Posts Tagged Ted Cruz

11/28/16…Kellyanne? You’re FIRED!!!

Not quite, but…

She made two cardinal sins on Sunday talk shows: first, she thought she knew

The Donald’s mind without checking in the last half hour (joke), but seriously, she claimed she had talked with him about the President-elect and he had no problems with her comments on him…hmmmm. Secondly, purportedly at least, The Donald is trying to ‘make nice’ because he knows he needs all the help he can get.

It didn’t take long for word to get out that Trump was pissed! Damn, if she leaves, is there anyone else he can grope or find attractive enough to? (“Donald, stop that…oh, okay…). That was not fair besides she is a mother of four and 49 years old…way to old for him. Note to Melania: at 46, you are on borrowed time, wheras he told Howard Stern, Ivanka was a “nice piece of ass” and at her optimum age of 35…at 45 they start walking. Good advice, no? Oops, Melania, remember when you were pregnant and he called you a “monster” and a “blimp”. Don’t worry, those are just his ‘pet’ names, right??? Right???

Word in D.C. is he is having problems filling 2nd and 3rd tier jobs…you know, the ones who do the heavy lifting, not just titular heads. Why on worth would you want to be in THAT cabinet? To save him from himself? That familiar “you’re fired!” could ring out loud and often but hey, when you’ve been elected dictator, who cares.

But this isn’t Trump Enterprises where there was no one to say that Trump Wine, and the infamous Trump U. were bad ideas…hence a misogynist, narcissist, with delusions of grandeur. But there is Congress and that honeymoon, even with his own party in control, could be very short, i.e. over before he even is sworn in?

Listen to Ted Cruz: during the battle he called him a ‘pathological liar’, no argument there because he never  backs down from a statement no matter how strong the proof. Another mark of a narcissist, because they never want to lose and his sister, the former appellate judge for New Jersey (appointed a federal judge by Reagan and to the appellate court by the evil Obama). Now he says it was ‘just in the heat of battle’. Hey, Ted, you might get that Supreme Court seat yet! Ah, but once there, in decisions he can say what he really thinks, IF he follows the Constitution, not the party.

Okay, I had some fun…factual fun, though. Now for my real thoughts (note that I voted for Clinton as the lesser of two evils since both parties let their constituents down): he has no moral compass, no compassion, cannot tell a lie…oops, truth, is crude, disgusting, and a pompous ass! He will destroy relations with our allies, and has already started by telling the Brits who their Ambassador to the U.S. should be…and he still has ‘elect’ after his title.

Ah, those poor people in manufacturing jobs and especially coal…you see, it is Obama’s regulations that are killing….killing I (he) say! Well, guess what, Donald? It’s called technology and alternative fuels (not alt, like alt-right), natural gas is an easy substitute for coal in power generation, and has fewer emissions. Oops, Donald, forgot that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese. Well, hate to tell you this but solar and wind power are growing by leaps and bounds and if Congress would ever clamp down on auto industry think where we would be?

Oh, and you have truly pissed off the alt-right (neo-nazi’s, KKK, etc.) by not prosecuting Hillary, even though you have no power to try or not to try. If you think those election night and the next few days, protests were bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…and that, Mr. Trump will be your bad!

But Mr. Trump, and I hope that President-elect is as far as you go (see last column on Dec. 19th and the electoral college, aka the 12th Amendment!). You have no credentials to be president: zero, zip, zilch, yet you continue to tell the American people how it’s gonna be.

You have cast doubt on our elections, the hallmark of any democracy, by making insane comments before the election about voter fraud, and saying you will keep us in suspense whether you will challenge the election…but not if you win.

Well, guess what Donald? You are winning, and as Judge Judy tells people who are winning: shut up! You can only hurt yourself. Yet because Clinton shows a 2 million vote lead in the ‘meaningless’ popular vote and is joining Jill Stein in a possible recount of three states, you just can’t help yourself. Now you are screaming…literally, the millions of voters were illegal. That is tantamount to treason because you are once again challenging the very backbone of America and democracy that we have preached to other nations. Also, you, Rudy Giuliani, and Kellyanne should shut up about people who backed Hillary being “cry babies”, telling Clinton and Obama to stop the protests, yet you claimed to be unaware of any alt-right hate crimes that have escalated after the election and when she pressed YOU to do something, you said, in a monotone that lacked conviction: “stop it now.” Yes, daddy!

Well, I guess I’ve got it off my chest now but i am speaking as an American, not a Republican, Democrat, etc. but as someone who thanks to you has lost all faith in our political parties…perhaps that is your rationale for becoming Dictator-in-Chef.

A disgusted TB.

 

 

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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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3/30/15…President Cruz…say it isn’t so…please!

(Before we begin, there is an issue in the Constitution which should be addressed, however with our Citizens-United-believing, 5-4 conservative SCOTUS, it won’t. First, those strict-constructionist members of the bench miss the point about the flexibility that the founding fathers deemed of utmost importance if the country was to survive. There was not even rail travel, let alone, airplane, and most people around the world never ventured more than fifty miles from their home towns. Yet if a foreign woman is visiting here and has a baby, her child is deemed an American citizen. Same goes for the illegals who have come here that upset Republicans so much. There is no way the founding fathers could have anticipated this, especially at a time when we needed people to come.

But a more troubling one is the issue that makes a Ted Cruz presidency a dangerous precedent: he was born in Canada but of an American woman, thus making him a citizen and eligible to be president – remember that Obama was only a junior Senator, elected president early in his first term! Let’s say a boy was born of a mother who had moved to Germany and supported Hitler, remained there and then her son returned to seek office as president…he would be eligible to run and what would he do as president? Worse, what if a woman was an Isis convert. That is precisely why the founding fathers wanted only naturally-born U.S. citizens eligible for the highest office. Think about it…

The GOP has run amok…they have lost interest in contributions except from major donors like Sheldon Adelson, whose beck and call is their raison d’etre. On another tack are the Koch brothers who now want to control elections in all states and even what is taught at colleges by contributions with strings to endowment funds. What has the American political system come to? These ‘true believers’ in Milton Friedman’s ‘free-market capitalism (which has been proven to be a myth in the recent financial crisis), as well as von Mises, while extrapolating the theories of Adam Smith (he would no doubt roll over in his grave, as would our founding fathers), are now serving the top 0.1% – or less – of America. But what about the growth of the black and latino vote? If you have no say on who the candidates are as they are predetermined by the money spent getting to the primaries, your vote is meaningless, which makes wonder why the GOP is so concerned over voter fraud and making it more difficult to vote – oh, forgot, the other party could get elected, but like Obama, neutralized by the contributions of the financial sector.

But first, what is happening in the Democratic Party? Which is to say, why won’t the media say anything about other possible candidates than Hillary? Especially when all of her baggage since Benghazi has piled up like the dock before a cruise ship departure. While the Benghazi claims have been defrayed…except on the ‘fact-filled’ Fox channel that caters to the old and senile with their fearless leader in search of truth, Bill O’Reilly (problem is he doesn’t search within for truth). The foreign contributions to the Clinton Foundation are problematic enough since they came in while she was secretary of state, but the destruction of those thousands of ‘personal’ emails will dog her all they way to the elections (you can’t disprove a negative, even assuming they truly were personal).

What about the most honest person in politics today, Elizabeth Warren? She has been given short-shrift by the media which is sad. Look at the attention on the GOP side to Scott Walker, and even the inelectable Mike Huckabee, and of course the subject of today’s blog: Senator Ted Cruz from the great State of Texas which brought us such luminaries as Senator Phil Gramm (and of course his lovely wife Wendy, who was a director and on the audit committee of Enron), Gov.Rick Perry, and current Governor Greg Abbott…will skip over G.W. Bush for you to evaluate.

Hillary is most likely not electable…ah, but Warren is an unknown…not exactly, and she has shown she had the guts to stand up to Jamie Dimon and the rest of the financial lobby, which cost her confirmation as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which was her creation. That of course came back to haunt Dimon when she ran for and was elected Senator from Massachusetts, where she has continued to fight valiantly for the people of Main Street over the robber barons of Wall Street.

All that said, isn’t it amazing that the first person to throw his hat in the ring for the GOP nomination for president is none other than first-term Senator Ted Cruz? He has all the markings of a narcissist, and made his rep on his 21 hour and 19 minute filibuster – the longest since the great ones of the Civil War era – over Obamacare, while reciting Dr. Seuss – how charming and how he proved he should not be POTUS!

No matter how much TB dislikes him he has to admit the man is brilliant, just not presidential material.  By all counts he is a brilliant and accomplished debater…he wears down his opponents by continually coming back at them. Is that a good trait in a president? (Note that one of his professors at Harvard Law, Alan Dershowitz, declared him to be “off the charts brilliant”

The comments from former friends are not all so favorable: controlling, pedantic, but he befriended one black student at a time of need and they remain close friends. Cruz’ father was a Cuban emigrant but despite that Felito – his given name, wants to seal the borders…the same old, please close the gate after I get in.

I feel there is little chance of him becoming the nominee, let alone president, but that has been said before…Harry Truman?

Decades ago someone wrote an article on who should be president. He said they don’t have to be smart (look at Wilson, Hoover, or Carter) to do well, and can be dumb and lucky (his example then was the man who became vice president, Dan Quayle), after all it is a matter of luck whether a president has problems unless they are self-induced. Think about it.

There is a tremendous grass roots drive to nominate Elizabeth Warren…is she the last hope for the Democrats? Otherwise, looking at the insane actions of the new majority GOP, and ask how this country can continue as a democracy or democratic republic. The power is now in such a small group that even oligarchy is not the correct term. We are heading for the death of the middle class. That is TB’s biggest fear and why he is bothering to resurrect this blog, only when he has something to say, not on any regular schedule.

As for Mr. Cruz’ ethics, he says he had a voice tell him to run for office, if you believe that. Could he be The Messiah? Also, he says he told his wife that they should sell all their liquid assets to finance his campaign and she agreed. Not her recollection: when he told me he was going to run for president I told him if he does he better find some wealthy donors. End of story.

Thank you for reading,

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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9/11/14…a day of infamy…and where we are now…

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “It makes no difference what it is, a woman will buy anything she thinks the store is losing on.” – Kin Hubbard

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.”

– Pearl S. Buck…I don’t get it?

 

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*First-Time Unemployment Claims in U.S. Climbed to Two-Month High Last Week

*RBS Joins Lloyds in Financial-Services Exodus If Scots Choose Independence – hmmm

*Ruble Slides on Russia Sanctions as Treasuries Rise, Commodities Retreat – rise and fall…

*Credit Agricole Said to Near Settlement in U.S. Sanctions Investigations

*Clues to Cynk’s Penny-Stock Mystery Found in Belize Money-Laundering Case

*RadioShack Says It’s Working With Creditors to Boost Cash as Losses Mount –hadn’t heard that

*Nine Out of Ten Hedge Fund Managers Are Overpaid With Fees, Unigestion Says – just nine?

*Scotland Claiming Bulk of Britain’s Oil in 40-Year Drive for Independence

*Tech Boom Turns Chicago Skid Row Into Surging Office Market – from rags to riches?

*Argentine Lower House Passes Bill to Pay Debt locally to Avoid U.S. Ruling

*Scotch Whisky Producers Say Single Malt Tastes Better in a Single Country – taxes is that it?

*Our Eight-Year Old Analyst Says Minecraft Is just Way Cool – but is Microsoft stupid? Are we in a game bubble? As a shareholder, do you think they should pay $2+ billion – for a fad? YES!!!

Minecraft’s draw? It isn’t just a game…you can create anything you want…just as with a pen!

 

Wednesday’s Market Summary:

 The rally that left Dow Transports behind…it did, and the other ytd leader Dow Utilities, +0.1% and -0.4% respectively. The winners were the two Nasdaqs – up 0.8%$ the pair…but before you put in your orders, this was a direct offset to Wednesday’ decline. The rest were up 0.3% (Dow 30) to 0.6% (Russell 2000). Volume was stagnant (not good on a rally); A/D’s and Breadth were positive but only half the negatives the prior session. New 52 week highs became even scarcer falling to 107 vs 121 vs 225 (a good number), while new lows rose again to 128 (high!) from 109 back from a weak 71! VIX however declined but just to 12.88 just .02 above the session low…but the intraday high was a bearish 14.66!

The Apple saga continues. This from yesterday: they made their big announcement and rallied – initially…remember it has been weak since hitting a record high of $103.74 on Sept. 2, falling to $98.12. THEN, because of their new ‘bigger’ IPhone the stock surged to $103.08 intraday – spitting distance from the record high, only to plunge to a new low of $96.14- lowest since 8/12 before coming back to close at $98.97 – definitely an ‘E’ ticket ride! Yesterday was more of the same: opened at $98.01, slipped back to $97.76 before climbing to $101.11, closing just 10 cents below. Remember…the new watch won’t be available until next year AND has to be near an IPhone to work! So much for Dick Tracy’s 2-way wrist radio! Who need it/them?

Oh and Microsoft rose to a record high of $46.94 and closed just 18 cents lower. On what, you ask? Oh, they are trying to buy a video gamer, Minecraft for $2 billion and change…as one rag said: buy like it’s 2006 all over again…TB would say like its 1998 all over again…you know, the dotcom boom/bust…er…bubble! What are they thinking? Dunno, but they may be late in the game…sorry, early in the bust, as Zynga…you do remember that one…peaked at $5.89 in March and is around $3 now. THAT IPO was at $11 on 12/16/11, traded up to $11.50, then fell to $7.97 less than a month later. From there it climbed back to $15.91 a year later, then down again to $2.09, and has traded no higher than $6 since then. Last is $2.99. Kids may know games but do they know or care about finance? Doubtful since they rank 12th in financial literacy…bet the same goes for adults! Soooo…do you want to go ‘all in’ on MSFT’s folly? Not TB!

Total NYSE Volume still doing nothing at 2.86B shares vs 2.87B vs 2.78B vs 2.81B vs 3.06B vs 2.77B. Real NYSE Volume also steady at 608M shares vs 603M vs 602M vs 610M vs 607M vs 616M vs 593M vs 617M from the new 12-month low of 491M. The average for the week ended 8/29 was 522M shares (highly unusual for a monthend), but it was Labor Day weekend – a new 2014 low – average volume at the closing bell was also a new low for the year of 387M shares! Note that the average for the final week of 2013 was 424M! There have been just four sessions above 800M since 4/28! The 12-month average is a historically weak 697M shares. Since 4/30 the average volume has been just 649M shares, and slipping ranging from 517M to 927B….12 month high is 2.06B shares on 9/20/13!

A/D’s were weak but positive: NYSE: +1.1x vs -3.3x vs -1.6x vs +1.6x vs -2x; Nasdaq +1.6x vs -3.2x vs +1.3x vs +1.2x vs -1.6x. Breadth was similar:: NYSE +1.2x vs -3.4x vs -1.9x vs +1.6x vs -1.6x; Nasdaq +2x vs -3.9x vs +1.5x vs +1.7x vs -1.3x. New 52 Week Highs slipped to 107 vs 121 vs 225 vs 164 vs 265 vs 374 – recent range is 46-580!!! New Lows rose again to a strong 128 vs 109 vs 71 vs 87 vs 80 vs 56 vs 41 vs 52 vs 26! – recent range is 24-260! S&P VIX fell back to 12.88 -.62, its 8th straight close above ‘12’. Look at the range though: 1286-14.66! Options expiry a week from tomorrow!

U.S. bond market was weaker for a 4th session: 10 yr 2.54% -5/16; 30 yr 3.27% -3/4, the long TIP 1.02% (low was 0.87%!) -1-1/8!!! Rallying on new Russian sanctions overnight: 2.51% +5/16; 30’s 3.24% +9/16; and long TIP 0.99%! +13/16.

Libor update: 0.234% 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 remains 0.08%-0.10%, where it has been for weeks! T-Bills back at ZERO, on-month, where they went following the ECB rate cut, and yield from 0.00% to 0.09% out to one year!!! Foreign bond yields mixed – Greece lower (note: benchmark is the 10yrs): Germany 1.02% -2; UK 2.49% -2; France 1.37% +1; Italy 2.42% +2; Spain 2.28% +2; Portugal 3.19% –; Greece 5.48% -4 – waffling near the recovery low: 5.42%; Crisis high: 12.57%. Japan: 0.56% +2. Bonds are ‘risky business’ here!

Gold closed a tad lower at $1245.30 -$3.20 in a nothing session a day after falling to $1247.20, lowest since 6/10 – this marks it’s 17th straight sub-$1300 close. It is way below the 40/50 and 200 day m/a’s. 7/17’s session high was $1346.60, highest since March 19th!!! 6/9’s $1240.20 was lowest since 1/31/14!!! RES is the 200 day $1285 (now climbing), then the 40/50 day at $1291-1297! Recent high was $1392.60 on 3/17, highest high since 9/4/13. Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!! Overnight it is barely changed in a narrow range at $1245.60 +.30.

Crude took a header again, falling to $91.67 – lowest since 1/9/14 – before closing weak for a fifth day at $91.67 -$1.08. There have been FOURTEEN handles since 6/30! 7/22’s high was $105.20, 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. 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 ($97.39), then the 50/200 day ($98.47/99.75) – all falling fast now! The range is $85.61-$112.24 since 3/1/12. Overnight it plunged to yet another new low of $90.43!!! its lowest since 6/28/13 before rebounding somewhat to $90.87 -.80!

Global equity markets weak, ex-Japan: UK -0.7% vs – vs – vs -0.9% vs -0.6%; France -0.8% vs -0.1% vs -0.2% vs -0.5% vs -0.5%; Germany -0.6% vs –0.3% vs -0.3% vs -0.2% vs -0.3%; Japan +0.8% vs -0.3% vs +0.3% vs +0.2% vs -0.1%; Hang Seng -0.2% vs -1.9% vs closed vs -0.2% vs -0.2%; Korea -0.7% vs 0.3% vs closed for 2 days vs -0.3%; India –0.2% vs -0.8% vs -0.2% vs +1.1%! vs -0.2% vs -0.2%. U.S. equity futures slightly weak and gapped down on the open: Dow -74 (range 81); SPX -8.10 (9); NDQ n/a?.

 

Some random thoughts:

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” – Mathew 20:16. Not like TB to quote the Bible but heard this recently and had to check from whence it came. Then came the Ten Commandments (aka Exodus 20): “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” TB always got hung up on why you would covet his ‘ass’? Again, dunno.

Lastly, there are the Beatitudes, of which there are eight…must have run out of time: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – ‘poor’ TB gets but in spirit? Does that mean if you are a slimeball but coincidentally rich you get the bounty? Dunno, requires further thought.

Anyone recall the late Reverend Ike? A pioneer televangelist who preached riches…along with you casting your bread upon his waters so it can come back ten fold…but don’t they all preach that? Oral Roberts, Jim Baker (who can forget Tammy Fay?). Here is TB’s fav: If you want your pie in the sky when you die, I’m not your guy but if you want your Cadillac now…praise the lord (paraphrased but you get the gist).

On the other hand if you are the Kochs, or Waltons, or Steve Schwarzman, or a host of others do you really care? Most likely not.

As for Obama’s speech last night…same old, same old: he speaks with authority but we no longer hang on the words…they are meaningless. BUT folks, in case you think TB wants him out…how about John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, oh and the affable John McCain (arguably the only man who would have gotten us into Afghanistan and Iraq sooner. Or how about Loser Numero Uno, Dick Cheney, who, now that daughter Liz lost on her bid for a Senate seat (too much like dear old dad, and clones), can’t stop flapping his jowls as if he knows what to do? Why if he were ‘king’, he and sidekick and former mentor Donald Rumsfeld would have in wars on at least four fronts! Shut up, Dick! We don’t need you…thought you figured that out by now.

Well, at least we now have a strategy…you doubt this? It’s true…Obama said so! Hope he isn’t following the GOP motto: do something…even if it’s wrong, do something! (Ok, so it wasn’t the GOP, it was a fire captain TB used to work with…Mickey Foster…may he rest in peace…no longer wielding his axe when he arrived on the scene.

 

Enjoy your day and remember, Blessed are the ——- for they shall —— (fill in the blanks)…and take time out to have fun!

TB

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6/2/14…trader bill the prophet…well, sort of…

Quote of the Day from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “Have you noticed? Anyone driving faster than you is an idiot, and anyone driving slower is a moron.” – George Carlin

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
– Steve Jobs…wonder when he said that…but sound advice!
This week’s economic calendar is packed with important indicators. The highlight of the week will be the May ISM Manufacturing Survey (Monday), May ISM Non-manufacturing Survey (Wednesday) and May Employment Situation report (Friday). We will also get April Construction Spending (Monday), April Factory Orders and May Motor Vehicle Sales (Tuesday), May ADP Employment, April International Trade, Q1 Productivity & Costs Final (Wednesday), and April Consumer Credit (Friday). Courtesy of Economic Advisory Service.
Bloomberg Top Stories:
*Juan Carlos of Spain Abdicates After Scandals; Felipe to Be King – its good to be king!
*Putin’s the Chief Audience for Obama’s Three-Country Europe Tour – good luck on that one!
*Obama Seeks Power-Plant Emissions Cuts Republicans Oppose – like coal…dinosaurs!
*Abbas Swears in Palestinian Unity Government as Dispute Resolved
*U.S. Forces Planned for Worst in Prisoner Recovery, Hagel Says – the deal was the worst!
*India’s Police Mocked Father of Pre-Teen Raped and Killed – sick bastards!
*Prostate Cancer Patients Live Year Longer With Early Chemo Use
*Cancer Hospitals Make Gene Tests a New Standard for Care
*NFL With Developers Push for Congress Win on Terrorism Insurance – oh come on!
*Libyan Troops Clash With Benghazi Militias as Eight Are Killed
*Australia’s Last Two Years Hottest on Record, Climate Group Says – it can’t happen here!
*Russia Gives Ukraine Leeway on Gas as Five Rebels Are Killed

Friday’s Market Summary:

Looks like the summer doldrums are here. Ah, but volume rose, you say. Conceded, but it was monthend. Compare and contrast to April 30th: Total Volume 3.7B shares…May 3.17B shares. Shares traded on the floor of the NYSE: 909M vs 916 in other words a typical monthend…in fact somewhat weak on overall volume. Aside from that it was a session for the indices and the indicators with Dow Transports -0.1%, the two Nasdaq’s -0.1%, the Dow up just 0.1% and the S&P +0.2%. Best? Dow Utilities +0.8%!!! Weakest was the Russell 2000 -0.5%! Financials flat.
Here are returns for month and year to date:
May YTD
Dow +0.8% +0.9%
Transports +5.6% +9.5%
Dow Utilities -1.6% +11.1%!!!
S&P 500 +2.1% +4.1%
NDQ Comp +3.1% +1.6%
NDQ 100 +4.3% +4.0%
Russell 2000 +0.7% -2.5%
NYSE Fin +1.5% +1.1%
KBW Banks +0.7% +1.1%
NDQ Banks -0.6% -4.4%

Total NYSE Volume as stated above came back but to a still below average 3.7B shares from a very weak 2.68B vs 2.92B vs 2.89B s 2.4B vs 2.74B! …WEAK!! Real trades on the floor of the NYSE also rose to a strong (but not for monthend) 916M shares from a putrid 544M vs 636M vs 657M vs 554M vs 577M! The ‘prior’ high for the month was 775M while Thursday’s 544M shares was the low and the average for the month was a weak 663M shares or about 60M below the weak 12-month average of 722M shares!
A/D’s were mixed and minor: NYSE +1.1x vs +2x vs +1.1x vs +2.2x vs +2x; Nasdaq -1.6x vs +1.4x vs -1.6x vs +2.9x vs +2.5x. Breadth was slightly negative: NYSE -1.1x vs +2.6x vs -1.1x vs +2.1x vs +2.3x; Nasdaq -1.4x vs +2.1x vs +4.3x! vs +2.5x vs +2.6x. But who cares when the volume is so low? New 52 Week Highs were slightly lower at 271 vs 287 vs 229 vs 336 vs 167 – recent low 71!!! New Lows were modestly higher at 60 vs 45 vs 61 vs 50 vs 51 – recent range 45-214.
As for volatility…S&P VIX remains bullish and despite the mixed session slightly lower…buying puts (or setting sell stops ‘with limits’) is very cheap…consider it! 11.40 -.17 with an even narrower range of 11.32-11.70– note not a single ‘12’ print – for a sixth straight session!

Overnight markets:

Bonds closed the month slightly weaker but compare to April 30th: 10 yr closed at 2.46% vs 2.65%. 30 yr closed 3.32% vs 3.46%! The long TIP, which hit a low of 0.978% on 5/29, closed 1.01% vs 1.14% – not too shabby! Overnight they are weaker…payrolls week ahead: 10’s 2.49% -1/8; 30’s 3.34% -1/4; and long TIP 1.03% -7/16. 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: 0.227% 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 0.07% -0.09%. Foreign bond yields mostly a tad lower: Germany 1.35% -1; UK 2.59% +2; France 1.76% -1; Italy 2.94% -2; Spain 2.82% -3; Portugal 3.63%+3; Greece, which bottomed at 5.83% on 2/24 closed very strong last Friday is now 6.15% -1 – the high on selloff was 6.75%. Highly volatile!!! Range is 5.77% to 12.57%. Japan: 0.58% +1.

Gold closed weak – 4th day – at $1245.60 -$11.50 with a session low of $1247.80 – lowest since 2/3/14!!! Off $35 for the month! This, after hitting $1304.10 on 5/22 – the last time it saw $1300! It is now way below the 40/50/200 days and the psych support level of $1300 with first res at the 40 day $1293, then the 50 day $1294, and the 200 day $1298 – together they pose formidable res. It has fared poorly since the ‘key reversal’ on 3/17, after printing the recent high of $1392.60, highest high since 9/4/13! Jan. 2’s low was $1181.40 – A MULTI-DECADE LOW!!! Overnight it traded down to $1240.90! – lowest since Jan. 31 and is currently $1247.00 +$1.40.

Crude closed slightly lower at $102.71 -.87 with a low of $102.40, 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 ($102.03) then the 50 day ($101.66), and 200 day $100.29. The recent range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight it is little changed in a narrow range ($102.70-103.35),and is currently $102.76 +.05.

Global equity markets higher – Japan and India strong; Hong Kong closed: UK -0.1% vs +0.3% vs +0.1% vs +0.5% vs -0.2%; France – vs -0.4% vs -0.2% vs +0.1% vs –; Germany +0.2% vs – vs -0.1% vs +0.1% vs +0.4%; Japan +2.1%!!! vs -0.3% vs +0.1% vs +0.2% vs +0.2%; Hang Seng closed vs +0.3% vs -0.3% vs +0.6% vs -0.1%; Korea +0.4% vs -0.9% vs -0.2% vs +1%! vs -0.6% vs +0.1%; India +1.9%!!! vs -0.1% vs -1.3%! vs – vs -0.7% vs +1.3%!. U.S. Stock Index Futures slightly higher in another narrow range session: DOW +17 (range 33); SPX +1.20 (4); NDQ +2 (10).
Some random thoughts:

…today is not about TB blowing his horn but how more and more recognized people are coming out of the woodwork about the sad state of our government and the wealth gap (they go together):

– How many times has TB blasted Walmart? Also, comparing it to the employee-friendly Costco: here is a link that explains it well: Costco vs Walmart

– Yesterday on Moyers & Company, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz talked about our ridiculous tax system that not only benefits the top 1% but encourages companies to shift operations abroad and not repatriate dollars. He cites this as the leading cause of the wealth gap. You can go to the website Moyers/Stiglitz …or read his white paper at: Joseph Stiglitz on taxes and wealth gap

– Another new book: Austerity, by Florian Schui, discusses how dramatically cutting spending, from welfare to infrastructure not only negatively impacts the economy but by widening the wealth gap and making more people feel ‘left out’ it invites violent change…either a revolution in emerging market economies, or a peaceful but dramatic change in the government (the rise to power and election of Adolph Hitler in post-WWI Germany. TB has repeatedly pointed this out saying, ”all it requires is a strong leader.” Obama promised change and all we got was more of the same…as he lacks vision. Note that Hitler went from a ‘joke’ in the 1920’s to lead the way!

What is incredible to TB is how the rank and file of the GOP – mostly white, middle-class continue to do the bidding of the top 1%…what is in it for them? They are like frogs in the kettle of water slowly being heated…and they can’t see…or feel…it This from a former Republican!

The topic du jour on the Sunday talk shows was of course the release of the U.S. soldier. All lauded it (on humanitarian grounds – whether or not they believed that), but most went on to say negotiating with terrorists will merely lead to more hostage taking – and was ‘unprecedented’ by any nation. Really? One panelist asked if there was a difference then between Israel negotiating prisoner exchanges with the Palestinians? Of course, it should be done under the proper circumstances. Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made another of his evangelical speeches as the all-knowing person…the highlight was saying the Democrats are trying to politicize everything – of course they are, Ted….but who is the best at it? The GOP and YOU!!!

Susan Rice should have learned by now to either look at caller ID before answering the phone on a weekend. Once again she overstated the case saying Bergdahl was ‘captured on the battlefield’. Nyet! He apparently ‘walked off the base’ and was then captured…was it a mental defect?…PTSD?…time will tell….always does…

As for the exchange: that had to be the worst piece of negotiation on record. It shouldn’t even be billed as that: five senior Al Quiada leaders – their draft picks – for one enlisted man. Had this gone before Congress as required by law (although it would have gone nowhere under any cirscumstances), it would have drawn a balk! …and rightly so. This is not over.

Lastly, on Edward Snowden, finally an informed and responsible comment (as opposed to Sec. of State Kerry labeling him ‘a traitor and a coward’ – this from a man who himself defied authority after serving honorably in Viet Nam). The comment came from former CIA chief Michael Hayden who, when asked if he was a patriot or a traitor, said he didn’t know if he was a traitor and he certainly wasn’t a patriot but he would merely label him a ‘defector’ for now. The right call to TB!

That’s enough for now…have a great week! Don’t take any wooden nickels…er…Bitcoins! Also, it would be wise to not invest in cannabis related stocks!

TB

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9/26/13…is Ted Cruz a ‘Dimon’ in the rough?

Today’s Quote from the Friars Club Encyclopedia of Jokes: “Cordless phones are great, if you can find them.” – Glenn Foster

Bloomberg Quote of the Day: “The long arm of coincidence.” – Haddon Chambers (Police investigators place little or no value on ‘coincidence.’

Bloomberg Top Stories:

*U.S. Economy Expanded at a 2.5% Annual Rate in 2nd Quarter Rev. – no change!

*Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Falls to 305,000

*JPMorgan Said to See Possible $11 Billion Settlement – awww, poor Jamie!

*JPMorgan Fines Seen by Portales as Jeopardizing Stock Buybacks – but bonuses?

*Rising Rates Seen Squeezing Swaps Income at Biggest U.S. Banks – more awww!

*U.S. Index Futures Advance With Commodities as Yen Pares Decline

*Deutsche Bank Said to Propose Creating Bond Platform With Rivals

*U.K. Prosecutors Said to Plan More Libor Changes in October –Libor at new lows!

*NYSE Said to Join Nasdaq Weighing Plan to Collaborate on Backups

*Manager Dan Fuss Trounces Bond Competitors by Thinking Like a Stock Picker

*Deaths Linked to Cardiac Stents Rise as a Third Called Unneeded

*Trading Pains Seen in Deutsche Bank Index Trailing – tough year for bondos!

*Camry Losing No. 1 in U.S. After 12-Year Reign Seen in ‘14

*Japan Pension Panel Advises State to Weigh Diversifying Holdings

*Pimco Sees Buffett’s India Dream Cut to Junk as Vote Looms

*EBay Agrees to Acquire Payments Service Braintree for $800 Million in Cash

*Brazil Stock Rebound From Protests Converges With Sao Paolo’s Fix-It Mayor

*Emerging Market Bonds Stage Comeback in Tripling U.S. Debt

*Boehner Beset by Obamacare Foes in Party Races Clock to Stave Off Shutdown

*Americans Reject by 61% Obama Demdn for Clean Debt Ceiling Vote in Poll

*Kenya Working with Interpol to Track Down Mall Attackers After 72 Killed

*Boomers Face Caregiver Shortage as New U.S. Rules Aim to Lift Supply

*Ellison’s Oracle Team USA Keeps America’s cup Vision Alive After Victory – TB has to give it to the team but loathes Ellison and his actions…thankfully they won or he would have probably ordered them all whipped! The man cannot stand to be number two –ever!

 

Yet another day with little if any information for investors to trade on. All indices were DOWN except the NYSE Financials subset. Worst performers were Dow Transports and Utilities each -07% followed by the Dow 30 -0.4% and S&P 500/NDQ 100 each down 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 gave up 10 points with eight members moving by more than a point! Let’s look at the leaders and their changes over the past EIGHT sessions that they were leaders: APPL -6.1 vs -1.7 vs +19.2!!! vs -4.4 vs +6.4 vs +7.9 vs +4.2 vs -12.3 vs -6.5 – do you see a trend here???; GOOG -2.3, n/a -4.1, +1.2,-1.2, +4.2;;GILD -1.4, n/a -1.7; AMGN-1.5, n/a, -1.2; FB +1.6 vs +1.9 vs +2.5 vs +1.2 vs n/a vs +4 vs -2.8; CSCO +1.4; ESRX +1.2; AMAT +1. Here are others that weren’t movers yesterday: MSFT -2.5 vs -6.9 vs +2.2 vs +3 vs +1 vs -1.4 vs +2; AMZN -2 vs +1.7, vs n/a, vs +3.2, +3.3. Advance/Declines and Breadth were little changed and insignificant. New 52 week slipped while new lows plunged for a second day, both reversing Monday’s changes.

Bonds continue to rally from their weakened state – amazing!!! Crude declined yet again  trading at lowest since 7/8! Gold had a solid session, continues to hold $1300 but remains weak! A tough one to call.

Dow 30 -0.4% vs -0.4% vs -0.3% vs -1.2% vs -0.3% vs +1%; Dow Transports -0.7% vs +0.1% vs -0.6% vs -0.5% vs +0.3% vs +1.5%; Russell 2000 -0.1% vs +0.3% vs -0.1% vs -0.2% vs -0.2% vs +1%; Dow Utilities –0.7% vs -0.1% vs +1% vs -1.5% vs -0.3% vs +3%!!!; S&P 500 -0.3% vs -0.3% vs -0.5% vs -0.7% vs -0.2% vs +1.2%; Nasdaq Composite -0.2% vs +0.1% vs -.3% vs -0.4% vs +0.2% vs +1%; NDQ 100 –0.3% vs -0.1% vs -0.2% vs -0.4% vs +0.2% vs +1.3%.

*NYSE Volume slipped and remains at a below average 3.12B shares vs 3.2B vs 3.07B from a record high (?) 4.82B shares vs 3.72B vs 3.96B (2.52B is 4th weakest of 20131.96B is the low). REAL NYSE Volume also slipped to a below average 641M shares vs 674M vs 690M from the third highest ever, 2.06B shares (6/30/06 3.38B; 7/12/02 2.29B) vs 738M vs 820M (482M on 7/3 in a shortened trading session is the 2013 low). The 12-month average is 719M shares. The range since 6/28’s 1.75B share day, excluding the four sessions above 800M, is 482M-798M shares. The average since 6/28 is just 689M shares, ranging from 482M to 906M plus the 2.025B shares on Friday. There have been just EIGHT 1B+ share sessions! There have been 32 800M+ shares in 2013: 13 up, 17 down, and two mixed.

*New 52 week highs have ranged from 33-864. They slipped to 276 vs 367 vs 221 vs 590 vs 587 vs 310. New lows also slipped to a weak 43 vs 49 vs 168! vs 36 vs 56 vs 59.

  1. Advance/Declines were neutral: 1:1 vs +1.3x vs -1.4x vs -2.5x vs-1.4x vs +6x!!!; (recent range -17.5x to +6x) on NYSE and -1.1x vs +1.2x vs -1.3x vs -1.1x vs -1.2x vs +2.8x (recent -3.5x to +3.8x). Breadth was mixed again: 1:1 vs -1.1x vs -2.1x vs -4x!!! vs -1.7x vs +7.2x!!! (recent -18.6x!!! to +7.2x!!!) on NYSE and +1.4x vs +1.5x vs -2.1x vs -1.5x vs +1.3x vs +3x (recent -12.8x to +6.5x)  
  2. NYSE Financials rose slightly by +0.2% vs -0.3% vs -0.8% vs -0.8% vs -0.6% vs +1.7%! BofA 2nd most active (JCP plunged 14.6%!!! on downgrade by GS) +0.5% vs +0.1% vs -2.1%!!! vs -1.1% vs -0.7% vs +1.3%, closing at $14.14 +.05 – lowest since 8/30! It has struggled since hitting $15.03 on 8/1 – highest since Jan. 14 and major res. Brokers -0.1% vs flat vs -0.5% vs +0.4% vs -0.5% vs -0.9%!; KBW Banks +0.7% vs -0.4% vs -1.6%!!! vs +0.2% vs +0.2% vs +0.2%; Nasdaq Banks +0.3% vs +0.6% vs -0.4% vs +0.7% vs -1.4%!!! vs -0.3%.
  3. Volatility (S&P VIX) dipped below 14 for a 2nd day but closed at 14.01 -.07. Range was 13.89-14.62 vs Friday’s low 12.52. On 8/30 it closed at 17.01 but a week prior it was at 13.98. The recent range is now 11.83-17.81. It peaked at 22.79 on 12/28/12. It is now below the 40 day (14. 27), the 50 day (14.08) and the 50 day (14.50)…ytd the range is 11.05 (3/14) to 21.92 (6/24)!

European stocks weaker, Asia mixed: UK -0.1% vs -0.2% vs +0.3% vs -0.5% vs -0.2% vs +1.4%!!!; France -0.2% vs -0.2% vs +0.7% vs -0.3% vs -0.2% vs +0.9%; Germany -0.2% vs flat vs +0.3% vs -0.4% vs -0.2% vs +1%; Japan +1.2%! vs -0.8% vs -0.1% vs closed vs -0.2% vs +1.8% vs +1.4%; Hang Seng -0.4% vs +0.1% vs -0.8% vs -0.6% vs closed vs +1.7%; Korea +0.5% vs -0.5% vs -0.1% vs +0.2% vs  closed vs -0.4%; India +0.2% vs -0.3% vs +0.1% vs -1.8%!!! vs -1.2%! vs +3.4%!!! U.S. equity futures slightly higher in what has become the norm: a very narrow trading range! DOW +24; SPX +3.10; NDQ +13.25.

Bonds continued to recover for a FOURTH day, and have erased the gap down from 8/30! Overnight they are modestly weaker: 10 yr Treasury closed 2.62%, now 2.63% -1/32 (recent range now 2.99% to 1.63%!!!), and the 30 yr range 2.67% to 3.90%, closed 3.65%, now 3.68% -1/8. The long TIP closed 1.34% and is now 1.37% -3/8…weakest of the bunch! The (record?) low of 0.36% was set on 4/5. Recent high yield: 1.63%! Libor update: 0.248% 3 mos, 0.368 6 mos. Another new record low on 6 mos. 3.68%, and now the 3 mo. took out the Jan. 2010 record lows (0.245% and 0.382% respectively). Foreign bond yields generally higher: Germany 1.82% -1; UK 2.72% -3; France 2.34% -1; Italy 4.34% +10!; Spain 4.34% +7; Portugal 6.90% +1; Greece 9.48% +7 vs 9.59 vs 9.71%  +10 vs 9.57%!!! -26!!! vs 9.79% -25 vs 10.13 Recent range: 8.04% to 12.57%. Japan 0.69% +2.

Gold closed higher, eradicating Tuesday’s loss as Monday’s low of $1313.40 held as did $1300, closing at $1336.20 +$19.90. The low a week ago was $1291, first time below $1300 since 8/9! Overnight it is slightly higher at $1337.50 +$1.30. 9/16’s high was $1336 – above the 50 day. A week ago Friday’s low $1304.60!!! 8/14’s session low was $1271.80 – lowest since 7/17! 6/27’s intraday low was $1179.40 – lowest since at least 2011 and critical support. $1300 remains psychological support, while the 40 day ($1350) and the 50 day ($1344) are MAJOR RESISTANCE. The 200 day is at $1476.

Crude closed slightly weaker, its FIFTH straight down day closing at $102.66 -.47 – with an intraday low of $102.20!!! lowest close since 7/8!!! 9/18’s session high was $108.49 from $104.94! Just 13 days ago it set a rally high and close of $110.70 and $110.53 respectively. It is way below the 40/50 day m/a’s ($106.57-.42), and crossed! The 200 day ($97.48) is now major support!!! 4/18’s low of $85.61 was lowest since 12/11! Major Res is the high the spike to $112.24 on 8/28. That move was immediately rejected! The range is $85.61-$112.24 since March 1, 2012. Overnight it is slightly better at $103.09 +.43. Color it ‘weak’!

 

Some random thoughts:

Is Sen. Cruz (Texas, natch!) the reincarnation of Sen. Joe McCarthy? Either way he is fast becoming a) the nemisis of the GOP, and b) wealthy due to the pool of idiots supporting him while he ties up the Senate…and the country with his blatherings. Over what? Politics and ideology!

Much has been said about the last time the government was shut down…under yet another Republican beginning in December 1995 and lasting until early 1996. Who was the speaker then? Not the impotent John Boehner but Newt Gingrich who (other than his henchman Tom DeLay who later was convicted of bribes), but his cause was a just one, although it inflicted pain on businesses and some individuals…such as shutting down Yosemite National Park during the holidays – its major fund-producing time due to the holiday festivities at the Ahwanee. But it served a purpose…for a time…until, even as Gingrich will tell you, his spending cuts were thwarted and way more than offset by his own party. This is what folly this all is while the markets, people, and credit of this great country suffer at the hands of FOOLS…IDEOLOGUES…dare TB say @#$holes???

But what is Cruz after…to destroy the Alternative Care Act! Also to the GOP: cut the crap about ‘repeal and replace’ and admit it…you don’t want it.

Thanks to the interpretation of the Constitution regarding insurance and states rights, we, the people, are paying more and also at the expense of shareholders of health insurance companies. No, the federal government must leave it up to the states to regulate insurance. Didn’t we see what happened to AIG? Isn’t it interesting that Texas will have the highest insurance rates under the Act? You can bet that the insurance lobby is putting up millions to kill it, because someone will investigate and post rates for all states.. Meanwhile, some states, like Minnesota will have low rates. Interestingly, it is home to UnitedHealth, the largest insurer.

This is about more than individuals though…it is about mobility in an increasingly ‘nomadic’ country. Why should you risk losing your insurance, or paying a huge premium for it when you move? Have any of you thought about this?

As for shareholders, each of the insurers has to have a subsididary in each staste they do business. Think of the overhead of multiple execs, staffs, and administration costs…paid for by the shareholders in the interest of ‘states rights’. Imagine living in a state with four or fewer health insurers…they exist! You are held hostage.

This is what Sen. Cruz is fighting for? No, like all the others he is milking the system to enrich himself…even at the expense of hurting the country and his own party. But do renegades even care about the party? Not hardly!

Ah, and in banking poor JPMorganChase and its fearless leader the wunderkind turned adult, Jamie Dimon show just what moral responsibility he has placed on his minions: mainly none except to make money…and now it is all coming back to haunt them. Pity the poor shareholders and all the states, local governments, borrowers, and others they have fleeced over the past decade. Aye, Jamie, you learned well at the knee of Sanford Weil, didn’t ye? Frankly you make TB sick! You and your well-heeled lobbyists who do all in their power to gut Dodd-Frank and any protections for investors and the taxpayers.

You aren’t worth discussing anymore…except in terms of seeking a replacement! Even then you will leave a wealthy man (sic).

Have a great day,

 

TB

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