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Thursday, June 7, 2012 – Mr Bernanke Goes to Washington – by Sinclair Noe

DOW + 46 = 12460 SPX -0.14 = 1314NAS – 13 =283110 YR YLD unch = 1.65%OIL – 1.14 = 83.68GOLD -31.20 = 1589.50SILV -.84 = 28.69PLAT – 23.00 = 1447.00 The European Union released GDP was unchanged month to month and declined 0.1% from a year ago. Mari Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank announced that interest rates would stay at 1%. Draghi did not make a major policy announcement although it was widely anticipated that he would. However, he did state that the ECB would continue its main refinancing operations to provide liquidity to European banks. Fitch just cut its credit rating for Spain from A to BBB with a negative outlook. That’s the same credit rating as Kazakhstan. Fitch estimates the Spanish banking system will need between $60 and $120 billion in additional capital to cover potential losses on their domestic loan portfolios. Apparently the Grand Euro-plan is to maintain unbending monetary policy over multiple and diverse and increasingly frail economies with the justification that there is no gain without pain and suffering will eventually make you feel better, combined with a lack of unity and failure to cooperate on anything other than the destruction of democratic processes imbued with a hint of hubris that the technocrats are much smarter than the hoi polloi despite a seemingly non-stop rainstorm of random policy blunders and dogged consistency in remaining behind the curve. Yesterday I told you: “Still, the market was looking for the Fed to ride …

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012 – Rally for Central Bank Juice – by Sinclair Noe

DOW + 286 = 12,414 SPX + 29 = 1315NAS + 66 = 284410 YR YLD +.10 = 1.65%OIL +.51 = 85.53GOLD + 2.80 = 1620.70SILV +.90 = 29.53PLAT + 26.00 = 1468.00 There have been several ideas floated to explain today’s rally on Wall Street: the markets were oversold, it was a technical bounce off the 200 day moving average, it was a dead cat bounce, traders who have shorted the market had to cover their positions, a response to Election Tuesday results, seller exhaustion, re-balancing, or my favorite – bargain hunting. How quick we forget. Goldman Sachs has already announced they expect the Federal Reserve to juice the economy and soon. So, apparently the work order has been submitted and now we just wait to see if Helicopter Ben can deliver the goods. Today, the general market feeling was that some central bank somewhere would start throwing money at the banksters. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi suggested that further stimulus to tackle the euro zone’s debt crisis would not necessarily be forthcoming, but speculation persisted that the ECB could act if financial market tensions intensify further. The ECB left interest rates unchanged following its policy meeting today. The Euro economy is standing at the edge; unemployment is soaring; the Spanish banking system is on the verge of collapse; Greece is already toast. And it looks like the ECB is trying to make sure the Euro-politicians know they won’t get any relief unless they enforce even more austerity …

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 -Home Sales Up, Expectations Up; Beard on Beard Violence; Spain Sinks; Draghi’s Pretzel Logic; Big Banks Payday Tactics

DOW + 113 = 13,204SPX + 9 = 1399NAS + 20 = 305010 YR YLD -.02 = 1.96%OIL – .50 = 104.05GOLD + 12.80 = 1658.10SILV + .38 = 31.19PLAT + 16.00 = 1574.00 The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits last week was 388,000; basically unchanged from a week earlier. The National Association of Realtors’ pending-home-sales index rose 4.1% to 101.4 in March. March pending home sales were up 12.8% from year-ago levels. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed. Sales of existing homes during the first quarter were the strongest in five years, and the NAR said the pending home sales data suggests the second quarter will be equally good. Pending sales are now at a 23 month high. We told you there would be a push to stimulate the economy by way of the housing market. It probably started with Operation Twist, and the Fed buying mortgage backed securities, and then continued with the push for HARP 2.0. We had a plethora of earnings reports today. Pulte Homes posted a smaller than expected loss. Citrix Software posted a better than expected profit. Amazon.com reported better than expected earnings even though profit dropped 35% from a year earlier. Of the 51% of the S&P 500 companies that have reported first-quarter results so far, 72.4% have reported earnings above expectations, 11.8% reported earnings in line with expectations and 15.7% reported earnings below estimates. It’s all about expectations. …

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – Bernanke Approximately Right, UK Approximately Wrong, Students Approximately Taxed

DOW + 89 = 13,090 SPX + 18 = 1390NAS + 68 = 302910 YR YLD +.02 = 1.98%OIL -.11 = 104.01GOLD + 2.80 = 1645.30SILV – .12 = 30.81PLAT + 8.00 = 1559.00 If you own shares in Apple, congratulations. It gained nearly $50 to finish at $610, up nearly 9%. If you don’t own Apple, don’t worry about it, don’t chase it. Realize that a big chunk of the move today for the broader market, was really just Apple, but it was a good day, with gainers outpacing losers by 3 to 1. The Federal Reserve wrapped up their FOMC meeting and announced no changes. Wow, what a surprise. The Fed didn’t raise rates – they can’t. They didn’t lower rates – they can’t. They didn’t announce QE3, but they didn’t take it off the table. Bernanke told reporters at a press conference, “We see monetary policy as being approximately in the right place at this point.” He said, “Our intention is to maintain highly accommodative stance of policy for the foreseeable future.” Kind of like QE in Perpetuity. Bernanke stressed that the Fed could purchase more assets if it looked like the economy needed help, but he said some ways to boost the economy, like tolerating higher inflation, would be “reckless.” At the same time, he said it was too early to raise rates, “I think it’s a little premature to declare victory. I think that keeping interest rates low is still appropriate for our economy.” The …

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

DOW + 181 = 12,986 SPX + 18 = 1387NAS + 39 = 3055 10 YR YLD +.02 = 2.05%OIL +.08 = 103.72GOLD + 15.60 = 1676.30SILV + .77 = 32.48PLAT + 20.00 = 1611.00 The Federal Reserve Propaganda Tour continued last night with performances by Janet Yellen and William Dudley, the head of the New York Fed. Dudley said, “we cannot lose sight of the fact that the economy still faces significant headwinds and that there are some meaningful downside risks… the incoming data on the U.S. economy has been a bit more upbeat of late, suggesting that the recovery may be getting better established. But, while these developments are certainly encouraging, it is far too soon to conclude that we are out of the woods in terms of generating a strong, sustainable recovery. On the inflation front, the year-over-year rate of consumer price inflation has slowed in recent months, and despite the recent rise of gasoline prices, we expect inflation to moderate further in 2012.” To translate, the Fed isn’t worried about inflation and they have given themselves a green light for QE3 and they’ll juice the economy with piles of free money when they feel like it. Of course, that’s not the final word on the matter; St. Louis Fed President James Bullard says he sees the unemployment rate at 7.8% by the end of the year, noted that March’s monthly employment report was just one “mediocre” report and not an immediate concern that would push the …

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March, Wednesday 21, 2012

DOW – 45 = 13,124SPX – 2 = 1402NAS + 1 = 307510 YR YLD -.08 = 2.29%OIL -.36 = 106.91GOLD -.70 = 1651.10SILV +.01 = 32.27PLAT – 16.00 = 1646.00 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke  testified on Europe to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. In his prepared remarks, Bernanke said: “Financial strains in Europe have also shown through to our financial markets. During times when financial conditions in Europe were at their most turbulent, investors around the world retreated from riskier assets. In the United States, these pullbacks decreased stock prices increased the costs of issuing corporate debt, and reduced consumer and business confidence. In addition, U.S. financial institutions that were thought to have substantial exposures to Europe saw their stock prices fall and their credit spreads widen.” “The difficulties in the euro area have affected the U.S. economy,” Bernanke said. “The European Union accounts for roughly one-fifth of U.S. exports of goods and services. Not surprisingly, U.S. exports to Europe over the past two years have underperformed our exports to the rest of the world. In addition, weaker demand from Europe has slowed growth in other economies, which has also lowered foreign demand for our products.” Bernanke said: “U.S. financial firms and money market funds have had time to adjust their exposures and hedge their risks to some degree as the European situation has evolved, but the risks of contagion remain a concern for both these institutions and their supervisors and regulators.” In particular, Bernanke …

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March, Tuesday 20, 2012

DOW – 68 = 13170SPX – 4 = 1405NAS – 4 = 307410 YR YLD -.01 = 2.37%OIL – 2.41 = 105.68GOLD – 12.70 = 1651.80SILV – .76 = 32.26PLAT  – 28.00 = 1659.00 Yesterday the S&P 500 moved above the 1400 level, and we mentioned how it was the highest level since May 2008, and it was 10% below the record high of October 2007. It’s also worth noting that the first time we hit 1400 was July 1999. We could call it a “Lost Decade” but we’re heading for 13 years. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered the first of four lectures today at George Washington University.Bernanke used  ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ as template to explain what a central bank can do. Not many of the students have seen it. Bernanke says the Fed is a lender of last resort to banks, and without a central bank, depositors couldn’t get cash from a troubled bank. And financial panics led Congress to consider establishing a central bank. It sounds like Professor Bernanke was smoking something before delivering his lecture. A gold standard is a “partial alternative” to a central bank, Bernanke says. But they are far from perfect. He says, there is an awful waste of resources mining gold and bringing it to the basement of the New York Fed. Under a gold standard, a central bank has no flexibility to lower rates in recession and raise them during periods of inflation. Apparently none of the students were willing to …

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March, Monday 05, 2012

DOW – 14 = 12,962SPX – 5 = 1364NAS -25 = 295010 YR YLD +.02 = 2.00%OIL +.42 = 107.12GOLD – 4.60 = 1707.40SILV -.73 = 34.10PLAT – 34.00 = 1671.00 Resource Consultants 800-494-4149 Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went to Capitol Hill and mumbled a little and the general consensus was that the Fed would not be throwing money out of a helicopter any time soon, and the markets dipped and gold dumped. Today, Federal Reserve bank of Dallas president , Richard Fisher gave a speech in Dallas, and he was a bit more plainspoken about the economy and QE3. He said, “I would suggest to you that, if the data continue to improve, however gradually, the markets should begin preparing themselves for the good Dr. Fed to wean them from their dependency rather than administer further dosage.” Fisher said financial markets “have become hooked on the monetary morphine we provided” after the 2008 financial crisis. He added, “I am personally perplexed by the continued preoccupation, bordering upon fetish, that Wall Street exhibits regarding the potential for further monetary accommodation — the so-called QE3, or third round of quantitative easing.” Allow me to explain. The economic news is looking better lately. But after previous false starts — remember “green shoots”? — it would be foolish to assume that all is well. And in any case, it’s still a very slow economic recovery by historical standards. And the problems with bad debt and derivatives haven’t really changed, and …

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