Saturday, April 29, 2017

Wall Street Frowns Over No Government Shutdown

The morons elected officials occupying the nation's capitol decided to punt on Friday, issuing a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating for another week, rather than risk a government shutdown (which isn't really a shutdown), but Wall Street seemed unimpressed by their shenanigans.

Stocks closed lower on Friday, possibly as a form of relief after massive gains earlier in the week, finishing with minor losses, but with their second straight weekly gain.

After what promised to be a week of rancor and argument turned into a mere smattering of name-calling and finger-pointing, investors seemed unfazed by what didn't happen in Washington.

The politicians have failed to pass any meaningful legislation, ObamaCare is still the law of the land, the congress continues to borrow money despite the highest tax receipts in history, and, if not for steady winnings in stocks, the American people would be up in arms over the lack of purpose and dignity in the halls of congress.

If, by some stroke of good fortune, the government would cease to exist on a semi-permanent basis, it might spark a rally on Wall Street the likes of which have never been seen. Since what the current federal government consists of does nothing for the betterment of the American citizen, perhaps it should declare itself ineffective and incompetent, and finally shut itself down.

We can only hope...

At the Close, 4/28/17:
Dow: 20,940.51, -40.82 (-0.19%)
NASDAQ: 6,047.61, -1.33 (-0.02%)
S&P 500: 2,384.20, -4.57 (-0.19%)
NYSE Composite: 11,536.08, -42.44 (-0.37%)

For the week:
Dow: +392.75 (1.91%)
NASDAQ: +137.08 (2.32%)
S&P 500: +35.53 (1.51%)
NYSE Composite: +146.95 (1.29%)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Wall Street Stalling As DC Politicians Fight Over Nothing, Threaten Shutdown

The NASDAQ recorded another record close (6,048.94), but stocks struggled to remain positive Thursday as politicians in Washington continued to wrangle over funding the government and a potential vote on a replacement for Obamacare.

Democrats have called for a government shutdown if the Republicans bring a health care bill to the House floor before passing a continuing resolution for federal government funding.

This seems to be all that the politicos in Washington - and, apparently, the wizards of Wall Street - care about at present, though first quarter corporate earnings continue to be largely impressive.

Amazon (AMZN) and Alphabet, parent of Google (GOOG), released impressive first quarter results. Both stocks were up sharply on the day, but there was little luster elsewhere.

With gridlock having become the norm for the sacred cows of congress, investors need to begin looking beyond the sham that is government, which loses money all the time and is generally a burden to taxpayers rather than a benefit, for other catalysts to keep the eight-year bull market ramping along.

Nothing good is going to come out of Washington, DC, for the foreseeable future. Investors should turn a blind eye toward the nation's capitol and focus in on business, the true creator of capital.

At The Close, Thursday, April 27, 2017:
Dow: 20,981.33, +6.24 (0.03%)
NASDAQ: 6,048.94, +23.71 (0.39%)
S&P 500: 2,388.77, +1.32 (0.06%)
NYSE Composite: -11,578.52, -14.39 (-0.12%)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stocks Rally As No Government Shutdown Seen; NASDAQ At Record High

Closing at as record high, the NASDAQ powered through the 6000 mark while the Dow and S&P 500 had their best back-to-back sessions of the year.

Investors appear to be pleased with the progress in Washington toward a peaceful resolution to the budget, in which the congress must fund the government by Friday night or be forced to close down parts of the federal apparatus.

Key to the negotiation has been President Trump's masterful handling of the situation, saying he can wait until later in the year to get congress to partially fund the building of the wall between Mexico and the United States on the US southern border. Democrats have already cried wolf over the measly $1.3 billion that would need to be appropriated to get the project into planning stage. Trump, knowing that a government shutdown would be blamed on Republicans, backed off his demands in order to attain at least a limited peace with the obstructionist Democrats.

This master stroke by Trump left investors giddy with confidence that the government will function without interruption. Also aiding the rally was a spate of earnings, notably by McDonald's, which suggested the economy is on a solid, growing footing.

Though the bull market which began in March of 2009 seems to be getting long in the tooth, the expansion due to Trump policies may just be starting.

At the Close, Tuesday, April 25, 2017:
Dow: 20,996.12, +232.23 (1.12%)
NASDAQ: 6,025.49, +41.67 (0.70%)
S&P 500: 2,388.61, +14.46 (0.61%)
NYSE Composite: 11,603.28, +71.49 (0.62%)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stocks Make Third Weekly Gain In Last Seven; Government Shutdown Looms; Central Banks On Buying Spree

Stocks fell softly to close out the week, but ended with the third weekly gain in the past seven, the major averages having hit something of a speed bump of late what with the wranglings and do-nothings in Washington DC, heightened military potentialities in the Mideast and Pacific Rim (North Korea), sloppy economic data, the passing of the income tax filing deadline, and the non-stop media parade of fake news mostly designed to undermine the presidency of one Mr. Donald J. Trump.

While the overall tone of the market is nothing to get aroused over, the upcoming week could bring some more sobering developments as congress returns from a two-week vacation (a vacation from doing nothing) coinciding with Spring Break. One wishes the congresspeople well enough, but actually doing something to benefit the American public for a change would be welcome. While President Trump is trying his level best, the Democrats and their trainers in the media complex are simply playing in an alternate universe and at times coming close to treasonous actions by working against the best interests of the Republic and focusing solely on what they consider the primary interest of their party.

As the coming week progresses, the level of rancor and obtuseness could reach a fever pitch as the government faces a deadline on April 28 for some kind of budget agreement, or, more likely, another in a too long series of continuing resolutions. Both sides of the debate over what to overspend upon are already well-suited in their peculiar ideological jumpsuits, the Democrats desperate to hold onto the last vestiges of failed socialism (called progressive by the liberal left and ultra-left media), the Republicans - in congress at least - looking to cement their dicey majorities in both houses.

At the outside looking in is the current administration, bent on keeping at least some of the promises Mr. Trump made during the campaign, though reneging against the American people has become so common in the post-Vietnam era that it's almost laughable that anyone would believe a word coming from the lips of any politician in Washington.

Thus, a government shutdown looms a real possibility, though more likely a dramatic, last-gasp, late-into-the-night-made-for-TV deal is probably what's driving the phony debate. As the politicians pose and posture, many American citizens are becoming keenly aware that federal government budgets are a laughable charade, being that deficits continue on and beyond the horizon, the national debt already within $16 billion of $20 trillion, a condition only humans could have created and something only a government with all the fiscal discipline of a 12-year-old with dad's credit card could continue.

At the end of the debate, shutdown, or partial farce, the world will continue spinning, Americans will be the bag-holders of the century and the central bank ponzi will continue.

Holders of stocks should worry the least, since the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the European Central Bank (ECB) "invested" over ONE TRILLION US DOLLARS in global financial instruments in the first four months of the year, a record amount. Certainly, the Fed and Bank of England - not to mention the Swiss National Bank - are quietly doing their part to keep the liquidity flowing in the background, using all manner of underhanded tactics to undermine every national currency available.

The policy of central bank asset-grabbing is unprecedented in financial history, though rather a common theme since the meltdown of 2008-09.

In the end, 98% of the world's population will own almost none of the assets, the central banks having snatched up anything that hasn't already been bolted down, and they're sure to use wrenches and sledgehammers to take whatever remains as well.

Though the times are trying, central bankers continue buying.

At the Close, Friday, April 21, 2017:
Dow: 20,547.76 -30.95 (-0.15%)
NASDAQ: 5,910.52, -6.26 (-0.11%)
S&P 500: 2,348.69, +-7.15 (-0.30%)
NYSE Composite: 11,389.13, -37.78 (-0.33%)

For the week:
Dow: +94.51 (0.46%)
NASDAQ: +105.37 (1.82%)
S&P 500: +19.74 (0.85%)
NYSE Composite: +65.60 (0.57%)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Stocks Surge, But Indecision Remains

This market cant seem to make up its mind.

At least that's the impression from the past few days of trading - or even the past eight weeks - which has seen the major averages whipsawed by varying reports of Trump administration plans, key industry data, jobless claims, and the all-important stance by the Federal Reserve on raising the federal funds rate.

On that last point, the recent March non-farm payroll data should have put the kibosh on any rate hikes until at least July, and that's the thinking of most of the Wall Street analysts, who actually get it right some of the time.

With just Friday remaining, unless stocks are donw close to one percent on the day, the week will finish positive, though it would be only the fourth positive week in the last eight, another sign of indecision.

At the Close, Thursday, April 20, 2017:
Dow: 20,578.71, +174.22 (0.85%)
NASDAQ: 5,916.78, +53.74 (0.92%)
S&P 500: 2,355.84, +17.67 (0.76%)
NYSE Composite: 11,427.73, +85.31 (0.75%)