Their Last Hoorah!

Their Last Hoorah!

The Last HoorahThis is the last hoorah for the old Democratic leaders. They know they are soon “out the door” because of their age.

Not having to stand for reelection because Nancy Pelosi (born March 26, 1940) who is now 80 years old and Charles “Chuck” Schumer (born November 23, 1950) who is 70 now, and Joseph “Joe” Biden Jr.(born November 20, 1942) who is 78 do not stand a chance in hell of holding on to power much longer.

They are now more desperate to overthrow Trump with the help of the media as they deal a death-blow to the investment community.

Beside their plan to restore taxes to the pre-Reagan era of 70%, their last hoorah is to impose a tax on every buy or sell transaction.

Wall Street has been dumping money into Governor Cuomo’s coffers trying to hold off this proposal.

He has been standing up against the Democrats in Washington but this is yet still part of the intense battle going on for the 2020 election.

Should You Borrow Gold?

Should You Borrow Gold?

Should You Borrow Gold? Gold does not bear interest which is why it has often been called a dead asset.

It costs to store it and with no income from the investment without selling it has always been one of the major obstacles to institutional investing in gold. Others have argued that central banks were the biggest lenders of gold and they did so to manipulate prices.

That myth has never stood the test of time for they were lending gold in up and down markets which never altered the natural cycle. In general, any entity which owns gold has always sought to lease it out to earn income.

The borrowers have been generally mines who may need to smooth their cash flow and will borrow gold to sell now which is replaced when the newly mined gold is refined and then used to repay the loan. Other borrowers have tended to be jewelry manufacturers who may be operating on a contract basis to buy gold and again need to borrow to smooth out the flow of manufacture.

Borrowing gold has normally been conducted at interest rates which are below that of borrowing cash because there are costs to physically deliver gold. Consequently, there have been also arbitrages on the interest rates between gold loans and cash loans. This is another whole new area of complexity. Therefore, the fact that gold loans have gone negative is indeed a reflection of lower demand from some industries like the jewelry trade as stores are locked down and people have lost their jobs and marriages have crashed.

If we look at the numbers from the Gold Council you will see that in 2019 new mine gold declined. The sharp rise in the gold supply is coming from people selling their old gold jewelry we called scrap. The rise in gold scrap is reflecting the decline in demand from the jewelry trade.

Indeed, the World Gold Council put out that the gold jewelry trade declined 6% in 2019. As the recession expands into 2022, the retail jewelry demand will decline rather than expand.

With retail down, this is contributing to gold lease rates moving negative.

So, the answer to the question of “Should You Borrow Gold?” is NO. However, you can profit handsomely whether Gold’s price rises or declines.  

InterAnalyst members are immediately notified of directional momentum in Daily, Weekly, and Monthly momentum charts with signals like the actual samples above.

How The V Became W

How The V Became W

A possible change in near-term trend is likely as we approach this month in S&P 500 established back during March. Normally, this implies that the next turning point should be a reaction high. Technical resistance stands at 3393.76 and it will require a closing above this level to signal a breakout of the upside is going to unfold. Our technical support lies at 2271.03 which is still holding at this time. which is still holding at this time,” stated Livio S Nespoli of InterAnalyst.us.

Some caution is necessary since the last high 3393.52 was important given we did obtain three sell signals from that event established during February. Nonetheless, this market is trading below that high by more than 5 percent. Critical support still underlies this market at 2532.68 and a break of that level on a monthly closing basis would warn a further significant decline ahead becomes possible.

The market has consolidated for the past 2 Months and only 3393.54 would suggest a reversal in the immediate trend. The previous low of 219186 made during March only a break of 244749 on a Monthly closing basis would warn of a technical near-term change in trend.

With recent spikes in coronavirus cases and fluctuations in the economic data, the market seems to be stuck in a range amid elevated volatility and how the V became a W.

“For now, volatility and choppy markets remain our base case as an uneven economic recovery likely unfolds, the stock market was suggesting a V-shaped recovery, but the more likely scenario is rolling Ws with a sideways to downward bias.” Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, said in a note.

The central bank unleashed another weapon in its arsenal this week, saying it will start buying individual corporate bonds. As comforting as it is to have the Fed’s support, the central bank can only do so much to ease investor fears.

“The Fed can’t prevent the volatility we’re seeing in stocks, and tt will likely take years for the economy to fully recover and there remain other uncertainties on the path ahead. As such, investors may continue to struggle with this mismatch between markets and the economy before seeing the case for new highs.”

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reminded investors again in his semiannual testimony before Congress that “significant uncertainty remains about the timing and strength of the recovery.”

Where The Stock Market Goes Now?

Where The Stock Market Goes Now?

Where The Stock Market Goes Now…

With the Rails index back to all-time highs this seems like an especially appropriate question considering the fundamental data which is…. well, see for yourselves.

Consider where rail stocks are trading:

Do fundamentals justify this price? Here is the chart of total carload and intermodal traffic for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Total U.S. carload traffic for the first five months of 2020 was 4,713,757 carloads, down 14.7 percent, or 815,413 carloads, from the same period last year; and 5,186,630 intermodal units, down 11.3 percent, or 661,703 containers and trailers, from last year.

And another way to see the unprecedented divergence tells us Where The Stock Market Goes Now:

U.S. railroads originated 740,171 carloads in May 2020, down 27.7 percent, or 282,965 carloads, from May 2019. U.S. railroads also originated 912,922 containers and trailers in May 2020, down 13 percent, or 136,241 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2020 were 1,653,093, down 20.2 percent, or 419,206 carloads and intermodal units from May 2019.

In May 2020, one of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with May 2019. It was farm products excl. grain, up 324 carloads or 10.6 percent.

Meanwhile, commodities that saw declines in May 2020 from May 2019 were coal, down a record 127,201 carloads or 40.7%; Coal carloads are down 26.1% so far this year and have declined on an annual basis for 13 straight months.

In short, lowest rail traffic in years, and that was based on a trend even before the coronavirus, and yet rails stocks are at all time high.

Here is why:

As BMO rates strategist Ian Lyngen writes in “Jay’s Market, Just Trading in it“, a core theme of trading has been “the remarkable resilience of the equity market despite a shuttered economy, historic job losses and civil unrest across the US.”

So to get to the bottom of the question on every trader’s mind – just who is behind this rally – BMO sent out a poll to its clients where the first question showed a clear consensus for the driver behind the move; “73% offered the Fed as the inspiration behind the S&P 500’s impressive rally”, vastly more than those who cited labor market recovery/reopening optimism (6%) greater fiscal stimulus (5%), and progress on Covid-19 treatment (6%). And now that Powell owns this rally, he better not allow to reverse.

1. What is driving the swift recovery of equities?

a) Fed – 73%
b) Earnings Optimism – 0%
c) Labor market recovery – 6%
d) Further fiscal stimulus – 5%
e) Progress in treating/preventing Covid-19 – 6%
f) Other (please specify) – Reopening Optimism/ All of the Above/ Underinvestment

Less relevant to the market’s ramp but just as interesting in terms of what markets expect for the Fed to unveil next in the central bank’s creeping nationalization of capital markets, were responses to BMO’s second special question – when, or even if the FOMC will roll out yield curve control – which were not nearly as clear cut with a wide variety of opinions. 3-6 months was the most common answer with 33%, which points to the September, November, or December meeting as the most probable venue for the introduction of the new policy tool. Within ‘3 months’ or ‘not this cycle’ both took a roughly equal share as the second most frequent reply, so as Lyngen notes, “clearly investors are split on whether YCC needs to be deployed rapidly, or not at all given the state of the economy and recovery. 6-9 months and 9+ months both rounded out the replies with 14% and 12%, respectively.”

2. When will the Fed announce yield curve control?

a) Within 3 months – 21%
b) 3-6 months – 33%
c) 6-9 months – 14%
d) 9+ months – 12%
e) Not this cycle – 20%

Finally, an interesting snapshot on how investors respond to data is BMO’s question how respondents will react to tomorrow’s jobs report: In the event of a disappointment and a Treasury market rally, the clearest takeaway was a reluctance to take profits – only 25% would sell versus a 37% average and the lowest read since October 2019. Meanwhile 11% would join the rally and buy and 64% would do nothing compared to respective averages of 7% and 56%.

The other meaningful takeaway was a positive skew on the belly of the curve as 36% thought the next 15 bp in 5-year yields will be higher; well below the 45% average and matching last month’s figure as the lowest since November 2019.

Watch out below.  The International Monetary Crisis Is Starting, and you will witness precisely where the stock market goes now. Will you avoid the pain.

Velocity Of Financial Collapse

Velocity Of Financial Collapse

The velocity of money is like blood pressure. If it is too high or too low, it can be the Velocity Of Financial Collapse. Too high indicates inflationary pressures are building and/or the presence of speculative bubbles. If too low, deflationary pressures are growing, presaging a dangerous collapse. (eLearning)

The velocity of money reached its high during the 1990s dot.com bubble. After it collapsed in 2000, low-interest rates (2002-2007) fueled another bubble, the US property bubble, and when it collapsed in 2008, the velocity of money again plunged and never recovered.

Despite trillions spent by central banks after 2009, the velocity of money has continued to fall. Today, in 2020, the velocity of money reached an all-time low. In Q1, the average velocity was only 1.37. Q2 will be even lower.

To offset the historic plunge in demand caused by COVID-19, central banks resorted to money printing on an unprecedented scale. While the money printing will stave off starvation for the vast majority at the bottom of the economic food chain and ensure profits for the few still at the top; today’s money printing will turn fiat money into little more than food stamps and give the economic elites little incentive to do otherwise.

Despite central banks’ excessive money printing, hyperinflation may not occur, at least not immediately. In capitalist economies, because currencies are circulating coupons of credit and debt, when credit disappears, so, too, does “money”; and, today, money is disappearing into deflation’s waiting paw even faster than the Fed can print it.

The mandate of the Fed in 1913 was to create a system of debt-based fiat money that insured bankers profited, i.e. “made bank”, off all societal productivity, a never-before-seen form of economic parasitism.

Since that time, the Fed has done admirably with that mandate, given the problems they’ve had to deal with, e.g. a dangerously low gold/fiat ratio in the 1920s, the 1929 stock market crash, the 1930s collapse of world trade, the loss of gold reserves due to US overseas military spending, the serial collapse of bubbles beginning in 2000 triggering “the great recession of 2008, the amuse-bouche to what is now about to happen, 

America the Frog

AMERICA THE FROG

The frog is frozen still 

In water now so hot 

The water’s almost boiling 

But the frog knows it not

Quickly it must jump

To avoid a boiling death

The Fates themselves are watching

With collective bated breath

Will America survive?

Or will it now succumb

Its heritage abandoned

Its future now undone

By its own hand it’s threatened

Itself its great threat

The frog continues sitting still

In denial ignorant yet

The water’s getting hotter

The heat’s turned up to high

And it’s an even money bet

That the frog is gonna die

It is June 2020. The water’s boiling. The frog’s still in the pot. The velocity of financil collapse it closer than we might imagine.

Protect yourself now.

Has The U.S. Economy Plunged Into A Depression?

Has The U.S. Economy Plunged Into A Depression?

“Face reality, and that means admitting that “the U.S. economy has plunged into a depression.”

This is already the worst economic downturn that America has experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and we are right in the middle of the largest spike in unemployment in all of U.S. history by a very wide margin.

Of course, it was fear of COVID-19 that burst our economic bubble, and fear of this virus is going to be with us for a very long time to come.  So we need to brace ourselves for an extended economic crisis, and at this point, even Time Magazine is openly referring to this new downturn as an “economic depression”.

Needless to say, there will be a tremendous amount of debate about how deep it will eventually become, but everyone should be able to agree that our nation hasn’t seen anything like this since before World War II.

In order to prove my point, let me share the following 10 numbers with you…

#1 According to a study that was just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, more than 100,000 U.S. businesses have already permanently shut down during this pandemic, and that represents millions of jobs that are never coming back.

#2 The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is now projecting that U.S. GDP will shrink by 42.8 percent during the second quarter…

“A new GDP forecast from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta for the three months through June estimates an unprecedented drop of 42.8 percent. The bank describes the data as a “nowcast” or real-time, compared with the official government report of GDP, which is dated. The first-quarter preliminary data, which showed a 4.8 percent dip, included a limited period of impact from COVID-19.”

#3 On Friday we learned that U.S. retail sales were down 16.4 percent during the month of April, and that is a new all-time record.

#4 U.S. factory output was down 13.7 percent last month, and that was the worst number ever recorded for that category.

#5 U.S. industrial production fell 11.2 percent last month, and that represented the worst number in 101 years.

#6 On Thursday, we learned that the number of Americans that have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits during this pandemic has risen by another 2.9 million, and that brings the grand total for this entire crisis to 36.5 million.  To put that number in perspective, at the lowest point of the Great Depression of the 1930s only about 15 million Americans were unemployed.

#7 According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the real rate of unemployment in the U.S. is now 30.7 percent.

#8 According to a survey Fed officials just conducted, almost 40 percent of Americans with a household income of less than $40,000 a year say that they have lost a job during this crisis.

#9 One study has concluded that 42 percent of the job losses during this pandemic will end up being permanent.

#10 According to a professor of economics at Columbia University, the U.S. homeless population could rise by up to 45 percent by the end of this calendar year.

We have never seen economic numbers this horrifying, and more awful economic numbers are coming in the months ahead.

At this point, things are so bad that even Fed Chair Jerome Powell is openly admitting that he doesn’t really know how long this new economic downturn will last…

“This economy will recover…We’ll get through this. It may take a while. It may take a period of time. It could stretch through the end of next year,” Powell said during a rare televised interview that aired on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. “We really don’t know. We hope that it will be shorter than that, but no one really knows.”

In the months ahead, there are a few sectors that you will want to keep a particularly close eye on, and one of them is the commercial real estate market.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

“Fast forward to today, coronavirus outbreak, and the ensuing lockdown, has essentially frozen the commercial real estate market. Buildings that were once used for restaurants, offices, hotels, spas, and or anything else that is classified non-essential have seen soaring vacancies.

This is single handily sending the commercial property market into chaos. As vacancies soar, tremendous downward pressure is being put on almost every asset class tied to commercial real estate.

The latest TREPP remittance data compiled by Morgan Stanley showed a quarter of all commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) could be on the verge of default.”

I am personally convinced that we are on the precipice of the greatest commercial real estate implosion in American history.

As the dominoes tumble, it is going to send wave after wave of devastation through the financial industry, and it is going to make the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2008 look like child’s play.

But at least bankruptcy lawyers will have plenty of work.  Last week we learned that J.C. Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and of course the bankruptcies that we have seen so far will just be the tip of the iceberg.

I think that politicians all over America are going to deeply regret overreacting to COVID-19, because nobody is going to be able to put the pieces back together now that our economic bubble has burst.

Sadly, very few people understood how shaky our debt-fueled economic “boom” was, and ultimately it didn’t take that much to push us into a new economic depression.

And now every additional crisis that comes along is just going to escalate our economic troubles.  This is going to be one very long nightmare, and there will be no waking up from it any time soon.

Even before COVID-19 came along, homelessness had become a massive problem in many of our major cities, and now tent cities are rapidly multiplying in size.

There is going to be so much economic pain in the months ahead, and it could have all been avoided if we had made much different choices as a nation.

But we didn’t, and so now we all get to pay the price.

Mr. Snyder wrote this article and I respect his opinion. I am not taking issue with his story, but he is a respected conservative voice in a world of noise.

So, I ask you, what if he is correct in his judgment and collapse is coming sooner than later?

Are you prepared for what is going to happen to your retirement and investment account values?

Are you sheltered from those accounts declining 40%? 50%, 60%, or more.

The Wealth Preserver Membership can protect your account from any stock market collapse. Please know that until it does collapse, your investments continue to grow as usual. 

Why Mark Mobius says the stock market hasn’t seen an ‘absolute bottom’ yet

Why Mark Mobius says the stock market hasn’t seen an ‘absolute bottom’ yet

Emerging-markets investing pioneer Mark Mobius made those remarks Tuesday in an interview with CNBC, putting him in the investing camp that expects an inevitable cascade of brutal economic data and corporate earnings hasn’t been fully discounted by investors.

Mobius, who founded Mobius Capital Partners in 2018 after a three-decade run at Franklin Templeton Investments, said corporate earnings would be “pretty bad” and that while some bargains have emerged, investors should keep some cash ready to deploy in the event of a further market downturn.

U.S. stocks hit all-time highs in February, then plunged into a bear market as the global spread of COVID-19 forced the U.S. and countries around the world to largely lock down their economies in an effort to contain the outbreak. Stocks have taken back a large chunk of lost ground since March 23, however, with recent gains tied to expectations the pandemic is near its peak, turning attention to efforts to reopen economies.

Market bulls have argued that the unprecedented nature of the shock and the massive response from the Federal Reserve, other central banks, and governments have rendered most comparisons to past bear markets debatable.

Others have cautioned that stocks are largely sticking to the bear market script.

“Although there are some opportunities to buy, I would say it’s probably a good idea to keep some powder dry for another downturn,” he said. “We might see a double bottom.”

The Virus Peak & Stock Market Bottom

The Virus Peak & Stock Market Bottom

I cannot make any claims about the virus itself and this post is the reaction of major stock markets. A good explanation I’ve found on epidemics and exponential growth is this one on YouTube which I recommend watching if you are not already up to speed.

Looking at the current situation it appears that the market has room to fall further as the economic fallout continues and the virus spreads.

If the virus starts to slow down, it won’t be long before stocks find a bottom given the huge amount of stimulus that central banks are providing.

The most important thing is that we need to see the number of new daily cases start to flatten out.

Currently the virus is spreading at an exponential rate and that is causing businesses and services around the world to enter lock-down.

That has dire consequences for company profits.

Exponential Growth

To summarize some of the information in the mentioned video above, exponential growth means that as you go from one day to the next you have to multiply by some constant.

In the case of coronavirus, daily cases have been increasing by about 1.15 to 1.25 times the previous day’s cases. This results in an exponential curve with the number of new cases increasing on a daily basis. In fact, a virus provides a textbook example of exponential growth since what causes new cases are existing cases. However, there comes a time when exponential growth has to slow down.

For example, as millions of people become sick there are fewer people that can be infected so the rate of new cases must decrease. Likewise, measures such as hand washing and limiting gatherings also have the effect of reducing the spread.

So an exponential curve will eventually level out at an inflection point and turn into what’s called a logistics curve. At this point the number of new cases each day levels out and then starts decreasing. We have already seen this happen in China and now it is happening in South Korea too.

 New cases in China leveling out. Source: John Hopkins University.

Growth Factor = No. New Cases Today / No. New Cases Yesterday

A value over 1 indicates that we are still on the exponential part of the curve and there may be higher magnitudes of new cases ahead of us. In other words the growth is not slowing down.

This is the case right now in the USA and Europe. Whereas a value of 1 means that growth is leveling out and a value under 1 means new cases are decreasing.

Taking China as an example, the coronavirus spread began at an exponential rate which has gradually leveled off thanks to drastic shutdown measures.

With new cases appearing to have peaked the country has been able to get back to work and reboot its economy. Meanwhile, the United States and Europe have only just started to see new cases increase, indicating that they are likely to be near the beginning of the exponential curve.

What does all this mean for the stock market now?

I think we need to see the growth rate of new cases in the US and Europe start to level off before we can put in a major stock market bottom. So we need to see the daily growth rate drop to one or below and then stay there, perhaps for a week or so.

Once that happens I think we will see a bottom in stocks and a significant relief rally thanks to the huge amount of stimulus that is being provided by central banks.

It is because of this stimulus that we will see the slingshot. Importantly, though, I don’t think we need to see growth rates level off for the whole world.

It would be enough to see growth rates in the US and Europe start to slow for a bottom to be put in.
That’s because these areas (plus China) account for the vast majority of global GDP.

To keep on track of this I am using the coronavirus dashboard developed by John Hopkins University which seems to provide the most up to date and reliable figures that I’ve found. The dashboard provides the latest statistics on new cases which can then be used to calculate growth rates. 

For example, new cases outside China was 100.5k on Monday March 15th, higher than the previous day’s 81.7k cases and higher than the 75.1k cases on Saturday, a growth factor of 2.8.

Analyzing these numbers it doesn’t seem all that surprising that 10% drop in US stocks that day coincided with a huge daily growth rate of 2.8 times (this is for locations outside Mainland China).

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, virus growth rates and the stock market are linked and so long as the curve is exponential the markets are going to struggle.

Stock markets are likely to rally every time the virus looks to have been defeated, even when it’s not.

The data isn’t entirely accurate so there is likely to be some false starts. It’s also possible that the market will be able to lead a flattening in the virus whether it is caused by luck, government intervention or some other reason.

But eventually the market will get it right, it always does.

That being said, when stocks are up and the exponential curve has leveled off, review your Daily, then your Weekly charts with signals for Green Light Trade Signals because that will mean we are close to a bottom, or the bottom may be in!

Credit: Mr. Marwood, thank you for your research.

Golds Next Move?

Golds Next Move?

Gold. It is magnificent. Gold is still advancing, but what is golds next move?

In terms of US Dollars, it is actually advancing slower than in other currencies. So here is when we see the big move in Gold prices starting, and it is not now!

As you can see in the Gold chart above, the channel crossover occurred last December. But as you see in our actual Monthly Gold Trade Signal chart we were ahead of the move up as our signal was delivered in October.

GoldBug

Unfortunately, the gold-bugs keep preaching something about gold that is NOT going to arrive as they expect.

 

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