Friday, August 6, 2010

Graham Summers - Thanks for the Invitation Mr. Geithner!

Yet another very good article by Graham Summers who has likewise kept his head about him during the preceeding wave 2.  It's very interesting to watch the psychology change with the waves and to see who is consistent in seeing through the B.S. and who's not...

Thanks for the Invitation Mr Geithner, But You Forgot to Mention Which Planet You’re On

Tim Geithner recently wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times titled “Welcome to the Recovery.”

The title sort of says it all, but just by skimming over it my immediate conclusion is that Mr. Geithner is either outright insane or a total liar. Neither of those are welcome realizations, though I doubt they are news to anyone with a working brain. However, for the sake of manners, I'll simply assume Mr Geithner is outright insane, in which case I am indeed, quite honored to be invited to his recovery... I only wish he'd mentioned the planet where it was taking place.

Let’s have a look at some data points on Earth, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

June 2009

June 2010


Civilian Labor Force

154. 7 million

153.7 million

-1 million

People Employed

140 million

139.1 million


People Unemployed

14.7 million

14.6 million


People Out of the Workforce

80.8 million

83.9 million

+3.1 million

People working part-time for economic reasons

8.9 million

8.6 million


Discouraged Workers


1.2 million


People unemployed 27 weeks of greater

4.4 million

6.7 million

2.3 million

Ok, you could possibly see something along the lines of improvement if you focused solely on the number of unemployed people, which has dropped 100,000 in the last year. Moreover, the number of people working part-time for economic reasons has dropped by 300,000. That’s not bad… so we must be in a recovery right?


These are the only data points that show any improvement. To get the word “recovery” out of this, means ignoring a whole slew of data that is downright ugly including:
  • The 900,000 who stopped being employed in the last year
  • The 3.1 million people who somehow mysteriously vanished from the workforce but are not unemployed (?!?!)
  • The 2.3 million MORE people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks
  • The 407,000 more people who have simply given up even looking for a job because they don’t think they could find one.
Hard to find the word “recovery” from that mess. “Disaster” or “soon to be disaster when the unemployment benefits run out” seem more fitting descriptions. But then again, I am suffering the handicap of being on earth. Perhaps things are better on Mars?

It’s not as though the rest of the economic data looks much better. The following data points range from “not as bad but still bad” on the positive side to “absolutely horrendous” on the negative side.

Data Point




Food Stamp Usage

June 2009:
34.4 million

June 2010:
40.8 million

+6.4 million

Mortgages underwater

15.20 million

14.75 million


Personal bankruptcies

YTD ’09: 802,000

YTD ’10: 908,000


Mass Layoffs (layoffs of 50 or more people at a time)




Foreclosure filings

1.75 million 1H09

1H10: 1.9 million


Well, the number of mortgages underwater has dropped off. That’s largely due to the fact home prices bounced a bit year over year courtesy of the tax credits. But the jump in foreclosure filings, and personal bankruptcies shows doesn’t exactly spell economic strength. As for food stamp usage… no comment needed.

I don’t know about you, but I fully intend to take Mr Geithner up on his welcome invitation to the recovery. I only wish he’d tell me what planet it’s taking place on so I can move there, cause it sure ain’t earth.

Good Investing!

Graham Summers

Morning Update/ Market Thread 8/6

Good Morning,

Equities are sharply lower this morning on the release of the Employment Report, headline number unchanged 9.5%, and -131,000 jobs. Bonds have broken out to the upside, the dollar broke down sharply, oil is down, and gold is up strongly. Below is a 5 minute chart of the DOW’s reaction on the left and S&P on the right:

Here you can see that the TNX (ten year Treasuries) has broken below support to a new lower yield on the daily chart:

Here /ZB (long bond futures) have also broken higher on the 15 minute chart:

The report, of course, was heavily massaged with the Employment Population Ratio falling to mask the headline percentages. Huge revisions to prior months are once again in play, overall a horrid report with obvious gamesmanship – another blow to confidence in government in two respects, one in their ability to create real jobs, and the second in their ability to outright lie and manipulate.

Here is the entire release:

Employment July

Here is how they are keeping the headline percentage down:
The civilian labor force participation rate (64.6 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.4 percent) were essentially unchanged in July; however, these measures have declined by 0.6 percentage point and 0.4 point, respectively, since April.

So, while the population is growing, now 311 million in the U.S., both the participation rate and population ratio are declining! How much is that? Well, .6% is equal to 1.866 million people!!! That’s just since April!

And that makes any job creation whatsoever a flat out lie.

Here’s Econoday’s spin:
The July jobs report disappointed and weakness was largely in the government sector – and it was not all just temporary Census workers being laid off. But there were a few bright spots, including gains in wages, the workweek, and earnings. Overall payroll jobs in July declined 131,000 after falling a revised 221,000 in June and after a 432,000 boost in May. The decline in July was worse than the market forecast for a 125,000 decline. The May and June revisions were net down 97,000.

Turning to the household survey, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent in July.

For detail in the payroll numbers, the big weakness in July came from a 202,000 drop in government jobs, following a 252,000 fall the month before. Of the July government plunge, 143,000 came from a drop in Census Bureau payrolls.

Private nonfarm employment, which discounts the effects of hiring and firing temporary Census workers, accelerated moderately to a 71,000 increase, following a 31,000 gain in June. The latest number came in below the consensus expectation for a 100,000 boost in private payrolls. Improvement was evenly divided between the goods-producing and services-providing sectors. Good-producing rose 33,000 with manufacturing up 36,000, mining up 7,000, and construction down 11,000. Services-providing jobs rose 38,000 with strength led by trade & transportation, up 25,000.

There were some notable positives. Average hourly earnings improved to up 0.2 percent, following no change in June and matching the market projection for a 0.2 percent gain. The average workweek for all workers rose to 34.2 hours from 34.1 hours in June. Analysts had called for 34.1 hours.

On the news, equity futures dipped and Treasury rates eased. Although the headline payroll number disappointed, the private sector detail was not so negative. Now, it appears that the government sector in terms of employment is a drag on the economy which should not be a surprise given revenue shortfalls for state and local governments.

Nice work… 97,000 jobs revised out in May and June? How many will be revised out in July?

Government job losses is exactly what you expect for wave C as the psychology has shifted. The private workforce has already been decimated but the government was adding during wave A and B in order to stimulate. Now pressured by deficits they are no longer able to and must cut. Welcome to wave C, the wave that will ultimately produce real and meaningful change.

Despite the numbers game, unadjusted U-6 still rose to 16.8%:

As expected, the July Birth/ Death model adjustment was small and not a factor in this report. It was, however, slightly additive versus last year’s July report which was slightly subtractive:

Bottom line is that there is no real job creation in the United States – on the contrary, jobs are still being lost at an alarming rate. This is due to debt saturation – once debt saturation is reached, adding more debt to the system creates lower employment, a relationship completely not understood by the vast majority of economists and academics. This situation will not improve until debt levels decline significantly or there is an underlying fundamental change to the system that includes a method for clearing out current debt and derivatives. And if we wish to prevent it from happening again, then we need transparent procedures to ensure that debt saturation is not reached again.

The market is nothing but a manipulated coiled spring. All the bad economic data has so far failed to break it down with the dollar sliding in the background. Same thing happened in 1987 prior to the crash, same thing happened with the recent flash crash and the Euro sliding in the background. The fact that the dollar fell sharply on this report while bonds rose sharply is telling me that we may be encountering a loss of confidence… in the bond market money is fleeing to safety and we would expect deleveraging to bring the dollar up, however, if confidence is waning in our government and our dollar, then it is possible that people will view commodities (food, energy, precious metals) as a safer place than holding dollars. That would be the very worst outcome which we would know is happening if we see the velocity of money begin to rise sharply along with prices.

Yesterday I produced this chart showing the recent correlation between food commodities, as shown by RJA, and the dollar. I note that wheat hit $868 yesterday and has now pulled back some, but is absolutely parabolic. RJA versus the dollar below:

As I type, I see equities have now returned to the range of the past few days. If they were to break out and run significantly higher with the dollar sliding hard, then the loss of confidence play may be on. I don’t expect that, but I am aware of the potential. What I do expect is that we fail to break out of the rising wedge and equities decline sharply.

We will know that the next leg down is truly underway when the bottom of the rising wedge is decisively broken. As you can see on the 30 minute SPX chart above, that line is now approximately 1110. Should we break higher in equities against this horrid employment and economic backdrop, it would be extremely dangerous for our nation as well as for those gambling in this market. For now we are still in the range and we need to give it time to play out and watch what happens while remaining open to all the possible outcomes. I believe we are most likely making a turn lower here and now, but getting ahead of the action is simply not smart with the amount of control being exercised over the markets at this time. Again, watch the trendlines…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 8/5

Good Morning,

Stocks dropped sharply on the weekly unemployment numbers which rose “unexpectedly” the last week of July. Bonds are sharply higher, the dollar is sharply lower (!), oil is lower, and gold is higher. The dollar correlation to the market has changed and should be watched carefully as it is telling us something that is very painful for those who must live by their productive efforts while being paid in dollars.

Take a look at the food futures to see exactly what I mean. Since the dollar’s latest top in June, the price of wheat has risen 92%! The price of corn has now risen 30%, oats are up 60%, and the price of soybeans, rice, and all food commodities are rising sharply. This is not just a drought in Russia, this is a combination of rampant speculation with money that is out of control combined with a rapidly weakening dollar. Expecting a disaster to occur at this time frame, here it is, below is a daily chart of wheat and corn – please go look at the other commodities, this is very dangerous for the world:

Remember, oil is also above $80, that seems to be a tipping point for equities. The longer it stays above $80, and the higher it goes, the worse the economic condition.

My advice? Make sure you have enough food to last you awhile should these conditions worsen and before these prices translate to the grocery store shelves (that sounds like a call for food inflation… will it actually translate? I don’t know, but the thing about food is that there can be very little demand destruction, and if there is you do not want to be a part of it). A rising dollar would help that situation, I don’t think any of us want to see a disaster be related to food.

The weekly unemployment numbers rose to 479,000 from 457,000. The consensus was looking for a fall to 455,000 – Oops. And last week’s figure was revised 3k higher. These numbers are simply horrific in that they have remained so high for so long. Here’s Econoday:
The labor market remains weak, at least based on initial jobless claims which rose 19,000 in the July 31 week to 479,000. The prior week was revised 3,000 higher to 460,000. The four-week average rose 5,250 to 458,500 but is still slightly lower than this time last month in what is one of the few positives of today's report. There are no special factors in the latest week.

Continuing claims fell 34,000 to 4.537 million in data for the July 24 week. Here the four-week average rose 26,000 to 4.576 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at 3.6 percent. Today's data won't boost confidence for much improvement in tomorrow's employment report.

The Monster Employment Index added to the bad employment mood by falling from 141 to 138. Most of the weakness here was in construction jobs. Are there any of those left?

Construction Employment:

Manufacturing Employment – same number of manufacturing employees as in 1942:

Once again the primary down channel since April (dashed green) contained stock prices which have failed to break through overhead resistance so far:

On the 30 minute chart, you can see that prices have also failed, so far, to reach the upper boundary of the rising wedge while 5 waves have transpired, it appears that the 5th wave could potentially have concluded this morning, but may have one more rise left in it – again, the demarcation point for me is the bottom of the rising wedge, now roughly 1104. Today's descent could be a middle movement of the final wave higher, so once again it's probably best to continue to be patient:

Note the divergent RSI on the chart above… I see divergences in a lot of charts at this time.

Yesterday the VIX produced a small inverted hammer just above the lower Bollinger band. This is often a reversal indicator but it needs confirmation by rising above the hammer today:

It appears that wave 2 which occurred within the confines of that rising wedge may be concluding, but the proof is in the pudding, we need to see that lower boundary break. If it does, I think that the large H&S pattern is complete time wise and we will then proceed to make lower lows to eventually fulfill its target of approximately SPX 860.

John Mellencamp - Rain On The Scarecrow:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 8/4

Good Morning,

Equity futures are higher this morning. Bonds are flat, the dollar is up slightly, oil is still rising, and gold appears to be making another run higher. The push higher in oil is against a weaker economic backdrop and rising oil inventories. Again, being back above the $80 mark is a strong negative for the economy and for equities in general.

The market moved higher on the release of the ADP Employment release which rose from their net 13,000 jobs in June to 42,000 in July. This report often sets the expectations for the official Employment report and it is notoriously inaccurate compared to the BLS report – we’ll see.

The Challenger Job Cut conversely rose for the month of July to 41,676 mass layoff notices versus June’s 39,358. I’m not sure if the Challenger report monitors government jobs or not, but that is the latest source of pressure for the job market as states and all municipalities are forced to cut back.

According to the MBA, Purchase Applications rose 1.5% in the prior week, with refinancings rising 1.3%. Their reporting methods are ridiculous, but we know that the index for purchases are near all time historic lows. Here’s Econoday’s take on this week’s report:
The purchase index rose for the third straight week, up 1.3 percent in the July 30 week. Government purchase applications were up 3.4 percent while conventional purchase applications were flat. The refinance index was up 1.3 percent as was the composite index. Refinancing made up 78 percent of all applications. Rates came down in the week with 30-year mortgages averaging 4.60 percent.

The housing market remains simply a disaster. Yesterday’s Pending Home Sales report for June hit yet another low, losing another 2.6% on top of record low numbers. Factory orders also unexpectedly fell yesterday.

In yet another economic lowlight, bankruptcies are soaring up 9% year over year:
Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. consumer bankruptcies, after rising 9 percent last month from June, might exceed 1.6 million this year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute.
The 137,698 bankruptcy filings in July also represent a 9 percent increase from a year earlier, the institute said yesterday in a statement posted on its website, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

“Debt burdens, unemployment and an uncertain economic climate continue to weigh on consumers,” Samuel J. Gerdano, the institute’s executive director, said in the statement. “The pace of consumer filings this year remains on track to top 1.6 million filings.”

Last year, there were 1.4 million consumer bankruptcy filings in the U.S., a 32 percent increase from 2008, the institute said in March. Total filings have been increasing since the implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act of 2005, a change to the federal law that made it harder for individuals to seek protection from creditors, the institute said in March.

The trend in bankruptcies is clear, and there is no government inspired stick-save for that market! I don’t expect one either as the government does not work for the people anymore, they work for the corporations, who in turn work for a narrow group of money changers at the top.

Below is a memo to President Obama that VIPS, a group of high level ex-politicians and military strategists, sent in an effort to avoid another war. There is a lot of truth telling going on here, I think everyone should pay attention to what they wrote as well as their track record. My fear is that Obama isn’t really in control, his actions clearly show that he has been serving the interests of the money changers so far: VIPS memo to Obama regarding Israel and Iran

Stocks over the past two days have formed a small diamond formation. These can be either a reversal pattern, in which case they are referred to as a diamond top, or they can be a continuation pattern, breaking in the same direction in which they were entered. This one has yet to break, so the direction of exit will give an entry point higher or lower. Below is a 5 minute, 5 day chart of the DOW:

McHugh believes that we have one more wave higher as wave 1 and 3 were comprised of 3 waves each for an a,b,c. He sees that yesterday was wave b and thinks that wave c of 5 up should be next to finish this wave off. That could very well be, I see the waves as he does, they are pretty clear at this point and there is still room in the rising wedges for one more push that may take us into about Friday or Monday time wise. Below is a 30 minute chart of the SPX showing the rising wedge:

Regardless of wave count, a break below the lower rising trendline is the key. Again, watch the VIX as we are close to the lower Bollinger Band. A final wave higher may push the VIX beneath the lower band setting up a potential market sell indication.

The dollar is right on the 200dma which is just above the 61.8% retrace point. Will it find support here or continue down? Sentiment has turned negative, but that is not yet at an extreme so yet another eye needs to stay tuned to the action in the FX markets. Below is a daily chart of the dollar on the left and Euro on the right:

Bonds are very close to breaking out higher in price, lower in yield. Despite nearly an 11% move up in equities from the July low, bonds have not moved – that is a sign that money does not believe in the equity rally. The TNX (ten year Treasury fund) is very near breaking down. It has created a flag that when it breaks will target substantially lower rates, in the 2.2 to 2.3% range. Below is a daily chart of the TNX, you can see how close it is to breaking down:

The long bond futures, /ZB, is also on the verge of breaking out of a flag, in this case higher in price and also lower in yield:

We are now in the window, time wise, I believe to give us a good relationship with the prior waves in this move since the July 1 low. It’s beginning to look like everything is lining up neatly for a major turn:

The Eagles – Pretty Maids all in a Row:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 8/3

Good Morning,

Equity futures are slightly lower following Monday’s HFT driven romp. Bonds are higher, oil is now above $82 a barrel, gold is higher, and the dollar is making a beeline towards the 80ish support level:

Factory Orders and Pending Home Sales will be released at 10 Eastern this morning.

Personal Income and Outlays came in mostly less than expected for the month of June. Income was flat for the month, as was Consumer Spending which is down from the .2% rise in May. Consensus was looking for a .1% rise. Year over year Consumer Spending decelerated from 4.6% to 3.1% as the super easy year prior comparables begin to get a little more difficult. Here’s Econoday:
According to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Fed is hoping that a bump up in consumer spending will help strengthen the recovery. Apparently, that will have to wait until at least next month. Personal income in June was unchanged, following a 0.3 percent boost the month before. The median market forecast was for an incremental 0.1 percent gain. The wages & salaries component slipped 0.1 percent after posting a healthy 0.4 percent advance in May.

Consumer spending has softened over the last three months due to varying reasons. For the latest month, weakness partially was price related-notably for gasoline. Overall personal consumption was flat, following a 0.1 percent rise in May. The June number just fell short of the consensus projection for a 0.1 percent increase. By components, durables was stronger than many expected, rising 0.1 percent despite an earlier released report of a drop in motor vehicle sales in June. Weakness was in nondurables which fell 0.4 percent. But services sluggish, gaining only 0.1 percent. In chain dollars, overall spending was slightly positive for June, gaining 0.1 percent, following a 0.2 percent rebound in May.

Inflation was not an issue in June. The headline PCE price index dipped 0.1 percent, matching May's decrease. The core rate was flat after a 0.1 percent gain in May.

Year on year, personal income growth for June came in at up 2.6 percent, improving from up 1.5 percent in May. PCEs growth stood at 3.1 percent in June, compared to 3.7 percent in May. Year-ago headline PCE inflation eased to 1.4 percent from 2.1 percent in May. Year-ago core PCE inflation softened to 1.4 percent in June from 1.5 percent the month before.

Consumer spending softened in the latest month. For consumers to start opening their wallets again, we need to see improvement in employment. On the release, equity futures eased.

While year over year personal income was higher, the month of May was revised lower. Overall not a strong report, it fails to show acceleration for still debt saturated consumers whose spending comprises 70% of all economic activity.

Yesterday’s move was yet another 90%+ HFT powered move with 92.4% of the NYSE volume on the upside. That is the 10th 90%+ up day since the April peak, the score card is now 11 down, 10 up in an absurd sign of ill-health and a compromised/ corrupted marketplace. Obviously Monday’s move satisfied Friday’s small movement in the McClelland Oscillator.

The rising wedge patterns are nearly complete with the SPX approaching the 1130 – 1135 region that is the top of the wedge and also where the upper Bollinger and Fibonacci resistance is located:

A move as high as 1140 or 1150 would not surprise me and could be considered an overthrow. It would also not surprise if those patterns are complete and we turn lower now. Time wise we are getting closer to fitting the relationships of waves 1 and 3, but we still may need some time, so again patience while watching the lower boundaries of the wedges are the clue that the move is over.

Bonds are saying that the move up in stocks is not going to last. They are stubbornly basing just below overhead support and look close to making a move higher.

The VIX’s descending wedge looks close to being complete and may be signaling that a sharp move higher is close. Here we need to watch the upper descending trendline that I believe will break as the equity rising wedges break:

A break above the upper descending trendline would target roughly 58 on the VIX, as the staff of the flag is 33 points in length and the break would occur at about 25ish.

Many of the indices closed above the 200dma yesterday, and now the 50dma’s are slopping upwards. These are bullish technical indicators that I believe are a part of drawing in as much money as possible. The up move yesterday come on very low volume once again, and I note that when we have 90% up days the volume is light, but when we have 90% down days the volume is relatively heavy. Volume confirms price and it is still talking loud and clear about the primary direction of the market.

Tom Petty – Breakdown:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 8/2

Good Morning,

It’s a Monday, so of course equities are up once again in an algorithm that has better than 90% odds of making your HFT platform millions – Old Faithful. The dollar is down, bonds are lower, oil is back above the dangerous $80 a barrel mark, and gold is higher.

There was a small move in the McClelland Oscillator on Friday, so expect today’s move to be large.

The dollar is breaking down below the 50% retrace mark of its last wave up. Meanwhile the Euro is right up against the 38.2%. Next support for the dollar isn’t until roughly 80:

Oil, below left, is making a run up and out of its latest trading range. Remember, there is a high correlation between oil breaking that $80 mark and equities breaking down. Gold, lower right, is poking up through what may be a descending wedge. If that breakout decisively clears that upper boundary, it is bullish:

Wheat has continued on its parabolic tear. Up another 10% since I last reported it, and now up 75% from its June low:

When that move reverses, boy oh boy… The rise has been parabolic for well over a month now, but finally the mainstream picks up on the move and pins the reason on…
Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures surged to a 22-month high in Chicago, leading grains higher, on speculation that dry, hot weather in Russia may force the country to curb exports, squeezing global supplies.

Temperatures in Russia may climb to 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) through Aug. 7, the country’s weather center said on its website today. Although there’s no official statement about export restrictions, the market doesn’t rule out such a scenario, Phillip Futures Pte. said in note today.

“It’s very, very bullish and there’s no sign of it really stopping,” Peter McGuire, managing director at CWA Global Markets Pty, said by phone from Sydney. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches $7 within the next two trading sessions.”

The September-delivery contract jumped as much as 3.4 percent to $6.84 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest level since Oct. 1, 2008, and was at $6.8275 at 11:06 a.m. London time. Prices jumped 38 percent in July, the biggest gainer of 24 raw materials in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index.

Milling wheat for November delivery surged 5.4 percent to 205.75 euros ($269) a metric ton on NYSE Liffe in Paris. The November contract climbed 34 percent last month and today climbed to the highest price since trading started in March 2009.

Draught in Russia! Yeah, that’s the reason wheat’s been parabolic, always have to have a reason unrelated to rampant speculation and a money/ political system controlled by those doing the speculation. Wonder how many people around the world will go hungry as a result? Not to worry, it’s Monday, and the equity markets are higher.

Credit to Mick for being the first to see the move off the July first low as being a rising wedge – it seems that everyone now sees it that way, with 4 waves complete, this would be the 5th wave (e) off the bottom. It would be expected to rise into the upper boundary of the wedge and then fall hard – below is a 60 minute chart of the DOW and S&P futures:

Being a 5th wave, it can truncate prior to the upper trendline, touch it, or exceed it. Looking at the waves, waves 1 took two weeks to complete, wave 2 required 1 week, and thus I would expect wave 5 to take one week or less. This coincides with an early August cycle turn date, which it seems, everyone who is a cycle watcher is predicting a hard turn - Armstrong, Crawford, and others. The first week of August is traditionally bullish, but the summer seasonality quickly wanes thereafter.

We have quite a bit of data this week, the highlight being the Employment Situation update this Friday. Today at 10 Eastern we’ll receive the Manufacturing ISM number as well as Construction Spending. Bernanke flaps his criminal lips at 10:15, displaying once again how powerless he is to affect anything positive in the economy besides shoveling money into the central banks hands. His predecessor, Greenspan, waxed ineloquently this weekend about how broken our money system is – no kidding, Alan, thanks for your “service” to our country. Now shut the hell up, will ya?

The move lower in bonds this morning is tepid and they are still sitting near their recent highs. Once again we are seeing distribution in stocks, this final wave higher should draw in more money for eventual destruction, especially if we exceed the June high.