Monday, December 23, 2013

3 Chart Ghosts for Christmas Eve Eve

Our office is empty.  I assume this lack of co-workers is a sign; maybe I'm about to be visited by three ghosts. I like to think of Christmas Eve Eve as "Christmas Acceptance." In other words, this is the day you accept that you are not going to get everything done that you planned to do, you accept that you are going to be spending Christmas with or without certain people, and you accept that like it or not, this is what you are going to weigh at Christmas.  In other words, stop struggling and enjoy the slide into merriment and wassail.

I am also accepting the fact that as fast as I decorate our tree with chocolates, somebody -- Santa's elves, maybe? -- is eating them up. However, I will not accept that Paul McCartney's Christmas music is now Classic Oldies.  Surely you jest!

In any case, I have a story to scriven.  But before I go, I will visit you with three "ghosts" of my own. These are visions that may affect your future ... (cue spooky music)

The Ghost of Christmas Past:  And by the past, I mean 2013.  It's time for everyone to publish their Charts of the Year.  I don't agree with Business Insider's list of the Charts of the Year -- they left many good ones out, while keeping many that I can't imagine many people give a hoot about. But there are some good ones, like this chart of Labor Force Participation ...

Along with this chart, Krisna Guha of ISI asks: "The key question for 2014 is: to what extent will participation rebound as jobs continue to strengthen?"

I have a one-word answer for that: Robots.  We'll see. Read the rest of BI's charts of the year HERE.

The Ghost of Christmas Bull Markets. Michael Santoli (@michaelsantoli) tweeted a chart that I think should have been on BI's list -- a chart showing that bull markets can run for longer than anyone expects.

Michael writes: Trust me, in Dec '87 no one said  "Only 1/3 done" RT @CiovaccoCapital: Bull Markets can last a long time - see 82-'0

The Ghost of Christmas Hotness.  Natural gas is still turning out to be one of our better trades. Here's a story summing up the recent price drivers nicely.  And one of the charts ...

The story was published Friday. Over the weekend, I heard that people were running around in shirt-sleeves from Boston to Virginia, as unseasonably warm weather gripped that part of the country. And yet natural gas is up again this morning. That market is hot-hot-hot!

That's it for today.  Remember to knock off early today. It won't kill you, and spreading a little Christmas cheer might help you live longer. It worked for Scrooge.

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