Bloomberg Top Stories:

*First-Time Unemployment Claims Dropped 15k Last Week to 372,000

*U.S. Stock Futures Retreat as J.C. Penney, Lilly Forecasts Trail Estimates

*French Borrowing Costs Rise at Auction as AAA Rating Faces Threat of Cut

*Asia Hedge Funds Face a Year of Attrition After Most Closures Since 2008

*Fannie, Freddie May Have to Bear Losses to Stock Broad Economy, Fed Says

*Muni Yield Gap Widest in 11 Years Prolonging Long-Term Bond Rally

*Alcoa Estimates Plunge Most Since 2008 After Aluminum Decline – oops!!!

*Waning Economic-Policy Doubts Mean Buy More U.S. Stocks – or not! Waning???

*Labor Rules to Expose Hidden Fees That Chip Away at 401(k) Plan Balances – finally!

Tables Turning on Romney as Republican Rivals Assail Him in New Hampshire

*Obama Appointees Revive U.S. Labor Board, Anger Republicans in Congress

*Iowa’s Turnout Barely Tops 2008 Number as Anti-Obama Fervor Shows Limits – warned ya!



Volume was fairly steady at 3.52B shares from 3.87B shares, still at recent highs but also still below the average of 4B shares, as high frequency trades confounded investors in a mixed day. NYSE stocks executed on the Big Board also slipped to 759M shares from 855M shares, about 250 million short of the twelve month average! 34 of the last 37 sessions have been less than 1B! Advance/Declines were slightly negative: -1.3:1 vs +3.3:1 vs -1.1:1 vs +3.7:1 vs -4:1 on NYSE and -1.6:1 vs +2.8:1 vs -1.1:1 vs +2.6:1 vs -4:1 on Nasdaq. Breadth was mixed: +1.1x vs +4.5x vs -1.2x vs +10.2x vs -22x on NYSE and -1.1x vs +4.6x vs -1.5x vs +5.2x vs -9x on Nasdaq. New 52 week highs were cut by 2/3 to 122 from 301 while new lows were steady at 39 vs 38.The ratio is about 3x positive. The S&P VIX declined modestly again to 22.22 -.75. Very confusing!

Here are the results of the past three sessions: Dow +0.2% vs +1.5% vs -0.6%; Transports +0.3% vs +0.9% vs -0.5%; DOW UTILITIES -0.6% vs -1.9%; S&P 500 FLAT vs +1.6% vs -0.4%; Nasdaq Composite FLAT vs +1.7% vs -0.3%; Nasdaq 100 +1.9% vs +0.3% vs -0.3%; Russell 2000 -0.7% vs +1.5% vs -0.5%; NYSE Financials -0.5% vs +2.6%!!! vs -0.2%.  Leaders: BAC +0.2% vs +4.3%!!! vs +1.8% vs +3.3% vs -3.6% vs -2.1%; C -0.5% vs +7.7%!!! vs +2.4% vs -2.9% vs -2%; GE -0.6% vs +2.5% vs -0.9% vs +1.4% vs -1.1% vs -1.2%. Too bullish???


Global equity markets weaker, except China: FTSE -0.4% vs -0.2% vs +1.2%; CAC40 -0.9% vs -1% vs -0.7%; DAX -0.1% vs -0.8% vs +0.7%; Nikkei -0.8% vs +1.2% vs closed; Hang Seng +0.5% vs -0.8% vs +2.4%; Korean KOSPI -0.1% vs -0.5% vs +2.7%; Indian Sensex -0.2% vs -0.4% vs +2.7%. U.S. Futures weaker despite drop in jobless claims and ADP, but earnings worries abound: DOW -33; SPX -6; NDQ -6. Bonds weaker with 10’s now AT 2% and 30’s above 3%. 10 yr 1.99% -5/32. RECORD low 9/23 of 1.6855%; 30 yr 3.05% -3/8;; Long TIP 0.75% +1/4. 0.57% at high six weeks ago. The 5 yr TIP yields MINUS 0.98%!!!; 10 yr -0.15%!!!. 3 mo. Libor 0.58%, and 0.81%, both steady. Bills -0.01% one month. 3 months 0.01%. 6 months 0.05%.

Gold rallied again closing above $1600 but still below the 200 day. It closed at $1612.70 +$12.20 and is now $1610.00 -$2.70. The record high is $1923.70, a buying climax on 9/6. RES is 1690, the 40 day and $1695, the 50 day m/a and $1629, the 200 day. Crude closed slightly higher following Tuesday’s surge $103.90, highest since 5/31!!! It closed at $103.22 +.26. It is now $103.10 -.12. Sup at $100.



…following Tuesday’s big rally we get…nothing? What happened to all those optimists? Well, they were high frequency traders who didn’t know what to do yesterday…apparently. For the second time in a week, the S&P 500 closed FLAT, as did the Nasdaq Composite. Other indices were mixed but little changed following the rally…overnight futures are weak again on earnings concerns…consensus is the estimates are way too high!


Let’s look at retailing…first, Sears announced it was closing 120 stores due to waning sales (12k employees?), Then yesterday, Macy’s announced it was closing all Bloomingdale’s stores except the main store in Chicago…both Macy’s and Bloomie’s were at Mall of America, now there is one. The Mall announced it was a good thing as they will start construction on a new sublevel and bring in four new stores…they say they have three new international retailers already interested.


TB was concerned about the increased use of plastic for holiday purchases…the optimists said it showed confidence…to TB it showed they lacked the cash. Last night the news focused on the coming headache from those credit card purchases…this could throw another wrench into the recovery. ADP survey looked good today but first it is not good enough and mainly it is a poor indicator for the monthly payrolls report as it doesn’t include government.


With his HUGE 8 vote win behind him in Iowa, against the unlikely Santorum, the candidates, sans Bachman head for New Hampshire, and all guns are trained on Romney. Remember too that Newt had the endorsement of the main paper, so things could get interesting…and for the rest of the month as they head to South Carolina and finally Florida…some say the candidate could be clear by monthend.


Meanwhile, Obama was blasted by the GOP of usurping Senate authority by appointing his candidate for the new consumer affairs commission. Usurping? Once again they refused to even give him an up or down vote…furthermore, they said regardless of the nominee they would not appoint as they don’t want the commission…now who is usurping authority?


…and you truly believe politics will be more muted this year? Go fish!


. . .   – – –  . . . note that the same old SOS applies…perhaps more so!

What do we do? Where do we go from here? Who knows? We just have to wait…patience, if you recall is a virtue. Oh, and now we have the hotheads ready to declare war on Iran or at least use it as a campaign tool. Iraq was a piece of cake compared to Iran and even that took us nine years and what did we leave in our wake thanks to the ideologues like Bremer? Disaster.


More importantly, we have once again failed those who helped us and were promised protection. Thousands of Iraqi’s remain and are under death threats for serving as interpreters or helping us in other ways. They were promised a safe haven…some have made it but the red tape is enormous, and when two…just two Iraqi’s were caught raising funds for Al Qaida, even though they were not in this category, it has slowed the process even more. First, we misled the Kurds under Bush Sr., then the rest under Bush Jr. Is this a record to be proud of? Oh, well, who cares…

Well the gal with the titanium spine…who tried to liken herself to the Iron Lady (Thatcher), declared her New Years resolutions to be to win all four primaries…talk about delusional as the broke all four within 24 hours of declaring them on TV in an interview. She also has problems at home as she vowed for a year she was an Iowan (despite leaving when she was two), and denied interviews with the local (MN) stations. This could come back to haunt her if she attempts to run for Congress again. That plus her off the wall comments.

Have a great day!




  1. Yarnman said

    TB–Happy New Year! EE Treasury Savings Bonds yield 3.06% when held for a mandatory one year, interest accrued monthly. Looks like a safer place to park money market funds. Whodathunk it!?–Yarnman

    • traderbill said

      Can’t deny that, other than the limits imposed…

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