From the top of the heap:
The Fed Open Market Committee gavels in tomorrow morning, about this time. Which is a serious point of hype for markets. Consider for example:
- “Nothing Money” (Bitcoins, based on made-up numbers) made a run at the $45,000 level this weekend. But they failed and dropped under the $42.500 mark before the market open. Is BTC trying to tell us something?
- Earlier today, 98.4 percent of the CME Fed Watch tool participants were expecting no change. However, 1.6 percent (I don’t count) think that a rate increase (some additional hawkishness) may be in the wings. That would trash the market, but nothing is certain.
- Tomorrow morning, we’ll have the Labor Dept.’s latest CPI reading and the key number to watch will be the “All Items – Less food and energy” segment. Recently, the price of energy has been falling, but is it enough? We’re thinking not. The Fed is looking at core inflation and their target is 2 percent– not the 4-something we have been running.
Overall, we are in agreement with the Fed’s “higher for longer” outlook because the economy is just too damn hot for its own good presently.
As I underscored last week, if you look at the month-0n-month total civilian employment in the Labor Department database, there were 747-thousand more people working in the latest reporting month. Go to Bureau of Labor Statistics Data (bls.gov) and put in Civilian Employment.
There, you will see that since the dip in May of this year, the economy has (pay attention!) added nearly a million jobs.
Yes, it could be argued, but the headline hype-o-rama was “non-farm.” Oh yeah? So, half a million more farm jobs in, what month was it? See why news writers and columnists hit the sauce kinda hard?
Besides, with (where are we?) 16.87 million illegals in the country, why play the “non-farm” (and other qualifiers) game with the public Mind?
We are appalled the Labor PR folks printed “Employment Situation Summary – 2023 M11 Results with that +199,000 figure headlining. Don’t they read their own shit? There’s the lookup, maybe you can read better than the GS-15s.
Real employment was, almost certainly, not the measly 199-thousand made-up hype number (looking for lower rates) that financial shills and cons were spewing. See the historical numbers there for yourself. Don’t take anyone’s word about Reality, anymore. It’s gone, gone, gone…
Anyway, CPI tomorrow, Fed is likely to waffle again Wednesday, so they will talk a good game but not change anything major. Let the market fall where it will.
The Long-Wave Econ Nightmare
Gratis – our ongoing comparison of this economic cycle – the one with the ending-pending – looks like this:
The odds of the markets going on to new all-time (higher than Nov. 2021) levels, seems sketchy and remote to us. But, since we’ve taken a 40 percent gain in our own portfolio down to single digits by getting too aggressive on the downside, we’ll try to remember to be more patient waiting for collapse. It will be here…when it gets here.
If you’re marking up your calendar, this Friday is options, the one following will be
closed for Good Friday ERROR: Yes – we made one. Markets are open. I gotta clean my g;lasses@ (though we’ve seldom seen a really Bad Friday from this working man’s perspective). Monday the 25th is Christmas closing of everything.
Hats off early to USPS, UPS, and FedEx who will all be playing Santa on Good Friday. Well, except FedEx Express and Freight which will be on a modified schedule. Which they didn’t send us.
Not going well in the cold and snows of Eastern Europe. We assume you know the VDV’s are the vozdushno-desantnye voiska? The equivalent of our Airborne. So, when you read headlines in foreign news sources to the idea that Ukrainian soldiers: “Ammunition, finally!” – VDVs advance deep into Ukrainian defenses – They dispersed 10 strongholds with swarms of drones and artillery, we can assume Christmas will be a total shitshow in this part of the world.
Also bothersome: Biden to host Ukrainian president at White House on Tuesday: White House. But hold it, Bubba. Seems to us he has somewhere else to be. Like back home, fighting a war, right?
So, midst of Chanukah, are we? Does this sound like it? Fighting intensifies across Gaza, raising alarm over potential exodus into Egypt | Reuters
Meantime, the nose-counters are on outbound dialing missions: Most Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of Israel-Hamas war — CBS News poll. They didn’t call us, for some reason. We must be on a “poison opinion do not call list” somewhere.
Because we point out stories like “See the new U.S. high-water mark in political bullshit-speak?” Blinken says Israel’s ‘intent’ to protect Gaza civilians ‘not always manifesting themselves’. Yah think? Both the brain and the olfactories are offended in equal measure. We’re braced for a low profile Christmascide while attention is elsewhere, under the tree.
Yessir, we’re really into the Christmas Spirit now, ain’t we?
Tearing Down the Wires
Pom-poms for President! Haley Leads Biden By 17-Points in Possible 2024 Matchup, Trump Leads by 4: Poll – The Messenger
Cash to pops, anyone? GOP Chips Away at Resistance to Biden Impeachment.
Romney STILL doesn’t get it: Romney says he doesn’t see ‘any’ evidence to back House’s Biden impeachment attempt. I’d be pleased to share my eye doctor’s contact info. Maybe he needs “seeing things” help?
Money in Good Company: Parades payoff is the lesson? M & A News: Macy’s (NYSE:M) Receives $5.8 Billion Buyout Bid – TipRanks.com And by our calculations now, it will only take 8-1/2 Apple-sized companies to zero-out the U.S. Federal (*squandering) debt. Because? Apple could reach four trillion dollar market cap next year – analysts.
Around the Ranch: T-Shirt Monday
The Big Seasonal Change arrived as I got out of the shower this morning. Over my head went the Beefy-T. Warmth was around here somewhere and it was time to get with the season.
See, I have this theory that people’s bodies put on weight if they run body temps too cold during the winter months. Living on a west coast sailboat for over a decade (freezing my ass off, a good portion of that) I got used to throwing on a shirt (only) and getting-a-move-on. Not Wim Hoff but going that way.
Lately, I have been thinking that by operating too cold, I might be encouraging the body fat to transition from nice burnable white fat to yellow/brown adipose over winter. You know, like motor oil thickens up when it gets cold, too.
Thus, in the name of science, I am back into thick crew-neck T-shirts until March.
Quite a change of personal lifestyle, since in the corporate days, people would come into my office and ask, “You aging beef in here?”
Could be something else, though, perish the thought: Older people like things a bit warmer.
How Cold Was It? It was so cold that I experienced a “MIN-TEMP ERROR: Print bed failed to heat. Reset” error on my big 3D printer.
I’d been printing up nesting part boxes and was about to roll off some 5-compartment storage units when the error showed up. Turns out, 3D printers are not happy at 15C or colder, so I just have to wait until, oh, about noon today before it’s warm enough. Either that or move Printer Alley into the guest room, but that doesn’t sound like fun, either. Heat gun?
Reader Hank is applying to be my Seed Dealer: By mentioning that out on the Big Island in Hawaii he saw a Vanilla tree/bush seedling this weekend. It would be a dandy house plant, I figure. But too cold to ship this time of the year, so begging him to ship a couple is off until the Thaw.
Christmas Weather: Looks OK here. High of 62 and lows around 47. Still getting tomatoes out of the greenhouse, thanks to the Chineseum diesel heater which is putting along reliably as ever.
There’s something on a homestead I think of as “happy noises.” These include the various animal sounds (we will be doing chickens this spring). But other sounds are the thump of a diesel fuel pump for a heater (city-slickers know nothing of such matters). I’m still scheming to get a slow-speed Lister Diesel before that becomes a Class 1 felony with the stupid Houseplant/over-ride for p0ps’ administration.
Making Turkey Dinner: I did a pretty serviceable pot roast, ultra slow-cooked Sunday from about 7 AM to 5 PM. My follow-up gourmet cooking routine today? Clicking the Kroger’s site for a Christmas Turkey Dinner. Doing scratch, at home, and gobbling up all day in the kitchen doesn’t sound like a very good R.O.I. to us. Not when you can get extra stuffing, extra gravy, a couple of bottles of bubbly, and pie ala mode in 4-minutes of clicking.
Wait, doesn’t that circle us back to that pernicious thin layer of fat? And the T-shirt?
(ShopTalk Sunday is here. I’m off to attack the 3D printer with a heat gun. I can’t stand delays!)
Write when you get rich,