Markets Post-Paris: Stable Yet Uninspiring

(Las Vegas, NV)  The big story this morning will be how global markets react – or don’t – to the outrage in Paris late Friday.

As you can read in the reports out this morning, the French have conducted 150-some raids and have arrested a large number of people.  And it all seems to have calmed markets a bit – with the French market about even, so far.

We do notice a few domestic oddities,  like the break-in this weekend at an Army Reserve training facility in Massachusetts.  No inventory details on what was taken but oh, my, how quickly terrorism is downplayed.  Logically, there’s no way to know that, but for the press?  They gobbled it up.

The U.S. market futures are up fractionally, so if some terrorism funding group was trying to make a killing (financially) on the killing (literal), it may not work out.

At the big picture level, we may be in a decline to lower levels to come this year, but there are times when an emotional releasing event – like Paris – can be a very interesting item to consider as we weigh what is ahead for markets.

In the large picture, we have been completing three waves up since the market lows in 2009.  From there, leg one of the rally was from 2009 to late 2011, which we can label (1).  Then we had a decline which would be the (2).  Then a hell of a run to the top of (3) until a few months back.  then we declined in a series of movements that still holds as a I, ii, iii, iv, of the larger (4) and we are likely somewhere around (5) with a I done with this possibly being a ii. 

We would expect a iii to follow, then a bounce, and lastly,. a final decline that should still get us down to the 1,860 (or so) level on the S&P.

But it will be hard to call precisely because we see so many cross-currents to this market.  The best we can do is look at the numbers as they come in a process that is very much like golf.

You go out, hit a ball (analog:  make an investment) and then swing (some time) at it.

If it lands on the fairway, it’s equivalent to beating inflation by a bit and if it lands “in the rough” then it seems you may have lost a little money.

It has little to do with the meaning of life, which is largely egoic and ambition-driven once you’ve got enough to eat and a place to call your own.

Meanwhile:  The Idiots Continue

Reports that the G20 promise to do more intelligence-sharing but that they are still not changing positions on Syria (hence refugees) is taken around here as evidence they may not be as much brains as people in the world.

At the seasonal/mind tripping margin, we have noted the G20 is in Turkey – which means an early Turkey dinner.  Yet another subtle timing matter, yet subliminally important.

Political Spillover Runneth Over

To begin with, governors of two states have decided to stand up to the Obama administration which is trying to stack Syrian refugees into the United States.  Then there is the presidential side of things…

Donald Trump approval is up to 42% – and he notes that France is very, very anti-gun and gee, don’t you suppose a few armed citizens might have reduced the body count?

Then there’s Ted Cruz who makes the point that you-know-who in the White House doesn’t seem particularly driven to defend America.

With Marco Rubio waffling on immigration policy, the GOP (lobbyist bottoms) are lining up to pimp Rubio

I’m thinking that we could rename the White House the Waffle House, but the brand is taken…

Meantime, on the other side of the aisle, the political money bag was non-responsive to the question “ Was Isis under-estimated?”

Let me see here:  Clinton can’t take responsibility for Benghazi, email server crimes (which the FBI is still working as an active case) and now, can’t take responsibility for a lot of the serial policy screw-ups (and mis-assessments)  that have unraveled that part of the world.

I’m doing my damnedest to look surprised, but failing miserably.

Teeing Up the Week

We have the Empire State Manufacturing Report from the NY Federal Reserve.

The November 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity declined for a fourth consecutive month for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index was little changed at -10.7. New orders and shipments also declined, although at a slower pace than last month. Price indexes suggested that input prices increased slightly, while selling prices were slightly lower. Labor market conditions continued to deteriorate, with survey indicators pointing to a decline in both employment levels and hours worked. Indexes for the six-month outlook were little changed from last month, and suggested that optimism about future conditions remained tepid, even though employment is expected to increase.

Charts and details here.  Futures are only down 17 on the Dow side, so no one cares, apparently.

Tomorrow is the biggy – consumer price data.

Housing starts Wednesday and Leading Indicators Thursday, all leading into Friday, which except for the KC Fed manufacturing report, will be eminently worth skipping.

End of the Road for Corporations?

There’s a very thought-provoking piece out of Deutsche Bank.  It says – in so many words – that the current slowdown in international trade could be a leading edge and events could continue sliding for years.

Baltic Dry Index is down to 560 and the Harpex Container Index is down seriously, too.

To put some numbers to it:  The Harpex was running an index of 1,400 plus in 2008 and dropped down to 275 in the 2009 wash-out.  It has rallied since, but has been steadily cropping since the recent high of 646 and is down to 389 as of this morning.  Bunch of charts over here.

Super Hotel Chain

Marriott is acquiring Starwood Hotels which will make for the world’s largest hotel chain.

Apparently, my getting off the ranch to travel is having world-changing impacts…

I kinda like the name Marwood Hotels which would sound better that Starriott.

To Run or Mud?

That is the question, isn’t it?

Congrats to the new son-in-law for finishing the 24-hours of the World’s Toughest Mudder this weekend , here in Las Vegas.  Coveted black headband for him.

Meantime, 45-thousand registered for the ever-so-more-tame Rock n Roll run here, as well.

We studiously looked up from the slots at the Mudders and runners.

9 thoughts on “Markets Post-Paris: Stable Yet Uninspiring”

  1. If the U.S. would pull out of the Mideast, we would save trillions and the refugee crises would end.

    But then the pipeline would not get built through Syria.

  2. HA! HA! HA! George,

    The French are really taking the war on ISIS or ISIL seriously! The 150 raids were within France, not Syria. What did they do in Syria! Why they took 12 jets and dropped 20 bombs on a half a dozen locations with intelligence provided by the US. Now that shows determination doesn’t it? Oh, what did the Russians do when they arrived. They attacked 284 locations in three days without intelligence from the US. Maybe the writers ran out of digits when they were writing the French article. What do you think? Just because the CIA created ISIS and ISIL doesn’t mean anything when you’re trying to get everyone on a war footing. Looks to me like the CIA could just cut off the supply line to ISIS and ISIL and it would all be over and done with, but then again you wouldn’t have the people of the world uniting on any given topic.

  3. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
    92 people were killed on the roadways of the U.S. each of the last few days, 30,800 fatal crashes during the year.

    Yet 150 in Paris is major news. People are terrified that they might be next, yet have no fear of jumping in their car. This is the difference between truth and belief.

  4. I heard Marriott International Inc. was a chiness company as of about 6 months ago or so. Our maybe china controlled

  5. George,
    Awhile ago you predicted/suggested that an electro-terror event may take place around Nov. 14. Could the Paris attack fulfill that projection?

  6. “I kinda like the name Marwood Hotels” reminds me of a few years back when Fairchild Industries tried to merge with Honeywell. Deal got scrubbed when they wanted to name the new company, Fairwell Honeychild.

  7. George – The missing weapons sounds like an inside job. I was in the Army for 40 years and worked for them (concurrently) for 26. As a Unit Administrator and Facility Manager of a Brigade HQ site, I can personally tell you that stuff like this just does not happen out of the blue. If Johnny Jihad is involved, I will be most amazed. No, this is just another example of how stupid some folks can be. The key here is the forms of security involved in securing weapons. Outer combinations, inner combinations, security keys…Inside job.

  8. I totally agree. I have similar experience. There’s no way for this to happen. You can’t break into the storage area without explosives or at least without making a hell of a mess.

    If they’re stolen it’s an inside job. Somebody that had the access codes and the keys. Also, access to those storage areas are monitored remotely. You have to call ahead and notify them before you open the vault. They WILL start calling people if the vault is accessed and a notification wasn’t made. Also, all access is automatically logged down to whose code was used to open the door.

    The alternatives are the weapons weren’t stored in the vault as they should have been and they just ‘walked off’. I’ve seen that happen.

    Other scenarios are that the weapons were turned in for maintenace or transferred to another unit, the person who did the turn-in/transfer has moved on and the paperwork is lost. That happens a lot, too. I’ve seen a lot of commanders get stuck with the bill for missing equipment that had probably been properly turned-in but the paperwork got lost.

    I’m glad I’m not invovled with that circus.


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