Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bear Market Rally Built on Fraud

Every day, day after day after day, the sharks on Wall Street do the same thing, over and over and over again. According to the new rules of the game, stocks are suddenly much more attractive at 2:30, or 3:00, or 3:15, or 3:30, without any news, without any economic reports, without any technical rationale, than they were earlier in the day.

This is called manipulation. Manipulation which occurs every day, without fail.

The pattern is so established and so obvious, eventually, the only people trading stocks will be the manipulators themselves, scratching and clawing for scraps, quarter points, half points, here and there, churning, deceiving, shorting stocks they are recommending to their clients and taking every last bit of available capital out of the hands of investors and into the black holes of the banks and brokerages.

It will eventually fail, and fail miserably. The smartest money got out of this market on Friday, the marginally less smart, Monday, and those with any brain cells left, after being slammed and hammered by instability and volatility, got out today.

With each passing day that the seven largest banks in America are allowed to continue doing business under a government-sponsored shroud of solvency - a complete and total fraud which I called as early as 2007, and others called even before me - stocks will be a very dangerous gamble. Those banks - Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and American Express - are all insolvent and have been at least since September of 2008, some even sooner. All have benefited from injections of liquidity, cash and other government largess, courtesy of the US taxpayer, and still are underwater.

Finally, today, cracks began to widen in the flimsy fraud facade of "improving conditions", "signs of recovery", and other such nonsense being thrown around by the insipid morons on CNBC, on corporate boards and in the minds of witless fools who think they can make money in this environment.

After shaving 75 points off its 210-point loss in the final 1 1/2 hours, the markets were met with a torrent of selling in the final ten minutes of trading, pushing stocks close to their lows of the day. This should usher in more selling in days and weeks to come, as the rally built on nothing by hype, hope, lies and greed, completely falls apart. Conditions are not improving overall. They are getting worse, the recession deepening, business conditions deteriorating, credit squeezed to the breaking point, and fear re-emerging as the dominant sentiment.

And signs are clear that the economy will face heightened challenges in the months ahead, if the Business Roundtable Survey of 100 CEOs [PDF] is to be believed. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed expected sales to decrease over the next six months. 66% expect to decrease capital spending, and 71% expect to lower employment over the same period. THESE GUYS SHOULD KNOW. THEY RUN PUBLICLY-TRADED COMPANIES.

The economic outlook index of the same survey fell to -5 (negative 5.0) in the period, the lowest level ever recorded in the six years of the survey and markedly lower than last quarter's reading of 16.5.

In case you need more proof of Wall Street's fraud and the true condition of the US economy, consider reading this New York Times story which explains how analysts expect earnings to be 37% lower than a year ago - a year which was already down from the previous year for many companies. You will learn that Standard and Poors reported that companies cut a total of $77 billion in dividends in the first quarter of 2009, the worst record of dividend cuts on record.

There was more bad news as the Times of London reported that the IMF may issue a report that bank toxic assets could reach as high as $4 trillion. Their previous estimate was $2.1 trillion. The report is due April 21.

Dow 7,789.56, -186.29 (2.34%)
NASDAQ 1,561.61, -45.10 (2.81%)
S&P 500 815.55, -19.93 (2.39%)
NYSE Composite 5,120.67, -128.81 (2.45%)

On the day, declining issues thumped advancers, 4897-1477. New lows were reached at 75 stocks, while a mere 10 recorded new 52-week highs. Volume was decimated by the lack of buyers. The smart money was moving out. The stubborn and the ill-informed remained in the market as stocks commence a cascade to lower levels. Volume has not been this low in four weeks, prior to the beginning of the massive ramp-up in stocks. Bulls will say the volume points out that today's decline is unimportant, though bears will point to three consecutive gains of lower highs and lower lows as proof that the bear market rally is out of gas.

NYSE Volume 1,261,882,000
NASDAQ Volume 1,868,136,000

Commodities were split, with the metals up and energy and food futures lower. Oil fell $1.90, to $49.15, on increased concerns over slack global demand. Gold ended a three-day losing streak, up $10.50, to $883.30. Silver added 10 cents to $12.21.

Finally, after the bell, Alcoa kicked off earnings season with a 59 cent per share loss, greater than the 56-cent loss analysts were expecting. It was the second straight quarter the company has posted a loss.

And, late in the day, news leaked out that General Motors (GM) was in "intense and earnest" preparations of a bankruptcy filing, in case the company fails to meet the requirements of the Obama administration's stringent restructuring plan.

I could not make this stuff up, folks. We, as a nation, are headed for economic hell.

No comments: