Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Market Pops on Bogus ESFS Euro Report; Apple Misses, Tanks

You've got to love this market.

Any little statement or rumor that European Union leaders might throw significant money at their pan-continental debt crisis sends stocks soaring into the stratosphere, and today was one for the record books.

An unusually quiet day, stocks had regained a foothold after Monday's sudden reversal. But, shortly after 3:00 pm EDT, the UK's Guardian reported that France and Germany had agreed to boost the Euro bailout fund - the ESFS - to EURO 2 Trillion, a significant rise, and one that might just help kick the debt can down the road a few months, or even years.

Shortly after the story broke, however, Dow Jones reported that the 2 Trillion Euro figure was actually "still under debate," so, who really knows? At least the market machines and mechanics got what they wanted, a nice 100-point spike in the Dow in about ten minutes time and an S&P close over 1224. Mission accomplished. Now, move along, folks, nothing to see here.

In a day (week, month, year) full of bogus reports, before the open, Bank of America (BAC) reported 3Q earnings of 57 cents per share, but, because of the new math, which includes such exotic flavors as fair value adjustments on structured liabilities and trading Debit Valuation Adjustments (DVA), according to our friends at Zero Hedge, who usually have the best and most-believable dirt, BofA actually had earnings of 0.00, otherwise known as ZERO, Zilch, Nada, Nothing.

Of course, when CNBC and the rest of the supine financial media report, bare-faced, that the nation's largest bank by deposits more than doubled the analyst estimates (0.21) for the quarter, it was off to the races, with somebody shocking BAC shares up 10% by day's end, a stunning 0.61 gain, to the imposing figure of 6.62. While it's technically a 10% gain, it's still rather silly, considering the accounting nonsense being roundly applauded by the criminal bankster elite, and hardly any comfort to those who bought BAC when it was 7, or 8 or even 12. Make no mistake, we've entered the Twilight Zone of financial accounting and there's no turning back.

Along those lines, the Giant Squid otherwise known as Goldman Sachs (GS), also reported before the bell, but it's results were almost believable, showing a loss of 84 cents per share, with losses spread across the company's proprietary trading division, to the tune of $2.5 billion. Ouch. The market's response to the trending data of a company heading decidedly south: a gain of 5.25 (5%) to 102.25 and the financials led all other sectors in the faux rally du jour.

Also before the bell, PPI was reported to be up 0.8% in September on expectations of a rise of only 0.2%, which just happened to be how much the core PPI was up for the month. Somebody obviously missed the memo from the Fed that inflation was transitory, or something along those lines. Inflation in the US is running at an annual rate well over 6%, something the mainstream media hopes you don't notice.

One company which may be adversely affected by the loss of its CEO - the truly brilliant Steve Jobs - is Apple, which announced today after the bell that the company had an outstanding quarter as usual, but, uh, oh, they missed the estimates of 7.39 per share by a bit, reporting earnings for the quarter of 7.05 per share and also came up about a billion dollars short on the revenue end.

As of this writing, Apple shares were trading at 394.13, -28.11 (-6.66%). Not a very pretty picture there.

So, to recap, Goldman Sachs reports a massive loss, Bank of America releases what amounts to a fraudulent earnings report, inflation is about ready for lift-off into hyper-inflation and the market gets a jolly from a questionable report on the size of the European bailout fund. All good fun, no?

With Apple's miss in the after-hours and another couple of big banks - Morgan Stanley (MS) and PNC Financial Services (PNC) - due to report tomorrow, somebody might want to take a closer look at the number of companies that have missed or merely met estimates this earnings season, and maybe add in those who just plain fudged the numbers. But, not to worry, Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) and Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) are also reporting tomorrow and should provide sufficient caloric excess to fuel another rally in the markets.

Wow! You cannot make this stuff up.

Dow 11,577.05, +180.05 (1.58%)
NASDAQ 2,657.43, +42.51 (1.63%)
S&P 500 1,225.38, +24.52 (2.04%)
NYSE Composite 7,341.73, +153.07 (2.13%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,988,896,750
NYSE Volume 5,669,232,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 5211
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 52-65 (Really? No kidding. extremely bearish)
WTI crude oil: 88.34, +1.96
Gold: 1,652.80, -23.80
Silver: 31.83, +0.01

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