Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Year-End Melt-Up Continues on Low Volume Trading

The monotony of the Fed's POMO-induced stock market rally must be, by now, be putting some investors into a zombie-like coma, wherein they go to their computers and mindlessly punch in more stocks to buy, at market prices. None of them perform any due diligence, glance at fundamentals or look for patterns in the technical charts.

Stock. Buy. Done. Rinse, repeat. Simple as that. There's no other explanation for the unprecedented rise in equities since the beginning of September, but more pronounced in the final month of the year, one which is normally not very volatile.

There are, of course, very few doing this zombie trading. Volume has backed off to some of the lowest levels of the year, in a year that has been branded as one of extremely low volume and interest. Yet, stocks still rise, and, as we mentioned yesterday, some of the biggest gainers are the financial stocks, for reasons still unexplained. The movement in the financial sector is truly from theatre of the absurd. Bank of America, for no apparent reason, gain a full 3% today, putting its December gain at a whopping 18%. That's extraordinary for a company which still has loads of non-performing mortgage loans on its books (somewhere, we're sure of it) and needed $45 billion in TARP money from the government just to stay alive just a year-and-a-half ago.

Dow 11,559.49, +26.33 (0.23%)
NASDAQ 2,671.48, +3.87 (0.15%)
S&P 500 1,258.84, +4.24 (0.34%)
NYSE Composite 7,931.76, +25.66 (0.32%)

Advancing issues led decliners by a wide margin for the second straight session, 3777-2739. NASDAQ new highs stood at 210, to a mere 25 new lows. On the NYSE, there were 215 new highs, 15 new lows. Those daily new high-low figures have been remarkably similar for the better part of the month, and for good reason. Traders (or computers running arb algos) have ramped in and out of the same stocks for the past few weeks and they have been primary contributors to the upside, which also explains how the indices rise on such paltry volume.

NASDAQ Volume 1,627,216,375.00
NYSE Volume 3,900,822,250

Commodity markets were moribund, with the exception of oil, rolling into the February contract up another 66 cents on the day, to $90.48. The pricing in oil is absolutely sick, running $20-30 over normalized pricing due to rampant, unchecked speculation. The attendant rise in the price of home heating oil and gasoline are nothing other than outright theft of American dollars by the oil cartel, comprised not of OPEC nations, but rather gigantic conglomerates, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell.

Gold spent most of the day straddling the flat line, currently down 60 cents, to $1384.90. So too, silver, 15 cents lower, at $29.22.

With just six trading days remaining in 2010 (Markets are closed December 24, but open for a full session on December 31), it appears certain that all of the major indices will end with sizable upside of at least 10% (Dow) and closer to 15% or more on the NASDAQ and S&P 500.

No comments: