Thursday, September 20, 2012

Initial Claims, Leading Indicators Disappoint; Investors Don't Care

Initial unemployment claims and the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators both showed disappointing results but investors (those few left) didn't seem to care.

The number of people looking for jobs fell 3,000 from last week, with 382,000 new filers. Leading indicators were down 0.1 percent in August after rising 0.5 percent in July and dropping 0.5 percent in June.

Stocks traded lower in the morning, but quickly rebounded to unchanged, where they remained range-bound the remainder of the session.

It was another low-volume fiasco, brought to you by bankers who can't balance their books and journalists who can scarcely string together two cogent sentences.

Markets, especially those in the US, are so woefully correlated to the macro trade that it would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Since fall of 2008, trading has been conducted on rumor, innuendo and the latest efforts by the Federal Reserve to "revive" the economy, even though their efforts have been directed almost entirely at rescuing failed financial institutions.

The Fed has thrown more than $20 trillion at the problems which first surfaced with sub-prime lending, but have since infected institutions and sovereign governments globally. Their efforts have been largely futile, wasteful and unfriendly to savers, but there seems to be no other way to keep the world's economic mess going other than to make frequent use of easing, by sopping up debt nobody wants because it is either eminently non-collateralized, below par or not redeemable for anything approaching fair value.

Global markets continue to plod along, nations continue to spend beyond their means and Wall Street thinks it's wonderful.

Just play along.

Dow 13,596.93 18.97(0.14%)
NASDAQ 3,175.96 6.66 (0.21%)
S&P 500 1,460.26 0.79 (0.05%)
NYSE Compos... 8,373.06 27.43 (0.33%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,789,587,250
NYSE Volume 3,372,348,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2132-3369
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 225-35
WTI crude oil: 91.87, -0.11
Gold: 1,770.20, -1.50
Silver: 34.68, -0.09

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