Tuesday, February 19, 2013 – Never more

Nevermore  by Sinclair Noe DOW + 53 = 14,035SPX + 11 = 1530NAS + 21 = 321310 YR YLD +.02 = 2.03%OIL + .70 = 97.11GOLD – 5.20 = 1605.60SILV – .54 = 29.54 So, stocks have been moving higher, up for 7 weeks; the S&P 500 index is at a five year high. Every story I read talks about optimism in the markets. What that really means is that we’re almost back to where we were in October 2007. Five years of risk and heartburn and having money tied up, and we’re back where we were. WooHooo! There’s merger fever in the air. Last week we heard the announcements on USAirways and American Airlines, plus Berkshire Hathaway and 3 Brazilians buying an enormous quantity of ketchup. This week, the rumor du jour is Office Depot merging with Office Max. And when the M&A fever subsides, there is the stock buyback fever, the anti-dilution thrill that comes from watching corporate management buy high. Of the 391 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported fourth quarter earnings results, 70.1 percent have exceeded analysts’ expectations, compared with a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters. Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies have risen 5.6 percent. Of course, there is an ominous feel to this market rally, like a nasty black raven over the gate screeching out “Nevermore.” And this coincides with the impending sequester, which Congress will deal with, using all their energy and diligence, …

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April, Monday 2, 2012

DOW + 52 = 13,264 SPX + 10 = 1419NAS +28 = 311910 YR YLD -.02 = 2.19%OIL – .40 = 104.83GOLD + 8.30 = 1678.00SILV +.71 = 33.09PLAT + 12.00 = 1657.00 The calm before the storm. Maybe I should say storms. This Friday we’ll look at the monthly jobs report for March. The nonfarm payroll is one of the bigger economic reports each month and frequently moves markets. The report this Friday will be strange. I guarantee. This Friday marks the somewhat unusual occurrence of a payrolls report being released on a holiday (Good Friday) that will keep stock markets shut. On Friday, stock futures will be trading for at least 45 minutes after the release, and government bonds will trade until noon. All Canadian and most European markets will be shut. It is widely expected the economy added 200,000 jobs in March; down from an average of 245,000 for the three prior months. The unemployment rate will probably stay at 8.3%. The addition of 200,000 jobs is not enough to lift the economy; it is just treading water, at best. So, the economy is looking pretty good, not great but good. A warm winter may have exaggerated first quarter growth. Consumer confidence is up but spending is outpacing wage gains. It makes for a pretty straightforward scenario for growth. The consumer can rely on high debt and/or growing asset prices to fuel their consumption but if debt gets too high and/or asset prices slip, then the consumer …

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