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The stock market sucks

Let's see, you got your head-and-shoulders pattern, you got your death cross, you got all major indices trading below their 200-day moving average, and a bloodbath in the futures market. Ha ha, this sucks.

I glimpsed a foreshadowing of this last week by looking at VIX. This volatility index is a rough measure of investor fear, and peaks in the VIX often correspond to market bottoms. Last week, however, when the Dow plunged 300 points, VIX was still calmly trading in a moderate range. That spooked me, because I saw it as a sign that the bottom was a ways off yet.

But today I'll bet we see some real movement in VIX, since we seem to be in for a wave of all-out panic selling. I like to think about buying when the market panics, so I'll be paying especially close attention to the news over the next week or so. We have a slew of earnings reports on tap, as well as the much-anticipated Fed meeting. If I see some encouraging earnings, reasonable reaction by the Fed, and a peak in VIX, I'm going to dive into the equities market like a fiancee into Filene's Basement's wedding gown sale.

UPDATE: As I was typing this, the Fed cut the federal funds rate by 75 basis points. The futures market has calmed considerably already. Should be an interesting day. Week. Next few months. Whatever.

UPDATE II: Wow, this is happening quick. VIX has leapt up out of the gate (too quickly for my options orders to be filled, alas) to right around the same highs it saw in mid-August -- which, if you'll look at a chart of the S&P 500 over the same time frame, represented an excellent buying opportunity.


On a more interesting note, I wonder if JMK still gives President Chimp and "A+" on the "war against Islam", you know, after he sold $20,000,000,000 worth of high tech weapons to the country responsible for the spread of radicalized Islam, including missile systems that could help them deliver a nuke once they get one (if they don't have one already).

So JMK, does your hero Chimp still get an A+?

Or ... is he just a corporate stooge, and a bought off traitor?

"Another statistic to consider is a study West Point conducted recently, the results indicated that 41% of foreign fighters (terrorists, suicide bombers whatever you want to call em, those guys who attack Americans) in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia."

Let's not forget that almost all of the 9-11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. Hey Rudy, why don't you try to say 9-11 a few more times per sentence?

Way to be on topic, Bailey. Go stalk JMK at his own blog, if that's all you can contribute here.

Is that Barely?

I think it would be clear from a cursory, honest look at past posts, that I’m one of the ONLY people who’ve posted here who has made any coherent criticisms of the Bush administration (on supporting illegal immigration, on failing to control reckless, governmental non-defense spending). I support his following the same Supply Side economic policies that Reagan, Bush Sr and Clinton all adhered to.

I’ve said that IF G W Bush could be proven to have “initiated a war of aggression against the Arab Muslims in the Mideast and elsewhere,” he’d be one of the worst human rights abusers to ever live and I would be guilty of having been a willing apologist for that...BUT, G W Bush didn’t initiate ANY “wars” against the global forces of Sharia-based Jihad (Congress initiated, by approving, TWO - Iraq & Afghanistan), but the U.S. government DIDN’T start the conflict with the “Cult of Sharia,” it merely belatedly engaged an enemy that had been waging war against the U.S. and American interests (oil & Israel) for over a decade BEFORE 9/11/01.

IF that is wrong (and it’s NOT), the least anyone who disagrees with my view could do is to offer proofs! To date, not a single one, in fact, not even a single rational opinion has been offered to refute the view I espoused above – that post 9/11/01 America merely RESPONDED TO over ten years of unrelenting warfare against America and American interests across the globe.

As for the economy. the American economy’s fundamentals remain strong, and that’s a good thing for all working people.

The unemployment rate, which had been steady at 4.7% all year, jumped to 5% in December, not only lower than its previous recent high of 6.3% in June of 2003, but not even as high as the pre-"irrational exuberance" of the late 1990s (it was 5.3% in January of 1997, before the Tech Bubble).

Productivity has risen steadily since 1992 (non-farm output per hour worked has gone from 94.5 to 138.7. Average hourly earnings also rose from $17.45 in July 2007 to $17.71 in December, 2007.

Lately, the consumer price index (CPI) has been rising, and it's now nearly double what it was a year ago.

Surprisingly enough, oil (your bugaboo) remains the least effective predictor of overall inflation, largely because technology has made our economy more productive on less energy sources. By a significant measure, gold turned out to be the best monitor of inflationary pressure.

What is driving the current inflation?

Four major factors;

• War and uncertainty in the Middle East
• U.S. reinflation
• Industrial demand in China and Asia, and, of course...
• The recent weakness in the U.S. dollar in foreign exchange markets

As long as price inflation continues to rise sharply, the Fed will be forced to raise rates, to avoid negative real interest rates, which is inflationary. Equally, the yield on the long bond will have to rise above 5%.

That’s why the current “stimulus package,” which is rooted in the Keynesian view that “spending drives the economy,” (which is largely true), but doesn’t make the necessary distinction between positive private sector and individual spending (business capitalization and consumer spending) and negative governmental spending.

The Fed artificially lowering interest rates when rising price inflation (mostly due to the falling dollar) would seem to be a counter-indicated policy intended to restore both investor and consumer confidence, but consumer confidence actually increased 0.8 percentge points in December, and this short term interest rate drop may actually increase inflationary trends down the road.

America is in the midst of a transitioning global economy. India and China are both industrializing rapidly and those economies, driven by the force of 2.2 Billion producers and consumers will soon overtake America's economy as the world's largest.

In the long run, this is going to be good for many American and Western European businesses and workers, but in the short term, it's going to put an intractable upward pressure on world energy prices AND a downward pressure on the U.S. dollar and there's really not much the U.S. can do about any of that.

We can't change, or turn back the rapid industrialization of India and China, and there's not really much we can do about many, if any of the global parameters that will cause some inevitable economic dislocations in our own economy. Some of what this country will almost certainly do, will have a negative impact on many of those other nations...that too is inevitable.

What we need to do, above all else, is to stay with the Supply Side policies that have delivered over a quarter century of unprecedented growth and prosperity.

Supply side economics have led us straight into a recession.

Nice going, dumbass!

Supply Side economics did NOTHING of the sort anonymouse!

In fact, Ben Bernanke is doing exactly the right thing NOW (cutting rates) and he's expected to further cut the fed rate back down to around the 3.25% to 3.5% mark, which is where it should've been much earlier in the year.

Bernanke made the mistake of presuming rising oil prices were more inflationary than they actually were and kept the fed rate too high for too long.

I understand that this is the wrong place to get into Supply-Side vs Keynesian policies, as you don't seem to understand what either actually is and there's no way to explain that to you in such a venue.

You COULD look it up, however, if you were at all curious or so inclined.

Suffice to say, Keynesian policies failed us very badly in the 1970s (Carter's STAGFLATION was its end result)....just as it's failed France and Germany recently. That's why both those nations recently elected Sarkozy and Merckel and their more "Americanist economic policies."

So Keynesian policies are NOT an option for us. In fact, with the rest of the world adopting more "Americanist" (Supply Side) policies, it's really incumbent on us to move further toward a more open market styled economy.

No one has yet shown that globalism (Free Trade policies) have cost America any jobs....I have, however, seen many reports that show that those policies have created four times as many new jobs as left the country while those policies have been in effect.

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that globalism (global free trade and open markets) is "evil." That's a form of "magical thinking," and it's quite erroneous.

For one thing, there is no "good" or "evil" in economics, there is only cause and effect, things that are positive (prosperity generating) and negative (prosperity eliminating).

The EFFECTS of globalism for the USA appear to have been VERY positive. One of the things I applaud Bill Clinton for was his pushing NAFTA through in January of 1994, when the Dems still ran Congress. I also laud his enacting the Gingrich-styled Welfare Reforms that saved the country untold Billions of dollars in social spending and allowed a lot of people formerly mired in poverty to become productive citizens.

Look, you appear to be unqualified to state even a personal preference for either Supply Side or Keynesian policies, by dint of your not knowing what they each are. The reality we're faced with is that today's Democratic Congress is far more Conservative than the one back in 1994, as today over 20% of the Dems in Congress are Conservative Dems, back in 1994, it was under 10%!

That means NAFTA, GATT and CAFTA, etc., are almost certainly staying put and Keynesian policies are not expected to make any sort of a comeback any time soon.

the stock market sucks...
I told my husband to MOVE the money out of the stock market ......he is a jerk...I need to divorce him..........I lost so much money since he would not move my money....should I divorce him...I think so

the stock market sucks...
I told my husband to MOVE the money out of the stock market ......he is a jerk...I need to divorce him..........I lost so much money since he would not move my money....should I divorce him...I think so

"I told my husband to MOVE the money out of the stock market ......he is a jerk...I need to divorce him..........I lost so much money since he would not move my money....should I divorce him...I think so"

@ unknown....it must be great to have a marriage based on investment-savvy, it sure beats those based on...I don't know, love for example. Why didn't you just move the money yourself? It's your money after all, or at least it was lol.

This stock market failure is exciting for me. I won't have much of anything to lose(pay cash people), but so many important figures in our economy are going to be slaughtered. I'd start popping some fresh popcorn, but it just takes so long for the market to die...

All "futures" markets should be ended. If a person wants to express his or her faith in a company and its stock, then all they have to do is buy the stock. If they feel that the company is going to have a downturn in performance, then don't buy their stock... or if you own some of their stock... sell it. The result of those actions... they will have had the effect on the stock that it should have. Playing the futures market is gambling... and gambling that has its own effect on markets... rather than those conditions that should effect the value of the stock. The classic example... the price of a barrel of oil. Speculation alone... drove up the price of a barrel of oil... NOT supply and demand. And, everyone paid for that speculation at the pumps! v

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