Showing posts with label NYSE Composite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NYSE Composite. Show all posts

Sunday, November 10, 2019

WEEKEND WRAP: Stocks Set Records; Bonds, Precious Metals Battered

The three major averages - Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500 - all reached record territory this week, and, despite some give-back on Wednesday, closed out the week with all-time high closing prices. The lone laggard was the NYSE Composite, which hasn't yet managed to get back to January 2018 levels, but it is close, within 250 points.

Catalysts for the massive run-up through October and into November were supposed breakthroughs in the ongoing US-China trade deadlock and the Fed's 25 basis point cut in the federal funds rate last Wednesday (October 30). Positive news, or even the hint of such, was enough to ignite stocks in the US while Europe tetters on the verge of recession.

Gains made during the past five or six weeks look to be locked in for year-end, but there's barely a sniff of selling among the investment crowd. New records could be set in the indices through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and beyond, especially if indications of renewed vigor in manufacturing develops. It's been dragging lately, but the sector is wide and varied. Some states are doing well as opposed to ones like New York, which has lost 10,000 manufacturing jobs this year, and some sub-sectors are outperforming. Metal tooling is seeing a revival thanks to tariffs on steel, while semiconductors are slumping.

While stocks continued on their merry way to equity nirvana, fixed investment took a beating, especially in the case of the benchmark 10-year note, which appears headed back above two percent, closing out this week with a yield of 1.94%, the highest since July 31 (2.02%). The long end of the curve is certainly steepening, and in a hurry. The 30-year bond checked out on Friday with a yield of 2.43, just a basis point below the closing on August 1 (2.44%).

The short end of the treasury yield curve is still flat, with the difference between 1-month bills and the 5-year note a mere 18 basis points (1.56-1.74%). The curve has maintained an un-inverted posture for nearly three months now, since the 2s-10s crossed for three days in August of this year. That brief period of inversion did engender some recession fears at the time, but they have been allayed by the curve settling into a more orderly regimen.

Recession still being a possibility, always, chances of it occurring anytime soon were quelled when third quarter GDP came in hotter than expected, at 1.9%. Not a good number, the fact that it was above most estimates (1.6%) was enough to hold off the bears. If the measurement holds for the next two estimates of third quarter GDP, the absolute earliest recession bells could ring would be after the first quarter of 2020, if both the fourth quarter of 2019 and first of 2020 were negative, and those are some pretty big ifs.

Thus, it's unlikely that the US will encounter a recession - or at least have one reported - until after the second quarter of 2020, but the economy is looking like it will continue to grow, albeit modestly, until at least the elections in November, good news for President Trump and Republicans in general, and not-so-good for Democrats who wail about everything, even when nothing is amiss in any major way.

Also hammered were precious metals, with silver falling below the Maginot line of $17/ounce late in the week to close out at $16.77. Gold fell from right around $1500/ounce to end the week at its lowest level since the start of October, at $1458.80.

If interest rates continue to climb, it could exacerbate the bearish tone already developing in the metals. To holders, it may not be such a big deal, but more of an opportunity to buy more on the supposed cheap. Precious metals have been out of favor since their massive run-up from 1999 to 2011, and there seems to be no end in sight for the overall bear regime that has taken hold.

One has to consider the rationale for gold or silver as one of protection, so, from a buyer's standpoint there's absolutely nothing wrong with holding or storing some of the shiny stuff. It still maintains value, though it has been fluctuating greatly over the past 20 years, but what hasn't. Gold and silver still provide peace of mind and a store of value that is better, over the longest of terms, than any other investment, save possibly real estate, the difference being that no taxes have to be paid on the shiny metals.

Outlooking for the next seven weeks through Christmas is decidedly positive for stocks, which is all anybody really seems to care about these days. Pension funds are all in, as many have to be, in hopes that there will not be massive underfunding for the retiring baby boomers.

In the most simplistic of ways, stocks may be overvalued, but the rising yields on bonds may tempt some of the less-daring speculators to dive into a safety play. Worse things have happened, but, for now, there seems to be a nice balancing act between the Fed, the government, business, and heavily-indebted consumers, the latter group buoying and buying into the great money scheme of the longest bull market in history.

Some day, it will all come to a screeching halt. By most measures, it's not stopping any time soon.

At the Close, Friday, November 8, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 27,681.24, +6.44 (+0.02%)
NASDAQ: 8,475.31, +40.80 (+0.48%)
S&P 500: 3,093.08, +7.90 (+0.26%)
NYSE Composite: 13,407.80, +12.26 (+0.09%)

For the Week:
Dow: +333.88 (+1.22%)
NASDAQ: +88.92 (+1.06%)
S&P 500: +26.17 (+0.85%)
NYSE Composite: +107.54 (+0.81%)

Monday, November 5, 2018

WEEKEND WRAP: As Mid-Terms Approach, Stocks Gain, Volatility Remains

As October turned to November, volatility persisted with markets gyrating wildly, even as non-farm payroll data came in ahead of expectations and the US mid-term elections (Tuesday, November 6) approached.

Things looked like they were slipping away Friday afternoon, as the Dow registered a loss of 292 points approaching 2:30 pm ET. Near the lows of the day, out of the blue, buyers appeared suddenly, boosting the Dow 198 points in three minutes from 2:26 pm to 2:29 pm ET. A move like that had to be courtesy of the PPT, or, possibly massive, coordinated central bank buying (pretty much the same thing), because all the indices leapt higher at precisely the same time.

In case you think that's fishy, consider what would have happened if the Fed and their central bank cronies had NOT done such things over the past ten years. The world would be a far different place and stocks like Apple wouldn't have the absurd valuation of nearly a trillion dollars. The market's been rigged for a long time, and it's not going to change anytime soon.

Whether or not one ascribes to conspiracy theories, the undeniable truth lies in the nearly ten years of market gains and the week past was another example of how Wall Street manages to play the numbers like Vladimir Horowitz on a Steinway grand piano.

The week began and ended with losses, bracketing three days of upside moves, the result a winning week for stocks, led by a 2.88% move on the NYSE Composite. The other indices were all higher by more than two percent. The week was the second of the last six in which stocks have ended positively.

While the moves were dramatic, only the Dow Industrials managed to close above their 200-day moving average and the 40-week moving average. The other majors remain below key levels and still appear vulnerable. The mid-term elections may trigger a knee-jerk reaction by Wall Street, though any such move is unlikely to be long-lasting. What is apparent is that some big money is moving out of stocks, as distribution has been an obvious element on any upside move. Dip-buyers may have moved markets higher this week, but every rally has been met with selling, indicating a trimming of positions.

Amid the whipsawing of stocks, bonds were selling off, with the 10-year note ending the week at 3.21 and the 30-year long bond yielding 3.46%, the highest in more than five years (June 2014).

The until story is in oil. Both Brent and WTI crude have been losing pricing power for the last six weeks, with WTI settling in the low $60s. The persistent declines and current price of $62.78/barrel is resulting in lower prices at the pump, with the US national average below $2.75/gallon, the lowest level since April of this year.

Lower oil and gas prices are usually a boost for the general economy, as consumers end up with more disposable cash after filling up their vehicles. It's also a boon for homeowners, who see lower fuel costs during heating months.

The big event this week will be Tuesday's mid-term elections. The general thinking is that if Republicans can hold the House and Senate, it will be seen as a referendum on President Trump's first two years in office. The Democrats are counting on a change in the House, with as many as 100 races in the toss-up category. A win in the House for Dems would be seen as a win, though their chances of taking control of the Senate are seen as slim. If such a scenario occurs, the result will be nothing but gridlock in Washington, which is usually a good thing for Wall Street.

Politics aside, the current conditions call for caution. There has been no sign of volatility easing, so the triple-digit daily moves on the Dow and NASDAQ are likely to continue until Thanksgiving at least.

Dow Jones Industrial Average November Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
11/1/18 25,380.74 +264.98 +264.98
11/2/18 25,270.83 -109.91 +155.07

At the Close, Friday, November 2, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,270.83, -109.91 (-0.43%)
NASDAQ: 7,356.99, -77.06 (-1.04%)
S&P 500: 2,723.06, -17.31 (-0.63%)
NYSE Composite: 12,321.80, -34.70 (-0.28%)

For the Week:
Dow: +582.52 (+2.36%)
NASDAQ: +189.78 (+2.65%)
S&P 500: +64.37 (+2.42%)
NYSE Composite: +344.85 (+2.88%)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Weekend Wrap: Stocks Still Shaky; NYSE Composite Collapsed

Friday's split markets didn't offer much in the way of either relief or direction as stocks spent the majority of the week languishing around recent lows. Other than Tuesday's spectacular "all clear" melt-up, the week as a whole offered another indication that either a correction or the beginning of a bear market is already underway.

Without the huge upside surprise of Tuesday - a very suspicious event that occurred out of the blue without any obvious motivating factor - the major indices would have broken down through key supports. As it is, the S&P and NASDAQ are resting right on their 200-day moving averages, while the Dow is somewhere in between its 200 and 50-day MA.

The NASDAQ fell for the ninth time in 12 sessions, the S&P, dropped 10 of the last 12, but the clearest message is being delivered by the most overlooked and broadest index, the NYSE Composite, which has clearly crossed the Rubicon into a dark area of investor despair, already having crashed through its 200-day moving average a week ago and trading well below it since.

Professionals notice these kinds of things, while the general public is usually informed of cataclysmic events after the fact. Closer inspection of the Composite reveals that not only is it down about three percent for the year, but it has spent the majority of 2018 in the red, having never fully recovered from February's free-fall like the other, more-favored indices.

Should anyone be worried? Of course. Worry is one of the great equalizing factors in markets. Anybody who fantasizes that stocks will go up without correction is fuzzy-headed. There is (or should be) a constant tiny voice in the back of one's head urging caution, conservation, and preservation. It's a natural instinct, as much a part of human nature as having two eyes. In some, the trait is over-developed, but for most, it's well-hidden, back behind the modern day facade of bliss and happiness.

This kind of media conditioning is nothing new, but it can be particularly dangerous to avoid asking hard questions when it comes to capital and investments. Thinking that "everything will be fine," or "the government will take care of it," only reinforces attitude hat somebody else has one's best interests in mind when the reality is more likely the complete opposite. In centuries past, financial welfare was more akin to warfare. People had to fight for everything in their lives. It is only in the past 100 years that "civilized" society has allowed the common man and woman to delegate factors of economic survival and prosperity to outsiders. The result has been positive for many, but it has also produced a sizable divergence: creating a small super-wealthy class that controls more financial assets than 90% of the population combined.

Thus, it the 10% or one-percenters who are currently moving the markets, as is normally the case. Ceding control over one's finances is a modern-day contrivance that has benefitted the rich more than the middle and lower classes, and they're going to move the markets in the ways that benefit themselves most. Whether or not that is beneficial to the general population is another question altogether.

Dow Jones Industrial Average October Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
10/1/18 26,651.21 +192.90 +192.90
10/2/18 26,773.94 +122.73 +315.63
10/3/18 26,828.39 +54.45 +370.08
10/4/18 26,627.48 -200.91 +169.17
10/5/18 26,447.05 -180.43 -11.26
10/8/18 26,486.78 +39.73 +28.47
10/9/18 26,430.57 -56.21 -27.74
10/10/18 25,598.74 -831.83 -859.57
10/11/18 25,052.83 -545.91 -1405.48
10/12/18 25,339.99 +287.16 -1118.32
10/15/18 25,250.55 -89.44 -1207.76
10/16/18 25,798.42 +547.87 -659.89
10/17/18 25,706.68 -91.74 -751.63
10/18/18 25,379.45 -327.23 -1078.86
10/19/18 25,444.34 +64.89 -1,013.97

At the Close, Friday, October 19, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,444.34, +64.89 (+0.26%)
NASDAQ: 7,449.03, -36.11 (-0.48%)
S&P 500: 2,767.78, -1.00 (-0.04%)
NYSE Composite: 12,457.27, +11.79 (+0.09%)

For the Week:
Dow: +104.35 (+0.41%)
NASDAQ: -47.87 (-0.64%)
S&P 500: +0.65 (+0.02%)
NYSE Composite: +17.85 (+0.14%)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stocks on Track for Awesome 3rd Quarter Returns

Spoiler Alert: Depending on how your money is allocated, your third quarter 2017 401k, pension or retirement fund statement is going to look pretty good when you get it the first or second week of October.

That's because the rally that started in March, 2009 is still alive and well here in September, 2017.

For instance, if you're a blue chip kind of person, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended May just below 21,000. Two-and-a-half months later, it's broken through 22,000 and is poised for more gains through the end of the September. The Dow is tracking for roughly a five percent gain for the quarter. That's 20% annualized. Who knew this investing stuff was so easy?

In case you're a tech spec, the NASDAQ began the quarter at 6200 and just yesterday broke through to a new all-time high, above 6450. The gain is just over 4%, a little less than the Dow.

For those widely diversified, say, in an index fund tracking the S&P or NYSE, the 500 started June rocketing through 2420 and is currently just below 2500. Again, the profit is around 4%. The NYSE Composite has gone from 11,600 to over 12,000 in the quarter. That 400 point gain is less than four percent, but very safe and sound.

There are just 13 trading days remaining in the third quarter and no impediments for stocks to continue making new high after new high.

Happy returns!

At the Close, Tuesday, September 12, 2017:
Dow: 22,118.86, +61.49 (+0.28%)
NASDAQ: 6,454.28, +22.02 (+0.34%)
S&P 500: 2,496.48, +8.37 (+0.34%)
NYSE Composite: 12,057.12, +46.86 (+0.39%)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Stocks Finish Week With Gains, Remain Range-Bound

If one were to view Friday's market action in a vacuum, without context, one would think everything is just peachy in Wall Street wonderland. The NFP jobs report for June was solid and the major indices put up strong gains to close out the week.

But, nothing exists in isolation.

Taking a little bit broader view, over the shortened, four-day week, all that Friday's gains managed to do was life all the major indices from red to green for the week, with the exception of the NYSE Composite, which finished just nine points underwater, but, not to worry, nobody pays attention to the "comp" anymore, even though it is the most diverse, broadest of the majors.

Fraud, manipulation, massive central bank intervention?

Yes, sure, of course. Since central banks have been the primary drivers of the eight year recovery since the GFC, why would anybody believe they have stopped their high-stakes involvement. Lowering interest rates - even to negative - didn't work. Massive injections of funny fiat money didn't work. Talking about how the labor market and the general economy was doing so great (it isn't) didn't work, so, why not resort to outright purchasing of equities in a vain attempt to create a "wealth effect?"

Of course, the Fed will never admit to such activity, but Switzerland (SNB), Japan (BOJ), and the European Central Bank (ECB) have all openly been buying stocks for the past few years, at least, and probably longer.

Therefore, the entire week of trading was a nonsensical, uneventful kabuki play, designed to give the impression that all is well and there's no reason to sell... anything... even though many did. As they say in the current newsspeak nomenclature, a major league nothing-burger.

Balderdash. You're being culled, cuckolded, marinated, stuffed, and baked by people who control your baseless currency when you could be using that same valueless "money" to purchase goods, food, machinery of trade, gold, silver (currently on sale, as it has been for four years running), land, land and more land, some with actual buildings erected.

But, no. Americans (not to the exclusion of Canadiens, Japanese, and Euroland dwellers) instead purchase garbage college educations for garbage jobs, cell phones, 70-inch TVs, overpriced cars (mainly on leases), and run up enormous amounts of credit card and other debt for baseball tickets and extraordinary "experiences."

With the US government $19.965 trillion in debt, something along the lines of 10,000 seniors retiring every day, underfunded pensions galore, and monstrous debt and unfunded liabilities under-and-overhanging nearly every developed nation...

Good luck with that.

At the Close, 7/7/17:
Dow: 21,414.34, +94.30 (0.44%)
NASDAQ: 6,153.08, +63.61 (1.04%)
S&P 500: 2,425.18, +15.43 (0.64%)
NYSE Composite: 11,752.98, +50.55 (0.43%)

For the week:
Dow: +64.71 (0.30%)
NASDAQ: +12.66 (0.21%)
S&P 500: +1.77 (0.07%)
NYSE Composite: -8.72 (-0.07)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Despite Friday's Gains, Stocks Finish Week Lower; About To Get A Wedgie?

Major US equity indices finished the week strong, with solid gains across all, but the weekly view gives another picture, despite the NASDAQ diverging radically from the others.

Looking especially at the NYSE Composite, the broadest index available (also the one nobody ever mentions) a rising wedge pattern appears from a May (11,254.87) 2015 top, to a bottom (8937.99) in January 2016, to this week's close at 11,542.69. Though the overall gain from the bottom last January is massive - more than 2100 points), the overall increase from the top in 2015 is fewer than 300 points, a return of less than three percent over a two-year span.

Apparently, this is why no self-serving analyst or financial news commentator ever speaks of the "Comp" in glowing terms because it reveals the truth behind this runaway bull market: that it has been concentrated among a few select stocks, leaving the bulk of issues behind, in much the same manner as wealth is distributed among individuals. Most of the money goes to the top 5%, the rest lag behind.

None of the other indices present such a pattern. They are all higher by double digits over the same period. Thus, the market shows a heavy weight toward highly speculative tech stocks in the NASDAQ, dividend-payers in the DOW, and, naturally, the 500 largest US-based companies (S&P 500).

Breadth being a hidden issue, this central bank campaign of feeding the leaders should continue as we head into what are traditionally the weakest months of trading (i.e., sell in May and go away). Internal squabbling among the FOMC board members may address this issue as the approach to an expected rate hike increase in June quickens.

The Fed has more or less signaled three rate hikes this year, though this second of the proposed three may have to hold off until September, after second quarter GDP and earnings are revealed in the latter half of July and into August. May non-farm employment - which will be announced prior to the FOMC June meeting - will also have significant impact.

After two consecutive down weeks in the S&P, Comp., and Dow, the Fed, and the markets, can ill afford another week of losses, so close attention is warranted. This week may mark a true turning point, if there ever is one to be had.

At the Close, 5/19/17:
Dow: 20,804.84, +141.82 (0.69%)
NASDAQ: 6,083.70, +28.57 (0.47%)
S&P 500: 2,381.73 +16.01 (0.68%)
NYSE Composite: 11,542.69, +108.62 (0.95%)

For the Week:
Dow: -91.77 (-0.44%)
NASDAQ: -37.53 (-0.61%)
S&P 500: -9.17 (-0.38%)
NYSE Composite: -4.57 (-0.04)

Monday, May 15, 2017

With the Fed Pledged to Complete Wall Street Backing, There's No Top In Sight

At the Close, 5/15/17:
Dow: 20,981.94, +85.33 (0.41%)
NASDAQ: 6,149.67, +28.44 (0.46%)
S&P 500: 2,402.32, +11.42 (0.48%)
NYSE Composite: 11,614.23, +67.18 (0.58%)

Welcome to the asylum.

Just for reference, a random look at stocks from a one-year perspective.

On May 16, 2016, here's where the major averages closed.
Dow: 17,500.94
NASDAQ: 4,769.56
S&P 500: 2,052.32
NYSE Composite: 10,250.49

OK, so those look like nice gains, right? How much, percentage-wise, through today's close:
Dow: 16.59%
NASDAQ: 22.45%
S&P 500: 14.58%
NYSE Composite: 11.75%

The obvious question is, how long, with the current bull market more than 8 years long (second longest in market history) can this continue?

Skeptics posit that the entire global financial structure is a massive Ponzi scheme based entirely on fiat money backed by nothing, while realists may refer the old "go with the flow" ideology.

With the Fed continuing to be accommodative via historically low interest rates and the continued buying of financial assets by central banks, there may be no better time to be in the market.

Whoever it was who coined the term, "don't fight the Fed," should be sainted immediately by Pope Francis. This bull market could last another two years or end in two weeks. For now, nearly the entire investment community (approaching 100%) is bullish on stocks, which typically signals a turn of fortune. However, this time truly is different. Never has there been the levels of accommodation and asset purchasing by central banks, who eventually, if current patterns play out, will own the entire market, at inflated prices.

Then what?

Global hyperinflation? It could happen, but that will take time.

Stay the course. This is the age of easy money.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Stocks continue Doleful, Doubtful Dance On Unchanged

If anyone was thinking that Monday was a dull day for US markets, then Tuesday had to be considered a suitable capper, but only if one were to be looking only at the closing figures.

The Dow - and other major averages - took a deep dive after the opening bell, falling by as much as 145 points inside of the first two hours of trading.

A reversal took place right off the lows, regaining the green shortly after 1:00 pm ET. After that, stocks spent the rest of the session in a slow churn to close modestly in the red for the day, the only average to finish with gains was the NYSE Composite.

Naturally, this kind of two-day non-event gives even the most skeptical investor absolutely nothing upon which to base any trades, either of the buying or selling variety.

Since the markets have recently nodded off into a semi-somnabulatory state, one can only assume... well, nothing.

While the majority of awakened people in the world probably are hopeful for some kind of stimulation, perhaps it is reassuring that Wall Street finds nothing alarming about anything at this juncture.

On the other hand, it is just these kinds of days and weeks of churning about that usually precede gigantic moves, either to the up-or-downside. Anybody's directional guess is equally good right now.

At the close, Tuesday, April 11, 2017:
Dow: 20,651.30, -6.72 (-0.03%)
NASDAQ: 5,866.77, -14.15 (-0.24%)
S&P 500: 2,353.78, -3.38 (-0.14%)
NYSE Composite: 11,473.62, +9.28 (0.08%)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Big Week For Equities Sends All US Indices To All-Time Highs

Stocks suffered early in the day on Friday, but rallied late with the Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ all closing with marginal gains. Only the NYSE Composite ended the day in the red, down about a point-and-a-half.

Even with options expiry, Friday was barely exciting, but, for the week, the US averages were, in a word, incredible.

The closing figures for the day and week are presented below. More analysis (if any is even necessary) Saturday AM.

At the Close, Friday, February 17, 2017:
Dow: 20,624.05, +4.28 (0.02%)
NASDAQ: 5,838.58, +23.68 (0.41%)
S&P 500: 2,351.16, +3.94 (0.17%)
NYSE COMPOSITE: 11,502.71, -1.48 (-0.01%)

For the week:
Dow: +354.68 (1.75%)
NASDAQ: +104.45 (1.82%)
S&P 500: +35.06 (1.51%)
NYSE COMPOSITE: +133.19 (1.17%)

Friday, December 2, 2016

December Jobs Report OK; Look For FedRes To Raise Rates

The U.S. economy added 178,000 net new jobs last month while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%, the lowest since 2007, the Labor Department said Friday.

That's about all one needs to know about what the Fed may do at the next meeting of the FOMC in less than two weeks, December 13 and 14.

The economy seems to have picked up some confidence from the Trump election, and there's the possibility that the Fed may consider more rate hikes at a faster pace if economic conditions continue to improve (it's about time). what the Fed doesn't want to do is slam the door shut on any expansion by raising rates too quickly, but, after eight years of moribund global flim-flammery, it's apparent that the Fed doesn't want to do anything that might draw undue attention to itself.

As the year enters the final month of a very turbulent 2016, the signs are good that the eight years of non-recovery (except for stocks) may be about to usher in a new prosperity and at least a couple of good years for the US economy. While the rest of the world is in somewhat dubious condition, especially Japan and Europe, with their mountains of debt and negative interest rates, the US seems poised to again take the lead in economic matters.

It may take a while and it may take a pullback in stocks, which hasn't happened since '09, but things do seem to be on the improve.

Other than the Dow Industrials, stocks took a bit of a beating this week, ending on a down note as the Friday rally failed to maintain momentum. This could be the beginning of a Wall Street hissy fit over rate hikes. Then again, stocks are close to all-time highs.

Stay tuned and keep that power dry.

Closing Bell, Friday 12/02/16
Dow: 19,170.42, -21.51 (-0.11%)
NASDAQ: 5,255.65, +4.55 (0.09%)
S&P 500: 2,191.95, +0.87 (0.04%)
NYSE Composite: 10,841.64, +12.65 (0.12%)

For the week:

Dow: +18.28 (+0.10%)
NASDAQ: -143.27 (-2.65%)
S&P 500: -21.40 (-0.98%)
NYSE Composite: -38.98 (-0.36%)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dow Ends 7-Day Losing Streak, But Who's Watching The Transports And NYSE Composite?

Markets can seem exuberant, sometimes, even over-exuberant, as has lately been the case, without reason.

The current environment is one of those times by which market movements cannot be rationally explained, or as the Maestro himself - former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan - so aptly put it, the markets seem to be suffering from irrational exuberance.

This needs to be pointed out in the current context of manipulation and high-stakes politics between the Nah! Brexit vote and the very real threat that Donald Trump might somehow wrangle himself into the Oval Office come November... to the absolute terror of the elite status quo, including everyone from Warren Buffet to Mark Cuban to Janet Yellen and just about every member of congress and Wall Street hedge fund slickster.

Money Daily has recently been pointing out that the any positive developments by Mr. Trump are and have been met with scurrying, rat-like selling of shares on the equity markets by those with very thin, lizard-like skins, probably your average congressional insider and self-important hedge fund managers.

On the other side of the coin, there's the relentless marauding of the Fed, the central bank which is prohibited from buying or selling of equities (unlike the Bank of Japan, which is now a top 10 holder of 90% of the stocks listed on the NIKKEI 225), but which has ample resources by which to funnel money into stocks via proxies such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Merrill Lynch, the investment arm of Bank of America, or even the Bank of Japan, which, having run out of luck in the Nikkei, is probably more than willing to buy US stocks.

It's a safe bet that the Fed and their cronies halted and reversed the post-Brexit decline, sending the Dow and S&P 500 to all-time highs via options trading and positions on the VIX, the volatility index, widely parlayed by those in the hedging business.

In fact, days before the Brexit vote, heads of the Swiss, Canadian, US and Japanese central banks were already in collusion to overcome any nasty "turbulence" in the markets, as openly reported by none other than Bloomberg.

So, it shouldn't come as any stretch of the imagination that the same types who distort presidential polls and have the mainstream media wrapped around their little fingers should also keep stocks artificially high as long as it appears that Hillary Clinton will be elected president come November 8.

Once stocks got to extreme levels, a bell went off in the heads of the big traders, telling them to take profits, resulting in a seven-day sell-off (otherwise known as consolidation), culminating in Tuesday's near-100-point decline on the Dow.

Wednesday, the Dow just barely hung on for a small gain, as did the other indices, however, the recent highs achieved by the Dow can be seen as absolute phonies, when referenced to the Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJTA), which sold-off and rebounded like other indexes post-Brexit, but did not attain new all-time highs (for the record, neither did the NASDAQ, nor the NYSE Composite, the broadest index of US stocks).

The Transports had a good run of it, topping out at 8048.09, but were 100 points shy of the all-time record, set back in April, 2015, at 8149.00.

The same is true on the NYSE Composite (NYA), which topped out recently at 10815.43, a far cry from May 2015, when the index stood proudly at 11254.87.

Taking away from this divergence in major markets is the idea that central banks and their friends can only influence so much. They often (make that, ALWAYS) leave bits and pieces of evidence of foul play scattered about. 100 or so points on the Transportation Average and over 400 points on the Composite shows just how sloppy and misguided their adventures into manipulation of not just stocks, but perceptions, have become.

Everybody watches the Dow and S&P. The transports and composite indices, not so much, or so they believe.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,355.00, +41.23 (0.23%)

5,159.74, +22.00 (0.43%)

S&P 500
2,163.79, +6.76 (0.31%)

NYSE Composite
10,695.14, +34.01 (0.32%)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Brings Out Just a Few Bottom Fishers in Flat Market

There was a bit of moderation on Friday, at the end of a week which saw the major averages give up plenty of downside.

With a dearth of data and corporate news, there were probably more than a few active traders taking the early train out of town during the lackluster session. Some bottom fishing did occur - though not much - as belied by the A-D line, which favored advancing issues, for a change and very low volume.

For the week, the Dow lost 264.84 points (1.65%); the S&P gave up 29.77 (1.65%); the NASDAQ fell 61,54 points (1.51%); and, the NYSE Composite declined by 176.38 (1.74%).

A telling sign of overall weakness is represented by the broadest index (NYSE Comp.) being the worst performer for the week in percentage terms. Notably, the composite average broke through its 50-day moving average yesterday and stabilized below it today. Each of the other indices have room to spare above their respective 50-day lines.

New lows continued their dominance over new highs for the third straight session, 147-114. While that is by no means a trend, experience suggests that it could be marking a market top if new lows exceed the number of new highs for an extended period of eight or more consecutive sessions. More likely would be a back-and-forth between the daily highs and lows in a sideways trading pattern as a precedent to the market direction being decided.

The week was the worst for stocks since October, but by no means indicative of anything other than some late-year selling, fears of Fed tapering and the usual yin and yang between buyers and sellers.

More time and data need to be collected before calling for a change in direction, though the measured belief is that it is overdue, at least in the medium term. Strong support was tested and bounced off of at the lows of the day on the Dow, around 15,723.

DOW 15,755.36, +15.93 (+0.10%)
NASDAQ 4,000.98, +2.57 (+0.06%)
S&P 1,775.32, -0.18 (-0.01%)
10-Yr Note 99.02 +0.75 (+0.77%)
NASDAQ Volume 1.49 Bil
NYSE Volume 3.05 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3257-2361
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 114-147
WTI crude oil: 96.60, -0.90
Gold: 1,234.60, +9.70
Silver: 19.60, +0.151
Corn: 425.50, -8.75

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Highs All Around... Again

Can it really be this easy?

Apparently, investing has become more sport than discipline, as the major indices drove again to new highs - the NASDAQ bounding over 3300, with the Dow, the Comp. and S&P 500 setting new all-time record closes.

In addition to the Fed's constant $85 billion/month put, there are other factors at work. Money is pouring out of Japan and Europe since the Cyprus incident and the BOJ's experimental monetary policy that makes Bernanke's monetizing of US debt appear paltry.

The Japanese central bank, while openly buying all the government issued treasuries it can, is also tinkering in the open markets, buying ETFs and REITs, especially.

If Bernanke gets a whiff of this kind of action, US markets could be buffeted with even more stimulus by the Fed, openly buying stocks to levitate the equity markets higher.

When it will end is anybody's guess, but, despite some Fed officials openly saying - in yesterday's leaked February Fed minutes - that they'd like to taper the bond purchases this year and possibly end them by year's end, Friday's non-farm payroll and today's news that first quarter PC shipments fell by 13.9% globally, the worst decline since records began being kept in 1994.

While Wall Street is flying high, the real economy may not be quite so robust. Many argue that the US is still in a recession, and that the one which began in 2007 never really ended. High levels of unemployment has become endemic, a structural rather than a cyclical issue.

Nonetheless, the markets continue to roar higher, and the chances for a significant pull-back seem about as good as a chicken hatching a coyote. There hasn't been a major decline since August of 2011, and that one was caused by our congress and president nearly letting the government breach the debt ceiling.

The mountains of debt being piled up in Washington are of little concern to Wall Street, though, nor, it appears, to the millions of American who have jobs, or are collecting on one of a myriad of entitlement programs.

It wasn't supposed to work this way, but, for now, it's what we've got as an economy and there's practically nobody arguing against its continued success.

Of those groups getting murdered by the rise of stocks are retirees, who cannot make any money safely, i.e., in fixed income investments, gold and silver bugs and anyone who's not "in."

The question remaining is when these groups capitulate and join the party, will the rug be pulled from under them?

Dow 14,865.14, +62.90 (0.42%)
NASDAQ 3,300.16, +2.91 (0.09%)
S&P 500 1,593.37, +5.64 (0.36%)
NYSE Composite 9,234.62, +45.53 (0.50%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,793,031,500
NYSE Volume 3,476,424,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3663-2761
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 563-25
WTI crude oil: 93.51, -1.13
Gold: 1,564.90, +6.10
Silver: 27.70, +0.044

Monday, March 5, 2007

Wider and Deeper

The US stock markets are in a protracted downturn that isn't likely to end soon, though the measure of the carnage on the NASDAQ has already nearly reached my expectations (7-9%).

People (like headline writers for major news services) usually search to find reasons behind the numbers, but in this current case, there need be no rationale. Stocks are falling because people are selling, plain and simple. A combination of certain perceptions, including, a) a slowing economy (real), b) overvaluation of stocks (again, real), and c) fear that the future may not be so bright (perceived, and only possibly real), have all contributed to the sell-off of the past week.

These perceptions are not about to change soon. Only revaluation (i.e., lower stock prices) is going to solve the problem and that means lower we must go. There's little confidence on Wall Street or Main St. right now and it's being reflected in the indices on an everyday basis.

Today was no exception as we saw the Dow hang in positive territory until capitulation in mid-afternoon. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 spent most of their day in the red.

Dow 12,050.41 -63.69; Nasdaq 2,340.68 -27.32; S&P 500 1,374.12 -13.05

The real carnage was on the NYSE Composite, which lost 120 points today (1.34%). Market metrics established that the correction is broadening and deepening. Overall NYSE and NASDAQ advance-decline lines ran roughly 5-1 in favor of the losers. NYSE volume was 10-1 in the red. But the most compelling data to confirm the ongoing train wreck were the 189 new lows which swamped the 98 new highs. That number had been relatively flat until Friday, at which time the new lows took over leadership.

The new lows will have to reach more than 300 combined before we can begin to take sight on a bottom, so there's much further to go.

Watching the tape today was a painful, gut-wrenching experience for most investors, except for the brilliant few who had already departed. There's still time to get out, however, before a simple loss becomes a life-changing event. As I've repeatedly noted, we are only in the early phase of this downturn and while I may be wrong about the actual bottom for the Dow, I've already been proven vulnerable on the depth of NASDAQ losses. The upcoming earnings season should prove to be a doozy and we're still 5-6 weeks away from that. Prudence would prescribe selling now, not later.

Perhaps the only good news on the day was that oil for April delivery closed down 1.57 to 60.07. Lower oil and gas prices would be welcome relief and surely more representative of the actual supply-demand scenario. Gold and silver were also lower again, signaling that there truly is no safe haven.

The Dow has lost nearly 600 points in just the last 5 sessions. If that isn't enough of a departure signal for you, maybe being hit by the actual train will do. It's very clear that another 1000 points will be sacrificed over the next 3-5 weeks. Caveat emptor.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Blue Chips give back, Nasdaq counter-rallies

The Dow Jones Industrials were down more than fifty points by mid-day, but rallied to close with a minor loss of 6.89. The Nasdaq fared better, adding 5 points and change, closing positive for the 4th time in 5 sessions in the young year. The wider NYSE index lost 17.22 and that's where our counter-rally begins.

The Nasdaq is higher for the year, with the Dow and NYSE composite lower. The figures today are telling, with gainers outpacing losers on the NYSE, though down volume was 55%, up volume, 44%. Over on the Nasdaq the opposite was true.

As sure as Donald Trump dislikes Rosie O'Donnell, this is a sign of cyclical profit taking and reinvestment. Volume on the NYSE was far ahead of the Nasdaq, suggesting that massive profits are being pulled out of big caps and the only play is into smaller, albeit riskier issues. Much of the money taken in profits is being put aside until the market can be more reliably read and quarterly earnings get into full swing over the upcoming two weeks.

A good site for tracking earnings and lots of other useful advice is Earnings Whispers who also sees the Nasdaq counter-rally as indicative of a topping pattern. Finally, somebody with brains (and a web site) who agrees with us.