RF's Financial News

RF's Financial News

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This week in Barrons - 3-7-10

This Week in Barrons – 3-7-10:

Our Thoughts:
A man's only as old as the woman he feels … Groucho Marx

A Stroll Down Bizarro Lane
On Friday:
- Did we really just lose another 36k people from the payrolls last month? What the Initial Jobless Report failed to mention was that the enrollment in the "special emergency" programs that extend benefits rose by over 240,000. Where are those rose colored glasses when I need them?
- WASHINGTON - A new congressional report released Friday says the United States' long-term fiscal woes are even worse than predicted by President Barack Obama's grim budget submission last month. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that Obama's budget plans would generate deficits over the upcoming decade that would total $9.8 trillion. That's $1.2 trillion more than predicted by the administration. The agency says its future-year predictions of tax revenues are more pessimistic than the administration's.
- We ended the session with the DOW up 122 points and crossing over the 10,500 line, but once again we have this announce called reality:
- CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Regulators on Friday shut banks in Florida, Illinois, Maryland and Utah, boosting to 26 the number of bank failures in the U.S. so far this year following the 140 brought down in 2009 by mounting loan defaults and the recession.

Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse … Groucho Marx
As I was driving to Chicago to see my son at Northwestern Univ a little while ago – I couldn’t help but notice warehouse after empty warehouse, all of them with "For Sale" signs on them. Hotels with graffiti’d walls – potentially 250 rooms – no windows, no beds – it reminded me of pictures of burned out buildings in Berlin in WWII.

Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife … Groucho Marx
On Friday:
- New Jersey Transit Plans 25% Fare Increase to Cope With Expanding Deficit
- Oil rises to near $81
- Unemployment Rate Including Discouraged Workers Rose To 16.8%
- Wall Street Journal - Employment of Adult Males at Record Low
- On CNBC - Someone came on and said: “Hey, somebody's going to bail Greece out, it's no big deal". No big deal – a monetary union made up of different cultures, most of them broke and making believe they can just move forward like nothing's wrong – it’s a BIG DEAL!

I ran across someone who just purchased a $50,000 automobile – and I asked how he was going to pay for that – what I heard back was interesting – “I stopped paying my mortgage about a year ago. The house is worth half of what I paid for it, so I told the bank you keep it - but I'll stay here and maintain it for you until you kick me out. That was 14 months ago and I haven't heard a word. So, instead of paying $1,500 a month on my house, I pay $700 a month for my car."

Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough … Groucho Marx
There is no question we are deep into a deleveraging situation, a credit crunch, an impending commercial real estate crash, and much more. Looking at global stock market patterns, and the debt to GDP ratios in foreign lands, this isn't going to be a "US only" disaster. I tend to think we'll be living through a synchronized global melt down in the next 1 - 3 years time. China is still putting up Cities that house a million people, but no one lives there. Japan is in a slowdown. Europe is trying to get Germany to pay for everything and they aren't willing to, and Sovereign debt is the next international shoe to drop.

Have faith in Gold, Silver and related "shares". Only Gold and silver have the ability to withstand such monetary disasters.

The Market:
The DOW hit 10,566 – good work – so what’s next? A month of so ago I suggested that the market would make a mad dash higher, but it would come up short of the 10,723 high and then roll over. Is it possible we just punch through and make all new highs here? Sure it's possible, this market is getting juiced by Uncle Sam on a daily basis – who has deep and unlimited pockets.

I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members … Groucho Marx
But we're going to remain stubborn and suggest that even if/when we hit the highs, we struggle there, and pull down. Even if we exceeded the high by a hundred points or so, I'd be hard pressed to think it could hold up there. We know employment is rotten, we know banks are insolvent, we know that without Uncle Sam spending $24 Trillion, we'd be mired in the grand depression right now. The illusion of recovery is just that, an illusion. If we do take out the highs and just roll on up to 11K, I won't be surprised. I will just have under estimated the amount of money they are willing to spend to make it happen. In other words, as the world’s investors continue to pull money OUT of the markets, "someone" is making up the difference – and that someone is Uncle Sam. As Larry Levine said from the Chicago trading floor, "for 9 months all the market gains came in the overnight session". Consider that for a minute. You buy XYZ at 25.00 at noon. But by 4 pm it's at 24.60, so you sell it. The next day it opens at 25.75. There's the gain – in after hours – and who’s playing there – institutions and Uncle Sam. I have to figure that we might be looking at a shorting opportunity soon.

In the mean time we've been long several positions and they've done very well for us:
  • AAPL at 215.56 - hard stop at 216.50
  • DIA at 105.11 - hard Stop at 105..15
  • FCX at 77.11 - hard stop at 78.89
  • SPY at 109.55 - hard stop at 112.98
  • CLNE at 18.33 - hard stop 18.60

In the mean time, "lean long, but keep your finger near the sell button".

In the very near future – I’m going to start making my stock moves public under Twitter – so feel free to sign up as a twitter follower – “taylorpamm” is my nickname on Twitter – fyi.

Until next week – be safe.

R.F. Culbertson

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