Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Ends On Sour Tone As Stocks Sell Into Year-End Close

At the Close: 12/30/2016:
Dow: 19,762.60, -57.18 (-0.29%)
NASDAQ: 5,383.12, -48.97 (-0.90%)
S&P 500: 2,238.83, -10.43 (-0.46%)
NYSE Composite: 11,056.90, -17.43 (-0.16%)

Over the final three weeks of 2016, the financial community focused on not buying Christmas presents or planning a New Year's gala event, but boosting stocks to a point at which they could be sold for a tidy, late-year profit, and they did so by ramping up the Dow Jones Industrial Average to stratospheric levels before dumping the blue chip shares into the laps of terminally brain-dead bag holders, i.e., pension funds.

This maneuver was rather artfully crafted, with the financial media cheerleading the ascent to the magical "Dow 20,000" level, which, as most readers will note, is anything but magic. The figure is plainly something upon which ordinary people (pension fund managers) could focus their extremely short spans of attention. 20,000 points on the Dow can be compared to other nostalgic remnants of history, like 300 million Americans, 60 home runs, or five percent unemployment.

These are just numbers, and, while numbers themselves don't lie, when placed in a variety of contexts, the narratives blur the lines between fact and fantasy. To say that a certain level of unemployment is "maximum", or that another number is an historic record (and thus something to which others can aspire) reinforces the perceived value of such a figure. It does not change the fact that the number itself is innocuous, lonesome, and static.

Having control over vast swaths of money and capital, as do central bankers and their agents, allows considerable control over the flow. Stocks and commodities are easily controlled by such enormous hordes of cash and certificates; bonds and real estate less so. Thus it's no surprise that US stocks went into overdrive upon the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th US president. This was after various implied warnings about a massive correction should the media star and real estate mogul win the election and was also on the heels of an enormous dumping in the futures market. Unwashed have limited insight, knowledge or memory of how large was the shift from futures to the US open on the day after the election and how well orchestrated was the late-stage rally from early November until just before Christmas.

From November 9 through December 13, the Dow added in excess of 1900 points (from 18,332.74 to 19,974.62), a gain of 1641 points, or, more than 8% in a period of less than seven weeks.

In other words, anybody who was right about Trump winning (not as out-of-the-question as the media had everybody believing) and wrong about the market outcome made a simple, inexcusable error of judgement. Those people trusted the same media narrative that was lying to them on both ends. As it turns out, Mr. Trump was a viable candidate capable of winning the election and the market was going to rally upon his victory, not drop into a sinkhole.

It was a great setup keyed by none other than everybody's favorite globalist central bankers and their agents at Goldman Sachs, the latter group eventually the recipient of more than just a few, token places inside the incoming Trump administration, but also the benefactor in a mammoth stock run which added significantly to the wealth of insiders at, or close to the center of the firm.

But Dow 20,000 was not to be. It was the cherry on top of the sundae meant for the little guy, but it was devoured by ravenous market forces otherwise known as naked short sellers, ostensibly, the large money crowd.

So, 2016 ends with a whimper rather than a shout. Delusional traders and hopeful investors will likely bear witness to more of the same chicanery in 2017. Nobody wants to admit that they're mere pawns on a global chessboard, therefore damming themselves behind a wall of self-doubt, misinformation, lies, and half-truths.

Happy New Year!

Week Ending 12/30/2016:
Dow: -171.21 (-0.86%)
NASDAQ: -79.57 (-1.46%)
S&P 500: -24.96 (-1.10%)
NYSE Composite: (-71.90, (-0.65%)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Santa Claus Rally? Bah, Humbug; Dow Sheds 111 Points

After all the hoopla and expectations surrounding the magical "Dow 20,000" mark, it appears that some investors have made up their minds and are selling the rally, as any astute big hitter might.

While its fun to think that stocks will continue to reach ever higher and higher levels forever into the future - a reasonable strategy for those with a 20 or 30-year time horizon - it isn't exactly realistic to expect stocks that are already at historic levels to keep chasing higher.

The arguments in favor of a correction grow stronger with each passing month. The bearish position is bolstered by any number of factors, including:

Extreme valuations (stocks are trading well above the average P/E of 16)
Recent performance (prior to Wednesday's triple-digit decline, the Dow has gained nearly 2000 points (12%) since November 8)
Weak macro data including soft industrial production, capacity utilization, spotty data worldwide)
Strong dollar (normally bad for US exporters and thus, many US stocks)
Recent hike in the fed funds rate and the potential for continuing interest rate gains making bonds more attractive as an alternative to stocks
Zero to negative income growth for the majority of the population
Record stock buybacks reducing participation and making a mockery of EPS
Market timing vis-a-vis capital gains taxes (January is usually be a great time to book gains)

Chasing stocks at this juncture is a fool's errand, as it would amount to the inverse of the "buy low, sell high" adage that has guided even novice investors for eons.

There are more than a few out there reading the tea leaves for what they are rather than what they appear to be.

At the Close, Friday, December 28, 2016:
Dow: 19,833.68, -111.36 (-0.56%)
NASDAQ: 5,438.56, -48.89 (-0.89%)
S&P 500: 2,249.92, -18.96 (-0.84%)
NYSE Composite: 11,058.88, -87.52 (-0.79%)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nine Days And Counting: Dow Fails To Surpass 20,000; Luck Matters

Nine trading days have come and gone since the Dow surpassed the 19,900 mark with expectations that Dow 20,000 would soon be a number we'd be looking at in collected rear view mirrors. It was also the day before the FOMC of the Fed issued their well-telegraphed, monumental 25 basis point increase to the federal funds rate (AKA, the Go F Yourself rate for savers), a marketing stroke of genius by the self-appointed rulers of all marketplaces, everywhere, forever.

Well, what happened?

In technical terms, the Fed put the kibosh on stocks. 20,000 didn't happen, just like other sure things this year, such as Hillary Clinton winning the election to become America's 45th president (love that one, just can't give it up).

Other things didn't happen over the past nine trading days (plus one weekend) that were not nearly as important. Donald Trump didn't resign before taking the oath of office (sorry to the serially constipated never-Trumpers like Bill Kristol), nobody killed any special lions or panda bears, and no enormous meteors struck the earth ending the human species (really happy about that last one).

But, a few days ago (Wednesday, Dec. 21), Fearless Rick made possibly the most outrageous prediction of his inglorious career as writer, journalist, blogger and general miscreant. He touted his belief that the Dow would not break the 20,000 mark this year or at least until June, 2017. He mused that the Dow "may" not hit 20,000 until 2023.

Here's his exact quote:
The Dow isn't going to make it to 20,000 this year, and it won't make it by June of next year. In fact, it may not hit 20,000 until 2023. Book it.

So far he's right. But there's still five trading days left in 2016, so plenty of people are rooting against him, including some fat guy in a weird red suit promising some absurd thing known as a Santa Claus Rally. Good luck with that. Far fewer are betting against him, however, as the market in general, and the Dow in particular, seems to have peaked.

There's still plenty of time for him to be wrong. There's the six months until June, and the seven years until 2023. But, since one and seven are Fearless Rick's lucky numbers, he may eventually to be more lucky than good.

We shall see. In case one missed all the non-action of Friday's market churning, it went something like this: Down, slightly, sleepwalking though midday, rabid short-covering into the closing last ten minutes, boosting all the major indices into positive territory. We have all seen this play before. Yawn, and Merry Christmas.

At the Close, Friday, December 23, 2016:
Dow: 19,933.81, +14.93 (0.07%)
NASDAQ: 5,462.69, +15.27 (0.28%)
S&P 500: 2,263.79, +2.83 (0.13%)
NYSE Composite: 11,128.80, +14.66 (0.13%)

For the week:
Dow: +90.40 (+0.46%)
NASDAQ: +25.53 (+0.47%)
S&P 500: +5.72 (+0.25%)
NYSE Composite: +3.58 (+0.03%)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dow Misses Another Opportunity To Surpass 20,000; Rally May Not Have Legs

Now that the flirtation with 20,000 on the Dow is waning, perhaps the market and its participants will return to some semblance of regular trading as opposed to the mad year-end dash for cash following the election.

While financial pundits are still calling the recent burst higher the "Trump Rally," it probably has little or no relevance to the election of the real estate magnate as the 45th president of the United States. What it has to do with is window dressing for fund managers, loading up on hot stocks to adorn their year-end portfolio prospectuses.

Less realistic is the opportunity for the rally to continue, especially after the major league run-up and two straight days of losses on the main indices. Though not large, today's declines were in a very slight range, but interestingly, stocks fell behind the unchanged line at the open and stayed there throughout the session, indicative of a tired market, though perhaps Friday will provide some news and another boost for the Dow 20,000 hat crowd.

Even that possibility seems remote, as the quad witching expiry was last week and the closeout to this week will be more reminiscent of a dash out the door than a frenzied trading day. It is, after all, just one day prior to Christmas Eve, and, despite rumors to the contrary, even Wall Street traders are human.

There's also scant data coming forward and just about everything but kitchen sink futures have been priced in for the final week of 2016. Anybody seeking profits at this juncture has truly missed that boat.

So, Friday is going to be dull and the cries of "Dow 20,000" are not to be heard around these parts for a while. Taking a little off the top going into the new year isn't exactly a bad idea, and it seems to be catching on with more than a few.

There still is time for the annual Santa Claus rally, traditionally the final week of the year, but the Trump rally may have grounded old St. Nick. We'll find out next week.

At the Close 12/22/16:
Dow: 19,918.88, -23.08 (-0.12%)
NASDAQ: 5,447.42, -24.01 (-0.44%)
S&P 500: 2,260.96, -4.22 (-0.19%)
NYSE Composite: 11,113.04, -29.52 (-0.26%)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Seven Straight: Dow Misses 20,000 Mark Again; Stocks Slip; Fearless Rick Calls 20,000 In 2023

In what was the Dow's narrowest trading day since 2013, the widely-watched industrial average failed to ramp over the 20,000 mark. The DJIA fell on light volume, as did all other major indices, along with WTI crude, silver, gold and treasury yields.

Financials managed to hold green post-Fed but all other sectors are lower since the rate hike announcement a week ago. Speaking of lower, volume has completely dried up. Bonds got a small bid on the day, pushing yields slightly lower, the benchmark 10-year note was down 0.022, finishing at 2.546.

It was a day of reflecting on what has happened in 2016 and weighing the possibilities of the rally extension beyond the magical 20,000 number, which, in the long and short of it, is wholly psychological and largely meaningless unless one has invested heavily in "DOW 20,000" baseball caps.

This leaves managers with just seven more trading days to square their books for the year, something any smart (read: few, if any) player would have already accomplished prior to heading off for the holidays. Seven is also the number of days that people thought the Dow would breach 20,000. Something about that number...

A betting man would give good odds that the Dow won't break the 20,000 barrier this year and might get an even better shake on the Dow busting through by June of 2017, but it may be a bet worth taking. Failure of markets, especially after a long run-up and a bull market that's extremely overextended, is rather common. The chances of a pullback between now and February seem almost certain, especially beyond the rate hike and the obvious tax incentives to sell come January 3rd, the opening trading day of next year.

Since Money Daily publisher Fearless Rick has already established himself on two accounts lately (the Trump call in Ocotber and the more recent "silver under $16" post a week ago, he's ready to plunge headlong into this debate. Here's the call:
The Dow isn't going to make it to 20,000 this year, and it won't make it by June of next year. In fact, it may not hit 20,000 until 2023. Book it.

Obviously, our intrepid publisher is going out on a limb rather than risking one. He's currently long machinery and undeveloped real estate. Yikes!

At The Close, 12/21/16:
Dow: 19,941.96, -32.66 (-0.16%)
NASDAQ: 5,471.43, -12.51 (-0.23%)
S&P 500: 2,265.18, -5.58 (-0.25%)
NYSE Composite: 11,142.57, -29.62 (-0.27%)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Close, No Cigar: Dow Fails To Top 20,000

Just the facts, ma'am.

Well, maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday's Closing Quotes:
Dow: 19,974.62, +91.56 (0.46%)
MASDAQ: 5,483.94, +26.50 (0.49%)
S&P 500: 2,270.76, +8.23 (0.36%)
NYSE Composite: 11,172.20, +43.66 (0.39%)

As 2016 Winds Down With Stocks Up, What's In Store For 2017?

Recently, Americans and observes worldwide have been subjected to overreaction by lawmakers and media types over the "Russian hacking" of the recently-resolved US presidential elections and the possibility that certain electors in the electoral collage would bolt from the Trump camp in enough numbers to deny Donald Trump the needed 270 votes to certify him as America's 45th president.

As of 4:30 pm ET Monday, the electoral college did its job, giving Trump 306 votes, confirming his November victory and assuring the American public that all politics would proceed normally (we believe) for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, the over-hyped media and intelligence frenzy was revealed to have been yet another case of sour grapes and/or fake news fomented by the losers in the Democrat party and what appears to be rogue elements of the intelligence community. The good news is that Mr. Trump, once inaugurated on January 20, will be able to remove such rogue elements via his appointees to the CIA, FBI and other agencies. The bad news is that the sore loser Democrats and their media whores will remain, and they will likely continue to harass and object every effort Trump makes to "make America great again."

While almost nobody can reasonably oppose efforts to improve conditions for Americans, the Democrats will couch their objections in the most mealy-mouthed manners, with references to diversity, unfairness and vague commentaries on power and elitism.

Fortunately, the investor class has ignored most of the political squabbling and has moved on to increasing its wealth, with stocks up tremendously since election day. The bond markets have expressed acceptance of the Fed's minuscule rate hike of last week and have stabilized. Everything seems in place for a nice, year-end Santa Claus rally which will take the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the mythical 20,000 plateau.

The question to be asked at this juncture is, will the markets remain ebullient and bubbly into the New Year? With stocks hovering at or near all-time highs, and the bull run which began in 2009 extending into a ninth year, the answer should be obvious. Markets do not work one way (up) and corrections and bear markets often occur at what seems to be the most inopportune moments. With investor sentiment bullish to the extreme, the probability of a major correction in the first quarter of 2017 should be quite high, unless one adheres to the well-founded theory that the Fed has backstopped equity markets for years and will continue to do so. Doing otherwise, so the conventional wisdom tells, would be catastrophic, as though fair and open markets are inherently evil.

They are not, and it may be nigh on the eve of major changes in fiscal and monetary policy. On the fiscal side, Mr. Trump - a businessman with many years experience in all matters financial - the message is clear: he will do what it takes to get America on a path to prosperity for all levels of income, not just the crony capitalists and heavily financialized major corporations, but for individuals up and down the income ladder.

As for the Fed, one's guess is as good as another, but the genii inside the Fed seem intent on raising interest rates gradually in order to keep the US economy from overheating. As usual, they will be late to the party, but perhaps they can salve their damaged egos by reducing their bloated balance sheet in 2017 and leaving the number of interest rate hikes below three, ending the year around one percent, which, while traditionally absurdly low, would count as a major accomplishment since the Great Financial Crisis of the recent past.

Geopolitical events may overtake the Fed's view, however, as Japan and the Eurozone are well upon the road to financial ruin, and a crisis in either market (plus China) may cause extreme disruption to an orderly return to what is commonly referred to as "normalization."

A new administration hell-bent on returning America to greatness and leveling the playing field in international trade set against a backdrop of unelected financial and political operatives worldwide should make for an interesting, exciting, volatile year ahead.

As 2016 winds down, 2017 should present unique and various opportunities in all markets, requiring astute evaluation of not just balance sheets and P/E ratios, but insight into the political influence which has been and will continue to be exerted upon trade and commerce, globally.

At the Close: 12/19/2016
Dow: 19,883.06, +39.65 (0.20%)
NASDAQ: 5,457.44, +20.28 (0.37%)
S&P 500: 2,262.53, +4.46 (0.20%)
NYSE Composite: 11,128.54, +3.32 (0.03%)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Market Week In Review: December 10-16, 2016; Stocks Moribund, Silver Slammed, Oil, Banks Up

Highlighted by Wednesday's (Dec. 14) FOMC rate policy announcement, the week as a whole saw its fair share of ups and downs, mostly confined to intra-day movement, but eventually ending mildly positive, at least for stocks.

The Dow recorded a pair of all-time closing highs on Monday and Tuesday, but failed to reach for the stars after the Fed announced a 0.25% hike in the federal funds rate, the first in exactly one year. The move from 0.25-0.50 to 0.50-0.75 triggered a sharp sell-off in Wednesday afternoon trading, though stocks recovered nicely on Thursday and ended flat on Friday.

If the week was uneventful for stocks, it was not the same for commodities, particularly silver and gold, or for the US dollar, which reached nearly-unprecedented highs over 102.20 on the Bloomberg dollar index. As the dollar gained, the precious metals were slammed, gold losing over $30 top to bottom, but eventually leveling off at $1134.60 at Friday's finish, a loss of just $26 from the rate announcement. Silver took a much harder hit, dropping in price on the COMEX from $17.10 an ounce on Wednesday to end the week about a buck lower, at $16.07, a six percent loss.

Following OPEC's announced production cuts for 2017, crude spiked over $55 per ounce, but retreated during the week, still ahead somewhat at 53.03 as the week's trading closed out. Despite the strong dollar - supposedly a brake on oil prices - oil managed to ramp up to the highest price in three years.

Financials and industrials led the way for US stocks, not surprisingly continuing the Dow rally spurred forward by notables Goldman Sachs, 3M, Boeing, and General Electric. The Dow Industrial Average being the only major index to finish in the green for the week, markets continue to show strength in only the largest of large caps while smaller stocks are only being nibbled upon and, in the main, sold. The fracturing of markets into large leaders and small losers cannot bode well for the continuation of any meaningful rally going forward.

Naturally, with the Fed hiking rates, if only modestly, Treasuries were sold, but mainly on the short-duration issues. The five-year note broke through the mythical 2.00% threshold this week (2.05%), while the 10-year popped briefly above 2.60%, clinging close to that level as markets went dark for the weekend (2.57%). A flattening yield curve was evident as the 30-year bond remained steady, at 3.16%, pushing down the spread between fives and thirties to a unitary 1.11%.

All of this came against a backdrop of national news media hyping futile and largely-baseless claims by the US intelligence community that Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election, somehow making Vladimir Putin responsible for the election of Donald J. Trump (who will be formally elected by the Electoral College on Monday) and the demise of Hillary Clinton, the choice of the much-discredited leftist status quo.

The folly of the intelligence claims was completely ignored by Wall Street, and rightly so. The last thing investors need is a fresh injection of political skullduggery, after slogging through nearly two years of endless campaign rhetoric from all sides.

With a week left before Christmas, retailers have yet to ring bells of any kind, neither of alarm or of joyous peals f profit. The Christmas shopping experience over the past decade has morphed from mad dashes on Black Friday to a controlled button-pushing event on computers nationwide, as the internet has revolutionized the retail buying experience and forever changed the shopping mall landscape and holiday experience.

With two weeks remaining in 2016, it's likely that markets will respond to calmer views going forward though a sharp Santa Claus rally, taking the Dow beyond 20,000, is a distinct possibility over the final ten trading days of the year.

At The Close: Friday, December 16
Dow: 19,848.60, -3.64 (-0.02%)
NASDAQ: 5,437.29, -19.56 (-0.36%)
S&P 500: 2,258.20, -3.83 (-0.17%)
NYSE Composite: 11,122.44, -9.46 (-0.08%)

For the Week:
Dow: +86.65 (0.44%)
NASDAQ: -7.34 (-0.13%)
S&P 500: -1.46 (-0.06%)
NYSE Composite: -66.57 (-0.59%)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fed Post-Mortem: Stocks Pop, Stop; China Bonds Crash; Silver Hits Target

After posting a duo of sentiments Wednesday, outlining the Money Daily "trade of the year," events escalated quickly following the Fed's federal funds interest rate hike of 0.25%.

Overnight, China treasury bonds crashed and trading in key futures were halted in an unprecedented move. Panicked investors sent yields soaring, the 10-year bond hitting a 16-month high of 3.4%. Elsewhere around the globe, the bond rout continued as yields spiked, reflecting the potential the Fed laid on the table for rising rates through 2020.

US stocks gained on the day, though the closing prices were less than half of what was achieved at midday.

As predicted, the silver price was clubbed like a baby seal, dropping to a high-15 handle early in the day and never recovering. Whether the move in silver (and gold) can be stemmed short term, it's likely that pricing will remain moribund unless further events occur to derail the massive spike in the US dollar.

The inverse relationship between the dollar and all commodities is especially pronounced in volatile silver. The Money Daily call to "buy at any price under $16/ounce has already been achieved, but indications are that it could continue as low as $14.75 the ounce.

Hang tight through tomorrow and the weekend, as Friday is a quad-witching day for options and futures expiry.

At the Close:
Dow: 19,852.24, +59.71 (0.30%)
NASDAQ: 5,456.85, +20.18 (0.37%)
S&P 500: 2,262.03, +8.75 (0.39%)
NYSE Composite: 11,131.85, +33.18 (0.30%)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fed Hikes Fed Funds Rate 0.25%, Everything Gets Mashed In Panic Attack

You name it, stocks, bonds, oil, gold, silver, real estate, it all got smashed down pretty well after Janet Yellen and her central bank buddies decided to hike the federal funds rate by 1/4 point, from the unreasonably low figure of 0.25-0.50% to the nearly unreasonable low point of 0.50-0.75.

The only saving grace on the day was the dollar, which strengthened against almost every other currency, the dollar index quoting at 102.24 just after 4:00 pm ET.

While the FOMC move was well-telegraphed and supposedly baked into the markets, stocks still took a nosedive after the 2:00 pm announcement by the Fed. Though it's not much in terms of a rate hike and even less significant since he rate is still at historically low levels under one percent (absurd), perhaps driving the sell-off was the idea that the Fed predicted three rate hikes in 2017, which would ostensibly bring the federal funds rate to an area above one percent by this time next year. Three hikes would put the base rate at 1.25-1.50%. Optimistic, aren't they?

That's a doubtful prediction, however, as the Fed has continually over-promised and under-delivered when it comes to returning the US economy and interest rates to normalcy.

As pointed out in the previous post, the play of the day would have to be in silver and possibly gold, depending on how well-heeled and aristocratic one believes one to be. But not just yet. Wise traders will wait until the dust from this little market spasm settles and the new year selling begins on January 3rd (Yep, New Year's Day is on a Sunday, so Monday, January 2nd is a holiday. See, Trump's already making the country great again by giving everybody an extra day off).

Silver already dropped 30 cents per ounce since the FOMC announcement. Gold took a twenty dollar whacking, from $1160 to $1140. King Midas and the gold bugs are salivating! If there's one thing one can count on in this market is the pair trade on the downside. If stocks are going down, precious metals are going to get hammered, if for no good reason whatsoever. That's what happens when you trade as many contracts in a month as there is gold in the world. It's a fake, controlled, manipulated market, but, it has been steady if not profitable in recent years, once one learns the ins, outs, cheaters, liars and innuendos of playing with REAL MONEY.

Stay tuned to Money Daily as the trade of the year takes place. The few days or weeks wait will be well worth it.

Closing prices, Wednesday, December 14:
Dow: 19,792.53, -118.68 (-0.60%)
NASDAQ: 5,436.67, -27.16 (-0.50%)
S&P 500: 2,253.28, -18.44 (-0.81%)
NYSE Composite: 11,099.21, -137.96 (-1.23%)

Pre-FOMC Forecast: Stocks Steady, Sell Bonds, Buy Silver And Gold

There's an interesting set-up to today's expected FOMC 25 basis point (0.25%) hike in the federal funds rate.

The Yen has collapsed 19% in the last few months, the $USD is now at a 13-year high and stocks are at one of their most overbought levels in 100 years.

If that last statement about stocks being wildly overvalued doesn't give one pause, consider the situation the last time the Fed raised interest rates. It was a year ago, last December. On the day of the rate increase, December 16, the Dow Industrial Average closed at 17,749.09. The index dipped and dodged for two weeks, re-rallying back to close at 17,720.98, December 29, never quite getting back to previous highs.

But, when the new year dawned, the floodgates opened as sellers emerged from the shadows, many of them likely taking advantage of tax rules on profitable trades, mostly allowing those profits from 2015 to float tax-free until April of 2017 (the future) if sold in 2016. Tricky, allowable, rational and fully legal was this tactic which in effect dropped the Dow by a shade over 11 percent to a closing quote of 15,766.74 on January 20.

That was officially correction territory, and, while the rest of the trading community was wondering if this was going to be a 2008 redux, the Fed and its central banking brethren quietly began undermining market fundamentals (again, surprise!) by surreptitiously buying equities through proxies, particularly, the Bank of Japan, notorious for market meddling in everything from auto parts to currencies to yes, Virginia, stocks.

As it turned out, the trade was a worthwhile one for those central banking and insider trading folks. The Dow is now hurtling headlong towards 20,000, so, depending on which stocks the proxies were buying, they may have profited upwards of 25%.

Is the market rigged, or is it ready to face the awful reality of a federal funds rate at 0.50-0.75% The horror! One is amazed at not only the audacity of the central banking cartel, but also its awesome good fortune on all matters regarding their (your) money.

Getting back to the set-up from last year, the yen was down only 10% from September through December of 2015, about half of its decline this year. Can history repeat, and with even better results? That's one heck of a bet, if one is so inclined. For the rest of us, it looks like sitting on the sidelines for the rest of 2016 might turn out to be a profitable move.

It's of dubious probability that stocks are going to stage any kind of dramatic rally, so, what's the play, and when.

It's not often that Money Daily offers specific investment advice, but, taking a gander at what's happened to gold and silver the past few months (gold dropping from above $1300 to below $1160 and silver dipping from near $20 per ounce to around $17 currently), the opportunity is available to not necessarily make a killing, but to preserve some wealth in precious metals, you know, those things that have been considered money for thousands of years, gold and silver.

Being that Money Daily is more of a silver surfer than a gold bug, the recommendation is for silver at any price below $16.00. The market will not likely tolerate downside below $14.50, and the potential is there for a fabulous move upside, without the prerequisite dip.

So, here's the scenario. Stocks will remain steady or turn upwards for the remainder of December. After all, what's Christmas without a Santa Claus rally? Remember, stocks are wildly overpriced and overdue for some corrective medicine. The dollar should get a good, hard beating, but it probably won't because other major economies are in much worse shape.

It gets more complicated, because a strong dollar makes US goods more expensive overseas, and, if our newly-elected president has his way, imports are going to be heavily taxed, and soon. A trade war is likely to erupt by mid-2017.

Bond yields should benefit from rising interest rates, whereas gold and silver should see further price deterioration.

The wild cards are many, but the obvious one is inflation. If the Fed continues resolutely on course to foment inflation above two percent (impossible, say some, though the PPI came in today with a surprising gain of 0.4% for November, at the same time industrial production dipped 0.4% and capacity utilization also fell, to a six-month low of 75.0%.

While the majority of mainstream idiot economists pay scant attention to the latter two data points, CEOs and real economists take these numbers seriously. How is there going to be inflation when industrial production is slowing or stagnant and utilization is only 75% when the norm for growing economies is closer to 85%? Yet, there it is, with producer prices advancing at an annualized rate of 4.8%. Tomorrow's release of CPI for November will be the final nail in the coffin of controlled destruction economics engineered by the Fed and foreign central bank proxies.

Sorry if there's hardly anything positive in this report, but the era of central bank meddling, manipulating and needling intervention is in need of departure. They've managed to create an economy that benefits only those in the know, at the expense of taxpayers and citizens worldwide. It's like a giant plantation, with a healthy portion of worker paychecks - via taxes, fees, inflation and other theft - as the harvest.

You're being fattened and groomed for the slaughter or shearing, in a world which allows most to gain marginally but not substantially. Those without an escape hatch like a side business or secret gold vault are victims of mediocrity, though most will never notice and hardly ever complain.

So, off we go to FOMC land, with the big announcement (that's sarcasm, friend) fewer than two hours away.

Reiterating the call for silver surfing, WAIT. It's difficult with silver at such bargain levels, but it's almost sure to go lower, especialy if it goes a little higher. The central bankers - who hate competition from other forms of money - simply won't have it, and, since they have complete control over the paper silver market, they'll crush the price. If silver spikes above $19, it's a missed opportunity, but, bonus, your holdings are now worth more of those teeny-weeny Federal Reserve Notes.

The best timing may be the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, when nobody is paying much attention, or within the first three weeks of January. After the inauguration on the 20th, it's possible that markets will experience some serious turmoil, so there may be more time available to stock up on the stuff that powers solar panels and is the best electrical conductor in the universe, besides being the money of gentlemen.

“Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves.”
-- Norm Franz in his book Money and Wealth in the New Millennium (2001).

More after the market close.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Interest Rates Likely To Be Hiked Wednesday; For Now, Markets Don't Care

Remember how any time the Fed even hinted that they were going to raise interest rates (the fed funds rate, to be exact) the market would throw a hissy fit and drop 3-5% in a matter of days?

Well, that's ancient history, it appears, as the Dow smashes its way toward 20,000 with yet another all-time high, despite the Fed nearly certain to raise the Fed funds rate tomorrow (Wednesday, 2:00 pm).

For now, markets are completely out of control and have been since the election of one Donald J. Trump as president of the United States. If anybody believes his pledge to "make America great again," it sure seems like wizened traders on Wall Street do.

Hang tight. It's almost time to make a major move on silver and/or gold. The logic and reasoning for the buy will be explained right here at Money Daily in tomorrow's post-FOMC post.

Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Closing Bell:
Dow: 19,911.21, +114.78 (0.58%)
NYSE Composite: 11,236.75, +59.47 (0.53%)
NASDAQ: 5,463.83, +51.29 (0.95%)
S&P 500: 2,271.72, +14.76 (0.65%)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stocks Continue Surging Into Year-End; Fed Rate Hike Baked In, Unsubstantial

He said, "Call the doctor. I think I'm gonna crash."
"The doctor say he's comin', but you gotta pay him cash."
They went rushin' down that freeway,
messed around and got lost
They didn't care they were just dyin' to get off

--Life in the Fast Lane, Eagles, 1976

Stocks careened higher on Friday, finishing off a week that saw increased investor buying virtually across the board. It was the best week for stocks, especially on the Dow, since the week immediately following the US elections, an odd scenario for analysts and talking media heads who predicted turmoil and collapse if anybody but Hillary Clinton was elected president.

Since the election of Donald Trump, we now know that what emerges from the mouths of Wall Street psychopaths and media slaves is usually incorrect, politically driven and nine times out of ten wrong. What we still don't understand is why the same people are relied upon for their opinions, having been proven completely wrong over and over again, the best examples of this kind of nepotistic following being seen regularly on the financial networks, Bloomberg, Fox, and notoriously, CNBC, which has its own designated cheerleader, Jim Cramer.

How could all of these pundits and overpaid professionals have gotten it so wrong? Easy. The chances of stocks advancing or declining is almost always a 50/50 proposition, but, anybody reading the tea leaves from leftover elections would have known that a Republican president following a lame duck incumbent makes for a major bull market (that's made up, but it's probably true anyhow, and, in the age of "fake news" all one needs is a headline and story, right?).

Maybe people with money think Donald Trump's various positions on trade, immigration, wages, borders and culture will usher in another gilded age of American exceptionalism. For the most part, anybody with half a brain still in working order would welcome such a change. More than likely, following the initial post-election stock surge the rest of the advances have been driven largely by herd behavior.

It should be widely accepted, though it isn't, that stocks are valued extremely high, but the right thing is that bonds have been collapsing over the past five weeks, at the same time stocks have been rising. That's not your run-of-the-mill pair trade, but it is imaginative. As bonds fall, yields rise, making them more attractive as safety plays. In the meantime, with interest rates largely remaining at bargain basement levels, stocks have continued to be the investment de jour.

If there's a cloudy lining inside the silver cloud of stocks, it's that a correction is long overdue. However, bears and shorts have been saying that for the better part of the past four years and it hasn't happened. Instead, we happen to be in the midst of a massive valuation expansion. Whether or not individual stocks are good or bad investments presently does not seem to matter. There's an explosion of cash coming into the market, the same cash that was being hoarded pre-election. Once that money is exploited and exposed, the intensity of the rally should subside, but probably not until the calendar turn to 2017, the attractiveness and continual pimping of the "Santa Claus Rally" expected to be the main driver over the remaining weeks of 2016.

So, if a crash is coming, January's your huckleberry, or, right after the Fed raises the federal funds rate next week, which has evolved from a possibility to a near-certainty. The Fed and their one quarter of one percent hike in overnight lending is more a canard than a reality. Only the monumentally stupid or disconnected will suffer on a small rate increase. It's so tiny that almost nobody will notice. Certainly, it's not the kind of event that will cause a run, a panic, a rout, so the best action for next week is probably inaction.

Crashes and sudden downturns in the market normally come from out of the blue, caused by forces to which nobody (or only a select, ridiculed few) had been paying attention. If there's going to be a turn, the most likely causes are going to come from Japan or China or Europe, possibly even Brazil or another major portion of Latin America. More likely is that after Mr. Trump is inaugurated, US markets stabilize and places such as those mentioned above suffer. Such is the way of the world. There will be winners and losers. If America is going to be "great again" other countries are going to be not so great. The market is economics in motion and the chances for a crash in America are minimal over the short term. Longer term, dependent on too many factors to delineate here, corrections and crashes are bound to occur. The truth of the matter, is that the usually-wrong analysis from Wall Street is actually right on this account: if your time horizon is 20 or more years, crashes and corrections are buying opportunities and nothing more. The world won't end tomorrow or the next day, or the next month or the next year.

Thus, the outlook for stocks remains fairly solid, albeit a bit on the high side right now. Since the election, the Dow is more than 1400 points higher, a gain of nearly eight percent. That's a pretty healthy gain for five weeks and something that should be taken into account whatever investment decision one is making or about to make.

Friday's Closing Quotes:
Dow: 19,756.85, +142.04 (0.72%)
S&P 500: 2,259.53. +13.34 (0.59%)
NASDAQ: 5,444.50, +27.14 (0.50%)
NYSE Composite: 11,191.79, +41.83 (0.38%)

For the Week Ending 12/09/16:
Dow: +586.43 (+3.06%)
S&P 500: +67.58 (+3.08%)
NASDAQ: +188.85 (+3.59%)
NYSE Composite: +353.21 (+3.26%)

Friday, December 2, 2016

December Jobs Report OK; Look For FedRes To Raise Rates

The U.S. economy added 178,000 net new jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, the lowest since 2007, the Labor Department said Friday.

That's about all one needs to know about what the Fed may do at the next meeting of the FOMC in less than two weeks, December 13 and 14.

The economy seems to have picked up some confidence from the Trump election, and there's the possibility that the Fed may consider more rate hikes at a faster pace if economic conditions continue to improve (it's about time). what the Fed doesn't want to do is slam the door shut on any expansion by raising rates too quickly, but, after eight years of moribund global flim-flammery, it's apparent that the Fed doesn't want to do anything that might draw undue attention to itself.

As the year enters the final month of a very turbulent 2016, the signs are good that the eight years of non-recovery (except for stocks) may be about to usher in a new prosperity and at least a couple of good years for the US economy. While the rest of the world is in somewhat dubious condition, especially Japan and Europe, with their mountains of debt and negative interest rates, the US seems poised to again take the lead in economic matters.

It may take a while and it may take a pullback in stocks, which hasn't happened since '09, but things do seem to be on the improve.

Other than the Dow Industrials, stocks took a bit of a beating this week, ending on a down note as the Friday rally failed to maintain momentum. This could be the beginning of a Wall Street hissy fit over rate hikes. Then again, stocks are close to all-time highs.

Stay tuned and keep that power dry.

Closing Bell, Friday 12/02/16
Dow: 19,170.42, -21.51 (-0.11%)
NASDAQ: 5,255.65, +4.55 (0.09%)
S&P 500: 2,191.95, +0.87 (0.04%)
NYSE Composite: 10,841.64, +12.65 (0.12%)

For the week:

Dow: +18.28 (+0.10%)
NASDAQ: -143.27 (-2.65%)
S&P 500: -21.40 (-0.98%)
NYSE Composite: -38.98 (-0.36%)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Is The Economy Changing? What To Buy Now

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election roughly a month ago, the reaction on Wall Street has been, in a word, enthusiastic.

The investing class is betting that Trump will have a positive impact on corporate bottom lines and all indications are that he will try to slash US corporation tax rates and repatriate corporate money from abroad to pump back into the US economy.

But, it's not at all that simple. Stocks are at record highs already, so, if you're invested in a 401k or other plan at work, sit tight. If you're one of the three dozen or so active individual investors out there still standing after years of mauling and manipulation, you have to notice that p/e ratios are at pretty high atmospheric levels.

Stocks are great if you have the patience and appetite for the ups and downs of active markets, but buying at these levels would seem a bit on the foolhardy side. There's likely to be a pullback if the business cycle still has any tethers to reality. Besides, the FOMC is going to raise interest rates, making bonds, gold and silver and other fixed investments appear more palatable.

Who knows? Banks might actually be offering 4-5% interest on savings in a few years, though it's a dubious call. A return to normalcy in markets and credit would cause the national debt to skyrocket immediately, as in "overnight," and that's not something a president Trump (or any other president for that matter) wants on his historical resume.

So, what's a bargain? As usual, the central banks and their cronies (yes, despite the Donald, there's still plenty of crony capitalism to go around. One is not going to destroy Rome in a day or even one term.) put the kibosh on the precious metals just after the election and they don't seem to be relenting at this point.

The world has changed, but it's probably too early to tell what effects those changes are going to have on businesses or investing or sectors or bonds or anything. Give it a little time, but bear in mind that the FOMC is meeting on the 13th and 14th of December and the odds are very, very good that they're going to hike the federal funds rate another 25 besis points or 0.25%, bringing the effective rate to 0.50-0.75.

Now, there's nothing special about those rates except that they're still historically low. The world is still recovering from the devastation from the crimes of 2008 that were never reconciled. It's unclear whether the Trump administration is going to get tougher on Wall Street shenanigans or allow them free reign, but either way, there's still a price ot be paid for recklessness. The trick is to know when the piper shows up and nobody is that good.

Until then, silver still looks like the bargain of the century, though leaning towards outright purchases of solar panels and the associated technology is still a viable plan.

At the bottom of it all, Americans should be investing in their own businesses. Run from home or a storefront or on a shoestring, we may be entering a time of unfettered capitalism from the ground up.

Go for it.

Closing Prices for Thursday, 12/01/16:
DOW: 19,191.93, +68.35 (0.36%)
NASDAQ: 5,251.11, -72.57 (-1.36%)
S&P 500: 2,191.08, -7.73 (-0.35%)
NYSE Composite: 10,821.85, -16.61 (-0.15%)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Shortage Of Stupidity In The New USA

While many Americans are happy or relieved that the incoming president is going to be one Donald J.Trump rather than a Hillary R. Clinton, the level of stupidity and derision following the November 8 election cannot be underestimated nor easily dismissed.

Within hours of the election results being boomed around the world and drummed into the heads of the mainstream media (TV) pundits and nitwits, protests sprang forth in some large cities.The usual suspects were the main venues for these particular acts of organized convulsion. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia and New York City - all bastions of sanctuary for liberal mind-numbness and “gimme” passions - were singed with the callous chanting and protesting of the election results. Ostensibly, the protesters were recruited, rounded up and bussed into the streets by the monied interest of George Soros, the criminal billionaire who has helped fund the destruction of Europe and was intent on bringing the philosophical wrecking ball to the United States.

Additionally, spontaneous demonstrations of grief, loathing, fear, and discontent erupted upon college campuses, those former institutions learning which have devolved into self-pitying, protected safe spaces for all manner of moronic manifestations.

These protests and demonstrations lasted about a week and died a slow, painful death, the adherents of liberal ideology apparently content to wreak havoc for a little while, collect their pay and slide back into the slimy holes from which they came.

Of course, their positions atop the “we’re all gonna die” narrative were quickly taken up by far more qualified idiots in the television and newspaper media and their lap-dog, sound-horn political hacks, who commandeered the airwaves with threats to undo or, at least, minimize the Trump victory, making various noises and guttural moaning about the rights of illegal immigrants, women, minorities and whatever other simple-minded antithetical nonsense they could foist upon the not-so-unsuspecting viewing and reading public.

Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, issued a proclamation and a new law (heaped upon the hundreds of other laws which are not enforceable and cannot and will not be enforced) guaranteeing that any illegal threatened with deportation by the federal government will have his or her or its legal bills attended to by the overtly generous and sublimely stupid state of New York.

Mayors across the country insisted that their little fiefdoms would remain sanctuary cities, in direct conflict with the laws of the federal government. Legislation was introduced in the congress to abolish the electoral college. And finally, the left, left, left hop-skip march of the Green Party - which is nothing more than an unofficial subsidiary of the now-defunct and discredited Democrat party - sauntered into the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, promising a full investigation and recount of the vote that went narrowly to Trump and bumped him over the electoral college hump.

And then, Hillary’s people chimed in, on queue, just in time for the Sunday political talk shows, saying snidely that they owed it to the people who voted for Hillary (note: no respect for those who voted for the actual winner, Trump) to ensure that the vote tally was accurate.

But, the public had been heard. Trump had won and the millions who voted for him and the millions who quietly supported him refused to listen, refused to be deterred, refused to be fooled again. No, governor Cuomo, we’re not paying our taxes so that you can appear the savior of the downtrodden at our expense. No, Hillary, your vote recount won’t amount to anything. No, George Soros. Go back to Hungary, you cretin.

It seemed that some sanity had finally emerged, until I ran across this little oddity on a Facebook page. The person upon whose page it was posted (and whose face I have conveniently erased at left) went to a Catholic grammar school, a Catholic high school and eventually went to work in the Human Resources department of a public school district. For the record, there's really no position more loathsome than one in Human Resources, aka HR. It's about as low on the job totem pole one can smoke and doing this kind of work for a public school system is like smoking dirt through a straw pipe. Anyhow, this is why the education system should be scrapped: because people like this are hauling down enormous salaries and pensions while inflicting the youth under their care to ill-informed, nonsensical, downright bad advice.

This woman is no more a Muslim than I am a green-eyed Martian. She was brought up in a middle class American home, schooled privately during her formative years and had all the privilege and pampering that suburban life for young, white girls offered. Apparently, college and a lifetime of servitude to a corrupt, derelict education system which favors mediocrity over success, conformity over individuality, and the dishonesty of the diversity chorus over actual learning, turned a normal American woman into a screeching, tongue-twisted, limpid half-wit with no more original thinking than the average 30-second TV commercial. And the woman next to her in the photo (whose face I also have blotted out... to protect the guilty, as it is) is likely thinking of how she’ll cut out the heart of this insipid infidel when the time is ripe.

Such is the level of stupidity in America.

H. L. Mencken, who coined the phrase, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” is having convulsions in his grave.

While we’re on the subject of stupid, let’s look at solar technology. I recently had the opportunity to state my concerns and throw out some ideas about solar power on a local radio show (this part is for you, Bob).

Western states, especially those blessed with abundant sunshine, have built enormous solar farms which feed electricity into the grid and eventually into people’s homes. Some such plans have recently come to the attention to our local mob boss or governor, who wishes to have the state of New York take lands (probably under eminent domain) and turn them over to giant utility corporations in order to bring the solar energy collective to New York.

This is a canard designed to fool stupid people, of which there is no shortage in New York or anywhere else in this country. New York’s taxpayers are not as gullible or deep-pocketed as our countrymen out West. We’re tired of paying taxes and then paying again for subsidies to giant corporations. My advice on this radio show was for people to construct their own off-the-grid solar systems, at least partially offsetting the costs of centrally-distributed power.

Here’s how it goes. In most of New York, utility companies are allowed to assess a “customer charge,” a monthly stipend to the utility for the individual privilege of being a customer. There’s nothing more to it. It’s just an additional cost on your bill, sanctioned by our genius legislators, amounting to roughly $35 a month.

Considering that you’re going to stay on the gird for a number of years, that $35 a month becomes $420 a year and eventually, $4200 in ten years. Yes, $4200 just to be a sheep being sheared by the power company. If you took just that $4200 could easily purchase eight 250-watt solar panels at a cost of roughly $250 each (so, there’s $2000). An inverter, a voltage regulator, and a bank of four deep cycle batteries (which last 5-7 years, so they would have to be replaced at some point) should cost about $600-700. The solar panels have a useful life of twenty years, so, do the math (I know, it’s hard) and you’ll see how far ahead you could be.

Such a system can produce two kilowatts (that’s 2000 watts, son) of energy per hour on a sunny day. On average, upstate New Yorkers get about five hours of sun per day. On average. That’s important, because the sun doesn’t always shine (though modern solar panels can get some power from moonlight - it’s a modern marvel of technology). So, this setup will, on average, produce 10 kilowatt hours per day, or 300 Kwh per month. The average household uses somewhere between 400 and 800, but, being stupid, we waste a lot of that energy. Conservation (which is a derivative of conserve, just like conservative politics) is an important element in the quest to be not stupid, otherwise known as “smart.”

And because the sun doesn’t always shine, that’s why you’ll want four deep cycle batteries. They store the power you’re not using when the sun is shining. If the sun doesn’t shine for a few days, your batteries should have enough power to get you through, and then, when the sun shines again, they’ll recharge and store more power.

Thus, for the money most people are spending on just being a customer of a utility in New York, they could have their own electricity supplied from rooftop or ground  installed solar panels and still have money to spare. About $1500 over ten years. That’s not even taking into account the money these same people will be spending on electricity from the grid.

My advice is to forget the tax credits, the subsidies and tying into the grid. Construct your own solar system and keep it off the grid. The utilities don’t pay you nearly what they’re charging you for energy that you contribute back to the grid. Give the state of New York, the Public Service Commission, and the big utility company a robust middle finger, every month, month after month after month.

For those of you intimidated by electricity or solar technology or, for that matter, any technology, try it out for much less than the $2700 example cited above. Go to Harbor Freight and find the coupon or the monthly ad for the 45-watt solar panel kit. It should run between $129 and $179. It comes with all the wires, a voltage regulator, a couple of 12-volt lights (very cool), and instructions. You’ll also need at least one battery and an inverter (this turns DC electricity into AC). Those can be purchased at the same store. Anything from 400 watts to 1000 watts should work just fine.

The process is pretty simple and straightforward. A friend and I set this up and had power in under 20 minutes. It’s a plug-and-play system that probably any 15-year-old could set up and power up in the back yard. Use it in your garage, on your back porch or patio, for your camper, or for your shed. It’s fun, educational and a good first step before venturing into full-blown, off-the-grid freedom.

Oh, you say you need heat? Look into wood stoves, propane-powered or gas-powered generators and open up that little, collectivist mind for a bit.

Stupidity is one commodity that is free in America. That doesn’t mean you have to take the samples offered.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Price Of Freedom: Shoveling Your Lawn

Editor’s Note: This post is being published simultaneously on the Money Daily and Accidental Farmer blogs.

Here’s something I thought I’d never say: “I just finished shoveling my lawn.”

Well, turns out, I did, the day after a two-day snow storm which, by most accounts, was the second, third, or fifth-worse November winter storm around these parts.

What made the storm so severe was not the amount of snow that fell, but the winds, which howled for the better part of two-and-a-half days at a sustained 20-30 mph, with frequent gusts of 40 mph or higher.

Yep, that's what a lawn driveway looks like.
Those who live in hurricane or twister areas may scoff at those numbers, but anything over forty miles per hour here in upstate New York know that those kinds of numbers are not a trifling matter. And, when you’re essentially living off the grid in a camper or (like me) a motorhome, a storm like that can be downright challenging.

But, those are the choices we make. Thankfully, I had secured the motorhome sufficiently and provided for enough emergency measures that I was barely impacted, if, by barely, one means no electricity. Since I’m on solar power for the most part and I haven’t yet gotten around to augmenting my battery backup to a higher level, I was pretty much electricity-free by Sunday evening.

The storm began gathering momentum just after noon on Saturday, when the winds began picking up. I spent most of the afternoon putting away loose items in the yard and covering up wood and other building materials with tarps. By the time the sun was going down, I had just about everything secured for what I figured might be some strong winds and maybe a half foot of snow.

Sunday wasn’t so bad, though the winds kept blowing and it snowed the better part of the day, though accumulation was light. I was actually laughing over the forecasters who had predicted a major event, but, when the winds kept howling into the night, I thought maybe they were on to something.

By Monday morning, most of upstate New York was blanketed with at least six inches of snow, When light came, I could see that there was plenty of snow, along with drifts approaching a couple of feet high. My antenna and solar panels had been blown over, so I ventured out and righted them, though the effort was pretty much for naught. No sun meant no power and no power meant no TV or lights. Fortunately, I had plenty of batteries, candles and lanterns and a solar-and-hand-cranked emergency radio-flashlight made the evening tolerable and even enjoyable.

The radio was a constant companion throughout the day on Monday, and it should be mentioned that heat was being supplied by two Mr. Heater portable propane units, one the Portable Buddy, as it is known, in the bedroom, and the Big Buddy, which packs essentially twice the heating punch, in the main ling area. For the entirety of the storm, a couple of 20-pound propane tanks attached by hoses to my heaters kept the motorhome right around a comfortable 67-72 degrees with little effort on my part. (That’s why, at Thanksgiving dinner, when we were called upon to recite the things we were thankful for, I made particular note of propane.)

The snow and high winds persisted throughout Monday into the evening, but by Tuesday morning, the snow had ceased, though the winds were still a bit gusty, having diminished to about a steady 15 mph with gusts up to 30-35. That’s when I made the decision to dg out. I had parked the van Saturday night close to the motorhome, maybe a mistake on this prepper’s part, but keeping essentials - like food and tools - close by was my decision.

So, since out here in flyover country, some of us don’t actually believe we need driveways, I had about 60 feet of lawn to clear, and the best way I knew how to do that was with my own hands and a shovel. It wasn’t nearly as imposing a task as I imagined. Sure, I could have bought a snow-blower and done what most of you do on your driveways, or hired a plow truck to come and clear the area in a matter of minutes, but, in an hour-and-a-half I had carved out a nice, winding path from the road to my appointed parking spot. An added benefit was the nice workout for my aging but still-able body which the shoveling provided. I’m telling you fellows out there in thermal world, don’t challenge me to arm-wrestling or other feats of strength. You’ll lose, and likely, very badly. The van fired up without incident and I was able to make my way back to civilization, without the need of snowshoes, an ATV or any kind of four-wheel-drive vehicle.

But I thought about shoveling my lawn, and how odd that was, took a picture and posted it here. My point is that whatever choices we make, we’re always left with consequences, some known, others unknown, some seen, some unforeseen. In my endless pursuit of freedom, my choices freed me from a number of civilized evils which most of you will know as monthly utility bills, monthly cable bills and, recently, a regularly-ghastly cellular phone bill, for what ostensibly all of you out there in the real world consider essential comforts. Seriously, I’ll trade a constant internet connection and Facebook updates for the serenity of a slowly flowing stream, chirping birds and the occasional deer or rabbit any damn day. Wi-fi is my friend, and it’s widely available at no cost.

I’m here to tell you that none of it, from dedicated internet service to electricity supplied by some faceless power company, to piped-in gas heat or pumped-in oil heat are entirely necessary. Sure, if you want to pay continuously for everything that keeps you alive (I forgot to mention running water, which I also do not currently have) and well, go right ahead. For almost all of my life I’ve done the same. By this time next year, I’ll have a more solar panels and more battery backup, a wood stove, an addition onto the motorhome which I’ll build myself, and running water courtesy of the clouds above, some 55-gallon holding barrels, gutters and pipes.

As many of you are surely aware, all of the creature comforts of our modern world can get expensive, so, as I got to my retirement years (what a joke, and a topic for another time), I thought I’d see just what living without all the niceties and essentials of civilized society would be like, and the result is not so bad. In fact, it’s downright liberating. Having to make do without what everybody just takes for granted gives one a feeling of self-reliance, but more importantly, freedom.

To know that one could survive - and I might add, survive quite well - without the monthly money-grubbing gatekeepers, is a joy and a liberty I wish everyone could experience. It’s been made even more possible by technology (seriously, our pioneer ancestors didn’t have solar panels and propane heaters and stoves, nor did they have well-built motorhomes, mobile homes, campers, computers and other gee-whiz gadgets.). Technology has made life off the grid not only possible, but actually very, very enjoyable and rewarding.

That is, if you don’t mind shoveling your lawn every now and then.

Happy Thanksgiving,

—Fearless Rick

Friday's Closing Prices:
Dow: 19,152.14, +68.96 (0.36%)
NASDAQ: 5,398.92, +18.24 (0.34%)
S&P 500: 2,213.35, +8.63 (0.39%)
NYSE Composite: 10,878.09, +42.19 (0.39%)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Media Lied, Trump Won, Markets Soared

How did the media get it so wrong?

That was outlined a month before the election, right here on Money Daily and confirmed when Donald Trump won the presidential election on November 8.

The simple truth is that the media was lying, about Clinton, about Trump, about the polls, about, well, just about everything, and the public caught onto the scam and ran the other way.

Good thing, but it's not over.

One other thing the media was widely disparaging was Trump's effect on the markets. Sorry to say, they had it all wrong again. Since election day, the S&P has gained 65 points, the Dow is up a whopping 650 points, the NASDAQ ahead by 188 points and the NYSE Composite has added 306 points.

Recall how the American public was being told by the TV media and national newspaper corps (should be corpse) that a Trump victory would leave the market in shambles and possibly send the economy spiraling into a recession.

The only thing going down the drain is the quality, reliability and honesty of news reportage in America, if that's at all possible. Prior to the election, the mainstream media had already sunk so low it was going to be difficult to get down any further into the stink-hole of bias and fear-mongering, but, by almost openly supporting Hillary Clinton, they not only demolished themselves, but their candidate with it.

The markets are doing just fine, thank you. All of the news anchors on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN and anyone we may have missed, should be summarily fired. There's a job for which Trump is ideally suited: firing incompetent cheaters.

Short trading day Friday. See you after the holiday weekend.


At The Close, Wednesday, November 23:
Dow: 19,083.18, +59.31 (0.31%)
S&P 500: 2,204.72, +1.78 (0.08%)
NASDAQ: 5,380.68, -5.67 (-0.11%)
NYSE Composite: 10,835.90, 15.72 (0.15%)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Wins, America Wins, Fearless Rick Takes A Victory Lap

November has, thus far, been an amazing month.

The Cubs won the World Series for the first time since 1904, Donald Trump won the election for president, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average registered a new all time high.

Fearless Rick outside Trump rally this Spring
In the meantime, as an aftermath to the historic, transformative election win for Donald Trump, a businessman, a TV idol, not a politician, students and other dissatisfied people are protesting the result of the democratic voting process.

To some, the protests may appear preposterous, pompous, self-indulgent, or just plain stupid. But, this is what America is all about: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to say and do whatever one pleases, so long as those words or actions don’t impinge upon those of others. It’s a thin, blurry line upon which we traverse with free speech and free assembly, but it is there, and, to a large extent, it is going to be respected.

Truthfully, the number of people protesting the election result is ridiculously small in comparison to the number of people who voted for Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, so, to a large extent, the protests should be easy to ignore. The more one ponders the wisdom of protesting the result of an election, the more absurd the proposition becomes. The election was the result of months and months of free expression by the candidates, their surrogates, supporters, detractors, and the media. The time for marching and shouting was before the election, not after it. With any luck, that concept will sink in to the kids on the streets and college campuses and they’ll slink back to their jobs, classrooms, or parents’ basements and life will go on as usual.

Protests against the president prior to his inauguration, are likely to be ineffective. Maybe that hasn’t gotten through to George Soros and his ilk, who almost surely have funded and promoted these most idiotic of events.

But that’s not the point of this message. The point is to remind readers that the editor of this blog, Fearless Rick, himself called the election result correctly a month prior to it, calling for a Trump landslide, the result of millions of fed up Americans taking back their nation. Honestly, it was more of a hope than an educated prediction, but, as the pollsters and number crunchers themselves have admitted, they blew it. They didn’t see the millions of Americans who felt disenfranchised and disrespected by the likes of liberal goons promoting gay rights and LGBTQ liberties, who lost jobs because the government made moving industries out of America a profitable decision, who pay taxes for schools that don’t teach, elected officials and bureaucrats who don’t represent them, a media that mocks and ridicules them for being old-fashioned, out-of-step, or even selfish.

The backbone of America was awakened by a man who refused to toe the line of political correctness, who stood against open borders, who stood for the working men and women of this country, the middle class, the downtrodden, the forgotten. Donald Trump was a lightning rod for the pissed off, angry folks in the country who had seen enough of their rights stripped away and were afraid the choice of Hillary Clinton as the next president would have brought upon an epochal eventuality wherein the few remaining rights would be stripped in time.

They were probably right. Democrats and liberals alike have worked tirelessly to limit the second amendment, to nullify free speech, flout the immigration laws, disrespect the rule of law, and gradually, slowly, but incessantly, turn all of America into a totalitarian welfare state of chaos and complete government control. That was not the America most of those who voted for Mr. Trump wanted. Many of the Trump voters were older, who remembered a time when America was a safer place, a freer place, a happier place, and they wanted it back.

In electing Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president, they may have taken the first step toward a restoration of the America, a return to morality, to honesty, to civility, to economic and true social justice. Making America great again, to borrow from Trump’s slogan, is not going to occur overnight, or even in the four years Mr. Trump will serve as president. It’s going to take a while to unwind all the bad legislation and trade deals and economic imbalances that were the result of crony capitalism. And Mr. Trump is not going to be able to do it alone. He is going to need not just the House of Representatives and the Senate but also the voices of those who voted for him and support his ideals. Winning the election was just the beginning. The left and their compliant media lapdogs are not about to go away and hide. They are going to fight back, lash out and tear at the fabric of society.

They will fail, and they will fail miserably because their vision of America, complete with free college educations, fifty million people on welfare, twenty trillion dollars of debt, overpaid government employees, and a severe lack of good, fulfilling, well-paying jobs, is not America at all. It is a liberal, dysfunctional, diseased obsession and fantasy.

The America represented by the people who put Donald Trump in office is an America of hard work and good pay, of duty to God, country and family, of fearlessness in the face of adversity, of helping neighbors and those less fortunate, of friendliness, honesty and humility. The America which will be refreshed is one of opportunity, freedom and justice for all.

It’s hard to believe that anybody in their right mind would protest that.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Go Figure: Trump Is A Winner And So Are Stocks

Editor's Note: I've been itching to write a post-mortem on the election for the past two days, but Wednesday was spent mostly recovering from the victory celebration which went late into Tuesday night and today the weather here in upstate New York is a breathtaking thing of beauty for mid-November with temperatures in the low 60s. Thus, I'm itching to get outside and enjoy the fresh air my little slice of America. I'll take my bows and victory lap for a month ago having predicted Trump's victory another time, likely at some point over the weekend.

There are more than a few points I wish to make and I am not yet over the elation of having gotten my country back to focus on penning a reasonably good essay, though I intend to in due time.

--Fearless Rick

Being just two days hence, the historic win in the presidential election by Donald J. Trump is still fresh in the mind, but already there are signs that the script has not yet been written for this chapter in American history.

Stocks, especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will close at record highs today should current prices be maintained or closely held.

The public had been led to believe that a victory for the Donald (can we still call him that once he's sworn in?) would be a death knell for stocks, but apparently, wall Street types see it somewhat differently, especially since not only did a Republican take control of the presidency, but the house and senate remained firmly in control of the GOP.

As strange as it may seem, Wall Street could actually believe in what Mr. Trump has been preaching and the last two days of trading may well be proof of that. Stranger yet is gold being down and silver up. Could the historic deviation from the gold/silver ratio we've witnessed over the past 30 years be starting to unwind? The best advice offered is one made a few months ago in Money Daily: buy solar panels (preferably American made).

Monday, November 7, 2016

President Hillary? Is The Fix In Or The Ultimate Fake-Out?

Considering the volatile take-off of markets world-wide today - a day after FBI Director James Comey gave Hillary Clinton the get out of jail free card by informing congress and the world that nothing new was found in the 650,000 emails on a computer shared by Clinton personal aide Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, it would appear that the status quo has convinced itself that all is well, that Hillary will win (by hook or crook) and that Donald Trump will not upset the establishment apple cart and "drain the swamp."

Though the swamp dearly needs a good drainage, the market reaction (Dow up over 300 points; NASDAQ up more than 100) from the establishment shows just how embedded the insiders, politicians and media are and just how deeply they despise the voice of the electorate.

This election season has been an object lesson in totalitarianism, underhanded politics, lies, and corruption.

We've got one day to find out whether the world has ended (Hillary wins) or the citizens of the United States of America still has a voice (Trump wins). From the purely superficial appearances, it would come as no surprise if the election was once again (see 2000 and 2004) stolen by the establishment authors of both parties.

Many of us with functioning minds are keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for a Trump victory. Though the Donald has his flaws, the media has managed to paint a truly ugly portrait of the man, all the while ignoring the obvious illegal activities of Hillary Clinton.

God save us.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Stock Rout Continues

More to come over the weekend...

Friday's Closing Prices
Dow Jones Industrial Average
17,888.28, -42.39 (-0.24%)

5,046.37, -12.04 (-0.24%)

S&P 500
2,085.18, -3.48 (-0.17%)

NYSE Composite
10,289.34, -18.30 (-0.18%)

For the Week Ended 11/4/16
Dow: -272.91 (-1.50%)
NASDAQ: -143.73 (-2.77%)
S&P 500: -41.23 (-1.94%)
NYSE Composite: -187.28 (-1.79%)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dow Closes Below 18,000, S&P Under 2100, Trendiing Lower; Fed Null

Stocks took the usual FOMC do-nothing antics in stride but sold off late in the day, with the Dow Jones Industrials finishing below 18,000 and the S&P 500 under 2100.

For the S&P, it was the first close below 2100 since early July, leaving the broad index up just five percent on the year, floating just above its 200-day moving average.

Cause for such grief in stocks is likely tied to the presidential election, now less than a week away, and the continuing surge of Donald J. Trump in the polls as more and more dirt is coming up from under the Hillary Clinton rug.

Investors are worried that their fair-haired, lying, cheating, scandal-ridden candidate will not make it to the finish line ahead of Trump, whom the media and Clinton camp have tried in vain to paint as misogynist, racist, rapacious, in bed with Russia, and other flights of fantasy.

As sad as the media bias and misrepresentation has been, what is potentially more disturbing is how poorly the media and Democrats think of the American public as gullible, malleable and utterly useful only to the ends of the elite.

As was stated more than three weeks ago right here in Money Daily, it now appears that Trump is going to win the election in a backlash landslide.

And stocks don't like it. Too bad.

Hump Day or Trump Day?
17,960.60, -76.50 (-0.42%)

5,105.57, -48.01 (-0.93%)

S&P 500
2,097.95, -13.77 (-0.65%)

10,349.57, -64.48 (-0.62%)

Trouble In Paradise As Trump Presidency Looms

Normally, stocks are flat - as they were Monday - in anticipation of an FOMC rate policy meeting.

This time is different.

Stocks took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, with the major averages dipping more than 1/2 percent all around. The cause: the truly frightening possibility of a Donald Trump presidency, signifying a change from the crony capitalism of the past 30 years to a more measured, honest, workable structure favoring small business instead of major corporations erecting barriers to business through their henchmen in the US congress and various state assemblies.

That Trump could win the White House - disappointing the supporters of Hillary Clinton and the status quo - is a very disturbing development for Wall Street insiders who have counted on special favors, underhanded practices, and a compliant government to rack up big profits and fleece taxpayers and the investing public, all at the same time.

People who say that a Trump win would cause a market crash may be right, and it's just the medicine this sick globalized economy would need to mend itself. Trump is for a level playing field, lower taxes for individuals and corporations, tariffs as opposed to "free" trade, tighter border control, and fewer regulations.

While those proposals generally sound positive for US business, the devil is in the details. Policy leads reality and Trump's policies would likely put fire to the feet of fat-cat corporate types, ending the corruption and control frauds that plague business and government alike.

Yesterday's drop on the markets was not a one-time event and it also had nothing at all to do with the Fed and their FOMC meeting, which wraps up 2:00 pm ET Wednesday. As has been the case for the past ten months, the Fed will huff and puff and then do nothing. It's obviously too close to the election for the Fed to do anything that might upset the apple cart.

With a Trump presidency now a real, emerging possibility (since Clinton has finally been exposed as corrupt, incompetent, and dishonest) there may be more of these daily dips, especially if the media is forced to tell the truth about the economy and investments.

Time will tell. It's a week to the election and Trump is surging. Like it or not, stocks may take a dive and the economy will probably fall into a recession, all of which will be net positive for America. A good draining of the swamps in Washington and Wall Street is long overdue.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,037.10, -105.32 (-0.58%)

5,153.58, -35.56 (-0.69%)

S&P 500
2,111.72, -14.43 (-0.68%)

NYSE Composite
10,414.05, -67.84 (-0.65%)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Stocks Finish Week On Negative Note, Leans Toward Trump

As Fridays go, especially one in which the government reported 2.9% GDP growth, this one was particularly dull.

Perhaps the news that the FBI informed members of congress that they'd discovered new evidence (on former rep Anthony Weiner's phone, of all places) that gave rise to reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, her ties with the Clinton Foundation, pay for play, etc.

Investors are already nervous heading into the election on November 8, but news like what was released on Friday - abundant in speculation and short on details - has to make one consider running for the hills, or at least the nearest bug-out location.

Maybe it's nothing, but people with money invested always prefer calm to confusion, and the past six months (some say eight years) have been hard to figure.

Consequently, on Friday, stocks were up, then down, then unchanged, finally finishing with a small decline.

For the week, the Dow was the only major index to offer a gain, though a mere .05%. That makes sense, as, compared to the other indices, the Dow is considered the safest, comprised of 30 strong, dividend-yielding companies. The others were down on the week and for the third time in the past four, the NASDAQ - unsurprisingly, the most volatile - took the largest percentage loss, at -1.28%.

Correcting a slight but relevant detail in a previous post, it was stated that Friday was the final trading day of October. The calendar says otherwise, with Monday being the 31st and the key date by which to measure the stock market's ability to predict the presidential election. Being correct 82% of the tie since 1944, the S&P 500 would have to rally more than two percent on Monday for the prediction to call the election for Hillary Clinton.

If the S&P closes below 2,173.60 on Monday, the market predicts the next president will be Donald J. Trump.

Friday's Foibles:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,161.19, -8.49 (-0.05%)

5,190.10, -25.87 (-0.50%)

S&P 500
2,126.41, -6.63 (-0.31%)

NYSE Composite
10,479.78, -23.28 (-0.22%)

Week ended 10/28

Dow: +15.48 (0.09%)
S&P 500: -14.75 (-0.69%)
NASDAQ: -67.30 (-1.28%)
NYSE Composite: -95.26 (-0.90%)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Special: Fighting Fraud Starts With Skepticism Of Statistics Like GDP

Stocks sold off slightly on Thursday, but, over the past few days and weeks, the real money has been moving in bonds, which - in the case of the US and Germany, at least - are sporting yields at or near multi-year highs.

The cause is mostly FUD, the arcane acronym invented on the internet standing for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. When bond traders get riffed, the world should take note, but, since we are preconditioned to focus our collective attention on stocks, most people don't realize where money is moving and why until it's too late. Interest rates rise, money tightens and flows into bonds because they are considered more stable and safer than stocks. Businesses and consumers face higher lending costs, the economy stalls, stocks decline. The process takes many months, often years, before the eventual recession occurs. Fortunes are made and lost, mostly made by savvy bond specialists and lost by individuals and stock investors.

It's a royal screw job on the middle and upper-middle class (or what's left of it) by monetary authorities and governments that have been skimming off the top through inflation, deflation, fractional reserve banking, taxes, fees, and penalties. If you feel like you've been screwed by either banks or the government (village, city, county, state, or federal), it's because you have been... often overtly, but more often, quietly, covertly, under the cover of "we're doing what's best for you," or increased spending, deficit spending, capital "improvements" or budget windfalls to schools, tunnels, roads, bridges, fire departments, special tax districts, et cetera ad nauseum.

It's why people are voting for Trump. No kidding. American voting-age citizens fall today grossly into two broad categories: 1) Working people or retired on fixed income, getting nowhere fast, watching their incomes stagnate since 1999, paying more for everything from health care to property taxes to cell phone or internet service to utilities; 2) Welfare, SSI disability or other entitlement recipients, government employees who care not a whit that everything is going to hell in a handbasket because they either a) get a rent subsidy, food stamps, and other goodies no matter what, for doing nothing, or, b) are a government employee getting an automatic annual raise regardless of their job performance or the economic condition of the country.

In between or outside these two mega-groups are the upper-upper crust of one-percenters who make their money off interest on investments and the swath of social security and pension retirees who have maxed out on the system. That large last group vectors in and out of the working class spectrum to a large degree and some are being largely disenfranchised in the same ways that the middle class has been, especially since 2001, when interest rates began tanking and savings no longer provided a great enough return to outpace inflation.

Older folks will remember better days, when banks paid 5% interest on savings. Forget that. It's gone. Just like the social security fund, which faces default and bankruptcy within 15 years, our best days are behind us. Baby boomers will be the last generation to get ahold of the golden ring of social security. Generations X and Y will get less and millennials will likely get little to nothing. The system broke in the 80s, under Ronald Reagan (sorry, conservatives, but that's the truth), and it's just gotten worse as banking regulations were eased (Clinton and congress conspired to eviscerate Glass-Steagall leading to the global collapse) and every president since Carter has stolen from the social security fund to pay general obligations.

What's multiple times worse is that not only has the federal government stolen from the future, but they've managed to run up enormous deficits nearly every year and add to the debt at an exponential rate.

Here at Money Daily we don't expect everyone to understand economics, but we do strive to encourage people to exercise a little common sense and have basic math skills. Since what the government does with money (spend more than they take in), it doesn't take a Ph.D. in anything to discern that if you did the same, your financial condition would deteriorate, slowly at first, then all at once, sending you and yours to the poor house.

So, the government does better? How do they perform this magic? Lies and deception, mostly, through the issuance of bonds, sold to the Fed, parceled out to primary dealers and sold again to investors of all stripes. The Fed then prints more money, which is spent throughout the economy. Banks used to multiply the money supply via fractional reserve lending but they don't do much of that anymore. They use accounting tricks, balance sheets nobody can comprehend and investments form the ordinary to the arcane (CDOs, for instance) rather than functioning under some form of fiscal discipline. It's all too easy for the government and the banking system to defraud everyone. They've been doing it for centuries. It gets reset from time to time, but the same powers that were become the powers that be. It's history, if you know where to find it.

So, to the point: Just moments ago, the Deptartment of Commerce reported its first estimate of third quarter GDP, coming in at a robust 2.9%, more than double the second quarter's stumbling 1.4%, all smoke and mirrors designed to elect Hillary Clinton as president, keep the status quo firmly entrenched, and continue your existence as a docile, dumb serf. When the numbers are revised in a month, and again another month later, and again in two years, the number will be much lower, but, by that time the elections will be long over, the winners will be still partying, and you will be getting screwed, again, and again, and again.

Just wait until October's job numbers come out next Friday, the final, big lie prior to the elections. It should be awesome, but it will still be a lie.

If you aren't gardening, putting up solar panels, repairing an old car rather than buying a new one, scrimping and saving, buying gold and silver now, worry not, you soon will be.

Thursday's Tumble
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,169.68, -29.65 (-0.16%)

NASDAQ Composite
5,215.97, -34.29 (-0.65%)

S&P 500
2,133.04, -6.39 (-0.30%)

10,503.06, -25.13 (-0.24%)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

In Run-Up To Election, Markets Remain Shaky

As outlined in yesterday's post, US stock indices have been down since the beginning of August, presaging to the positive for the challenger party in the presidential election race.

While the outcome of a Trump victory is far from certain, what is clear is that traders and speculators are taking note of the fragile condition of the US and global economies, both of which have been side-stepping into the future since the crash of 2008-09.

Markets function largely on faith and hope, despair and confusion, greed and fear, and there seems to be ample supplies of all emotions all around. Puzzling analysts is how exactly a Clinton presidency would benefit markets, if only to keep the controlling interests in charge for another four years.

That may not be the best of circumstances, as Mr. Trump points out, because the global condition is quite completely on edge politically and likely over the edge financially. Nation-states are overburdened in debt, which has found its way back to the minions, a cause for unrest and potentially explosive social events.

With all that in the marco view, US companies, in the midst of third quarter earnings season, are, as has been the case for the past three years, struggling to find profits and any reason to be upbeat for the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.

There seems to be a dull thud re-occurring in the offices of CFOs and CEOs, that being the repeating sound of falling EPS and missed revenue figures, a double whammy for investors, though not many have fled the market as of this writing.

Thursday represents perhaps the biggest day of earnings season. Alphabet (GOOG), (AMZN), LinkedIn (LNKD) and Baidu (BIDU) are among companies set to report after the bell. Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Bristol-Meyers Squibb (BMY), Ford (F) and UPS (UPS) all report prior to the opening bell.

These results and some economic data (durable goods, pending home sales) will shape the day's trading. With just two days left in October, there's a slim chance that markets could rally back to positive for the past three months, which would be a good omen for the Hillary camp, but it is unlikely to happen unless some major news breaks that would spur a buying panic. It's happened before, but expect more oddities prior to election day next week.

Wednesday's Final Score:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,199.33, +30.06 (0.17%)

5,250.27, -33.13 (-0.63%)

S&P 500
2,139.43, -3.73 (-0.17%)

NYSE Composite
10,528.19, -22.00 (-0.21%)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Stocks Predict The Next President Should Be Trump

Wall Street people pride themselves largely upon their particular abilities, especially those who use other people's money (OPM) to wager, gamble, or speculate on investments.

They brag, they boast, some of them actually tell the truth from time to time about their overall performance in the markets, whether their specialty be in stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies.

Claims by some that they have peculiar, timely, or otherwise savvy insights into the future - akin to soothsayers, fortune tellers and gypsy tarot card readers - are, as time goes by, either validated or proven worthless. A spotty track record is by no means a cause for shame or contrition. Rather, these various prognosticators continue to spew pablum, intending to coerce a generally ill-informed public that their positions are the ones that matter.

As the time until the general election dwindles to under two weeks, one thing the Wall Street elite have not - by and large - weighed in upon is the result of the presidential sweepstakes. That's probably for good reason. Like 95% of the general public, they aren't convinced of an outcome either in favor of Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, but, few have expressed their sentiments on what will happen after either is elected.

While there are those who say that the stock market will take a hit if Donald Trump is the next president, few, if any, figure that a Clinton win would be bad for investors. Oddly enough, almost nobody is saying the stock market will roar whichever candidate wins.

That's a perspective that is based largely on stock market returns and historical fact. According to this CNN story, since 1944, the direction of the stock market between August 1 and October 31 has correctly predicted the outcome of the election a stunning 82% of the time.

The metric is startlingly simple. If the market is up during the three months prior to the election, the incumbent party wins. If the market is down, the challenger is swept into office.

As of this writing, that measure favors Donald J. Trump, the challenger, but only slightly. On July 29, the final trading day prior to August 1, the S&P 500 stood at 2,173.60. It closed on Tuesday at 2143.16, about 1 1/2 percent off during the span.

There are three trading days left in the predicted period. It's possible that a strong rally could lift the averages back above the August 1 level, though it is beginning to appear more gloomy for Mrs. Clinton, the more the media bashes Trump and ignores the continuous, outrageous, potentially criminal behavior of the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

With the markets set to open in about a half hour, futures are lower. If this trend continues, get ready for a Trump presidency and the ascendancy of a moralistic, populist, business-first new regime in Washington.

Change at the top and across the political spectrum would likely be a boon to the majority of working Americans. After all, they're the ones that really matter, right?

Tuesday Trauma:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,169.27, -53.76 (-0.30%)

5,283.40, -26.43 (-0.50%)

S&P 500
2,143.16, -8.17 (-0.38%)

NYSE Composite
10,550.19, -41.12 (-0.39%)