Monday, November 19, 2012

Washington Goes Home, Wall Street Throws a Party

President Obama is in the Far East on a multi-nation god-will tour. The rest of the politicians in Washington, the congress, have mostly gone back to their districts for a holiday break (that's why we love our "leaders" so much - while we get a four-day weekend, they take the whole week off.

With nobody around to moan and bemoan the national crisis known as the fiscal cliff, Wall Street took the opportunity to buy everything in sight - even before Black Friday, as sentiment has shifted from worrisome to ebullient and a majority of traders think that congress and the president will come to some kind of deal prior to the January 1 deadline.

While such optimism may be well-founded, it also may not be. There's still no deal to speak of, and the politicos won't get to work on one until next Monday at the earliest. One would think that people as smart as those on Wall Street would know better than to trust the words of politicians, especially this current bunch, which has a track record of disagreeing on just about everything, but the bulls took command on Monday and sent stocks soaring into the stratosphere.

It should figure. There are a full five weeks until the next payday, otherwise known as options expiration, on Friday, December 21, and plenty of time for stocks to rise or fall. Also, all the inside money made all the best moves, as stocks went skyward right at the open, locking out the less nimble and less-connected retail investors.

There was more good news on housing, as existing home sales rose 2.1% month-over-month and the homebuilders' index catapulted to levels not seen since the giddy, boom days of 2006.

So, all of a sudden, everything is rosy again. Until it's not, that is, which should be tomorrow or maybe some time next week.

It pays to pay attention to this attention-deficit market, though it may not pay to actually participate in it.

The show continues tomorrow...

Meanwhile, in the basement of the Federal Reserve, is Ben Bernanke quietly printing a gazillion dollars on his HP Officejet 4620 Wireless Multifunction Printer - Wireless Printers (Google Affiliate Ad)?

Dow 12,795.96, +207.65(1.65%)
NASDAQ 2,916.07, +62.94(2.21%)
S&P 500 1,386.89, +27.01(1.99%)
NYSE Composite 8,080.29, +148.74(1.88%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,766,584,880
NYSE Volume 3,335,809,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4681-872
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 75-85
WTI crude oil: 89.28, +2.36
Gold: 1,734.40, +19.70
Silver: 33.19, +0.819

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