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        by Larry Levin   The market had another wee-scare this week, which was the Scottish independence vote. As this is being written, the people of Scotland are deciding if they should be a free people or a vassal state of England; or of London more pointedly. Despite the fact that the vote is not complete while I type this, I will gladly go out on the proverbial limb and declare that the referendum will be an epic fail. I wish such declarations wouldn't be so easy to make; however, when it comes to the global banking mafia, you just have to … [Read more...]

Scots Stay in U.K.; Wall Street Debuts Biggest IPO Ever


      In the face of heavy trading volume, courtesy of quadruple witching day—the simultaneous expiration of stock and index options and futures contracts—the U.S. equity markets closed the session mixed as the Street debuted its largest IPO to date in the form of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding. Additionally, early morning sentiment may have found a boost from across the pond as Scotland voted to continue its union with the U.K. Treasuries were mostly higher as the lone release on the domestic docket revealed Leading Indicators rose less than … [Read more...]

Secrets of the Strategic Investors


      How do you calculate ROI on investment conferences? They often require travel expenses, time away from the office and some eating of rubber chicken with mysterious sauces. But the right conference can result in a whole new way of looking at your portfolio. To evaluate the recent Altegris/Mauldin Strategic Investment Conference in San Diego, The Gold Report asked attendees for their insights on the major themes from thought leaders such as Former Speaker of the House of Representatives and host of CNN's Crossfire Newt Gingrich, Gluskin Sheff + Associates Chief … [Read more...]

Stocks Hoping for Considerable Time Above Flatline


        The U.S. equity markets remain solidly above the unchanged mark in afternoon action, amid calmed concerns about a sooner-than-expected Fed rate hike after its statement yesterday, which showed its "considerable time" language was maintained. Equities are rising, but non-stock markets continue to grapple with the Fed's increased interest rate projections, highlighted by yesterday's sharp drop in the yen. Elsewhere, a tumble in U.S. jobless claims is being met with a disappointing read on domestic housing construction and Treasuries are flat after yields … [Read more...]

No More Hedge Funds

Hedge fund

      by Larry Levin   In a glaring better late than never move, CalPERS (The California Public Employees’ Retirement System–the largest pension fund in the U.S.) intends to divest all of the $4 billion it has invested in hedge funds. And in a glaring ode to the obvious, the reasons CalPERS gave are that the hedge funds are too expensive and complicated and basically more trouble than they're worth. With the stock market climbing to liquidity infused higher highs, the performance of most hedge funds have looked terrible by comparison, especially in light … [Read more...]

Stocks Ticking Higher as Fed Decision Awaits


      The U.S. equity markets are moving modestly higher in early action, with traders treading cautiously ahead of this afternoon's release of the monetary policy decision by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, reports of further stimulus measures from China's central bank is lending some support, while the domestic economic calendar showed consumer price inflation came in cooler than expected and mortgage applications jumped last week. Treasuries are mostly higher following the data and ahead of the Fed's decision, while a read on U.S. homebuilder sentiment is due out after … [Read more...]

Equities Decline as Global Restraint Remains


        The domestic equity markets are moving modestly lower in early action, with global sentiment remaining handcuffed as the Federal Reserve is slated to begin its two-day monetary policy meeting later today, while speculation is lingering that the Central Bank may tweak its statement tomorrow. Moreover, conviction is being tempered as the Scottish independence vote looms on the week's horizon. Treasuries are slightly higher following an inline U.S. producer price inflation report, which is the lone release on today's economic docket. Meanwhile, the equity … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   How often do you see just one bubble existing on its own? Not in a bath, not in a bottle of champagne, and definitely not in a frothy stock market environment. I have written about the student loan bubble and the sub-prime auto loan bubbles in this column before. Add to the list of bubbly worries, the second coming of the tech bubble. Bill Gurley, a prominent venture capitalist, believes that Silicon Valley is taking on an excessive amount of risk right now that is unprecedented since 1999. From the Wall Street Journal: WSJ: … [Read more...]

Retail Truth

Retail Sales1

      by Larry Levin   If I was speaking in my politician voice, I would employ not only optimism, but obfuscation and call most government data “occasionally unintentionally skewed to reflect an overly positive outlook.” Thankfully, I don’t and you know that in this newsletter I repeatedly call into question any and all government reports because I believe they are manufactured, massaged and manipulated to achieve a desired end. Friday, the government produced retail sales numbers for August that were supposedly positive according to the mainstream … [Read more...]

Stocks Flat as Street Awaits Global Decisions


      The domestic equity markets are nearly unchanged in early action, with caution ahead of Wednesday's Fed monetary policy decision and Thursday's Scottish independence vote keeping conviction hamstrung, along with some disappointing economic data out of China. Meanwhile, a jump to nearly a five-year high in New York manufacturing growth and a plethora of global M&A news are failing to stoke sentiment. Heineken rebuffed a takeover offer from SABMiller, while Cognizant Technology Solutions agreed to acquire TriZetto for $2.7 billion in cash and Danaher agreed to … [Read more...]