Options, Moods, and Markets

We see by the early futures that the odds of the market dropping 140 points at the open are better than the odds of remaining governor in Virginia.

The technical problem for the market next week is simple enough:  At the time of our January options settlement the Aggregate Index was hovering around 22,681.  As of the early futures today, our Aggregate is  around 23,180.

It’s axiomatic that  the BTFD crowd shouldn’t get too rich, too fast, so a decline into next week is certainly a possibility.

Regardless, there’s not much going on in finance today except for the Consumer Debt report due out from the Fed.  But not until the moment the markets close.   That should be an interesting number based on there being a shutdown (likely #1 of 2, in our view).  If the number if weak then the market decline might speed up.

Our own plans involve reading the Fed report right when it comes out and maybe doing an after-hours trade…we shall see.  BTC’s at just over $3.360 early on.

The bigger problems for the economy haven’t changed.  There are still trade talks, a mess in Venezuela, and all-told its barely enough to keep us awake.

Still, the Wall Street Journal is beginning to “lean a little Trump” seems to us, as they out the democrat’s soak-the-rich schemes as a route to control the “means of production.”  Bloomberg has some of the play-by-play over here, but we have to laugh when the self-righteous get blowback.  Perhaps there’s balance in the Universe, after all?  Are we seeing a transition from democrats to cannibals?

No, they’re still republivores as Trump accuses Schiff of ‘unlimited presidential harassment’ amid new probe.  Are we surprised?  It all plays as a distraction from?

Other Imploding Democrats

State of Virginia is in an upheaval because so many top democrats, governor, lt. gov, and attorney general, are all being outed as what? Oh, either claims of sexual assault or racisms.

The NY Post Page 6 headline “Virginia is for Losers” was nice.

Which gets us back to reminding you that both political parties are foxtrot-uniformed – it was just this time the democrats got swept up in it.

But What Really Matters?

Well, hidden right in plain sight is the implosion of the Internet and the complete re-ordering of media.

On the movie lots,  see Anxiety, AWOL Executives and “Bloodshed”: How Disney Is Making 21st Century Fox Disappear.

And in the media note how New York Times subscriber numbers are skyrocketing in the Trump age .  Which,, we note, is based largely on a daily front page load of mostly non-stop Trump-hating.  Which, as we see now, really does sell papers.

And did you see where “Microsoft Partner ‘NewsGuard’ Removes Daily Mail from News Blacklist?

So are we headed for a return of Yellow Journalism?  I mean, the idea is to make money at all costs, right?  When we made up a list of media outfits and profits, seemed to us like the biggest revenue gains were claimed by the most anti-Trump.

But no only are the studios and papers in an emotional breakdown, but t here’s a few of the current deal points leading to the breakdown of the Internet:

“NYPD to Google: Stop revealing the location of police checkpoints.

Big Telecom Sold Highly Sensitive Customer GPS Data Typically Used for 911 Calls.”

And a John Nolte column points out what a miserable job of fact-checking the “fact checkers” are doing.

A quick foray into Google Trends reveals the internet is in a slow-motion fade…

No, the internet is not going away, but it’s fading into ubiquity. The “platforms” are still there, but the renegades and start-ups?  Find those on social and video platforms. Regardless, the decline in searches for “Internet” is interesting…

See,  the Internet doesn’t fix much.  In fact, piece out in Gizmodo today says “1 in 20 people have suffered unbearable pain” because of the net.  Not unexpected to those of us who have passed the speed limit with our ages, but yeah, there was a world once without online threats, intimidation, name-calling and revenge porn. ISYN.

Even more interesting is that the Internet is about to become a barricade for historical revisionists.  Flickr will start to purge shortly.

And it’s justice delayed in Akron where an Internet outage has taken down municipal court.

None of this surprises us:  Hoola Hoops broke and so did CB Radio.  So will social until someone invents the software/online equivalent of a gun.

As Forbes  revealed  in one of Life’s grander ironies: “Google Reveals A Big Problem With Passwords On Safer Internet Day.”

In my younger days, I would rage on for considerably longer and tell you this will all be fitted-together, jigsaw-like, in my coming book Broken Web – II.  But today?

Screw it.  I keep talking shorter columns…maybe it’s time. Breakfast and a nap sounds a lot more productive.

We’re going from a low of 72-degrees last night here at the ranch to 34-degrees tonight.  Weather and breakfast, in the end, mean more than all that filler online and what air-heads slop-up as “news” on the channels.

Moron the ‘morrow.

 

35 thoughts on “Options, Moods, and Markets”

  1. I am a product of the 50’s who grew up iin Buffalo, NY & I don’t remember seeing black painted faces even at Halloween. Was this a Southern tradition? It wasn`t because of a lack of racism, which could be seen as blacks moved into white areas & the whites fled to the suburbs.

    • I am with you ECS..
      We never seen anything like that at all.. I was raised by parents that taught us that there’s good and bad everywhere.to treat every one with respect and how you would want to be treated.

    • Except for Bill Robinson and a few musicians (who got to play “real people”), Black actors didn’t appear in credited on-stage roles of major theatrical productions until after WW-II. Instead, the “theatre community” had “Black” roles cast to “White” actors, who would then paint their faces with burnt cork or lampblack. The roles given these actors were usually as stereotypical, naive, unsophisticated, and stupid or uneducated foils, for racial jokes. The “blackface” thing began with the Klan in the 1870s, and went away after the war, but was revived in parts of the Northeast and South in the 1970s — a social whiplash effect to the Black Power movement, as it moved radically left from MLK’s vision of equality, to the Panthers’ vision of Black Superiority and “kill Whitey” rhetoric. During the Klan revival of the same period, blackface KKK “productions” were common from Maryland and West Virginia, south, down the coast to northern Florida. The “racial problems” of the Virginia Governor and AG may stem from attendance at these Klan rallies, similar college frat productions, or nothing more than an incredible display of stupidity, in the vicinity of someone with a camera.

      Frankly, I don’t care. I see it as Democrats playing the game of “politics of personal destruction,” and finally getting a dose of Karma from the poison they’ve sewn amongst the voting public over the past quarter Century or so…

  2. Is this the beginning of the Feb correction? Corrections are fast & furious, so once it starts you have less time to react. But the good news is the market upside is not over until URE INDEX 30,000. So you can just wait out the correction & add to your positions at better prices. That is called stocks in strong hands.

  3. RE: “the internet is not going away” – I couldn’t agree more. Consider the new and popular catchphrase, the internet of things, aka IoT. Increasingly, all devices are becoming interconnecting via various managing services, which connect devices into a network of systems, and systems are connected into systems of systems.

    Controlling the lights, temperature and audio/visual entertainment in one’s dwelling are example of connecting home features into a network. Taking this one step further, similarly managed systems are being interconnected into larger networked systems, and those are similarly interconnected, etc. For example, soon, utilities, cable companies, communication companies and the government have massive amounts of systems data instantly available via the managing system of system’s apps.

    The IoT is important because, as Bob Metcalfe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Metcalfe) sees it, “the value of a communications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected, compatible communicating devices.” In other words, the more devices (and humans) that are connected, the more valuable the network (refer to George’s “everything is a business model”).

    The ‘cloud’ plays heavily into the IoT, wherein the ‘cloud’ is any network connected information repository readily available for accessing stored data as close to real time as possible. The IoT isn’t just ‘cloud,’ it’s envisioned as a solid ‘cloud deck’ covering everything important to the user with critical information readily accessible upon demand.

    WARNING: whoever gains unlimited access and, perhaps one day, total control of the ‘keys’ to IoT will gain tremendous influence, impact and wealth. Think of Amazon and Google as being small pieces of the overall IoT. Connect them all and I don’t think we have a word that can yet describe what will emerge.

    Personal, corporate and national security all present various obstacles to IoT growth and potential societal (versus monied or political elite) benefit. But the web is being steadily subsumed by the IoT, for better or for worse.

    • I would advise all readers to take anything warhammer says about the internet as bankable, Gospel. While he is too modest to mention it, fact is he’s one of America’s sharper spears on the bleeding edge of cyber defense. That’s something whose strategic value we can not underestimate. Thank you for your service, WH…

      • Thanks, George. But you know far more about the bits and bytes of the internet than I do.

        And Clawsy, “Brazil” just makes me think of 90 degree temps and Caipirinhas (their national drink)!

      • “Former Python Terry Gilliam is nothing if not a grim fantasist – a wild-eyed dreamer who deeply distrusts systems and offers underdog protagonists a way to navigate them, even when escape seems impossible. This is most apparent in his 1985 dystopian classic Brazil, certainly one of the most fascinating and compelling depictions of Orwell-esque sci-fascism ever put to screen. Just like his fellow Pythons, one of Gilliam’s recurring targets is bureaucracy — specifically the inherent inability of impersonal systems to account for or contain the sheer unpredictability of humanity. Three decades after its release, Brazil is perhaps his most masterful example of this thesis and a film that deserves to be remembered for decades to come…”

        Boring in spots, frustrating in places, and highly-recommended. It has been a part of my Dystopian library as long as 1984 and THX 1138.

      • George having been a reader of yours for some time, I have always had the impression that you have a following of several Warhammer types. Think thats why I tune in everyday.

    • I suppose I’m a bit of a Luddite. I’ve worked with the net in various forms since the ’80’s and have total respect for its insidiousness. When I first heard of IoT and its “promises” I was alarmed. Who needs an internet connected light bulb? Convenience(if that) at the expense of security? WTF!

      I have zero wifi enabled in my main router or any internet connected computer. Anything intended to get to the greater internet is filtered through firewalls and then connects via cabling. Not enough, but better than nothing. I may use wifi type signals for other things that are less critical, but those systems never connect to the internet. Any connection to the net is a connection from the net to me. When you look the devil in the eyes, the devil looks back. Spyware that was once prized by the letter agencies is now available to everyone. We not only have low/no security operating systems and data sucking apps, but every modern machine or phone has an IME or equivalent. Whether or not that IME is ever used is unknown. I doubt I have much to hide relative to many, but we never know what criteria exists for snooping, or its intent.

      GPS and location awareness are such today that I feel violated every time I use, or even carry a cellphone.

      Privacy once breached can never be regained.

      • NM – I have 1 internet connected light bulb in a lamp. I can control it with Google Dot or Echo Dot & it has been a great hit with the grandkids. At Christmas, I used it to control my Christmas Tree lights. Now I have the lamp turn on at 7:30 pm & off at 10:30 pm for no good reason. It has been a lot of fun, but I am easily amused. I still use a laser temperature gun to check the temp in the house. My life is full.

  4. One interesting future revelation that is going to go hand in hand with the Internet of Things &`AI revolution is biotechnology. I have never been a big biotech fan because of the lack of earnings & high valuation, but it is going to be a great place for gains. One stock is Codexis CDXS which is nearing proitability. As with any biotech stock, it can be very volatile & is extremely speculative because the FDA is involved & their future can disappear overnite.

    Biotechs have been very profitable sometimes in the past, but we are at today & that is all that matters.

  5. Amazing Polly on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC-fb5X3luw did a deep dive into so-called fact checking organizations and found them all funded by a handful of foundations including Google, Soros Open Society, Gates Foundation and several others. In other words the same group that is controlling the narrative in the mainstream media. Whenever you see “fact checking” read “censorship”.

    • This has been obvious for a while, but thanks for finding a reference to share with our less thoughtful friends.

  6. How will the housing bubble and student debt bubble keep going? Here we go –

    Ask the Underwriter is a regular column for HousingWire’s LendingLife newsletter, addressing real questions asked to, and answered by, professional mortgage underwriter, Dani Hernandez.

    Question:

    I’ve been hearing about a new cash-out refinance program that is designed specifically for paying off student loan debt. What is the difference between this “student loan cash-out” mortgage and a traditional cash-out refinance? How can I market this to my borrowers?

    Answer:

    How it’s always been done…

    Traditional cash-out refinances have always allowed you to cash in your home’s equity by refinancing your primary mortgage and walking away from closing with a check to use on other expenses, such as costly home repairs or to pay off credit card and student loan debt. However, lenders add a premium to the mortgage rate on a standard cash-out refinance (also called a loan level price adjustment). So, using the equity in your home to pay down student loan debt meant paying a higher interest rate on the full balance of your mortgage loan. The rate increase on a cash out refinance varies from .125% to 1% higher than a non-cash out.

    https://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/43330-ask-the-underwriter-what-is-a-student-loan-cash-out-refinance

    Student Loan Solutions

    https://www.fanniemae.com/content/faq/student-loan-solutions-faqs.pdf

  7. Interesting side note about technology. A company that takes photos for the real estate industry said that a month ago they did a totally automated photo shoot on a completely wired, automated home where a remotely controlled drone flew to the location, directed the door to open, flew in took interior pictures and of course exterior pics and overhead shots. Then through a code had the door shut itself ( the same way it was opened) and flew away. Now, not all homes are high tech like this, but it was a test to show how in the future, this could be a reality.

    We are close. My home is pretty much automated from my door locks to all the lights and security systems…and a Rumba that roams my house during the day. Now, new appliances are now all wired as well. IoT is here already.

    • Scary…
      A friend of mine sold his house out east. Using Google earth you could take a trip up and down the street check out the neighborhood and do a complete walk through of his home..
      Considering all of this information is stored on the cloud and available to everyone.

    • Of course things were better in in 1959,the change didn’t come until the election of Reagan in 1980 ,and its been downhill ever since for that’s when the government became known as corporate America and that’s not going to change until they crash the empire,and no Trump is not going to be the one to bring the house of cards tumbling down, for he will only add to it with a trillion or two added to the debt every year until he gets the boot…

    • We were also paying off two wars and building the National Defense Highway System.

      This was from back in the day when the U.S. Government paid its actual debts, instead of inflating the money supply to garner itself a 90% discount on them…

      • Mr. Ure, Thanks for this effort everyday.. Do you get increased income, if the links for ads are actually clicked?? If yes.. I for one would be happy to click ten times each, everyday.. to get you a pittance for the value you provide us, as a forum… (I still wouldn’t buy any of the stuff advertised, just on general principles)

      • Yes, but never do for money – just follow you heart when it calls. I’m not about scamming anyone.

  8. george, you are like a fine wine because i can tell you are aging,ie shows.i,m 77 fighting cancer,fifth year and you should keep pushing and harder

    • With the grace of God I will…and thank you, JTG are in our prayers every week. We are never tested beyond our ability to cope – slim solace in that – but playing a bad hand is a major feature of this ‘er ride.

  9. The Dow still hasn’t broke thru its last high of 25,680, so it still doesn’t look like the trend has changed to bullish.

    • would you feel better if I told you 3% on a 3-hour short side trade today>? But it has cost dearly (in the thousands) to get all this dialed in. Now to make it all back, aye, that’s the rub…

      • I gave up trading because I wasn’t very good at it (& It is too time consuming), but I did sell all my Apple & Google & went half into chip stocks which have been doing well lately, & am holding the other half to invest after the next correction & then wait for URE INDEX 30,000.

  10. Amazing you are blocked at my work!!!!!! Drudge, Brietbart, Citizens free press, as well as Fox, CBS, etc, Not blocked. I didn’t know your content was so bad.

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