Archive for 2011

NHK Says Water Used To Douse Reactors May Have Leaked Into The Ocean

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Last week we asked what could possibly be worse than a “grave” situation (as Fukushima was described by the IAEA). We now have our answer:

*WATER DOUSED ON REACTORS MAY HAVE LEAKED TO OCEAN, NHK SAYS
*NHK CITES JAPAN NUCLEAR AND INDUSTRIAL SAFETY AGENCY

And scene, as mutated, ill-tempered seabass and sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads rise out of the ocean take over the mainland.





Secret Iran Gold Holdings Leaked: Tehran Holds Same Amount Of Gold As United Kingdom, And Is Buying More

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

While it will not come as a major surprise to most, according to senior BOE individuals and Wikileaks, Iran, as well as Qatar and Jordan have been actively purchasing gold well over the amount reported to and by the IMF, in an accelerated attempt to diversify their holdings away from the US dollar. “Iran has bought large amounts of gold in the international market, according to a senior Bank of England official, in a sign of how growing political pressure has driven Tehran to reduce its exposure to the US dollar. Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the Financial Times.” The reason for Tehran’s scramble into gold: “an attempt by Iran to protect its reserves from risk of seizure”. The misrepresentation of Iran’s holdings could be so vast that Iran could possibly be one of the largest holders of goldin the world. “Market observers believe Tehran has been one of the biggest buyers of bullion over the past decade after China, Russia and India, and is among the 20 largest holders of gold reserves… with an alleged 300 tons, big enough to challenge the UK at 310 tons, and more than Spain! ” As a reminder according to the WGC, Iran is not even disclosed as an official holder of gold. Also, Iran is not the only one: “Cables obtained by WikiLeaks cite Jordan’s prime minister as saying the central bank was “instructed to increase its holdings” of gold, and a Qatar Investment Authority official as saying the QIA was interested in buying gold and silver.” Which means that there is far more marginal demand by countries supposedly friendly to the dollar, as many more than previously expected are actively dumping linen and buying bullion. What all this means for the future price of gold, especially with geopolitical tension in the region,  and QE3 imminent, is rather self-evident.

From the FT:

Andrew Bailey, head of banking at the Bank of England, told an American official that the central bank had observed “significant moves by Iran to purchase gold”, according to a US diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by the


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Japanese Yen: G7 Intervention vs Laissez-faire

Courtesy of asiablues

By Dian L. Chu, EconMatters

The world’s fifth-largest 9.0 magnitude quake and the resulted tsunami not only devastated Japan, but also wreak havoc in the Japanese stock market. The worst two-day rout in 40 years caused a 6.2% drop in Nikkei share index, wiping £90 billion (roughly $145.45 billion) off stocks and shares traded there, reported The Telegraph.

Separately, Financial Times quoted EPFR, a data provider, that Investors pulled $8.2 billion from equity funds, and $4.3 billion from money market funds, in the week to Wednesday, March 16. That in turn dragged share prices to a six-week low in many countries.

BOJ Mass QE Post Catastrophe

To stabilize the market, Bank of Japan (BOJ) pumped a record 15 trillion yen ($183 billion) liquidity, which is the biggest amount ever made in a single transaction, and the bank has also announced steps to ease monetary policy, and enlarged its asset-purchase program.

The tsunami and earthquake is expected to be the world’s most expensive natural disaster with preliminary predictions that the estimated total economic loss is to be between $200 billion and $300 billion, while costs to the insurance industry could exceed the record $40 billion-plus claims from Hurricane Katrina.

S&P Downgrade & IMF Warning

The big problem is that Japan is already in a lot of fiscal trouble before the quake. In January this year, Standard & Poor’s cut Japan’s credit rating one notch to “AA-” from “AA”, citing high debt and government’s lack of a “coherent strategy” to tackle the debt problem.

Then, just weeks after the S&P downgrade, International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that Japan’s outstanding debt and fiscal deficit “are not sustainable over the medium- and long-term.” At the time, the IMF does believe an imminent European debt like crisis, mainly due to Japan’s high savings rate.

Debt Trouble Could Deepen

Japan has been plagued by a decade-long deflation, and has the highest debt to GDP ratio of any developed nation (See Chart). Although the majority of Japan’s debt is held internally, this unprecedented disaster in Japan’s history could make the country’s situation that much worse with global implications as Japan is a significant trader partner with many countries around the globe.

Investors worries drove five-year credit-default swaps (CDS) on Japan’s government to a record 130…
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Weekly Market Commentary: Second Week of Significant Selling

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

Selling intensified for a second week as the crisis in Japan expanded.

The Nasdaq bull trap is ominous. Bulls have their work cut out to regain the breakout. Channel support – lurking near additional 2,535 support – is looking the most likely test of this decline.

Nasdaq

via StockCharts.com

The Nasdaq 100 had more room to play with it for the breakout, but now is down at support after giving up the buffer it had.

($NDX)

via StockCharts.com

There was a Confirmed ‘Sell’ in the Nasdaq Bullish Percents. Action for the second half of 2010 had much in common with the first half of 2008. Will this relationship continue as the decline matures? The big difference between the two periods is the relative position of weakness in 2008 versus strength in 2011 – but current Nasdaq strength is below that of 2009; a bearish divergence.

($BPCOMPQ)

via StockCharts.com

The Percentage of Nasdaq stocks above the 50-day MA bounced off the ‘buy’ zone, but it’s not oversold.

($NAA50R)

via StockCharts.com

The Nasdaq Summation Index is trending down but is not oversold. However, all three key Nasdaq breadth indicators are on Confirmed ‘Sell’ signals.

AAAANasdaq Summation Index (Ratio Adjusted) ($NASI)

via StockCharts.com

The Russell 2000 continues to offer bulls a lifeline by clinging on to former bull flag resistance (turned support).

($RUT)

via StockCharts.com

But the S&P gave up 1,300 support and is back looking at a thick band of support down at 1,220. A new MACD ‘sell’ was triggered.

($SPX)

via StockCharts.com

Adding pressure was the new Confirmed ‘Sell’ in the NYSE Summation Index

($NYSI)

via StockCharts.com

And S&P Bullish Percents

($BPSPX)

via StockCharts.com

This week was all about the break in market breadth. The Summation Indices, Bullish Percents and Percentage of Stocks above 50-day MAs are all net negative for both S&P and Nasdaq. Time for the markets take a breather, much as it did in the first half of 2010.





The Corporate Stash

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY

Originally published at CounterPunch 

Two and a half years have passed since Lehman Brothers collapsed and US consumers are still digging out.

Last Thursday, the Fed released its "flow of funds" report which showed that households had trimmed their debt to $13.3 trillion in the forth quarter (4Q). But the crucial debt-to-income ratio remains significantly above trend at 120.9%. That means that consumers will have to cut back spending even more.

During the boom years, (2000 to 2007) households more than doubled their debt by taking advantage of cheap, easily-available credit for purchasing mortgages, refinancing homes and maintaining their standard of living. Homeowners were able to drain (roughly) $500 billion per year from their rising home equity to spend as they pleased. The credit-binge stimulated demand, increased employment, and created a virtuous circle of profitability and growth. But now the process has slammed into reverse triggering a wave of foreclosures, bankruptcies and defaults. Consumers have been retrenching for 11 straight quarters trying to patch their balance sheets after sustaining heavy losses during the crisis.

Household deleveraging can have a devastating impact on the economy because consumer spending is 70% of GDP. Fortunately, the Obama administration initiated a $787 billion fiscal stimulus package to make up for the shortfall in private sector spending, otherwise the economy would have slipped into a long-term slump. Government spending (the deficits) pulled the economy out of recession, reduced the gaping output gap, and increased employment by an estimated 2 million jobs.

Economists look to the flow of funds report to gauge the health of consumers, but sometimes the data can be misleading. For example, household net worth increased by $2.1 trillion to $56.8 trillion by the end of 4Q, but virtually all of the gains were in the stock market so it won’t effect the spending habits of people who aren’t invested in equities. As Barron’s Randall Forsyth notes, "You have to be in the lottery to win it."

Still, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke sees rising stock prices as a sign that his bond purchasing program (QE2) is working. Like former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, Bernanke believes that the "wealth effect" can boost spending and lead to recovery. Regrettably, the facts do not support Bernanke’s claims. While the administration’s fiscal stimulus increased economic activity and employment (according to 2 separate reports by the nonpartisan CBO), QE2 has…
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March Trade Cycle – 12% Gain For The Month

Reminder: Kojo is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

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The Stigmatization of the Unemployed

Courtesy of Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism 

One thing I have never understood in America is the way that people who lose their jobs become pariahs in the job market. We’ve now had a spate of commentary on the fact that official unemployment figures are looking a tad less dreadful by dint of the fact that increasing numbers of the long term unemployed have dropped out of the job market entirely. Even the conservative Washington Post woke up last week, Rip Van Winkle like, to take note of the growing number of long-term unemployed. Bizarrely, or perhaps as a fit illustration of the spirit of the day, the article was titled: “Hidden workforce challenges domestic economic recovery.” In other words, they are Bad People because if the economy ever picks up, they might come out of the woodwork and start looking for jobs!

Many pundits, such as Paul Krugman in his latest New York Times op-ed, have decried the lack of anything remotely resembling adequate responses to the unemployment problem, particularly that of the long-term unemployed. Ronald Reagan, hero of the right, was concerned when unemployment rose over 8% and took a series of corrective measures, including the Plaza Accord, which was a G-5 currency intervention to drive up the value of the yen. So why do we have a nominally Democratic president sitting on his hands in the face of much worse unemployment?

I’d argue that the roots lie in a fundamental change in policy that took place around 1980. The lesson that economists drew from the stagflation of the 1970s was that labor had too much bargaining power. The excessive fiscal stimulus of the later 1960s and the oil price shocks of the 1970s had been amplified by the fact that workers had enough clout to demand and get wage increases when they faced sustained price increases. That of course led to more price increases since higher wages led to higher production costs which led business owners to increase prices of their goods and servicer, thus accelerating the inflation already under way.

The solution, per neoclassical economists, was to use unemployment to keep wage demands in check. Thus having a lower level of employment even in good times and taking other measures, like weakening unions, was key to keeping those pesky workers from ever serving to create a reinforcing inflationary dynamic.

As an aside, there were…
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Qaddafi Pledges “Long War”; Photographs of the Wreckage; Usurpation of Legislative Power

I think Mish’s concluding remark is spot on "Slowly but surely, powers granted Congress in the constitution have been steadily usurped by the executive branch. This sad state of affairs applies to Republican and Democratic presidents alike."  In addition, the support we though we had from the Arab League seems to have been withdrawn or misunderstood. – Ilene 

Courtesy of Mish 

Once again the New York Times leads the way with excellent coverage of happenings in the Mideast and Africa. Please consider Qaddafi Pledges ‘Long War’ as Allies Pursue Air Assault on Libya.

A day after American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader delivered a fresh and defiant tirade on Sunday, pledging retaliation and saying his forces would fight a long war to victory.

He was speaking in a telephone call to state television, which, apparently for security reasons, did not disclose his whereabouts. The Libyan leader has not been seen in public since the United States and European countries unleashed warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale unparalleled in the Arab world since the Iraq war. On Sunday, American B-2 stealth bombers were reported to have struck a major Libyan airfield.

In a first assessment from Washington, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the first day of “operations yesterday went very well,” news reports said. Speaking to NBC’s "Meet the Press," he said a no-flight zone over Libya to ground Colonel Qaddafi’s warplanes — a prime goal of the attacks — was “effectively” in place and that a loyalist advance on the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi had been halted.

Despite those major setbacks, Colonel Qaddafi said his forces on the ground would win in the end. And he repeated an assertion made on Saturday that he had opened military depots to his supporters and the Libyan people were now fully armed. Instead of an image of the Libyan leader, state television showed a statue of a golden fist clutching a crumpled American fighter plane, a monument to an American strike on his compound in 1986.

Speaking of a “long war,” Colonel Qaddafi said: “We will not leave our land and we will liberate it.”

In a Field of Flowers, the Wreckage of War in Libya

Please consider In
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Gasoline Resumes Climb, Rises 6.65 Cents In Two Weeks, Hits $3.57/Gallon (And Almost $9/Gallon In Europe)

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

More bad news for America’s motorists experiencing first hand the objectivity of the Nobel peace prize award committee: all those who were expecting a decline in gasoline prices following one of the fastest jumps in history will have to defer their dreams just a little longer. As Trilby Lundberg observes: “this weekend the world has changed. Instead of seeing the end of the price rise coming up, or even a decline, we might see a resumption of the climb at the pump.” And as we enter April with near record high prices (for this time of the year -gas is still 54 cebts below its all time summer high in July 2008), this month’s consumer confidence number will once again print sorely lacking, causing the most reflexive market indicator to take another step down demanding every more nuanced attention from the Fed, which will soon have no choice but to step in and replace consumption lost (read buy the Russel 2000) due to unprecedented gas prices, further detaching markets from the underlying economy, and not to mention reality. Yet even these nosebleed US gas prices are nothing compared to the decimation in Europe, where gas is now likely almost $9/gallon (when we observed it last two weeks ago, it was $8.632/gallon). Does anyone wonder why France is so eager to liberate the Libyan people from the oppression of their light sweet crude oil, er, pardon, dictatorial regime…

From MSNBC:

Gasoline prices in the United States rose 6.65 cents per gallon over a two-week period, carried by the rise in crude oil prices stemming from the turmoil in Libya, an industry analyst said.

The national average for a gallon of self-serve, regular gasoline was $3.57 on March 18, according to the Lundberg Survey of about 2,500 gas stations.

The 6.65-cent increase came two weeks after gasoline prices jumped almost 33 cents in the prior two-week period, according to survey editor Trilby Lundberg.

“This is the rest of what crude oil prices did to gasoline, as violence and protest in varying degrees swept through” oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa, Lundberg said in an interview on Sunday.

Prices in crude oil “declined somewhat in the last two weeks,” she said, citing some traders’ fears that the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan “might mean


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Wisconsin Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Anti-Union Law

Courtesy of Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism

The Los Angeles Times appears to have broken the story, that a Wisconsin judge has blocked the implementation of the Wisconsin legislation against public sector unions. Notice that the challenge to the validity of the law was based on procedural grounds. One reader insisted no court would ever take up that sort of challenge. Funny, this judge looks pretty interested in trying that case.

From the Los Angeles Times:

A Wisconsin judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the new state law that curbs collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi …was acting on a request by Dist. Atty. Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, who had filed a lawsuit contending a legislative committee had violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law by pushing the measure onto the floor. That maneuver was key in unblocking the legislative stalemate and allowing the bill to be signed by Walker on March 11.

Continue here > 





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Enemy Of The People?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via The Zman blog,

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option.

The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.

...



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Phil's Favorites

A 2019 Earnings Recession?

 

A 2019 Earnings Recession?

Courtesy of 

Shout to Leigh!

On the new Talk Your Book – Josh Brown is joined by Leigh Drogen of Estimize, one of the leading providers of crowdsourced financial and economic data to talk about the trend in corporate profits that could potentially lead to an earnings recession later this year.

What is the thing that Leigh is seeing in the data that Wall Street isn’t yet picking up on? What segment of the stock market is most at risk? Why is the crowd smarter than the narrow consensus of Wall Street analysts?

Check out Estimize ...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver Testing Important Breakout Levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold and Silver from a long-term perspective have created a series of lower highs over the past 8-years. Will 2019 bring a change to this trend? A big test is in play!

Gold since the lows in 2016 has created a series of higher lows, while Silver may have created a double bottom.

Gold & Silver are currently facing break attempts a (1) and (2). These falling resistance lines have disappointed metals bulls for the past few years.

The direction of Gold and Silver weeks and months from now should be highly influenced by what each does as they are attempting to break above important resistance levels.

To become a member of Kimbl...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Russia Prepares To Buy Up To $10 Billion In Bitcoin To Evade US Sanctions

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

While the market has been increasingly focused on the rising headwinds in the global economy in general, and China's economic slowdown in particular, while the media is obsessing over daily revelations that Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia to get elected, a far more critical, if underreported, shift has been taking place over the past year.

As we reported in June, whether due to concerns over draconian western sanctions and asset confiscations following the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, or simply because it wanted to diversify away from the dollar, Russia liquidated virtually all of its Treasury holdings in the late spri...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's failure based on his personality, which was evident years ago. This article, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump became president, in July, 2016, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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