Friday, October 24, 2014

It's Friday. Take Your Best Shot (S&P 500 Chart)

"Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl", poses with the finished product at the John Inglis plant, Toronto, 1941.

Stocks seesawed this week, but we seem to have reached a resolution.

(Updated chart)

Markets showed weakness early this morning due to an Ebola case in New York City, but the market is getting used to Ebola, just like we got used to AIDS and every other terrible thing that has come down the pike.

One gauge of global economic health is the Flash Manufacturing PMIs from around the world. 

Global October Flash Manufacturing PMIs

  • China Oct. Manufacturing PMI 50.2 vs. (E) 49.9.
  • German Oct. Manufacturing PMI 51.8 vs. 49.5.
  • Eurozone Oct. Manufacturing PMI 50.7 vs. 50.0.
  • U.S. Oct. Manufacturing PMI 56.2 vs. (E) 57.0.

So far, it seems that fears about the pace of global economic growth were overblown.

Crude oil prices are stuck between $80 and $84. The bounce in crude so far has been weaker than one might expect. That is NOT bullish for crude oil prices.

Nat-gas prices remain weak, even as venerable (if unreliable) weather forecasters warn of the T-Rex of winters. The T-Rex is for Canada, here's the U.S. forecast. Nat-gas price weakness in the face of these forecasts is not good news for nat-gas bulls. What does that tell you about nat-gas supply and demand?

I know what I'm going to do. How about you?

Other links of interest ...

Silver Linings. 
This past weekend, I spoke at the World MoneyShow in Toronto. There were a lot of smart audience questions, especially on silver. That surprised me, because I hadn't presented on silver. But here's what I told the audience: When it comes to silver, there is good news, bad news and plenty of opportunity.

The Energy Sector Says, "Merry Christmas!"
The benchmark U.S. crude oil price is holding in the low $80 range, but I wonder how long before it takes its next leg down. International oil prices aren’t doing much better. These slumping prices are due to rising global supply and a slowing of demand. And it is kicking many oil producers right where it hurts: in the bottom line. But there will be big winners from this slump in oil prices. And if you want to see one of them, look in a mirror. That’s right, you. And me. And consumers all across America.

Pentagon Spends $4 billion for 43 More F-35 Jets. And oddly, the same people who become apoplectic when we want to spend money fixing roads and water systems are perfectly fine with this. Go figure.

Special report: America's perpetual state of emergency.

Since 1976, when Congress passed the National Emergencies Act, presidents have declared at least 53 states of emergency — not counting disaster declarations for events such as tornadoes and floods, according to a USA TODAY review of presidential documents. Most of those emergencies remain in effect.

Why US Anti-Islamic State Propaganda Probably Won't Work.
Why? Because the U.S. State department fails to understand how Islamic State attracts recruits in the first place.

How to start a war and lose an empire (The Russian View).
The American behavior throughout this succession of defeats has been remarkably consistent, with the constant element being their flat refusal to deal with reality in any way, shape or form. Just as before, in Syria the Americans are ever looking for moderate, pro-Western Islamists, who want to do what the Americans want (topple the government of Bashar al Assad) but will stop short of going on to destroy all the infidel invaders they can get their hands on. The fact that such moderate, pro-Western Islamists do not seem to exist does not affect American strategy in the region in any way.

Have a good Friday and a great weekend.

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