Saturday, September 10, 2011

Global Markets Begin September in Morose Mood

And this snippet from September doesn't have a good history for stocks, so this could be an interesting month.

Friday 21.15 BST. News of the resignation of a top European central banker sent global markets sharply lower, as fears rise that efforts to aid Greece and other struggling continental economies may unravel.
The FTSE All-World equity index is down 3 per cent following a 2.5 per cent drop in the FTSE Eurofirst 300 index, as markets in Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain fell more than 6 per cent.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 is off to its worst September start in a decade, while German Bunds and US Treasuries – the “safe havens” – see new yield lows.
The resignation of European Central Bank board member Juergen Stark has created a fresh wave of uncertainty about the management of the bloc’s monetary policy.

Companies Say Obama's Plan Doesn't Encourage Them to Hire

And this from CNBC, the Obamanomics channel?

The dismal state of the economy is the main reason many companies are reluctant to hire workers, and few executives are saying that President Obama’s jobs plan — while welcomed — will not change their minds any time soon.
That sentiment was echoed across numerous industries by executives in companies big and small on Friday, underscoring the challenge for the Obama administration as it tries to encourage hiring and perk up the moribund economy.

The plan failed to generate any optimism on Wall Street as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average each fell about 2.7 percent.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's a European Bloodbath!

It's All About Europe

Make That Down 20

961 days in, Obama becomes sick and tired of someone dawdling about jobs

My sentiments, exactly! Why did it take nearly 3 YEARS into his presidency for Obama to suddenly take an interest? Oh, that's right! Because the presidential election season is upon us!

by Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times:
Speaking on behalf of millions of Americans who've grown angry and frustrated over the president's 32-month ineffective inactivity on the job creation front, President Obama on Thursday told members of Congress they really have to do something about the crummy employment situation -- and do it quickly.
Citing the plight of millions of struggling Americans whose wishes for jobs Obama ignored for most of the 961 days he's been in office while chasing shinier healthcare and financial reforms, Obama said it was time that Congress stop blaming others. He said it was time members take responsibility for their inaction and halt their phony partisan games and political circus acts that pervade Washington culture.
Because the Americans Obama hasn't been listening to are really hurting now. And -- who's....
....counting? -- but it's only 424 days until Nov. 6, 2012. No plan yet to pay for Obama's ideas. But he wants immediate passage of his American Jobs Act anyway. Obama, whose Democratic spending priorities have pushed the national debt beyond $14,000,000,000,000, said it was important to curb spending and keep to the deficit reduction plan agreed to earlier this summer while also investing in, you know, many important things.
He then provided a joint session of Congress with a broadly ambitious list of goals that sounded to many people very much like a lot more spending, like, say, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill of 2009 that didn't stimulate much of anything except that national debt.
With the national debt already increasing $3 million every minute of every day, Obama wants to repair and modernize 35,000 schools. Obama wants $35 billion to go toward salaries for teachers, firefighters and police.
Obama wants $140 billion largely to update roads and bridges. Obama wants another $245 billion in business and individual tax relief. Obama also wants to extend unemployment benefits.
And Obama wants it all right now. Seriously. Now that his Martha's Vineyard vacation is over, this situation is urgent.
Obama didn't have room in his 4,021 word speech to mention how he intended to pay for all this new sounds-an-awful-like-increased-new-stimulus-spending-but-we're-not-using-that-word-anymore.
Aides said Americans should trust the president and sometime soon he would be outlining the finances that would not increase the national debt by one dime, honest.
Today in Virginia and next week in Ohio, Obama begins an aggressive autumn of travels selling his sounds-like-new-spending plans by day and fundraising by evening, bashing guess who for not solving the job crisis long ago.
Because like pretty much every sentient American, he knows full well there isn't one chance in Haiti of the divided Congress approving this package.
In fact, Obama's counting on that because grandiose program-proposing like this costs nothing-zero-nada, except the limo gas to the Capitol. Yet it gives perpetual candidate Obama tons of swell-sounding details to talk about during the 2011-12 reelection campaign.
Because he can't blame his mother-in-law for the nation's economic mess. When's the last time you heard a Harvard grad say, "Boy, did I blow that!" So, the only culprits left are in Congress, especially those Repugnicans.
But here's the catch that Obama and his Windy City wizards missed: Most Americans are not politically obedient machine Chicagoans. Like a linebacker reading the quarterback's eyes, they've already figured out this South Sider's game.
This week's ABC News/Washington Post Poll found that, based on their 961 days' experience with the current White House crowd, 47% say Obama's new economic program will have zero effect on the economy.
Worse politically, twice as many -- 34% vs 17% -- say Obama's plan will actually make matters worse, instead of better.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll the other day found 73% of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track. That's 23 points more than felt that way at the beginning of summer.
Funny coincidence. The last time the revealing wrong track number was this high (78%) was in the autumn of 2008, just two weeks before Americans bought Obama's "Change to Believe In" line.
And they have the pink slips to prove it.

Stocks Tank

S&P down 10 points.

Whisper rumors of a default by the Greek government this coming weekend! Is this what is causing stocks to stumble? Also rumors of another gold margin hike, but gold is holding up quite well, considering this.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bernanke's Downer Day

Bernanke: Calamity This Way Comes

"the finances of the federal government will spiral out of control in coming decades, risking severe economic and financial damage" -- Ben Bernanke, Chairman, Federal Reserve Bank
Here is the market response. It appears the financial markets weren't very enthusiastic about his comments!

Choppy, Untradeable Market

But Not for Long!

Jobs? Who needs jobs?

Terrible Jobless Claims Sends Stocks Tumbling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, further evidence of a weak labor market just hours before President Barack Obama delivers a major address to Congress on the issue.
Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 414,000 in the week ending September 3 from an upwardly revised 412,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Wall Street analysts had been looking for a dip to 405,000.
Excluding one week in early August, claims have held above 400,000 since early April. The Labor Department said there was no discernible effect from recent hurricanes and storms on the national figures this week.
The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out volatility, rose to 414,750 from 411,000 the prior week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crude Oil, Stocks Rebound

The German courts have declared that Germany can contribute toward the next round of bailouts for their Eurozone neighbors, and Fed Chicago President Evans expresses approval for "substantially more accomodation", thus sending stocks and crude rocketing higher. Gold has taken a hit!

Crude oil


Gold - hit, but rebounding

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So Was ISM Better... or Not?

from Zero Hedge:
"Just like last week's ISM beat on ugly core data was boosted by hollow peripheral components such as inventories, so today's Non-Manufacturing ISM was an exercise in pure desperation. While the August print did beat expectations of 51, coming at 53.3, up from 52.7 previously, the biggest increase was in... Prices and Export Orders (rising at 7.6 and 7.5): i.e. margin squeeze resumes. The important stuff: New Orders and Employment? Both down (-0.5 and -0.9). Also up? Imports. In other words, Exports offset Imports, margins cuts, and less workers. But at least backlogs are up.... Until backlogged orders get cancelled."

This much is for certain: It hasn't helped stocks! ES is down about 35 points!

Swiss National Bank Devalues, Pegs Its Currency

from Zero Hedge:
"If you haven’t seen the news, the Swiss National Bank has just announced that it is putting a ceiling on the franc’s appreciation against the euro… On the news, the franc fell off a cliff, dropping almost 10% INSTANTLY."

Gold Surpasses $1927/Oz.

No surprised there!

What In This Picture Does't Match The Others?

Stocks are rallying sharply overnight, despite that a pall of gloom overhangs world financial markets. Something doesn't quite match here. Are stocks showing signs of recovery, or is Europe truly the bellweather of gloom that these Wall St Journal articles suggest?
This reminds me of the pictures we would see in children's magazines that would show a picture or drawing and ask, "What in this picture doesn't match the others?" It's hard to imagine why stocks are rallying on this news of global gloom, but that's what's happening!
It also reminds me of another phenomena to which we have become accustomed. That phenomena is one off stocks rallying during the overnight hours when most Americans are asleep. This routinely occurs between 3-4 am EST. What gives? One wonders if this is market manipulation at an hour when few traders are awake to sell and there is such incongruity between market fundamentals and market valuation. Is there really this kind of momentum when there is no one to present a counterpoint to this bullishness? Is the market being manipulated at an hour during which there is no opposing force? One certainly has to wonder! And one must also wonder who is behind this. Is this Fed market manipulation at work? I am not the first to suggest it!

Monday, September 5, 2011