This is getting to be a lot like fishing.  I mean, with apologies to Robert Mueller, the markets are where the fishing is much better.

But, even at the “best spot on the lake” sometimes you just sit in the boat, take a bite of sandwich, wolf-down more coffee and…..wait.

The Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ are off recent highs. But historically, we get 55-days from the peak to significant downsides.  While we wait, there’s damn little news.  So instead, we endlessly game how the Future might arrive.

(Continues below)

 

If the recent highs stand, we can look at the dates laid out previously.

Mid-March might be a fine time not to be in North Korea.  Might also be the Ides of Crash, but of course that’s all subject to change with a market break to new highs.

That’s because new highs would “reset the shot clock” and we’d go back to the sandwiches and coffee for a while longer.

One thing typically done in periods like this is market sages come out of the woodwork with predictions.  A few will, undoubtedly, be proclaiming shortly how “We’re replaying the pre-crash of (take your pick) 1987, 1929, or 2008/2009.”  Worry sells newsletters.

No stranger to such works, we’ll just enjoy the quietly rocking boat.

There’s damn little changed data out there, and items like this morning’s Producer Price Index, Final Demand, are not particularly useful.

You see, reports that look back a month or two, bore us to tears.  Applying that to investing is like trying to drive while looking in the rearview mirror.  Sure, it can be done, but it’s not the usual practice at Indianapolis or on the F1A circuit.

Having mentioned the Producer Price Index…

“The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.1 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices advanced 0.4 percent in both November and October. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index climbed 2.6 percent in 2017 after a 1.7-percent rise in 2016.

Most of the December decline in the final demand index is attributable to a 0.2-percent decrease in prices for final demand services. The index for final demand goods was unchanged.

Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services edged up 0.1 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November. In 2017, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services climbed 2.3 percent following a 1.8-percent advance in 2016.”

Pulse-pounding excitment, huh?

The real data comes tomorrow: the Consumer Price Index and along with it, Retail Sales.

Since the Fed’s latest “Yoke of Debt” report (misnamed Consumer Credit because bankers are creditors and you’re the debtor-sub) showed revolving debt (credit cards, right?) was going better than a Spacex launch – soaring at an annualized +13.3% in November.

Do remember our rearview driving warning?  Bills arrive this month.

The retail sales figures should report robust sales, the Consumer Prices will continue to firm, and in no time at all, people will begin pulling in their spending again, if they haven’t already.

Meanwhile, the KKR Global/Macro 2018 meanders in that direction, too:

““As we are poised to enter the 104th month of economic expansion amidst the second longest bull market on record in the United States, it is definitely harder to get ‘what you want’ when it comes to uncovering new and compelling investment opportunities. The good news is that our work shows that investors can still ‘get what they need’ in order to generate returns in excess of their liabilities.”

We’re entering into what the fisherman out on the lake hates & loves, all at the same time.  The waiting.

The fish – big advances in markets where we can all land a bunch of dollars – are beginning to seem more scarce.

Innovation!  That’s what we need!  The most exciting thing out of the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, so far, was the lights going out yesterday.

When the main story (Power Outage Dims Lights on Tech at CES Show in Las Vegas) out of a trade show is the lights going out, fishing for growth (that damnable driver of profits) maybe be safely predicted to be turning to weaker.

Only a few will see it (at first) but this is how “the social mood” rolls over.

We’ll just sit here with a boatload of data, munch on the sandwiches and coffee, and wait to see if anyone is getting bites around us.

90-minutes before the open Dow futures were up 40, Bitcoin under $14,000 again.

Free Advice for the President

Once again, Donald Trump has missed a grand opportunity to communicate clearly.  Although in watching his press conference with the Norwegian prime minister, you might have missed it.

Trump figures he is unlikely to meet with Fisherman Mueller.

We think he should.

But, under EXACTLY the same conditions that (what’s her name?) met with investigators to bury her email scamming.

Trump should agree to a “meeting” where:

  • Investigators take no notes.
  • There are no recordings made.
  • He’s not under Oath.
  • It happens on a holiday weekend with minimal press coverage.  And?
  • The exoneration has already been drafted in advance.

We don’t expect him to take our sage public relations advice.  But it’s worth the price.

Instead, we can already see Mueller transitioning from fishing a junior gestapo Thought Police operation.

The whiff of this comes in a couple of stories.  First: he’s hired a cyber crimes prosecutor for his team.  Which might mean even unsent, unposted communications seem likely to be “fished.”

But the real hint at Thought Policing comes from the Project Veritas (“American Pravda, Part 4) report that a Twitter employee has out’ed…no, just go read “UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Sr Network Security Engineer Reveals Twitter Ready to Give Trump’s Private DMs to DOJ.”

This was predictably followed by Twitter distancing itself from those claims.

In the sea of weasel words, the “phrase that pays” (to watch) will be “valid legal requests.”

Would a “request for information” from a “special prosecutor” be valid?  Depends on one’s political disposition, we suppose.

IF one were anti-Trump, sure, here’s the sent and all the drafts of Tweets.  If pro-Trump, the answer would be “Show me your warrant or get out of here.”  Curtain #1 sounds more likely.

While we wouldn’t be surprised by the former, even the latter remains possible because of the large number of Obama appointees on the various court benches.  It makes “judge shopping” fairly straightforward on the prosecutorial side.

Other than continuing the “grand distraction” (I think one network official called it a “nothing burger” going from memory) it’s a great way to spend public money, give the democrats something to whine about, because without it, they would have dried up by now, and  in its place a more useful, libertarian party, could be stepping up to fill the void in common sense.

We like the American Whig Party, as a framework, but hardly anyone can be expected to remember what the Wikipedia entry says about it.  After all, that was long, long, ago:

“It emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonians, pulling together former members of the National Republican (one of the successors of the Democratic-Republican Party) and Anti-Masonic Parties. It had distant links to the upscale traditions of the Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s.[6] It originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson (in office 1829–37) and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of the United States Congress over the Presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking, and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs, planters, reformers and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants, and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal. Party founders chose the “Whig” name to echo the American Whigs of the 18th century who fought for independence. The underlying political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not directly related to the British Whig party.[7] Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:”

Divide?  Oh!  You mean like the Brits trying to run “the Colonies” through the British-American Establishment, also known as the PowersThatBe, or in professor Quigley’s fine books, The Network?  Who’d have thought?

Progressive on social issues, fiscally responsible and against deficits of any kind… peace AND prospertity. Think Bernie with a balanced budget and a strong allegiance to the Constitution.

Of course, that would mean on-shoring manufacturing from China, draining the swamp,, and…maybe Trump should found this Third Party and replace the Democrats?  Never been a better time, as we see it.

That’d be the power move.  Which also explains Mueller:  Keep Trump too distracted to fix the structural issues.  Which makes sense from The Network’s point of view.  Which is why the media networks….oh, why do I bother?  You see it, or you’re blind.

Let me help, though:

Search Engines Don’t Lie, Or???

Google this morning gave me 25,600,000 returns on the news word search gay.

And, 8,570,000 returns on the word welfare.

Similarly, 8,100,000 hits came up on social justice.

Black Lives Matter  returned 2,820,000.

Now Ure’s point:

There were just 2,140,000 hits in the same news search for the term federal budget.

I found that shocking *(but not surprising) as the country is heading into another federal budget crisis that could bring a government shutdown.

These data points scream to me that the media is pushing their agenda.  Not something fiscally sound.  It’s socialist-globalist agenda, not a sensible accounting-driven one.

Accounting might wonder if MONEY is really just 8.35 percent as important as sexual preference.  I can assure you, they used to be more equal.

Gay people I’ve known are more like 90% money- oriented and 10% preference, although YMMV.

On the other hand, divided peoples are easier to manipulate.  Big money in that…and maybe that’s the point.  We don’t have much left to monetize…

Meantime, no one has bothered (in the mainstream) to point out the reason there’s no show-stoppers at CES is that as a nation and right on down to the company-level, we are underspending on R&D and overspending on “division, marketing, and hype.”

49-years since we went to the moon.  For what?  Social media?  FMTT.

Expect Outrage

Since 7-11 stores in 17 states have been visited by immigration officials.

What’s more, there will likely be many more such “visits” as the Trump administration makes effective efforts to enforce existing laws.

I think my first round of I-9 employer certifications was in 1987, or somewhere back there.  Not like it hasn’t been on the books.

Nothing people hate worse than existing laws being enforced.  Everything from speeding to spitting with a turn through Washington.

Send A Bleeding Heart to Mexico

Don’t mention that The U.S. Has Issued Its Highest ‘Do Not Travel’ Warning for Five Mexican States.

Ask ’em about “the wall” before they go and then again when they get back.

Coping: An Oven for the Shop?
Coping: Monetizing Your Time