Thursday, October 13, 2011

Harrisburg, PA Bankrupt, Max Keiser, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Zarkozy, Switzerland WIR, Google Earnings

Stocks vacillated today somewhat like they're supposed to in normal times, though these are no normal times in which we are living. Tape-watching in the age of high frequency trading and intellectual dispiritedness has an intoxicating allure and can become addictive.

Sparing the details, stocks were lower in the morning and staged a half-hearted rally on low volume in the afternoon. Sound familiar? Yes, computers. Kind of just going with the flow, or lack thereof. These last two days of trading could also be interpreted as outward manifestations of the liquidity, solvency and currency confidence crises as various macro sectors of the global economy grind inexorably toward a perceived halt, the term "perceived" included to indicate that markets are not entirely frozen, that there is always some urchin of trade lurching about, no matter how unwieldy the underlying system.

A few news items:
From Wednesday: City of Harrisburg, PA, capitol of Pennsylvania, declares bankruptcy. This is a sad, though poignant story of our times. A city of 46,000 with about $500 million worth of bad debt, or, debt that won't be repaid. Will there be a follow-on effect? Actually, there has to be and the situation is fluid, with the state trying to tell the Harrisburg City Council that they cannot declare bankruptcy. But they did, anyway...

Google Earnings (after the bell, today) - nice, 26% profit increase and other nice metrics. They're rocking, but for search, Bing is better.

Also after the bell, Fitch puts Barclays Bank plc, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse AG, Deutsche Bank AG, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Morgan Stanley and Societe Generale on Rating Watch Negative. At the same time, Fitch has placed the short-term IDRs of four of the banks on Rating Watch Negative.

Dow 11,478.13, -40.72 (0.35%)
NASDAQ 2,620.24, +15.51 (0.60%)
S&P 500 1,203.66, -3.59 (0.30%)
NYSE Composite 7,229.08, -34.61 (0.48%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,683,142,125
NYSE Volume 4,397,526,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2755-3644
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 20-35 (reversal signal)
WTI crude oil: 84.23, -1.34
Gold: 1,668.50, -14.10
Silver: 31.67, -1.12

I love it when a plan comes together and the clip of the Kaiser Report below fits like a favorite pair of jeans. Plenty from which to watch, enjoy and learn.

No comments: