Monday, April 6, 2009

Wall Street Crooks Steal from Both Sides

Upon which side of the debate do you fall? Do you believe this is a bear market rally or the beginning of a new bull?

Whatever your opinion, the big money which flows from the major brokerages has you covered. Today was a serious case in point of how the brokerages steal from both sides. Stocks began the day with losses, hit bottom at 12:30 and gained the rest of the day, finishing close to the best levels of the session, with minor losses.

The Dow, in particular, outperformed the other indices by a wide margin, likely owing to the fact that three of the major failed, insolvent banking institutions - Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup - are included in the average. Throw in American Express, General Motors and General Electric and you have what prosecutors would call means and motive for manipulating the Dow currency close to the break-even line, which is exactly what occurred on Monday.

Dow 7,975.85, -41.74 (0.52%)
NASDAQ 1,606.71, -15.16 (0.93%)
S&P 500 835.48, -7.02 (0.83%)
NYSE Composite 5,250.10, -68.65 (1.29%)

Apparently, financial outlooks were poor in the morning, but markedly improved in the afternoon. I prefer to believe that the major brokerages, which can exert as much or as little influence as they like, prefer their markets to be rigged in their favor. In any case, what the charts are yelling, loud and clear, is that the rally of recent weeks has run out of steam, having hit a trading and volume top on Thursday of last week and followed up with what amounts to churning the following two days.

Of course, I've been proven wrong before and there's a high probability that the Wall Street fixers will say, "to hell with the technicals," which are pointing upwards at heavy resistance, and just pump the indices right on through, declaring a new bull market, the end of banking problems and a new day in America.

There are more than a few detractors to the view, though the general tone of the lap-dog media is that conditions are improving, even though the only evidence of that are a couple of minor bounces off bottoms by a few random economic indicators and the actual stock market rally itself (which you can't count as a sign it's getting better and also use as the ultimate discounting mechanism).

Looking at market internals, it is notable that declining issues outnumbered advancing ones, 4497-1963, a 5-2 margin, which is much worse than the headline numbers suggest. Additionally, new low continued ahead of new highs, 66-18, a narrow edge, but one that has yet to flip over after favoring the new lows on a daily basis for more than 16 months.

Volume was down again, as it was Friday, suggesting a dearth of buying enthusiasm, not surprising after the giant run-up which has stretched to four weeks without interruption.

NYSE Volume 6,221,203,500
NASDAQ Volume 1,976,220,500

Commodities traded in a more realistic fashion, with oil down $1.46, to $51.05, though it traded below $50 briefly during the day. Gold's losses continued to mount, losing $24.50, to $872.80. Silver was also beaten down 63 cents, to finish at $12.11, a near-term low and a distinct buying opportunity.

Some have questioned my penchant for silver under $13.00 an ounce, so here's my rationale, simply put: At $13.80 per ounce, 90% silver coins, of which are the widest variety in the US, have a melt value exactly 10 times their face value, so it's an easy calculation, but, more importantly, if US greenbacks lose their value entirely, silver coins may become the currency of choice, and the 10X face value may become the accepted rate of exchange, though there's some room for thinking that the number could be 20X face value, which would be even better.

In any case, buying at $13/oz. or less, you will eventually be a winner when the US economy fully disintegrates. Whether it's by currency devaluation and resultant inflation, or, runaway deflation, silver coins will still maintain solid value either here or abroad. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to buy more pre-1964 Washington quarters and Morgan and Peace dollars at $6/oz., though sadly, those days seem to be long gone.

The metals and most other commodities continue to display classic deflation conditions. In such a scenario, investors and traders alike are victims of slack demand and consequent oversupply. The argument for deflation continues to gain traction as the Fed and treasury desperately try to inflate, though their efforts are largely staunched because they continue to throw money down the black hole that consists of the nation's five largest banks, plus AIG.

Another does of reality, courtesy former bank regulator, William K. Black:

An exceptional interview with Mr. Black was aired this past weekend on Bill Moyers Journal

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