The US stock market did a whole lot of nothing again last week…or worse than nothing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped nearly 400 points to 10,303 â€“ plunging the Blue Chip average back into the red for the year. The Dow is also in the red for the last five years…and the last ten years.[Read more...]
Another day, another dismal performance on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average coughed up another 96 points yesterday â€“ increasing its loss for the yearâ€™s second quarter to a hefty 1,082 points. In percentage terms, the Dow fell 10.0% during the quarter that just ended, which was only slightly better than the S&P 500â€™s 11.9% shellacking.[Read more...]
After yesterday’s manic rally, the major US indexes opened down a bit this morning. Earlier, the Commerce Department reported consumer spending “unexpectedly” stalled in April – the first time since last September the numbers didn’t go up. Incomes rose, and so did the savings rate.
Of course, this is a good thing in the long haul. We need savings to rebuild a healthy economy. But in the credit-addled mind-set of Wall Street, the mighty consumer who drives 70% of the economy isn’t doing his part to support “the recovery.” The Dow sits at 10,205 as we go to print.[Read more...]
While we were seated in the auditorium of the Reagan International Trade Building for the 2010 Fiscal Summit yesterday, fear and loathing swept the globe.
Today? Not so much. The scare from Greece’s downgrade? It’s so yesterday. The euro has bounced off its one-year low of $1.31. European stocks are up, too.[Read more...]
Last week, we went to a bootmaker in Salta. The old man showed us a pair of red boots.
“Here, try these on. I made them for a big norte-americano like you.”
We put them on. But they were a tad too large. Then, we saw the initials on the order form.
“Who are you making these for?” we asked.[Read more...]
“Like politicians?” asked our friend, Michael. We couldn’t help but laugh. “Yes,” we answered. “Just like politicians.”
Your editor occasionally spends his Saturday afternoon helping a Taiwanese friend with his English. Our friend manages a large retirement fund here and, as with many professionals in the developing world who interact frequently with western business people, Michael is tireless is his pursuit to improve his second language skills. Part of this past weekend’s lesson was devoted to explaining the word “parasite.” Michael, as you can see, is a fast learner.[Read more...]
When will the de-leveraging bust resume?
When we stop worrying about it.
This afternoon, we realized that deep down, our feelings had changed: we had stopped worrying about a resumption of the bear market.
Not that we’ve stopped thinking about it. We think about it every day. And we’re sure it’s coming. But we have stopped worrying. No matter what we think, we feel that somehow this will work out okay…we’ll be all right. We’ll stumble along…[Read more...]
The US stock market advanced yet again yesterday…for the 15th time in 18 trading sessions. Share price gains have become so routine that share price losses have become a distant memory. Sure, stock prices could fall in theory, but not in practice. At least that’s how it feels today.
But memories are short…especially investment memories. So let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane. The Dow’s 103-point advance yesterday lifted the Blue Chip index to its highest level since September 26, 2008. On the very next trading day, September 29, 2008 the Dow plummeted 778 points and shifted the financial crisis into high gear.[Read more...]
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has quietly ballooned back to near-record highs. The Fed announced yesterday that it’s balance sheet expanded to $2.22 trillion last week, it’s grossest level in nearly a year and just a hair from an all time high. Hmmm… if Mr. Bernanke assures us the recession is “very likely over,” then why is the Fed balance sheet in crisis mode? What are they worried about? Here’s the answer:[Read more...]
The price of gold fell $15 yesterday, to close below $1,100. We expected a correction in the gold market. But we thought it would come along with a correction in the stock market. Stocks rose 85 points on the Dow yesterday.
We take this as a warning: something is going on that we don’t understand. That said, there’s a lot going on that we don’t understand.[Read more...]