The Rally Continues

On a weekly closing basis, it would sure be nice to see the S&P climb over the 1,950 level and stay there for a week or three, then pull back, but not to new lows, so I could load up on some out of the money options and make a bunch of dough.

It would be nice, but we will see.

In the meantime, this week is a busy one.  We have the Case-Shiller/S&P Housing Price Index out tomorrow…so a two-parter tomorrow.

Which gets us circled back to this morning and the Chicago Fed’s National Activity Index which is reported as…

“Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +0.28 in January from –0.34 in December. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from December, and two of the four categories made positive contributions to the  index in January.

The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to –0.15 in January from –0.30 in December. January’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat below its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year.

The futures were up more than 150 on the Dow this morning and with the S&P futures up 150 ahead of press time.

The most important number to follow from a macro-econ standpoint will be the GDP number out on Friday.  My sense (what little of that I have…) is that GDP will tick up a bit and it may even move up enough to begin swinging the M2 velocity number which has never been lower than this in our lifetimes.

The Baltic Dry index is at 315 – not strong by historical standards, but at least the elevator to the basement seems to have stopped.  Oil (West Texas Intermediate/WTI) is back up to almost $33, but at OIlman2 reports from Houston, this is still worse than 1985 and there are all kinds of issues still ahead for the oil patch.  Still, any port in a storm, eh?

Another potential soft spot is the Harpex Container Index is at 364 having dropped to 363.

Another big factor to watch is that inbound containers to Los Angeles was up 41+% this January compared with year-ago levels.  Long beach was up 30% in January year-on-year so we are just waiting for a pullback and then load the boat with call options if nothing comes along to derail our optimism.

And speaking of rails, I keep forgetting to pass on the Association of American Railroads data which is about as good a street-level indicator as you’ll find:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 17, 2016 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 13, 2016.

For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 505,148 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.8 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending Feb. 13 were 244,334 carloads, down 15.4 percent compared with the same week in 2015, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 260,814 containers and trailers, up 10.4 percent compared to 2015.

Two of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2015. They were miscellaneous carloads, up 27.4 percent to 9,406 carloads; and motor vehicles and parts, up 12.6 percent to 18,711 carloads. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2015 included coal, down 32.5 percent to 75,249 carloads; petroleum and petroleum products, down 23.4 percent to 11,303 carloads; and metallic ores and metals, down 15.4 percent to 19,196 carloads.

You see the impact of the Obama coal-dissing campaign, I hope, but look at the other numbers.  Think about the coming month as that L.A. container surge moves across the country.  Not exactly the recipe for disaster…but that’s my take.  And it is without a banking collapse or some left field event. 

I still expect that we will have a massive fifth wave up/blow-off before the crap rally hits the fan…But, in the meantime, I will let the doomsayers and lesser “predictors” have their fun.  It’s just that when you play with real money, you learn to read the the data rather than riding with the herd…which is quite often wrong.

A pullback soon would not be a surprise, but if we don’t get new lows, then a long position gets sorely tempting again.  Bitcoins are at $435 today.

Trump, Hil Winners

Yes, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing it, but we are sneaking up on super Tuesday and that means we will have lots and lots of  media to wade through on the road to whatever.

The NY Times has a great piece on how the road to a delegate count is still a massive uphill fight for Bernie Sanders may be studied over here.

Similarly, the same paper’s take on the Trump rivals is here and makes a nice counterpoint.

It’s all likely just rehash for a while – until, that is, Trump makes another unspeakable issue public and then everyone will jump on it.  As long as he’s setting the agenda for the national dialog, he’s the guy in front.

Oh…and I thought Nevada voters were smarter, but apparently I was wrong.

O’s Catch and Release Program Ramping

Another month before lowland lakes fishing kicks off, but the Obama administration’s catch and release deal – backed by Loretta Lynch is in full swing.  Try the headline over here about 90,000 are to be released.

Yes sir…it’s the full time employment for cops and lawyers decree, near as I can read it.  Wholly illegal, but who cares about such nits, anymore?

The Murder Cycle Is Still Intact

I don’t know how often I need to go over this, but there is a “murder cycle” and we will be at risk for another outrage around April 14, plus or minus a week, or so.

With the Michigan shooting this weekend, we see how things are fitting around a 137 day murder cycle..

As you can seem the November Colorado Springs shooting was almost spot on measured from the Chattanooga shooting.  This one was 142 days from the Roseburg Oregon shooting, which brings up the Colorado Springs cycle in mid April.

Did you notice how there’s a subtle message perhaps in the media now chanting that this Michigan shooter was an “Uber driver?”  A real cynic would read this as messaging about how dangerous it is to do something that takes on the banking/corporate order of things…

BrExit Eyed

From generous analyst warhammer

“I spoke to my youngest daughter yesterday. She’s been living in the UK for nine years. The sentiment to for the UK to depart the EU is apparently rising, and the London mayor’s position is not doing anything to calm down the anti-EU mania.


The gripes sound fairly familiar here across the pond – especially regarding the frustration of the native populace in dealing with waves of migrants sucking up benefits and resources while severely over-taxing infrastructure. The increased potential for acts of terror and defiance of local laws and traditions is definitely contributing to the ‘No EU’ movement.

It got me to thinking that many a war started over economics. With that subtext, is the UK critical to the EU? Would such an action build a diplomatic wall between the UK and the French/German core of the EU? Would England eventually seek a financial alliance with the U.S. And/or China? Inquiring minds want to know!


Of course, inquiring minds also want to know if the Saudis would use their nukes on Shiites, too…but that’s too much work for this morning, it is Monday, after all.

The West’s Double-Standard

When the NKs launch a missile, it’s like the world is ending.  And then?  Nothing.  What about that Payload of theirs?

Meantime, if we pop off an ICBM there’s nothing to worry about because we’re the good guys, or so we like to proffer.

Is Cancer Contagious?

Here’s an odd read in the NY Times worth some study.


5 thoughts on “The Rally Continues”

  1. Regarding your comment about carloads of coal being shipped, it’s time to stop with the fundamentally flawed political arguments. First, the Supremes decided to break all precedent and hear a case that had never been heard in a lower court (states suing EPA to prevent coal emissions standard from being adopted), “O’s” anti-coal agenda is not even affecting coal shipments at this time. How about recognizing the fact that oil is down by more than two thirds and natural gas by even more makes burning coal non-economic for huge swaths of the energy market? It’s time to set aside your political agenda when world markets are in charge.

  2. George, don’t they kill about that many (10) or more in a typical weekend in Chicago, the Pres. Hometown.

  3. Living in Appalachian coal country the newspapers have been saying for almost 30 years the coal veins are just not worth the money to mine any more- they are too thin and too deep. Even with strip-mining/mountain top removal the costs outweigh the small amounts they are getting. Better coal fields are out west, easier to access and maybe aren’t on the hundred+ year old rail lines. So cheaper to truck out for the mining companies? I know N&S Railroad announced large layoffs of engineers over the next 6 years due the decline in coal shipments. As someone who lives downwind from these coal power plants I will be glad when they fade away or are made to release less crap in the air. If I never have to see another horrific rape of a mountain blown flat and valley’s filled in for some mine operator’s fat wallet who is selling to China, I say “Hooray” and let’s bring other alternative energy methods online.

  4. WRT Brexit : Im from the UK but currently residing in the Jackson / Calhoun area of TX .

    Im all for the UK going it alone – reclaiming liberty , independence, low taxes ,territorial integrity and small government

    I would say that the majority of right thinking Brits are of the same opinion – but there is a euro faction – it will be interesting to see what happens – hope it turns out to be a fair fight.

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