More Troops – Bad Bet

Nicholas Kristoff’ s editorial in today’s NYT on why more troops in Afghanistan is a bad bet. Investors411 praised the fact that we tripled aid to Pakistan.  Here’s Kristoff’s money quote.  “American policy makers were completely blindsided in recent weeks by outrage in Pakistan at the terms of our latest aid package — and if we can’t even hand out billions of dollars without triggering nationalistic resentment, don’t expect a benign reaction to tens of thousands of additional American troops.

Jobs Jobs Jobs

Investors411 has painted a bleak picture of long term job prospects for Americans over the last few month. When you add to this shadow banks are still in the shadows and foreclosure problem is at best stabilized you have a bleak picture for Main Street USA.  Perhaps those that have seen gains in their stock portfolio’s since the spring will spend and juice the economy. However, especially for older workers, as Abby Gold in the comments section points out, on Main Street its not a rosy picture.

Solutions – One specific help would be to extend something like the $8,000 homeowner credit for first time home buyers. 350,000 buyers took advantage of this program – it worked especially for lower priced homes. The ripple effect is those new home buyers have to furnish those homes. Two respected individuals have offered their solutions

  • Mort Zuckerman (right of center – editor of US News & World mag.) in an editorial titled “The free market is not up to the job of creating work” suggests a “massive program(s)to restore stable jobs growth.” He suggests a National Jobs bank and allocating $65 billion toward it. LINK
  • Tom Friedman (left of ccenter/pro business – NYT columnist) looks at the failures of America’s education system to keep up with the increasingly  globalized world.  Here’s the money quote – “While the subprime mortgage mess involved a huge ethical breakdown on Wall Street, it coincided with an education breakdown on Main Street — precisely when technology and open borders were enabling so many more people to compete with Americans for middle-class jobs.LINK

Pay Cuts on Bailed Out Companies

Obama administration is forcing pay cuts on top executives of 7 bailout firms. Good first step, but what about all those other shadow financial institutions who used the Fed or collected big time from AIG’s  bailout? Goldman Sachs & many others gets away without any claw backs in this. Huffington Post LINK or NYT LINK



Index Percentage % Volume
Dow -0.90% up
NASDQ -0,59% up
S&P500 -0.89% up
Russell2000 -1.35%

Investors411 record – 4 1/2 years of beating benchmark S&P 500

(see results for last 1/2 year – click  6/25 & scroll down)

  • Brown = repeat statements
  • Green = usually bullish statements
  • Red = Usually bearish statements

Technicals, Fundamentals & Analysis

This is a US stock market dominated by professionals and traders.  Some sort of programed trade kicked in the last hours and the pro’s left the building.  The volume way well above average and the fall from what was a rally was over 1%. Volume increased significantly in the last hour’s price collapse = Bears asserting dominance

The dollar fell significantly which almost always means US equities rally. This again = Bears asserting dominance

The dollar fell so overbought oil prices rose significantly LINK to chart +2.25 to $81.37 . Obviously oil prices above $80 is going to hurt ma and pa consumer in any recovery.  Sure looks like some entity or group is manipulating oil prices. Up 9 of last  10 days and going parabolic (up too far too fast)= Bears asserting dominance

The BDI rose (probably did not have time to react to swift fall in equities)

Reading the Tea Leaves – There is no specific fundamental(s) that you can point to that says yea that’s the reason stocks tanked in big time volume at in the last hour of trading.  Obviously “the Pro’s” know something us common investors do not. Earnings season has been much better than expected with companies beating on both TOP and bottom line. The dollar fell. The BDI is rising.  Stocks should be rising.

Stocks falling on good earnings news, a rising BDI and a falling dollar is a disconnect from what has been a historically a positive trend .  Think of this as a sign in the road saying WARNING SPEED BUMP AHEAD.


Significant forecasting tools/Indexes for stock markets

(Besides #1 Volume & #2 Reaction to News)

BDI The Baltic Dry Index measures the flow of goods by price (world trade) .

The BDI is @ 30% off its high (early June) Before that it gained almost over + 630% from its all time low of 663 in Dec. of 2008 (April 2009 high of 4291 )

The BDI rose a significant +85 points Friday and closed at 2917. A higher high price on its chart pattern has been confirmed and it sure looks like a bullish run could be starting. =  Bullish for stocks & world trade right now


The Dollar is currently the #1 forecasting tool .

$USD - Check out the 6 month chart (to the left) or a multi year chart of the US dollar of the US dollar.

Mantra Dollar up = US stocks down & Dollar down = US stocks up

US dollar fell a significant -0.55 % The dollar closed at $75.12 . We have developed a support now resistance (it’s called support on the way down and resistance on the way up) level just below $76 . The dollar closed below its support level. = Bullish for stocks

NB -

  • Earnings will probably trump the dollar as the #1 influencing factor for the nest two weeks. But the falling dollar is the main driver of stocks right now and we have a long way to go till we hit last year’s $71 low.
  • A slow decline in the dollar = good a rapid decline = bad .

Last year’s low was around $71,(March 08 ) so there is a long way to go before the major and very crucial support level is reached .

The dollar does have a support level around $74.00( a high from about a year ago – see long term chart)


The  Positions Section (top of blog) to see all the latest buys and sells

Trades made this week are updated at the end of the week. -  Sold 50% of position in EWZ and all of EWY. Have no position in XLE. Also for TRADERS (not investors) strongly considering buying some companies listed yesterday that had outstanding earnings, but have fallen over last few days.


See Changes in STRATEGY, POSITIONS, & OVERVIEW sections of blog


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