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Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – Do the Hustle

Do the Hustle by Sinclair Noe DOW – 25 = 13,077 SPX – 4 = 1408 NAS – 8 = 298110 YR YLD +.01 = 1.77%OIL – .43 = 88.30GOLD – 6.20 = 1702.50SILV + .06 = 31.83PLAT – 12.00 = 1566.00 Someday, we’ll get through a whole week without having to report on the never-ending string of bad behavior by the big banks. I thought this might be the week. There were other things in the news; the Presidential debate on Monday; the Federal Reserve FOMC meeting today. We even had a proxy for the bad banks; the giant insurance company AIG reached a settlement with 39 states for creating a death list, where they would stop paying on annuities when someone died but they wouldn’t look for beneficiaries of a life insurance policy. Then to top it off the CEO, Robert Benmosche, said he was indignant that nobody in the government had thanked him for paying back the bailout money that kept the company from total collapse 4 years ago. And over the past couple of weeks, Chase and Wells Fargo were sued for shoddy and virtually non-existent underwriting of mortgages that failed. Who was left? You might think the big bad banks would take the week off from the news cycle. Yes, someday, we’ll break the bonds of this gruesome litany of dirty deeds; someday this war will end. But not today. The latest federal lawsuit over alleged mortgage fraud paints an unflattering picture of a doomed …

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012 – Take Me to the Water

Take Me to the Water by Sinclair noe DOW – 243 = 13,102SPX – 20 = 1413NAS -26 = 299010 YR YLD – .03 = 1.76%OIL – .43 = 88.20GOLD – 21.80 = 1708.70SILV – .78 = 31,77PLAT – 38.00 = 1576.00 I’m still trying to figure out how Iran goes through Syria to gain access to the sea; this might take a while, so let’s consider some other topics while we wait. Today, the Dow Jones ended down 1.8% and the S&P 500 was off 1.4%. Why? Why? Who can explain why? Not me. But I can tell you that the Oracles of CNBC have figured it out and they can tell you why the markets moved, at least they can tell you after the fact. Here’s what they spake: Concerns about the strength of corporate earnings, particularly multinationals like DuPont, IBM and McDonald’s; increased selling by liquidity-seeking Europeans; China’s slowing economy; Wilbur Ross decided it might be better to invest in Spanish banks next year; Spain’s GDP continues to shrink; The short-selling ban in Spain expired yesterday; Obama used the word “sequestration” during last night’s debate, reminding people of the fiscal cliff; Fed policy continues to keep assets prices at some level above their fundamentals, but the fundamentals are worsening; Each round of QE has been decreasingly effective; The technicals of the S&P 500; Romney might win the election; Apple’s roll out of the iPad mini might be underwhelming. The iPad mini roll out; it’s small; I don’t …

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Monday, Ocotber 22, 2012 – What’s the Over-Under on a Thank You Note?

What’s the Over-Under on a Thank You Note? by Sinclair Noe DOW + 2 = 13,345SPX + 0.63 = 1433NAS + 11 = 301610 YR YLD + .03 = 1.80OIL – 1.79 = 88.26GOLD + 9.00 = 1730.50SILV +.38 = 32.55PLAT – 9.00 = 1614.00 I never knew that you could do these things but apparently you can. How many times do you think you will hear the word China or Chinese in tonight’s debate. The over/under on China is 7. You can actually bet on how many times you’ll hear a particular word or phrase. The over /under on Benghazi is 25. A year ago, I didn’t even know where Benghazi is; now it will probably be all over the debate. The over/under on terror/terrorists/terrorism or some other form of the word; the over under is 37 and this includes both candidates and the moderator. The over/under on Federal Reserve is one. Who knew? I’m not advising you actually place a wager on this. In fact, I think it would be a bad idea; but this is what it’s boiled down to: bread and circuses, a chicken in every pot and cheap entertainment for all. The winner tonight could very well determine which man will be what was once called without irony The Leader of the Free World. There is a good chance that the winner tonight will be the one who convinces us that foreign policy actually matters to your wallet. If it happens overseas it impacts us …

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Friday, October 19. 2012 – Sometimes I Forget What I’m Supposed To Remember

Sometimes I Forget What I’m Supposed To Remember by Sinclair Noe DOW – 205 = 13,343SPX – 24 = 1433NAS – 67 = 300510 YR YLD -.06 = 1.77% OIL – 1.96 = 90.14GOLD – 21.10 = 1721.50SILV – .75 = 32.17PLAT – 29.00 = 1625.00 Today is the 25th anniversary of Black Monday, and the markets paid homage with a 205 point drop, nothing close to the 508 point drop in 1987. On a percentage basis, 1987 was 16 times worse than today. The Crash of 1987 would be about a 3,100 point drop in today’s markets. That would get your attention. Still, the more things change the more they stay the same. Back in 1987, the Crash was blamed, at least in part, on program trading, based on portfolio insurance and a process called dynamic hedging. I remember computers back then that weren’t fast enough to play Pong, much less cause a crash. Maybe the Wall Street crowd had really fast floppies. Today we have high frequency trading or HFT, and they can whip out trades in milliseconds; and if you’re looking for a market crash in the future, don’t be surprised if it comes from HFT. The whole idea of HFT is legalized theft and it doesn’t add to market liquidity, stability or efficiency. They are not market-makers. They are market-manipulators. They have no obligation to make a market in any stock. The never have to post a market or ever honor the bids and offers they …

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Thursday, October 18, 2012 – The Only Day Like it Ever

The Only Day Like it Ever by Sinclair Noe DOW – 8 = 13,548 SPX – 3 = 1457NAS – 31 = 307210 YR YLD +.01 = 1.83%OIL un = 92.09GOLD – 8.30 = 1742.60SILV – .38 = 32.92PLAT – 19.00 = 1651.00 Do you remember where you were 25 years ago? It was a Sunday; 1987. The news of the day was that Nancy Reagan had been hospitalized with cancer; there was a threat of war with Iran and within 24 hours the US was shelling Iranian oil platforms; there were concerns about Germany’s currency; the United States, wanting to prop up the dollar and restrict inflation, tightened policy faster than the Europeans. US pressure on Germany to change its monetary policy was one of the factors that unnerved investors.The stock market had a wave of steady selling on Friday and the Dow dropped 108 points. Most people really weren’t aware; this was before we all had computers and smart phones and tablets. Maybe you read about the Friday sell-off in the Sunday newspaper. Maybe you thought about selling a little bit of your portfolio, but the truth is that it was already too late. Halfway around the world, the dollar-backed Hong Kong markets were chopped down 10%. And then the crash spread. European bond markets collapsed, which caused interest-sensitive savings and loans and money center banks to plunge. Monday morning, October 19, 1987 the crash washed across lower Manhattan. In a flash, the Dow crumbled and by the …

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 – It Could All Come Down to Pahrump

It Could All Come Down to Pahrump -by Sinclair Noe DOW + 5 = 13,557SPX + 5 = 1460NAS + 2 = 3104 10 YR YLD +.09 = 1.81% OIL – .19 = 91.93 GOLD +1 .60 = 1750.90SILV + .24 = 33.30PLAT + 22.00 = 1672.00 Listen live or archived audio at MoneyRadio.com The best site I’ve found for election polling data is http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/ A CBS News/Knowledge networks poll of undecided voters who watched the debate found 37 percent giving an advantage to President Obama, 30 percent favoring Governor Romney and 33 percent calling the debate a tie. That represents a narrower lead for Mr. Obama than Mr. Romney had after the first debate in Denver, when a similar poll gave Mr. Romney a 46-22 edge. A CNN poll of registered voters who watched the debate — not just undecided voters, as in the CBS News survey — also gave the debate to Mr. Obama by a seven-point margin, 46 percent to 39 percent. Mr. Romney had won by a much larger margin, 67 percent to 25 percent, in CNN’s poll after the first debate. Meanwhile, 73 percent of voters in the CNN poll said Mr. Obama performed better than they expected, against just 10 percent who said he did worse; chalk that up to diminished expectations. Two other polls gave Mr. Obama a somewhat clearer advantage. A Battleground poll of likely voters in swing states who watched the debate had him winning 53-38. Apoll by Google Consumer Surveys gave Mr. Obama a 48 percent to …

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 – Big Bank Complexity, Debate Drinking Games, Food Supplies Not a Game

Big Bank Complexity, Debate Drinking Games, Food Supplies Not a Game -by Sinclair Noe DOW + 127 = 13,551SPX + 14 = 1454NAS + 36 = 310110 YR YLD +.06 = 1.72%OIL + .11 = 91.96GOLD + 10.90 = 1749.30SILV + .26 = 33.06PLAT + 5.00 = 1650.00 (audio at MoneyRadio.com) Today was the biggest gain for the stock markets since early September. What was behind the move? Was it a debate day rally? Was it a Vikram Pandit exit? Was it great earnings reports from some such company? Who knows? It’s rarely any one item that moves the market significantly. It is more likely that trading has reached a certain level or a particular moment in time, and the news events catch up with the charts. Yesterday, the earnings news centered around Citigroup which reported something I still can’t figure out; lots of debt that is counted as profit. Today, Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citi, is gone. Pandit says he left voluntarily; others think he was forced out in a disagreement with the board of directors. The strange part is that Citi has seen a rebound of about 22% in the past 12 months. Pandit has been on the job for about 5 years; he took the job as the credit crisis was about to send the economy into the abyss; now, he walks away when the company has learned to turn debt into profit and appears to be finding stable ground. Citi shares have dropped 90% under …

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Monday, October 15, 2012 – Coffee First Then the Prize

Coffee First Then the Prize -by Sinclair Noe DOW + 95 = 13,424SPX + 11 = 1440 NAS + 20 = 306410 YR YLD un = 1.66%OIL- .11 = 91.74GOLD – 16.90 = 1738.40SILV – .78 = 32.80 PLAT – 14.00 = 1646.00 Americans Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley were awarded the Nobel economics prize on Monday for research that helps explain the market processes at work when doctors are assigned to hospitals, students to schools and human organs for transplant to recipients. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited the two economists for “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.” Roth, 60, is a professor at Harvard. Shapley, 89, is a professor emeritus at UCLA. “This year’s prize concerns a central economic problem: how to match different agents as well as possible,” the academy said. Shapley made early theoretical inroads into the subject, using game theory to analyze different matching methods in the 1950s and ’60s. He examined “pairwise matching”. Roth took it further by applying it to the market for US doctors in the ’90s. “Even though these two researchers worked independently of one another, the combination of Shapley’s basic theory and Roth’s empirical investigations, experiments and practical design has generated a flourishing field of research and improved the performance of many markets,” the academy said. While I think it’s safe to say most of us believe that capitalism is the best economic system, in part because of the ability to efficiently allocate resources, …

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Friday, October 12, 2012 – Peace Out

Peace Out by Sinclair Noe DOW + 2 = 13,328SPX – 4 = 1428NAS – 5 = 304410 YR YLD -.01 = 1.66%OIL – .43 = 91.64GOLD – 12.90 = 1755.30SILV – .52 = 33.58PLAT – 23.00 = 1660.00 Two down, two to go; debates that is. So far, it has been great entertainment; and we all get to play critic; too polite, too disrespectful, too vague, too mendacious, big flag pin, little flag pin, too much style and not enough substance. In addition to a dearth of veracity, there were other glaring omissions, such as details, specifics, and of course, the Federal Reserve. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Maybe the marching orders came from Jamie Dimon, speaking before the CFR the other day, Dimon discounted all this QE stuff. Dimon says QE1, 2, and 3 added together are only about $3 trillion dollars,… so far. Now that might sound like a significant sum to a bumpkin like me, but Dimon puts it in perspective; it is just a small part of the total financial assets of America, $80 trillion dollars. I didn’t see much in the itemized columns about that $80 trillion but it seems that much of it is securitized debt, backstopped by the Federal Reserve, and without the Fed “Put”, that $80 trillion in financial assets might just be so much paper; in other words, it remains susceptible to massive deleveraging. Profit for JPMorgan rose 34% to $5.71 billion, or $1.40 a share, …

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Thursday, October 11, 2012 – The Bigger Debate

by Sinclair Noe DOW – 18 = 13,326SPX +0.28 = 1432NAS – 2 = 304910 YR YLD – .02 = 1.67% OIL + 1.22 = 92.47GOLD + 4.60 = 1768.00SILV +.06 = 34.10PLAT + 4.00 = 1682.00 Archived audio at http://www.moneyradio.com/Audio-Archive A fairly remarkable thing happened today. I doubt you’ll hear much of it on the nightly news because after all, there is a big debate this evening, but the news out of Tokyo this morning centered around and even bigger debate. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are holding their annual meeting in Japan and the Managing Director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde announced that the harsh austerity measures that European monetary officials have been pushing could produce the opposite effect on struggling nations like Greece and Spain and Portugal and Ireland. In other words, austerity has not worked and it probably isn’t the solution to Europe’s problems after all. For those of you that have been alert and attentive, you know that Euro-crisis has served as the testing ground for major economic theory. The IMF announcement today marks a dramatic turning point moving forward, or at least it marks a dramatic sounding announcement and a surprising admission of policy failure. Still to be determined is how the Euro-crisis plays out from here. Large parts of the Euro-zone are now in economic depression that threaten not just the weak nations but even the strongest. We are familiar with the situation in Greece; unemployment is running at 25%; the …

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