New York Stock Exchange
U.S. equity markets rallied once again after opening weaker Monday repeating previous performances. There wasn’t much news domestically. The Fed continued modest POMO actions which will grow in scope throughout the week. Stocks were quiet most of the day but got a lift on rumors that Apple (AAPL) will declare a dividend of some kind. If they do this, then the SEC should be monitoring who and what groups were front-running this piece of news.
Someone is obviously not complying with the central-planner script and rotating fast enough into equities.
Bulls remain in control of the tape even if there are only a few of them. There is better economic data in the U.S. as the Employment Report indicates (236K vs 171K expected & prior 151K) while the headline unemployment rate dropped (7.7% vs &.7.8% expected & prior 7.9%). The latter is the headline number HFT & algo traders jump on and “away we go!” Jackie Gleason would shout. Inside the numbers there is less cheerful data but “da boyz” running the programs never pay attention to these like: “4.8 million unemployed greater than 27 weeks and only 63.5% of the workforce engaged in work”. The latter numbers haven’t changed much.
New highs will become a daily headline feature it seems until we actually have a down day.
Thursday, Jobless Claims fell (340K vs 347K previous), Productivity (-1.9% vs -2% previous) and Costs (4.6% vs 4.5% previous) were very poor reports, and the Trade Deficit grew (-$44.45B vs -$38B). Lastly, Consumer Credit expanded to $16.2 billion from $14.6 billion primarily on student loans (in a bubble) and auto loans (subprime auto loans booming).
Markets reacted without much conviction either way and for the most part took a break even as #024999 !important;" href="http://www.newyorkfed.org/markets/pomo/display/index.cfm?showmore=1%26opertype=orig" target="_blank">POMO was fully operational. One sector leading markets higher were financials, which we profiled in today in#024999 !important;" href="http://etfdigest.com/etf_headlines/ETF-in-Focus-XLF.html" target="_blank">a short video highlighting SDPR Financial ETF (XLF). As premium subscribers know, we’ve been pretty active in XLF and are looking to add to our existing positions.
When you get this close to a record it’s just a matter of time before it gets taken out generally. Why today? Well, China reversed course psychologically by now stating it would expand “deficit spending by 50%” after just Monday putting the clamps theoretically on their housing bubble. That provided a big lift to Asian and European shares. With the latter more ECB talk about defending the eurozone and euro was fed bulls. Global markets also feasted on Fed Vice-Chair (the woman who would be king?) Janet Yellen that QEternity is not gonna change.
We could tell you all about the fact that high-yield credit did not play along with this rally today (and that the underlying cash market for corporate bonds has been weak for well over a week now); we could note that VIX did not take part in this surge today as the stops were run; we could point to the total lack of volume (NYSE or futures) confirming the move; we could highlight the fact that Treasury yields rose a de minimus 1.5bps on the day and while the USD slipped modestly on the day, it is only down 0.22% on the week and that Gold, Silver, and Oil are all unchanged on the week. But - all that matters, in this headline-driven algo-aided market is - The Dow hit all time highs - 'Mission Accomplished' Mr. Bernanke, well played - record stocks, record debt, record food stamps recipients.
Royal Dutch Shell has just released new forecasts for its ‘New Lens Scenarios’ program, which aims to predict how current business decision and policies may unfold over time and affect the markets in the future. The scenarios take two different approaches: one considers the world with a high level of government involvement, and the other looks at the markets when they are given more freedom to develop naturally. The results are intriguing...
Incase you didn’t notice, the sequester is in place cutting the rise in government spending by all of 2%. I woke up this morning expecting the planet to have reversed its rotation, it was no longer winter and I had aged 30 years. But no, everything was the same, except for the bullshit emanating from various pundits or websites. One thing I’ve learned to do, whether its Obama, Boehner, or Reid is just to tune them out. If there’s a national emergency then I don’t know what I’d do or who I’d tune in—Big Sis? Good grief!
Presented with little comment except to note, each time the NYSE member firms margin-buying has become so vociferously positive over and above the Dow, things have not turned out so well...
Recent news about Federal plans to "help" manage private retirement accounts renewed our interest in the topic of capital controls. One example of capital control is to limit the amount of money that can be transferred out of the country; another is limiting the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from accounts; a third is the government mandates private capital must be invested in government bonds. Though presented as "helping" households, the real purpose of the power grab would be to enable the Federal government to borrow the nation's retirement accounts at near-zero rates of return. As things fall apart, Central States pursue all sorts of politically expedient measures to protect the State's power and the wealth of the political and financial Elites. Precedent won't matter; survival of the State and its Elites will trump every other consideration. All this raises an interesting question: what would America look like at $5000 an ounce gold?
Aided by QE and ZIRP, the-powers-that-be tried to end February with some bullish records designed to pump-up Main Street. Theoretically, if new market record highs were achieved this would then suck more money into financial products, as the WS marketing machine would be energized.
Chris Martenson is issuing an official warning of a major stock market correction within the next few months. He's only done this once before (in 2008). He's seeing a convergence of both technical and fundamental data that are flashing oversized risks to the downside for asset prices, despite the Federal Reserve's money printing mania (which is showing signs of hitting diminishing returns). He expects the fall in equity prices to happen within the May-September window. This downdraft will be characterized by lots of volatility, formed by market routs and Fed-inspired rescues, alternating until some form of bottom is reached. Along the way there will likely be a flight for "safety" into the dollar and Treasury paper, but only during the first stage of this crisis. Once a bottom is reached - he expects anywhere from 40% to 60% lower than the current ~1500 level on the S&P 500 - the process will begin to be dominated by rising government borrowing which will cause interest rates to begin to rise. When that happens, expect capital to flee the paper market for hard assets. In particular, that's when the upwards price revolution in the gold and silver markets will kick into high gear.
This is not Bill Ackman day. After getting creamed on JCP, here comes Icahn to make sure Ackman never forgets the day the DJIA is set to rehit all time highs.
- HERBALIFE SAYS ICAHN CAN BOOST POSITION UP TO 25% OF COMPANY
- HERBALIFE TO NOMINATE TWO ICAHN REPRESENTATIVES TO BOARD
HLF stock halted, then unhalted and, not unexpectedly, up.
Democratic lawmaker Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts has used information from the Interior Department to form a report which claims that more than 100 oil and gas producers, including Chevron Corp., BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and ConocoPhillips, have benefitted from bungled leases awarded by the federal government. The leases enabled the companies to drill for oil and gas in federal waters without paying, or at least paying at a much lower rate, any royalties.