Monday, March 29, 2010

The Economy Sucks but Stocks Keep Going Up

Stocks were up again today, and, truth be told, it's beginning to become a little bit sick and perverted, to think that US corporations are healthy and making money because they've been able to cut costs to the bone, costing US employees their jobs, or cutting the pay of those employees in order to please their investors. Soon enough, it will become truly sick and perverted, when these multi-national corporations begin to raise prices because they can't cut any more payroll or, like AT&T and Catterpillar, take huge write-offs and blame it on the increased costs of "ObamaCare," as they call it.

AT&T quietly announced late Friday that they would take a $1 billion charge because of all the evil new costs included in the heath care reform bill. One has to ask why they didn't mention this while the bill was in committee or on the senate and house floors. No, they just sat back and watched a billion dollars evaporate without raising their corporate voice?

Tell you what: any company that is that reckless with investor money should not be in your portfolio. If you own any AT&T stock, or the stock of any company that takes a write-off due to increased costs associated with the recently-passed health care reform bill, SELL IT, SELL ALL OF IT, SELL ALL OF IT NOW. They don't deserve your business, and furthermore, they're a sick, twisted bunch of creeps. Remember, AT&T was one of the companies which allowed the government unfettered access to YOUR phone calls, violated your privacy and probably broke numerous laws, but got away scott free. Screw them. They only care about themselves, not you, your cell phone or your land line. Just your money, that's all.

Not that I am particularly enamored with the health care legislation - I'm not - but AT&T is just using it as a scapegoat to cut employee benefits and/or hide other losses. Face it folks, these people are about as honest as Bernie Madoff's accountant.

Dow 10,895.86, +45.50 (0.42%)
NASDAQ 2,404.36, +9.23 (0.39%)
S&P 500 1,173.32, +6.73 (0.58%)
NYSE Composite 7,464.90, +61.32 (0.83%)

As usual, advancing issues outdid decliners, 4212-2245. There were 369 new highs and 42 new lows. So, nothing else has changed, except that volume returned to mostly insider trading. Participation levels are dropping like stones off a high bridge. It is possible that average people are awakening to the scheming ways of Wall Street after all. Most of the trading is being done by big banks, brokerages, hedge funds and mutual funds. Eventually, after they've fleeced the American - and foreign - public enough, they'll begin to eat each other's lunches and the market will be exposed for the grossly overvalued, manipulated joke it has become over the past two decades.

NYSE Volume 4,827,693,500
NASDAQ Volume 1,897,280,250

Oil was up $2.17, to $82.17, based on nothing but naked speculation and greed. Gold was up $6.10, to $1,110.30; silver higher by 48 cents, to $17.37, same reasons. Once again, in the face of a dawdling global economy and slack demand, prices continue to rise in stark contradiction to the "laws" of supply and demand.

Wake up, people. You toil all day, and sometimes part of your night, to do what? Pay utility bills, car payments, fuel, insurance and taxes. When that's all done you can look at what's left and Wall Street brokerages expect you to invest for your "retirement" or your kid's college education.

Get real. If retirement was such a grand idea, we'd do it when we're in our 20s or 30s not in our 70s and 80s. It's only because we're worth less as employees at that age: slower, less controllable, wiser, that companies want us to move along. You keep writing those checks. I'll keep telling you why it's a no-win situation.

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