1/9/11…nothing new here

This week’s economic calendar has an emphasis on the consumer but is heavily back-loaded for the most important indicators. The highlight of the week will be December Retail Sales (Thursday). We will also get November Consumer Credit (Monday), November Wholesale Trade (Tuesday), November Business Inventories and the December Budget (Thursday), and December Import & Export Prices and early January Consumer Sentiment (Friday). In addition, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book (Wednesday) in preparation for the upcoming January 24th and 25th FOMC meeting.

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*Merkel Meets Sarkozy to Draft EU Fiscal Rules as Part of Euro-Rescue Plan

*Euro Strengthens as Merkel Meets Sarkozy; U.S. Futures are Little Changed

*Top Currency Forecasters Split on Euro as No.1 Wells Fargo Sees 2012 Drop

*Europe Back From Brink as ECB Wins Benefit of Investor Doubt – for now! Tomorrow???

*Draghi May Copy Bernanke Over Trichet on Path to Record-Low Interest Rates

*ING Merges Cash Equities With Derivatives, Financing Units to Lower Costs – good idea???

*Holiday Sales Fizzle Slams Retailer Debt as Gap Swaps Soar – happy holidays!?

*Bond Traders Diverge From Bearish Economists on Treasuries as Growth Gains

*Monegan’s Banks Practice Patience as Bond Losses Mount

*Gross Expands Local-Government Holdings to Most in Five Years – sorry Meredith! Wrong!

*Hedge Funds Resume Bullish Bets on Crude as Oil Tops $103 – you’re paying for it!

*Ethanol Eating Up More of U.S. Corn Crop Than Livestock – pity or failed energy policies!

*Shale Bubble Inflates on Near-Record Prices for Untested Oil, Gas Fields

*Japan Buys More Treasuries as Geithner Faults Yen Policy – c’est la vie!

*How Does $4 Gas at Pump Play With Record S&P as 10-Year Note Holds at 2%? – Beats TB!

*Iran Sentences American to Death for Spying as Tensions Mount Over Hormuz

*Huntsman Backer Called a ‘traitor’ as Romney Rivalry Divides Utah Friends – getting sicker!

*Taliban Kill 10 Pakistan Soldiers in Second Revenge Mass Slaying in Week

*Syria Forces Kill 20 as Arab League Repeats Call for Cessation of Violence  


Volume rose fell back from an above average at 4.28B shares to 3.6B shares, in a generally weak session. NYSE stocks executed on the Big Board also fell to 711M shares from 829M shares, about 300 million short of the twelve month average! 36 of the last 39 sessions have been less than 1B! Advance/Declines were modestly negative: -1.1:1 vs +1.5:1 vs -1.3:1 vs +3.3:1 vs -1.1:1 vs +3.7:1 vs -4:1 on NYSE and -1.2:1 vs +1.5:1 vs -1.6:1 vs +2.8:1 vs -1.1:1 vs +2.6:1 vs -4:1 on Nasdaq. Breadth was mixed: -1.9x vs +1.6x vs +1.1x vs +4.5x vs -1.2x vs +10.2x vs -22x on NYSE and +1.4x vs +3x vs -1.1x vs +4.6x vs -1.5x vs +5.2x vs -9x on Nasdaq. New 52 week highs rose slightly to 153 from 147 while new lows were 52 vs 49. The ratio is still about 3x positive. The S&P VIX declined again to 20.63 -.85, lowest since 7/26, despite the weakness! Very confusing!

Here are the results of the past five sessions: Dow -0.6% vs flat vs +0.2% vs +1.5% vs -0.6%; Transports FLAT vs -0.2% vs +0.3% vs +0.9% vs -0.5%; DOW UTILITIES -0.6% vs +0.2% vs -0.6% vs -1.9%; S&P 500 -0.3% vs +0.3% vs flat vs +0.3vs +1.6% vs -0.4%; Nasdaq Composite +0.2% vs +0.8% vs flat vs +1.7% vs -0.3%; Nasdaq 100 +0.3% vs +0.8% vs +1.9% vs +0.3% vs -0.3%; Russell 2000 -0.3% vs +0.7% vs -0.7% vs +1.5% vs -0.5%; NYSE Financials -0.9% vs +0.1% vs -0.5% vs +2.6%!!! vs -0.2%.  Leaders: BAC -2.1% vs +8.6%??? +0.2% vs +4.3%!!! vs +1.8% vs +3.3% vs -3.6% vs -2.1%; C +0.1% vs +1.2% vs -0.5% vs +7.7%!!! vs +2.4% vs -2.9% vs -2%; GE +0.5% – this is anything but INVESTING!


Globla equity markets mixed and generally little changed: FTSE -0.1% vs +0.7% vs -0.4% vs -0.2% vs +1.2%; CAC40 +0.3% vs +0.9% vs -0.9% vs -1% vs -0.7%; DAX -0.1% vs +0.6% vs -0.1% vs -0.8% vs +0.7%; Nikkei closed vs -1.2% vs -0.8% vs +1.2% vs closed; Hang Seng +1.5% vs -1.2% vs +0.5% vs -0.8% vs +2.4%; Korean KOSPI -0.9%vs -1.1% vs -0.1% vs -0.5% vs +2.7%; Indian Sensex -0.2% vs+0.1% vs -0.2% vs -0.4% vs +2.7%. U.S. Futures slightly better: DOW +9; SPX unched; NDQ +5. Bonds slightly weaker with 10’s and 30’s sttradling 2% and 3% respectively. 10 yr 1.98% -5/32. RECORD low 9/23 of 1.6855%; 30 yr 3.04% -7/16;; Long TIP 0.71% -9/16. 0.57% at high six weeks ago. The 5 yr TIP yields MINUS 0.99%!!!; 10 yr -0.17%!!!. 3 mo. Libor 0.58%, and 0.81%, both steady. Bills 0.00% one month. 3 months 0.01%. 6 months 0.05%.

Gold slipped but put in a high of $1632 vs the 200 day ($1630). It closed at $1616.80 -$3.30 and is now $1617.40 +.60. The record high is $1923.70, a buying climax on 9/6. RES is $1677, the 40 day and $1692, the 50 day m/a. Crude closed slightly lower, closing at $101.56 -.25. It is now $101.34 -.32. Sup at $100.



…another day dominated by the high frequency traders…same old, same old…only the two Nasdaq indices were up and just slightly while the worst performer was once again Dow Utilities, the best performer by far of 2011, followed by the Dow which was the second biggest loser of the major indices. Meanwhile the Russell 2000 was off and the worst performing sector was NYSE Financials…with BofA flailing wildly up and down on a daily basis, followed by Citi.


TB read several quarterly newsletters over the weekend and one has to wonder why we are so bullish on stocks. Universally the view is negative on the global economy. As for corporate earnings, even the buying spree which was only due to deep discounting, is tiring and sales are slipping while consumers await their credit card statements to view the damage.


Once again there is little point in trying to analyze the market…so TB won’t even attempt it.


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



On the eve of the New Hampshire primary and listening to two stupid debates by the GOP candidate in which only outlier Jon Huntsman failed to smear, impune, and fail to show any leadership whatsoever, what do we know about how any of these people would ‘lead?’


Huntsman tried to say what he would do and didn’t stoop to the level of the other candidates, despite being blasted by Romney for serving as China ambassador under Obama…on Sunday he tried to back out of that by changing his objection from ‘serving’ to complimenting Obama. Meanwhile, Ron Paul called both Santorum and Gingrich ‘corrupt’ for taking lobbyists money.


How can you tell when a politician is lying has never been so true as it is every time they open their mouths. Is this what the founding fathers envisioned? Ask the candidates as they all profess to know exactly what they meant! Romney went so far as to say that not only did Obama fail to stop the recession, he made it worse and if you elect him we will be on the path to prosperity. He accused Obama of ‘crony capitalism’ a term better suited to Romney as he is part of the Wall Street lobby.


Romney claimed to have created 100,000 net new jobs while CEO of Bain Capital which no one on his staff can support and took credit for jobs created by companies they took public after the fact. He also called Obama a socialist, failing to realize that socialism never has success in a strong economy…as we know from the labor movement…it is caused by a huge wealth gap and lack of opportunity.


The best part was on This Week when they played soundbites from the last election and how virtually every one of the candidates…again sans Huntsman…reversed themselves, lied, and demeaned their opponents on misinformation and worse, disinformation. The funniest was Romney and McCain calling each other names and now they are best friends with McCain stumping for him. By the way, the best applause for a statement went to Huntsman, yet the media gave him virtually no coverage…no excitement there, just an honest man who wants to do some good. A pity.


At least in professional wrestling and roller skating we know that it is acting…but then I guess we know it is acting here too. Anyone but Obama??? What a stupid statement.


Do we deserve this country that so many have given their lives for? Not hardly.




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