18 January 2018: Government shutdown

The last time the US government had to shut down was more than four years ago in October 2013. The Republican-led House of Representatives was not prepared to come to an agreement on Obamacare. Almost one million federal employees were sent home (on ‘furlough’) and could not return to their offices for more than two weeks.
We are close to another government shutdown. If the US Congress is not able to  pass legislation to fund the federal government by midnight on Friday, the government will shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. The government budget should have been approved before 1 October last year, but the House of Representatives and the Senate have not been able to come to an agreement. Various resolutions had led to temporary measures to keep government programs funded. But this time, there appears to be no way out. Democrats and Republicans have to come to an agreement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on the one hand and the Mexican wall on the other hand. Democrats want to do the decision-making separately, but President Donald Trump wants action on both at the same time.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that complicated,” President Trump remarked during a meeting with congressional leaders on immigration reform. But he seems to be complicating matters himself, by insisting on keeping the two subjects tied together. With any other US President, this would mean that we are heading straight into another government shutdown. But with Donald Trump we cannot be sure.

white-chapel-logo-smallThe Dow staged a late rally to end above 26,000 for the first time ever yesterday. It was only eight trading days ago that the Dow reached 25,000 points. The index jumped 1.25% yesterday to reach the new milestone. The S&P 500 (+0.94%) and the NASDAQ (+1.03%) did only slightly worse. The S&P 500 is on its way to 3,000 points and the NASDAQ might reach 7,500 points within the coming weeks if the euphoria among investors remains. The major US indices are up more than 4% for the year, the best such start since 2003 for the Dow and the S&P 500. Volatility eased during most of yesterday’s session, but at the end of the day the VIX rose and gained more than 2%. UVXY ETFs paid the price and closed more than 4% lower nevertheless. XIV ETNs gained 2%.
Danny Daredevil was not able to retain his good mood of the day before and his RSS dropped to 7% yesterday. Adventurous Anny´s RSS remained unchanged at 23%, as she is still holding a cash position. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry picked up their pace and their RSS rose to 111%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.

Model Holds Start date

RSS

YTD

QTD

AAR

Danny Daredevil UVXY 1 January 2016

-6.70%

-8.52%

-8.52%

-3%

Adventurous Anny Cash 6 March 2017

22.91%

0.00%

0.00%

27%

Solid Suzy XIV 6 March 2017

111.05%

4.68%

4.68%

136%

Lazy Larry
XIV 6 March 2017

111.05%

4.68%

4.68%

136%

RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return

 

Back in 2015, Tim and René visited Kijkduin, a beach resort on the North Sea coast of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands.
For Tim, there is no visiting Kijkduin without a visit to Hemels Gewelf (Celestial Vault), an astronomical optical illusion / art installation which was built in 1996 by American artist James Turrell.
Below is René’s portrait of Tim, while he was ‘experiencing’ Hemels Gewelf.