Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 11/10 – Missile Illusion

Good Morning,

Was it or wasn’t it?

After spending some time looking at the video I’m now in the camp that it was not a missile or rocket, it was in fact an aircraft in level flight leaving behind a thick contrail. The reason it looks like it is going straight up is due to the curvature of the Earth, an effect I point out to friends and family all the time around the Seattle area. This illusion occurs only when the aircraft is at high altitude and coming almost directly at the viewer. The aircraft is actually quite far away and at a very high altitude. To understand the illusion, you need to imagine yourself standing on a small ball and then picture an aircraft flying at a constant altitude above that ball. Another tip-off for me is the way in which the contrail is being carried sideways by the upper level winds, especially at the beginning near the horizon… the contrail does not come from the ground and this “smearing” of the contrail by the winds shows that it is at altitude and not close to the ground.

The reaction to this, though, is interesting and it did even fool me at first due to the way it was presented by a news channel as being a missile launch even with “expert” testimony. It’s a great lesson in illusions and also in being a witness. I have personal experience as I am a trained expert in witness interviewing for aircraft accident investigations. Witnesses are notoriously inaccurate in their assessments, and that’s just one of the reasons that people should not jump to conclusions too quickly. Aircraft accident investigators are trained to not jump to conclusions as they can bias your mind and blind you to the facts – something that is very easy to do, all humans including myself are susceptible as we desire to place a label on the unknown quickly. That said, if some new facts or information come along, then I’m willing to change my mind! And the one disturbing thing about this incident is the distinct lack of information from the government – they should have, and still have not provided, a flight number to go along with that aircraft. Air Traffic Control should be able to easily match that video’s time to a specific flight number, and I’m sure they have – why not tell us? That lack of transparency bothers me. But that seems to be the way of our modern government – they want to know and track everything you do, but everything they do is a secret. That is a warning sign about our government, transparency should be 180 degrees the other way around.

Okay, equity futures are slightly higher this morning (reversed right after the open), the dollar is down slightly, there is a large move down in the Yen, the long bond is lower again, and both oil and gold are higher, reversing yesterday’s decline.

The still worthless MBA Purchase Applications Index supposedly rose 5.5% in the past week, with the refinancing Index swinging from the prior -6.4% to a +6%. Riiiighttt… this data is so bad it’s a joke. And 12% swings are nothing compared the 30% completely unbelievable swings they had been reporting. Whatever, I am simply reporting what the hypocritical crooks are spooning to the public. Here’s Econoday:
Two weeks of gains in the purchase index coincide with last week's better-than-expected October jobs report to indicate, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, some improvement in the economy. The purchase rose 5.5 percent in the November 5 week on top of the prior week's 1.4 percent gain. The refinance index rose 6.0 percent. Rates have been rising this week but were unchanged in the reporting week with the 30-year at 4.28 percent.

Economy improving? Tell that to the 42 million on food stamps. Rates rising? Gee, I thought QE2 was supposed to lower rates?

The latest International Trade number came in with a $44 Billion trade deficit:
The U.S. trade gap shrank more than expected on a drop in import but also on a modest gain in exports. The overall U.S. trade deficit in September narrowed to $44.0 billion from a revised $46.5 billion the prior month. The September number came in more improved than the consensus forecast for a $45.0 billion deficit. Exports improved, rising 0.3 percent, following no change in August. Imports in September dipped 1.0 percent after rebounding 2.0 percent in August.

For the latest month, the narrowing of the trade gap was mainly in the nonpetroleum goods deficit which declined to $33.9 billion in September from $36.0 billion the month before. The petroleum shortfall shrank slightly to $21.6 billion from $22.0 billion in August.

Nonoil goods imports in September decreased 1.4 percent, following a 2.1 percent boost the previous month.

By end-use categories, the rise in goods exports was led by a $0.443 billion increase in feeds & beverages with capital goods excluding autos up $0.276 billion. But the capital goods boost was largely civilian aircraft, gaining $0.698 billion. Consumer goods posted a modest gain while industrial supplies and automotive declined.

The decrease in goods imports was led by a sizeable $1.863 billion in consumer goods and a $1.375 billion in automotive. In contrast, nonauto capital goods jumped $1.289 billion. Industrial supplies and foods, feeds & beverages rose marginally.

The latest gain in exports is good news for U.S. manufacturers. However, businesses appear to be dialing back on expectations on demand and inventory needs as nonoil imports for consumer goods have declined. But it is a sign of optimism that capital goods are still up-equipment investment appears to still be on an uptrend. Overall, today's trade report and nice drop in initial jobless claims point to continued moderate recovery.

Remember that trade figures are measured in DOLLARS, and not in real goods and services. This distorts the figures, especially when large moves in the value of the dollar are occurring. A falling dollar will give the illusion of increased trade. If the dollar falls 2%, but trade only increases 1%, then REAL TRADE has actually fallen 1%! And there you have it. Oh, and trade deficits are never a good thing, only fools believe that having a “reserve currency” allows one the luxury of buying things from others without paying in REAL money. All debts get repaid with interest in one way or the other. We are going to experience the other.

And to back up the monetary factor, import prices are on the rise – I can tell you though that the way our government measures price is flawed in many ways:
Import prices rose a sharp 0.9 percent with export prices extending a run of agricultural-based increases. Pressure on October import prices is centered in petroleum which swung 3.3 percent higher following a 1.5 percent decrease the month before. Pass through is limited with import prices for capital goods unchanged and down a half percent for consumer goods. The overall year-on-year rate is stable at plus 3.6 percent.

Rates on the export side are definitely on the climb. Export prices rose 0.8 following similar increases in the two prior months. Prices for agricultural exports have risen an average of 3.0 percent in each of the last three months! Record prices for many soft commodities, which many attribute to QE2, are a key feature right now of the financial markets. On-year export prices are up 5.8 percent with agricultural exports up 15.7 percent.

Oh yeah, let’s throw a few trillion more onto skyrocketing food and oil prices, that’ll “save” the economy! Just remember, the bankers are acting in THEIR own interest, not in yours, you have NO ONE looking after YOUR interests besides you.

Weekly Jobless Claims fell from the prior week’s 457,000 (revised to 459k) to 435,000. Again, this number being above 350k is horrid, yet we have been so conditioned to high numbers that this sounds better just because it’s below 450k. Truth is that it’s still inside of the same old sideways range. Yet again, people believe what they want to believe, closing their eyes to the uncounted millions:
Jobless claims are clearly on the decline in what is good news for everyone. In a November 6 week free of special factors, initial claims fell 24,000 to a much lower-than-expected level of 435,000 (prior week revised slightly higher to 459,000). The four-week average really shows improvement, down 10,000 to 446,500 for a month-to-month improvement of about 15,000.

Continuing claims also continue to come down, 86,000 lower in the October 30 week to 4.301 million. The four-week average of 4.388 million is down more than 100,000 from a month ago. The unemployment rate for insured workers edged another tenth lower to 3.4 percent.

Today's report is a strong kick-off for November jobs expectations and extend momentum from October's strong payroll gains. A strengthening U.S. jobs market is now combining with QE2 to set up a new economic equation.

Not mentioned is the fact that in the unadjusted data claims actually ROSE by 29,000. There are 3.8 million (!) people currently drawing Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Those benefits expire this month unless Congress extends the program. Failing to extend this program will remove approximately $4.6 Billion per month from the basic economy (3.8 million X $308 per week) and will leave those millions basically destitute, thus driving up costs in other areas. Will the new political landscape change things in this regard? I doubt it… look for it to be renewed – not due to the humanitarian cloak, but rather due to self-preservation on the part of both the elites and the politicians.

More evidence of broken markets came yesterday when ZeroHedge released a study showing that there were 549 individual stock flash crashes so far this year! My take is that HFT madness is allowing the criminals to artificially and INTENTIONALLY produce these flashes that allows their computers to scalp money from these price swings. The computers need volatility to arbitrage.

And wouldn’t you know it – both JPMorgan and Bank of America had PERFECT trading quarters last quarter! No days did they have losses, this follows Goldman’s report of sadly losing money on two trading days! Talk about RIGGED markets and FRAUD. This fact alone is such a HUGE CLUE that the end is near, that people in the future will look back on us idiots today and wonder what in the hell we were thinking!? Future generations will be amazed that we allowed such outright theft to occur and that the people did nothing for so long to put an end to it. EMBARRASSING really, I hope my grandkids don’t laugh at me – at least they’ll know that I was pointing out such folly to others.

Yesterday the NDX finished right on its ridiculously long and steep uptrend line. Price needs to rise today or that uptrend will be broken. There were several bearish candles produced in the financials and in commodities – the most bearish of which occurred in silver when the margin requirements were raised to trade silver.

This says to me that the powers that be don’t possess enough real silver to control the markets and that there is a run occurring within the precious metals markets. Controlling margin will be their first step in VISIBLE manipulation, it will fail and then we will see more desperate acts to keep the markets for precious metals down. Of course these markets are simply reacting to the “Fed’s” insanity – they are the root of the problems. What’s most important is WHO controls the production of YOUR money!