Monday, June 4, 2012 – Euro-crisis Moving Faster

DOW – 17 = 12,101SPX +0.14 = 1278NAS + 12 = 276010 YR YLD +.06 = 1.53%OIL +.15 = 84.13GOLD – 8.00 = 1619.30SILV – .42 = 28.36PLAT – 19.00 = 1434.00 Finance chiefs of the Group of Seven leading industrialized powers will hold emergency talks on the euro zone debt crisis tomorrow. The economic problems have spread and the G-7 teleconference is at least an admission that the euro is breaking down as a viable economic undertaking. We are finally moving past denial. There’s something rotten in Denmark; the Danish central bank cut interest rates twice last week; they say they’re battening down the hatches for a splintering of the European Monetary union. The European Commission said monetary union was in danger of “disintegration” and the European Central Bank said it was “unsustainable” as constructed. Felipe Gonzalez,the former Spanish prime minister says the Spanish economy is facing a “total emergency”, which is – just guessing here – a bit more problematic than a partial emergency. The Cypriot banking system is nine times the country’s GDP and they are now begging for a bailout. What a shocker. Cyprus is on the verge of becoming Iceland South. Switzerland is threatening capital controls to repel bank flight from Euroland. The Swiss two-year note has fallen to -0.32%; if you want to park money in the safe haven of Swiss bonds, you pay for the privilege. US 10-year note yield dropped down to 1.44%, lower than during the Great Depression. The United States …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Friday, June 1, 2012 – Weak Jobs Report – What’s Next? – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 274 = 12,118SPX – 32 = 1278NAS – 79 = 274710 YR YLD – .11 = 1.47%OIL – 3.27 = 83.26GOLD + 66.10 = 1627.30SILV + .97 = 28.78PLAT + 32.00 = 1451.00 Yesterday we set the stage for today’s jobs report; anything under 150,000 jobs gained would be considered bad. Mitt Romney called it devastating. In fact it was not quite as devastating as the 598,000 jobs lost in January 2009. The economy isn’t losing jobs, just not gaining enough. Nonfarm payroll employment in May increased by 69,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%. This was a weak month, and the previous two months were revised down. The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +154,000 to +143,000, and the change for April was revised from +115,000 to +77,000; combined that works out to 47,000 fewer jobs than originally reported. The Labor Force Participation Rate increased to 63.8% in May. This is the percentage of the working age population in the labor force. This means more people felt good enough about economic conditions to jump back into the labor market and look for a job; the bad news is that they didn’t find many jobs. The U6 rate, which measures unemployed and underemployed was 14.6%. JPMorgan reported today: “Taking down the US growth projection has almost become a summertime ritual, and in keeping with tradition we are shaving our 2012 GDP outlook (Q4/Q4) from 2.3% to 2.1%. Over the first five months …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Thursday, May 31, 2012 – Jobs and the Food Chain – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 26 = 12393SPX – 2= 1310NAS – 10 = 282710 YR YLD -.04 = 1.58%OIL +.04 = 86.57GOLD – 2.30 = 1561.20SILV – .22 = 27.81PLAT +15.00 = 1421.00 The S&P 500 index fell 6.3 percent in May, its largest percentage drop since September. The Dow’s 6.2 percent drop and Nasdaq’s 7.2 percent loss are their largest monthly declines in two years. Crude oil futures prices finished May with losses of 17%, their worst drop (or best, depending on your position) since December 2008, near the height of the U.S. financial crisis. Gold ended May with its fourth straight monthly decline – about 6%, the most in 12 years, and only slighly better than the S&P500. The troubles in Europe sent investors looking for the safe haven of the dollar and the dollar index gained 5.4% in May. The Euro finished the month at $1.233, down 7%. The Spanish market index, the Ibex25 is down 13%, Japan’s Nikkei is off 10%, and the Russian RTS is down 22% in May. The 10-year US Treasury note returned 1.6% for the month as yields dropped to historic low. If you think the markets are starting to resemble Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – you are correct. The VIX, the Volatility Index jumped 40%. We had a few economic reports, disappointing economic reports, however the big jobs report tomorrow will overshadow today’s news. The Commerce Department reports economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first three months of …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 – Spanish Winter, Mexican Spring – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 160 = 12,419SPX – 19 = 1313NAS – 33 = 283710 YR YLD – 0.11 = 1.62%OIL – 3.38 = 87.38GOLD + 7.70 = 1563.50SILV +.05 = 28.03PLAT – 28.00 = 1406.00 Yesterday the Dow gained 125 and I said: “The reason du jour for today’s market gains: positive news regarding Greece. Really? I’m not buying it. Make up your own reason for today’s gains because we are just as likely to see declines tomorrow.” And sure enough. The problem du jour was Spain and the Dow dropped 160. This economic stuff is easy. Remember when I told you a couple of months ago to get out in May? The S&P 500 has fallen nearly 6 percent in May, heading for its worst monthly performance since September. You’re welcome. The Nasdaq is down 6.9% for the month. US Treasury benchmark yields fell to their lowest in at least 60 years. Oil dropped more than 3 percent to the lowest level in nearly six months; oil prices are down 16% in May. The dollar remains the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry hamper, up 5.5% for the month. The euro dropped below $1.24 to a 23-month low. Spain’s stock market hit a 9 year low. Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds topped 6.6%, which is close to levels at which Ireland and Greece sought international bail-outs. The news from Europe was all Spanish overnight as the country struggles to find traction on any plan that will lead it away from the …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 – Dithering About Europe – by Sinclair Noe

DOW + 125 = 12,580SPX + 14 = 1332NAS + 33 = 287010 YR YLD -.01 = 1.73%OIL +.08 = 90.84GOLD – 18.90 = 1555.80SILV -.55 = 27.98PLAT – 9.00 = 1432.00 The reason du jour for today’s market gains: positive news regarding Greece. Really? I’m not buying it. Make up your own reason for today’s gains because we are just as likely to see declines tomorrow. Still, Europe is important. Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Plosser said Monday that people in the United States have no need “to get all in a dither” over Europe’s debt crisis. Plosser feels that Europe’s economic problems could even benefit the US in the short term. It is “not an unreasonable argument,” he said, that low US interest rates and gas prices in response to the uncertainty in Europe’s financial situation could offset any potential difficulties for the American economy. Plosser said Europe “is just throwing a lot of noise into the system right now. It makes reading the tea leaves particularly difficult right now.” He noted, however, that a “flood of liquidity” into the US seems much more likely than investors running from US financial institutions. But, he added, the Fed will be able to deal with any fallout from Europe’s economic troubles. He believes the Fed has the necessary tools to deal with the situation, no matter what the situation. So, how is the Euro situation likely to be resolved? Well, the Greek election is June 16, so the Euro …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Friday, May 25, 2012 – It’s Better Than It Looks, Striving For Happiness Amidst the Cow Pies – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 74 = 12,454SPX – 2= 1317NAS – 1 = 283710 YR YLD – .01 = 1.75%OIL -.06 = 90.60GOLD + 15.90 = 1574.70SILV +.21 = 28.63PLAT + 14.00 = 1436.00 For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.7 percent.  I’m of the opinion that life is better than it appears. We look around sometimes and the world can seem scary. Sometimes we have to look a little deeper to find the good, the decent, the delightful and the potentially pluperfect. And that brings us to today’s topic on the possibility of the Federal Reserve pumping money into the banking system through asset purchases, in other words, Quantitative Easing Part 3. Inflation expectations are falling, if you consider Treasury bonds as a gauge of inflation. The lower outlook for inflation gives the Fed wiggle room to stimulate the economy. Although, right now the Dow looks like a better QE indicator, and it is not indicating QE. The banks can always make a case for QE, but what about the Fed officials who make the actual decisions? St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard says he expects the U.S. economy to perform better than many forecasters anticipate and that the Fed will therefore need to raise interest rates in late 2013, not late 2014 as its policy committee is currently indicating. Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Narayana Kocherlakota thinks the current labor market performance is much closer to maximum employment than the data alone would suggest. A few weeks back, Kocherlakota …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Thursday, May 24, 2012 – Banks Issue Instructions for the Euro-Crisis – by Sinclair Noe

DOW + 33 = 12,529SPX + 1 = 1320NAS – 10 = 283910 YR YLD +.04 = 1.76%OIL +.95 = 90.85GOLD – 4.50 = 1558.80SILV +.48 = 28.42PLAT – 7.00 = 1424.00 The Dow Industrials moved lower this morning, then recovered, then dropped, then rallied into the close. Stocks moved down, up, down, up. If you can figure out what it means, send me a note. I’m not sure it means much. Treasury prices declined a little and yields inched up. The Treasury Department sold 7-year notes at auction. One economic report today showed 370,000 people filed for first-time jobless claims last week. Another report showed durable good orders rose 0.2% in April. Nobody was surprised by the reports. The euro jumped up against the Swiss Franc on rumors the Swiss government might implement a tax on Swiss franc-denominated deposits. In the past the biggest argument against a tax was that it would drive Swiss banking activity off shore. So, how does a rumor like that get rolling? Well, there are wheelbarrows full of euros being deposited into Swiss banks right now. Meanwhile, JPMorgan issued a report on the European Central Bank, or maybe they issued instructions; I’m not sure which. The economic downturn will lead the ECB to ease monetary policy even further with a combination of interest rate cuts and another round of the LTRO, Long -Term Refinance Operation, also known as Free Money. Of course, if the ECB lowers rates and injects more liquidity into the banking …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 – Admit Nothing – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 6.66 = 12,496 SPX + 2 = 1318NAS + 11 = 285010 YR YLD -.07 = 1.72OIL +.62 = 90.51GOLD – 6.00 = 1563.30SILV -.36 = 27.94PLAT – 20.00 = 1430.00 A listener writes: Maybe they should have renamed the company “Two Facedbook” at the IPO for all of the double dealing and back door insider information. One face for Joe public and the other face for Joe privileged… My .02 worth. We are learning details, and we will learn many more details as the Facebook Fiasco works its way through the courts. Zuckerberg made a boatload of money but he will spend a large part of his life dealing with lawyers and the legal system. At first blush it appears the bankers were behaving badly. Go figure. The latest revelation is that Facebook officials told the analysts for the banks that were underwriting the IPO to reduce revenue and earnings forecasts. Facebook backed off and said, “hey, get your models down.” Facebook’s advisory came around May 9, the day it published an amended prospectus that included a cautionary note about lower advertising revenue. It isn’t known which analysts from the 33 IPO underwriters were contacted by Facebook with the revised guidance. It also isn’t clear exactly who from Facebook gave the guidance. The analysts cut their estimates because a Facebook executive told them to. The information about the estimate cut was then verbally conveyed to sophisticated institutional investors who were considering buying Facebook stock, but not to smaller investors. The …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 – Bank Scum – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 1 = 12,502 SPX +0.64 = 1316NAS – 8 = 283910 YR YLD +.06 = 1.79%OIL – .92 = 91.65GOLD – 24.10 = 1569.30SILV – .27 = 28.30PLAT – 23.00 = 1451.00 Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are just pure scum. No wait, I shouldn’t say that; it’s much too kind; they are lying, stinking, thieving, dangerous scum. Maybe you heard about a little company called Facebook; it went public last Friday. Today, Reuters is reporting Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs all cut their earning forecasts for Facebook in the middle of the IPO roadshow. You didn’t hear about that? No, you did not hear about that because the big banksters didn’t tell you. Why didn’t they tell you? Because they thought it would be much better to screw the public and try to make a quick buck on insider information, which they are required by law to report. Instead, the banksters passed the information only to a handful of big investor clients. This is a problem because earnings forecasts are material information, especially when they are prepared by analysts who have special access to company information and company management. Everybody who invested in Facebook would consider this material information when making an informed decision. The handful of big investors that did receive the information about reduced revenue forecasts were reportedly shocked. The change in Morgan Stanley’s estimates came on the heels of Facebook’s filing of an amended prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in …

READ MORE →
Uncategorized

Monday, May 21, 2012 – Markets Bounce, Greece Doesn’t, JPMorgan Stonewalls – by Sinclair Noe

DOW + 135 = 12,504SPX + 20 = 1315NAS + 68 = 284710 YR YLD +.03 = 1.74% OIL + .12 = 92.69GOLD +.30 = 1593.40SILV -.25 = 28.57PLAT + 13.00 = 1474.00 Remember last summer, when the living was easy and the Dow Industrials dropped like bricks from 12,724 down to 10,719? Two-thousand points in just a few weeks? Remember in October, the Dow had recovered from the Dog Days of Summer and climbed all the way back to 12, 078, only to fall more than 800 points in just a couple of weeks? The past three weeks have been kind of like that. Of course, there will be bounces. Today we bounced. Why did we bounce today? Make up any reason you wish. Europe didn’t collapse, Greeks shifted to a pro-bailout party, the Facebook frenzy is finished, Jamie Dimon hypnotized investors to forget about losses at JPMorgan, the G8 is feeling optimistic, China isn’t planning to crush the US economy – at least not this week; the sun was eclipsed by the moon but it was only temporary. Pick a reason or create your own. Stocks bounce. One day does not make a trend. Over the weekend the G8 met at Camp David. It might have made better sense to hold the meeting in Chicago, where NATO was holding a meeting, a rare United States based NATO summit, but there would have been too many protesters. So the G8 met in the wooded seclusion of Maryland and they …

READ MORE →