Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ice From The Sun; Who Was Bob White?

Fearless Rick, writing in the first person...

This is the first post from my new digs, actually just a $700 camper I purchased recently and added to my assets at Camp Alpha (the poor man's Trump Tower, but better in many ways).

I ran an extension cord from the camper outlet to my awesome Champion generator (runs on gasoline, whoda thunk it), fired it all up and got the refrigerator working, tested most of the outlets and lights, hooked up my $6.95 second-hand-store-bought SoundDesign dual cassette tape, AM/FM radio, record player and put on some old vinyl of 1930s and 40s jazz. It was a wonderful experience.

These markets are just crazy. Another day, another split decision. It's becoming quite annoying, so I'm trying not to pay much attention to it, since, after all, it's all funny money, conjured by the magicians at the Federal Reserve out of thin air.

Not all of us are taken in by the con. No siree!

At the Close, 7/20/17:
Dow: 21,611.78, -28.97 (-0.13%)
NASDAQ: 6,390.00, +4.96 (0.08%)
S&P 500: 2,473.45, -0.38 (-0.02%)
NYSE Composite: 11,944.50, +3.16 (0.03%)

The Dow is down, the NASDAQ is up, the S&P finishes with a fractional decline. Does anybody even care?

What interests me at the moment is the potential to make ice using solar power. It is doable, but, can it be profitable. I'm about to find out. Right at this moment, the generator has been running for about three hours on about two gallons of gas. This is not cost efficient because I've made three trays of ice cubes, re-frozen some chicken drumsticks and am in the process of freezing a trio of one liter plastic bottles filled with water (they're working).

The gas cost was about $6.00, because I use the good stuff (91+), but the solar solution is probably more cost-efficient. After the cost of the panels, batteries, connectors and the fridge/freezer, the sun does the heavy lifting, so to speak. I'll have more on this in upcoming, fantastic Money Daily posts, since the financial markets are giving me headaches.

Photos, too... but, listen to this piece by Benny Goodman from 1937, called Bob White. Nice, but, I have questions. Who was Bob White and why was the King of Swing giving him such a hard time?


BTW: the lilting vocals by Martha Tilton were her first recorded with Benny Goodman and his Orchestra.


All-Time Highs on S&P, NASDAQ, Dow Industrials, NYSE Composite

Thanks to central banks, all the major averages made new closing highs on Wednesday.

This is not investing. This is centralized control.

Nothing about these markets should be believed, especially since the money represented is conjured out of thin air by central bankers. Thinking people should question this unusual feature of money and markets. Most of the world is asleep, lulled into a trance by the power of money.

It's difficult to comprehend that all of the money flows are complete fiction, but that is the truth, unfortunately.

At the Close, 7/19/17:
Dow: 21,640.75, +66.02 (0.31%)
NASDAQ: 6,385.04, +40.74 (0.64%)
S&P 500: 2,473.83, +13.22 (0.54%)
NYSE Composite: 11,941.34, +63.92 (0.54%)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mixed Markets are Sending Clear Message

As seems to be the norm lately, the major indices finished in mixed fashion Tuesday, with the NASDAQ and S&P finishing with gains, while the Dow and NYSE Composite took losses.

This repeating pattern may be confusing to some investors, but the trend seems pretty clear: there will be winners and losers on given days, often on the same days, and, while the general economy may have weak and strong sectors, the general trend is higher.

Nothing could be more obvious after chasing stocks since March of '09 has resulted in one of the greatest bull markets of any era. For the most part, it's been easy pickings for fund managers, hedgers (most of whom don't hedge at all), and even individuals investing in the market. An especially accommodative Federal Reserve has seen to that. Even today, with the federal funds rate at 1.00-1.25% - the highest in nine years - by historical standards it's still incredibly low.

Recent talk by Janet Yellen and other Fed members is leading the market to believe that this regime of low interest rates still has room to run. The FOMC has upped the federal funds rate twice already, but appears to be slowing its approach. Many believe they will only raise rates once more this year, likely in December.

Climbing the worry wall with the Fed, most of the Wall Street crowd seems convinced that the central bank has the stock market's back, despite political rhetoric and decades of denial. The Fed is supposed to control monetary policy, but, since the GFC, they certainly don't appear shy about meddling elsewhere, having sloshed bond and stock markets alike with wave after wave of fresh fiat.

Since the money is nothing more than paper with promises, it's what they can and will do. Until further notice, the Fed is in control of all money, yours, ours, theirs, and those of foreigners, dead people, and people not yet born.

It's probably a good thing that there's so much normalcy bias that hardly anyone cares that everything is completely fake.

Like the saying says, "fake it 'til you make it."

At The Close, 7/18/17:
Dow: 21,574.73, -54.99 (-0.25%)
NASDAQ: 6,344.31, +29.87 (0.47%)
S&P 500: 2,460.61, +1.47 (0.06%)
NYSE Composite: 11,877.42, -13.09 (-0.11%)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stocks Flat on Monday, BofA, Goldman Sachs Report Improved Earnings

Stocks finished flat in a very dull session, which is not surprising following the blockbuster that was last week. With scant economic news, traders are likely looking forward to the FOMC meeting next week (Tuesday and Wednesday), the last one before September.

Corporate earnings will be taking the spotlight over the next two weeks, as the majority of companies will be reporting second quarter results.

Prior to the open on Tuesday, a couple of major financial institutions reported, with excellent results.

Bank of America (BAC) posted $5.3 billion in net income, up 10% from a year ago. BofA’s earnings per share for the quarter increased 12% to 46 cents. Analysts expected the bank to earn 43 cents per share.

Goldman Sachs (GS) EPS: $3.95 vs. $3.39 expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue $7.89 billion vs. $7.521 billion expected by Reuters.

Despite those solid figures, futures on the main indices are drifting lower prior to Tuesday's opening bell.

At the close, 7/17/17:
Dow: 21,629.72, -8.02 (-0.04%)
NASDAQ: 6,314.43, +1.97 (0.03%)
S&P 500: 2,459.14, -0.13 (-0.01%)
NYSE Composite: 11,890.51, -6.80 (-0.06%)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

All Janet Yellen, All The Time Sends Stocks Soaring

“Because the neutral rate is currently quite low by historical standards, the federal funds rate would not have to rise all that much further to get to a neutral policy stance.”
-- Janet Yellen, in prepared remarks to House Financial Services Committee, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Since that statement, released prior to the opening bell on Wednesday, stocks have taken flight to new highs. For instance, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday at 21,409.07, and closed Friday at 21,637.74. A couple hundred points isn't bad, but check out the NASDAQ:
NASDAQ close 7/11/17: 6,193.30
NASDAQ close 7/14/17: 6,312.47

119 points in three days is OK work if you can get it, and Wall Street perfectly got it, interpreting Yellen's statement that the Fed's controlled federal funds interest rate would not be rising very quickly this year, if at all. Good news! Buy!

The soft underbelly of that statement is that the US - and by extension, the global - economy is not growing, inflation is not roaring (June CPI was flat, as in 0.0%, and the Fed is desperate for inflation), wages are not rising and employment is still flagging. Additionally, the number of people out of the labor force is enormous, pension plans in states such as Illinois, Connecticut, California and elsewhere are imploding, putting additional pressure on the Fed, Wall Street and the PPT to keep asset prices rising. Otherwise, the entire financial system collapses.

Also, P/E ratios on the S&P 500 are hovering around 25%, which is about 40% higher than the norm. The market badly needs to correct, but, thanks to Yellen and her cohorts, central banks continue to purchase assets at exorbitant prices.

What could go wrong?

Have a great weekend.

At the Close, 7/14/17:
Dow: 21,637.74, +84.65 (0.39%)
NASDAQ: 6,312.47, +38.03 (0.61%)
S&P 500: 2,459.27, +11.44 (0.47%)
NYSE Composite: 11,897.31, +52.69 (0.44%)

For the week:
Dow: +223.40 (1.04%)
NASDAQ: +159.39 (1.59%)
S&P 500: +34.09 (1.41%)
NYSE Composite: +144.33 (1.23%)