Oil Put in a Double Top -Credit Suisse Sneddon (7/6/09)

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Reported from BloombergTV today (7/6/09). Credit Suisse technical analyst David Sneddon said oil put in a "double top" today. "Double tops signal the trend is changing. Oil prices stalled out at roughly the same price over the last month". Sneddon sees $59 as the first support level with a potential break to $57.75.

Goldman Sachs Program Trading Code Stolen

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I thought this may be of interest. According to Reuters and Zero Hedge (must read), Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman employee, was arrested for allegedly stealing Goldman's secret program trading codes. He uploaded them onto a German website registered by a person in London. The complete affidavit can be found at those two articles (PDF). Was this dude a quant spy? Goldman code stealer by day and professional dancer (h/t Reuters) by night? We shall see.. The story is kind of a mix between Hackers, Pi, Wall Street and Office Space. If he gets off for "accidentally" stealing Goldman's proprietary code, he should definitely play the lead role in Wall Street 3. Here's more from Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs’ Investment in Trading Code Put at Risk by Theft.
“The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways,” Facciponti said. “The copy in Germany is still out there, and we at this time do not know who else has access to it.” (Bloomberg)

UltraShort Oil & Gas $DUG Testing $20 Resistance

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The UltraShort Oil and Gas ETF $DUG is testing ceiling and downtrend resistance at $20. A break above $20 could bring some upside momentum. We'll see if this oil correction is for real and if it breaks below the 50 day moving average. Crude could then test $57.50-60 support/200dma, imo.

If the US Dollar breaks down, equities catch a bid, middle east tensions arise or a hurricane hits, this oil correction would be short lived. Protect yourself...

UltraShort Oil & Gas $DUG (Courtesy of Stockcharts.com)

UltraShort Oil & Gas Weekly DUG (Courtesy of Stockcharts.com)

Crude Oil ($WTIC - Stockcharts.com)

JPMorgan Strategist Lee Bullish On Cyclical Stocks, ISM Rebounds

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The weekend strategy session continues. Here is JP Morgan's Thomas Lee on BloombergTV. He thinks the rebound in manufacturing data shows an industrial recovery (JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI, 46.9% - July 1, 2009 PDF). He sees a V-shaped recovery on cyclicals or "smoke stack" industrials given the recent rise in ISM data. From the report:
"The worldwide manufacturing sector took a further step towards recovery in June. The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI — which acts a barometer of the overall health of the sector — posted 46.9, its highest reading since last August. Output expanded slightly following a year-long period of contraction." (Source)

The June ISM Manufacturing Index number increased 2% to 44.8%. The 17 month trend trend in economic activity is still contracting at a SLOWER pace. Look at the downtrend. History shows dramatic rebounds after ISM hits less than 40%. The chart does not show ISM during the 1930s. The # needs to break above downtrend.

ISM Manufacturing: PMI CompositeIndex (St. Louis Fed)

Summary of JP Morgan's Thomas Lee on Bloomberg:
  • Manufacturing is a huge generator of corporate earnings, 30% profits/9% employment
  • 2002 playbook was consumer credit expansion, 2009 recovery = global industrial cycle
  • Sees V-shaped industrial recovery pulling us out of recession
  • Will be different recovery, smoke stack industries will beat expectations
  • If ISM recovery plays out, will be upside revisions to transports, steels, auto parts, tankers
  • Lee Doesn't like GOLD, output gap and slack in terms of unemployment not inflationary
Roubini is also bearish on GOLD and inflation so keep an eye on $GLD. Also $XLI (Dow Jones Industrials SPDR), $IYT (iShares Dow Jones Transports), $SLX (Market Vectors Steel) for JPM's industrial recovery forecast.

Peter Schiff Market, $USD Video Update July 4, 2009

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Peter Schiff July 4, 2009 Video Update from Euro Pacific Capital. It is always interesting to hear what Peter Schiff has to say.

  • 80 points from head and shoulders neckline, a close below could spell a bigger decline
  • Catalyst for weakness was jobs data, lost 470,000 jobs, higher than expected
  • Gov bailouts are interfering with the correction process that will ultimately lead to hiring
  • Days of dollar rallying off of bad economic news will soon come to an end
  • India calling for alternative, in addition to Russia and China is negative for Dollar
  • **But read this: Reuters: China says dollar to remain leading world currency (7/5/09)
  • Schiff Expects economy to weaken further, unemployment rise

Other videos featuring Peter Schiff:
Peter Schiff on Jon Stewart, Yes He Was Right 6/10/09
Peter Schiff Expects a New Low in Nominal Terms (4/10/09)
Peter Schiff Says Beware of Inflation, US Dollar (3/22/09)
Schiff: Dow Hits New Low Priced in Gold, TIPS Understate Inflation (2/12/09)
Peter Schiff Compares U.S Economic Crisis to Collapse of U.S.S.R. (1/10/09)
Peter Schiff, Rick Santelli Talk Gold and US Dollar Recycling (10/23/08)

Soros on Dollar, China, Credit Regulation (WSJ Videos)

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Here are videos with George Soros interviewed by WSJs Alan Murray at a conference. In April Soros never replied to my question, but I'm sure he shorted the USD trend break. Soros, Are You Long Or Short The US Dollar?.

Nassim Taleb, Black Swan on CNBC Video July, 2009

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This is from the CNBC article: 'We're in the Middle of a Crash': Black Swan. He talks about the economy, temporary relief, fragile system is crashing, jobs report, unemployment numbers, continued deleveraging, and the U.S debt.
"Instead of deflating debt they are thinking of inflating assets". "What makes me very pessimistic is not to see any leadership or any awareness on a part of government on what needs to be done, which is to deleverage somewhere between $40-to-$70 trillion worldwide" Nassim Taleb 2:55 (double check wording).

Economic Updates From Walstreetpro2

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ALERT: Economic Updates from Walstreetpro2.

IYR, SRS Real Estate ETF Chart Observations

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I'm looking at the real estate ETFs IYR/SRS after $SRS (UltraShort Real Estate Proshares or the Inverse Dow Jones Real Estate Index ETF) failed to breakout in mid May. SRS has a 2x inverse relationship w/ IYR. No fundamental data here just checking out the charts.

On a short term basis $SRS is being wedged and will be forced to move one way or another soon. The long term charts are interesting. The SRS chart looks wacked out because of it's 200% inverse relationship but you can see some potential technical set ups. IYR/SRS could be setting up normal and inverted head and shoulders patterns across multiple time frames. For now IYR needs strong green volume above 30.81. It's time for the market to make a decision on real estate.

High Yield Corp Bond ETF (HYG) Correction Due?

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In my opinion the High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) looks due for a correction. Even if we are in a bull market there are still corrections. It looks like the risk dump has already begun with a report showing a higher than expected 467,000 jobs lost in June and a 9.5% unemployment rate (CNN). $SPY (S&P ETF) is down 2.27% and $HYG is down 1.36% to $78.12.

HYG just tested $80, a resistance level not seen since July, 2008. You can see from the chart that HYG traded between 80 and 90 before the financial crisis but during the recession. Are high yield investors ready to be compensated for pre-crisis level risk priced in yield? You can always argue about the "priced in" threshold though. This is an interesting article I found at Bloomberg.com.
Downgrades Point to Wider High-Yield Bond Spreads, Moody’s Says

"June 22 (Bloomberg) -- Downgrades in the U.S. high-yield credit market to Caa3 or lower are occurring at a record pace this quarter and suggest bond spreads may be too narrow, Moody’s Investors Service said.

Rating cuts to Caa3, the ninth level below investment grade, or lower are on track to reach 97 in the April through June period and 182 for the first six months of the year, the most for any two-quarter period, Moody’s said in a June 19 report. The downgrades indicate that the U.S. high-yield default rate will exceed May’s 10.2 percent by a “substantial margin,” Moody’s Chief Economist John Lonski wrote in the report.
(read full article)

California Issues IOUs, California GO Bond Bets

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Kudlow talked about California's General Obligation bonds last night. I'm trying to find a California Municipal Bond ETF consisting strictly of general obligation bonds. Info from the video:
  • Martin Weiss of Weiss Research released a report on June 22 saying the bonds are a sell.
  • Matt Fabian of Municipal Market believes California GO bonds are a buy based on yield.
  • Jon Schotz of Saybrook Capital likes the GO bonds because by law they are second in line behind education in payouts.

Save Capitalism From S&P Futures Manipulation!

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Weekend note... Save capitalism from the possibility of S&P Futures manipulation ($ES_F). Read this post at Zero Hedge and follow the instructions to notify the SEC so they can investigate the matter..
"Since FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission believe in going only after $1,000 insider traders with the full weight of their enforcement teams, yet ignore major market manipulation in futures and other markets, Zero Hedge wanted to present readers an opportunity to be heard by the market's regulators."

Lets heal the world people, we are the world.

Ken Lewis' Testimony on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Merger

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I posted Bernankes testimony on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger today. Here is the CEO of Bank of America, Ken Lewis, testifying before congress on June 11 (full video via CSPAN).

Bernanke Testimony On Bank of America, Merrill Lynch Merger

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Here is the full video of Bernanke's testimony on the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch merger via CSPAN.

Here is Bernanke's full testimony:

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
Acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America
Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
June 25, 2009

Chairman Towns, Ranking Member Issa, and other members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Federal Reserve's role in the acquisition by the Bank of America Corporation of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. I believe that the Federal Reserve acted with the highest integrity throughout its discussions with Bank of America regarding that company's acquisition of Merrill Lynch. I will attempt in this testimony to respond to some of the questions that have been raised.


On September 15, 2008, Bank of America announced an agreement to acquire Merrill Lynch. I did not play a role in arranging this transaction and no Federal Reserve assistance was promised or provided in connection with that agreement. As with similar transactions, the transaction was reviewed and approved by the Federal Reserve under the Bank Holding Company Act in November 2008. It was subsequently approved by the shareholders of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch on December 5, 2008. The acquisition was scheduled to be closed on January 1, 2009.

As you know, the period encompassing Bank of America's decision to acquire Merrill Lynch through the consummation of the merger was one of extreme stress in financial markets. The government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, were taken into conservatorship a week before the Bank of America deal was announced. That same week, Lehman Brothers failed, and American International Group was prevented from failing only by extraordinary government action. Later that month, Wachovia faced intense liquidity pressures which threatened its viability and resulted in its acquisition by Wells Fargo. In mid-October, an aggressive international response was required to avert a global banking meltdown. In November, the possible destabilization of Citigroup was prevented by government action. In short, the period was one of extraordinary risk for the financial system and the global economy, as well as for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Discussions Regarding the Possible Termination of Agreement to Acquire Merrill Lynch
On December 17, 2008, senior management of Bank of America informed the Federal Reserve for the first time that, because of significant losses at Merrill Lynch for the fourth quarter of 2008, Bank of America was considering not closing the Merrill Lynch acquisition. This information led to a series of meetings and discussions among Bank of America, the regulatory agencies, and Treasury. During these discussions, Bank of America's CEO, Ken Lewis, told us that the company was considering invoking the Material Adverse Event clause in the acquisition contract, known as the MAC, in an attempt to rescind its agreement to acquire Merrill Lynch.

In responding to Bank of America in these discussions, I expressed concern that invoking the MAC would entail significant risks, not only for the financial system as a whole but also for Bank of America itself, for three reasons. First, in light of the extreme fragility of the financial system at the time, the uncertainties created by an invocation of the MAC might have triggered a broader systemic crisis that could well have destabilized Bank of America as well as Merrill Lynch. Second, an attempt to invoke the MAC after three months of review, preparation, and public remarks by the management of Bank of America about the benefits of the acquisition would cast doubt in the minds of financial market participants--including the investors, creditors, and customers of Bank of America--about the due diligence and analysis done by the company, its capability to consummate significant acquisitions, its overall risk-management processes, and the judgment of its management. Third, based on our staff analysis of the legal issues, we believed that it was highly unlikely that Bank of America would be successful in terminating the contract by invoking the MAC. Rather, an attempt to invoke the MAC would likely involve extended and costly litigation with Merrill Lynch that, with significant probability, would result in Bank of America being required either to pay substantial damages or to acquire a firm whose value would have been greatly reduced or destroyed by a strong negative market reaction to the announcement. For these reasons, I believed that, rather than invoking the MAC, Bank of America's best option, and the best option for the system, was to work with the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to develop a contingency plan to ensure that the company would remain stable should the completion of the acquisition and the announcement of losses lead to financial stress, particularly a sudden pullback of funding of the type that had been experienced by Wachovia, Lehman, and other firms.

Ultimately, on December 30, the Bank of America board determined to go forward with the acquisition. The staff of the Federal Reserve worked diligently with Treasury, other regulators, and Bank of America to put in place a package that would help to shore up the combined company's financial position and reduce the risk of market disruption. The plan was completed in time to be announced simultaneously with Bank of America's public earnings announcement, which had been moved forward to January 16, 2009, from January 20, 2009. The package included an additional $20 billion equity investment from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and a loss-protection arrangement, or ring fence, for a pool of assets valued at about $118 billion. The ring-fence arrangement has not been consummated, and Bank of America now believes that, in light of the general improvement in the markets, this protection is no longer needed.

Importantly, the decision to go forward with the merger rightly remained in the hands of Bank of America's board and management, and they were obligated to make the choice they believed was in the best interest of their shareholders and company. I did not tell Bank of America's management that the Federal Reserve would take action against the board or management if they decided to proceed with the MAC. Moreover, I did not instruct anyone to indicate to Bank of America that the Federal Reserve would take any particular action under those circumstances. I agreed with the view of others that the invocation of the MAC clause in this case involved significant risk for Bank of America, as well as for Merrill Lynch and the financial system as a whole, and it was this concern that I communicated to Mr. Lewis and his colleagues.


The Federal Reserve also acted appropriately regarding issues of public disclosure. As I wrote in a letter to this Committee, neither I nor any member of the Federal Reserve ever directed, instructed, or advised Bank of America to withhold from public disclosure any information relating to Merrill Lynch, including its losses, compensation packages or bonuses, or any other related matter. These disclosure obligations belong squarely with the company, and the Federal Reserve did not interfere in the company's disclosure decisions.

The Federal Reserve had a legitimate interest in knowing when Bank of America or Merrill Lynch intended to disclose the losses at Merrill Lynch. Given the fragility of the financial markets at that time, we were concerned about the potential for a strong, adverse market reaction to the reports of significant losses at Merrill Lynch. If federal assistance to stabilize these companies were to be effective, the necessary facilities would have to be in place as of the disclosure date. Thus, our planning was importantly influenced by the companies' planned disclosure schedule. But the decisions and responsibilities regarding public disclosure always remained, as it should, with the companies themselves.

A related question is whether there should have been earlier disclosure of the aid provided by the U.S. government to Bank of America. Importantly, there was no commitment on the part of the government regarding the size or structure of the transaction until very late in the process. Although we had indicated to Bank of America in December that the government would provide assistance if necessary to keep the company from being destabilized, as it had done in other cases during this time of extraordinary stress in the financial markets, those December discussions were followed in January by significant and intense negotiations involving Bank of America, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regarding many key aspects of the assistance transaction, including the type of assistance to be provided, the size of the protection, the assets to be covered, the terms for payments, the fees, and the length of the facility. The agreement in principle on these items was reflected in a term sheet that was not finalized until just before its public release on January 16, 2009. The Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury completely and appropriately disclosed the information as required by the Congress in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

In retrospect, I believe that our actions in this episode, including the development of an assistance package that facilitated the consummation of Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, were not only done with the highest integrity, but have strengthened both companies while enhancing the stability of the financial markets and protecting the taxpayers. These actions were taken under highly unusual circumstances in the face of grave threats to our financial system and our economy. To avoid such situations in the future, it is critical that the Administration, the Congress, and the regulatory agencies work together to develop a new framework that strengthens and expands supervisory oversight and includes a broader range of tools to promote financial stability.

I would be pleased to take your questions.

Frontline - Breaking The Bank, Shadiest Weekend In Financial History

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Yup, the shadiest weekend ever in financial history.

The Frontline video, "Breaking The Bank", gives a behind the scenes look at the moments leading up to the Lehman bankruptcy and Bank of America/Merrill merger. Was September 13-14, 2008 the shadiest weekend in financial history? DV was there, Lehman Disaster Sending Index Futures Lower, BAC Buys MER. The drama continues tomorrow as Bernanke testifies before congress regarding allegations that he pressured Bank of America's Lewis to buy Merrill from Thain. Hopefully I'll be able to embed the hearing video.

"In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer." New York Times

Hat tip Value Plays

Fed Keeps Rate At 0-0.25%, (6/09 FOMC Statement)

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Release Date: June 24, 2009

For immediate release

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing. Conditions in financial markets have generally improved in recent months. Household spending has shown further signs of stabilizing but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Businesses are cutting back on fixed investment and staffing but appear to be making progress in bringing inventory stocks into better alignment with sales. Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the Committee continues to anticipate that policy actions to stabilize financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth in a context of price stability.

The prices of energy and other commodities have risen of late. However, substantial resource slack is likely to dampen cost pressures, and the Committee expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time.

In these circumstances, the Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote economic recovery and to preserve price stability. The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. As previously announced, to provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of up to $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt by the end of the year. In addition, the Federal Reserve will buy up to $300 billion of Treasury securities by autumn. The Committee will continue to evaluate the timing and overall amounts of its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets. The Federal Reserve is monitoring the size and composition of its balance sheet and will make adjustments to its credit and liquidity programs as warranted.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth A. Duke; Charles L. Evans; Donald L. Kohn; Jeffrey M. Lacker; Dennis P. Lockhart; Daniel K. Tarullo; Kevin M. Warsh; and Janet L. Yellen.


AUDJPY Hit Retracement Level, Needs Reflation Jumper Cables

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I'm revisiting the $AUDJPY currency pair. It just hit the 50% fibonacci retracement level and sold off (104 2008 high - 55 2009 low, hits 80). I wrote about the AUDJPY carry trade unwind, reflation trade and commodity currency relationship a few posts ago. The Australian Dollar bottomed out against the Yen and rallied hard as the reflation trade caught traction (or China restocking unwound the carry trade unwind - Baltic Dry Index On Fire, 1, 2, 3). China is a big importer of Australian commodities which requires Australian Dollars. With oil, gold and other commodities losing strength it could sink the $AUD. GOLD could sell off to the 200dma (875ish) if the risk aversion trade sticks for a while.

As you can see from the chart below, $AUDJPY broke through the 75.52 support level and could test the 38.2% retracement level (74.26) then possibly hit 70 if nothing can hold. C-bank moves and Japan fundamentals could also affect this pair. It will be interesting to watch and stay protected w/ stops. I'd probably hedge w/ ITM calls somehow. So will the Yen carry trade unwind unwind, unwind?

For better info and analysis visit these articles:

Barclays’ Englander Sees Room for Australian Dollar to Retreat (Bloomberg)
Dollar and Yen Extend Rally on Falling Stocks and Commodities (IBTimes)
Risk Aversion Spikes as World Bank Sees Deeper Recession (FXStreet)
Yen gains as uncertainty stalks market ahead of Fed (Guardian.co.uk)
Australian, New Zealand Dollars Decline on World Bank Outlook (Bloomberg)
Nikkei Plummets As Stocks See Massive Sell-off On Economic Woes (RTTNews)

AUDJPY (FXstreet.com)

Market Needs Support From IYT, Transports, FDX

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Not too long ago the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq all busted through their 200 and 50 day moving average. The Transports ($TRAN, $IYT) tested and failed that level recently and now price action is being squeezed between the 50 and 200dma awaiting trend decision. I wouldn't stand in front of this uptrend (or at least in size) until it breaks the 50 day and trend support. Also watch for the 50/200 day "golden cross" to the upside which would be a long term bullish indicator. Puts open are dominating calls however there is no crazy OTM activity. The IYT Schaeffers Volatility Index is at 0.41, up 10% from 0.37 on June 5. Look at the $IYT chart.


25,000 XHB $10 January 2010 Puts Traded

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Hat tip to Crimson Mind for the information. 25,000 January 2010 $10 puts just hit the tape. Not sure of the exact nature of the trade (hedging, spec short pocketing change or spec buy) but if $XHB (Homebuilder ETF) violates support here it could retest lower levels. It's trading at $11.42 right now. This is looking out 7 months. I will continue to monitor housing data (Housing Analysis June 3 - Housing Starts, Building Permits, Pending Home Sales). Will WCI Communities and TOUSA be the only public building casualties? Unless I am missing one. Also read this after reading the WCI post. I'm wondering when there will be more M&A in this space.

Russia Plans To Sell Oil To China In Ruble

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At the recent BRIC meeting Russia and China talked up settling trades in Ruble and Yuan instead of the US Dollar. Russia plans to sell oil to China denominated in Ruble. The USD better get a hold of itself. Survival of the fit only the strong survive....
"June 17 (Bloomberg) -- The leaders of Russia and China agreed to expand use of the ruble and yuan in bilateral trade to lessen dependence on the U.S. dollar a day after they took part in the first summit of the so-called BRIC countries." (Bloomberg.com)

JP Morgan's Lee Sees Recovery, S&P Target 1,100

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Thomas Lee, Chief U.S Equity Strategist at JP Morgan spoke at the 2009 Reuters Investment Outlook Summit. Here's a summary and video from Reuters.com.
  • Global synchronized economic recovery taking place (U.S this summer)
  • Consumer will stabilize
  • Employment will improve 2nd half 2010
  • Businesses will rebuild inventory, areas of underinvestment
  • Attractive rates for businesses to lever up again
  • Will either buy companies, stock or invest in capital (expand)
  • Unanticipated wave of innovation will drive both consumer and business spending
  • 2009 S&P Target 1,100

Roubini Sees Deflationary Pressures, Unemployment at 11% and Output Gap

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Dr. Roubini at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit was interviewed at by Dan Burns. Here is the video and a few points he made, he thinks the $GOLD run is premature.

Are Blogs Diluting Yahoo's CPM Rate?

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Are blogs (like Dvol) diluting Yahoo's advertising dollars per CPM? I'm wondering if they are scooping up independent online video properties? This is an interesting clip I found at BNN TV. Brigantine Advisors managing director Colin Gillis initiated coverage on Yahoo with a SELL and $13 target.
"The supply of pages that are available online is tremendous and it's the supply piece of the equation that we have to be worried about. Ad rates are dropping particularly for Yahoo on display advertising. When they used to get 12-$15 per 1000 page views that has dropped down to $5" continued at BNN.ca.
Check out this chart that compares Yahoo, Google, Bing search traffic from StatCounter. Also below I provided $Yahoo's stock chart from stockcharts.com ($15 at 50d/trend support, 200d just under $14).

Crazy SPY Tick Volume, Bots Taking Over!

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Have you seen how $SPY volume hits the tape? On the tick charts below in about a second tick volume increased from 0 to about 40,000 shares (and SPY is trading at 92 so it's not cheap). The volume triangles were so perfect that I made boat sails out of them in MS Paint for your viewing pleasure. It's weird that I didn't see any massive red volume spikes. WTF? The bots are taking over!

SPY Tick Volume (Optionsxpress)

Someone Loading Up on SPY Aug Puts? Or Just Hedging. Don't Break Trend!

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Check out the PUT v. CALL volume on the $SPY August option chain. Are traders loading up here for volatility or are these funds getting hedged out of the money. I wish I knew, but it is possible a correction overshoots and these options make some money if bought-to-open by August expiration. $SPY is at 91.73 right now.

SPY AUG Option Chain (Yahoo Finance)

SPY AUG 87.00 PUT , 2 Day (Optionsxpress.com)

DON'T BREAK THIS TREND $SPY! (Optionsxpress)

SPY/UUP Ratio to SPY, Jim Rogers Dow 30,000, Market Correction v. USD Bid

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If the market corrects here $UUP (US Dollar Index ETF) could catch a bid again. Look at the inverse relationship between the S&P and US Dollar. I specifically charted out the SPY:UUP Ratio vs. SPY below. It looks exactly the same. That's why Jim Rogers on CNBC said the Dow could reach 20,000-30,000 during a currency crisis. The inflation play is all about timing..

SPY:UUP/SPY (Stockcharts.com)

$MAR Implied Volatility, Short Interest and $VIX Update

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This is a continuation of my last post, Marriott, Hotel Downturn Analysis - Economist Video ($MAR). I want to look strictly at sentiment. $MAR volatility plunged along with the $VIX, short interest increased 7.7% from 33.28 million shares to 35.82 million shares on June 1, 2009. This gave the short ratio a boost given the lower volume (4.4 to 7.9). Something has to give here... Either $MAR is setting up to crush crowded shorts on better than expected Q2 earnings/guidance OR implied volatility spikes and $MAR breaks down on strong volume to test some levels. There needs to be a volume boost either way to confirm that traders are buying the dull trade (low volatility/green shoots) or selling the re-emergence of fear trade. Get ready! Here's a VIX update by OptionMonster.com.

Marriott, Hotel Downturn Analysis - Economist Video ($MAR)

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I just watched a video on The Economist's Youtube channel about Marriott and the hotel industry so I thought I'd flood this post with some info. I did not know Marriott only owned 2% of their hotels and franchised out the rest. This Economist video titled "An Unlevered Hotel Chain" explained that Marriott did not lever-to-own hotels during Greenspan's cheap rate environment. They left money on the table but at least they are not handing over keys to secured lenders. The video also shows how RevPAR (Revenue Available Per Room) volatility affects both the owner and franchiser. "A 1% drop in RevPAR will lower franchise profits by 1% and ownership profits by 5%". Here is a snapshot of Marriott's Q1 performance from their 8K. RevPAR dropped 18% worldwide in constant dollars. Q1 Total debt net of cash = $2.8 Billion and EBITDA = $89 Million.

From the clip, here are quotes from Arne Sorenson, President of Marriott International on the industry today.
"These are probably the worst times we've ever seen in terms of year over year comparison for the hotel business. So we thought in the fall of 2001 after the events of 9/11 that they were sort of stunningly bad lodging environments for us. Interestingly today when we look at the way the global business is performing, the U.S is about as bad as it was in the 4th quarter of 2001 even without that significant terrorist event, and the rest of the world is significantly worse than it was in 2001."

Household Net Worth Down 1.3 Trillion During Q1, Equities Up!

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That's a lot of dough. At least "the speed at which net worth shrunk slowed at the start of the year" (AP). During Q2 so far household "stock" net worth measured in $SPY (S&P 500 ETF) is up 21.5%, however those who rushed to buy $IEF (7-10 Treasury ETF) are down 8.3% since March 31. Things could all reverse tomorrow so be careful. Here's the full June 11, 2009 report (Federalreserve.gov) and a few articles. Is Soros's reflexivity theory currently at work?

U.S. household net worth falls to $50.4 trillion (Reuters)
Household wealth drops for 7th straight quarter (MarketWatch)
Household Wealth in U.S. Decreased by $1.3 Trillion (Bloomberg)

Q2 7-10 Treasuries Net Worth
Q2 SPY (S&P) Net worth

10Y-Treasury Yield Spikes, Will S&P Follow? (MOVE Index, Mortgages, TNX, SPY)

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The 10 Year Note Yield and S&P 500 have been married since mid-March. In other words Treasury prices and equities have been in an inverse relationship since the rally in risk appetite commenced in March (treasuries -> equities). During the past month the combination of 0.25% rates, inflation expectations, green shoots, fiscal deficits and the questionable USD brought significant volatility into Treasuries. Check out the Merrill Lynch $MOVE index which measures implied volatility on 1-month Treasury options (SeekingAlpha). Treasury I-vol broke out of a long term downtrend and spiked in May. Also today's disappointing 10Y Treasury auction did not help. Watch to see if the 10Y Yield/S&P relationship decouples. If rates overshoot it could squeeze the already distressed consumer/business. At some point something has to give or the Gov has to intervene unless the black swan is a Q2 GDP spike driven by exports.

The 10 year yield directly affects mortgage rates and mortgage applications fell last week. Also oil is at $72 and gas is up 9% since Memorial Day. Would the market OD on green shoots if the Fed raised rates in November? (Debates: 1, 2, 3). Look at the Fed Fund futures curve.

The 10 year yield is at 4% resistance so watch that level. Could the $MOVE Index see spikes like the $VIX did in 2008?

$TNX and $SPX (Stockcharts.com)

Merrill Lynch MOVE Index (Bloomberg.com)
Bankrate - 30Y Mortgage Rate (Bloomberg.com)

Lloyd Blankfein: Recovery Will Feel Just Like This

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Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, was at the 2009 IOSCO Conference in Tel Aviv and Bloomberg put up the Blankfein video clip. He said Fiscal and central bank moves significantly reduced or "priced-out" the worst-case scenario and this complacency translated into higher asset prices, and you can see this on the $VIX:S&P (Volatility Index) chart below.

Goldman’s Blankfein Says Market Gains Reflect Government Aid (Bloomberg)
UPDATE 1-IOSCO-Goldman CEO Blankfein sees long recession (Reuters)
IOSCO-Goldman Sachs CEO urges convergence of rules (Reuters)

Blankfein Remarks on Asset Prices (Bloomberg Video)
VIX:S&P (Yahoo Finance)

It is interesting that all of these TARP recipients are making moves in the market. Read posts about $SPY (S&P ETF) activity at zerohedge.blogspot.com where TD provides Bloomberg Terminal snapshots of block trades. TD also shows SPY Indication of Interest activity which has been getting heat from regulators. Very interesting to see WTF goes on behind the scenes! ZH posts are very informative and entertaining.

Market (Lack Of) Action Charts
Intraday SPY Indication Of Interest Update
Goldman Now Dominating Dark Pool Trading; Who Is Sigma X?
Proudly Gunning Every Market Upswing Since TARP
Goldman Sachs Principal Transactions Update: 741 Million Shares
SLP Brokers Taking Their Role Not Too Seriously, Others Gunning Market
SPY Block Trading Update

Peter Schiff on Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Yes He Was Right

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Peter Schiff was right about the recession coming. It's funny how people were laughing in his face on TV. Here he is on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Peter Schiff

Daily Show
Full Episodes

Political Humor
Newt Gingrich Unedited Interview

NYSE Bullish Percent Index 6/2009 - $BPNYA (Charts)

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I'm going to check out the NYSE Bullish Percent Index, a breadth indicator that measures the percent of NYSE stocks showing a point & figure buy signal. Stockcharts.com explains it all: NYSE Bullish Percent Index, P&F charts and pattern alerts. They also show which stocks are buys based on signals.

P&F charts smooth out price movements to make support and resistance levels more convincing. From investopedia.com, P&F charts "filter out non-significant price movements". Readings above 70% are considered overbought and readings below 30% are oversold. If the Index crosses back above 30% it is considered a buy and back below 70% is a sell. Of course there are exceptions during extremes.

Check out the relationship between the NYSE Bullish Percent Index and each top and bottom in the S&P 500 since late 2007. The Bullish Percent Index improved drastically from the October low of 2.76% and also diverged with the March S&P lows and printed higher highs (2.76->12.11%) which was a distressed buy signal. It closed at 74.83 today. Watch for $BPNYA to break below 70% as that could be a signal to sell or position shorts. However in this crazy environment you never know what will happen. The index could hit extreme highs. For more information on this index go to

NYSE Bullish Percent Index (Stockcharts.com/$BPNYA)

Here is the S&P 500 P&F chart. The column of X's broke through triple top resistance and pierced early '09 highs. Watch to see if we close below 932 (I believe that's where the X hits) and print a column of O's. Until then the S&P will keep defying gravity or trade in a boring channel.

Oakland, California Denies Bankruptcy Rumors, General Fund Drying Up

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I just got this link to Mish's blog on Twitter so I thought I'd check out what the deal is. Below is Oakland, California's June 30, 2008 CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) filed at Oaklandnet.com. It looks like their General Fund is drying up with an $83 million - $100 million deficit expected on July 1. Police, fire and debt service payments are squeezing their general fund which could lead to cost cuts/police layoffs. Eastbayexpress says they need a $67 million police grant. What happens to muni bond holders in a bk??
City of Oakland Denies Bankruptcy Rumors (CBS5 VIDEO)
Budget woes have Oakland mulling bankruptcy (sfgate.com)
Bankruptcy not immediate option for Oakland (Mercury/Oakland Tribune)
Oakland faces $115M budget deficit (ABC7 SF)
Oakland Officials Discussing Bankruptcy (Listen to Podcast)(KGO Newstalk)
Oakland Considers Bankruptcy (East Bay Express)

From their CAFR look at revenue/expenses on the public safety line. They need that grant!

Apple WWDC 2009 Full Keynote Video - MacBook Pro, iPhone, Mac OS

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The 2009 Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) Keynote video is up at Apple.com. Here is the full Quicktime Movie link or you can find the link at Apple.com. Schiller first talked about the thin 15 inch MacBook Pro with the revolutionary lithium-polymer battery which allows up to 7 Hours of battery life. It's the fastest notebook they've ever made with speeds up to 3.06 Ghz using the Intel 2 Duo Core processor with 6MGs of Level 2 Cache. Everybody clapped when he said it allowed up to 8GBs of memory with 1066 MHz DDR3, 500GB hardrive. It costs $2,000 fully loaded or the minimum is $1699. The 13inch MacBook Pro looks good too and starts at $1,199. These people are geniuses. They also talk about the iPhone 3G S and Mac OS Snow Leopard.

"Watch Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, unveil the new iPhone 3G S, the new MacBook Pro family, and Mac OS X Snow Leopard."

Apple WWDC 2009 Keynote Video

Also: What is inside the MacBook Pro 13"? Disassembled at ZDNET.

The Green Shoot Revolution!

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Hat tip Zero Hedge

S&P Testing 2002 Bear Market Rally High

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Last historical relationship chart, for now. The S&P is testing the 2002 bear market rally high. If you look at the 2002 double bottom "W" formation it rallied to 964 on 8/23/2002 (Bigcharts.com interactive chart). The SPX last week hit a high of 950. Not that this resistance line means much but it could be on the minds of traders or Bots.

Notice that the long term RSI and MACD is still well below the zero level, however a bullish cross could bring some upside momentum and knock this thing to 1,000. Also from the chart the monthly rate of change to the upside seems to be abating.

So Mr. Market are you consolidating or is it correction time? Don't be a b-otch $VIX!

S&P 500 (Bigcharts.com)

Blogger "Operation Aborted" Error on Internet Explorer

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I thought maybe I could get some help if I do a blog post about the "Internet Explorer Cannot Open The Internet Site", "Operation Aborted" Blogger issue. Also the error occurs pre-Disqus comment installation on January 11, 2009. It briefly loads but then comes up with the "operation aborted" message. Is it related to my Stocktwits, Twitter Counter, Disqus or Feedjit traffic widgets I have installed? Is it an Internet Explorer issue? Or is the Google comment system confused. I do not have the "Google Follower" widget on here so that is not the problem. BUT... I am now logged into google comments and my pages seem to work again. WTF? Any idea on what is going on here? Thanks. Examples below -DV

Charts Comparing 1974, 1982, 2002 Market Bottoms To Today, 80s Recovery

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Digging into historical charts here. I know nothing repeats itself but I feel bits and pieces do. I am providing charts of market bottoms during the 1973, 1982 and 2002 recessions and comparing them to today. I guess you could say the 1983 bottom and sharp recovery looks similar to the March lows. In early 1982 the SPX double bottomed at 105 and capitulated just below that level which shook out all longs. Was the 666 low in early March capitulation??


"According to Keynesian economists, a combination of deficit spending[citation needed] and the lowering of interest rates slowly led to economic recovery. From a high of 10.8% in December 1982, unemployment gradually improved until it fell to 7.2% on Election Day in 1984.[5] Nearly two million people left the unemployment rolls.[31] Inflation fell from 10.3% in 1981 to 3.2% in 1983.[1][32] Corporate earnings rose by 29% in the July-September quarter of 1983, compared with the same period in 1982. Some of the most dramatic improvements came in industries hardest hit by the recession, such as paper and forest products, rubber, airlines, and the auto industry.[31]"

Use that Wikipedia data with caution. Also I found an article and Reagan's radio address from 1982. "Year Of Economic Recovery in 1982" (Evening Independent January 4, 1982), Reagan Radio Address to the Nation - Program for Economic Recovery (May 1, 1982).