We continue to ponder events to come. Spiced with fresh data this morning including layoffs and first-time unemployment claims. But first, a quick run to the whiteboard to lay out how “Partial Truths” work and why a focus on them is critical. (And a marker huff, lol…)
Going into the three-day weekend (for some) may other items loom, of course. Including the Good Friday employment data from the Feds. And then there’s the growing tensions in eastern Europe. We’ll get to these in a sec.
My first mission this morning is to first remind you that illusion is rampant and clarity missing in most of America.
While the shills and touts of Wall Street bang home the “miracle message” the fact remains: When equal-dollar weighted, as we do in our Aggregate Index, the market as STILL not equaled the Aggregate high water mark of February 12.
Our Aggregate closed Wednesday at 35,848.75. But back in February, we stood at 36,365.73.
We have seen this kind of discontinuity in recent times. In the wake of the disastrous melt-down of the Internet Bubble (2000-2003) the financial community ignored horrific losses in tech. Instead, focusing on single and more saleable numbers to hoax a gullible public.
We stand (with some additional upward, pre-holiday happy-talk) ready to notch a possible double-top for the market. Over at Investopedia you can study the meaning of double-tops, if you’re not already conversant.
The financial industry is just that: And Industry. And just as sure as the U.S. government doesn’t tell the whole truth about Covid, partial truth is the order of the day in finance as well.
Yes. A couple of indices are in record country. Might even see the S&P crack 4,000. Which will be roundly touted, as a sure sign that Savior Joe is working his magic.
A FEW people will ask, though, about the underlying honesty of our financial delusion. Is old “George in the Woods” the only one to see M1 money stocks have doubled? Or that in reality M2 is nearing 30%…yet the numbers have been hidden now? Why might that be?
People like John Williams’ – whose ShadowStats continues to out the economic horror show – is another, kindred Diogenes looking for honest data and clear thinking in the world gone mad. But there aren’t many on the path.
We shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose: We live in a country lacking the mental acuity to discern an “Emergency Use Authorization” from real by-God Clinical Trials.
It would just be nice is one morning we could wake up to some Honest Official telling us we are participants now in massive experiments: One in “making up money” and the other as vaccine trial participants.
There are ways to “opt out” – but for now, partial truths are where we tee-off from once-again.
We may be the only people around asking hard questions, anymore. Today’s cub reporters don’t have the spine for ’em yet.
Questions like “With airlines impaled, cruise ships not reopened yet, auto production lines stalled for a lack of chips…lack of car rental activity… How is it the Dow Transports Index is at all-time highs? Vise-Grips!
The magic of liquidity, fellow citizen. The Magic of Making Up Money.
After a good ADP report Wednesday (+517,000) a little more “less than bad” on the employment front from Challenger’s Job Cut report:
“Job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers fell 86% in March to 30,603 from the 222,288 job cuts announced in the same month last year, when the fallout from the COVID-19 lockdowns began to impact businesses across the country, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
March’s total is 11% lower than the 34,531 cuts announced in February. Through the first quarter, 144,686 job cuts have been announced, 58% lower than the 346,683 announced in the first quarter of 2020.”
A word about Statistics in advance of tomorrow’s “officious” job numbers:
Around here, we simplify in order to avoid delusion. What matters in ALL of the employment data above everything else is the TOTAL WORKING.
Any damn fool can round it off to “About 8 1/2 million fewer workers.”
To be sure, ADP numbers looked good, but have you noticed Slo Joe and the Kamunist have opened the Mexico border? To our dim-witted thinking processes, a lot of those “new jobs” will be sucked up by “new arrivals.”
The question to ask (after waving the Magic Wand of Liquidity)? “Is this a real economy, or something imaginered by politicians to keep the audience from burning down their theater?
Remember when you read job numbers, the first 5.6% claims of “gains” only gets us back to year-ago levels. Doesn’t account for illegals pouring in, or any of that. We’ll save the champagne for something else.
Joe’s infrastructure plans are not likely to fix anything. Remember how little Obama’s did? Spent a bundle then, too.
Higher Jobless Claims
Also out this morning: Jobless claims. We like the NSA (not seasonally-adjusted) numbers. Not the “spiced” ones:
After these data points, the Dow futures were up 44, or so. Doesn’t anyone drug test anymore?
We get beat trying to keep up with developments: From .mil affair contributor warhammer:
“Ure daily column focuses on events affecting individual, corporate and national profit, which at times requires you to become a financial prophet. World and human events all impact the market and our collective bottom lines. So as Russia sets the stage for invading Eastern Ukraine, how will the global markets and Wall Street react if and when such a bold Ruskie move were to occur?
Or economically worse, what will financially go down ‘when’ China eventually assimilates Taiwan? How does one hedge these earth shaking possibilities?
My gut tells me Putin and China’s President-for-life Xi both view Biden as a weak leader. Furthermore, with Democrats also controlling both houses of Congress, let’s just say it is rather unlikely that either foreign leader fears a serious or damaging U.S. response should they initiate aggressive and invasive military action – Russia to begin repatriating the Eastern nations from the former Warsaw Pact, and China to bring its ‘lost province’ back into the Communist fold.
The time seems ‘just about right’ for Putin or Xi to attempt regional annexation military exercises, what with covid occupying literally every Western leader’s waking hours, allied bonds weakening as a result of a natural inward-crisis action focus, and progressive pacifists gaining office in key NATO and ANZUS alliance countries, specifically here in the U.S. of A.
I have a bad feeling about this.”
As do we. My consigliere thinks the period closer to May is the riskiest. But we’re all wondering why England has slammed travel shut. You saw that, right? $7,000 fines for people leaving England without a good reason. With government making up what “good” means.
Might the Brits want to keep people from the Isles from being trapped in a European Union on the warpath? Is Covid just a proxy for population control, hmm?
Could something like this be an excuse? New Crimean Land Law Banning Foreign Ownership Comes Into Force.
Jab at the Jabbers: WHO Blasts Europe’s Slow Vaccine Rollout, As France Heads For New Lockdown.
Baseball season? Already? MLB 2021 season preview: What to know.
Around the Ranch
Zeus the Cat this week managed to figure out how to “knock” on the back door. We have a screen door on the porch. Ol’ Zeek has discovered that if it gets too cold at 3:15 AM, he can get the claws open and pull it open an inch or two.
Not enough to get onto the porch, but enough to slam and have Elaine wake up. “George someone’s pounding on the door!”
Cat’s aren’t particularly bright. Not at all intimidated looking down the barrel of a 9-mm. “Meow….”
Taxes: Maybe cats are brighter than humans, though: We got our tax filing in yesterday. Cat didn’t contribute a dime – and still eats free. I just wish he could pick up some government “program money.”
Greenhouse: That and the yard will account for most of the weekend here. May get a couple of burn piles lit off Sunday – weather looks good – mainly very low wind in the forecast.
Killed the first of the non-stop fire ants that have taken over much of the South. Tomatoes and squash are doing well in the greenhouse and about ready to move out to the garden. Peppers will be along shortly. Dozens of cabbages, too.
Mowing time here: But not everywhere National weather forecast: Freezing temperatures, snow to chill eastern US.
Easter Dinner: We’ll be doing a spiral-cut honey ham in the crock pot for an early Easter dinner…might do it Saturday. That way, we will have a ton of leftover sliced ham for scalloped potatoes. We don’t do a lot of “meal freezing” but spaghetti sauce and scalloped potatoes are dandy for such uses.
Bacon-wrapped scallops with tossed salads tonight. Country cooking in the modern era is not what it was a hundred years ago…
SATCOMs: Buddy Michael out in the East Bay should be getting his Starlink any day now. (SPACEX’s new LEO high-speed (150 mb smoking) internet.) If you have any pull at StarLink, please ask ’em to move things along on our order. Hopefully, Michael will send pictures and a review when his is rolling.
Related: NY Times this morning: That Spotty Wi-Fi? There’s $100 Billion to Fix It. Right….
A “regular” (irregular) column tomorrow followed by putting on my Yard Bird suit. Good Friday? Happy Easter…
Write when you get rich,