1/14/14…if TB were king

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “All my doctor does is send me to other doctors. I don’t know if he really is a doctor or a booking agent, – anon

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt – unless you are Congress and can treat yourself differently than the executive branch and trade like an insider…and enrich yourself!

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*December Retail Sales Rise 0.2%…ex-Autos up 0.7%; Nov. revised to +0.4% vs +0.7%

*JPMorgan Fourth-Quarter Profit Declines 7.3% on Cost of Madoff Settlements – wonder how much Jamie’s compensation committee will award him as a ‘bonus’?

*JPMorgan Shrhiks Investment-Bank Compensation Pool 4.2% as Revenue Static

*Wells Fargo Posts 10% Gain in Quaterly Net Income as Lender Curbs Costs –  makes you wonder how many more ‘costs’ they can curb and still have enough employees???

*Inflation Reaches BOE Target for First Time Since 2009 as Rate FALLS to 2%!!!

*Stocks in Europe Pare Declines as Lira Falls to Record While Gas Advances – got gas?

*Bonus-Cap Exemptions Under Threat as EU Lawmakers Weigh Veto – unlike us!!!

*UBS Set to Boost U.K. Assets as London Becomes Swiss Banking Battleground

*Fed Is Poised to Begin Pursuing Rule on Banks’ Commodities Activities – poised???

*IBM Wins Most U.S. Patents for 21st Year as It Aims to Revive Sales Growth

*Even Scarlett Johansson Can’t Help SodaStream as Stocks Sink on Earnings

*Petrobras Refinery Fires Cloud Chance for Profit Rebound – Poor Brazil

*Russia HIV Wave Shows Scourge Sochi Can’t Mask as Addicts Denied Methadone – !!!

*Congress Unveils $1.1 Trillion Bipartisan Measure to Fund U.S. Government – HAH!

*Christie Bid for Landslide Win Has Democrats Questioning How Far He Went – !!!

*Florida Pot Turnout Seen Helping Democrat Crist Win Governor Contest

*South Sudan Talks on Cease-Fire Resume as UN Says Almost 80,000 Have Fled

*Egyptians Vote on New Charter as Army-Backed Government Seeks Endorsement

Monday’s Market Summary:

‘Monday, Monday, can’t help that day’…ah the way the Mama’s and the Papa’s might have summed up the markets yesterday…or as Walter Cronkite might have said, ‘what kind of day was it? A day that…exasperates all of mankind. TB says, take ‘er down!

Volume rose slightly to the level of Friday and all major indices lost at least 1% – except Dow Utilities which took honors by declining just 0.9%! Worst was a tie between the two Nasdaqs at -1.5% followed closely by Dow Transports and the Russell 2000 -1.4%, S&P -1.3% and NYSE Financials off 1%. The day started off ever-so-slightly in the red than punched through to a slight positive but an hour after the open started the ascent to the deep, deep depths. Aaoogah!!! (Submarine klaxon sounding).

NYSE Volume reversed Friday’s slight dip with 3.57B shares traded overall vs 3.33B vs 3.56B vs 3.63B shares – highest since December 20th! Real NYSE Volume not only rose but to the highest since 12/20, 734M shares vs 669M vs 697M vs 759M – not only highest but first time above 700M since 12/20!  

The Apple watch continues: the ‘psychotic’ one surging on the open, then a steady decline for most of the session, finally in negative territory and finally closing up 0.5% vs -0.7% vs -1.2% vs +0.6% – it is it’s own market!  It almost hit the 40 day and touched the 50 day m/a at the high yesterday, before sinking. The only NDQ 100 stock losing >1 pt.

Advance/Declines and Breadth were both solidly negative. The VIX rebounded sharply to 13.31 +1.17! But started the session at a new recent low of 11.82! A warning flag!

The Nasdaq 100 lost 52 points!!! vs +12.5 vs -15 vs +10 vs +31 vs -12 vs -25 vs -28. Breadth was solidly negative at -7+:1!  TEN members lost more than 1.5 points!!! with perhaps another ten losing at least a point. The only ‘winner’ was Apple +1.3:  MSFT -7.8!!! vs +3.8 vs -1.7 vs -4.8!!! vs +1.9 vs -5.6! FB -3.4! vs +1.2 vs -1.7; BIIB -3.3! vs +2; AMZN -2.7 vs -1.4.CMCSA -2.6 vs +1.3; GILD -2.4; BIDU -2.1 vs +1.1 vs -1.5; CELG/GOOG -1.8; SBUX -1.7; FOXA -1.5; APPL +1.3 vs -2.8 vs -5.6!!! vs +2.7 vs -3 vs +4.4 vs -9.7!!! vs -6.4! vs +5.3! vs -2.6 vs -3 vs -2;

Dow 30 -1.1%! vs +0.1% vs -0.1% vs 0.4% vs +0.6%; Dow Transports -1.4% vs +1.2% vs +1% vs +0.3%; Russell 2000 -1.4% vs +0.5% vs +0.1% vs – vs +0.9%; Dow Utilities -0.9% vs +1.3%!?! vs +0.7% vs -0.5% vs +0.8%; S&P 500 -1.3% vs +0.2% vs – vs — vs +0.6%; Nasdaq Composite -1.5%! vs +0.4% vs -0.2% vs +0.3% vs +1%; NDQ 100 -1.5%! vs +0.4% vs -0.4% vs +0.3% vs +0.9%.

*NYSE Volume bounced back to an above average 3.57B shares vs 3.33B vs 3.56M vs 3.63B vs 3.48B vs 3.23B vs 2.76B. The record high (?) is the 4.97B shares of 12/20/13 and Q3 end of quarter while 11/29’s 1.59B is weakest of 2013). REAL NYSE Volume also rose to a well above average 734M shares!!! vs 669M vs 697M vs 759M vs 699M, The 12-month low is  272M on 12/24. The average since 12/20 is up to a still weak 580M shares with a high of 759M! The 12 month is 719M shares. Last year there were just TEN 1B+ share sessions! There were 39 800M+ shares in 2013: 18 up, 19 down, three mixed.

*New 52 week highs have ranged from 33-864. They slipped again but just to 351 vs 411 vs 435 vs 355 vs 316 vs 271 vs 217 vs 201! Recent high is a super-strong 890!!! New lows were higher at 50 vs 30 vs 44 vs 30 vs 20 vs 30 vs 23 vs 43 vs 78 vs 72 vs 76 vs  60 vs 44 vs 68 vs 81 vs 127 vs 131. Recent high is 353; low 20!!!  

  1. Advance/Declines were solidly negative: -2.5x vs +2.5x vs +1.1x vs -1.3x vs +1.9x (recent range -17.5x to +6x) on NYSE and -2.6x vs +1.4x vs -1.1x vs -1.1x vs +2.3x (recent -4x!!! to +3.8x). Breadth was worse: -4.3x!!! vs +2x vs -1.03x vs +1.04x vs +1.5x (recent -18.6x!!! to +7.2x!!!) on NYSE and -3.1x! vs +1.4x vs -1.2x vs +1.4x vs +3.8x!!! (recent -12.8x to +6.5x).  
  2. NYSE Financials -1%! vs +0.1% vs +0.1% vs +0.4% vs +0.4%; BofA most active – per usual and plunging 2%! vs -0.4% vs +1.5%!?! vs +0.4% vs -1% vs +1.5%??? vs +1.9%???, closing at $16.43 -.34. Brokers -1.2%! vs -0.1% vs vs -0.4% vs +0.7%; KBW Banks -1.3%!!! vs -0.4% vs +0.7% vs +0.8% vs +0.4%; Nasdaq Banks -0.9% vs -0.2% vs +0.4% vs — vs +0.5%.
  3. Volatility (S&P VIX) ROSE sharply from its lowest close and low since 8/5/13! to 13.31 +1.14 with a high of 13.65 on an ‘outside’ session – wider range than prior FOUR sessions! It is now almost back to the 40/50 day (13.61/13.53) while the 200 day is 14.40. 12/26’s (TB’s birthday) 11.69 was lowest since 3/15/13!!! Recent high on 1/2 was 16.67! The recent range is 11.83-21.01!!! It peaked at 22.79 on 12/28/12…ytd the range is 11.05 (3/14) to 21.92 (6/24)!

Bonds rallied for a 2nd day following Fridays WEAK payrolls and closed the strongest since 11/26/13, 10‘s up 5/16 and the 30 yr +1/2 BUT the long TIP lost 3/16! All getting hit overnight: 30 yr 3.80 -3/16 – high 3.97% on 12/31; the 10 yr 2.85% -3/16, recent high 3.03%! Long TIP 1.42 -1/2 vs 1.39%. The (record?) low of 0.36% was set on 4/5. The recent high yield: 1.64%! Libor update: 0.237!!!% 3 mos,0.336%!!! 6 mos. BOTH at NEW record lows 0.237%!!! and 0.336% respectively!). Foreign bond yields little changed and mixed, Greece higher: Germany 1.81% –; UK 2.84% +1 – recent high 3.03%!; France 2.47% -1; Italy 3.88% –; Spain 3.81% –; Portugal 5.24% -2; Greece 7.64% +6. Recent range 7.51%-12.57%. Japan : 0.64% -5!!!. Yen continues to rally, 103.59 coming off 105.44 last week, low since 10/1/08!!!

Gold had a very strong session with a high of $1258.00, highest since 12/11/13 and closed at $1251.10 +$4.20. Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!!  Recent high is $1375.40 back on 9/19. Psych levels: $1200 sup; $1300 res, with major sup at the 40 day ($1236!) and res nearby at the 50 day ($1249!). The 200 day is $1337. Overnight it is slightly weaker at $1248.20 -$2.40.

Crude went nowhere and lost most of Friday’s meager gain. It closed at $91.80. -.92. On Thursday it fell to the lowest print since 5/2/13: $91.24! Note 12/27 was first time above $100 since 10/21! The record high of $114.83 was on 5/2/11, the low since on 10/4/11 is $74.95: $93.60 is the midpoint!!! Recent rally high and close are $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. It is way below the three key m/a’s which are all major res: 50 day m/a ($95.51!!!), 40 day (95.77!), crossed!!! and the 200 day ($98.95!!!) – the 40/50 still falling and all major resistance! 4/18’s low of $85.61 was lowest since 12/11! The recent range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight it is up slightly at $92.00 +.20. Pathetic!

Overnight markets:

Global equity markets weaker led by Japan which was closed Monday: UK +0.1% vs +0.2% vs +0.9% vs +0.1% vs -0.4%; France -0.2% vs +0.1% vs +0.8% vs – vs -0.1%; Germany -0.3% vs +0.1% vs +0.8% vs +0.2% vs -0.1%; Japan -3.1%!!! vs closed vs +0.2% vs -1.5% vs +1.9%; Hang Seng -0.4% vs +0.2% vs +0.3% vs -0.9% vs +1.3%; Korea -0.2% vs +0.5% vs -0.4% vs -0.7% vs –; India -0.5% vs +1.8%!!! vs +0.2% vs -0.1% vs +0.2%. U.S. stock futures slightly higher yet another narrow range session: DOW +32 (range 42); SPX +4 (6!); NDQ +8 (7!).

 

Some random thoughts:

“It’s good to be king”History of the World Part II

…ah if only…TB were king. What??? A king in the U.S. So would you prefer the duopoly we have now with the wealthiest 400 people in control…including of course Ken Fisher who we discussed at length yesterday! 400 people mostly out for themselves, yet they want MORE money…why? So they can move up a notch or more in the standings. That is what it is all about! At least Lance Armstrong had a purpose…as did Bernie Madoff. But these people use money as markers and deny all they can from the rest of us. Ok, TB what would you do? First, TB urges you to listen to the segment Bill Moyers/Robert Reich

Think of it…no, not TB as king but YOU as king! Would you use your position to improve things or be like the dictators and rule through fear? Would you further enrich yourself or see that others have a chance to pursue life, liberty, and happiness?

We have several ‘kings’ now…mostly in Congress…who make and live by their own rules…nothing new here…they drank as much as usual during Prohibition, smoked Cuban cigars when banned, and practice insider-trading without penalty while the executive branch is regulated by them and forced to avoid any conflict of interest. It’s good to be king…or a congressman/senator, right?

So here is TB’s  ‘wish list’ as king:

Markets:

*Bring back something like Glass-Steagall adapted for the world today. Enforce insider-trading rules, allow high-frequency trading but on their own platforms and reported separately from the ‘race track’ we, the people use.

*Require Congress to abide by the same insider trading rules as everyone else. Create an independent ethics committee to judge the merits of charges and penalties for all offenses.

Corporations:

*Require independent boards of directors that answer to the shareholders, not servie at the pleasure of the CEO; Limit total CEO compensation to 50 times the average worker for the company; establish stock options prices and awards no earlier than November of the year in question; enforce Sarbanes-Oxley – hasn’t had one case yet! Raise the minimum wage to a living wage, $15 and indexed…would be moot since corporations would then have an incentive to boost earnings

*Require corporations to respect and act on shareholder initiatives that are passed

*Take away control of the New York Fed from the big banks and require that they regulate and monitor financial conditions of primary government dealers or any bank or dealer that they interact with

Taxes:

*Eliminate the corporate income tax thus incenting corporations to pay dividends rather than stock buybacks; fully tax dividends paid, do it this way and frivolous marginal investments would not be made; raise the marginal rate on incomes over $1 million to 50% – before you balk that is only on the amount above it so Tea Partier’s back off and don’t misrepresent it this time;

*Remove the limit on social security taxes, to match Medicare, and as Reich suggests, impose a minimum of the poverty rate; eliminate the ‘carried interest’ provision, and ban ‘contracts’ such as those made with lobbyist Grover Norquist as they are counter to the interests of the American people.

*Eliminate the farm subsidies and others that benefit large corporations

Entitlements:

*Make Congress pay the market rate to social security for the use of the trust funds;

*Fix the ACA by making health insurance national and mandatory for everyone unless covered by Medicare or a private plan; increase penalties

*Reform Medicare Part D to require negotiated prescription drug prices as Medicaid does already…huge cost savings

Elections:

*Change the primary system so that all primaries are open

*Allow just 90 days before an election to campaign, and make all primaries the same day; eliminate the present electoral system and go off popular vote

*replace two four-year terms as president with ONE six-year term to match economic cycle more accurately and allow a president do act on his agenda. No second terms!

Congress:

*Establish a line-item veto. Let them put in all the earmarks they want, so long as anyone who initiates it being named and bring the House into conformity with Senate rules on conflict of interest by including any close relative who may benefit

*Redefine their financial disclosure to narrow ranges not ‘$50,000-$100,000 or above $1 million!

*Eliminate the ‘debt ceiling’ since they can vote spending (or the ACA) and then refuse to pay for it. This is holding the country hostage

*Require a minimum number of senators to allow a filibuster and not allow it to be used for presidential appointments as judges or cabinet posts; it goes against the will of the people who elected the president and wastes valuable time in the Senate

Law and Order:

*require federal sentences to allow for parole, for crimes like minor drug-dealing

*put to a national vote an amendment to legalize marijuana and tax it at a high rate; then, increase penalties for selling it. It is no better or worse than alcohol

*require the justice department to prosecute corporate felons as long as there is reasonable cause that is supported by a federal grand jury vote

*when there is evidence of corporate crime make the penalties commensurate with the benefit derived…or, since this would hurt victimized shareholders…require an admission of guilt and restitution by the perpetrators within the company

*make more use of fines for restitution to victims rather than simply enriching the government.

*hold NSA accountable or any federal agency with access to public funding; if there is judicial oversight make sure that all facts are considered before granting an investigation

*while Snowden acted improperly had he done it the right way he would have been suppressed, lost his security clearance and we would never know the truth; remember the Pentagon Papers??? Daniel Ellsberg was charged with releasing the truth on the Viet Nam war, without it we would have never known the truth; charges later dropped

‘Hero status’:

*do as Reagan proposed and not allow any federally funded structure to be named after a living person (despite this they named an airport after him); this merely incents government officials to spend taxpayer money on monuments. This is also required on money or stamps…apply it to government projects as well.

Military:

*instead of honoring our military for its service, do something for them. Reform the VA so it acts in the best interests of veterans, not against them. Help them to re-adjust to civilian life and increase compensation for those who have been maimed. Provide better treatment for veterans families.

There you have it…or at least what TB can think of for now.

Lastly, TB received several comments on yesterday’s piece on Ken Fisher and Fisher Investments…all supportive and adding information. Where is the SEC??? Why does Forbes continue to have him as a columnist? Dunno…

Have a great day…temp in MN got up to 35 yesterday, snowed overnight and still is!

TB

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