Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More POMO Equals More Momo; Less for Your Dollar

For the uninitiated, POMO stands for Permanent Open Market Operations, which, well, really doesn't explain anything, but let's just say this is how the Federal Reserve has been handing money over to primary dealers for the past 6 1/2 months, through various coupon pass-throughs and bond-repurchases.

So why POMO causes MOMO (slang for "momentum") is that these primary dealers have to do something with their newly-minted free Fed paper money, so they thrust it into the stock market and goose up shares of Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX), Chipolte Mexican Grill (CMG) and other darlings of the "Fast Money" crowd.

The Fed is furiously throwing money around these days, attempting to keep the Ponzi market afloat before John Boehner decides to cram it all back to the Fed by insisting on budget cuts. Mr. Boehner best watch what he says or soon enough there will be calls for him to step down as Majority Leader in the House. Treasury Timmy and Bingo Bernanke don't like cuts in spending as it really diminishes the impact of their unilateral pumping of all things financial.

Of course, Mr. Boehner's calls for $2 trillion in budget cuts is laughable and will never happen. Even he knows that, but he must maintain the posture of a "conservative" even though he and his Republican members (except a brave few - very few - Tea Partiers) are as quick to spend a buck as their Democratic counterparts. There will be a few trifling spending cuts announced as part of some kind of compromise, but it won't matter. The government is about as desperate and broken as the stock markets, and that takes some doing.

So, today, on the back of a ramp job yesterday, we have more momentum playing, goosing stocks back towards the highs they scored a few weeks back. There are about 30 more POMO days before the Fed cuts the cord in late June, so expect the equity indices to be heading for higher highs before then. As long as the mainstream media can keep the public convinced inflation is marginal, transitory or immaterial, and that $4 or $5 gas is now acceptable, there will be no turning back the tidal wave of Federal Reserve Notes banging prices higher around the world.

Quoting Diane Keaton in her role as Annie Hall, from the Woody Allen movie by the same name, "la dee da." Welcome to the centrally planned economy.

Dow 12,760.36, +75.68 (0.60%)
NASDAQ 2,871.89, +28.64 (1.01%)
S&P 500 1,357.16, +10.87 (0.81%)
NYSE Composite 8,550.49, +72.30 (0.85%)

Advancing issues far outpaced decliners, 5077-1471, so one could call today's ramp-up, POMO-induced rally, broad-based, if one so chooses. Most of it are just calling it "nowhere to hide the devalued dollars." On the NASDAQ, there were 142 new highs and 34 new lows. Over on the NYSE big board, new highs were well ahead of new lows, 240-16. This is, in fact, easy to accomplish with free money, no restraint and near-record low volume - again.

NASDAQ Volume 1,996,086,625.00
NYSE Volume 3,778,728,750

Crude oil, despite an announced 25% margin hike which takes effect tomorrow, gained $1.33, to close at $103.88. And now, since oil has been sufficiently beaten down, we hear that numerous refineries are partially shut down, just in time for the nicer weather. Welcome to $4.00 and $4.50 gas coming to a fueling station near you.

Gold continued to strike back against the empire of debt, gaining $3.20, to $1516.30 up to the minute. Silver added 76 cents, at $38.47. The precious metals now have added momentum to meet and exceed previous all-time and multi-year highs before the end of June.

The government reported today that import prices (almost everything that US consumers purchase) rose 2.2% in April, on the heels of a 2.6% rise in March. Year-over-year, the increase was 11.1%
The 12-month advance in April was the largest year-over-year increase since an 11.2 percent gain between April 2009 and April 2010.
So, no, there's no inflation, just record import prices two years running.

Keep printing, Mr. Bernanke. We will continue to buy silver and gold, POMO and MOMO notwithstanding.

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