Showing posts with label Goldman Sachs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goldman Sachs. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2018

Apple Leads Dow, Stocks Lower On Valuation, Dividend Yield Concerns

It's not like Apple (AAPL) isn't a rock-solid stock. The Cupertino, California-based company which has given the world smartphones, smart watches and really zippy computers isn't the world's largest company by market cap for nothing.

The issue is more one of value over speculation. Apple is fully-capitalized, has doubled in price in less than two years, but the kicker might be the dividend of 2.92 is less than one-and-a-half percent (1.30%), while the 10-year treasury note is currently yielding three percent and probably is going to be higher in coming months.

Those numbers have to give serious investors pause to reflect on whether the tech giant - a mature company, not an instant start-up by any means - can continue to provide appreciation value in excess to their dividend. T-bills offer yield with nearly zero risk. All stocks carry risk to the downside, and Apple may have peaked a few weeks ago when it hit an all-time high of 228.35 at the September 4 closing bell.

Investing isn't a game of chasing winners, it's a matter of timing, though most advisors will deny the thought of market-timing. Proper discipline would have one buying Apple when it looks like it's cheap. With a P/E of just under 20, it's close to being expensive, so some players are obviously taking chips off the table while the gains are fresh and probably taxed at the long-term capital rate. It would make sense to do so. There are other stocks which may perform better in the near future and the allure of risk-free money at three percent is strong.

Whatever the reason, Apple has been leveling off, but the selling got serious on Monday, with volume above 36 million shares, about 10 million higher than average. The stock closed down 5.96 points (-2.66%), leading all Dow components as the Dow and NASDAQ suffered outsized losses, the NASDAQ especially, down nearly 1.5%.

Google (GOOG) also took a pretty big hit on Monday, losing 16.48 (1.41%), as did tech darling, Netflix (NFLX), which was broadly sold, -14.21 (3.90%), to 350.35.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw an even split with 15 gainers to 15 losers, but of the six stocks that trade for more than 200 per share, five of them declined, led by Apple. The others were Boeing (BA), UnitedHealth (UNH), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Home Depot (HD). The sole 200+ share price winner was 3M (MMM), which finished at 209.53, up 1.65 points (+0.79%).

Markets overall took a bit of a beating on Monday, though it wasn't enough for anybody to start yelling 'fire' on Wall Street. That may come when the Fed meets next week (September 24-25) and announces the third rate hike of 2018. That may prove to be more this market can bear.

Dow Jones Industrial Average September Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
9/4/18 25,952.48 -12.34 -12.34
9/5/18 25,974.99 +22.51 +10.17
9/6/18 25,995.87 +20.88 +31.05
9/7/18 25,916.54 -79.33 -48.28
9/10/18 25,857.07 -59.47 -107.75
9/11/18 25,971.06 +113.99 +6.24
9/12/18 25,998.92 +27.86 +34.10
9/13/18 26,145.99 +147.07 +181.17
9/14/18 26,154.67 +8.68 +189.85
9/17/18 26,062.12 -92.55 +97.30

At the Close, Monday, September 17, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,062.12, -92.55 (-0.35%)
NASDAQ: 7,895.79, -114.25 (-1.43%)
S&P 500: 2,888.80, -16.18 (-0.56%)
NYSE Composite: 13,031.91, -18.61 (-0.14%)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Dow Losses Widen, Deepen; Top Four Components Slashed

Stocks flopped around like fish out of water Monday, as investors found nothing on which to hang a positive spin or trade. The Dow gave up early 100+ point gains to finish lower for the second straight session and the fifth time in the last seven.

The NASDAQ put up a better fight, but still could not find adequate footing to stage any meaningful rally. Stocks are unrealistically valued as the business cycle - despite commentary and central bank intervention suggesting that it has been abolished - heads into the latter stages and nears overcapacity.

It is, after all, September, and there's plenty on the minds of individuals and investors, not the least of which being odious debt levels in corporate, government and individual accounts. With interest rates on the rise and winter approaching, concern may be more toward preservation of capital than appreciation of such. Risk is rising for obvious reasons and the global economy is groaning from severe stresses placed upon it by a rising dollar, which has become the go-to currency and the US the trading capitol of the world.

More than a few economists and analysts had predicted a second half slowdown, so, after gains in July and August, September may be the market's Waterloo, forcing the hands of even the most ardent bulls. This week also marks the ten-year anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers, as well as another reminder of the 9-11 tragedy of 2001, tomorrow.

Somber as the mood may be, American hearts and minds are forever looking ahead, so a slow week or even a down month is unlikely to unhinge the usual giddiness of the bulls. It's been nearly 10 years since the market retreated in a serious manner, but current conditions don't augur well for a sudden collapse. Rather, a bumpy road lower may be the preferred path as the signs of decay over the past week are beginning to make more of an impact.

The Dow can't seem to handle prosperity over 26,000. It has closed above that level a handful of times (three, to be exact) in the last week of August, but beat a hasty retreat once it was revealed to be overbought.

Monday's losers were an odd assortment of UnitedHealth Group (UNH) 259.73, -8.55 (-3.19%); Boeing 341.86, -7.42 (-2.12%); Traveler's 127.60, -2.49 (-1.91%); and, Apple (AAPL) 218.33, -2.97 (-1.34%). These are diverse businesses, the only possible connection being finance, though that's dubious, at best. Adding in Goldman Sachs (GS) 231.91, -2.00 (-0.86%), the other common thread is that Boeing is the most expensive stock on the index, UNH second, GS third, and Apple, fourth. The Travelers (TRV) is a distant 13th-most expensive, the selling in those shares possibly tied to potential losses from Hurricane Florence, which is taking dead aim at the coastal communities of the Carolinas and due to make landfall later this week (likely Thursday morning).

On a positive and somewhat perplexing note, the Dow Jones Transportation Index closed at a new record high, picking up 206 points to finish at 11,554.08. This is not ordinary trading, with the Dow down, the NASDAQ up, along with a record on the transports. Either traders are playing momentum-chasing games or something unseen is occurring out of sight from regular investors. The odd trading patterns that have persisted since the sudden February fallout are bizarre and without explanation. Adding in the commodity shakedown, markets are sending mixed signals which only those with fingers firmly on triggers can apparently comprehend.

On world indices, the Far East continued lower, Europe didn't decline, but gains were marginal, and South American markets returned to their downward trend with gusto.

With a slow start to the week, it's difficult to image a good result as the grind toward the September 25-26 FOMC commences.

Dow Jones Industrial Average September Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
9/4/18 25,952.48 -12.34 -12.34
9/5/18 25,974.99 +22.51 +10.17
9/6/18 25,995.87 +20.88 +31.05
9/7/18 25,916.54 -79.33 -48.28
9/10/18 25,857.07 -59.47 -107.75

At The Close, Monday, September 10, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,857.07, -59.47 (-0.23%)
NASDAQ: 7,924.16, +21.62 (+0.27%)
S&P 500: 2,877.13, +5.45 (+0.19%)
NYSE Composite: 12,929.01, +17.89 (+0.14%)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

How the Dow Divisor Helped Industrials Blast Through 25,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average isn't really an average at all.

If it were, one would take the price of each of the 30 components and divide the sum by 30. That would yield the average price. Since that number would barely move the needle on a day-to-day or minute-by-minute basis, something more was needed to satisfy the voracious appetite of investors. Ergo, the Dow Divisor.

The Dow Divisor is 0.14523396877348. Since it's a fraction of a point, the divisor doesn't actually divide anything. Rather, it's a multiplier, which serves to enhance the gains of the higher-priced stocks and minimize the losses of lower-priced shares. That explains why declines on the Dow are serious events. It's rigged to go higher regardless of volume.

One can clearly see - using such a valuation (weighted) method - why tin-hat theories abound about market manipulation. The Dow leads the market, not only in the US, but around the world. A big move on the Dow triggers the herd instinct to buy other stocks.

Boeing (BA) was the biggest percentage gainer on the day, adding 11.46 points to 371.56. But, thanks to the divisor, Boeing contributed nearly 79 points to the overall Dow gain, despite less than 4.5 million shares changing hands.

By contrast, General Electric was the big loser, dropping 1.16%. But, since GE is the lowest-priced stock on the index, by far, at 13.64, the point loss was a mediocre 0.16. The magic of the divisor meant GE's loss to the overall index was a measly 1.10 points, despite the fact that more than 62 million shares were traded, more than the total number of shares in the three next most-widely traded stocks, Pfizer (PFE), Microsoft (MSFT), and Intel (INTC) combined.

Only four Dow stocks traded lower on the day. In addition to GE, Wal-Mart, Pfizer, and The Travelers finished down, though modestly. Also contributing to the day's massive spike were 3M (MMM), Goldman Sachs (GS), and United Health (UNH), each trading above 200 per share. Their combined advance of 10.77 points were good for another 74 Dow points, despite the fact that they were three of the four least-traded stocks on the exchange (Pfizer was the second least-traded).

So, four low volume stocks were good for 150 points on the Dow. The other 22 gainers were cannon fodder against the bear case as the Dow Industrials outpaced the other indices by a wide margin. The day's gain resulted in the highest closing price on the Dow since March 13.

Happy Dow divisor days!

A couple of good reads on the Dow divisor can be found here and here.

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

At the Close, Wednesday, June 6, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,146.39, +346.41 (+1.40%)
NASDAQ: 7,689.24, +51.38 (+0.67%)
S&P 500: 2,772.35, +23.55 (+0.86%)
NYSE Composite: 12,778.23, +119.53 (+0.94%)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Cohn's Departure Shakes Wall Street; What is WABOL?

Stocks spent the better part of the session pondering the unchanged line, bouncing from gains to losses back to gains by the end of the day, but those gains were marginal, as the bigger news broke after the close.

Supposedly in response to President Trump's proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Chief Economic Advisor to the president, Gary Cohn, resigned his position just before the nightly news broadcast at 6:00 pm ET.

Cohn, former president and COO at investment bank, Goldman Sachs, is highly regarded on Wall Street, thus, his departure from the administration puts the nation's major corporations (and especially those in the financial services sector) at odds with the president. Add to that defections from his own party in the form of comments from House Speaker Paul Ryan and the dutious declarations of defiance from Democrats in House and Senate, and the president is again on his own, skating on some very thin ice.

With stocks reacting in varied fashion - the Nikkei and Hang Seng were both down overnight, while European exchanges were mixed at midday - Trump's foray into the international trade arena has sparked no small degree of interest and disparagement.

While Trump has only announced his intention to impose steel and aluminum tariffs of 25% and 10%, the reactions have been vociferous and without restraint. It remains to be seen whether the president actually goes ahead with his plan (he likely will) and how actual trade will be affected, with reciprocal tariffs and retaliatory measures sure to come from trading partners around the world.

What is WABOL?

Fearless Rick, publisher and chief writer for the Money Daily blog and parent Downtown Magazine has coined a new internet acronym, referenced as WABOL, for "What A Bunch Of Losers."

As such, the acronym WABOL can be employed in any situation involving two or more people that may be the subject of negative commentary, for example:

The New England Patriots
Any gathering of politicians
Public employees

You get the idea. Fearless Rick coined the term. Yes, he did, and this is proof.


Dow Jones Industrial Average March Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
3/1/18 24,608.98 -420.22 -420.22
3/2/18 24,538.06 -70.92 -491.14
3/5/18 24,874.76 +336.70 -154.44
3/6/18 24,884.12 +9.36 -145.08

At the Close, Tuesday, March 6, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,884.12, +9.36 (+0.04%)
NASDAQ: 7,372.01, +41.30 (+0.56%)
S&P 500: 2,728.12, +7.18 (+0.26%)
NYSE Composite: 12,720.77, +40.04 (+0.32%)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

More of the Same: Stocks Start Week With Gains; Even Doug Noland Doesn't Know How It Ends

Nothing new about this, except that it's beginning to become obvious to everybody that the relentless ramping of stocks by central banks and their cohorts in the commercial banking sector (think Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Morgan Stanley) cannot continue uninterrupted.

On the other hand, it's been going on for a lot longer than anyone could have possibly expected...

The big questions are:

1. When does it end?
2. How does it end?

At this point, nobody in the financial world even has a clue, including people as bright and provocative as Doug Noland, who has been authoring the Credit Bubble Bulletin since the late 90s.

His recent interview podcast by Chris Martenson of Peak Prosperity is incredibly prescient and offers insights into the global credit bubble that cannot be found anywhere else.

It is highly recommended listening.

At the Close, Monday, December 11, 2017:
Dow: 24,386.03, +56.87 (+0.23%)
NASDAQ: 6,875.08, +35.00 (+0.51%)
S&P 500: 2,659.99, +8.49 (+0.32%)
NYSE Composite: 12,668.21, +25.15 (+0.20%)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stocks Flat on Monday, BofA, Goldman Sachs Report Improved Earnings

Stocks finished flat in a very dull session, which is not surprising following the blockbuster that was last week. With scant economic news, traders are likely looking forward to the FOMC meeting next week (Tuesday and Wednesday), the last one before September.

Corporate earnings will be taking the spotlight over the next two weeks, as the majority of companies will be reporting second quarter results.

Prior to the open on Tuesday, a couple of major financial institutions reported, with excellent results.

Bank of America (BAC) posted $5.3 billion in net income, up 10% from a year ago. BofA’s earnings per share for the quarter increased 12% to 46 cents. Analysts expected the bank to earn 43 cents per share.

Goldman Sachs (GS) EPS: $3.95 vs. $3.39 expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Revenue $7.89 billion vs. $7.521 billion expected by Reuters.

Despite those solid figures, futures on the main indices are drifting lower prior to Tuesday's opening bell.

At the close, 7/17/17:
Dow: 21,629.72, -8.02 (-0.04%)
NASDAQ: 6,314.43, +1.97 (0.03%)
S&P 500: 2,459.14, -0.13 (-0.01%)
NYSE Composite: 11,890.51, -6.80 (-0.06%)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stocks Rage into the Close; PPT Mentioned on CNBC

Good stuff on Zero Hedge, when Asher Edelman brought up the PPT (Plunge Protection Team) on CNBC's "Fast Money."

People really don't mention the Plunge Protection Team much anymore, ever since the Fed and their central bank cohorts began their financial asset buying spree in 2009. The Fed money-printing machine puts the PPT (otherwise known as the President's Working Group on Financial Markets) to shame.

The Federal Reserve added liquidity to markets by directly intervening through outright asset purchases of mortgage-backed securities and treasury bills and notes. Known as Qualitative Easing (QE), those in the know simply call it "money printing" or "creating money out of thin air." Both are correct, and, despite all the best intents of Keynesian economics, those actions are supposed to create inflation, which has occurred in stocks, housing and elsewhere, but not in the many and varied consumer staples and discretionary items.

Most consumer prices (and incomes) have somewhat stagnated since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-09, and, with the Fed threatening another rate increase in June, they probably won't be moving soon. The dislocations in the housing market and the massive transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the very rich, however, have been direct results of Fed action.

So, it's somewhat funny that the commentator would single out the PPT, though he's probably spot on in his general assessment. The bigger issue would be the almost total control of the equity markets by key players, notably, central banks and large commercial firms, i.e., Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, et. al.

Whatever method was in play today, it certainly worked wonders as stocks levitated after 2:00 pm ET into the close.

At The Close, 5/24/17:
Dow: 21,012.42, +74.51 (0.36%)
NASDAQ: 6,163.02, +24.31 (0.40%)
S&P 500: 2,404.39, +5.97 (0.25%)
NYSE Composite: 11,621.23, +16.61 (0.14%)

Friday, February 3, 2017

What Wall Street Wants, Wall Street Gets; Trump Slashes Dodd-Frank

There's no better way to put it than to say that the Wall Street banks - Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Citi - have Donald Trump's "get out of jail free" card in their back pockets.

Today's action by the President, an executive order slashing most of the regulations put on banks by the Dodd-Frank act under past-president Obama and the useless congress, paves the way for even looser regulations and more wild risk-taking by Wall Street.

And the celebration got underway right after the stupid BLS jobs report and the opening bell, boosting all major averages to within spitting distance of all-time highs.

Should anyone wonder if Mr. Trump knows anything about economics, one has only to look at his Treasury nominee, Steven Mnuchin, who led a group of investors in the take-out of IndyMac, later changing the name to OneWest while it became a serial abuser of mortgage financing and foreclosure laws.

While the former Goldman Sachs partner is not yet assured of passing muster in Senate confirmation, the appearance of yet another Goldman alumnus at the top finance job in the administration should be all one needs to know. Trump has long-standing associations with Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and financiers in general, so it isn't really a surprise.

Business will do business, whether or not it's moral, fiduciary, or based upon sound best practices. Wall Street retained control when Trump was elected, and would have even with Hillary as the president, so there's a bit of a silver lining in that at least the office of the president isn't occupied by a serial liar and psychopath. President Trump is better than the alternative, probably by more than anyone imagined.

After all the whipsaw activity of the past week, the major indices ended relatively unchanged. So, jobs data, the Fed, Trump, the EU, Japan, and the UK central bankers didn't actually add up to much at all.

Caveat Emptor

Carry on and Mind the Gap.

At the Close, Friday, February 3, 2017:

Dow: 20,071.46, +186.55 (0.94%)
NASDAQ: 5,666.77, +30.57 (0.54%)
S&P 500: 2,297.42, +16.57 (0.73%)
NYSE Composite: 11,311.74, +96.36 (0.86%)

For the Week:
Dow: -22.32 (-0.11%)
NASDAQ: +5.98 (0.11%)
S&P 500: +2.72 (0.12%)
NYSE Composite: +27.52 (+0.24%)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Ends On Sour Tone As Stocks Sell Into Year-End Close

At the Close: 12/30/2016:
Dow: 19,762.60, -57.18 (-0.29%)
NASDAQ: 5,383.12, -48.97 (-0.90%)
S&P 500: 2,238.83, -10.43 (-0.46%)
NYSE Composite: 11,056.90, -17.43 (-0.16%)

Over the final three weeks of 2016, the financial community focused on not buying Christmas presents or planning a New Year's gala event, but boosting stocks to a point at which they could be sold for a tidy, late-year profit, and they did so by ramping up the Dow Jones Industrial Average to stratospheric levels before dumping the blue chip shares into the laps of terminally brain-dead bag holders, i.e., pension funds.

This maneuver was rather artfully crafted, with the financial media cheerleading the ascent to the magical "Dow 20,000" level, which, as most readers will note, is anything but magic. The figure is plainly something upon which ordinary people (pension fund managers) could focus their extremely short spans of attention. 20,000 points on the Dow can be compared to other nostalgic remnants of history, like 300 million Americans, 60 home runs, or five percent unemployment.

These are just numbers, and, while numbers themselves don't lie, when placed in a variety of contexts, the narratives blur the lines between fact and fantasy. To say that a certain level of unemployment is "maximum", or that another number is an historic record (and thus something to which others can aspire) reinforces the perceived value of such a figure. It does not change the fact that the number itself is innocuous, lonesome, and static.

Having control over vast swaths of money and capital, as do central bankers and their agents, allows considerable control over the flow. Stocks and commodities are easily controlled by such enormous hordes of cash and certificates; bonds and real estate less so. Thus it's no surprise that US stocks went into overdrive upon the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th US president. This was after various implied warnings about a massive correction should the media star and real estate mogul win the election and was also on the heels of an enormous dumping in the futures market. Unwashed have limited insight, knowledge or memory of how large was the shift from futures to the US open on the day after the election and how well orchestrated was the late-stage rally from early November until just before Christmas.

From November 9 through December 13, the Dow added in excess of 1900 points (from 18,332.74 to 19,974.62), a gain of 1641 points, or, more than 8% in a period of less than seven weeks.

In other words, anybody who was right about Trump winning (not as out-of-the-question as the media had everybody believing) and wrong about the market outcome made a simple, inexcusable error of judgement. Those people trusted the same media narrative that was lying to them on both ends. As it turns out, Mr. Trump was a viable candidate capable of winning the election and the market was going to rally upon his victory, not drop into a sinkhole.

It was a great setup keyed by none other than everybody's favorite globalist central bankers and their agents at Goldman Sachs, the latter group eventually the recipient of more than just a few, token places inside the incoming Trump administration, but also the benefactor in a mammoth stock run which added significantly to the wealth of insiders at, or close to the center of the firm.

But Dow 20,000 was not to be. It was the cherry on top of the sundae meant for the little guy, but it was devoured by ravenous market forces otherwise known as naked short sellers, ostensibly, the large money crowd.

So, 2016 ends with a whimper rather than a shout. Delusional traders and hopeful investors will likely bear witness to more of the same chicanery in 2017. Nobody wants to admit that they're mere pawns on a global chessboard, therefore damming themselves behind a wall of self-doubt, misinformation, lies, and half-truths.

Happy New Year!

Week Ending 12/30/2016:
Dow: -171.21 (-0.86%)
NASDAQ: -79.57 (-1.46%)
S&P 500: -24.96 (-1.10%)
NYSE Composite: (-71.90, (-0.65%)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bank Stocks Lead Market Rout as Bond Yields Plummet; Gold, Silver Soar

If anyone critical of the US economy is - as the great and almighty economic genius, President Obama recently posited - "peddling fiction," then why is Wall Street peeling away from equity positions like it's the Tour de France?

Relentless selling was the order of the day, especially in financials, until the final hour, as specs stepped in or shorts covered, cutting losses by 1/3 to 1/2.

While fiction writers may not think the stock markets are the modern day equivalents of "Moby Dick," they do have something of a beached whale quality to them. Germany's DAX is already in a bear market, as is China's SSE and Japan's NIKKEI, and the US markets are catching down somewhat quickly, with all three major indices already in correction territory.

With no real catalyst to move stocks higher, the prognosis is for further losses through the first quarter.

Banks were particularly ugly today, with Deutschebank (DB, -8.00%) teetering on the brink of insolvency, and losses suffered by Bank of America (BAC, -5.25%), Goldman Sachs (GS, -4.61%), Citigroup (C, -5.14), Wells-Fargo (WFC, -2.84%), and JP Morgan Chase (JPM, -2.10%).

At issue, as usual with banks, is interest rates, which soared today, pushing the 10-year note to an 18-month low yield of 1.74%). Credit spreads also continued to narrow, forecasting a recession, if not this quarter (and possibly last quarter), then almost surely in Q2.

Underlying the banking sector are questions of general solvency, quality of collateral, and, the size of their respective derivative books. Deutsche has the largest, estimated to be a total exposure of $75 trillion, with the US banks heavily into the game. Derivatives - CDS and other "bad bets" are what nearly took the entire Western economic system down in 2008, and they haven't gone away. Bank balance sheets are larger now and filled with just as much, if not more, toxic derivative soup.

When the financials lead the market down, it's usually not a good sign. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Citi are already in bear markets (down more than 20%), while Wells-Fargo and JPM are within one percent of being in the same sinking vote.

Following the underwhelming jobs report Friday, stocks have done nothing but decline and that trend doesn't look to be about to change anytime soon.

The world may be months - if not weeks - away from complete capitulation in stock markets, the precursor to a global depression.

Another telling sign is the rise of gold and silver, two of the top-performing assets (along with bonds) for 2016. Both were up smartly again today and have broken through strong points of resistance.

The day's damage:
S&P 500: 1,853.44, -26.61 (1.42%)
Dow: 16,027.05, -177.92 (1.10%)
NASDAQ: 4,283.75, -79.39 (1.82%)

Crude Oil 30.11 -2.53% Gold 1,191.40 +2.91% EUR/USD 1.1193 +0.30% 10-Yr Bond 1.74 -6.11% Corn 362.00 -1.03% Copper 2.09 -0.52% Silver 15.35 +3.90% Natural Gas 2.13 +3.30% Russell 2000 969.34 -1.65% VIX 26.00 +11.21% BATS 1000 20,045.01 -1.29% GBP/USD 1.4432 -0.47% USD/JPY 115.8500 -0.93%

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wall Street Pouts Despite Twitter IPO; Jobs Data on Deck

Busy day today for the gods of greed, buyers of bluster, falcons of fraud, purveyors of prevarication.

Wall Street was all a-twitter over the IPO of Twitter (TWTR), the latest Web 2.0 mega-fad company gone public, which opened today on the NYSE with a bang. The stock was issued at 26, but opened at 44, quickly ramped up above 50 per share and closed at 44.90, good for a 78% gain. The company - based on "tweets" of 140 characters - is valued at about 29 times sales, pretty rich, especially for a enterprise that's still losing money. Well, at least the founders are now billionaires... on paper.

Prior to the opening bell, there was a flurry of activity from across the Atlantic pond, as Europe's Mario Draghi, ECB president extraordinaire, announced key rate cuts of 25 basis points, leaving the base rate at .25 and the key lending rate at .50. Observers in America wondered what took the Euros so long, though one must consider that they have been in the business of wrecking their own economies and fleecing the public a lot longer than their American counterparts, so they can kick the old can-can a lot longer and down an even shorter road without causing much of a stir.

The response from traders across the continent and in the UK was resoundingly mixed, with the German DAX higher, Britain's FTSE lower and the French CAC-40 barely changed. Don't these people understand the concept of cheap money? Pikers, the lot of them, except, of course, for the stodgy, stingy, and oh-so-proper Germans.

At 8:30 am ET, the US blasted off a couple of economic indicators, releasing the first reading on third quarter GDP at a robust 2.8%, a ribald lie if ever there was one, but enough to scare the few remaining hairs off the head of Lloyd Blankfien and others of his balding ilk. Good news is once again bad news, it appears, and any growth approaching three percent in the US sends shivers up the spineless bankers' backs, because they believe their buddies, Mr. Bernanke and the incoming Mr. Yellen, may cease the easy money programs that has catapulted every dishonest banker into ever-higher tax brackets.

The most recent initial unemployment claims - which were down 9,000 from the previous week, at 336,000, remained stubbornly high, though apparently not quite high enough for the barons of buyouts. These dopes saw this as another sign of a strengthening US economy, so, shortly after the opening bell, stocks did an abrupt about-face and trended lower throughout the session, with little respite.

In other news, Goldman Sachs is under investigation for rigging foreign exchange (FOREX) trading and just about everything else they do, and, yesterday, the Blackstone Group began pitching its rent-backed securities.

Really. They did. And some people actually bought them.

The advance-decline line cratered, with losers leading gainers by a 7:2 ratio, and new lows continue to close the gap on daily new highs, a trend metric that may just flip over if today's losses are indeed presaging something un-funny about tomorrow's delayed October non-farm jobs data, due out an hour before the opening bell. The way to read this is that the government is likely to report that something in the range of 120-150,000 new jobs were created during the month, which would be more proof of economic improvement, exactly what the market doesn't want. Either that, or it's going to be a real stink-bomb, because the forecast is only for 100,000.

Business as usual, my friends. Monkey business, that is.

Dow 15,593.98, -152.90 (0.97%)
Nasdaq 3,857.33, -74.61 (1.90%)
S&P 500 1,747.15, -23.34 (1.32%)
10-Yr Bond 2.61%, -0.03
NYSE Volume 4,092,416,000
Nasdaq Volume 2,196,542,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1276-4371
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 197-101
WTI crude oil: 94.20, -0.60
Gold: 1,308.50, -9.30
Silver: 21.66, -0.111
Corn: 420.50, -0.75

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Stocks Fail to Maintain QE Momentum; Dow Down Four Straight Sessions

After kicking up 148 points following the Fed's "no taper" announcement last Wednesday, it's been straight downhill for the venerable Dow Jones Industrials, even the addition of Goldman Sachs (GS), Visa (V) and Nike (NKE) to the mix unable to stem the outflow from the blue chip index.

The Dow has given back all of those gains and then some, falling for the fourth straight session on Tuesday with a 66.79-point loss after dropping 49 and change on Monday. The S&P followed the Dow to the downside, though not registering such a large percentage loss, while the NASDAQ continued to defy gravity - thanks largely to Apple (AAPL), up marginally on the day, though losing ground into the close.

What's troubling traders and the indices isn't by any means certain, though the about-face and duplicitous moves by the Fed certainly aren't helping. While chairman Ben Bernanke continually espouses openness and transparency, last week's decision to keep asset purchases at current levels was viewed by the street as opaque and insensitive to markets. A lot of people were short going into the FOMC meeting and came out losing their shirts, their covering of positions adding to the upward movement right after the announcement.

Also weighing heavily is the federal government's intransigence on doing anything constructive. Democrats and Republicans are at loggerheads over the budget (or, continuing resolution, as the case may be), Obamacare and the debt ceiling, issues which need to be urgently resolved lest the government become permanently the laughing stock of the world community.

With the Dow off by some 342 points over the last four days, one might suspect that smart money has already headed for safer ground, witness the rally in treasuries, especially the 10-year note, which has fallen precipitously from close to a 3% yield to stand at the end of today at a relatively tame and aesthetically-pleasing, 2.65%.

The government isn't about to work out its problems soon, with an October 1 deadline looming for a government shutdown, which looks more and more likely to occur. The politicians have used up whatever patience the American people have had, and now risk being completely distrusted by the populace as the gang of thugs and ignoramuses they are.

Wall Street may be beginning to awaken to the facts on the ground that the US economy is still in dire straits which are about to get progressively worse and the run on blue chip stocks is telling.

There are just four trading days left in the quarter and traders are, by nature, an impatient bunch, prone to distrust uncertainty. The rest of this week could be a real bloodbath because the politicians can't agree on anything at all.

Dow 15,334.59, -66.79 (0.43%)
Nasdaq 3,768.25, +2.97 (0.08%)
S&P 500 1,697.42, -4.42 (0.26%)
10-Yr Bond 2.65%, -0.06
NYSE Volume 3,480,190,750
Nasdaq Volume 1,731,125,375
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3563-2953
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 309-44
WTI crude oil: 103.13, -0.46
Gold: 1,316.30, -10.70
Silver: 21.59, -0.271

Friday, September 20, 2013

Dow Takes A Header on Realignment

It was a little like old times today. Back before there were supercomputers running the show, there used to be a term called, "late at the close," which signified the level of volume in the final frantic minutes of trading. Financial news announcers would say things like, "the tape was 12 minutes late at the close," meaning that the ticker tape that recorded trades ran past 4:00 pm due to the heavy volume.

Today, the Dow didn't settle out until well after ten minutes beyond the official close, due to the realignment. Bank of America, Hewlett Packard and Alcoa went out; Nike, Goldman Sachs and Visa went in.

It wasn't a fair exchange, and that had something to do with stocks closing at the lows of the day and the Dow outpacing the other averages to the negative. Bank of America is basically an insolvent holding company of the Fed, Hewlett Packard is a dead stock with limited upside potential and Alcoa is more or less nothing other than a proxy for the commodity price of aluminum.

The new entrants seem to have futures, though the addition of Goldman Sachs seems more sinister than anything else. After all, the company has been termed a "giant squid," because its tentacles reach into the netherworld recesses of business and politics.

Still stocks took a pretty good header today and prospects for the remainder of the month - just six more trading days - are not bright, since a government shutdown looms, Obamacare continues to move toward implementation and the complete catastrophe of the US health and labor markets and the country continues to spiral deeper into debt with a rancorous debate soon to come on raising the debt ceiling.

Nonetheless, the Fed has everyone's back, until, of course, they don't, at which time they will have the front, all sides and the keys to all of your property, real, personal and possibly intellectual, if they can strike a deal with Google, Yahoo, Amazon and the NSA.

The future is (fill in the blank... we're too afraid to).

And, BTW, when Warren Buffett says stocks are "fairly valued," it's time to sell, because that's what he's doing.

For the week:
Dow: +75.03
NASDAQ: +52.55
S&P 500: +21.92

Dow 15,451.09, -185.46 (1.19%)
Nasdaq 3,774.73, -14.66 (0.39%)
S&P 500 1,709.91, -12.43 (0.72%)
10-Yr Bond 2.73%, -0.02
NYSE Volume 5,065,868,500
Nasdaq Volume 2,335,355,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2339-4314
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 332-45
WTI crude oil: 104.67, -1.72
Gold: 1,332.50, -36.80
Silver: 21.93, -1.365

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

President Backs Cautiously Away from Syria; Markets Exultant

Tuesday night's address to the nation was - for lack of a better term - illusory.

While President Obummer tried his best to appear calm and in control, he was anything but. Russia's Vladimir Putin had outmaneuvered him on the Syria strike issue by proposing that Syria put its chemical weapons under supervision of international parties.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives was backing far, far away from the unpopular choice to attack Syria, "in a measured way," as Secretary of State John Kerry might put it. A no vote on whether to give the president the authority to attack Syria was all but certain in the House and might have faltered in the Senate as well.

Thus, laughably, the president advised congress to delay its vote on authorization for use of military force for two weeks. Issue settled. Syria will not be assaulted by US arms, the president saves some face and congress gets off the hook as well. There probably will never be a vote on authorization. The Syria chemical attacks, which the administration so vociferously denounced as brutal, heinous, inhume and so outside the realm of civilized conduct that the Syrian government needed to be punished for them, will be back page news by the end of tomorrow so that congress and the president can move onto what they were trying to cover up with a war strike: the budget and debt ceiling twin fiascos.

Those will come soon enough and command daily, screechy headlines from the breathless media whores, but before them, the Federal Reserve's FOMC meets next Tuesday and Wednesday, after which it will purportedly announce the great tapering, or, as it's being called on Wall Street, taper-lite, suggesting that the Fed will reduce its monthly bond purchases from $85 billion a month to somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 billion. Ho-hum. One supposes that the world can survive without an additional $10 billion of monthly liquidity. Somehow, we'll all find a way to survive.

With all these grand developments, Wall Street pros took the opportunity to ramp up stocks in advance of the next options expiry, in hopes that can can make another quick buck before the Fed pulls away the punch bowl.

The Dow was up another 135 points on the day, the third straight session in which the blue chip average was higher by more than 100 points, giving it a gain for the week, thus far, of 404 points. The NASDAQ and S&P were weighed down by Apple (AAPL), whose latest "earth-shaking" announcement was not any new products but merely enhancements and new pricing for existing ones. The stock was punished severely, down 26.93 points on the day.

Back at the Dow Industrials, the index will be reshuffled after the close of trade on September 20. Being kicked out are Bank of America (BAC), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Alcoa (AA), replaced by Nike (NKE), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Visa (V). Because of the way the index weights stocks, giving more weight to high-priced ones than low-priced ones, Goldman Sachs will become the third most-important stock on the Dow, with Visa becoming the second most-important.

In other words, with five financial firms now represented in the 30-stock index, get ready for Dow 20,000. There's no stopping it now, especially when the index can arbitrarily kick out losers and replace them with their favorite pump primers.

There is no honor, nor shame, amongst thieves.

Dow 15,326.60, +135.54 (0.89%)
Nasdaq 3,725.01, -4.01 (0.11%)
S&P 500 1,689.13, +5.14 (0.31%)
10-Yr Bond 2.92%, -0.04
NYSE Volume 3,341,576,250
Nasdaq Volume 1,679,120,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3573-2957
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 344-80
WTI crude oil: 107.56, +0.17
Gold: 1,363.80, -0.20
Silver: 23.17, +0.156

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day-Long Ramp Job

Today's action is precisely what was referenced in yesterday's post.

There's absolutely no telling where or when the market (forget individual stocks, that's another story) is going to move. At the close yesterday was a vast selloff, normally indicating trouble ahead, but, if you sold at the close yesterday, you were shut out this morning unless you wanted back in at a much higher price because the market gapped up tremendously at the open and stayed right up there for the remainder of the session, closing just about where it opened.

This kind of activity may be meaningless to the casual investor, but it's death to day-traders, options players and short-term speculators unless you're on the inside and know the game plan. It's all pre-arranged, pre-planned and if you're not on the short list, you're, well... screwed. Royally. On. A. Big. Stick.

Just look at what happened to JC Penny yesterday. Entering the close of trading, word goes out that CIT has cut their lines of credit and the stock gets hit for about 10% in just a five-minute span, right before the close.

Word has it that Goldman Sachs (yeah, those guys) had recently arranged financing for the troubled retail chain, to the tune of about $2.25 billion, with JCP putting up its real estate - which is extensive - as collateral. So, when word comes that CIT has pulled their lines of credit, hastening the path to bankruptcy court, one can assume that the great Lloyd Blankfein and the criminal John Thain (CEO of CIT, formerly of BOfA's Merrill Lynch and before that, head of the NY stock exchange) must have had lunch at some point over the past few months and arranged the untidy undoing of JC Penny.

Today, via the same source, the NY Post, comes word that the CIT story was a complete fabrication and that JC Penny is still receiving shipments and has ample cash on hand.

Either way this plays out, true story or not, per CIT, somebody lost a lot of money yesterday, and, somebody made a bunch today as the stock recovered most of the losses.

Best guess is that Thain and Blankfein and their firms (or their off-shore accounts) were the main beneficiaries of this bit of dis-or-mis-information. How anybody can trade in this environment is a question for the ages or sages. It's a sick-o world out there in the land of high-finance.

Tomorrow's non-farm payroll report comes out at 8:30 am EDT, prior to the opening bell. As we used to say in high school, BFD. Look it up.

Dow 15,628.02, +128.48 (0.83%)
NASDAQ 3,675.74, +49.37 (1.36%)
S&P 500 1,706.87, +21.14 (1.25%)
NYSE Composite 9,673.39, +114.56 (1.20%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,835,171,500
NYSE Volume 4,175,730,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4375-2251
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 698-89
WTI crude oil: 107.89, +2.86
Gold: 1,311.20, -1.80
Silver: 19.62, -0.004

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gold, Silver Smashed; JP Morgan, Wells Fargo Beat, Sell Off

More questions than answers in the jumbled mess of trading today.

Stocks opened down rather sharply and stayed in the red the balance of the session, but, as usual, the bulls came back in the late stages to push the Dow from a 74-point loss to almost unchanged.

Both JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Wells-Fargo (WFC) posted positive first quarter results prior to the opening bell, but were sold off in the regular session.

Aside from the usual hijinks in stocks, the real story was in commodities, where gold and silver were battered, sending them to two-year lows.

The questions surrounding the gold trade are thus:
Did Goldman Sachs - which lowered their forecasts just days ago on gold - have anything to do with it or have advance knowledge? (Probably.)

Was the forced selling of gold from the Cyprus central bank the cause or an effect?

Understandable that gold was rocked down, but silver fell even more, by percentage. Why?

The best news of the day came from the oil pits, where crude traded just above $90 for a time today and closed down more than 2%. A cursory glance at oil prices over the past year show the downtrend fully in place. Consequently, gas at the pump is down 36 cents from a year ago, on average, and should drop even more in coming weeks with today's drop.

The commodities, along with the string of recent misses in US economic data (today, retail sales were a stinker), may be telling the market something which it does not wish to hear, setting up a correction that is long overdue. Leading that concept is the huge imbalance in the advance-decline line, given the smallish losses.

Of course, that's just the kind of thinking that leads to losses in this liquidity-fed environment, but, then again, how long can this bull run without a break and without breaking down? The current bull market is just over 48 months, and the general length of bull markets is somewhere between 44 and 62 weeks. Time may be running short, or , is this time different?

The word from the Fed is simple. Stay long. Stay strong.

Ah, conventional wisdom is so... simple.

Dow 14,865.06, -0.08 (0.00%)
NASDAQ 3,294.95, -5.21 (0.16%)
S&P 500 1,588.85, -4.52 (0.28%)
NYSE Composite 9,188.11, -45.91 (0.50%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,459,983,750
NYSE Volume 3,534,229,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2478-3940
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 260-53
WTI crude oil: 91.29, -2.22
Gold: 1,501.40, -63.50
Silver: 26.33, -1.366

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Markets Continue Dull Streak; Germany Slow Go on Gold Move

How dull is this market?

The Dow Jones Industrials hit their lows of the day just minutes into trading, losing 66 points, then rallied off that until stabilizing - though still in the red - around 11:00 am ET.

From that point until the close, the index traded in a range of just 25 points.

This is what happens when headline-scanning algos do 80% of the trading. When there's no news, nothing happens. So, if you're trading on fundamentals - things like price-earnings ratios, comparative advantage, free cash flow, etc. - you can just sit and wait until your particular stock of choice latches itself to a broad rally or makes some headline-grabbing news.

And, if that's what's become of our "free" markets, good luck, because the computers will beat you every time. They can find and scan a headline, react and trade in a matter of seconds, or, in much less the time an average web page takes to load.

Now, is there any reason at all for individual investors to trade stocks? One would believe no.

About all that was not moving the market today were a series of equally dull economic reports, like the CPI, at 0.0%. There's no inflation (really?) and no deflation, which, unless one knew better, would be defined as stagflation (or maybe lackflation).

The NAHB Housing Market Index remained steady at 47, whatever that means; industrial production bumped up 0.3%, which was down from last month's reading of an increase of 1.0%, and capacity utilization improved from 78.7% to 78.8%.

Outside of Goldman Sachs' (GS) huge earnings and revenue beat and JP Morgan's (JPM) narrow beat ex-one-time-charges (but of course), what may have put a pall over the session was the World Bank lowering its global growth (that's a joke, son) projection from 3.0% to 2.4%.

Seriously, the sloped-browed, slack-jawed dunces at the World Bank don't have a crystal ball, but, for some unholy reason, people believe they know what they're doing. Some of us are dubious. But, then again, some of us don't trust anything that comes out of the mouth of politicians or bankers or even stock analysts.

Ho-hum. It seems even the bright-minded Germans, who shook things up a little yesterday by wanting some of their gold back, really don't want it all that badly, after all. GATA reports that Germany will take all of seven years to repatriate some 300 tons of its gold from the Federal Reserve in New York. It will likely take a shorter period of time to remove all of its gold - 374 tons - from the vaults in Paris, but it plans on keeping whatever is in the London vaults there indefinitely, amounting of 13% of all its gold.

The plan is to hold 50% of its gold at home, the rest in London and New York. La-de-dah.

Dow 13,511.08, -23.81 (0.18%)
NASDAQ 3,117.54, +6.76 (0.22%)
S&P 500 1,472.57, +0.23 (0.02%)
NYSE Composite 8,710.22, -22.88 (0.26%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,648,059,375
NYSE Volume 3,198,232,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2775-3605
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 263-10
WTI crude oil: 94.24, +0.96
Gold: 1,683.20, -0.70
Silver: 31.54, +0.013

Friday, October 26, 2012

Flat, Nowhere to Go, Markets Stall

It's really difficult to put into words just how... searching... searching... searching for the right word... inconsequential (?) this stock market is.

Following today's non-action - up, down, up and then flat at the close - one can only assume that the machines are fully in charge, skimming nickels and dimes off trades for their human masters, the Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynchs of the world.

For the rest of us, nothing. If the market really does hate indecision, how much does it hate not being able to adequately define itself.

Ponder that over the weekend while hurricane Sandy gets ready to pound the East coast. It should arrive on Wall Street just in time for Tuesday's opening bell. Nothing like a major natural disaster to get those "animal spirits" flowing. Should be good for 10 or 12 points on the Down Jones Industrials (no, that was not a typo).

Have a happy weekend. This blogger is headed for happy hour, because nothing beats being happy. LMAO

Fiscal Cliff. Just in case any bots are looking.

Dow 13,107.21, +3.53 (0.03%)
NASDAQ 2,987.95, +1.83 (0.06%)
S&P 500 1,411.94, -1.03 (0.07%)
NYSE Compos... 8,190.17, -21.74 (0.26%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,766,343,750
NYSE Volume 3,233,096,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2267-3160
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 102-92
WTI crude oil: 86.28, +0.23
Gold: 1,711.90, -1.10
Silver: 32.04, -0.042

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pandit Resigns from CITI; IBM Revenue Miss; Greece Talks Stall; Farm Notes

It was a busy day on Wall Street, with stocks closing at or very near their highs of the day, the two-day rally this week nearly recouping the losses from the prior week on the Dow and S&P, though the NASDAQ, hardest hit last week, has recovered only about 1/2 of its losses.

Stocks got an early boost when Coca-Cola (KO) matched earnings estimates of 50 cents per share and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported third quarter earnings, excluding special items, of $1.25 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $1.21 per share. Both companies are components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Goldman Sachs (GS), the nation's fifth largest bank by assets (though even though hastily granted a commercial bank charter in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis, has yet to open a single retail branch), also beat lowered estimates, citing debt investments and underwriting fees as the main profit drivers.

Industrial production grew by 0.4%, capacity utilization increased slightly from 78.2% to 78.3% in September and the CPI ratcheted up 0.6% in September, due mostly to higher food and fuel costs, which explains why the "official" core rate of an 0.1% increase excludes those necessities. On an annual basis, the September CPI translates into 7.2% inflation, which is probably less than it actually is in the new, Fed-funded world of bizarro-finance.

The big news was the abrupt departure of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit and COO John P. Havens, just a day after the company reported third quarter earnings. According to published reports, Citi's board of directors had been plotting Pandit's retirement for months, though Pandit himself said it was soley his decision.

Pandit's departure sent shock waves through executive offices at Fortune 500 companies and elsewhere, as apparently, there are still some BODs that are not rubber-stamping mechanisms.

Stocks got off to a fast start with most of the gains made in the morning, with small additions in the afternoon.

After the bell, IBM reported earnings in line with expectations, but missed on revenue of $24.7 billion, down from $25.8 billion in Q2, setting up for a testy open on Wednesday. Shares of Big Blue were down five points in after hours trading.

The Euro gained sharply against the dollar, boosting US shares even more as the dollar cheapened, but, in news generally sealed off from the US, Greece's talks with the troika fell apart over further austerity measures with negotiators walking out of meetings.

That late-breaking news, combined with the results from IBM and the scoring of tonight's presidential debate will set the tone for the open on Wednesday.

Farm Notes: Did you know that the agribusiness model that the large corporate farms employ (row planting and harvesting) wastes land, water and valuable resources, besides putting harmful chemicals - through the use of pesticides and fertilizers - to produce crops that are significantly less-protein rich than vegetables grown in the average backyard garden?

Also, using intensive gardening methods such as those used for centuries in France and elsewhere, the same amount of vegetables that an agribusiness farm can produce on one acre can be produced on 1/10th or less of an acre with less fertilizer, water and no pesticides.

Gardening, in America and elsewhere, isn't just about a pasttime or a hobby. It's about reclaiming the economy and moral high ground from corporations and the wasteful practices promoted by the Department of Agriculture.

Dow 13,551.78, +127.55 (0.95%)
NASDAQ 3,101.17, +36.99 (1.21%)
S&P 500 1,454.92, +14.79 (1.03%)
NYSE Composite 8,386.47, +92.97 (1.12%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,735,765,375.00
NYSE Volume 3,539,692,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3861-1630
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 278-40
WTI crude oil: 92.09, +0.24
Gold: 1,746.30, +8.70
Silver: 32.96, +0.216

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stocks Fall for 16th Monday in Last 17; Riots Shutter Foxconn Plant

Seriously, folks, this is getting old.

Major US averages fell for the 16th time in the last 17 Mondays.

This is the new regime. Stocks always go down on Mondays and up on Fridays. They trade in extremely narrow ranges with little to no volatility. Anybody making open orders is immediately raped by HFTs and only insiders win. There is no volume (actually today's volume on the NYSE was in the range from pathetic to morose).

There was actually some positive news on the day. According to a Sunday Times article, Goldman Sachs (GS) is planning to lay off as many as 100 partners in the immediate future. The firm denied the allegations, saying that the changes had been long-planned and many of the departures are due to retirements. No matter the case, it's always good to hear that some of the tentacles of the "giant squid" are being shorn off.

A huge riot of some 5000 workers forced the shutdown of a huge Foxconn facility in Taiyuan, China. The facility reportedly employs 79,000 workers and manufactures the Apple iPhone and other electronic devices for companies such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

The price of crude oil fell again on Monday, causing speculation that the Fed's new bond purchase program, otherwise known as QEternity, is not going to be effective in creating jobs or strengthening the sagging US and global economies.

Business as usual.

Dow 13,558.92, -20.55 (0.15%)
NASDAQ 3,160.78, -19.18 (0.60%)
S&P 500 1,456.89, -3.26 (0.22%)
NYSE Composite 8,356.56, -20.95 (0.25%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,706,535,750
NYSE Volume 2,992,098,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2337-3175
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 307-27
WTI crude oil: 91.93, -0.96
Gold: 1,764.60, -13.40
Silver: 33.98, -0.65