Iran Week Three


Two points of view

More Optimistic – Andrew Sullivan here (above photo from his blog)

More Pessimistic – Jaun Cole here

Unfortunately, think Cole has better insight.

barr-july-1951 Photo to left – Your editor in the fabulous Summer of 1951

Why the USA Is in Such Trouble


One of my left wing friends lamented that the Mark Sanford debacle didn’t get enough media attention this week. Sanford is a Republican family values governor who hypocritically had a torrid long term affair with an Argentina "firecracker," then likened himself to the biblical King David.

Farrah Fawcett (an actress who fought a courageous battle against cancer) and Michael Jackson (music icon with some strange behaviors) died and they sucked up all the news coverage. He wanted the Republican toasting to be the story of the week. All these events were secondary.

There was one big headline last week and these three events will have far less impact on your life and especially those of your children. - The US House of Representatives for the first time passed a major climate and environmental bill. As a society we just don’t get what’s important. That’s why this country is in such trouble.

There are 4 reasons why climate/environment legislation is so important, but today let’s deal with reason #1

Global Warming and The World Is Flat Society

In every society there are the flat worlders who for some reason (mostly self interest or emotionalism) want the opposite to be true. Example: Smoking doesn’t cause cancer or the CIA orchestrated the 911 attacks. Usually you will find a mix of these two groups in Flat Worlders – one that makes a profit and the other, close minded followers.

If you search through any relatively unbiased media source like Wikipedia you’ll find that "the Scientific community has reached consenus that global warming is man made" and "Since 2007 no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion." Link

Unfortunately, American culture is locked in the here and now of the Stanford of Jackson stories. Just like  smoking causing  cancer,  global warming will not kill me now and Stanford and Jackson sell.

Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman puts it bluntly -  those who think global warming is a hoax are committing "Treason against the planet" Unfortunately there are Republican members of the Flat World Society who voted against this legislation because hey believe global warming is a "hoax."

Research, the latest from MIT , (an evil scientific institution that the World is Flat Society hates and ignores) are seeing an even more rapid deterioration than expected. There are imperfections in the climate change legislation, but to vote against it because you think science is a "hoax" puts you in The World is Flat Society.

Reasons 2,3 & 4 tomorrow & apologies to Tom Friedman who has a totally different meaning in his book The World is Flat.



Index Percentage % Volume
Dow -0.40% up
NASDQ +0.47 % up
S&P500 -0.15% up
Russell2000 +0.79 % -


Technicals & Fundamentals

Big spike higher in NASDQ volume. Other major indexes up, but below average. NASDQ spiked probably due to rebalancing of the Russell 2000. So, no real help from volume in making a prediction.

Big events of the week

  • Madoff Monday – The financier gets sentenced
  • Consumer Confidence Numbers on Tuesday.
  • Gov’t employment numbers come out Friday (Market closed on Friday)

Significant forecasting tools/Indexes for stock markets

Note - Repeated statements in brown. Added the VIX back as a prediction tool.

BDI The Baltic Dry Index measures the flow of goods (world trade). You have to get out of the box and stop thinking just of the USA. This is a worldwide integrated economic planet and this Index is perhaps the best forecasting tool. If trade is diminishing through out the world then a worldwide recovery is in big trouble.

Look at the chart. (Click on the blue BDI above) You can adjust it from 5 years to one day.  You’ll see what looks like a recovery. Friday the BDI was flat and its started to trade in a range. This is better than the bearish fall over the previous four days. Right now the long term momentum is bullish and short term neutral

$USD - The Dollar fell-0.72% yesterday. Any move over 0.50 is significant. The strong inverse correlation between the dollar and stocks has existed for many moons.

Long term momentum for dollar is bearish. Short term  mo is neutral, but we are closer to a bottom side breakdown than an upside breakout. Any breakout or breakdown would be significant.

VIX – Measures Volatility in S&P 500. Notice this chart is in almost a straight line down.  The less volatility means the better investors are feeling.  This is clearly a long term bullish indicator .

Reading the Tea Leaves

Last weeks  fearless forecast – Another down to flat week. All indexes except the NASDQ were slightly down. NASDQ rose 0.6% .

This weeks fearless forecast A rally, but one that does not get to new highs. Volume, the #1 forecasting tool, is not cooperating.   Its hard to have confidence in the prediction because volume is not confirming the price move. Secondary indicators are more positive than negative.

Our Positions

Let’s take the 5% loss on SDS and sell it. SDS was bought as protection against a big downside move. For Mid Year Results see last Thursday’s Post.

Our Hedge (SDS & QLD ) is starting to work.

Our other new position IFN (India) is also off to a good start.

Long Term Outlook = NEUTRAL

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


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