Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 3/9

Good Morning,

Equities are down this morning, below is a 60 minute chart of the DOW futures on the left and 5 minute version of the S&P futures on the right:

Please look at the chart on the left. McHugh is seeing 5 complete or nearly complete waves on the day only charts, on this chart it looks pretty clear to me like we’re near the end of wave 4 and may have one more wave higher. The key is to watch that lower trendline to see if it breaks, less than about 10,500 on the DOW would be a breakdown. If not, we could be heading to the 1,150 area of the SPX. Either way, we are getting very close to the end of this pattern.

The dollar is up this morning, bonds are down, oil and gold are both down significantly.

The only data out this morning are the Redbook and Goldman’s ICSC store sales, both took a jump in the year over year figures to the +3% range which is simply a misreporting of the facts. I would think of these more as “sales at existing stores that remain open” and not an indication of what is happening in the economy where state sales taxes are still down nearly 5% yoy.

I did a radio interview with John Gold of AR-15 yesterday, was a fun show, and now John is a supporter of Freedom's Vision. Today I'll be talking to B.J. Lawson, a Congressional candidate in the 4th district of North Carolina. I'll try to get links up as they are available.

How are Americans doing for retirement?

43% have less than $10k for retirement

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The percentage of American workers with virtually no retirement savings grew for the third straight year, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The percentage of workers who said they have less than $10,000 in savings grew to 43% in 2010, from 39% in 2009, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's annual Retirement Confidence Survey. That excludes the value of primary homes and defined-benefit pension plans.

Workers who said they had less than $1,000 jumped to 27%, from 20% in 2009.

Confidence in ability to save enough for a comfortable retirement hovered at 16% of respondents, the second lowest point in the 20-year history of the survey.

A drop in the bucket
"Americans' attitudes toward retirement have clearly tracked the economy the last couple of years, and that seems to be the case in 2010," said Jack VanDerhei, EBRI's research director and co-author of the survey, in a statement.

The percentage of workers who said they have saved for retirement fell to 69%, from 75% in 2009.

While VanDerhei attributed the decline in current savings rates to job losses, mortgage problems and the suspension of corporate 401(k) matches in 2009, he said the economy isn't entirely to blame.

"In previous years, there were a whole lot of people who had nothing to begin with," said VanDerhei.

The gap between what Americans have saved and what they'd need for retirement is forcing workers to prolong their working years.

The ultimate guide to retirement
According to the survey, 24% of workers said they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year, up from 14% in 2008.

But even as fears over health care costs and job prospects mount, the survey found that only 46% of workers have tried to calculate what they need for a comfortable standard of living in their golden years.

"People just don't want to think about this," said VanDerhei. "Everybody thinks they're too young to think about it, until suddenly they're too old to do anything about it."

Defined benefit plans are too expensive so you were sold that 401k was the way to go. How’s that working out? The truth is that as a society we are prioritizing the profits of a few at the expense of the many. Retirement for post-peak Baby Boomers will not be as pleasant for those who grew up with standard financing, a stable job, and a defined benefit retirement. Instead, trailing edge Boomers have shattered 401k plans, homes that are underwater after being refinanced and refinanced, and thus many will be needing government help at a time when the math of money is growing exponentially and the government is nearing the end of its ability to continue the rate of growth at which they spend. It’s going to be interesting for sure, I hope you’re ready.

The Germans are calling for quick regulation of derivatives? LOL, I think that horse hasn’t just left the barn, he’s now in another part of the world altogether! Hey Angela… two words - Freedom’s Vision!
March 9 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker called for urgent regulation of credit-default swaps to shore up the euro area and prevent a rerun of the Greek financial crisis.

Merkel, speaking to reporters in Luxembourg today before Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou meets President Barack Obama in Washington, said the European Union must take the lead in curbing the “very speculative elements” of derivatives trading, going beyond previous Group of 20 nations agreements. The U.S. must also be on board, she said.

“We’re of the opinion that a quick implementation of actions in the area of CDS has to happen,” Merkel said. Citing “ongoing speculation against euro-region countries,” she called for the “fastest possible” implementation of new rules. Europe must “do everything to avoid unhealthy speculation,” said Juncker, who heads the euro-area finance ministers group.

Funny, just hunting around the news somehow this little snippet just jumped out at me:
Elsewhere in credit markets, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led the busiest day for European corporate bond issuance for eight weeks, Bloomberg data show. Goldman is selling seven-year notes in the bank’s first deal in the currency since October.

Hey Angela, if you are serious about lowering risk, take a look at who’s pushing debt in the neighborhood!

I know it hasn’t been that long since we spun this tune, but somehow I feel it’s appropriate for people who create more havoc around the world than drug pushers ever could… Goldman = Debt Pusher.

Steppenwolf – The Pusher: