Archive for March, 2012

China’s PMI Surprises to Upside, Hits 11 Month High

Submitted by Mark Hanna

Courtesy of MarketMontage. View original post here.

This data should bode well for Monday, China’s PMI surprised significantly to the upside and varies quite significantly from the flash numbers seen about a week ago.  Keep in mind there are 2 sets of PMI’s in China; the official number covers larger and state supported businesses while the HSBC private version covers smaller and mid sized companies.   Generally I would put more stock in what a private firm is saying than any official government data, but the markets believe what they believe.  This should be a relief of sorts for for those who have been grappling with the potential for significant slowdown in China for the past few months.

  • China’s big factories were surprisingly busy in March as strong demand quickened the flow of orders, suggesting the economy is stronger than some estimates and possibly reducing the need for an urgent easing in monetary policy.  The National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped to an 11-month high of 53.1 in March from 51 in February, comfortably beating analyst forecasts of 50.5.
  • Supporting prospects of a turnaround, the new orders sub-index jumped to 55.1 in March from February’s 51, while the sub-index for new export orders was up at 51.9, compared with February’s 51.1.
  • China’s vast factory sector, which accounted for 40 percent of its economy in 2010, had steadily lost steam in the past year as tight domestic monetary conditions aggravated waning global demand. Output hit 2-1/2-year lows in January and February.
  • A flash PMI published by HSBC last week had signaled that Chinese factories were struggling in March as their activity cooled for the fifth straight month and new orders sunk to four-month lows.

 

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio. Securities mentioned may or may not be held by the author in the mutual fund he manages, the Paladin Long Short Fund (PALFX). For a list of the aforementioned fund’s holdings at the end of the prior quarter, visit the Paladin Funds website at http://www.paladinfunds.com/holdings/blog





BaNZai7 EVeNiNG HeRaLD APRiL 1, 2012

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

BANZAI7 EVENING HERALD





BaNZaiI7 EVeNiNG HeRaLD APRiL 1, 2012

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

BANZAI7 EVENING HERALD





No More Viagra For Mario Monti And His Ilk

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by testosteronepit.

Wolf Richter   www.testosteronepit.com

Economic, regulatory, and entitlement reforms are tough. While they’re supposed to open opportunities, put budgets on sounder footing, or make the economy more competitive, they invariably cut into the flesh of some groups, who then react with demonstrations and strikes to draw attention to their plight and put pressure on the reformers to preserve the status quo.

This has been happening across the Eurozone wherever major reforms have been attempted. People in those demonstrations may speak of revolution—meaning a radical change. But they want the opposite: preserve the existing system, protections, and entitlements. So it’s complicated. Greece is a salient example with impressive TV footage of street battles, Molotov cocktails, and burning buildings. In other countries, France for instance, reforms have been greeted with peaceful demonstrations and more disruptively, with massive transportation strikes that throw innocent bystanders, such as businesses, commuters, and travelers, into utter chaos, sometimes for days.

But now the perhaps most tongue-in-cheek effort will take place in Italy where unelected technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti and his government are trying to liberalize the economy and create conditions for growth by reforming a whole slew of professions whose insiders are protected by regulatory barriers to entry. Growth is essential. Italy is staggering under its debt. Already, the ECB bought piles of Italian government bonds and printed a mountain of euros that it handed to the banks, including Italian banks, so that they would buy crappy bonds for which the financial markets had lost their appetite. Without those actions, controversial and inflationary as they may be, Italy would have to face the music. It’s tough out there.

"The financial aspect of the crisis is over," declared a relieved Monti last week while visiting Japan, a country mired in a much deeper fiscal hole than Italy but endowed with a central bank that has no compunction about monetizing government deficits. But as he gloated about the progress his government has made in reforming the economy, the targets of his reforms weren't quite so happy.

Among them are state-employed hospital pharmacists, an integral part of Italy's public health care system. They’re upset because the reforms envision issuing 5,000 licenses mostly for new private pharmacies—creating jobs for young unemployed pharmacists who are stewing at their parents’ house while waiting for a…
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Germany the Vampire Squid of Europe

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by RobertBrusca.

Herr VAMPIRE SQUID revisited and affirmed-

Germany is in it for Germany, not for united Europe. When you look at Europe and see that Germay is a success and no one else is, there is a reason for that.

Germany, after ‘trapping’ many countries in the e-Zone ignored their situation while Germany continues to post increasingly lower-than-required rates of inflation as many in EMU ahve run higher rates. As a result of this, there is a huge competitiveness conundrum in the Zone. It seems to have been engineered by Germany-and they are great engineers.

see http://robertbrusca.blogspot.com/ for a previous discussion of this toipic.

How are we to view Germany’s actions?

Now I do not ‘blame’ Germany alone but as you know in our financial system the low inflation Balance-of-payments-surplus countries rule. The others are forced to adjust. Germany has persisted in growing slowly, running a high rate of unemployment while others wanted to grow faster. Germany helped them to do that by lending to them. Germany was not mindful of the consequences of their excesses but there were consequences as they all were/are in the Zone together. the Zone was not a Bento box divided into various walled-off compartments; it was like bowl of soup and poison one place circulates to another place.

As the ‘adult,’ or fiscal conservative, Germany did nothing constructive. It held back and watched until the others were in trouble then it dropped the hammer. Am I supposed to view Germany kindly for this sort of behavior? Did Germany really ‘behave’ any better or did it simply spring its trap?

Why did it neglect the growing imbalances in the Zone? Not just the fiscal ones that might have been hidden, but the inflation differences that were reported month after month after month. I have been haranguing about EMU inflation differences in the zone for years.

Did Germany smirk and know that it was gaining competitiveness? Did it not realize this disparity would benefit its exporters but come back to haunt it politically and financially?

Now that it has… does Germany disavow itself of any responsibility?

What allows the US to to maintain a union that has areas of vastly different real income, property values, etc, is its fiscal transfer system. Germany instead of dealing with today’s…
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Europe: “€1 Trillion May Not Be Enough”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

A core piece of last week’s European newsflow was that following much pushback, Angela Merkel, who understands the underlying math all too well, finally dropped her opposition to expanding the European “firewall” in the form of a combined EFSF and ESM rescue mechanisms, to bring the total “firepower” to €800 billion (ignoring for a moment that when the true dry powder of the combined vehicle is just about €500 billion net as explained here, hardly enough to rescue Spain, let alone Italy). Yet as has been explained here repeatedly, and as Merkel has figured out, this is easily the most symbolic expansion of a rescue facility ever. Because while the ECB’s agreement to allow Eurobanks to abuse its €1 trillion discount window for three years (which is what the LTRO is), following the replacement of JC Trichet with a Goldman apparatchik, at least infused the system with $1.3 trillion in new fungible liquidity (and resulted in a stock market performance boost for the ages, one which is now unwinding), the ‘firewall” does not represent new money, nor is a “firewall” to begin with – it is merely one massive contingent liability which will remain unfunded in perpetuity. Slowly the German media is waking up, and in an article in Der Spiegel, the authors observe that “Even a 1-Trillion Euro Firewall wouldn’t be enough.” And they are correct, because the size of the firewall is completely irrelevant, as explained later. All the “firewall” does is shift even more backstop responsibility on the only true AAA-country left in the Eurozone, Germany. However, the main cause of problems in Europe – a massive debt overhang which can at best be rolled over but never paid down due to the increasingly lower cash flow generation of Europe’s (and America’s) assets, still remains, and will do so until the debt is finally written down. However, it can’t because one bank’s liability is another bank’s asset. And so we go back to square one, which is that the system is caught in the biggest Catch 22, as we explained back in 2009. We are glad to see that slowly but surely this damning conclusion is finally being understood by most.

From Spiegel:

European finance ministers meeting in Copenhagen on Friday agreed to


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Charles Biderman: The Problem with Rigged Markets

Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain

Charles Biderman and Chris Martenson: The Problem With Rigged Markets

Here is a fascinating Chris Martenson interview with Charles Biderman.

This interview highlights the Ponzi-like, artificial nature of the current stock market rally. 

It reminds me very much of the 2003-2007 bull market that ended in tears. I have included a chart of what I called at the time 'The Great Reflation' at the end.

Charles Biderman: The Problem with Rigged Markets

"Even Wile E. Coyote had to come back down to earth sooner or later", says Charles Biderman, founder of TrimTabs Investment Research. In his opinion, the prices of stocks and bonds – enabled by excessive financialization of our economy and central bank money printing – have been defying gravity for a dangerously long time. 

If we continue to do all we can to preserve the status quo — to maintain "phony" asset price levels as Charles calls them — at best we will restrict overall growth and handicap the economy.

The problem isn't so much the unfairness and malinvestment evident in a rigged market. As Charles shrewdly asks: what happens when the market becomes un-rigged?

We've never experienced the unwinding of an entirely manipulated financial system, so we can't predict for sure. But at this point, a painful collapse of our markets and loss of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency seem entirely plausible…

Read the rest here.

 





Violence, Firebombings Erupt as Spain Announces €27 Billion Deficit-Cutting Plan

Violence, Firebombings Erupt as Spain Announces €27 Billion Deficit-Cutting Plan; Spanish Economy Will Implode; Spain Headed for Bond Revolt and Bailo

Courtesy of Mish

My friend Bran who lives in Spain writes …

Hello Mish

Here are thoughts from the last couple of days on the strikes, protests, and violence in the wake of more austerity plans by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. 

Pro-government news played down the strike to a virtual non-event, giving much criticism of the unions methods and exaggerations. Reality however, is that there is enough support by strikers to shape future politics, especially as austerity starts to bite. 

The unions have promised to step up protests. The Indignado 15 Million Movement also protested, but separately from the unions.

One comment stuck out – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the protests did not represent Spain. Maybe she was trying to be reassuring, but she is taking sides against maybe a million or so people of a foreign population, not very wise at best and otherwise agitating.

Spain Announces €27 Billion Deficit-Cutting Plan

MarketWatch reports Spain Announces €27 Billion Deficit-Cutting Plan

The Spanish government on Friday delivered what it called the biggest fiscal adjustment in the country’s democratic history, unveiling a 27 billion euro ($36 billion) deficit-reduction plan that includes sharp spending cuts across government ministries and higher taxes for corporations. 

With images of nationwide demonstrations and strikes against labor reforms still fresh, the weight of the budget appeared to fall on big companies and government spending. Labor unions said nearly 1 million took part in Madrid’s rally alone Thursday evening.

Corporations will be asked to pay higher taxes this year, and their tax breaks will be reduced while the government said value-added-taxes would not rise. It said tax receipts for VAT would fall 2.6% as a result of weak growth in Spain.

Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said all ministries would need to reduce their budgets by around 17% this year, which was slightly higher than expected, saving a total of up to €65.8 billion. Salaries for public workers will not be reduced, but will be frozen this year.

Electricity prices will rise 7%, to pay off a €24 billion electricity-tariff deficit that accumulated due to the difference between consumer prices set by the state and producer’s costs. Tariffs paid by electricity companies will rise 5%.


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Is Wall Street Full of Psychopaths?

Is Wall Street Full of Psychopaths?

One estimate suggests that one out of every 10 employees on Wall Street is a psychopath. That's probably off, but consider how many almost psychopaths there are instead.
 

Wikimedia Commons

Wall Street and its collective psyche have taken some very public lumps lately, with an executive director resigning from Goldman-Sachs via The New York Times because of the "decline in the firm's moral fiber," and the headline-generating article in CFA Magazine by Sherree DeCovney claiming that 10 percent (at least) of the people in the financial services industry are psychopaths (subscription required). That 10 percent figure could go a long way toward explaining the resignation, couldn't it? Perhaps. But, before deciding the answer to that question, it will be helpful to understand what psychopathy is.

Keep reading: Is Wall Street Full of Psychopaths? – James Silver – Health – The Atlantic.





The Muppets Are Confused How Goldman Is Both Bullish And Bearish On Stocks At The Same Time

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Ten days ago, Goldman’s Peter Oppenheimer published the “Long Good Buy, The Case For Equities“, a big research piece, full of pretty charts and witty bullets, which actively urged the rotation out of bonds and into stocks, yet not only marked the peak of the market so far, but drew ridicule even from the likes of CNBC. More importantly, it has generated a plethora of questions from the muppets (aka Goldman clients) themselves, who are wondering how Goldman can be both uber bullish, and yet still have a 1250 S&P 2012 YE price target, as per the other strategist, David Kostin (“We expect the S&P 500 will trade at 1325 by mid-year (-5.6%) and 1250 in 12 months (-10.9%).”), or said otherwise, just how is it that Goldman is having its cake and eating it too? Below is David Kostin’s attempt to justify how the firm can pull a Dennis Gartman (and virtually any other newsletter and book seller – after all what better way to say one was right than to have all bases covered) be both bearish and bullish at the same time.

From Goldman’s US Weekly Kickstart

Last week, Peter Oppenheimer and our European Portfolio Strategy team published “The Long Good Buy; the Case for Equities” in which they conclude equities are attractive for three reasons: (1) Periods of poor real returns in equities tend to be followed by periods of significantly higher returns; (2) equity valuation appears low versus bonds; and (3) an elevated equity risk premium (ERP) supports a long-term positive view for stocks.

We agree with the long-term thesis. Investors willing to position for a normalized growth and risk environment over the next decade should interpret high ERP and low implied growth as an investment opportunity.

However, path matters and our price targets reflect short-term tactical risks. We believe equity valuation will remain below average over the next year due to stagnant economic growth and high uncertainty. Both views can comfortably co-exist in the context of different investment horizons.

S&P 500 currently trades above fair value on a variety of metrics although the index is attractively valued relative to bond yields given the low interest rate environment. Equity investors fall into many categories and we believe views are currently most differentiated between equity-focused vs. cross-asset investors and…
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Phil's Favorites

The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered

 

The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is taking ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid busting the debt ceiling. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Courtesy of Steven Pressman, Colorado State University

Editor’s note: The U.S. government maxed out its national credit card in March and has been moving money around ever since to avoid running out of cash. Very soon the Treasury Department ...



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Zero Hedge

This Is Where The Next Recession Will Start: An Epidemiological Study

By Nicholas Colas of DataTrek

(Published at ZeroHedge)

US recessions are like epidemics: they all begin somewhere, and the “tell” is state-level unemployment data. For example, the end of the 2000 dot com bubble hit Connecticut and Massachusetts first – two hubs for the financials services industry with lots of affluent investors to boot. The end of the 2000s housing boom predictably impacted Florida and Nevada before the rest of the country. This time around, the data shows the manufacturing-heavy states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are most at risk. No wonder “Dr. Fed” wants to inoculate the region with lower interest rates.

When medical professionals study epidemics, they look for the source of the ou...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver ETF (SLV) Testing Dual Breakout Resistance

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver (NYSEARCA: SLV) has been in a bit of a slumber when compared to the price action for Gold (NYSEARCA: GLD).

Precious metals bulls hope that this about to change, as bullish action from Silver is necessary to confirm any bull market / move in metals.

Today’s chart takes a closer look at the Silver ETF (SLV) on a weekly basis. As you can see, Silver is up 5 percent this week alone.

This is good news for metals bulls. But this rally isn’t confirming a breakout just yet.

As you can see in the chart below, SLV has been trading between support (1) ...



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Insider Scoop

Analysts Weigh In On Netflix's Rocky Quarter

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported second-quarter results highlighted by an uncharacteristic decline in U.S. subscribers while international subscriber adds missed expectations. Here is a summary of how some of the Street's top analysts reacted to the print.

The Analysts

Mor...



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Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



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ValueWalk

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

 

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.

...

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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Charts show us the golden brick road to high prices.

GLD Gann Angle has been working since 2016. Higher prices are expected. Who would say anything different, and why and how?

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.



The GLD very wide channel shows us the way.
- Conservative: Tag the 10 year rally starting in 2001 to 2019 and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 10 years.
- Aggressive: Tag the 5 year rally starting in 1976 to 2019  and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 5 years.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if ima...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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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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