Showing posts with label volume. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volume. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Glitch In the Bull Matrix; Crude Dives To Six-Week Low

If anyone can call today's range of 70 points - top to bottom on the Dow - trading, they'd need to be making it up on volume, as the old misnomer suggests. Today's market saw neither opportunity nor volume, so, the traders made the day up. After a quick dip to the lows of the day just after the first hour of trading (10:40 am EDT), the Dow and other indices went choppy, but without significant movement (welcome to late summer).

Nearing the end of the session, the Dow stood almost where it ended the previous day and made all of the losses into the close in the final half hour (welcome to day-trading).

Most of the action was inconsequential, as it has been the past few weeks.

Taking a quick look at the past four weeks (20 sessions) on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 11 of the 20 saw gains or losses of less than 100 points. For perspective, a move of roughly 125 points would equate to 1/2 percentage. In other words, more than half of the sessions in the past month have been mostly range-bound and more noise than substance.

Today was no exception. Even though the Dow was the biggest percentage mover of the major indices, it only registered a move of -0.18%. The others closed at less than one tenth of a percent from where they started.

So trading? Hardly.

The only people making money in this market are the brokers, and they aren't making that much.

Commodities are perplexed. Crude futures fell dramatically. - WTI crude oil prices settled at six-week lows Wednesday after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell less than expected and U.S.-China trade tensions intensified.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for September delivery fell 3.2% to settle at $66.94 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 3.26% to trade at $72.22 barrel.

Precious metals have become an afterthought for now. Gold and silver have been trading below where they were two years ago, trending in a tight range and looking likely to collapse into an even deeper abyss. An ounce of gold today will not even purchase a high end cell phone. It's looking pretty dismal for the gold and silver bugs, who have managed to hold onto the most abused financial assets for far too long. Their day may come, but that day may be a long way off.

Trading baseball cards or comic books might be more exciting and profitable than the current regime of stocks, bonds, and commodities. Those markets are too well-known and over-saturated. However, they are the backbone of global commerce, and, as such, will not be discarded lightly.

Dow Jones Industrial Average August Scorecard:

Date Close Gain/Loss Cum. G/L
8/1/18 25,333.82 -81.37 -81.37
8/2/18 25,326.16 -7.66 -89.03
8/3/18 25,462.58 +136.42 +55.05
8/6/18 25,502.18 +39.60 +94.65
8/7/18 25,628.91 +126.73 +221.38
8/8/18 25,583.75 -45.16 +176.22

At the Close, Wednesday, August 8, 2018:
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,583.75, -45.16 (-0.18%)
NASDAQ: 7,888.33, +4.66 (+0.06%)
S&P 500: 2,857.70, -0.75 (-0.03%)
NYSE Composite: 12,987.91, -11.68 (-0.09%)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Blowing Bubbles: NASDAQ Cracks 5000... Again!

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.

It took nearly 15 years, but the NASDAQ Index finally has clawed its way back above the magical 5000 mark, closing today at 5008. The last time the NASDAQ closed over 5000 was on March 27, 2000, but, back then, it was going in the opposite direction, as the tech bubble was popped and investors were scrambling to hold onto gains in companies with no earnings, like, Alta Vista and NetZero.

Today marked a 295% increase from the lows seen in March, 2009, so, conceivably, if one had the patience to hold the QQQs from then until now - just six short years - a near-quadrupling of one's money could be in hand at the close today. Of course, not even the most savvy investor, speculator or degenerate gambler could have been so lucky; stocks in the NASDAQ have been churned and turned, so the index looks quite a bit different than it did in 2009, even more so from 2000.

The NASDAQ of today is not quite as zippy as it was in the late 1990s. Volume is down dramatically and ten stocks - such as Apple, Google and Netflix - have provided more than 75% of the gains overall, so, it's likely that many investors were still stuck with moribund returns while the HFT algos ground higher for the one-percenters who control the market.

This nominal event evokes thoughts of the tech bubble and housing bubble, and shows some comparable characteristics. Special to the most recent rally of the past six years has been the incredible amount of liquidity provided by the Federal Reserve, an effect to which many ascribe the totality of the gains since 2009.

Whether we are once again in bubble territory remains not to be seen, but only to be verified. Talk, being the cheap commodity that it is, says loosely that stocks today are much better values, though recent macro data on the general economy, plus geo-economic conditions, seem to be pointed in a completely different direction.

Money Daily, convinced that we are once more headed for a collapse of astounding proportions, will resume regular daily postings with this writing.

Stay tuned. More information on the deformation of the markets is forthcoming.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Stocks Barely Moved on Low Volume Trading

The last days of the year are usually among the more sluggish in terms of trading volume, and this year is certainly no exception to the rule. The major indices were flat almost all session long, with the Dow ending up slightly positive due to some small buying interest in the latter part of the day.

The commodities complex was taken down another notch, with oil, gold, silver and most of the edible varieties lower.

It is difficult to read much of anything into any market moves at this point of the year, though there seems to be an overriding sense of smug complacency after one of the best years for stocks on record.

With the limited activity these past few days, a January rally out of the gate would surprise nobody, so expect stocks to languish tomorrow, but get a huge boost on the 2nd of January, the first official trading day of 2014.

DOW 16,504.29, +25.88 (+0.16%)
NASDAQ 4,154.20, -2.40 (-0.06%)
S&P 1,841.07, -0.33 (-0.02%)
10-Yr Note 98.09, +0.82 (+0.85%) Yield: 2.97%
NASDAQ Volume 1.27 Bil
NYSE Volume 2.21 Bil
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2747-1966
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 327-65
WTI crude oil: 99.29, -1.03
Gold: 1,203.80, -10.20
Silver: 19.62, -0.434
Corn: 423.50, -4.00

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Brings Out Just a Few Bottom Fishers in Flat Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syria Euphoria Sends Stocks Higher; Trading Volume Hits 15-Year Low

The Dow added more than 250 points over the past two days and the NASDAQ hit fresh 13-year highs, meaning only one thing: we're officially in vapor-land as S&P equity trading volume hits fresh 15-year lows.

Meanwhile, the Syria story gets more and more confusing and confounding, the President's address tonight at 9:00 pm EDT (we do hope he'll be on time for once) probably just adding more layers of confusion to this twisted international story presaging World War III, which is bound to happen anyway, one way or another, the crux of the argument being Iran's nuclear ambitions and the US (and Israel's) attempts to defuse them.

So, how's that 401K looking? Pretty peachy, huh? Well, that's until the authorities come to confiscate it as happened in Poland last week.

A major financial disruption is just weeks away, be it the default of Deutsche Bank on some of their massive, unregulated CDS, Italian bank defaults or maybe, just maybe a big resounding thud from the likes of JP Morgan, or, our favorite, Bank of America.

The system is completely stressed out, trading on razor-thin volume while Peace President O-Bomber gets an itchy finger over Syria and a false-flag operation that hasn't convinced anybody of anything. What could possibly go wrong?

Russia's Vladimir Putin is playing Obama like a banjo, plucking his strings with the talent of a virtuoso. Other outlets have compared the recent developments over Syria as Putin playing chess while OBozo struggles with checkers.

We think the analogy is apropos. The US government will soon be on its knees, begging forgiveness from a broken-hearted world and US population. There will be no mercy given to the betrayers of the constitution.

And, by the way, the NSA is FOS.

Dow 15,191.06, +127.94 (0.85%)
Nasdaq 3,729.02, +22.84 (0.62%)
S&P 500 1,683.99, +12.28 (0.73%)
10-Yr Bond 2.96%, +0.06
NYSE Volume 3,911,199,000
Nasdaq Volume 1,767,686,125
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4249-2265
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 403-52
WTI crude oil: 107.39, -2.13
Gold: 1,364.00, -22.70
Silver: 23.02, -0.701

Monday, April 8, 2013

Stocks Advance on Lowest Volume of Year

Just in case you're one of those "converts" awaiting to Buy the Dip, you'd be best advised to do so before noon in US markets.

As has been the case for the last four+ years, stocks will simply not go down in any depreciable manner until Ben Bernanke and other central banks stop the presses printing endless amounts of cash on a regularly scheduled basis.

In the absence of any material news - or volume, for that matter - stocks nose-dived out of the gate, fell to the lows of the day around the lunch hour and then proceeded to levitate into the close, keeping alive the day-trading dream pattern of up-down-up-down through a thirteenth straight session.

That stocks rose was certainly not the story today. The headline belonged to volume, which, despite being seminally weak over the past two years, today was the lightest of 2013. That's really saying something, specifically, that this rally is nothing but vapor, because without solid volume, all rallies are entirely suspect and easily torn down.

With little invested at current levels, traders are cautious and will exit at the first signs of trouble. That line of thinking, of course is based upon years of data and research which probably doesn't apply to the current market, which is completely an apparition, a fraud, the manipulated product of excess liquidity in the system which has nowhere to go but into risk assets.

Based on the volume figures from the past six, twelve or 18 months, today's numbers indicate that not only are individual investors completely out of the market and not coming back, but even seasoned investors are fleeing from stocks in droves, leaving the algos and computers to trade against each other. Eventually, a system like this must fail, though predicting the date of such eventuality is a fool's game.

Trading in thin markets are likewise the work of rookies, speculators and pros, though nobody from any group can claim a level of expertise that would lead directly to profitable trades, except for extremely short term or hedged activity.

Today's volume figures are so horrifyingly low that one might suspect the end is near, though that end has been in the headlights for some time now and just like this market, continues to present itself as a mirage on the horizon.

A day will come when the skies clear and the end becomes tangible, touchable and irreversible. Those who have traded in honest markets in the past are patiently awaiting that day.

Dow 14,613.48, +48.23 (0.33%)
NASDAQ 3,222.25, +18.39 (0.57%)
S&P 500 1,563.07, +9.79 (0.63%)
NYSE Composite 9,046.87, +46.62 (0.52%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,294,793,750
NYSE Volume 2,927,141,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 4180-2254
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 244-44
WTI crude oil: 93.36, +0.66
Gold: 1,572.50, -3.40
Silver: 27.14, -0.082

Monday, January 14, 2013

Split Indices, Tight Ranges, Soft January

"As January goes, so goes the year."

This tired line of non-logical thinking gets bantered about every year around this time, but is especially in vogue this year after the huge ramp-up in equities on January 2nd, when fresh bank capital (courtesy of the Fed) flowed into the markets in an effort to lure in retail investors.

It's not working.

Since the biggest gain on the Dow Industrials to start a new year (January 2nd, 2013... this year) stocks have gone, well, not very far. The total gain on the Dow over the past eight sessions, including today, is less than 100 points. Big Hooray!

On the S&P 500, the gain has been a whopping eight points. The NASDAQ? 5.24 points since the massive, 92-point gain of January 2nd.

So, the point is that while CNBC and Bloomberg have been crowing about the huge "inflows" to equity funds, the truth is that there has been a net outflow from equity funds )as it has been for the past two years), and the money-creation-machine known as the Fed and its primary dealers have rigged the market higher (as usual).

Today's bid-less action, including the absurd 60-point top-to-bottom range on the Dow, was driven primarily by a rumor that two private equity firms were interested in doing an LBO on Dell. The story, broken by Bloomberg and without any supporting evidence or data, shot Dell shares through the roof and triggered a circuit-breaking halting trading.

The story was likely pure fabrication, because the markets are so dead right now the algos needed a boost to get the indices off UNCH and got it from the Dell "rumor."

Nothing is moving. Volume on the NASDAQ - despite the Dell joke and Apple (AAPL) being sold down the river - was less than 3 billion shares, an oddity even in this low-volume regime. Nobody is trading - not retail investors, at least - because the fraud and rigging has finally reached a point at which the markets cannot be trusted at all. They are controlled by the same people and companies that brought us the sub-prime mess, resultant crash and the current, fudged "recovery."

Perception being more powerful than reality, there's a very good chance that the major indices could stagnate for the rest of the month and the same talking heads on the financial networks will tell us it's going to be a great year because January was positive.

It's. Not. Working.

Dow 13,507.32, +18.89 (0.14%)
NASDAQ 3,117.50, -8.13 (0.26%)
S&P 500 1,470.68, -1.37 (0.09%)
NYSE Composite 8,717.45, +5.05 (0.06%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,879,408,375
NYSE Volume 2,956,360,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3118-3099
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 370-10 (ridiculous)
WTI crude oil: 94.14, +0.58
Gold: 1,669.40, +8.80
Silver: 31.11, +0.702

Monday, November 5, 2012

Calm Before the Storm; Markets Flat One Day Prior to Elections

Election Day is tomorrow, and markets mimicked the mood of the country, delivering a nothing session in the wake of the monumental event on the horizon.

Stocks were down hard in the morning, but buyers stepped in to stabilize the situation, eventually boosting stocks in the final half hour to close near the highs of the day.

That's about it, since there were scant earnings announcements of little importance, and everybody laying down - or not - bets on tomorrow's election outcome. All the major indices close positive, though only slightly, and trading volume was sub-standard.

Dow 13,112.44, +19.28 (0.15%)
NASDAQ 2,999.66, +17.53 (0.59%)
S&P 500 1,417.26, +3.06 (0.22%)
NYSE Composite 8,240.26, +5.34 (0.06%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,464,733,000
NYSE Volume 2,898,888,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3016-2454
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 102-79
WTI crude oil: 85.65, +0.79
Gold: 1,683.20, +8.00
Silver: 31.13, +0.271

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stocks Split in Another Lackluster Session

There were heaps of indecision and disbelief after yesterday's rise and fall led to a stumbling session for US stocks on Wednesday, with the major indices split after a midday rally pushed the S&P and NASDAQ modestly into positive territory, but left the Dow and Composite with marginal losses.

With literally no data points on which to trade, investors were mostly in a defensive posture until FOMC minutes were released at 2:00 pm EDT. The idea that the Fed might still be considering some easing before the November elections lit a fire under some traders, though the size of the move was unconvincing.

It's unlikely that the Fed would move decisively soon unless there are overt signs of weakness in the economy to a greater degree than has already been proven. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the rest of the world's elite traders, economists and analysts will gather at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, next week for an annual economic symposium, though skepticism over whether the Chairman will make any earth-shattering announcements abounds.

That is primarily what has the the bulls running for cover, because the economy has been sullen and without forward momentum, even while stocks have recorded strong gains through the summer. The entire June-August rally may have been built on false hopes and pipe dreams of another round of quantitative easing.

Without a monetary boost, stocks could suffer anything from a mild to severe correction within the next two weeks, and the charts are beginning to show signs that Tuesday's double top was something to actually be concerned about.

With little in the way of economic data this week (New and existing home sales, initial unemployment claims and durable orders), traders have little upon which to trade, so the late summer doldrums should continue, at least into the early portion of next week and possibly through Labor Day.

After that, the experts will be back on the street with new strategies or old ones, based entirely on best guesses as to the outcome of the elections and how long European leaders can keep their juggling act going without dropping all of the balls.

It's a strange state for the markets, full of uncertainty and doubt, though very close to 52-week highs. It's ripe for something - either a breakout to the upside or a 5-15% slide. And, while everyone has opinions, nobody is really putting out convincing arguments on either side.

The market bears close scrutiny at this juncture, as the next move may be decisive and worth playing, but only if one has guts and conviction to stick with trades over the next couple of months, because, as has been shown all year long, this market likes to gyrate like a lithe belly dancer without giving off any signs of where it's headed next.

Our money is on the downside, but we've been in that posture for a long time and have been in cash or equivalents for the better part of the past four years. If the precious metals continue to gather momentum, that could convince us to take a flier on some puts or shorts in selected stocks or indices. If new highs - new lows continue to compress tomorrow and the A-D line opens negative, we could be all in on Diamond (DIA) and/or Spider (SPY) October puts.

Both gold and silver have broken out of their recent ranges and could put in a long, strong run through the end of the year, so the buying opportunity window may be closing quickly on the metals, a favorable trade the past twelve years, despite persistent meddling and price fixing by major and central banks.

Dow 13,172.76, -30.82 (0.23%)
NASDAQ 3,073.67, +6.41 (0.21%)
S&P 500 1,413.49, +0.32 (0.02%)
NYSE Composite 8,079.02, -3.66 (0.05%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,426,827,000
NYSE Volume 2,809,365,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2122-3396
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 93-53 (compression)
WTI crude oil: 97.26, +0.42
Gold: 1,656.80, +16.30
Silver: 29.84, +0.28

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wall Street's Summer Doldrums Extend Into 8th Day

For nearly two weeks running, trading ranges on the major indices have been slim and volume exceptionally light, as Wall Street sees no reason to rush either in or out of positions late in the summer.

This kind of trading regime is of no particular value to anybody, even to insiders who depend on at least some shred of volatility to move stocks in one direction or the other.

There's no catalyst for stocks at the present time, a condition which could persist until the elections in November or whenever the Europeans decide to actually do something about their ongoing crisis.

On the other hand, this just could be the "new normal" for US markets, since the triumvirate of high frequency trading (HFT), insider trading and the utter lack of individual investors to trust in the markets, has rendered just about all investment decisions a moot point.

Zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) by the Fed and general fraud on the part of the nation's biggest banks - in collusion with the federal government - have many otherwise investor types on the sidelines in cash or other hard assets like gold, silver or real estate.

About the only thing showing any movement are commodities, and they're moving in a very dangerous direction, with corn prices escalating and oil jumping back up into nose-bleed territory. In a macro sense, high food and energy prices will derail any kind of recovery, even the one we haven't had for the past three years.

Stocks, however, continue to levitate at unreasonable levels, another reason why there isn't much in the way of buying activity, but the conundrum is why there hasn't been more selling, either for profit-taking (and there's been plenty of profit of late) or out of a sense that the bottom is going to fall out of the global economy any day now.

In either case, one would expect some kind of movement, and most likely not to the upside. Corporate profits in the second quarter were barely as good as lowered estimates, small business continues to struggle along, housing is not fixed and unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Perhaps the lesson to be taken from this summer respite is that one can only kick a can so far down a given road until either the road ends or somebody picks up the can for a nickel deposit return.

Something will change to get Wall Street out of its rut, but timing such an event could prove costly and dangerous.

Dow 13,164.78, -7.36 (0.06%)
NASDAQ 3,030.93, +13.95 (0.46%)
S&P 500 1,405.53, +1.60 (0.11%)
NYSE Composite 8,030.08, +10.55 (0.13%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,498,334.250
NYSE Volume 2,527,355.50
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3628-1915
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 152-57
WTI crude oil: 94.33, +0.90
Gold: 1,606.60, +4.20
Silver: 27.81, +0.05

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wall Street Remains a Dead Zone; Habits of the Rich

It was another day of lackluster trading on US exchanges, with stocks spending most of the session in positive territory before sliding in the afternoon back to near opening levels.

This is the seventh straight session in which stocks have more or less meandered across and along the unchanged mark on ridiculously low volume, with no catalyst for change on the horizon.

Even economic data was dull or given the short shrift, as retail sales for July posted their best showing since February, a gain of 0.8%, though that was counterbalanced by a revision of June's figures from -0.5 to -0.7.

PPI showed some nascent signs of inflation, gaining 0.3% for July, with the core coming in at a somewhat surprising 0.4%, sparking fears that inflation has emerged from the core of food and energy, though the numbers lack any definitive pattern.

That was about it, as the masters of the universe were more likely pondering the upcoming presidential election or the bottom of a cocktail glass out at the Hamptons.

Since Wall Street seems preoccupied or disinterested in the capital markets for the time being, let's take a look at the habits of the rich, courtesy of author Tom Corley's recent work, Rich Habits, from whence came the following quiz:
1 Do you read at least one career-related educational book a month?
2 Do you engage in aerobic exercise of 20-40 minutes a day for at least 4 days a
3 Do you eat 300 calories of less in junk food per day?
4 Do you set monthly, annual and long-term goals?
5 Do you spend 20-30 minutes each work day reading career-related magazines,
trade publications, newsletters etc.?
6 Do you limit T.V. and Social Media to one hour per day?
7 Do you regularly save 10% or more of your gross income?
8 Do you call everyone you know to wish them a happy birthday? This includes
family, friends and business contacts.
9 Do you create daily "To Do" lists and complete at least 70% or more of your
daily tasks?
10 Do you call or send thank you cards to everyone who has done something that
helped you in your career or life?

The author posits that if you perform six or more of the above on a regular basis, you have the kernel of success flowing through your veins.

Of course, the quiz is somewhat simplistic, though it maintains that an ordered life, with goals and aspirations, plus dollops of common sense, may eventually lead to a life of leisure and contentment.

Other virtues that may lead one to find happiness and success include perseverance, decisiveness, objectivity, passion, organization and a positive direction. Starting off a professional career with a fat salary and some quality guidance certainly helps, though those final accoutrements are not always afforded to the vast majority.

Dow 13,172.14, +2.71 (0.02%)
NASDAQ 3,016.98, -5.54 (0.18%)
S&P 500 1,403.93, -0.18 (0.01%)
NYSE Composite 8,019.53, +0.90 (0.01%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,569,593,500
NYSE Volume 2,918,056,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2453-3094
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 178-53
WTI crude oil: 93.43, +0.70
Gold: 1,602.40, -10.20
Silver: 27.76, UNCH

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spanish Bank Bailout Has Bad Odor; Week Ahead Looks Fascinating

Following last week's magnificent vapor rally on the lightest volume of the year, the new week started off gangbusters with news of a $125 billion (100 billion euros) bailout of insolvent Spanish banks sending US equity futures up on a sugar high prior to the opening bell.

Asia rallied strongly on the same news, followed by significant upside on the European exchanges. However, once Wall Street got a whiff of the real stench coming from Europe (Spain's bailout is hardly anything to cheer about; the loans from either the ESM or EFSF are uncertain and have not been approved by the German parliament, which is a must; Greece's elections loom on Saturday), it didn't take long for the best minds, algos and short sellers on Wall Street to sell the rally and start taking profits from last week's big run.

The Dow was up 96 points in a flash, but by 10:00 am EDT was already under the unchanged line, dragging down the other major indices with it. Stocks took a breather during the middle of the session, but, after 2:00 pm, it was pretty much all downhill, as investors went scurrying for cover in defensive stocks and treasuries.

Fear of the impending and eventual full retard global financial collapse were once again front and center, and, with good reason.

Whatever the euphoria over endless money printing out of thin air, be it by the US Federal Reserve, the ECB, China or any other nation, it appears that most people with sense have come to ignore it, at least, and abhor it, at worst. This same story has been playing since the fall of 2008 - throwing more debt at bad debt - and, since the Spanish banks were about the only suckers buying the debt of the Spanish government, recapitalizing them was just another in a long, futile line of can-kicking efforts, far from a real solution to the global crisis caused by long-term issuance of excessive debt.

The centrally-planned, central bank model of piling more bad debt upon already bad debt is coming to a furious conclusion and there seems to be nothing to prevent a complete reset of the world's capital structure. Hard line Keynesians continue to pretend that there's a way to avoid a catastrophic global meltdown, but the reality is that very little has been done thus far, and it's probably now too late to change tactics.

What has passed muster in the past now seems old hat, the results already known, that more bailouts and printing of money will not suffice; old, tried and true methods such as default, bankruptcy, selling off of remaining assets and new management of failed institutions - be they financial or governmental in nature - are the only prescriptions that will cure the ailing patient that is the global financial system.

There is already a great deal of talk circulating about subordination, of soured notes and bonds taking a back seat to newer issues. Spain's stock market, up nearly 6% early on, ended the day in the red and in tatters, the Spanish benchmark 10-year note yielding above 6.5%, a danger area. Greece's 10-year has already achieved escape velocity, with a yield of more than 28%, probably not even ample considering the risk. The Euro finished below 1.25 to the dollar, which is still 20-30% too high, crude was pounded down to eight-month lows, and a quadruple-witching day awaits markets on Friday.

It's either ironic or appropriate that rich and poor dads alike will have one more day in the sun on Father's Day, June 17, upon which day Greeks vote once again to try to form a government in an ungovernable situation. By this time next Monday, there may well have been a 500-point decline on the Dow, with Europe slitting apart at the seams, US and other developed nations exhibiting no growth and Italy waiting in the wings to be the next major casualty.

This week promises to be one of the most interesting - from a macro perspective - though, with more than $800 billion being pulled out of equities in the two years following the May 2010 "flash crash," there may not be anyone left around the trading floor to turn off the lights.

The entire mess has been the product of government gone fiscally wild and banks more than willing to take on excessive, often foolish risk over the years and into today. There comes a reckoning, and that day will arrive eventually, without fanfare or pretense. Then the planet will tremble as great swaths of wealth are obliterated by the same system that made the unrealistic promise of endless growth on a finite planet.

Volume was once again horrifyingly absent, breadth was extremely negative and new lows crept up on new highs after a brief reversal last week.

Dow 12,411.23, -142.97 (1.14%)
NASDAQ 2,809.73, -48.69 (1.70%)
S&P 500 1,308.93, -16.73 (1.26%)
NYSE Composite 7,459.29, -94.49 (1.25%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,477,944,250
NYSE Volume 3,383,333,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1206-4401
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 144-94
WTI crude oil: 82.70, -1.40
Gold: 1,596.80, +5.40
Silver: 28.62, +0.15

Monday, March 12, 2012

Golf Beats Dead Markets Any Day of the Week

Because the markets in this country - and just about everywhere else in the world - are so ridiculously contrived, manipulated and thinly-traded (meaning, they can't make realistic markets for a lot of stocks), I decided to cu out of here around 3:00 pm ET and play nine holes of golf.

Now, that may sound like a fairly mundane shirking of responsibility, but the fact of the matter is that I live in Rochester, NY, where the average high for March 12 is about 42 degrees, hardly good golf conditions. Today, however, the high temperature was around 62 degrees, and I played the nine holes in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Shot a 54, which, for me, isn't bad, considering it was only the second time I've played in two years and outside of a 10 on the 16th hole (we played the back nine), it was a satisfying round, especially the tee shot I plunked down on 18 within 20 feet of the pin, which I then cozied up an tapped in for a par.

Since spending $12 playing golf makes more sense these days than putting money into this ridiculously-valued stocks market, the break from the routine was appreciated. Besides, with Wall Street on hold in anticipation of the Fed's FOMC doing nothing tomorrow besides possibly dropping "hints" on whether there will be more QE (free cash to big banks), it seemed prudent to bug out for an afternoon.

Checking back in here after 9:00 pm ET, it appears I didn't miss much, though this story: Entire Arena Football team cut during pregame meal at Olive Garden caught my attention. Only in America, the home of income disparity, can Peyton Manning, who missed all of last season with a neck injury and is 36 years old (nearing end of career), be traveling around the country checking out which franchise will pay him multiple tens of millions of dollars, while these poor grunts are eating at Olive Garden and being cut because the team, and the league, doesn't want to pay them more than $500 per game. Heck, that's what old AFL players were making back in the sixties.

Anyhow, don't get too excited when the FOMC says the federal funds rate will remain at zero to 0.25% tomorrow, because, after all, God created economists to make weathermen look good.

Also, and correct me if I'm wrong, but today's volume was easily the lowest for any full trading day in the past ten years, probably longer. Think maybe some people have lost faith in the Wall Street money machine? Hmmm? Just maybe?

This is a broken system my friends and it's only a matter of time before it all comes tumbling down. Two weeks, two years? Who knows? The people running the show are really good at impressions, and that's seemingly all that matters these days.

Dow 12,959.71, +37.69 (0.29%)
NASDAQ 2,983.66, -4.68 (0.16%)
S&P 500 1,371.09, +0.22 (0.02%)
NYSE Compos... 8,086.28, -15.83 (0.20%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,343,738,750
NYSE Volume 3,086,209,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2496-3094
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 201-35 (yeah, really?)
WTI crude oil: 106.34, -1.06
Gold: 1,699.80, -11.80 (complete BS)
Silver: 33.41, -0.80 (utterly absurd)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Playing the Market, Twitter-Mob Style; Mogambo Guru Returns

It was certainly an exciting - if uneventful (depending on perspective) - end to the week, as the pumpers on CNBC breathlessly kept viewers in a strange state of animated suspense and anticipation over whether the Dow would actually close above the "psychologically important" (only to them) 13,000 level and the wrangling over details of the latest Greek bailout continued apace across the pond.

But, a funny thing happened on the way to 13,000 - or rather on the way down away from it - this morning, shortly after 10:00 am ET.

With the Dow at what would become the highs of the day, a sudden about-face took place, sending the index screaming for mercy in a 37-point drop over a roughly ten minute span.

Moves like this are not uncommon in the world of fast-paced HTF algos (a subject which has been noted here all too often in the past), but today's event might have had a bit of a different skew. Yesterday afternoon, a group of individuals (no names, please) decided to have a bit of fun, or mischief, possibly at the expense of the well-heeled crowd that convenes on Wall Street regularly.

A plan was concocted to see if a bunch of unrelated, inconspicuous internet users could have an effect on the HTF algos, which, as we know, track headlines from the likes of Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, but also follow trends on social websites like Facebook and Twitter.

The idea was that everyone would Tweet, at precisely 10:03 am, "Greece defaults" and see if the dumb algos would fall for the bait. The tweets went out, not all at the same time, and not uniform by any means, though the 10:03 time-stamp was extended, with various mentions of Greece defaulting flowing into the Twitter-verse in earnest for about twenty minutes.

Whether the tweeters actually managed to trip up the HFT traders and their zipity-do-dah algorithms is now and will likely forever be a matter of speculation, but if there were an actual cause and effect, it brings some interesting - and scary - possibilities to the table.

Suppose such crowd-sourced media were actually effective in moving the algos, thus affecting the price of an entire index? What then would be the effect on an individual stock? Were a group of people intent of making some money with this trick, it might be easier than anyone imagines, somewhat akin to elevator whisper campaigns designed to take down candidates in local elections or the old pump-and-dump strategies that were so effective in the early dotcom days of the internet, circa 1998-2001.

A plan could easily be put together to move a stock a few points in one direction or another, with appropriate bets placed by those "in the know." If truly effective, the profits could be staggering. Truth is, that's probably what has been happening in the US markets and elsewhere for quite some time, but especially theses days, as the market seems less than reluctant to trade on rumors and headlines rather than fundamentals.

Whatever the case, today's experiment via Twitter might raise a few eyebrows and give people some ideas. As for 13,000 on the Dow, the CNBC presenters and those with an emotional tie to the number will just have to wait until next week.

The other major development of the day also took place on the internet, and actually happened on Thursday, when the frightful visage of the Mogambo Guru suddenly reappeared sporting his own blog. The majestic Mogambo Guru (MMG) had been a regular typist and word-twister of financial follies on the Daily Reckoning for a long time, though he had taken an absence from penning the occasional witty and irreverent column (OWAIC).

Now that he's back and regularly submitting his thoughts to the public via a blog there should be little doubt that his hordes of faithful followers (HHOFF) will flock to his work like... ummm, bees to honey, or something like that.

Welcome back, oh great, glorious, hallowed, devious and mischievous Guru! Your absence left a hold in the fabric of time and space, but we're sure you'll be promptly attending to mending it.

Just a few quick notes for the weekend:

Today's volume, which has been horribly anemic on a regular basis anyway, was fairly ghastly today, the lowest in a decade, notes ZeroHedge.

There's a meeting of the G20 in Mexico City over the weekend in which the big fight is supposed to be between the IMF's Christine Lagarde and the finance ministers and representatives of Germany. The IMF wants more dough and the Germans are tiring of spending so much. Besides the main event, the undercard features thousands of police in riot gear protecting the one percenters from rock-hurling Mexican hooligans and potentially, armed drug cartel operatives. One has to admit that setting a meeting of world leaders in a place as dangerous as Mexico City offers a bit of intrigue, to say nothing of its inducement to all kinds of mayhem.

Dow 12,982.95, -1.74 (0.01%)
NASDAQ 2,963.75, +6.77 (0.23%)
S&P 500 1,365.74, +2.28 (0.17%)
NYSE Composite 8,151.96, +15.72 (0.19%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,641,587,000
NYSE Volume 3,367,789,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2827-2792
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 281-11 (Really?)
WTI crude oil: 109.77, +1.94 (pain at the pump)
Gold: 1,776.40, -9.90
Silver: 35.34, -0.22

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Greek Debt Prison; Real Estate's Bogus Stats and Obama's Phantom Recovery

Let's Just Pretend.

That's what Wall Street, the EU and the central bankers of the world want you to do. Pretend.

Pretend there is a way out for Greece. Pretend that the US economy is growing, that the debtsof all nations will eventually be paid off through the magic of "growth," that your future, and that of your kids' will be secure.

None of it is true. The headlines from the likes of Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones only parrot what the elite bankers and corrupt governments feed them. Journalism died during the Bush administration of the 2000s. The rule of law is being killed every day by the likes of the AG settlement, the non-prosecution of anybody involved in the mortgage/robo-signing/foreclosure scams and the constitution has been marginalized by congress and presidential orders.

What makes it even more frightful is that it seems to worsen every day. No statistics can be trusted and the words coming from the mouths of politicians ring hollow and void.

Take just a few of today's news items for instance. President Obama - to great fanfare - proposed new tax rates for businesses in the US. Never mind that they have less chance than Lindsay Lohan giving up drinking of ever being signed into law. Sure, they sound good (if by good you mean that the government is somehow entitled to the ridiculous amount of 28% of you company's net profits), but they will be twisted and broken and flailed about by a congress that knows nothing better than obfuscation, ridicule and deceit.

Then take a look at the January's existing home sales figures released by the NAR. Again, the trumpets blared that real estate is recovering, with the month's sales up 4.2% from December to an unadjusted 4.57 million, annualized (why do they annualize these figures in an age in which numbers can be recorded and crunched in an instant? It's easier to FAKE them that way.). Never mind that distressed properties boosted the number materially or that the rate of deals falling through continues to rise or that mortgage applications fell again this week.

But wait a minute. Last month's number was 4.61 million... Well, that was revised down to 4.38 million. So, that gain in December actually turned out to be a decline. Next month, the NAR can revise the January number down too, so that February shows a gain. It's a con. A shell game. And the American public is the mark.

And then there's the Greek deal, the third bailout for the nation in the past two years. It's not enough that the EU is "loaning" them another $172 billion ($130 billion Euros), but this one comes with various strings attached, such as a special account that requires Greece to pay its creditors before paying its own expenses; a permanent monitoring task force from the European Commission; private investors forced to eat 53.5% of the money they've already loaned (and are not getting back); drastic cuts to pensions, the minimum wage, defense spending, healthcare and public sector jobs; and more.

With these new conditions, Greece, for all intents and purposes, is no longer a sovereign state. Rather, it is a debt-slave, a ward of the European Union. Obviously, centuries of in-breeding among Europe's elite ruling class has taught them well how to subjugate the will of the masses.

But maybe there's hope. Since the signing of the Greek deal on Monday, stocks in Europe have done nothing but decline. There is little faith among professional investors that this arrangement will result in anything more than a temporary reprieve and an ultimate default.

In the US, stocks wandered around for the second straight day, though this time they finally bit the bullet and had to fall. Not by much, but any decline in stocks is a blow to the monied interests and they seem worried about Greece, about the price of gas and about the economy in general. And the volume was again absurdly low, because nobody but the banks, hedge funds and HFTs are playing.

They might even begin to worry that people are sick and tired of being lied to and are beginning to wake up.

Wake up, America. How much longer can these charades continue?

Dow 12,938.67, -27.02 (0.21%)
NASDAQ 2,933.17, -15.40 (0.52%)
S&P 500 1,357.66, -4.55 (0.33%)
NYSE Composite 8,094.39, -21.03 (0.26%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,676,971,875
NYSE Volume 3,608,714,750
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2032-3589
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 162-24
WTI crude oil: 106.28, +0.03
Gold: 1,771.30, +12.80
Silver: 34.25, -0.18

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greek Drama Causes Wild Swings in US Stocks

Leave it to those wild, crazy, dancing Greeks to make a mockery of equity markets.

The information coming out of Athens, then Brussels, then back to Athens caused US stock indices to dive at the open, hit their lows of the day just a half hour before the close and then rally back to the flat line at the close.

It was Greek tragicomedy at its very best.

The day opened to word from Athens that the leader of Greece's conservative party, the outspoken Antonis Samaras, would not sign a letter committing to the austerity package approved by the Greek parliament on Sunday and added that if he were to become Greece's Prime Minister in the April elections, he would seek to re-negotiate the terms of that deal.

With that information in hand, EU finance ministers cancelled a scheduled Wednesday meeting that was intended to finalize the Greek agreement, paving the way for another round of bailout money before the country goes belly up on March 20.

That news sent markets into a choppy downside drift through the bulk of the session, with stocks hitting their lows right around 3:30 pm New York time.

But then, Samaras apparently had a change of heart - conveniently just before the close in New York - saying that he would sign the commitment letter, which sent stocks soaring in the final half hour of trading. The S&P - which still finished in the red bounced 10 points during that time, with the Dow picking up about 80 points and the NASDAQ good for an 18-point burst.

At the end of the day, it all worked out to not much ado about something, though nobody is sure just what's going to occur next in quickly-failing country of Greece.

The Euro dropped below 1.31 to the US dollar during the session, but rallied back above that benchmark late in the day. The Dollar Index, which was positive all day, took a bit of a trim, but still ended positive.

Volume was once more anemic, suggesting that there are only a few humans still playing in the news-and-computer-driven trading markets. In the most general terms, it's simply too risky to venture in and out of the markets no matter how often CNBC reminds us that stocks are up for the year or that corporate profits are solid.

There's an end-game out there, and it is currently hovering over the Parthenon. Ironic as it may be, the nation which brought democracy into the mainstream centuries ago has become the test site for centrally-planned financial suicide.

Dow 12,878.28, +4.24 (0.03%)
NASDAQ 2,931.83, +0.44 (0.02%)
S&P 500 1,350.50, -1.27 (0.09%)
NYSE Composite 8,029.61, -26.62 (0.33%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,879,330,000
NYSE Volume 3,839,528,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2094-3532
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 174-14
WTI crude oil: 100.74, -0.17
Gold: 1,717.70, -7.20
Silver: 33.35, -0.37

Monday, February 6, 2012

As Greece Prepares for Potential Default, Markets Take Pause

The troubled nation of Greece took center stage again today, as talks to reach agreement on restructuring private and public debt reached yet another impasse and discussions between Primier Lucas Papademos and leaders of the recently-formed unity government also could not agree on austerity measures to be imposed in order to receive the next round of bailout money from the trokia - the EU, ECB and IMF.

Today, Papademos asked experts at Athens' finance ministry to compile a detailed analysis of what a Greek default would entail. The immediate response was that a bankruptcy of Greece would make what happened in Argentina more than a decade ago look like "a picnic."

With that backdrop, stocks opened sharply lower and remained in the red for the duration of the session, which marked the lowest volume day of the year. Rather than outright selling, traders seemed content to wait and watch developments in Europe, hoping that a default of Greece can be avoided. The major averages, though all down for the session, finished at or near their highs of the day.

Stocks are still up for the year. Today's pullback, like many before it, was minor and actually created more opportunities for day-traders than anyone else.

Dow 12,845.13, -17.10 (0.13%)
NASDAQ 2,901.99, -3.67 (0.13%)
S&P 500 1,344.33, -0.57 (0.04%)
NYSE Composite 8,041.85, -18.58 (0.23%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,648,986,500
NYSE Volume 3,310,194,500
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2293-3331
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 211-9
WTI crude oil: 96.91, -0.93
Gold: 1,724.90, -15.40
Silver: 33.71, -0.04

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nothing Happening on Wall Street as Holidays Wind Down; Sears First Christmas Casualty

The three-day Christamas holiday was a welcome break, but, for the traders, bankers, swindlers and everybody who isn't a teacher or member of the US congress, Tuesday was back-to-work day.

Not that it mattered much on Wall Street. On what looks - at first glance - to be the lowest-volume full session trading day of the year, stocks were essentially flat, trading in a tight range which had the Dow down as much as 24 points and up only about 34 points.

So, advice for this week is to watch as much football as possible, don't eat too many leftovers and forget the rigged, stupid markets. If today's trading is to serve as any indication, they aren't going anywhere until January.

One noteworthy item in today's news is worth mentioning, however, that being the imminent demise of one of America's iconic store brands, Sears Holdings (SHLD), the parent company for over 4,000 US and Canadian Sears and K-Mart stores, announced this morning that it would be closing 100-120 stores due to poor performance during the holdiays season.

This is nothing new for Sears/K-Mart, but if they eventually close only 100-120 stores, that would be something of a surprise. By this time next year, we could all be reminiscing over how the Sears bankruptcy (again) and the closings of 2000 stores was one of the top stories of 2012. Their credit lines are tight and, if there's any hint of a slowdown in the first half of 2012, they could be pulled or frozen, leaving the company very thin indeed.

Shares of Sears Holding were hammered without mercy, the stock losing 27% on the day (33.38, -12.47). SHLD traded as high as 82 and change near the end of October. Obviously, this was something some people knew a bit about.

Yep, the people running Sears and K-Mart into the ground (Target, Macy's, Wal-Mart, among others) is just what the US economy needs right about now: another wave of retail layoffs.

Also making headlines and jacking up the price of oil back over $100 today was more sabre-rattling from Iran, which has been conducting military exercises around the Strait of Hormuz since Christmas Eve, and today said that they would halt the flow of oil if foreign sanctions were imposed on its crude exports because of its nuclear ambitions. Well, we all know what europe and the US thinks of that. Get ready for $5.00 per gallon gas if the morons in Washington and Brussels continue on their failed policy path. Presidential candidate Ron Paul says that US policies are what makes people around the world hate America. He has a very valid point and should be the Republican nominee on his anti-war/foreign policy stance alone.

January is already setting up to be a real loser for stocks. Start shorting selected retailers (GAP comes to mind). The Christmas season is winding down and there's nothing on the horizon to make people want to shop more. At least the weather hasn't been horrible, which is great for humans, but bad for companies which sell coats, hats and winter wear, as well as being brutal on ski resorts.

Al Gore? Paging the promoter of global warming. 2012 could be your best year yet.

Dow 12,291.35, -2.65 (0.02%)
NASDAQ 2,625.20, +6.56 (0.25%)
S&P 500 1,265.43, +0.10 (0.01%)
NYSE Composite 7,508.33, -10.33 (0.14%)
NASDAQ Volume 942,962,875
NYSE Volume 2,034,548,000
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 2829-2797
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 272-78
WTI crude oil: 101.34, +1.66
Gold: 1,595.50, -10.50
Silver: 28.74, -0.34

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Low Volume Melt-up Ends Flattish; OWS Protesters in Limbo; Oil Nears $100

Another sluggish, low-volume day on Wall Street started on the downside, melted up during the midday hours and ended nearly flat - with the exception of the NASDAQ momentum stocks - as traders ignored a Euro sell-off that normally pounds stocks in the same direction and Italian 10-year bond yields tearing back above seven percent that ignited a 400-point decline just a week ago.

So, unless one has a crystal ball with special powers, predicting the direction of trading based on correlations has become a true guessing game once again.

The morning's economic data was strong, offsetting the effects of Italy's bond yield rise. PPI declined by 0.3% in October, a signal that inflation might be still controllable, though one month's data does not make a trend. Retail sales posted a solid 0.5% in October, a third straight increase.

Maybe more consoling than anything was the New York manufacturing index, which popped slightly into the positive, at 0.61, after a string of months in the red.

Also making morning headlines was word that Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters were removed from Zuccotti Park by New York City police in riot gear in the pre-dawn hours.

As the day progressed protesters awaited word on a ruling from state Supreme Court that would bar the city from enforcing evictions and the dismantling of tents. According to unconfirmed reports, after trading closed, the court decision said the protesters could return to the park, but could not bring in sleeping bags or erect tents.

The continuing climb of crude oil has some people concerned and speculators ebullient as the price of WTI crude oil approached the $100 mark. Gas prices have recently declined as oil sold below $80 a barrel in September, before bouncing back to current levels. With the holiday shopping season approaching, retailers are concerned that high gasoline prices will crimp travel and spending on gifts.

Being loosely tied to supply-demand mechanisms, oil prices seem more inclined to rise to unsustainable levels than reach equilibrium, despite lower demand.

Within all of this, trading volume has slumped to summertime levels for the second straight session. What's holding back traders could be a variety of issues, ranging from the continuing, unresolved issues in Europe to the nearly stalled negotiations by the congressional super-committee that is supposed to recommend policy changes in the form of spending reductions and/or tax increases by November 23. The six Democrats and six Republicans on the committee are deadlocked, with no resolution in sight.

Tomorrow will bring a fresh set of economic data, most importantly Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization, two readings that often indicate the strength or weakness in the manufacturing sector.

Dow 12,096.16, +17.18 (0.14%)
NASDAQ 2,686.20, +28.98 (1.09%)
S&P 500 1,257.81, +6.03 (0.48%)
NYSE Composite 7,509.05, +15.75 (0.21%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,667,635,375
NYSE Volume 3,500,557,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 3667-1946
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 96-100
WTI crude oil: 99.37, +1.23
Gold: 1,782.20, +3.80
Silver: 34.46, +0.43

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wall Street Starts Week on Down Note, Sluggish Volume

There was no follow-up to last week's furious upside rallies on Monday, as traders sought catalysts for profit but found few. Oddly, given that the news over the weekend indicated something of a simmering in the ongoing European debt crisis, volume was at mid-summer levels or lower, marking one of the lowest trading volume days of the year.

Just as everything was up on Friday, just about all asset classes showed losses on Monday, including stocks of all flavors, led lower by shares of financial companies, including the world's favorites, Goldman Sachs (GS -2.37, 99.29), Citigroup (C -0.95, 28.38) and Bank of America (BAC -0.16, 6.05), which just can't seem to get out of the six-dollar range, to the chagrin of Warren Buffett and countless speculators who believe that bank stocks are a bargain (like uber-bank-bull, Dick Bove).

All sectors finished in the red, with consumer cyclicals showing the smallest loss (-0.31%).

Still, the most pronounced factor of the session was the sheer lack of velocity, as though some of the big brokerages had turned off the HFT computers and handed the trading back to humans. The trading marked the third-lowest volume of the year.

It would be nice if that actually happened, but one can hope and dream. Meanwhile, there just doesn't seem to be much interest in buying or selling much of anything, at least for today.

Dow 12,079.44, -74.24 (0.61%)
NASDAQ 2,657.22, -21.53 (0.80%)
S&P 500 1,251.88, -11.97 (0.95%)
NYSE Composite 7,496.71, -79.47 (1.05%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,401,417,000
NYSE Volume 3,075,054,250
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ Advance - Decline: 1384-4266
Combined NYSE & NASDAQ New highs - New lows: 81-82
WTI crude oil: 98.14, -0.85
Gold: 1,778.40, -9.70
Silver: 34.02, -0.66