5/30/14..soldier, sailor, tinker, spy…can you hear me now?

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “The thing that bothers me about doctors is they give you an appointment six weeks ahead, then they examine you, then they ask, “Why did you wait so long to see me?” – Joey Adams…and its worse at the VA!
– Dan Spencer

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr. – if you are today’s CEO you can have both!!! Even if you are out!

Bloomberg Top Stories:
*Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Declined in April as Incomes Slowed – got it???
*BNP Paribas Drops as U.S. Said to Seek $10 Billion in Sanctions Settlement
*China Will Lower Reserve Requirements for Some Banks in Step Toward Easing – insane!!!
*Europe Bond Traders Confront Transparency Overhaul Seen Stricter than U.S. – follow the EU!!!
*Steve Ballmer Agrees to Buy Clippers for $2 Billion From Sterling Family – hope he does better than he did for Microsoft! Wait…is that ‘his’ money’??? Insane as TB sees it!
*Canada First-Quarter Growth Slows as Harsh Winter Slows Building, Exports
*Google Moves to Comply With EU Ruling Backing Right to Be Forgotten Online – do it here too!
*Bank Loans Gone Begging Seen Pointing to Stock ‘Melt-up’ – hmmm
*Aging Swiss Risk Killing Golden Goose of Pensions With Vote on Immigration
*Russia Withdraws Most Forces From Border With Ukraine as Fighting Persists
*Michigan Republicans Vindicate Snyder With Bipartisan Vote as Aid Detroit
*Italy Is Back as Renzi’s Intrigues Against Elite Net Record Election Win
*Roger Easton, GPS Inventor Who Made Navigation Easy for Masses, Dies at 93

Thursday’s Market Summary:

There is a rumor that the summer doldrums are upon us? What say you? (Silence). Oh wait, from the back laughter from some flash traders! Sure it was a ‘modest’ up day but volume was worse than unimpressive. The Russell 2000 took ‘honors’ up 0.6%, the worst was Dow Utilities up 0.1% and there res were up 0.4-0.6%…boring! Even the new record high on the S&P was a joke – who cares…besides the talking heads at CNBC of course!

Total NYSE Volume took a header again and fell to a very weak 2.68B shares vs 2.92B vs 2.89B s 2.4B vs 2.74B vs 2.77B vs 2.97B vs 2.64B!!! …that’s from 3.18B two weeks ago (remember it was an options expiration!) from an average 3.53B – on a ‘down’ day! Real trades on the floor of the NYSE were even worse plunging to 544M shares from an already weak 636M vs 657M vs 554M vs 577M vs 587M! The high this month is 775M while yesterday’s 544M shares is the low and the average for the month is just 650M shares. Compare to even the weak 12-month average of 721M shares!
A/D’s were slightly positive NYSE +2x vs +1.1x vs +2.2x vs +2x vs +2x; Nasdaq +1.4x vs -1.6x vs +2.9x vs +2.5x vs +2.1x. Breadth was similar: NYSE +2.6x vs -1.1x vs +2.1x vs +2.3x vs +1.8x; Nasdaq +2.1x vs +4.3x! vs +2.5x vs +2.6x vs +2.7x. But who cares when the volume is so low? New 52 Week Highs climbed to 287 vs 229 vs 336 vs 167 vs 187 – recent low 71!!! New Lows fell back to a very weak 45 vs 61 vs 50 vs 51 vs 62 – recent range 45-214.
As for volatility…S&P VIX remains bullish and doing nothing for the third straight session after plunging to a very bullish level…buying puts is very cheap…consider it! 11.57 -.11 with another narrow range of 11.41-11.82– note not a single ‘12’ print – for a fifth straight session!

Overnight markets:

Bonds ended their three day rally but didn’t give back much. The 10 yr closed at 2.46% -3/16 vs 2.44%. 30 yr closed 3.32% -7/16 vs 3.29%! The long TIP, which hit a low of 0.978% on 5/29, closed at 0.997% -1/2. Overnight little changed again: 10’s 2.46% +1/16; 30’s 3.31% +1/8; and long TIP 0.98% +3/8. Cycle highs: 30 yr high was 3.97% on 12/31; the 10 yr recent high 3.03%! Long TIP was 1.64%. The (record?) low of 0.36% was set on 4/5/13.
Libor update: 0.227% 3 mos.; 0.322% 6 mos., both just off their record lows, set recently: 0.227% and 0.320% respectively! NOTE the Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.08% since 5/22/13 and is 0.06% -0.09%. Foreign bond yields slightly higher but remain strong: Germany 1.37% +2; UK 2.57% +3; France 1.77% +3; Italy 2.95% –; Spain 2.85% -1; Portugal 3.59%+2; Greece, which bottomed at 5.83% on 2/24 closed very strong last Friday is now 6.18% +2 – the high on selloff was 6.75%. Highly volatile!!! Range is 5.77% to 12.57%. Japan: 0.57% –.

Gold closed slightly lower – 3rd day – at $1257.10 -$2.20 with a session low of $1251.40 – lowest since 2/7/14!!! This, after hitting $1309.20 a week ago. It is now way below the 40/50/200 days and the psych support level of $1300 with first res at the 40 day $1295, then the 50 day $1297, and the 200 day $1300. It has fared poorly since the ‘key reversal’ on 3/17, after printing new recent high of $1392.60, highest high since 9/4/13! Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!! Overnight it continues to seek a floor: $1253.80 -$3.30 – session low $1252.50.

Crude closed slightly higher at $103.58 +$1.14 with a low of $102.61, lowest since 5/20. Friday’s high was $104.50 – still highest since being slammed on 4/22! 3/2’s session low was $97.37, lowest since 2/4! 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. It remains well above all three moving averages with support at the 40 day ($101.95) then the 50 day ($101.61), and 200 day $100.31. The recent range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight it is trading in a narrow range ($102.97-103.56),and is currently $103.07 -.51.

Global equity markets boring – mixed with minor changes ex-Korea: UK -0.1% vs +0.3% vs +0.1% vs +0.5% vs -0.2%; France -0.4% vs -0.2% vs +0.1% vs – vs +0.1%; Germany – vs -0.1% vs +0.1% vs +0.4% vs +0.2%; Japan -0.3% vs +0.1% vs +0.2% vs +0.2% vs +0.9%; Hang Seng +0.3% vs -0.3% vs +0.6% vs -0.1% vs +0.1%; Korea -0.9% vs -0.2% vs +1%! vs -0.6% vs +0.1%; India -0.1% vs -1.3%! vs – vs -0.7% vs +1.3%!. U.S. Stock Index Futures little changed overnight in another very narrow range: DOW -9 (range 26); SPX -1.50 (3); NDQ -1.75 (7!).

Some random thoughts:

…yesterday finished watching the Edward Snowden interview and learned that after he was excerpted on Tuesday, our beloved Secretary of State, John Kerry, said he should return home for a trial by his peers…fair enough as that is part of his job. But then, Kerry, of all people, crossed the line…why should Snowden even consider returning when he was then branded ‘a traitor and a coward.’ Thank you for that, John. Wait weren’t you the swift boat skipper who cause the creation of the ‘swiftboat sailors’ when you were making a run at the presidency? Oh, yes you were, and though TB felt is was unfair and unwarranted as you did have a purple heart (medal that is), but then you became a war protestor. Question John: did you do that before or after Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers. Hmmm…let me see…AFTER!!! Oh yes, and then while at a protest rally at the national mall…right below the Lincoln Memorial you threw your purple heart into the reflection pond…oh wait…that wasn’t your medal…you borrowed it from someone else. Isn’t that the definition of a hypocrite? You bet it is! (for the record, TB sent an email to the Secretary yesterday, stating the above)

It is said that he did this following the Memorial Day weekend even if he may have been trying to improve his image as a patriot (have you noticed those little American flag pins aren’t nearly as prevalent these days…wonder if they still have their copies of the Declaration and Constitution stuffed into their breast pocket…too bad few of them bothered to read them or understand them).

Ass for the ‘tweets’ here are the results for Snowden: 61% patriot; 39% traitor. Do you detect a wee change of opinion? TB does and he did too. TB found that Snowden’s dad who has remained silent and whom Snowden kept out of the interview (except to say he was a Coast Guard officer – a decorated Captain by the way), said the initially he was shocked and felt his son should return home and accept his fate…not anymore now that he knows the story.

Also, let’s cut the crap about those ‘classified’ documents. Why should we believe a government that lied to us…threatened citizens with being prosecuted if they didn’t cooperate with the hacking…all based on a 1970’s presidential lawyer’s opinion and one that even John Ashcroft when he was AG refused to sign of on! This is not America…and as for his spilling his guts to the Russians…first, he took no documents with him…they were in the hands of two top investigative reporters (and by the way the next installment which is supposed to be even more embarrassing to the government is on its way). When asked if he had met Putin or been ‘debriefed’ he said no adding that it is incredible that he should take refuge in a country known for violating citizens rights to privacy (yes, he actually said that while he remains in their country!), and even named Putin in his response.

Brian Williams brought along a ‘throw-away’ smart phone…an iPhone by the way. He asked if it was possible to tap into his data, record his voice, and even turn it on when it was off. Snowden said IF he had used it even once and they had the number they could do all three! Imagine, turn it on…turn on the voice recorder…as well as get your location and data! Sounds like that Denzel Washington movie where he thought the ex-CIA spook was paranoid (you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you…right?). So better start removing your battery if you don’t want them to find you…oh, forgot…you CAN’T remove an iPhone battery…hmmmm.

Patriot, upstanding citizen, or traitor…you decide.

Lastly, watching the Great Wars documentary, which is arguably the best ever made as it doesn’t just cover the events but the leaders, raised a point I have been dismayed about: why hasn’t anyone compared Putin’s recent actions to Hitler’s…taking back what is rightfully Russia’s (Germany’s)? It is about time someone did…there is no question that Putin, like Hitler is testing the mettle of the Western powers…and we have failed miserably!

Have a fun and enjoyable weekend!

TB

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