I suppose, in keeping with our main purpose in Life, namely injecting some economic sanity into the global consciousness, we should start with the Challenger Job Cut report:

36,957 Job Cuts in February

The shortest month of the year saw a decline in layoff announcements, as US-employers announced plans to cut 36,957 jobs in February, 19 percent fewer than the 45,934 cuts announced in January, according to the latest report from global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Last month’s total was 40 percent lower than the 61,…

The rest of the day’s economic news mainly the import-export prices just released:

“Prices for U.S. imports advanced 0.2 percent in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, led by higher nonfuel import prices which more than offset lower fuel prices. The February rise in import prices followed a 0.6-percent increase the previous month. U.S. export prices rose 0.3 percent in February, after advancing 0.2 percent in January.

Imports All Imports: Import prices rose for the third consecutive month in February, increasing 0.2 percent, after a 0.6-percent advance in January and a 0.4-percent rise in December. The increase in February was driven by rising nonfuel prices, unlike the previous 2 months when higher fuel prices led the advances. The price index for imports also rose over the past year, increasing 4.6 percent. That rise was the largest 12-month advance in import prices since a 5.1-percent increase in February 2012.

Exports All Exports: Prices for U.S. exports advanced 0.3 percent in February and have not recorded a monthly decline since the index fell 0.8 percent in August. In February, rising prices for both agricultural exports and nonagricultural exports contributed to the overall advance. Export prices increased 3.1 percent over the past 12 months, the largest over-the-year rise since the index advanced 3.6 percent between December 2010 and December 2011.

With these out of the way, we’re back to the same task as every other morning around here: Trying to call the market this way, or that.

In Elliott Wave terms, it looks to me like we are in a pause – a kind of Elliott iv of the larger III – something we will delve into more for subscribers to our Peoplenomics.com reports.  You may have never seen a happier group.  Since the market call made by our Oscillator, the Dow is up 12% since November 11th.

What this means to people looking for a little leverage is that if you participate via a triple-levered ETF you might wrap up about a 35% gain.

What I’ve gone over on the Peoplenomics side is automated – best I can – the process of deciding whether to be long or short the market.  Humans are fine – when they’re right.  But a numbers-based trading approach seems to work as well.

Main problem with humans in the investment mix is this::  They run on a split decision basis between facts and fictions.

A John Cassidy column in today’s New Yorker asks a favorite question:  “How Long Will the Trump Bull Market Last?”

He doesn’t give the obvious answer we have provided so many times:  183 days.  The same as from Herbert Hoover’s taking the Oath on March 2, 1929 to the All-Time-High (until then) on September 3, 1929.  At least that long.

Then he touches on the Fed Interest rate discussion and admits that raising rates can cause the stock market to chill, but not all the time.

To understand this point, let me review how ultra long-term economics works:

today chart

This is what the 10-year US Treasury has done since 1950, or so.  The area of the declining black line represents about half (or a bit less) of an economic long wave.

Since the peak back then was 1981 and since the Fed  is finally raising rates, we can estimate that the economic Long Wave is no longer in the 48-64 year range postulated by Nicholas Kondratiev, but rather something much longer.

It’s axiomatic in technical analysis that stocks, bonds – commodities – you name it – tend to drop about twice as fast as they ran up. 

When we apply this kind of thinking to a 36-year decline in bon ds, we begin to wonder if an economic long wave of as much as 108 years isn’t possible?

Colleagues, however, make an interesting point:  Maybe I missed the idea that we might be looking for two K-wave cycles. 

It’s an attractive notion, to be sure:  That would put the first K-wave peak in 1977, or so.  We have to give is a firm “maybe.”

Still, historical data suggests that Depressions happen when government begins to raise rates, as they did in the spring and into mid summer of 1928.

Money being fickle (did I mention faithless, too?) it will flow to wherever the highest yields are. 

What I’m fairly confident in is that if the Fed raises next Wednesday, the market will suffer a small short-term pullback (or maybe not) and then we will really be off and heading to the moon in stocks

We’ll get into some targets this weekend for our Peoplenomics readers, but the ultimate upside for this market could well be over 30,000 which is just a mind-bending number to contemplate.

Top picking is not a well-regulated art – and like that thing you sit on, everyone has one.

Cassidy’s article deftly says what the market tells most people:  Maybe the Bull will keep running, or maybe it won’t.

It we are in a small iv of III, we should have one more good-sized run to the downside.  With III done, four down will either be the End Times Trumpets, or it will herald the beginning of the last-run for generations.

We’ll just have to sit and watch the number and not be panicked by doom porn into doing anything stupid with our money.

Does Anything Else Matter?

While it is marginally interesting that an “Obamacare revision clears first hurdle in House committee early Thursday,” the reality is neither you or I are voting on it, so why waste time reading about it?

A True Believer might claim “We could call our congressperson and raise our voices and….and….”

Hasn’t worked before, has it?  The definition of insanity is doing stuff that doesn’t work – repeatedly.

Ditto the “Source of the Latest WikiLeaks Document Dump Appears to Be CIA Contractors: US Officials” say.  But since it wasn’t you and it wasn’t me…who cares?

I don’t have any cameras in our bedroom and we use the Amazon Alexa voice features so I seriously don’t care who hears what I say in my own home. 

Besides: Elaine and I never talk seditious talk anywhere but on the south 16, and only then with a radio blaring and faces shielded from lip-reading and with snipers on  over-watch and cottonmouths patrolling the creek bed….

(You don’t really believe that, do you?  Only the cottonmouths part is true…)

Madness on Bordering

Must be something in Hawaii’s drinking water as “Hawaii Sues to Block Trump Travel Ban; First Challenge to Order.”

If Hawaii is nuts, Vermont may be on the road to recovery as a Syrian refugee backing “Mayor Blames Refugee Plan on Defeat.”

I will return to eating Vermont syrup if this keeps up.  Bounce Bernie and I’ll eat Vermont syrup 5-days a week…not until, though.

Hype Shuck and Jive Department.

As “Rutgers students walk out of class for ‘Day Without a Woman’ protest” two thoughts came to mind.

The first is the university employees who participated should all be fired for abandoning their jobs.

Second point iis the students should be required to do make-up work.

Yeah, sure, let ‘em protest all they want – but on their own time and in ways that don’t cheat the paying customers who went to school for an edujmacation. 

The right to Free Speech doesn’t entitle anyone to trample the rights of others, which in the Rutgers case, is getting the education that was paid for. 

Someone out to sue the school for breach of contract for crap like this.  Maybe some Berkeley student will grow some stones, too…ah, no, what’s the point.

Markets are set to open flat to down a tad.  I don’t know why they are following my carefully crafter statistics, but I’m a patient guy.