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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Thursday, May 17, 2012 – Banks Start to Run – by Sinclair Noe

DOW – 156 = 12,442SPX – 19 = 1304NAS – 60 = 281310 YR YLD -.06 = 1.70%OIL +.17 = 92.73GOLD + 34.00 = 1575.30SILV +.78 = 28.15PLAT + 19.00 = 1459.00 The Dow Industrials have now dropped for 11 out of the past 12 trading sessions, giving back all the gains going back to the start of the year. Greece’s caretaker Cabinet was sworn in this morning and they’ll hold power at least until next month’s election.  The European Central Bank has stopped providing funds to Greek banks. People have been pulling euros out of the Greek banks, concerned about a possible exit from the Euro-zone common currency and a return to the Drachma, which would be an effective devaluation. So Greek citizens take their money out the front door of the bank and the ECB refuses to replenish supplies, and something has to give. There will be an election in about one month. There will be attempts to find a resolution. German Chancellor Merkel is even considering lifting the jackboot of austerity from the necks of the Greeks. It is one thing to demand fealty, it is another to consider the very real possibility of a Greek exit from the Euro-union. Germans are starting to realize that a Greek exit from the Euro-union will be very expensive. Everybody is now doing a study to determine how much a Greek exit might cost; the numbers seem to run in the trillions. So, why not find a cheaper solution? Which …

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012 – Greek Government, Spanish Banks, Gold Prices – It’s All Messy

DOW – 97 = 12,835SPX – 9 = 1354NAS – 11 = 293410 YR YLD unch = 1.84% OIL – .56 = 96.45GOLD – 15.40 = 1590.40SILV – .20 = 29.37PLAT – 12.00 = 1505.00 The Greek tragedy continues; no success so far in negotiations to form a coalition government after weekend elections resulted in a deadlock. It looks like there might be another election in June. The Greeks accepted another $5 billion dollar bailout payment today, so they keep the government afloat for a few more weeks. Now, the chatter is shifting to the very real idea that Greece will exit the Euro, and trying to figure out the implications. The concern is that exiting the Eurozone is going to be impossible and possibly will trigger a cascade of bad economic consequences. Absolutely right, but only because it might be done in an uncontrolled manner. The Federal Reserve and the ECB and the IMF and all the others have been saying that the Euro-crisis is under control. If, or when Greece exits the Euro, nobody should be surprised; this train has been rolling down the track for a couple of years, and the Germans and ECB and IMF and Fed all had plenty of time to come up with solutions. And they didn’t. So, now the Greek voters have come up with a solution. They didn’t come up with a unanimous decision, not even a plurality. The whole thing was a crazy mish-mash of votes, ranging from communists to …

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