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“Governments never learn.  Only people learn.” – Milton Friedman

The pictures all over the news were disheartening this weekend with the Taliban increasingly taking control of Afghanistan as city after city, including Kabul, surrenders to the militant group at a pace that foreign policy ‘experts’ could never have imagined. In the words of one commentator this weekend, “The battle was over before it even began.”  The Taliban has gained control of the country’s borders, so the only way out now is the Kabul airport which has been flooded with people seeking to exit, including the US embassy.  There have been reports of shots fired at people running to the airport, and pictures of desperate Afghanis and foreign nationals climbing onto moving planes shows the desperation among those seeking an exit.  What ultimately unfolds in the country is anyone’s guess at this point, but after nearly 20 years of involvement, it doesn’t look like the US has much to show for its efforts. From a market perspective, this weekend’s events are certainly having some impact this morning, and while there may be long-term macro implications down the road, these kind of immediate reactions are usually short-lived.

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We don’t normally use technical analysis on things like interest rates, but we noticed that the recent bounce in the 10-year Treasury yield stalled out right at its 50-day moving average before pulling back quite a bit on Friday after the weaker-than-expected Michigan Confidence release.  Remember, sectors like Financials and Industrials have been trading right inline with moves in the 10-year Treasury yield recently.

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