by phil - June 3rd, 2014 8:25 am
That's 2 closes over 1,920.
It's almost enough to make us regret cashing out our Long-Term Portfolio last week. We didn't expect to call a perfect top, when you have a large portfolio it can take days to unwind your positions and, despite the very low volume – we'd like to thank all the retail bagholders who bought our shares at top dollar in the last few days.
Thanks Dave and Bill and Jack and Joe and – well, that's about it as volume is so low, there can't be more then 3 or 4 guys trading in this market!
Last June started off with low volume too – as well as record highs – and then we dropped 5% into July. We're simply taking our 119% cash and waiting for the dip – is that so bad?
Yesterday was only the 3rd lowest volume day of the year and the action was wonderfully fake around a PMI report that was released, revised and then revised again – all in the same morning!
In the end, they decided on 56.4, which was in-line with consensus but not before giving us a glimpse on how quickly this market can fail on bad news.
In our Live Member Chat Room, we took full advantage of the over-reaction on the bad news to go against the panicking sheeple and buy TNA (3x bullish ETF on the Russell) in a 9:57 Alert I sent out to our Members.
That trade was so obvious I tweeted it out as well (you can follow me here) saying:
Those calls came in cheaper (because our timing was perfect) at $1.50-$1.40 and they topped out at $1.70 and finished the day at $1.61 but should be cheap again this morning, which is why I'm mentioning them now as they make an excellent upside hedge – in case the market does better than we think.
by phil - June 2nd, 2014 8:32 am
I know it sounds like a broken record (kids don't even know what that means) to say "record highs" over and over again, but that's what the Federally fueled rally has given us – over and over again.
Certainly the Fed remains EXTREMELY accomodative but they also stand to lose hundreds of Billions of Dollars on their current bond-holdings if rates ever do rise (because they hold Trillions of low-rate bonds, which lose value if higher-rate bonds become available) – so how long can this game last?
It's not just the Fed, of course – other people do buy our bonds (and hold our bonds) and, right now, the people holding high-interest bonds (5%+) are sitting on a gold mine as they are far more valuable than 2-3% bonds. What happens when that begins to unwind? Suddenly there will be a flood of bonds hitting the street at 5%+ that the Government, who still borrow $50Bn per month, will have to compete with to raise capital. Doing this at the same time as the Fed is withdrawing their stimulus can be a disaster.
We were talking about inflationay pressure in Member Chat this morning and anyone who has a stomach has some idea of what the real inflation rate is in this World. This chart is from India, where inflation has "slowed" to 8.64% but last year's 15% average led to the ousting of the old government in the recent election.
Revolution is a slow process, especially in democracies – where the population has the illusion of choice. We are always enticed by the chance to "throw the bums out" in a few years but then, inevitably, the new bums are just as bad and then we want to throw them out too.
That's because you can't fix a broken system when everyone is playing just a slight variation on the same news. The way our own Government measures inflation is a joke, because 57% of the measured inflation rate is Owner's Equivalent Rent, which means, even if you are not buying a house, when your house gets more affordable (lower price, cheaper mortgage), that's considered to detract from the total rate of inflation of everything else with…
by phil - May 22nd, 2014 7:58 am
Look at this chart:
LOOK AT IT!!!! This is America, damn it! We peaked out in earnings in 2000 and it's been downhill ever since. Even worse, this is America AFTER the Federal Reserve spent $4 TRILLION to boost the economy. This is America AFTER our Government plunged another $6 TRILLION into debt – supposedly to save jobs and support the economy.
This is a DISASTER! If this were the chart of a company you owned – you'd be selling. If there were a board of directors, we'd be looking to make changes, right? Actually, there is a sort of board of directors and, as is often the case with Corporate Management – they're the only ones making any money!
Only in Washington DC and Dick Cheney's Wyoming are people in this country still making as much money as they were in the good old days (Clinton years). The rest of the country is in various states of decline – some of it fairly drastic – and in big states like Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, where people are earning about 20% less now than they did 14 years ago.
Our standard of living is in decline, especially when you consider that inflation is chewing into those lower wages from the other end as well. How much more evidence can we possibly need that the Bush Tax cuts were a complete and utter policy failure? Yet you will hear none of that in the MSM. What TV station owner or newspaper & magazine publisher is going to tell you that they should be paying 20% more taxes than they are paying now?
There's a reason that, despite the BS Employment Numbers put up by the Administration, that the #1 concern of US voters is JOBS! People may HAVE jobs (actually 20% of the families in our country have NO ONE employed at the moment) but, clearly, from an economic perspective – the jobs suck! Even people lucky enough to keep their jobs through the crisis haven't had raises in a decade but, of course, they are too afraid to leave because we all know people who lost their jobs and didn't find…
by phil - May 14th, 2014 8:50 am
Three out of five indexes look very good!
The same can be said about a dog with three legs and no tail, I suppose. So, the question is, is the market a dog in a nice sweater or whatever the metaphor would be for something where 3 healthy guys drag two dead guys around and win the race.
Hmmm, I guess there is no metaphor for that – BECAUSE IT'S RIDICULOUS, isn't it? A healthy market looks like a healthy market and this does NOT look like a healthy market.
You can ignore Russia invading Ukraine, you can ignore China's exploding debt bubble, you can ignore collapsing German Investor Confidence, you can ignore Japanese Inflation, you can ignore all the stuff we already talked about in this morning's news alert – but that's not going to make it go away!
Yes, we made new highs yesterday but look at the crap volume. The volume on the Friday after Thanksgiving (half a day) was 55M on SPY, the volume on Dec 26th was 63M and New Year's Eve was 86M – that's how ridiculous yesterday's volume was.
We're still in the pattern of the market rising on low volumes and selling off on high volume, which is simply the way the Banksters pump up their holdings into the opens and then dump them on what few retail suckers are participating into the closes.
You can hear their media puppets ramping up the rhetoric at the same time, wagging their fingers at the retail investors and telling them they are "missing" the rally. Why weren't they saying that when the markets were 50% cheaper? Why not when they were 25% cheaper? No, only at a market top does the Corporate Media tell you to BUYBUYBUY because their masters already bought their fill and now they need someone to hold the bag. Same as it ever was.
by phil - May 6th, 2014 8:14 am
Whenever the manipulators need to boost the markets, they just crash the Dollar.
And what a dive we've had! As you can see from Dave Fry's Chart, the Dollar is down 7% since last summer and down 2.5% this year and that keeps stocks and commodities 2.5% higher – because we buy them with Dollars.
Keep in mind, at the same time you are buying IBM shares for $200, someone is buying the same shares for 20,400 Yen and another guy is buying them for 340 British Pounds and yet another guy is buying them for 280 Euros.
It's obvious that, if the value of the Pound or the Yen or the Euro changes, the price of IBM in those currencies will change to reflect the currrency valuation but Americans tend not to realize the same thing happens when the Dollar gets stronger or weaker too. Once you do realize this – you have a huge advantage in trading the Futures (and we have a Live Futures Workshop this afternoon at 1pm).
The Fed's easy-money policies keep the Dollar weak (because we're printing another Trillion of them each year and, in this economy, no one is using them – ie. no demand) and that has goosed the market by 7% since last summer, when the S&P was about 1,650 – about 10% lower than it is now.
That means that 75% of the gains in the S&P since last summer have been the result of a weak currency and have noting to do with a "strong" economy. Now THAT makes sense, doesn't it?
"THEY" had to tank the Dollar to get us over the 1,600 level, which was a very key technical off our consolidated bottom at 800 during the crash. It's no coincidence that we were hitting resistance there in May and pulling back to 1,560 and looking weak in July when, suddenly, the Fed went into a new round of crazy, which led to 6 months of fairly steady value erosion for every single Dollar you have worked for and saved your entire life.
by phil - April 28th, 2012 6:57 am
Have you seen this?
Frontline did this very good documentary and I'd file it under "those who forget the past are CONDEMNED to repeat it" – let's all TRY not to repeat the mistakes of 2008… "Wall Street got bailed out and Main Street didn't" is the quote that neatly sums up the present situation. Wall Street and the top 10% of this country – of this World – are partying like it's 1999 while the bottom 90% continue to languish in the worst Recession since the Great Depression.
Despite a myriad of worrying data, the Corporate Media is in full-blown promotional mode – pushing stocks as if it were modern snake oil – the panacea that will cure all your ills. We often forget that essentially ALL of our news sources are publicly traded companies and have a vested interest in the stock market going higher. Hell, we have an interest in that too, as our longer-term virtual porfolios are entirely bullish - but that shouldn't preclude us from making a realistic assessment of the CURRENT situation, should it?
Caterpillar, 3M, United Technologies and ABB are among the manufacturers that have reported weak performances in China in the first quarter as economic growth has slowed nearly to a three-year low. Caterpillar’s sales in China fell between $250 million and $300 million in the first quarter, pushing the company, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, to export to other countries a large share of the equipment it made in China.
Concerns about China overshadowed better-than-expected earnings at the company, which is based in Peoria, Illinois, and led investors to push the stock down 5 percent Wednesday, which was great for us as CAT was on our Long Put List.
ABB, a maker of power equipment, reported profits in the past week that were below analysts’ expectations, caused by weak Chinese demand. “It was a very slow start to the year for China. China in January was extremely weak,” ABB’s chief financial officer, Michel Demaré, said Wednesday.
by phil - March 27th, 2012 7:34 am
Wheeeeeee – isn't this economy FANTASTIC?
It sure is for those of us in the top 1% (1.4M) - people earning over $352,000 in annual income. We made $105,637 more Dollars in 2010 than we did in 2009 – thanks in large part to the Fed's fantastic policy of printing more and more money, which lets us borrow cheaply or invest with leverage in inflating equity as the Dollar collapses. Sure the Dollar collapsing hurts everyone – but an extra $105,637 keeps us ahead of inflation, right?
I'm stil jealous of course (good Capitalists are always jealous), as the top .01% (14,000 of us) – who earn an average of $23.8M, were able to add another $4.2M to their annual incomes in 2010. That's 52,500 TIMES the average $80 increase earned by the bottom 99% (thank goodness we're not one of THEM!). That's right, somehow, the riff-raff in the bottom 99% managed to grab 7% of the Nation's total increase in income – clearly Congress needs to make immediate changes to prevent this travesty from happening again!
Steve Rattner has a different opinion, saying: "The only way to redress the income imbalance is by implementing policies that are oriented toward reversing the forces that caused it. That means letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy and adding money to some of the programs that House Republicans seek to cut. Allowing this disparity to continue is both bad economic policy and bad social policy. We owe those at the bottom a fairer shot at moving up."
That's Commie talk! If we allow the bottom 99% to make a fair share of the money, they would make 5% more and you know they would only SPEND it on stuff they need TO LIVE. Then our companies would have to provide more goods and services to the bottom 99% and jobs would be created and we, at the top, would have to WAIT for the money to trickle UP from the bottom as only companies that do a good job servicing the bottom 99% would increase in value. Even worse, we may have to WORK (a four-letter word) to provide goods and services for the people who have money in order to EARN (another four-letter word) our Incomes. That's no fun for us at all!
by ilene - January 3rd, 2012 1:43 pm
Courtesy of Patrick Chovanec
As the year comes to a close, and we look forward to 2012, I continue the tradition I started last year and offer a brief look at the top stories that shaped China’s business and economic climate in 2011:
1. High-Speed Rail. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — China’s ambitious high-speed rail program embodied the highest highs and the lowest lows the country experienced this year. In January, President Obama cited the planned 20,000km network in his annual State of the Union address as a prime example of how America need to catch up to the Chinese. As if to prove his point, June saw the grand opening of the much-heralded Beijing-Shanghai line, timed to coincide with the Communist Party’s 90th anniversary celebrations. But even before then, there were signs of trouble on the horizon, starting in February when the powerful head of China’s railway ministry — the project’s godfather — was abruptly fired as part of a massive corruption scandal. Then a crash on a line near Wenzhou, in which at least 35 people were killed, unleashed a wave of fury on the Chinese internet, forcing the government to re-think the entire project amid charges of cover-up and sloppy construction. By November, with high-speed trains running at chronically low capacity and construction debts piling up, the railway ministry was asking Beijing for a rumored RMB 800 billion (US$ 126 billion) bailout just to pay the money it owed suppliers.
2. Inflation. Few issues preoccupied the average Chinese citizen — or Chinese policymakers — this year as much as rapidly rising prices. The consumer inflation rate, which began the year just shy of 5%,rose to 6.5% by July. The increase was led by food prices, particularly pork – a staple part of the Chinese diet — which skyrocketed by more than 50%. Keenly aware of the potential for popular unrest, Beijing made containing prices its top economic priority — even if that meant reining in growth. Throughout the year, the central bank repeatedly raised interest rates and bank reserve requirements, in an effort to bring the pace of credit expansion back under control. The powerful state planning bureau leaned heavily on Chinese companies not to raise prices, and even hit consumer goods giant Unilever with a stiff antitrust fine for publicly discussing possible price hikes. While CPI did decline to 4.2% by…
by phil - November 3rd, 2011 7:59 am
You got to be crazy, you gotta have a real need
You gotta sleep on your toes and when you’re on the street
You got to be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking – Floyd
You have got to be crazy to play this market!
Forget dogs – it was the early birds who made money this morning as I finally had a web connection at home and, as we expected due to the time changes, our usual 3am trade came late in the Futures as relentlessly bad news (see Member Chat for details) sank the indexes all the way back down to Tuesday’s close.
We reviewed all the news, both good and bad and I decided it was worth taking a chance on some futures long plays at 3:48 in Member Chat, saying:
The RUT futures are holding 715 so I like a long there (/TF) with tight stops below.
Nas Futures are holding 2,275 and I like a bullish play (/NQ) with tight stops on that line.
Oil is at $91.37 and that may be the low but it’s gasoline we like to get bullish on into the weekend and gasoline (/RB) is down to $2.5999 so let’s go bullish there over $2.60 with tight stops.
EU opens in 10 minutes and their futures are down 2.5% and I could be wrong but I think we’re being manipulated lower into the ECB meeting and the Merkozy statement on Greece.
by phil - October 13th, 2011 8:24 am
Wheeeee, what a ride!
I hate to say I told you so but I did tell you so in yesterday’s morning post when I said: "Not to be cynical but, if you are going to have some Slovakian Government officials torpedo a vote that will tank the markets – isn’t it a good idea to run them up first and bring in a bunch of suckers to sell to? We remain a bit skeptical until we get back over our "Must Hold" levels and hold them for more than a day." As you can see from David Fry’s chart, a little cynicism is a good thing in these markets as the Slovakian vote was delayed again and the FT rumor popped the day’s bubble.
We discussed shorting oil at $86 (now $84) and gold at $1,695 (now $1,670) as good plays off the morning pump and, as usual, shorting TLT was a winner but now we’re near their theoretical support by the Fed so we’d rather see a run-up to $120 before we play them again. At 1pm, we have a 30-year note auction of just $13Bn but, as I pointed out to Members in Chat, this makes $52.5Bn of 30-year borrowing since August 15th – that’s not even two months!
Who can keep funding this kind of debt load? And it’s not just the US that’s borrowing at an ever-increasing pace – the EU is borrowing as much as we are and Japan is borrowing and Russia is borrowing and Brazil and India are borrowing – Africa would borrow if anyone would lend it to them and our NAFTA buddies, Canada and Mexico, who also borrow about $50Bn a year to fund their own deficits.
How is it possible, a logical person may ask, for almost every single country in the World to run a deficit at the same time? Either A) China has so much of a surplus that they are funding everyone else or B) Everyone is printing money 24/7 to pay bills they don’t have the income for and, if B is the case – where’s the inflation? Is it really possible that, on a planet with a $60Tn GDP and a $4Tn annual deficit (and yes, half of it is ours!) that prices go up less than the 6.66% (why does that number come up so often) printing of…