRESS the sandwich and nicely grill the buttered bread.  After 5 mins* or so - check for doneness and then flip the sandwich and repeat the grilling process.  Once both sides are golden brown and the Swiss cheese is all melty and gooey and the Russian Dressing is oozzing from the sandwich you know it's done.  Serve Hot   
 
*depends on how high you heat the griddle....


 
Buon Appetito.

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