Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Stock Market

Wall Street Facing Headwinds as Boomers Forced to Liquidate Their IRAs, 401Ks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 28, 2017:

New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New ...

Under the law those reaching age 70 and a half must start taking their “required minimum distributions” (RMDs) from their various tax-deferred accounts. These include IRAs, 401Ks, profit-sharing plans, and SEPs. The trouble is that there are so many of them, and they control so many assets, that their RMDs are going to put enormous pressure on the stock market, according to Chris Hamilton, writing at his Econimica blog.

The Baby Boom population cohort is nearly 80 million people, and those born in 1946 are now 71, with millions following right behind. The top one percent own or control about one-third of that cohort’s assets, while the top 10 percent own more than two-thirds, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The real question, according to Hamilton, is this:

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Debt-ceiling Charade Begins Again

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 10, 2017:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent an early-warning signal to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday that “on Thursday, March 16, 2017, the outstanding debt of the United States will be at the statutory limit.” He added:

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Harvard’s New Endowment Manager Shakes Things Up After Dismal Performance

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 28, 2017:

English: Harvard University Harvard Yard Harva...

Harvard University Harvard Yard

The new CEO of Harvard Management Company (HMC), N.P. “Narv” Narvekar, fired half of his staff last December, and in a letter announcing the moves, stated:

Major change is never easy and will require an extended period of time to bear fruit. Transitioning away from practices that have been ingrained in HMC’s culture for decades will no doubt be challenging at times.

 

But we must evolve to be successful, and we must withstand the associated growing pains to achieve our goals.

To each of those approximately 115 staffers who were let go, Narv offered his condolences: “It is exceptionally difficult to see such a large number of our colleagues leave the firm, and we will be very supportive of these individuals in their transition. We are grateful for their committed service to Harvard and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”

Narvekar is the eighth permanent or interim chief executive in the last decade at the helm of HMC as returns from its $35 billion endowment continue to under-perform not only the stock market in general but its peers at Yale, Columbia, and other Ivy League schools, as well.

The company’s performance was so bad that

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Large Pension Plans Adjusting Their Targets Downward

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 21, 2016:  

English: Jerry Brown's official picture as Att...

California Governor Jerry Brown

Heading into negotiations this past weekend between the California governor’s office, teachers’ unions, and pension plan trustees managing the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Governor Jerry Brown spoke the truth: “There’s no doubt CalPERS needs to start aligning its rate of return expectations with reality.”

Coming out of the meeting, the gap between the plan’s target rate of return and reality remained immense.

The last time CalPERS faced reality and flinched was in 2012 when

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U.S. Steel Latest to Bring Jobs Back to the United States

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 8, 2016:  

U.S. Steel

In an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, U.S. Steel’s CEO Mario Longhi said he’d like to bring back up to 10,000 jobs to the United States:

We’re already structured to do some things, but when you see in the near future improvements to the tax laws, improvements to regulation, those two things by themselves may be a significant driver to what we’re going to do….

 

I’d be more than happy to bring back the employees we’ve been forced to lay off during [the Great Recession].

His company used to employ 37,000 people but that dropped to just 21,000 as of last December, thanks not only to the Great Recession and its almost immeasurably small recovery but also due to excessive regulations:

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Three Election Models Pick Trump to Win on Tuesday

English: Donald Trump at a press conference an...

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 7, 2016:  

Poll-watching junkies are having a field day. There is one poll or another publishing its results on an almost hourly basis. As this is being written on noon Sunday, for instance, Investors Business Daily (IBD), which touts its survey as “the most accurate poll in recent presidential elections,” has Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton by one point. The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times’ “Daybreak” poll shows Trump ahead of Clinton by five points.

Nate Silver, in his FiveThirtyEight 2016 Election Forecast, has Clinton’s chance of winning at 64.7 percent versus Trump’s 35.3 percent. Silver predicts Clinton will win 48.4 percent of the popular vote (versus Trump’s 45.5 percent, which will give her 291 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 246.

In its running summary of other polls, Real Clear Politics shows Clinton up by 1.8 percent over Trump in the popular vote, while in the Electoral College it’s Clinton with 216 and Trump with 164, leaving 158 votes as “toss ups.”

There are at least two other prognosticators who don’t rely on polls at all, and they are predicting Trump will win on Tuesday. The first was explained by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge back in January when he said that the stock market would predict November’s winner:

This relationship occurs because the stock market reflects the economic outlook in the weeks leading up to the election. A rising stock market indicates an improving economy, which means rising confidence and increases the chances of the incumbent party’s re-election.

 

Therefore, your time might be better spent from August through October watching the stock market rather than the debates if you want to know who will be President for the next four years.

Right on cue the stock market has declined nine days in a row (through last Friday), the first time that has happened since 1980. But more importantly is how it has behaved since Monday, August 1. The S&P 500 Index has declined by 4.5 percent which, according to Durden, translates into an 86 percent chance of Trump’s winning on Tuesday.

And then there’s the professor from Stony Brook University, Helmut Norpoth, and his “Primary Model”. Writes Norpoth on his website:

Winning early primaries is a major key for electoral victory in November. Trump won the Republican primaries in both New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders split the Democratic primaries in those states….

 

For the record the Primary Model … has correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in all five presidential elections since it was introduced in 1996….

 

For elections from 1912 to 2012 the Primary Model [has retroactively picked] the winner … every time except in 1960.

 

Accordingly, Norpoth gives Trump an 87 percent chance of winning Tuesday’s election.

There’s also his “pendulum” model:

What favors the GOP in 2016 as well … is the cycle of presidential elections. After two terms of Democrat Barack Obama in the White House the electoral pendulum is poised to swing to the GOP this year….

 

Donald Trump is predicted to defeat Hillary Clinton by 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent.

In the “for what it’s worth” category, as this is being written, futures for Monday’s open are also turning negative. If the market closes down again on Monday, the 10th day in a row, it will only add validity to both Durden’s and Norpoth’s prediction: Trump will win on Tuesday.

Also, Professor Norpoth has such confidence in his models that he is using his own money to bet on Trump to win.

The S&P 500 is Picking Trump to Win

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, November 7, 2016:

Back in January, Tyler Durden (a pseudonym), writing at ZeroHedge, said one would be far better off watching the markets than the debates if one wanted to know who the next president would be:

This relationship occurs because the stock market reflects the economic outlook in the weeks leading up to the election. A rising stock market indicates an improving economy, which means rising confidence and increases the chances of the incumbent party’s re-election.

 

Therefore, your time might be better spent from August through October watching the stock market rather than the debates if you want to know who will be President for the next four years.

Right on cue, the stock market has declined nine days in a row (through last Friday), the first time that has happened since 1980. But more importantly

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Investors Remember Black Monday 1987: Dow Loses 22 Percent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, October 19, 2016:  

Wednesday is the 29th anniversary of the largest percentage sell-off of stocks in the history of Wall Street, including the sell-off that triggered the Great Depression on October 28, 1929. On that day in 1929, the Dow dropped 13 percent. In 1987, it dropped 22 percent.

Concerns abound about whether a repeat is likely to take place this month.

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Is the U.S. Heading Into Another Recession?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 15, 2016:  

Buried in Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen’s comments to senators last Thursday were three revealing statements.

First: “There is always some chance of recession in any year. But the evidence [at the moment] suggests that expansions don’t die of old age.” Translation: Recessions result from inherent weaknesses in the system.

Second, she admitted that

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ObamaCare is Failing, Just as It was Designed to Do

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 12, 2016: 

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing ObamaCare into law.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must be proud. The health insurers behind ObamaCare are losing money and some are considering leaving the monstrosity altogether. Many of the co-ops that sprang up during the rollout have closed their doors, despite receiving millions in government aid.

Harry knew exactly what he was going when he built it. In an interview at “Nevada Week in Review” in 2013, before the rollout, Reid said:

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Stock Market is Predicting a Republican President

Mark Hulbert’s study of correlations between the stock market and presidential elections and Jeff Hirsch’s Stock Trader’s Almanac are making a powerful case that, come November, it will be a Republican occupying the White House for the next four years.

The Hulbert Financial Digest is so highly regarded that

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Oil: How Much Lower?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 19, 2015:  

Cover of "The Black Swan: The Impact of t...

Cover via Amazon

Speaking at the Irish economics forum Kilkenomics last weekend, former successful derivatives trader, professor of Risk Engineering at New York University, and author of The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb said he thinks the price of a barrel of oil could go as low as $4 a barrel. This could be the result of a

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Will Glencore’s Financial Troubles Trigger an International Collapse?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 30, 2015:  

Investors in the stock of Glencore, the giant commodities mining and trading company founded by Marc Rich (disgraced friend of Bill Clinton), lost almost a third of their portfolios’ value on Monday, only to see the company’s stock price rebound strongly the next two days. The company’s statement seemed reassuring to those unwilling to dig deeper:

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The Biggest BRIC is Falling

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 14, 2015:  

Collection of Chinese renminbi yuan banknotes....

Collection of Chinese renminbi yuan banknotes.

In his 2001 paper “Building Better Global Economic BRICs,” chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Jim O’Neill developed the acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China. He made the case that the BRICs symbolized the shift of global economic power away from developed nations, estimating that they might overtake the G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – as early as 2027.

Modifications were necessary to dampen O’Neill’s enthusiasm, with GS recalculating that it wouldn’t happen before 2050. By December 2012 the Council on Foreign Relations, in itsForeign Affairs publication, was forced to refute even that modest projection:

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Chinese Economy, Stock Market Continue to Crater

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 14, 2015:  

News that China has offloaded more than $100 billion of U.S. Treasuries in August to support its currency and its cratering stock market caused many observers to raise concerns about China waging an “economic war” against the United States. It’s a threat the Chinese last expressed during the 2012 presidential election, that Beijing would “use its financial weapon to teach the U.S. a lesson” if it insisted on flouting Chinese interests, i.e., by selling arms to Taiwan, for example.

It now appears that the shoe is on the other foot. The Asian tiger is now a pussy cat, as its economy continues to crater and the Chinese central bank moves to weaken its currency and shore up its stock markets.

In the days following Beijing’s surprise announcement on August 11 that it was devaluing its currency by two percent, the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note jumped 10 percent, from

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The Ripple Effect of Rising Interest Rates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 9, 2015:  

With financial talking heads now convinced that the Federal Reserve will finally increase interest rates as a result of the record-setting job openings report, few are asking about the “ripple effect” those increases might mean for individuals, for the auto and the housing industry, for companies and corporations, and, most importantly, for the debt-laden federal government.

If and when the fed announces upcoming interest-rate increases, in the short run, individuals might be tempted to accelerate their buying decision on cars and houses to take advantage of low rates before increases start flowing through to lenders in those sectors. In the longer run,

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Stocks to Fall Further, Say Market Bears

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 26, 2015:  

Marc Faber, the bearish financial commentator from Thailand whom financial talking heads in the media love to hate, really doesn’t care what people think. He’s old enough to know his own mind (he’s 69), and he’s been right often enough that his opinions carry plenty of weight. He’s also a curmudgeon. In his June 2008 newsletter, following the arrival of $600 “stimulus” checks in everyone’s mailbox, Faber wrote this, belittling the idea that much if any of that free money would help stimulate the US’s moribund economy:

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Trump Calls Drop in Chinese Currency “Devastating”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, August 12, 2015:  

In an interview at CNN, Republican presidential candidate and billionaire businessman Donald Trump was aghast at the decision by China’s central bank to allow the country’s currency to more closely reflect its real value by letting it drop by more than two percent:

They’re destroying us! They keep devaluing their currency until they get it right. They doing a big cut in the yuan, and that’s going to be devastating for us.

This was echoed by Thomas Gibson, head of the American Iron and Steel Institute: “Our government must address the massive damage that China’s undervalued currency is causing to our nation’s manufacturing sector, especially the steel industry.”

Trump failed to make clear exactly who “us” is. By allowing the yuan to be valued daily as the market deems it, rather than having it arbitrarily pegged loosely to the value of the dollar, every consumer at Walmart is going shortly to see a sign in their window:

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China Has Its Own Plunge Protection Team

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 31, 2015: 

China has its own Plunge Protection Team. Its efforts were in evidence last Wednesday as the Shanghai and the Shenzhen indexes, both of which had been flat most of the day, leaped up three percent and four percent, respectively, in the last 30 minutes of the trading session.

Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bank of China, exclaimed:

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Chinese Plunge Protection Team Failing to Stem Stock Market Declines

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 30, 2015:  

A historical chart of the Shanghai (SSE) Compo...

A graph of the Shanghai Index showing the first bubble in 2006-2008

In the last 30 minutes of trading on Wednesday, the Shanghai Composite Index jumped more than three percent, while the smaller Shenzhen Composite (equivalent to the U.S. Nasdaq index) leaped more than four percent. That this was the result of actions taken by China’s unofficial “plunge protection team” was obvious to Jacky Zhang, an analyst at BOC International: “Clearly it is government intervention again.”

China’s plunge protection team (PPT), equivalent to the U.S. stock market’s “Working Group on Financial Markets” set up under President Reagan following Black Monday in October 1987, has moved heaven and earth to keep its stock markets from collapsing. The team, made up of China’s Securities Finance Corporation and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, along with top officials from the country’s 21 largest brokerages and the Chinese central bank, has implemented an entire panoply of measures to stem the tide, including:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.