Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sentiment Stinks!

PRINCETON, NJ — U.S. President Barack Obama begins his second term at a time when Americans are as negative about the state of the country and its prospects going forward as they have been in more than three decades. Fewer than four in 10 Americans (39%) rate the current status of the U.S. at the positive end of a zero to 10 scale.
The 48% who give a six to 10 ranking when asked to project the status of the U.S. five years from now is tied with the 1979 measure as the lowest in Gallup’s history of asking the question. Additionally, the 40% who give a negative rating (zero to four) when asked to look ahead is lower than at any point in history. These negative ratings include 10% who say the situation of the country in five years will be zero, the worst they can imagine.

Nearly Back to Flat

The Dow is still significantly higher, but the S&P is nearly flat for the day.

Kansas Fed Contracts Also, But PMI Beats Expectations

from Zero Hedge:
We are now four-for-four (five-for-five if we include the drastic downward revisions in the Chicago PMI) for regional Fed business outlooks taking a serious (and consistent) turn for the worse. Kansas Fed manufacturing just missed expectations turning negative once again. Amid the sub-indices (which were broadly weak) was a plunge in employment as it fell to August 2009 levels. This weakness in Kansas follows Richmond's quadruple dip, Empire State's weakness, and Philly's major miss and in aggregate suggests a very weak ISM to come.

Meanwhile, crude oil is up more than $1 today, and is now firmly above the $96 handle. Gee, the elections must be over, because the price of crude oil is rising during the winter months again!
But PMI was good this morning, so the data is somewhat mixed today!

Crude Oil Rises Sharply

Is this in anticipation of crude inventory announcements this morning? Or is it due to fewer unemployment claims, as fewer Americans receive benefits, and thus, demand for oil may rise? This much is for certain! It means higher inflation, and fewer dollars in the pockets of working Americans!

Apple Erased on Good Unemployment Claims News

The Apple funk has now been erased, as unemployment claims appeared to be better than expected. Just as I predicted!

But wait! It's not as good as appeared on the surface! It's not all sunshine and roses!

from Zero Hedge:
While it is unclear how many states' data the BLS had to estimate today, the weekly initial claims print was impressive, sliding even lower than last week, when it came at 335K, and refuting expectations of a rise to 355K, instead reversing and printing the lowest weekly number since January 2008: 330K. What is impressive is that the NSA number dropped by a whopping 120K in the past week, making one wonder how much of the ongoing moves are simply a seasonal adjustments mismatch (a question even Goldman asked last night). Perhaps just as curious is that a whopping 365,641 people dropped off Extended Claims in the first week of January, unclear if this had anything to do with the Fiscal Cliff can kicking: certainly a third of a million Americans suddenly stopped receiving weekly jobless claims benefits from Uncle Sam. The biggest news from this is that with so many people dropping out of the labor force, the January unemployment rate will truly plunge, which is precisely the red flag observed by traders, and is the reason why the market is not taking this news in stride. Remember - all it takes for the end of endless QE is a stable improvement in the labor pool. Could this be it? Of course not, but doubts are starting to emerge.

That said, the Fed has now created an environment in which all news is good news! If the economy worsens, then stocks will rise in anticipation of still more QE. And if the economy improves, stocks will rise in anticipation of better times yet to come! 

Djokovic On a Roll

My favorite tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is on a roll, and has now assured his place in the Australian Open finals. Go Novak!

Overnight Malaise

Stocks still haven't yet erased the impact of Apple's bad earnings report, and show malaise that may find resolution with additional news this morning, including the latest unemployment claims to be released shortly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Apple Disappoints, Stocks Drop Through Day's Low

I don't expect this news to manifest anything beyond short-term market impact, despite that it may be a dark harbinger of things shortly to come. The global economy is slipping into recession, but Wall St considers the US economy to be immune from the global funk.

Stocks Rise As US House Passes Debt Limit Suspension

from C-Span:
"The deal would raise the government's current $16.4
trillion debt limit until May 19. In exchange, the House and Senate must
pass a budget resolution by April 15 or place members' salaries in an
escrow account until the chamber acts."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stocks Continue Rise Despite Terrible Richmond Fed Data

So much for the latest "recovery." While everyone continued to forget that in the New Normal markets do not reflect the underlying economy in the least, and that the all time highs in the Russell 2000 should indicate that the US economy has never been better, things in reality took a deep dive for the worse, at least according to the Empire State Fed, the Philly Fed, and now the Richmond Fed, all of which missed expectations by a huge margin, and are now deep in contraction territory. Moments ago, the Richmond Fed reported that the Manufacturing Index imploded from a 9 in November, 5 in December and missed expectations of a 5 print at -12: this was the biggest miss to expectations since September 2009.

Faber: Send Keynesians to North Korea

Monday, January 21, 2013

Collapse of Cattle Futures Continues

This is setting up for a major short squeeze!

Perspective on Greatness

"My feeling was always that God had given me a certain amount of talent and He expected me to get the most out of that talent. So in the end it was up to me, and that drove me to train as hard as I could, and compete as hard as I could, to do justice to the talent I was given." Stan Smith, one of the world's great tennis players

Smith was speaking about the spirituality and faith of Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic. He is my inspiration!

Keep your head on, buddy! God bless!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cattle Collapse

CHICAGO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange live
cattle futures fell hard Thursday on news that Cargill Inc
 plans to close its beef packing plant in Plainview,
Texas, on Feb. 1 due to tight supplies, traders and analysts
    CME live cattle futures at one point fell by their 3-cent
daily price limit, but recovered some of those losses later in
the session.
    "The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952.
Increased feed costs resulting from the prolonged drought,
combined with herd liquidations by cattle ranchers, are severely
and adversely contributing to the challenging business
conditions we face as an industry," John Keating, president of
Cargill Beef, said in a statement.