Financial Review

You Can’t Get There From Here

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-09-02-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSFinancial Review DOW – 30 = 17,067 SPX – 1 = 2002 NAS + 17 = 4598 10 YR YLD + .08 = 2.42% OIL – 3.08 = 92.88 GOLD – 21.70 = 1266.50 SILV – .31 = 19.25 The S&P 500 hit an intraday record just over 2,006 shortly after the opening bell, but then turned negative. Morgan Stanley strategists said that the bull market could run for another five years and carry the S&P close to 3,000. They say the stock market is likely to keep “grinding higher,” helped by foreign investors for whom it’s “the only place to go.” But investors should remain aware of risks in the market, including the fact that zero interest-rate policies mean central bankers can’t lower rates to counter outside shocks. A strong dollar and continued concerns about demand pulled crude-oil futures to their lowest settlement since January. Brent futures ended at their lowest in nearly 18 months, and other energy commodities also notched multi-month lows. With Labor Day marking the end of the US driving season, refinery turnarounds are expected to start in earnest. Tensions rose in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, with President Vladimir Putin reportedly telling a European Commission leader he saying he could take Kiev in two weeks. Russia did not deny the report, although officials there said the remarks had been taken out of context. Libya’s outgoing cabinet has acknowledged …

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Financial Review

Sunlight is the Best of Disinfectants

http://media.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/p/content.blubrry.com/eatthebankers/SINCLAIR_NOE-SEG_1-08-20-2014.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 13:15 — 6.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS08202014 DOW + 59 = 16979 SPX + 4 = 1986 NAS – 1 = 4526 10 YR YLD + .02 = 2.42% OIL + .63 = 93.49 GOLD – 3.80 = 1292.40 SILV + .04 = 19.55 No economic reports today, but the Federal Reserve released the minutes of the July 29-30 FOMC meeting. You will recall that the Fed left interest rates unchanged and continued the taper by reducing large scale asset purchases by $10 billion a month, with the plan to end purchases by October. The Fed had said in its policy statement following the July meeting that there was “significant” labor market slack, but the minutes showed many members of its policy-setting panel thought this characterization “might have to change before long.” Most Fed officials wanted further evidence the labor market and the economy were showing significant improvement before changing their view on raising rates, but they said, “Labor market conditions had moved noticeably closer to those viewed as normal in the longer run,” and policymakers “generally agreed” the job market was healing faster than they had expected. Most Fed policymakers felt any change in their view on when to start raising rates “would depend on further information on the trajectories of economic activity, the labor market and inflation.” Well, we got more data yesterday showing that inflation is not a problem yet; so that leaves economic activity and the …

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Financial Review

Friday, May 30, 2014 – Record Highs, Bonds, Coal Mines

Record Highs, Bonds, Coal Mines by Sinclair Noe   DOW + 18 = 16,717 SPX + 3 = 1923 (another record) NAS – 5 = 4242 (not a record) 10 YR YLD + .01 = 2.45% OIL – .71 =  102.87 GOLD – 4.60 = 1252.30 SILV – .23 = 18.91   For the week, the Dow rose 0.7%, the S&P 500 gained 1.2% and the Nasdaq added 1.4%. For the month of May, the Dow gained 0.8%, the S&P 500 rose 2.1% and the Nasdaq climbed 3.1%. Meanwhile, if you are looking for action, the bond market is the place; the yield on the 10 year note has dropped from 2.65% to 2.45% this month.   Nearly everyone is looking for an explanation as to why longer-term interest rates continue to fall in the face of reduced Fed support and what is being hyped as better economic data. This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Federal Reserve has been propping up Treasury bond prices, and suppressing yields, for the past several years by buying large quantities of bonds each month in an effort to increase investment and consumption, and force investors into riskier assets. To some extent, the Fed’s QE purchases have worked; ultra-low interest rates have supported housing price increases and have led to skyrocketing stock prices.  Household net worth has increased by $25 trillion from the financial-crisis lows in the first quarter of 2009.  However, these gains in net worth have overwhelmingly accrued to the well-to-do while low- …

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Financial Review

Financial Review for Wednesday, April 30, 2014 – Record Highs in First Gear

Record Highs in First Gear by Sinclair Noe DOW + 45 = 16580.84 (record close)SPX + 5 = 1883 NAS + 11 = 411410 YR YLD – .04 = 2.65%OIL – 1.59 = 99.69GOLD – 4.60 = 1292.30SILV – .29 = 19.25 Back on December 31st, we finished the old year with a record high close on the Dow Industrial Average at 16,576; since then the index has bobbed up  and down, briefly hitting an intraday high of  16,631 on April 4th, but on that day we finished in negative territory. Today, a record high close. The S&P 500 is closing in on the record high close of 1890, but not today. Now, when you hear the Dow is breaking records, you might think the economy is roaring, cruising along the highway in fifth gear. You would be wrong; the economy is stuck in first gear and the clutch is slipping. The Commerce Department reports the economy expanded at a mere 0.1% annual pace in the first three months of the year, one of the weakest rates of growth in the nearly 5-year-old recovery. A slowdown had been expected due to the harsh winter weather that froze business activity across a large swath of the country, but this report was worse than expected. The gross domestic product had been expanding at a 3.4% pace in the second half of last year. No worries, the weather has warmed and everything is returning to normal. Yeah, not exactly. There has been a …

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Monday, April 07, 2014 – I Don’t Know, They Don’t Know

I Don’t Know, They Don’t Know by Sinclair Noe DOW – 166 = 16,245SPX – 20 = 1845NAS – 47 = 407910 YR YLD – .03 = 2.69%OIL – .44 = 100.70GOLD – 5.40 = 1297.90SILV – .09 = 19.97 The biggest 3 day drop in the markets in about 2 months. All of the sudden we start hearing the Wall Street stock peddlers waxing enthusiastic about the prospects for a correction or a crash or whatever will scare you. Fear sells; with talk about a 1987-like stock market crash, geopolitical unrest in Ukraine and the risk of a debt crisis in China, investors are starting to get jittery. I don’t know, they don’t know. The big pullback so far has been in the Nasdaq, and especially biotech stocks. As always, you want an exit plan in place before you ever get into a trade; and if you don’t have an exit plan, get one now. You don’t make money by letting profits slip through your fingers. Earnings season gets underway this week. Expectations have been ratcheted down; at the start of the year, S&P 500 companies were projected to have grown earnings at 6.5%, now that estimate has slipped to 1.2%. We could see companies beat diminished expectations and start a fresh rally or miss expectations and the markets could get a bit ugly. The simple rule of thumb is that when the trailing P/E ratios hit 10, the S&P 500 is likely undervalued; when the P/E hits 20, …

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014 – Benny Jets

Benny Jets by Sinclair Noe DOW – 189 = 15,738SPX – 18 = 1774NAS – 46 = 405110 YR YLD – .07 = 2.67%OIL – 01 = 97.40GOLD + 12.00 = 1268.70SILV + .15 = 19.81 You’ve heard the old post office creed; “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Generally true, however I bet some letter carriers are having a tough time delivering mail in Atlanta today. The Federal Reserve apparently has a creed. Who knew? Neither a disappointing December jobs report nor turmoil in emerging markets nor gloom of the US economy shall stay these central bankers from the incremental completion of their taper. Don’t worry; nothing to look at here; keep moving, keep moving. No sonny, that’s not a train wreck on Wall Street, that’s just the debris and detritus stirred up by the whirlybird which will now carry Helicopter Ben into the sunset, or more accurately to the boardroom of some investment bank. Yes, this is the last FOMC meeting for Ben Bernanke. He promised he would set a course for exiting QE, and he has; the problem is that the set course is fraught with perils. The Federal Reserve’s policy making Federal Open Market Committee wrapped up a two day meeting today by announcing they would cut back their bond buying program by $10 billion, to a mere $65 billion per month.  The FOMC added that it was “likely” to continue …

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Friday, January 24, 2014 – Bulls, Bears, and Bonuses

Bulls, Bears, and Bonuses by Sinclair Noe DOW – 318 = 15,879SPX – 38 = 1790NAS – 90 = 412810 YR YLD – .04 = 2.73%OIL – .41 = 96.91GOLD + 4.40 = 1270.00SILV – .11 = 20.01 The Dow has fallen every day this week, leaving it down more than 3%. That decline is the Dow’s worst weekly performance since mid-May 2012. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is down 2.5% since last Friday. That’s the index’s worst weekly slide since early November 2012. All of the sudden, everybody seemed concerned about political and economic problems in Turkey, Argentina, and of course, China. The Turkish lira hit a record low and the South African rand fell to five-year low against the dollar. The Argentine peso had its sharpest decline in 12 years, going back to the 2002 financial crisis in that country; and the government abandoned its long standing policy of intervening to support the peso currency. Such moves are crucial factors for big, institutional foreign investors because exchange rate losses can easily wipe out any gains in stocks and bonds of emerging countries. Right now, the losses haven’t turned into a rout, but there is concern that the turn may push big institutional investors to cut losses and run as the effect of falling currencies becomes too painful to bear. Every emerging market crisis is first-and-foremost a currency crisis. For example, South African government debt was slightly positive in rand terms in 2013. But in dollars terms, it lost more …

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014 – Tapering is Not Tightening

Tapering is Not Tightening by Sinclair Noe DOW – 68 = 16,462SPX – 0.39 = 1837NAS + 12 = 416510 YR YLD + .06 = 2.99%OIL – 1.15 = 92.52GOLD – 5.90 = 1226.90SILV – .32 = 19.62 Repeat after me: “tapering is not tightening.” This is the new mantra of the Fed; tapering is not tightening. Today we got the minutes of the Fed FOMC policy meeting of December 17-18, and one of the themes is that the policy setting members of the Fed want to proceed with caution in trimming asset purchases and tapering is not on a rigid preset course; it is subject to incoming economic data and tapering is not tightening. You will recall that the Fed announced it would cut purchases by $10 billion per month, while still making $75 billion a month in purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries. The minutes reveal “concern about the potential for an unintended tightening of financial conditions if a reduction in the pace of asset purchases was misinterpreted as signaling that the committee was likely to withdraw policy accommodation more quickly than had been anticipated.” So, it’s just a little tapering, not tightening. That said, even the more dovish policymakers had to concede that QE does not pack the punch it might have once packed. From the minutes: Regarding the marginal efficacy of the purchase program, most participants viewed the program as continuing to support accommodative financial conditions, with a number of them pointing to the importance of …

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 – According to Plan

According to Plan by Sinclair Noe Don’t worry. Everything is going exactly according to plan. The Fed will taper just a little; cutting back to $75 billion a month in Treasury bond and mortgage backed securities; the cuts will trim back equally from both categories. You’ll hardly notice. The Fed said: “In light of the cumulative progress toward maximum employment and the improvement in the outlook for labor market conditions, the committee decided to modestly reduce the pace of its asset purchases.” Great news for people in the hunt for a job; everything is good. And for those of you with two jobs, well your doubled efforts have not gone unnoticed. The Fed expects unemployment to dip to 6.3% to 6.6% by the end of the year, what with more people dropping out of the workforce and the participation rate shrinking. Besides, the current 7% unemployment is apparently just good enough to avoid civil unrest, or as the Fed calls it “progress toward maximum employment.” The central bank also said it “likely will be appropriate” to keep rates near zero “well past the time” that the jobless rate falls below 6.5 percent. Again, this confirms that everything is going exactly according to plan…, for the bankers; for the rest of us – not so much. But if you are a banker, you have to love free money from the Fed. It’s not like they could continue QE forever; they were running out of stuff to buy. The federal deficit has …

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Friday, December 06, 2013 – The Goldilocks Job Report

The Goldilocks Job Report by Sinclair Noe DOW + 198 = 16,020SPX + 20 = 1805NAS + 29 = 406210 YR YLD – .02 = 2.85%OIL + .27 = 97.65GOLD + 5.60 = 1231.70SILV + .11 = 19.64 Big gains on Wall Street, the best in about a month. The monthly jobs report came out this morning. It was just a little better than expected; nothing earth shattering but decent. The economy generated 203,000 net new jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.0% from 7.3%. The unemployment rate is now at the lowest level since November 2008. So, this was a Goldilocks report, just good enough to indicate some strength but not so strong as to push the Federal Reserve to taper, to cut back on its monthly bond purchase program. Really, the Wall Street traders got the best possible report today. There is still a slight risk of a Fed taper in December, and we’ll talk about that more in a moment. Let’s dig into the numbers. Hiring in November was strong in most industries, including transportation and warehousing, professional occupations, manufacturing, health care, construction and retail. And there was a shift toward more well-paying jobs compared with October. The number of businesspeople and professionals who found work rose by 35,000 to lead the way. It has been the fastest-growing category over the past year. Companies that warehouse and deliver goods, meanwhile, hired 31,000 new workers; some of that gain may be seasonal. Manufacturers added 27,000 jobs, the biggest …

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Thursday, December 05, 2013 – 46664

46664 by Sinclair Noe DOW – 68 = 15,821SPX – 7 = 1785NAS – 4 = 403310 YR YLD + .03 = 2.87%OIL + .18 = 97.38GOLD – 18.20 = 1226.10SILV – .28 = 19.54 Nelson Mandela is dead. News reports say the former South African President died peacefully at his home. He was 95. Nelson Mandela will be remembered as the person who, more than any other, brought an end to apartheid, the heartless policy of “separate development” in which white, black and South Asian South Africans were obliged to live apart. It is part of his towering achievement that the very notion of racial segregation is anathema throughout the civilized world. Yes, the stock market was down again today but the economy is doing better than you thought. Third quarter gross domestic product grew at a 3.6% pace, revised up from earlier estimates of 2.8%. Wow, sounds great, until you dig into the numbers. A large part of the revision, almost half, comes from an increase in inventories. Businesses were stocking the shelves. Were they predicting a gang-buster holiday shopping season or were they caught flat-footed by a lack of demand? We won’t know with certainty until we get through the fourth quarter, but most indications are that the economy is still slogging forward, and there doesn’t seem to be a need for such a large inventory buildup. We know businesses accumulated more than $116 billion in inventories in the quarter, the most since the first quarter of …

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013 – Fed Minutes, Fed Conundrum

Fed Minutes, Fed Conundrum by Sinclair Noe DOW – 66 = 15,900SPX – 6 = 1781NAS – 10 = 392110 YR YLD + .09 = 2.79%OIL – .01 = 93.33GOLD – 32.40 = 1243.80SILV – .49 = 19.95 The Federal Open Market Committee, Federal Reserve policy makers, met October 29-30, and to no one’s surprise they did not change monetary policy. Today, minutes of that meeting were released. The policy makers “generally expected that the data would prove consistent with the Committee’s outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months.” They think the economy is improving, despite the government shutdown and ongoing political dysfunction, the economy is getting better and the FOMC is considering how and when they can exit Quantitative Easing; they would like to scale back $85 billion per month in purchases of Treasuries and mortgage backed securities without triggering a rise in interest rates that could slow economic growth and wipe out gains in the labor market. That is not to say they are ready to raise their Fed Funds target for interest rates. That target has been right at zero and will likely remain at zero for at least a year or more. They want to get out of the bond buying business without the market noticing, and independently pushing interest rates higher. It’ll be a fine trick if they can pull it off. In a speech to the National Economists Club, Ben Bernanke …

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Thursday, October 24, 2013 – Liquidity and Leverage and a bit of Levity

Liquidity and Leverage and a bit of Levity by Sinclair Noe DOW + 95 = 15,509SPX + 5 = 1752NAS + 21 = 392810 YR YLD + .04 = 2.52%OIL + .37 = 97.23GOLD + 13.60 = 1348.30SILV + .16 = 22.82 “Liquidity is essential to a bank’s viability and central to the smooth functioning of the financial system,” so says Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke; and so today the Fed proposed that big banks keep enough cash, government bonds and other high-quality assets on hand to survive during a severe downturn like we saw in 2008, and the idea is that we avoid a global financial meltdown like we almost saw in 2008. Liquidity is the ability to access cash quickly; that’s important when nobody is sure about what the bank truly has in the vault. Liquidity is what prevents a bank run; liquidity averts a financial meltdown or credit crunch. The Fed proposal today subjects US banks for the first time to liquidity requirements. The big banks, with more than $250 billion in assets, would be required to hold enough cash and securities to fund their operations for 30 days during a time of market stress. Smaller banks, those with more than $50 billion and less than $250 billion, would have to keep enough to cover 21 days. Fed officials said the rules are stronger than new international standards for banks. The public has 90 days to comment on them. After that, they would be phased in starting in …

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 – No Winners, No Free Lunch

No Winners, No Free Lunch by Sinclair Noe DOW – 2 = 15,371SPX + 11 = 1733NAS + 23 = 386310 YR YLD – .08 = 2.58%OIL – 1.59 = 100.70GOLD + 37.40 = 1321.10SILV + .47 = 21.99 The S&P 500 closed at a record high. We don’t celebrate a record high on the S&P. When the Dow hits a record high we have milk and cookies. No particular reason, we just don’t celebrate. “There are no winners here,” that was the declaration from President Obama this morning. He then cited the damage done: families going without paychecks, home buyers and small businesses unable to get loans, consumers cutting back on spending, businesses pushing back hiring plans, and increased borrowing costs which add to the deficit. Washington’s budget battle could result in a $24 billion hit to the US economy. That estimate comes courtesy of ratings firm Standard & Poor’s; they say the 16-day government shutdown and the wrangling over the debt limit shaved at least 0.6%, maybe a full point, off fourth quarter GDP growth. They had been estimating 3% annualized growth in the fourth quarter; now they peg it at 2%. The $24 billion loss is substantial, especially for a self inflicted wound. But wait, there’s more. Macroeconomic Advisers says the whole fiasco likely cost 900,000 jobs and possibly more in the months ahead. And one of the little noticed side stories is that the fiscal cliff inspired sequestration cuts, inspired by the debt ceiling debates of …

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 – Low Probability High Consequence

10082013 Script Low Probability High Consequence by Sinclair Noe DOW – 159 = 14,776SPX – 20 = 1655NAS – 75 = 369410 YR YLD un = 2.63%OIL + .53 = 103.56GOLD – 3.50 – 1319.90SILV – .06 = 22.39 The Dow Industrials are down for 11 of the past 14 sessions, posting a loss of nearly 900 points. It’s not exactly a crash; Wall Street is still expecting a resolution to the debt ceiling and the shutdown. The debt ceiling will likely be resolved with some short-term band-aid, but there is a chance that the idiots will mess it up and there will be a default. There is a low probability of default but a high consequence; that’s a nasty mix and the reason I don’t play Russian Roulette. Most financial markets are only slowly getting worried about the possibility of a debt default, but in one tiny corner of the bond market things are starting to look a little panicky. Today, investors dumped one-month Treasury bills due for payment after October 17, the date the Treasury Department has warned it will no longer have the cash to pay all of its obligations unless Congress raises its borrowing limit, known as the debt ceiling. Every day that passes after that date raises the risk the government will default on some of its debt. These short-term bills will probably be the first to go unpaid. Interest rates and bond prices move in opposite directions; so as prices dropped today, rates spiked, …

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Monday, September 23, 2013 – Almost Reality

Almost Reality by Sinclair Noe DOW – 49 = 15,401SPX – 8 = 1701NAS – 9 = 376510 YR YLD – .03 = 2.70%OIL – 1.37 = 103.38GOLD – 3.30 = 1323.30SILV – .16 = 21.74 If we remain on our current trajectory, in about one week the government will shut down. It doesn’t shut down everything and not all at once, but it is a pretty big deal. Here’s how it might affect you: Many federal workers will be furloughed, and they might even receive pay retroactively. Not all fed workers stay home; air traffic controllers, meat inspectors, and a few others will remain on the job. The post office will continue to deliver mail. National parks will be closed. The military will still report to duty but they will be paid in IOUs ( I still haven’t heard if they can cash the IOUs to buy bread but I’m sure somebody is figuring that out). Social Security checks will be mailed more or less as usual. No gun permits will be issued. The IRS will continue to collect taxes. No government loans to small businesses. Trash collection in Washington DC will stop; that’s a federal job and not considered essential (give it a couple of weeks and that might change). The Republicans want to defund Obamacare in exchange for funding the government. But the health care act at the center of this storm would continue its implementation process during a shutdown. That’s because its funds aren’t dependent on …

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Friday, September 20, 2013 – The Real Reason for No Taper

The Real Reason for No Taper by Sinclair Noe DOW – 185 = 15,451SPX – 12 = 1709NAS – 14 = 377410 YR YLD – .02 = 2.73%OIL – 1.72 = 104.67GOLD – 39.50 = 1326.60SILV – 1.29 = 21.90 The big news for investors over the next couple of weeks will be whether Congress can shoot itself in the foot. This past week’s big news for investors was no news from the Fed; no taper; although today St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said taper could begin as early as October. What does the no taper decision really mean? Since the major beneficiary of QE is the banks, it would seem logical that the main reason not to taper is because the banks are not as healthy as we are led to believe, or they’re involved in more risky business. Ellen Brown wrote Web of Debt and a new book called the Public Bank Solution. I’ve talked with Ellen on multiple occasions and she recently posted an article on her blog. Ellen did a great job of explaining the risks of the shadow banking system. Please click hereto read her article.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 – Shine On You Crazy Dimons

Shine On You Crazy Dimons by Sinclair Noe DOW – 40 = 15,636SPX – 3 = 1722NAS + 5 = 378910 YR YLD +.06 = 2.75%OIL + .04 = 106.43GOLD – .20 = 1366.10SILV + .13 = 23.19 No taper, despite hints and great expectations. Having announced the intention to taper, ultimately, a few weeks later, the proposal was shelved. The reasons given were concerns about the strength of the economic recovery and the impact of high rates on the ability of an over-indebted world to continue to meet its obligations. All these factors were largely unchanged between the time of the original announcement and the repudiation. What did change was the taper tantrum, the unpleasant market reaction to the hint of taper. Bond yields rose sharply; the Fed’s tough talk has already led to a 140 basis point rise in 10-year Treasury yields, which would be roughly equivalent to six rate increases; that in turn resulted in pushing mortgage rates higher, putting a crimp in the housing recovery. Today we learned home sales were up. Sales of previously owned homes unexpectedly rose in August to the highest level in more than six years as buyers rushed to lock in interest rates before they jumped even higher. The labor “participation rate” dropped to 63.2% in July, the lowest level since the late 1970s. The rate for men is at an all-time low. The unemployment rate has been falling, but chiefly because so many people are giving up hope and dropping …

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 – Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise by Sinclair Noe DOW + 147 = 15,676SPX + 20 = 1725NAS + 37 = 378310 YR YLD – .16 = 2.68%OIL + .43 = 108.50GOLD + 55.30 = 1366.30SILV + 1.23 = 23.06 Record highs for the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500, topping the highs of August 2. Surprise, surprise, surprise. It was not guaranteed the Fed would start to taper, but it was widely expected. We’ve talked about the reasons why the Fed might taper; the timing of the remaining FOMC meetings this year, some improvement in the economy, fear of frothy markets. Fouhgetaboutit. After two days of meetings, the FOMC decided to continue with the current quantitative easing policy of purchasing $85 billion a month in mortgage backed securities and treasuries. The punchbowl is full and the party is still rocking. In addition to record highs for the Dow and S&P 500, we saw 5-year Treasury’s biggest yield drop since March 2009, the US dollar’s third worst day in a year, home-builders had their biggest rally since last summer, and gold had its best day since January 2009. At least Wall Street institutions and traders love the accommodative policy and the morphine drip of free money from the Fed. So the patient is still on morphine and the reason is because of extreme weakness. The economy just isn’t strong enough to survive on its own. The stock market no longer rallies to the tune of increased retail sales, growing export markets or improved …

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Friday, September 13, 2013 – Five Years After

Five Years After by Sinclair Noe DOW + 75 = 15,376SPX + 4 = 1687NAS + 6 = 372210 YR YLD – .02 = 2.88%OIL – .39 = 108.21GOLD + 6.90 = 1328.90SILV + .53 = 22.37 The war hasn’t started…, yet. That’s good. Peace talks continued in Geneva today. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, and somehow at the peace table was Henry Kissinger, or maybe that was just an apparition; the ghost of Salvador Allende; nope, it was Henry. Anyway, no cruise missiles flying, no poison gas bombs exploding. It’s a good day. The road to peace is full of potholes, and one of the biggest obstacles is the time to round up the poison gas in Syria and get rid of it, against the backdrop of a fast moving kaleidoscope of warring factions. Even in a tranquil setting, the disposal of poison gas is apparently a momentous task, but Assad has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty to get rid of the poison gas. When the convention came into force in 1997, participating countries agreed to destroy their stockpiles within 10 years, with an option to apply for a five-year extension. Five countries – the US, Russia, South Korea, India and Albania – all missed the main 2007 deadline. Two years ago, the United States, Russia and Libya were granted further extensions to a previously agreed final deadline for destroying their weapons. There is probably some gas in Libya that isn’t fully …

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