Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-19. Show all posts

Friday, June 26, 2020

COVID Scamdemic: Texas, Florida, California COVID Case Increase The Result of 70% More Testing

Is COVID-19 spreading across the country, or are the numbers reported higher due to increased testing?

That seemed to be the simplest way to detect medical/media/government complicity in what's become known as a plandemic or scamdemic designed to scare people into submissive behaviors such as wearing masks, social distancing, staying home and closing businesses.

Mainstream media is blaring that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the country, with "hot spots" in Texas, Florida, and California, coincidentally, the three most populous states in the country.

The figures obtained came from a well-established site known as the Covid Tracking Project at the Atlantic Their data and state-by-state histories of testing revealed some very telling numbers.

Wanting to be as up-to-date as possible, we checked the seven days just past, and started with Texas.

Texas tested 251,599 from Friday, June 19, through Thursday, June 25, an average of 35,943 per day.

Wanting to be fair and unbiased, we would have tested for the same dates in May (19th through 25th), but instead opted for testing done on a Friday through Thursday (same days of the week as the current data) prior to Memorial Day weekend, so we went with May 15-21.

For the seven days in May that we tracked, Texas performed 152,868 tests, an average of 21,838 per day


June 19-25: Tests: 251,599; Average/day: 35,943
May 15-21: Tests: 152,868; Average/day: 21,838


June 19-25: Tests: 209,332; Average/day: 29,905
May 15-21: Tests: 165,649; Average per day: 23,664


June 19-25: Tests: 619,815; Average/day: 88,545
May 15-21: Tests: 316,476; Average/day: 45,211

Well, it doesn't take Elon Musk (a rocket scientist, and, notably, father of the external combustion engine - that's a joke, son) to see that a lot more testing has been done recently, and that would - all things remaining somewhat equal - result in a higher number of positives.

According to the media at ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and CNN, whooopie! We've got ourselves a big story here.

Totaling it all up, the three most populous states in the America performed 445,753 more tests in the seven days just past than they did in the seven days prior to Memorial Day weekend. That's an increase in tests performed of 70.20%. In California, where the bulk of the testing was performed, it was nearly double, with 95.85% more tests performed in the last week than in the sample from May.

More testing, more positives, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Additionally, most of the testing sites are in and around big cities, where the virus spreads most readily. The same can be said of the phony racial angle. Most minorities live in and around big cities. Same for Biden beating Trump in the latest polls.

Money Daily didn't cherry pick the days. Using the best and simplest methodology available, it's conclusive: you're being scammed by the medical profession, the government, and the media. Makes one wonder what else they're lying about.

Welcome to the land of the fleece and the home of the naive.

Have a nice weekend.

At the Close, Thursday, June 25, 2020:
Dow: 25,745.60, +299.66 (+1.18%)
NASDAQ: 10,017.00, +107.84 (+1.09%)
S&P 500: 3,083.76, +33.43 (+1.10%)
NYSE: 11,865.11, +138.58 (+1.18%)

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

NASDAQ Makes New All-Time High As Protests, Coronavirus Continue, FOMC Meets

It's official.

We live in Bizarro-world.

Protests stemming from the police killing of George Floyd continue to proliferate across the United States and around the world at the same time the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads against government efforts to control it. At the same time, stocks continue to erase the losses from the initial virus shock that occurred in March when stocks dove into bear market territory.

As for the shortest bear market in world history - five weeks - it's exceptionally amusing to see the money magicians at the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world create trillions of dollars (and yen, and euros, and pounds, and yuan) out of thin air and see that money flow almost directly into stocks, as if there were no other asset class in the world. Obviously, there are other assets classes, but the stock market is the one which delivers the most bang for the buck, so much so that the NASDAQ made a new all-time high on Monday.

That's just not normal. Nothing about the Fed-induced stock rampage is normal. To make a point, one could attest to it being mostly fake. It's fake money, counterfeited by the Federal Reserve, funneled to primary dealers to ram into stocks whose earnings have been cratering for months, some for years.

Measured in earnings growth or other metrics, stocks have never been more expensive, making a case for the "greater fool" theory where one buys shares in an overvalued company at an inflated price based on the idea that somebody dumber than you will buy it at an even higher price. It's working. There are fools a'plenty making a mockery of fundamentals and due diligence cashing in at incredible rates of return.

Take for instance the NASDAQ, which closed at 6,904.59 on March 16, the bottom of the COVID-19 shock treatment. Monday's record close of 9,924.75 marks an incredible return of 43.74 percent in less than three months. Annualized, that's a return of more than 174 percent, a figure that would have everybody in the world retiring at 40 in the ultimate "buy the dip" scenario.

Obviously, that kind of return is unthinkable, or, at least it used to be, until we entered Bizarro-world where cats mate with mice, birds sing full operas and Tom Hanks becomes a top home run hitter in the major leagues... if there was such a thing as professional baseball, which there is not, nor is there likely to be this year.

In bizarro world, Hertz, which filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago and traded for under a dollar last week, soar to over $5.50 on Monday. There's a 500% return right there, in just a few days. Thank you Jerome Powell, unrivaled leader of Bizarro-world.

Speaking of Mr. Powell, the FOMC begins a two-day meeting this week at the end of which they will announce their monetary policy. The ritualism of the Fed harkens back to tribal proceedings of the Aztecs, wherein the almighty witch doctor or shaman would enter the temple of the gods - with or without virgins - and emerge a day or two later with a proclamation for the masses. The wizened leader would announce that the rainy season was ending, or that pomegranates could cure mental illness.

The savages would praise the leader and spend the evening partying and dancing until they wore themselves out. It's an apt analogy for the ritual FOMC meetings which are held 10 times a year, or, for the anachronistically-unchallenged, SSDD.

Tuesday's meeting will extend to 2:00 pm ET on Wednesday, at which time the money masters will make their announcement that all is well, release a summary of economic projections, and hold a press conference at which Chairman Powell will amuse and bedazzle the attendant financial media slaves.

And Bizarro-world will continue.

At the Close, Monday, June 8, 2020:
Dow: 27,572.44, +461.46 (+1.70%)
NASDAQ: 9,924.75, +110.66 (+1.13%)
S&P 500: 3,232.39, +38.46 (+1.20%)
NYSE: 12,836.60, +195.16 (+1.54%)

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Stocks Flat As States Begin to Reopen; COVID-19 Still Wreaking Havoc on Lives, Markets

This installment of the WEEKEND WRAP is going to be one of the shortest since the onset of the coronavirus crisis because noting much of consequence occurred, other than the "breakthrough" with Gilead Science's remdesivir clinical trial.

Turns out, remdesivir, as was already known, has little effect on the virus and doesn't reduce mortality at all. The study was purposely shortened to include only the data that shows the drug reduces the time to recovery by about 30%. Big deal. You take it - at $1000 a dose - and you recover in ten days rather than 14, at a cost of some $6-8000. Yeah, great. Four fewer days with a bad cold and a big pharmacy bill.

Hydroxychloroquine with zinc supplements and healthy doses of Vitamins C, D3, and Quercetin (or red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries) before infection will likely prevent one from contracting the virus, and, the same combination after infection (if started early) will shorten the duration and severity.


Mainstream media and government won't allow this information to even be considered.

The release of the remdesivir story was timed to coincide with the release of first quarter GDP, which was a very disappointing -4.8 percent. It's worth noting that many mainstream economists, like those from Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, downplayed the first quarter and thought it was going to come in as a positive number, proving, once again, that expert opinions should be treated in a similar manner to online stock touts. Both are better avoided and trusting in your own gut.

Most states have at least partially re-opened their economies, lead by Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and other Southern and some Midwestern states, notably Iowa, the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas). Some eight states never actually issued lockdown orders in the first place.

Meanwhile New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, Michigan, California, and others are still operating under lockdown restrictions.

This article from April 30 offer some accurate state-by-state reporting.

Stocks finished the week about where they started (see below).

Treasuries closed out the week with the 2-year note yielding 0.20%, the 10-year, 0.64%, and the 30-year, 1.27%. There was limited movement. The 2-year down two basis points, the 10-year up four, and the 30-year up 10. The curve steepened 10 basis points to 117, essentially all driven by the 30-year.

Oil seems to be stabilizing, but at a price that will slaughter some smaller producers. WTI crude finished the week at its high of $19.69 a barrel on the June contract. Predictions are for a sloppy termination of the current contract, though nothing quite like the end of the May contract when oil prices turned negative.

Precious metals continue to be massaged and depressed. Gold futures closed out on Friday at $1700.40 per troy ounce. Silver futures finished at $14.97. The gold/silver ratio stands at 113.6, near a 5000-year high. The sensible move, for investors would be to be buying silver for the foreseeable future, as premiums on both metals are high, though, on a percentage basis, the silver premiums are drastic. It's nearly impossible to purchase silver for under $20 an ounce in quantity. Smaller amounts, such as one ounce coins and bars carry premiums of 70 to 100% or higher, whereas gold premiums are about $130-160, less than 10%.

It's actually far easier to purchase silver than gold, especially on ebay, where delivery delays such as those being experienced by dealers, are cut down to a few days rather than weeks. Delivery delays are slowly abating, but minimum order sizes remain in place at many online dealers.

It appears as though stocks are going to tumble on Monday, as word leaked out that Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of Warren Buffett, is going to be selling hard into the recent rally. A retest of the March lows could be underway as stocks finished dramatically lower Friday - which happened to be May 1 - wiping out the week's gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has failed repeatedly to break through the 50% retrace line off the lows, and that could portend a significant shift in risk assessment.

At the Close, Friday, May 1, 2020:
Dow: 23,723.69, -622.03 (-2.55%)
NASDAQ: 8,604.95, -284.60 (-3.20%)
S&P 500: 2,830.71, -81.72 (-2.81%)
NYSE: 11,058.57, -313.77 (-2.76%)

For the Week:
Dow: -51.58 (-0.22%)
NASDAQ: -29.57 (-0.34%)
S&P 500: -6.03 (-0.21%)
NYSE: +40.68 (-0.37%)

Friday, May 1, 2020

The World Has Been Hoaxed; Hydroxychloroquine Works; Rent Strike, Mass Protests On Tap for May 1

April is over and done. The month that saw the WuHan Flu, coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-COV II, or whatever you prefer calling it spread like wildfire throughout the United States and the world also produced the best performance in the S&P 500 since 1987.

As if the stock market's miraculous rebound off the March lows wasn't enough, the Fed's balance sheet, thanks to sopping up trillions in debt of all varieties - from corporate issuance to high yield (junk) to munis to the usual nasty mortgage=backed securities (MBS) and low-yielding treasuries - increased by some $2.23 trillion to a record amount of more than $6.6 trillion.

Also showing up on the national radar are people who are refusing to go back to work because they are making more on unemployment, states reopening businesses with some restrictions and precautions, Florida opening beaches while California closes them down, a GDP for the first quarter of -4.8%, and various misdirections, untruths, fabrications, and outright lies due to conflicts of interest by doctors (including the CDC's Dr. Anthony Fauci) promoting Gilead Science's remdesivir as a primary treatment of COVID-19 with little to no evidence that it does anything more than shorten the length of hospitalizations.

All the while, evidence continues to pile up showing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a drug with a wide range of uses in not only diminishing the severity of coronavirus symptoms, but possibly acting as a preventive treatment, i.e., Lupus patients, who are prescribed Plaquenil (the brand name for HCQ), do not contract coronavirus.

Various studies from countries around the world have shown early use of HCQ is highly effective in combating the coronavirus, though the mainstream media refuses to report any positives about the drug, preferring to bombard the public with questionable research on remdesivir, a drug that can cost as much as $100 per dose, where HCQ can be produced in massive quantities for about a dime per dose.

Peak Prosperity's Chris Martenson, who has been doing incredible daily reporting on the crisis, has details in his latest video:

While the US continues to lurch toward some degree of normalcy at the end of a six-week near-nationwide lockdown, many questions linger, not the least of which being how badly the American public has been hoodwinked by the wealthy elite and their cohorts in government. From all appearances, it seems the public has been royally screwed this time around.

The economy is in tatters, more than 30 million lost their jobs, but what is likely going to be worse, are the millions of small businesses which have been severely hampered or outright destroyed by government overreach. Many of these businesses will not come back in the summer, or the fall. They are gone forever, and with them, their owners facing financial ruin. It will take years to undo the damage wrought by the government response to a virus that essentially affects people over 50 or those with pre-existing serious medical issues.

Friday, May 1, will offer some pushback agains the federal tyranny. There's a nationwide rent strike being waged in big cities and small, along with a May Day work stoppage promoted by employees of some of the multi-national companies that were not forced to shut down for the past six weeks, including Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target, and others. Protests will be very visible, as will the outrage expressed in Michigan, where governor Gretchen Whitmer is extending the lockdown until May 28.

Protesters there have already been storming the Capitol, and some were actually armed inside the Capitol building on Thursday, though that received scant notice on the evening TV news. This explosive situation merits closer attention, as what happens in Lansing, Michigan's capitol, may serve as a template for popular uprisings in places like Virginia, California, New York, Massachusetts, and any other state that believes they can keep the general population under lock and key indefinitely.

With warmer weather and a weekend ahead, some payback may be forthcoming from an angry, frustrated American public.

In other markets, gold and silver were beaten down as they usually are at the end of the month, though the dislocation between spot, futures, and actual prices for acquiring physical metal has completely blown up. Silver especially is out of whack, with premiums over the futures price of anywhere from 30 to 100% now commonplace. Gold premiums are still in the 10-15% range, though dealers have been and continue to impose minimums with lengthy shipping delays.

Oil markets continue to fluctuate wildly as the supply glut and demand collapse refuse to abate. Beyond giants Russia and Saudi Arabia, countries which produce oil as a primary revenue source are going to be devastated, while in the US, rig counts are plummeting as shale drilling operations are being shut down. They're unable to make money at the current prices and investors are being wiped out along with the lenders who financed operations. WTI crude, as of Friday morning is hovering just under $19 a barrel, though it's been as low as $10.64 earlier this week. The June futures contract is beginning to look like another disaster - as was the May contract - in the making.

Treasuries have been relatively unmoved during the week, though the 30-year bond has increased yield from 1.17% last Friday to 1.28% Thursday. The curve has steepened slightly, though not in any statistically meaningful way. 118 basis points covers the entire complex.

Equity futures are pointing to a very ugly open Friday, with Dow futures down more than 450 points.

Could this be the "sell in May and go away" signal? Possible, but the real fallout may not occur until late July or August when earnings and the first reading of second quarter GDP will shock the markets, not just in the United States, but globally. The Greater Depression is ramping up.

At the Close, Thursday, April 30, 2020:
Dow: 24,345.72, -288.14 (-1.17%)
NASDAQ: 8,889.55, -25.16 (-0.28%)
S&P 500: 2,912.43, -27.08 (-0.92%)
NYSE: 11,372.34, -245.89 (-2.12%)

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%)

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%)

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%)

Thursday, April 9, 2020

US Federal Government Disrespects Its People; $2 Trillion To Wall Street While Citizens Wait for Checks

At 8:30 am ET Thursday morning, April 9, 2020, the Labor Department announced that 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. That's in addition to the nearly 10 million who applied for benefits the prior two weeks.

Have you received your $1200 check from the government yet?

Didn't think so. You are aware that Wall Street had access to $2 trillion weeks ago, right?

That's the number TWO (2) with twelve zeroes behind it. Like this: $2,000,000,000,000.

Bear in mind, the corporate money is coming to corporations via the Federal Reserve, which is not part of the federal government. It is and always has been a private bank, so there's really nothing "federal" about it. As far as the "reserve" portion of their name, they have no money in reserve. They have a balance sheet of nearly $6 trillion, all in various bonds or notes or obligations, otherwise known as debt. Much of it is not worth the paper its printed on or the electrons holding it in cyberspace.

There's no "reserves" at the Federal Reserve. They whip up currency out of thin air. A few keystrokes on their computer and viola! currency at their pleasure. The currency is represented by Federal Reserve Notes, or those pieces of paper some people carry around with pictures of dead presidents on them. Those are the ones, fives, 10s, 20s, 50s and 100-dollar bills floating around in the economy. There is only $1.75 trillion in actual printed currency according to the Federal Reserve. That's a little less than $6000 for every man, woman, and child in America.

The rest of the currency is in electronic form. The currency in your bank account is not really there. Try going to a bank branch and asking for $40,000 in cash, even if you have $100,000 in your account. First, you'd have to fill out IRS form 8300, because any transaction of $10,000 or more, the federal government wants to know about it. They think you might be a drug dealer, human trafficker, money launderer, or maybe a terrorist. It's all part of the Bank Secrecy Act, officially known as the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act. Then, after you've filled out the form, the bank's branch manager will likely tell you that they don't have that much money on hand. After that, you might have to come back on a later date to get some of it, make multiple trips, and go through a lot of hassle to get your hands on your currency.

This seems an appropriate place to explain the difference between money and currency. Here's Mike Maloney (an expert on the subject) to explain in less than three minutes:

The great financier, J.P. Morgan, put it in even simpler terms: Gold is money. Everything else is credit.

With that out of the way, have you received your $1200 yet?

No. Of course not. But Wall Street has already gotten theirs, and probably already spent it too. The stock market has been mostly up lately, the Dow Jones Industrial Average having risen from a close of 18,591.93 on March 23 to close at 23,433.57 Wednesday.

On March 17, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump would like to get money into the hands of people within two weeks. That was more than three weeks ago. Now, Mnuchin says the first direct deposits will be going out some time next week.

In other words, continue to wait. The government will be here to help in moments, er, days, er, weeks, maybe.

While Wall Street is open for business as usual, millions of Americans - roughly three quarters of the country - is under some form of stay-at-home or lockdown restriction. Ordinary people can't go to work, send their kids to school (they're closed), or venture beyond the boundaries of their own homes without some express, immediate need, like getting groceries, or picking up a prescription drug.

It's a shame. It's also likely unconstitutional. Americans are supposed to have the right to freely assemble. It's in the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So, not only does the federal government not want you to have any money, they also don't want you going anywhere or associating with other citizens. Because of COVID-19, the government has "suggested" people congregate at distances of six feet apart. Many states have outlawed meetings or congregations of 10 or more people, some, five or more. They don't want you to get together with your fellow citizens, either.

As you wait for your money from the government, ask yourself if $1200 is worth having your first amendment rights taken away. As with anything else that sounds too good to be true, like free money from the government, there are strings attached.

And, while you're pondering that, how about those small business loans that are supposed to help businesses that have been forced to close so that the coronavirus doesn't spread. Those non-essential businesses are getting the run-around from the very same banks (JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo) that were bailed out in 2009, continued to get favors from the Federal Reserve and the federal government since then, and have been getting oodles of cash over the past six months, even before the COVID-19 crisis.

Those loans are full of boondoggles and conditions that limit how much a business qualifies for and what they have to do in order to receive a loan and more conditions for loan forgiveness. It's likely that most small businesses would be better off not taking the loans, toughing it out, filing for reorganization under bankruptcy laws and moving forward without inept government assistance.

The American public is being conned and abused by the very people they voted into office along with the media, the banks, and the Federal Reserve. State and local governments are only marginally less disrespectful. It all stinks to high heaven.

They don't respect you. They don't care about you. They want to control you. That should be obvious to everybody by now.

At the Close, Wednesday, April 8, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,433.57, +779.71 (+3.44%)
NASDAQ: 8,090.90, +203.64 (+2.58%)
S&P 500: 2,749.98, +90.57 (+3.41%)
NYSE: 10,902.59, +365.54 (+3.47%)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Turnaround Tuesday Wipes Out Massive Stock Gains; Oil Lower; Gold and Silver Nearly Unobtainable

Turnaround Tuesday certainly lived up to its advance billing as stocks performed a midday about-face, giving up expansive gains - the Dow gave up over 900 points from its intraday peak - to end near the flatline, only the NYSE Composite finishing in the black.

With a massive gap up at the open, equities were riding the crest of Monday's monstrous wave of buying, on the false hope that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic was behind them. At 11:25 am ET, when New York City announced its death toll for the prior day as the highest one-day total to date with 731 fresh corpses, bringing the state total number of coronavirus fatalities to 5,489, surpassing those lost on 9/11, a wave of gloom descended on Wall Street and in trading offices worldwide. Once the news circulated, stocks embarked upon an afternoon of desperate selling.

Whatever it is that fuels the animal spirits of the investor class, it is misplaced and widely mis-pricing stocks presently, and has been for much of the past 11 years. Now that stock buybacks are no longer going to spike the punch in lower Manhattan, the Fed has stepped in with a variety show of programs and debt options, none of which will eventually be proven sufficient to stem the coming tide of lowered expectations, defaults, earnings misses and downright deplorable economic data.

All the Fed is doing is throwing more bad money atop a raging fire. They cannot print enough money globally to stop the coming self-inflicted Greater Depression, though they will surely blame everything on COVID-19, the convenient scapegoat.

Now that stocks have briefly recovered from the March selloff, all of the programs brought to light by the Federal Reserve will be viewed skeptically, as real values make their return to the former fantasy world of finance. Instead of the Dow resting comfortably above 22,000, the true value, when all is said and done will be much closer to 12,000 and likely far lower.

At current levels, the major indices are still higher than they were in 2007, before the Great Financial Crisis nearly wiped out the global economy. The ongoing crisis will assure that everybody loses, particularly the Baby Boomer generation, which was forced into stocks by the Fed's insistence on interest rates near zero for almost all of the current century.

Portfolios which were valued as retirement savings are going up in smoke and they will continue to do so as the crisis and antecedent solutions tear to shreds the dreams and aspirations of the enormous, aging generation. Unless one has already departed the stock market, anticipated losses will be catastrophic.

Elsewhere, bond yields ticked slightly higher on Tuesday. Gold and silver remain in a nascent bull market, as a global scramble for precious metals has left major dealers with dwindling or already depleted stock. Spot and futures prices are diverging in gold, but that's not even the real story, as premiums are going through the roof for gold and silver bars and coins. If one is fortunate enough to find a dealer with goods for sale, wait times for delivery are now averaging a month for silver in quantity, and five to 10 days for gold.

In times of panic, precious metals are desirous as a hedge against catastrophic circumstance, but, already, many have arrived at the decision to acquire such stock too late as prices have become unaffordable and physical delivery unobtainable.

On the oil front, the spasm of price hikes from last week has faded badly, with WTI crude down again, backing into a $24 handle per barrel. As they say in the trade, it's a fluid situation.

Finally, and this is not to be taken lightly, an astute commentator on a popular financial website posted the following cryptic message:

I don't think any bankers will go to jail, but I assure you they will meet with other, more horrible circumstances as this all plays out.

Citi, BofA, JPM Chase, Wells, Goldman Sachs, and others are all underwater, have already been bailed out (for the past 11 years), and will soon be insolvent when millions of Americans (and a host of foreigners) default on credit cards, car loans and leases, commercial leases, student loans, personal loans, business loans, and more.

There are a lot of biblical posters around here who quote Revelations and such, but they are off the mark. Judgement Day for the major commercial banks was delayed in 2008-09, but, when the full temper of anger from the American public is released - and that is not far off - their branches will be firebombed, their insurance cancelled, their stocks worth less than zero.

They've had it coming and whether they've calculated the enormity of unintended consequences or not, they're going to get skewered for good.

It will be a feast like no other, and a jubilee.

At the Close, Tuesday, April 7, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 22,653.86, -26.13 (-0.12%)
NASDAQ: 7,887.26, -25.98 (-0.33%)
S&P 500: 2,659.41, -4.27 (-0.16%)
NYSE: 10,537.04, +21.80 (+0.21%)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

WEEKEND WRAP: COVID-19 Crisis Will Peak Within Three Weeks, but the Economic Crisis Will Continue for Years

(Simultaneously published at Downtown Magazine)

OK, this was a long week, and stocks got clobbered again, but it could have been, and should have been, worse. The main indices were down between two percent (S&P 500) and three percent (NYSE Composite). For most citizens of the world who are under forced quarantine, the week was a painful experience. The vast majority of people would just like to be back at work, earning a living to support their families. The partially-manufactured COVID-19 crisis is keeping most of the developed nations' economies and people in lockdowns, on purpose, to impose government will over everyday people.

It's a shame how many will be cowed by government and led to believe the many lies that have been perpetrated during this period.

The beginning effects of the Fed backstopping companies has already been noticed. Some dime-store variety stocks were being bid up as the rest of the market was heading lower through the week. Companies (no names, for now, until more than a few weeks data is collected) evidenced buying at stop loss triggers. Not many were allowed to fall to anywhere near the recent lows.

Stocks should get another taste of selling in the coming week, as most of the news will be about overloaded hospitals, stressed out medial workers, press conferences by the president and his "team." It will be interesting to note how hard the Fed works to stave off a return to 18,212 on the Dow and similar drops on the other indices. They will likely keep losses to a minimum. It would not surprise at all would stocks stage another rally.

The treasury yield curve is about as flat as it can be, signaling nothing good. 115 basis points, or, just more than one percent, covers the entire complex from one-month bills (0.09% yield) to 30-year bonds (1.24%). The 10-year note is flatlining at 0.62%. The Fed, via its SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) is desperately buying commercial paper, in addition to treasury bonds, agency mortgage-backed securities, ETF paper, and municipal bonds. They're busy buying up the world's debt with the only currency that matters, the US dollar, conjured up daily out of thin air. The Federal Reserve's balance sheet has ballooned to nearly $6 trillion in their attempt to blow the global credit bubble a lot larger.

Oil caught a huge bid after President Trump supposedly brokered a deal between the Saudis and the Russians, making a record gain on Thursday and another huge leap forward in price on Friday. While there is rampant skepticism over whether there is any kind of deal afoot (the Saudis denied it), the recent price jump - WTI crude went from $21.76 per barrel on Wednesday to a high of $26.35 Thursday, and closed out Friday at $28.34; Brent went from $26.90 to $34.11 over the same span - is unlikely to be long-lasting. Until the Saudis and Russians have eliminated 50-60% of the shale drillers in the US, there aren't going to be any concessions. Additionally, the rampant supply glut and limited demand should keep the price around $20-24 per barrel.

Gold and silver continue to decouple from the fraudulent futures prices. Gold settled out just below $1600 the ounce, silver about $14.00. For real prices on physical silver and gold, one must go to eBay of all places, where there is a wide-open market for coins, bars and assorted bullion. An ounce of gold is ranging between $1800-$2000, while silver cannot be had for under $22 per ounce. These are the real prices, and are heading up quickly because demand is through the roof, many miners are idled, reducing supply, hoarding is rampant, and delivery times from established dealers (30-45 days in some cases) cannot match the one-to-three day deliveries by independent eBay sellers, and those prices have built into them a 10% commission to eBay and do not include shipping, which only adds to the real prices.

There's a definite possibility that the COMEX and LBMA will soon be disregarded completely and a free, open, un-manipulated market will emerge at the world's biggest online bazaar and elsewhere on the internet as fiat currencies are inflated away and real money begins to take root at the consumer level.

Random Notes and Recommendations

JP Morgan put out a study which concluded that the world will be on the downside of the case infection rate curve in two months. Rubbish. Check out this site for the US:

The United States will be peaking and on the downslope of the curve within 2-3 WEEKS, not 2 months, and European nations are already on the downslope.

All the noise over ventilators, on which two-thirds of the people die anyhow, is just wasted time and money. The small business "loans" are garbage, full of loopholes and boondoggles for small business.

As usual, Wall Street got their trillions in the blink of an eye. American citizens will have to wait until the government gets around to figuring out how to pay them their $1200. Average time, from right now, 3-6 weeks.

Gee, thanks for helping us all out.

Open up MLB. It would be nice to see the some home runs, swings and misses, stolen bases, sign-stealing, and all that good stuff by May 15 at the latest. Even a shortened season would be acceptable. Americans, average Americans are the ones who deserve all the credit. They took social distancing and stay-at-home seriously, which was very helpful in slowing the spread of COVID. We should all get $10K, and Wall Street nothing, because those companies contributed nothing, and most of the companies getting bailout money do nothing. The people should revolt once this is over.

The government, local, state, and federal are the destroyers of liberty. All of them are worthless parasites and when this is all over they'll all pat themselves on the backs for doing such a bang-up job, when, in reality, it was mostly a big hoax.

Here is an exceptional interactive chart which shows the curve (the one we're actively flattening by social distancing and other mediations) in the United States and in every state individually, with figures for numbers of beds, ICU beds, and ventilators needed and available.

It clearly shows the curve peaking between April 15 and 21. The response curve will peak first, followed quickly by the number of COVID-19 cases curve. After that, it's all downhill for the dangerous pathogen that has disrupted lives and economies worldwide.

Brent Johnson's Dollar Milkshake Theory

Brent Johnson is CEO of Santiago Capital. He has been creating and managing comprehensive wealth management strategies for the personal portfolios of high-net-worth individuals and families since the late 1990s.

If you watch no other video on money, gold, or finance, this is the one you definitely should see.

Also, Mike Maloney's is an excellent resource. Recently, Mike has been doing pretty much daily videos with consolidated information from a wide variety of sources, funneled through his intuitive, calculating mind. Here is a recent entry with some revealing charts by the incredible analyst John Hussman, another number-crunching maniac who's been studying and disseminating information on the economy in a series of market commentaries at his Hussman Funds website.

Here is Mike Maloney's April 3rd video:

Make sure to get Mike's free e-book, Guide to Investing in Gold & Silver, the #1 All-Time Bestseller On Precious Metals Investing, available at his site.

At the Close, Friday, April 2, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 21,052.53, -360.87 (-1.69%)
NASDAQ: 7,373.08, -114.23 (-1.53%)
S&P 500: 2,488.65, -38.25 (-1.51%)
NYSE: 9,880.63, -181.77 (-1.81%)

For the Week:
Dow: -584.25 (-2.70%)
NASDAQ: -114.23 (-2.53%)
S&P 500: -52.82 (-2.08)
NYSE: -306.58 (-3.01%)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Dow, S&P Mark Worst 1st Quarters Ever; Stocks Poised for Lower Open; Gold, Silver Markets in Turmoil

Closing out the first quarter of 2020 with a whimper, stocks opened to the downside, briefly turned positive, but the minor rally quickly fell apart sending the main indices to a close near the lows of the day. On the session, the NASDAQ was the best performer of the majors, the Dow the worst, followed closely by the S&P 500.

Thanks to the Wuhan Flu, coronavirus, COVID-19 or whatever one wishes to call the pathogen making its way around the planet, stocks really took it on the chin to start off the year. The major averages were all lower, even after making all-time highs in mid-February.

It was the worst quarter for the S&P since 2008 and the poorest quarterly performance for the Dow Jones Industrials since 1987. Both the Dow and S&P suffered through their worst first quarter ever. The Dow lost more than 23% of its value in January through March, as the S&P 500 fell 20% in the quarter. The NASDAQ didn't set any records but lost more than 14% in the first quarter.

With supply chain issues affecting companies in February and the advance of the virus in March, there's a good chance that GDP has been so negatively affected through first quarter, growth figures may have a minus sign in front of them when the first estimate of GDP will be announced on the fourth Friday of April. Mark your calendars for April 24 to see if the US will be half way to a recession or barely hanging onto some remnant of growth, any of it likely having occurred in January and early February. Any positive number would uplift the markets, but that is still a long way off and first up are employment figures for March. Wednesday, ADP reports private payrolls for the month and Friday the BLS reports on non-farm payrolls for March. Friday's number ought to be a market mover considering the massive job losses over the past week which will be figured into the calculations.

Gold got clobbered again, losing $46.30 per ounce on the day, dipping from $1623.40 Monday to $1577.10 Tuesday. Silver lost eight cents, closing out at $13.92. These prices are for paper contracts on the COMEX and other futures markets and are not aligning with current physical market dynamics. Both gold and silver are in short supply and dealers worldwide are charging severe premiums and assigning minimum purchases in some cases. Silver generally can be had for $20 to $25 per ounce. Gold is selling at roughly the $1800 level, though delivery times are delayed with waiting times up to 45 days in some cases.

As the futures prices and physical market prices diverge and decouple, it's only a matter of time before the fraudulent practices of settling contracts in cash rather than metal at the COMEX will become common knowledge and an open scandal as buyers standing for physical delivery are denied their right. As the coronavirus panic and attendant market turmoil extends, expect precious metals to rise dramatically in price as true owners of the metal divorce themselves from the bogus futures market.

The same is already occurring in the oil market with Saudi Arabia offering steep discounts to the published prices. WTI price continues to trend around $20 per barrel with gas prices across the United States, Canada and throughout Europe (using the Brent crude standard) at multi-year lows.

Experiencing more flattening across the curve, the treasury complex saw yields rise at the short and long durations, with the belly (1-year through 7-year) flatlining. As was the case with equities, bonds were little moved on the day.

ADP announces March private payrolls at 8:15 am ET on Wednesday. Futures are nearing limit down heading toward the opening bell.

At the Close, Tuesday, March 31, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 21,917.16, -410.32 (-1.84%)
NASDAQ: 7,700.10, -74.05 (-0.95%)
S&P 500: 2,584.59, -42.06 (-1.60%)
NYSE: 10,301.87, -132.88 (-1.27%)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Coronavirus Will Kill Many, but Government Response Has Killed the Economy

Theories have been floated about the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, suggesting (or outright claiming) that the infectious virus is variously a Chinese communist plot, an American false flag, a scheme by central banks or other nefarious, elitist secret society types, a message from God, an outer space concoction that has something to do with planet X, or that it's just the flu and the media, in cahoots with the governments of the world, is hyping it to the maximum degree as a cover story for the second Great Depression that was about to unfold, anyway.

At least for a change, nobody is blaming Vladimir Putin, the Russians or the Ukraine. They seemed to have worn out their scapegoat status.

Whatever and wherever the truth may lay, it's becoming apparent that the cure may be worse than the disease.

If a business were to shut down for a month or six weeks or maybe two months, the chances of it coming back to life in a healthy manner would be slim. Employees may have found new positions at other companies, customers would have had the time to find alternative sources for the product or service the shut-down business provided, bills, such as rent, utilities, and loans may or may not have been paid in a timely manner, and most of all, there would have been zero income for said business.

Now, multiply that case by thousands in one area, then expand the condition to all areas of the country and you've got a real mess, or, the current state of the global economy. Hundreds of thousands of businesses are temporarily closed and have been shuttered for as long as six weeks in some countries. Many of these operations are small businesses with a handful of employees, but the afflicted include major corporations with thousands of employees as well.

Adding to the nightmarish scenario are government orders or advisories at national or local levels telling people to stay home, to not go to work, to shelter in place, and otherwise avoid all unnecessary travel and contact with other people.

This is madness.

There is precisely zero possibility that the global economy will return to any place similar to what it was six months ago. And while that may be a good thing in the long run, in the short term it will almost completely destroy most of the economy, and rip to shreds any of the tattered fabric that remained of societies at local or national levels.

We have all of this for the sake of people getting sick, some dying, others experiencing nothing more than a minor cold, even more not contracting the virus at all. The latest figures from reliable sources put the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide at around 750,000. The number of deaths has surpassed 34,000. In the United States, there are now 143,000 confirmed cases and just over 2,500 deaths.

These numbers may sound frightening or staggering, but knowing how many people die every day may put them into a less-panicky perspective. Globally, about 153,000 people die every day. That's 1,071,000 every week and more than 380 million annually. In the United States, about 7500 people die daily, or about 2,750,000 each year.

Sure, the COVID-19 cases and death toll are mounting, but just taking the number of deaths already presented - 34,000 - and, for the sake of argument, assume they all died within the last month, that number is minuscule compared to the 4.6 million that normally die every month. It works out to 0.75%, or less than one percent worldwide.

So why are government officials making such a big deal out of COVID-19 when 80% of cases are resolved with little to no medical attention necessary and less than two percent eventually die from it?

Good question. People die in car accidents every day and we don't ban cars. There are murders and suicides every day and people have debated how to prevent them for decades. The normal flu variant - another virus - kills 290,000 to 650,000 people every year. Coronavirus has a lot of catching up to do, yet governments insist that we must destroy our economy in order to keep it in check. And guess what? It's not working. The caseloads and deaths pile up every day regardless of whether people stay home, avoid contact, wash their hands or (and, if the CDC were serious, they would require this of all Americans) wear face masks.

The goal is supposedly to slow the progress of this highly infectious pathogen. OK, fine, let's save some lives while killing our economy. Has anybody considered the number of lives that will be damaged or ruined, or the number of people that will die or have their lives shortened because of how this is being handled?

Face the facts. Many jobs are not going to be there if and when this virus panic is concluded. Over the weekend, President Trump extended the social distancing, avoid social contact, and stay at home guidelines though April 30. That's 4 1/2 more weeks. By that time, many people will have to stay at home - if they have one - because they'll have no job and no money, and ironically, even if they do have enough dough on hand to put gas in their cars at massively reduced prices, other than the grocery store, pharmacy, or bank, there's nowhere for them to go. Everything else is closed.

So, our so-called leaders (Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity calls them "managers," because they aren't really leading anybody) have made the decision to save some number of lives (10,000? 4 million? Who knows?)by effectively shutting down the economy, crashing the stock market, then fixing it all with a $2.2 trillion rescue attempt which includes sending checks to most people who make less than $75,000 a year. Those checks or direct deposits, when and if they do arrive, will amount to $1200 for most adults and $500 for each dependent child. If they wanted to be fair about it, they could take that $2.2 trillion and just doe out $6,666 to every man, woman and child in the country. If they took the entire amount and send money to just people who earn less than $75,000 a year - roughly 200 million - everyone would get $11,000.

However, since those roughly 200 million are going to get $1200, that's only $240 billion. The rest of that money - roughly $2 trillion, is largely going to corporations, which are going to lay people off in droves, and states, to cover extra expenses incurred in dealing with the crisis and for additional unemployment insurance. It's a rather large boondoggle, which will explode the federal budget, but who cares, since we're destroying the economy anyhow? The US is already $23 trillion in debt, what's another $2 trillion? The rest of the developed nations are in equally bad conditions, so they're planning on doing some similar bailout.

When this is all over, maybe by September, your local restauranteur will be out of business, but the McDonalds, Applebees, Pizza Huts, and Taco Bells of the world will be there to please your palette. The government's solution to COVID-19 will manage to crush small businesses and reduce the middle class to rubble.

Stock market declines will wipe out pensions.

Banks and large corporations will get loans or grants, aka, bailouts, again.

In the face of all of this, stocks went on a tear last week, having the best week since 1932, supposedly, which is ironic, because 1932 was in the midst of the Great Depression. All of the top five or seven best daily or weekly gains for stocks have come during bear markets, just as last week's did.

While some people were claiming that the bear market was vanquished last week, there's absolutely no truth to that. All major indices are at least 20% lower from the all-time highs made in February. Stocks are in a bear market and they'll stay in one no matter how much money the government and Federal Reserve throws at them. Stocks may go up for a while, but they're destined to go right back down. There's no escaping the fact that the global economy is broken, banks are largely insolvent and at some point will likely be shut down, unemployment is headed north of 20% and bankruptcy attorneys are set to make fortunes.

Gas at the pump is the lowest it's been in decades. Gold and silver cannot be purchased and delivered at current quoted prices. Most dealers are sold out. Wait times for what may be available are as long as 45 days. While gold popped back over $1600 an ounce last week, nobody can touch an ounce for less than $1800. Pricing for physical has decoupled from the fake, manipulated futures con game price at the COMEX.

The same is true for silver. It's current price is floating somewhere around $14.50 per ounce. Sales on eBay, where delivery can be as quick as two day because private individuals are selling there, have the price for an ounce of silver anywhere from $20 to $25. That market is broken. More markets will break down in coming days, weeks, and months. It might be instructive to consider the equity markets broken since the Federal Reserve can prop up the banks and other companies at will, even though their mandate allows them to buy just about everything but stocks, though that will likely change. Imagine playing poker with a guy who has $20 trillion and you have $200. That's what trading stocks is going to be like soon.

Bond prices are the lowest in history. The short-dated maturities briefly went negative last week. Expect that to be the rule rather than the standard going forward.

It's an absolute mess, a complete shame. Already, the banks are in trouble, as CapitalOne (COF) received a back-handed bailout last week, getting a waiver from the CFTC when they were caught with their pants down playing derivatives in the oil market (yes, the oil market that crashed last month). There's more to come from your friendly banking community, which gets money for nothing and loans it to the public at 20%, 25%, 29% or more.

Everything is just peachy.

Here are some recent numbers for the major indices, noting the recent all-time highs (February, 2020) and interim lows (March, 2020):

Dow High: 29568.57, Low: 18213.65
NASDAQ High: 9838.37, Low: 6631.42
S&P High: 3393.52, Low: 2192.86
NYSE High: 14183.26, Low: 8664.94
Dow Transports: High: 11359.49, Low: 6481.20

At the Close, Friday, March 27, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 21,636.78, -915.39 (-4.06%)
NASDAQ: 7,502.38, -295.16 (-3.79%)
S&P 500: 2,541.47, -88.60 (-3.37%)
NYSE: 10,187.21, -349.07 (-3.31%)

For the Week:
Dow: +2462.80 (+12.84%)
NASDAQ: +622.86 (+9.05%)
S&P 500: +236.55 (+10.26)
NYSE: +1054.05 (+11.54)
Dow Transports: +861.46 (+12.60%)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Senate Approves $2.2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill, Sends to House; Unemployment Claims Skyrocket to 3,283,000

Editor's Note: This edition of Money Daily was purposed delayed until after the weekly unemployment claims figures came out at 8:30 am ET Thursday. The regular report follows this headline news.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 21 rose to a record 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level. An enormous jump in claims was widely expected.

Money Daily will have complete reporting on how this affected the markets in Friday morning's report.

Simply put, Wednesday was just a replay or extension of Tuesday's rally, without as much drama or conviction on the part of investors, witnessed by the rapid descent in the final hour of trading. The Dow lost more than half of the day's gains. The NASDAQ ended up in the red after being up more than 250 points in early afternoon trading.

In other words, this rally ran out of steam via the old, "buy the rumor, sell the news" meme. The "rumor" was the Senate's $2.2 trillion national bailout and rescue plan for COVID-19 (very convenient). The "news" is that it was not passed by the full Senate during market business hours. Instead, the aged Senators stayed up well past their bedtimes again, passing the bill around 11:00 pm ET.

The fact that the Senate's 96-0 passage of the bill will coincide perfectly with the next "buy the rumor, sell the news" item - the weekly unemployment claims number at 8:30 am ET Thursday morning, will no doubt leave open to speculation that the timing was anything but coincidence.

Leaving the barn door just slightly ajar, the House of Representatives still has to vote on the measure passed by the Senate before it goes to President Trump for his signature. If he does get a crack at putting pen to paper on this one, it will allow for a huge influx of capital to individuals, families, and businesses, both big and small. It will also destroy any chance of the federal budget coming in with anything less than a $2 trillion deficit this year (fiscal year ends September 30), and next.

Most Americans will receive either a check or direct deposit in the amount of $1,200. Married couples will get $2,400, plus another $500 for each dependent child. The media says that 90% of the people in this country will get such a check, which is a telling figure. It speaks loudly to the wealth distribution in America when only 10% are making enough to not receive a check of any amount. People making more than $75,000 in 2018 or 2019 will get less than the full amount. There's a cap at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples. Those will get nothing. In general terms, there's proof that only 10% of Americans are making more than $99,000 a year. No wonder Bernie Sanders and other democrats receive such strong support for "wealth redistribution."

All that aside, Thursday is looking like a bloodbath for the Bulls, as the unemployment figures will almost certainly be record-setting. Estimates range from 860,000 new claims (UBS) to four million (4,000,000) (Citi). The prior high was 695,000 claims filed the week ended October 2, 1982. If this were a betting game, Money Daily would be at or above the high figure provided by analysts at Citi. There's a chance it could be six million. New York alone could be over a million, ditto California.

As for other markets, bonds, precious metals, and oil were relatively stable on the day. The 10-year note seems to have found a sweet spot with a yield around 0.85%.

Gold looks to be consolidating above $1600 per ounce, though there are widespread reports that nobody can find even a one ounce bar at that price. Dealers have been scrambling for the last two weeks to fill orders and many are completely sold out. The same is true for silver, though to a lesser extent. The miners can produce silver faster than gold, so supplies are being replenished, but they will be bought up as soon as they're available.

Order fulfillment times for physical gold and silver bullion, coins, and bars are running three weeks and longer. Silver, on the spot or futures market is stabilizing around $14.50, but prices on eBay (which means almost immediate shipment) and through dealers are much higher.

Single one-ounce silver bars on ebay have been flying high, with prices ranging anywhere from $22 to as high as $41.

WTI crude is settling into a range between $22 and $24 per barrel and that price should persist and possibly go lower as the COVID-19 plague spreads and slows movement commerce worldwide. Gas prices in the US are a multi-year lows.

Stocks are not going back to record levels despite the Dow gaining ground for the second straight day. Tuesday and Wednesday were the first time the Dow saw back-to-back gains since February 3-6, when it strung together four straight wins. Finishing on the upside two days straight hadn't happened over the past 31 sessions.

At the Close, Wednesday, March 25, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 21,200.55, +495.64 (+2.39%)
NASDAQ: 7,384.29, -33.56 (-0.45%)
S&P 500: 2,475.56, +28.23 (+1.15%)
NYSE: 9,961.38, +303.06 (+3.14%)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Stocks, Bond Yields Tumble, Gold, Silver Sold Out at Most Dealers as Legislators Work on Stimulus Package

Stocks took another beating in the US on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at its lowest level since the coronavirus crisis began in mid February. The close at 18,591.93 was lower than the previous low, but also lower than the intraday low (18,917.46, March 18). Intraday, the Dow was down nearly 1000 points from Friday's close (19,173.98), falling to 18,213.65.

The other indices fall in line for the most part, except the NASDAQ which was above the unchanged line most of the session and finished with a fractional loss. Being more speculative than the more stoic Dow, S&P and NYSE Composite, the NASDAQ is still experiencing some buying activity, though much of that is reserved for grocers and tech stocks.

Once again, the Fed stepped up to the plate prior to the market open, making an emergency statement about an hour prior to the opening bell U.S. to announce that Treasury and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchases would be expanded as much as needed. As with last Monday's pre-opening salvo by the Fed, traders were not swayed, sending the major indices into the red right off the bat.

As the trading wore on, there was some relief from the selling midday, as Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and minority leader, Chuck Schumer, hinted that they were close to a deal on the $1.5 trillion relief package that would include a payment of up to $1200 (plus $500 per child) for most Americans making less than $75,000 a year.

When the measure failed to reach cloture on a 47-47 tie, stocks quickly reversed course and headed to the lows of the day. Any bill coming out of the Senate for a COVID-19 stimulus bill will need at least 60 votes to pass. The two parties are far from reaching compromise, especially after House Democrats released their $2.5 trillion plan that was much more generous. The Democrat bill calls for monthly payments of $2000 to nearly all Americans and $1000 per child under 18. It also provides provisions to shelter people who cannot make rent, mortgage, credit card, car leases or loans, or student loan payments, calling for forbearance without penalty for as long as the crisis is deemed a national emergency, plus 120 to 180 days after that.

In what would be essentially a debt jubilee, Democrats' are offering much more to individuals and families than are the Republicans. Their plan has many flaws, however, in that one could, conceivably, buy a new car, rent a swanky apartment, pay for neither and have use of them for up to a year, possibly longer. The bill would make whole all creditors harmed by the measure, presumably at some later date. It's a complete boondoggle that would crush the economy rather than help it.

Legislators will be back at it on Tuesday, looking for a bill that will satisfy both their constituents and their major campaign funders (corporations, banks).

Bonds were bid nearly across the board, with the one-month bill plummeting to 0.01 and the 30-year bond losing 22 basis points on the day, closing out with a yield of 1.33%. Yield on the 10-year note also crumbled, falling form 0.92% to 0.76%.

Precious metals were bid higher. Spot gold ended the day at $1551.20. Silver finished at $13.27 the ounce at the close of trading in New York. However, both were up significantly overnight. Silver adding 97 cents to $14.24, while gold was up $96 to $1647.20, as both metals, quoted in futures contracts, are actually selling far above those prices for physical. Buyers are paying up to 100% premiums on silver and $300-600 more for an ounce of gold and having to wait as much as a month for delivery as major metals dealers are simply overwhelmed with buyers and generally out of stock.

Oil closed at $23.36 per barrel. Gas prices in the USA have been seen as low as 99 cents at one Kentucky outlet. Most states are seeing the price at the pump under $2.00 per gallon and falling.

With trading set to resume in the US in a matter of hours, futures are looking absolutely dashing, suggesting that this Turnaround Tuesday could be one for the record books. Then again, futures have often been optimistic, only to see waves of selling throughout the open trading session.

At the Close, Monday, March 23, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 18,591.93, -582.07 (-3.04%)
NASDAQ: 6,860.67, -18.85 (-0.27%)
S&P 500: 2,237.40, -67.52 (-2.93%)
NYSE: 8,777.38, -355.78 (-3.90%)