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Oil and Puppeteers


        by Larry Levin Oil? Uhh, is there a problem in the markets out there that has to do with oil? No – couldn't be. Oh wait, there “was,” as in past other words, three whole days later there's no problems now. Good times...good times. There must have been insanely good, and new, fundamental news that hit the tape because the market RACED so much higher that even the perma-bulls on Fraud Street were shocked. Clearly the oil problem is gone – right? Let's have a look at the recent news. • Oil prices plummeted ~7% from its intra-day … [Read more...]

Stocks Mixed Following Two-Day Jump

Dow Continues To Soar To Record Levels

Coming off a sharp two-day rally, the U.S. equity markets are mixed in afternoon action. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are modestly extending their gains, while the Dow is being bogged down by a solid decline in Nike after its disappointing futures orders are overshadowing its stronger-than-expected quarterly results. Meanwhile, crude oil prices are rebounding to buoy energy stocks, while trading is choppy on quadruple witching day, the simultaneous expiration of option and futures contracts on stocks and indexes. Treasuries are mixed after being pressured by the recent rally in stocks, with the … [Read more...]



          by Larry Levin Right now you need a lot of rubles to buy most things, except of course for a barrel of crude. Overnight, the ruble sank as much as 19 percent to 80.10, before trading at 78 at 3:14 p.m. in Moscow. That was the biggest drop since 1998, the year Russia defaulted on its local debt. The currency erased a gain of 11 percent as investors shrugged off a surprise Bank of Russia decision to take its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent. Ten-year government-bond yields jumped 317 basis points to a record 16.4 … [Read more...]

Stocks Remain Under Pressure as Oil Continues to Drop


The U.S. equity markets are lower in early action, with oil's persistent drop continuing to weigh on sentiment as the Street grapples with potential ripple effects outside of the energy sector. Moreover, volatility elevated as Russia boosted its benchmark interest rate by over 600 basis points to 17.0% in an attempt to stabilize the falling ruble but the action is failing to stem the currency's sell-off. Treasuries are trading noticeably higher on the heightened volatility, while a read on domestic housing construction missed expectations, ahead of a preliminary look at U.S. manufacturing … [Read more...]

Crude Oil


          by Larry Levin   The main topic of last week's market action was certainly the collapsing crude oil prices. And although everyone's initial reaction to lower oil prices is that it will be good for the economy and therefore the market, we're finding out that when the whole sector has been financialized, it can drag stocks lower. This worry will surely be at the top of the list this coming week as well. In fact, if the following news turns out to be correct, it could get a lot worse. OPEC says it could oil prices to fall to $40 per … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   Let us not forget about China. They are in fact now the world’s largest economy, officially surpassing the U.S. according to new data from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF says China will produce $17.6 trillion this year, ahead of the $17.4 trillion made by the U.S. This is the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president that we are number two. But just like the domestic economic situation here at home, being number one doesn’t mean things are robust and rosy for the Chinese economy. The Chinese stock … [Read more...]

Domestic Stocks Dragged Lower by Overseas Pressure


Although well off of the worst levels of the day, the domestic equity markets remain lower in afternoon action, heading for their second-straight session of losses. The weakness comes as Chinese stocks sold-off after regulators tightened lending requirements, while European stocks fell broadly following the drop in China and as Greek stocks tumbled amid political uncertainty. Meanwhile, the U.S. equity front is applying some pressure, as Dow member Verizon Communications issued a profit warning, Citigroup announced a $3.5 billion 4Q charge and H&R Block posted a wider-than-expected loss. … [Read more...]

Central Bank Santa


        by Larry Levin   Is it any surprise oil prices are cratering? With global GDP expectations plumbing cycle lows, JPMorgan confirmed the global slowdown is accelerating as their Global Manufacturing PMI printed 51.8 - its slowest level of 'expansion' since September 2013.New Orders fell to the lowest reading since July 2013 and New Export Orders to the lowest since June 2013. But this was “spun” to be positive, because hey, gas is cheap! And there’s more bad news/good news scenarios where that came from. From Zero Hedge Prepare … [Read more...]

Stocks Finding Energy to Rebound

Rally Rolls On

  The domestic equity markets are trading higher in afternoon action, rebounding from yesterday's declines on further stimulus hopes in China and the eurozone. Commodity-related issues, notably energy stocks, are getting a boost and also helped push European markets mostly higher. Moreover, a rally in shares of Biogen Idec on upbeat study results of its Alzheimer's treatment is aiding the healthcare sector. Elsewhere, Treasuries are trading solidly lower, while the lone report on the domestic economic calendar revealed stronger-than-expected construction spending. Meanwhile, gold and … [Read more...]



      by Larry Levin PMI data is released once per month and the next date is Monday, December 1st. PMI stands for the Purchasing Managers Index that is a monthly survey of certain companies, which provide an advanced indication of what is happening in the private sector of the country. All advanced economies report this index and it is one of the more important data points. U.S. PMI data are expected Monday morning and have a consensus reading of 55.0. A pre-estimate is called the “Flash PMI,” which came out earlier in November and surprised economists with a … [Read more...]