Analysis: LMT

In today's  Action Alerts PLUS Daily Rundown, Bob Lang says to keep an eye on the VIX following this morning's PCE results and ahead of the last trading quarter of the year.

 
He also reviewed the club's initiation of  Lockheed Martin ( LMT) .
 
 
BOB LANG: Good morning Action Alerts PLUS subscribers, it's September 30th, Friday, and it's time for our rundown today. So it's the end of the month, end of the quarter, and a lot of things to shake up the markets here right now, we have a lot to cover, so let's get to it.

So as we wrap up this week we notice that today we had a big economics release, it was called the PCE or the Personal Consumption Expenditure release, and this is an important report talking about inflation, income, and spending that the Fed pays very, very close attention to. They're not necessarily going to craft policy around this one report but it's very important to give them an idea of where inflation is headed in the short term and in the long term.

We did see a rise earlier this week in the VIX volatility index, and the VIX still ticking at about 32%. So remember the VIX rises when there's uncertainty around. So this release was out this morning and we saw an immediate drop in volatility. And why is that? It's because when you release the news, there is no more uncertainty, you have the news, whether it's good or bad.

And frankly, this report was not very good, it was very poor. Hot inflation across the board on the headline numbers and on the core index for inflation for the personal consumption expenditure. So it wasn't good, all it tells us is that the Fed is going to remain on course to raise interest rates for the rest of 2022 and into 2023 and keep rates higher for a lot longer.

So as it relates to volatility in the VIX, so let's talk about the VIX for a minute. So the VIX ticking at about 32%, what does that mean? That means basically there's about a 2% chance daily move in the markets regularly. So a 2% move, what does that mean? That would mean on the S&P 500, which is coming in at about 3,650 right now, 2% move would be about 73 points up and down. So we could go up 50, down 20, we could go down 40, up 30, any combination of that, that's the expected move.

Now, it doesn't necessarily mean that it has to happen that way. But the market is expecting that as it relates to volatility and the VIX but when the VIX comes down obviously, the market would be expecting much tighter moves, maybe not 2%, maybe 1% or 1.5%, but for now, it's a large move up and down, and that makes investors rather uneasy.

Now, going back to the PCE for a minute, and this again, this is a hot number. And the Fed is really-- is very adamant about keeping their policy of-- the hawkish policy of more rate hikes for longer. We should expect them to be aggressive off of this report and even the PMI numbers were rather soft this morning.

We are happy though to have defensive positions in the portfolio. In the portfolio, we have the PSQ, which is the short NASDAQ, and we have the SH, which is the short or the inverse of the S&P 500, along with a lot of cash. So between the three of those, over 33% of the portfolio is either positioned in cash or defensive positions. So it's helped to stem the tide against a wave of volatility in the markets here.

We've seen the VIX rise about 50% over the past month, month and a half, we have that cash, having the hoard of cash because we're waiting for opportunity to show up down the road. And we think that lower stock prices are coming and we're going to have that opportunity with that large hoard of cash to jump in there and grab some names on the cheap down the road.

So again, as we mentioned, today also marks the last day of the month, last day of the quarter of the third quarter, and we'll see some-- probably going to see some earnings warnings coming over the next couple of weeks. Don't bank me on that but usually, we see that happen in the beginning of the fourth quarter as well too. So the end of the month, the end of the quarter today.

So again the numbers don't look very good. The S&P will be down about 4% for the quarter with back-to-back monthly losses, August was poor and S&P 500 is going to be down large in September, close to 8%. For the year, S&P 500 down about 23%, and this sets up a very challenging quarter to come in the fourth quarter before the end of 2022.

Yesterday we initiated a position in Lockheed Martin, a new company that we added to the portfolio, it's rated a 2. We picked up some shares of this name yesterday. It's a favorite name of ours in the defense industry, defense sector, it's one of the best names out there. They build jets, they build bombs and weapons, and so forth. And this is something that the United States needs to have more of down the road.

So we're happy with this name. And we managed to pick it up fortunately on a dip here. The stock's pulled back sharply from recent highs to a good support area, and we believe that this is what's called a nice low-risk entry point. We delivered a nice comprehensive view of the rationale and the reasoning for adding Lockheed Martin yesterday along with the chart analysis. So check your email box for what we sent yesterday, it's going to give you good-- it'll give you a good idea of why we entered into the name.

And finally, don't forget to tune in on Wednesday, October 5th. It's going to be our monthly call, we're going to be covering all of our positions and a little bit of actions that we did from September. It's always a fun, fun call to be on.

And hopefully, we'll have a chance to take some questions from all of you. And don't forget to send those questions in. We'll read through them and figure out which ones we want to cover and cover basically most of the portfolio for the month of September, and we're looking forward to spending an hour with all of you guys next Wednesday. That'll be it. Have a great weekend, everyone. And we'll see you on Monday.