September 26th, 2013
As we pointed out earlier, today the investing public was witness to perhaps one of the most epic (and backfiring) media PR clusterfucks in history. And it just got so much better.
Goldman Sachs Analyst Index (GSAI) tracks manufacturing and service sectors based on bottom-up analyst input on a firm by firm basis to generate a real-time indicator of US economic strength akin to the ISM data. After spiking to multi-year highs in August, it has collapsed by the most in a year in September as the New Orders sub-index retraced its outsized gains from August. The sales/shipments index fell, while the employment index stayed flat and below the 50 mark. The underlying composition of the GSAI weakened in September with a few sectors noting lower sales and/or a downgrade in expectations, and on balance sentiment with respect to business conditions seemed a touch weaker since August and employment remained below 50 for the sixth month.
If you want to live the high life, you don't have to become a rap star, a professional athlete or a Wall Street banker. All it really takes is winning an election. Right now, more than half of all the members of Congress are millionaires, and most of them leave "public service" far wealthier than when they entered it. Since most of them have so much money, you would think that they would be willing to do a little "belt-tightening" for the sake of the American people. After all, things are supposedly "extremely tight" in Washington D.C. right now. In fact, just the other day Nancy Pelosi insisted that there were "no more cuts to make" to the federal budget. But even as they claim that things are so tough right now, our politicians continue to live the high life at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.
Greek government authorities are on alert after a union of Greek army reservists of Special Forces issued a statement urging the Greek administration to step down and make way for a national unity government. As Keep Talking Greece notes, the statement on the union' website included 15 demands - including the resignation of the Greek President - and urged people to gather at the infamous Syntagma Square on Saturday. The statement was interpreted by some as a call to a "coup d'etat" - denied by the union - but prompted Greece's Supreme Court to meet to discuss it.
Things are getting better; the nice man on the TV said so...
"In every city and state I have visited, the jails have become the de facto mental institutions," warns the president of the American Jail Association as the WSJ notes, America's lockups have become its new asylums. After scores of state mental institutions were closed beginning in the 1970s, few alternatives materialized. Many of the afflicted wound up on the streets, where, untreated, they became more vulnerable to joblessness, drug abuse and crime. Stunningly, the number of mentally ill prisoners the country's three biggest jail systems - Cook County, IL; Los Angeles County; and New York City - handle daily is equal to 28% of all beds in the nation's 213 state psychiatric hospitals. "We're finding sicker and sicker people all the time" who have to be treated for their mental illnesses. Prisons "can't say no to the mentally ill. They have to solve the problem."
BREAKING. Iranian FM Zarif: there has to be a lifting of all sanctions, hope to be able to move in that direction in a short span of time
— Charlie Kaye (@CharlieKayeCBS) September 26, 2013
The primary trend of the AUD is down. Bernanke has provided us the opportunity to sell the rally and profit from a primary trend continuation.
"Has J.C. Penney (JCP) bottomed? How many times have I heard that one? It has to be the most asked question now that we are seeing some of the highest quality hedge funds in the situation, including Perry Capital (run by my old friend Rich Perry) as well as Glenview Capital and Kyle Bass. Suffice it to say that I don't think there could be many investors as wise as these people. They aren't approaching the situation idly and I think they are going to be right. To me, that's a lot of ways to get the stock to $18.... Can this stock go up $5 on a new CEO and a better holiday season? Yes. And that's why it is worth joining these great hedge funds. Not because they are in it. But because the time and the price are right. You don't need to know anything else for the moment."
- Jim Cramer, September 5, 2013
So Many Lies, So Little Time: JCP Sells 84 Million Shares Via Goldman Sachs Hours After Telling CNBC It Won't Sell EquitySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/26/2013 17:08 -0400
Remember when one after another JCPenney executive lined up earlier today, mostly using that damage control TV outlet known as CNBC, to promise that JCP does not, repeat not, need emergency public equity funding? Guess what: they were lying. Just out from Bloomberg:
J. C. PENNEY ANNOUNCES PROPOSED PUBLIC OFFERING OF COMMON STOC
J. C. PENNEY COMMENCED PUBLIC OFFERING OF 84 MILLION SHARES
And the punchline:
- JC PENNEY TO OFFER SHARES VIA GOLDMAN SACHS
Yep: the same firm that just killed JCP two days ago, is now diluting the stock some more.
You may have seen recent revelations that Detroit routinely raided its pension funds to award extra cash – including bonuses dubbed “the 13th check” – to both retirees and active employees. These payments were far in excess of the city’s negotiated obligations and hidden from both the public and Detroit’s bond investors. There may be no cleaner account of the repercussions of handing power to those who show their compassion with the public purse. However well meaning the union reps controlling Detroit’s pension board may have been, their politics clearly compromised the city’s long-term health.
It would have been the worst streak since May 2012 but thanks to a damp squib of a day, the S&P (and other US equity indices) managed to hold on to gains in another 'spikey' day's trading in stocks. USD strength (on EUR and JPY weakness) spooked gold and silver modestly (with gold underperforming) as copper rallied to recouple with them on the week. WTI lifted very quietly to $103. Treasury yields lifted very gently higher all day ending +1 to 2bps only. Once again, the S&P found resistance at the pre-Un-Taper levels from last week and was sold quickly on recovering that level and the Dow remains below pre-Summers-Out levels. All-in-all a very quiet day as individual names from JNY to JCP and from MBI to HTZ caught all the attention.
Today at 4:15 pm Eastern, Doubleline's Jeff Gundlach will be sharing his latest outlook on the markets via an audio-only webcast, and as usual addressing what he believes are the best investment strategies. The audio for this webcast can be accessed at the link below (link to register here). Phone lines are be available for dial-in at (877) 407-1869 or for international calls (201) 689-8044.
Cheat Sheet on Inequality
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned Congress today that the US will be signing its own version of Auld Lang Syne on October 17th 2013