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by Larry Levin   Now that the Greece crisis is solved (HA!), the world has turned their attention (and HFT black boxes) to the long awaited address of the Senate Banking Committee from the Fed Chairwoman, Janet Yellen. What will she say? Almost more importantly, what is the tone of her words? These statements and subsequent Q&A are so nuanced, it borders on insanity. As related to policy: *YELLEN: `PATIENT' MEANS LIFTOFF UNLIKELY FOR COUPLE OF MEETINGS *YELLEN: GUIDANCE CHANGE TO MEAN LIFTOFF POSSIBLE AT ANY MEETING *YELLEN: FED WILL RAISE WHEN `REASONABLY CONFIDENT' ON … [Read more...]

Stocks Dip on Mixed Earnings


The U.S. equity markets are trading modestly lower in early action, with the Street digesting a plethora of earnings reports, with Target's upbeat quarterly results overshadowing some cautious guidance, while Hewlett-Packard issued a profit warning due to the U.S. dollar's strength. Lowe's Companies posted favorable 4Q results and guidance, while Dollar Tree topped earnings expectations but offered a disappointing outlook. Treasuries are lower as Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will continue her Congressional testimony, while U.S. mortgage applications fell and new home sales are due … [Read more...]

Stocks Higher Following Favorable Jobs Report


The U.S. equity markets are trading higher in early action, with traders digesting a stronger-than-expected domestic January nonfarm payroll report, which showed strong upward revisions to the prior months' job growth figures and a solid rebound in wages. Treasuries are trading lower on the heels of the jobs report, along with gold prices, while the U.S. dollar and crude oil prices are gaining ground. Meanwhile, a read on consumer credit is due out in the final hour of trading. In earnings news, Twitter bested the Street's quarterly forecasts, while Expedia missed earnings projections. In … [Read more...]



by Larry Levin   NFP is an acronym that some many non-traders don't understand. This jumble of letters stands for Non-Farm Payroll data; otherwise known as the monthly payroll report. Will it be a hit or a miss? We won't really know until we read the government's report this Friday morning; however, the following is a guesstimate from our friends at ZeroHedge. Yesterday, in the aftermath of the latest disappointing economic data this time from the non-mfg ISM, Goldman surprised many when it cut its January non-farm payroll estimate from an above consensus 250K to a below … [Read more...]



by Larry Levin   On Wednesday the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) made an announcement that may surprise many who are not in the trading business; however, for those of us that are here every day, it is no surprise: the CME will close nearly all of its trading floors/pits. From 1848 to 1992, all trading was done by humans in an open-outcry fashion. But as computer speed followed Moore's Law, which is the observation that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years, humans became less … [Read more...]

Stocks Higher as Volatility Remains


The U.S. equity markets are trading higher in early action, though volatility remains amid oil's wild swings as of late, mixed global earnings and economic data, and a flare-up in Greek debt concerns. Treasuries are moving lower following a smaller-than-expected rise in U.S. jobless claims, while separate reports showed domestic nonfarm productivity unexpectedly declined and the trade deficit surprisingly widened. In earnings news, Yum Brands posted disappointing earnings but relatively stronger-than-expected sales figures, while Under Armour posted better-than-forecasted quarterly results but … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong With QE?

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by Larry Levin We have every sovereign nation that can muster enough credibility to devalue its currency on a very direct path to do so. I call it “rolling QE”. Much like the adage: “The Sun Never Sets On the English Empire” now it’s “The Sun Never Sets On QE”. Japan, Eurozone, US…. lather, rinse, repeat. This has been a very ingenious (I am being kind) period in Central Banking. Never before have we seen more forces at work trying to game the system out of it’s own house of cards. Then why is nothing working? The whole point of QE is to stimulate the economy and … [Read more...]

Equities Mixed on Plethora of Data

Mixed Data

The domestic equity markets are mixed in late-morning action on the heels of a heavy dose of global economic and earnings data. Meanwhile, energy stocks are giving back some of their recent rally as crude oil prices are paring their sharp rebound seen in the past few sessions, exacerbated by a disappointing Chinese services sector report. However, losses are being held in check by some favorable domestic services sector releases, upbeat eurozone economic data, continued easing of Greek debt concerns, and China's announcement of further stimulus measures. Treasuries are trading lower, while … [Read more...]

A Super Sized Squeeze


by Larry Levin   The good old-fashioned short squeeze. This most often happens in the stock or futures markets when a rapid increase in the price of a stock or future that occurs when there is a lack of supply and an excess of demand for the stock. Let’s take a look what some at how some derivative-base ticket brokers have tried to game the system over the last few years with our beloved Super Bowl. As the CEO of TiqIQ, Andrew Tulloch, tells us (via The Daily Beast): “Two days after the conference championship game, the cheapest ticket for Super Bowl XLIX was going for … [Read more...]

Stocks Choppy Following Manufacturing Data

Triple Dip2

On the heels of some disappointing manufacturing reports out of the U.S. and China, the domestic equity markets are mixed in choppy afternoon action, though energy stocks are gaining ground as crude oil prices are trading to the upside. Treasuries are lower even as other U.S. economic reports showed construction spending missed forecasts and personal income and spending diverged. Meanwhile, in U.S. earnings news, Dow member Exxon Mobil topped the Street's earnings forecasts, while Sysco matched analysts' earnings expectations but missed analysts' profit margin forecasts. Gold and the U.S. … [Read more...]