Showing posts with label NFP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NFP. Show all posts

Friday, August 2, 2019

Stocks Slammed As Trump Targets Tariffs At China; Gold Bid; Payrolls, Unemployment Steady

Stocks swooned for the second straight session after President Trump announced that he would be adding a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports beginning September 1.

The president noted that China had backed down on previous commitments to purchase farm produce from US farmers and to stem the flow of fentanyl into the United States.

Markets reacted with the usual disfavor, erasing earlier gains and slumping deep into negative territory. Apparently, nothing can help the market disengage from negativity. Wednesday's 1/4-point easing of the federal funds rate caused a mini-crash and Thursday's small tariff hike sent dealers to the sell buttons.

On the same news, gold caught a tailwind, rising from a low of $1400 to nearly $1448 in just over seven hours. Silver also gained, but not nearly in the manner of gold. Silver was around $16.30 an ounce as US trading closed and has been trending lower early Friday morning.

WTI crude oil took a nosedive on Thursday, recording its worst one-day performance in four years, with futures dipping below $54 per barrel in late Thursday trading.

As US markets prepare for the final session of the week, Asian and European indices headed lower, with most of the major bourses down more than two percent. After European PMIs all showed contraction - and with the outlook for a "no deal" Brexit a real possibility by the end of October - traders on the continent are voting with their feet, leaving behind a wake of battered stock prices. Europe is most definitely headed for a recession soon, though a US recession is still not an apparent reality.

While the rest of the world struggles to maintain their economies, under the leadership of Donald Trump, the US appears to have a real advantage, the dollar strengthening while the bond market rallies. The US 10-year treasury blasted through the two percent line on Thursday, currently holding with a yield around 1.89%.

In breaking news, July non-farm payrolls came mostly in line with expectations at 164,000 new jobs added during the month. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% and year-over-year wages increased at a 3.2% rate.

Us stock futures are trending off their lows as the opening bell approaches.

At the close, Thursday, August 1, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,583.42, -280.85 (-1.05%)
NASDAQ: 8,111.12, -64.30 (-0.79%)
S&P 500: 2,953.56, -26.82 (-0.90%)
NYSE COMPOSITE: 12,920.82, -145.78 (-1.12%)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Stocks Bid as Congress Avoids Government Shutdown; NFP Grows by 228,000

On Thursday, with the House and Senate agreeing to keep the federal government open for business via a two-week continuing resolution, investors took that relief as reason to rally stocks, erasing some of the losses of the previous week.

As Friday morning advanced toward the opening bell, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released their most recent data on employment in the November non-farm payroll (NFP) report.

Coming in better-than-expected, the department reported an increase of 228,000 net new jobs in the month of November, adding more evidence that the economy, under the guidance of President Donald J. Trump, continues to expand. The unemployment rate remained at decades-low, 4.1%.

Futures pointed to a strong positive open for Friday's week-ending session.

At the Close, Thursday, December 7, 2017:
Dow: 24,211.48, +70.57 (+0.29%)
NASDAQ: 6,812.84, +36.47 (+0.54%)
S&P 500: 2,636.98, +7.71 (+0.29%)
NYSE Composite: 12,568.98, +36.55 (+0.29%)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Payroll Loss Means Nothing As Stocks Recover to Close Friday Flat

Weekend Wrap: Even a horrible September jobs report couldn't slow down the runaway freight train that is the US stock market.

After the BLS reported on Friday a net loss of 33,000 jobs in the month, stocks were lower for most of the session, though investors shrugged off the data as the result of hurricane that hit Texas and Florida and continued to buy as the afternoon wore towards the closing bell.

The late-day surge left the markets mostly flat for the session, with the NASDAQ the only major index to post a gain.

For the week, however, stocks put in one of their best performances of the year, led by the Dow Industrials, which ramped up 1.65%. The laggard was the broad-based NYSE Composite, which posted a gain of just under one percent.

The non-farm payroll report for September was the first since 2010 to show a loss in employment. Despite the three-month average declining sharply to 91,000 from 172,000, stocks were still the place to be.

As stated previously here at Money Daily many times, there is nothing to impede stocks from careening higher for what looks to be the remainder of 2017. with the Fed on hold until December conceding rate increases, and the Bank of Japan and the ECB buying stocks with both fists, passive investors need do nothing besides sitting back and waiting for their quarterly statements.

Making money has never been so easy.

At the Close, Friday, October 6, 2017:
Dow: 22,773.67, -1.72 (-0.01%)
NASDAQ: 6,590.18, +4.82 (+0.07%)
S&P 500: 2,549.33, -2.74 (-0.11%)
NYSE Composite: 12,317.69, -21.24 (-0.17%)

For the Week:
Dow: +368.58 (+1.65%)
NASDAQ: +94.22 (+1.45%)
S&P 500: +29.97 (+1.15%)
NYSE Composite: +108.53 (+0.89%)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

With September Non-Farm Payroll Data On Deck, Stocks Post Record Highs

Even though ADP reported the weakest jobs numbers in 11 months Wednesday, investors shrugged off the data and limped higher, with all major indices closing at fresh all-time highs.

ADP private employment figures for September showed a gain of 135,000 jobs, with the most damage done to firms with less than 20 employees, which registered a loss of 11,000 jobs. The firm, which tracks private payrolls, was quick to point out that hurricanes Harvey and Irma accounted for 50-60,000 fewer jobs created, noting that many mom-and-pop-like outfits were forced to close during and after the disasters that covered much of Florida and the Houston metropolitan area.

Without doing the requisite math, October's figures are likely to be higher by an order of magnitude, unless Mother Nature unleashes more of her wrath on America's southern states.

The data which ADP provides usually presages the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Non-farm Payroll release, due out on Friday, October 6.

Wall Street will likely remain unfazed with a low NFP number, taking the easy way out by blaming storms and natural disasters for the poor showing.

Life goes on, new jobs or not.

At the Close, Wednesday, October 4, 2017:
Dow: 22,661.64, +19.97 (+0.09%)
NASDAQ: 6,534.63, +2.91 (+0.04%)
S&P 500: 2,537.74, +3.16 (+0.12%)
NYSE Composite: 12,304.67, +1.79 (+0.01%)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Despite Near-Surety Of Fed Rate Hike, Stocks Gain To Close Out Week

Editor's Note: This weekend edition may be the last Money Daily posting until Thursday of this week as incredibly bad weather has persisted in our neck of the woods, a recent windstorm knocking out power to over a quarter million of our neighbors immediately to the West. Bone-chilling temperatures and a major snowstorm are predicted for the early part of this coming week. Money Daily will return to a regular daily posting once weather conditions permit.

Investors took Friday's non-farm payroll (NFP) report of 235,000 net new jobs added to the US economy in February as genuine good news, despite the nearly foregone conclusion that the robust figure would make the case for a federal funds rate increase by the FOMC of the Federal Reserve a fait acommpli. The gains snapped a recent string of losing sessions on the major indices.

In reality, the idea of a rate increase of 25 basis points shouldn't be worrying to anybody, especially with the federal funds overnight rate remaining at or below zero for 14 of the past 17 years and the last eight straight.

A 0.25% increase would move the rate to 0.75-1.00, a number that the Fed has been apprehensive of since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008. Since then, they and their fellow travelers in central banking have added trillions in liquidity to the fractured system, saving it from complete collapse.

In the process, however, they have managed to dilute the currencies of most nations, notably those of Japan and the European Union. While rate increases by the US may be a panacea, they could impact other nationas and the global economy in a variety of ways. As the last crisis was liquidity-driven, expect any future crises to be based upon sovereign solvency or faith in national currencies, all of which are backed by nothing more than the faith and (ahem) credit of the issuing country.

The globe is one giant Ponzi scheme, in which everybody buys each others currencies, hoping beyond hope that nobody defaults in a messy manner. Thus far, central banking institutions have managed to avoid large-scale default, but there's no guarantee that such benign conditions will avail themselves indefinitely.

On the other hand, with the ability to conjure dollars, euros and yen out of thin air at their whim, the central bankers are holding all the cards, even though they're bluffing into their sleeves. The system may fail at some point, but it's more likely that gradualism will prevail, making the case that the most important aspect of one's finances may not be generation of income or growth, but preservation of what one already owns.

At The Close, Friday, March 9, 2017:
Dow: 20,902.98, +44.79 (0.21%)
NASDAQ: 5,861.73, +22.92 (0.39%)
S&P 500: 2,372.60, +7.73 (0.33%)
NYSE Composite: 11,500.76, +43.12 (0.38%)

For the Week:
Dow: -102.73 (-0.49%)
NASDAQ: -9.03 (-0.15%)
S&P 500: -10.52 (-0.44%)
NYSE Composite: -97.61 (-0.84%)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Is Good News, Good News? February NFP 255,000; Fed Sure To Hike Rates Next Week

As was expected, the February non-farm payroll number was massive, with the US labor force expanding by 235,000 jobs according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7%, the excellent report supplying plenty of cover for the Federal Reserve to increase the federal funds rate when the FOMC meets next Tuesday and Wednesday.

While the jobs report has Americans ecstatic over the prospects for jobs as the first year of the Trump administration ensues, raising interest rates is not such a universally-loved subject as low rates have largely fueled the eight-year rally which continues on Wall Street.

If the Fed decides to hike rates when they meet next week, it will be the second such advance in three months. In December, the Fed increased the federal funds rate to a range of 0.50-.0.75%. The stock market shrugged it off, advancing sharply since, though the past week has seen the major averages pull back from all-time highs.

An increase to 0.75-1.00% next week would hardly be earth-shattering or even noticeable to most. Some mortgage and credit card debt is tied to the rate, though more are gauged to the prime rate, which hasn't seen much movement throughout the economic expansion.

So, perhaps the good news from the jobs report will translate into genuine good news for the economy. It will, if it slows down the pace of stock buybacks which have fueled the rally, and doesn't crimp the Main Street economy, which is beginning to show positive signs.

At The Close, 4.9.17:
Dow: 20,858.19 +2.46 (0.01%)
NASDAQ: 5,838.81, +1.25 (0.02%)
S&P 500: 2,364.87, +1.89 (0.08%)
NYSE Composite: 11,457.64, +9.43 (0.08%)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Stocks Down Third Straight Session As NFP Looms

One would assume that a good jobs number on Friday would be good for stocks, but, as the economy goes, the Fed goes against it, with tightening via a raise in the federal funds rate almost a surety if the NFP number for February comes in strong, as suggested by Wednesday's ADP figure of 298,000 new jobs added in the month.

That's the backwardness of the stock market, fueled almost entirely by cheap credit and share repurchases (buybacks) over the past eight years. In fact, today marks the 8th anniversary of the market bottom in 2009, and its been nothing but accommodation by the Fed and happy talk from the press ever since.

Thus, stocks fell for the third straight session and fourth in five days, with the exception of the NASDAQ, where speculators have still not succumbed to the axe of profit-taking.

In a sign that the narrative may be unraveling, WTI crude oil fell sharply on Wednesday, closing under $50 a barrel for the first time since December after another survey showed massive gluts in crude and distillates. This should transfer into good news for drivers as the spring and summer driving months come into focus with lower prices at the pump.

Oil has experienced a glut of magnificent proportions over the past two years with demand down and supply at or near record levels. The price of +$50 has been fueled largely by speculation, as is everything else in the financial sector. With interest rates set to increase, perhaps the malinvestments and speculative frenzy can abate and true price discovery ensue.

At The Close, 3.8.17:
Dow: 20,855.73, -69.03 (-0.33%)
NASDAQ: 5,837.55, +3.62 (0.06%)
S&P 500: 2,362.98, -5.41 (-0.23%)
NYSE Composite: 11,448.21, -58.11 (-0.51%)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Stock Markets Backtrack In Advance of February NFP Jobs Report

Editor's Note: Sincere apologies to readers for the incorrect posting this morning. February Non-farm payroll data will not be released until March 10, instead of the usual first Friday of the month. Money Daily reported below that the NFP data would be out TODAY, March 3, but that is not the case. We seriously regret the error.

Following Wednesday's massive upturn in markets on the heels of President Trump's speech, Thursday was a bit of a reality check for gamblers in the Wall Street Casino.

Smart one - and there were plenty of them - took their quick profits and are likely sitting in cash ahead of Friday's non-farm payroll report from the tarnished Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Since February is a short month, expectations for another bump in payrolls may very well be disappointed, to a degree not previously factored.

ADP reported fewer jobs created in the private sector for February than expected. The 139,000 American workers hired to private-sector payrolls in February was below economists' consensus forecast of 155,000. Additionally, ADP revised their January figure to 127,000 from 175,000. That's a mighty big decline which was overshadowed by Wednesday's shock and awe euphoria.

While the NFP does not exactly mirror ADP, it usually tracks pretty well, though the BLS is notorious for using metrics such as the business birth/death model to goose numbers toward the desired result.

Non-farm payroll data will be released Friday morning at 8:30 am ET. There may well be fireworks if the number falls short of the lowered-bar expectations of 157,000 net new jobs.

At The Close, 3.2.17:
Dow: 21,002.97, -112.58 (-0.53%)
NASDAQ: 5,861.22, -42.81 (-0.73%)
S&P 500: 2,381.92, -14.04 (-0.59%)
NYSE Composite: 11,575.91, -85.31 (-0.73%)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Market Steady Ahead of NFP; ADP Reports Jobs Creation Strong

The snapback rally in stocks off the January lows cannot be understated, nor can it be stopped. There are simply not enough reasons to not own stocks, being that commodities have been decimated, bonds are beyond the reach or intellect of ordinary investors, and the fact that most of the investment advisors and fund managers of the world are reaching for yield, putting stocks first, to the detriment of everything and anything else.

But, today was a day for repositioning, after ADP got the party started by reporting that private employers added 214,000 jobs in February. [Full report here]

Stocks initially had the blues, trading in the red for most of the morning, until European markets closed, then quickly erasing all losses, hugging the UNCH line for the remainder of the session.

While stocks were lacking in volatility and volume, commodities got a bit of a boost, with oil, gold and silver headed handily higher.

It was a lackluster session due to uncertainty about next week's FOMC meeting, one which the Fed could conceivably raise interest rates, though analysts have largely dismissed that possibility.

The interim rally in stocks has, since the middle of February, clawed back more than two-thirds of the losses incurred during the six-week decline from the start of January to the middle of February. Nothing seems to be able to send stocks back to their 2016 lows, though getting back to all-time highs would be something of a surprise, considering the slow growth rates of economies around the world, and especially in developed nations.

There's a week left before the FOMC meeting, at which point sentiment may take a turn to the negative, though, if the Fed continues to keep rates at their abnormally low rates, the party crowd on Wall Street is likely to break out the champagne, hats, and favors, bidding up equities beyond reasonable valuations (some say they already have).

This is just normal churn, but no time to either stake out new positions nor panic. The markets seem content - like the US economy - to muddle along, delivering unsensational profits in a low-inflation, low-growth environment.

Friday's non-farm payroll report - as meaningless and unprovable as their spurious numbers might be - may provide some idea of sentiment going forward, but, at this point, the Fed is holding the most volatile hand of all the players, and they're not likely to bluff or fold. In typical Fed fashion, they'll be more likely to check, rather than raise the ante or call the hands.

Wednesday's Sleeper:
S&P 500: 1,986.45, +8.10 (0.41%)
DOW: 16,899.32, +34.24 (0.20%)
NASDAQ: 4,703.42, +13.83 (0.29%)

Crude Oil 34.65 +0.73% Gold 1,241.70 +0.89% EUR/USD 1.0867 -0.01% 10-Yr Bond 1.8480 +0.76% Corn 355.75 +0.07% Copper 2.19 +2.21% Silver 15.01 +1.69% Natural Gas 1.67 -4.13% Russell 2000 1,065.67 +1.06% VIX 17.12 -3.28% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4079 +0.91% USD/JPY 113.38

Thursday, February 4, 2016

There Are Still Stock Buyers, But They're Few and They're Wrong

Stocks in the US staged a half-hearted rally on Thursday, with virtually no news - good, bad or otherwise - to support the move, so, as they say in whispered tones, the market is trading on vapors.

Tomorrow's expected 185-195,000 January NFP may not have as much significance as previous iterations of the market's most-massaged number. There are other issues pressuring stocks that are of more importance. Also, with unemployment - according to "official" sources - very tame, only a huge beat or a huge miss could be cause for stocks to respond going into the weekend.

The money would be on "big miss," as Challenger, Gray and Christmas, the firm that monitors job layoff announcements in the US (and is a fairly reliable source), saw a 218% jump in announced job cuts in January, as employers issued more than 75,000 pink slips during the month.

Those figures aren't likely to be well-represented in the BLS figures on Friday, as the Labor Department has, over the years, garnered quite a reputation for seasonal adjustments and massive post hoc revisions, due, in the main, to the convoluted manner in which they arrive at their contrived conclusions.

In other words, the January non-farm payroll figures should be faded, no matter what they announce at 8:30 am tomorrow.

Gold and silver continued to rally strongly on Thursday, with gold crossing the $1150 rubicon and silver streaking toward $15/ounce, which, by the way, is still the bargain of the century (buy low, sell high, remember?)

Part of the reason for the metals to be heading higher is the decline in the dollar, which is down 4% on the week against competing currencies.

With the Super Bowl just a few days off, traders may tread lightly on Friday, with more interested in covering the spread then covering their clients' losses.

With the tiny uptick today, there's evidence of some level of buying interest, though it seems pretty non-committal and sparse, likely due to the fact that the Dow is still a solid 2000 points from all-time highs and those were set in May, 2015, which happens to be nine months ago.

If it looks like a bear, smells like a bear, it just could be a bear. Most people don't taunt bears. People on Wall Street may appear brave, but there's surely no shortage of stupidity.

Today's hopeful mess:
S&P 500: 1,915.45, +2.92 (0.15%)
Dow: 16,416.58, +79.92 (0.49%)
NASDAQ: 4,509.56, +5.32 (0.12%)

Crude Oil 31.68 -1.86% Gold 1,156.30 +1.31% EUR/USD 1.1215 +1.16% 10-Yr Bond 1.8640 -0.90% Corn 369.00 -0.54% Copper 2.12 +1.26% Silver 14.90 +1.16% Natural Gas 1.97 -3.14% Russell 2000 1,014.79 +0.44% VIX 21.84 +0.88% BATS 1000 20,644.48 +0.45% GBP/USD 1.4589 +0.0041% USD/JPY 116.7550 -1.09%

Monday, April 6, 2015

Exceedingly Poor Jobs Data Sends Stocks Soaring (the new normal)

Sometimes, it's just all too predictable.

When I saw the March jobs number on Friday, and the futures plunging, because, you know, 135,000 net new jobs in the US was about half of what was expected from the goal-seeking BLS.

Revisions to January and February cast an even more dismal pallor over the market, which, gratefully, was closed on Friday.

By Monday morning, stock futures were still in the doldrums and the Dow opened to an immediate loss of over 100 points, but the decline was soon to be erased by the "bad news is good news" crowd and voices from the Fed singing in united, dovish tones, to the tune of ZIRP 4 EVA.

Yep, like I had thought on Friday, a winning day for stocks. Meanwhile the US economy collapses like a house of cards in a wind storm.

Is there no end to this nightmare of a centrally-planned global economy? (Please, don't answer that.)

Dow 17,880.85, +117.61 (0.66%)
S&P 500 2,080.62, +13.66 (0.66%)
NASDAQ 4,917.32, +30.38 (0.62%)

Friday, March 6, 2015

GOOD=BAD; NFP +295,000, DOW -278.87, NASDAQ -55.44, S&P 500 -29.78

As bizarre as global economics has become, almost nothing compares to the algo-crazed stock markets in the United States, where computers are programmed to interpret diverse news report headlines and respond accordingly.

One of the more perverse actions was visible today, when, after the BLS announced, in their monthly non-farm payroll release, that the US had created (mysteriously, magically) 295,000 net new jobs in the month of February stocks traded sharply to the downside and continued that trend for the remainder of the session.

At issue is the proposed June 0.25% increase (that's right, 25 bips) to the federal funds rate that the Federal reserve has been hinting at for the better part of the past two years. Maybe they've been hinting about this seminal event for longer, but, honestly, one has only so much patience for the garbled issuance of verbiage from the masters of misinformation.

Supposedly, the argument on Wall Street is thus: if the economy is truly improving and gathering steam, then the Fed will raise interest rates, meaning that inside players like the big banks, insurance companies and some hedge funds are going to find it much more difficult to make money, because, when you're borrowing billions of dollars at almost nothing, and investing it in dubious stocks and other investments that might not pan out as you had expected - unless the Fed has your back - and, leveraging up those investments 10, 20, maybe 30 times, any increase in your cost of borrowing might bring on disastrous events.

So, as soon as the bells and whistles went off signaling the opening of trade on the final day of the first week of March, the selling ensued, and did so with resolute alacrity and vigor not seen when the markets were going up (all of the past six years, on low volume).

The whole set-up is patently absurd and it's purely the cause of the Fed, which has kept rates too low for too long, and now must reap what they have sewn, so welcome to the great deflation, part two, which began in 2008, and was interrupted by the Fed and Wall Street in March of 2009. If stocks sell off like this merely on the rumor that the Fed will hike rates a measly 1/4 percent, imagine what kind of carnage will ensue when they actually do it.

Where the absurdity begins is difficult to ascertain, though the Fed, through their continued press releases after FOMC meetings, has linguistically backed themselves into a corner. They've repeatedly maintained that they will raise interest rates on a data-driven, unspecific schedule, and the data released today by the BLS was undeniably good, showing strong job growth and an unemployment rate at the lowest point in nearly a decade, at 5.5%, which, to almost anybody's eyes, is pretty much full employment.

There's one little problem with the figures the BLS releases the first Friday of every month: they're BULLS--T, garbage, manipulated, massaged, goal-sought, and thoroughly distort the true nature of the labor market. In other words, there's almost no way there were 295,000 new jobs created in the US last month, and the figures for the past year, and the year before that and before that, etc., are even more misleading. The US economy has been hollowed out, and, while it may be better here than it has been in years, it is not much better.

Now, the Fed knows these figures are made from pure cloth, but they are tied to them. Call today a test of the algorithms, a dry run for the main event, which should occur around the middle of June or by early July. The Fed and the government have to continue to spread the lie that the US economy is strong, vibrant and growing, and, because of that, while most other countries in the world are lowering interest rates (because they honestly know their economies stink), the US is prepared to embark upon one of the more ludicrous propaganda and financial experiments in the history of mankind.

The Federal Reserve, should they go through with their supposed plan to begin raising interest rates in June 2015, will be attempting the impossible, and doing a most dangerous thing: they will be trying to slow down an economy they proclaim - and would like everyone to believe - is growing, which in reality is contracting and deflating.

Our money is heavily on the side of reality winning that argument.

Related trades today concerned all US treasuries, which sold off, sending yields higher. Oil, gold and silver were all lower.

Dow Jones 17,856.85, -278.87 (-1.54%)
S&P 500 2,071.26, -29.78 (-1.42%)
Nasdaq 4,927.37, -55.44 (-1.11%)

Ironic notes: Today was Alan Greenspan's 89th birthday; Apple will replace AT&T in the Dow Jones Industrials on March 18 (just in the nick of time?)

Friday, September 6, 2013

NFP Jobs Data Disappoints; Fed-Taper in Question; Liesman's Big Lie

Following an early-session smack-down and a subsequent rally, stocks came right back to terra firma at the close, ending the session essentially flat.

Non-farm payroll data and Middle east posturing were the main catalysts for the early decline, the rally had little catalyst othe than empty reassurances from the president, or Bomber-in-Chief, who, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his nation would support and defend Syria in the face of any attacks, promised, once again, that strikes against Syria would be measured and brief.

Mr. Obama speaks as if he's planning a family outing of some sort rather than an act of war against a sovereign nation and his posturing and promising is nauseating, misguided and insincere. While the congress dithers over whether to grant him authority - as it must under the War Powers Act - to bomb Syria, a nation that poses no imminent threat to US interests, the president continues to tiptoe toward conflict, one which is likely to inflame parties in an already-tense region.

Market reactions to the president and congress are equally superfluous and without much forethought. To date, the US has done nothing but threaten Syria. If it ever comes to actual bombing, then the market will make up its mind as to whether such actions have consequences for stocks and bonds.

The other contributing factor to today's rocky trade was the August Non-Farm Payroll report which showed the US gaining 169,000 new jobs, well below consensus, and revising June and July data lower. The BLS also advised that the labor force participation rate had fallen again, to 63.2%, a number not seen since 1978, thirty-five years ago.

This item in the BLS calculus continues to plunge, and many, including CNBC's Chief Economist, Steve Liesman, cite the aging baby-boomers retiring as the main culprit, though other economists disagree, and heartily so. The number usually thrown about is that 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day, though, if that were true, there would be something on the order of 300,000 jobs available every month and the labor condition would be booming, but those numbers are not showing up in the NFP reports.

A few of the prominent factors contributing to the lower participation rate are: 1) the coming of Obamacare, which is prompting more and more employers to hire only part-time workers; 2) a reluctance by companies large and small to replace workers lost through attrition or layoffs due to uncertainty in the economy or outright slowdown; 3) the ease by which individuals can qualify for public relief programs such as unemployment insurance, welfare or disability and the generosity of those programs, and; 4) a thriving underground economy of self-employed or off-the-books workers who simply aren't part of the statistical sample. It's been long known that government statistics are wildly faulty and unreliable, and the labor stats simply don't account for the literally millions of Americans who are making ends meet by working around, though or otherwise outside the system, a system which sucks the lifeblood, via taxation and regulation, out of both employers and workers.

The government's statistics may be relied upon by Wall Street investors, but the logic and realism of their assumptions is faulty at best and downright improper at worst. Americans have always found means to an end, and, when the government - all all levels - exerts undue, stifling restrictions upon the citizenry, the people quietly move on without them. Beating back the government by hook or by crook is an American tradition and it will remain that way, so long as people in power feel the necessity to invade every aspect of a citizen's life.

Dow 14,922.50, -14.98 (0.10%)
NASDAQ 3,660.01, +1.23 (0.03%)
S&P 500 1,655.17, +0.09 (0.01%)
NYSE Composite 9,439.66, +19.31 (0.20%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,668,595,250
NYSE Volume 3,384,952,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3718-2834
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 206-54
WTI crude oil: 110.53, +2.16
Gold: 1,386.50, +13.50
Silver: 23.89, +0.636

Thursday, November 1, 2012

ADP Jobs Data Sends Stocks Soaring; Hurricane Sandy Forgotten by Wall Street

Apparently, if we use Wall Street as a proxy for the general economy (which has proven over and over again to NOT be the case), the damages from Hurricane Sandy will not cost corporations anything. In fact, today's gains all but forgot that most of the Eastern coastline of the United States - from Maryland and Delaware to Connecticut - are federal disaster areas.

All that mattered to Wall Street was getting stocks higher, putting on a good face, especially after the "new methodology" of the ADP private payroll survey - with an assist from Moody's (now there's a clean bunch) - is acceptable in advance of Friday's October non-farm payroll data.

The ADP report was hardly believable, showing that there were 158,000 new private sector jobs created in the month of October. This makes the estimates for NFP of 250,000 tomorrow a slam dunk and possibly already priced in.

Off the ADP news, which was released at 8:15 am EDT, stocks shot up at the open, ramped to highs between 10:00 and 11:00 am and held their gains well into the close.

Everything's great! Except that real unemployment is somewhere around 15%, the US borrows 40% of every dollar it spends and fraud and manipulation by banks and corporations continues to go unchecked. Not to worry, we're going to elect Mitt Romney, who will fix it all, because the fix is in, at least according to Wall Street and Fox news.

There's another scandal brewing, however, that will overshadow everything up to this point in the now-four-year-old financial crisis, involving gold, specifically, the gold stored in vaults in New York and London for other nations. Germany has been trying to get a peek at their gold, but has been continually rebuffed.

Jim Willie's latest salvo at the banking elite has a very good take on the matters at hand.

Here's what one of the commenters had to say about gold and bankers:

“Tiny Ghana demanded its gold return from London, but suddenly its leader (John Atta Mills) showed up dead.”

We’re supposed to be surprised by this? Consider that president Andrew Jackson messed with the banksters and had 5 unsuccessful attempts on his life. President Lincoln messed with the banksters via printing debt-free greenbacks and ended up dead. President James Garfield supported a bi-metallic money standard and ended up dead. President William McKinley was assassinated after publicly supporting sound money and a gold standard. President Kennedy authorized the US Treasury to print silver certificates, interfering with the Fed’s position of sole US money creator and ended up dead. Am I missing anyone who messed with the banksters honey pot and was killed? Probably. Murdering your opponents IS the routine behavior of a thugocracy.

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

Dow 13,232.62, +136.16 (1.04%)
NASDAQ 3,020.06, +42.83 (1.44%)
S&P 500 1,427.59, +15.43 (1.09%)
NYSE Composite 8,311.36, +89.97 (1.09%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,884,510,500
NYSE Volume 3,925,129,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3949-1550
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 291-77
WTI crude oil: 87.09, +0.85
Gold: 1,715.50, -3.60
Silver: 32.25, -0.068

Friday, October 5, 2012

Reliability, Persistence and Consistency; NFP Number Disagreeable to All


It slices to the heart like a butcher's knife through a sheave of pork... or chicken, appropriate, for the occasional sarcastic remark, refrained from by those with more sense than the norm.

Today's post, Reliability, Persistence and Consistency, was supposed to have been written yesterday. So much for prescience and the timeliness of a message not delivered.

As the matter may be, the trio go together well. While consistency may or may not inspire a reliable nature, so too persistence can be the godfather of both. In the end, the verbiage required for an adequate discussion of the value of virtuousness is far too great to be expensed on a Friday afternoon. Better to leave things unsaid than say them wrongly, even as the wrongs of others may force the hand into parody, mirth or an occasional lilting melodrama.

As for the markets, so much nothing about nothing much. The greatly-anticipated non-farm payroll report for September left much to be desired on both the bullish and bearish sides of the equation. The actual number of 114,000 net job gain was so close to all official and unofficial estimates as to be nothing more than a hiccup, though traders made the best of it, sending stocks rocketing at the open and trading them down throughout the session and into the close.

A great deal has been and will be made of the unemployment rate flopping to 7.8%. It's pure rubbish, concocted from flimsy data with maximum massage President Oblahblah will feel a s rush of relief. Since FDR, no president has won re-election with an official unemployment rate over 8.0 percent. It's a winning number for a second term. What utter nonsense, because, if the truth be known, the comparison to FDR is apt, so the chances are good that Obama could be re-elected with an unemployment rate of 10 or 15 percent, such is the economic condition of the nation.

May decimal point profits and losses were made by those who find day-trading a pleasurable occupation. For the rest of us, it didn't really matter, much like Wednesday night's Presidential Debate, an over-flouted fiasco of sound that greatly interfered with the finale of the baseball season, which, notably, was without great tension and tumult, except, of course, for fans of the Oakland Athletics. Somewhere, everywhere, lovers of the little guy were crying tears of joy for smallball.

The weekend beckons. Be not afraid nor tired from the pressures of the week just commenced. It is past, and the future always holds promise. Take a break. Reflect. Enjoy life rather than cursing your lot. The weekend will last but a short time. In the grand pantheon of history, your life matters little as well. Don't even think about it. Monday will come sooner than most of us will like.

Dow 13,610.15, +34.79(0.26%)
NASDAQ 3,136.19, -13.27 (0.42%)
S&P 500 1,460.93, -0.47 (0.03%)
NYSE Composite 8,384.07, +7.73(0.09%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,611,767,130
NYSE Volume 3,177,711,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2837-2618
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 468-40 (really)
WTI crude oil: 89.88, -1.83
Gold: 1,780.80, -15.70
Silver: 34.57, -0.529

Friday, August 3, 2012

Markets Soar on NFP Data; End Week with Paltry Gains

Bernanke didn't deliver. Draghi promised much, but fell fell well short in the court of public opinion.

The BLS, however, with its July non-farm payroll report, hit a home run, reporting an increase of 163,000 net new jobs, well beyond average expectations of 85,000, which was good enough for the investariat to send stocks screaming higher as the week closed out with a winning session after four straight losers.

Friday's gains were enough to just about cover the losses for the week, even though volume was the lowest of the five days and the official unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3%. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrials added 20 points and some change, the S&P gained five, while the NASDAQ picked up nine points.

The NYSE Composite index added 27 points, making the week as a whole much ado about nothing in particular.

Noting that the BLS figures are highly suspect and likely politically-contrived, the prior month's figure of an 80,000 gain was revised to 64,000, casting a bit of a pall on the madness of numbers. Investors (using the term lightly) didn't care, sending stocks near three-month highs.

Naturally, most of the gains were made in the opening minutes of trading, closing out profits to all but the privileged few HFTs and insider, bankster types who always seem to be the most profitable in the market.

Once the initial burst of activity had concluded, the market drifted the rest of the session in a very tight range. For instance, the Dow, after 9:45 am EDT, didn't move in either direction by more than 30 points. This is exactly the kind of frightened trading one would assume in a headline-driven, mostly-artificial market.

The week's activity leaves open some very poignant questions. Since last week's two-day burst was derived from hope for relief from the Fed and ECB in the form of more easing of monetary policy or, in the ECB's case, a more robust lending facility with which to bail out failing banks and sovereigns, why then would a positive reading on employment send stocks higher after both the Fed and ECB disappointed?

Apparently, Wall Street gets it either way. Poor economic conditions produce lax monetary policy (and stock gains), but job growth seemingly blunts the argument for more easing, while showing that the economy is on the road to recovery. A win for Wall Street either way, though long-time market observers might view such duplicity with a dollop of disdain.

Chartists may wish to point out the Dow's double top pattern, though still at levels below the year's highs made in the first week of May. The other major indices display similar patterns, with the broadest measures, the NASDAQ and NYSE Composite, showing many trading gaps along the road higher.

It goes without saying that the current market environment is highly reactive and immediate, especially to the upside. Valuations, which, of course, everybody gives the short shrift these days, are fairly rich, especially with corporate profits mostly down from a year ago and many companies missing revenue targets in the second quarter.

Being the end of the week, and payday or some kind of day for the masters of the universe, the pattern has recently been to end with a loud bang, followed by celebrations at favored watering holes or house parties in the Hamptons.

It's the middle of summer and the rich have to play, after all.

Dow 13,096.17, +217.29 (1.69%)
NASDAQ 2,967.90, +58.13 (2.00%)
S&P 500 1,390.99, +25.99 (1.90%)
NYSE Composite 7,935.35, +169.75 (2.19%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,696,452,375
NYSE Volume 3,499,269,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4479-1107
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 286-70
WTI crude oil: 91.40, +4.27
Gold: 1,609.30, +18.60
Silver: 27.80, +0.81

Friday, September 2, 2011

Stocks Slide on NFP ZERO JOB GROWTH; FHFA Sues Big Banks

The Markets

Once the August Non-Farm Payroll report was out, US equities were as good as done. The BLS reported - for the first time since February, 1945 - that no new jobs were created in the month. That's right. Zero. None. Squat.

Adding to the general jobs plight and blight in the US, July and June gains were revised lower. July was down to 85,000 from 117,000 previously reported and June figures showed that employers added just 20,000 jobs in June, not 46,000, for a net loss of 58,000 jobs from previously-believed figures.

Off of that kind of defining news on the economy, stocks dove at the open and stayed down all day long, finishing near their lows.

The other major market mover was news that the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA) - the agency tasked with overseeing the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - was in the process of suing as many as 17 major banks over faulty underwriting on - you guessed it, didn't you? - soured mortgage backed securities (MBS). This news was breaking all day, though details were trickling in at the market's closing bell.

The banks being sued were Bank of America, Merrill Lynch (a subsidiary of BofA) for $22.4 Billion, Citigroup, Barklays, Nomura, among others.

Dow 11,240.26, -253.31 (2.20%)
NASDAQ 2,480.33, -65.71 (2.58%)
S&P 500 1,173.97, -30.45 (2.53%)
NYSE Composite 7,250.73, -192.73 (2.59%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,582,149,000
NYSE Volume 4,363,518,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ advance-decline: 1075-5448
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 20-147
NYMEX WTI crude oil futures: 86.45, -2.48
Gold: 1882.50, +57.10
Silver: 43.25, +1.75

The big winners on the day were the prudent and astute conservative investors holding gold and silver, both of which were boosted significantly as the fear of a looming recession rises and problems in Europe escalate over the second Greek bailout.

Basically, anybody who doesn't believe either a) we're already in a recession; b) the first recession never actually ended; or c) we're about to go into a recession, simply has not been paying attention, or, is paying attention to the globalist media's consistent pleadings that the economy is doing just fine.

With the nitwits in Washington more intent on getting re-elected than fixing real problems, the United States, and by inference, the rest of the world is sinking deeper and deeper into a global depression which likely won't be resolved without drastic measures (war, currency debasement, bank failures on a grandiose scale).

With that in mind, let's party the three-day weekend away with the following:

IDEA: Don't Google it, Bing it!

Most of us use Google for searches, but Bing is better. Not only does Bing offer more options, better video and image coverage, but they have a rewards program by which users can accumulate points and eventually redeem them for some nice items (it takes a while, but if you search a lot, they add up).

What does Google offer besides a lot of ads next to search results? Nothing.

Try Bing. It's better.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stocks Down in Advance of August NFP Numbers

The Markets

All of the major indices ended well into the red on Thursday, and for good reason. Initial Unemployment Claims came in at 409,000 for the most recent reporting period, and that number will be revised higher (as it always is) next week.

Here's the kicker. Continuing claims came in at 3735K, well higher than last week's reported 3641K, though that number was revised higher, to - get this - 3753K, which is 112,000 more. So, one would think, "gee, that continuing claims number is down 18,000 this week," but one would be wrong, because this week's continuing claims number will no doubt be revised higher next week.

The fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which compiles these reports, is so god-awful bad at keeping numbers straight causes consternation, not only in investors, but it spreads to reporters, analysts and eventually, consumers, who are forced to digest whatever the government decides to barf up on any given week.

No wonder consumer confidence and overall approval ratings for congress and the president are so dismally low. The statistics they present are scarcely believable.

The government also reported that second quarter productivity fell by 0.7% (Should we believe this? Were a lot of people Facebooking instead of working?), while unit labor costs rose by 3.3%. That last number is not believable. How, pray tell, can labor costs rise when the economy is stalled out and unemployment is rampant? It goes against the grain of all accepted business wisdom. In a soft labor market, wages stagnate or decline, and especially so when productivity drops.

The takeaway from this is that either we have a bunch of numbskulls running American businesses (not likely, though at the top of the chain, maybe) or American businesses are about to meet a serious margin squeeze, from higher raw materials and higher labor costs. While the latter argument makes a little bit of sense on the surface, we're reminded that the figures are from te government and thus, highly suspect, and, it's an amalgamation across industries. The truth is somewhere in between: certain sectors of the economy are going to be harmed, soon.

That was all the markets dealt with before the bell. As usual, they shrugged it off to some degree, and stocks sank in the early going, until the August ISM index came out with a reading of 50.6 at 10:00 am EDT and produced the most interesting market response of the day (maybe the week). The Dow, for instance, which was down about 35 points, did a 120-point about face and made what would be the highs of the day within minutes (like two or three, seriously). The computers were whizzing, for sure.

The amusing aspect of the market's rise on this number is that the 50.6 number is not very good and was down from an unrevised 50.9 in July. But the market was looking for 48.5, which would have set off alarms, because anything under 50 on the ISM signals contraction, i.e., recession. So, we're not going into a recession unless, um, productivity falls off, or maybe costs rise, or orders slow, or the ISM revises that 50.6 to 49.9 next month?

Don't breath hard on any economic data. You might cause a recession.

But, that was it. Everything was downhill the rest of the session, especially after Goldman Sachs cut their August non-farm payroll estimate in half, from a gain of 50,000 jobs to just 25,000, right around noon. Everything fell off the table at that point.

Considering that job growth of 50,000 for August would, in and of itself, be a horrible number, half of that is terrifyingly bad, and so, we can only expect a major sell-off should Goldman's forecast be even close to the mark. It should be noted that Goldman Sachs has a horrible record on predicting the NFP number, so there's some hope that they're wrong, though not much.

Dow 11,493.57, -119.96 (1.03%)
NASDAQ 2,546.04, -33.42 (1.30%)
S&P 500 1,204.42, -14.47 (1.19%)
NYSE Composite 7,443.46, -84.93 (-1.13%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,771,030,250
NYSE Volume 4,722,466,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1643-4877
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New Highs - New Lows: 54-38
WTI crude oil futures: 88.93, +0.12
Gold: 1826.30, +2.10
Silver: 41.59, +0.08

Comment: Today the fire was lit on the pile of rubble collected on Wall Street. Tomorrow's NFP number, if it's anything under 70,000, will be like gasoline. (MoneyDaily predicted +25-35,000 last week)

Idea: Grow your own.

There's literally nothing new about suggesting you grow some of your own vegetables in your own yard. The problem is that hardly anybody does so, we being conditioned by the Kleptocracy to buy all fresh produce from local supermarkets. Oddly enough, prices at roadside stands or farmer's markets have been roughly the same as in the supermarkets, though farmers tell us that may have been true early in the season, and should correct in September.

It's not as easy as just throwing down some seeds and watching them grow and later in the season picking the lush, juicy, ripe produce. It takes time, care and some good luck from Mother Nature. Ask any full-time farmer. It's work, but the results can be highly rewarding in good, fresh fruits and/or vegetables which costs almost nothing. The added benefit in tending to your own garden is that it gets one closer to nature, making one "grounded" so to speak.

Crops will grow almost anywhere in America. You only have to know which ones will grow best, and when, in your neck of the woods. The internet is a wealth of information on gardening.

Good luck.