Posts Tagged Mitch McConnell

11/22/16The beginning (end?) of Trump

(NOTE: it has been four months since I posted here. I am truly concerned for our country and my children’s and grandchildren’s future. We just finished a very contentious election and it will not be over until December 19th when the electoral votes are talleyed. In the meantime I am going to point out my concerns about our new president’s qualifications.)

This is not meant to be mean-spirited, it is about whether this man is qualified (mentally) to be the President of the United States. It is all the more imperative since he will have both houses of Congress, most governorships, and soon the Supreme Court all aligned. This is not, and never has been good for the people and the country.

It is not over…yet. First, the electoral count is 290 to 232 for Trump. In 2008, Obama had 330 and in 2012 303. Yet, the Trump team, Speaker Ryan, and others believe they have a mandate. The last ‘mandate’ was Obama in 2008 when he won by over 5 million votes, but by declaring a mandate, the Democrats set themselves up for failure and just two short years later, thanks to the Tea Party, the House turned Republican, where it has remained ever since. So Mr. Trump and the GOP: you DO NOT have a mandate, not when Clinton is leading in the popular vote by 1.7 million, and Michigan and Florida are up for grabs.

Did you know that since 2000, the average margin of victory, in either direction, in Florida is less than 11,500 votes? I am not a spoiler but I have written to the Office of the Federal Registry which every four years becomes the electoral college. While they are committed in most cases to vote with the popular vote in their state, the college exists to keep the people from making a grave mistake. Only once has the vote swung the other way and the candidate was still elected by the House of Representatives. That year, an entire state, Virginia voted against its citizen for all 25 votes. This year it would only take 21 electors to revolt and turn the election (although I am not advocating it or even believe it will happen, but it could). With 1.7 million voters disagreeing with the state tallies, why not?

The way it works is this:

“The Certificates of Ascertainment, which contain the names of the appointed Electors and the vote counts for each political party on the state’s ballot, are signed by the Governor and contain the state seal.  These are prepared before the meeting of the Electors, which is December 19 this year.  At the meeting of the Electors, the Electors each vote and that vote is recorded, so both the identity of the Electors and how they voted is public record.  Each Elector signs the Certificate of Vote.  We will post both Certificates on our website once we receive them from the states, but we currently haven’t begun to receive the Certificates of Ascertainment yet.” (Source: Office of the Federal Registry)

A further question is the all or none method in some states and proportionate in others. The Constitution set no rules on how votes were to be apportioned. The Office of the Federal Registrar informed me that it would require a Constitutional Amendment.

As you know, Donald J. Trump is the first candidate in recent history to refuse to release his tax returns (during the campaign he said he was not allowed to during an audit – denied by the IRS – but would release them as soon as it was completed – not yet!). Now he is refusing with his staff saying that his financial statement supplied was enough. It is not! Especially for a man with so many interests globally to avoid (multiple) conflicts of interest. Now we have learned from the IRS that his foundation has engaged in self-dealing, which they have admitted to. These issues include paying fines levied against Trump and I am sure when it is looked into there will be many more.

Ah, but what about the Clinton Foundation? They are accused of using her office as Secretary of State to obtain foreign donations. So long as it only increases accessibility and no value was received (same goes for Congress), that is not illegal. It has been reported in the past that one thing the Clinton’s are scrupulous about it their taxes. Obviously, they saw the risks and from what accountants have said they have been very conservative, to the point of not taking deductions when they were advised they could – could you do that?

I just sent the following message to my representative, both Minnesota U.S senators, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell. Feel free to use it if you agree with me on this subject:

Congressman/Senator, you have a duty to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns. it is unthinkable with his conflicts of interest that he do so. This is now imperative in light of the IRS release on the Trump Foundation’s self-dealing.
The GOP blundered in even letting this man run as a Republican, and Mr. Priebus has been amply rewarded for it.
Respectfully,

That is enough for today. Think about it. This could be a big turning point for our nation and its future. Based on his cabinet selections so far, I am very concerned about where we are headed.

Thanks for reading,

Trader Bjll

 

 

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2/15/16…You picked a fine time to leave us, Scalia…and to roil the markets further!

(UPDATE: My prediction yesterday that the stock market would tank due to the inability to get anything done with an even number of  Supreme Court justices half one way and half another…was in a word: WRONG!…does that mean that Wall Street is welcoming more gridlock? Could be…after all they have everything to gain.)

…with apologies to Kenny Rogers, and the late Justice Scalia. Of course, he had no way of knowing he was going to die…especially after two scathing dissents just last week. Was he upset enough about them that he endangered himself?
I mean no disrespect to this jurist, even though I disagreed with many of his rulings and his ‘strict constructionist’ approach to Constitutional Law. Sadly, the GOP saw it differently, even though he was on ‘their’ (read extreme conservative) side, the candidates and the unstoppable Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, just couldn’t help themselves.

It is for this reason that I believe the markets will suffer badly tomorrow (Tuesday), as it adds to the uncertainties that are already shaking its foundations. What about a bounce? We are in danger of going into a secular bear market following a secular bull market within a bear market. Despite the magnitude of the financial crisis, this is the fastest recovery eve…and that should concern you because it usually takes 7-10 years to do that and we started the recovery a year later! Think about it…we are on borrowed time.

Here are my objections:
1. First, McConnell opened his yap as soon as he heard of his death saying no nominee will be approved…or disapproved, meaning the old stalemate is still in play, in this term or until a new President is elected;
2. Unstoppable Senator and would-be presidential nominee, Ted Cruz, said that there is precedent for the President to not make an appointment in an election year, and if he did for the Senate to refuse to act…really? It has happened just ONCE before and that is not a precedent.
3. Senator Mark Rubio said that there is a ‘pattern’ of President’s not making appointments in their last ten months (is that a coincidence or did he just make it up); Rubio needs to read the Constitution on the rule of advise and consent.
It is insulting to use the death of a Supreme Court Justice for their own personal gain…and to say that ‘no matter’ who Obama nominates, there will be no up or down vote. Isn’t that like, I’m going to take my bike and go home? It is they who are denying the Constitutional right of the President to make appointments, but the key is in the language the GOP is using, and it is not good for America.
If the GOP has its way, and there is no reason they shouldn’t succeed, we will have a vacancy in the 2017 term for much of it, especially if a Democrat is in the Oval Office. A 4-4 decision is worthless, and think of all those extremists state governments (dare I say Texas?) that will pass all kinds of laws that won’t be able to be repealed until at least 2018! Well done, GOP, well done!
I, for one am frankly appalled at the near 40 attempts to destroy the ACA and the push by ALL GOP candidates for prohibiting ANY abortion. Of course, this will only apply to the poor who can’t afford another child (shades of the Catholic Church’s reasoning: to increase the number of Catholics…but at least they did some good). Rape or incest or anything else, including the health of the mother are not to be considered. But there is one thing…one major thing…these brilliant people who have no regard for science…have forgotten: you can make a woman have a baby…but you CANNOT make her take care of it. Therefore, it becomes the obligation of the government to do just that. So let’s do that and increase the number of people in poverty…already at least one in three children are living at the poverty level. Is this what you want for a legacy?
Think about this: we elect a president for four years…only in the first, and maybe the second (althought Obama didn’t even get that), they can get something done…as important as the ACA was, Obama used up all of his political capital on it and it is a flawed piece of legislation that could have been good and like many other countries if he hadn’t caved to the pHarma lobby for support and the GOP hadn’t insisted on preserving ‘states rights’ (sic) by insurers only being chartered by states. But even if flawed, don’t fall for the GOP trick of ‘repeal and replace’ because it will never get replaced…America loses.
This term for the Supreme Court has just about run out and now it is split 4-4, and if there is a swing vote it will be Chief Justice John Roberts, who Cruz admits he voted for but only to support his president? This man is sick and frankly reminds TB of ‘Tailgunner Joe’ McCarthy! He scares me almost as much as Trump. I say, almost as much because with Trump you don’t have a clue what he will do next: boots on the ground…banning Muslims from travel…perhaps banning the Muslim religion…telling lies and when confronted just keep repeating them till you wear them down. He still hasn’t backed down from his statement about Muslim’s cheering on 9/11. While I am not impressed with the Dems (I was a lifelong GOP’er until McCain chose Palin…and what did that get him?
The party likes to say that all are welcome to run as they have a ‘very wide tent.’ Really? Then why doesn’t anyone break ranks and give a damn about the American people they are sworn to serve.
Back to Cruz…he has played down that his wife is a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs…and has taken a leave to ‘help with his campaign’. He conveniently forgot two half million dollar loans, one from Goldman and the other from Morgan Stanley…a violation of campaign laws. But before we get too critical of him, what about Hillary’s $600,000 payment from Goldman for three speeches? First, she won’t release transcripts of the speeches (boring!), but more importantly she told Chuck Todd on MTP a week ago that while she has accepted donations from the big banks (after all they were in her state when she was a Senator and suffered terribly after 9/11,,,pullease!!!). She went on to say that “you have to be able to tell the good players from the bad players” – really??? Then how come you couldn’t even identify Goldman as a bad player….weren’t you there watching Sen. Carl Levin skewer Lloyd Blankfein (both graduated first in class at Harvard Law a year apart – but to watch Blankfein you had to wonder if he went to college anywhere?
Believe it or not, despite Bernie’s leftist views, he might be the best choice since some people who have been polled say they like EITHER Trump or Sanders??? But Bernie, unlike Obama, knows how to work his way around Congress…would he succeed? All I know is he is a true believer…
I have to admit a fondness of sorts for John Kasich…at least when he talks he makes sense…just wish he would stop with the theatrical gestures.
In closing, I will bring up a proposal I jumped on board with decades ago: a ONE TERM, SIX-YEAR PRESIDENCY…same as a Senator only no second chances and frankly that is what the founding fathers that the GOP loves to talk about wanted: Representatives who would come to Washington for two years and carry the message of their constituents, then go home and be back among them; and more importantly that six year term for Senators…staggered for continuity and thus no need for people to make a career in Washington. Would have loved to hear Justice Scalia tell me his views on this.

Don’t take any wooden nickles!

TB

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3/31/15 …is the GOP in self-destruct mode?

…or does it simply not care about anyone but its big-bucks supporters (a poor term since they are more the controllers of the party than supporting it and will only do so as long as the duly-elected people they pushed for do as they say)?

Look at what they have done since gaining the majority in both houses:

1. right after the election they acted the same way as the Dems did when they gained control: pure hubris. The leaders, Boehner and McConnell showed no willingness to work across the aisle – except for a ‘few’ things they agreed upon. For example: fixing the infrastructure…oh yes, they said we want to do that. Ah, then they are in favor of raising the gasoline tax. Both paused, then said they had no intention of doing that but would fix the infrastructure ‘as funds became available’.

2. Harry Reid may not have been the best Senate Majority Leader but he never showed the mean-spirited side of Mitch McConnell – the poster grumpy old man.

3. The House invited Netanyahu to address both house of Congress – while he was losing support and in the middle of an election, thus not only violating protocol, but assisting him in a re-election bid. This solidified his power and he was re-elected: just what we need…another example of the U.S. meddling in elections. Foul! But it gets worse: right after that the GOP sent a letter to Iranian President Rouhani saying he should not agree to the treaty as the U.S. would not have to abide by it. This act was atrocious as it is not a treaty and not subject to Congressional approval and goes along with Netanyahu’s desire to not have any agreement with them and make demands (which the GOP wants too) that have no chance of being implemented. A bad agreement is better than no agreement as the only solution then is to put boots on the ground alienating most Iranians. Something that the American people don’t want but gives the GOP a better argument to increase defense spending (which benefits the private contractors since our army is not of sufficient size to take on an enemy on yet another front). Remember, G.W. Bush & Co. cut taxes (mainly benefiting the wealthy), three times while fighting two wars – Iraq and Afghanistan – the latter a country we ‘entered” for the express purpose of getting Bin Laden with a promise that we would then leave: we didn’t and still are there in another expensive and fruitless action. It seems the GOP learned nothing from Lyndon Johnson’s ‘guns and butter’ Viet Nam war,or from the result which along with the current two (three if the Israeli’s and GOP have their way) wars, have been costly and detrimental to our image abroad. We seem to never learn, but hey, there’s big money in war.

4. Why do they support Netanyahu, who has declared there is no room for both Israel and Palestine? Because he is an American turned Israeli, and that is why Sheldon Adelson wants it and what Adelson wants, he gets…it is also likely that he was behind the Iran letter. Another force that even the GOP can’t control is the Koch brothers who do their own thing to push for what they want and don’t give a whit about the party…they just buy the candidates. Look at the examples of what this has done for us in the past. We supported: Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Batista in Cuba, Nguen Thu in Viet Nam, to name a few. What has that done for the image of America?

5. The GOP is proud of the number of Republican governors, but should they be? Scott Walker is not all good; Texas has a history of bad decisions; and now Indiana Governor Mike Pence who just lowered himself to signing into law a bill that would make it legal to refuse service to gays and lesbians ‘on religious grounds’. A legislature can do stupid things but a governor is supposed to be the adult, a voice of reason. Now Indiana is paying for it…in spades. Several corporations have written that they will not do business in Indiana, and conferences are being cancelled. Think about this: isn’t this going back to the ‘white’s only’ signs in the South? The KKK must be licking their chops. Indiana will pay for this and hopefully its elected Republicans in the 2016 elections. TB would say the Supreme Court would overturn this but given the composition of the court…

Is TB anti-Republican? Pro-Democrat? None of these. He is an American who is disgusted with the path we are on: a downward spiral like the ones that have doomed previous great nations. The Roman Empire seems to be a ‘good’ example. Awww…what’s that got to do with us? Nothing…absolutely nothing. Got that?

Wake up, America…neither party gives a wit about you…only your vote…and if projections for the 2016 elections topping the $2 billion spent in the last election…estimate is FIVE billion…even your vote won’t count, because either candidate may have been (likely?) picked by a few wealthy people. Wall Street will contribute to both parties as they did when Obama was first elected (more to him then McCain), and again they will be in control. One has to blame Obama for not standing up to them. He had the support of Main Street, and had the chance to ‘make a difference’ as he said, the only thing he has to show for it is the ACA, which the GOP continues to bash despite having the approval of a majority of Americans (true, they don’t like parts of it, like having to pay and some young folks say it is more costly, BUT it is portable and your insurance can’t be cancelled, a truly important rule). If you think it is costly, try paying the COBRA from your former employer after you leave or are laid off or fired.

America is in a sad state, and the apathy of the people is truly shocking…perhaps they have PTS, from all of the freedom’s we have lost since 9/11. It’s time for us to wake up, and get involved.

Sincerely,

TB

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1/26/15…did you see the GOP ‘leadership’ on 60 Minutes? See end of column

TB’s Wine Quote of the Day: “Age us just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.” – Joan Collins…like: fifty isn’t old for a tree…

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

This week’s economic calendar is full of important indicators. The highlight of the week will be the Q4 GDP advance (Friday). We will also get January Dallas Fed Manufacturing (Monday), December Durable Goods Orders, November Case-Shiller Home Prices, December New Home Sales, January Consumer Confidence and January Richmond Fed Manufacturing (Tuesday), Q4 Employment Cost Index, January Chicago PMI and January Consumer Sentiment Final (Friday). In addition, the Federal Reserve FOMC will be meeting on January 27th – 28th with an announcement on the 28th. Courtesy of Economic Advisory Service

Overnight Global Markets:

Global equity markets rallying, except U.K. and Japan, India closed: UK – vs +0.2% vs 0.3% vs +0.7% vs +0.5%; France +0.4% vs +1.7%! vs +0.7% vs +1.4% vs +0.5%; Germany +0.9% vs +1.9%!!! vs +0.4% vs +0.3% vs +0.7%; Japan -0.3% vs +1.1% vs +0.3% vs +2.1%!!! vs +0.9%; Hang Seng +0.2% vs +1.3% vs +0.7% vs +1.9%!!! vs +0.9%; Korea – vs +0.8% vs flat vs +0.2% vs +0.8%; India closed vs +0.9% vs +0.4% vs +1.9%!!! U.S. equity futures little changed after opening weak: DOW +11 (range 61); SPX +2.40 (21); NDQ +10 (36). I.S. Markets opening lower.

Global Money Markets: Libor: 0.256% 3 mos.; 0.354%; 6 mos. – still hovering near their recent record lows! The Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.09% and is 0.12-0.14%, still at the 9-month high. T-Bills: 0.01%, 1 mo; 0.02%, 3 mos; 0.07% 6 mos.; 0.15% 1-yr. – back from 0.25% – the 12-month high, like watching paint dry!

U.S. Treasury Bonds: slightly weaker after Friday’s strong rally: 10’s 1.82% -3/16; 30’s 2.38% -1/4; Long TIP: 0.61%! -1/8.

European Bonds: Yields rising…especially Greece pos-elections – Friday’s rally MUST have been short-covering; Portugal and Italy lower: Germany 0.38% +2; UK 1.50% +3 (low is 1.46%); France 0.57% +3; Italy 1.50%! -2; Spain 1.39% +2; Portugal 2.37%!!! -6; Greece 8.74% +56!!! vs 8.21% -36!!! – recent range: 7.03% to 10.29%!!! – cycle low: 5.42%; Crisis high: 12.57%. Japan: 0.22% — low is 0.19%!

Dollar Index struck a new high o/n of $95.527, highest since 9/30/03! Currently 94.862 +.10. Euro: fell again to 1.1098 o/n, now 1.1270 +.0042 – at an 11-year low!!! Sterling barely off its $1.4952 low from Thursday at $1.5024,+.0015, with critical support at $1.48, a double-bottom from 3/29-31/2013! Yen still consolidating at 118.47 +.29 – support is 119, the 40/50 day m/a’s! 1/15’s 115.86 was best since 12/17/14’s 115.57 – weak since peak Oct. ‘14: 105.23; recent best 2/4/14 @ 100.76!!! Record: 12/30/11: 75.35!!!

Commodities: Gold weaker for a 2nd session after closing at $1300.70 – first above $1300 since 8/15! Currently $1286.60 -$6.00, with $1275.60 the session low. (Note Gold stocks did NOT rally with it! Major Res at $1296.40, the 8/28/14 high! Support is the 200 day ($1255). Silver hanging in at $18.12 -.18 with an $18.49 high just below the 200 day (tested three times in last four sessions)! Crude is at $45.90 +.31, after trading down to $44.35 just 15 cents above 1/13’s low: $44.20, lowest since 4/21/09!!! $32.40-.70 is the 12/19/08 and 1/20/09 low is final support!

Friday’s Market Summary:

A weird session – again? The indices were mixed with Dow Transports diving 1.8% after that nice 2.9% gain – nobody said it would be easy…except the talking heads on CNBC.

The rest ranged from DOWN 0.8% (Dow 30), to +0.2% (both Nasdaqs).S&P 500 wsa -0.6%; Russell 2000 off just 01%; struggling NYSE Financials -0.8% with KBW Banks off 1.4%! Sorry, left out Dow Utilities, +0.3% – what a surprise…it took honors – again!

Note that volume dropped 500M shares to 3.6B; A/D’s and Breadth were negative (ex-Nasdaq Breadth +1.3x?; new 53 233k highs up sharply to 433, with new lows a tad lower at an average 112. VIX broke its four day decline – which never took it out of a bearish state – closing at 16.66 +.26.

 

Total NYSE Volume fell to an average 3.6B shares vs 4.1B vs 3.64B vs 3.9B vs 4B vs 4.18B vs 4.37B – 12/24’s 12-month low was 1.4B shares. Shares traded on the NYSE floor also declined to a still above average 785M shares vs 890M vs 771M (2nd lowest of ’15) vs 861M vs 976M shares – the ‘15 high. 12/24’s 349M was the 12-month low…average is 739M shares! Since 1/5 the average is 849M shares – still heavily waited to the downside. The average for Dec. peaked at 979M shares on Dec. 22nd and has been declining steadily.

Advance/Declines slightly negative for the 6th time in 9 sessions. NYSE: -1.2x+3.5x! vs +1.7x vs -1.6x vs +4.4x! Nasdaq -1.3x vs +2.7x vs -1.4x vs -1.5x vs +3x! vs -3.5x!!! Breadth was mixed: NYSE -2x vs +4.2x!!! vs +2.8x vs -1.5x vs +6.9x!!!; Nasdaq +1.3x vs +3.7x!!! vs +1.3x vs 1:1? vs +3.3x! vs -4.9x!!!. New 52 Week Highs surged to 433 vs 259 vs 200 vs 327 vs 323 – their range for the last 12 mos. is 39-612!!! New Lows fairly even at 112 vs 122 vs 177 vs 237 vs 216 vs 282 vs 386 (12/16’s high was 712!!!) The 12-month range is 24-1043!!! S&P VIX had a range of 15.81-17.09 but closed higher at 16.66 +.26 – first increase in five sessions. Thursday’s high is highest since 12/16’s 25.20, which was second only to 10/17’s (31.06!) – highest since 11/2//11!!! Average of the past 12 months is 14.53 and now steadily climbing, with a low of 10.28!…high close was 26.25 on 10/15/14!

U.S. Bond Market closed strong: 10’s 1.80%! +5/8 (1.72% low yield); 30’s 2.37% +1-1/2 (2.36%); Long TIP 0.60% +1-7/8 (0.57%). The score is now 13 rally days in the last 20.

Gold closed weaker at $1292.60 -$8.10 in an inside session following Thursday’s high of $1307.80, highest since 8/19/14! – and closed at $1307.00 +$13.30. Just one close above $1300 since 8/15/14! (note gold stocks did not benefit). Res again at $1300-02, with support at the 200 day ($1255) again! 11/7’s low, $1130.40 is the current 12-month low! This is the first close above $1300 since 8/15. 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! MAJOR SUP at the 200 day $1255, then the 40 day $1216, followed by the 50 day at $1209. The 12-month high is $1392.60 on 3/17/14, highest high since 9/4/13. Silver, Ran up to $18.54 – taking out a double top with Wednesday’s $18.50 – and touched the 200 day ($18.54), before closing at $18.30 -.06. Is this the long awaited breakout? $14.12 is the recent low (12/1/14), not seen in more than five years!

Crude, which hit $51.27 last Thursday, highest since 1/5, had a new low close of $45.59 -.72, in the wake of Thursday’s ‘negative’ key reversal – this follows the fifth straight, and most significant direction reversal without going anywhere! The pain trade is still not over as $50-52 remains formidable resistance. Tuesday’s low was $44.20, lowest since 3/09. 12/17’s high was $58.98 Consider: 10/25/14’s high was $84.83. There have been 63!!! handles since peaking at $107.73 on June 13th, highest since 9/19/13, and if is off 57% since then! The record high of $147.27 was on 9/30/08. RES at the 40 day ($55.90!!!), then the 50 day ($59.88!!!), and lastly the 200 day ($87.55) – be careful as the averages continue to fall so fast that they could become support soon, precipitating a rally! The range is $44.20-$112.24 since 3/1/12. Note that following the financial crisis it traded down to $32.40 on 12/31/08 from a high of $147.27 just three months earlier (-78%!!!). TB’s bet? $43.83, or else…that is the June 2009 low if that fails, a test of that $32.40 low…by the way the decline from the 9/20/08 high to the low took EXACTLY 6 months – we are now in the 8th month of decline!!!

 

Some Random thoughts:

You may hate the Dems and/or Obama, but 60 Minutes interviewed House Speaker Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell last night. TB will grant you that he wasn’t pleased with Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi (who hails from arguably the farthest left district in the country), but listen to what these two clowns said:

Did you hear anything in SOTU that you feel could get done in this term?

Boehner: a few but not much

What about tax increases?

That is a dead issue…D-E-A-D

Note this is any increases, as in the gospel according to Grover Norquist; also Obama’s proposal was to close loopholes – anyone doubt that this should be done (carried interest, etc.)? Also, the tax increase keeps all incomes below $250k unchanged or lower, and the $250k marginal rate is extended to $1MM…and above that it is just the amount OVER $1MM…something they refuse to mention!

What about immigration?

Boehner: We are in favor of helping those in country but not the way the president did it.

What about free education at junior colleges?

Boehner: We want to help people but have to review the cost (then launched into a dissertation on the deficit that was without merit as it has declined under Obama

McConnell chimed in that Obama wants to eliminate ‘529’ college savings plans which will ‘hurt the middle class.’

Guess McConnell doesn’t read the studies that show the biggest users are the wealthy, and what Obama obviously meant to was reform it. In case you didn’t know, it has to be used for education by the age of 25 BUT that person can then pass it on to someone else (not necessarily a family member). This can be repeated over and over again. That is insane and only benefits one class: the wealthy. Reform it! As with the ACA, neither Boehner, McConnell, or anyone in the GOP has offered any suggestions for reform, choosing to eliminate ACA with a ‘promise’ to enact a new law…just trust them!

What about infrastructure? It is in dire need of upgrading

Boehner: We agree on the importance of it but you know, with more efficient cars, revenues are declining so we will have to see…

What about raising the gasoline tax? It hasn’t been raised in decades (only ONCE, since initiated by Eisenhower)?

Boehner” No increase.

McConnell then launched into a statement that Obama doesn’t get it. His popularity is declining (ignoring that it has risen since SOTU), and that the people have rejected his plans.

What about the polls that show congressional approval at just 15% – a new low?

Boehner: That needs work.

Note the Iowa confab last week organized by an extremist conservative which is why Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and Mark Rubio ducked it. Instead they had such luminaries as Donald Trump (who blasted Romney), Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and the indomitable Carly Fiorina (who failed at running H-P and now wants to run the country? Keep talking, Carly and you will chase more people away from the Grand OLD Party. Huckabee went off the deepend on a statement about God. Newt Gingrich praised (didn’t sound convincing) the broad number of wannabe’s…perhaps forgetting that that is what happened in the last primary which forced Mitt to the right without being able to state how he implemented state health insurance in Massachusetts.

That is the government we have…it will be interesting to see what happens in two years: reversal of fortune? Pun intended…have a great week! Non corundum illegitimi!!!

TB

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12/12/14…Congress is squeaking…can we oil it?

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “I play golf in the low 80’s. If it’s any hotter, I don’t play.” – Joe E. Lewis
Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” – Truman Capote…indecipherable to TB but then he always was…
Bloomberg Top Stories:
*U.S. Stock Futures Decline With European Equities as Oil Fall Below $60 – $58.70!
*IEA Lowers Forecast for Global Oil Demand for Fourth Time in Five Months – Egad!
*Wholesale Prices in U.S. DECLINED MORE Than Economists Forecast on Energy!
*Investors Dash for Europe – U.S. Debt as Moribund Inflation, Oil Spur Demand
*U.S. Spending Fight Moves to Senate as House Passage Caps Day of Discord – sick!
*Two Sigma Returns 47% as Hedge Fund Machines Beat Humans Confounded by Oil – !
*Junk-bond Well Runs Dry as Oil Shock Quells Debt Issuance – bet GE sells bonds!
*Record Oil Tankers seen Sailing to china Signals Price-Slump Stockpiling – not good!
*Democrats Find Voic in Proxy Fights With Wall Street After Election Loss
*$70 Oil Is Norway’s Break-Even for Policy Setting, Central Banks Says – $48 for shale!
*The New Guide to Trading on Insider Information Without the Risk of Prison – SICK!!!
*Mexico Shale Boom Outlook Dims as U.S. Drillers Struggle with Rout at Home – oops
Thursday’s Market Summary:
Hah, TB you don’t know your tail from a hole in the ground…idiot! See, the end of the world didn’t materialize…we had a nice rally! Is that so? Early in the morning, this scribe might have agreed while he scratched his head pondering the meaning of the word ‘huh’. Let’s recap: Gold still holding steady above $1200, Crude continuing to plunge – could we see gas below $2???; Bonds. which had been up slightly overnight as they probed their low recent yields, turned turtle on the stock rally which took the Dow up over 210 points…then stagnated…as if afraid to look down…and then it did, nearly back to ZERO on the day, before closing up 63, or 0.4% – weakest of the indices along with the Russell 2000. The rest were ALL up 0.5% and you know how TB feels about coincidences! Ok, Dow Transports were up 0.8%, but the winner was once again, the affable (not laughable) Dow Utilities +1%! YTD, w/divvies reinvested they are up 29% despite a few minor setbacks. Compare to second place Dow Transports +28.7% – the winner until this month…December can be a very cold month. NDQ 100 is up 24.7%; Dow +10.9%, and S&P 500 15.4%. Still pretty good but think how much better you would sleep at night collecting those dividends. Speaking of dividends, honk if you think ‘tax-dodging’ IBM is going to the several billion dollar increase by repatriating dollars…no way…they will issue debt here to pay for them, further insuring they pay no U.S. taxes…thanks, Jack Welch and his clone Jeff Immelt…you know, the guy Obama appointed to head his commission on ‘small businesses’ – isn’t that like making Count Dracula head of a blood bank? You bet! …and they are the last honest ‘big’ bank left in the country! Now look at Volume…3.9B steady, while A/D’s and Breadth were barely positive in comparison to yesterday’s NYSE Breadth of MINUS 15.5x!!! Ne 52 week highs steady at a feeble 201 while new lows declined but just to a still high 364! Saving the best for last, the S&P VIX dropped sharply on the open BUT just to 15.94 which is still very bearish, then, even as the market sat indecisive slowly began to rise, accelerating into the close ending at a HUGE 20.08 +1.55 (+8%)…and from the session low: up 26%!!! Unheard of! What a setup for next Friday’s options expiration…quadruple witching and the last one of the year. Could be downright ugly!

Total NYSE Volume near even at 3.93B shares vs 4.05B vs 3.95B vs 3.72B vs 3.36B. Average volume since 9/30 remains about 3.6B shares or about 600M more than the 12-month average. Shares traded on the NYSE floor (aka REAL) slipped but remains high at 824M shares vs 913M (1st 900M day since October!) vs 834M vs 770M vs 755M, For comparison purposes, for the prior 12 months it is a historically weak 721M shares…but since 10/1: 814B shares – including that HUGE 1.22B share day – highest since 9/19, followed by two more 1B plus days leading to options expiry!. The lowest was 11/1’s 619M share session. April 30 – September 30 we had just SEVEN 800M shares…since 10/1: now at 21 – just one in Nov, and SIX 900M+ days. Now FOUR 800M days and one 900M day for Dec.

A/D’s unimpressive: NYSE: +1.4x vs -4.6x!!! vs +1.5x vs -2.3x vs +1.1x; Nasdaq +1.5x vs -4.6x!!! vs +2.1x vs -2.9x vs +1.9x. Breadth was similar: NYSE +1.2x vs -15.5x!!! (Unbelievable!) vs +1.4x vs -3.8x!!! vs 1:1; Nasdaq +2.2x vs -2.5x vs +2.1x vs -3.3x vs +1.6x. New 52 Week Highs steady at a weak 201 vs 215 vs 207 vs 386 vs 363 – their range for the year is 39-612!!! New Lows fell back but remain strong at 364 vs 460 vs 467! vs 416 vs 283. The 2014 range is 24-1043!!! S&P VIX attempted to decline but only made it to 15.94 – this despite the early rally – then worked its way back to 20.13, highest since 10/10 before closing at 20.08 +1.55 or +26%!!! Those bearish extremes that had a high of 31.06 (highest since 11/28/11!!!), are now a big possibility with options expiry just a week away. The average of the past 12 months is 13.98, with a low of 10.28!…high close of 26.25 on 10/15/14!

U.S. bond market closed mixed but after being hit early in the session. Note on 12/2, the 30 yr bottomed at 3.01%. Updating the recent 12 month low yields (10’s 2.09%; 30’s 2.80%!; and long TIP 0.83%), 10’s closed at 2.16%! -1/32; 30’s 2.80%! NEW LOW +5/16, and the long TIP 0.85%!!! +1/2. Overnight rallying strong: 10’s 2.12%! +3/8; 30’s 2.77%!!! ANOTHER LOW +3/4; long TIP 0.83% +7/16 – tied for low!
Libor update: 0.240% 3 mos.; 0.338% 6 mos. Both still near their recent record lows! The Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.09% and is currently 0.11-0.13% – a 9-month high. T-Bills: 0.01%! one-month; 0.03% 3 mos; 0.19%!!! – why is it rising?
Foreign bond yields lower, ex-Greece which is nearing 9%!!! (Benchmark is 10yr): Germany 0.63%! -5!; UK 1.82%! -8!; France 0.89%! -5!; Italy 2.03% -2; Spain 1.86% -1; Portugal 2.93% -1; Greece 8.88%!!! vs 8.70%! vs 8.24%! vs 7.71% vs 7.03% +8. Not for the faint of heart! 10/16’s close was 8.54%! – cycle low: 5.42%; Crisis high: 12.57%. Japan: 0.39 -1.

Gold is holding nicely safely above $1200 closing at $1225.60 -$3.30 – a ‘temporizing bid’ again two days after that strong rally and close that had a session high of $1238.00 – highest since 10/22 and the first REAL $1200+ close since the selloff began. Well above the 40/50 day again for just the 6th time since 10/21! 11/7’s low was $1130.40, a new 12-month low!). This was only the 2nd time in 31 sessions without a print below $1200. Last close above $1300 was on 8/15. 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! Support is at $1200 (psych) and the 40 day, the 50 day $1203, RES at the 200 day $1270 – all have bottomed! The 12-month high is $1392.60 on 3/17, highest high since 9/4/13. 11/7’s low was $1130.40! Overnight it is slightly weaker at $1223.90 -$1.70 – holding nicely with a low of just $1218! There have now been 13 highs above $1200 since 10/31. Silver trading near its $17.27 high at $17.08! This following a $14.12 recent low, not seen in more than five years!

Crude dove yet again to yet a new low 5+ year low (7/09), of $59.32 –it’s 6th straight ‘lower low’ before closing at $59.95 -$1.79! Consider: 10/25’s high was $84.83. There have now been 46!!! handles since peaking at $107.73 on June 13th, highest since 9/19/13. The record high of $147.27 was on 9/30/08, the low since on 5/15/09 is $56.07: $89.85 is the average! Recent rally high and close are $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. RES at the 40 day ($75.11!), then the 50 day ($77.45!), and lastly the 200 day (94.48!), all STILL increasing their rate of decline! We are now headed for $50!!! The recent range is now $59.32-$112.24 since 3/1/12. Overnight it is plunging through support again with another new low of $58.56 (now its 47th handle)!_It is now $58.70 -$1.25!!! Note that following the financial crisis it traded down to $32.40 on 12/31/08 from a high of $147.27 just three months earlier (-78%!!!).

Overnight Global Markets:

European equities EXTREMELY weak – now three days! Asia mixed, Japan higher? UK -1.5%! vs -0.8% vs +0.1% vs -1.5%!!! vs -0.9%; France -1.5%! vs -0.4% vs +0.1% vs -1.8%!!! vs -0.9% vs +1.3% vs -0.9%; Germany -1.4%! vs +0.1% vs +0.6% vs -1.6%!!! vs -0.5% vs +1.3%; Japan +0.7% vs -0.9% vs -2.3%!!! vs -0.7% vs +0.1%; Hang Seng -0.3% vs -0.9% vs +0.1% vs -2.3%!!! vs +0.2%; Korea +0.3% vs -1.5%!!! vs -1.3%! vs -0.4% vs -0.4%; India -0.9% vs -0.8% vs +0.1% vs -1.2%! vs -1.2%! U.S. equity futures SLAMMED – and yes, Thursday WAS a dead cat bounce? DOW -105 (124); SPX -10.70 (140; NDQ -24 (44). Worse, it is ‘orderly’!

Some random thoughts:

…with oil plunging…$58.56 overnight…and shale drillers requiring $48 to breakeven (not tht that matters because they will have to keep pumping to service debt and other expenses), Norway, and now Mexico are in trouble…and not related to oil is Greece which may have to tap the well yet again (ECB not ‘oil’). Note that Greek 10-year bond yields have risen to near 9% from 7% in just FOUR days! Also, Wholesale Prices are plunging now on Crude (gasoline is in CPI not in WPI), and imagine IF the Fed had tightened in its ill-advised inflation concerns! They (like Obama should have done), had better stay focused on jobs…and note that a lowering of inflation brings them closer to that zero inflection point that Bernanke so feared.

Meanwhile, Congress is now in a battle…actually two over the debt ceiling: the first along party lines (GOP outcasts objecting), and second, Dems and ‘across-the-aisle’ Republicans joining hands over the absurd and criminal idea of increasing political contribution amounts for the wealthy – their base! Boehner continuing to be a jerk while McConnell and Obama seem to be in détente. Technically the government is out of money but that will be solved today at the last possible minute…unless Sen. Ted Cruz holds sway.

Meanwhile the stock market is more volatile than nitro glycerine – a fool’s pastime.

Get out of here while you can and enjoy your weekend!

TB

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11/24/14…we have a mandate~!

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be look.” – Carolyn Wells

 

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “What is right to be done cannot be done too soon.”

– Jane Austen

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*European Stocks Strengthen with Spanish, Italian Bonds as Ruble Advances – strange?

*The $400B Bond Mismatch That Kept Bear Market at Bay Seen Enduring – shortage

*Hagel Stepping Down as U.S. Defense Secretary Under Pressure – sad, really…he tried…hmmm…what if the idiot, McConnell holds up any nominations?

*Stryker Is Said to Be Weighing a Bid for Smith & Nephew as Standstill Ends

*Snowstorm Will Hit Much of Northeastern U.S. This Weekend With NYC Spared

*BT in Talks to Buy O2 From Telefonica, Is Said to Discuss Purchase of EE – o ge?

*Iran, World Powers Agree (sic) to Extend Nuclear Talks to July 1 as Gaps Remain –ugh

*UPS Teaches 95,000 Holiday Recruits to Fend Off Dogs, Dodge New York Taxis

*OPEC’s Easy-Decision Days Are Seen as Over by Former Qatari Oil Minister

*Ukraine Decision on Joining NATO to Be Made by Referendum, President Says

*Brazil Corruption Probe Threatens Petrobras’s Record Debt Financing Plan – !!!

*Rand Paul Shows Early Strength for Presidential Bid in New Hampshire Poll

*Beef the New Red Bull as Hong Kong Finance Crowd Embraces Hamburger Craze

*Profit on 700% Loans Flows Through Indian Tribe to medly Opportunity fund

This week’s economic calendar is full of important indicators. The highlight of the week will be the Q3 GDP 2nd Estimate (Tuesday) and October Personal Income (Wednesday). We will also get November Dallas Fed Manufacturing (Monday), September Case-Shiller Home Prices, November Consumer Confidence, November Richmond Fed Manufacturing (Tuesday), October Durable Goods Orders, November Chicago PMI, November Consumer Sentiment Final and October New Home Sales (Wednesday). Courtesy of Economic Advisory Service

Friday’s Market Summary

If you stuck around Friday, you must have felt like you were on ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’ (that, by the way was a ‘D’ ticket ride at Disneyland when it first opened. First, right out of the chute the Dow popped 217 points to the session high of 17894! Only an opening gap of 2 points in that…which produced a new record high for the Dow. The rest of the day was spent retracing to a low of 17763 (+41) – not by coincidence at expiration (10:30am EST), and then gyrating higher to close up 91…still a record high, but…

But when you look at the final results, you have to wonder ‘what was the big deal?’ Fact is, it wasn’t other than the new record high ( for the S&P 500 too: 2063.50). Both were up 0.5% along with Dow Transports, but look at the rest: BOTH Nasdaq’s up just 0.2% (reflected in A/D’s and Breadth which were strong for NYSE stocks), while the Russell 2000 closed up just 0.1%?!? Compare to Dow Utilities up 0.4%. Faux rally? Dunno.

New 542 week highs doubled to 359 while new lows fell back to 66. The S&P VIX wa as high as 13.80, a day after topping at 15.74! It closed below ‘13’ finally, at 12.90 -.68, back on the cusp of being neutral again. Volume was high…natch. Digest that!

Total NYSE Volume rose to 3.9B shares, highest since 11/4, vs 3.1B, lowest in more than a week, vs 3.4B vs 3.41B vs 3.13B. Average volume since 9/30 is about 3.6B shares and slipping, or about 600M more than the 12-month average. Shares traded on the NYSE floor – affectionately referred to by TB as REAL volume also rose to a strong 1.04B shares highest since 10/31 (obviously expiration related!),from 662M, lowest in 8 sessions, vs 738M vs 731M vs 694M. For comparison purposes, for the prior 12 months it is a historically weak 712M shares…but since 10/1: 819B shares and slipping – including that HUGE 1.22B share day – highest since 9/19, followed by two more 1B plus days leading to options expiry!. The lowest was 10/6’s 696M share session. April 30 – September 30 we had just SEVEN 800M shares…since 10/1: 16, and FIVE 900M+ days.

A/D’s were strong on the Big Board but minimal on Nasdaq: NYSE: +2x vs +1.9x vs -1.6x vs +1.6x vs -1.3x; Nasdaq +1.1x? vs -2.6x! vs +1.5x vs -1.9x vs -1.1x. Breadth was even better for NYSE: NYSE +3.7x!?! vs +2.1x vs -1.6x vs +2x vs 1:1; Nasdaq +1.3x? vs +2.8x! vs -2.2x! vs +2x vs -1.7x. New 52 Week Highs doubled to 359 vs 173 vs 135 vs 304 vs 242 – their range for the year is 39-612!!! New Lows plunged to a very weak 66 vs 104 vs 141 vs 117 vs 115. The 2014 range is 24-1043!!! S&P VIX was tamed with a high of 13.80, a day after hitting a very bearish 15.74, highest since 11/4! It closed at the session low (for a 2nd day) of 12.90 -.68. This is its 19th sub-15 close since peaking on 10/15. Heading back toward those bearish extremes that had a high of 31.06 (highest since 11/28/11!!!)? You decide. The average of the past 12 months is 14.00, with a low of 10.28!…high close of 26.25 on 10/15/14! Follow the bouncing ball…

U.S. bond market also closed higher led by the long TIP. The recent 12 month low yields (10’s 2.09%; 30’s 2.87%; and long TIP 0.83%), 10’s closed at 2.31% +1/8; 30’s 3.02% +3/4, and the long TIP 0.99%! +1-1/4! Overnight back to weak: 10’s 2.33% -3/16; 30’s 3.04% -7/16; and long TIP 1.01% -9/16.  

Libor update: 0.233% 3 mos.; 0.327% 6 mos., both steady and just above new record lows! The Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.09% and is steady at 0.09-0.10%. T-Bills: 0.3%, one-month, 0.00%! 3 mos, 0.12% one year.

Foreign bond yields mixed; PIIGS lower AND they plunged further late Friday??? (Benchmark is 10yr): Germany 0.78% +1; UK 2.06% +1; France 1.11% –; Italy 2.17% -4; Spain 1.96% -4; Portugal 2.94% -4; Greece 7.71%!!! -2 – like buttah! 10/16’s close was 8.54%! – cycle low: 5.42%; Crisis high: 12.57%. Japan: 0.45% –.

Gold closed slightly higher but unable to hold the session high of $1208.20 – higest since 10/30 and first time above the 40/50 day since 10/21!, before closing at $1198.40 +$6.90…still hanging on to 11/14’s ‘positive key reversal’. 11/7’s low was $1130.40, a new 12-month low!). The last 18 sessions have had prints below $1200 – first time since 12/31/13 Last close above $1300 was on 8/15. 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! Res/SUP is at $1200 (psychological), then the 40 day at $1204, the 50 day $1208, then the 200 day at $1277. The 12-month high is $1392.60 on 3/17, highest high since 9/4/13. $1130.40. 11/7’s low was $1130.40! Overnight, range is $1204.50-$1192.80 (only the 3rd time over $1200 since 10/31), and currently $1198.30 -.10.. Silver traded up $16.66, highest since 10/30, and back from 11/5’s low of $15.12, more than a five year low.

Crude also closed slightly higher at $76.51 +.66, but was unable to hold the session high of $77.83 (low wsa$75.62!). Six days ago it set a new recent low of $74.07, lowest since 9/17/10!!! 10/25’s high was $84.83. There have been 33!!! handles since peaking at $107.73 on June 13th, highest since 9/19/13. The record high of $147.27 was on 9/30/08, the low since on 12/30/11 is $74.95: $93.60 is the midpoint!!! Recent rally high and close are $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. RES at the 40 day ($81.91!), then the 50 day ($84.12!), and lastly the 200 day (96.69!), all continuing to accelerate to the downside! A failure here could take us to $70! The recent range is now $74.07-$112.24 since 3/1/12. Overnight it is weak again…unable to even ‘touch’ $77! Currently $76.17 -.34.

Global equities higher across the board; Japan closed: UK – vs +1% vs -0.6% vs -0.1% vs +0.5%; France +0.7% vs +2.1% vs -1.1%! vs +0.6% vs +0.7%; Germany +0.7% vs +2% vs -0.6% vs +0.7% vs +1.2%; Japan closed vs +0.3% vs -0.1% vs -0.3% vs +2.2% vs -3%; Hang Seng +2%!!! vs +0.4% vs -0.1% vs -0.7% vs -1.1% vs -1.2%; Korea +0.7% vs +0.4% vs -0.5% vs – vs +1.2%!; India +0.6% vs +1% vs +0.1% vs -0.5% vs -0.1%. U.S. equity futures also rallying: DOW +45 (range 50); SPX +5.80 (7); NDQ +15 (5??? But gapped up on the open 12 points!?!).

 

Some random thoughts:

…you have to feel sorry for Chuck Hagel…and now you have to feel sorry for us because with his resignation (remember he was a Republican senator…who ticked off his party by serving Obama!). Save some ‘sorry’ for us as the new, improved, McConnell ‘hold up all nominations’ swings into high gear. How dare Obama defy the will of the people…oops, the GOP who perceives that they are the people after ‘buying’ the elections (read: doing the bidding of the Koch brothers and a few other billionaires). Sorry, guys, but the public wants immigration reform and you are fighting it…sure Arizona is opposed…and Texas, but you aren’t asking the ag people who require that labor to make a living and get their products to market…all the way from cotton to wine!

Once again, one of the two dinosaurs believes they have a ‘mandate’, and once again they misread the vote count…perhaps because those doing the tallying are the same ones who funded the ‘candidates’ – only this time some of them didn’t win.

Tomorrow discussion of the latest Moyers & Co. edition with Lawrence Lessig and Zephyr Teachout (really her name), who ran against the ‘invincible’. Self-declared dictator…er governor…of New York and garnered 35% of the vote in the primary…this, without a single television ad! Scared Cuomo out of his wits – but now that he is safe again, back to business as usual. Cuomo, if you recall, created a commission on corruption saying no area of government was off limits…that is, until they said they were going to study his people…NYET!!! Get out of here. Hmmm, what could he possibly have to hide?

Tune in to Moyers & Co. for what’s wrong with America and how we all can fix it: Moyers: Lessig and Teachout

Have a prosperous week!

TB

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11/6/14…let’s all work together (snicker)

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “I have a great dog. She’s half Labrador, half pit bull. She might bite off my leg, but she’ll bring it back to me.” – Jimi Celeste

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf it a flower.”

– Albert Camus…aww….

 

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*First-Time Jobless Claims in U.S. Declined More Than estimated Last Week, -10k

*Productivity in U.S. Rises More than Forecast, Curbing Costs: +2% BUT Wages just +0.3%

*ECB Keeps Rates Unchanged at Record Lows as Draghi Tests Limits of Power – Unanimous!

*Fed’s Concern With Repeat of 1937 Tightening Blunder Is Echoed by Markets – why raise?

*Barclays CEO Sees Fewer Bankers Earning Top Salaries After Reorganization – not Dimon!

*SNC-Lavalin Cutting 4,000 Jobs Amid Slump, Reduces Annual Profit Forecast

*OPEC Reduces Almost All Demand Forecast for Its Crude on U.S. Shale Boom

*Walgreens Said to Plan Bond Sale to Help finance Alliance Boots Acquisition – count TB out!

*Auto-Parts, Dollar Stores Seen Gaining From Oil’s Drop – they always gain…high or low!

*Buzz Out of Washing Takes On Whole New Meaning After Vote – you don’t say?

*Darts Champion Taylor Powers His Way From Factory Worker to Millionaire – not with darts!

*Obama’s Immigration Vow Clashes With McConnell’s as Agenda Tests Goodwill

*Saudi Suspect in Attack on Shiites Crossed Over Country’s Southern Border

*New York Senate Takeover by republicans Seen as Thwarting Mayor De Blasio

*Minimum Wage, Pot Legalization Seen as Paths to Votes for Democrats in ‘16

*Ukraine Accuses Russia of Deploying Troops as Cease-Fire Weakens in East – can it be???

*Harsh Winter Outlook Just Got More Dire as Snow Keeps Fallng in Siberia – and in no. MN!

Wednesday’s Market Summary:

Some gotta win, some gotta lose…that’s the way the numbers worked yesterday: Both Nasdaq’s -0.1%, Dow and S&P +0.6%, Dow Transports +0.5%, and the struggling Russell 2000 +0.1%. Darn, forgot to mention Dow Utilities: +2%!!! Now up 29.1% for the past 12 months with dividends reinvested!!! Don’t that beat all! It most certainly does, stock bulls! Volume slightly lower again at 3.76B shares; A/D’s and Breadth modestly positive, new 52 week highs jumped to a strong 390 from 316 while new lows were steady at a high 155. Vix declined again for the first time in three sessions to 14.17 -.72…not quite back to it’s 14.09 low and the range was entirely ‘14’s.

That’s all you need to know – period! Whatever you think, that is not going to change your mind.

Total NYSE Volume slipped to 3.76B shares from 3.92B vs 3.53B vs 4.26B vs 3.63B: Average volume for October is 3.7B, or about 700M more than the recent average. Shares traded on the NYSE floor – affectionately referred to by TB as REAL volume lower but still above average at 796M shares vs 833M vs 794M vs 1.04B vs 763M. For comparison purposes, for the prior 12 months it is a historically weak 712M shares…but since 10/1: 865 shares – including that HUGE 1.22B share day – highest since 9/19, followed by two more 1B plus days leading to options expiry!. The lowest was 10/6’s 696M share session. April 30 – September 30 we had just SEVEN 800M shares…since 10/1, 16, and FIVE 900M+ days.

A/D’s were modestly positive: NYSE: +1.4x vs -1.8x v -1.1x vs +3.3x vs +1.7x; Nasdaq +1.1x vs -1.3x vs -1.2x vs +2.3x vs +1.7x. Breadth was similar: NYSE +1.7x vs -2.3x vs -1.1x vs +4x! vs +1.5x; Nasdaq +1.4x vs -1.2x vs +1.4x vs +3.3x! vs +1.1x. New 52 Week Highs sharply higher at 390 vs 316 vs 416 vs 612 vs 351 – their range for the year is now 39-612!!! New Lows unchanged at 155 vs 155 vs 94 vs 137 vs 153. The 2014 range is 24-1043!!! S&P VIX closed lower at 14.17 -.72 for its 7th sub-15 close since peaking on 10/15. Still well below those bearish extremes that had a high of 31.06 (highest since 11/28/11!!!). The range stayed in the 14’s: 14.15-14.99. Remains bearish and well above 9/18’s 12.03 low close. The average of the past 12 months is 13.94, with a low of 10.32!…high close 26.35 on 10/14!

U.S. bond market closed a little weaker – oscillating and indecisive. The recent 12 month low yields (10’s 2.09%; 30’s 2.87%; and long TIP 0.83%), 10’s closed at 2.34% -3/32; 30’s 3.06% -1/4; and the long TIP 0.96% +1/32. Slightly better overnight: 10’s 2.34% +1/16; 30’s 3.06% +1/32; and long TIP 0.95% +1/16. QE’s may end, but dump $4.3 trillion???…is there an App for that?  

Libor update: 0.232% 3 mos.; 0.326% 6 mos., both steady and just above new record lows! The Fed Funds rate has averaged 0.09% and is steady at 0.08-0.10%. T-Bills range from 0.03%, one-month, to just 0.09% one year!!! Foreign bond yields a little lower, led by PIIGS (Benchmark is 10yr): Germany 0.83% –; UK 2.23% -3; France 1.19% –; Italy 2.39% -4; Spain 2.14% -5; Portugal 3.19% -7; Greece 7.73% -10!. 10/16’s close was 8.54%! – cycle low: 5.42%; Crisis high: 12.57%. Japan: 0.46% –.

Gold was slammed hard, falling to $1137.10, lowest since 6/30/10! It then came back but still closed at $1145.70 -$22, that’s $72 in five sessions! That recent intraday high of $1255.60, highest since 9/10/14, has been totally rejected. The last 7 sessions have had prints below $1200 first time since 12/31/13 Last close above $1300 was on 8/15. 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! Res is at $1200 (psychological), then the 40 day at $1219, the 50 day $1228, and the 200 day at $1282, and accelerating the fall. Recent high was $1392.60 on 3/17, highest high since 9/4/13. Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – obliterated! Overnight it declined to $1137.20 and is now $1143.90 -$1.80. Silver remains weak and also put in a new yesterday of $15.12, more than a five year low and heading towards $14.65, a multi-decade low!!! Hanging on by a thread.

Crude closed higher finally at $78.68 +1.49, following Monday’s intraday low of $75.84, lowest since 10/14/11!!! 10/25’s high was $84.83. There have now been 32!!! handles since peaking at $107.73 on June 13th at $107.73 highest since 9/19/13 (a huge down session which put it in freefall). The record high of $147.27 was on 9/30/08, the low since on 12/30/11 is $74.95: $93.60 is the midpoint!!! Recent rally high and close are $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. RES at the 40 day ($86.88), then the 50 day ($88.26), and lastly the 200 day (97.95), all accelerating to the downside. The range is now $75.84-$112.24 since 3/1/12. Overnight it is slightly weaker at $78.20 -.48 in an inside session.

Global equities modestly lower, ex-Korea, India closed: UK -0.1% vs +1.1% vs -0.6% vs +1.1%! vs -0.6%; France -0.3% vs +1.6%! vs -0.6% vs +2.3%!!! vs -0.4%; Germany -0.2% vs +1.7%! vs -0.6% vs +2.1%!!! vs -1%; Japan -0.9% vs +0.4% vs +2.7%!!! vs closed vs +4.8%!!! Hang Seng -0.2% vs -0.6% vs -0.3% vs -0.3% vs +1.3%!; Korea +0.3% vs -0.2% vs -0.9% vs -0.4% vs +0.3%; India closed vs +0.2% vs – vs -0.1% vs +1.9%! U.S. equity futures slightly weaker in a narrow range: Dow -13 (range 42); SPX -3.60 (6); NDQ -4 (13).

Some random thoughts:

…gridlock is dead…long live gridlock. That is the topic of an editorial on Bloomberg today but its founder, Michael R. Bloomberg. Think of it: once again a party sweeps and once again they believe they have a mandate. Reince Prince (can you believe that name?) says look at the ‘repudiation’ of Obama’s policies…look at the new Republican governors (one race cost $130 million – for a governor!). Ah, yes, just as when Obama was first elected, the winner declares a mandate, but it is anything BUT! Here’s TB’s take…take it or leave it:

*voters are trying to break the gridlock…and it isn’t happening. They will once again be disillusioned in two years and the mandate (sic) may move back to the Dems…who knows?

*not all the GOP’er’s elected will please the party. Just as with the Tea Party, these people are more independent providing yet another challenge for House Speaker Boehner. McConnell will have it easy…and he, even worse than Reid is an angry old man. Whose idea was it to give these guys pensions? Oh, sorry, it was their idea!…for all their service (which most certainly wasn’t in the military!). An aside: TB is reading For Love of Country, a collection of stories of Iraq and Afghanistan heroism and self-sacrifice, a collaboration of Howard Schultz (Starbuck’s CEO – see not everything they do is bad), and veteran Washington Post war correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran (author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone, and Little America, on Afghanistan). The stories are gut-wrenching – too bad our elected officials who have never served are so ‘hot’ to send our young men and women in harn’s way…watch John McCain as he demands ‘boots on the ground’ to fight ISIL…at least he served and was a POW, yet he wants to commit American lives once again.

*The average age of the newly-elected GOP’er’s is 39, meaning it will be harder to get them to drink the kool-aid. Or how about the ‘cow-castrating’ Joni Ernst, who says she will use that experience to get the Dems in line? Just what America needs now…another ideologue!

*GOP continues to fight the last battle: the deficit, which is lower than when Obama took office. Won’t spend on infrastructure (power grid, highways, bridges), and thanks to their pledge to Grover Norquist, won’t even do it with a small increase in the gas tax! Oh, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), says that a $1 trillion infrastructure program could create 3 million jobs,,.so what?

*TB’s bet is that once again voters will be disappointed, but not the backers who put up those millions setting the stage for yet another record presidential election expense.

 

That’s enough for now…remember: he who dies with the most toys wins!

 

TB

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