Looks like the market will open to the downside this morning – about 50 points worth on the Dow and even more – percentage-wise – on the NASDAQ.

There are plenty of explanations for why this might happen, not the least of which is people selling a bit now to pay some of the taxes that will be due on gains booked this year.  Or, it could just be that the fragile state of the economy is becoming apparent to a few people besides us.

That said, Richmond and Dallas Feds will be out with forecast reports as the morning wears on.  Plus, the usual last-Tuesday Housing data will come out tomorrow, presumably so Santa’s helpers can find their way back to less seasonal work…

(Continues below)

 

On the macro picture, Bitcoin has continued to hang out in the $15,000 region.  An early check showed it $15,400, but no telling where it will go from here.

There have been some stories about how a possible Bitcoin implosion could “spill over” into Wall Street, but time will tell (or not) on that score.

Still, Politics as Usual

With the economy posting pretty good gains, and with a tax cut due to show itself on pay checks shortly, you might be tempted to believe the Trump presidency was making it’s way out of the woods.

But, while there are stories around going into the possible problems for the Mueller/DoJ handling of the Clinton email story, the rest of the media coverage of Trump has been lukewarm at best.

To be sure, there are even some media outlet promoting the idea that Democrats are sure to stage a comeback in the 2018 House elections.

Here I thought the turkey was served yesterday.  Turns out, we will see flocks of them again next fall – all (and both parties) promising more than they can (or will) deliver.

The more things change, the more they…

Brother Alexei’s Footwork

While the US is trying to figure out the (democrat) allegations of Russian political influence efforts, we see a marvelous opportunity for “Turn-about’s fair play” in what’s going on in Russia’s upcoming election cycle.

The Russians have barred Alexei Navalny from running against Vlad Putin.  So we are reading how the European Union (no fan of Putin’s) is saying they don’t trust Russian elections as a result.

The difficulty, trying to sort all this out, is that the EU already has laid unequivocal claim that Russia should be part of the EU.  Putin, naturally, has other plans and believes in Russian autonomy.  Russian memories of The Great War still run deep and so is the resulting mistrust of things from Europe.

Meantime, one could be seeing some political refocus efforts in Russian military moves like this one:  Russian warships pass close to British waters over Christmas holiday, UK navy says.

Boys will be boys, eh?

Meanwhile, Russia is talking up a 13% income tax rate as one way to lure new business, a move driven by US sanctions biting hard…

When you sit back in the “soft focus” mode, you can see the problem for the do-nothing congress here:  On the one hand, they are easily led to “sanction Russia” so it could be seen as a reason why they have been so retarded on the Clinton-Russia relationship.  Don’t want to be seen, perhaps, as wanting it “both ways.”

Computers Never Lie

Tell it to this woman: “Woman gets $284 billion electric bill because the world is a cruel, cruel place.

OK, quiet morning till the open…’back for 40-winks before the workweek begins…

The Tripwires of 2018
Coping: Crooked "Holiday" Thinking