Another day moving sideways to slightly down. Is there any hope we can get out of this?
Sure, but President-elect Trump has to refocus the attention of the market.
We have gone from the Trump Hope to Trump Doubt, or maybe the Trump Reality.
What I mean is this: the markets rallied after the election because it believed Trump would focus on tax cuts and fiscal stimulus. It naturally paused in mid-December to await further details.
Instead, Trump appears to be focusing on Obamacare (a potential quagmire) and trade conflicts, another quagmire.
That's why the market is faltering: will these be the priorities? And are we really facing four years of portfolio risk around Trump's constant tweeting?
Is there any hope? Sure. The bulls insist everyone should calm down. The idea is to keep moving in the right direction. As long as you have enough things being worked on and there is incremental progress the markets will be fine.
I think we are a little past this phase. Some are hoping Trump will move away from the more divisive issues and emphasize economy-enhancing moves like tax cuts and infrastructure spending in his inaugural address.
That would be a big help: a reset for the markets.
Anthony Scaramucci, formerly of Skybridge Capital but now Office of Public Liaison director for the Trump administration, was on CNBC talking with my colleague Scott Wapner. He said the inaugural address would be "Reaganesque" meaning , he said, it would be uplifting and inspiring.
Scaramucci, understandably, is bullish on the earnings growth prospects for 2017. While many strategists have said there is potential for 20 percent growth in the S&P 500, Scaramucci talked about the potential for many companies to grow earnings 30 percent or more next year.
Let's hope there is a road map for that, and that Scaramucci has Trump's ear on how to get that done.