On Saturday it will be 20 years from one of the most significant events in human history. 9/11.
You know where you were. You know what you were wearing, who you were with, and what you were doing. You, like millions of others stared at your TV screen, with both wonder and fear, remorse and sadness. It couldn’t be… but…it was.
I mentioned to my readers that the first few days of this week could get bumpy in the equity markets. So, seeing them come back from the Holiday weekend and send the DOW down 277 points in the first hour, that prediction was on its way to coming true.
I think that of all the Holidays we celebrate throughout the year, Labor Day is the least understood. For instance, on the 4th of July we celebrate Independence Day. Everyone sort of knows the story. Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Memorial Day we acknowledge the fine servicemen and women who died defending our Nation. Most seem to know of all this.
But when it comes to Labor Day, I find an awful lot of folks, don’t quite know what it is they’re celebrating. So let’s take just a few minutes to remember what this is all about.
But I think there’s a much more sinister side to all of this in the works too. And, while I try to keep some of the more “dark” issues out of the letters, sometimes you just have to put it out there. So, what am I babbling about? Klaus and his World Economic Forum.
As we know, sentiment — of investors, traders and plain ole households — can drive the day-to-day direction of markets as the players react to the headlines and other events.
According to Charles Schwab’s latest Active Trader Pulse survey, the pandemic is once again the leading risk factor among traders.
In a further signal that the U.S. economy isn’t out of the woods, the widely followed consumer sentiment index that’s produced by the University of Michigan shows that consumer sentiment plummeted in early August.
Ocean shipping rates have been soaring. The cost to get oil to our refineries has gone up for months. So, frankly this little charade has very little chance of keeping a lid on oil prices. It’s probably going higher, unless of course they play the “lets shut the country down game” again.
A few of Friday’s headlines set me off…
“July’s strong jobs report puts the Federal Reserve on track to slow its bond purchases.”
“Unemployment rate drops to 5.4%, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
“President resists temptation to take a victory lap Friday following the release of strong jobs numbers.”
Give me a break (please)!
On Wednesday, I had written an article about how 50 years back, Nixon removed us from the Gold standard, and how we turned from being a currency backed by Gold, to a currency that was ONLY in demand, because we had a deal with the house of Saud that oil could only be purchased with US Dollars.
Yes friends, let’s take a walk down history lane. 50 years back to be exact. Because 50 years ago this month, President Nixon “closed” the Gold window to the world, basically defaulting on our promises to always back the US dollar with some amount of gold.
Earlier this week, the World Gold Council released its informative and eminently readable mid-year outlook for gold.
Looking at the first half of 2021, the WGC found that “strong consumer demand recovery and [2nd quarter] gold ETF inflows were not enough to offset heavy [1st quarter] outflows.”
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the WGC sees interest rates, inflation, devaluing of fiat currencies and higher exposure to risk assets combining “to prompt strategic investors to add gold to their [portfolios].”
That, in turn, will put upward pressure on gold prices in the second half of 2021, especially when assuming expectations for underperforming economies in the U.S. and elsewhere (the WGC doesn’t forecast prices of gold).
There is no economy. There is however, trillions in Fed/Government money keeping the plates in the air. So let’s talk about inflation, the so called economy, and what’s really going on.
The imminent return of the federal government’s debt ceiling is causing agita among money-market traders once again.
Conventional wisdom holds that the risk that Uncle Sam might default by missing a payment on a bill or two is next to nothing.
Nevertheless, investors are wondering if and how the Treasury can slash its giant cash pile to the level the department has indicated would be consistent with its policies and the 2019 act that suspended the limit.
And they’re concerned about the impact that any such moves could have on short-term funding markets, which underpin much of the global financial architecture.
Why would someone pay me for that type of information? Well, the NASDAQ was in a bubble like we’d never seen. And Companies took advantage of that bubble by splitting their stock, thus making it cheaper for more masses to enter, and the stock would zoom back up. But traders often saw that the minute a split was announced, it would start climbing higher. They wanted in quickly and cell phones weren’t that popular yet. Hence the pager.
If you want to know why prices at your local gas station are so much higher these days than before the pandemic, you only have to look at the number of oil rigs that are up and running off U.S. shores.
We know that the demand for oil has been rising as consumers emerge from Covid hibernation and businesses try to remake themselves to supply them.
However, oil companies are dragging their feet on ramping up production, new data from Baker Hughes showed last week. And when production doesn't keep up with demand, it drives prices higher.