Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Most Corrupted Markets in History

There are always shenanigans and manipulations involved in any kind of market, be it a food store, commodities exchange or those with which we are most familiar, equities.

The equity markets in the United States have to be some of the most corrupted places on the planet, far worse than those in so-called less-developed nations, mostly because both the regulation and the corruption is done by the very same entity - the government.

Not that the crude oil futures markets aren't any less subject to manipulation and distortion by a consortium of big-money players, but the trading today on the major US indices gives a small window into which we can see the depths and depravity of government-inspired and controlled manipulation.

Tuesday's markets opened with a spate of bad news.

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First a pre-earnings announcement by UPS that the high cost of gas had soured their second quarter expectations, then the Conference Board reported Consumer Confidence hitting another low, down to a June reading of 50.4, from 58.1, in May. It was the fifth-lowest reading ever.

Shortly after the announcement, stocks on the Dow Jones Industrials fell off by more than 100 points.

But, at 10:40, stocks began a miraculous recovery, and, by 11:20, the Dow had reached positive territory, with the other indices tagging along.

This was, without a doubt, the handiwork of the Plunge Protection Team (PPT), a/k/a, the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, by far the most powerful market intermediaries ever invented, blessed with the unbridled power of the presidency, the US Treasury, the Federal Reserve and heads of various other official and regulatory commissions, with its stated sole purpose to provide stability to financial markets.

The function of the PWGOFM is primarily to shore up flagging stock markets, to prevent panic, or, as is usually the case, to solidify the administration's case that the economy is sound - thus, the nickname, Plunge Protection Team.

What made today's activity so obvious was that the PPT swing into action as soon as the Dow reached 11,750, exactly the low point from March's swoon. It was evident that the powers-that-be (in this case the most corrupt politicians on earth) could not stomach a decline below that level, for that would have indeed confirmed the bear market with all its attendant consequences. Bouncing off it, as it did so obediently, makes the case for a re-test of the lows and a confirmation that we are "out of the woods," when, in fact, investors are totally lost in them.

Stocks have been heading lower for weeks and the sudden turn-about at precisely the closing low which every chartist worth his/her salt is watching, smacks of outright fraud at the highest levels of government.

As it is, even the powerful Plunge Protection Team, backed with monies from the Federal Reserve, cannot prevent the eventual bottoming out of US financial markets. They can only delay the process somewhat, in hopes that their fraud candidate - the flip-flopping John McCain - can make some phony case that all is well in America.

What a total and complete scam!

Dow 11,807.43 -34.93; NASDAQ 2,368.28 -17.46; S&P 500 1,314.29 -3.71; NYSE Composite 8,803.34 -38.55

Despite the best efforts of the PPT, stocks still took it on the chin again, though not quite as badly as they should have. That will come another day, as sure as the sun rises in the East.

Along the same lines, a series of unconfirmed reports from anonymous sources sent shares of Yahoo back up, after hitting multi-month lows. The so-called "rumors" that the company is back in talks with Microsoft, turned a 3/4-point loss into a more than 1/2-point gain. It was nothing more than continued manipulation by people with big money to lose or gain, notably "wildcat investor" Carl Icahn, who is heavily invested in Yahoo and faces a potential no-win situation without Microsoft.

On the day, declining issues held sway over advancers, 4412-1863, and new lows once again finished ahead of new highs, 768-90, a trend dating back to October 31, 2007. Since then, there have been more new highs than new lows on only a handful (less than 8) of days.

Crude oil for August delivery finished 26 cents higher, at $137.00. Gold was up $4.40, to $891.60 and silver declined 16 cents to $16.74. Once more, signs that the commodities boom is over are being telegraphed by the sluggish trade in precious metals.

Additionally, congress moved today to regulate oil futures trading more stringently than ever before, a move that many say could lead to prices of less than $89 per barrel and gas at $2.00 to $2.50 per gallon. Wishful thinking, indeed, but also well-timed, politically.

Tomorrow, the Fed issues a policy statement at 2:15. investors will collectively hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed leaving the federal funds rate unchanged at 2%.

How horribly stupid, and how easily fooled, investors are!

NYSE Volume 1,328,610,000
NASDAQ Volume 2,191,484,000

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