60 Minutes on the Explosion of Disability Enrollees

60 Minutes this past Sunday did a piece on a story that has been talked about in these pages for a long time – the rapid increase in disability enrollment since the recession half a decade ago.  It is quite remarkable that effectively 5% of the working population is now enrolled. [Apr 7, 2011: Nearly 1 in 20 Working Age Americans Are on Disability, a Doubling Versus 1990]  [Dec…

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WSJ's Hilsenrath on Janet Yellen

With the demise of Larry Summers, all eyes point to Janet Yellen as the next Federal Reserve head.  Frankly it is a bit surprising she was not the leading candidate all along.   Earlier this year, we posted a NY Times piece on the woman [Apr 25, 2013: NY Times Does Janet Yellen] from a more personal level and now we have one on the Fed whisperer himself, Jon Hilsenrath…

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The Most Overbought Point in 2013

Quite an explosive rally yesterday at the 2 PM mark, in fact about 70% of yesterday's gains came in a minute or so per Bespoke Investment; the power of algos.   Obviously the Fed, by surprising just about everyone with "no taper at all", lit another fire under the market but coming off a near vertical rally since late August it is still a bit surprising to see the…

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Apr09

I saw a nice, concise post by Greg Harmon of Dragonfly Capital this weekend on the topic of "What is Technical Analysis" and I thought I'd bring it over, both to educate readers who might not be familiar with the framework and to have it somewhere I can refer to it in the future!  He does a great job if explaining not only what it is at the 40,000 point foot of view but what it is not – and I often take for granted the fact that many people who stop by the website have never heard of the concept or only vaguely know why anyone would or would not use it.  

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

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Apr09

Take this number with a HUGE amount of salt, but China reported overnight that inflation is running at 3.6% in March versus 3.2% in February.  However, both numbers are below the target of 4% and hence should not be a deterrent if the country wishes to "stoke" the economy in the coming months – which is what will matter to Wall Street.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

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Apr09

Last week saw the return of the 'student body left' trading environment that has marked much of the past few years; that is stock picking becomes less important and trying to guess the move of the stampede much more so.  Just 2 weeks ago today, Ben Bernanke gave a speech in which the market interpreted as an open door for more accommodation – the market gapped up and surged all day.  Then last Tuesday post 2 PM the market sank on Fed minutes which showed a more divided Fed.  Of course the minutes were from a meeting which fell at a time BEFORE Bernanke's speech but sense often takes a back seat in the market.  Wednesday saw the harshest selling of the year, in terms of 'everything' being hit – even the market generals.  Thursday was a return to process seen much of February and March 2012 – NASDAQ leading the charge while the Russell 2000 lagged substantially.  Then as market's were closed Friday, a disappointing jobs number wrecked havoc on futures which carry over to today.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

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Apr08

60 Minutes did a piece on the situation in Europe, and for a not financial oriented TV show, it did a pretty fine job of describing the situation for a mass audience.   They key line I wish they had expanded upon was along the lines of "in the past, if Greece found its accounts overdrawn the country simply printed more money, or devalued its currency…" – which are paths the U.S., U.K. and Japan now follow.   Further they should have explained how these financial injections are backdoor bailouts for the financial elite, namely German and French banks, among others.

However, it was interesting to see the dynamic between Greece and Germany in far greater detail than the numbers we are numb to – the long and violent history of this continent makes for interesting relationships.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

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Apr06

Futures are down quite significantly although markets are of course not open today.  The NFP number is surprising in light of weekly claims which are at 4 year lows and would indicate a number of 200Kish in terms of job growth.  But with prices this high in equities economic data cannot disappoint, and this is a disappointment versus expectation.  It will bring into question whether some of the strength the past few months has been based on the unseasonably warm weather.

From this seat there is way too much focus on a number that is revised multiple times and can be off by 50-100K+ once all it is said and done, but that's the construct of the modern market.  The unemployment rate fell by 0.1% but again that is due to the participation rate falling – which after a 1 month respite, once more dropped.

Disclosure Notice

Any securities mentioned on this page are not held by the author in his personal portfolio.

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