Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ups! They Did It Again; Stocks Streak at Open, Stay High

Stocks gapped up again at the open, this time to the tune of 140 points on the Dow Jones Industrials, shutting out the small players to - no doubt - the grand delight of the insiders weaving this month of May madness.

The big upside opening move was not unprecedented, as most of May trading has witnessed wild swings at the open, all predicated on overseas news flows, markets or even nothing at all.

Today, stocks held their gains and tacked on even more in an impressive performance of the "greater fool" theory - that being the kind of market action in which one sells, seeking a greater fool to buy at a new, higher price level. In a microcosm, Thursday's action was reminiscent of late 1999 or early 2000, where there seemed to be an absolute absence of sellers (that actually was the case, then), though the timing and duration are almost completely different.

Dow 10,258.99, +284.54 (2.85%)
NASDAQ 2,277.68, +81.80 (3.73%)
S&P 500 1,103.06, +35.11 (3.29%)
NYSE Composite 6,893.29, +261.93 (3.95%)

The trade was decidedly one-sided, with advancing issues absolutely pummeling losers, 5885-754. The margin of new highs to new lows was not as dramatic, with highs taking the lead, 108-64. What was different was the volume, quite a bit lower than recent days and notable that it slowed on the market's biggest advance in months. Conventional wisdom would assume that participation was low due to the surprise nature and overall point gain of the move, both of which were well out of ordinary ranges.

NYSE Volume 6,289,912,500
NASDAQ Volume 2,392,074,250

Commodities also were unsurprising, especially the highly-manipulated crude oil futures, which soared again, up $3.04, to $74.55, just in the nick of time to gouge motorists traveling on the first long holiday weekend of Summer. Anybody who believes that the oil companies are run by the greediest bastards ever to walk the earth (excepting maybe our current crop of bankers), gets a gold star for good judgement. Bear in mind that oil was selling for under $68/barrel less than a week ago.

Gold lost $1.50, to $1,211.90, while silver added 16 cents, to $18.46.

The roller coaster of May continues, fortunately ending tomorrow. There's no guarantee that June will be any better, but one can only hope that the extremely unfair gap-up and gap-lower openings and wild intra-day swings will soon diminish.

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