Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Morning Update/ Market Thread 2/11

Good Morning,

Futures are up a little this morning, but certainly not running with enthusiasm.

Why should they? Today the big bad bankers are going to get grilled in Washington, D.C.. Rimm just warned that profits will be in the low range and its stock is just being pounded this morning, down $8.

Mortgage applications at 8-year low

Falling home prices and expectations that the government will work to lower mortgage rates has kept prospective homebuyers on the sidelines.

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Demand for U.S. mortgage applications tumbled nearly 25% last week, with requests for loans to buy homes sinking to an eight-year low, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday, as potential buyers hold out for better terms and government help.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted home purchase applications index slid 9.8% in the week ended Feb. 6 to 235.9, its lowest level since the end of 2000.
Average 30-year mortgage rates slipped to 5.19% from 5.28% a week earlier, the trade group said.

The rate has fallen more than a full percentage point in three months, but is up about 3/8 point from early this year and seen heading lower.

"In addition to waiting for the rate, you have home prices continuing to come down, so why would I pay $200,000 today when I can pay maybe $180,000 in a couple months or even $150,000," Daniel Penrod, industry analyst for the California Credit Union League in Rancho Cucamonga, California, said on Tuesday. The government is "really pushing against some very strong forces."

U.S. Treasury chief Timothy Geithner on Tuesday proposed pumping $2 trillion into the banking system to sop up bad assets, restore credit and revive lending at lower mortgage rates.
I certainly don’t see price inflation there, but I’m still looking…

And how about that… our trade deficit is coming down. Why? How about because we are importing less? The $60 billion+ deficits we were running were simply unsustainable. For normalcy to return, the deficit should return to zero over time:
Trade gap narrows for 2nd straight year

December trade deficit falls to $39.9 billion as global economy weathers recession.

By Lara Moscrip, contributing writer

NEW YORK ( -- The gap between the nation's imports and exports narrowed in December, according to a government report Wednesday, leaving the gap for the year sharply lower and marking the second straight year of shrinking annual trade deficits.

In 2008, the trade gap narrowed to $677.1 billion, down from the 2007 trade deficit of $700.3 billion.

The Department of Commerce reported the December gap came in at $39.9 billion, down from the upwardly revised $41.6 billion deficit in November.

Economists surveyed by had forecast the gap would narrow to $35.5 billion.
Yesterday’s close on the DOW was the second lowest close of the bear market. We are sitting on the edge of the abyss, and frankly, I don’t see what’s there to keep us from falling over the edge.

By my count, we may have finished 3 waves down from the top of this move. If that’s so, we should move sideways for a while to make wave 4 and then produce some type of 5th wave down. The critical levels remain the same. SPX 820 needs to fall. I get more bullish if we break the 848 pivot, but it’s now pretty strong overhead resistance. Long term support pivots are at 789, and then 768, but the SPX has some support in between here and there, while the DOW has less. In fact, once the DOW breaks 7,843 the next support is the pins from the November lows which are down quite a ways.

In order to produce a powerful ‘c’ wave rally, one that will blast through the top of the pennant, there must be a sentiment changing event. Geithner and Obama did not provide that. Obama recognizes the need for it, but simply failed to act in a manner that would represent real change. Hey, it’s NOT THAT HARD. Just do the OPPOSITE of what the Bush administration did. That means STOP pandering to the central bankers and lock ‘em up or kick their butts out of the country. Cram down their debts and move on.

But that’s not going to happen, is it? The central bankers are in charge, they run the show for now. But they won’t when we hit a real bottom, that’s how you’ll know it’s close to over… when the festering cancerous cyst that are the bakers is lanced, that’s when we will be able to move forward in a sustainable manner. Of course Tim Geithner can’t do that. He and Bernanke both are saying how important having a Fed is. WRONG. And when asked yesterday if any of the banks are insolvent, Geithner refused to answer the question. Why do we play such games? Is that in the best interest of our country?

We play those games because it is central banker “money” that supports all these guys. I would start by separating corporation from State. There should be no billion dollar campaigns, there should be no corporate sponsored lobbyists of any kind. The government should be half its size or less, and ditto the U.S. military. Those things won’t happen until they are forced, and that’s exactly what’s coming.

On that happy note, have a great day, and best of luck to your trades,