Doubtless you're all aware of the actions of heroic Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi - the chap who threw both his shoes at George the Turd. The lame-duck Brokeback Cowboy could do nothing except smirk - doubtless thinking "Get your laughs in, towel-head... your relatives won't be able to identify your corpse".
There were only two things wrong with Muntader's actions: first, he missed. Second, the shoes were not Raufoss .50cal HEAP as furnished by the business end of an M107.
The one thing that was achieved though, was to make Bush's attempt to shore up his 'legacy' look ridiculous. A few short years ago the Yank hierarchy were wanking themselves to near-exhaustion about how unipolar and hyperpowerful they were - how's that American Century goin' now? (As an aside... ever noticed how all the folks who were circle-jerking over hyperpower-ishness, are about 5-foot-5 or shorter? Not.Surprised.)
You may know, dear Reader, that your beloved GT is of the opinion that the US was, is, and will always be, useless at war unless their opponent has nothing more than pointy sticks.
In the two big shows of the 20th century the US turned up in the fourth quarter when everyone else was near exhaustion, and still would have lost WWII had it not been for the Red Army. Since 1945, the US has not won a show against anybody except Grenada.
They're like the French since Agincourt.
The French pattern of surrender goes all the way back to Vercingetorix ... their only lasting 'away' win was at Hastings in 1066, which lay the groundwork for the English language, among other things.
Heckuva job, Normans.
Contrast two European tribal leaders who took on Rome. Vercingetorix (French) with Hermann (German).
Herman the German massacred three legions (the 17th, 18th and 19th) at the battle of the Teutoberger Wald in 9CE. He sent Varus' head as a gift to a rival king. Augustus Caesar screamed to the heavens upon hearing the news. Rome never held any territory within Germany for longer than three years.
Vercingetorix... well, apparently the best you can say about him is that he "surrendered in magnificent fashion", and apparently threw his weapons at Julius Ceasar's feet "with a flourish". France became part of the Roman Empire.
So Vercingetorix was just a loser with a flourish... in the Anglo-Saxon world that would not be considered as something for which you erect a statue.
If Hermann had lost he would not even be remembered - but he didn't lose. And right there is the difference between the Teutonic ethos and the Gallic. The Teutons did not try to pretend that losing didn't matter if you did it with flair.
Anyhow - as I was saying: Shrubbie's 'legacy'. Bush has been touring Iraq and Afghanistan - as the Rude Pundit said "like a rapist trying to get the semen stains out of the carpet before the DNA is found".
Mutander's act of defiance and outrage has ensured that Bush will slink into retirement humiliated.
Then, it is to be hoped, someone will send a team to expose Bush to the same 'justice' as the Israelis use on troublesome Palestinian political leaders (and their children, and the children of anyone in the vicinity); Cheney ought to get the same treatment.
If the global economy melts down to the extent that I envisage, it is pretty clear that governments will, after a time, be unable to afford their massive apparatus of internal repression. At that point, anyone who has tried to have a career as a government goon is going to have to keep their head down or their throat will be slit.
Think "Post-Revolutionary France"... how do you reckon things panned out for the guys that ran the king's terror networks?
The NY Fed's Empire State Index ticked downward slightly to 25.8 (from 25.4 last month) - better than the consensus for a drop to about -27. big deal.Industrial Production fell 0.6% - consensus was for a fall of 0.8%; capacity utilisation was down to 75.4% - slightly worse than the 75.6% consensus guess.
Interestingly, Net Foreign Purchases (of US assets) was a paltry $1.5 billion - down from $65billion aa month ago.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index (DJI) dipped 65.15 points (0.75%) to 8564.53 points. The index high for the day was 8676.28, while the low was 8469.03.
Anybody who thinks that sentiment is bearish ought to look at an intraday chart. At 3:34 p.m., the Dow spiked from 8469 to 8599 - 130 points - in five minutes and three minutes after the spike it was at 8625, for an overall move of 150 points in under 10 minutes.
You can't get that sort of move when the mood is bearish - bears are skittish at the moment and will cover shorts pell-mell on the slightest whiff of news. In other words, bears do not think they 'have the field'.
Total volume traded in the 30 components of the index was 835.88m shares. Decliners outpaced gainers by 2 to one, with 20 decliners to 10 advancers. Declining volume was greater than advancing volume by 710.97m to 124.91m shares. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- JPMorganChase (JPM) -2.31 (7.5%) to $28.63 on volume of 51.42m shares;
- Bank Of America (BAC) -0.82 (5.5%) to $14.11 on volume of 81.63m shares;
- American Express (AXP) -1 (4.9%) to $19.34 on volume of 14.66m shares;
- Citigroup (C) -0.3 (3.9%) to $7.4 on volume of 101.33m shares; and
- AT&T (T) -1.05 (3.7%) to $27.13 on volume of 42.43m shares.
The S&P500 index (SPX) declined 11.16 points (1.27%) to 868.57 points. Total volume traded in the 500 components of the index was 3.4bn shares. Decliners outpaced gainers by 4 to one, with 389 decliners to 97 advancers. Declining volume was greater than advancing volume by 2.56bn to 794.99m shares. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- Developers Diversified Rlty (DDR) -0.99 (17.4%) to $4.7 on volume of 5.83m shares;
- Liz ClaiborneInc. (LIZ) -0.39 (11.9%) to $2.89 on volume of 1.46m shares;
- Qwest Communications Int (Q) -0.37 (11.8%) to $2.77 on volume of 27.28m shares;
- CB Richard Ellis Group (CBG) -0.48 (11.8%) to $3.6 on volume of 6.44m shares; and
- Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) -5.09 (11.3%) to $40.07 on volume of 1.74m shares.
The Nasdaq Composite declined 32.38 points (2.1%) to 1508.34 points and the Nasdaq100 dipped 24.78 points (2.05%) to 1181.87 points..
Total volume traded in the 100 components of the Nasdaq100 was 770.52m shares. Decliners outpaced gainers by 7.1 to one, with 85 decliners to 12 advancers. Declining volume was greater than advancing volume by 693.24m to 67.96m shares. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- Sears Holdings (SHLD) -5.09 (11.3%) to $40.07 on volume of 1.74m shares;
- Flextronics International (FLEX) -0.21 (9.5%) to $2 on volume of 21.71m shares;
- SanDisk (SNDK) -0.9 (9.1%) to $9.02 on volume of 6.51m shares;
- Lamar Advertising (LAMR) -1.05 (7.7%) to $12.56 on volume of 0.96m shares; and
- Lam Research (LRCX) -1.59 (6.9%) to $21.43 on volume of 4.28m shares.
The CBOE Volatility Index added +2.48 points (4.57%) to 56.76 points and the CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index advanced +2.80 points (5.39%) to 54.71 points..
Breadth and Internals
A total of 3896 issues traded today on the NYSE; today's total volume was 5bn shares. A total of 1098 stocks posted gains for the day, and volume in advancing issues totalled 1.51bn shares. Exerting downwards pressure on the index were 2722 losers, which accounted for a total declining volume of 3.47bn shares. 10 stocks made new 1-year highs on the NYSE, while 122 shares plumbed new 52-week depths.
On the Nasdaq 2999 tickers traded today; total Nasdaq volume was 1.65bn shares. A total of 723 stocks posted gains for the day, with aggregate volume of 206m shares changing hands in the day's winners. The red zone of the Nasdaq exchange comprised 2135 losers, and total declining volume was 1.36bn shares. 5 Nasdaq-listed stocks hit new 52-week highs, while 100 shares dipped to new 1-year lows.
|Major Market Statistics|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||8564.53||-65.15||-0.75%|
|CBOE Volatility Index||56.76||+2.48||4.57%|
|CBOE Nasdaq100 Volatility Index||54.71||+2.80||5.39%|
- General Motors (GM) +0.14 (3.6%) to $4.08 on volume of 27.6m units
- United Technologies (UTX) +0.81 (1.7%) to $49.63 on volume of 8m units
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) +0.56 (1%) to $57.81 on volume of 12.9m units
- Coca-Cola (KO) +0.4 (0.9%) to $44.97 on volume of 10.2m units
- Procter & Gamble (PG) +0.42 (0.7%) to $59.36 on volume of 12.2m units
- JPMorganChase (JPM) -2.31 (7.5%) to $28.63 on volume of 51.4m units
- Bank Of America (BAC) -0.82 (5.5%) to $14.11 on volume of 81.6m units
- American Express (AXP) -1 (4.9%) to $19.34 on volume of 14.7m units
- Citigroup (C) -0.3 (3.9%) to $7.4 on volume of 101.3m units
- AT&T (T) -1.05 (3.7%) to $27.13 on volume of 42.4m units
Most Traded Dow stocks:
- Citigroup (C) --0.3 (3.9%) to $7.4 on volume of 101.3m units
- Bank Of America (BAC) --0.82 (5.5%) to $14.11 on volume of 81.6m units
- General Electric (GE) --0.16 (0.9%) to $16.95 on volume of 63.6m units
- Microsoft (MSFT) --0.32 (1.7%) to $19.04 on volume of 59.3m units
- Intel (INTC) --0.16 (1.1%) to $14.59 on volume of 57.8m units
Precious metals futures advanced solidly -
|Precious Metals Futures|
The Gold Bugs index (XAU) rose 4.38 points (4.05%) to 112.62 points. Total volume traded in the 16 components of the index was 155.95m shares. Advancers outpaced decliners by 15 to one, with 15 advancers to 1 decliners. Advancing volume exceeded declining volume by 152.14m to 3.81m shares The biggest gainers (percentage-wise) were -
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) +0.54 (11.9%) to $5.07 on volume of 10.91m shares;
- Silver Stand Resources (SSRI) +1.32 (11.7%) to $12.59 on volume of 1.36m shares;
- Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) +3.33 (8.5%) to $42.31 on volume of 8.01m shares;
- Pan-American Silver (PAAS) +1.08 (7.8%) to $14.85 on volume of 2.35m shares; and
- Yamana Gold (AUY) +0.41 (6.7%) to $6.54 on volume of 25.1m shares.
Energy futures were weak - no matter though.
The Oil Services index (OSX) rose 1.67 points (1.36%) to 124.16 points. Total volume traded in the 15 components of the index was 93.47m shares. Advancers outpaced decliners by 4 to one, with 12 advancers to 3 decliners. Advancing volume exceeded declining volume by 82.31m to 11.16m shares The biggest gainers (percentage-wise) were -
- Schlumberger (SLB) +1.71 (4.2%) to $42.81 on volume of 10.82m shares;
- Smith International (SII) +0.75 (3.2%) to $24.33 on volume of 3.58m shares;
- Nabors Industries (NBR) +0.37 (3%) to $12.55 on volume of 7.53m shares;
- Baker Hughes (BHI) +0.61 (2%) to $31.08 on volume of 4.91m shares; and
- BJ Services (BJS) +0.2 (1.8%) to $11.26 on volume of 6.34m shares.
Currency futures are playing out precisely as ordained - EUR continues to show strength, as does $A... And Yen threatens to break 90. Amazing.
|U.S. Dollar Index||82.875||-1.405||-1.67|
|New Zealand Dollar||0.5466||0.0061||1.13|
The nine-stock group that makes up the Rant bellwethers declined on average by 0.8%. The fallout occurred as follows:
- General Electric (GE) -0.16 (0.94%) to $16.95 on volume of 63.58m units.
- Citigroup (C) -0.3 (3.9%) to $7.40 on volume of 101.33m units.
- Wal-Mart (WMT) +0.08 (0.15%) to $54.71 on volume of 16.67m units.
- IBM (IBM) +0.57 (0.69%) to $82.77 on volume of 8.81m units.
- Intel (INTC) -0.16 (1.08%) to $14.59 on volume of 57.79m units.
- Cisco Systems (CSCO) -0.15 (0.88%) to $16.84 on volume of 39.93m units.
- Google (GOOG) -5.09 (1.61%) to $310.67 on volume of 6.69m units.
- Fannie Mae (FNM) +0.02 (2.86%) to $0.72 on volume of 22.16m units.
- Freddie Mac (FRE) -0.02 (2.7%) to $0.72 on volume of 8.39m units.
Other Indices of Interest...
The Banks index (BKX) lost -1.76 points (4.08%) to 41.43 points. Total volume traded in the 24 components of the index was 414.9m shares. Decliners outpaced gainers by 22 to one, with 22 decliners to 1 advancers. Declining volume was greater than advancing volume by 405.66m to 9.25m shares. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- JPMorganChase (JPM) -2.31 (7.5%) to $28.63 on volume of 51.42m shares;
- US Bancorp (USB) -1.91 (7.4%) to $23.93 on volume of 15.95m shares;
- Capital One Financial (COF) -2.01 (7.1%) to $26.11 on volume of 9.61m shares;
- National City (NCC) -0.13 (7%) to $1.73 on volume of 19.26m shares; and
- Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) -0.51 (6.5%) to $7.31 on volume of 8.6m shares.
The Semiconductor index (SOX) declined -3.72 points (1.75%) to 209.22 points. Total volume traded in the 18 components of the index was 190.22m shares. Decliners outpaced gainers by 5 to one, with 15 decliners to 3 advancers. Declining volume was greater than advancing volume by 171m to 19.22m shares. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- Sandisk (SNDK) -0.9 (9.1%) to $9.02 on volume of 6.51m shares;
- Micron Technology (MU) -0.17 (8.2%) to $1.9 on volume of 12.51m shares;
- National Semiconductor (NSM) -0.5 (4.3%) to $11.03 on volume of 6.35m shares;
- Novellus Systems (NVLS) -0.5 (3.8%) to $12.53 on volume of 1.84m shares; and
- KLA-Tencor Cp (KLAC) -0.71 (3.3%) to $20.49 on volume of 3.97m shares.
The ChildKiller ("Defence") index (DFX) declined -3.9 points (1.57%) to 244.04 points. Total volume traded in the 17 components of the index was 99.02m shares. Decliners outpaced gainers by 7 to one, with 14 decliners to 2 advancers. Declining volume was greater than advancing volume by 89.5m to 9.51m shares. The main decliners (in percentage terms) were -
- Gencorp (GY) -0.23 (7.4%) to $2.88 on volume of 0.37m shares;
- Esterline Tech (ESL) -1.65 (4.5%) to $34.96 on volume of 0.27m shares;
- Embraer Empresa (ERJ) -0.43 (2.5%) to $16.57 on volume of 1.03m shares;
- Lockheed Martin (LMT) -1.94 (2.5%) to $75.86 on volume of 2.97m shares; and
- Teledyne Tech (TDY) -0.94 (2.4%) to $38.24 on volume of 0.33m shares.