8/12/14…in memory of Robin Williams and a few other greats!

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “I give the same halftime speech over and over. It works best when my players are better than the other coach’s players.” – Chuck Mills

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein – vie gehts??? Vas is loss? Acht du liber!

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*JPMorgan Joins Goldman in Designing Credit Derivatives for New Generation – buyer beware!

*Euro Weakens as S&P 500 Index Futures Pare Advance While Crude Oil Drops

*German Investor Confidence Slumps More Than Forecast on Ukraine Crisis

*Gross Reduced Government-Related Debt Holdings in July Amid Fed Rate Bets – BUY UST!!!

*African Bank Charging 60% Interest Rescued as Marcus Keeps Credit Rating – shameful!

*India Inflation Rate Tops Estimate in Test for Rajan as Industry Moderator – stocks rally!!!

*Kinder Morgan Merger Sparks $16 Billion Market Boost Presaging More Deals – sukkahs!

*Erdogan Built Career on Economy Now Runs Risk of Hitting Fast-Track Mark

*JPMorgan Appoints Win Bischoff as Chairman of European Legal Unit in 2015 – busy man!

*Valeant Mixes Its Brand of Kool-Aid With Muddy Water – don’t drink the Kool-Aid!

*Venezuela Sees Chaves Friends Get Rich After His Death Amid Food Shortages – more shame!

*Ukraine to Block Russia Humanitarian Aid Convoy Lacking Red Cross Approval – beat goes on!

*Maliki’s Bid to Block Successor Abadi Escalates Political Crisis in Iraq

*Israel Says No Progress Made in Gaza Peace Talks as Egypt Pushes for Truce

*Africa’s Biggest City Fights ‘Wicked Lies’ to Debunk Myths Tied to Ebola – you feel lucky?

*Robin Williams, Oscar-Winning Comic Actor, Dies in Suspected Suicide – a sad life


Monday’s Market Summary:

Oh joy! A rally…yes, indeedy. Why the Russell 2000 was up 0.9%…Dow Transports rose 0.8% the rest were up 0.3-0.7% – with two exceptions; the Dow rose a puny 0.1%??? The other was Dow Utilities, the only one in the red declining 0.4% just to be the goat! It has been the most volatile of the indices. Oh, did I forget to add that Volume STUNK? Just 2.76B shares while real volume was just 596M – 110 of that was at the bell! Bonds were little changed but slightly weaker – but, after all, they are at their 12-month highs! Nothing…nothing…that happens this week matters until Friday’s options expiration! Heed, or pay the price! Fundamentals don’t matter! Year-to-Date, Dow Transports and Dow Utilities are tied for honors at +10.2% the pair!
Only the Russell 2000 remains in the red at -1.9%. Banks too are negative: KBW -0.9%

Total NYSE Volume continued its swan dive to a well below average 2.76B shares vs 2.87B vs 3.22B vs 3.5B vs 3.44B. Real NYSE Volume dropped yet again to an extremely weak 596M shares vs 629M vs 670M vs 689M vs 703M vs 676M – 15 days ago it hit 541M, the third lowest of 2014 (531M was the low) – that with 236M at the bell!!! 537M on 7/3 was second weakest since April 30th. There have been just four sessions above 800M since 4/28! The 12-month average remains at a very weak 704M shares. Since 4/30 the average volume has been just 672M shares ranging from 531M to 927B….12 month high is 2.06B shares on 9/20/13!

A/D’s were positive for a 2nd day but with an asterisk: NYSE +2.8x vs +3.1x vs -1.1x vs +1.5x vs -2.5x vs +1.6x vs -1.7x vs -6.3x!!! Nasdaq ++2.7x vs +2.3x vs -1.8x vs +1.5x vs -1.4x vs +1.7x vs -1.8x vs -5.1x! Breadth was similar: NYSE +2.9x vs +4.2x! vs -2.3x vs -1.05x vs -3.6x vs +2.3x vs 1.7x vs -8.4x!!!; Nasdaq +3.7x vs +2.3x vs -1.7x vs -1.1x vs -1.8x vs +2.1x vs -1.9x vs -5.6x! New 52 Week Highs finally rose, nearly doubling after seven straight weak sessions, to an average 155 vs 86 vs 67 vs 49 vs 54 v 57 vs 46 vs 56 vs 149 – recent range is 46-580!!! New Lows were halved to 64 vs 145 vs 167 vs 146 vs 166 vs 179 vs 260!!! vs 234 vs 115 – recent range is 24-260! This is a perfect set-up for options expiration! Beware! S&P VIX plunged and is now in neutral territory at 14.23 -1.54! a 9.8% decline while the range: dropped to 13.72-15.16 first time in four days that the low has been below 15, but high still was!

Bonds closed slightly lower but remain near new 12-month highs set last Thursday! 10 yr closed at 2.42% -1/64; 30 yr 3.24% -1/8; the long TIP 0.92% -5/16. Overnight they are little changed: 10’s 2.42% +1/32; 30’s 3.24% +1/32; and long TIP 0.92% +1/16. 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: 0.235% 3 mos.; 0.329% 6 mos., both remain near their record lows, set recently: 0.222% and 0.320% respectively! NOTE the Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.09% since 5/22/13 and is at 0.08-0.10% where they have been for weeks! Foreign bond yields little changed but slightly lower: Germany 1.05% -1; UK 2.48% -1; France 1.46% -1; Italy 2.76% -3; Spain 2.61% -4; Portugal 3.73% -3; Greece 6.21% -1. The recent high on selloff was 6.75%. Recently 5.42% to 12.57%. Japan: 0.50% -1.

Gold closed little changed for a second day at $1310.50 +$1.60, in a very narrow range session a day after setting a new high of $1324.30 – highest since 7/18! The last selloff was triggered by a negative key reversal on 9/14/13 and it has struggled ever since…will it happen again? Monday’s low was $1279.70, lowest since 6/19. It is now above all three moving averages and the psychological support level of $1300! 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! 6/9’s $1240.20 was lowest since 1/31/14!!! First support is just below at the 40 day $1308, then the 50 day at $1297, and the 200 day at $1287 – these are VERY tight ranges! 50/200 are critical support levels! Note the recent high of $1392.60 on 3/17, highest high since 9/4/13…that too ended the session with a negative key reversal sparking the downturn! Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!! Overnight it is slightly higher at $1315.40 +$4.90 – session high $1316.40.

Crude closed slightly higher in yet another ‘nothing session’. This two days after trading down to $96.55 – lowest since 2/4! – NINE handles since 6/30! 7/22’s high was $105.20, still highest since 7/2. 7/15’s session low was $90.01 – lowest since 3/21. 6/20’s run to $107.73 was highest since 9/19/13 (a huge down session which put it in freefall well below what was critical support at $99.79 – the 200 day! 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. RES at the 200 day ($99.30), then the 40 day ($102.61), and then the 50 day ($102.88) – all declining rapidly!!! The range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight it is back in the red at $97.24 -.84 with a session low of $97.10.

Global equity markets mixed; India STRONG: UK -0.1% vs +0.9% vs -0.3% vs – vs -1.3%; France -0.6% vs +1% vs +0.2% vs -0.2% vs -1.3%; Germany -0.7% vs +1.7%! vs +0.1% vs +0.3% vs -1.4%-1.2%! Japan +0.2% vs +2.4%!!! vs -3%!!! vs +0.5% vs -1.1% vs -1%; Hang Seng +0.2% vs +1.3%! vs -0.2% vs -0.8% vs -0.3%; Korea +0.1% vs +0.4% vs -1.1%! vs -0.3% vs -0.3%; India +1.4%!!! vs +0.8% vs -1%! vs -0.3% vs -0.9% vs +0.7% vs +1% vs -1.6%!!! U.S. equity futures little changed in quiet trading: Dow +1 (range 46); SPX +0.60 (6!); NDQ +1.75 (11).


Some random thoughts

…we interrupt this to bring you a sad announcement: we are mourning the passing of one of the greatest comics of all time, Robin Williams. Don’t take TB’s word for it…take it from Jonathan Winters, who became his friend, but labelled him the greatest improvisationist of all time – an incredible honor coming from Winters who also was a genius. We have lost two great artists so far this year…besides Williams, there was Phillip Seymour Hoffman…another suicide and drug user who attempted to recover.

Comedians are misunderstood…they are like the clowns…smiling on the outside while crying on the inside…perhaps the greatest of all actors…and they carry so much inside them. In case you are interested, here are a few clips and a story:

Don’t know if you remember this but to my way of thinking it was THE greatest battle of comedians of all time.
Wililams, Goldberg, Crystal on Comic Relief

Then there was Williams unabashed respect for Jonathan Winters…both thought the other was the greatest improvisationist of all time. Williams was surprised on Carson when Winters showed up…the result?…well…
Williams and Winters on Carson Show

Enjoy…no stand-up comic today can put a match to these two geniuses!

The many faces and one of a-kind the making of robin-williams

…with that TB will end today…all these people brought joy to our lives.



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