Our spider sense about not being short this (pig of a) market over the weekend will apparently pay off this morning. As the early futures were showing the market ready to pop a bit higher at the open.
Biden as Eastwood?
Farfetched? But go with me on this, because sometime the clearest views of the future spring from free ranging your analogies and enjoying the results.
We had already explained that the “end of the World” aspects of this, while they could be sadly real in the long-term, were too quickly brought to a boil last week. We need some simmering time. But, while we wait for Hollywood to get its labor act together, I thought paraphrasing reality into movie script terms would be useful.
Guns Blazing, Cowboys to the Rescue!
The Outlaws are holed up in caves somewhere and calling out threats. (Iran trying to deploy weapons in Syria to open new war front: Israeli official).
The last town from which the outlaws hit is also emptying out (Israel Latest: Army Says Hamas Officials Dead; Over 600,000 in Gaza Flee South.)
A nearby two is being threatened by the white hats and black alike as the divisions in the town grow. (Iran trying to deploy weapons in Syria to open new war front: Israeli official”
Meanwhile, the Outlaws are holding hostages the white hats must rescue. (Israel confirms 155 people being held hostage by Hamas.)
Already, though, a posse is forming up and ready to ride out after the Outlaws if they pick up their trail in the wrong places: (Pentagon orders second carrier strike group to region as Israel prepares to expand Gaza operations.)
And so, as our story reaches its crescendo, we see Joe Biden, desperately reprising a Clint Eastwood western, getting ready to saddle up to have it out. The townsfolks are talking it up. Israel-Hamas war: Biden considers Israel visit after Netanyahu extends invite.
Will the (mock) hero of this world-ender action flick ride out East where the Outlaws are holed up? Will he come in guns blazing? Or, will this be a scouting mission – get the lay of the land kind of thing?
Tune in tomorrow morning, for the next exciting episode of
- The Pale Rider flies Air Force One!
Yes, fresh from his Ukraine war flick, Fistful of Dollars (with his son, the Outlaw Hunter Wales) also appears in For A Few Dollars More…
Which is still playing in some theaters. More – the Sequel. Biden to push Israel, Ukraine aid package over $2 billion this week.
Meanwhile, outside of Xi’s Chinese Theatre, crowds are becoming unsure of whether that new action-adventure will ever premier. Opinion | To Avoid War, the U.S. Must Both Deter and Reassure China. We can see this one is still a coming feature release as The Army is planning for a conflict with China—including shoring up blood supply – Defense One.
Word is – in that upcoming movie – Slow Joe will reprise the Dirty Harry role of Eastwood. Which then leads into a remake of Big Trouble in Little China….
By the way, notice how no words on China wanting a side-conference in November in San Francisco and how Clint…I mean Biden hasn’t gotten a call-back? Fame is fleeting.
We can hardly wait for what Biden’s handlers cook up for his next role. Got your Rotten Tomatoes ready?
File this under “Playing Cowboys and Idiots.”
For now, oil on the water is front burner as reassurances reign. US can support both Ukraine, Israel thanks to unmatched global power, Biden says / The New Voice of Ukraine (nv.ua). unmatched power or money-printing, perhaps would be more accurate.
By the way the real Mr. Eastwood is 93-years old. As huge fans, we wish him many more happy years and thank him for his valuable contributions to America.
Enough future-gazing, let’s get down to reality, ‘K?
Empire State Manufacturing Data
No doubt, this will be used by market shills to shift blame for weak markets off the (looming) Middle East sequel.
“Business activity edged lower in New York State, according to firms responding to the October 2023 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline
general business conditions index fell seven points to -4.6. New orders fell slightly, while shipments were little
changed. Unfilled orders declined, and delivery times shortened. Inventories held steady. Labor market indicators pointed to a slight increase in both employment
and the average workweek. “
After the data. Dow futures were holding around +150.
A couple of Fed Heads on the rubber chicken circuit will be the scrying material for the week. Which has options expiration just ahead. U.S. Treasury yields: Investors consider economic outlook (cnbc.com)
Don’t forget about retail sales and Fed industrial production data tomorrow. Will today with a “buy the rumor” ahead of these, or a “sell the news, buy the story” event? With bated breath, we’re reminded to floss while waiting.
Hint: The dollar was down to 0.948 Euro earlier. Which means it will take more of (weaker dollars) which could make it (appear) prices are going up. But since there is only so much money in the world at any one time, it’s really CGI does Vegas played on trading platforms…
Debris Field Inspection
Collateral damage from the horror flick now showing. Illinois man charged with hate crime in fatal stabbing of 6-year-old Muslim boy. We somehow suspected it wasn’t done out of love or admiration…
Ecuador to become a “banana Republic”? Daniel Noboa wins Ecuador’s presidential runoff election : NPR Banana fortune family.
China’s economy is on the skids: China’s Economy Is Going Bust. That Should Terrify US Businesses. (businessinsider.com). Here in east Texas, we don’t need to look to Asia for our terror. Looking at D.C. is always enough…
Is the “Age of Going National” in retailing going away? We have been flooded with online pharmacy pitches, even though we take damn few meds. But with online retailers and new online delivery systems, is this how the Web eats more bricks and mortars in times ahead? Rite Aid files for bankruptcy amid slowing sales, opioid litigation.
Oh look!! An exciting new game in the casino! Yahoo NEXT: Exploring music royalties as an alternative investment at 10 a.m. ET. Which sure seems like gambling to us…But I’ve only been in radio professionally since 1966. Still, keenly aware of how music tastes change over time. Would I bet on music royalties? (Go ahead, take a guess…lol.) Whenever I hear of “investments” like this I wonder “If this is so damn lucrative, WHY are they sharing with me??? “ (Ding! Ding! Ding! Winnah winnah chicken dinnah…)
Other Theatrics of the weekend: It’s a fitting celebration… but oh Madge, isn’t it time you grew up? SARAH VINE reviews Madonna’s Celebration Tour. May be useful to know what snogging is.
Important Healthcare Tip!
Open enrollment for Medicare time is here. It’s time to go shopping for what’s out there in Medicare this year and get the changes in place for next year. You can research moving your plan around until December 7th. That’s when things lock.
If you’re new to all this “aging crap” a visit to Medicare Open Enrollment | CMS will answer some of the basic questions for you. Big financial impacts are possible if you get it wrong.
We’re planning to stick with our AARP Medicare Advantage plan. We are happy because our total out of pocket for Elaine’s two total hip replacements was under $8,000 – and that’s including the copays for physical therapy and such.
But even if you are happy, do take the time to use the online plan finder tools and go through the comparisons. Figure out who the best healthcare provider groups are in your area, and make sure they are in the Medicare plan you chose.
As a “process map” the steps to consider (that we follow) might include:
- Review of any existing plan (and changes for 2024). Did you love it? Was anything missing?
- Consider your present health and Health Outlook. *
- Look over all the other plans for your area:
- The Basic Coverage differences.
- Emergency and ER charges, air lift, medic units?
- Quarterly non-scrip meds, dental, vision?
- Other included benefits **
- What’s the plan drug list?
- Specialist referrals?
- Know which providers you prefer.
- Confirm if provider of choice accepts your plan’s doctors etc.
- Compare everything ***
- Finalize plan changes before Dec.7
*Think long and hard about your present health, how you think your personal future will work out. Then toss in a medic unit ride and an ER visit, or two. Car accident ringer, maybe. Pencil ’em out and good luck.
** Included benefits can mean things like gym memberships and specialized therapies. We considered a plan that had a gym membership but don’t use that benefit because a) there’s enough workout having a home and b) gyms are “iffy” to use because Covid is still out and about. If we were 40 and vaxxed maybe. But at 65, getting to the gym may not be fun. Besides, at 75 & 81 (for us) and non-vaxxed? Um….er…NO! We suspect that Other People Cause Aging and Death. So, we avoid ’em!!!
*** This is a very good time to remember that like buying insurance, you want to strike that balance between your “dream future” and a reasonable “expected reality.” Picking a plan is like going to Vegas, in the sense you never know what will come for you at any time. This is a serious wager you’re about to make.
Be guided by UrbanSurvival core beliefs. (OK, they’re odd…) Mainly, the best way to live Life is not for maximum gains but instead shoot for minimum loss potential. Remember next year at this time we told you “Must be present to win” applies if you’re planning to play the 2025 round… (We are.)
It has become more complicated doing a good annual review. Last year our plan sent out prepaid health cards and that nearly zeroed our dental out copays, as well. Good luck with it. Line up and activity a day – ask questions early and remember most people treat business decisions like idiots and wait until the last possible moment to make decisions.
Then somehow get surprised when they make bad decisions.
Remarkable, isn’t it?
Take the steps, two days for each, and you’ll be done ahead of the herd with a well thought out plan.
Around the Ranch: Instant Outdoors
(If you missed ShopTalk Sunday, click here)
I almost didn’t get out of bed this morning. We put in an “instant outdoor patio” this weekend. Not very big, about 10 by 15 but the work involved in putting in this, plus 15-feet of fence… I’m telling you, when you get to be this close to 75, there’s all kinds of new experiences of aches and pains from this kind of workout to look forward to.
We’ll do pictures (and construction notes) next weekend on ShopTalk Sunday. But the answer that matters is “No, we didn’t fly drones or do The Sunday Gourmet thing. This was a working weekend.
Our consigliere will be done for Thanksgiving, which has become something of a tradition. We compare notes (and take the world temperatures) as things go to hell in a handbasket. Usually assisted by a good sipping single malt.
Weather in the outback is off to a cool start. with lows into the mid 40s and a high (if you can call it that) of 66.
By the weekend, though, temps will be back into the mid 80s with lows in the mid-60s. Which explains our penchant for outdoor work.
Best done in the narrow channel between sweat and heat exhaustion in the too-hot summer and frostbite in the winter.
The heat pump kicked on again this morning. Which means the light-up of the 20 kW auxiliary resistance heating won’t be more than a few weeks off.
But that’s how life works: Hot and Cold – with trips to the bank for either case.
Write when you get rich,