4/29/13…our duplicitous government

From the Friar’s Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “Money really isn’t everything. If it was, what would be buy with it?” – Tom Wilson

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller – didn’t work out to well for Daelus and Icarus though.

Data indicates that US economy grew at 2.5% in the 1st quarter. With the exception of net exports and government purchases all of the other final sales categories grew. Real final sales are now 1.9% above the year ago levels. In the last two weeks industrial production, housing starts, new home sales rose while the leading indicator, durable goods orders and CPI fell. Labor market trends are slowly improving. Inflation remains modest. This week’s economic calendar is packed with important indicators. The highlight of the week will be the April ISM Manufacturing Survey (Wednesday) and April Employment Situation (Friday). We will also get March Personal Income and April Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index (Monday), Q1 Employment Cost Index, February Case-Shiller Home Prices, April Consumer Spending and April ISM Chicago Survey (Tuesday).  April ADP Employment, March Construction Spending and April Motor Vehicle Sales (Wednesday). March International Trade, Q1 Preliminary Productivity & Costs (Thursday). April ISM Non-Manufacturing Survey, and March Factory Orders (Friday). Courtesy of Economic Advirosy Service

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*European Confidence in Economy Declines More Than Forecast Amid Recession

*U.S. Futures Rise as Euro Rallies With Italian Bonds on Stimulus Outlook

*JPMorgan Top Banker Pay Beats Goldman Sachs as Europeans Trail U.S. Firms – compare Goldman’s performance to JPM’s and shareholders got screwed – again!

*Billionaires in Flight as Tax Authorities Chase $32 Trillion From Offshore – Good!!!

*Hollande Worst Enemy Finance Turns Out to Be His Only Friend

*Inflation Ebb Means Easy Money in Name of Stable Prices for Central Banks

*Gold Bears Defy Rebound as Goldman Sachs Ends Wager on Slump

*Copper Rout Triggers Chile Rate-Cut Bets as Bond Risk Jumps

*Switzerland Shorn of Bankers Proving Europe’s Juggernaut With 3.1% Jobless

*No German Anshu Jain Bringing Deutsche Bank to World as Customers Man

*Letta Government Installation Marred by Shooting of Rome Police Officers

*Syrian Prime Minister Halaqi Survives Blast in Damascus, State TV Reports

Friday was yet another ‘mixed’ day with another sharp drop in volume and A/D’s and Breadth both negative. New 52 week highs plunged while new lows rose slightly. It was a day best to avoid and go out and enjoy the weather. The worst performer was Thursday’s best, the Russell 2000, -0.5% vs +0.7% followed by the two Nasdaq indices -0.3% vs +0.6%, the rest were little changed and boring. Why wasn’t it weaker is what we should be asking following that weak Q4 GDP report? Dunno

So let’s see what else happened lately:

*Dow Transports +0.1% vs +0.1% vs 0.6% vs +0.3% vs +1.5%; Russell 2000 -0.5% vs +0.7% vs +0.5% vs +1.1% vs +1.2%; Dow Utilities flat vs +0.1% vs +0.4% vs flat vs +1.4%; S&P 500 -0.2% vs +0.4% vs flat vs +0.5% vs +0.9%. Nasdaq Composite -0.3% vs +0.6% vs flat, NDQ 100 -0.3% vs +0.5% vs flat, NYSE Financials -0.1% vs +0.5% vs +0.7%.

*Volume, A/D’s and Breadth were weak again after two modestly positive sessions.

*NYSE Volume fell to a below average 3.15B shares vs 3.86B vs 3.55B vs 2.97B shares – weakest in 11 sessions vs a 4B shares average the prior week. REAL NYSE Volume also fell to 628M shares vs 746M vs 706M vs a WEAK 620M following SIX 700M+ share days ranging from 975M last Monday (worst selloff) to 743M Tuesday (rally). The average for the week was just 687M shares vs 859M vs 689M!!! Even a week ago Friday’s options expiry coming in at a solid but not great 914M shares. The 12-month average is just 746M shares. The range since 2/11 is 558M to 1.825B on 3/15’s options expiry and a near 12 month high, second only to 12/21’s 1.88B shares. Note that 3/15’s (options expiry) was the only day since 2/28 to register over 1B shares! There have been just fourteen 800+M shares in 2013 – just THREE up, 11 down and on trades of less than that 69 were up and just 18 down…there have been 19 mixed sessions…do you see why volume matters???

  1. new 52 week highs have ranged from 121-709, but were sharply lower at 267 vs  495 vs 400 vs 400 vs 237 vs 228 vs 106 vs 100. New lows rose to 40 vs 34 vs 48 vs 43 vs 96 vs 82 vs 159 vs 237 vs 120 vs 197.
  2. Advance/Declines were negative: -1.4x vs  +1.8x vs +1.9x vs +4x vs +1.4x vs +2.6x vs -1.2x vs -3.5x vs +4.4x vs -7.1x on NYSE and -1.6x vs +1.7x vs +1.3x vs +3.4x 0.7% vs +1.5% vs +0.3% vs +1.3% vs  -0.8% vs -1.8%! Breadth was similar: -1.8x vs +2.2x vs +2.1x vs +3.9x vs +1.6x vs +2.3x vs -1.3x vs -10.5x!!! vs +6.4x vs -7.2x vs -2.2x on NYSE and -1.1x vs +1.8x vs +1.5x vs +3x vs +2.5x vs +2.3x vs -3x! vs -5.2x vs +6.2x vs -12.8x!!! vs -1.4x .  
  3. NYSE Financials slipped by 0.1% vs +0.5%. BofA only ‘most active’ financial +0.2% to close at $12.42 +.02 vs +2% vs +3% vs +0.5% to 11.72 vs -1.2x.
  4. Volatility (S&P VIX) was almost unchanged for a second day at 13.61 -.01, but had a range of 13.49-14.18 – skittish – does this seem sensible to reinstitute those limit/stop orders again??? The range for the last two week was 12.06 (multi year low) to 18.20, and it is now back below the 40/50 day (13.71/13.81) and the 200 day at 15.40…ytd the range is 19.28 (2/25!) to 11.05 (3/14) – 12 mo. ave 16.43!!!

European equities rallying for the 7th time in 15 sessions; Asia mixed, Japan closed: UK +0.2% vs -0.5% vs +0.1% vs +0.2% vs +1.2%; France +1%??? vs -0.8% vs +0.2% vs +0.7% vs +2.4%!!!; Germany +0.4% vs +0.4% vs +0.6% vs +0.5% vs +1.4%; Japan closed vs -0.3% vs +0.6% vs +2.3%!!! vs -0.3%; Hang Seng +0.2% vs +0.7% vs +1%! vs +1.7%!!! vs -1.1%!!!; Korea -0.2% vs -0.4% vs +0.8% vs +0.9% vs -0.4%; India +0.5% vs -0.6% vs +1.2%! vs closed vs +0.1%. U.S. stock futures at high end of fairly narrow trading range overnight: DOW +57; SPX +6.20; NDQ +12.50.

Bonds rallied Friday on weaker than expected GDP and are up slightly overnight and 10’s through low end of trading range of late: 10 yr Treasury 1.66% +7/16 (recent range now 2.06% to 1.66%), and the 30 yr’s 3.26% to 2.86%, 2.86% +1 -1/4. The long TIP is now 0.40% +1 pt – after setting a new (record?) low of 0.36% on 4/5, before backing off to 0.52%! The recent high yield was 0.67% on 3/11! Libor update: 0.274% 3 mos., 0.430%!!! 6 mos. Foreign bond yields mixed: Germany 1.21% +1; UK 1.67% -1; France 1.75% +2, Italy 3.94% -11!!!; Spain 4.18% -8; Portugal 5.72% -5; Greece 10.97% -20!!! vs 11.18% vs 11.13% vs 11.05% vs 11.08 vs 11.22% (recent range 10.58%-12.57%!).   

Gold closed lower at $14653.60 -$8.60 after putting in a new intraday high of $1484.80, highest since 4/12! Last Tuesday’s intraday low of $1321.50 – was lowest since Sept. ’10. The loss over the two weeks is now back to $45. A week ago Monday’s $149 loss to a 52 week low of $1361.10 was disastrous. Resistance remains way above at the 40 day/50 day: $1540-1558. Overnight it is $1475.00 +$21.40 on an inside session. Crude closed lower unable to carry momentum at $93.00 -.64, on an inside session. Thursday’s intraday high of $93.87, was above first resistance at the now converging 200 day ($91.78), 40 day ($92.41) and the 50 day ($92.74)!!! It has now erased most of the loss since 4/5 Overnight it is $93.27 +.27. Last Tuesday’s session low of $86.20 was lowest since 12/13/12! The range is now $85.61-$97.80 since June 29, 2012!!!!

Some random thoughts:

Briefly mentioned on 60 Minutes last night…and sickening…if you don’t act on this and write your senators you deserve the government you get (have) – I even had trouble finding the source:

What could make the House pass something in 30 seconds that the Senate also passed? What would motivate them to put aside their alleged “differences” and act in the best interest of the people? The answer is when they are not acting in the best interest of the people, but rather, in their own best interests.

To that end, late last week, your Congress quickly approved a measure that modified (aka, killed) a part of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act ), which was only enacted a year ago. The STOCK Act was supposed to address shady stock trades based on insider information.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) is taking credit for sponsoring the measure, but clearly he got no pushback from either side of the aisle. Check out the fast movement of this bill, and tell me if you’ve seen anything fly through like this in recent years, sans committee referrals and Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) deep debate over what he can even allow for a debate about a vote:

 4/11/2013 Introduced in Senate
4/11/2013 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Introduced in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
4/12/2013 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection.
4/12/2013 Presented to President.

On Tuesday the 15th, the President signed the legislation.

The Sunlight Foundation notes that the amendment passed with unanimous consent, though many members had gone home already. Huh. This doesn’t seem to work for measures that protect the security of the American people, like say, jobs. The Sunlight Foundation also pointed out what might be seen as a precursor of times to come, “The bill was not available to the public on the Library of Congress website until after the vote.” NPR noted that it took the House all of 30 seconds. “NPR’s Tamara Keith tells us the House procedure took exactly 30 seconds.”

The STOCK Act took aim at insider trading and insider information, and also required some 28,000 federal employees from the congressional and executive branches post their conflict of interest disclosures online. It followed “a ’60 Minutes’ report on how many members of Congress are making money on stock trades that are illegal for everyone else, correspondent Nancy Cordes reports a bill to ban lawmakers from insider trading is now on the fast track.”

Note that with the FAA Vote last Friday that is two for two of the Senate – AND the House putting their interests first. Are they shooting for a ZERO approval rating? What;s next? Pay raises? More vacation? This is disgusting!

They can’t agree on gun control, they can’t agree on the  budget, but if it benefits them: send it in!!!

I am sickened by this…remember Martha Stewart was sent to jail…although they were investigating her for insider trading, she was convicted of ‘lying to investigators.’ Perhaps those standards should be applied to our Congress?



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