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….