Stocks & Equities

Experience: 89 Year Old Legend Goes Bearish

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Posted by Richard Russell - Dow Theory Letters

on Friday, 11 May 2012 09:46

Hey, I don't like what I see on the Lowry's statistics. Buying Power (demands) has been slipping, and Selling Pressure (supply) has been creeping higher. The negative spread between the two has widened from a recent 130 to yesterday's 145. In the meantime my PTI, after forming a double top, has failed to go to a new high. Yesterday my PTI was 5 bullish by a mere 5 points. 

Verdict -- be OUT of all stocks and be very patient. I don't like the undertone of this market one bit; I think the stock market is under subtle and quiet distribution. Holding any stocks over time will be a loser -- so it's simple -- don't hold them; stay in cash and gold coins until I think of something better. I also like the Permanent Portfolio PRPFX, which is a reasonable place to park your assets. 

The market has been quiet for a while. I think something big is coming up, and I don't think it will be good. Caution is the watchword now. This is the quiet before the storm. I note that the VIX (the "fear index") has been quietly and slowly rising to where it is 19.55 today. The chart below of the VIX shows the VIX climbing above its 50-day moving average. MACD is giving a "buy" signal.

Yesterday I went to Costco for the first time -- to buy a pair of eye glasses. The place is amazing. It's built like an aircraft hanger or dome, severe, lots of room, high ceilings, no frills at all. At each long aisle there was some one handing out free food samples. I ended up eating a full free dinner, and it was good at that. I bought three pairs of eye glasses with frames for $375, about one third of what it would cost me at a La Jolla oculist.

Costco had just about every thing you can think of for modern living -- at bargain prices -- vacation trips, vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, deck furniture, awnings, flowers. I wondered whether this is the real trend of the future. Membership to Costco is fifty bucks a year for two people. Why would a person shop any place else? The only problem is quantity. Everything for sale from razor blades to Ensure to T-shirts to frozen burgers comes in quantities -- you can't get out of the place for less than three hundred bucks. Take a trip to Costco and you'll get an idea of how much sheer "stuff" is being manufactured in the world today. Who the hell is going to use it all? Hopefully 1.3 billion Chinese will use it.

Gold continues to be a maddening mystery. Yesterday, to the consternation of gold shorts, Dec. gold closed below 1600 (it did it again today). I'm increasingly convinced that the only safe way to own gold is in bullion coin form. In that way, you've got your gold and you're not tempted to trade it. You hold onto it, and you take it to your grave -- or give it to your kids or your sweetie. 

In that way, you own a position in gold (the size of which is up to you) and you forget about it. It's like a house that you like and that you own free and clear. You don't call your real estate agent every week to ask what your house is worth. You bought it, you like it, it's a source of pleasure, and you don't stay awake nights worrying about it.

Lately, I hear a lot of gold-naysayers boasting that "I own gold for insurance purposes only, although I'm certainly NOT a gold-bug." Of course, the same people feel happy as a lark when their gold goes up in price. 

I have subscribers who loaded up on bullion ten and even 25 years ago. They write to tell me that those purchases have changed their lives, although they never would have believed it when they were buying their gold at rock-bottom prices.

"Buy your gold and look away. Your buys will look brilliant some other day."


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Russell began publishing Dow Theory Letters in 1958, and he has been writing the Letters ever since (never once having skipped a Letter). Dow Theory Letters is the oldest service continuously written by one person in the business.

Russell gained wide recognition via a series of over 30 Dow Theory and technical articles that he wrote for Barron's during the late-'50s through the '90s. Through Barron's and via word of mouth, he gained a wide following. Russell was the first (in 1960) to recommend gold stocks. He called the top of the 1949-'66 bull market. And almost to the day he called the bottom of the great 1972-'74 bear market, and the beginning of the great bull market which started in December 1974.

The Letters, published every three weeks, cover the US stock market, foreign markets, bonds, precious metals, commodities, economics --plus Russell's widely-followed comments and observations and stock market philosophy.

In 1989 Russell took over Julian Snyder's well-known advisory service, "International Moneyline", a service which Mr. Synder ran from Switzerland. Then, in 1998 Russell took over the Zweig Forecast from famed market analyst, Martin Zweig. Russell has written articles and been quoted in such publications as Bloomberg magazine, Barron's, Time, Newsweek, Money Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Reuters, and others. Subscribers to Dow Theory Letters number over 12,000, hailing from all 50 states and dozens of overseas counties.

A native New Yorker (born in 1924) Russell has lived through depressions and booms, through good times and bad, through war and peace. He was educated at Rutgers and received his BA at NYU. Russell flew as a combat bombardier on B-25 Mitchell Bombers with the 12th Air Force during World War II.

One of the favorite features of the Letter is Russell's daily Primary Trend Index (PTI), which is a proprietary index which has been included in the Letters since 1971. The PTI has been an amazingly accurate and useful guide to the trend of the market, and it often actually differs with Russell's opinions. But Russell always defers to his PTI. Says Russell, "The PTI is a lot smarter than I am. It's a great ego-deflator, as far as I'm concerned, and I've learned never to fight it."

Letters are published and mailed every three weeks. We offer a TRIAL (two consecutive up-to-date issues) for $1.00 (same price that was originally charged in 1958). Trials, please one time only. Mail your $1.00 check to: Dow Theory Letters, PO Box 1759, La Jolla, CA 92038 (annual cost of a subscription is $300, tax deductible if ordered through your business).

IMPORTANT: As an added plus for subscribers, the latest Primary Trend Index (PTI) figure for the day will be posted on our web site -- posting will take place a few hours after the close of the market. Also included will be Russell's comments and observations on the day's action along with critical market data. Each subscriber will be issued a private user name and password for entrance to the members area of the website.

Investors Intelligence is the organization that monitors almost ALL market letters and then releases their widely-followed "percentage of bullish or bearish advisory services." This is what Investors Intelligence says about Richard Russell's Dow Theory Letters: "Richard Russell is by far the most interesting writer of all the services we get." Feb. 19, 1999.

Below are two of the most widely read articles published by Dow Theory Letters over the past 40 years. Request for these pieces have been received from dozens of organizations. Click on the titles to read the articles.

"Rich Man, Poor Man (The Power of Compounding)"

"The Perfect Business"


Stocks & Equities

Marc Faber Sees A 1987-Like Crash Approaching

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Posted by Zerohedge.com

on Thursday, 10 May 2012 10:20

When given the opportunity to expand on his thoughts, Marc Faber, of the Gloom, Boom, & Doom Report, provides dismally clarifying detail on the state of the world. In this excellent (must-watch on a day when nothing changed but European stocks dead-cat-bounced) Bloomberg TV interview, the admittedly ursine Faber reflects on the US (slowing of revenue growth and the real linkages to European stress) noting that unless we get a huge QE3, there will be "a crash, like in 1987" noting he believes we have seen the highs for the year; on the likelihood of QE3 (agreeing with us that the Fed won't act unless asset markets plunge first); on Greece's exit of the Euro and whether policy-makers can manage the exit properly "bureaucrats in Brussels and the media are brainwashing everybody that if Greece exited the euro, it would be a disaster. My view is the best would be to dissolve the whole euro zone"; on the difference between investment markets and economic reality (thanks to financial repression); and on the global race-to-debase "I do not have a high opinion of the U.S. government, but the bureaucrats in Brussels make the government in the U.S. look like an organization consisting of geniuses. The bureaucrats in Brussels are completely useless functionaries".

To Watch the Video or Read More CLICK HERE

Marc Faber 2009 180


Stocks & Equities

Metals Down, Miners Up — What It Might Mean

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Posted by John Rubino

on Wednesday, 09 May 2012 16:17

Gold and silver are down again today, but the mining stocks are up big. One day does not a trend make, but this is still a possible indicator of several things:

1) The plunge in mining shares has finally gotten the attention of investors who understand that most of these companies are viable and profitable, and that they won’t go to zero. So at some point the downtrend will stop, and though today might or might not be that day, it’s definitely coming. Downside risk, in other words, is now smaller than upside potential.

2) Share buyers are watching the mess in Europe and concluding that austerity is being replaced with monetary and fiscal ease. The European Central Bank will have no choice but to buy up trillions of euros of peripheral country debt to keep the eurozone together — or the currency union will fall apart and former members will go back to their old currencies and devalue aggressively. Either outcome is inflationary and therefore great for precious metals.

CLICK HERE for the 3rd Reason



Stocks & Equities

“Where is Everybody?”

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Posted by Joshua M Brown

on Tuesday, 08 May 2012 10:47

The New York Times dredges up the open secret that no one is in the stock market anymore.  Nathaniel Popper plaintively lays out the statistics and then consults a handful of sources to understand what's going on...

    Trading in the United States stock market has not only failed to recover since the 2008 financial crisis, it has continued to fall. In April, the average daily trades in American stocks on all exchanges stood at nearly half of its peak in 2008: 6.5 billion compared with 12.1 billion, according to Credit Suisse Trading Strategy.

    The decline stands in marked contrast to past economic recoveries, when Americans regained their taste for stock trading within two years of economic shocks in 1987 and 2001.

Allow me to be of assistance as to why there's no recovery in stock trading like there was after past recessions and crashes:

They sold us out.  The NYSE and Nasdaq decided to go for-profit under the auspices of raising the money necessary to compete with foreign exchanges and other upstart trading pools.  They needed to revamp the machinery of trading and modernize their systems.  Apparently, this meant opening the back door to a host of ghouls and goblins who pay extra for the right to co-locate their servers and see the orders of the public in a speed that is somehow faster than real-time.  This has enabled them to pick the pockets of mom and pop on every single transaction they make.  And they do this under the guise of the dubious "liquidity" their activities are adding to the market.  These thieves are the number one revenue source for the NYSE, after the snack bar, the gift shop and whatever concession they can command from the television studios that have set themselves up on the premises to capture all the inaction of the floor and its dwindling trader population.  Why the exchanges couldn't just be a public institution serving the well-being of the country I'll never understand.  They are now set up as a pimp, selling us and our orders to the most salacious and active johns they can find.  This is how a high frequency trading robot based in Kansas, far from regulatory scrutiny, can drive a million "normal investors" away each month.




Stocks & Equities

On the Odds of an Ease

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Posted by Bruce Krasting

on Monday, 07 May 2012 09:55

A friend sends me the following chart to support his conclusion that another round of QE is coming from the Fed sometime in June. The chart tracks the ten-year bond and the performance of the S&P since 2009.


Some thoughts on the info provided in this graph:

+While both QE1 & 2 were ending, the S&P fell.

+Operation Twist appears to have successfully restrained any increase in long-term interest rates.

+The European Long Term Financing Operation (LTRO) liquidity operations had a significant positive impact on US equity prices.

+As of today, the spread between LT interest rates and the S&P is the widest it has been in three and a half years.

+ The current level of the ten-year bond is the same as it was during the height of the recession/depression during the 1Q of 2009.

My observations:

    - Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge (among others) has been pounding the table with the thesis that what drives markets today is not the size of the Central Bank balance sheets, it is the daily/weekly flow of additional monetary easing that matters. I think the chart confirms this.

    - Twist and LTRO are finished for the time being. Bond yields are reacting to the economic slowdown that comes with the ending of these monetary jolts. Stock markets around the world have flattened out; there is good evidence that an equity market correction is underway.

    - The huge gap in the current spread between bonds and stocks is scary. Notice that the orange and white lines have crossed numerous times in the past. If the lines were to cross again, it would imply that either interest rates have to shoot up, or the stock market is looking at a very sizable adjustment. I see little chance for interest rates to move higher in the current environment. This sets up the possibility for an out-sized down move in stocks.

    - Everyone (most importantly Bernanke) is aware of the information that is contained in this chart. Bernanke is also aware of Durden’s point: you have to feed the beast every week, and you have to commit to weekly feedings far into the future, or markets will get grumpy.

    - The expectation from all directions is that the Fed and the ECB will (once again) rise to the occasion (June is the popular time frame), and when they act, stocks will go “green” again.

    - That the market is so convinced that the Fed will bail it out (or prevent any significant decline) allows for the very high spread between stock prices and interest rates that exists today. There is a high degree of complacency in the market. It believes the Fed is the backstop, and it will always be there when markets flutter.



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