Showing posts with label France. Show all posts
Showing posts with label France. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Stocks Lose Record Amounts, Treasury Bond Yields Smashed As COVID-19 Begins Taking Its Toll

All of the major US indices posted record losses as coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to rage through 115 countries, with 114,595 confirmed cases and a death toll now over 4,000 (4,028).

Adding to market grief, Saudi Arabia, in an effort to harm other oil producers sent crude futures plunging as it unilaterally slashed prices and raised production output. WTI crude fell below $30 a barrel, recovering slightly to above $34.00 a barrel prior to Tuesday's opening bell. Still, the price cut was mammoth, on the order of a 24.6% decline. WTI closed at $41.28 Friday, finishing at $31.13 on Monday.

The Dow, S&P, NASDAQ, and NYSE all recorded record point losses, blowing away earlier marks. The Dow's 2,013.76 loss nearly doubled the previous record from February 27 of this year (−1,190.95). On The NASDAQ, the 624.94-point loss topped the list, easily surpassing the February 9 drop of −414.30.

Losing 225,81, the S&P vaulted over its previous mark of −137.63, also on February 27 of this year, less than two weeks ago.

The treasury bond complex was not spared, with yields falling across the entire curve by enormous amounts. The 30-year bond finished at 0.99% yield, the first time ever it has been below one percent. The day's decline was an unprecedented 26 basis points. At the other end, one-month bills dropped 22 basis points, from 0.79 to 0.57%.

Offering the lowest yield is the six-month bill, at 0.27%. The 10-year note was absolutely shattered, down 20 basis points, from 0.74 to 0.54%. In terms of curve, the complex is exceedingly flat, with just 72 basis points between the top and bottom yields.

Gold and silver both were higher initially, but were beaten down over the course of the day.

In the United States, the number of new, confirmed cases are rising rapidly as tests from the CDC begin arriving in massive quantities to state and local hospitals and labs. There are now 755 cases of coronavirus in the US, and 26 deaths.

After China, the US ranks 8th overall. Italy has reported 9,172 cases with 463 deaths. Italy's death figures are the highest outside mainland China, as are the number of cases. The Italian government closed its borders completely on Monday after efforts to contain the virus to the northern provinces failed.

The other countries topping the list of most infected are, in order, South Korea, Iran, France, Spain, and Germany, after which comes the United States. All of the aforementioned countries are reporting more than 1,000 cases. Confirmed cases outside China has exceeded those inside China for nearly the past week and are doubling every three to four days.

In addition to the human tragedy, large events are being canceled worldwide. Ireland has canceled all St. Patrick's Day parades, and around the world sporting events, concerts and other large-crowd gatherings are being put on hold or canceled, including the huge South-by-Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. The NCAA basketball tournament, commonly known as March Madness, which begins in a week, NBA basketball, and Major League Baseball, which opens its regular season on March 26, are all mulling the idea of playing games with no fans in the stands.

Businesses are gearing down due to the crisis, with many major firms instructing employees to work from home. School cancelations are on the rise globally, and will be widespread in the US in coming days and weeks.

The after-effects of the virus on the business community and the economy are just beginning to be felt according to many in finance, including hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, who believes the crisi will peak in about a month.

Even though the World Health Organization (WHO) is reluctant to call the worldwide spread of the pathogen a pandemic, it is surely one. The WHO does not want to use the world pandemic as it would trigger the default of "pandemic bonds," designed to provide $500 million to the organization should a pandemic be declared.

With less than an hour before the opening bell in the US, stocks seem to have caught a bid. Japan's NIKKEI was lower for most of the day but finished marginally higher on Tuesday. Other Pacific Rim bourses finished with gains of one to one-and-a-half percent, while European indices are currently sporting gains of around 2.5%.

US stock futures point to a higher open, as traders prepare for another stressful session. The so-called "dead cat bounce" applies, as the markets don't seem to have actually bottomed out. When all is said and done, many countries are going to report GDP losses for the first and likely, second quarters, plunging the world into what may be a prolonged recession.

At the Close, Monday, March 9, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,851.02, -2,013.76 (-7.79%)
NASDAQ: 7,950.68, -624.94 (-7.29%)
S&P 500: 2,746.56, -225.81 (-7.60%)
NYSE: 11,298.43, -1,053.60 (-8.53%)

Monday, March 9, 2020

Weekend Wrap: This Is Bad; Oil Crashes; Stock Futures Limit Down; Global Market Panic in Progress

Thanks to a late-day ramp on Friday afternoon, the week turned out to be mostly positive for the investor class, though it certainly didn't seem to be that way most as the days wore onward.

With a 600-point buying spree on the Dow Jones Industrial Average - which pulled all the other indices higher as well - stocks finished with gains instead of substantial losses. After a week of wild swings, the mood had turned ugly, accentuated by cascading drops on Thursday and Friday at the opening bells both days and concerted selling in airline stocks, banks, and hospitality.

As pronounced as the near-panic over the prior five trading sessions was, what's ahead on Monday will be worse by orders of magnitude.

Beginning with the coronavirus (COVID-19) decimating economies and social structure from China to Italy to South Korea, Iran, and beyond, slumping demand and forecasting of a bleak near-term future prompted extreme action from Saudi Arabia over the weekend. On Friday, when Russia refused to go along with a planned 1.5 million barrels a day reduction in crude production by OPEC+ nations, the Saudis decided to put the screws to everyone in the oil business by slashing their rates and ramping up production.

The impact of this momentous decision on Saturday was immediately felt across not just the oil futures markets but equity and credit markets around the world. With all major indices closed as usual on Sunday, focus was attuned to futures, which were being hammered lower by as much as seven percent in some cases. In the US, futures trading was halted when the Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ futures fell by five percent, otherwise known as limit down.

Crude futures were down by extreme amounts. WTI crude was last seen at $32.07 per barrel, a 22% loss from Friday, when it was selling in the low 40s per barrel.

Bonds were being battered as well, with reports that the benchmark 10-year note was trading with a yield below 0.48% (at one point yielding an all-time low of 0.31%) and other bond yields were being destroyed in markets that began to open, first in Japan, China and the Far East, then to Europe. If fear of COVID-19 contagion was palpable, the contagion from the economic fallout had become all to real.

With US markets set to open in an hour, the condition is dire.

A quick rundown of the carnage on major indices around the world:

  • NIKKEI (Japan) -5.07%

  • Straits Times Index (Taiwan, Pacific Rim) -6.03%

  • SSE Composite (China) -3.01%

  • Hang Seng (Hong Kong) -4.23%

  • BSE Sensex (India) -5.17%

  • All Ordinaries (Australia) -7.40%

  • KOSPI (South Korea) -4.19%

  • MOEX (Russia) -3.45

  • Jakarta Composite (Indonesia) -6.58%

  • FTSE Bursa (Malaysia) -3.97%

  • DAX (Germany) -7.00%

  • CAC-40 (France) -7.14%

  • FTSE 100 (England) -6.93%

  • EuroNext 100 (Europe composite) -7.50%

Suppression of the precious metals, the only remaining asset class that may hold some value, continues unabated as global economies come under severe pressure. Gold gained marginally, to $1678.00 per ounce, following a banner performance last week. Silver is under even more pressure, trading at $16.83 on futures markets, making a mockery of the gold/silver ratio, which is nearly 100:1. In more measured times - as in all centuries prior to this one - the gold silver ratio was pretty steady at 12:1 to 16:1. The current measure is a bad joke on a bad day, told by bad people with nothing but evil intentions (central banks).

Silver would have to rise to $100 per ounce for the gold/silver ratio to be anywhere near historical norms. With gold on the verge of a major breakout above $2000 per ounce, silver should - some day, maybe - be worth over $150 per ounce or similar equivalent in some other currency.

Monday's open should be epic. The aftermath, and the expected coordinated response by central banks figures to be a complete clown show, highlighted by massive injections of cash, POMO, TOMO, market-neutral rates, negative rates, and eventually, some collapsing banks. Couldn't happen to a more deserving crowd.

Money Daily will provide updates as time allows. Panic is a mild term for what's about to occur.

At the Close, Friday, March 6, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,864.78, -256.52 (-0.98%)
NASDAQ: 8,575.62, -162.97 (-1.86%)
S&P 500: 2,972.37, -51.57 (-1.71%)
NYSE: 12,352.03, -240.97 (-1.91%)

For the Week:
Dow: +455.42 (+1.79%)
NASDAQ: +8.25 (+0.10%)
S&P 500: +18.15 (+0.61%)
NYSE: -28.94 (-0.23%)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Mother of All Relief Rallies Sets Records For Wall Street

Whether it was animal spirits, a concerted effort by the PPT, or simply a matter of the market being temporarily oversold, Monday's rally on Wall Street was one for the record books.

Not only was the Dow's gain a record in terms of points, it's 5.09% rip was also the best percentage gain since the bottoming out from the the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) on March 23, 2009 (2009-03-23, 7,775.86, +497.48, +6.84). Readers should be informed that the two greatest percentage gains on the Dow Industrials came in the midst of a massive market meltdown in October, 2008. On the 13th the Dow gained 936.42 points for a percentage gain of +11.08% Just two weeks later, on the 28th, an 889.35-point rip to the upside produced a rise of 10.88 percent. The point is that the largest point and percentage gains usually are accompanied by the same on the other side of the ledger, and vice versa. No, this time is no different.

The gains follow what was the worst point loss in market history as the prior week produced the largest point loss along with the fourth and fifth largest.

Ditto for the NASDAQ, with a record point gain of +384.80, surpassing the prior mark of +361.44, from December 26, 2018, after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had purportedly made a number of calls to various members of the Fed and the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, aka, the PPT.

The S&P 500 also registered a record point gain, surpassing the +116.60 upside burst also marked on December 26, 2018. Reliable data was unavailable for the NYSE, though it can safely be assumed that if Monday wasn't a record point gain, it was certainly close.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the number of Americans to die from complications (generally pneumonia) attributable to coronavirus reached six, four of them victims at a nursing home in Washington state. Health officials and other commentators have been sounding the alarm over outbreaks in clusters, and it appears that Washington, and possibly Oregon and California are about to experience clusters of cases arising at the community level.

COVID-19 is not going to slow down on its own, nor are government officials going to give the public the straight story (they almost never do in any crisis situation). In China, the government is variously telling its people that the virus came from outside the country (which it definitely did NOT) and that it has been defeated. Oddly enough, most Chinese citizens are not back to work, three to four weeks after the government began mass quarantines.

In the US and many European countries, including France and Germany, the issue is testing. The health departments of developed nations apparently see little need to test for the virus, which has the effect of showing the public vary few cases. Regardless, more testing is about to take place in the United States and elsewhere, and the number of new cases could skyrocket by the weekend.

In the interim, there will be much jawboning over what are effective measures to take against the virus but much of the focus will be on the expanding spread of the disease.

Bonds weren't completely buying into the rally. After dipping as low as 1.03%, the yield on the 10-year note closed out the session at 1.10%, another record low. The curve is inverted at the very low end. There is just 15 basis points separating the yield on a 1-month bill (1.41%) and the 30-year bond (1.66%). Figure that one out.

The low point is at the 2-year (0.84%), making the whole trip across the treasury complex a voyage of just 82 basis points, or 0.82%. It's not a pretty sight for bankers, yet interest rates on credit cards are still averaging around 14-18%, while mortgage rates have dropped to fresh lows. A 30-year fixed rate is hovering in a range of 3.15% to 3.40%, while a 15-year fixed can be had at under three percent generally across the country.

With the huge relief rally now comfortably on the books, Wall Street and the world must brace for the next shock from COVID-19. This isn't over. Not by a long shot. In many ways, in various countries around the world, it's just getting started.

At the Close, Monday, March 2, 2002:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,703.32, +1,293.96 (+5.09%)
NASDAQ: 8,952.17, +384.80 (+4.49%)
S&P 500: 3,090.23, +136.01 (+4.60%)
NYSE: 12,827.99, +447.02 (+3.61%)

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crushes Stocks, Commodities, Oil, Gold, Silver; Crisis Appears To Be Accelerating

(Simultaneously published at Downtown Magazine)

As ugly goes, this past week ranks right up there with bearded lady or three-eyed ogre status.

Over the course of just five trading sessions, stocks lost more than ten percent on all the main indices. The Dow topped the list with a drop of 12.36%. The week and the preceding Thursday and Friday (all but the NASDAQ are sporting seven-day losing streaks marked the fastest that stocks fell into correction territory, officially designated as a 10% slide.

What's worse - if there's anything worse than shaving a couple trillion off the American market cap balance sheet - is that the rush to sell hardly seems to be over. The last week of February looks more like the beginning of something more severe, and with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) just beginning to make an impact in the United States, there isn't much talk about "buying the dip" at this particular juncture.

Just because everybody loves numbers, here are the current losses from the respective tops and the levels needed to reach down to a 20% loss, the designated level at which would kick in a bear market. Bear in mind that stocks recently hit all-time highs.

Dow: Top: 29,551.42 (2/12/20); Current: 25,409.36 (-14.02%); Bear Market (-20%): 23,641.14
NASDAQ: Top: 9,817.18 (2/19/20); Current: 8,567.37 (-12.74%); Bear Market(-20%): 7,853.74
S&P 500: Top: 3,386.15 (2/19/20); Current: 2,954.22 (-13.76%); Bear Market (-20%): 2,708.92
NYSE: Top: 14,183.20 (1/17/20); Current: 12,380.97 (-12.71%); Bear Market (-20%): 11,346.56

The potential for a bear market are palpable for more reasons than just the threat of COVID-19 spreading across the great expanse of the United States. A widespread outbreak, like the one in China, would be devastating, but already there are strong indications that community transmission has already taken place in the state of Washington, in Chicago, and in California.

Widespread infections that close schools and businesses would only be the tip of the issue. Large public gatherings - and that is a concern with baseball's regular season less than a month away - would carry warnings to the public. Many would likely stay away just out of personal caution, but hope is that the department of Heath and Human Services (HHS), CDC and Vice President Pence's executive branch team will keep community outbreaks well contained. However, France and Switzerland have banned large gatherings over 5,000, and cancelled all sporting events. Imagine the same for the United States in just a few weeks. It could happen. It may not.

Possibly also working against the virus is time. Many similar viruses, like the flu, die off naturally or lose their effectiveness and ability to transmit and spread.

On he other hand, the aftereffects from China's production slowdown have not been fully felt and won't be evident until companies report first quarter results. That's early April and beyond, giving the markets more than a month to navigate whatever trend emerges.

Stocks were significantly overvalued when the slide began; today they are less so, though still hanging in the high end in the valuation regimen. There is more room on the downside. All through 2019, companies were not reporting robust results. The S&P was generally flat on earnings yet stocks rose. Capacity Utilization and Productivity have also shown signs of a slowdown, even prior to the coronavirus event.

While unemployment remains a bright spot, business expansion has been slow to nearly nothing. A slew of variables - in effect the market's wall of worry - are mixed and unresolved. With sentiment now having shifted violently from greed to fear, any bad or marginal data is going to get the bum's rush, encouraging more selling.

Elsewhere, crude oil took a massive hit during the week. WTI crude closed at $54.88 on February 20, but by Friday of this week had dropped to $44.76 per barrel, a slide of 18.45%.

Precious metals abruptly went negative midweek after rallying for the better part of the last month. The silver continuous contract closed Friday at $16.46, the lowest price since last July. Gold topped out at $1691.70 per ounce on Monday, but by Friday could be purchased for $1566.70, more than a hundred dollar discount. Four straight down days snapped a rally in gold that started in late November, 2019. The gold price remains elevated, having only caught down to a price that was last seen the first week of February.

Particularly telling was action in the treasury market and bonds overall. The entire yield curve was decimated with the benchmark 10-year note checking in at an all-time low of 1.13%. The 30-year bond also posted a record low yield at 1.65% on Friday. With inversion on the short end - the 6-month bill is yielding 1.11 - the 2-year, 3-year, and 5-year are yielding 0.86%, 0.85%, and 0.89%, respectively.

With everybody from President Trump on down calling on the Federal Reserve to get into the act, rumors began circulating late Thursday that the Fed would coordinate with other central banks for some kind of symmetric cuts in overnight rates as early as Sunday, though as of this writing, nothing has come of it. The Fed is virtually guaranteed to cut by at least 25 basis points at its next FOMC meeting, on March 17-18, though for many in the markets, that seems a long time off and may in fact be too late to have much influence.

It wasn't just treasuries feeling the heat. According to Doug Noland's Credit Bubble Bulletin, "There were no investment-grade deals for the first time in 18 months, as $25bn of sales were postponed awaiting more favorable market conditions."

If credit markets begin to seize up, which appears to be the evolving case, the Fed will have no choice but to lower the federal funds rate prior to the meeting. 50 basis points would appear appropriate if the virus continues to spread not just in the US, but around the world. More than 60 countries have at least one case of the virus and the United States, Australia, and Thailand have reported their first deaths just in the past 24 hours.

Preparedness is the key to surviving whatever form the crisis takes, be it medical or economic. Households should have on hand at least a three-week supply of food and other essentials at the minimum. Investors should have moved money into safe havens, as many did. Money market funds and bonds provide some relief from the roller coaster of stocks. Precious metals usually provide some protection, but, as was the case in 2008, gold and silver fell off dramatically as stores of the metals were sold in order to shore up cash liquidity. Back then, they were the first commodities to recover, besting the markets by a number of months, though right now, they don't appear to be stunning buying opportunities.

If the worst case scenario occurs and there are wide ranging quarantines, travel restrictions and cancelation of public gatherings, expect nothing short of a complete meltdown of the financial system and conditions which have never been seen before. A stock market decline of 60-70 percent would be a real possibility. The entire rip to the downside could take as long as 18 months or as little as six.

That's not to say that a total collapse will occur. There may be mitigating factors in the interim, plus the advent of warmer weather with higher humidity might slow down the virus, but market direction has turned violently to the negative. Now is not the time to jump in a buy equities as most rallies will likely be met with strong resistance and more selling.

Presently, everything is up in the air, including the virus and the world's finances.

At the Close, Friday, February 28, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,409.36, -357.28 (-1.39%)
NASDAQ: 8,567.37, +0.89 (+0.01%)
S&P 500: 2,954.22, -24.54 (-0.82%)
NYSE: 12,380.97, -166.29 (-1.33%)

For the Week:
Dow: -3583.05 (-12.36%)
NASDAQ: -1009.22 (-10.54%)
S&P 500: -383.53 (-11.49%)
NYSE: -1594.81 (-11.41%)

Sunday, December 8, 2019

WEEKEND WRAP: Stocks Flat After Week Of Turmoil; Media Concentration Killing Free Press

Due almost entirely to a stunning November non-farm payroll report, Friday's massive gains offset the losses incurred on the main US indices earlier in the week, leaving the Dow and NASDAQ with minimal losses and the S&P and NYSE Composite with smallish gains for the week.

With the prior month's job gains calculated to be 266,000, there was a great deal of encouragement for the US economy, despite almost no progress in US-China trade talks.

Though the week was a tumultuous one, ending with a bang, the overall arc was about as noticeable as the earth's curvature from a three-story building.

While stocks were going nowhere, crude caught a bid, as Saudi Arabia and OPEC nations vowed to cut another 500,000 barrels a day production in the first quarter of 2020. The move was seen as bullish for crude, though the cohesion of OPEC members remains questionable. The Saudi's are convinced that some members are failing to meet promised production cuts, putting lid on global oil prices. WTI crude oil closed out the week at $59.07. Gas prices shot up across the United States and Europe.

As is usually the case, gold and silver were beaten down during Friday's stock ramping. Gold ended at $1,458.40 per ounce, while silver bit the dust at $16.49.

Bonds were also whipsawed, with the 10-year note lost 11 basis points on Monday, with yield dropping from 1.83% to 1.72%, only to see it all eviscerated by Friday, finishing the week at 1.84%.

All markets appeared to be on unstable ground as the holiday season progressed and such condition may persist for the foreseeable future. The impeachment of President Trump continues apace in the House of Representatives, the trade war is likely to get hotter, holiday shopping usually lulls during the second and third week of December, and protests in Hong Kong and France (and in many other countries, over various issues) are taking a toll.

Oddly enough, America's mainstream media wishes to have nothing to do with protests in other countries, perhaps hoping that by not airing real news, Americans will not get any ideas about speaking up on issues that affect them. None of the major TV networks allowed any air time to the French protests over pensions, nor did the Washington Post. It's as though 800,000 people protesting in Paris, while the massive public transportation system was halted due to striking workers, actually did not happen. Americans are being kept in the dark about international developments unless it somehow fits their narrow narrative of "impeach Trump" and "trade war bad."

It wasn't long ago - maybe 30 years or so - that the United States had a free, fair, and balanced press. Since media cross ownership rules were relaxed, first in 1975, again in 1996, and again in 2003, media ownership concentration has gotten to the point at which we are today, where six or seven companies control roughly 95% of all mainstream media. It's no wonder that Americans are perplexed about world affairs, economics, and politics. The powers in the media have conspired together to keep the general public blissfully ignorant.

The internet has changed where Americans look for news to some degree, but, the large media companies own or control much of that as well, making it difficult for the average person to discern what is real, what is opinion, and what is fake. Until the FCC rolls back the liberalization of ownership concentration rules, Americans are almost certain to be shielded from news and stories that those overseeing network conglomerates believe to be too dangerous, too damaging, or simply to controversial to air.

The status quo, deep-state owned media in America is second only to congress as its own worst enemy and it may become even worse during the coming election year.

At the Close, Friday, December 6, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 28,015.06, +337.27 (+1.22%)
NASDAQ: 8,656.53, +85.83 (+1.00%)
S&P 500: 3,145.91, +28.48 (+0.91%)
NYSE Composite: 13,588.29, +105.99 (+0.79%)

For the Week:
Dow: -36.35 (-0.13%)
NASDAQ: -8.94 (-0.10%)
S&P 500: +4.93 (+0.16%)
NYSE Composite: +43.08 (+0.32%)

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

US and European Markets All Suffer End-of-Session Dumping

The major indices - not just in the US, but it Europe as well - fell victim to late-day large scale stock dumping, with all US indices, along with Germany's DAX, France's CAC 40, Britain's FTSE, and the Euronext 100, closing at the low points of their respective sessions.

This can only indicate one of two things: a rebalancing was taking place in the indices, or, big moneys getting out of stocks before Wednesday's opening.

The first case is probably not feasible, since these various indices do not rebalance all on the same day. That would lead to serious dislocations and confusion. Thus, that leaves the second case, in which some large traders with inside information made a hasty exit in anticipation of something terrible on Wednesday. What that terrible thing may be is currently unfathomable, but will probably come to light when European markets open on the morrow.

Market conditions such as this cannot be viewed as one-offs, as they are occurring with too much regularity. There's far too much volatility and sudden reversals to be credited to randomness; it's much more likely that markets are being manipulated by a cartel of central banks and their agencies, the major brokerages, meaning that the average investor is once again left holding a bag of stocks worth less than they were the day before.

One can claim conspiracy often enough to attract attention, and then division, which is why the regulars in the financial media will never let loose with any opinion even tangentially touching upon a conspiratorial theme. Those outside the mainstream have no such binding authority as a job or a narrative, so it's left to bloggers and speculators to sort out the less-than-obvious maneuverings in the market.

While the losses were not large, they were uniform, which indicates at least some coordination.

At the Close, Tuesday, August 20, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,962.44, -173.35 (-0.66%)
NASDAQ: 7,948.56, -54.25 (-0.68%)
S&P 500: 2,900.51, -23.14 (-0.79%)
NYSE Composite: 12,599.41, -88.51 (-0.70%)

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Stocks Rocked As Europe Burns, Political Skepticism Soars; Globalism Grips As Populism Rises

With all the good news that's been spreading of late, the magnitude of this most recent setback was, for some, a little overdone. Others, who see the planet for what it is, see populism on the rise and globalism fading into history.

Prepare for some over-the-top hyperbole in 3...2...1...

Besides wealth inequality reaching heights heretofore unseen, taxation of the general populace in developed nations has reached catastrophic proportions. As seen in the European protests, the civility of the average man and woman, having been grossly abused, has been stretched beyond the limits of many whose toils seem to barely keep pace with the endless panoply of regulations, fees, fines, taxes and penalties. This is how epochs end.

In France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Italy and elsewhere, the citizenry has had enough of misrepresentation by so-called officials, elected, selected, or otherwise, and they are seeking economic and social freedom. The forces of globalism have been resolute in obfuscating reality and distorting the obvious all the while raking in the spoils of their pernicious policies and decietful politics.

In the United States, the working class has seen through the flash narrative surrounding the demonization of the popularly-elected President Trump. Americans no longer want illegal migration across their borders, handouts to the poor or the rich, nor policies that do them no good. The entire planet is on the verge of an emotional and psychological breaking point. It has been many years in the making, but, every day that goes by is rife with lies, innuendo, untruths, double-talk. Within the next year or two, everything is going to go sideways. The politics have simply outpaced the usefulness of the ruling class. It's apparent to just about anybody who give a damn and the wisest of the monied class on Wall Street are running for the proverbial hills.

Who knows what causes stocks to zig-zag on a day-to-day basis, for the Dow to pick up 600 points one day and drop nearly 800 the next?

In any case, the point drop on the Dow was the fourth-largest in market history. The other three larger also occurred this year. For the NASDAQ, it was the sixth largest. All of the 11 largest point declines on the NASDAQ occurred in either 2000 or 2018.

The Dow transports (DJT, -4.39%) tumbled 476.37 points, or 4.4%, with all 20 components closing lower. The previous biggest-ever point decline was 445.16 points on Oct. 10. At its intraday worst, the index was down as much as 565.23 points, or 5.2%.

Analysis of the recent volatility is sure to take on obscene forms from a parade of wizened economists, generalists, and hobbyists. None of them will have it exactly right. One day, all the world's full of unicorns and honey. The next, it's going to hell in a hand basket.

Whatever your particular niche or trading style, the current offers a uniquely volatile and confounding proposition for traders, speculators, or even the casual investor.

For the coming months, expect more of the same.

Dow Jones Industrial Average December Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
12/3/18 25,826.43 +287.97 +287.97
12/4/18 25,027.07 -799.36 -511.39

At the Close, Tuesday, December 4, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,027.07, -799.36 (-3.10%)
NASDAQ: 7,158.43, -283.09 (-3.80%)
S&P 500: 2,700.06, -90.31 (-3.24%)
NYSE Composite: 12,221.98, -355.56 (-2.83%)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Buyers Emerge, Sending Stock Rally To Third Straight Day Of Gains; World Markets Higher

Experts had been saying that once the earnings reporting blackout ended, many companies would begin share repurchases, and that seems to be exactly what has occurred, as stocks extended their rally to three days, opening the month of November with a rip higher on all the major exchanges.

This factoid does nothing to explain the rise in stocks around the world, other than perhaps they are following the US lead. Overnight the Hang Seng jumped by more than four percent in Hong Kong and Japan's NIKKEI posted a 2.50% gain, boosting the index by 556 points.

Early trading in Europe has all the major indices higher as well, with Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 leading the move.

With non-farm payroll data due to roll out at 8:30 am ET, stocks are poised for another big move up at the open. Expectations are for a jobs gain of more than 200,000 in October.

Dow Jones Industrial Average November Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
11/1/18 25,380.74 +264.98 +264.98

At there Close, Thursday, November 1, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,380.74, +264.98 (+1.06%)
NASDAQ: 7,434.06, +128.16 (+1.75%)
S&P 500: 2,740.37, +28.63 (+1.06%)
NYSE Composite: 12,356.50, +148.44 (+1.22%)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Stocks Rebound, 11 Major Stock Indices In Correction, Down 10% Or More

Knee-jerk. That's all today's trading was. It evolved as an opportunity to see how many trades could be made on the assumption that stocks will continue to rise, that they are still good values, that despite the fact that major indices of at least 10 different important countries are in correction (down 10%), the US is still the best dirty shirt in the laundry, or something like that.

Just to placate the unbelievers, here is a partial list of stock indices already in correction or worse:

  • DAX, Germany
  • FTSE, Great Britain
  • CAC 40, France
  • Nikkei 225, Japan
  • Hang Seng, Hong Kong
  • SSE Composite, China
  • SENSEX, India
  • KOSPI, South Korea
  • Jakarta Composite, Indonesia
  • MERVAL, Argentina
  • IPC, Mexico

Ummm, that's 11, but who's counting?

Bear in mind, some of the biggest gains are made during periods of volatility and the beginnings of bear markets. For proof of that, just go back to the NASDAQ in 2000, or the Dow in October of 2008. There were plenty of big days to the upside. Unfortunately, for those taking positions in stocks during those periods, the downside prevailed, and in vey large ways.

Put in perspective, today's broad gains covered about 2/3rds of yesterday's losses. That's not enough, and there is absolutely no guarantee that tomorrow is going to be a repeat performance.

Dow Jones Industrial Average October Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
10/1/18 26,651.21 +192.90 +192.90
10/2/18 26,773.94 +122.73 +315.63
10/3/18 26,828.39 +54.45 +370.08
10/4/18 26,627.48 -200.91 +169.17
10/5/18 26,447.05 -180.43 -11.26
10/8/18 26,486.78 +39.73 +28.47
10/9/18 26,430.57 -56.21 -27.74
10/10/18 25,598.74 -831.83 -859.57
10/11/18 25,052.83 -545.91 -1,405.48
10/12/18 25,339.99 +287.16 -1,118.32
10/15/18 25,250.55 -89.44 -1,207.76
10/16/18 25,798.42 +547.87 -659.89
10/17/18 25,706.68 -91.74 -751.63
10/18/18 25,379.45 -327.23 -1,078.86
10/19/18 25,444.34 +64.89 -1,013.97
10/22/18 25,317.41 -126.93 -1,140.90
10/23/18 25,191.43 -125.98 -1,265.88
10/24/18 24,583.42 -608.01 -1,873.89
10/25/18 24,984.55 +401.13 -1,472.76

At the Close, Thursday, October 25, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,984.55, +401.13 (+1.63%)
NASDAQ: 7,318.34, +209.94 (+2.95%)
S&P 500: 2,705.57, +49.47 (+1.86%)
NYSE Composite: 12,118.85, +149.11 (+1.25%)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Global Rout Continues; All 30 Dow Components Lower; China A 50% Loser Since 2015

Stocks took another beating on Thursday, though not quite as extensively on the tech side as was the case in Wednesday's rout. The Dow Industrials took another two percent hit, sending the 30 blue chips down another 546 points. The combined losses in the six sessions following the all-time high close of 26,828.39 on October 3rd at 1,775.56 or 6.69%, a figure that should not, in and of itself, inspire much fear, though the rapidity, persistency, and consistency of the losses are not exactly inspiring much in the way of investor confidence.

All 30 Dow stocks finished in the red. Spared from most of the carnage was Microsoft, which closed at 105.91, down a mere 0.25 points, or 0.24%. No other Dow issue reported a decline of less than one half percent. Leading the way down was Phizer, with a 3.82% loss. Other stocks finishing down three percent or more included JP Morgan Chase (3.00%), Traveler's (3.01%), Proctor and Gamble (3.16%), McDonald's (3.21%), Cisco Systems (3.31%), Chevron (3.40%) and Exxon Mobil (3.45%). The Dow's gain year-to-date is a now a mere 333 points, or less than two percent. There was nothing even approaching good news as third quarter reporting approaches.

The NASDAQ fared much better than the three percent decline it made on Wednesday, dropping less than 100 points, though that was hardly cause for optimism. Having reached a peak of 8102.04 on October 1, the index has shed some 673 points, putting it close to correction (-10%). NASDAQ shares are down a cumulative 8.3%.

On the S&P 500, the percentage decline was almost identical to that of the Dow, losing 57.31 points, down 2.06 percent. The losing streak of the S&P has now reached six straight days. It also closed at an all-time record of 2947.25 on October 1, but has since fallen 219 points, a 7.4% loss in just eight sessions.

Year-to-date, the S&P is up by only 55 points, a gain of just over two precent.

Stocks were also being sold off in droves on foreign exchanges. In Germany, the DAX continued its descent with a loss of 173.15, another 1.48% drop, sending it further into correction. Joining the DAX in the down 10 percent or more club was Britain's FTSE, losing 138.81 points (-1.94%). France's CAC 40 is teetering on the brink, down more than nine percent off recent highs.

On Pacific Rim exchanges, Japan's NIKKEI was down 3.89%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 3.54%, but both were outdone by China, where the SSE Composite Index closed down 5.22%. China's stock market is the world's basket case, down a full 50% from its all-time high of 5,166.35 in June of 2015, the chart bearing a striking resemblance to the NASDAQ's dotcom bust of 2000. The SSE closed Thursday at 2,583.46.

What comes next for markets is anybody's guess. Analysts and economists range from complacency to panic and everything in between. The losses this week rival those from February of this year, when major US indices touched briefly into correction.

Bonds firmed on the day, with the 10-year note finishing with a yield of 3.13%. Oil was hit hard again, with WTI crude losing nearly three percent, closing just a shade under $71/barrel.

The only bright spots were in precious metals. Gold had its best day in months, gaining $34 to $1,227.70 per troy ounce. Silver followed along dutifully, picking up 28 cents per troy ounce, at $14.61.

Dow Jones Industrial Average October Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
10/1/18 26,651.21 +192.90 +192.90
10/2/18 26,773.94 +122.73 +315.63
10/3/18 26,828.39 +54.45 +370.08
10/4/18 26,627.48 -200.91 +169.17
10/5/18 26,447.05 -180.43 -11.26
10/8/18 26,486.78 +39.73 +28.47
10/9/18 26,430.57 -56.21 -27.74
10/10/18 25,598.74 -831.83 -859.57
10/11/18 25,052.83 -545.91 -1405.48

At the Close, Thursday, October 11, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,052.83, -545.91 (-2.13%)
NASDAQ: 7,329.06, -92.99 (-1.25%)
S&P 500: 2,728.37, -57.31 (-2.06%)
NYSE Composite: 12,349.53, -272.61 (-2.16%)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Weekend Wrap: Trump Tariffs, Fed Funds, Draghi and ECB Dominate Markets

The prior week was expected to produce shock waves in markets, but on the US stock exchanges, the reaction was rather muted.

While the Dow put in a loss for the week, the NASDAQ surged to new all-time highs and the S&P 500 finished the week nearly unchanged.

Most of the reactive trading happened elsewhere, in the forex, bond, and commodity markets, which witnessed major swings in the aftermath of a rate hike by the Federal Reserve and an announcement of the end of QE by Mario Draghi of the ECB. The latter seemed to cause more impact, as Draghi set a timetable for the end of monetary easing at the end of 2018.

All of the European bourses closed lower on Friday in response to Draghi's announcement.

The dual central bank announcements overshadowed President Trump's successful negotiation with North Korea. Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un resulted in an agreement between the two countries for more normalized relations, setting a framework for denuclearization by the North Koreans and suspension of war games conducted jointly by South Korea and the US.

Also igniting markets was President Trump's refusal to sign off on the G7 memorandum, following a meeting with "friendly" nations in which Trump promised tariffs on all manner of imports from the likes of Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, France and Great Britain. Before that news even died down, with the other G7 nations promising retaliatory tariffs, the President slapped another $50 billion in tariffs on China, with the Chinese responding with tariffs on US imports.

With so much news crowding into one week, it was not easy for investors to find a path of least resistance. Along with Europe, US stocks fell off sharply on Friday, but recovered most of the losses by the close of trading for the week.

After the Fed raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year note briefly crossed the 3.00% line, closing at 2.98 on the 13th, but falling back to 2.93% by Friday, the 15th of June. More importantly, the spread between the five-year and the 10 dropped to just 12 basis points, as the five-year note finished the week at 2.81.

Spreads were compressed, with the 2s-10s at 38 basis points and 2s-30s at 50. The 5s-30s spread was 23 basis points. These are the lowest spreads recorded since 2007, just prior to the Great Financial Crisis.

The Euro got crushed in currency markets, while gold and silver - both of which had been rallying all week - were crushed during Friday's COMEX session, with silver taking the brunt of the selling, off four percent, from a high of 17.30 per troy ounce on Thursday to a low at 16.40 on Friday before recovering slightly to close at 16.54. Gold was over $1300 per ounce on Thursday, but was slammed to a six month low at $1275 on Friday.

For more detail on the explosive week in precious metals and beyond, Ed Steer's weekly commentary can be found at the GoldSeek site, here.

Doug Noland's weekly Credit Bubble Bulletin commentary, detailing the recent movements in credit and currencies is titled "The Great Fallacy".

Dow Jones Industrial Average June Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
6/1/18 24,635.21 +219.37 +219.37
6/4/18 24,813.69 +178.48 +397.85
6/5/18 24,799.98 -13.71 +384.14
6/6/18 25,146.39 +346.41 +730.55
6/7/18 25,241.41 +95.02 +825.57
6/8/18 25,316.53 +75.12 +900.69
6/11/18 25,322.31 +5.78 +906.47
6/12/18 25,320.73 -1.58 +904.89
6/13/18 25,201.20 -119.53 +785.36
6/14/18 25,175.31 -25.89 +759.47
6/15/18 25,090.48 -84.83 +674.64

At the Close, Friday, June 15, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,090.48, -84.83 (-0.34%)
NASDAQ: 7,746.38, -14.66 (-0.19%)
S&P 500: 2,779.42, -3.07 (-0.11%)
NYSE Composite: 12,734.63, -37.32 (-0.29%)

For the Week:
Dow: -226.05 (-0.89%)
NASDAQ: +100.87 (+1.32%)
S&P 500: +0.63 (+0.02%)
NYSE Composite: -97.43 (-0.76%)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dow Soars Past Rivals; Upcoming: Trump Talks, Fed Rate Decision (Weekend Wrap & Monday Briefing)

Ripping past rival indices, the Dow Jones Industrial Average scored its biggest point increase since January, adding 681 points while boosting its June increase to 900 points, also the best monthly gain since January.

Whether the bullish sentiment will prevail through the remaining 15 trading days of June may be addressed in the week ahead, one which will witness President Trump's negotiating skills at work when he meets with North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore, an epic event that looks to end nearly seven decades of armed confrontation on the Korean peninsula.

Since taking the oath of office in January, 2016, Trump has made North Korea a significant priority, alternating between insulting tweets (calling Jong-un "Little Rocket Boy," for instance), displays of military force, and back-room preliminary negotiations through surrogates from China, Japan, South Korea and US diplomats.

Official negotiations begin Tuesday, 9:00 am Singapore time, which translates nicely to 9:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, assuring that late-night political junkies will have their plates full for the better part of the week.

Also on the agenda for the upcoming week is the Tuesday-Wednesday FOMC policy rate meeting, in which the Federal Reserve will likely hike the federal funds rate another 25 basis points, an action which is likely to have great impact on stocks as well as bonds. After hiking rates earlier this year, Fed officials have gone to great lengths to keep their rate increase policy in front of investors and the general public, with various officials parroting the themes that the economy is strong and that now is the right time to increase lending rates.

As opposed to normal Fed operations being somewhat behind the curve, the current roster seeks to appear out in front of the economic realities, though critics maintain that all the Fed is doing is preparing for a looming recession, arming themselves with enough interest rate ammunition to staunch an eventual downturn.

If the Fed does as expected it will hike rates from 0.00 to 0.25 to 1.75% to 2%. This will be the second rate hike this year and the seventh move since the start of the tightening cycle which began in December 2015.

While the small increases have been well-spaced, it's assumed that the Fed will continue to increase rates every three months, meaning that they will hike again in September and once more in December.

The trouble with such an optimistic outlook is that an increase in their base rate to 2.25-2.50 by year-end would put increased pressure on the stock market, as treasury yields would likely rise to levels above and beyond those of many dividend-paying stocks, without the associated risk.

Another anticipated action this coming week is the response from G7 members following their weekend meeting in which President Trump insulted the leaders of other nations in person and via Twitter. Trump's claim that G7 countries like France, Canada, Germany, and Italy have long been taking advantage of the US via unfair trade practices. The US president has been slapping tariffs on friends and foes alike and the backlash in tit-for-tat tariffs has already been forwarded by Canada, with the EU nations likely to impose their own retaliatory trade taxes on US goods.

While the trade wars have been building, the financial media has routinely blamed the tension for declines in the stock market. However, as trade talk went ballistic in the past week, stocks continued their ascent without interruption, proving once again that snap analysis of stock market moves are nothing other than pure fakery by an inept, disingenuous media elite. Trading decisions are largely not the result of current events, but rather, are outward-looking, with longer-term event horizons than a few days or weeks.

The effects of trade interruptions, tariffs and retaliation are unlikely to be felt in any meaningful way for many months, making the premature effusions of guilt by presidential association by the financial and mainstream press a rather large canard.

So, the first full week of trading in June went spectacularly for stocks, with the NASDAQ breaking to new all-time highs on Wednesday, before profit-taking took it back down on Thursday. Friday's 10-point gain on the NAZ left it roughly 50 points off the new closing high.

As for the benchmark Dow Industrials, they are cumulatively 1300 points behind the January record high of 26,616.71. There is a great deal of ground to be made up in any effort to convince investors that the bull market will continue, while those of the bearish camp point to the range-bound cycle of the past three months following the cascading February fall.

June may turn out to be a watershed month for stock pickers, as tech stocks have regained much of their luster while financials have languished. Due to the somewhat incestuous nature of Wall Street trading, all boats may rise or fall in coming days as the second quarter draws to a close and fed managers square their books in anticipation of second quarter reports.

While the prior week may have been a banner for bulls, the week ahead promises to be full of surprises, intrigue and potential pitfalls for investors.

Dow Jones Industrial Average June Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
6/1/18 24,635.21 +219.37 +219.37
6/4/18 24,813.69 +178.48 +397.85
6/5/18 24,799.98 -13.71 +384.14
6/6/18 25,146.39 +346.41 +730.55
6/7/18 25,241.41 +95.02 +825.57
6/8/18 25,316.53 +75.12 +900.69

At the Close, Friday, June 8, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,316.53, +75.12 (+0.30%)
NASDAQ: 7,645.51, +10.44 (+0.14%)
S&P 500: 2,779.03, +8.66 (+0.31%)
NYSE Composite: 12,832.07, +43.56 (+0.34%)

For the Week:
Dow: +681.22 (+2.77%)
NASDAQ: +91.18 (+1.21%)
S&P 500: +44.41 (1.62%)
NYSE Composite: +211.24 (+1.67%)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Stocks Close Out Week on Sour Note, But Still Post Weekly Gains

For the superstitious, Friday the 13th was not a disaster, but it wasn't particularly pleasant either, as stocks spent the entire session underwater, unable to follow through on gains from the previous day.

The up-and-down, give-and-take between bulls and bears has been a feature of the equity markets since late January. Thus far in April, the Dow has finished with gains in six session, closing down in four. An overview of the market presents a picture of a market without direction, as geo-political events, fundamental conditions, and economic data collide.

Being the middle of earnings season, the bulls appear to have at least a short-term advantage, especially since the US - along with France and Great Britain - chose to launch targeted attacks on Syria late Friday, giving markets ample time to digest the ramifications, which, at this point, appear limited.

Heading into the third full week of the second quarter, earnings from top companies will provide the catalyst for traders. There's a widely-held assumption that companies are going to put up good - if not great - first quarter reports, aided by tax benefits from the overhaul provided by congress and the president in December.

This would be a good week to take account of positions and perhaps take some profits off the table. Markets tend to be a little less volatile and generally trade higher during earnings seasons.

There isn't a FOMC rate policy meeting during April, and the May 1-2 meeting is probably going to result in no action being taken. The next Fed-driven stock market move won't be until the June 12-13 affair, when the Fed is expected to raise the federal funds rate another 25 basis points. While it doesn't sound like much, it will be the seventh such hike since the Fed got off the zero-bound in December 2015. It will push the rate to 1.75-2.00%, a significant figure sure to have an impact not only on stocks, but on the finances of individuals, families, businesses and governments.

Presently, this is the proverbial calm before the storm.

Dow Jones Industrial Average April Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
4/2/18 23,644.19 -458.92 -458.92
4/3/18 24,033.36 +389.17 -69.75
4/4/18 24,264.30 +230.94 +161.19
4/5/18 24,505.22 +240.92 +402.11
4/6/18 23,932.76 -572.46 -170.35
4/9/18 23,979.10 +46.34 -134.01
4/10/18 24,407.86 +428.76 +294.66
4/11/18 24,189.45 -218.55 +76.11
4/12/18 24,483.05 +293.60 +369.71
4/13/18 24,360.14 -122.91 +247.80

At the Close, Friday, April 13, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,360.14, -122.91 (-0.50%)
NASDAQ: 7,106.65, -33.60 (-0.47%)
S&P 500: 2,656.30, -7.69 (-0.29%)
NYSE Composite: 12,546.05, -34.17 (-0.27%)

For the Week:
Dow: +427.38 (+1.79%)
NASDAQ: +191.54 (+2.77%)
S&P 500: +51.83 (+1.99%)
NYSE Composite: +196.94 (+1.59%)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weekend Recap: Wild Wall Street Ride Continues Push Higher

Amid the swirling winds of Washington's political circus, the nation's financial sector continued to take all the body blows, low blows, and talking head shots dished out by the deep state in perfect stride, carrying the averages to new highs on Wednesday following President Trump's speech before a joint assembly of congress.

With one eye on the political process and the other on the Federal Reserve, stocks continued to dance forward into March, with two key dates upcoming: Friday, March 10, when the February non-farm payroll report is released, and, Wednesday, March 15, the conclusion of a two-day FOMC meeting largely expected to result in an increase in the federal funds rate, from 0.50-0.75 to 0.75 to 1.00.

The jobs report will be crucial in terms of setting the agenda for the Fed governors. If expectations are met and job growth continues to be robust, the Fed will almost certainly announce a rate hike. Falling short of expectations could lead to another month of inaction on interest rates.

In any case, stocks were pumped after the presidential address in which Mr. Trump reiterated promises to build a wall on the border between Mexico and the United States, repeal and replace Obamacare, and set forth an overall economic agenda that will include budget cuts to various agencies, a trillion dollar infrastructure plan and a rejiggering of the tax code.

Should the President succeed even marginally on his lofty economic goals, stock pickers may well find themselves in a condition to ignore any moves by the Fed, freeing speculators from the tired monologue that has led the market for the past eight years running and continue the now third-longest expansion in stock market history.

Shrugging off such ancient notions as fundamental valuations and price-earnings ratios, investors have taken the stock markets literally to uncharted territories. The US dollar remains the currency of choice in most of the world and with that oil and most commodity prices have slumped and/or stabilized. Bonds continue to vacillate, though short term rates are beginning to show signs of stress, especially in consideration of upcoming budget and debt ceiling debates. Also on the minds of many in the investing community are elections in the Netherlands (in two weeks) and France (April 23) where populist candidates in the Donald Trump style are engaged in hotly contested races.

The populist surge sweeping the globe is unlikely to be quelled soon, either by technocrats in the European Union or entrenched politicians across a wide swath of nations, from Malaysia to Japan to Italy and Germany. The middle class in developed nations, having been squeezed financially by globalization, is in nearly full revolt. All the while, giant corporations appear confident that they will weather the ongoing stormy crises.

At the Close, 3.3.17:
Dow: 21,005.71, +2.74 (0.01%)
NASDAQ: 5,870.75, +9.53 (0.16%)
S&P 500: 2,383.12, +1.20 (0.05%)
NYSE Composite: 11,598.37, +22.46 (0.19%)

Since the election in early November, the NYSE Comp. and S&P 500 have closed higher 12 of 17 weeks, the Dow and NASDAQ, 13 of 17.

For the week ending 3.3.17:
Dow: +183.95 (0.88%)
NASDAQ: +25.45 (0.44%)
S&P 500: +15.78 (0.67%)
NYSE Composite: +57.08 (0.49%)

Friday, June 24, 2016

As Britain Votes To Leave European Union, The Establishment Is Losing Control

Just a few days ago, our Fearless Editor, Rick Gagliano, penned a post here at Money Daily espousing the belief that the Brexit/Bremain vote and the US presidential election were sideshows and being overblown in importance by the media. Perhaps it was a faux pas or even a veiled negotiation maneuver designed to keep "remain" voters away from the polls (we doubt the latter to be true). In any case, voters in Great Britain did - in establishment terms - the unthinkable, voted to depart from the European Union, and quite possibly delivered a verdict on the perilous future of the EU.

We now present the post mortem.

All hail Nigel Farage, head of the UKIP party and leader of the "Brexit" movement in Great Britain, for he has brought the nation out from under the Orwellian totalitarianism that is essentially the bloated bureaucracy of the European Union, and unshackled the common Briton from enslavement to the status quo.

Here is what Farage said as the tally was coming in, looking favorable for Britain exit from the EU:
If the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people. We have fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies, corruption and deceit. And today honesty, decency and belief in nation, I think now is going to win. And we will have done it without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired…. Win or lose this battle tonight, we will win this war, we will get our country back, we will get our independence back and we will get our borders back.

Having fought the good fight as an MEP and a representative to the European Parliament for nearly two decades and yesterday, Farege's unwavering rhetoric for freedom and against oppression struck the first salvo for the people against the leading technocratic superstate of the EU, headquartered in Brussels.

For Farage, the victory may have greater consequences. With PM David Cameron admitting defeat and promising to step down come October, Farage figures to be a natural candidate for the vacated post of Prime Minister. Already the mainstream press has put the face of Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, front and center, ahead of Farage, who has said openly that he doesn't want to be Britain's PM.

That battle has a long way to go, but, for now, a rundown of just what Brexit has meant to markets around the world.

The Final Tally:
Vote share 51.9%
Votes 17,410,742 Votes

Vote share 48.1%
Votes 16,141,241 Votes

Stocks indices around the world were pounded:
Nikkei 225: 14,952.02, -1,286.33 (-7.92%)
Hang Seng Index: 20,259.13, -609.21 (-2.92%)
SSE Composite Index: 2,854.29, -37.67 (-1.30%)
Straits Times Index: 2,735.39, -58.46 (-2.09%)
S&P/ASX 200: 5,113.20, -167.50 (-3.17%)

FTSE 100: 6,138.69, -199.41 (-3.15%)
DAX: 9,557.16, -699.87 (-6.82%)
CAC 40: 4,106.73, -359.17 (-8.04%)
EURO STOXX 50 Index: 2,776.09, -261.77 (-8.62%)
EURONEXT 100: 819.99, -59.09 (-6.72%)

Some other interesting notes from early after the voting:
British pound falls as much as 11 percent to $1.3229, weakest since 1985
Yield on 10-year Treasuries drops 29 basis points to 1.46 percent, set for biggest daily decline since 2009
New York crude oil retreats 5.1 percent to $47.56 a barrel, poised for biggest loss since February
Gold rallies as much as 8.1 percent to $1,358.54 an ounce, highest since March 2014

By the end of trading in the US, the day's damage had been assessed, though it was hardly what anybody would call a bloodbath. After all, this was only the first salvo against the establishment, though it does set in motion a complete disintegration of the EU and all of its strictures, laws, rules, regulations and burdensome bureaucracy.

For Americans, it's a good day to be a supporter of Donald Trump for the presidency. Much of what Mr. Trump has been campaigned for was contained in the Brexit platform: an end to open immigration, more civil liberties for common people, smaller federal government, less regulation, lower taxes, more power to people and localities (state's rights in the US).

While the damage to stocks was minimized, the press fell all about itself in once again over-hyping the damage. Britain and her people will not vanish from the earth. New trade arrangements will be made with the countries still remaining in the EU, but it is notable that more than a few EU member states are now calling for exit votes by the people, especially in France, Spain, Italy, the Czeck Republic, Hungary, and elsewhere.

The word on the European Union: Done. It's now become not a matter of if the EU will disintegrate, but when, and how. Those will be the real fireworks. But, between then and now, expect the establishment status quo to fight like mad dogs to retain and enhance their positions of power and prestige. In the end, they too will fail.

US stocks got mangled, with a hefty drop at the open and further displeasure for bulls in the late afternoon, with the Dow - just one day after it broke through the 18,000 upper barrier - closing below 17,500, the long-standing support threshold, on heavy volume. Losses were widespread; banks and financial stocks took the worst of it.

The Dow finished the week lower for the third time in the last four; the S&P and NASDAQ each notched their third straight week of decline.

US Stocks Got Socked:
S&P 500: 2,037.41, -75.91 (3.59%)
Dow: 17,400.75, -610.32 (3.39%)
NASDAQ: 4,707.98, -202.06 (4.12%)

Crude Oil 47.57 -5.07% Gold 1,319.10 +4.43% EUR/USD 1.1118 +0.13% 10-Yr Bond 1.58 -9.20% Corn 391.50 -1.57% Copper 2.11 -2.27% Silver 17.77 +2.40% Natural Gas 2.70 -1.32% Russell 2000 1,127.54 -3.81% VIX 25.76 +49.33% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.3684 +0.06% USD/JPY 102.2550 0.00%

For the Week:
Dow: -274.41 (-1.55%)
S&P 500: -33.81 (-1.63)
NASDAQ: -92.36 (1.92)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

How To Tell The Economy Is Really Horrible

A number of interesting developments highlighted today's off-the-street action concerning US stock markets and the general global economy. They were all internet-related, but have nothing to do with the share prices of the companies affected, but first, let's take a recap of the actual carnage in the markets today.

Asia was awash in red ink, as Japan circles the monetary drain (must be Adam Smith's "invisible hand" pulling the plug) sending the Nikkei down to new depths, as noted below, along with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, which suffered an even more severe loss in points and percentage:
Nikkei 225: 15,713.39, -372.05, -2.31%
Hang Seng Index 18,545.80, -742.37, -3.85%

With China's markets closed for the week as the country celebrates Chinese New Year, over in Hong Kong, it was back to work after a three-day hiatus. The HSI fell out at the open and never recovered. As many in the US apparently do not know, all of Asia's major markets - including Australia, recently - are in bear market territory. The Hang Seng topped out at 28,588 in late April, 2015. Today's loss puts it down 35% from its highs.

While the Asian markets were spitting up blood, Europe opened with a bang to the downside, as Sweden announced its central bank was cutting interest rates further into the negative. Sweden’s Riksbank cut its benchmark interest rate from -0.35% to -0.5%. So, theoretically, anyone wishing to keep 100,000 Krona in a Swedish bank has the awesome privilege of paying the bank 500 of those Krona for the year.

That, in addition to the ongoing banking collapse (Duetshe Bank, in particular), sent Euro stock bourses reeling. Germany's DAX was off 2.93%. In England, the FTSE was down 2.36%. France's CAC 40 fell by 4.05%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 was battered some 108 points, a 3.90% downside.

US traders left no stone unturned, sending the markets close to the August lows and the NASDAQ within 50 points of the magic bear market line (-20%), until a spurious story about Saudi oil cuts saved the day around 2:30 pm. The Dow was down more than 400 points at the lows, and there was some talk about the S&P bouncing off a key level at 1812. Truth be told, key levels and support lines aren't going to matter much in coming days, weeks and months, because there is growing evidence that recession has arrived in the US, just as it has washed up on the shores of Asia and Europe.

Now, back to those off-Wall Street developments that offer many clues on how to know the economy isn't doing very well.

First, there was the outage at just as the market was opening. Anybody who wants the straight, uncensored, bearish view of markets instinctively heads for "the Hedge" as it is known, the site famous for it's inveterate grinding on the wheels of finance. An apparent DDOS attack took the site offline for about 30 minutes and was the second such attack in as many weeks.

While the culprit is unknown, tin-foil cap types point to the NSA or another government agency which wishes to keep at least a leash on the unruly junkyard dog.

Second, MSN Money disabled comments on all its stories. While news of this was not reported widely, its unknown exactly when the company decided it didn't want to hear from its readers. MSN Money follows the lead of Bloomberg, which disabled commenting across its web properties last year. Censorship. It's what's for dinner, and you can't complain about it.

Third, Janet Yellen completed her annual testimony to congress today with a visit to the Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Richard Shelby (R-AL), and failed to goose the markets. When the Fed Chair has less influence on markets than a teen beauty queen at a gay pride rally, take that as a sign markets are more than a little jittery.

Gold and silver continued to rally, with gold up more than $50 at one point in the day. Silver was fast approaching $16/oz. It was under $15 as of Monday's fix. The two precious metals are the best-performing assets (along with select bonds) of 2016.

And finally, Yahoo Editor-in-Chief, Andy Serwer, had to pen this little gem of statist nonsense, explaining that nobody knows why stocks are going down. Server proves that he has quit an imagination, or none.

All in all, it appears the media, government, and the financial world are not about ready to let the muppets get a feeling that something bad is heading their way, despite Yellen fielding questions about the Fed being "out of bullets" and negative interest rates.

The status quo is getting very, very nervous and it's beginning to show. With the US heading into a three-day weekend (Monday is President's Day. In case your boss didn't tell you, you don't have to come in.) and China's markets re-opening on Monday, tomorrow's trading might be more than just a little interesting. The week has gone badly so far, and it is doubtful many will want to head into the break long.

Hate Crime for Thursday:
S&P 500: 1,829.08, -22.78 (1.23%)
Dow: 15,660.18, -254.56 (1.60%)
NASDAQ: 4,266.84, -16.76 (0.39%)

Crude Oil 27.30 -0.55% Gold 1,247.00 +4.39% EUR/USD 1.1316 +0.32% 10-Yr Bond 1.64 -3.58% Corn 360.00 -0.07% Copper 2.01 -0.72% Silver 15.80 +3.36% Natural Gas 1.99 -2.79% Russell 2000 953.72 -1.01% VIX 28.14 +7.04% BATS 1000 19,734.69 -1.33% GBP/USD 1.4484 -0.35% USD/JPY 112.5900 -0.01%

Monday, January 4, 2016

Can You Hear Me Now? MONEY DAILY Predictions Prove Prescient As Stocks Drop on First Trading Day of 2016

As 2015 drew to a close, Money Daily put forward a number of predictions for what 2016 would bring as pertaining to economies and financial markets.

While one day's trading cannot be considered anything more than market "noise," the historic sell-off of January 4 - the first trading day of the new year - proved to be the worst performance to start a year since 2008, and one of the top ten worst starts to a year in market history.

While stocks were down large in the US, they were worse in Asia and Europe. The Shanghai Composite was shaved by 6.9%, Japan's Nikkei tumbled nearly 600 points, a loss of 3.06%.

Germany's DAX was the hardest hit of Europe's majors, losing 4.28%. England's FTSE 100 fell 2.39; France's CAC-40 was down 2.47%.

In the US, most of the carnage was done by midday. Stocks drifted into the closing hour, and were boosted substantially off their lows by a face-ripping, short-covering rally in the last half hour of trading.

It was an unnerving beginning to a year which promises much in the way of surprises with limited upside for stocks, which have been and continue to be wildly overvalued.

Some of the bigger names were high on the list of losers. Netflix (NFLX) fell 3.86%; Alphabet (Google, GOOG) dropped 2.25%; Amazon was the biggest of the tech wrecks, dropping 38.90 points, a 5.76% loss.

WTI crude oil first rose, but came back to earth and was down for the day, finishing around 36.80 on the day.

S&P 500: 2,012.66, -31.28 (1.53%)
Dow: 17,148.94, -276.09 (1.58%)
NASDAQ: 4,903.09, -104.32 (2.08%)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Climate Change Agreement: The Farce Is Strong in This One

Editor's Note: OK, this is a blog called Money Daily, which means that there should at least be a post every day. That sounds reasonable enough, but, as a writer, editor and publisher for many years (spanning the decades from the 1980s to the present), I'm old enough and wise enough to realize that - unless I'm serially unemployed (not yet, but working on it) or have no other obligations in life (sadly, I do) - writing something coherent and reasonable and, yes, maybe even stimulating and/or thought-provoking every day is a tall order.

Nevertheless, I've taken a long hiatus of about one year due to moving (twice), running another business (badly), managing a five acre property (working) and sawing and chopping lots and lots of wood to burn this winter (working on that too), and that is now at an end, mainly because I have found more free time, a renewed interest in money, economics and politics and because something inside me tells me I can long longer be silent on a growing number of issues.

To that end, I'll endeavor to put something on this blog every weekday (come on, everyone needs a weekend) and sometimes on weekends. I will do my best to write posts that are entertaining, enlightening, interesting and provocative. And, I'll go back to using my most significant and enduring signature. --FR

In Paris, France, recently, two weeks were spent by highly-paid representatives from nearly 200 countries to reach an agreement that is not binding on any of the participants, includes goals and suggestions that individual countries can choose to either accept or reject, and a vast array of proposals that are unenforceable.

This is the cumulation of the global climate change summit just ended in Paris over the weekend. It also marks the beginning of the end of the absurd notions of the "climate change" proponents. No nation would agree to a mandated agreement, particularly the United States of America, because it would have required approval from our congress, which was a dubious outcome at best.

Not to belabor the issue, the climate change agreement - hailed by Secretary of State John Kerry as "significant" on FoxNews Sunday, today - is yet another glowing example of the failed leadership in the global community. Thousands of delegates gather together to plan, prepare, eat, drink, party and come up with an agreement that is null and void from the start.

In other words, the entire exercise was a complete waste of time, energy and (using the term very, very loosely) talent. The delegates, for wasting so much time and TAXPAYER MONEY, should be docked two weeks pay. Further, the people responsible for this latest craziness - a non-binding agreement to not raise the global temperature by another degree by 2050 - should simply resign, if for only the paramount reason that they have no real clue of what they're supposed to be doing, other than possibly enriching themselves and their close business allies.

Climate change is real. The climate is always changing. There's no doubt about that. But, thinking that humans are actually causing the climate to change in any significant way, or, the ultimate hubris of thinking that they can actually do anything to fix it, is just plain stupid.

The climate change agreement is a farce. A total disgrace. Let's just be happy that the issue won't be addressed again for - from what I'm hearing - another eight years - 2023. Well, at least that's good news.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Valentine's Day Mascara

No, that's not a misprint in the headline. The word is "mascara" - the stuff women apply to darken, thicken, lengthen, and/or define their eyelashes. It's a cosmetic, as in rouge, or lipstick, as in lipstick on a pig, which is exactly what the algos and buy-siders did to today's undeniably weak, directionless market.

Face it, Europe is a bona-fide basket case, Japan is devaluing its currency so fast that George Soros made nearly a billion dollars on the trade in just over three months.

The news coming out of Euro-fantasy-land was less than encouraging. Eurozone fourth quarter 2012 GDP fell by 0.6%.

Making matters a little more interesting - and more frightening - were the figures for the zone's three largest economies - Germany, France and Italy - whose own GDP fell by 0.6%, 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

The Eurozone, even after all the bank and sovereign bailouts, pledges of doing everything possible to promote growth by the likes of Germany's Angela Merkel and EU President Mario Draghi, has resulted in three consecutive quarters of negative GDP. Europe is already in the throes of an economic collapse, thanks largely to protectionism for banks and excessive liquidity from European central bankers (most of whom are Goldman Sachs alum, BTW).

While the GDP numbers may be bad enough, consider youth unemployment (ages 15-25) in the Eurozone to be spreading like the bubonic plague. Greece reported youth unemployment over 60%; Spain over 50% and Portugal just topped 40%. Thirteen of the 27 EU member states are reporting youth unemployment over 25%. Austerity: it's what's for dinner.

Europe is solid proof that the elite class is making up the rules as they go along, and the general public is viewed as collateral damage only. Here in the good old USA, we have our own concerns with the sequestration schedule to commence March 1, which will result in massive federal budget cuts. The president and congress haven't even begun to discuss how they'll handle that, though they uniformly say that sequestration (it doesn't rhyme with castration for no reason) is something they'd prefer to avoid.

Have they acted? No. Will they? Probably, but, like the fiscal cliff deal this past December, it will be a stop-gap measure and cost taxpayers more. Nobody ever cuts anything in Washington, only the rate of growth of programs, because what's important to them is keeping lobbyists and voters (government employees and beneficiaries of government largesse) dumb and happy.

So, on what does this algo-concocted market focus? Berkshire Hathaway's buyout of Heinz. Poor suckers that Americans are, they put ketchup on their chicken and pork hot dogs on day old buns while Uncle Warren reaps the profits. If ever there was a crony capitalist, Warren Buffet's picture belongs next to the definition.

Sure, unemployment claims were down - from 368K to 341K - but aren't those figures still too high? The new normal means just doing better than expectations, even if those expectations are sub-par. It's akin to taking your kid out for ice cream because he got a C in math instead of a D. As a nation, we've lowered our standards in everything from our political leaders to what passes for entertainment.

Along with everything else, we've lowered our standards for rational markets. Today's split decision is just another shining example of the truth hiding in plain sight. Sooner or later, even the talking heads on CNBC are going to come to the realization that making new all-time highs with a -0.1% GDP and unemployment at eight percent doesn't really pass the smell test. Someday. Maybe. Note the video below with Rick Santelli, everyone's favorite financial ranter, extrapolating out on what we've been saying nearly every day on this blog: that being a trader is nearly impossible under current conditions.

And, just as a side note, New York Mayor Bloomberg, who first banned drink containers larger than 16 ounces, has proposed a ban on styrofoam containers, and... it's likely to pass his rubber stamp city council.

Let's see, smokes are $10-12 a pack in NY, you can't smoke in any of the bars, night clubs or public buildings; you must drink from small containers and those soon cannot be made of styrofoam. All this makes one pine for the good old days of the seventies. Ed Koch was mayor. Son of Sam was shooting kids in parking lots. Reggie Jackson was blasting balls out of the original Yankee Stadium and you could buy just about any kind of drug - from weed to cocaine - on just about any street corner. Bloomberg. He's just not a fun guy.

Dow 13,973.39, -9.52 (0.07%)
NASDAQ 3,198.66, +1.78 (0.06%)
S&P 500 1,521.38, +1.05 (0.07%)
NYSE Composite 8,951.33, -4.27 (0.05%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,884,832,750
NYSE Volume 3,867,864,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3259-3130
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 505-39
WTI crude oil: 97.31, +0.30
Gold: 1,635.50, -9.60
Silver: 30.35, -0.516

Friday, July 27, 2012

Why Nothing Matters Any More

We've all heard the phrase, "this is going to end badly," before, and, like a failed love affair, so too the centrally-planned economies masquerading as free markets will also surely end in tears, tatters, remorse and recrimination.

Following in the footsteps (or, as the case may be, the mouthpiece) of ECB president Mario Draghi, today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande issued a joint statement after a teleconference, saying they their government would "do everything to protect" the Euro.

And, with that, the markets were once again off to the races, continuing a rally that is based upon nothing more than promises to pile more debt upon the mountainous pile of unpayable sovereign obligations already in existence, create more deteriorating fiat money, continue bailing out failed financial institutions and keeping interest rates at artificially low yields.

Nothing good has come from any of these efforts thus far, except to perpetuate the status quo of financial fraud run amok without penalties for wrongdoers and the funding of political campaigns by the very same transgressors and beneficiaries of central bank largesse.

Today, the US government announced first quarter GDP grew at a rate of 1.5%, which, in normal times, would be fairly disturbing news, but, couched in the belief that the slowing economy will encourage the Federal Reserve to engender another round of quantitative easing (QE) at its meeting next week of the FOMC, the market soared like an eagle catching a thermal updraft.

The effects of all this money printing and free flow of capital into and out of banks and into government coffers to spend freely beyond their means has been effectively maintained by ultra-low interest rates offered to the world's biggest banks, the ones that were bailed out in 2008, and continue to go to the discount window for Federal Funds at 10 to 16 basis points, invest in longer-term notes and pocket the difference, known as the carry trade. It's easy street for the TBTF banks, which continue to borrow and no loan money, except, of course, to the worst creditors of them all, governments, which haven't balanced their books in decades.

Were the banks and foreign central banks to suspend lending to the US and European entities - an occurrence which has a 100% likelihood to happen at some point - the economic calamity would be unthinkable, thus, the game continues. At certain points, casualties occur, but they are patched over by bailouts or simply shoved aside, as in cases such as Madoff, MG Global and previously, Lehman Bros., Countrywide Financial, Bear Stearns or Merrill Lynch.

The losses are socialized, or, passed onto the taxpayer as it were, though if taxes were at rates commensurate to meet all government obligations and pay off the burgeoning debt load, the average paycheck would be 80-90% taxes and 10-20% take home. It would be likely that most people would stop working for companies, go into a side business of their own and not pay taxes, while larger businesses would suffer from a lack of qualified, willing labor and the whole super-structure of the global economy would grind quickly to a complete halt.

In some sense, that is already happening, and it will continue to worsen, everywhere there are unpayable debt burdens placed upon the citizenry. In Europe, the German people are already braying at the notion of higher and higher tax rates to pay for bailing out the southern states of Greece, Portugal and soon, Spain and Italy.

While the Germans have profited and prospered from fiscal and monetary discipline, the regime of Angela Merkel is rapidly fostering a growing debt burden that will force taxes higher and eventually cripple their own economy. While most of southern Europe is already in a recession and Greece, at least, a depression, Germany, being the lender of last resort, so to speak, is nearing a political breaking point, where the populace is about ready to take a stand against the free-spending policies of their government.

Merkel is tip-toeing on a high wire (a horrifying mental image), balancing her own political future against the success or failure of the Euro. Germany benefits from the declining euro because of its huge export base, so abandoning it and returning to the Deutschemark is out of the question, as the new currency would be among the strongest in the world, making German products prohibitively expense in other countries.

France, which behind Germany is the second largest economy in Europe, seems content to tax and spend to promote their socialist agenda of government handouts to everyone, shorter working hours and large, public pensions. The French people are notorious protesters, who will take to the street at even the slightest hint that any kind of public benefit will be cut, and, as they showed former president Sarkozy the door this past Spring, they will vote against any mention of austerity, a dirty word in the Gallic nation.

In America, it's the culling of the middle class that proceeds apace. Wages have been stagnant, new job creation sparse and sporadic, but price increases in food and energy, along with threats of higher taxes have all but eliminated discretionary spending and saving for growing numbers. The middle class has become a huge class of debt slaves, content to keep paying and playing along until the pensions and social security and health care monies are exhausted.

The rest of the world has other problems, though even growth countries like China, India, Brazil (together with Russia, making up the BRICs nations) are slowing down as the speculative economies strip out all wealth to the top one percent of earners and actual productive growth falters.

There is a tipping point somewhere down the road, and it's a wonder that the whole global mess hasn't completely fallen apart by now, but it does appear that those in charge of "managing" the economy can keep the plates spinning for a while longer, maybe as much as three to five years. By then, these central planners hope that entrepreneurs will have bolstered the fragile, stagnant economy back to life and that a more normalized functioning will have emerged.

It's a pipe dream built on the faulty assumption that expanded liquidity can supplant insolvency. It never has, and it won't. The end game comes from a deflationary spiral in which too little money is chasing too many goods, even in an era of expansionary monetary supply (inflation). The problem is that the money is going into the wrong hands, to those of the bankers, who hoard their cash for liquidity and speculation, as seen repeatedly in the stock market, while the middle and lower classes go begging for credit (at usurious rates), jobs, and eventually, food.

In every instance in which a reserve currency such as the US dollar was not backed by gold, silver or both, or other tangible assets as collateral for debt creation, that currency has failed and been replaced. Every time.

And this time is not different. It's just taking longer than expected.

Dow 13,075.66, +187.73 (1.46%)
NASDAQ 2,958.09, +64.84 (2.24%)
S&P 500 1,385.97, +25.95 (1.91%)
NYSE Composite 7,912.16, +157.65 (2.03%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,085,560,250
NYSE Volume 4,290,734,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4511-1073
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 343-86
WTI crude oil: 90.13, +0.74
Gold: 1,618.00, +2.90
Silver: 27.50, +0.05