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Morning Commentary

Welcome Back Congress...Now What?

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
9/5/2017 9:31 AM
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Question of the Week

President Trump is ditching DACA but giving Congress six months to find an elegant solution to the issue. The issue has major forces on both sides and even within the GOP there are some that would like it to remain in place (even those that readily say it was an illegal program created by executive overreach). When it comes to DACA should Congress:
Send "Dreamers" to countries of origin
Keep program in place
Allow Dreamers to stay but without full US citizenship

Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out
Welcome back, to that same old place that you laughed about
Well the names have all changed since you hung around
But those dreams have remained and they've turned around
Who'd have thought they'd lead ya
Back here where we need ya
Yeah we tease him a lot 'cause we got him on the spot

Theme Song ‘Welcome Back Kotter’
John Sebastian

Congress returns with a full plate that includes all the anxiety that saw it botch health care insurance that was a slam dunk.  Now, the agenda is trickier in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the needs of victims in Texas and Louisiana.  (Plus, Hurricane Irma is looming as another potential disaster.)  There is enormous pressure to pass a so-called clean debt ceiling with Harvey relief, but it may not be that simple.

Today, we are expecting to hear President Trump officially end DACA but give Congress six months to act.  Silicon Valley is pounding the war drums and will spend millions trying to stop this action.  Then, there is North Korea.  Ambassador Haley says the Hermit Kingdom is “begging for war,” and she’s right.  Add it all up, and the market will open tepidly.

Can Consumers Save Economy & Further Rally?

In June, revolving consumer debt hit $1,021,693 a new record beating the $1,020,482 reached in June 2008. This raises red flags for some but to me, it is a sign of confidence.  Spending as a percentage of disposable income is far more reasonable than pre-recession levels. 

The big caveat is wages which are only inching higher despite many economists saying the United States is at full employment.  I continue to be confounded by the slow pace of wage growth as the paradigm seems to be new (read lower) growth after successive recessions.  We must turn this around.  I think it will happen.  In fact, I think we could see a hockey stick formation once wages breakout to the upside.

The answer to my question is yes, consumers can reignite the economy and support the next leg higher in the stock market.  The needle of growth needs help from business investment as well.  Businesses have already begun to increase spending on durable goods, but I suspect they are even more eager to make those investments if given the green light from Congress.

Today’s Session

The market looks to open slightly lower as it grapples with several issues but the good news is none are directly about the economy.  The economic underpinnings continue to improve against a backdrop of no inflation.  Some would call this a Goldilocks scenario which has always been perfect for stocks. 

Meanwhile, I continue to cheer the action in metals and metal stocks like U.S. Steel which caught an upgrade this morning at Bank of America (I love it when Wall Street gets to the party late but keeps it going).  Let’s watch the political theater play out globally and domestically.

These kinds of sessions are a great test of the resolve of investors and markets.  There is lots of noise and lots of unknowns without easy answers.


Comments
San Diego state university wants "dreamers" to stay .Great who's paying their tuition? Taxpayer. Our kids go in hock trying to pay for college.

Roy on 9/5/2017 10:07:20 AM
Charles, miss you on TV! I am an independent engineer-scientist. I wrote "The 707 Revolution." I do the math. I can prove logically and mathematically that both President Trump and our Progressives are wrong on taxes! You and I should talk!


HARVEY STUMP on 9/5/2017 10:28:59 AM
Will you be returning to Fox News?

JB on 9/5/2017 10:45:10 AM
Citizenship has to mean something.

Patricia Flynn on 9/5/2017 12:05:37 PM
While I don't believe children are responsible for the crimes of their parents, I also believe they shouldn't be rewarded for said crimes! Give the DACA kids legal status without full citizenship. It's a fair and humane outcome!

kev on 9/5/2017 1:58:19 PM
The immigration process has to be applied equally to each and every person apply for any type of visa. DACU beneficiaries are no exception. Get in line. I'm a lifelong citizen who married a woman from Ukraine - the green card/residency process took over 5 years - 100s of pages of documentation and $$$$. Why should DACU status qualify as an exception.

BP on 9/5/2017 6:44:27 PM
There was a report out yesterday that approximately 900 of the 800,000 dreamers have joined our military with a contract that lets them apply for citizen ship after 6 years of service That sounds reasonable. Are all the rest of the dreamers rock solid members of our society, working, paying taxes, pursuing education for a better life?. I doubt it. Lets pray that this confused congress can end this DACA situation forever and let people who come here legally find the American dream that's always been there for those who seek it the right way.

john oneil on 9/15/2017 9:56:36 PM
 

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