Showing posts with label rally. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rally. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Here Comes A January Rally And New All-Time Highs

Stocks took a bit of a punch in the face on Tuesday, but nothing a good night's sleep wouldn't relieve.

Overnight, Iran fired missiles at a couple of American bases in Iraq, hit mostly sand and neither killed nor wounded any American soldiers, according to published reports. If that's the extent of Iranian retaliation for the killing of their top general, it would suggest that Iran's leaders are not stupid and don't want to go to war against the world's most well-equipped military force.

Nobody can blame Iran for not wanting a direct fight with the US military. It would more than likely be a losing battle from the start and end with devastation to much of Iran's infrastructure. Their leaders may have taken the high road by intentionally missing American barracks, showing a calm hand while demonstrating that they can, if need be, meet force with force.

Iran is better equipped to keep doing what they've been doing: supporting splinter groups and terrorist cells without direct involvement in any conflict. In that scenario, they at least afford themselves the opportunity to keep selling their oil to countries who won't respect the US trade sanctions and maybe find their way to a negotiating table to end years of struggle in the region.

Wall Street would likely be amenable to such an arrangement. Some sense of rationality would be a welcome relief to not just the oil market but to the global economies, which have more than their share of worries presently.

If it is indeed the case that hostilities in the Middle East may have reached a turning point, that's all well and good. Any continued sign that the US and Iran are at a safe distance from each other militarily can only be good for the stock market. Such an antecedent would prompt a sharp rally in stocks, which have been somewhat on hold since Christmas and are looking for reasons to break out to new highs.

It being a fresh year, there's plenty of money sloshing around, enough to propel stocks further into the stratosphere.

Unless something terrible happens in the Middle East or elsewhere, expect markets to glide higher and potentially explode though the remaining weeks of January. As everybody in the investment world knows, as January goes, so goes the rest of the year. That's been an accurate guide for about 85% of the time. Another banner year like 2019 may not be in the cards, but it's a near certainty that stocks are poised for another leg higher and continued strong performance.

At the Close, Tuesday, January 7, 2020:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 28,583.68, -119.70 (-0.42%)
NASDAQ: 9,068.58, -2.88 (-0.03%)
S&P 500: 3,237.18, -9.10 (-0.28%)
NYSE Composite: 13,898.45, -43.35 (-0.31%)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Stocks Rally On Trump Tariff Turnback; PMs Slammed, Bonds Not Buying It As Curve Inverts

Tuesday's miraculous stock market rally was fueled by the silliest of news.

The US Trade Representative (USTR), led by Robert E. Lighthizer, announced the delay of some of the proposed tariffs to be imposed upon China come September 1, rolling back the date on some consumer-sensitive items to December 15.

The government also mentioned that trade reps from both countries would speak by phone in the near future.

Thus, stocks were off to the races, having been given a big, fat one to knock out of the park.

Obviously, such news only makes for one-day wonders on Wall Street and an opportunity to smack down real money - gold and silver - in the process. Precious metals had extended their rallies and were soaring overnight. Traders in the futures complex felt best to sell, all at once, apparently.

Meanwhile, short-dated treasuries were being whipsawed, with the yield on the 2-year note rising from 1.58% to 1.66%, while the 10-year note gained a smaller amount, the yield rising from 1.65% to 1.68%.

Overnight, as Tuesday turned to Wednesday in the US, the two-year yield briefly surpassed that of the 10-year by one basis point. This marks the first time the 2s-10s have inverted since 2005. Because such an inversion almost always indicates imminent recession, this spurred headlines across the financial media, with Yahoo Finance screaming in all caps, YIELD CURVE INVERTS.

One shouldn't get too excited about this startling, yet widely-anticipated event. Each of the last seven recessions (dating back to 1969) were preceded by the 10-year falling below the 2-year, but in the most recent instance - December 27, 2005 - the recession didn't actually get underway until the third quarter of 2007, as precursor of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC). The last time there was an inverted 2s-10s yield curve was May 2007.

Naturally, haters of President Donald J. Trump are enthusiastically cheering for a recession prior to the 2020 elections, and they may get their wish. Stocks have been running on fumes for about 18 months, a bear market indicated by Dow Theory as far back as April 9, 2018.

The onset of recession, after the first instance of the 2s-10s inversion, normally occurs eight to 24 months hence.

With the hopes of Democrats taking back the White House riding on anything from Russian election interference to trade wars with China to recession, the leftists are pushing on various strings, hoping for something - anything - to trip up the celebrity president.

They have a 15-month lead time on recession, so their chances are about 50/50. If the recession occurs after the election, which Donald J. Trump will almost surely win, they may conclude that having a recession in ones' second term is an impeachable offense.

This story is developing, so watch something else.

[sarcasm noted]

Monday, January 14, 2019

Dull Monday

Stocks took a negative turn on Monday, with no rationale for the move other than general sentiment. Citigroup (C) missed on revenue when they announced fourth quarter earnings prior to the opening bell.

More bank stocks will be reporting as the week progresses, so this small downdraft may be just the start of something larger. The major indices seem to be nearly out of steam from the recent rally. Expectations for earnings season have been muted, and some earnings and revenue misses are to be expected, and, if that's the case, nothing kills rallies better than earnings misses.

Stay tuned.

Dow Jones Industrial Average January Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
1/2/19 23,346.24 +18.78 +18.78
1/3/19 22,686.22 -660.02 -641.24
1/4/19 23,433.16 +746.94 +105.70
1/7/19 23,531.35 +98.19 +203.89
1/8/19 23,787.45 +256.10 +459.99
1/9/19 23,879.12 +91.67 +551.66
1/10/19 24,001.92 +122.80 +674.46
1/11/19 23,995.95 -5.97 +669.49
1/14/19 23,909.84 -86.11 +583.38

At the Close, Monday, January 14, 2019:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,909.84, -86.11 (-0.36%)
NASDAQ: 6,905.92, -65.56 (-0.94%)
S&P 500: 2,582.61, -13.65 (-0.53%)
NYSE Composite: 11,799.11, -48.90 (-0.41%)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Market Giveth, The Market Taketh Away, And Giveth Again

Stocks went on a wild ride Thursday, a phenomenon confounding to novice investors but completely understood by market observers who have been in the game for a few decades or more.

There's little doubt that the Dow's plunge of 600 points and last-hour rally were the work of the Plunge Protection Team, or PPT, or as they are formally known, the President's Working Group on Financial Markets.

Here are a few links for reference:

Mnuchin Calls Plunge Protection Team; Stocks Soar One Day Later

President's Working Group on Financial Markets

Happy Holidays!

You've been played.

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
12/20/18 22,859.60 -464.06 -2678.96
12/21/18 22,445.37 -414.23 -3093.19
12/24/18 21,792.20 -653.17 -3746.36
12/26/18 22,878.45 +1086.25 -2660.11
12/27/18 23,138.82 +260.37 -2399.74

At the Close, Thursday, December 27, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 23,138.82, +260.37 (+1.14%)
NASDAQ: 6,579.49, +25.14 (+0.38%)
S&P 500: 2,488.83, +21.13 (+0.86%)
NYSE Composite: 11,285.31, +81.22 (+0.72%)

Monday, December 10, 2018

Seas of Red Ink; Global Collapse In Asset Pricing Underway; US Markets In Denial

Was Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), or Microsoft (MSFT) ever worth a trillion dollars?

All were, for a while, supposedly worth that high until the market considered the madness of such lofty valuations. Then, they were probably not.

A little quickie math is appropriate. For a company to be worth a trillion dollars, in rough terms, it would have to make a profit of $143 off every person on the planet (we're using 7 billion as an estimate) in a calendar year. Figuring a 15-year capitalization period, it's possible.

However, with the global median individual annual income at about $3000, it's unlikely. And for three companies to be worth that would mean every person on the planet, including babies and the elderly in nursing homes or hospices, would have to spend enough so that combined, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft would net a profit of $429. So, for three companies to have that kind of valuation simultaneously is something right out of science fiction, because these people would have to spend about $2000 (figuring a rough profit margin of 20%) on products from just those three companies. Were this to happen, a third of the planet would die off because they spent most of their money on smartphones, software and trinkets from Amazon (with much lower profit margins, BYW), instead of food.

And what about all the other companies on the planet? From the corner store to multi-national corporations like General Motors, Nestle, Samsung, etc.? How much money do they extract from every person in the world with these three biggies crowding out everybody else? It simply doesn't add up.

That's why asset prices are collapsing. Companies, or rather, the stock prices representing shares of these companies are not worth what they're selling for, the big money knows it, and they're selling their shares to people less informed or desperate to make their investments pay off in the global rat race.

Let's face facts. US Stocks have more than tripled in value over the past 10 years. That doesn't make any sense. Were Americans suddenly three times as wealthy as they were 10 years ago? No. No. And Hell No.

Today, as stock prices tumbled around the world, US markets barely suffered a scraped knee and a paper cut. The NIKKEI was down 459 points, or, 2.12%. Japan's economy shrank by 2.5% in the third quarter.

Stock markets in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Germany, France, England, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Canada were all down between one and two-and-a-half percent, again, after weeks of declines. Many of these indices are in correction. Germany, South Korea, China, Japan, and others are in bear markets, down more than 20%. That's just a sampling. But the US carries on, though the Dow is less than 325 points away from correction territory. All the other US indices are in correction, down more than 10%.

Dow Industrials were down more than 500 points in the morning, but finished, magically (same as last Thursday) well off the lows, in fact, with a small gain. Magic! Denial! HFT Algorithms! Programmed Trading! Central Bank Intervention! It's only temporary.

US stocks have performed better than the rest of the world, so far, but they are trending in the same direction - lower. Brokers and dealers on Wall Street are living in a La-la Land that would put Hollywood to shame. Many in the financial sphere are in deep denial. They don't believe the US economy can contract, that stocks can be re-priced lower, down 20, 30 or 40 percent or more. It has happened in the past, many times, and it will happen again. It is happening right now.

But, but, but, we can't have a stock market crash during the Christmas season, can we? Maybe stocks will not exactly crash this month, but the performance has been - on a day-to-day basis - underwhelming. Winter is coming (Dec. 20).

According to Dow Theory, the Dow Jones Transportation Index confirmed the primary trend change - from bullish to bearish - that the Dow Jones Industrial Average signaled on November 23. That's the second time this year Dow Theory confirmed a primary trend change. The last was through March (Industrials signaled) and April (Transports confirmed), but stocks bounced back quickly through the spring and summer. By autumn, the bloom was off the rose, however, and the false rally began to unwind, and it continues to unwind.

And, with that, today's musical selection, "Turn, Turn, Turn," released October 1, 1965, written by Pete Seeger, performed by the Byrds.

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

At the Close, Monday, December 10, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 24,423.26, +34.31 (+0.14%)
NASDAQ: 7,020.52, +51.27 (+0.74%)
S&P 500: 2,637.72, +4.64 (+0.18%)
NYSE Composite: 11,889.29, -52.64 (-0.44%)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nine Days And Counting: Dow Fails To Surpass 20,000; Luck Matters

Nine trading days have come and gone since the Dow surpassed the 19,900 mark with expectations that Dow 20,000 would soon be a number we'd be looking at in collected rear view mirrors. It was also the day before the FOMC of the Fed issued their well-telegraphed, monumental 25 basis point increase to the federal funds rate (AKA, the Go F Yourself rate for savers), a marketing stroke of genius by the self-appointed rulers of all marketplaces, everywhere, forever.

Well, what happened?

In technical terms, the Fed put the kibosh on stocks. 20,000 didn't happen, just like other sure things this year, such as Hillary Clinton winning the election to become America's 45th president (love that one, just can't give it up).

Other things didn't happen over the past nine trading days (plus one weekend) that were not nearly as important. Donald Trump didn't resign before taking the oath of office (sorry to the serially constipated never-Trumpers like Bill Kristol), nobody killed any special lions or panda bears, and no enormous meteors struck the earth ending the human species (really happy about that last one).

But, a few days ago (Wednesday, Dec. 21), Fearless Rick made possibly the most outrageous prediction of his inglorious career as writer, journalist, blogger and general miscreant. He touted his belief that the Dow would not break the 20,000 mark this year or at least until June, 2017. He mused that the Dow "may" not hit 20,000 until 2023.

Here's his exact quote:
The Dow isn't going to make it to 20,000 this year, and it won't make it by June of next year. In fact, it may not hit 20,000 until 2023. Book it.

So far he's right. But there's still five trading days left in 2016, so plenty of people are rooting against him, including some fat guy in a weird red suit promising some absurd thing known as a Santa Claus Rally. Good luck with that. Far fewer are betting against him, however, as the market in general, and the Dow in particular, seems to have peaked.

There's still plenty of time for him to be wrong. There's the six months until June, and the seven years until 2023. But, since one and seven are Fearless Rick's lucky numbers, he may eventually to be more lucky than good.

We shall see. In case one missed all the non-action of Friday's market churning, it went something like this: Down, slightly, sleepwalking though midday, rabid short-covering into the closing last ten minutes, boosting all the major indices into positive territory. We have all seen this play before. Yawn, and Merry Christmas.

At the Close, Friday, December 23, 2016:
Dow: 19,933.81, +14.93 (0.07%)
NASDAQ: 5,462.69, +15.27 (0.28%)
S&P 500: 2,263.79, +2.83 (0.13%)
NYSE Composite: 11,128.80, +14.66 (0.13%)

For the week:
Dow: +90.40 (+0.46%)
NASDAQ: +25.53 (+0.47%)
S&P 500: +5.72 (+0.25%)
NYSE Composite: +3.58 (+0.03%)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dow Misses Another Opportunity To Surpass 20,000; Rally May Not Have Legs

Now that the flirtation with 20,000 on the Dow is waning, perhaps the market and its participants will return to some semblance of regular trading as opposed to the mad year-end dash for cash following the election.

While financial pundits are still calling the recent burst higher the "Trump Rally," it probably has little or no relevance to the election of the real estate magnate as the 45th president of the United States. What it has to do with is window dressing for fund managers, loading up on hot stocks to adorn their year-end portfolio prospectuses.

Less realistic is the opportunity for the rally to continue, especially after the major league run-up and two straight days of losses on the main indices. Though not large, today's declines were in a very slight range, but interestingly, stocks fell behind the unchanged line at the open and stayed there throughout the session, indicative of a tired market, though perhaps Friday will provide some news and another boost for the Dow 20,000 hat crowd.

Even that possibility seems remote, as the quad witching expiry was last week and the closeout to this week will be more reminiscent of a dash out the door than a frenzied trading day. It is, after all, just one day prior to Christmas Eve, and, despite rumors to the contrary, even Wall Street traders are human.

There's also scant data coming forward and just about everything but kitchen sink futures have been priced in for the final week of 2016. Anybody seeking profits at this juncture has truly missed that boat.

So, Friday is going to be dull and the cries of "Dow 20,000" are not to be heard around these parts for a while. Taking a little off the top going into the new year isn't exactly a bad idea, and it seems to be catching on with more than a few.

There still is time for the annual Santa Claus rally, traditionally the final week of the year, but the Trump rally may have grounded old St. Nick. We'll find out next week.

At the Close 12/22/16:
Dow: 19,918.88, -23.08 (-0.12%)
NASDAQ: 5,447.42, -24.01 (-0.44%)
S&P 500: 2,260.96, -4.22 (-0.19%)
NYSE Composite: 11,113.04, -29.52 (-0.26%)

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 18-22: Stocks Level Out After Massive Gains

The huge run-up in stock prices appears to be running out of steam, or buyers, or both.

Since bottoming out post-Brexit, major US indices have ramped higher by nearly ten percent over just the past four weeks. The Dow, for instance, has gained over 1500 points while powering to new high after new high.

The most recent week, however, was the weakest in the last four, with the possible exception of the NASDAQ, which was up more than double its rivals in percentage terms.

This is not to say that the recent rally is over. Far from it, there is no sign of exhaustion in the ranks of central banks, especially the Fed, which will be pulling out all the stops to keep the narrative of an "improving economy" rolling through the week, highlighted by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Following the Philly love-fest for Hillary Clinton (never mind the various email and other scandals surrounding the candidate and the rest of the Dems... they will be swept under the rug), the Fed will continue to pour money into stocks through their appointed agents right up until the election.

Setting up what could be one of the easiest buying opportunities in recent memory (though as memory serves, the past eight years haven't been too difficult for stock traders), stocks or index funds could be a very safe place over the coming three months.

A Trump victory in November would probably derail both the giddy narrative and the actual stock market rally, as the status quo would then find themselves on the defensive, with the White House in the hands of a non-politician, non-elitist, populist campaigner. Should Clinton capture the presidency, a slow decline might be the more likely scenario, as the wheels of industry continue their slow grind into mediocrity.

With so much uncertainty, investors have been seen hoarding hard assets. Paid-up real estate, precious metals, machinery and tools of trades can still be had at reasonable levels, and they should not lose much value over the longer term. In fact, they should appreciate quite nicely no matter what happens after November.

For The Week:
Dow: +54.30 (+0.2(%)
S&P 500: +13.29 (+0.61)
NASDAQ: +70.57 (+1.40)

NASDAQ Composite
5,100.16, +26.26 (0.52%)

Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,570.85, +53.62 (0.29%)

S&P 500
2,175.03, +9.86 (0.46%)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Weekend Edition: Historic Rally Stalls At End Of Week

Anticlimactic was Friday's market action after a sustained two-week, post-Brexit collapse rally sent the Dow and S&P 500 to new all-time highs.

Stocks finished with one of their their weakest performances of the month, though it may just be a pause in an otherwise relentless advance led by central bank buying.

Yes, you're reading that correctly; central banks were the leading participants in the post-Brexit rally, preventing what may have turned into a widespread financial panic had the BOJ and ECB not intervened with either direct purchases of stocks or the same via proxies.

This leads to a time-worn dilemma in market confidence otherwise bandied about as moral hazard.

It's the same as fixing horse races or weighting the balls on a roulette wheel. Rigged financial markets will sooner or later be found to be lacking in both stability and longevity, which, when dealing with life-spanning investments touted by the major brokerages, are - or should be - two major pillars of strength.

If central banks continue to play fast and loose with not only monetary policy and begin to dabble in fiscal policy (well underway) and overtly entering trading markets (also pretty obvious), it may be only a matter of time before the curtain is rolled back and the man in the booth behind the controls is revealed as a faker, a fraud, a charlatan, and the foolishly following investors taken in by the scheme.

In simple terms, caution continues to be the best friend of anyone with reasonable means. Hard assets appear once again to be not only safe, but sure.

Many in the financial arena thought that the world was ending in 2008, though afterthought now is clear that an era of unbridled intervention by central banks was only just beginning.

How and when it ends are open questions, but certainly, valuations are stretched to extremes, data - along with stock prices - is being manipulated, and individuals investors have long ago headed for safer havens.

The game may go on for years more, which is likely the path of least resistance since there's so much riding on a continuation of current politics and economics. The thought that the larger the debt and fraud (and both are enormous), the greater the fall may or may not be a truism.

What's working now may be reversed in the near future. One glance at YTD charts of either gold or silver tells you that a paradigm shift may be already underway.

Friday's Closing Numbers:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,516.55, +10.14 (0.05%)

5,029.59, -4.47 (-0.09%)

S&P 500
2,161.74, -2.01 (-0.09%)

NYSE Composite
10,773.12, -13.51 (-0.13%)

For the Week:
Dow: +369.81 (+2.04%)
S&P 500: +31.84 (+1.49%)
NASDAQ: +72.83 (+1.47%)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Beginning And An End: Stocks And Oil Hit The Skids

Tuesday marked a beginning and an end in more ways than just the day and date.

On the one hand, today was the start of the trading week, shortened by Monday's Memorial Day holiday. On the other, it was May 31, the final trading day of the month, a date normally associated with the buying of stocks as "window dressing," wherein funds pad their holdings with the most favored stock offerings.

As days go, this one was a downer for stocks, with the major averages taking a deep dip before a late-session rally brought the S&P and NASDAQ respectively closer to breakeven and into positive territory. The Dow suffered the worst, losing nearly 150 points before ripping off a significant portion of the losses in the closing hour, ending with a drop close to 1/2 percent.

Thus, the day's trading may have marked the start of another downtrend for stocks, following the massive gains of the prior week. Notable was trading in WTI crude oil futures, which tested the $50 mark before falling off to close more than a dollar lower. Oil has been on a tear since bottoming out at $26 per barrel in mid-February.

An astonishing feat of market movement, the price of crude has nearly doubled in just over three months, but the phony pumping may have come to a quick end. Time will tell if $50 turns out to be a price too high to bear and whether stocks will begin a hasty retreat, having tested the top of the short-term range.

Investing and market-watching alike have become spectator sports of sorts for many, depending upon the level and length of financial repression one can endure, both of which have been in play for far too long.

S&P 500: 2,096.96, -2.10 (0.10%)
Dow: 17,787.20, -86.02 (0.48%)
NASDAQ: 4,948.05, +14.55 (0.29%)

Crude Oil 48.83 -1.01% Gold 1,217.50 +0.07% EUR/USD 1.1133 +0.03% 10-Yr Bond 1.83 -0.92% Corn 406.50 -1.51% Copper 2.08 -1.40% Silver 16.00 -1.65% Natural Gas 2.71 +1.61% Russell 2000 1,154.79 +0.38% VIX 14.19 +8.16% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.4486 +0.04% USD/JPY 110.7115 -0.03%

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Stocks Gain For Second Straight Week; Rally Should Continue to FOMC Meeting

Chalking up another week of gains, US equity markets are putting the disaster that was January in the rear view mirror and moving on. The week ending February 26 was the second consecutive week of gains for the three major indices, though this one was not as potent as the first, signaling that while the rally in stocks may continue for some time, its momentum almost certainly is on the wane.

Over the past two weeks, the indices have clawed back roughly half of the losses suffered in January and the first week of February, a significant advance. Chart-watchers will be looking at key levels on the Dow and, especially, the S&P, seeking exit points before the eventual next downturn.

For the Dow, the next critical level is in the range between 17,200 and 17,350, about a two percent gain from where the market closed on Friday. The S&P is eyeing the 1985 to 2015 level, where significant resistance resides, again, roughly two percent from the close on the 26th.

The NASDAQ, already bumping up against its 50-day moving average, may have already lost momentum, though a move through the 4,620 mark could convince bulls that there's more upside on the horizon. The NASDAQ was the big winner, percentage-wise, on the week, but it remains at the heart of skepticism, loaded with risky energy and tech stocks, which comprise a hefty share of its index.

If the NASDAQ rolls over, this mini-rally could end quickly. A resumption of already well-established bear market conditions could extend into the Spring. One way or another, it's difficult seeing stocks surpassing the points from which they opened the new year. There's still much more risk to the downside than there are opportunities for a continuation of any rally.

While the past two weeks may have been "buy the dip" conditions in an oversold market, the converse, "selling the rip" should become apparent by the end of next week or, if the market and its participants grow increasingly patient and/or greedy, after the FOMC meeting on March 15-16.

A move to the downside prior to the meeting would signal a growing unease concerning Fed policies, which, to this point, have been less-than-reassuring to bullish plungers. While there's not much conviction among Fed-watcvhers that another rate increase is forthcoming, the risk remains. Another 25 basis point hike in the Federal Funds rate would send stocks to a semi-permananet shower. That's why the Fed won't move at this meeting, and the market pretty much knows it, so stocks are free to rally and investors are also free to take short-term profits.

With options expiration - a triple witching event - coming quick on the heels of the FOMC meeting, things could get very interesting on the 16th and 17th, as Fed policy is unveiled and the bulls have another chance to slaughter the shorts.

Look for stocks to gyrate at current levels, without much in the way of conviction, this week and into the next. Of course, the BLS non-farm payroll report for February will be closely followed, even though it has cemented its status as the worst barometer of both labor conditions and the general economy. The massaged numbers from the BLS are so statistically insignificant that they may well become more of an asterisk than an important inflection point as time progresses and the bear market resurfaces.

For now, however, the bulls have found a sweet spot. The smart money will be getting out shortly, the smarter money will squeeze out even more gains, and, as usual, the unsuspecting buy-and-hold muppets will be mercilessly stabbed, slashed and burned at the top of the short-term rally. The last two weeks of March and the advent of Spring should convince even the most optimistic that stocks have nowhere to go but down.

For the Week:
S&P 500: +30.27 (1.58)
Dow: +247.98 (1.51)
NASDAQ: +86.04 (1.91)

Friday's Foibles:
S&P 500: 1,948.05, -3.65 (0.19%)
Dow: 16,639.97, -57.32 (0.34%)
NASDAQ: 4,590.47, +8.27 (0.18%)

Crude Oil 32.84 -0.70% Gold 1,223.00 -1.28% EUR/USD 1.0932 0.00% 10-Yr Bond 1.7620 +3.83% Corn 358.75 -0.49% Copper 2.12 +2.29% Silver 14.71 -3.22% Natural Gas 1.79 +0.11% Russell 2000 1,037.18 +0.54% VIX 19.81 +3.66% BATS 1000 20,677.17 0.00% GBP/USD 1.3872 +0.03% USD/JPY 113.9850 0.00%

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stocks Gyrate; Gold and Silver Rally Continues

It's beginning to look a lot like a global currency endgame, with stocks in Japan taking a brutal beating overnight - down 559.43, (-3.15%); along with Hong Kong, as the Hang Seng wasn't singing, losing 455.25, (-2.34%). The Shanghai Stock Exchange got an ominous boost from its own version of America's PPT, losing a mere 10 points, closing at 2739.25.

European bourses likewise were battered, with the majors down between one and 1 1/2%. The US session looks ugly early, but turned around abruptly mid-morning, coinciding with the crude supply report. In what can only be perceived as a counter-intuitive, short-covering move (otherwise known as fake, or phony), oil closed nearly 8% higher on the day, despite the crude supply growing to an all-time high.

The desperation of central banker manipulation of markets to forestall the unavoidable defaults is palpable.

Advice, for whatever it's worth, is to flee stocks or sell rallies, if one must continue to play in the global money casino.

Bank stocks were down once again, with the bank index already in a bear market. It's difficult to mask the issues facing oil production firms with unplayable debts and the banks that issued them oodles of cheap credit over the preceding six to seven years. Defaults are already happening and the pace can only increase.

Meanwhile, gold and silver investors are finally feeling good about their precious metals. Gold touched $1145 an ounce, the best price since late October.

Silver ramped to 14.80, closed in NY at 14.65, the best level in more than three months.

While not quite a breakout, the metals seem an obvious choice in a world of fraud, overvalued equities and treasuries issuing notes with negative interest rates.

Today's fiasco:
S&P 500: 1,912.53, +9.50 (0.50%)
Dow: 16,336.66, +183.12 (1.13%)
NASDAQ: 4,504.24, -12.71 (0.28%)

Crude Oil 32.10 +7.43% Gold 1,139.90 +1.13% EUR/USD 1.1082 +1.42% 10-Yr Bond 1.8810 +0.91% Corn 370.50 -0.54% Copper 2.10 +2.09% Silver 14.65 +2.56% Natural Gas 2.04 +0.64% Russell 2000 1,010.30 +0.14% VIX 21.65 -1.50% BATS 1000 20,553.93 +0.97% GBP/USD 1.4591 +1.27% USD/JPY 118.04

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%
 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

This Crash Has Been Interrupted... for now

While the world's richest and most-influential types were sipping Valpolicella, stuffing themselves full of petit fours at the World Economic Forum in Davos, markets around the world were in turmoil.

Wednesday saw Asian markets fall completely out of bed, with the Nikkei falling into bear market territory for the first time, and Hong Knog's Hang Seng Index off by nearly 750 points and four percent. For a change, it wasn't the Shanghai SSE leading the way. It was down a mere one percent.

Spilling over into the European session, the feeling continued, just as it had almost every day of the new year. The Dax was a relative out-performer, with the German shares off just 2.82%, better, by comparison, than the FTSE 100 (-3.46) and the CAC 40 (-3.45). In effect, the day was a massive loss for holders of European stocks.

In the US, stocks were slammed at the opening bell, a knee-jerk reaction to the worldwide carnage, and the three major indices continued lower until just after noon, with the Dow recording a loss of 566 points.

But, all of a sudden, something changed. The Dow, S&P and NASDAQ all began moving the other way, as if somebody had turned a loose screw or flipped a faulty switch, metaphors which may be closer to the truth than anyone would admit to, in the age of HFT and sophisticated algos.

The afternoon was all about erasing the embarrassment of the morning session, and it was done with considerable gusto and untold amounts of money from god-know-whom-or-where. The NASDAQ erased a 125-point decline, moving steadily higher to edge into positive territory in the final hour, though it could not hold onto gains, falling back into the red in the final 20 minutes of trading.

The losses in the other two indices were a little stickier, though the Dow improved dramatically, finishing down by just short of 250 points. The S&P lost 22.

So, what happened? Nothing, really, except that short sellers took profits midday, then sat back and counted their money, supposedly. The smart money - and there always is smart money - is currently on red. And it's going to stay there until the selling stops, which, if the past two weeks are any indication, won't be any time soon.

For instance, the Dow still has 1200 points to get to bear market territory. The NASDAQ and S&P are similarly down about 15% from their highs (last May) and will need a little more time. Don't be surprised if there's a snap-back rally with some ferocity over the next two days as options expire on Friday.

What may be of more technical interest (no pun intended) is the yield on the ten-year note, which closed today under 2.00% for the first time in nearly a year. Following the federal funds rate hike in December, rates were supposed to rise. They've gone in the opposite direction, to the Fed's dismay. Look for the Federal Reserve to call an emergency meeting in the not-so-distant future if the selling doesn't abate shortly.

S&P 500: 1,859.33, -22.00 (1.17%)
Dow: 15,766.74, -249.28 (1.56%)
NASDSAQ: 4,471.69, -5.26 (0.12%)

Crude Oil 26.76 -5.97% Gold 1,101.20 +1.11% EUR/USD 1.0891 -0.18% 10-Yr Bond 1.9840 -2.51% Corn 368.00 +0.07% Copper 1.98 +0.13% Silver 14.17 +0.35% Natural Gas 2.14 +2.58% Russell 2000 999.31 +0.45% VIX 27.59 +5.91% BATS 1000 19,792.43 -1.24% GBP/USD 1.4193 +0.22% USD/JPY 116.9350 -0.60%

Friday, November 23, 2012

Dumbest. Rally. Ever.

Will markets never learn?

Every year, on the half-day session that is Black Friday, stocks get a giddy bounce over the prospects of rabid holiday shopping frenzy and a warm, cozy, holiday feeling about consumer spending.

This year's half-day wonder was no exception. In fact, it was exceptional, as stocks soared at the open and added to outsize gains on extreme low volume. The gains were among the top five, point-wise, for the major averages this year, surging through overhead resistance, especially on the S&P 500, which broke above its 200-day moving averages. It was a sucker's rally to beat all suckers.

Priced into the advances were widespread, solid rumors that third quarter GDP would be revised upward from 2% to 2.8 or maybe even 3% next week.

These signs of exuberance may be tempered once the politicians get back into the mix. Republicans and Democrats are reportedly far apart on negotiations to solve fiscal cliff issues, with Republicans still demanding that Bush-era tax cuts on the rich remain in place, while Democrats wish to raise rates on earners over $250,000 per annum while keeping in place lower rates for the rest of American taxpayers.

Rest up and get some exercise to work off those additional pounds socked away on Thanksgiving. Everyone will be in need of extra energy to keep up with developments next week.

And just in case anybody thought the truce in the Middle East was one of lasting quality, Israelites and Palestinians barely took a break in killing each other. In response, silver tallied the biggest percentage gain of the day (2.23%) and gold rose by more than $23.00. So much for stability.

Black Friday Special: Free houses with zero down leases with no payments until the Fed raises interest rates, on new Cadillacs for everybody!

Dow 13,009.68, +172.79 (1.35%)
Nasdaq 2,966.85, +40.30 (1.38%)
S&P 500 1,409.15, +18.12 (1.30%)
NYSE Composite 8,220.31, 108.13(1.33%)
NYSE Volume 1,423,529,125
Nasdaq Volume 743,239,875
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4192-1058
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 135-37
WTI crude oil: 88.00, +0.62
Gold: 1,752.10, +23.90
Silver: 34.10, +0.745