2/14/14…Valentine’s Day…I love Paris in the winter…

Possibly an update on stocks after the close or tomorrow; otherwise next blog will be on March 3…TB is off to Paris!

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “The wages of sin is alimony.” – Carolyn Wells…why does it say ‘is’ when sin is the object of the preposition?

Wage of sin is…wages of sin are…beats TB…always has…

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Romance is everything.” – Gertrude Stein

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*Euro Region Expansion Above Forecasts Eases Pressure on Draghi for Action

*Jos. A. Bank to Acquire Eddie Bauer in Deal Valuing Brand at $825 Million

*Stocks in Europe Climb as Economy Improves; Yen Strengthens; Gold Advances

*Risky Loans in Europe Banks’ Dark Corners to Be Exposed by ECB Inspectors

*Rosenberg Sees Runaway Inflation After Calling Housing Bust With Recession

*China Banks’ Bad Loans Rise for Ninth Quarter to Highest Level Since 2008

*Deutsche Bank Co-CEOs Woo German Lawmakers as Merkel Backs Tighter Rules – ah, Europe following the lead of our bankers…such a tribute…NOT!!!

*401(k) Contributions Chipped Away by Companies From Whole Foods to Oracle – *Whole Foods the ‘good guys’? Larry Ellison, egotist billionaire? Where are wages?

*Storm That Crippled Eastern U.S. Moving offshore to Make Way for More Snow

*Obamacare Lag in Enrolling Latinos Spurs California to Change Sales Pitch

*Merkel Meeting With Ukraine Opposition Next Week Seen Pushing Compromise

*Extension of Breaks Priority for Senate Finance Panel Leader Wyden- no hikes!

Thursday’s Market Summary:

Another rally?…for the wrong reasons?…did you see anything to get excited about in the data? Who cares…its about earnings…earnings being the operative here…not revenues which are not growing by leaps and bounds and thus brings into question: sustainability.

The best performer was the Russell 2000 small cap BUT that was followed by Dow Utilities, +1.4% and +1.1% respectively.  Note that Utilities are up +5.2% ytd – see table below for something that will surprise you! Compare and contrast: Dow -3.3%; Dow Transports -1.6%; S&P +2.7%, Nasdaq Composite +1.6% and the 100 +1% – all three of the latter supported largely by…Apple! Natch! One other interesting point: you will note the 3 mo. and 12 mos. figures are RISING…after losing about half of prior years gains in January…but we are now dropping some losing months…so ‘liars’ will be able to show even better 3 and 5 year performance, even if this year isn’t so hot…perhaps…

NYSE Volume inched down to a weak 3.24B shares from 3.3B shares, while Real NYSE Volume was stable at a well below average 639M shares vs 640M shares.

Advance/Declines rebounded along with breadth but are a far cry from the negatives of last month.

Here is the scoreboard (note 3mo and 12 mo updated thru last night):




3 mos.

12 mos.


Mo. to date




Dow 30










Dow Utilities





S&P 500










NDQ 100





Russell 2k










 KBW Banks





 NDQ Banks





Dow Utilities continue to be the best performer ytd despite some positives creeping in for the month. Will update data tonight and post since there will be no blog for two weeks!

Detailed analysis:

Dow 30 +0.4% vs -0.2% vs +1.2% vs +0.1% vs +1.1%; Dow Transports +0.3% vs +0.1% vs +1.2% vs -1.1%!!! vs +0.8%; Russell 2000 +1.4%! vs +0.3% vs +0.9% vs +0.2% vs +1.1%; Dow Utilities +1.1%!!! vs -0.2% vs +1%!!! vs +0.6% vs +0.7%; S&P 500 +0.6% vs – vs +1.1% vs +0.2% vs +1.3%; Nasdaq Composite +0.9% vs +0.2% vs +1% vs +0.5% vs +1.7%! NDQ 100 +0.9% vs +0.2% vs +1.1% vs +0.6% vs +1.8%!

NYSE Financials +0.4% vs +0.3% vs +1.1% vs — vs +1.1%. BofA most active: unchanged? vs -0.8% vs +1% vs -0.7% vs +2.3%. Closed $16.75 –. The high print was $17.42 on 1/15/14 – highest since 5/10/10!!! Brokers +1.1%! vs +0.3% vs +1% vs +0.3% vs +1.2%; KBW Banks +0.2 vs -0.2% vs +0.9% vs +0.1% vs +0.8%; Nasdaq Banks +0.5% vs -0.1% vs +1.2%! vs +0.1% vs 0.2%.

*NYSE Volume skidded slightly lower and remains at a below average 3.24B shares vs 3.3B vs 3.67B vs 3.29B vs 3.74B vs 3.8B vs 3.97B vs 4.04B vs 4.7B vs 4.04B. The 2014 low is 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 slumped to a well below average 639M shares vs 640M vs 710M vs 654M vs 763M vs 743M vs 755M vs 837M vs 922M vs 952M (highest since 12/20).  622M was lowest since 1/3/14. It has been above 700M just fourteen times since 12/20! The 12-month low is 272M on 12/24. The average since 12/20 is just 682M shares. The 12 month is 724M shares. Last year there were just TEN 1B+ share sessions! There have been 45 800M+ shares since 12/31/12: 19 up, 23 down, three mixed.

*New 52 week highs have ranged from 33-864. They rose again to 295 vs 243 vs 206 vs 142 vs 132 vs 92 vs 53. Contrast to 440 and 498 last month. 53 is the recent low, which had been 201 during the rally days! Recent high is a super-strong 890!!! New lows were stable at a still weak 43 vs 42 vs 35 vs 32! vs 48 vs 72 vs 162 vs 120 vs 216 vs 135 vs 70. Recent high is 353; low 20!!!  

Advance/Declines were positive: +2.9x vs +1.3x vs +3.5x vs +1.4x vs +3.4x (recent range -17.5x to +6x) on NYSE and +2.7x vs +1.2x vs +2.3x vs +1.5x vs +2.4x (recent low -6.1x!!! to +3.8x). Breadth was similar: +3.1x vs +1.02x vs +4.7x! vs -1.1x vs +4.6x! (recent -18.6x!!! to +7.2x!!!) on NYSE and +1.7x vs +1.6x vs +2.6x vs +2.4x vs +5.5x!!! (recent -12.8x to +6.5x).  

Volatility (S&P VIX) declined slightly and remains well BELOW the m/a’s suggesting an overbought market. How so? Early on the high was 15.24! before plunging to 13.98 on the feeble rally…closed 14.14 -.16. Options expiry not until the 21st – looks like a setup! It ‘gapped down’ last Friday from 17.09-16.31…that is the ‘hole’ to watch! Contrast to 1/31’s high of 21.48 highest since 6/24/13! Look at the 40/50 day (14.65/14.68) and the 200 day, 14.59. 12/26’s 11.69 was lowest since 3/15/13!!! The recent range is 11.83-21.48!!! It peaked at 22.79 on 12/28/12…the range since 12/31/12 is 11.05 (3/14) to 21.92 (6/24)!

Bonds closed higher but without feeling…or meaning. Overnight they are a tad weaker and still drifting above the mid-Oct. levels, when the storm hit. 30 yr 3.69% -1/32 – the high was 3.97% on 12/31; the 10 yr 2.73% -1/64, recent high 3.03%! Long TIP 1.40% -1/16. The (record?) low of 0.36% was set on 4/5. The recent high yield: 1.64%! Libor update: 0.236% 3 mos, 0.329% 6 mos. – Another new record LOW for 6 mos! 0.329%, 3 mos just above its 0.234%!!!). NOTE the Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.08% since 5/22/13 and is steady at 0.06-0.09%!!! Foreign bond yields mixed for a second day, problem credits recovering: Germany 1.66% +1; UK 2.79% +1 – recent high 3.03%!; France 2.28% +1; Italy 3.69% -2; Spain 3.58% -3; Portugal 4.92% -6; Greece 7.47% -4 vs 7.55% +19!!! – just a day after setting a new low of 7.23%! Recent range 7.23% to 12.57%. Japan: 0.59% –.

Gold closed higher for a FOURTH day for a combined gain of $37 AND closed above the psychological $1300 and first resistance at the 200 day ($1313). The high was $1303 – not seen since 11/8 and closed at $1300.10 +$4.90. Last Thursday’s session low was $1237.50, lowest since 1/23! A week ago Tuesday’s intraday high was $1294.40, highest since 11/14/13!!! Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!!  Recent high is $1375.40 back on 9/19. Psych levels: $1200 sup and now $1300 support, with critical support at the 40 day ($1242) and the 50 day ($1242) – locked! The 200 day is $1312 – major resistance! Overnight it soared to $1319.90, right thru the 200 day and is currently $1314.20 +$17.10 – this extends the gain to $54 in five sessions! End of the bear market? Ask yourself why?

Crude closed little changed at $100.35 -.02, but held ‘par’ – following its first close above $100 since 12/27/13! This after setting a new high of $101.38 – highest since 10/18. 1/14’s low was worst since 5/2/13: $91.24! 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. Distant support is at the 40 day m/a (96.76), and the 50 day m/a ($96.87). FIRST SUPPORT at the 200 day ($99.51) – yesterday’s low was $99.40 and quickly rejected! 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 slidghlty lower at $100.18 -.17…will par continue to hold?

Overnight equity markets:

Global equity markets higher ex-Japan: UK +0.1% vs -1%! vs +0.2% vs +0.8% vs +0.1%; France +0.5% vs -0.6% vs +0.7% vs +0.7% vs +0.3%; Germany +0.6% vs -0.6% vs +1.1%! vs +1.5%!!! vs –; Japan -1.5%! vs -1.8%! vs +0.6% vs closed for two days; Hang Seng +0.6% vs -0.5% vs +1.5%! vs +1.8%! vs closed; Korea +0.7% vs -0.5% vs +0.2% vs +0.5% vs –; India +0.9% vs -1.3%! vs +0.4% vs +0.1% vs -0.2%. U.S. equity futures little changed: DOW -4 (range 93); SPX -1 (11); NDQ +1 (21)


Some random thoughts:

Yesterday, a friend wrote back about taking Bill Moyers with a grain of salt, essentially a hypocrite. Pat of this is based on the fact that for a period he was LBJ’s press secretary (so?). I believe the two most objective interviewers today are Bill Moyers and Charlie Rose. True, Moyers can pick his guests so he can interview them in a straightforward manner but at least he doesn’t pontificate like Bill O’Reilly (fair and balanced?). By the way, googling Moyers produced only rumors and innuendos from the extremist media.

This is what TB means about taking sources with strong leanings, most notably FOX News, and by filtering out all other views takes them as gospel. How many times has TB said, ‘you decide’ in this blogspace? Virtually every time a controversial topic comes up – which is most of the time.

We are rapidly losing our ability to think for ourselves…we have already lost the ability to ‘focus’ on more than one event at the time thanks to being bombarded by the media on every major event till we forget the last one. Our politicians love that because it makes their job so much easier. By the time a topic becomes hot…like Congress and ‘insider trading’ or the bi-partisan McConnell/Hatch/Baccus thank you  present for contributions to Amgen less than two months after it was fined a record amount for a pharma company for mis-advertizing  a drug.

To hell with it…TB leaves Sunday for the ‘City of Light’ and two weeks relaxing and based on the Ile St. Louis with time to visit old haunts…sure, he will have to return to reality but…ah, those glorious two weeks…credit card statements to follow.

Weather? 50’s there…shirt-sleeve weather for Minnesotans. It is 2 degrees as this is posted. Have a great two weeks!



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