These two developments hardly seem like a good reason to get up at oh-dark-thirty on a semi-holiday morning, but I’ve never been a particularly smart fellow, when comes down to it…

By about lunchtime, despite the electronic markets being open, in the surviving brick and mortar stock and bond joints, you should be able to roll bowling balls down the halls at 2 PM without hurting anyone.

On a more advanced planet, people would figure out that if everyone leaves early to “beat the traffic” they cause the very problem they’re trying to avoid. Which is why I always recommend making it a five (or 9) day weekend if you can…

That kind of thinking gets us around to the little matter of job security – and what the national picture looks like. So (hot off the server) of the Labor Department:

”Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 151,000 in August, and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in several service-providing industries. Household Survey Data The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in August, and the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent for the third month in a row. Both measures have shown little movement over the year, on net. (See table A-1.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent), adult women (4.5 percent),teenagers (15.7 percent), Whites (4.4 percent), Blacks (8.1 percent), Asians (4.2percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) showed little change in August. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.) The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 2.0 million in August. These individuals accounted for 26.1 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.) Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.8 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 59.7 percent, were unchanged in August.

Dow futures up about 60.

Trade deficit also improved:


Since it is such a quiet morning, no point in getting into the long-term decline in the critically-important labor participation rate and other indicators of American Collapse. We’ll save that for readers tomorrow.

For now, your lack of attention (while staring nervously at the clock) is noted.

The other financial item of possible interest is that Ures truly has entered what is (around here) a massive triple-levered. No-brainer S&P 500 ETF short position. Like Texas Ho;d ‘em, we have gone all in on this ‘un.

Investing has always been like gambling, but with the addition of a calendar and news flow.

On the calendar, we know that historically September and into October has usually worked out to be the annual “Financial Turd Month.” Meaning things often go down. That alone would be enough to think about shorting.

But the other thing differentiating this from Hold ‘em is the news flow.

When we have had serial so-so news for a while, I get feelings like “Something has to gone wrong…” It usually does.

That’s not a hard prediction to make, but here are some of the factors:

The Global Index – which you would understand if you read Peoplenomics regularly – has gone flat-line. A couple of other indices are waving warnings, too. Including the trend channel of the S&P in the (admittedly odd) way I look at charts.

Then there is the global news flow. Other than the first Hurricane hitting Florida in 11 years, and the silliness of the presidential bidding war, there’s hardly anything new which offers directionality.

Trump coming up in the polls will scare the markets at some point because while the republicans are painted as the party of the rich, one has only to look at names like Buffett, Soros, the Kennedys, and so on, to see that such assertions are BS.

Designed to get you thinking you’d better vote for dems, which is why most of the Big Money People in NY and elsewhere seem to be closet democrats. They’ve done well in closets, lol.

Mental acuity is not spreading as fast as Zika, as the data leads us to understand.

Topping things off, I had an odd dream the other night. Seemed to involve a fire in a brick building (second floor) and something like 65-75 people were killed. I remember (in the dream) the fire department PR people showing up and me (whoever it was in the dream) asking them what was the cause?

For some reason I figured it would be carbon monoxide. But the female PR lady said no, it was (quite oddly) “the white death” and I had no idea what that meant.

I spent a good bit of yesterday trying to figure it out, but it seemed to be something related to arson/terrorism/club. Since the scene was like in the US in a big city, I began to wonder what a series of coordinated attacks would do to the confidence of the markets next week…

Gut check says we are due for something, not just from the dream. But from the entire spectrum of decision influencers.

Rotten decrease in Productivity hasn’t sunk-in yet – but I tell you, if I ran a business today I would ban cell phones in the workplace except for emergency calls. Facebook and the whole social scam is a non-productive time-sink and why employers don’t fire people for posting from work astounds me.

I figure it this way: If an employee is posting crap on Facebook, they are working for Zuke Markerberg…not me. So they don’t get to be on MY clock – and being paid by MY COMPANY (the employer) to underwrite their compulsive need to draw unjustified (and largely unwarranted) attention to themselves.

Which leads us into the whole discussion of the Decline of Achievement – which is running rampant in ‘Mercia, in case you hadn’t noticed. This is a huge national attitude-gap that no one in the District of Corruption seems to notice. Too busy losing emails, the way I figure it.

Fools on the Hill are similarly unable to notice that the National Debt Hit $19.5 Trillion. WTF?

To be sure, energy prices are good, although every now and then you can spot something like “Oil prices will be ‘sloppy’ even if OPEC curbs production, analyst says… But facts are facts: The Saudis have a lot of mouths to feed which require oodles of money.

Been meaning to mention that of these days, some offshoot of the royal family may get a wild hair and try to overthrow things to push the kingdom more into the Wahhabi way of doing things. No, no particular insight, it’s just how the breezes seem to be blowing in that part of the world: Power centers are firming their spheres of influence. Hardening of the extremes.

Back to present moment: We have things changing just like the weather. It’s the future arriving and it is about as unstable as any air mass you’ll find. (Hmmm… leads us to…)

The Blow Handle

From the NatWxSvc:

“The National Hurricane Center continues to track Hermine (Florida) which will move north-northeast on Friday. Heavy rain, flash flooding, strong winds and rip currents are expected. In the Central Pacific, Lester continues moving west-northwest towards Hawaii. Read More >…”

Where is President Useless?

Past Midway? Now we get into the politics. When I read how the Clinton campaign [is] to propose consumer response team to monitor drug price hikes, I get out the ViseGrips and give myself a good squeeze.

If she’s so all-fired on this idea, why in heaven’s name didn’t she mention it to the Golfers-in-Chief who’s her good buddy – and make it happen already??? This making up good ideas ate SALE TIME sucks and evidences a lack of foresight.

To be fair, this is what political hacks do: They set up empires and promise more, later.

Later never gets here. Or, haven’t you noticed?

Also in politics:

BIAS ALERT: Hero ex-cop’s political T-shirt too much for CNN – BIAS ALERT: NY Times reaches for Weiner-Trump comparison.

And in the Transaction (which used to be an election) we see who’s raising the big dough to buy the office: Hillary Clinton hauled in $143 million in August, her best month yet.

Not Just Spacecraft….

…that are blowing up: Tech Giant Samsung Pulls New Phone Over Exploding Batteries. Meanwhile, Google is giving up on its plans for a modular phone.

Assorted Filler News

Since I ran a news operation for somewhere north of a decade, I can tell you from experience that holiday weekends are a bitch when comes to content. You have reporters who want time off to spend with fam & friends. But balancing off their needs is the little matter of broadcast minutes to fill.

In newspapers, same problem: You have to have some minimal amount of content to get people to read all the ads.

The solution is “filler” stories. Stories that kinda/sorta sound like “news” but when analyzed it’s really like someone re-wrote Hints from Heloise. See our Coping section this morning for an example.

Here are a few candidates:

Everything We Know About Sony’s ‘PlayStation Neo’ So Far.

Valedictorians so scary that school may stop honoring them – Purdue kicks off semester with free speech training.

A bit more seriously:

U.S. retailers warn of shipping crisis as holiday shopping looms.

Still, as the holiday weekend unfolds, here’s a Google News search to bookmark, lol.

Pillow Checking

Word that World’s oldest fossils found in Greenland has me thinking I should take another of the world’s oldest fossils and use it to hold down my pillow.

If you can’t take a nap on a Friday like this one, you’re never going to take one at all