Yo-Yo Markets – Driven By Obamacare Failure?

Earlier this morning, the futures were pointing up a bit more than sixty points.  Which means, simply put, that the markets are confused, don’t know which way to turn, and there’s no telling where things will go when things finally turn up or down in a meaningful way.

Think of it like a big herd of cattle, they almost get into a stampede one way, but then think better of it, stop and reconsider their situation.  Down 54-points yesterday and then back up this morning – what kind of fun is trading in this kind of market?

Still, there’s plenty of reason for the herd to be confused.  If you haven’t been keeping track, consider:

This last one is HUGE because the market has been wondering how to come up with enough consumer discretionary funding to bolster earnings in order to show some respectable returns because if bond yields rise, that could kill the bull market.  On the other hand, if the healthcare rules are relaxed – even if only for a year – that would buy time to make the computer systems work and would give people (and Congress) some time to rethink their role as “enforcers” for the Insurance industry.

As of this morning, the speculation seems to be that signup windows will be postponed until sometime in 2014, but if a two part word whose first part is spelled ‘cluster’ comes to mind, that’s a reasonable take on things here.

Another thing that’s happening is that the economy of Europe is starting to show something other than a “flat-line” display on the life support monitoring statistics.  As this story in the NY
this morning points out, the region has now put together 4-months in a row of small, but measurable growth reported by EU purchasing managers.  That helps spike the punch a bit more down on the Street.

Not that relations with the US/Obamanistas will improve overnight.  Germany and France are still plenty-pissed about the NSA spying on them, but again, president Obama is something of an expert at “no flinch” poker.  While some might opine that’s more runaway ego, more than poker-playing skill on the world stage, we just follow the data and look where it points:  up…only a bit, but up, nevertheless.

One economic number out this morning to consider in here:   The Balance of Trade figures.  This is an important one to watch because it is directly related to how much debt the US will have to pawn off on the rest of the world.  Still, anything that’s even a modest improvement will certainly be welcomed.  Numbers please?

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that total August exports of $189.2 billion and imports of $228.0 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of $38.8 billion, up from $38.6 billion in July, revised.

August exports were $0.1 billion less than July exports of $189.3 billion. August imports were virtually unchanged at $228.0 billion.

In August, the goods deficit increased $0.1 billion from July to $58.2 billion, and the services surplus was virtually unchanged at $19.4 billion. Exports of goods decreased $0.3 billion to $132.4 billion, and imports of goods decreased $0.1 billion to $190.7 billion. Exports of services increased $0.1 billion to $56.8 billion, and imports of services increased $0.2 billion to $37.4 billion.

All of which adds up to a pretty good stampeded for the bulls, unless, of course, there is something else going on in the background to be aware of.  And, unfortunately, that would be Israel making noises about popping Iran.

There’s a very insightful article in the Washington Post this morning which lays out the under-currents at play.  Essentially, you’ve got strange bedfellows developing at Israel is now aligned width the Saudis, and both of them are not happy width the US love-fest going on with Iran presently, nor are either happy with the lack of US action of Syria.

  Pakistan Posturing

We’ve expressed many times that national government often have both an “internal face” as well as an ‘external’ one, and depending on who they think they’re talking to, they will report different things.

Take the recent drone strike in Pakistan.

Conventional wisdom, based on the news reports after the latest attacks, paint a picture of the Pakistanis being mad.

But are they, really?  A report out this morning says they have known about US efforts to attack terrorists on Pakistani soil for at least a couple of years and quietly approved.

Sometimes, grand as the free press is, thanks to the Internet, it’s useful to consider when a talking head speaks, to consider who they think the audience is, and adjust your speculations and conclusions accordingly.

The Nanny State Chronicles

A report out from Census says 82-million are in households getting Medicaid and 49% of the people in the country are getting some form of government assistance.

Open your notebooks and jot down $3.7 trillion being spent on welfare in the past five years.

On this last point, please note that the republicorps had a hand in getting the report requested, which gets me to suggesting that the Republican party change its name to the Accounting Party.

I’m also open to the Audit Party, if anyone wants to take up the cause…

Need I mention that the US Budget Deficit, if it keeps growing at the present run rate will top $22-billion by February… Let me see, Debt 37% more than GDP…oh, just peachy!

Do you think that’s why gold is starting to move (and the markets are pricing up) because paper is starting to implode?

March to 2016

Say, hecklers are not letting Hillary Clinton forget Benghazi with chants of ‘You let them Die!’ at an appearance.

Hillary managed to get a round of applause from the audience when she said that people need to sit down and talk about things.  Which I don’t remember when she slid on the Benghazi stuff, but even worse:  Who would offer applause for such pap?  These people vote…what can I say?

Cops and Guns

Here is another story that underscore that people not guns are the problem these days:  Three children were hurt at a school when an officer’s gun went off.

And the LA Times this morning carries a story of a deputy killing a child who was brandishing what turned out to be a pellet gun.  This one is particularly troubling, since the gun looked like a real assault weapon… what was the officer to do?

Political Correctness Dept.

We now have another no-no to add to the list of what’s politically correct and what’s not.  the University of Colorado (Boulder) policy is being widely reported by the international media.

As I’ve explained previously, this is why Zombies are so popular:  It’s OK to dress up as Zombies, kill them (or even mock-kill them) and they work for all kinds of jokes that used to be based on racial stereotypes.

The haunting question for Halloween is whether correctness is going too far?  Is UC Boulder serious about turning rednecks and white trash into a protected class?  Get me the ViceGrips, I feel a squeeze coming on…

It’s all part of the “death of humor” which I’ve been intrigued with for years.  Seems that the old days of belly laughs I can remember from my childhood has just about been banished.

Maybe…just maybe…nothing is funny anymore?  Not today, anyway…