Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Scary Stocks for Halloween, But Apple's Business Model May Be More Frightening

Stocks fell uniformly n Monday, for no apparent reason other than the usual causes, fear, caution, valuation.

With the major indices counting to hover around all-time highs, there's no doubt reason to maintain some degree of caution. In fact, if one were so disposed to selling at a profit, now, as the year winds into its final two months, might not be a bad time to do so, considering the tax angles for 2018.

While stocks are scary on the day before Halloween, perhaps one may really get tingles from Aaple's business model concerning cell phones. Here's a one-off demonstration by an admittedly older fellow:

Apple has a problem with its business model in that they have to keep selling essentially the same product over and over and over again, every two years or so (their imaginary product cycle) to conumers who are probably fiarly content with the model they currently own.

In other words, in order to maintain their high level of profitability, Apple has to sell new iPhones to current iPhone users every two years.

I am (well, was, when Steve Jobs ran the company) an ardent fan of Apple. In fact, I'm using a MacBook Pro to connect to the internet and compose this missive. Its from 2011, six years old, and still performs incredibly well, so, why hasn't Apple forced me to upgrade?

Different market, I guess.

Anyhow, not to get too deep into the weeds, the problem I see is that their business model, as currently constructed, is unsustainable. Anybody who thinks they need to upgrade their phone every two years is off their rocker. America was built on products that worked well and lasted a long time. Maytag washers, GE refrigerators, Ford trucks, etc.

If every company adopted Apple's business model of a 2-year product cycle, the average consumer would have been tapped out long ago.

Why don't they just install a kill switch which renders their phones inoperable after 24 months? Admittedly, I am not a big cell phone advocate. I use a 10-year-old flip phone, and very seldom, at that.

The author makes some good points. Apple should be scared about changing consumer preferences and habits, considering their iPhone creation is now ten years into its product cycle and one can only suppose that the original iPhone from 2007 probably still functions, albeit slower and with fewer bells and whistles than the current models.

A day approaches in which cell phones will be maxed out on power and abilities. That's when Apple's business plans hit the wall.

At the Close, Friday, October 30, 2017:
Dow: 23,340.28: -85.45 (-0.40%)
NASDAQ: 6,688.32, -2.30 (-0.19%)
S&P 500: 2,570.72, -8.24 (-0.40%)
NYSE Composite: 12,319.47, -46.97 (-0.39%)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Stocks continue Mostly Higher In Late October

Just a marker for the weekend notes interestingly that all of the huge NASDAQ gain was on Friday and the NYSE Composite actually posted a loss for the week.

This isn't really normal market behavior, but few are paying attention.

At the Close, Friday, October 27, 2017:
Dow: 23,434.19, +33.33 (+0.14%)
NASDAQ: 6,701.26, +144.48 (+2.20%)
S&P 500: 2,581.07, +20.67 (+0.81%)
NYSE Composite: 12,366.4346, +14.01 (+0.11%)

For the week:
Dow: +105.56, (+0.45%)
NASDAQ: +144.49 (+2.20%)
S&P 500: +5.86 (+0.23%)
NYSE Composite: -64.10 (-0.52%)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Stocks Rebound Thursday; 3rd Quarter GDP Increases 3%

Stocks bounced off of Wednesday's decline, with the Dow Industrials again leading the way on Thursday, shrugging off any suggestion that the economy or stock market was about to experience a slowdown.

On Friday morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the preliminary estimate of GDP for the third quarter, beating most of the positive projections, coming at at three percent growth.

Highlights of the report included a positive contribution from Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), offset by lower residential fixed investment and state and local government spending.

The 3.0% reading follows the second quarter's 3.1% advance, though the figures from the government are always subject to timely revisions (forever).

This should be good news for equity investors. The dollar is strengthening on the news.

Some are skeptical, however, noting that GDP is a very broad measure of economic strength or weakness and the fact that government spending is a component, which, at the federal level, is 40% borrowed money, making a mockery of the statistical importance of the data.

In other words, if a person borrowed $1000 to spend a total of $1800, one would not call that $1800 in spending, but $800 in real spending, plus $1000 in new debt, which, as everyone knows, should be repaid some day. As for the government and its $20 trillion - and growing - mountain of debt, that is probably never going to be repaid.

At the Close, Thursday, October 26, 2017:
Dow: 23,400.86, +71.40 (+0.31%)
NASDAQ: 6,556.77, -7.12 (-0.11%)
S&P 500: 2,560.40, +3.25 (+0.13%)
NYSE Composite: 12,352.43, +15.85 (+0.13%)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Stocks slide as bond yields continue rising

Stocks took a rare turn to the downside after solid gains earlier in the week.

The selling was rather broad as interest rates worldwide began to reach levels that investors might be minimizing risk by tracking from stocks into bonds, particularly the 10-year note which has been rising steadily since mid-September when the Federal Reserve announced the beginning of their asset sales as they seek to trim their balance sheet.

The 10-year settled at 2.44%, a seven-month high. As recently as September 8, prior to the most recent FOMC policy meeting, the yield was 2.06%, representing a 10-month low, dating back to November 8, 2016, on the eve of the national election which put Donald J. Trump into the office of President of the United States.

Thus, yields are testing the buoyancy of the stock market, especially those stocks which produce dividends. While many blue chip-type companies yield similarly to the 10-year, they also carry risk that the US economy may stall and send stocks lower, which would reduce the effective yield and possibly decimate profits.

As the Federal Reserve intends to normalize rates - with another rate hike widely assumed to be coming in December - stocks will naturally come under pressure, though it is far too soon to tell exactly what the Fed will do should the long-winded bull market from 2009 stall.

There is considerable debate over the general health of the US and global economies, which have been aided to a great extent by easy monetary policy and massive stealth purchases by the central banks of Europe and Japan.

A single day of declines should not be taken too seriously, as stock indices have been recently making new highs almost on a daily basis, but, that said, this does not seem to be a time in which investors should throw caution to the wind. As always, the Fed stands ready with fresh injections of fiat or policy adjustments to ameliorate any kind of market detour.

Bull markets do not last forever, however, and there are significant headwinds to growth without the aid of fresh central bank intervention.

At the Close, Wednesday, October 25, 2017:
Dow: 23,329.46, -112.30 (-0.48%)
NASDAQ: 6,563.89, -34.54 (-0.52%)
S&P 500: 2,557.15, -11.98 (-0.47%)
NYSE Composite: 12,336.64, -68.35 (-0.55%)

Dow Soars To New All-Time High, Paced By Caterpillar, 3M

Led by two of its highest-priced components, the Dow Jones Industrial Average blasted to another new high on Tuesday.

Caterpillar (CAT) and 3M (MMM) announced strong third quarter results with the maker of heavy industrial and earth-moving equipment was up nearly five percent, while 3M rose almost six percent on the day.

With those two posting extraordinary gains and the remainder of the Dow 30 rather muted, the blue chip index vastly outpaced the other main indices, putting 24,000 within sight just days after breaking through the 23,000 mark.

The Dow closed above 23,000 for the first time on October 18 and is up nearly 500 points in just one week.

Investors continue to chase returns, and, in the case of Dow components, dividend yield. Both 3M and Caterpillar offer dividend yields rivaling the 10-year treasury bill and are considered by analysts to be among the safest of equities to hold in a portfolio.

The other indices all ended the session with gains, but at much lower percentages than the Dow.

At the Close, Tuesday, October 24, 2017:
Dow: 23,448.20, +174.24 (+0.75%)
NASDAQ: 6,597.09, +10.26 (+0.16%)
S&P 500: 2,567.98, +3.00 (+0.12%)
NYSE Composite: 12,405.13, +20.70 (+0.17%)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Don't Count on a Market Correction in this Environment

For a change, stocks took a little dip to open the week, but it was certainly nothing by which anybody was rattled or otherwise deterred from buying ever more expensive stocks.

Since the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2009, the favorite acronym of traders has been BTD, otherwise known as Buy The Dip, which is exactly what is to be expected when markets open on Tuesday.

Almost without fail - actually, fully without fail - US equity indices, since March of 2009, have never fallen much more than a few percentage points before ramping back to new all-time highs. While there have been occasions in which the dip in stocks has persisted over a period of weeks or months, there has been no failure to recover in recent years.

Anybody invested on more than a casual basis is aware that central bank largesse and stock buybacks have been the primary drivers of stock market prosperity, and even with the Federal Reserve beginning to engage in the process of unwinding its balance sheet - selling off much of its horde of $4.5 million in bonds and other sketchy assets - there seems to be little to scare investors away from he equity bandwagon.

It's largely a controlled environment, nothing like the heydays of the 50s and 60s, when America was a growing concern and didn't need monetary boosts to fuel investment markets. Today's markets and investors are completely synthetic, consisting mainly of larger brokerages and funds of all types, from sovereign wealth types to hedges to mutuals to pensions. The general public and governments are so heavily invested in stocks that a collapse in markets would likely trigger catastrophic consequences to all parties. Private individuals would be harmed by pension promises unable to be met, while the large funds would face liquidation, bankruptcy or dissolution. Governments, likewise would be under attack for making pledges to the populace that could not be manifested over time, such as social security and other entitlements.

It is for those reasons, and the overall interconnectedness and fragility of markets that corrections do not occur. People in power would be without and instead of order, there would be chaos, and that is something that central bankers and their cohorts in the government realm simply cannot stomach.

At the Close, Monday, October 23, 2017:
Dow: 23,273.96, -54.67 (-0.23%)
NASDAQ: 6,586.83, -42.23 (-0.64%)
S&P 500: 2,564.98, -10.23 (-0.40%)
NYSE Composite: 12,384.42, -46.10 (-0.37%)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

30 Years After the Crash: New All-Time High for Dow Industrials

Get your party hats out?

Dow 24,000 here we come!

At the Close, Thursday, October 19, 2017:
Dow: 23,163.04, +5.44 (+0.02%)
NASDAQ: 6,605.07, -19.15 (-0.29%)
S&P 500: 2,562.10, +0.84 (+0.03%)
NYSE Composite: 12,380.32, +9.30 (+0.08%)

30 Years Later, Is the New Reality Sustainable?

Thirty years ago today, US equity markets were rocked by the biggest one-day collapse in stocks, when on October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22%.

With suitable hindsight, investors and analysts now say the Black Monday crash of '87 was fueled by what was then called program trading, in which computers were keyed to buy or sell when stocks hit certain, predetermined levels.

Much more sophisticated today, computers do the bulk of all trading on Wall Street, using algorithms which accomplish much the same effect as old-fashioned limit orders.

The Dow and other indices have been soaring to fresh all-time highs on a near-daily basis and the fear is that what has fueled the rally of the past eight years is running close to empty.

Freshly-minted money from the world's central banks and stock buybacks from some of the most unstable and overpriced listed companies (see McDonald's (MCD), for instance) have driven stocks to unfathomable levels. A pullback is inevitable, the trick primarily laying in the timing of such an event.

For now, Wall Street wallows in its great, contrived success.

At the Close, Wednesday, October 18, 2017):
Dow: 23,157.60, +160.16 (+0.70%)
NASDAQ: 6,624.22, +0.56 (+0.01%)
S&P 500: 2,561.26, +1.90 (+0.07%)
NYSE Composite: 12,371.02, +21.05 (+0.17%)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stocks Keep Rising...

Are we entertained?

At the Close, Tuesday, October 17, 2017:
Dow: 22,997.44, +40.48 (+0.18%)
NASDAQ: 6,623.66, -0.35 (-0.01%)
S&P 500: 2,559.36, +1.72 (+0.07%)
NYSE Composite: 12,349.97, -9.55 (-0.08%)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Stocks Continue to Soar; Dow Closing in on 23,000

Maybe, in some strange, new world not yet discovered, the spectacular gains in pieces of paper known as stocks is considered awesome and grand.

Oh, wait, that's this world.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 22,000 mark just over a month ago on September 11. Since then, there have been 18 sessions in which the Dow finished higher, as opposed to just seven in which it closed lower. Additionally, the down days were much smaller, percentage-wise, than the up days.

Party on!

At the Close, Monday, October 16, 2017:
Dow: 22,956.96, +85.24 (+0.37%)
NASDAQ: 6,624.00, +18.20 (+0.28%)
S&P 500: 2,557.64, +4.47 (+0.18%)
NYSE Composite: 12,359.52, +7.52 (+0.06%)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Markets Finish Week On Positive Note

Stocks shrugged off Thursday's minor descent with a ho-hum advance in Friday's session, the Dow ending the week at record highs and its fifth straight week of gains.

After PPI and CPI data showed inflation on the rise, market participants were content to trade upwards, as inflation expectations are supposedly a key to the Fed keeping their promise to raise interest rates again this year, purportedly by 25 basis points in December.

The Fed has been desperately seeking consumer inflation, targeting two percent, but prices have remained stubbornly low according to the widely-used government data.

So long as inflation continues to rise and unemployment remains at historically-low levels, the Fed sees a path to higher interest rates and a cushion against any economic headwinds.

Of course, the Fed needs to continue their narrative for normalization of interest rates, which have been one percent or lower for almost all of the 21st century and have been in that range continuously since the crash of 2008.

All of the major indices ended the week with gains, albeit small ones of less than 1/2 percent.

The level of complacency in the financial community is mind-boggling.

At the Close, Friday, October 13, 2017:
Dow: 22,871.72, +30.71 (+0.13%)
NASDAQ: 6,605.80, +14.29 (+0.22%)
S&P 500: 2,553.17, +2.24 (+0.09%)
NYSE Composite: 12,352.00, +13.26 (+0.11%)

For the week:
Dow: +98.05 (+0.43%)
NASDAQ: +15.62 (+0.24%)
S&P 500: +3.84 (+0.15%)
NYSE Composite: +34.31 (+0.28)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Stocks Take a Breather

Stocks did not close at record highs Thursday.


At the Close, Thursday, October 12, 2017:
Dow: 22,841.01, -31.88 (-0.14%)
NASDAQ: 6,591.51, -12.04 (-0.18%)
S&P 500 2,550.93, -4.31 (-0.17%)
NYSE Composite: 12,338.74, -23.32 (-0.19%)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Adam Smith, Grains, Silver, the PPI, and Deflation

For months, if not years, Federal Reserve officials have been harping on the absence of inflation during their era of unrelenting quantitative easing (money printing). This phenomenon has baffled the pointed heads of the Fed, since it would be only natural for prices to rise with the advent of scads of fresh money hitting the market.

The problem for the Fed is simple. Their transmission lines have been blunted for the past eight years, with their easy money stopped at the bank level, never actually reaching commercial or consumer participants in the general economy. Thus, stocks, bonds and various currencies have experienced outsize gains - those assets experiencing above average appreciation, i.e., inflation - while the more mundane elements of the vast economic landscape have wallowed in a regime of low inflation, disinflation or outright deflation.

As the Fed prepares to sell off assets from its enormous ($4.4 trillion) balance sheet, the matter of price inflation has once again become a major concern. Fed officials disingenuously mutter on and about wage growth, seeking to convey the impression that they are somehow concerned for the welfare of workers (labor). Wage growth, which has stagnated since the year 1999 if not earlier, is a false argument for inflation. what the Fed wants is price inflation for everyday goods, commercial mid-production products, and base goods.

It's not happening.

In his magnificent tome, "The Wealth of Nations," author Adam Smith takes pains - and many pages - in discussion of nominal prices, concerning himself in his writings with the price of corn. Scholars rightfully insist that Smaith's intention was to show how prices in base goods are more important a measurement of economic health than pricing in currency.

With that knowledge, variations in currencies and base grains - wheat, corn, rice - can serve as an impressive measurement of real inflation, since the cost of producing marketable grain from hectares of farm land is somewhat non-variable, considering that the labor and fuel costs are relatively static.

In other words, since farmers are paying their hired hands roughly the same wage and the cost of operating the machinery to harvest the grains is also somewhat static, the price of finished grain in terms of currencies of choice - in his case, silver, can determine whether the environment is inflationary, deflationary, or neutral.

This morning's release of PPI data showed an increase of 0.4% month-over-month and a rate of 2.6% year-over-year. The increase puts the PPI at a level last seen in 2012. CPI (Consumer Price Index) remains mired in mediocrity, at a rate of 1.9% annually. That is the final inflation number, though it is hardly a reliable one.

Since the US economy is so vast and dynamic, it's difficult to get a grip on the overall flow of anything, though it's fairly certain that the inflation rate is higher than what the government is reporting.

On the other hand, taking into account Adam Smith's famous measurements, grains - the basis for much of what Americans and animals of husbandry eat - have crashed in recent weeks and months, along with silver, which has been rangebound for the past four years and is thus a benign measurement, useful in actual discussions of nominal prices.

On that basis, the Fed is likely to be disappointed in their inflation expectations. Since their data is so badly maligned, it cannot be trusted, while Adam Smith's has stood the tests of time.

It's deflation, as far as the eye can see, no matter what the Federal Reserve officials - who have proven, time and again, to be nothing more than dunces with degrees - try to squeeze out of the economy. The deflation is especially evident considering the levels of price suppression in silver. Were silver to rise to somewhat more realistic levels, the cost of buying a bushel or wheat or corn or rice would fall substantially.

Stocks made new all-time highs on Wednesday, but are pulling back in early trading Thursday morning.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Economics - and Nobel Prizes - Aren't What They Used To Be

In 1946, with the world recovering from the devastation of a global war, Henry Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson. It's become a classic of Austrian Economics.

There's a free PDF HERE, that would be a good place for the 98% (probably more) of the population that has either never even heard of Henry Hazlitt nor read any of his material.

Since then, the study and application of economics has taken a path which mirrors that of the value of the US dollar. In other words, it's taken a fairly precipitous decline.

So it is that this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for economics is one Richard Thaler, a pop psychologist masquerading as an intelligent person. Thaler's prize-winning contribution to the field stems from a 2015 book he had published, called Misbehaving. Thaler's enormous discovery was that people don't always react to economic conditions in the ways Keynesian economists expect.

That revelation is so deep (sarcasm) that Thaler is being mocked in the comments section of an article in that bastion of higher learning, Yahoo! Finance.

It's not necessary to go into how insipid and uninspiring Thaler's work is. All that is necessary to understand the superficial nature of his "scholarship" is that he has been bestowed with the title of father of behavioral economics, whatever that's supposed to mean.

Now wonder central banks control the world. The rest of us are stupid.

At the Close, Monday, October 9, 2017:
Dow: 22,761.07, -12.60 (-0.06%)
NASDAQ: 6,579.73, -10.45 (-0.16%)
S&P 500: 2,544.73, -4.60 (-0.18%)
NYSE Composite: 12,293.95, -23.74 (-0.19%)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Payroll Loss Means Nothing As Stocks Recover to Close Friday Flat

Weekend Wrap: Even a horrible September jobs report couldn't slow down the runaway freight train that is the US stock market.

After the BLS reported on Friday a net loss of 33,000 jobs in the month, stocks were lower for most of the session, though investors shrugged off the data as the result of hurricane that hit Texas and Florida and continued to buy as the afternoon wore towards the closing bell.

The late-day surge left the markets mostly flat for the session, with the NASDAQ the only major index to post a gain.

For the week, however, stocks put in one of their best performances of the year, led by the Dow Industrials, which ramped up 1.65%. The laggard was the broad-based NYSE Composite, which posted a gain of just under one percent.

The non-farm payroll report for September was the first since 2010 to show a loss in employment. Despite the three-month average declining sharply to 91,000 from 172,000, stocks were still the place to be.

As stated previously here at Money Daily many times, there is nothing to impede stocks from careening higher for what looks to be the remainder of 2017. with the Fed on hold until December conceding rate increases, and the Bank of Japan and the ECB buying stocks with both fists, passive investors need do nothing besides sitting back and waiting for their quarterly statements.

Making money has never been so easy.

At the Close, Friday, October 6, 2017:
Dow: 22,773.67, -1.72 (-0.01%)
NASDAQ: 6,590.18, +4.82 (+0.07%)
S&P 500: 2,549.33, -2.74 (-0.11%)
NYSE Composite: 12,317.69, -21.24 (-0.17%)

For the Week:
Dow: +368.58 (+1.65%)
NASDAQ: +94.22 (+1.45%)
S&P 500: +29.97 (+1.15%)
NYSE Composite: +108.53 (+0.89%)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Easy Money Fosters a World of Fatties, Free-Spending, and Fallacies

Easy Street.

It's where we all reside these days, as stocks reach new all-time highs on a regular basis, quarterly fund notices are eagerly awaited for the good news, and no calamity, disaster, data, or dictator can hope to stem the flow of money into the pockets of Wall Street brokers and their eager investors.

Easy Money.

That's the ticket to lifestyles of the rich and famous. What's known widely as the "wealth effect," has everybody giddy with the possibilities of bigger homes, faster cars, more lavish lifestyles. Why would anybody claim that these manufactured dreams are not for the best?

Because they're dreams, fallacies, shadow plays on the collective psyche of investors, which these days happens to include anybody with a decent job and a 401k retirement plan. TV ads show healthy retirees working on sports cars, opening wineries, bicycling along the shore of some deserted beach.

It's a facade for the real lives people live. More than a fair share of people are either in poor health, somewhat destitute, unable to decide between paying for medication or food, and the rents or mortgages on those "bigger homes" are increasing at an unsustainable rate.

Everything, from pickle relish to cell phone plans, is massively overpriced and planning on going higher. The very priests and priestesses of high finance = the governors of the Federal Reserve - tell us that they would like to see more inflation. Seriously. Higher prices... for everything.

Walk through any upscale supermarket and witnessed the blank stares of shoppers strolling and trolling the aisles, mesmerized by colorful labels and delicious deals. It's enough to make the whole country obese.

And it is. Nobody in the financial realm will admit it, but easy money is a leading cause of obesity. It's also a leading cause of mass stupidity. It takes no financial discipline nor anything more than basic math skills to suck up the profits from the font of Wall Street. It's intellectually dishonest and mentally disarming. It results in being massively unprepared for the present and especially, the future.

Easy money fuels the general degradation of society because of it's essential falsity. The money is conjured out of thin air - with a dabble of debt added for good measure - to buy minuscule portions of companies at prices one would have sneered at 20 years ago. Most people with investments don't even know which companies they own, how many shares of such or what the price to earnings ratio is of the underlying securities.

Is this rational? People have so much trust in money-changers that they don't even know what they own, or why. That's what's troubling. American investors have entrusted their futures to the same group of people who brought us the dotcom disaster, the sub-prime mortgage bubble and the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008-09. It's lunacy of a high order.

There's an old adage that goes, "you get what you pay for." Besides being an example of poor grammar (another sign of the times), there is the ring of truth to the expression. What people have paid for their stocks, their perceived riches, their assumed wealth, is small, yet they expect the returns to be great.

After fees, taxes and the great wealth destroyer of inflation, they're not likely to be very pleased when they cash out.

At the close, Thursday, October 5, 2017: (all record closing highs)
Dow: 22,775.39, +113.75 (+0.50%)
NASDAQ: 6,585.36, +50.73 (+0.78%)
S&P 500: 2,552.07, +14.33 (+0.56%)
NYSE Composite: 12,338.93, +34.26 (+0.28%)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

With September Non-Farm Payroll Data On Deck, Stocks Post Record Highs

Even though ADP reported the weakest jobs numbers in 11 months Wednesday, investors shrugged off the data and limped higher, with all major indices closing at fresh all-time highs.

ADP private employment figures for September showed a gain of 135,000 jobs, with the most damage done to firms with less than 20 employees, which registered a loss of 11,000 jobs. The firm, which tracks private payrolls, was quick to point out that hurricanes Harvey and Irma accounted for 50-60,000 fewer jobs created, noting that many mom-and-pop-like outfits were forced to close during and after the disasters that covered much of Florida and the Houston metropolitan area.

Without doing the requisite math, October's figures are likely to be higher by an order of magnitude, unless Mother Nature unleashes more of her wrath on America's southern states.

The data which ADP provides usually presages the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Non-farm Payroll release, due out on Friday, October 6.

Wall Street will likely remain unfazed with a low NFP number, taking the easy way out by blaming storms and natural disasters for the poor showing.

Life goes on, new jobs or not.

At the Close, Wednesday, October 4, 2017:
Dow: 22,661.64, +19.97 (+0.09%)
NASDAQ: 6,534.63, +2.91 (+0.04%)
S&P 500: 2,537.74, +3.16 (+0.12%)
NYSE Composite: 12,304.67, +1.79 (+0.01%)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Stocks Race to All-Time Highs... Again

It's getting to be like a broken record. All of the major indices leapt to all-time closing highs on Tuesday.

Presented without comment, because, really, what is one to say?

At the Close, Tuesday, October 3, 2017:
Dow: 22,641.67, +84.07 (+0.37%)
NASDAQ: 6,531.71, +15.00 (+0.23%)
S&P 500: 2,534.58, +5.46 (+0.22%)
NYSE Composite: 12,302.88, +38.21 (+0.31%)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Stocks Start Fourth Quarter Off Like Rocket Launch

Borrowing a phrase from Buzz Lightyear from the Pixar movie, Toy Story, US equity markets are on a trajectory to "infinity and beyond," blasting off the fourth quarter with massive gains based entirely on the notion that it's the beginning of a new quarter.

That mindset alone - that there's always a good reason to follow the herd and buy, buy, buy, has propelled stocks for the better part of the last nine years. While that has been a boon to monied investors and the big brokerages, it's also been a gentle salve to the collective psyches of pensioners, at least those of the present and future beneficiary class.

This is a familiar cry during manias, booms, and bubbles which eventually become scorned, busted and bursted. The laws of physics and the loose interpretations of economics cannot be unilaterally undone by the stock markets, no matter how much help is - or has been - given by the Fed and other central banks.

Increases in the prices of stocks at the tail end of a long bull market - and this is the second longest in history - need to rationale. To a large degree, they are driven by their own momentum and the rush to "get in" or "get more" by the captains of fantasy known widely as investment advisors.

At this juncture, prices will probably continue to rise until something finally snaps. What the snap will be, or when it will occur, is the great unknown. For the time being, there still seems to be nothing to derail the freight train to wealth and riches that is the US stock market.


At the Close, Monday, October 2, 2017:
Dow: 22,557.60, +152.51 (+0.68%)
NASDAQ: 6,516.72, +20.76 (+0.32%)
S&P 500: 2,529.12, +9.76 (+0.39%)
NYSE Composite: 12,264.84, +55.68 (+0.46%)

Stocks End Third Quarter with Solid Week

Stocks were up nicely for the final week of the third quarter, posting solid gains for the period from July through September.

At the Close, Friday, September 29:
Dow: 22,405.09, +23.89 (+0.11%)
NASDAQ: 6,495.96, +42.51 (+0.66%)
S&P 500: 2,519.36, +9.30 (+0.37%)
NYSE Composite: 12,209.16, +29.85 (+0.25%)

For the week:
Dow: +55.50 (+0.25%)
NASDAQ: +69.04 (+1.07%)
S&P 500: +17.14 (+0.68%)
NYSE Composite: +57.37 (+90.47%)