Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stocks Sell Off after Bernanke, Fed Disappoint Wall Street

The Markets

The entire process of Central Bank watching and anticipation is just so ludicrous, especially when a central bank such as the Federal Reserve overtly telegraphs most of their moves well in advance.

The secrecy, the waiting and then the immediate market reaction is simply so annoying, one would almost hope that the process and the players be done away with, once and for all. That sentiment is, in fact, what would happen under a monetary system operating under a gold standard. There would be little need for the Federal Reserve and much less attention paid to their arcane machinations. However, since the United States has been officially off a gold standard since 1971 and under the thumb of the debt-crazed Fed since 1913, hope for change any time soon is slim, though under a monetary breakdown, much like the one begun in 2008 that hasn't yet been resolved, possibilities exist.

After tow days of meeting, the FOMC of the Federal Reserve finally came out today, shortly after 2:00 pm EDT, with another one of their insipid statements, outlining their plans to "save the world" from financial ruin. while some on Wall Street hoped for a resumption of some kind of quantitative easing, what the Fed delivered was not unexpected and something of a disappointment to the money-hoarding bankster types populating lower Manhattan.

In additions to keeping the federal funds rate at ZERO, the Fed announced plans to sell $400 billion of its shorter-term Treasuries to buy longer-term Treasuries through June 2012 in a plan based on a failed 1960's plan known as "Operation Twist," the effect of which will be to bring down longer-dated interest rates. If successful, the program will flatten the yield curve, with short-term rates already well below historical norms, and longer term rates down, but with more room to decline. The economic effect ought to be limited or nearly invisible, which is what sent the Wall Street bears into selling mode after the announcement.

Stocks had hovered around the flat line in anticipation of the announcement and sold off sharply on strong volume afterwards and into the close. All of the major indices finished at or near their lows of the day all but wiping out the gains from last week's phantom, options-induced rally.

Stocks continue to be a very unsound and unsafe choice for investors.

The bond market reaction was swift and decisive, with two-and-three-year bill yields rising and longer-dated bonds, the 10-and-30-year maturities collapsing. The 10-year closed out the day with a yield of 1.85% and the 30-year at 3.01%.

Dow 11,124.84, -283.82 (2.49%)
NASDAQ 2,538.19, -52.05 (2.01%)
S&P 500 1,166.76, -35.33 (2.94%)
NYSE Composite 6,981.33, -236.19 (3.27%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,180,005,500
NYSE Volume 5,446,355,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1135-5427
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 26-562 (OUCH!)
WTI crude oil: 84.76, -2.16
Gold: 1782.10, -22.70
Silver: 39.69, -0.05

A couple of items caught our attention today. One was an excellent summary of decades of manipulation in the price of gold by Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer, Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) at the 18th CLSA Investors' Forum, Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong.

For pure emotion and unbridled rage that captures the pent-up feelings of millions of middle and lower-class Americans, nothing beats the Best of walstreetpro2 (greatest f---ing hits) - 3 of 3 Warning: the video cntains great amounts of vulgarity, adult language, truth about the US economy and the destruction of many consumer goods. All in all, a classic.

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