Friday, August 30, 2013

Stocks End Worst Month Since May 2012; Odds on Syria Strike; Despite Kerry Rhetoric, Still no Proof

We end the month of August on an oddly-down note, since Secretary of State John Kerry made an impassioned speech about the need to punish the Assad regime in Syria for alleged chemical strikes against its own people, but still did not offer any substantive proof that those loyal to the embattled president of Syria were responsible for the attacks.

Odd, it was, that stocks did not rally in patriotic fervor over going to war, insofar as any action the president may take against Syria is entirely without authorization from congress and decidedly unconstitutional. But, in the politics of the new American dictatorship under president Obama, such trifles as the War Powers Act and the constitution - to say nothing of the American public's 91% disapproval of any action being taken against Syria - count for nil when the stakes are so politically high.

Thus, we present the odds for the timing of missile strikes - "tailored" ones, using the president's own vernacular:
Friday (prior to 12:00 pm EDT): 7-5
Saturday: even
Sunday: 4-1
Monday: 7-1
No strike: 40-1

Stocks ended the most brutal month since May of 2012, spurred to the downside first, by talk of tapering by the Fed and general fear, second, by talk of military action from the Obama administration. The time for talk being essentially over, it is expected that Damascus will be in flames shortly, the Fed will nip about $10-15 billion off its monthly bond-buying binge by the end of September and stocks will continue their trajectory to the downside.

On the day, the Russell 2000 and Dow Transports were mashed fairly substantially, and, despite some fierce tape-painting in the final five minutes of trading (about 40 Dow points), stocks finished the week with their third loss in the past five sessions.

For the week - in which the Dow closed lower for the fourth straight week (first time this year) - the Dow Industrials were down 200.20 points, the NASDAQ shed 67.92 and the S&P 500 was nipped for 30.53 points, a pretty severe decline.

Microsoft (MSFT) was the only Dow component to finish positive for the month.

Now we await the weekend's entertainment: College Football and Bombing Syria.

What could be better?

Dow 14,810.31, -30.64 (0.21%)
NASDAQ 3,589.87, -30.43 (0.84%)
S&P 500 1,632.97, -5.20 (0.32%)
NYSE Composite 9,270.70, -45.12 (0.48%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,229,340,500
NYSE Volume 3,001,316,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1822-4668
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 55-73
WTI crude oil: 107.65, -1.15
Gold: 1,396.10, -16.80
Silver: 23.46, -0.627

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