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Thursday, September 6, 2012 – Free Money With Strings Attached

Free Money With Strings Attached -by Sinclair Noe DOW + 244 = 13,292SPX + 28 = 1432NAS + 66 = 313510 YR YLD +.08 = 1.67%OIL – .67 = 95.82GOLD + 7.90 = 1702.30SILV +.44 = 32.81PLAT + 10.00 = 1589.00 Pop Quiz. Q: What does Wall Street love? A: Free money. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index jumped 2 percent by the close to its highest level since January 2008. The Dow Jones industrial average added about 244 points, or 1.9 percent. And the Nasdaq composite index gained 2.2 percent for its highest close since 2000. In Europe, stock market indexes closed with gains of more than 2 percent, with Spanish and Italian stocks up more than 4 percent. The DAX in Frankfurt added 2.9 percent. The FTSE 100 in London gained 2.1 percent. Today, the European Central Bank announced they will launch a new and potentially unlimited bond buying program to lower borrowing costs for countries struggling with debt. The idea is to buy bonds with maturity of three years or less. ECB President Mario Draghi claims this is within the mandate of the ECB. Germany’s Bundesbank reiterated its opposition to the plan. Draghi said the ECB would only help countries that signed up to and implemented strict policy conditions, with the euro zone’s rescue fund also buying their bonds, and preferably with the IMF involved in designing and monitoring the conditions. At a news conference, Draghi said: “Under appropriate conditions, we will have a fully effective backstop …

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012 – Review of the Economic News

Review of the Economic News DOW – 54 = 13,035SPX – 1 = 1404NAS + 8 = 307510 YR YLD +.02 = 1.58%OIL +.26 = 95.56GOLD + 3.60 = 1697.20SILV + .26 = 32.46PLAT  + 21.00 = 1576.00 The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index fell to 49.6% in August, lower than the 49.8% in July and the worst reading since July 2009. Readings below 50% indicate contraction in manufacturing companies surveyed. It appears to be part of a global trend; there has been a slowdown in manufacturing activity in Asia and Europe. Only eight of 18 industries as tracked by ISM were growing in August, led by printing, primary metals and food. August’s new-orders index fell to 47.1% from 48.0% in July; this points to manufacturers ratcheting down production activity, and that might also lead to a slowdown in hiring. The employment index fell to 51.6% from 52%; still positive but heading in the wrong direction. Another ISM survey of the services sector — things like banking, health care and entertainment — is also expected to show an economy plodding ahead. The services index is forecast to edge down to 52.5 from 52.6. The monthly jobs report is always an important chunk of economic data, and this Friday’s report takes on a little added significance because the Federal Reserve FOMC will be meeting next week to determine policy, and most likely announce something like QE3. It’s expected the economy added about 120,000 new jobs in August. While that’s enough …

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04032012 Script DOW – 64 = 13,199SPX – 5 = 1413NAS – 6 = 311310 YR YLD +.09 = 2.28%OIL +.07 = 104.08GOLD – 31.20 = 1646.80SILV -.31 = 32.78PLAT – 10.00 = 1647.00 Stocks slumped, bond yields rose, the dollar strengthened, and Wall Street traders experienced DT shakes as they read the Federal Reserve’s March FOMC meeting minutes. There was no direct mention of QE3, the Fed’s big money giveaway to the big banks. And so, the traders started twitching and squirming. Where would they get their next fix of free money? Market expectations for more Fed easing—both quantitative easing or an extension of its ‘operation twist’—have seesawed back and forth in the past several weeks. In the beginning of March, markets factored out quantitative easing based on comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that it might not be needed and that the economy was showing improvement. At the time, yields rose and stocks also held gains. But some weaker economic reports and new comments from Bernanke last week, defending the Fed’s easing stance, while not new, helped renew expectations for more easing. The minutes of the March 13 FOMC meeting show the voting members talking about more stimulus if the economy deteriorates. It also showed that the recent economic data did not materially change the forecast for 2013, or 2014. They also repeated past concerns about housing and unemployment, as well as discussed recent improvements in employment. Bernanke last week said the improvement in employment may be the …

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