Early Dow Futures were showing the market ready to pop a further 80+ points to the upside today.  Yet, there may be a simple technical reason:  Options expiration is just ahead.  And lots of bears like to buy just out-of-the-money put options (that go up in price as markets come down) in the fall.

Yet,, in London, St. Louis Federal Reserve Chair James Bullard is not sounding very confident of what’s ahead.  In his presentation Insurance against Downside Risk for the U.S. Economy,” at the Monetary and Financial Policy Conference, this PowerPoint slide summed things up well:

One recalls at the last FOMC meeting, Bullard argued for a 1/2 point drop.  Today, with this “meeting by meeting” language, it seems the market would logically be a little more cautious.  Because here’s what Bullard sees ahead:

Doesn’t make me want to go long much of anything.

Bullard’s view, or not – bulls are still in control, at least for today’s open.  Partly because of better than expected earnings from JP Morgan and Goldman reports soon, too.

Early Dow Futures were +77 with :45 to kickoff.

Strategic Disasters?  Or Soft Coup?

International clouds are another reason not to trust this market.

For one, Turkey’s currency is going up despite the talk of US sanctions.  Details of the sanctions in Trump slaps new sanctions on Turkey.

As we read Turkey steps up Syria offensive in spite of Trump’s warnings, we also find the growing number of stories about U.S. nuclear weapons in the region concerning.  Air Force Times, for example rolls with “Turkey’s invasion of Syria, concerns mount over nukes at Incirlik.

What could go wrong?  The NY Times is blasting out to syndicated sites “Trump Followed His Gut on Syria. Calamity Came Fast. .

But, not so fast!  Did you see where “Russia’s military police patrol contact line between Syrian, Turkish forces: RIA?”  Maybe between the US and…

Oh, wait: U.S. ‘Hands Over’ Syrian City to Russia, Reports Say.  Uh…is there a real estate deal going on we didn’t get copied on?  And look:  Does this mean more Russian development coming to the contested eastern Ukraine area? Moscow Considers More Tax Breaks for Crimea…the head spins.

The More Reasoned View

Our .mil affairs whiz, warhammer,  is pretty skeptical of the anti-Trump hype around Turkey:

We’ve either read or heard news hype that up to 50 U.S. nuclear weapons reportedly located at Incirlik Air Base could be “held hostage” by Turkey.

A few things to keep in mind:  (1) The reporting is courtesy of the NY Times, which should never considered a reliable news source for any article aiming to cast shade on Trump; and  (2) all foreign positioned U.S. nukes, no matter where they are stationed, have plans in place to (a) protect them; (b) quickly remove them; or (c) permanently incapacitate them.

The only strategic issue of importance is the potential loss of 50 nukes in a volatile geographic area.  Believe it or not, these weapons are the ‘ace in the hole’ for preventing rogue attacks or coup d’état attempts on friendly governments, e.g. Iran messing with Israel or Saudi Arabia.  U.S. Navy ships and subs can fill the gap left by evacuating the weapons from Incirlik, Turkey, but defending ships or subs at sea can prove more complex than defending storage and launch facilities on land.  Consider that ships can be attacked by other ships, by airborne assets, or from ‘under’ the sea, while land locations can only be attacked by land or air.  So there’s an extra dimension that needs to be defended for ships, subs and their nukes at sea.

Rest assured that if or when Turkish President Erdogan decides to make a move for those U.S. nukes at Incirlik, those nukes will be ‘already long gone.’ (nods to the Eagles)

So, when a well experienced former B-52 oak leaf kind of guy says “we got it handled” one could (depending on how the coffee hits) kick pack and wonder is this isn’t just the latest burst of anti-Trump spew around Turkey.  Part of the ongoing “soft coup?”

Witch Hunting

Speaking of which: Here we go with another update on the national spectacle: Bolton reportedly tried to raise alarm over Giuliani involvement in Ukraine.

Remember:  This is the democrat’s private witch hunt, too, as a GOP lawmaker was booted from impeachment inquiry hearing.  Smell something rotten, yet?

Meantime, Kamala Harris continues to demonstrate why she’s not ready for the WH prime time as the story Kamala Harris: Impeaching Trump ‘shouldn’t take very long’ because ‘we have a confession’ makes the rounds.  Like most anti-Trumpers, Harris is selling the Ukraine phone call as a political action.  Trumps counter is he was going after corruptions.  Had anyone listened to the actual call, or read the transcript, there’s no “evidence” – and the real issue is the Biden boy dough.  Harris had got to feel desperate, what holding down fifth place for weeks…

Meantime, some meddlesome follow up: Belarus Detains Russian Accused of U.S. Election Meddling.

What to Miss on TV

Just in from our “remote bureau”  Be sure and miss the democrat debate on TV tonight.  Fight Club was more real.

Hats Off To…

Project Veritas’ alleged CNN whistleblower claims network is ‘pumping out propaganda’.  CNN’s pathetic dodge is clear in “CNN Says No One in Project Veritas’s #ExposeCNN ‘Sting’ Is a CNN Journalist“.

Oh? Didn’t like the report, huh?  CNN’s defense is utter bullshit, as I see it as a half-century journalist…

Save Reality!  Turn off CNN!

St. Jeff Takes on St. Wally & the Bentonville Elves

Credit cards at the ready? Walmart’s New Pricing Program Ramps Up Holiday Shopping War With Amazon.

We’ve had really good luck deal-sniping between the two.  Especially on electronics.

As of this morning, a Sceptre 55″ UHD was $239.99 with the Wally elves, while St. Jeff’s had ’em for a bit more than that.  Wal-Mart’s big plus is you can buy on line and locally pick it up..Amazon is a lazy one-click… decisions, decisions, eh?

Coinster Note

Interesting to notice in the Chinese press:  “Market speculators hold net short position of Bitcoin futures..”  Bitcoin was holding $8,284 this morning when checked.  Reports like the one from the Chinese may mean something to the untraceable money people in Hong Kong, for example.

Ever wonder how much BTC the CIA pushes around?  We sure do especially when there’s trouble in places like Hong Kong: Hong Kong Legislature to Reopen as Police Say Bomb Detonated in Escalating Violence.

And here we go again, mixing politics with sports as LeBron James Accused Of Kowtowing To Beijing By Calling Morey Tweet ‘Misinformed’.  (Is everyone an expert on everything nowadays?)

China has the same inflation problems of a capitalist country with 3 percent year on year being reported.  I’m not sure how China can get away with calling themselves communist with such accoutrements as inflation, interest, and private ownership, but again:  roll-your-own world.

French CPI was down 0.3% but as with all cost report, who do you trust with the accounting.

Interstellar Hype

With no more genders left to monetize (I think we’re up to 40-something in Canada based on the two basic hardware platforms (ins and outs) and all the software variants) so what better to monetize than the vast nothingness of space?

Well, here comes an Ex-NASA scientist says they found life on Mars in the 1970s.

Thing is, it’s a story about chemical reactions, not about breathable air, 24-hour disco bars and things like that.  Still, rather than continuing to monetize far too many idiotic news channels, maybe the Bezos’s and Branson’s of the world may be onto something with space exploration.  Until we run out of resources.  Or money.

Among the space geeks, “Today, it costs $10,000 to put a pound of payload in Earth orbit. NASA’s goal is to reduce the cost of getting to space to hundreds of dollars per pound within 25 years and tens of dollars per pound within 40 years.”

Chow call…more tomorrow for our  Peoplenomics.com subscribers…more here Thursday…  And don’t forget what to miss on TV tonight (ahem…)

george@ure.net

“The Suitcase Between Your Ears”
Phony Trade Deal & Crooked Markets