Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Monday Push-ups; How the Dow Jones Industrial Average Makes New Highs

Players, speculators and people with more money than they know what to do with stepped up on Monday to buy the dip created when all four major indices closed in the red last week.

Such action is like stepping on a pile of dog poo, wiping it off and stepping into it again. The insanity of investors apparently has no bounds because of ever-increasing liquidity created by the Federal Reserve, the seeming limitlessness of stock buybacks by hundreds of corporations and the hunt for yield by fund managers.

This activity, while cheered on by the financial press, the mainstream press and every other value-clueless pundit of the wonders of free market capitalism, cannot continue without some reckoning, not perhaps a final one, but at least a corrective phase. What happened in October and December of last year has apparently been forgotten, as investors piled into stocks with abandon in this holiday-shortened trading week.

Markets will be closed on Thanksgiving Thursday and close early (1:00 pm ET) on Black Friday, the day celebrated as an orgy of spending and holiday shopping, replete with door-busting deals and the associated mayhem and violence that stems from hundreds of people trying to get into stores earliest to grab oversized TVs, plastic junk from the Republic of China, and other goods marked as low as 50-80% off.

Winning days on Wall Street have - over the course of the last 10 years or so - become something of a yawn-fest, as stocks breached record highs on numerous occasions every year since the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008. Higher stock prices are to be expected. They are the norm, but nobody wants to actually look at what they're buying, only the gains they're making. It's almost as if the companies in which people are investing will return massive profits for 100 years or longer, or that the 30 stocks comprising the Dow Industrials will never change (they do, and frequently).

Beginning with AIG being dropped from the Dow in September of 2008, 10 companies have been either ousted, merged and/or replaced in the world's leading index. That's a third of the companies. No wonder it's at record highs. The bad companies - the latest being General Electric (GE) - are replaced with companies with better growth potential and the capacity for higher share prices. It would be like lowering the height of the basket a few inches every year for LeBron James. Upon reaching 40 years of age, the NBA superstar could dunk without jumping or even reaching up very high.

For today, the NBA basket is still 10 feet off the floor, but the mastery of financial deception belongs in those goal-post movers on the executive board of Dow Jones.

At the Close, Monday, November 25, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 28,066.47, +190.85 (+0.68%)
NASDAQ: 8,632.49, +112.60 (+1.32%)
S&P 500: 3,133.64, +23.35 (+0.75%)
NYSE Composite: 13,532.89, +91.94 (+0.68%)

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