Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Monday, August 30, 2004

Weak Markets Welcome Flim-Flam Artists to NYC

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

Well, our tiny little monkey-like Prime Minister has decided that we must make Hobson's Choice on October 9th. Our "electorate" will waste an hour per person on the day, forced by a draconian system which insists that you must vote even if you strongly prefer "none of the above".

The system confers a false legitimacy on the outcome; it would be hard to claim a mandate if less than half the population bothered to vote (which is what would happen in the event of genuinely free and fair elections - which would include the right to withold your vote entirely).

At least Mark Latham had the good sense to use Australian vernacular ("a conga line of suck-holes") regarding those who backed Bush's rapine of the Cradle of Civlisation. Latham's comments placed politics in its correct context, removing some of the PR varnish and giving us a peek behind the facades. If people had the slightest inkling of how these people behave within the confines of their own party machines, they would lose forever the misconception that politicians are "specialists" at anything. My plan for randomocracy would then be halfway to universal acceptance.

I stress that Latham, being a politician, is automatically classed as a parasite under my "blanket coverage" system: I do not intend to vote for him, for Howard, or in fact for anyone. There - I've said it... I don't vote, even in our "vote or we will fine you" system.

I'll have nothing more to say about domestic politics; I only care about those vermin to the extent that their corruption and meddling buggers up capitalism. We spent trillions of dollars and killed millions of civilians, supposedly to stop the spread of socialism - then our very own politicians ramped up the socialisation of our system to the point where half of all private sector income is paid in taxes.

Speaking of convocations of flim-flam artists. con-men and betrayers of public trust, the Republican National Convention is being held in New York this week. Yet more evidence of the hundreds of millions of dollars tipped down the pan by megalomaniacal lunatics who couldn't earn a living in the private sector (do a web search on Arbusto Oil to see what an MBA can do for you).

I can't believe Bush's advisors were stupid enough to try and exploit the charred and smashed corpses of the victims of 9/11 for political gain. I'm not surprised that they tried, just that it would have taken an almost inhuman lack of modesty or compassion for anybody to suggest it. Then again, these are similar idiots to those who said that the Iraqi people would be strewing rose petals in front of the soldiers who came to liberate their oil, so miscalculation should be expected.

Personal Income and Personal Spending figures for July were released prior to the market open last night. Personal Income rose by little more than a rounding error (0.1%), well short of consensus for a rise of 0.5%. Incomes earned by Americans continue to underperform inflation.

Personal Spending rose 0.8%, exceeding expectations of a 0.7% increase. With both the US government and the US private consumer spending like there is no tomorrow, it should be clear just how little balance-sheet repair has taken place.

The market didn't particularly like the results, but most of last night's action took place well after the release of the numbers.

The Fed did two repurchases; a $9.25 billion 3-day (with $5.99 billion in T-backed) and another $4 billion overnight, all in T-backed. That did absolutely nothing for the market; the repo pump was absolutely non-exstent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 72.49 points (0.71%), closing out the day at 10122.52 points; the broader S&P500 Index lost 8.62 points (0.78%), finishing the session at 1099.15.

Over at Times Square, the Nasdaq Composite lost 25.6 points (1.37%), to close at 1836.49, while the larger-cap stocks fared marginally worse with the Nasdaq100 Index losing 20.62 points (1.48%), to end at 1367.94 points.

The NYSE Composite Index lost 40.98 points (0.63%), closing at 6414.54, while the broadest measure of US equities, the Wilshire 5000 dropped 89.1 points (0.83%), finishing the session at 10665.92.

NYSE Volume was marginally lower than Friday's (which was the low for the year to date), with 0.85 billion shares crossing the tape. Nasdaq Volume was similarly feeble, with 1 billion shares crossing the tape. I suppose the Convention has driven most New Yorkers to head out early for Labour Day holidays. After all, any sensible person would head for the hills, given the number of half-educated goons with automatic weapons that are now on the streets in the land of the not-really-very-Brave and Home of the formerly-free.

Dow Jones Industrial Average10122.52-72.49-0.71%
S&P500 Index1099.15-8.62-0.78%
Nasdaq Composite1836.49-25.6-1.37%
Nasdaq100 Index1367.94-20.62-1.48%
NYSE Composite6414.54-40.98-0.63%
Wilshire 500010665.92-89.1-0.83%
NYSE Volume0.85bn--
Nasdaq Volume1bn--
US 30-year bond yield4.99%-0.03%-0.58%

On the NYSE declining issues outpaced advancers by 1990 to 1284, and Nasdaq losers outpaced gainers by 2049 to 956.

On the NYSE declining volume vastly dominated the thin trading session, with declining volume exceeding volume in advancing issues by over 4:1 - 673.24 million to to 161.53 million.

There was a similar volume picture on the Nasdaq exchange, with declining volume exceeding volume in advancing issues by a healthy margin of 342.76 million to 82.18 million shares.

50 NYSE stocks posted new 52-week highs, and 12 hit new 52-week lows; on teh Nasdaq there were 28 stocks which posted new 52-week highs, and 37 posting new 52-week lows.

Advancing Volume (m)161.5382.18
Declining Volume (m)673.24342.76
New Highs5028
New Lows1237

Equity Call Volume1343179-76010-5.36%
Equity Put Volume1038042518375.26%
CBOE Volatility Index15.440.734.96%
CBOE Nasdaq Market Volatility Index23.141.878.79%

Bonds rose across the duration spectrum, with the benchmark US 30-year bond yield shedding 0.029 points to 4.989%.

UST 2Y (yld)2.456-0.02-0.97%
UST 5Y (yld)3.376-0.05-1.34%
UST 10Y (yld)4.178-0.05-1.14%
UST 30Y (yld)4.98-0.04-0.72%
The Banks Index lost 0.51 points (0.52%), finishing the session at 98.46; within the index,
  • the Derivative King - JPMorganChase lost $0.62 (1.56%) to close at $39.10; and
  • Citigroup lost $0.31 (0.66%) to close at $46.41

The Broker-dealer Index lost 2.3 points (1.81%), finishing the session at 124.61; the ticket clippers lined up as follows -

  • Merrill Lynch lost $0.81 (1.57%) to close at $50.65
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter lost $0.97 (1.88%) to close at $50.60
  • Goldman Sachs lost $1.33 (1.47%) to close at $89.15
  • Lehman Brothers lost $1.34 (1.8%) to close at $73.17

The Philadelphia SOX (Semiconductor) index lost 8.7 points (2.28%), finishing the session at 373.64

  • Triquint lost $0.19 (4.71%) to close at $3.84
  • Micron Technology lost $0.40 (3.37%) to close at $11.48
  • Intel lost $0.42 (1.91%) to close at $21.60
  • Altera lost $0.22 (1.14%) to close at $19.08
  • JDS Uniphase lost $0.04 (1.29%) to close at $3.07

Other indices popular with the beta-chasers were down, with the

  • Biotech Index lost 15.4 points (3.04%), finishing the session at 491.09
  • the Hi-Tech Index lost 6.94 points (1.62%), finishing the session at 422.06

Gold strengthened by $3.70 (1.00%), but the Gold Bugs Index lost 3.19 points (1.55%), finishing the session at 202.13. Silver rose $0.12 (1.8%) to close at $6.72 per ounce. The Gold and Silver Index (XAU) lost 1.52 points (1.61%), finishing the session at 92.85.

PHLX Gold and Silver Index92.85-1.52-1.61%
AMEX Gold BUGS Index202.13-3.19-1.55%

Oil lost ground, shedding $0.73 per barrel, closing at $42.37 per barrel and pressuring the Oil and Gas Index (XOI) which lost 1.38 points (0.22%), finishing the session at 630.31 while the Oil service stocks (OSX) Index dropped 1.42 points (1.3%), to close at 107.68.

Reuters CRB2771.750.64%
Crude Oil Light Sweet42.37-0.73-1.69%
AMEX Oil Index630.31-1.38-0.22%
Oil Service Index107.68-1.42-1.3%
US Dollar Index89.74-0.06-0.07%
Japanese Yen109.850.20.18%
Australia Dollar0.69940-0.46%
Swiss Franc1.27890-0.27%

France's benchmark CAC-40 Index lost 12.53 points (0.34%), finishing the session at 3636.71, and the German DAX-30 Index was about the same, dropping 12.33 points (0.32%), finishing the session at 3838.85.

In the UK, the FTSE-100 Index gained 36.2 points (0.81%), finishing the session at 4490.1.