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: stocks

The President Speaks and Gun Sales Soar, Again

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 15, 2016:  

Sixteen times since he was first inaugurated, President Obama has chosen to speak against guns following a shooting. Sixteen times he has either directly or indirectly assailed American citizens’ right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Sixteen times he has demanded that Congress do something about it. Sixteen times the American people have bought more guns.

Monday’s speech was no different. He spoke of the “assault” rifle used by the monster in the Orlando shooting on Sunday morning. He spoke of how “easy” it was for the shooter to obtain his weapons:

It appears that he was able to obtain these weapons legally because he did not have a criminal record….

It was not difficult for him to obtain these kinds of weapons….

We are … so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country….

We ignore the problems with easy access to firearms….

We have to make sure that it is not easy for somebody … to be able to obtain weapons….

How easy it is for [self-radicalized individuals] to obtain weapons….

We make it very easy for individuals … to get very powerful weapons very quickly. And that’s a problem.

Translation: Government is determined to make it more difficult than it already is for honest law-abiding citizens to purchase a firearm. Result? Those honest law-abiding citizens head to the gun store.

Target World, a gun store in Cincinnati, is seeing a spike in gun sales, including people who have never bought a gun before. Said Bob Freeland, who brought his girlfriend to the store to buy her first gun, “It’s not at all out of the ordinary for gun sales to spike following mass shootings. Here at Target World people are buying everything from AR-15s, hunting rifles and handguns.” Said his girlfriend, Kimberly, “With the concerns in the United States, it’s just — you don’t feel safe anywhere you go, so I decided to go ahead and purchase a gun.”

The Gun Room, Denver’s oldest firearms dealer, is seeing three to four times the usual volume of sales following Orlando. Background checks are taking hours to complete, not just minutes as they usually do.

Hunters Warehouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, sells firearms to dealers over the Internet and the owner, Tom Engle, told reporters for WeAreCentralPa that, as of early Tuesday morning, his store had sold between 13,000 and 15,000 semi-automatic rifles through his website since the shooting.

And many are new, and different, customers. More are women and older people arming themselves for the first time. And another niche has opened up: the lesbian and gay community. Pink Pistols is a national gun club for the LGBT population that saw its membership more than double over the weekend, with dozens of new chapters being started.

Gun makers are seeing their stocks rise in tandem with the increased demand. Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson have seen their stock prices soar as well. Smith & Wesson Holding Company (stock symbol: SWHC) has seen its stock rise from $3 a share to over $21 since 2011, a seven-fold increase. One analyst has charted the sixteen times that Obama has railed against guns against SWHC stock. Every time the president speaks against guns, SWHC stock moves higher.

If anti-gunners were really interested in reducing the number of guns owned by Americans they would keep their mouths shut, or else talk about real remedies to thwart terrorist attacks by radical Muslims and others, such as eliminating gun-free zones and encouraging even more Americans to exercise their Second Amendment-guaranteed rights. But, no. The push by totalitarians to remove guns from innocent citizens is so strong that they warn the citizenry of more sanctions against guns, and the more strident the attacks, the more those citizens head to the gun stores to stock up.

Is $40 Oil the New Normal?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 22, 2016:  

To the consternation of traders short the market, crude has jumped from $30 a barrel in late January to over $40 currently, with many indicators pointing to still higher prices. Was $30 the bottom? What will be the new ceiling?

Every bull market rises from the ashes of fear, disgust and despair. Traders and investors reasonably expected oil to bottom at well below $30, perhaps in the 20s, with some heavyweights, including Goldman Sachs, suggesting even lower prices. Some took short positions, certain that their calculus was correct: OPEC had maxxed out, American production seemed impervious to precipitous declines in rig counts, China’s economy was faltering and signs of recession were continuing to expose themselves around the globe, including the U.S. What could go wrong?

A little energy company, Callon Petroleum, showed exactly what could go wrong. Three times in the last six months the company has sold new shares to raise equity, and three times the company’s stock has risen. Logic and experience would suggest that dilution of shares would reduce their price. But with Callon, shares jumped from $4.21 in the middle of January to nearly $10 currently.

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The Fed Joins Other Voices Predicting a U.S. Recession

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on March 22, 2016:  

Harry Dent, the author of The Great Crash Ahead, says that the current rebound in stocks is a head-fake of the first order, that the end of the seven-year bull market in stocks occurred last May. He said just look at a three-year chart of the SPX (Standard and Poor’s 500 Index) and see the rounded top formation.

Instead, talking heads all across the media are calling the recent rise following the precipitous decline that began the first day of trading of 2016 just a speed bump, a hiccup as the seven-year-long bull market in stocks is getting its second wind.

Markit Ltd., the monster financial services and advisory company located in London, issued its first warning in late February with its flash that its services purchasing managers’ index

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Markit Ltd. Says U.S. Economy Is Faltering

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 22, 2016:  

Markit Ltd., the London-based global financial information behemoth, issued an early warning about signs of the coming recession in late February when it published its services purchasing managers’ index. It went negative for the first time in more than two years. At the time, Chris Williamson, Markit’s chief economist, said:

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Wall Street Pouring Billions Into Oil Companies

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, March 8, 2016:  

English: Logo of the Hess Corporation

Wall Street investors have started pouring billions into the energy sector, persuaded that prices not only of crude oil but stocks of energy companies have hit bottom. They just might be premature.

Pioneer Natural Resources has sold $1.6 billion in new stock since the first of the year, while Devon Energy has sold $1.5 billion. Hess Corporation and Marathon Oil have each enjoyed an influx of

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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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Public Pension Plans Cut Rate of Return Targets; Still Not Enough

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 7, 2015:  

Twenty million pension plan beneficiaries have just been warned: You won’t be getting what you have been promised when you retire. Part of the reason is that pension managers have been far too optimistic in estimating what they are able to earn on your money. And part of the reason is that they continue to remain so.

In its analysis of 126 public pension plans, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) noted that more than two-thirds of them have reduced their estimates, however slightly, since 2008, while 39 of them are still stuck

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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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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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China Stock Market Tumbles Into Bear Market

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 3, 2015:  

Since June 12 the Shanghai Index of Chinese stocks has lost 30 percent, thanks to losses on Friday of nearly six percent, and 12 percent for the week. That index, reflective of the Chinese stock market in general, exploded between November and June thanks to some 90 million newly minted Chinese investors entering the market for the first time, many of them with borrowed money, hoping to cash in on the rise.

Brokerage houses were only too glad to oblige, with many of them allowing new investors to borrow up to six times their initial equity position. As the market went almost vertical, commentators have been calling it a bubble, with prognosticators predicting its end sometime before 2016.

That may have been too hopeful:

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Stock Market Wipes Out All Gains for the Year

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 9, 2015:

On Monday, June 8, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) declined by enough to wipe out all gains investors thought they had made in stocks since January 1. It was confirmed by action in the Dow Jones Transportation Index (DJTA), which is even older than the Dow and reflects the price performance of the stocks of 20 transportation companies such as Avis, Delta Airlines, and FedEx. On Monday that index fell by two percent, its worst day since January 6, bringing that index to a loss of nearly 11 percent from its high earlier in the year.

The decline in the Dow was further confirmed by

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China Export Shipping Declines by Two-thirds

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 7, 2015: 

Two weeks ago the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI), which tracks shipping rates from Shanghai to the world, fell off a cliff: down a breath-taking 67 percent from a year ago. Wolf Richter thought it was a statistical fluke.

It was no fluke. In the next two weeks the SCFI for Northern Europe fell another 14 percent, an all-time low. Wrote Richter: “Something big is going on in the China-Europe trade.”

The collapse is being echoed by other indexes reflecting the breathtaking decline in China’s exports. For example

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Canada’s Oil Sands Impervious to Crude Oil’s Price Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 14, 2015:

 

On Monday – the same day that UAE’s Energy Minister Suhall al-Mazrouel said that OPEC was going to stick to its decision to keep pumping regardless of price declines – the same day that Goldman Sachs issued its negative outlook for prices – when crude oil prices dropped in response by 5 percent, hitting a six-year-low of $44.20 a barrel on Tuesday, the CFO of Canadian Natural Resources announced he was going to expand both its production and its output into 2015 and beyond.

Chief Financial Officer Corey Bleber was oblivious to the carnage, saying that his company expected its overall output for 2015 to be at least seven percent ahead of last year’s, and that it would continue

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Wall Street’s Hallelujah Chorus Greets New Highs in Stocks

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 26, 2014:

 

 

Observers of new highs being put in by stocks at the Wall Street Journal could hardly restrain themselves. Eric Morath and Ben Leubsdorf, writing in the Journal on Tuesday, noted that the economy is now enjoying “a sweet spot of robust growth, sustained hiring, and falling unemployment [which is] stirring optimism that a post-recession breakout has arrived.”

Translation: Good times are here again, and likely to continue. Break out the Brie and Chablis.

Looking past the celebrations and the prognostications seemed, at first view, to confirm the market’s outlook:

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Lower Crude Oil Prices Already Pinching Producers

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 2, 2014:

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia

As crude oil prices continued their breathtaking drop, the CEO of Canadian Natural Resources, Canada’s largest oil company, Murray Edwards (the 14th wealthiest Canadian) was asked on Friday just how much further crude oil prices could decline. His response:

On a given day you can have market fluctuations where prices fluctuate far more than the underlying economic value of the unit. Prices could spike down to $30, $40. It got down to $35 in 2008, for a very short period of time.

On Monday crude oil prices briefly stabilized and then dropped further on Tuesday, hitting new four-year lows.

This pronouncement is at odds with an oil production estimate by the seemingly eternal oil optimist and economist Mark Perry, who rejoiced on Monday that

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The S&P 500 Index at a new all-time high? Not quite.

It’s nice to get confirmation about something I’ve held for years, especially from someone like Mark Hulbert who has been in the investment game for years: the S&P 500 Index is nowhere near a new all-time high, on an inflation-adjusted basis. Not even close.

The all-time high was back in

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Are Equities About To Tip Over?

Please note: This is an article I wrote last Friday for the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor. I’ve republished it here in its entirety:

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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.