Unresolved Cliff Drags Back Lethargic Market

Tyler Durden's picture

The market grudgingly comes back to work today, overdosed on caffeine and other alkaloid derivatives, a day when traditionally everyone calls in sick, as absolutely nothing has been resolved over the Fiscal Cliff with just 3 real trading sessions left in the year. And the likelihood that no real trading will take place is very high as both the House and Obama are still out of town, although the latter will take a late night AF-1 trip back to D.C. to rekindle rumors of an imminent 11th hour deal. It is increasingly looking as though the E-bay market, when all real trading take places  at 3:59:59 pm, will manifest itself at the calendar level too, with either a market surge or plunge in what appears to be the last trading day of the year. One can only hope if the news is negative that it has a hard limit like the ES limit down plunge last Thursday.

The overnight newsflow was sparse, although we learned, to little surprise, that despite all the cheerleading by various TV outlets that the holiday retail season was the weakest one in 4 years. As the WSJ reported, "The annual holiday shop-a-thon drew to a muted close for many retailers, according to preliminary data, reflecting what some experts said was the slowest growth in spending since the 2008 recession. For the eight weeks from Oct. 28 through Christmas Eve, retail sales for the holidays rose just 0.7% from the year before, according to MasterCard Inc.'s SpendingPulse unit." So much for all those soaring personal spending and income numbers from last week. Remember: when the government is in doubt how to let the market know that the news is horrible and getting worse, it baffles with seasonally adjusted BS. As it has been for the past 4 years.

Elsewhere, in Japan the BOJ released its latest meeting minutes, which together with the resignation of the Noda cabinet (who is finally no longer watching), has sent the Japanese Yen into freefall, and the USDJPY touching the highest since April of 2011. Apparently 2% inflation targeting in a country in which 2% interest rates will mean all government revenues go to paying down the cash interest on the debt, is a good thing. Of course, all this assumes that Abe will succeed where he bombed so spectacularly last time. Which he won't.

Oh yes, apparently the Netflix service crashed on Christmas Eve (some even noticed it in real life). The firm with the zero barriers to entry and which pays far more for content (starting in 2016) than it can afford, promptly blamed it on Amazon. At least it wasn't Sandy, the Fiscal Cliff, or Bush.

Overnight we also learned that the Chinese Q3 current account surplus was $70.8 billion, even as the capital and financial account posted a deficit of $51.7 billion. Perhaps this explains why China has refused to buy any US government bonds for well over 1 year running.

Today brings us Case-Shiller data, which is expected to come in stronger on a seasonally adjusted Y/Y basis, as the last marginal benefits of the ongoing REO-to-Rent, not to mention the Foreclosure Stuffing strategy employed by all banks to subsidize the low end of the housing market, provides the last benefits to this latest, fourth, round of the housing dead cat bounce. Aside from that it will dead quiet once again with total market volume expected to barely top Monday's year lows.

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IMA5U's picture

And futures are higher....

GetZeeGold's picture



They'd better be....if they know what's good for them.

kliguy38's picture

There's only one Fed lackey manning the PPT's mainframe today and if I have to go down a biatch slap that little punk........IT WILL BE GREEN!!

Vincent Vega's picture

Glad to see you are in Tyler(s). I thought I was the only person on the planet working today.

smlbizman's picture

does anyone know if scott at hyperreport has run into difficultys...has not posted since the 22nd...

derek_vineyard's picture

i had to run outside and put the trash when i heard the garbage truck on christmas morning. hats off to the garbage collectors, those guys work and after they took my garbage with a smile, i raced back into the house and got a bottle of tequila i wrapped as a christmas gift for a family member and ran down the street and caught up with them and gave it to them in all humbleness

whouda thunk they worked christmas?????????   a needed service being done..........all washington and half of america should use these guys as role models!!


p.s.  the family memeber (?) was told 'i gave your present to someone more deserving and worthy'---and that person agreed!!!

Vincent Vega's picture

+1 to you for the kindness and generosity. +1 to the sanitation crew for working the holiday.

booboo's picture

Irony, Obama collides with a drone somewhere over the Pacific. While Boehner falls off his balcony drunk as a skunk.

Things that go bump's picture

Of course you realize that would leave us with Biden at the wheel.

bigbwana's picture

PM's and farmland aside, the best investment is rare banknotes from around the world. Your own country being the most interesting, and accessible. They never depreciate and are far more valiable than today's fiat currencies. They are also pretty to look at, and the more people who invest, can only drive the price up.

ShrNfr's picture

Nice hobby and all, but the collectibles market always relies on somebody else to buy from you. That is never assured.

bigbwana's picture

With internet/ebay, the demand is now open to the world. Huge market! And the more people who collect/invest, the rarity of banknotes will increase, exponentially.

FreeNewEnergy's picture

Some collectibles are more resilient than others, which I why I prefer to trade in "adult" items. A little more of that libido, thank you.

NoDebt's picture

Also reporting for duty.  I've had about all the family togetherness I can stand.  I want to go back where it's safe-back to the office. 

I went back and reviewed the charts from the debt ceiling debacle couple years ago.  Things didn't get really nasty until we were already PAST the edge of that cliff.  I'm not sayin' nothing.  I'm just sayin.


fonzannoon's picture

I spent the holidays with a lot of people from all over. None of them care about the fiscal cliff. They talk about it. But they don't think it will affect anyone. Bring up the debt ceiling and their eyes glaze over. No one cares anymore.

eddiebe's picture

fonz, agreed, same here. I think the people that still care feel totally powerless to do anything about anything. 

knukles's picture

It is what it is and the best way we can continue to effect change for the better is by behaving in a mature, civil, responsible manner in all our affairs.  Even the least important, for if we cannot be responsible, counted upon to do the next right thing at those seemingly insignificant times, it is unlikely we accomplish that necessitated when the most difficult of undesired tasks weigh upon our shoulders.

The path of a good man is constantly beset upon by inequities of the selfish, tyranny of the evil and blindness of those riddled with false pride holding dear contempt prior to investigation.  Indeed, it is seductive for even a man of good character to be diverted from his proper path, distracted and clarity darkened when he willingly enters into debate concerning that which is either not his responsibility or under his control, literally morphing into a diatribe of apocalyptic proportions devolving from intellectual discourse in order that he simply prove himself correct. 

It drains the lifeblood, the very spiritual core, the essence of one's soul unnecessarily, debilitating our worth and cheapening relationships with those about us.  I must take great care to ensure that I remain at peace with my God, others and myself in order to be of reasonable value to those about me by not participating in the endless quest of solving the world's problems.
Which I am incapable of doing. 
Perhaps another variant ofy confused with the "not caring" syndrome.

NoDebt's picture

Yeah, that's it around my neck of the woods, too.  It's hard to put in words exactly what's going on with them.  Part acceptance, part frustration, part apathy, part false-hope, part..... I dunno.  Hard to put my finger on it.

Being the family "financial genius" (HAH!  I sure fooled them!) I often get asked a lot of questions at family get-togethers.  Not this year.  Nothing.  Not a single question.  They are TUNED OUT at exactly the time I've got ALL my antennas up.  That's never happened before.

Maybe I just read too much ZH and I'm seeing demons in the shadows where there are none.


DavidC's picture

We had unbelievable CRAP on TV here in the UK (NO, I didn't watch any of it!) - I had a good conversation with my brother in law about the Feds, Obama et al, but I couldn't believe why people would be watching such dross on TV, particularly with the cliff, ceiling, etc.

One of my Christmas presents was a Kid Creole and the Coconuts DVD, RockPalast 1982 - I watched that last night, a brilliant band even after all these years!


FreeNewEnergy's picture

The usual herd of sheeple with which I was forced to waste six hours of my otherwise pleasant existence were only interested in stuffing their faces and opening gifts. I was amused that they were all having such a good time just days before the government was readying an assault on the fruits of their labor.

I have maintained all along - since the election - that a deal was already in place on the fiscal cliff, and that deal was that there would be NO DEAL. A brilliant scheme by the master schemers in DC: act like you're trying, raise taxes on everybody and blame each other. It's a LOSE-WIN.

No pity on those who allow the government to take their money every week or fortnight through the wizardry of payroll deductions.

As somebody much wiser than me has said (Mencken?), the American people will get exactly what they deserve.

Power to the self-employed! Excelsior!

thecoloredsky's picture

NoDebt - Also notice that every time the market goes bearish there is a spike with the insider buy/sell ratio.


Haven't seen it yet even with all this fiscally cliffy crap.

apberusdisvet's picture

The dog and pony in the show have died of asphixiation from the smoke emanating from behind the mirror.

knukles's picture

But Juaniita and the donkey were always part of the sobering up in Tijuana...

bigkahuna's picture

Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends.

rsnoble's picture

Can we please postpone calling all the pretty flasing lights and endless digital zeros as 'the market' and retitle it something more appropriate until further notice? Something like Banker Fuckfest would be in order.

rsnoble's picture

Imagine........and entire civilization based on emptyness, nothing tangible in most cases and a bunch of liars and crooks in charge of it all. What could possible go wrong?  Hand your guns in first then find out.

PUD's picture

Retail sales worst since 08, massive counter attack by japs in currency war or mad, chinese downgrade of US credit....but we have "hope" of a "deal"!!! hoo ha!! whoo hooo!

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

retail up 0.7% maybe..all those guns and ammo had to be most of the gain..not that vibrant recovery we are told day in and day out on MSM. pity the fed and state govs, all that lost sales tax, will add to the debt.

knukles's picture

Hey, didju guys see the lady reporter that CNBS sent to some mall in Short Hairs NJ a day or two before Christmas?  Was one of those Epic Hurricane Clips where the reporter is standing weaving making like his life is in danger and kids are standing behind him skateboarding, looking at him like he's fucknut drugged out?
She's standing there talking about Robust Sales, People Flocking to zee Malls, Baby Cakes, Buying Everything in Sight... and there was Absolutely Nobody In the Place.  There was nobody else in the picture....


As a Cheap Suit stuffed with a Politician.


Everybodys All American's picture

... who hasn't seen that coming? Obamacare tax hikes alone would send people and the economy to the mat.

MickV's picture

US economic stats are becoming just like China's. China can say whatever it wants the stat to be--- because they are absolutely state controlled. Please, China can build entire empty cities and call it GDP and "growth". The reality is that their citizens are slaves, and only members of the Oligarchy participate in the profit made from the rape of China's citizens and the environment. Here the US government can issue foodstamps, and prevent mass hunger riots, and call it GDP.

The US, under the putative Presidency of the Usurper, Obama, whom was born a British subject and likely still is, and doing the bidding of the Rothchilds, has become much like China. Macroeconomic Advisors is owned and run by the Central Banking Cartel. The founders proprietors of Macroeconomic Advisors are former Fed insiders and Marxists. It pushes forth whatever meme that the fellow PTB wish to put forth. Therefore 360K new Unemployment claims per week become "green shoots" when the BLS says that 100K fake seasonally adjusted jobs are created in any month. Lets do the math shall we? 360K X 4 = 1.44 Million new unemployed, versus 100K jobs created (supposedly). How does that math add up, and how does the complicit useful idiot media seem to ignore simple math? Well because they are the useful idiots-- hoping for a seat at the table of Oligarchy, as the mouthpiece of a criminal and illegitimate government----- whe there is no legal President (Obama is not a natural born Citizen--- since he was born British--- no matter where birth occurred), then there is no law, and no constitution. Why do you think the bankers are raping and pillaging w/ impunity, and no recourse?

The judiciary are also useful idiots, and have sold out the republic. Consider this. A judge in Fla. dismissed a legal challenge to Obama's eligibility by saying that "if the government says he's eligible then that enough for me", and quoted "Miracle on 34th St".


There is no United States anymore. Only the blood of tyrants and patriots will restore it.


new game's picture

checking in and out at the same time.  waiting/watching for silver pounce.

feelin like a to be drunk sailer, hmmm...

Shizzmoney's picture

Remember: when the government is in doubt how to let the market know that the news is horrible and getting worse, it baffles with seasonally adjusted BS. As it has been for the past 4 years.

Past 4 years?  How about 12?

Alan Greenspan will go down in history as the person who has done more damage to the U.S. economy and society that anyone who was not a foreign enemy. In fact the destruction he wreaked through his incompetence would also exceed the damage caused by almost all would-be enemies as well.

Greenspan accomplished the remarkable feat as Fed chair of ignoring the growth of the $8 trillion housing bubble. This bubble could not have been easier to see if it had been 500 feet high and lit up with huge neon signs saying "Huge Housing Bubble." But Greenspan insisted the bubble was not there.


When in doubt, baffle with bullshit!

ricky2's picture

China stopped buying our bonds?!?!?!? How are we still a country?

FreeNewEnergy's picture

The Bernanke has the country's back.

Nothing to worry about at all.

Elmer Fudd's picture

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't avoiding the "fiscal cliff" by our goobermint all based on raising the debt ceiling?  What a clever disguise by the ministry of propaganda.