Friday, June 10, 2011

Stocks Down for Sixth Straight Week; Worst Since 2002

Whatever happened to the recovery? All of a sudden, nobody on Wall Street or in Washington is talking about "green shoots", improvement, growth or any of the associated nonsense that went along with the previous two years' worth of stimulus, easy Fed policy, bailouts and handouts.

But who's counting, anyway? Stocks fell for the sixth straight week, and, due to a sudden turnaround at 2:00 pm in the financial sector, the day's losses could have - and should have - been a whole lot worse. By now, the only people who don't know that we're in the throes of pure economic upheaval in its most base form - that of currency destruction - are the President (who took off early today, heading for a weekend at Camp David) and Larry Kudlow, who said last night on his CNBC show, The Kudlow Report, that he thought the "correction had run its course."

Naturally, both Larry and Mr. Obama are clueless, or hiding behind the facade of officialdom, because what's weighing most on stocks these days is the total distaste and/or disregard for all manner of equities by the general public. It should be apparent that most Americans either don't have the money to invest in stocks or have, and not liking the results, are completely out of the paper market and turning to cash, gold, silver, art, collectibles, or other commodities.

Nobody likes Wall Street's paper except Wall Street, and that's a fact well-known to anybody who's been following these things for more than the past couple of months. Wall Street paper is made up by Wall Street, distributed among themselves, and bought, sold, sliced and diced as many ways as humanly (or by computer) possible... until... there's nobody else to take the paper, and that's the condition we have today.

What other reason could there be for such a massive sell-off on such paltry, absolutely slush-fund-looking volume? The churn upwards has reversed course and the majors are now going to eat each other in a massive orgy of short-selling all the way to the bottom, wherever that might be.

In months ahead, look for blown up hedge funds, even more absurdly-underfunded pension funds and the near complete collapse of Wall Street's most-favored institutions. Some contend that the great unwind has already commenced, begun in earnest in 2007, completed in 2008 and the Spring of 2009. All that's occurred since has been a perverse show with no underlying value.

Whatever the case, stocks are no place to park money right now, and probably won't be for another few years, as the masters of the universe scramble to hold onto what little is left of the markets and the US economy.

A couple of side notes to benefit those who didn't see the carnage:

From Barron's Blog: "Financial stocks were falling in early trading, but shot up around 2 p.m. after CNBC reported that capital requirements for big banks will likely be less onerous than the market had been expecting."

That's just what we need, more leverage and easier capital requirements for the world's biggest banks. My, oh, my, what great leverage you have. Might as well make it 1000-1 and blow everything up.

Zero Hedge reports: Fed releases final POMO schedule of $60 billion.

Well, let's see how stocks fare without free money. Anybody not dreading July - the end of the Fed's slimy handouts to the banks - is living in a dream world, which would include 90% of the global population.

So, down we go. BTW: there have been other declines of six straight weeks, but the last one was in 2002. See you on the other side, if there is another side to this horrible story.

Dow 11,951.91, -172.45 (1.42%)
NASDAQ 2,643.73, -41.14 (1.53%)
S&P 500 1,270.98, -18.02 (1.40%)
NYSE Composite 8,016.39, -133.26 (1.64%)

As expected, declining issues buried advancing ones, 4462-1202. Our favorite indicator showed even more trouble ahead. New highs on the NASDAQ were subsumed by new lows, 24-163. On the NYSE, there were only 20 new highs and 95 new lows, which makes the combined total the worst since the lows overtook the highs, six sessions ago, 44-258. If history is any guide - and it's usually a good one - this indicator will not turn over for at least six months, probably longer. Once either the new highs or new lows take an edge, it's generally for an extended period. For instance, new highs held sway over new lows on a daily basis for nearly two years before this most recent change.

Volume was again pathetic. Calling it light would be quite the understatement.

NASDAQ Volume 1,978,513,625
NYSE Volume 3,972,811,750

In today's great downdraft, commodities didn't fare any better, WTI crude futures on the NYMEX tumbled $2.64, to $99.29. Gold was taken down $12.20, to $1532.10, if only because of fund managers scrambling to meet margin calls. Silver took the worst of the action, falling $1.37, to $36.20 per ounce.

Putting the recent slide into perspective, since April 29, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen by 858 points, still closing in on official correction territory, soon to become bear market territory. The Dow is less than 400 points from falling into negative territory for the year. The NASDAQ is already sporting a decline for all of 2011, closing today about nine points lower than where it ended 2010. It's lost 200 points since the market top, April 29.

As for the S&P, it's 93 points down over the past six weeks and is up a mere 13 points for the entire year. Time wasted, indeed. Does anyone now think that bailing out the too-big-to-fail banks was a good idea? Had the government done what was proper - that being nothing - and allowed the banks to go under and reorganize in other mysterious forms, the global economy would most likely be booming right now. Instead, we have a global catastrophe completely of their own making which is falling down upon their heads.

A pox on all their houses. Kick a banker to the curb today. They've been doing it to us since 1913.

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