Thursday, August 29, 2013

Confused? Don't Worry. Everybody Else Is, Too

Ours is a complex world, and there's probably nothing more complex than the intricate workings of today's financial markets.

The news flow of the day involved nothing much of note moving forward on the Syrian issue, a second reading of second quarter GDP (the new, vastly inflated version) of 2.5%, lower initial unemployment claims and the laughable nationwide "strike" by fast food workers demanding a doubling of their wages, from roughly the minimum wage of $7.25 to about $15 per hour.

Here's a few clues for the burger flippers of the world: a) you'd be better off on welfare; b) McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's aren't going to double your pay; c) your new status as part-time employees is thanks to your hero, president Obama and his health care reform package; d)moving out of your parents' home and having a kid out of wedlock were probably bad ideas.

While we're on the advice meme for today, for the President: don't do it.
For congress: impeachment is still an option.
For Vlad Putin: Keep doing what you're doing.
For gold and silver bugs: buy or hold.
For stock holders: SELL!
and, for Miley Cyrus haters: Get a life. Stuff happens.

Meanwhile, stocks rallied hard in the morning and sold off hard in the final hour, similar to yesterday's action and a clearly bearish trading pattern. Bonds sold off, early, then rallied, sending yields up, then down.

Oil fell sharply.

If none of this makes any sense in a macro kind of way, that's probably the way it's supposed to be. As somebody very wise once said, "if it were easy, we'd all be rich." Ain't that the truth.

Friday is the final day of trading for the month, which really doesn't mean much of anything, except that, being August, expect some volume to return to the stock market the first week of September. Overall, it looks like a sure down month for the Dow and S&P, though the NASDAQ has bucked the trend somewhat, falling only 0.1% - basically dead even - for the month.

Since labor Day is fast upon us, here's a quote to ponder: "From Each According to His Ability, To Each According to His Need" -- The Tramp's Speech from Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged."

We may or may not be back tomorrow, depending largely upon global events, whether the market moves are large or small and whether the fish are biting.

Dow 14,840.95, +16.44 (0.11%)
NASDAQ 3,620.30, +26.95 (0.75%)
S&P 500 1,638.17, +3.21 (0.20%)
NYSE Composite 9,315.83, +6.75 (0.07%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,288,533,125
NYSE Volume 2,802,161,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4291-2233
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 88-53
WTI crude oil: 108.80, -1.30
Gold: 1,412.90, -5.90
Silver: 24.09, -0.301

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