12/27/12…winter doldrums?

From The Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “You may not think much of what I have to say, but remember, it’s one six-billion-seven hundred millionth of the world’s opinion. (TB adds…those 4 million NRA members are a little more than 1% of America! Think!)

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman.  Sadly there aren’t more (any?) like him today!

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*Jobless Claims in U.S. Drop More Than Forecast as Holiday Forces Estimates

*European Stocks Climb With S&P 500 Futures After Claims Data – not much!

*Biggest Quarterly M&A Surge Since ’08 Spurs Optimism After Annual Decline

*Gross Doubles His New York Bet at Pimco as California Offerings Lose Lead

*Apple CEO Cook’s Pay Drops 99% to $4.17 Million on Absence of Stock Awards

*Ex-Analyst Martin Is Charged With Insider Trading by U.S. in IBM-SPSS Deal

*Iron Ore Rallying Most Since 2010 as Chinese Economy Rebounds

*Holiday Profit Seen Higher as U.S. Stores Plan More, Discount Less – ???

*McConnell Pushed Into Fiscal Fight as Congress Returns to Looming Deadline – ugh!

*Looming U.S. Port Deadline Sunday Puts Pressure on Obama to Avert Walkout

*Storm to Drop Snow on U.S. Northeast After Causing as Many as Seven Deaths

*Individual Cliff Elements’ Deadlines Complicates Talks   

Well, the last day for (T+3) settlement in 2012 ended yesterday and went out with a mighty wimper…hedge funds now have total control for the remainder of the year since due to leverage they had to close the year on completed trades, not ‘open’ trades to avoid distorting balance sheets. Can they punish the index funds who have to rebalance on the last trading day of the year? Time will tell but one clue was the S&P VIX which rose 1.64 to 19.48 yesterday just off the intraday high of 19.63. 200 day m/a is 17.45! Oops!

Monday’s shortened session caused a doubling of the NYSE volume to 2.27B share from  the lowest NYSE volume of the past 12 months at just 1.24B shares vs 4.74B on Friday’s quadruple witching. Trades executed on the floor of the NYSE (or should we now say ICE?) rose slightly to a weak 476M shares from 286M shares (new 12 month low) vs 1.08B – highest since 11/2, and the 12-month HIGH…rare to see back-to-back! All indices were down led by the two Nasdaq indices and the Russell 2000 small cap, all off 0.7%. Dow Utilities fell 0.9% on tax fears!…probably well overdone. Advance/declines and Breadth were also negative by 1.1x on NYSE and 1.8x on Nasdaq.

Globally, stocks are rallying but U.S. futures are only slightly higher and trading at mid-range of a dull session: DOW +13; SPX +2.20; NDQ+5.50.

The bond market was very quiet with little to trade off, and is slipping overnight. The 10 yr note is 1.77% vs 1.76%, and the 30 yr 2.95% vs 2.93%. TIPS are also steady at 0.34% vs 0.33%, still a far cry from the 0.22% record low on 12/6!

Gold was up slightly closing at a weak $1660.70 +$1.70 barely above the lowest close since 8/22! It remains way below the 40/50 day moving averages and now the 200 day – $1667! – Overnight it is off $3.60 to $1657.10. Crude had a huge rally closing at $90.98 +$2.27 – highest since 10/22 and welll above the 40/50 day, with res at the 200 day: $92.13. Overnight it is $91.26 +.28.

– – –  . . .  – – –

…if you are in this business it is a not-so-fun day at the office…last minute trades but little or nothing related to strategy. For brokers it is even worse…waiting for the phone to ring…of course, they can always sneak out for a quick drink or a long lunch…who knows?

A friend sent this to TB who is tired of the tug-of-war going on between and within the two parties (that has to be an oxymoron because if they are parties they sure aren’t fun!). It is from Warren Buffett…whose solutions are often oversimplified but sensible:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just

pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more

than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible

for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)

took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!

The people demanded it. That was in 1971 - before computers, e-mail,

cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year

or less to become the law of the land - all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to

a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask

each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will

have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed

around.

Just to set the record straight though, TB went to www.snopes.com and it turns out that only the quote in the first paragraph is actually attributable to him…but the sentiment is a good one. It also isn’t recent having been sent around the world several times since July 2011 when he made the statement on CNBC. TB suggests we make them pay for their own phone bills and revoke the franking privilege so they can pay for the insidious propaganda they generate as well.

Well, it’s a slow news day so why bother, right? TB thanks those of you who wrote with birthday wishes…all the best to all…and to all a good day…

TB

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

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