Thursday, July 21, 2011

Correlation Trade, Weak Dollar, Hot Air Boost Stocks

About the only thing hotter than stocks on this 21st of July, 2011, was the weather, with temperatures hovering around the 100-degree mark in much of the nation, but especially in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and East coast. But the correlation trade - short dollars, long stocks - was in effect throughout the session, which meant that stocks had to soar... and they did, closing in on the nearly three-year highs set back in late April.

Coming off a string of recent earnings report beats by the likes of Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and IBM, one would have expected the NASDAQ to lead the way, but it was the S&P and Dow Industrials which showed the greatest percentage gains of the day.

It's obvious to anyone with more than a passing interest that the banks have been at their manipulative best of late as financial stocks have led the way each of the past two sessions, even as these very banks put in quarterly earnings showing losses, pay no dividends, are largely insolvent and the nation lurches ever closer to a debt default and ratings downgrade, the latter being all but inevitable after the well-rehearsed clown show in Washington, DC.

One can hardly blame the elitist banking class for boosting their own portfolios at this juncture. After all, its been proven that whatever risks they take will be guaranteed to win, since the US government is back-stopping the whole TBTF crowd. They might as well take while the taking is good. It may not be the same in a fortnight or so.

For the rest of us, the alternative for the day was to find air-conditioning, drink plenty of fluids and watch the circus from afar. The risks of trading in stocks is far too high for the average plebeian. And so it goes, that the rich get richer. The poor, and, especially those stuck in the middle, may get the ultimate revenge as more and more people turn their backs on the world's most corrupt system of governance and finance and default in record numbers on school loans, car loans, mortgages, credit cards and all manner of financial obligations.

The end to this grand farce of fiat money is coming, regardless of the degree of normalcy bias built into us all from TV and the media. The waiting, admittedly, is a royal pain. Either way, it's death by deflation or inflation (which seems to be winning lately), or both.

Dow 12,724.41, +152.50 (1.21%)
NASDAQ 2,834.43, +20.20 (0.72%)
S&P 500 1,343.80, +17.96 (1.35%)
NYSE Composite 8,411.45, +129.62 (1.57%)

As one would expect, advancing stocks beat back decliners in a big way, 4901-1692. On the NASDAQ new highs reached 88, while new lows came in at 25. The NYSE had even more of a pronounced bias, with 154 new highs and 20 new lows. The combined total of 242 new highs and 45 new lows would seem to suggest that the rally has legs, though one never knows when or if Europe will fall completely apart at the seams, sending the Euro lower, the dollar higher and stocks down. Volume was actually quite fantastic. Perhaps some new suckers (investors) were brought into the foray.

NASDAQ Volume 2,253,718,500
NYSE Volume 4,812,432,500

As goes the dollar, so - in the opposite direction - goes oil, and with the dollar down, WTI crude leapt back over the $100/barrel mark in the early part of the session, but backed off to close up only 73 cents, at $99.13.

Naturally, gold and silver were hammered to death, with gold losing $9.90, to $1,587.00, and silver falling 61 cents, to $38.95 per ounce.

The conditions are about to change - for silver, at least - as the Hong Kong Exchange will introduce a silver futures trading mechanism at the open of business on Friday, which will be shortly after 8:00 pm EDT. By this time tomorrow, the price in Hong Kong may be $44 per ounce and quite a bit lower here in the states.

We shall see soon enough.

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