Showing posts with label Wall Street. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wall Street. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2019

WEEKEND WRAP: Despite Impeachment Overhang, Wall Street Is Oddly Calm

By midweek, political events had overtaken actual financial news and numbers as House Democrats turned up the heat on yet another attempt to impeach President Trump.

People with intact frontal lobes understand that the Democrats have once again fabricated the "crime" committed by President Trump. Still, the mainstream mass media complex cannot help itself from flailing about furiously at the behest of their liberal handlers. Would the media actually be impartial, this farcical drama - and the Mueller investigation that yielded nothing - would never even see the light of day.

It's further proof that most Democrats in the House have nothing constructive to add to the national debate other than outsized hatred for President Trump and all of his millions of supporters. If there is justice in this insane world, the Democrats will be outed, joe Biden's son, Hunter, will be tried, convicted and imprisoned, and the Democrat party will implode entirely in the aftermath of a massive Trump landslide.

That's for the future to tell. For the present, Wall Street would rather focus on facts, reality, data, and numbers. Third quarter results for traded corporations will begin rolling out next week. Prior to that, September non-farm payroll data will be released on Friday of this week. Whether traders and speculators can divorce themselves from the kabuki theater that is Washington DC long enough to focus on true economic data is the big question. Fast-moving headlines pushing the impeachment narrative will be difficult to ignore in coming days.

For whatever it's worth, the US economy may not be exactly a juggernaut of capitalist endeavor, it is, however, firing on all cylinders, albeit at a slow pace. By the end of October the world will have the first estimate of third quarter GDP, a number that should make headlines, whether it is good (above 2.5%) or bad (below 2.0%). Anything in the range of 2.2-3.0% will be considered a win for the economy (and President Trump), while across the pond, Europe teeters on the brink of recession.

Also on the horizon is quietude from the Federal Reserve, as the next FOMC meeting is scheduled for October 29-30. Thus, the next possible federal funds rate cut will only be under consideration and newsworthy the last two weeks of the coming month. Should economic data and corporate third quarter earnings reports come in positively there would be a rationale for the Fed to just keep rates where they are. The economy isn't struggling, jobs seem to be still plentiful and inflation fears have been kept in check. The few scenarios under which a rate cut could be considered are, at this juncture, unlikely, including a banking blowup, or taking the impeachment folly as serious.

With all that could go wrong, the world continued to turn following the attack on Saudi oil installments a few weeks back. President Trump tactfully pulled the United States back from the brink of escalation against Iran, instead opting for increased sanctions and a peaceful resolution to never-ending mid-East fanaticism and the associated war-mongering by elements in the US and Israel.

Oil, the lifeblood of the global economy, retreated as the situation de-escalated, and may actually fall below $50 per barrel as winter season looms.

Bonds seem to have found a sweet spot, despite the continued inversion of the 3-month:10-year pair, with the 10-year settling into a range between 1.55 and 1.75%. Should that range prevail over the coming weeks and months, clear sailing for the US economy may be a prudent call. While stocks, still somewhat overvalued, continue to flirt with all-time levels, the NASDAQ notably took the brunt of the selling from last week. That's probably a positive, since the NASDAQ contains some of the more pricey shares of tech companies that may need to be tamped down.

Conclusively, the week was far short of either a disaster or a rousing rally. Could it be, for a change, that the most sane place on the planet was lower Manhattan?

These are indeed strange days.

At the Close, Friday, September 27, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 26,820.25, -70.85 (-0.26%)
NASDAQ: 7,939.63, -91.03 (-1.13%)
S&P 500: 2,961.79, -15.83 (-0.53%)
NYSE Composite: 12,971.98, -56.72 (-0.44%)

For the Week:
Dow: -114.82 (-0.43%)
NASDAQ: -178.05 (-2.19%)
S&P 500: -30.28 (-1.01%)
NYSE Composite: -121.82 (-0.93%)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Stocks Tank On Fed Rate Hike (Thank You, Captain Obvious); Transportation Index In Bear Market

What a racket!

As if there was ever any doubt that the Fed would hike the federal funds rate another 25 basis points, stocks shot up at the open and maintained a very positive stance right up until 2:00 pm ET, when the Fed did what everybody knew they would do all along.

Seriously, who in their right mind was buying prior to the rate hike? People with money to burn?

To get an idea of the kind of lunatics trading stocks on Wall Street, the Dow was up just about 300 points at 1:57 pm. By 2:08 pm - following the policy announcement - it was essentially flat... and it went down from there, eventually losing 351 points, closing at a new low for 2018.

Over the same time span, the NASDAQ was up 65 points, but 11 minutes later was down 38. The same fate that befell the Dow was true for NASDAQ, S&P, and NYSE Composite: fresh 2018 lows.

The Transportation Index was absolutely devastated, closing at 9,147.66, down 297.81 points (-3.15%), pushing the transports into bear market territory, down 21% from its September high.

OK, so it was one of those "heads, Fed wins, tails, you lose," kind of deal. There was no way the Fed was going to surprise anybody. It's simply not their style. They telegraph everything they do, because they're so, so important to the proper functioning of the economy, and they never balk at even the most obvious data or implication. Balderdash.

The Fed should be run out of town just like all other central banks have been, but the US sheeple population has put up with this particular band of thieves for the past 105 years. The Fed is why we have booms and busts, never-ending inflation, recessions, absurdly high interest rates on credit cards, and incomes that just don't quite match up with expenses for much of the former middle class.

The good news about the Fed's rate increase is that it may be the last one for a while. They may hike a few times in 2019, or, depending on how the stock market and/or ec responds, they may not hike at all. Meanwhile, they'll keep losing money by unwinding their massive, overvalued bond portfolio of US treasuries and toxic mortgage-backed securities dating from the sub-prime glory days.

Elsewhere, crude oil rallied a little bit, gaining to $47 and change per barrel. Gold and silver were punished, though each was down less than one percent. The real lashing will come tomorrow or at the latest, by the end of the year.

Thus, the Fed, in its infinite wisdom (greed), decided that it would be in its own best interests to destroy the global economy by hiking the overnight and prime rate for the ninth time since 2015.

Happy days for some. tears and more pain to come for many more.

Dow Jones Industrial Average December Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
12/3/18 25,826.43 +287.97 +287.97
12/4/18 25,027.07 -799.36 -511.39
12/6/18 24,947.67 -79.40 -590.79
12/7/18 24,388.95 -558.72 -1149.51
12/10/18 24,423.26 +34.31 -1115.20
12/11/18 24,370.24 -53.02 -1168.22
12/12/18 24,527.27 +157.03 -1011.19
12/13/18 24,597.38 +70.11 -941.08
12/14/18 24,100.51 -496.87 -1437.95
12/17/18 23,592.98 -507.53 -1945.58
12/18/18 23,675.64 +82.66 -1862.92
12/19/18 23,323.66 -351.98 -2214.90

At the Close, Wednesday, December 19, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,323.66, -351.98 (-1.49%)
NASDAQ: 6,636.83, -147.08 (-2.17%)
S&P 500: 2,506.96, -39.20 (-1.54%)
NYSE Composite: 11,371.84, -130.32 (-1.13%)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Stocks, Bonds In Game Of Chicken With Fed, Economy

Who will blink first?

That's the essential question, especially whenever stocks advance in the face of disappointing news or data.

Just today, basking in the afterglow of Independence Day, the data was far from convincing of the official narrative that the economy is clicking, unemployment is low and happy days for all are just over the horizon.

Unemployment claims were higher than expected. For the last week of June, 231,000 were receiving government benefits. The low number of unemployment claims is partially due to a number of factors the government number crunchers don't readily report. First, there are no more extended claims. In most states, it's 26 weeks. That's it. Find a job in six months or be relegated to the "out of workforce" brigade, which are not counted in the official figures.

Additionally, with so many baby boomers retiring (supposedly at a rate of 10,000 a day, though it's likely much lower), there should be jobs aplenty. However, many of those older folks are not being replaced. Corporations are saving through attrition, or, at best, hiring replacements at much lower wages with fewer benefits.

Then there's job growth. The numbers delivered by ADP this morning were uninspiring. Private employers added 177,000 to their payrolls, well below the expected 190,000. Prior to the opening bell on Friday, the BLS releases the non-farm payroll data for June, which is expected to come in at around 195,000 new jobs, but whether the numbers match expectations or not, almost anybody with a functioning brain knows that the data is largely fudged and massaged and generally not reflective of local conditions.

Thus, the wizards on Wall Street are playing chicken in the market, and well they should. The Wall Street elite have the ability to hedge, shed positions before the general public, and make moves faster than anybody else, especially the home-gaming day-traders. They are selling when everyone else is buying and vice versa. They're pros. That's why they're making mega-bucks on Wall Street and you're not.

The Federal Reserve released the minutes from June's FOMC meeting at 2:00 today, which initially sent stocks down, but they recovered to close near their highs. The minutes sent mixed signals, but little to suggest that the Fed would not raise the federal funds rate by another 25 basis points in September, despite a flattening treasury yield curve, which is a harbinger of an economic downturn.

Again, the market pros played chicken and bid up stocks in the face of the Fed minutes which revealed little beyond what was already known.

Bond yields edged slightly higher, except for the 30-year, which shed one basis point to 2.95%. Spreads on the 2s-10s dipped to 29 basis points, and the 2s-30s dropped to 40 bips. Bond traders are staring directly at a flatline instead of a curve, with potential for inversion a real concern. They're selling the short end, buying the long, challenging the Fed to tighten twice more this year, a move that almost certainly would send wild signals through the trading community.

If all of that isn't enough to churn the stomach, Trump's China tariffs go into effect at midnight EDT.

Chicken. It's not what's for dinner. It's what Wall Street plays these days.

Dow Jones Industrial Average July Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
7/2/18 24,307.18 +35.77 +35.77
7/3/18 24,174.82 -132.36 -96.59
7/5/18 24,345.44 +181.92 +85.33

At the Close, Thursday, July 5, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,345.44, +181.92 (+0.71%)
NASDAQ: 7,579.59, +83.75 (+1.03%)
S&P 500: 2,735.07, +21.85 (+0.81%)
NYSE Composite: 12,564.92, +90.53 (+0.56%)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Easy Money Fosters a World of Fatties, Free-Spending, and Fallacies

Easy Street.

It's where we all reside these days, as stocks reach new all-time highs on a regular basis, quarterly fund notices are eagerly awaited for the good news, and no calamity, disaster, data, or dictator can hope to stem the flow of money into the pockets of Wall Street brokers and their eager investors.

Easy Money.

That's the ticket to lifestyles of the rich and famous. What's known widely as the "wealth effect," has everybody giddy with the possibilities of bigger homes, faster cars, more lavish lifestyles. Why would anybody claim that these manufactured dreams are not for the best?

Because they're dreams, fallacies, shadow plays on the collective psyche of investors, which these days happens to include anybody with a decent job and a 401k retirement plan. TV ads show healthy retirees working on sports cars, opening wineries, bicycling along the shore of some deserted beach.

It's a facade for the real lives people live. More than a fair share of people are either in poor health, somewhat destitute, unable to decide between paying for medication or food, and the rents or mortgages on those "bigger homes" are increasing at an unsustainable rate.

Everything, from pickle relish to cell phone plans, is massively overpriced and planning on going higher. The very priests and priestesses of high finance = the governors of the Federal Reserve - tell us that they would like to see more inflation. Seriously. Higher prices... for everything.

Walk through any upscale supermarket and witnessed the blank stares of shoppers strolling and trolling the aisles, mesmerized by colorful labels and delicious deals. It's enough to make the whole country obese.

And it is. Nobody in the financial realm will admit it, but easy money is a leading cause of obesity. It's also a leading cause of mass stupidity. It takes no financial discipline nor anything more than basic math skills to suck up the profits from the font of Wall Street. It's intellectually dishonest and mentally disarming. It results in being massively unprepared for the present and especially, the future.

Easy money fuels the general degradation of society because of it's essential falsity. The money is conjured out of thin air - with a dabble of debt added for good measure - to buy minuscule portions of companies at prices one would have sneered at 20 years ago. Most people with investments don't even know which companies they own, how many shares of such or what the price to earnings ratio is of the underlying securities.

Is this rational? People have so much trust in money-changers that they don't even know what they own, or why. That's what's troubling. American investors have entrusted their futures to the same group of people who brought us the dotcom disaster, the sub-prime mortgage bubble and the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008-09. It's lunacy of a high order.

There's an old adage that goes, "you get what you pay for." Besides being an example of poor grammar (another sign of the times), there is the ring of truth to the expression. What people have paid for their stocks, their perceived riches, their assumed wealth, is small, yet they expect the returns to be great.

After fees, taxes and the great wealth destroyer of inflation, they're not likely to be very pleased when they cash out.

At the close, Thursday, October 5, 2017: (all record closing highs)
Dow: 22,775.39, +113.75 (+0.50%)
NASDAQ: 6,585.36, +50.73 (+0.78%)
S&P 500: 2,552.07, +14.33 (+0.56%)
NYSE Composite: 12,338.93, +34.26 (+0.28%)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Stocks Predict The Next President Should Be Trump

Wall Street people pride themselves largely upon their particular abilities, especially those who use other people's money (OPM) to wager, gamble, or speculate on investments.

They brag, they boast, some of them actually tell the truth from time to time about their overall performance in the markets, whether their specialty be in stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies.

Claims by some that they have peculiar, timely, or otherwise savvy insights into the future - akin to soothsayers, fortune tellers and gypsy tarot card readers - are, as time goes by, either validated or proven worthless. A spotty track record is by no means a cause for shame or contrition. Rather, these various prognosticators continue to spew pablum, intending to coerce a generally ill-informed public that their positions are the ones that matter.

As the time until the general election dwindles to under two weeks, one thing the Wall Street elite have not - by and large - weighed in upon is the result of the presidential sweepstakes. That's probably for good reason. Like 95% of the general public, they aren't convinced of an outcome either in favor of Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, but, few have expressed their sentiments on what will happen after either is elected.

While there are those who say that the stock market will take a hit if Donald Trump is the next president, few, if any, figure that a Clinton win would be bad for investors. Oddly enough, almost nobody is saying the stock market will roar whichever candidate wins.

That's a perspective that is based largely on stock market returns and historical fact. According to this CNN story, since 1944, the direction of the stock market between August 1 and October 31 has correctly predicted the outcome of the election a stunning 82% of the time.

The metric is startlingly simple. If the market is up during the three months prior to the election, the incumbent party wins. If the market is down, the challenger is swept into office.

As of this writing, that measure favors Donald J. Trump, the challenger, but only slightly. On July 29, the final trading day prior to August 1, the S&P 500 stood at 2,173.60. It closed on Tuesday at 2143.16, about 1 1/2 percent off during the span.

There are three trading days left in the predicted period. It's possible that a strong rally could lift the averages back above the August 1 level, though it is beginning to appear more gloomy for Mrs. Clinton, the more the media bashes Trump and ignores the continuous, outrageous, potentially criminal behavior of the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

With the markets set to open in about a half hour, futures are lower. If this trend continues, get ready for a Trump presidency and the ascendancy of a moralistic, populist, business-first new regime in Washington.

Change at the top and across the political spectrum would likely be a boon to the majority of working Americans. After all, they're the ones that really matter, right?

Tuesday Trauma:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,169.27, -53.76 (-0.30%)

5,283.40, -26.43 (-0.50%)

S&P 500
2,143.16, -8.17 (-0.38%)

NYSE Composite
10,550.19, -41.12 (-0.39%)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dow Touches 18,000 Agains, Fails

After a shaky start, the Dow - and the other equity averages - erased the morning's losses and finally managed to end the day with just minor losses.

The industrials punched through the 18,000 mark again, but could not sustain the rally, closing just shy of that critical, psychological marker.

This pattern has been in play more often than should be mentioned, prompting belief that the Federal Reserve itself is intervening in stocks, something - in this dystopian reality - that should surprise nobody.

In any case, if the Fed has "the back" of all market plungers, then why not just go ahead and buy your ticket to the good life, via Amazon, or Google, or Apple, perhaps even taking a flyer on the occasional small cap or some oil driller?

If it were only so easy. A wise man once said, "if it was that easy, we'd all be rich." For the monied gangsters doing business on the South end of Manhattan island, perhaps it is so. But, they have other problems, like margin calls, undersized genitalia and assorted mental maladies.

The world of finance is especially rigged to make certain people rich. For the rest of us, it's pretty much a crap-shoot, which is why so many, especially since the economic calamity of 2008-09, have opted to not play any more.

Tomorrow is Friday, and, for much of the expanse of the great United States of America, the weather should be pleasant, if not outright spectacular. Punch in, punch out, grab an adult beverage and had for the patio. Fire up the grill and cook something.

Money doesn't buy happiness. There is surely more to living than counting your shekels. Besides, did you see the gains in silver the past two days?

Something is afoot.

Thursday's Troubled Trip:
S&P 500: 2,115.48, -3.64 (0.17%)
Dow: 17,985.19, -19.86 (0.11%)
NASDAQ: 4,958.62, -16.03 (0.32%)

Crude Oil 50.42 -0.28% Gold 1,271.90 -0.06% EUR/USD 1.1314 -0.04% 10-Yr Bond 1.68 -1.52% Corn 426.00 -1.22% Copper 2.04 0.00% Silver 17.28 +0.10% Natural Gas 2.95 +3.19% Russell 2000 1,181.20 -0.65% VIX 14.64 +3.98% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4462 +0.02% USD/JPY 106.9945 +0.03%

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stock Rally Extends to Weekend, Rips Faces Off Bears

It was the worst of times. Then, midweek, it became the best of times.

With US stocks falling off the proverbial value cliff on Wednesday, just before noon everything suddenly changed, and the rest of the week was witness to a face-ripping surge which took the Dow Jones Industrials from a low of 15,450.56 on Wednesday to the close Friday at 16,093.51, a gain of 643 points, or, roughly four percent.

The gains from Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday were so large and so widespread that they left the seeming collapse of Tuesday and early Wednesday as fleeting memories.

Also on the agenda was the untimely end of the price collapse in crude oil, which bottomed out at 26 dollars and change on Wednesday, but closed Friday right around $32 per barrel.

Of course, all of this would not have been possible without some catalyst, like exceptional across-the-board earnings results, outstanding economic data or great geopolitical news. Truth is, none of that happened. Earnings reports have been moderate and inconsistent, economic data has been nothing if not poor, and the geopolitical condition has not changed one whit since Wednesday.

The rally was all concocted and executed by sellers of size, using hyperventilating computer algos which control more than 90% of the trading in the Wall Street casino. It is neither a fair market nor a free market, nor much of a market at all. There hasn't been true price discovery for a long time, at least since March of 2009, when the FASB suspended mark-to-market accounting and the Federal Reserve - in cahoots with the various central banks of Europe, China and Japan - went on an asset-buying binge and slashed the federal funds interest rate to zero.

The market of today is nothing like the one that worked in the heyday of Wall Street. This one is a rotting corpse, overseen by undertakers from the Fed and their lackeys in the large banks and brokerages, which control it, lock, stock and barrel. It is not a place to invest. It is a place to gamble, and gamblers almost always lose.

So it is that the Federal Reserve's reign over the world's finances will continue, with or without some occasional fireworks from the stock market.

The shortened week (markets were closed Monday for MLK Day) ended positive, the first in the three weeks thus far in 2016. However, unless this current rally remains intact and explosive to the upside next week, January will end in the red. By how much is anybody's guess, though the final two days of this week can rightfully be chalked up to options expiration, as doubles many a tenacious trader made money in a derivative fashion.

For the Week:
S&P: +26.57 (+1.41%)
Dow: +105.43 (+0.66%)
NASDAQ: +102.76 (+2.29%)

The Day's Closing Quotes:
S&P 500: 1,906.90, +37.91 (2.03%)
Dow: 16,093.51, +210.83 (1.33%)
NASDAQ: 4,591.18, +119.12 (2.66%)

Crude Oil 31.99 +8.33% Gold 1,097.50 -0.06% EUR/USD 1.08 -0.60% 10-Yr Bond 2.0480 +1.44% Corn 369.75 +0.75% Copper 2.00 +0.28% Silver 14.06 -0.24% Natural Gas 2.14 +0.05% Russell 2000 1,020.77 +2.35% VIX 22.34 -16.30% BATS 1000 20,303.38 +1.95% GBP/USD 1.4264 +0.34% USD/JPY 118.7715 +0.79%
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Money Daily TacklesThe Best Of Wall Street With 2016 Predictions; The Big Fail: S&P, Dow Finish Lower for 2015

Stocks took it on the chin on the last trading day of 2015, and the S&P and Dow Industrials ended the year with losses. Only the NASDAQ showed a gain for the year.

Closing prices for December 31, 2015:

-19.42 (0.94%)

Chart for ^GSPC

-178.84 (1.02%)

Chart for ^DJI

-58.44 (1.15%)

Chart for ^IXIC
That's a wrap for the year. Read on, because 2016 is going to be even more interesting.

Picks for 2016

Courtesy of Barron's, here are some of Wall Street's top strategists picks to click in 2016:

Note the groupthink among these masters of the universe posers.

Aside from Steven Auth's outrageous call for 2500 (it might be a typo) the target for the S&P 500 ranges from 2100 to 2250. The expected 2016 GDP is all in a range from 1.9% to 2.8%. These are not the brave and the bold, that's for sure.

So, since Wall Street analysts have decided to continue with the false narrative that all is well, Money Daily offers the following set-up for what figures to be a downright fascinating year.

Since it's a presidential election year and the past two which marked the end of an eight-year presidency (Bush replaced Clinton in 2000, Obama replaced Bush in 2008) both were near-disasters for equity traders, 2016 promises to be an explosive twelve months.

Now that you've seen theirs - which, by the way, don't vary much - here is what Money Daily believes will work in the coming year.

First, the equity markets will absolutely tank.

Stocks Take a Beating

While it would be foolhardy to predict where whole indices will be trading at the end of the year 2016, it may be more instructive to offer a timeline. Since the S&P and Dow haven't made new highs since May of 2015 and both ended the year lower than they closed out 2014, the table has been set for an absolute bear-fest in the opening quarter of the year.

As bears emerge from a short hibernation due to climate change (one of the warmest winters on record in the Northeastern US), they will be hungry to take down entire sectors of the market. Hardest hit will be consumer goods, financials, health care, technology and services. No sector will be spared, but the safest havens will be in basic materials and utilities. The best place of all to be will be largely in cash or bonds. The 10-year note is likely to rally strongly as people flee to safety, and, despite the best efforts of Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve to boost interest rates, the market will set the tone.

The major indices will be looking up at highs which will seem ridiculous by June. Taken on a monthly basis, January will see outright selling, putting the major indices into correction (-10%). February and March may be mild, but could be wild, depending on the direction of most of the well-followed indicators, like industrial production, capacity utilization, the various Fed surveys, factory orders, ISM manufacturing and services, and, of course, non-farm payrolls.

By April or May, the bloom will truly be off the rose, as first quarter GDP comes in below expectations or even shows up negative, the most likely culprit, warmer weather, as opposed to cold weather, which was blamed for the last two Q1 debacles.

Timing the return to a bear market can be tricky, so let it suffice to say that by June at the very latest, stocks will be down more than 20% overall, and the scare will be on.

At the bottom, which will be any time prior to election day, here's where Money Daily expects the major indices to be residing:

S&P 500: 1450
Dow: 12,400
NASDAQ: 3200

Bonds Will Be Wonderful

The 10-year note will trade higher from February through September, with the yield going below the two percent mark and staying there for an extended period, perhaps through the end of the year. Since stocks will offer only losses, lowered guidance and dividend cuts, the flight to bonds will be massive. The short end will be anathema; the 10-year and 30-year will be the bright spots.

GDP May Appear Recessionary

If 2016 results in any growth at all, it will be anemic, in the 1-1.5% range at best. With either the first and second or the second and third quarters putting up negative numbers, the odds for a true recession are high, and the Fed, without any interest rate cuts to counter the slack in the economy, will prove powerless.

The long look will be on currency collapse. After the massive gains in 2015 for the US dollar, that trade will likely reverse. Either that, or a global depression will be the order of the day.

Precious Metals Still Shine

While shunned with near-unaniminity on Wall Street, gold, silver, and platinum will hold their own and probably explode to the upside in the face of outright recession or depression. Gold and platinum could easily see 30-40% gains, while silver, the most-suppressed metal (and most important) could double by year-end, but all the metals will pull back in the early stages of the bear market in stocks.

Once a base is set for the precious metals, it will be off to the races in what will be the resumption of the decades-long bull market that began in 2000. The declines from 2012-2015 will be seen only as a cyclical bear correction amidst a secular bull.

Commodities Useful in Any Environment

So beaten down has been the commodity index, investors may be able to pick and choose from their choice of useful basic materials. Coal, iron, copper, zinc, lumber, oil and other fuels can be a boon in the best or worst of times.

Low prices in crude oil, natural gas and coal should remain in place for the entire year, and beyond. The usefulness of any commodity is, naturally, the selling point, but, in an oversupply environment, end users, rather than producers, will be the main beneficiaries.

An outright deflationary environment should prevail, a boon to cottage industries and small business, which is a welcome change from the repressed conditions of the previous decade. Anyone with the ability to store or make productive use of any manner of commodity should benefit greatly.

Real Estate As Investment Could Be Solid

There are three good reasons to own real estate. Living in a residential home, farming or mining, and renting on a commercial basis.

Since residential real estate is and has been in the stratosphere in many parts of the USA, it's likely to take a serious hit in 2016, with price declines of 10-30% in selected areas, more in others. Speculators and flippers will be fed to the sharks and there will be a slew of defaults in the REIT space.

Farmland, especially anything under 30 acres, which can be handled by a family or small enterprise, could be the best investment of the year. Productive land is usually safe, and besides, you can eat what you grow, which is always a concern.

Commercial real estate will go begging. It's massively overpriced and over-leveraged, due for a massive decline.


The US and global economies have been on a collision course between a massive debt bubble and a large pin. It all comes to a head in 2016, some of it pre-planned, much of it unrehearsed, unwanted and unnecessary.

Stocks will be hated, Wall Street bankers will once again be the object of derision (as they so rightly deserve to be), and politicians will be exposed as mere vassals to the deep state and the banking cartel.

The US will be lucky to avoid a major war, as the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Conplex (MICC) seeks a way out of debt crash and currency debauchery. There isn't one. Only systemic collapse can heal what's wrong in the economies of the world. Watch Japan closely, then Europe. They are the proverbial canaries in the coal mines. China will set its own course, but will continue to emerge as a world power.

The outlook isn't very rosy, admittedly, but, the great oligarchs of the day have made it so. Unmanageable levels of government, business and household debt are screaming for a reset, a break, a jubilee, and it very well could happen.

On the other side of a currency collapse is a bright future, but, if any of the outcomes predicted here actually occur, it will only be the beginning, and there will be more pain for the remainder of the decade. Until Americans and people around the world throw off the shackles of governments, replete with their laws, rules, regulations and onerous taxes, there will be no prosperity.

Donald Trump will win the presidency in November, a sign that the American people have had enough of the status quo.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

In Celebration of Dow 17,000 and a Boffo NFP Report, the Yellen Shriek

Money Daily stopped being a daily post blog in March, 2014. While the name remains the same, the posts are now on an intermittent basis, as conditions warrant, though it is advised to read the archives (from 2006-2014) regularly, even daily, for insights and historical perspective.

A stroke of brilliance this morning:

The Lord's Prayer, revised as "The Yellen Shriek" for Wall Street:

Our fiat,
Which art in dollars,
hollow be thy worth.
Thy stocks go up,
thy vix be down
on CBOE as it is on Wall Street.
Give plebes this day their daily crumb of bread
and deliver us thy dividends,
as we distribute to the one percent.
And lead us not into recession,
but deliver us more POMO,
for the kingdom and the power,
and the glory resides at the Fed,
QE forever and ever,

Go viral, and, have a Happy 4th of July, AKA, INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wall Street Gets First Rally of 2014, Right on Queue

It took a few days (four to be exact), but Wall Street had its first rally of the new year, and it was kind of a big deal.

With two-thirds of the country under the deep freeze and the data streams of economic reports and corporate earnings in a kind of limbo, a little confidence boost was exactly the tonic needed, because, after all, Wall Street would largely cease to exist without a healthy dose of confidence.

Call it any way one likes, stocks needed to rally, and they did. If this is the way efficient markets work, or, how rigged, gamed, manipulated markets operate, so be it.

All is well... until it isn't, unless it's not real, then it doesn't really matter.

DOW 16,530.94, +105.84 (+0.64%)
NASDAQ 4,153.18, +39.50 (+0.96%)
S&P 1,837.88, +11.11 (+0.61%)
10-Yr Note 98.33, +0.27 (+0.27%) Yield: 2.95%
NASDAQ Volume 2.12 Bil
NYSE Volume 3.51 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2876-1841
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 304-17
WTI crude oil: 93.67, +0.24
Gold: 1,229.60, -8.40
Silver: 19.79, -0.316
Corn: 426.00, -1.75

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

According to Wall Street, Humans are Fodder

As I was watching CNBC just minutes ago, as reporter Mary Thompson ticked off details of American Express' (AXP) 4th quarter earnings report, a chart beside her showed the sock gaining in after hour trading just as she announced that the firm would initiate a restructuring involving 5400 job cuts.

The image of the stock going up while people were about to lose their jobs brought home (once again, because this is not the first time) the tragic nature of Wall Street and their glorified love of profits at any cost, even human cost.

Living through the past four years of abject financial repression, first, by banks, then by government, now, by multi-national corporations, the level of moral bankruptcy by the very people who should be exemplars of good behavior is appalling and completely unacceptable.

When people lose jobs and stocks increase in value, it displays not only a shallow disregard for humanity, but almost a depraved indifference to human suffering. Handing out pink slips at corporations has become a routine carried out by more underlings, those "investor types" never having to face a wife or husband who has lost a job when prospects for finding another are so slim.

Of course, from a purely financial perspective, cutting labor costs is wise, but, in the end, elimination of productive labor is wanton, greedy, selfish and eventually self-defeating.

To the corporations and to government, people (mostly working people) are expendable, fodder, chattel, just random numbers to add or eliminate from spreadsheets, profit and loss statements and earnings reports. Rewarding corporations for shedding employees is so distasteful on the surface that one wonders just what parallel universe it is in which those of the rentier class reside.

For every dollar they make in profits, another human being is degraded, shunned, discarded, and, what the investors fail to realize is that without the fruits of human labor - and their spending - the corporations would have no customers. None. Zero. They would be bankrupt and cease to exist and this is exactly the path we have embarked upon though the insanity of centrally-planned money and interest rate policy, banking without rules, corporations with enormous advantages over all competitors and a world reduced to ones and zeroes in a computational fantasy land.

And what a fantasy world it is. Money is created out of thin air, shoveled directly to 10 or 12 money center banks and put to work hiking up prices of stocks. Yes, Virginia, the rich do get richer and the poor poorer, but it is the middle class, like those 5400 American Express employees who are about to lose their jobs who suffer the worst.

Loss of income, self-esteem and personal worth are immeasurable and difficult to replace. The unemployment statistics cited by the government, and ignored by Wall Street, paint a very bleak picture of America in the 21st century. While we are the most technologically-advanced nation in the history of the world, nearly half the population is either collecting some form of government assistance or is about to.

Our business and political leaders have led us down a primrose path to destruction, one upon which they profit every step of the way, but, if there is any justice in the world left, it is the hope that when all the employees are laid off, when all the factories and store fronts and job sites are empty, idle and wasted, that the market will crash, taking down the entire apparatus of Wall Street, the oligarchs and politicians and bankers with it.

Maybe then, finally, people will understand human beings are not fodder, that labor, as defined by none other than Adam Smith, the great economist upon which all of economics is based, is the basis of all wealth, of all money, of all that can be achieved.

Maybe. But it will take a catastrophe - or maybe a hundred thousand catastrophes - for the knowledge to find a home.

Dow 13,471.22, +80.71(0.60%)
NASDAQ 3,121.76, +15.95(0.51%)
S&P 500 1,472.12, +11.10(0.76%)
NYSE Composite 8,713.75, +77.66(0.90%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,753,614,375
NYSE Volume 4,318,613,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4102-2323
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 458-15
WTI crude oil: 94.00, +0.90
Gold: 1,678.00, +22.50
Silver: 30.92, +0.669

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stocks Take Another Beating; Dow Off 185, NASDAQ in Correction

All the issues and problems facing the US and global economies are coming home to roost in a perfect storm of excessive debt, fiscal intransigence, monetary experimentation, overpriced equities, general distrust of leadership, lack of growth, geopolitical tension and poor earnings prospects for corporations.

The selloff today was a continuation of what's been occurring since before the election, but has accelerated dramatically since. Wall Street is quite unhappy with prospects that President Obama will not budge from his position to eliminate the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest two percent of Americans, as emphatically spelled out in an early afternoon press conference.

The president was cool, calm and collected, fielding questions on a variety of topics, but, even though he mentioned compromise frequently, he did not waver in his commitment to tax the wealthy at more than their current rates, including gains on investments, particularly - Wall Street fears - regular income and dividends.

Taking their cue from the president's message, stocks, which opened briefly higher, but quickly fell deep into the red, made new lows nearing the end of his remarks and continued lower into the close, the Dow suffering a 185-point loss and the NASDAQ reaching levels 10% below their recent highs, crashing into correction territory.

With all of the major indices, including even the Russell 2000 of mostly small cap stocks, continuing their descent below their respective 200-day moving averages, bottoms were sought out, though none could be found.

The massive run-up which began in March of 2009 is being unwound, with most of the blame being laid upon the politicians in Washington, DC, though there are more than a few more scapegoats, notably the greed and feed crowd that started the entire mess - the irresponsible banking community and their masters of control, the Federal Reserve.

With the dual policies of ZIRP and massive monetization, the Fed enabled much of Wall Street's excess and continues to do so even today. The neo-Keynesian policies of Ben Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, has spawned a debt bubble deflation crisis that they cannot - as much as they try - spend their way out of.

Most individual investors have been fleeing the market or have already taken their seats on the sidelines, so the damage being done to stocks is going to impact the middle and upper classes the most, with 401k, investment and pension plans taking the brunt of the declines.

In particular, Dow stocks, seen by many as representing the core of American industrialism, have lost more than 1100 points since their highs in early October, erasing most of the gains made throughout the year.

While Washington politicians dither over negotiations to avoid massive tax increases and huge budget cuts (which some say are needed), investors are worried that whatever solution they arrive at will be too little, too late and more of a can-kicking exercise than real reform.

With the holidays fast approaching, Americans are not in a mood for more business as usual from either Wall Street or Washington, and the anger is growing, even on Main Street, where small businesses continue to suffer or skirt taxation completely.

The next few days and weeks could easily turn into a crisis more severe than that of 2008, since none of the improprieties produced by that financial peer into the abyss have yet to be resolved, and now there are fewer measures the Fed or the Treasury can employ to keep the economy afloat.

If anyone thought that the crisis in America was over - to say nothing of the even worse conditions in Europe - they should pay close attention to what happens over the next sixty to ninety days, because they will surely be replete with wild market swings, irony and recriminations from all sides against each other.

Surviving into and beyond 2013 will be a major test of not only the American spirit but of Americans' willingness to accept leadership. President Obama's election to a second term was probably the correct choice, but he alone cannot fix the mess others created.

After today, the bankers and the wizard genii of Wall Street should be running for cover they should have sought out years ago.

Today was a truly dark day, though, from the looks of things, there are many more to come.

Grow some crops if you can, stay close to home and loved ones, and remember our motto: FREE HOUSES FOR EVERYONE!

Dow 12,570.95, -185.23 (1.45%)
NASDAQ 2,846.81, -37.08 (1.29%)
S&P 500 1,355.49, -19.04 (1.39%)
NYSE Composite 7,903.42, -119.81 (1.49%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,103,531,000
NYSE Volume 4,062,878,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 822-4741
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 39-333 (WoW!)
WTI crude oil: 86.32, +0.94
Gold: 1,730.10, +5.30
Silver: 32.88, +0.393

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Making Money at the Margins and Why the Rigged Game Doesn't Matter

OK, all you wise guys who think they know how the markets work and how to make money in them. If you've been paying attention the past few weeks and months, you may have noticed some kinds of patterns that have developed, both in individual stocks and in the general indices.

One such pattern is playing out right now, and, of course, as all things on Wall Street are now played out in factors of milliseconds, this one and its tangential cousin, is pretty obvious.

First, let's look at the overall picture and then we'll jump into the tangent by-product of what is essentially a swing trade that takes place over the span of a few weeks, but can be played by the day, hour, or, if you have ultra-fast connections, the millisecond.

It's all about movement and that herky-jerky, up-down action that's become so common over the past ten years or so. Taking a look at the movement of the Dow Jones Industrials over the past two weeks (actually, 13 trading sessions, or the month of May, to date), we find the following:


So, we see stocks go up, stocks go down, but, by the end of the day, the RANGE, from the highs to the lows, are amplified double, triple or many more times the amount of gain.

Why is this significant? Because, if you know which way the market is going, minute-to-minute, day-to-day, obviously, you can make a fortune. And you know those sharpies at Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch (owned by Bank of America), Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan have all been boasting some awesome profits on their trades. Most of them will go entire quarters without having more than one or two losing days.

How do they do it, and why can't you and I? Because, they pretty much are the market. Their volume of trades is probably 75% or more of the total volume trading. They can move individual stocks any way they like, whole indices if they work in collusion. Funny word, that collusion. In its barest form, it is defined as: Secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy, esp. in order to cheat or deceive others. Oh, yeah, and it's very, very illegal.

Now, I'm not saying that these big Wall Street firms are engaging in anything illegal. After all, the government just bailed them out with billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars a few years ago and the Fed keeps shuffling them money nearly every day via their POMOs. So, why would they need to cheat?

Well, nobody has to cheat, but it sure makes the game a heck of a lot easier if you do. And, judging by what these very same firms did when they were hurling mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps around, they've shown a propensity for, uh, cutting corners and shading the truth, all to their advantage.

By determining the direction of the market due to the size of their cumulative trades, they almost have to make money every day, every minute, every, yes, millisecond. They are the best at their craft, no doubt about that, and they can shave every last dollar off an individual investor's hide. No doubt, they are not very concerned with the success or failure of anybody but themselves and their largest clients, who are likely clued into the game and whose money they use to goose or deflate stocks and whole markets.

Face it, with four or five big firms handling most of the daily volume, does anybody else really stand a chance? And just how reliable are these stocks which are jumping around in inconceivable patterns on a fundamental basis?

It makes one question the validity and freedom of our markets, something which I've called into question many times here. To be perfectly honest, I've often considered giving up this daily blog, because, when one gets right down to the nitty-gritty details, there's no technical analysis needed, no market savvy needed. All one really has to do is go with the flow, day-by-day, every day, to make money, but that assumes you know which way the flow is going. It would be a full time job, though there's no guarantee that even the smartest, most skilled day-traders, armed with the best data and fastest computers, would come out ahead, only because the big boys on the inside would be skimming at the margins all along.

There's little doubt that the traders on the street, employed by the major firms, have a massive advantage, and it's probably much the same way in commodity markets, forex markets and any other market in which they have established a presence. While the markets may be kind to those at the top, the risk level is quite high for everyone else, and that's why I just write about it. I haven't made a single trade in almost two years, and even then I was playing very lightly.

So, what to do?

Honestly, I don't know. I've advocated silver and gold for the past few years, but we've seen recently what can happen there, especially in the case of silver, which took a 30% haircut in just about two weeks time, proving no market is safe from the ravages of the Wall Street gang.

That covers the general trend here. No about that tangential trade. Referring to the chart above again, notice today's action: an 80 point gain and a mere 128 point range. Today's trading was almost all one-way, and I'll wager that tomorrow will be more of the same, and maybe even Friday, too. Why? Take a look at the calendar. Options expiration is Friday and there's plenty of money out there looking to cash in on the upside.

For all the ups and downs over the past 13 sessions, the Dow is only down 250 points, about 2%. By Friday, there's a very good chance it will be less than that, and a whole bunch of traders will be high-fiving each other over their exploits in the options markets.

Hey, it's a lifestyle.

Dow 12,560.18, +80.60 (0.65%)
NASDAQ 2,815.00, +31.79 (1.14%)
S&P 500 1,340.68, +11.70 (0.88%)
NYSE Composite 8,407.48, +74.41 (0.89%)

Things turned dramatically today for now apparent reason. Advancers trounced decliners, 4999-1573. On the NASDAQ, a dead heat. There were an equal number of stocks making new highs and new lows, 52 of each. Over on the NYSE, new highs led new lows, 121-22. Volume was right back in the old toilet, simply because, as stated above, there aren't that many players.

NASDAQ Volume 1,893,562,500
NYSE Volume 3,871,767,500

Crude oil was up sharply, gaining $3.19, to $100.10 on reports of a drawdown in supply and raging fires in Alberta, Canada, home to major oil operations. While Canada is our largest supplier of oil (no, honey, not those nasty A-Rabs), the amount of crude affected is a small fraction of the daily import total, but that doesn't matter to the market manipulators, apparently. Anything to goose the price at the pump a little higher, they'll use it, whether it makes sense or not.

Gold managed a gain of $9.90, hitting the $1496.90 mark, while silver rocketed higher by $1.11, to $35.02. Word has been circulating that the major shorters of silver have cut back their activity to a level not seen since last fall. That should be a signal to most silver players that it's safe to wade back into the market, as the price manipulators have covered their out-of-line bets and gone to play elsewhere.

What else can one conclude from the wild swings and unusual weather but that ours is a very strange and still quite untamed world.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dead Money Littering Wall Street as Suckers Flee

When you buy into a stock that refuses to go up in a meaningful way (Pfizer over the past five years is a good example) you have what is known among traders as "dead money." It's just sitting there doing nothing, not earning interest, just kind of lying around.

Now, that might be a good thing during a deflationary debacle like the one we're currently undertaking, so, maybe the dead money issue isn't all that earth-shattering a concept, after all, though, if you're used to the usual 15% returns that Wall Street hucksters promise, money lying around isn't your typical bag.

For the rest of us, those smart enough to stick our money in a coffee can or inside a wall safe, it's all well and good, so long as prices don't go ridiculously higher all of a sudden. There are a slew of misconceptions about money and its uses and usefulness, most of them aimed at baby-boomers with excess cash they're supposedly saving for a child's college, or a wedding or retirement, and most of those misconceptions usually involve keeping your money at work and not lazing around in a lounge chair in the back yard getting a tan.

However, based on the trading (in)activity the past few days, the concept of dead money might just be catching on. Stocks have just undergone a pretty significant rally - first, off the lows of March 2009, and more recently, about an 11% move back to where they now have settled, and nobody seems willing to sell, or to buy. Volume has dried up rather abruptly over the past two days, leaving open the question of whether Wall Street is even relevant anymore.

It seems that the majority of Americans who don't really have a whole lot of faith in the publicly-traded equity markets and have moved, over the past two years, into largely bond-related funds, are more than content with just keeping what they have instead of risking it in stocks. With the small investor clearly out of the market, that leaves mostly professionals and the very wealthy to do most of he trading on a day-to-day basis, but even they have become significantly more risk-averse of late, which means that the bulk of the trading has been left in the rather unstable hands of hedge fund managers and high-frequency traders.

Now, when these boys slow down there's really nothing left to keep markets bubbling, creating a sea of dead money, or more in the vernacular of economists, a liquidity crunch, which is precisely what we're staring at today.

It would seem, after the worst weekly unemployment claims figures since April came out this morning, and retail sales from a wide variety of chain stores showed poorly, that stocks would be sold off rather dramatically, and that seemed to be the case early on, but, buyers stepped in midday to soak up some of the losses, leaving the markets in a rather untidy state of affairs, with all indices down slightly, spending the entire session in the red, on volume that has to be one of the lightest five days of the year.

Truly pathetic, it was.

Dow 10,674.98, -5.45 (0.05%)
NASDAQ 2,293.06, -10.51 (0.46%)
S&P 500 1,125.81, -1.43 (0.13%)
NYSE Composite 7,174.27, -7.87 (0.11%)

Market internals showed a different side of the story as declining issues ran rampant over advancers, 3898-2509. New highs managed to maintain their sizable edge over new lows, 372-92.

NASDAQ Volume 1,704,054,000
NYSE Volume 4,089,902,750

In commodities, the September light crude oil futures contract fell by 48 cents, to $82.01. Gold gained $3.50, to finish at $1,197.20. Silver was up 4 cents, to $18.31.

With the July non-farm payroll report out tomorrow prior to the open, one would have expected a little more excitement, especially in light of the dreary economic data that seems to roll onto the street every day, but there was little movement overall, suggesting that these markets are suffering from a lack of interest bordering on apathy, due to a number of factors, but mostly, distrust, fear, uncertainty of the future and having been burned once too often.

It's the same kind of thing that happens with crooked card games. In the early stages, there a pigeons a'plenty. But, once word begins to get around and a few mouthy types get taken to the cleaners, the game dries up, and the cheaters end up playing penny-ante games amongst themselves, wiling away the hours, days and weeks.

We may be witnessing the initial stages of the final collapse of the Wall Street Ponzi scheme. They may have run out of suckers.