Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

USRant:Back Into Line With RantCasts...

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

Well, well well. Here was I thinking that there was some remote possibility that the US markets could defy gravity, valuation and global economic reality and close for two sessions above 1360.

No such luck. Or more accurately, no such defiance of the principles of Rant. (Principle 1: DISAP... Diligent Application of Sound Investment Principles... will outperform the herd in the long run. Principle 2: Nuffies get killed at every length of run - be on the opposite side at all times).

We have still not had two consecutive closes below 1320 - in fact we have not even had one yet.

For those who have written telling me that the USRants have lost a certain 'je ne sais quoi', I can only apologise. I have been pretty busy writing the last pieces of abso-lute GENIUS which will be embedded in a global equities analysis platform that you will be able to tell your grandkids about.

You will say "I used to read the stuff that this bloke wrote. It used to be on the Web.. he was just some plonker rabbitting on about markets, but he seemed to know his arse from a hot rock". 

That will be in Da Fyu-cha, when small and medium brokerages will sack their analyst teams and replace them with me and a group of savvy and hip youths who prefer to work from our homes in the French countryside...

Seriously; having thought long and hard about buying InvestorWeb, I just decided to build what I wanted built when I was their Grand Pooh Bah of Stock Research.

I tell you what - if I was half as committed to my physical condition as I am to building the Perfect Stock Analysis Beast, I would have a chocolate bar. (Hint - the Frogs don't say "six pack" for someone who has abs... they say "il a une tablette du chocolat").

I will tell you how good my development is - it is smarter than ME. I shit you not.

Check out what the new front page will look like (it's only a template at the minute, but you get the picture)...

GT's Market Analytics Page 

If you can find a sexier site which has content of the same level of sophistication, then send me proof and I will throw myself off the nearest mountain. (Note - you will have to wait until the full sit is operational - which ought to be next week; seriously... I am a hard chap to impress, but I have impressed the beJeebus out of myself on this).

Economic News

Boring. There is more truth in a Harry Potter novel than there is in US statistics at the moment. Let's talk about this shootdown of that satellite for a sec instead.


If the US has ships with missiles that can hit a target in (or just outside) the upper atmosphere, the US is in flagrant violation of international law.

No ifs ands or buts. it is a violation of international law, and therefore a violation of US law (because the US is still a signatory to the relevant treaty). THAT is why the Chinks are demanding a "Please explain"... /p>

OK.. so it's not interesting... but nor was the data. Initial Claims in line with consensus, Leading Indicators (which lead my butt to the land of What-a-Load-of-Crap) in line, and the Philly Fed which was WAY below consensus.

Seriously - I hate that Leading Indicators series. It is the biggest piece of backfitted chicanery you could ever set eyes on.

Fed Open Market Operations

Three Fed Operations (because it's Thursday):

  • a $6 billion overnight, all in Treasury-backed, at a 17bp discount to Fed Funds;
  • an $8 billion 7-day, with 43.454 billion in T-backed; and 
  • an $11.06 billion 14-day with $6.06 billion in T-backed.

Headline Indices

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 142.96 points (1.15%) to 12284.30 points. The index high for the day was 12503.46 (20 minutes after the open), while the low was 12247.34 - set about ten minutes before the close. Har de har. Anyone who reads this blog who was on the wrong side of the market deserves our pity.

only 3 Dow components managed to keep their heads above the yellow line (to borrow the taxonomical distinctions from The Biggest Loser). These were

  • Verizon Communications (VZ) +0.12 (0.34%) to 35.36 on volume of 18.9 million units
  • AT&T (T) +0.11 (0.32%) to 34.47 on volume of 42.2 million units
  • Wal Mart (WMT) + 0.09 (0.18%) to 49.79 on volume of 17.9 million units

Major Decliners in the Dow were

  • General Motors (GM) -1.24 (4.86%) to 24.3 on volume of 21 million units
  • Boeing (BA) -1.99 (2.37%) to 82.01 on volume of 5.5 million units
  • Du Pont (DD) -0.9 (1.94%) to 45.56 on volume of 4.7 million units
  • Merck (MRK) -0.89 (1.89%) to 46.13 on volume of 10.1 million units
  • Chevron (CVX)  -1.56 (1.81%) to 84.78 on volume of 9.8 million units

Most Traded Dow stocks were

  • Microsoft (MSFT) -0.12 (0.43%) to 28.1 on volume of 97.1 million units
  • Intel (INTC) -0.08 (0.39%) to 20.3 on volume of 78.2 million units
  • Citigroup (C)  -0.44 (1.73%) to 25.05 on volume of 64.1 million units
  • General Electric (GE) -0.36 (1.06%) to 33.69 on volume of 51 million units
  • AT&T. (T) 0.11 (0.32%) to 34.47 on volume of 42.2 million units

The S&P500 Index lost 17.5 points (1.29%) to 1342.53 points. The Nasdaq Composite lost 27.32 points (1.17%) to 2299.78 points. while the Nasdaq100 lost 21.15 points (1.18%) to 1766.30 points.

The CBOE Volatiity Index advanced +0.73 points (2.99%) to 25.13 points. The CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index lost 0.05 points (0.18%) to 27.04 points. 

NYSE Total Volume totalled 3.62billion units - nowhere near a volume blowoff. Likewise, Nasdaq Total Volume was tame at 2.28billion units.

Major Market Statistics
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
Dow Jones Industrial Average 12284.30 -142.96 -1.15%
S&P500 Index 1342.53 -17.50 -1.29%
Nasdaq Composite 2299.78 -27.32 -1.17%
Nasdaq100 1766.30 -21.15 -1.18%
CBOE Volatiity Index 25.13 +0.73 2.99%
CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index 27.04 -0.05 -0.18%
NYSE Total Volume 3.62bn - -
Nasdaq Total Volume 2.28bn - -
Precious Metals

Platinum continued to advance, but slowed its rate.  We might have missed out on the entry - there was no genuine overbought signal today, and today was the top. Ring a bell, cut it out and put it on the fridge. Platinum is done.

Don't get me wrong - Precious Metals are still the place to be in a world where governments are simultaneously debasing their currencies and their economic statistics. But PL J8 (April s the front month) is up over 35% since January... that is a sign that some very very dumb money is being put to work in this very very thin market.  When Da boyz take it down, it will absolutely plummet.

Precious Metal Futures
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
Gold 946.3 +8.5 0.91
Silver 1782.0 +6.0 0.34
Platinum 2166.2 +27.4 1.28
Palladium 511.95 +17.75 3.59

Energy Complex

In contrast to the Precious Metals market, the Energy complex has already shed a reasonably large slice of spec small longs - although Natural Gas is approaching a possible takedown. More on the Energy market next week - but for Subscribers only.

Energy Futures
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
Crude Oil 97.60 -2.10 -2.11
Heating Oil 2.7084 -0.0282 -1.03
Gasoline RBOB 2.5090 -0.0762 -2.95
Natural Gas 8.884 -0.081 -0.9
Ethanol 2.100 unch 0


The nine-stock group that makes up the Rant bellwethers declined on average by 1.3%. The fallout occurred as follows:

  • General Electric (GE) down $0.36 (1.06%) to $33.69 on volume of 51.03 million units.
  • Citigroup (C) down $0.44 (1.73%) to $25.05 on volume of 64.08 million units.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) up $+0.09 (0.18%) to $49.79 on volume of 17.88 million units.
  • IBM (IBM) down $0.92 (0.85%) to $106.93 on volume of 6.91 million units.
  • Intel (INTC) down $0.08 (0.39%) to $20.30 on volume of 78.18 million units.
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO) down $0.01 (0.04%) to $23.19 on volume of 62.97 million units.
  • Google (GOOG) down $6.14 (1.21%) to $502.86 on volume of 5.59 million units.
  • Fannie Mae (FNM) down $0.84 (2.82%) to $28.99 on volume of 9 million units.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) down $1 (3.48%) to $27.75 on volume of 7.57 million units.

Currency Futures
Currency Futures
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
U.S. Dollar Index 75.650 -0.570 -0.75
British Pound 1.9588 +0.0186 0.96
Canadian Dollar 0.9886 +0.0013 0.13
Japanese Yen 0.9328 +0.0066 0.71
Swiss Franc 0.9188 +0.0086 0.94
Euro FX 1.4809 +0.0102 0.69
Australian Dollar 0.9177 +0.0017 0.19
New Zealand Dollar 0.79700 +0.0019 0.24