Thursday, October 6, 2011

Last Hour Rally Boost Stocks for Third Straight Session; Occupy Wall Street Legions Growing; Steve Jobs Dead at 56

OK, this is getting a bit ridiculous.

For the third day in a row, stocks staged a final hour ramp-up, this one good for only 100 points on the Dow, but that came after stocks had been given an initial lift-off around 10:00 am, resulting in a nearly 200-point rise on the Dow.

News from the Eurozone was once again scant, as EU ministers and leaders of the nations comprising the EU proved they will not take a back seat to the US President and congress when it comes to foot-dragging and kicking the proverbial economic can down the road.

There was some discussion of "re-capitalization" of the major banks, meaning nothing more than egregious money printing and bailouts for those with the most capital who have not yet learned how to manage it wisely.

Considering the penchant for late-day moves, perhaps the directors of the various exchanges might consider opening the market later in the day, say, 3:00 pm, locking out sellers as the computer algorithms simply ramp up the stocks they like. Being that "banker's hours" are legendarily short as it is, this would give said elite bankers more time to count their profits and have their nails manicured.

It's worth pointing out that the past three day's worth of last hour rallies began off fresh lows, set in place on Tuesday's ripped decline. On that day, the Dow bottomed at 10362.26, a low point not seen since September 9, 2010. The S&P and NASDAQ made similar moves, setting new, 12-month lows before the "Merkel miracle" when German Chancellor Angela Merkel first uttered the word, "re-capitalize." The S&P had already entered official bear market territory, obviously something the power-mad bankers simply could not tolerate.

The legacy of the current short-run rally will depend greatly upon the figures released Friday morning when the BLS issues its monthly non-farm payroll data. Anything over 50,000 new jobs created is certain to be seen as a win for equity holders, though there are no hard and fast estimates that can be trusted after last month's zero reading.

While in the short term, propping up markets - as has been occurring since late 2008 - may seem a noble and prudent activity, the longer-term consequences of unbalancing markets are not well known, although the examples available (Weimar, Zimbabwe, Dutch Tulip Bubble) all seem to have ended very, very badly.

On that note, here's a couple of Wall Street Whiz Guys who think the "new" level to watch is 1070 on the S&P. Listen carefully and you'll hear them advise to buy low and sell lower. Obviously, these guys are fresh escapees from the zoo for unfit hedge fund manglers.

Legendary gold bull, Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, doesn't think we're headed for a double-dip recession, he believes we're headed straight into "a complete economic collapse." Schiff's entertaining and caustic video can be seen here.

Not to put too fine a point on the doom and gloom aspect, Aftershock author, Robert Wiedemer, opines that we'll see "another meltdown within 2 to 4 years."

Well, Bob, thanks for the warning, though two to four years seems a long time to be waiting for the Apocalypse.

Meanwhile, outside the granite, steel and glass elitist enclaves of the big Wall Street firms, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement continues to aggravate the paymasters and grow in depth and volume, spreading to over 500 cities and even getting the attention of President Obama during a news conference on Thursday. The corner of Broadway and Wall Street is beginning to resemble Cairo's Tahir Square in many ways.

Dow 11,123.33, +183.38 (1.68%)
NASDAQ 2,506.82, +46.31 (1.88%)
S&P 500 1,164.97, +20.94 (1.83%)
NYSE Composite 6,997.64, +153.48 (2.24%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,263,897,750
NYSE Volume 5,586,015,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 5253-1294
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 15-69
WTI crude oil: 82.59, +2.91 (WTF?)
Gold: 1,653.20, +11.60
Silver: 32.00, +1.65

Finally, it is with great regret to report that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has died at the tender age of 56. In a tribute to Jobs' brilliance, we present the Super Bowl "1984" ad which aired on Super Bowl Sunday, January 22, 1984, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, heralding the launch of the Macintosh computer that revolutionized computing and our lives in general. Jobs was a thinker and inventor along the lines of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, a man of such greatness that we will likely not see another like him for decades. It would be remiss not to point out that this blog, and many other online ventures, is run off a seven or eight year old e-Mac, purchased used for $50 more than three years ago and that the Mac PowerBook G3 that was purchased in 1998, is still running strong on system 8.9, and has been operational, without the need for upgrades or any repairs for thirteen years.

People who invent and produce products of such lasting and functional value don't come along too often. Jobs, and his unique understanding of technology and its interaction with people, will be sorely missed.

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