Friday, September 20, 2013

Dow Takes A Header on Realignment

It was a little like old times today. Back before there were supercomputers running the show, there used to be a term called, "late at the close," which signified the level of volume in the final frantic minutes of trading. Financial news announcers would say things like, "the tape was 12 minutes late at the close," meaning that the ticker tape that recorded trades ran past 4:00 pm due to the heavy volume.

Today, the Dow didn't settle out until well after ten minutes beyond the official close, due to the realignment. Bank of America, Hewlett Packard and Alcoa went out; Nike, Goldman Sachs and Visa went in.

It wasn't a fair exchange, and that had something to do with stocks closing at the lows of the day and the Dow outpacing the other averages to the negative. Bank of America is basically an insolvent holding company of the Fed, Hewlett Packard is a dead stock with limited upside potential and Alcoa is more or less nothing other than a proxy for the commodity price of aluminum.

The new entrants seem to have futures, though the addition of Goldman Sachs seems more sinister than anything else. After all, the company has been termed a "giant squid," because its tentacles reach into the netherworld recesses of business and politics.

Still stocks took a pretty good header today and prospects for the remainder of the month - just six more trading days - are not bright, since a government shutdown looms, Obamacare continues to move toward implementation and the complete catastrophe of the US health and labor markets and the country continues to spiral deeper into debt with a rancorous debate soon to come on raising the debt ceiling.

Nonetheless, the Fed has everyone's back, until, of course, they don't, at which time they will have the front, all sides and the keys to all of your property, real, personal and possibly intellectual, if they can strike a deal with Google, Yahoo, Amazon and the NSA.

The future is (fill in the blank... we're too afraid to).

And, BTW, when Warren Buffett says stocks are "fairly valued," it's time to sell, because that's what he's doing.

For the week:
Dow: +75.03
NASDAQ: +52.55
S&P 500: +21.92

Dow 15,451.09, -185.46 (1.19%)
Nasdaq 3,774.73, -14.66 (0.39%)
S&P 500 1,709.91, -12.43 (0.72%)
10-Yr Bond 2.73%, -0.02
NYSE Volume 5,065,868,500
Nasdaq Volume 2,335,355,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2339-4314
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 332-45
WTI crude oil: 104.67, -1.72
Gold: 1,332.50, -36.80
Silver: 21.93, -1.365

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