12/17/12…Bloomberg for President!

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “The truth is always the strongest argument.” – Sophecles

…but it can take so long to get people to heed it…especially when they have incentives!

TB’s Quotes of the Day on GUNS:

“Guns don’t kill people…people kill people.” -_Charleton Heston, former NRA President

“The one thing that missing in that equation is that woman owning a gun so she could have saved her life from that murderer.” – Wayne LaPierre, NRA President since 1991, commenting on the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide. It would have changed NOTHING! This ideologue earns between $600k and $1.3 million…wake up NRA, you are screwed!    

Factoid of the Day: The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is headquartered in NEWTOWN, CN. Wonder if any of the children killed were theirs?

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*SAC Capital E-Mails Show Co-Conspirator Consulted Cohen in Key Dell Trade

*Manufacturing in New York Region Contracts More Than Economists Projected

*UBS Said to Face a $1.6 Billion Libor Penalty, U.S. Prosecutions This Week – !!!

*Stocks in U.S. Rise Amid Budget Talks as Treasuries, European Shares Fall

*Irish Approach End of ‘Blackest Day’ Linked to Bank Guarantee – protected investors!

*Oil Bulls in Biggest Retreat in Seven Months on Production – strong economy? Not!

*Hidden Yuengling Beer Billionaire Beating Sam Adams Amid Craft Brew Craze – good!

*Best-Paid California Troopers Banking Vacation Gives Chief $484k Prize – FIX IT!!!

*Obama Pledges to Use Presidential Power to Prevent More Shooting  Tragedies

*Rep. Tim Scott Will be Named to Fill DeMint’s Senate Seat, NY TIMES Says – what happens if Kerry becomes Sec. of State? That is a big issue! Scott Brown? Hmmm

*Syrian Forces Mass Near Palestinian Camp as Civil-War Violence Escalates  

This week’s economic calendar has an emphasis on housing and manufacturing activity. We will get the December Empire State Manufacturing Survey (Monday), the Q3 Current Account (Tuesday), November Housing Starts (Wednesday), the 3rd estimate of Q3 GDP, November Existing Home Sales, the December Philadelphia Fed Survey, and November Leading Indicators (Thursday), and November Personal Income, November Durable Goods Orders, and the final December Consumer Sentiment (Friday).

Courtesy of Steve Wood, Insight Economics, Walnut Creek, CA

Yesterday’s NYSE volume slipped yet again in a mixed market with no momentum…just 3.2B shares vs 3.34B vs 3.7B vs 3.64B but up from 3.0B and 3.11B. REAL trades on the floor rose slightly to another weak 667M shares vs  654M vs 695M vs 693M vs 593M – lowest since 11/23’s low for the year of 329M shares. Advance/declines and breadth (NYSE slightly positive) were both negative. For a second straight session the two Nasdaq indices were the worst performers falling 1.7% and 1% respectively. Again Apple was the culprit with 17 points of the 26 point loss on the 100! Growth is not ‘in.’

Bond market rallied on Friday but is off overnight: 10 yr note 1.72%, 30 yr 2.88%. TIPS remain vulnerable! The 30 yr TIP yield is 0.30% vs 0.32% vs 0.29% vs 0.26% vs 0.23% vs 0.22% – the record low. Bills strong! The 1 month yields 0.00%! 3 mo 0.03% – ouch!

Gold was up slightly yesterday closingat $1697.00 on an inside session. It is well below the 40/50 day moving averages,and is off $5.40 overnight to $1691.40 -$5.60! Crude continued to bore gaining just 84 cents closing at $86.79, also on an inside session. It too remains below both the 40/50 day m/a’s. Overnight it is off just 12 cents at $86.67.

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(Today’s column is not anti-Second Amendment nor guns per se, but against the NRA which has become an extreme right wing organization which has caused many groups to form who do not believe anyone should be able to buy a bazooka for hunting  Sadly the NRA did some wonderful things on gun education but that ended when Charleton Hesto became president and worsened under Wayne LaPierre. TB)

…is he the leader who will emerge? Unlike Romney this man, a former Republican (like TB, now Dem (?) but really INDEPENDENT is not afraid to speak his mind…even when he gets criticized by the lobbyists such as when he did the ‘supersize’ ban…this despite it is we the people who get stuck with the expense when the poor and young people are duped into paying 25 cents more for something that doesn’t cost them two cents extra to make…yet they blasted him. Now he is the most vocal person out there on gun control (followed by Sen. Feinstein, thankfully). Hope he runs in 2016…he gets TB’s vote!

The cry by the NRA and others after the Aurora, Colorado shooting was to cool off and not rush to pass laws against the Second Amendment. We tried that and now another even worse shooting…should we wait again…and again. Sorry but we don’t have their patience…or love of assault weapons. We live in a depraved society, evidenced by the fact that the we have the worst record of gun violence in the free world. Here are some facts from Ezra Klein’s column in the Washington Post. They will shock you unless you trust the NRA rather than your lying eyes and ears:

*Shooting sprees are not rare…since 1982 there have been at least 61 mass murders in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii

*Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings in the last FIFTY years took place in the U.S. Second place, Finland with TWO!!!

*Lots of guns don’t necessarily mean lots of shootings, as you can see in Israel and Switzerland. FACT! But think about this…BOTH countries have mandatory military service and in both countries you don’t get out of the service and thus retain your weapon. That is what TB meant about a depraved society where we lack responsibility!

*Of the 11 deadliest shootings in the U.S., five have happened from 2007 onward. That does not include Newtown!

*America is an unusually violent country. But we’re not as violent as we used to be.

Declining but still the worst. With economy weak it will probably rise again.

*The South is the most violent region in the U.S. Just as the U.S. is he leader globally the South leads the U.S. hmmm. Isn’t that the Bible belt, and aren’t they RED states?

*Gun ownership in the U.S. is declining overall. It is waning, and near all-time lows. Two points here: first, those are REGISTERED firearms, and second, what areas have the highest gun ownership density…dunno.

*More guns tend to mean more homicide. A Harvard study indicates this holds true in ALL countries.

*States with stricter gun-control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence. FACT! But correlation is not causation… higher populatons, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were NOT correlated with more deaths from gun violence. Witness Newtown!

*Gun control, in general, has not been politically popular. Since 1990, Gallup has been asking Americans whether they think gun control laws should be more restrictive. Increasingly, they DON’T! 78% in favor in 1990; 62% in 1995, 51% in 207. Most recent is 2010 – just 44%!!! Thank you NRA for the scare tactics! Much appreciated…not!

*BUT particular policies to control guns often are. An August CNN/ORC poll indicated banning the manufacture AND possession of semiautomatic rifles, are popular!  The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and signed into law in 1994, expired in 2004 thanks to the sunset provision. She plans to introduce it again in the next legislature! Interesting how the rise in mass killings has risen since then…coincidence? True there are already too many of these weapons out there but strict laws on registering, possession, banning large clips, monitoring the sale of clips and especially bullets could be a major deterrent.

Moving on to Newtown…the mother of the killer (no names because why should he get any more publicity), had weapons only a survivalist would need and there are indications that she was afraid of the direction the country and the economy is going. The weapon he left in the car was a high-tech Russian shotgun with a large clip! Thankfully he didn’t take that with him. This is the ‘safest’ town in America? Paranoia seems appropriate.

Lastly some recent events in Minnesota with various consequences.

There has been a wave of gang-related killings in poor areas here…just as across the U.S. Interesting how when a crime like this hits an affluent, white, suburb it draws attention. Imagine how the poor feel who are in fear of their lives every day. Shootings there go buy with slight coverage. (When TB lived in a similar area in Northern California some druggies broke into a house and killed a woman. One resident said, “things like this don’t happen here.” Also, TB had a relative whose son was assaulted and killed in Kankakee, Illinois. A huge manhunt transpired for the recently paroled killer. A year earlier an Afro- American girl was raped and murdered in the same town…the police did little. Justice?)

A former federal agent had had several break-in’s at his home. He was in his basement and shot and killed an intruder and then a second one – a teenage boy and girl who were looking for drugs. Worse, he showed no remorse, apparently gave no warning and just fired…then…he said he gave them a ‘head shot’ to make sure they were dead. There was no threat to his person and he will probably go to jail. Like the cop wanna-be in Florida, who senselessly and needlessly killed a teenage boy walking through his neighborhood.

A father owned several guns all but one kept in a vault. That one was kept under his pillow. Two of his sons were playing on the bed: the six year-old found the gun and shot and killed his two-year old brother. How do you overcome that trauma? He was sentenced to probation on condition all guns be locked up.

THEN, a man had had his home broken into had a granddaughter staying with he and his wife. He heard the sliding door open in the middle of the night and since she was sleeping at the other end of the house shot and killed the intruder…his granddaughter who had gone out without telling them!

Please…and this comes from the heart…IF you ever, God forbid, have a break-in and have a gun be sensible…once TB’s wife was out of town and came home unexpectedly in the middle of the night. He saw the door open and took his .357 from under the pillow, BUT before shooting yelled, ‘FREEZE!’  That one word saved him from shooting his wife. That is the difference between an individual trained in law enforcement, and someone without training. Use common sense and don’t panic…or it can ruin your life.

Despite all this sadness, hope you all have a safe, wonderful week.

TB

. . .  – - -  . . . (SOS!)  . . .   – - -  . . .  (SOS!) . . .   – - -  . . .  (SOS!)

Volume dropped again Friday to 3.2B shares vs 3.34B vs 3.7B vs vs 3.64B from a recent low of 3.0B shares. NYSE shares executed without the aid of the ETN market rose slightly but remain weak at 667M shares vs 654M vs 695M vs vs 693M vs 593M vs 600M vs 616M vs 759M. There have been just 21 700M+ days since 8/3. We have not had an 800M share day in the past TWO weeks – average 663M shares!The average since 8/1’s 1.03B is just 680M. The average since 9/21 (12 mo high: 1.81B) is just 686M with just one 1B share day and just EIGHT sessions above 800M shares! 132 of the last 176 sessions have been less than 800M shares (75%!). Since 2/29 there have been just 27 ‘average’ days (mostly down!), and just 22 have been above 900M – 757M is the 12 month ave and falling! Since 2/6 there have been 82 sessions less than 700M shares. 248 of the last 271 sessions have been less than the 12 mo ave (92%)! Since the crisis, this is the lowest average volume (range 588M-1.04B) since the millennium. Volume in the 90’s, during the boom: 315M shares. Chalk it up to high frequency trading…welcome to the casino of stacked decks!

Advance/Declines were slightly negative: -1.1x vs -2.3x vs -1.1x vs +2.1x vs +1.2x on NYSE and -1.1x vs -1.7x vs -1.5x vs +2.5x vs +1.4x on Nasdaq. Breadth was identical: NYSE: -1.1x vs -2.3x vs +1.4x vs +2.2x vs +1.2x on NYSE and -1.1x vs -1.4x vs -1.2x vs +3.6x vs +1.8x on Nasdaq. New 52 week highs were up slightly to 95 vs 89 vs 209 vs 218 vs 144 (768 is cycle high, 28 low), while new lows slipped to 79 vs 84 vs 55 vs 55 vs 71. The ratio is barely positive: +1.2x vs +1.1x vs +3.9x vs +4x vs +2x. Recent high was +7x! The S&P VIX also rose again to 17.00 (highest since 11/15!) vs 16.56 vs 15.95 vs 15.57 vs 16.05. 12 mo. ave. is 17.95.

Here are the results of last 5 sessions: Dow -0.3% vs -06% vs flat vs +0.1% vs +0.1%; Dow Transports +0.1% vs +0.1% vs -0.3% vs +0.1% vs +1.1%;Dow Utilities -0.1% vs -0.4% vs -0.1% vs +0.1% vs flat; S&P 500 -0.4% vs -0.6% vs flat vs +0.7% vs flat; Nasdaq Composite -0.7% vs -0.7% vs -0.3% vs +1.5% vs +0.3%; Nasdaq 100 -1% vs -0.8% vs -0.3% vs +1.6% vs +0.3%; Russell 2000 -0.1% vs -0.6% vs -0.7% vs +1.6% vs +0.5%; NYSE Financials -0.1% vs -0.4% vs +0.4% vs +0.3% vs -0.2% (KBW Banks -0.3% vs -0.6% vs +0.4% vs +0.4% vs -0.1%; Nasdaq Banks -0.4% vs -0.6% vs -0.5% vs +1% vs +0.3%; NYSE Brokers +0.1% vs +0.3% vs +0.4% vs -0.2% vs -1.1% vs +0.5%.NYSE Financial Leaders: BAC +0.4% vs -0.7% vs +1% vs -0.6% vs -0.6%. No other leaders. Why all the fuss about financials? Because as they go, so goes the market!

Global equities weak, ex-Japan: FTSE -0.5% vs -0.1% vs -0.2% vs +0.3% vs +0.1%; CAC 40 -0.4% vs flat vs -0.1% vs -0.1% vs +0.7%; DAX flat vs +0.3% vs -0.3% vs +0.3% vs +0.6%;Nikkei +0.9%! vs -0.1% vs +1.7% vs +0.6% vs -0.1%; Hang Seng -0.4% vs +0.7% vs -0.3% vs +0.8% vs +0.2%; Korean KOSPI -0.6% vs -0.4% vs +4.4% vs +0.6% vs +0.4% vs flat;Indian Sensex -0.% vs +0.5% vs -0.7% vs -0.2% vs -0.1% vs -0.1%. U.S. stock futures up but mid-range: DOW +35; SPX +6.50; NDQ +10.50!

U.S. treasury bonds closed up but are off slightly overnight: 10 yr 1.72% -1/8 – record low of 1.40%; 30 yr 2.88% -1/4. Long TIP 0.31% -7/16 – 0.22% record low!The 5 yr TIP yields –1.50%; 10 yr -.80%.T-Bills strong again: 0.00% 1 month; 0.03% 3 months; 0.09% 6 months. Reverse Repo 0.32%. 3 mo. Libor 0.309%; 6 mo. 0.509%!!!  European problem sovereign 10 years, Germany-bench: 1.37% +2; Japan 0.73% +1; Italy 4.55% -4; Spain 5.40% +5; Greece 12.73% +3 vs 12.70% vs 12.64% vs 12.29% vs 12.88% vs 13.35% vs 13.92% vs 14.72% …on 9/20: 19.75%!!!; Portugal 6.89% flat; Ireland 4.51% -3.

Gold was up slightly yesterday closingat $1697.00 on an inside session. It is well below the 40/50 day moving averages,and is off $5.40 overnight to $1691.40 -$5.60! Crude continued to bore gaining just 84 cents closing at $86.79, also on an inside session. It too remains below both the 40/50 day m/a’s. Overnight it is off just 12 cents at $86.67.

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