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Thursday, November 15, 2012 – Pick One or Pick All Four

Pick One or Pick All Four by Sinclair Noe DOW – 28 = 12,542SPX – 2 = 1353NAS – 9 = 283610 YR YLD =1.59%OIL – 1.01 = 85.31GOLD – 11.50 = 1717.10SILV – .14 = 32.70 We had a few economic reports; they deserve mention; we also had a few flashpoints; we’ll get to those soon. Consumers paid somewhat higher prices for food, rent and housing in October, offsetting a decline in the price of gasoline at the pump. The consumer-price index edged up a seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month. Inflation-adjusted hourly wages, meanwhile, fell by 0.2% in October. Wages fell slightly, even as consumer prices rose, to account for the decline. Real wages have fallen 0.7% over the past 12 months, meaning consumers have less buying power compared with one year ago. Consumers got some relief in October, however, from the falling price of gasoline. The government’s price index of gas, which spiked 16.6% from July to September, tapered off 0.6% last month. The more important number to consumers — the actual cost of a gallon of gas — fell by almost 7% in October and retail prices continued to decline in the first two weeks of November. The average national cost is about $3.50 a gallon, down from nearly $4 a few months ago. Hurricane Sandy contributed to negative readings for both Philadelphia- and New York-area manufacturing gauges in November; not a surprise. First-time jobless claims soared by 78,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000 in the week …

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012 – How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb by Sinclair Noe DOW – 185 = 12,570SPX – 19 = 1355NAS – 37 = 284610 YR YLD un = 1.59%OIL + 1.10 = 86.48GOLD + 2.70 = 1728.60SILV + .24 = 32.84 President Obama held his first post-election news conference today. I was a little surprised when he announced the presidential pardon for Big Bird. Then he moved on to the more serious issues, like the sex life of generals. In addition to addressing the Petraeus scandal, Mr. Obama used the opportunity to broach a far more expected crisis; the looming “fiscal cliff.” He stressed that unless Congress acts to avert the “fiscal cliff” all Americans could see their taxes could go up and the economy could fall back into a recession, and he insisted that the top 2% of income earners see a tax increase. So, that’s where it stands. Both sides digging in their heels. Everyone is afraid of falling off the fiscal cliff, but there’s another dangerous countdown clock about hit to zero and no one is talking about it, even though it will spell even more financial problems for us all. At midnight on December 31, 2012, we’ll get tagged; the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program will expire. The TAG program was initiated at the height of the crisis when depositors were fleeing banks for fear they would go under. So, the FDIC upped regular deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000 and under the TAG …

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012 – Roll With It

Roll With It by Sinclair Noe DOW – 58 = 12,756SPX – 5 = 1374NAS – 20 = 288310 YR YLD -.02 = 1.59%OIL -.20 = 85.37GOLD – 3.90 = 1725.90SILV +.08 = 32.60 Both sides in the “fiscal cliff” debate stood their ground today as they gathered in Washington for the first time since the elections. It’s a high stakes game of chicken. The White House made clear it was ready to negotiate with Republicans on taxes and spending, but a spokesman for President Obama said he will not budge on insisting that the wealthy’s tax rates must rise in 2013. The president wants to extend low individual income tax rates beyond year’s end for 98 percent of Americans. On the Senate floor, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said his party was open to discussing new government revenues, but not raising tax rates. Groups concerned with protecting entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare are finding themselves at odds over whether an overarching fiscal deal during Congress’s end-of-year session would help or hurt their cause. A “grand bargain” to prevent the year-end onset of tax hikes and spending cuts “could cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, all to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.” I seriously doubt Republicans have the clout, following the elections, to make a full-on attack against the entitlement programs. In fact, it seems the only one who could attack the social safety net programs is President Obama. He may have been convinced by Wall …

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Monday, November 12, 2012 – Render Unto Caesar, and Don’t Forget Interest

Render Unto Caesar, and Don’t Forget InterestBy Sinclair Noe DOW – 0.31 = 12,815SPX + 0.18 = 1380NAS -0.62 = 290410 YR YLD = 1.60%OIL – .50 = 85.57GLD – 2.00 = 1729.80SLV – .21 = 32.52 British lawmakers have criticized executives of Starbucks, Google and Amazon on Monday for not paying more tax in Britain and Amazon said it had received a $252 million demand for back taxes from France. Britain and Germany last week announced plans to push the Group of 20 economic powers to make multinational companies pay their “fair share” of taxes following reports of large firms exploiting loopholes to avoid taxes. One of the members of Parliament explained the problem: “You’re either running the business badly, or there’s some fiddle going on.” Starbucks seems to be selling a lot of coffee in the UK; over the past 3 years they’ve sold more than 3 billion pounds (weight) of coffee but they haven’t paid any tax. (fiddle) Amazon just refuses to answer questions by the British tax authorities.(fiddle) And Google has apparently been playing the game. Google’s filings show it had $4 billion of sales in the UK last year, but despite having a group-wide profit margin of 33 percent, its main UK unit reported a loss in 2011 and 2010. It had a tax charge of just 3.4 million pounds in 2011. (fiddle) The search engine provider books European sales via an Irish unit, an arrangement that allowed it to pay taxes at a rate of …

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Friday, November 9, 2012 – Thank a Veteran

Thank a Veteran by Sinclair Noe DOW + 4 = 12,815 SPX + 2 = 1379 NAS + 9 = 2904 10 YR YLD -.02 = 1.61% OIL + 1.06 = 86.15 GOLD – 1.10 = 1731.80 SILV + .32 = 32.73 Speaker of the House John Boehner held a press conference this morning. Boehner repeated that House Republicans won’t agree to higher income-tax rates but said they would be open to limiting tax breaks as part of an agreement with Democrats. A couple of hours later, President Obama said any deal would have to result in wealthy Americans paying more in taxes. Following up, Obama’s spokesman said later that the president would veto any legislation extending tax cuts for families making $250,000 or more.  Obama said he had invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House next week for their first post-election negotiations. Their assignment: don’t go over the fiscal cliff; avert the tax increases and automatic spending cuts due to hit in January.  Both sides agree that failure to address the automatic tax increases and spending cuts could cripple the economy. The congressional budget analysis said the automatic tax increases and spending cuts would cut the deficit by $503 billion through next September but the fiscal austerity would cause the economy to shrink by 0.5 percent next year and would cost millions of jobs. The new study estimates that the nation’s gross domestic product would grow by 2.2 percent next year if all Bush-era tax rates …

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Thursday, November 8, 2012 – Tools in the Toolbox

Tools in the Toolbox by Sinclair Noe DOW – 121 = 12,811SPX – 17 = 1377NAS – 41 = 289510 YR YLD un = 1.63%OIL + .60 = 85.04GOLD + 14.60 = 1732.90SILV + .47 = 32.41 Yesterday I was a guest on Bill Tatro’s radio show: All About Money, 2PM Pacific and Mountain, right here on MoneyRadio. Most of the time Bill’s show is Bill, and it’s great; he’s always entertaining and informative and I don’t agree with everything he says but I think he does a great job of saying it; so I’m always a bit honored when he has me on as a guest. It’s a different situation for me, being the guest, but Bill is an excellent interviewer. One of the questions he asked was, paraphrasing: “What tools does the Federal Reserve still have in their toolbox?” I gave the basic answer that they didn’t seem to have many tools left. I thought it was time for fiscal stimulus to match the Fed’s already extraordinary use of monetary stimulus. But, as I said, this was a really good question and so I did a little more research, and today I’m going to talk with you about the tools left in the toolbox. First, whether you like the Fed or not, the Fed’s actions have had an impact on the economy and the economy has shown signs of recovery; I’m not sure what else to call it when you have 32 months of employment growth, the Dow …

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – Status Quo

Status Quo by Sinclair Noe DOW – 312 = 12,932SPX – 33 = 1394NAS – 74 = 293710 YR YLD -.11 = 1.63%OIL – 4.11 = 84.60GOLD + .40 = 1718.30 SILV – .18 = 31.94 Technically speaking, Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Senate Democrats were Election Day’s big winners. But that’s only if you believe something called the election results. Who were the night’s real winners? The policy wonks and demographic statisticians were big time winners. They were able to data mine and focus like a laser on key counties and precincts, and they played it to perfection. The Republican presidential primary candidates, who are no longer lonely. Chris Christie, because whatever his chances for 2016, he got to meet the Boss (Springsteen, not Obama). Tim Geithner, who now gets to land a cushy job as director of such and such bank or a big endorsement deal from TurboTax. Governor Jerry Brown because he doesn’t have to go back to the drawing board. That guy from fivethirtyeight, who nailed the prognosticating. And Barack Obama had an okay night. The losers would have to include all the lawyers who were itching for a recount. The state of Florida which showed they are incapable of a count. All those dudes in Colorado who will have to listen to all those jokes about Rocky Mountain High. Kid Rock, just because. Twitter, just because. And Barack Obama because he still has 4 more years. The good news is that the age of big …

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012 – I Voted Today

I Voted Today by Sinclair Noe DOW + 133 = 13,245SPX + 11 = 1428NAS + 12 = 301110 YR YLD +.06 = 1.74% OIL + 2.80 = 88.45GOLD + 31.90 = 1717.90SILV + .84 = 32.12 Normally, I spend the first couple of hours of each day throwing back some coffee and reading, maybe a little writing. Not today. I still had a cup of mud, but I showered fast and headed out the door. I drove to the local high school and I voted. I like going to the polls on election day. It’s more satisfying than mailing the ballot in early. And I like going to the local school to vote. Even though it was early morning, there were several young students on the campus. They saw people going into the polling place, and I hope it made them think about the process. I missed the crowds. I think many voters were dropping off kids at the school and then going inside to vote, but I beat the rush, if there was a rush. I didn’t see any lines. Maybe that means something about the outcome or the voting patterns; I don’t know what. I put my ballot into a ballot scanning machine, and a poll worker said “thank you” and he handed me a sticker that reads: “I Voted Today”. I stuck it on my shirt and told the fellow “thank you.” I felt good, I felt like a citizen. Yes, I know my one little …

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Monday, November 5, 2012 – There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel

There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel by Sinclair Noe DOW + 19 = 13,112SPX + 3 = 1417NAS + 17 = 299910 YR YLD -.04 = 1.68%OIL +.85 = 85.71GOLD + 8.10 = 1686.00SILV + .27 = 31.28 Tomorrow it will all be over, maybe; unless, it is too close to call, in which case, it might drag out interminably or it might be decided early tomorrow evening. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Obama leading Romney 50% to 46% for the presidency of Ohio. If that holds up, then it’s a done deal; unless it isn’t. I think there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Election 2012 has been relentless; it seems like it has been going on forever. This is the season of discontent, no matter which side you support. In the October 2008 jobs report the economy lost 500,000. This month we gained about 170,000 and there were positive revisions for the previous two months. The future looks bright, but grim at the same time. A new report from the National Employment Law Project says that since 2001, employment has grown 8.7 percent in lower-wage jobs and 6.6 percent in high-wage ones but they’ve fallen more than 7% in mid-wage jobs. The situation since the financial Crisis of 2008 is similar: jobs in the mid-range paying $14 to $21 accounted for 60% of jobs lost but only 22% of the job gained while lower wage jobs paying a median wage …

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Monday, November 5, 2012 – There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel

There is a Light at the End of the Tunnel by Sinclair Noe DOW + 19 = 13,112SPX + 3 = 1417NAS + 17 = 299910 YR YLD -.04 = 1.68%OIL +.85 = 85.71GOLD + 8.10 = 1686.00SILV + .27 = 31.28 Tomorrow it will all be over, maybe; unless, it is too close to call, in which case, it might drag out interminably or it might be decided early tomorrow evening. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll has Obama leading Romney 50% to 46% for the presidency of Ohio. If that holds up, then it’s a done deal; unless it isn’t. I think there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Election 2012 has been relentless; it seems like it has been going on forever. This is the season of discontent, no matter which side you support. In the October 2008 jobs report the economy lost 500,000. This month we gained about 170,000 and there were positive revisions for the previous two months. The future looks bright, but grim at the same time. A new report from the National Employment Law Project says that since 2001, employment has grown 8.7 percent in lower-wage jobs and 6.6 percent in high-wage ones but they’ve fallen more than 7% in mid-wage jobs. The situation since the financial Crisis of 2008 is similar: jobs in the mid-range paying $14 to $21 accounted for 60% of jobs lost but only 22% of the job gained while lower wage jobs paying a median wage …

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