Deep Thoughts From Art Cashin: Follow The Bouncing Buck

Tyler Durden's picture

As always insightful trader talk from Art Cashin via UBS Financial Services

Following The Bouncing Buck Continues But Causes Confusion – Stocks began Friday’s session deep in the hole. Pundits noted another move to tighten by China. Of nearly equal importance was the noticeable lack of detail on the presumed Greek “rescue package”. Traders began to wonder if there really was a plan.

Those two developments gave a boost to the dollar. That, in turn, sent gold and oil sharply lower, matching the opening stock selloff.

Around 10:00, the greenback rally paused. Less threatened, stocks, gold and oil responded by churning sideways. As noon approached, the dollar index came off the highs and, in yet one more Pavlovian reaction, stocks, oil and gold cut their losses in response.

Then, around 1:00, the Dollar Index (DXY) began to move up toward the morning highs. As if a bell had rung – stocks, oil, and gold headed back down. Shortly after 2:00, the process was reversed again. In the final 45 minutes, they staged a minor reversal of the previous reversal.

The dominance of the dollar was so evident that I was stunned from time to time to see brokers getting calls from trading desks inquiring “what turned the market?”

Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

The Dow closed two-thirds off the lows. That allowed the first up week in the last five. Not quite a resounding victory for the bulls, but a welcome respite at least.

Cocktail Napkin Charting – In Friday’s Comments, we wrote that the napkins suggested support in the S&P was “way down around 1058/1063”. The sharp opening selloff took the S&P to an intra-day low of 1062.97 before they circled the wagons. For today, we’ll stick with the 1058/1063 support. Resistance looks like 1083/1088 and then 1093/1097.

China Watch – Over the weekend, there was some speculation that China is so concerned about a lending bubble and potential inflation that they might allow (cause) their currency to appreciate. If so, authorities must be really concerned.

On another note, Andy Lees passed along a warning from China’s Agriculture University. They claim the over-use of nitrogen fertilizers has so poisoned the soil in South China that nothing will grow in it. The year of food shortages?

Greece And The Euro – The Euro is firming this morning helping gold, oil and stock futures. The European ministers are meeting amid a growing sense that failure is not an option. Additionally, polls show that a majority of the Greek populace believe austerity measures are necessary and, likely, overdue. That offers some hope of reform without street backlash.

Sunspots Before My Eyes – Sunspot activity perked up markedly last week. In fact, the numbers returned to almost normal levels. The sunspot numbers for February 4th through the 10th were: 11, 22, 30, 51, 71, 63 and 55. We haven’t seen a number as large as 71 since spring of 2006. To keep things in perspective, lets again review the average daily sunspot numbers in prior years. For the period from 1999 through 2009, the average daily sunspot numbers were 136.3; 173; 170.3; 176.6; 109.2; 68.6; 48.9; 26.1; 12.8; 4.7 and 5. Let’s not put away that sweater just yet.

Consensus – It’s still all about the dollar (DXY). The above noted hopes for some resolution to the Greek crisis have gold, oil and stock futures all doing better. In 17 of the last 20 weeks, we’ve begun with a rally. Follow the bouncing buck. Stay very, very nimble.

Trivia Corner

Answer - The only letter not used in spelling the names of all 50 states is "Q".

Today’s Question – Two term presidencies are not as common as you think. We’ve only had three back to back two termers once in our history. Who were they?

and the obligatory history parable:

On this day (-1) in 1922, a 28 year old kid named Sam Hammett resigned from the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The Pinkerton's were the most famous detective agency in the world. Begun over 60 years earlier, Alan Pinkerton's firm was the model for the U.S. Secret Service. And, when Pinkerton took his tactics private, he chose as his logo an open and possibly all-seeing eye. Thus the Public adopted the image of a nonpolice detective as a "private eye."

Sam Hammett resigned from what he thought had become a bureaucratic form of investigation. He liked free style - lone wolf.

So he left the firm, dropped his first name and began to write about the private eye he always dreamed he'd be. So Sam Hammett became the writer Dashiel Hammett and invented Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon) as well as Nick Charles (The Thin Man) and set the tone of hard boiled, hard drinking shamuses that would captivate Americans for half a century.

To celebrate, tell Vilma to park the gum, and tell the skirt on the phone that a partner is a partner not a prom date. And if a messenger arrives with a newspaper-wrapped dingus - send it, along with most of whatever else you have, to the I.R.S.

Traders could have used a detective to tell them what was going on yesterday last week. The markets puzzled about what was the solution to the Greek question and what was going on in China. That puzzling led to some volatile trading.

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john_connor's picture

This is the best shorting opportunity on SPX since Oct. 2007, IMO.

Anonymous's picture

The Federal Reserve is a Den of Thieves. Filthy Fucking Thieves.

Anonymous's picture

Is it just me or is the dollar correlation breaking down?

gringo28's picture

sure looks that way.....

Cyan Lite's picture

I guarantee a close above 1100 on the SPX by this Friday.  Follow the open interest in the option pits.

DRju's picture

Dollar due for nice rally

Anonymous's picture

For the first time in a year I tuned in to CNBC this AM - there was John Paulsen of Wells Cap looking like he just wandered in from a night of carousing ever the perma-bull talking with Becky. Meanwhile they promoted an upcoming interview with Dem hack Carol Browner - I spent less than 5 minutes watching - Between their dismal MSNBC ratings and disastrous Olympic coverage one can only hope that ComCast will negotiate I significant discount to their purchase price for this junk heap of a broadcaster.

Astute Investor's picture

Let's try JIM Paulsen not to be confused with John Paulson or Hank Paulson for that matter.

Astute Investor's picture

Jefferson / Madison

Madison / Monroe

Clinton / Bush II

Anonymous's picture

Could someone please enlighten me on what sunspots have to do with the market?

Reductio ad Absurdum's picture

The pdf file linked by AnonymousMonetarist is part of what Cashin is referring to, but he's also talking about the connection between sunspots and the earth's temperature.


Sunspots have been monitored on the Sun since 1610, shortly after the invention of the telescope. They provide the longest-running direct measurement of our star's activity.

In particular, it has been noted that between about 1645 and 1715, few sunspots were seen on the Sun's surface. This period is called the Maunder Minimum after the English astronomer who studied it. It coincided with a spell of prolonged cold weather often referred to as the "Little Ice Age".

When Cashin wrote, "Sunspot activity perked up markedly last week. ... Let’s not put away that sweater just yet," he's suggesting the recent upturn in sunspot activity doesn't mean there will be more (i.e., that the earth will soon get warmer again).

What does this have to do with the market? It could affect decisions regarding companies that deal in cold/hot seasonal merchandise. If the trend lasted a long time, it could represent a longer change in the earth's temperature affecting the "global warming" debate and thus all kinds of stocks, in particular oil and alternative energy stocks.

Trifecta Man's picture

We didn't exactly believe your story, Miss O'Shaughnessy. We believed your 200 dollars. I mean, you paid us more than if you had been telling us the truth, and enough more to make it all right.

Psquared's picture

We are bumping up against that resistance now - 1088. I think we break through to 1100 this week and perhaps as high as 1140 before another retracement.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Doelarr to by hung, drawn, and quartered for the remainder of the year?  It goes now.....

and, imagine if JP Morgan's Market Manipulators did not have their foot on SILVER's throat?!

Anonymous's picture

The Greek people do not believe austerity issues are overdue. I don't know who took that poll. The riots and protests are evidence enough of that. The fact is that people in Greece only care about their own pockets and it's been that way for as long as I can remember (I'm Greek if it matters and spend a lot of time there every year). They are socialist ideologically, but comes with an ironic twist - they don't want the government messing with them individually. According to John Mauldin only 6 Greek declares income over 1M EUR last year. Really? There are many many real problems in Greece beginning with their tax system, massive social programs, HOW they determine taxes, tax evasion, the massive black market, and on and on. My family is about to incur massive new taxes and they are retired. It's sheer lunacy over there and it's not getting better and won't get better. Greece cannot grow out of this mess and ultimately, I believe they will default.

AnonymousMonetarist's picture

The country of Greece, where a third of the economy is underground, where over the last 175 years the country has been in default about half the time, will now be monitored by the EU to insure that all future government statistics are accurate, will give the EU the power to audit its' books, and will have to follow the austerity measures laid out by the EU?

Are you kidding me?

Beware the Trojan Hoax.

ConfederateH's picture

The EU is like an aging woman to Greece, the latin lover. Greece has been taking advantage of the EU, driving around in her fancy BMW all the while hitting on any young piece of meat that comes down the pike.

At some point in time the EU will wise up and throw the bum out on the street...

Anonymous's picture

There seems to be a new bull market in sunspots in the making.
Sunspot futures look risky but everybody should invest in any of the many sunspot ETFs.
Lets see if the inverse corelation between sunspots and gold holds in the future...

crzyhun's picture

Turns out the clever greeks have not paid taxes since the Ottamans left! They must know something about why not to pay....Its pure barter over there. We will not be far away the way matters are now. Yet, all is not lost. Spring is around the corner, somewhere....

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