Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Investor Pain Spreading Rapidly

Ireland's continuing crisis, more trouble ahead in the Eurozone, a skirmish on the Korean border and general unease led to the stock markets finally breaking in a definitive way to the downside.

Unlike yesterday's miracle, out-of-the-blue rally, there was no such respite or savior for stocks today as the realization that while many businesses are doing well, the general global economy continues to display weakness in slack demand, collapsing governments and seas of debt.

Dow 11,036.37, -142.21 (1.27%)
NASDAQ 2,494.95, -37.07 (1.46%)
S&P 500 1,180.73, -17.11 (1.43%)
NYSE Composite 7,470.77, -139.53 (1.83%)

Declining issues crushed advancers, 4960-1560, though it was much worse through much of the session. Combined NYSE and NASDAQ new highs were 92, edged by 93 new lows. Volume was a little better than previous sessions, though that's not necessarily good news as investors were selling en masse.

NASDAQ Volume 1,902,546,250
NYSE Volume 4,711,580,500

Oil closed down 49 cents, at $81.25. Gold surged $19.80, to $1,377.60 and silver added 11 cents, at $27.57.

The Fed released minutes of their most recent meeting (November 2-3), which revealed that there was a sizable split between factions for and against a second round of qualitative easing. It would appear that Chairman Ben Barnanke does not have the support he might desire in his mad dash to destroy the US currency.

Seven days into QE2, the markets have gone straight backwards and interest rates on 5-and-10-year Treasury bonds have spiked, though they have leveled off over the past few days. It's evident to anyone with half a brain that the US economy and the banking sector, in particular, are still suffering from the strains of near-collapse and the methods employed to contain the damage, which, to date, haven't worked.

If Ban Bernanke is hell-bent on throwing away $700-800 billion dollars, the taxpayers should not be on the hook for it, but try telling that to our do-nothing president, largely absent and presumably on mood-altering drugs Congress, insipid Treasury Secretary and invisible Attorney General.

They're not listening, so you should not be paying. Period.

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