Thursday, April 30, 2020

More Stock Fakery As Indices Jump On Remdesivir Hope, Fading -4.8% GDP; Dividend Cuts Continue

Stock market fakery took on a whole new dimension Wednesday, as news of a potential treatment breakthrough for coronavirus (Gilead' Science's remdesivir) was released just before an incorrect reading on first quarter GDP - of 4.8% growth rather than the actual -4.8% contraction - was released.

Together, the two news breaks fueled a jump in stock futures an hour prior to the opening bell. The

The remdesivir announcement came from the familiar face of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who now says he let the news out somewhat early because he was concerned about the possibility of the news leaking out from elsewhere.

Rubbish. Fauci is deeply entrenched within the government COVID-19 team. His very own "leak" was timed to front-run the damaging news of contraction in first quarter GDP. He, along with tag-team partner, Dr. Deborah Birks, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are all in on the big con, keeping the pandemic narrative alive and well, avoiding any kind of actual progress that could be made, obfuscating useful information, offering bad advice, and generally keeping the public as much in the dark as possible with a huge assist from mainstream media, which now reports almost exclusively on coronavirus-related stories all the time, every-day, ad nauseum.

There's little doubt that the orchestrated, concerted effort to extend lockdowns, provide conflicting and misleading information, scare people into irrationality, and keep the United States in a crippled condition is a White House operation. President Trump and Vice President Pence have to know what's what, and they are either complicit or playing a long game that should result - if they're just playing along for now - in revelations (and hopefully, charges) this summer of corruption at the CDC and elsewhere in the government.

While there's little clear-cut evidence to suggest that the president isn't in on the entire scam, he remains somewhat solid amongst his base of supporters, but there are troubling signs that he's not been completely honest throughout the crisis. In case the crisis persists through the summer, Trump is going to have a difficult time winning re-election, even though his opponent, Joe Biden, is a very weak choice for the Democrats.

Getting back to the timing of the Wednesday morning announcements, the GDP release was almost immediately corrected, from a positive 4.8% to negative 4.8%, though there's no mention of the fake +4.8% announcement which was banged out first in order to trick the algorithms, and it worked, but overall, the remdesivir story overshadowed the dire GDP numbers and the FOMC policy announcement and press conference later in the day. The effective result was good for more than a two-percent gain in the Dow, S&P and NYSE Composite and a 3.57% rise on the NAASDAQ.

As far as remdesivir being a panacea for controlling, containing, and/or defeating coronavirus, the indefatigable (and reliably honest) Chris Martenson explains:

Thus, in a nutshell, fake news triumphs over reality, and stocks soar as the US economy is now firmly into a recession, along with many other countries, including Spain, France, South Korea, Indonesia. One might be persuaded into admitting that the Global Depression has begun in earnest and that somehow encourages investors to buy more stocks.

As the stock market gains are a matter of record, the sad reality is that share prices didn't go up on buys by the likes of Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan or any of the big banks' trading units. The purchases on Wednesday will most assuredly be credited into the accounts of weakened pension funds, which will take more severe losses in the next round of selling.

The game is rigged completely against the public.

On the dividend front, from where this blog hastily retreated Wednesday morning, the overnight news that Royal Dutch Shell slashed its dividend for the first time since World War II, supplies more evidence of the depth of this downturn.

"Investors risk putting money into the markets in order to stand a chance of achieving a better return than cash in the bank. While rates on cash savings accounts have been drifting down for a while, investment dividends were widely considered to be much more reliable.

"Sadly that is no longer the case, given how more than 300 companies on the UK stock market have this year said they won't be paying dividends for the time being or paying a much lower level than before. This figure includes 41 companies in the FTSE 100."

-- Ross Mould, investment director at AJ Bell

Alongside the British companies, stand the 81 (as of Monday morning... there are more now) US companies which either reduced their dividend or eliminating it altogether.

Taking a quick look at the Dow components, we see that Boeing (BA) has already suspended its dividend earlier this year, which was a whopping $8.22 a share. The stock has fluctuated wildly since, but has collapsed from a 52-week high of 391.00, to close yesterday at 139.00. When a stock loses 64% of its share price, eliminates its dividend, lays off workers, and faces numerous lawsuits, that stock should be trading in single digits. It's almost worthless or could actually be tallied in the liability column. The outlook for Boeing is grim, though Wall Street investors have seen fit to boost it recently from 89 to its current price, which is likely to be hammered in the next downturn. Boeing is not a buy or even a hold. The time to sell this dog was months ago.

A few other candidates for dividend cuts or suspension include the obvious, ExxonMobil (XOM), which has missed three of its last four earnings estimates and reports for the first quarter on May 1 (Friday). The current dividend is $3.48, offering a yield of 7.33%. With the price of oil having cratered over the past two months, this company is likely to miss its earning targets again and the likelihood of cutting the dividend is very high.

On Wednesday, Chevron (CVX) announced a dividend of $1.29 a share to investors of record through May 19, payable June 20. whether this will be the last of the 5.45% yielding dividend remains to be seen. While it may be enticing to hold CVX through its first quarter earnings report (May 1) until the ex-dividend date, a drop in the price of the stock of less than 1.5% (about 1 1/2 points) would render that gamble a moot point. And, if the company announces a dividend cut and the stock goes down more, it turns into a major loss.

Among the companies on the Dow that have already reported first quarter earnings is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The company raised its quarterly dividend to $1.01 per share from 95 cents per share, as it announced earnings on Monday. Comparatively, this company looks rock-solid.

Merck (MRK) and Pfizer (PFE) each reported earnings on Tuesday of this week. Merck beat big, posting 1.50 per share against estimates of 1.34, keeping its annual dividend of 2.44 intact (3.02% yield), but cutting guidance.

Pfizer (PFE) also beat, retaining its annual dividend of 1.52 (3.99% yield). The company may be one to produce or share in the creation of some COVID-19 treatments or vaccines, though those potentialities go with an undue level of risk.

Intel (INTC) recently reported first quarter earnings at 1.45 per share over estimates for 1.28. The tech firm sports a dividend of 1.32 (2.25% yield) and is probably a safe bet to keep paying that out. However, here's where the math becomes important. If Intel tanks again - it fell to 42.86 in March from a high of 69.29, the paltry sum garnered from the dividend will be little consolation with the stock down 30 percent or more.

One of the worst plays of dividend-bearing Dow stocks going forward could be Apple (AAPL). The darling of Wall Street and the Swiss National Bank (a major shareholder), Apple's 3.08 annual dividend yields just 1.07%. with the stock trading with a multiple of 20-24 recently, even a minor downturn wipes out any gain from the dividend. Apple is unlikely to cut the dividend, as it is flush with cash. This one could go either way.

That's a snapshot look at a number of Dow stocks. We'll be examining more of them on Friday morning and over the weekend in the WEEKEND WRAP.

Just in, the U.S. Labor Department released its weekly jobless claims figures Thursday morning, and another 3.839 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending April 25. That boosts the number of jobless in America to 30 million, unofficially putting the unemployment rate at 20%, the highest since the Great Depression.

This time, it appears that Wall Street won't be celebrating. Futures have been eroding all morning, with Dow futures off nearly one percent with the opening bell less than an hour away.

At the Close, Wednesday, April 29, 2020:
Dow: 24,633.86, +532.31 (+2.21%)
NASDAQ: 8,914.71, +306.98 (+3.57%)
S&P 500: 2,939.51, +76.12 (+2.66%)
NYSE: 11,618.23, +298.54 (+2.64%)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Recession Arrives as First Quarter GDP Contracts By 4.8%; Companies Cutting Dividends at Record Pace

Dispensing with the usual diatribe over coronavirus and the botched government response, today's edition of Money Daily will focus on stocks that pay out quarterly dividends, the mother's milk of investing, as Larry Kudlow might phrase it.

But first, US first quarter 2020 GDP was just announced at 8:30 am ET, and the result was as Money Daily predicted, a decline of 4.8%. A few weeks back, various analysts from the likes of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs were making projections for second quarter GDP losses, somewhat overlooking what we considered obvious: a negative number for 1Q GDP. While the corporate analysts were busy downplaying the effect of a nationwide lockdown on business activity, they were missing an existential point.

Assuming that the second quarter was going to be in the red, a decline in first quarter GDP would satisfy the textbook requirement for a recession, which is two consecutive quarters of declining GDP growth. The definition is something of a non sequiter because nothing in nature actually grows at a negative rate. A truer definition might be worded as "two consecutive quarters of contraction," and that's now in play meaning one might as well assume that there's already a recession, and it started roughly the second week of February, when the world started to become focused on coronavirus and how to halt its spread.

Thus, we have the first quarter contraction of 4.8%, which will be revised twice, in late May and again in late June, though the number is so far into the red that there's no practical probability of it being revised into the positive. Second quarter GDP will be an outright train wreck. Figure on something on the order of -40% just for openers. That kind of number will have even the most ardent equity investor seeking safe harbor and scurrying away from stocks. Even today's figure should give everyone pause, and, in normal times, stocks would be falling into the ocean, but, thanks to the generosity of the Federal Reserve, the major indices will likely post more gains.

Underscoring the absurdity of the Fed's fool's errand - one in which they will bankrupt themselves - stock futures all soared higher on this morning's GDP announcement. How's that for in-your-face obstinance and stupidity?

Along with higher stock prices (unbelievable), the political ramifications are stupendous. This places the economy and a recession as front-and-center issues for the election season. Second quarter results will be in place come late July, and they will be undeniably ugly, since April was a complete washout and May isn't going to look much better. There are still vast swaths of the economy that are not operating at even 50% of optimal productivity and others that are not operating at all. Small businesses were shut down across the country for roughly six weeks to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue and GDP, to say nothing of the lack of velocity in the economy. From late March through all of April and into May, velocity was basically stalled out.

What this means in terms of elections is the very real possibility of a President Biden and a takeover by the Democrats of the Senate, which would give the socialist movement firm footing in the three important branches of the federal government, the presidency, the House, and the Senate, which spells doomsday for America because socialist ideology will only exacerbate the already horrid condition of money-printing and profligate spending. It's doubtful that any of this has been factored into the Wall Street calculations. Current prices on the major indices and in "recovering" individual stocks reflect that, glowingly.

With the opening bell just minutes away, Money Daily will wrap here for Wednesday morning, cutting a little short the look at dividend stocks.

Wolf Richter of penned a noteworthy post on Tuesday, titled, Dividend Massacre in This Crisis is Already Breaking Records, But it Just Started, within which he details the number of companies which have already slashed or canceled their dividend payouts and how 2020 compares to other recent years in which dividends were targeted, 2001, 2008, and 2009.

What investors often lose sight of in times of financial turmoil is how mathematics deceives and often leads to false conclusions when considering buying a particular stock.

Picking up this theme on Thursday, along with the latest unemployment figures, the 30 stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average - all of which pay dividends - will be examined, with considered opinion on whether or not these companies will maintain, increase, reduce or cancel their normal dividend payouts.

For today, the recession has arrived, though many in the know already think we're at the beginning of what is being hailed as "The Greater Depression."

At the Close, Tuesday, April 28, 2020:
Dow: 24,101.55, -32.23 (-0.13%)
NASDAQ: 8,607.73, -122.43 (-1.40%)
S&P 500: 2,863.39, -15.09 (-0.52%)
NYSE: 11,319.70, +54.86 (+0.49%)

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bailout Nation: Careening Toward the Zombie Apocalypse

Beneath the superficial aspects of the coronavirus - the hospitals, the deaths, media deflection, Presidential dithering, lockdowns, social distancing, and the state-by-state re-openings - there exists a subculture of cash, credit, debt, default, and the eventuality of a global depression.

The question is not whether there's going to be a recession - there will be, without a doubt - it's how long the depression will last and how deeply affected will be various segments of the economies of nations and those nations themselves.

This is an extremely complex scenario that will not be evenly distributed. Some people will prosper while others decline. Some will go broke. Others will simply give up and die. It's an absolute certainty that there will be more losers than winners, many many more. Knowing that, the federal government, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve, has set about the process of bailing out everybody, or, nearly everybody. The problem is, they've not gone about the process with much foresight, they have no comprehensive plan, and the result has been a sloppy patchwork of band-aids, unkept promises, imbalances, and knee-jerk, short-term remedies.

Wall Street got their money right away, small business got shafted, twice, wage-earners, especially those in low-wage jobs, got a bonanza to the extent that the $600 extra unemployment benefit doled out by the Fed has in some cases doubled the take home pay of a huge chunk of the workforce. Anybody making minimum wage or anything less than $15 per hour has experienced a tangible benefit. The unfortunate part of this is that the additional unemployment benefit vanishes in about four months, or, for most people, sometime during August. Whether the federal government will step in again at that point to provide more relief is, at this juncture, a speculation.

Meanwhile, most seniors receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, haven't seen a dime, despite the late March pledge from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that they would have their money ($1200 per person plus $500 for each qualifying dependent) within two weeks. It's going on six weeks and the money still hasn't arrived. The latest promise is that direct deposits would be made this week. Don't count on it. Mnuchin has proven that his priorities lie mainly with big business and Wall Street banks, not with the people who matter, the citizens, the taxpayers, the consumers. He's effectively relayed the message to seniors that they don't matter at all.

All the time, but especially during times of crisis, people should be judged by their actions, not their words. If there's a judgement to be made on Steven Mnuchin, he would be deemed an awesome character by the one-percenters and upper crust, and a outright liar and scoundrel by just about everybody over the age of 62.

The problems with the quick-fixes that have come out of the Fed and the federal government are multiple. They're temporary. They solve nothing. They're largely unfair. They won't work long term. Not for the stock market, not for the banks, not for states and cities, not for pension plans, and especially for the backbone of society, small businesses and the people they employ, or, rather, employed, because most small businesses in the United States are dead men walking. If they haven't already closed their doors forever, never to return, they're on the verge of collapse, as is the rest of the country, despite nobody in government or the media actually leveling with the people.

Next up on the list of bailouts are cities, counties and states, which have experienced massive losses to their revenue base and will see those losses multiply over time. They are coming to the federal government with outstretched arms, awaiting their turn at the feeding trough of unlimited capital. A business owner who doesn't pay property taxes because his business has been shut down for a month or six weeks or longer is one thing. The loss of sales tax revenue is another, and one that will continue long into the future. Again, the feds can only do so much. It's up to the local and state managers of their various governmental units to take action, and sooner rather than later.

Cutting back on services and employment should have been happening in March and April, but it hasn't. Teachers get paid. Cops and firemen get paid. Sanitation workers get paid. Clerks and paper shufflers get paid. All the while the cities and counties are bleeding revenue. Their collapse is imminent and they have only themselves to blame for decades of living high on the hog that is the taxpayer, without regard to emergencies, without planning for even a slowdown from the stock buyback, free money largesse of the past decade. Their demise, along with the platinum health care plans and pension, are at extremely high risk of being insolvent and overdue for a significant haircut. They're counting on the federal government to bail them out, but at issue is which ones get bailed out first and for how much? Will red states get more than blue states? Will big cities get a better piece of the pie than rural communities?

It's likely, actually, it's not only probable, but a near-certainty that any government bailout of cities, counties, and states will be as uneven as the handling of the first few rounds of government aid to private business and citizens. It's going to be a disaster of magnificent proportion because not only will the federal government take too long to deliver, they'll almost certainly deliver less than is necessary, and the help will be only temporary. There is no good way out. Like the companies who are being propped up by the Fed via purchasing of their commercial paper, the Fed can't stop at buying up muni bonds; it has to come in with actual cash to keep the lights on in every city, town, and village across America.

In the end, everything goes dark. While trying desperately to not sound like a broken record, Wall Street firms will fail, banks will fail, governments will fail, companies will die, people will die, but not until there's a massive outbreak of civil unrest, the first springs of that having already been seen in the "reopen" protests that have flourished at state capitols and elsewhere around the country.

As the coronavirus has proven to be less of a threat to human existence than previously thought, the feds and state governments continue to respond as though it is a return of the Bubonic Plague or Spanish Flu. It's not, and the response has been a massive overreach that has destroyed the economy and people's already wavering confidence in leadership and government. It has only just begun and the levels of protest, unruliness, incivility, lawlessness, and violence will only increase over time. When the extra unemployment insurance runs out in August and there are still 12-15 million people out of work, the cat will have come out of the bag, and it will be not a tame household kitty, but a hungry, untamed lion, set out to ravage the nearest prey, and that prey will be neighborhoods, local governments, and the unprotected. The resultant destruction to the social fabric will be devastatingly real and not just close to home, at your home or your neighbor's home or in it.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it isn't COVID-19 that is screwing the country and the world, but the government reaction to it. As has already been made evident, government is not only not the solution, it is the problem itself.

Presently, the Fed has managed to keep the stock markets from imploding and possibly from shutting down altogether. They've actually managed to boost prices for many companies that should be heading to the bankruptcy courts rather than to the Fed's liquidity spigot. Since April 8, all the major indices have traded in a well-defined range, an overt signal that the Fed is in charge, keeping the markets stable while the VIX remains elevated. It's a manipulation and a thorough destruction of capital markets. Stocks and bonds are effectively controlled by government now, and thus, are DOA.

While stocks were reaching for yet another giddy day in their make-believe land of rich and plenty, General Motors (GM), at one time a bastion of industry and a beacon of capitalism, a company the taxpayers bailed out a decade ago, announced on Monday that it was suspending its 38 cents quarterly dividend, halting the buyback of its own stock and bolstering its lines of credit. Gee, thanks, GM. Please turn the lights out before you close the door. GM should have been allowed to fail in 2008. Now they will just burn more cash, screw their investors and permanently dis-employ hundreds of thousands of workers in the auto business and its suppliers.

GM has about 164,000 full time employees including Chairwoman of the Board and CEO Mary Barra, whose pay last year was $7.36 million, not including stock options and other bonuses and benefits. Not only has she managed to completely decimate the company's balance sheet, but she's managed to raid the company coffers to her benefit. The company is likely to survive for a few more years, but, after bankruptcy proceedings, within four or five years, the number of full time employees will be zero, and Ms. Barra and all her hourly and salaried workers can compliment her on the bang-up job she'd done throughout the coronavirus crisis, culminating in the wholesale looting and destruction of the company.

With that news as a backdrop, GM tacked on half a point Monday, closing at 22.45 a share. The company publicly disclosed assets of 228 billion and liabilities of 182 billion. With the expectation that the assets are overvalued and liabilities on the rise, it won't be long until GM is permanently upside down. Give it six months before all hell breaks loose.

GM is not alone. Most companies are going to slash dividends, workers, expenses and tap into their lines of credit as the quarterly reports flow this month and next, but Wall Street seems to like the idea, rallying on Monday with futures ramping higher into Tuesday's opening.

This is what a dysfunctional market looks like.

On the day, treasuries acted as though the recovery had already begun, with the 30-year upping its yield from 1.17 to 1.25%, the 10-year note up seven basis points to 0.67% and the curve steepening to 114 basis points. When the curve falls to below 100 basis points (one percent), that will be the signal that the crisis is deepening.

Oil got whacked again on Monday, WTI crude dropping from its Friday close of $16.94 per barrel to $10.76. Gold and silver were up early down late on futures trading, but that doesn't matter since physical is still elusive and premiums are through the roof, up to $135 on an ounce of gold, as much as $7.00 or more on silver.

Dominoes are falling. Get out of the way. Within six months, there will be more zombie companies, zombie banks, zombie governments and zombie people, all kept alive by the Federal Reserve. Unlike vampires, which can be killed with silver bullets or stakes to the heart, the only way to kill zombies is to blow off their heads.

Ready, aim...

At the Close, Monday, April 27, 2020:
Dow: 24,133.78, +358.51 (+1.51%)
NASDAQ: 8,730.16, +95.64 (+1.11%)
S&P 500: 2,878.48, +41.74 (+1.47%)
NYSE: 11,264.84, +246.94 (+2.24%)

Sunday, April 26, 2020

COVID-19 A Massive Scam Perpetrated At the Highest Levels, Media, Industry, Finance Complicit

Just about everything being shoved down the throats of Americans (and, we can safely assume, the rest of the world) about the coronavirus by the mainstream media (MSM) is either questionable, being drawn into question, refuted, or outright bunk. Examples will be given in this installment of the WEEKEND WRAP.

The United states is approaching one million confirmed cases of the virus, and has already surpassed 50,000 deaths. The actual number of cases of the virus is orders of magnitude higher, as preliminary antibody studies from New York and California have shown.

The California study, undertaken in Santa Clara county, home to San Francisco, shows that "prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50 to 85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases,” the authors wrote. Published on April 17, the number of confirmed deaths in Santa Clara County was 99, meaning that the true mortality rate is somewhere between 0.12 percent and 0.2 percent, meaning that roughly one or two people in every thousand would die from the virus, a number very close to that of the ordinary seasonal flu.

The same kind of results are shown in New York, where 13.9% of people in New York's first antibody study tested positive, meaning they had the virus and recovered; that means up to 2.7 million people could have been infected statewide and the mortality rate would have been roughly 0.5 percent, not the 4.5 to 6 percent that the media has been touting. There are also widespread reports of the numbers being artificially inflated, throwing in all deaths of people who tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of the underlying cause.

The federal government has been doling out billions of dollars to states via the CARES act which, through Medicaid, pays hospitals $13,000 for COVID-19 patients, upping the bounty to $39,000 if one is put on a ventilator.

As many as 80% of people put on ventilators die, and many doctors are refusing to use them in treatment of severe cases, though hospital administrators - in dire need of funding - continue to push for their use, despite the findings that prove a suspiciously-poor recovery rate.

The ongoing controversy over hydroxychloroquine, in conjunction with zinc and sometimes, arithromycin, which Money Daily has already covered on Thursday, April 24 continues to rage between the truth and the mainstream media's fear angle.

Here's Laura Ingraham with an expert cardiologist explaining why the media shouldn't be running around with their hair on fire over the FDA's warning about hydrochloroquine:

...and then there's the complete nonsense about "flattening the curve" through stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, staying six feet apart that has decimated the global economy.

The effect of the lockdown was to keep the hospitals from being overrun. In the entire United States, few hospitals have been overrun with COVID-19 patients, mostly in New York City, Boston, and a few other hotspots. Most hospitals have treated very few coronavirus sufferers. It wasn't about saving lives because the disease will still spread, albeit at a slower pace. Additionally, the vast majority of people who die from coronavirus are elderly and/or suffering from other maladies (co-morbidities).

According to statistics out of New York City, 95% of the deaths due to coronavirus were from 45-75+ years of age.

Moving on to testing, all that testing is going to do is probably enrich the companies that make the tests and confirm that a lot more people than previously assumed had contracted COVID-19 and are now immune.

Instead of shutting down the entire economy, the rational approach would have been to quarantine seniors and people with pre-existing conditions - primarily diabetes, high blood pressure, heart-related ailments - but that wasn't considered. Instead, we've trashed more than 200 years of capitalism over an infectious disease that's barely more deadly than the seasonal flu. It will rank as one of the greatest blunders (or planned event) in the entire history of the planet.

The conclusion is that all developed nations were in on the coronavirus scam (or, as some are calling it, the plandemic) because the elites already had a plan in place to disrupt national economies, destroy governments, enslave people, and usher in a new world currency while covering up the imminent crash of stock markets and, eventually, all fiat currencies. The entire process will take years - it's been underway for decades - but this was a major part of the overall effort, and it seems to be succeeding.

The main casualties so far:

Nursing homes
Small businesses
Sporting events


Wall Street
Big Government
Mainstream Media (MSM)
Health Care / Big Pharma

Bah! You've been had, and the after-effects are going to be even worse.

Now, on to the markets, or, what's left of them.

Stocks had an up and down week, but ended down with all but the NASDAQ finishing with losses of just under two percent. The darling NASDAQ was nearly flat, losing just 15 points (-0.18%). This was just the second weekly loss of the last five, since the Fed stepped in last month with massive funding programs.

Despite trillions being thrown at banks and what are now zombie corporations, the major indices are still in bear markets, though they are all resting right about at their 50-day moving averages.

If anything, they seemed to have plateaued for the time being. Another downdraft could be coming, but, with all the Fed currency behind them, shorting this market is strictly for those who can afford massive losses. Being in this market for any reason is simply a fool's errand. Stocks are headed toward a massive crash, which has only been prevented by the Fed. Eventually, fundamentals matter, and many major corporations, since stock buybacks are now frowned upon, have resorted to leveraging up with debt, conveniently purchased by the Federal Reserve and their unlimited currency campaign.

Oil magically rebounded after posting negative numbers upon the maturity of May futures. June futures for WTI crude are resting comfortably at $16.94 a barrel. It's a bonanza for drivers, with prices at the pump the lowest in a generation. Gas hoarding, once people get back on the road, could be a real thing. It's cheap, why not?

Treasury bonds are a graveyard. The curve flattened out to a mere 107 basis points as the long end collapsed. Yield on the 30-year fell to 1.17%, while one-month bills ended the week yielding 0.10%. The 10-year note finished out the week with a yield of 0.60%. Since demand for treasuries is shrinking rapidly, the curve and steepness or flatness of it will hardly matter any more. The Federal Reserve will be buying most, if not all, of the issuance within months as monetization takes flight fully. The disaster in capital funding, like most of the rest of the monetary and fiscal weirdness, has only just begun.

Bonds are screaming that the condition of the economy is one of being on a deathbed with Dr. Fauci overseeing the patient. It's sure to continue a downward spiral, leading to death. Getting people back to work won't alleviate the condition since many small businesses will not reopen. The onrush of bankruptcies and credit defaults are about to accelerate. Many renters - commercial and residential - are planning on not paying their rents come May 1, which is this coming Friday, suggesting that this week may look like a picnic compared to the carnage caused by the realization that a good third of the country is going broke the first full week of May.

Gold and silver made gains on the COMEX, and were little changed, though lower on eBay, where buyers can actually get physical precious metals delivered on a reasonable time basis (1-4 days). Dealers are still placing premiums on both gold and silver, and delivery times remain weeks off with many of the more popular items still out of stock.

Here are this week's figures from sales on eBay:
Item Low High Avg. Median
1 oz silver coin 25.15 31.74 27.57 27.44
1 oz silver bar 23.20 31.16 26.34 25.85
1 oz gold coin 1,819.85 1,962.25 1,884.09 1,880.50
1 oz gold bar 1,849.95 2,002.65 1,901.98 1,893.92

To close out this edition of the WEEKEND WRAP, a final word about the lockdown and states "opening up" as it were: We should not have been in lockdown in the first place. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is not a killer disease for more than 90% of the population. It now appears, after blowing out all the hyperbole and media spin, that the state-by-state lockdown was pre-planned at the highest levels. It was completely unnecessary, as evidenced by the results out of Sweden, which was one country which chose not to torpedo their economy. The Swedes have experienced the same or fewer cases of infection per capita and fewer deaths than their counterparts. Their example is the one which should have been followed.

Additionally, as part of the plan to bail out Wall Street and next, the states themselves, economic conditions are more likely to continue deteriorating over the near term. Accumulating hard assets is advisable, whereas investing should be regarded as gambling in a rigged casino, unless you are ultra rich and have inside information. Most of us do not.

Go out and hug somebody. COVID-19 is a massive psy-op designed to demoralize and dehumanize. Don't let them win.

At the Close, Friday, April 24, 2020:

Dow: 23,775.27, +259.97 (+1.11%)
NASDAQ: 8,634.52, +139.77 (+1.65%)
S&P 500: 2,836.74, +38.94 (+1.39%)
NYSE: 11,017.90, +101.20 (+0.93%)

For the Week:
Dow: -467.22 (-1.93%)
NASDAQ: -15.62 (-0.18%)
S&P 500: -37.82 (-1.32%)
NYSE: -190.40 (-1.70%)

Friday, April 24, 2020

Banks Profit From Coronavirus; Governments Equivocate; Fed Keeping Stocks Afloat

Since there is too much information being thrown around on the coronavirus crisis, here are some of the top headlines:

Stocks rallied again after another 4.4 million people filed for unemployment relief, but the gains were wiped out when the World Health Organization (WHO) leaked a report that suggested trials on Gilead Science's (GILD) treatment drug, remdesivir, were not going well. Gilead finished down 4.2%, and the entire US stock market complex finished the day essentially unchanged.

Thursday, as the House pushed through $484 billion in round two of the bailout loan program for small businesses, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and other big banks raked in $10 billion in fees for processing the first round of small business PPP loans. As they usually do, the federal government made sure to take care of their major campaign donors. One burning question: since Ruth Cris is returning the $10 million loan they received, is JP Morgan Chase returning the $100,000 fee they "earned" for processing the loan?

Then there's this video that shows Fox News reporter John Roberts and New York Times photographer Doug Mills in the White House coronavirus press briefing room this past Tuesday caught on a hot mic. The two discuss the fatality rate of the virus, with Roberts saying it's between 0.1 and 0.3 percent, and Mills responding that it's in line with the ordinary flu. Some news outlets are characterizing the video as misleading, suggesting the two are joking. Judge for yourself.

According to a study by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which highlighted Thursday's White House press briefing, warm weather, sunlight, and low humidity could have mitigating effects on coronavirus. This theory has been bandied about since the early days of the pandemic, and there's been no substantial evidence to claim that normal summer weather will slow down the spread of the virus or kill it completely, though most flu viruses are negatively affected by warmer weather.

The best evidence is likely anecdotal, as countries with warm climates in the Southern Hemisphere and near the equator have actually been less-severely affected by COVID-19 than more northern countries like the United States, Russia, most of Europe and Canada. For instance, Australia, which first began reporting cases of the virus in February (similar to Northern Hemisphere's July), has had 6,674 reported cases, but only 78 deaths. Malaysia, whose capitol, Kuala Lumpur is situated 350 km or 217 miles from the equator, has reported 5,691 cases but only 96 deaths. This suggests that while the spread may be slowed somewhat, the virility, or severity, of the virus may be diminished. Time will tell, especially in the US and Europe, as warmer weather approaches and states and countries begin reopening their economies.

Since April 7, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the index of 30 leading US companies, has traded in a very thin range between 22,634 and 24,232, a mere 1,598 points in an extremely volatile market. The COBE Volatility Index, or VIX, which tracks volatility, has been below 39 just two times since March 5. Normally, the VIX holds between 10 and 18 with great regularity. Anything above 20 is considered to be edging toward extreme and readings over 40, which have been common during the coronavirus campaign, are rare. On March 18, the VIX registered a reading of 85.47, exceeded only by a high mark of 89.53, on October 24, 2008, at the height of the Great Financial Crisis.

Managing to keep the Dow in such a tight range can only be due to the Fed's massive inputs of cash to primary dealers via various funding vehicles created during the coronavirus crisis. Trillions of dollars have flowed to banks, who routinely put that currency to work buying stocks and keeping blue chip equities in a fairly well-defined pattern. Stocks go up, they go down, they go back up. The Fed is in control of what used to be a free, fair market. Freedom and fairness in publicly-traded stocks hasn't existed for quite some time. Now they are virtually extinct entities.

What most of the headlines and alternative media narrative suggests is that the global public is being used, abused and largely misinformed. Governments in developed nations are employing the virus and public lockdowns as cover for the failed global fiat currency economic system that will have to be replaced shortly, within six months to three years, depending on how long those in power can keep people from overthrowing the entrenched oligarchs, kleptocrats, cronies, and assorted liars and thieves in government, business, and the media.

When the new world currency is announced, it will likely be all digital (blockchain technology) because paper and coin currency is "dirty" and "may carry viruses." At least that would seem to fit the accepted game plan that's being etched out on an ongoing basis. It will be up to individuals - not governments - to either accept or reject new currencies offered by the same people who destroyed the old system or opt for alternatives like gold, silver, bitcoin, and the tried and true efficacies of bartering goods and services.

There may indeed be more than one global currency: one for international trade and governments, and one for everyday commerce by the people. Whatever occurs, the next few years are likely to be convulsive and disruptive to what most people consider normal.

At the Close, Thursday, April 23, 2020:
Dow: 23,515.26, +39.44 (+0.17%)
NASDAQ: 8,494.75, -0.63 (-0.01%)
S&P 500: 2,797.80, -1.51 (-0.05%)
NYSE: 10,916.67, +8.11 (+0.07%)

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Neo-Feudal Living Through Mainstream Media Propaganda Financed By Big Pharma

Everything is fake these days, especially financial news, which spills over boundlessly into politics and society. The fact that Big Pharma is the main funding source for mainstream media brings into question everything about the COVID-19 pandemic and government and media response.

In case there's any doubt, consider the recent news reporting on a Veteran's Affairs hospital study which concluded that Hydroxychloroquine - a generic drug used to treat malaria - is not a reliable treatment for coronavirus. Being mindful that the treatment, combined with Azithromycin in some cases, and in conjunction with zinc in early stage COVID-19 sufferers, has proven effective in shortening the length of time from infection to recovery, it's difficult to buy the claims by the study's authors, though that's exactly what the anti-Trump, big pharma-owned mainstream media did.

Never mind that President Trump was a big fan of Hydroxychloroquine, or that the research was neither done with random sampling nor was peer reviewed. The media just took the bait and ran with it, ostensibly in favor of the Gilead Science's more expensive proprietary drug, remdesivir, which is about to undergo real clinical trials.

Bear in mind that the mainstream media, especially television news, is sponsored mainly by Big Pharma. In between the two-to-four minute bouts of propaganda, commercials for drugs to treat everything from cancer to strokes to foot fungus are paid for by the likes of Pfizer, Roche, Novartis, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Sanofi, AbbVie, Glacxo Smith Kline (GSK), Amgen, Gilead Sciences, and others. Here's a list of the Top 50 global pharma companies, which are also among the leading political donors.

The use of Hydroxychloroquine in conjunction with zinc and azithromycin for treatment of COVID-19 patients has been the focus of French physician and microbiologist, Dr. Didier Raoult,

Rauolt's twitter feed - mostly in French - is very active and strongly in favor of the treatment, which he claims limits the severity of the disease and shortens recovery time.

In the United States and in many developed countries, the mainstream media outlets, plus Google and Facebook, have been actively censoring Dr. Raoult's findings, the most recent of which involved successful treatment of 3000 patients, resulting in a death rate of 0.5 percent.

Raoult has extensive experience in treating viruses and getting positive results and is highly respected within the scientific community. His work spans decades and is frequently cited in leading medical journals. So, why does the mainstream media downplay or censor the importance of his work? Because hydroxychloroquine is very inexpensive (about 10¢ per dose) and Big Pharma can't make any money off generic cures.

Peak Prosperity's Dr. Chris Martenson breaks down the phony VA "study" and cites scientific evidence to conclude that the VA's review of patients in latter stages of the disease was "garbage." in this exceptional video. You are strongly urged to watch it and make up your own mind.

Getting to recent developments, the Labor Department reported minutes ago that another 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the past week, bringing the five week total to over 26 million.

Meanwhile, the US economy is floundering, as are the economies of almost all developed nations. The global depression, brought to you by the Federal Reserve in conjunction with the US federal government, the fake mainstream media and Big Pharma, is in full bloom and will affect life p in varying degrees - for billions of people for years.

Buy gold and silver if you can. Also consider bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies and getting off the electrical grid as much as possible, returning to a simpler lifestyle and out of the modern-day, neo-feudal rat race.

Finally, this clip from Family Guy offers metaphor for how many Americans (especially seniors who didin't file taxes in 2018 or 2019 -- think: poor people) feel about Treasury Secretary's five-week old promise to have $1200 checks in the hands of Americans "within two weeks."

At the Close, Wednesday, April 22, 2020:
Dow: 23,475.82, +456.94 (+1.99%)
NASDAQ: 8,495.38, +232.15 (+2.81%)
S&P 500: 2,799.31, +62.75 (+2.29%)
NYSE: 10,908.56, +202.12 (+1.89%)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Where Are We, And Where Are We Going?

A month of social distancing, self-isolation and coronavirus fear media spin has probably done more to damage the social fabric and hasten the collapse of the global economy faster than any other event in history.

Isolation, a technique usually deployed against heinous criminals and terrorists has made its way to the mainstream and the result was predictable: protests across the country demanding that states re-open their shuttered economies sooner rather than later.

So far, the protests have been mild and peaceful, but violence is just around the corner and this game of political chess has only just begun. As the government continues to play out its poorly-chosen scenario to stem the advance of coronavirus it has alienated and frustrated a population that was already on edge. Forcing citizens to stay home, businesses to close, and strictly enforcing rules in an effort to contain a pandemic is likely to turn out to be a poor choice in terms of controlling the citizenry, none moreso than in America, where independence is inbred and following orders largely a matter of choice.

So far, a few states have relaxed their mandated strictures, and more will follow, but the damage to psyche of the nation has been severe and this may only be the beginning of a long, tortuous calamity.

The first true casualty was the collapse in the price of oil on Monday, as the May futures contract ended deep into negative territory, an outcome that could only happen in a controlled, contrived environment such as the exchange itself, the NYMEX. Entities long oil got slaughtered while the shorts carried the day and the profits fro a failing system. The June contracts aren't looking any rosier, with WTI crude checking in Wednesday morning in a range of $7-11 per barrel. As expiration nears, less than a month out, a similar outcome may await the breathless traders in search of not oil, but profit in fiat currency.

An oil price shock such as occurred on Monday is anathema for central bankers and economies built on producing the world's energy supply. Long-term ramifications are difficult to ascertain with such limited knowledge, but besides the obvious carnage this will cause in oil-producing nations such as those in the Middle East and Russia, US shale producers - who were already on the brink of collapse anyhow - are going to default in droves, leaving empty holes in some bank balance sheets.

Naturally, President Trump has ordered Treasury and Energy departments to find a solution, though none will be handy. More meddling by the government, and more bailouts by the Federal Reserve will only serve to enrich those who failed, at the expense of everyone else.

What happened in the oil market will happen in other markets. Prices should, and will, collapse, at first, as demand becomes nil and supply is overabundant. Certain foods will be cheap as oversupply is drawn down, but then will become increasingly expensive as the means of production are disrupted or shut off entirely.

Around and around this circle of supply and demand will go in markets that are already distorted by government mandates, price controls, subsidies, and other devices which serve to prop up industries. In the end, everything will go bust, including the currency, but directly prior to that, stocks, then bonds, will go belly up.

Currently, because of the business shutdowns across the country, small business closures are expected to expand well beyond normal circumstances. That will serve to slow derivative businesses, suppliers, intermediaries, wholesalers. There will be winners, most of them well-known publicly-owned corporations which have been spared the worst of the crisis thanks to trillions in loan guarantees and purchases by the Federal Reserve. Eventually, not even the "infinite" resources of the Fed will be enough to fend off a depression that will bankrupt entire industries and individuals. It could take years, but only months in certain segments of the economy, as illustrated by the oil price collapse.

America and the rest of the world is entering a phase of political, economic and social unrest that has never been precisely pondered. Not since the Great Depression of the 1920s has anything even remotely similar to what's ahead been considered, a world of limited supply, eroding confidence, wild swings in financial markets, currency debasement gone wild, all overtopped by a neo-feudal police state bent on keeping the status quo intact and the general population under control.

There are any number of ways to get around the conditions that prevail and will likely become somewhat unbearable, but the best are to divorce oneself from the system that is causing the carnage. Just as one would rationally flee a burning building, individuals and families, armed with knowledge and a strong survival instinct would be well-advised to have been preparing beforehand. Barring that, immediate departure from populations centers would be advisable.

It's already a known fact that urban and suburban areas have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus and the knock-on effects of the shutdowns. Rural areas have been left relatively unscathed as "social distancing" is the natural order in these places. Neighbors, rather than separated just by walls or back yards, are acres away, and the people like it that way. Thus, it behooves anyone who wishes to escape the coming general mayhem to find accommodations far off the beaten path, preferably with some acreage and own supplies of water and, to some extent, energy, making a working well and at least some solar panels and ready supply of fuel (propane being the most accessible) essential.

A good wood-burning stove would likely be a solid investment, along with a stand of trees, at least enough to last a few winters. Anybody who has never tended a garden would be well-advised to get up to speed as quickly as possible. This summer should serve as a tutorial for future endeavors.

Antenna TV will be preferred over cable or satellite, at least on a cost-forward basis, and some good radio equipment, batteries, and a knowledge of broadcast antennae will go a long way toward providing some entertainment and information when situations become critical.

While Money Daily has focused on financial markets, it also has never shied from being critical of control mechanisms like the Federal Reserve or any form of government. It also has consistently advocated self-sufficiency as a panacea for a better overall lifestyle. Most of what is being suggested here could be found in just about any prepper manual, and yes, guns, the ability to use them properly, silver, gold, and good equipment have also been consistently advocated in our message.

As for debt, especially the unsecured kind, like credit cards, don't worry about it. Just about everybody is going to eventually default, so, one can either join the maxed out crowd in the courts (which will be a zoo), or try to maintain some semblance of balance and propriety. The best condition would be to have no debt, though that's somewhat unrealistic for the vast majority of people. It's nothing to fret over, though. Banks and corporations default all the time. That's why we have bankruptcy laws and plenty of lawyers and judges to plead and administer them.

A bleak future for some does not have to be a bleak future for you. Read up on the history of the Great Depression and you will find that rural folks, although dirt poor, still had the means to survive, some - outside of the Dust Bowl states - to actually prosper. Food on the table, wood chopped and stacked, think not so much about prosperity, but survival first.

More to come...

At the Close, Tuesday, April 21, 2020:
Dow: 23,018.88, -631.56 (-2.67%)
NASDAQ: 8,263.23, -297.50 (-3.48%)
S&P 500: 2,736.56, -86.60 (-3.07%)
NYSE: 10,706.44, -297.44 (-2.70%)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Bubble Has Been Popped; All Fiat Currencies Will Become Worthless; The New Normal Will Be Absurd

Leave it to the most corrupt governments in the history of mankind to put the world into a global depression. This isn't about China, or the United States, it's about all of them. France, Egypt, Indonesia, it doesn't matter. Every government in the world is corrupt to the core, led on by central bankers, market manipulators, and the lure of riches.

It's likely always been that way, but it just seems to be much worse now than ever before. There's no honesty, no integrity, no compassion in any of the soulless monsters that some refer to as "our leaders." Well, our dear leaders have led everybody down a path of ruin and injustice, pain and despair.

And it certainly doesn't help matters when the mainstream media has become completely useless. Neither do they investigate nor present truth. They are not journalists. They are note takers, headline mongers, zombified readers of tele-prompters. They spew propaganda directly from government sources.


The world is currently so bizarre that the price of crude oil traded at a negative price. On Monday, the May contract for US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil, the benchmark for US crude prices, fell to its lowest-ever, a negative price of -$40.32 per barrel. Because of demand destruction by a near-global lockdown and a supply glut that has filled storage capacity to the brim, producers were forced to pay buyers to take delivery as contracts expired.

Here is an explanation of how this happened.

The upside-down futures market will provide more insanity in days to come. It's not as though everybody's going back to work tomorrow or next week, or that airline travel will suddenly become all the rage again. The June contracts are likely to witness similar madness.

Stocks responded to a degree, though hardly with the expedience one would have expected. For a time, the NASDAQ was actually trading in positive territory. Eventually, even the most stubborn of the bulls had to relent.

As the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns continue, stocks should be expected to decline. They haven't because the Fed is backstopping everything on wall Street by buying up all the bad paper that being tossed to the wind. Through Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) which circumvent the law, the Federal Reserve is buying up municipal bonds, investment grade (IG) bonds, High Yield (HY) bonds, Junk bonds, and much more in addition to their usual purchasing of treasury and mortgage-backed securities, in a desperate effort to provide liquidity in what has become an illiquid market. Eventually, they will resort to buying equities outright, just as the Bank of Japan and Swiss National Bank has done.

When the Fed becomes the global lender and buyer of last resort, all of the companies listed on the exchanges will be worthless because they will not have enough free cash flow to cover the interest on their debt. The money center and investment banks are already insolvent, and have been since 2008, kept alive by massive injections of fiat currency via the Fed's discount window, interest on reserves, various accounting frauds, and other chicanery only people as deranged and greedy as these money maniacs have become.

National currencies are imploding at an increasingly rapid pace, all fiat, backed by nothing, eventually headed to worthlessness. Perhaps some day in the not too distant future, the Fed will pay people to take currency off their hands, such as happened with oil on Monday. The ECB, most European nations and the Bank of Japan already do, most of their national bonds carrying negative yields. Having the entire planet's economy shut down certainly hasn't helped matters.

Eventually, the creators of this mess will improvise a new global currency to "save the world," which would be more insanity unless it is backed by gold and/or silver. Desperate people will line up to exchange their worthless dollars, yen, euros, and pounds for what will likely be of digital design, capable of being tracked by the purveyors of debt, the same ones who imploded the prior system.

There will be riots, protests, starvation, rampant crime, lawlessness of a degree nobody can even imagine before the central banks arrive with their ultimate solution. It's all part of the plan. Nobody will be able to do anything without using the agreed-upon new currency. The only hope for preventing the world turning into a ghastly neo-feudal nightmare is the wholesale repudiation of central banks, debt-backed currencies, and fractional reserve banking. It's going to be a very wicked time.

That's all for today. It's too disgusting and depressing to even bother trying to explain the present circumstances and the blighted future that awaits.

At the Close, Monday, April 20, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,650.44, -592.05 (-2.44%)
NASDAQ: 8,560.73, -89.41 (-1.03%)
S&P 500: 2,823.16, -51.40 (-1.79%)
NYSE: 11,003.88, -204.41 (-1.82%)

Sunday, April 19, 2020

WEEKEND WRAP: Americans Angered Over Lockdowns, Unfairness; Government Proposes Re-Opening

Was it a coincidence that the president released his guidelines for states to reopen their economies just as civil unrest was percolating across America?

Probably not. Very little happens by chance in the hyper-charged world of politics. The timing was no accident. From the looks of the well-prepared document sent out by the White House, these guidelines had been thought out and processed well in advance. Whether the co-mingled events of Thursday constitute conspiracy or just good planning is a debatable topic.

Whatever the case, most Americans won't be going back to work any time soon. The presidential guidelines call for 14 days of declining trajectory of COVID-19 cases or other criteria. Presently, the numbers are still rising in most states, so expect the level of unrest amongst the working class - what's left of it - to only increase in coming days.

At the same time, the fetid morass that came out of the recently-enacted relief bill is cause for even more dissent. While public corporations received government largesse instantaneously, small businesses suffering from shutdowns cited distressing experiences dealing with banks charged with administering their loans, and that was before the funding dried up and was gone. The so-called Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was availed to a very small percentage of businesses needing assistance, falling well short of anything approaching appeasement. Some lucky individuals began receiving $1200 direct deposits from the feds, and a good number of the 22 million unemployed started getting the extra $600 in weekly unemployment payouts.

Frustration with the rollout of the PPP small business loans was possibly ameliorated by the extra cash afforded unemployed people. There are more than a few people presently reporting a weekly windfall far in excess of what they were making while actually working, so where is the incentive for businesses to keep employees on the books - with the mandate of employers providing up to three months of paid family leave during the crisis - when the government is offering a better deal?

Again, the clashing narratives of extra unemployment compensation and forgivable loans to small business was not happenstance. It is no accident that the federal government gave generously with few strings attached to bail out Wall Street's darlings while confounding and confusing small business and wage earners.

It would take a monumental leap of faith to overlook either the government's gross incompetence or purposeful negligence. From the start, the entire coronavirus affair looks like, smells like, and feels like a deceitful scam, perpetrated to gloss over a multi-trillion dollar scheme to rescue the money center banks and their big corporation, stock-buyback, campaign contributing cohorts.

It worked, and so well that Americans are now clamoring and demanding to get back to their wage-and-tax slavery, otherwise known as a steady job. On Thursday, when the Labor Department reported another 5.5 million new unemployment claims, boosting the number since lockdowns and stay-at=home orders went into effect to over 22 million, stocks managed small gains on the day, but closed out the week on Friday with massive gains.

Over the course of the four weeks in which large numbers of unemployed were reported, stocks gained in three of them, accosting middle and lower class wage earners with an unhealthy kick in the teeth each time for their "sacrifice." The unfair collusion between big business and big government apparently is being tolerated for the time being, though the restlessness of the citizenry has become palpable, the bad taste becoming less palatable with each passing day of isolation and perceived abuse.

A less civil society would have already manned the ramparts and forced the issue. In Michigan, at least, the state house was under assault by thousands of protesters in what may be a sign of things to come. Americans shouldn't stand for such out-and-out double dealing by their government, but it looks like they will, at least until the unemployment money runs out. Or the food runs out. As it stands, they have already taken away Americans' right of assembly (banning large gatherings) to free movement, freedom of choice, and as the crisis commences, governors and bankers will be picking winners and losers, denying re-openings and/or loans to businesses that are deemed "non-essential."

When the Roman Republic transitioned to becoming the Roman Empire the will of the people waned and government fiat became law, with little to no public input or appreciation. Juvenal, a poet of the late first and early second century, decried the dreadful state of affairs in his satires, his most famous phrase coining the term for pacifying the masses, panem et circenses.

... Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.

-- Juvenal

Since the government of the United States - and elsewhere around the world - has already mandated an end to the circus aspect of American life by outlawing public gatherings such as sporting events - no baseball, no basketball, hockey, or soccer, and no fans - how soon they take away the bread (food), or price it at unaffordable levels, remains to be seen. The audacity and mendacious aspects of the government response - federal, state, and local - to the coronavirus pandemic puts into play a popular uprising in opposition to government that is increasingly being viewed as unfair, uncaring, and unaccountable.

This viewpoint is not held in isolation. It is shared by many. For perspective, the most recent Keiser Report gives an outstanding testament for the general outrage. It may be Max and Stacy's best effort ever produced (and this is episode 1529). The message is clear, concise, and to the point. Having the brilliant economist, Dr. Michael Hudson, in the second segment is a significant bonus. America, and likely, the rest of the world, is about to enter a new age of unbridled financial repression unless the citizenry rises up to smite the government and rentier class. Max and Stacy hit the nail hard and directly on the head.

Now, to recap the week in what used to be markets, everything is either broken, controlled, or manipulated. Precious metals can no longer be realistically priced by the futures. For decades, they have been manipulated by central banks and the bank for International Settlements (BIS). If there is any doubt, read the extensive body of work done by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA). Be forewarned. It is voluminous. Likely the most accurate, true market for gold and silver is on - of all places - eBay, where private parties and dealers buy and sell precious metals in an open, largely unregulated market.

Here are recent (April 18, 19) prices for 1 ounce silver and gold coins on eBay* (quote order is LOW, HIGH, AVERAGE and MEDIAN):
One troy ounce silver coin: 25.50, 61.00, 36.19, 31.89
One troy ounce silver bar: 23.75, 33.00, 27.74, 27.38
One troy ounce gold coin: 1,860.00, 2,004.19, 1,919.82, 1,917.97
One troy ounce gold bar: 1,826.00, 1,905.37, 1,860.95,1,858.34

*Prices were generated using eBay's sold (recently ended) function for the 12 most recent sales of standard (non-numismatic) bars, rounds and coins. Prices included shipping (often free).

Compare the public market price (eBay) to the futures prices and judge for yourself which standard should be used when pricing precious metals. In addition to many dealers being sold out of many popular items, for the past month to six weeks dealers have been imposing minimum order amounts and shipment delays of 15-45 days.

Futures (fake) prices (April 17):
Silver: $15.20/troy ounce
Gold: $1686.50/troy ounce

How about some US Treasury bonds for your portfolio? The benchmark 10-year note yielded between a record low, 0.61%, and 0.76% for the week, closing out on Friday at 0.65% The entire yield curve is 115 basis points end to end, from the 30-day (0.12%) and the 30-year (1.27%). The best that can be said for the treasury yield is that it's better than all other developed national debt, most of which offer negative yields through to 10 year bonds.

Those with faith in government might still want to drop $10,000 on a 10-year note for a whopping return of $76 a year and a grand total of $760 if held to maturity. Others might be hedging that the yield will drop even lower or into negative territory and then sell the bond at a profit. For such a paltry return, neither scenario offers much upside potential.

The one bright spot for the global population is the price of oil and gas. Some states are selling gas at the pump for under $1.00 per gallon as the price of WTI crude closed out last week at $18.12, the lowest in decades. That's overtly deflationary.

At the Close, Friday, April 17, 2020:
Dow: 24,242.49, +704.79 (+2.99%)
NASDAQ: 8,650.14, +117.78 (+1.38%)
S&P 500: 2,874.56, +75.01 (+2.68%)
NYSE: 11,208.29, +390.29 (+3.61%)

For the Week:
Dow: +523.12 (+2.21%)
NASDAQ: +496.57 (+6.09%)
S&P 500: +84.74 (+3.04%)
NYSE: +71.69 (+0.64%)

Friday, April 17, 2020

As States Prepare to Reopen Economies, Is The Coronavirus and COVID-19 Crisis a Complete Fake?

Editor's Note: Don't get me wrong. I supported Donald Trump in his run for president in 2016 and predicted that he'd win the presidency a month before the election. I voted for him and supported most of his agenda. For more background, see here, here and here.

Many diverse aspects of the coronavirus crisis are troubling to anybody who's awake, alive, and has has a skeptical view of government and media. From how COVID-19 was initially downplayed by the government and the media, to the heightened alarm of recent weeks, to the national shutdown, to the fawning TV media over "heroic" doctors and nurses, to the multi-trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street, and now, the sudden emergence of a plan to reopen the economy, the timeline seems all-too-well coordinated.

It was last Friday that President Trump announced the formation of a task force to focus on reopening the economy, calling it a bipartisan "council" of great doctors and business experts. The president had hinted at the formation of such a task force the day prior.

"I call it the "opening our country task force" or "opening our country council," said the president. Mr. Trump said the group would be more informal, communicating via teleconferences, and would include "names that you have a lot of respect for," which will be announced Tuesday.

"We’re going to have the great business leaders, great doctors. We’re going to have a great group of people," he said.

Just who are these great business leaders and doctors that put together a comprehensive plan for states to reopen their economies in six short days? Nobody's really sure, but it looks to be a rather large group that was consulted and cajoled while the White House already had plans in place. It's difficult to believe that the administration could have come up with such a tidy set of recommendations in a week when the president was making phone calls, engaging in conference calls (supposedly), holding lengthy, daily press conferences and two of those days fell on a weekend, when, let's be realistic here, very few people in Washington, D.C. are working.

How does one reconcile Wednesday's Business Insider story: Trump's vaunted task force to reopen the US economy became a marathon series of phone calls with 200 corporate leaders instead with the slick, well-produced, detailed, three-phase White House plan that was presented at Thursday's press conference?

By all outward appearances, the White House plan to reopen the economy had been in the works for some time and the release was coordinated to fall on Thursday, after protests began popping up all over the country and, similar to last Thursday, stocks struggled and options expire on Friday. Some people are making bank off all of the chaos, especially the usual suspects, big banks and their wholly-owned brokerages.

The timing is just too good to be coincidence. There's been a master plan all along. So, is it Trump playing six-level chess, a hustling, competent staff behind the scenes at the White House, or a crafty, giant hoax designed to deflect from bailing out banks and many what are now zombie corporations trading on the stocks exchanges?

I'll go with the latter. Scare the daylights out of people. Kill off bunches of people with pre-existing conditions or in nursing homes that are an overall drag on the economy, wipe out thousands of small businesses, release scary predictions that millions might die, revise those numbers downward, fall well short of them and then pat yourselves on the back for doing such a bang-up job. The general public has fallen for the ruse and don't see the big picture, that suggests - with so few deaths and focused primarily in just New York City - that the coronavirus was never as deadly to the general population as people like Dr. Fauchi, and Dr. Birks and the TV doctors would have everyone believe.

While the president was first out with a plan for reopening the economy, he's not the only one with a task force. There's one in the House of Representatives, another among East Coast states, another comprised of Oregon, Washington, and California, and even one in the midwest, composed of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. It's a task force mania.

So, color me skeptical about President Trump's overall honesty and somewhat disappointed by his devotion to Wall Street and the stock market.

Thursday's market action was mixed, with the Dow down and the NASDAQ up most of the session. A late-day rally moved the NASDAQ higher and prompted the Dow into positive territory just in time for the closing bell.

Oil had a banner day, or, rather, night. After WTI crude closed Wednesday at $19.87, and was unchanged Thursday at the lowest price since 2002, it suddenly ramped higher just before 11:00 pm ET, from $19.67 to $26.47 in a matter of just 10 minutes according to, though their price says one thing and their chart another, with WTI crude trading in around $18.80. How this happened, and why, is a mystery, presently. No news outlet has published anything by way of explanation. Somehow, WTI crude has been quietly repriced to within two to three dollars of Brent ($28.34/bbl.) according to Business Insider's chart, while Yahoo Finance has WTI trading at $18.63. Something's not right. Probably just a glitch, but who knows?

Here's another oddity. Gold closed Wednesday in New York at $1716.00 per ounce and at $1716.80 on Thursday. Overnight it's been smashed down to $1684.00 as of 6:30 am ET, a $32 decline. A similar pattern is in place for silver, with closes of 15.43 Wednesday, $15.50 Thursday, but is down to $14.97 presently.

Treasuries are more or less stable, but in a frightful state. The yield on the 10-year note fell to 0.61% and the entire curve is now covered by a mere 107 basis points, or, just more than 1% from a 30-day bill to the 30-year bond.

As usual, stock index futures are flying high, with the Dow and S&P set to open trading more than three percent higher, the NASDAQ around 2.25% up.

It's probably an understatement to suggest that these are indeed strange days, but, overnight, it seems as though a switch was thrown, reshaping the narrative from fear, panic, and anger to "let's get back to work" optimism.

From all appearances, this wild ride still has many twists and turns ahead, and is far from over. With government corruption and inside dealing the order of things and running rampant throughout the world, it's probably safe to say that what looks like conspiracy theory today will become conspiracy fact sometime soon.

At the Close, Thursday, April 16, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,537.68, +33.38 (+0.14%)
NASDAQ: 8,532.36, +139.18 (+1.66%)
S&P 500: 2,799.55, +16.19 (+0.58%)
NYSE: 10,818.03, -25.88 (-0.24%)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Civil Disobedience 2020 Style: Anti-Government Protests Spreading Across States

At 8:30 am ET, the Labor Department reported the number of new unemployment claims from the previous week at 5.25 million.

Americans, as a whole, are an independent-minded aggregation of free-thinking individuals. Citizens of the United States of America have been told, since birth, that this is the "land of the free, the home of the brave." Considering recent events, politicians, especially those at the federal level and inside governors' mansions are about to get a loud and clear message, conveying what a free people looks and acts like.

Protests have sprung up across the country, demanding that the government end the forced lockdown, shutdown, self-isolation recommendations and reopen the economy. It's been four long weeks of staying at home, listening to stupid people in government and the media telling us that it's all for our own good. At the same time, while Americans are out of work and still waiting for the stimulus checks that President Trump and Treasury Secretary said would be arriving in two weeks, mortgages and rent still have to be paid, utility bills have to be paid, food has to be put on families' tables. The federal government - as it has been throughout this power grab - are two weeks too late and people have had enough.

"Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men, generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to put out its faults, and do better than it would have them? Why does it always crucify Christ and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels?"

-- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

Besides being independent, Americans are also hard-working and blessed with a strong moral sense. That sense is telling them that they're being lied to, abused, denied their rights, and forced to do things they'd rather not. This will not stand. The country is about to explode with an angry, frustrated blast of social disobedience that will threaten the overreach that state and federal officials have currently imposed upon its citizens.

Every day, Americans have been forced to endure the bulbous blustering narrative from the president and the anointed health deities, Dr. Anthony Fauchi and Deborah Birx, Their disingenuous, tone-deaf droning every day about flattening the curve, washing our hands, social distancing, death toll projections, improper advice (first, don't wear masks; now, everybody wear a mask), and utterly stupid suggestions that have served well to destroy the US economy are wearing mighty slim.

The mainstream news media have been running essentially the same story every evening on their nightly broadcasts: more people died, the president did something wrong, health care workers are heroes, and at the end some touching story about how somebody survived the virus. It's boring. It's not reporting. It's not journalism. It's not investigative. It's distraction. Americans are being purposely deceived in furtherance of an unseen agenda, one that wants to enslave most to the benefit of the few. 90 percent of working Americans make less than $70,000 a year. Those are the people this government would turn into slaves. In many ways, many of these people are already there. They are slaves to a wage, to taxes, to debt, and now, with no wage, are expected to pay those taxes and debts, an unworkable equation.

"There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly."

-- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

Some obvious points of contention over the nationwide shutdown which need to be addressed:

If the government is forcing people to NOT work, why is that same government NOT, at the same time, forcing banks, lenders, and landlords to suspend mortgages, rents, credit card payments, car payments, and leases?

What are the ages of the people who died as a result of COVID-19 and what underlying health issues were already present?

Why did public corporations and banks get unlimited funding in the blink of an eye, while regular people have to wait for their pittance and small business has to jump through hoops and over roadblocks to receive much-need loans? Why is that small business program already out of money? Will more funding become available, and if so, when?

Why are farmers plowing under crops and why are meat processing plants closing? A growing food crisis looms and the government is doing nothing to prevent it or mitigate it.

Why are parks closed? Why is it that people can't at least relieve some of their stress by enjoying nature?

These questions, and many others, deserve frank, honest, no-nonsense answers and actions.

Across the country, protests have sprung up, by people demanding that the government lift its restrictions and allow people to go back to work.

Wednesday in Michigan, thousands of people jammed the streets of the state capitol with their cars in what was called "Operation Gridlock." Many people took to the state capitol's lawn and steps to protest.

Many Michiganders, who are fed up with the public health order and want the economy to reopen, said they could make their own health decisions and don't need the government to tell them what to do.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's response to the protesters was a slap in the face of liberty and the Bill of Rights. She said, “I know that people are angry, and that’s OK, and if you want to take it out and send it my way, makes you feel better, that’s fine. I support your right to free speech and I respect your opinions. I just urge you: Don’t put yourself at risk, and don’t put others at risk, either.”

Here's some incredible footage from Lansing Michigan's local media.

Other protests were seen in Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, and elsewhere. Future protests of stay-at-home limits have been announced in other states, including Texas, Washington, and Oregon.

For now, these protests have been peaceful, but they will turn violent if state and/or federal officials don't begin making sense about the economy and the people. Obviously, the virus has spread despite all the rules and recommendations. It's time for many people, who are hardly at risk, to go back to work. It's time to reopen the schools. It's time to stand up to the virus and to the government.

The most predictable government response will be sending out police in riot gear and/or national guardsmen to contain, defuse, or break up the protests. Those police and military people are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands, wives, friends, relatives, neighbors, and overall, citizens. It's highly doubtful that many of them will obey orders to quell the rage of their fellow citizens.

Another probable response by the government will be to close down the banks, shut down the online websites of financial institutions, making it impossible for people to access their money or use or pay credit cards.

It's coming. There's little doubt that the managers, as Peak Prosperity's Chris Martenson calls them, in government (not leaders, because they're not leading) will make more unwise decisions that negatively affect the general population and few that help, while continuing to funnel trillions of dollars to Wall Street.

At some point, businesses will just defy the law, open their doors, and people will shop, eat, work and recreate regardless of government ordnances, regulations, or recommendations.

Finally, there comes the issue of taxation, which overrides everything. Americans supposedly pay taxes to local state and federal governments to fund services which are supposed to be in the public interest. From what has been seen from the big money corporate bailout mechanisms of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, it's becoming more and more evident that the government doesn't need taxes from the working class. They can just conjure it up and borrow it at will. The day is coming wherein people will reconsider their consent to to governed and will stop paying taxes to a government that neither listens to them nor works in their best interest.

"Government is best which governs least; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."

-- Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

God bless America.

At the Close, Wednesday, April 15, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,504.35, -445.41 (-1.86%)
NASDAQ: 8,393.18, -122.56 (-1.44%)
S&P 500: 2,783.36, -62.70 (-2.20%)
NYSE: 10,843.92, -328.27 (-2.94%)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The COVID-19 Cure Figures To Be Far Worse Than The Disease As The World Enters A Global Depression

Incredible. Surreal. Amazing. Ludicrous. Ridiculous.

Those are just a few of the choicest words to describe Tuesday's equity rally in US stocks. Nothing says "out-of-touch" better than a nearly four percent gain on the NASDAQ when 75% of the world's population is under some form of restrictive lockdown, quarantine, or other form of social suppression.

While millions of soon to be extinct working class Americans citizens patiently wait at their homes for a $1200 check from the federal government, their future taxes flowed to Wall Street in currency supplied by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve, lining the pockets of billionaires with even more filthy lucre.

As nothing was learned from the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-09, the Federal Reserve has become the de facto World Central Bank (hat tip to the Robin Hood of Wall Street, Gregory Mannarino, for that new coinage), backstopping stocks and bonds and ETFs and any kind of financial instrument not tied to a physical asset such as gold or silver. The Fed is buying, hand over fist, treasury debt, mortgage-backed securities, commercial paper which funds the day-to-day needs of major corporations, foreign debt, and even junk bonds.

This is what the so-called Modern Monetary Theory looks like in practice. Markets rigged via infinite quantitative easing (QE), according to Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, whose main claim to fame is as the overseer of TARP, the $700 billion bailout of the banking system in 2008. Forget free markets. Forget fair wages and salaries. Forget the Bill of Rights and your guarantees of free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion. All that is gone, thanks to the worldwide worship of the world currency, the US Dollar.

Want to see somebody lie with a straight face? Watch Kashkari's 60 Minutes interview from March 23. During the interview, Kashkari mentions printed currency on a number of occasions, saying things that suggest physical cash will be available through banks and ATMs. This is a patent untruth. There are only $1.7 trillion physical Federal Reserve Notes in circulation, enough for just more than $5,000 for every American citizen, an impossibility, since much of the printed bills circulate overseas.

Here's another bit of wisdom from a former Fed Chairman:
"And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion."
― Ben Bernanke (2010)

Kashkari's ravings aside, the Fed probably couldn't print enough actual cash - besides it being the job of the US Treasury Department - to satisfy the ongoing needs of American business. However, via the brilliance of underfunding the Main Street bailout for small business (the so-called "forgivable" loans) in the bill recently passed by congress and signed by President Trump, when the effects of lockdowns and business closures are finally assessed, there won't be that many small businesses to fund. Current estimates suggest there is only enough money in the $349 billion allocated to finance the payrolls of less than half the small businesses in America for six to eight weeks.

In a recent survey by Lending Tree 64% of small business owners who applied for emergency funding reported that they were having trouble getting approved.

Meanwhile, employers' doors are closed in counties where there have been only a handful of coronavirus cases reported. Its overkill on a grand scale, and what's being killed is small business. While many owner-operated restaurants have been forced to shut down, the Burger Kings, McDonalds, and Dominos of the world have remained open, offering deliver or drive-through service and advertising heavily. Americans face a future of limited choice, and those choices aren't very appealing.

With the president and governors of various states arguing over who gets to call the shots on re-opening the economy, small businesses are going broke and out of business permanently. The closed up storefronts that have been a familiar sight in small towns across America for the past decade are soon to become a feature of cities and once-healthy suburbs. The commercial real estate market is going to collapse along with residential real estate. Thinking that the process of foreclosure in the aftermath of the sub-prime crisis was a nightmare, what happens in real estate and property rental markets over the next few years is going to be mind-blowing.

The coronavirus is real. Government response, complete with lockdowns, travel restrictions, violations of civil rights, business closures, and assorted "stimulus" packages, is a hoax, put in place to cover up the massive bailout needed to keep Wall Street's stock market above water. Stocks clambered down more then 20% in March only to rise from those losses in April, while the entire country is virtually out of business. This is the kind of government Americans get for electing people who serve only themselves and their campaign contributors.

Some day, Americans will be going back to work. Not all of them, maybe not even half of them. The current condition is only the beginning of a depression that will rival the 1920s. The coronavirus may kill 60,000, but the "cure" will kill millions.

At the Close, Tuesday, April 14, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,949.76, +558.99 (+2.39%)
NASDAQ: 8,515.74, +323.32 (+3.95%)
S&P 500: 2,846.06, +84.43 (+3.06%)
NYSE: 11,172.20, +222.67 (+2.03%)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Stocks Fail to Extend Rally; Oil Flat; JP Morgan, Wells Fargo Declare 1Q Earnings

Last week's furious rally failed to extend over into Monday's trading as news flow trended negatively.

Given the number of new cases and deaths worldwide from COVID-19, the pain and suffering of millions around the world out of work and isolated in their homes, it's surprising that Wall Street can even muster enough capital for any kind of rally.

Conditions have not changed from the onset of COVID-19's spread, only the Federal Reserve's commitment to suspend reality and boost stocks through various band-aids and stop gap measures has. The only reason stocks managed to gain any ground last week was due to trillions of dollars pumped into the hands of primary dealers via repos, debt purchases, foreign debt purchases, and promises from various Fed presidents to keep the currency spigots wide open.

The lunacy of these efforts is astounding. Desperate to save face and completely devoid of any tools to bring the economy back to their stated mandates of full employment and no inflation, the Fed has expanded its own balance sheet to the point at which it needed funding from the US treasury, a backhanded bailout of the central bank, using some $400-500 billion from Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund.

Oil prices barely budged after the hurried agreement by OPEC+ and other countries will slash production by as much as 10 million barrels a day, roughly 10 percent of global supply. WTI crude closed Monday at $22.41. Efforts to raise the price of oil worldwide were seen as mostly a publicity stunt, as the problem is more a lack of demand than of oversupply. Producers would be best served to stop pumping as storage facilities are near capacity already and the lockdowns in major countries remain weeks away.

Treasury yields rose on the long end, with the 30-year bond at 1.39% and the 10-year note rising three basis points to 0.76%. The curve steepened slightly to 122 basis points.

JP Morgan Chase (JPM) announced first quarter earnings prior to the opening bell Tuesday that were the lowest since 2013, warned of a fairly severe recession ahead and set aside $8.29 billion for bad loans, the biggest provision in at least a decade and more than double what some analysts expected.

The bank reported EPS of 78 cents on revenue of $29.07 billion. Net interest income was flat at $14.5 billion.

Wells Fargo (WFC) reported EPS of 1 cent per share on revenue of $17.7 billion as a $3.1 billion reserve build accounted for 56 cents per share and a $950 million impairment of securities accounted for 17 cents a share. Net interest income fell 8% to $11.3 billion. This bank is essentially insolvent, as is the Federal Reserve, the ECB, BOJ, PBOC and hundreds of other money center banks.

Other money center banks also report this week. Wednesday Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup release their reports. Morgan Stanley’s announcement is scheduled for Thursday.

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday beat analysts' estimates for first-quarter profit on higher sales of its cancer drugs and consumer products including Tylenol, while slashing its full-year forecast due to the coronavirus shutdowns.

Shares of the company, which raised its dividend by 6.3% to $1.01 per share, rose 3% to $144 in trading before the bell.

The company now expects 2020 adjusted earnings per share of $7.50 to $7.90, compared with its prior estimate of $8.95 to $9.10.

Gold and silver posted modest gains on the day. In case anyone was skeptical over Money Daily's call for $100 silver and a 16:1 gold:silver ratio in Sunday's Weekend Wrap (below), perhaps a gander at Mike Maloney's call for $700 silver a few years ago at, may be in order:

At the Close, Monday, April 13, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,390.77, -328.60 (-1.39%)
NASDAQ: 8,192.42, +38.85 (+0.48%)
S&P 500: 2,761.63, -28.19 (-1.01%)
NYSE: 10,949.53, -187.08 (-1.68%)