2/15/13…options expiration and politics as usual

From the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes:

TB’s Quote of the Day: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Howard Beal (Peter Finch) in Network, the 1976 movie that ripped apart TV news! Use of this quote was prompted by a Bloomberg story today:  Burned investor slams S&P

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs, he did!

Options expiry tomorrow – not rise in volatility yesterday…an UP day!

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*U.S. Empire State Survey Index at 10.0, highest since May vs estimate of -2, but weak!

*G-20 as Odds Over Strength of Fiscal Goals as Failure Looms on 2010 Aims – looms?

*Yen Strengthens for Fourth Day as G-20 Meets While U.S. Futures Pare Drop

*Weidmann Says Central Bank Won’t Lower Interest Rates Just to Weaken Euro

*Soros Cuts Gold ETF Exposure With Moore on Price Drop; Paulson Keeps Stake – go with Soros…see commentary below!!! Gold ETF’s size far exceed demand!!!

*Biggest Buyers Stampede From ETFs to Cherry-Pick Junk Debt – there’s junk  and…

*U.K. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Decline as Snowfall Keeps Shoppers at Home

*War Not Worth Winning Haunts G-20 With Japan Intentions on Yen

*M&A Increases as Confidence Spurs Takeovers From Computers to Condiments

*Portugal Poised for 10-Year Bond Sale as Soon as This Month, BlueBay Says

*Wells Fargo Targeting U.K. Property as European Banks Retreat – hmmm

*Meteor Explosion Over Russian Urals Hundreds Before Asteroid Passage – !!!

*Armageddon Not in the Stars as United Nations Panel Takes Aim at Asteroids

Total NYSE Volume rose slightly to 3.72B shares vs 3.37B. Tuesday’s 2.67B – lowest volume of the year stretched the range for 2013 so far to 2.67B-3.59B. Real NYSE volume also rose slightly to a still weak 672M shares vs 657M vs 614M vs 497M (low since 12/26). There has not been a single 800M share day this month and average volume this year is just 690M shares (12 mo. ave. 747M)! With the exception of Dow Transports +0.3%, the Russell 2000 small cap +0.4%, Dow Utilities -1%!!!, and NYSE Financials -0.8%, all indices were +/- 0.1%…on the eve of options expiration! Nevertheless, new 52 week highs ran 528 – above 500 for two sessions now…even with the Blue Chips weak! New lows remain weak but higher at 47 vs 33. Advance/Declines and Breadth were all about neutral for a second straight session and have been weak now for FOUR days!?!. The VIX dropped again to 12.66 -.32. Just two weeks ago it hit 14.67, highest since Jan.2, and now is at lowest level since Jan. 18’s 12.29, which is not only a 12 month low but lowest since 2007!!! Do you think there is ANY similarity to the economy or global stability since then? If so, you live in a tree!!! The level of complacency is off the charts!

Global equity markets mixed and generally little changed – Japan highly volatile every day!!! UK +0.1% vs -0.6% vs +0.6% vs +0.4% vs +0.2%; France flat vs -0.6% vs +0.6% vs +0.4% vs +0.3%; Germany -0.2% vs -0.9% vs +0.9% vs +0.3% vs -0.2%; Japan -1.2%!!! vs +0.5% vs -1% vs +1.9%, Hang Seng +0.1% vs +0.9% vs +0.2% vs +0.2% vs +0.2%, Kospi +0.1% vs +0.2% vs +1.6%!!! vs -0.3%; India -0.2% vs -0.6% vs +0.9% vs +0.5% vs +0.3%. U.S. stock futures weaker but coming back : DOW -8; SPX -1; NDQ –.

Bonds are volatile again and off slightly overnight with the 10 yr Treasury ranging from 2.06% to 2% over the last two sessions, now 2.00%, and the 30 yr from 3.23% to 3.15%. The long Tip is 0.57%, back from 0.58%. Libor update: 0.247% 3 mos., 0.465% 6 mos. Foreign bond yields generally slightly lower: Germany 1.63% -1; UK 2.16% -3; Italy 4.35% -5; Spain 5.15% -2; Portugal 6.07% -1; Greece 10.66% +6. Japan 0.76% +2; Australia 3.52% -7.

Gold is not only a big story it is THE STORY!!!. Yesterday it plunged $14.60 to $16.35.50, making the 40/50/200 day m/a’s major resistance and light years away, with a session low of $1632.80, obliterating the $1636 low on 12/21! This is the lowest since 8/21!  Overnight it is even worse and isnow $1632.80 – $2.70 with another new low of $1620.20. Russia was a seller and is now joined by Soros while Paulson (whose best call was shorting CDO’s and that was due to his then bond guy), remains bullish…and wrong! Next major/critical support is at $1600 a double bottom from 8/14-15. A failure to hold makes the 5/16/12 low of $1526.70 next support. Last time it was below $1500 was Sept. 2011!!! Crude was up slightly yesterday, disappointing again after Monday’s key reversal closing at $97.31 +.30. Overnight it is $96.59 -.71. No momentum!!!

Some random thoughts:

Remember how the GOP erroneously claimed Obama had done nothing but be a ‘political activist?’ This despite teaching law at U. of Chicago and then being a partner in a law firm. If Rubio was a Dem what would they say about his completing law school and going straight into politics with the party? …or being made to pay back $165k in wrongful credit card charges…how did he do this and pay back his $100k student loan?

Yesterday, the party bested itself once again by setting up a filibuster of Sec. of Defense Hagel’s confirmation…yet silently saying he will be approved, which thanks to this action now requires 60 votes. This stinks…as do their refusal to ratify almost all of Obama’s appointments. This smacks of politics at its worst and makes one wonder how they allowed neo-con Rumsfeld to become Defense Secretary! Ah, he was on their side!!!

As a result of this demand for ‘more information’ – Lindsay Graham still says he needs more information on Benghazi if you can believe that – it isn’t as if Hagel is a subversive, in fact he was a GOP senator…they just don’t like his unhawklike views. As for him differing from Obama’s, so what??? They didn’t like his either and ultimately it is the president who decides…as in Syria where Clinton, Panetta, and the head of the Joint Chiefs all advocated aiding the rebels…despite not knowing what side they were on!!! We are becoming the brunt of jokes around the world…some democracy! The Senate is making the President of the United States powerless and we look like fools. Hagel will now miss a global meeting of defense officials and the GOP says, so what. Wake up!

This country is a mess with no one willing to do the right thing! It makes you sick!

As for the rogue LAPD ex-cop…won’t even give his name as he shouldn’t get any more publicity. He went postal…period…but he had the knowledge to do it properly. TB is
What’s your take on the ex-LA cop?  I actually don’t condone his killings, but have empathy for the guy and I know he is telling the truth.

There can be no empathy for this man…he became an animal…killing innocents because he ‘allegedly’ was improperly fired…this is no different than ‘going postal’ and killing others who work for a company just because you lost your job. Worse, he was supposed to be a law enforcement professional with morals and training yet he used that training to terrify residents of several counties. Still LAPD needs to look into his claims…or better have an outside audit of their practices. Without it, their integrity will remain in question.

Have a great weekend…in spite…



  1. Marc Green said

    First time reader of this site. Bill, nice job.

    If the Republicans are going to be relevant in local elections in 2014, I hope they can find some serious candidates who understand that governing in a democratic republic means finding common ground, i.e., compromise! Our country needs new leadership.

    • traderbill said

      It needs LEADERSHIP…which is currently lacking in both parties. It is time they put away their differences and tend to the needs of the people who sent them there to fix things. While TB is disappointed in Obama, he still has time to establish his legacy. How he does that is his problem. He will lave to lead from the center to accomplish anything. Perhaps, he can prove the old saw wrong that nothing gets done in a second term. One can hope.

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