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        by Larry Levin   The last two missives have dealt with “mixed signals” and believe me, we saw more of the same Thursday. The first 4.5 hours of the day experienced consecutively lower volume on each of the nine 30-minute each period traded higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher, and higher...and higher (9 times). Although one could have probably made this same argument from time-to-time over the past few years, this time the S&P is doing it at a record high and therefore makes it … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals

Mixed Signals1

by Larry Levin Everyone’s happy, everyone’s confident. There’s collective euphoria! The market closed higher yet again on Tuesday and futures were higher overnight. This all came after the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence reached a fresh seven-year high this month as Americans are increasingly optimistic about the economy in general and the job market in particular. The group’s confidence index rose from a downwardly revised 90.3 in July to a new recovery high of 92.4 this month as the present situation component jumped 6.7 points to 94.6. The expectations … [Read more...]

Party Time

Party Time1

        by Larry Levin   The stock market had a party on Monday. Unfortunately, most of the guests decided not to show up. On the the lowest S&P futures (non-holiday) trading volume of the year, the index topped 2,000 for it's first time on Monday 16 years after it first cleared 1,000. That 4% market correction was quick and virtually painless. Not missing a beat after the market briefly tested 1900, the dip buyers came roaring back - gunning for the 2000 marker on the S&P 500, confident that longs were not selling and that shorts … [Read more...]

Jackson Hole

jackson hole2

        by Larry Levin   The market waited all week for the Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, to make her speech at the conference of central planners in Jackson Hole Wyoming. The market was expecting to hear of more QE-fairies in the not too distant future; however, it wasn't to be. Wall Street came to the conclusion that Yellen was too ambivalent on the future. The following are some gathered comments. Goldman (Jan Hatzius): •We think the tone from Chair Yellen's Jackson Hole speech was broadly balanced, perhaps slightly more so than in past … [Read more...]

Heat Map

Heat Map

by Larry Levin While at the J-Hole symposium, leading global central planners will be explaining why they believe the economy is great, yet at the same time it is so bad that there is still a need for ZIRP and NIRP. It's highly unlikely, however, that the central planning nannies will admit that the charts both above and below from Bloomberg are worrisome. Janet Yellen's 10am ET speech will not be the only one that may cause fireworks; Super-Mario Drahgi will also be speaking at 12pm ET.   … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   The FOMC released the minutes of its most recent meeting and it was viewed by almost everyone as surprisingly hawkish. In that assemblage of Fed-heads, many expressed the need for higher interest rates much sooner rather than later. This Friday Janet Yellen will give her speech on policy at the Jackson Hole gathering, which should shed some light on this turn of events. Wednesday's data release was summed up by Goldman Sachs as (partially) follows... BOTTOM LINE: The July FOMC minutes generally had a slightly hawkish … [Read more...]

New School

New School2

      by Larry Levin   Most of you have probably taken both economics and political science at some point in your schooling. Well anything you learned, toss that out the window. A quick reminder of how geopolitics really governs the markets: on Friday, the market plunged 0.005% over fears Ukraine and Russia may be about to go at it all out after a fake report Ukraine shelled a Russian military convoy. On Monday, the same "market" soared just under 1% as the news that had caused the "crash" was refuted. The major averages rebounded with some conviction, as … [Read more...]

Quote Stuffing

Quote Stuffing

        by Larry Levin   I often write about the HFT traders and the unfair advantage they have in the market. Last week, there were more allegations and revelations. While I have talked about all of this before, I wanted to provide some context for people who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of the business. There is a problem in the markets known as quote stuffing. This is where HFT create quotes that are supposed to trick others into believing there is a true order available to be hit. In reality those are not real orders. They are decoys. … [Read more...]



        by Larry Levin   It may be Friday but there's a whole to consider as we head into today's trading session and the weekend. Here is the bulletin headline summary from Bloomberg and RanSquawk: Further reduction of war-related premiums amid reports that Ukrainian border guards were allowed to check Russian humanitarian cargoes supported flows into EU stocks this morning. Bunds remained supported by the prospect of further policy easing by the ECB following a raft of less than impressive macroeconomic data over the past few days. UK Q2 … [Read more...]

Atlantic City

Atlantic City1

          by Larry Levin   Revel, the already bankrupt Atlantic City casino, announced yesterday that it would shut down after failing to find a qualified buyer during a court-supervised auction process. Its failure comes a little more than two years since the resort opened in a bid to reinvigorate the long-declining gambling industry in Atlantic City. In June, Revel filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to negotiate a sale to Hard Rock International. Hope remained that another buyer would emerge and close on a deal. But by Monday, … [Read more...]