Trading: Lunch Money, Or More?

I clicked into the short side of the market this morning in the Extended Hours session.  Admittedly, it’s a long-shot, but there is a technical possibility (based on aggregate market behaviors).  And, if it doesn’t work out, I won’t be in even the whole day.

The common “buzz” is that the market is going higher – and if it does, there’s a strong case that it could continue until August or maybe the first few weeks of September.

The key thing to keep in mind, however, is that we are coming up on some direct fights over resources.  For example, plans are already afoot in Illinois to impose a huge property tax increase to pay for just a few public worker pension funds. (*More in the Coping section on the high cost of government workers…).  Toss in the latest data and there’s no particular reason to be wildly bullish right now.

(Continues below)

 

Just a couple of numbers:  Round off yesterday’s closing Dow to 24,900.  This compares with a Dow on January 3, 2017 of 19,882.

Yes, I’m going to be a “meanie with a calculator” now: That’s a 25.23% increase in 16-1/2 months.  Based on what, if you don’t mind my asking?

The corporate tax reform?  Oh, sure, brought some money back to the US, but lots of it has gone into making the rich, richer.  Stock buy-backs are good for shareholders, but they scream something else to those not hard of financial hearing:

There’s nothing else worth buying or investing in.

Has your disposable income gone up much – if any?  We’ve had some fun in the market, but seriously?  ‘

The parallels with 1929 are all over the place.  In the last month, the US economy added only 3,000 jobs…let’s not forget that while the unemployment rate is very low, indeed, the workforce has not kept up with growth in the general population.

To make it worse, the pension funds in America were mostly structured on crazy economic assumptions that haven’t been true for years.  And that’s a bill that’s coming due.

On to the data, but not without noticing that although the people spending has changed, it hasn’t reversed the course of the nation, yet.  Your lifestyle probably hasn’t changed much, if any, since 1990 (if you’re old enough), or more recently, not much if any since 2006.

Bitcoin, meantime, is down to $8,765 – and that’s one reason we have yet-another possibility forming up in the charts…one that says we are going lower from here despite my recent optimism.

Let’s see if there’s any fresh data, then, shall we?

Retail Sails

Biggest data point this morning is retail sales from the Census Bureau.  In a picture, it looks like this:

Sure, it may sound good on the surface, but in the press release, this jumps out:  “Retail trade sales were up 0.4 percent (±0.5 percent)* from March 2018, and 4.8 percent (±0.5 percent) above last year. Gasoline Stations were up 11.7 percent (±1.6 percent) from April 2017…”  Which is why the April numbers look flat.

Remember what we’ve been saying about “Consumer Super-saturation?”  In other words, how many6 lawn mowers do you need?  Most of our friends have two or three… a zero-turn for the big stuff, a walk-behind for tighter areas, and an assortment of gas and electring string trimmers.  Do we really need that many?

Perhaps not:   “Home Depot misses comparable-sales forecasts as spring selling dips.

How many UHD TV’s do you need?

This is the very real problem of technology.  Who needs five or six UHD TV’s to watch the 300 channel wasteland?

A reader sent in a comment overnight about truck prices.  High-end of pickup trucks is now north of $80,000.  Have people lost their ever-loving minds?

Well, sadly, the answer is a resounding yes.

Understanding Trump, Palestinians

Here is the simplified version of events in Israel.

Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

Foreign embassies are generally located in a nation’s capitol.  Russian, Chinese, French, etc. all have their embassies in Washington, DC, our capitol, for example.

Trump moved the US Embassy to the capitol of Israel.

The Palestinians are pissed and picking a fight over this.  As a result the MSM are claiming 2,400 wounded and 55 dead (so far).

Then comes another report with  a “heart-wrenching” angle built-in: “Toll for Gaza protests rises to 61 as baby dies from tear gas, with more protests expected.”

Let me ask you:  What kind of parent brings a baby to a demonstration where violence is expected and prfomoted by the organizers?

I guarantee you,; there won’t be any reporters asking “Why’d you bring a baby to a likely violent demonstration?”  Reporters don’t ask hard questions, anymore.

There is a US “problem” in all this:  It’s another previously empty political promise (made for decades) that Trump has taken off the table.  Like Trump, or not, he did something lots of other presidents talked to death.

He actually got ‘er done.

Meanwhile, U.S. chipmaker Intel submits plans for $5 billion Israel expansion

Hookers and Fishing Dept.

Oh, yes, the Mueller investigation.  Here’s today’s twist in the ongoing “democrats are idiots” joke-fest:  “Mueller may have a conflict — and it leads directly to a Russian oligarch.”

Tisk, tisk.  We would refer the democrats and Mueller to Matthew 7.5 for guidance.  Beams or splinters, anyone?

Google Trump-Bashing?

Here’s one that catches our eye, since this is the 15th now and four-day old news, short of global war, just doesn’t happen: Running this morning on Google News:

Not the way I would deal with people,” former Defense Secretary Gates says of Trump CBS News May 11, 2018″

See the date? LAST FREAKING FRIDAY.  I don’t buy it’s an RSS error, since our RSS news site (ComputationalFuture) doesn’t have these issues and it’s run by one half-wit (me).  So why would Google run “Old news?”

I may not be the first to wonder if Google is mixing a little politics into their story selection, to, oh, you know…bash Trump.

BS of the “Tolerant Left”

No, they aren’t.  Trump-bashers are jackbooted thugs when comes down to it…and racists ones at that, if I read this correctly:  “Black Trump supporter attacked at Cheesecake Factory over MAGA hat: report.”

No dessert for us.

Running Soros Out of Town

At least one country is: Soros foundation to shut its office in ‘repressive’ Hungary.

We think the whole institutional left would collapse here, if we did that in ‘Merica.

Peoplenomics tomorrow and another pass through the insanity here on Thursday, do come on by.

No, this is not a right-wing reactionary website.  It’s just a reasonable, moderate one.  If you think we’re right wing, congratulations:  The Bolsheviks have converted you with the subliminal agitprop and co-opted media. Good luck with your revolution against sanity….

41 thoughts on “Trading: Lunch Money, Or More?”

  1. Take the tax or take pension cut wow. People ask me why I live in 24 ‘trailer on half acre under a shed. Well some day the due trillions will tax us to hell. Irresponsible trash run this have done

  2. A wise man once said that “government workers” assumes too much. The more accurate term is “government employees”.

    “The parallels with 1929 are all over the place.” I seem to recall that the website’s tag line for years was “Replaying 1929”. Keep at it, George. Love your insights and someday you’ll be right. Just chalk me up as a victim of the Great Disappointment.

    Blessings and 73s.

    Still knee-deep in MREs.

  3. Invest time and money into people. Sure, some will screw ya over, but most will not. And what goes around comes around… so that is what I do.

    I will attempt to give you my info again on China.

    Ok about 4 months ago I was playing poker at the red dragon casino. I was dealt a pair of aces right out the gate. Three queens came up on the river and this Old Asian lady was killing it on the table. The pot got to be over $1500! The card comes up it’s a 9. She stone cold looks at me and says, you will loose and goes all in. Pushes over $800 into the pot. The dealer looks at me. The table was silent and a bunch of people were gathered around watching. The dealer again, are you going to call sir. So said yes, and I pushed all my chips in. She flipped over a pair of Jack’s and reached for the pot and I flipped over my aces. The dealer looked at her and said not so fast.

    This old asian lady with her Gucci hand bag and $500 pair of sun glasses and designer shoes just got smoked by a country boy in a Tractor supply camo hat.

    She stood up, knocked her chair over, spilt her drink and started flipping me off and called me all sorts of names in mandarin.

    Everyone’s worried about China, but at the macro level they have a pair of Jack’s George. Dont count out the US. Just yet.

    Walked out with a bunch of money. Played the next 3 hands and bluffed, went all in and everyone folded. And I walked out. Haven’t been back since.

    :)

    • I always loose against Asians. But not this time. Hahahha you should have seen the look on her face dude when those aces got flipped over. I swear it was as if time stopped.

      So that is what I’m seeing at the macro level old dude.

      • “Invest time and money into people.”

        Given the severe uncertainty attached to any form of material wealth at this time, that is top drawer advice.

      • What I’m getting from Andy and George is that I need to learn to gamble. I don’t enjoy gambling(other than real estate) or understand casinos, but it does perhaps have certain social benefits. I might even meet an Asian lady!

      • Look at how many times we gamble: Elaine and I are going to a casino this weekend (OK, Tom Jones for her in concert) and I sometimes day trade, love options, and yes, I even have been previously married which puts be at 1 winner for three at bats, lol.
        I’ll leave it to young Andy to “self report” but yeah…no big gambles, no big wins.

    • I stay away from the no limit Texas Hold em. Given enough time, I will do something stupid & lose it all, so I usually play $5 -$10 limit & have more fun with less stress. Although I do like no limit tournaments.

  4. The inherent violence of the left…
    The laptop regiment fights with memes and clever vids, while the masked antifaites gladly knock heads. You know, like the college professor who masked up and almost killed someone with a bike lock to the head…or try and burn down a university because they don’t like the ideas a commentator shares…if you disagree, go ahead and wear that MAGA hat in any big city. Bonus points if you walk thru one of ‘those’ neighborhoods.
    I’m with George. Sane moderates bringing this to the attention of the inherently violent left is important. Otherwise…’bolsheviks’…
    Read or bleed, people! Learn or burn.

    “These violent delights have violent ends.”

    • Naïve realism, also known as direct realism, is a philosophy of mind rooted in a common sense theory of perception that claims that the senses provide us with direct awareness of the external world.
      In contrast, some forms of idealism assert that no world exists apart from mind-dependent ideas and some forms of skepticism say we cannot trust our senses.

      The naive realist view is that objects have properties, such as texture, smell, taste and colour, that are usually perceived absolutely correctly. We perceive them as they really are.

      The question then, begs for your sensory justification in experiencing the :”inherent violence of the left”;”burn down a university”;”walk thru one of ‘those’ neighborhoods”
      ;”inherently violent left”..events?
      I have a “sensory justified” guess you may be accumulating Ure “sane moderates” perceptions from very limited and non-diversified, “same moderates”..sources!OM

      • You mean like YT of Berkeley and such? BLM videos…help me here, what’s Snoq missing>?

      • Dude, you sound like a bloviating post-modern wind bag, copy/pasting your way to an asskicking.
        I grew up in Oakland (not the hills, where the elite literally look down on the brown/poor folk) and I did indeed accumulate ‘sensory’ experiences including violence, liberal close-mindedness and group-think, and in fact, after becoming a professional sailor and traveling the world, realized just what an incredible echo chamber the bay area is. Folks (meaning middle class, educated white people)there, and in other big cities, talk big about being allies of the underclass, but boy, you should hear them when their cars get broken into, grandma gets mugged at the gas station, step in human feces at the BART station, kick a pile of used needles with an open toed shoe, or even when their gardener (‘I employ the undocumented because HUMAN RIGHTS’) raises prices by $5 because gas went up. People are publicly shamed for talking outside the liberal script, or are gaslighted (like what you’re attempting) into thinking they’re somehow bad people, or bad thinkers, or bad Americans.
        So, again, I dare you to go looking for those sensory inputs that you in your armchair wisdom think is all in my head. Go for it polar bear.

    • Wow of All that is “Wowful”..did I really just set you off to the tune of you threatening me with an “asskicking”? Was the simple act of me quoting a philosophical group of post modern mental perception theroms,in fact, all it took to ignite your tirade as to what and why you are so extremely qualified in defining the ultimate “echo chamber” of society? Well son, life just don’t seem to get much better for you since those bitter memories of your Oakland “downtrodden” days, and if you can’t muster up the courage to let your anger take a day off and just smell the damn “seaweed”, it never will.
      I gladly disregard your angst against me and all that doesn’t fit your perception of your personal utopia..just as all that didn’t fit into the cargo hold of your ship, would not have been any less viable as to the next ship!
      Please refrain from any future threats or acid tongued proclomations directed to me, as I now, gladly, end any and all replys to your attempts at justifying your mental state of “truth or die”.

      “The Dude”

      • It’s ‘proclamations’. I proclaim you’re a keyboard fauxlossapher, with no real experiential anecdotes to add, thus are merely bloviating abstractions. And who was triggered to begin with? You were, having a need to rebut my experiences with your fauxlossafee. Are you one of the 35% of Americans who never leave the house? You sound like it…

        I know I’m in an asskicking contest with a one-legged man, but I’ll just say that when you ask for my qualifications you are appealing to authority, just one of the several logical fallacies you’re attempting to gaslight me with.
        The asskicking I mention, won’t come from me, it isn’t a threat. It is a description of what you’re earning through your keyboard warrioring.

        George, I don’t expect you to post this, and I apologize for not taking the high ground. I do think we need to continue to put today’s parallels to Bolshevism in front of those people, like Al, who won’t consider the facts or new information, but instead just react with the same old tired tropes of ‘lay off the cactus buttons’, or ‘are you THREATENING me?’ .

        Peace.

      • Uh…I’m thinking at some point this will turn into an elegant exposition on radicalized left meet reasonable middle…but being radicalized, anything not left of center is extreme right…so I wait patiently by the del key…

  5. 01} Taxes for pension stabilization ~ This was actually a proposal floated by the Federal Reserve. What’s interesting is that in the old Republic, the one I swore an Oath to, private corporations didn’t have the ability/authority to levy taxes. The Fed is is a private corporation not a federal agency or a lawful legislative body thus has zero legal authority to propose or levy property taxes. At least it didn’t in the ‘old Republic’. Perhaps we can expect Ford & Apple to levy taxes next.

    02} Trump/Jerusalem ~ Under International Law Israel has no more ‘right’ to claim & annex Jerusalem as their capitol than the Christians or Muslims do. Indeed, annexing territories conquered in war and relocating indigenous people was declared by the world a “war crime” and prosecuted during the Nuremberg trials. As the UN has said more than once “The Israeli claim to sovereignty over Jerusalem has no substance. It has no basis in non-binding UN General Assembly Resolution 181 since the resolution never envisaged that Jerusalem would form part of the proposed Jewish State, but a corpus separatum subject to an international regime. Nor can the Israeli claim that it acted in self-defence in 1948 and 1967 form the basis for a claim to title.”

    Our president’s rolling over for the establishment of this conquered city as their capitol is codifying a war crime.

    • Actually, you’re factually wrong: Israel (and Jordan) co-ruled the divided city until the 1967 war. As foreign Policy Journal puts it:
      New York Times columnist Bret Stephens defends Israel’s occupation of Palestine by regurgitating Zionist propaganda about who started the 1967 Six Day War.
      “In June 1967,” Bret Stephens writes in the New York Times for the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, “Arab leaders declared their intention to annihilate the Jewish state and the Jews decided they wouldn’t sit still for it. For the crime of self-preservation, Israel remains a nation unforgiven.
      “Unforgiven, Israel’s milder critics say, because the Six-Day War, even if justified at the time, does not justify 50 years of occupation.”

      Arabs started the war – and lost.
      Spoils of war. Like the USA is a spoils of war…

  6. People seem to like parades but never reflect on, who pays for the thousand of police that stand around (in groups of 4 or 5), perhaps on over-time, just in order to protect me from what??? People don’t seem to mind! As I’ve said again, and again, it’s You & I ;=).

  7. Today’s market has me looking for a summer bear beginning here in May. I am seldom right that is why I am a long term investor, but I raised some cash to take advantage of a downturn.

  8. George, what do you expect? The Conservatives keep draining the spendable cash out of the economy, thereby killing macro demand. Like with the big winner at a poker game, the money then sits in dead stacks, not moving around the table. The last looting was the $2 trillion tax cut where 83% went to the top 1% (who already buy all the steaks, clothes, cars, etc. they want anyway, but the real money gets taken from the folks that would spend it). This lack of Demand will finally catch us catastrophically in 5 years when automation unemployment hits full force and the Conservatives will be finished looting the safety net. The result of this economic collapse will be a strong shift towards the fascist, similar to Venezuela and the Philippines. Best, Mike.

    Working families know someone is screwing them — they just haven’t figure out who yet. Mike.

    • The last time I looked I was screwed by the FBI giving hooligan hillary a pass on her feigned ignorance of what a top secret clearance means and the responsibility that goes along with it. Since she can’t handle that level of responsibility, she could never be trusted as President. Now, you know who gave the country the biggest screwing in the last 18 months!

  9. George: As an accomplished sailor, is the Uniden Atlantis 250 Two-Way VHF Marine Radio similar to the one you previously discussed…BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF).

    I bought it at a garage sale for $2. It came with 3 batteries but no charger. I ordered a charger on eBay for $9.08 so I could test it out. charger should arrive in a few days.

    • Sorry, no. It doesn’t work on the ham bands, not will it scan fire/police.
      On the other hand, if your HOUSE SINKS you can light up channel 16 and call for help.
      On channel 6 on the ICW you can open bridges, too…

  10. So, Soros got run out of his native country?

    ‘Wonder what they know, that we obviously don’t…

  11. Went in to vote a constutioalist and they told me could not republican. Said who are you to tell how I want to vote the commi said it’s the law. You make it law by backing such stupidity I left. We are way down the hole here idadhole

    • I’d assume you could register yourself as belonging to some Party which never ballots a candidate. You’d probably have to affiliate yourself with a major party to vote in a Primary, but the pollworker would also have to produce an appropriate ballot…

  12. eBay now has a Seller Diversity Advocate Program. Since I sell my Thrift Store & Garage Sale items on eBay, I qualify. I read all the categories and I fit in nowhere.

    Seller Diversity Advocate Categories
    Feel free to apply for the category (ies) that best describes you and/or best align with your interest for advocacy.

    Category A: Minority-owned Businesses
    A seller who is Asian, Black, Hispanic, Woman, Millennial/Gen Z, LGBTQ+, Military Veteran or Person with a Disability.

    Category B: Diversity Hiring and Supplier Diversity
    Sellers who actively hire minorities or purchase supplies from minority-owned businesses.

    Category C: Empowering Communities
    Sellers who donate 50% or more of their proceeds to a charity that serves an underserved community.

    Category D: Allies
    Sellers who are not a member of the designated community, but advocate in support of the equal rights of that community.

    • Use your imagination — I can fit myself into all four.

      Is there any advantage to belonging to one of these groups?

  13. “Things that cannot work, won’t work.”

    This aphorism could replace most editorials. It could even be the banner for an editorial page.

    We are there, now, undeniably, and talk of making the unworkable work now seems to me to be a waste of time and energy.

    Once we internalize this, maybe we can get back on track to real solutions. Unfortunately, mending the addled thinking of the majority, and replacing government officials, and reforming horrible laws has been tried in various iterations.

    Almost always, there has to be a huge crash to actually change anything. Then the changers tend to be worse than the first guys were. Not always, but usually.

    So ONE reason I read this blog is to get ideas about how not to be under the Hindenburg when it burns and crashes. We can see the sparks already. We know about the hydrogen gas bags. What else do we need to know? Start with staying out of places which ignore math in budgeting, reward incompetence and indolence, punish producers or otherwise operate complex machinery surrounded by explosive gasses.

    Most “Blue” places thus qualify as doomed, and only could be saved by mass expropriation, which they will try.

    Then figure out how to be ignored by expropriating authorities. Not as easy, but DIY life is a great place to begin. Knowing how to cook a 5 Star meal is not yet taxable, but earning the money to buy one is. I fed my family some very tasty eggs today. They helped care for those chickens, after all. George has explained hundreds of similar strategies through the years. There is a reason for this.

    I also suspect cryptocurrencies and great computer security will be quite popular when governments have Detroited vaster areas, as they must at least try to do. Can you imagine how important secure cryptos would be in Venezuela, Argentina, Zimbabwe, etc. at this very moment?

    And blood in some American streets seems baked into the cake, sooner than later, I suspect. Personally, I try avoid most streets.

    Another aphorism: “Now that I have abandoned all hope, I feel much better.” So let’s start designing the post crash World today, rather than try delay the inevitable.

  14. Texas is already doing it via property taxes. Word is, everything that used to fund things, they cut the funding, and now are putting it back to the county to raise the property taxes to put back in the coffers the money that they cut the funding to. They still have money, they just redirected it. So, there are 10-15% plus property tax increases all across Texas this year alone to pay for those pesky schools that just house the illegals and refugees and 140 language instructors needed to converse with the newcomers! More to come! There’s more than one way to skin a property owner.

    • Yes, and Amen to property taxes being too high in Texas. The County has new Jail and Court House, we do need that. The School system is bent out or shape about Jerry Jones having a bigger stadium (Att Stadium) so Mansfield High is going for a bigger, one ups-man. Look out Houston, you’ll have to follow suite. Don’t forget about all the new residence from all points North, East, and West. I was one too. Thinking about possibility of moving (Oh, God Nooooo)! 32years of accumulated crap to sell OMG!

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