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Greece

Greece

by Larry Levin   Greece is back in the news again. If you recall, a few years ago whenever there was political controversy in Greece the markets reacted with a severe “sell it at the market” rash. The market was fearful that a new group of politicians would force the country to leave the Euro, thus causing cascading and catastrophic losses for banks across the world, but especially in Germany. When enough politicians were bribed, however, the talk of leaving the Euro vanished. This time may be different. The leader of the newly elected Syriza party wants a major reduction in … [Read more...]

Stocks Declining After String of Gains

Dow Continues To Soar To Record Levels

Coming off a fourth-straight session of gains, the domestic equity markets are trading lower in late-morning action. Stocks are pulling back slightly from yesterday's rally that came from the announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) to expand its stimulus measures to include the purchase of government bonds. Meanwhile, the U.S. economic calendar offered some mixed data, with existing home sales and the Leading Index rising, while manufacturing growth unexpectedly decelerated. Elsewhere, Asian stocks finished broadly to the upside and European equities are mostly higher as the ECB's … [Read more...]

Euro Bazooka

bazooka1

by Larry Levin     The European Central Bank has gone all in: The Euro area will get nearly unlimited QE. The money-printing baton has been passed from the US and Japanese, to Mario Draghi. In order to debase its currency, drive inflation higher and thereby destroy purchasing power, Draghi fired a financial bazooka today. Full details from the ECB: ECB announces expanded asset purchase programme •ECB expands purchases to include bonds issued by euro area central governments, agencies and European institutions •Combined monthly asset purchases to amount to … [Read more...]

Stocks Declining After String of Gains

Downgrade

Coming off a fourth-straight session of gains, the domestic equity markets are trading lower in late-morning action. Stocks are pulling back slightly from yesterday's rally that came from the announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB) to expand its stimulus measures to include the purchase of government bonds. Meanwhile, the U.S. economic calendar offered some mixed data, with existing home sales and the Leading Index rising, while manufacturing growth unexpectedly decelerated. Elsewhere, Asian stocks finished broadly to the upside and European equities are mostly higher as the ECB's … [Read more...]

Ghost

Ghost1

by Larry Levin     Fear. It is a great motivator and mode of distraction. More importantly, it’s a very powerful tool. Often times a ruling body (i.e. governments) will exploit this human reaction as an opportunity. Look at how many liberties we gave up with the “Patriot Act” and how many years we spent in Afghanistan and Iraq based on the fear that a bunch of guys hiding in a cave were out to get us. Today we are presented with this from Zero Hedge: “Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi, the titular head of the Islamic State, according to Brigadier General Kevin Bergner - … [Read more...]

Stocks Declining Ahead of Policy Decision in Europe

Dowtech_down

The domestic equity markets are trading lower in early action, despite some gains for oil prices, coming off a resilient session yesterday though traders may be treading lightly ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB is expected to deploy expanded asset purchases to include government bonds. Meanwhile, earnings reports are ramping up, with Dow member IBM topping the Street's profit forecasts but missing on revenues and offering a disappointing outlook. In other earnings news, Netflix exceeded analysts' profit projections as … [Read more...]

Pyramid_Scheme2

by Larry Levin     I normally love it when billionaires fight billionaires. Watching egos get in the way of common sense is oddly satisfying. But in this case, my enjoyment is rooted elsewhere. I am talking about the fight between Bill Ackman and Carl Ichan with regards to Herbalife (HLF). What makes this clash of titans different is that one side has actually taken the moral high ground and is trying to do what is right. Bill Ackman has made this his personal cause to expose HLF for what it really is in that it is a pyramid scheme that preys on the poor and/or non-English … [Read more...]

Stocks Seeing Red as Global Mood Worsens on Data

Stocks Seeing Red1

The U.S. equity markets are trading lower in late-morning action on the heels of a disappointing domestic December retail sales report. The global mood was dampened by the recent drops in crude oil and copperprices, which are weighing on commodity-related stocks, while sentiment is being exacerbated by a lowered global growth forecast from the World Bank. Financials are being hamstrung by Dow member JPMorgan Chase & Co's disappointing earnings report due to a larger-than-expected legal expense. Treasuries are rallying amid the soured global sentiment, while gold is higher, crude oil prices … [Read more...]

Free Lunch?

Free Lunch1

by Larry Levin   When I was in my late teens, my father took me aside one day and told me “there’s no such thing as a free lunch!” At the time, I had no idea what he was talking about and just nodded my head and went back to doing whatever it was that teenage boys did. Little did I know what valuable advice he had just given me! Crude Oil has been the major story in the markets for the last few weeks and at first glance it would be hard to figure out who would be at risk outside of Russia and a few small time drillers out of North Dakota. But I will tell you who are shaking … [Read more...]

Stocks Showing Resiliency in Face of Continued Oil Drop

stocks-up5

The domestic equity markets are trading higher in early action, gaining ground despite the continued pressure on crude oil prices, which has weighed on the markets as of late and led yesterday's declines. Meanwhile, sentiment may be getting a boost from an upbeat read on China's trade activity and Alcoa's stronger-than-expected quarterly results, which unofficially kicked off 4Q earnings season. Meanwhile, Treasuries are trading higher despite the gains for stocks, while a report showed small business optimism improved. In other equity news, MetLife announced that it will file an action in … [Read more...]