Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

USRant: Hi Ho, Freddie, Awaaaaay!!!.... Eleventy!1!!

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

Well, the Goebellsian machine has been in overdrive lately - according to all the pundits, the Fed and the Treasury are so gifted that they ought to be given the benefit of the doubt as regards their ability to fix Fannie and Freddie - the two Frankenstein's Monsters which arose out of FDRs attempt to turn the US into a Socialist Paradise.

Never mind that the US spent trillions of dollars (and slaughtered millions of brown. slanty-eyed little folks in South East Asia, leaving a toxic wasteland in its wake) in order to save the world from the evils of Central Planning... that's not relevant right now that the pundit class wants George Bush to be given the powers of a King, and for the entire US financial system to be run by a bunch of politically-appointed carrer bureaucrats. Cold War? What Cold War?

Stalin must be absolutely laughing his arse off - first he got given Eastern Europe by Churchill and FDR at Yalta, dooming two hundred million people to socialism for half a century. And now 'his' system - militarised nationalism with central planning and a vindictive venal autocracy which places itself above the law - has now been adopted holus-bolus by Washington.

Economic News

Quite a lot on the data slate today - none of it goes any way to explain the moonshot (the market was overdue a bounce anyhow - working off a deeply oversold condition that became evident yesterday)...

  • The June CPI came in at 1.1%, way above consensus estimates of 0.7%; the CPI for those who don't eat, drive, or purchase anything that uses energy to produce or transport it - the so-called 'Core CPI'- was 0.3%, just above the consensus guess of 0.2%. So if you're American, and you find that your grocery bill has gone up by double digits and your fuel expenditure is more than doubled in the last year, just shut up because you don't know what's good for you, you peon. What's good for you is more money for Halliburton and more TV footage of blowin' shit up, that's what... now, go watch a ten part series about some missing white girl while Dick 'dick' Cheney and his cronies rape your patrimony...
  • Furriners bought a bunch fewer US assets than prior months - Net Foreign Purchases (for May) fell to $67b from the previous month's $112b (and that was revised down from the originally-published $115b)... but it was better than the expected $65b;
  • Industrial Production for June grew by 0.5%, handily beating the consensus estimate (0.2%) and well above the -0.2% recorded for May. Capacity Utilization for June was 79.9% - above the consensus estimate of 79.4%; the prior month was revised up from 79.6% to 79.4%.

Fed minutes for June showed that some of the apparatchiki in the Fed Politburo think that rates will need to be raised 'very soon'; bear in mind that these Fed minutes date from June - before the Fannie/Freddie debacle - and bear in mind also that these clowns couldn't collectively find their arses with their own hands. 

The real hot-sauce for the markets was that the minutes mentioned that they apparatchiki had 'discussed' the extension of their Soviet-style rescue package for major banks (exchanging dud mortgages, at face value, for US Treasuries). In other words, their cronies on Wall Street will continue to benefit (after all, some of these Fed tossers will be looking for high-paid Street jobs after their tenures finish). 

That is what gave the good goose-grease to the banks and Financials (and added to the near-orgasm in Fannie and Freddie stocks).

Fed Open Market Operations

The Fed a single repurchase - a 1 Day repurchase totalling $ 7.0 billion, with a scant $495 million in Treasury-backed collateral, at a weighted average rate of 1.964%.

Headline Indices

Another day, another 300-point swing from low to high. This is not a sign of a healthy market, Dearest Reader - this could well be the equivalent of the uncontrollable spasms of a fly that has been sprayeed with [insert your favourite flyspray here]. I've written before that fly spray is about the most inhumane thing ever invented (apart from Dick 'dick' Cheney having fertile parents), since it is the equivalent of killing a man by making him spasm non-stop for about three years. {I admit - I use the stuff... bloody flies}

But back to the markets. As previously mentioned, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went nuts from open to close - it advanced 276.74 points (2.52%) to 11239.28 points. The index high for the day was 11244.17  a few minutes before the end of the session, while the low was 10918.33 set in the first fifteen minutes.

The S&P500 Index stacked on 30.45 points (2.51%) to 1245.36 points; the Nasdaq Composite shot up 69.14 points (3.12%) to 2284.85 points; and the Nasdaq100 gained 45.52 points (2.53%) to 1843.87 points. The index high for the day was 1844.54, while the low was 1786.06.

The CBOE Volatility Index lost 3.51 points (12.3%) to 25.03 points and the CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index lost 2.88 points (8.72%) to 30.13 points. The index high for the day was 33.07, while the low was 29.98.

NYSE Total Volume totalled 1.4 billion units - 1.1 billion in the 2525 stocks that gained for the day, while the losers numbered 917 and had aggregate volume of 254 million units. 22 NYSE stocks hit new 52-week highs, while 252 plumbed new 1-year lows.

Nasdaq Total Volume totalled 2.43 billion units. 2.2 billion of that was in advancing stocks (of which there were 2276) and 228.3 million units changed hands in the 686 stocks posting a loss for the day. There were 50 new highs and 248 new 1-year lows.

Major Market Statistics
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
Dow Jones Industrial Average 11239.28 +276.74 2.52%
S&P500 Index 1245.36 +30.45 2.51%
Nasdaq Composite 2284.85 +69.14 3.12%
Nasdaq100 1843.87 +45.52 2.53%
CBOE Volatility Index 25.03 -3.51 -12.3%
CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index 30.13 -2.88 -8.72%
NYSE Total Volume 6.7bn - -
Nasdaq Total Volume 2.43bn - -

Major Advancers in the Dow were

  • Bank Of America (BAC) +4.15 (22.41%) to 22.67 on volume of 186.7 million units
  • General Motors (GM) +1.64 (16.67%) to 11.48 on volume of 35.3 million units
  • JP Morgan Chase (JPM) +4.92 (15.86%) to 35.94 on volume of 69.9 million units
  • Citigroup (C) +1.91 (13.12%) to 16.47 on volume of 148.6 million units
  • AIG (AIG) +2.64 (12.79%) to 23.28 on volume of 37.2 million units

Major Decliners in the Dow were

  • Chevron Corp (CVX) -3.03 (3.39%) to 86.39 on volume of 15.2 million units
  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) 1.38 (1.68%) to 80.81 on volume of 36.3 million units
  • Procter & Gamble (PG) -0.06 (0.09%) to 63.89 on volume of 19.3 million units
  • AT&T (T) -0.03 (0.09%) to 31.92 on volume of 27.1 million units

Most Traded Dow stocks were

  • Bank Of America (BAC) +4.15 (22.41%) to 22.67 on volume of 186.7 million units
  • Citigroup Inc (C) +1.91 (13.12%) to 16.47 on volume of 148.6 million units
  • Intel (INTC) +0.2 (0.97%) to 20.91 on volume of 79.5 million units
  • Microsoft (MSFT) +1.11 (4.24%) to 27.26 on volume of 79.3 million units
  • JP Morgan Chase C (JPM) +4.92 (15.86%) to 35.94 on volume of 69.9 million units
Precious Metals

Precious metals futures advanced as follows -

Precious Metal Futures
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
Gold 959.7 -19.0 -1.94
Silver 18.790 -0.223 -1.17
Platinum 1921.5 -60.4 -3.05
Palladium 432.45 -11.20 -2.52

The Gold Bugs Index lost 5.08 (2.66%) to 190.78 points. Index volume totalled 78.1 million shares. Of the 16 index components, just 1 advanced, with volume in advancers totalling 5.8 million units. Every other index component fell, with total volume traded of 72.3 million shares.

Major movers in index:

  • Randgold Resources (GOLD), down 2.22 (4.07%) to $52.34 on volume of 1 million shares
  • Yamana Gold (AUY), down 0.61 (3.98%) to $14.70 on volume of 10.2 million shares
  • Silver Wheaton (SLW), down 0.57 (3.72%) to $14.74 on volume of 2.7 million shares
  • Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM), down 2.68 (3.54%) to $72.99 on volume of 2.2 million shares
Energy Complex

Energy futures performed as follows -

Energy Futures
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
Crude Oil 134.50 -4.24 -3.06
Heating Oil 3.8407 -0.0783 -2
Gasoline RBOB 3.2740 -0.1108 -3.27
Natural Gas 11.442 -0.035 -0.3
Ethanol 2.591 -0.008 -0.31

The Oil Services Index lost 3.55 (1.11%) to 318.46 points. Index volume totalled 88.9 million shares. Of the 15 index components, 2 advanced, with volume in advancers totalling 6.7 million units. All of the remaining 13 stocks in the indexfell, with total volume traded of 82.2 million shares.

Major movers in the same direction as the index:

  • Oceaneering (OII), down 2.8 (3.94%) to $68.30 on volume of 975 thousand shares
  • Global Industries Ltd (GLBL), down 0.51 (3.52%) to $13.97 on volume of 3.8 million shares
  • Nationall Oilwell Varc (NOV), down 2.74 (3.33%) to $79.53 on volume of 6.3 million shares
  • Weatherford (WFT), down 0.93 (2.31%) to $39.33 on volume of 11.9 million shares

The nine-stock group that makes up the Rant bellwethers advanced on average by 9.6%. The fallout occurred as follows:

  • General Electric (GE) up $+1.03 (3.86%) to $27.68 on volume of 62.38 million units.
  • Citigroup (C) up $+1.91 (13.12%) to $16.47 on volume of 148.55 million units.
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) up $+0.72 (1.28%) to $56.96 on volume of 26.35 million units.
  • IBM (IBM) up $+2.74 (2.22%) to $125.94 on volume of 7.18 million units.
  • Intel (INTC) up $+0.20 (0.97%) to $20.91 on volume of 79.5 million units.
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO) up $+0.06 (0.29%) to $21.10 on volume of 63.4 million units.
  • Google (GOOG) up $+19.5099 (3.78%) to $535.60 on volume of 4.72 million units.
  • Fannie Mae (FNM) up $+2.18 (30.83%) to $9.25 on volume of 97.78 million units.
  • Freddie Mac (FRE) up $+1.57 (29.85%) to $6.83 on volume of 129.22 million units.
Other Indices of Interest...

The Banks Index added 8.37 (14.73%) to 56.84 points. Index volume totalled 1.1 billion shares. Of the 24 index components, all advanced, with volume totalling 1.1 billion units.

Major movers in the index:

  • Wells Fargo & Co (WFC), up 6.72 (32.76%) to $27.23 on volume of 204.5 million shares
  • Washington Mutual (WM), up 0.92 (25.48%) to $4.53 on volume of 124.5 million shares
  • BB&T Corp (BBT), up 4.68 (23.61%) to $24.50 on volume of 12 million shares
  • Huntington (HBAN), up 1.05 (22.63%) to $5.69 on volume of 17.8 million shares

The Semiconductor Index added 12.68 (3.52%) to 360.08 points. Index volume totalled 288.8 million shares. All 18 index components advanced, with volume totalling 288.8 million units.

Major movers in the same direction as the index:

  • Altera (ALTR), up 2.33 (12.13%) to $21.54 on volume of 28.7 million shares
  • Taiwan Semiconductor A (TSM), up 1.02 (11.54%) to $9.86 on volume of 24.9 million shares
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), up 0.34 (7.2%) to $5.06 on volume of 23.7 million shares
  • Xilinx (XLNX), up 1.36 (5.7%) to $25.21 on volume of 15.1 million shares

The ChildKiller ("Defence") Index added 7.66 (2.19%) to 349.38 points. Index volume totalled 92.4 million shares. Of the 17 index components, 15 advanced, with volume in advancers totalling 86.2 million units. The remaining 2 stocks in the index fell, with total volume traded of 6.2 million shares.

Major movers in the same direction as the index:

  • Embraer Empresa B (ERJ), up 2.36 (8.66%) to $29.62 on volume of 1.1 million shares
  • Esterline Tech (ESL), up 2.14 (4.62%) to $48.50 on volume of 269 thousand shares
  • Gencorp Inc (GY), up 0.32 (4.29%) to $7.78 on volume of 218.3 thousand shares
  • Rockwell Collins (COL), up 1.8 (3.96%) to $47.27 on volume of 4 million shares

Currency Futures

Currency Futures
Index Close Gain(Loss) %
U.S. Dollar Index 72.310 +0.180 0.25
British Pound 1.9899 -0.0027 -0.14
Canadian Dollar 0.99780 +0.0010 0.1
Japanese Yen 0.95610 +0.0007 0.07
Swiss Franc 0.98310 -0.0043 -0.44
Euro FX 1.57590 -0.0064 -0.4
Australian Dollar 0.96550 -0.0043 -0.44
New Zealand Dollar 0.76410 -0.0001 -0.01