Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

Let me begin by apologizing for my absence over the past ten days. My bad, I didn’t think to grab my computer and throw it in the back of the truck before I drove myself to the hospital…but I (stupidly) didn’t think they’d keep me either.

Which segues into the subject of tonight’s offering Where we once again visit the seemingly insolvable riddle of who thinks who is ‘stupid’.

Gain in Consumer Confidence Sends Stocks Higher

Published: August 25, 2009

Filed at 4:12 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market managed to carve out modest gains amid news of a rebound in consumer confidence and more healing in the housing industry. [Honestly good citizen, housing ‘sales’ are up but if these pricks were in any way honest, they’d balance that curiosity against the fact that foreclosures are still adding ‘inventory’ faster than it’s being absorbed. Net-net, things are getting worse, not better!]

Financials, retailers and homebuilders were the day's biggest winners. A sharp drop in energy stocks kept a lid on the market's advance.

While investors were pleased by positive reports on consumers and housing, trading was choppy, as it has been in recent sessions. [Hmmn…’choppy’ trading? Could this be due to the limited number of ‘suckers’ out there? With P/E’s at over 70, there isn’t a good reason to be buying stocks, period.]

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrials are up 30 at 9,539, after earlier rising as much as 111 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 2 at 1,028, while the Nasdaq composite index is up 6 at 2,024.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.12 billion shares.[It is wise to remain mindful that these days it is not people but computers trading stocks…]

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Investors put stocks back on an upward path Tuesday, encouraged by news of a rebound in consumer confidence and more healing in the housing industry.

Major stock indexes rose moderately in afternoon trading, including the Dow Jones industrials, which added about 40 points. Financials, retailers and homebuilders led the market's gains, while energy and utility stocks fell as oil prices cooled following a recent surge. [Given that foreclosures and defaults are still ‘off the charts’ does anyone want to speculate just who is buying stocks in ‘Financials’ (especially considering P/E ratios?) Do you think it might be ‘the big trading desks’ that STILL have an umbilical tied directly into YOUR pocket?]

Investors got better-than-expected readings Tuesday on two of the most problematic parts of the economy: consumers and housing. The day's news reinvigorated the market after stocks hit a lull on Monday, closing little changed after four days of gains that took the major indexes to new highs for the year.

''The upward trend has still not broken in the market,'' said Brian Daley, sales trader at Conifer Securities.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence index rose to 54.1 this month from an upwardly revised 47.4 in July and far above the 47.5 reading analysts expected. The reading is still a long way from showing that consumers are actually feeling optimistic about the economy amid ongoing worries about job losses. But it suggests Americans' pessimism about the economy is abating.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose 1.4 percent in the second quarter from the January-March period, the first quarterly increase in three years. Home prices, while still down almost 15 percent from last year, are at levels last seen in early 2003. [Hmmn…is this where the newly increased ‘consumer confidence’ numbers came from? By the way, since consumer confidence is a measure of ‘emotion’, how large do you suppose the ‘margin of error’ is?]

The improvements in consumer confidence and housing are related. If consumers are feeling better about the economy, they will be willing to spend a little more on houses, not to mention cars, appliances and other goods and materials. Investors' concerns about flagging consumer confidence have triggered bouts of stock selling in recent weeks. [Yes good citizen, but once again let me point out that there’s a huge difference between ‘willing’ and ‘able’.]

Stocks also got a boost from President Barack Obama's reappointment of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman. Bernanke's reappointment, though expected, came sooner than anticipated and removed any uncertainty about a potential replacement. [As has been asked repeatedly in various quarters, replaced by ‘whom’?]

The Dow rose 42.78, or 0.5 percent, to 9,552.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 3.29, or 0.3 percent, to 1,028.86, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 5.18, or 0.3 percent, to 2,024.16.

About two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 852.3 million shares, compared with 912.3 million at the same time on Monday.

In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 4.34, or 0.8 percent, to 584.58.

A sharp drop in oil kept a lid on the market's gains. Oil prices tumbled $2.32 to settle at $72.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing energy-related stocks down with them. Halliburton Co. fell 88 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $24.40. Chesapeake Energy Corp. lost 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $23.42. [A somewhat counterintuitive development, wouldn’t you say? If energy falls, giving the consumer more ‘breathing room’, you’d expect the market to rally, not drop, so we have yet more evidence that the interests of investors are not ‘aligned’ with the interests of society at large.]

The moderate advance on Tuesday follow a trend seen in the market throughout the summer, where any dip in stocks or pause in trading is met with more buying as investors fear missing out on an extended rally. [Ahem, here fishy, fishy, fishy…here fish! WTF!]

Despite improving economic data, the market is still generally cautious. After a 52 percent climb in the S&P 500 since early March, investors are questioning how much further stocks have to go, especially in the absence of data showing actual growth in the economy. [Every once in a while a fragment of truth escapes into the public consciousness.]

''The fear I have is that it's still a trader's market,'' said Steven Stahler, president of The Stahler Group. ''You've got a lot of activity ... but not real legs.''

Shares of major homebuilders surged after the home price data. Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. jumped more than 5 percent, adding 24 cents to $4.53, while Lennar Corp. rose 41 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $14.98. [Again, only steeply discounted (and subsidized) foreclosed homes are selling like hot cakes, the ‘builders’ are still on their collective duffs.]

Financial stocks rebounded after sagging on Monday in response to a downbeat analyst's report. Bank of America Corp. rose 36 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $17.71. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. rose 99 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $42.10.

Retailers also rose. Shares of Big Lots Inc. soared more than 6 percent, adding $1.52 to $25.55 after its second-quarter results beat analysts' expectations and the discount retailer raised its full-year earnings forecast. Best Buy Co. jumped $1.16, or 3.2 percent, to $36.97. [Ties in nicely with those rising consumer confidence numbers, doesn’t it?]

Bond prices came off earlier lows and moved slightly higher after an auction of $42 billion in two-year notes was met with adequate demand. The Treasury Department is issuing a total of $197 billion in debt this week, and investors have been worried that .with so much supply flooding the market, demand would slump and force the government to raise the interest it pays to lure buyers.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped to 3.45 percent from 3.48 percent late Monday. The yield on the two-year note was unchanged at 1.03 percent.

The dollar mostly fell against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

The gains in the U.S. came amid mixed trading in overseas markets. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 0.8 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX index rose 0.7 percent, and France's CAC-40 gained 0.8 percent.

Not surprisingly, every ‘indicator’ glibly cited here has a much darker underbelly than what they are telling you.

I was, well, not quite shocked but more like astounded when I heard this morning that a ‘global economic rally’ was underway. Such audacity!

Who the fuck do they think they’re shitting? This disaster started with the ‘tapped out’ consumer and that situation hasn’t changed, so what ‘rally’ (besides the massive ‘stimulus’ programs initiated by governments around the world) are they talking about?

We all know they are ‘borrowing’ against our future to keep the current economy from collapsing but how long can they keep that ruse up before it becomes obvious that there is no way we’re ever going to pay that money back?

Long before this whole mess started we were already ‘on the hook’ for more than we could pay back with a 100% income tax, held in place for a hundred years!

I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t know anyone that can go a hundred days, never mind years, without eating.

It is a perilous game indeed to place personal fortune ahead of the fate of civilization, but that’s just what they’re doing.

Only a fool thinks they can escape the resulting backlash…

But sadly, great wealth does not insure great wisdom.
Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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