Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Geithner, Bernanke, and PPT Swing into Action

Let's see if we can get this story right for a change.

When the markets opened at 9:30 am in New York, the flood of news could not have been more distressing. Three bank employees lost their lives in Greece, where government employees and other activists openly clashed with police (see video below). European markets were suffering intense losses, ranging between 1.28% (Great Britain) and 3.16% (Greece).

Here in the US, the precursor to the government's monthly non-farm payroll report (due out Friday morning), the monthly ADP private sector employment report [PDF] showed little progress for the month of April, with a mere 32,000 new jobs being created, hardly the kind of news investors are seeking. Hiring simply has not materialized, no matter how many times President Obama says, "we're making progress," or the news media hoists up another flag for economic recovery.

Stock futures trended deeply lower prior to the opening bell, with bond yields falling fast and the US dollar strengthening against the Euro, in particular. Once the trading was underway, stocks were slammed, with the Dow down 107 points in the opening minutes of trade and the NASDAQ falling 42 points, piercing its 50-day moving average.

Apparently, this kind of rational market reaction to bad news was too much for our intrepid clandestine market riggers - the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) - which swung into action less than 15 minutes after the open. Suddenly, markets around the globe began to turn. All of the major indices headed higher, with the Dow actually registering positive numbers by midday.

Eventually, all of the major indices closed at or below their respective 50-day MAs, but that was after the PPT made certain that small investors were skewered and the major banks and financial firms didn't suffer too badly. The government, the media and the Wall Street elite have a vested interest in glad-handing everybody and spreading as much cheer as possible, no matter how bad the economy is. Not only is there a great deal of money at risk, but for the politicians and financiers, their jobs might be lost if the truth be set loose upon the American public.

The downturn is in full force, whether the undercover lever-pullers like it or not. They've been throwing wads of money - in the billions and trillions of dollars - at the economy, with no discernible results. No new jobs are being created and, despite the glowing reports from Wall Street firms, the American middle class is going down the tubes in a very big hurry.

Residential real estate has experienced a momentary pause in its decline, but foreclosures are only being slowed because the banks have too many properties already in their greedy, little hands. They are taking massive losses on a daily basis, but accounting rules manage to hide most of the sins.

As with the slow grind down from October 2007 to September 2008, this stock market decline will not be sudden, thanks to the internal workings of the government agents. It will be slow, because, according to the powers that be, that's better for the American public. Everything must revolve around the election cycle, another crooked enterprise.

Dow 10,868.12, -58.65 (0.54%)
NASDAQ 2,402.29, -21.96 (0.91%)
S&P 500 1,165.87, -7.73 (0.66%)
NYSE Composite 7,258.02, -79.23 (1.08%)

Declining issues beat down advancers, 5100-1510, better than 3:1. New highs bettered new lows by the slimmest margin in over a year, 151-133. When that indicator rolls over, you will know that the rout is on. With the levels so close, now would be a good time to liquidate large portions of your portfolio, because there may little left if you think you can ride the market down or actually believe that "things are getting better."

Volume was at or near its highest level of the year, due, no doubt, to the incredible amount of shares which had to be bought and sold to bring the market back from its early depths.

NYSE Volume 7,701,488,000.00
NASDAQ Volume 2,980,217,000.00

Commodities also turned higher after an early sell-off, though nothing could save the crude oil futures from slipping another $2.77, to $79.97. Just a few days ago, crude was selling for $86/barrel. It's the one hopeful element from deflation at work - food and fuel should become much more affordable.

Gold got a bit of a boost, for reasons unknown, gaining $6.00, to $1,174.60. Silver was beaten down again, dropping 31 cents, to $17.51.

Markets may take a breather on Thursday, though there is the chance that many traders will opt to get out of the way of Friday's non-farm payroll report. Also, there are major elections in Europe over the weekend, so holding for Monday might not be the most-favored play.

Make no doubt about it. Europe is already in tatters. Great Britain is on the brink along with Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain, and, of course, Greece, the poster child for socialism's demise. US policy-makers continue down the European path in many regards, especially in terms of public entitlements, unfunded liabilities and rampant, unpayable debt.

Sooner or later, these issues must be addressed. Spending our way out of the mess we're has been already amply proven to be a failed element of Keynesian economics.

Almost forgot: there's a small problem off the southern US coast. Something about an oil leak...

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