imageI feel like Prince BoCheesly, second in line to ascend to the throne as King of the Economic Universe and heir to the Fount of All Knowledge this morning as the S&P (which lately has been the S & P all over the place) arrives in the long-awaited showdown area.

To be sure, I have referred to this generally as the “1950” area of the S&P but to be more precise, it is 1,940.24 recorded on January 19th.

Here’s “the deal” – We can count a one down, two up, three down, four up, and five down to finish between January 29th and ending on February 11th.  From there, we have gone nearly straight up. 

It’s OK to take today off since we get inflation data tomorrow.  There is still deflation about, since a year ago gas was $2.27 and now it’s $1.72 nationally.  (We don’t do additional decimals points until noon if it can be avoided.)

Projecting the futures pricing onto the action today, we would expect a close (ideally) around 1,933.82… but that is asking a bit much since the real-deal here is 1,940 and change which could fall tomorrow – depending on how the Cost of Living data comes in.

For this morning, we will have to suffer through Philly Fed data and later on the most-favored economic anagram – the Leading Economic Indicators – which used to be the LEI and that’s all the help on the anagram I’ll give you.

Now, about this Philly Fed stuff:

“Firms responding to the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey reported continued weakness in business conditions this month. The indicator for general activity remained slightly negative this month, edging up only marginally from its reading in January. Other indicators offered mixed signals: The shipments index remained positive, but new orders and employment indexes remained negative and declined modestly. The survey’s price indexes suggest that both input prices and selling prices fell this month. With respect to the manufacturers’ forecasts, the survey’s future indicators remained overall positive but showed continued weakening.

Looking at the rest of the world overnight:  Japan and Hong Kong were both up better than 2% overnight.  France was up 1 percent while the Germans were up 1 and 2/3rds percent, perhaps as something of a relief rally now that Deutsche Bank has spread oil on the waters.  The only laggard is England because (sad to say) other than contrived metals prices, remind me once again what is their big export again?

West Texas crude is back almost to $34, so you may have missed your chance to buy that mansion in the Woodlands for cheap.  Futures backed off a bit with the Philly report, but still up 50+ on the Dow and upload time.

How Disconnected is the White House?

We’re big into cognitive dissonances – and this whole Apple/Terrorist phone backdoor thing is beginning to be instructive for those who are not clear on how eff’ed with the public mindset is these days.

So let me give you two headlines that spell out how we can infer that someone is lying – but we’re not sure whom.  Headline #1 then:

White House says FBI isn’t asking Apple for an iPhone back door.”

OK, that story appears in ComputerWorld so very high creds, right?  But then we flip over to Fast Company and read how:

Time Cook opposes Court Order that Apple Must Help FBI unlock iPhone.”

How the phone…er…so to speak:  Where is the difference here and who’s lying?  Or, is this yet-another example of those terrible “depends what you mean by sex” kinds of White House jerk-arounds pioneered by former un-impeached who is married to the email princess guess who who is in trouble in Nevada?

American Reading Speeds

By the way:  Hats off to Fast Company for putting reading times of articles up on their site.  That’s very courteous.

After popping the Tim Cook article into Word, the count was 1,344 words so they are implying a 224 word per minute reading rate in that story.

Their story on “How Hudl’s Mobile-Video software is Transforming Sports” becomes a little more uncertain and is simply labeled “long read”.

Using the same word-counting tool we came up with 2,528 words which would be a little over 11-minutes.

Our last data point was the article on how “New technology brings finger-level precision to VR.”

That counted as 642 words and is tabbed as a three-minute read.  Which pencils to 214 words per minute.

And from this, we infer that Fast Company is timing their articles to about 200 words per minute.

The application here?  Well, this morning’s Coping Section (below) ran an even 3,200 words.  Which is 16-minutes at 200 which is too long.  Got it.

Speaking of Longish Articles

The Vogue piece on Hillary Clinton deserve special mention:  6,187 words (and I thought I was long-winded)..

OMG kids – that’s a 31-minute article which is far, far too long for a Clinton piece.  I wouldn’t give here the time of day, let alone 31 minutes out of the remainder of my life.

Alternatively, in 880 words – four and a half minutes – you can read the latest about what’s in some of those leaky emails that can’t seem to get an indictment out of the Just Us department.

But let’s all keep pretending, shall we?

Big Headline of the Day

Obama is going to Cuba.

Please Mr. Obama, feel free to stay for a while.  Maybe ICE could stop illegal Executive Orders at the border, perhaps?

I’ll even help with the math:  Leave today instead of March and come back in, oh, 337 days.  Just in time for the inauguration of the replacement.   Howzzat for helpful?  Great music in Cuba, sandy beaches, golf…you know I’d even come join in if invited….

There had been some speculation prior to the tip announcement that Obama would name his Scalia replacement rather than do the travel agent thing.  Not yet..still more polarizing to do..

Still, try this article on for size:  The number of white dudes becoming federal judges has plummeted under Obama.

Yes, this is the part where you’re supposed to look surprised.  But let’s keep pretending.

BitCrimes and Blockchains

Got to love this one:  After computer hack, LA hospital pays $17000 in bitcoin ransom to get back medical records.  bTC’s are 423 this morning, no doubt helped by hospital buying…

Meantime, IBM wants to move into blockchain space. On the other side of the blockchain debate is this piece in the MIT Technical Review which is worth thinking about.

As we explained in our January 21 discussion of How to Save Blockchains, the answer is simply to load-balance based on transaction amount.  But who listens, anymore?

I mean, beside Elaine and Alexa?