2/12/13…goodbye TB

(As stated later in this piece, TB is only discontinuing his private email list but also all but the market commentary on this site. Thank you for your understanding. TB)

From the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “I wanted to go to the Paranoids Anonymous meeting but they wouldn’t tell me where it was.”

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

Do not forget! Friday is options expiry!!! We have had a lot of volatility over the past month and it is now low…and volume is plunging…a combination that can cause huge moves….betting it isn’t to the upside! TB

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*G-7 Countries Say They Won’t Target Currency Rates With Economic Policies

*Barclays to Cull(?) 3,700 Jobs in Cost-Cuts Drive as Jenkins Revamps Lender

*Yen Weakens Against Euro on Aso Comments as Stocks Fluctuate; Kospi Falls

*Wall Street Fading as Emerging-Market Banks Gain Share at Home

*Barclays Pays Annual Bonuses of $84,439 on Average to Investment Bankers – ouch!

*Trash Talk Haunts Barclays Traders in U.S. Power Market Manipulation Probe-Enron?

*Nasdaq Talks With Carlyle Signal Stock-Exchange Takeovers Not Finished Yet

*Cnooc Wins Final Clearance for $15.1B Takeover of Nexen U.S. Assets – China!!!

*Private Equity Shakeout Seen Leaving One in Four Firms Without Fresh Money – !!!

*CDO With Name of St. Tropez Beach Melted With S&P’s Top Mark in 228 Days! – !!!

*North Korea Tests Third Nuclear Weapon as Km Defies Global Sanction Push

*Next Pope Seen Facing Calls for renewal After Benedict Resisted Modernity

*Gay Rights Pushed to Forefront on Issue Ranging From Immigration to Taxes

 

Total NYSE Volume plunged yet again to 2.67B from 2.96B – lowest volume of the year for a second straight session after being stagnant at 3.48B-3.59B. Real NYSE volume plunged even worse to 497M shares vs 573M vs 664M shares, also the lowest since 12/26!!! There is nothing to comment on as the major indices all rose or fell by 0.1% – and that is only with rounding, effectively it was .005 (you know rounding…like the unemployment rate which moves by 0.1% but only due to rounding). Advance/Declines and Breadth were almost neutral. The VIX which plunged a week ago Friday by 1.38 to 12.90 then reversed itself climbing 14.67, highest since Jan.2, and declined again by .08 to12.94 – a perfect transition to this weeks options expiration…heed!!! VIX range is 13.7% – in a week!!!

Global equity markets are higher, ex-Korea: UK +0.4% vs +0.2% vs +0.5% vs -0.4% vs -0.2%; France +0.4% vs +0.3% vs +0.8% vs +0.1% vs -1.7%; Germany +0.3% vs -0.2% vs +0.4% vs +0.3% vs -1.4%. Japan +1.9%!!! vs closed vs -1.8%!!! vs -0.9% vs +3.8%!!!, Hang Seng +0.2% vs +0.2% vs +0.2% vs -0.3% vs +0.5%, Kospi -0.3% vs closed vs +1% vs -0.2% vs -0.1%, India +0.5% vs +0.3% vs -0.5% vs -0.3% vs -0.1% vs -0.5% vs -0.2%, U.S. stock futures traded in a narrow range and are little changed: DOW -3; SPX -0.30; NDQ -3.25.

Bonds closed weaker and are little changed overnight with the 10 yr Treasury at 1.97% vs 1.95% and the 30 yr at 3.17% vs 3.16%. The long Tip is 0.54% vs 0.53%. Libor update: 0.246% 3 mos., 0.465% 6 mos. Foreign bond yields slightly higher ex Italy, Spain, and Portugal: Germany 1.63% +2; UK 2.11% +1; Japan 0.74% -1; Italy 4.48% -12; Spain 5.29% -11; Portugal 6.43% -3; Greece 10.98% +1.

Gold was clobbered yesterday and is now well below the 40/50/200 day m/a’s, closing at $1649.10 -$17.80!!! The intraday low was $1644!!! The $1636 low on 12/21 – lowest since 8/21 is critical support!  Overnight it is unchanged at $1649.10, with an o/n low of $1639.50 – almost at that critical level!!!. Crude rallied sharply yesterday and closed at $97.03 +1.31!!! That was a key reversal, but they have proved meaningless lately. Overnight it is $97.38 +.35.

After hearing that 61% of Facebook members plan to ‘take a multi-week break’ and 31% vs 26% a year ago have over that time period (makes you wonder what the stock is worth, right?), TB heard the reasons and decided it is time for him to do likewise. One reason given was too much drama (don’t think TB does that), but another was negativity.

 

…it is hard to think positively when the elected government of the U.S. is ruining our way of life or at least not doing anything to improve it or prevent it from becoming a two-class society…even as the minority is gaining strength and thus placing the majority at serious risk. Instead, like ostriches, they bury their head in the ground and send money to the GOP in a futile effort to stop the inevitable. There, TB said it! Done!

He will no longer send out emails (which has been a lot of work) but will continue to keep the blog at www.traderbill.com. It will only contain the market commentaries except when events impact markets.

To those of you who have written both positive and negative comments they were gratefully received and appreciated.

TB will now for the first time shift to the first person. Long-time readers know that the reason for the third person was to eliminate the ‘ego’ aspect. The column originated over eleven years ago as a way for a fixed income specialist to get the attention of the equity people in my last firm. It worked so well that he was asked during a presentation “we know what you think, but what does Trader Bill think?” I didn’t know whether to laugh of cry, so I said, “he agrees with me, totally!”

It was only since the financial crisis however, when my disgust with my own industry caused me to speak out against Wall Street. I hated the fact that people who did not benefit from the massive fraud on the American people defended the industry and mocked Occupy Wall Street.

While I didn’t agree with their negativity, they were the only group that did anything, public or private. I came with Reform Corporate America (and Congress) or RCA, which was a positive tone, but it went nowhere.

I am thoroughly disgusted with my former political party, the GOP, and have little use for the Democrats, but it is what is driving the GOP that has concerned me: a total disrespect for the working class for the benefit of the top 0.1%. They hold themselves as the party of business but is only big business (in the last election 39% of small business owners voted for Obama, up from 31% four years ago as they felt he was more interested in their problems. This despite Obama creating a commission on small business then appointing G.E.’s Jeffrey Immelt to head it…nothing substantive came from it either!

We are rapidly coming to a major crossroads…one the Jefferson feared…where our entire society is changed by ignoring the needs of the minority even as it becomes a majority, while those who have benefitted the most complain about their taxes (note that the ‘tax increase’ on those with incomes over $1 million is still 10% below the Clinton era rates…when the economy prospered. I sincerely fear for our children and grandchildren and in fact what is left of the middle class. It can be argued that without credit cards we would have a very small middle class indeed.

Tonight, Obama gives the first SOTU speech of his second term…don’t expect it to be conciliatory. Also, don’t expect the rebuttal by Sen. Marco Rubio to warm your hearts.

We are at a great impasse…at a time that our country desperately needs a hero. But as Lee Iacocca wrote, “where are the heroes?” Instead we ‘sent in the clowns…don’t worry they’re here.”

Best wishes to you all,

TB

The closing SOS is meant with all sincerity and if we can’t see the danger, pity us.

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

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