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No Sink-o de Mayo? Stocks Look to Soar at Open Despite Ongoing Banking Crisis, April NFP at 253,000

Friday, May 5, 2023, 9:07 am ET

Here's the tally for the week through Thursday on the major stock exchanges:

  • Dow: -970
  • NASDAQ: -260
  • S&P 500: -108
  • NYSE Composite: -428
  • Dow Transports: -193
  • It's a safe bet that Friday's session won't push any of the averages into the positive. Chalk this one up to scary banking conditions and near-complete rejection of the official "sound and resilient" narrative along with some meaningful distribution (selling) by long-term holders. There doesn't appear to be any impetus for a move higher in stocks, even with Apple's (AAPL) blowout fiscal 2Q results, released Thursday after the closing bell.

    One company, even if that company comprises roughly eight percent of the entire S&P 500 weighted index, isn't going to lift all others. It will likely provide some measure of downside protection for the S&P, but probably not enough to overcome growing negative sentiment.

    The "R" word, for recession, has been bandied about quite liberally the past few weeks, even months. It's almost as if traders have a kind of death wish. Either that, or they see the handwriting on the wall, with the Fed putting a stranglehold on the economy, this week raising the federal funds target rate to 5.00-5.25%. Not only have high interest rates shut down the lending windows at most banks, the internal effect has been to weaken the overall capital position of the entire sector.

    Evidence of a crisis in banking has been broadcast about as loudly as possible, with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest US bank failures piling up over the past few months. The various lists of troubled financial institutions grow larger and wider with each passing day.

    A widely-circulated research paper by Erica Jiang, Gregor Matvos, Tomasz Piskorski, and Amit Seru, released on March 13 and updated April 5, provides in-depth analysis of the US banking system and potential pitfalls [PDF] for what the authors suggest could number 190 banks and more, without naming specific names.

    From the paper's conclusion:

    Even if only half of uninsured depositors decide to withdraw, almost 190 banks are at a potential risk of impairment to even insured depositors, with potentially more than $250 billion of insured deposits at risk absent regulatory intervention. If uninsured deposit withdrawals cause even small fire sales, substantially more banks are at risk.

    What makes the banking crisis so frightening to people of all stripes is that banks are primary protectors of wealth and savings, or should be. Suggesting that there's something seriously wrong inside the system of over 4,000 US banks is a chilling prospect, one that could undermine the entire US and global economy.

    Advancing toward the US opening bell, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported job gains for April at 253,000, with the unemployment rate dipping to 3.4%, the lowest since 1969, numbers well ahead of expectations of 185,000 and unemployment rising to 3.6%.

    That's some hard cheese for the Fed to munch on, a strong labor market chief among issues fueling inflation. Along with deteriorating conditions in the banking sector and no resolution in sight over the debt ceiling, Jerome Powell and his brain trust have their hands full heading toward the June FOMC meeting (June 13-14).

    Elsewhere, Coinbase (COIN) reported results that were better than expected. Shares of the crypto exchange were seen higher by as much as 10%. Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) missed badly, reporting a net loss of $1.07 billion for the first quarter, up from the prior-year $299 million loss. The company previously reported losses of $2.1 billion in Q4 and a $2.3 billion in Q3. OUCH!

    With a half hour to the open, futures are soaring. Dow: +226, NASDAQ: +92, S&P: +34.

    As expected, gold, silver, the euro and the pound are all being slaughtered, because, well, USA is #1, right?

    At the Close, Thursday, May 4, 2023:
    Dow: 33,127.74, -286.50 (-0.86%)
    NASDAQ: 11,966.40, -58.93 (-0.49%)
    S&P 500: 4,061.22, -29.53 (-0.72%)
    NYSE Composite: 15,117.67, -116.18 (-0.76%)

    Bank Crisis Accelerating after Fed Chair Powell Calls System "Sound and Resilient"; Regional, Majors Under Seige

    Thursday, May 4, 2023, 9:21 am ET

    Troubled banks keep popping up everywhere lately, like cockroaches, where there's one, there are likely many more and that seems to be the case with the ongoing "sound and resilient" banking crisis.

    After raising the federal funds target rate to 5.00-5.25% on Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell stated during his press conference that the US banking system was "sound and resilient." One can't blame the Chairman for trying to put lipstick on the pig. What else could he say?

    Maybe he could have just leveled with the assembled reporters and general public, telling them that current conditions are extremely unstable and more bank failures are to be expected. Perhaps that is what he meant in his wording: that bank failures are part of the deal, and the system would likely absorb many of the losses generated by banks being either upside down in their asset basket or poorly managed or facing further losses from depositor flight and commercial real estate write-downs.

    That's what's happening out there. At least a third of the 4,000+ US banks are in some kind of trouble. Many failed to hedge their medium to long-term treasury holdings that yield less than three percent with shorter term securities bearing higher yields. Bank executives were well aware that the Fed was hiking rates at the fastest pace ever but were convinced that the Fed would crater to the demands of the market and "pivot" last year as interest rates zoomed from 0.25% to over 4.00% in a matter of months. The three consecutive 75 basis point hikes, along with Powell's notable Jackson Hole speech in August, 2022.

    But, that's not what happened.

    True to his word that the Fed would fight inflation until it was subsumed, over a span of 10 months (April, 2022 through January, 2023), the effective federal funds rate increased from 0.33 to 4.33%, a full four percent, after more than a decade of rates generally approaching zero. Top bank management were caught off-guard, wrong-footed and unprepared to face a run on deposits as consumers, fearing bank runs, actually started them.

    Essentially, it was Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) which turned the tide to the banks' detriment. Extremely wealthy depositors, comprised of Silicon Valley venture capital firms and their progeny, the startups they funded began a mad dash for cash, the VCs pulling their own holdings while advising the start-ups to pull funds necessary to make payroll and expenses. Most of the activity was hidden from view, money being taken out of the bank digitally, as opposed to the traditional standing-in-line bank runs from prior eras.

    Thus, as SVB approached crisis levels, unable to handle withdrawals and remain solvent, the public was still largely in the dark, though smaller depositors (those with less than the FDIC-guaranteed $250,000) began showing up at branches and ATMs. It wasn't until the bank was in severely dire straits that the Fed and FDIC got involved, despite monitoring events. At that late stage, there was nothing to be done but bail out the depositors, the FDIC guaranteeing all deposits for SVB and similarly, Signature Bank, with primary offices in New York and California.

    Once again, moral hazard had been breached. The Dodd-Frank act explicitly disallowed bailouts, prescribing bail-ins, where depositor funds would be converted into equity (shares of stock), but the Fed and FDIC employed an exclusion clause to perform the bailout and set up a funding mechanism for other troubled institutions.

    As Powell at the Fed and Janet Yellen at the US Treasury sought to jawbone skeptics with assurances that the banking system was sound, safe, and effective (we've heard that one before), banks were rushing to the newly-created BTFP and the discount window, shoring up reserves as fear spread across the country and around the world.

    With Monday's takedown of First Republic by JP Morgan - with ample assistance from FDIC - the crisis was supposed to be over and done, but by Tuesday, regional banks and even large banks were under pressure on Wall Street, with shares tumbling to new, lower levels.

    Presently, all banks are at varying levels of risk, if only because the FDIC only has enough funds to make good on less than three percent of all deposits before they themselves would require a bailout. Presently, most people feel safest with funds in the larger banks - BofA, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi - but money is being pulled from those as well, and they have a lot more leverage and risk management to keep from keeling over, their derivative books now swelling with what are increasingly looking like bad bets. As in the days of "The Big Short" of 2007-08, behind the scenes, in bank boardrooms and trading desks, there's panic in the air. Nobody and nothing is safe because of interlocking, cross-asset, unregulated trading and hedging that is regular business between the big players in finance.

    Best guess for ultimate failure would be to put targets on Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citi, as they have the most retail exposure and would likely be sacrificed in a complete banking meltdown, which is likely already well underway.

    As of this morning, three more candidates for "take-under" have emerged. Overnight, PacWest (PACW) and Western Alliance (WAL) are reported to be under severe stress. Joining the party is Memphis-based First Horizon (FHN), which is now under scrutiny after its proposed merger with Toronto's TB Bank collapsed. Though these are the most obvious this morning, the list is much longer, including the likes of:

  • Cadence Bank (CADE)
  • Citizens Financial Group (CFG)
  • Webster Financial Corporation (WBS)
  • Commerce Bancshares (CBSH)
  • M&t Bank (MTB)
  • Key Corp. (KEY)
  • Synovus Financial (SNV)
  • Prosperity Bancshares (PV)
  • Valley National Bancorp (VNY)
  • East West Bancorp (EWBC)
  • Zion's Bancshares (ZION)
  • Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp (MCB)
  • Key Corp (KEY)
  • Regions (RF)
  • Truist (TFC)
  • The last two on the list, Regions and Truist, are of particular note. Truist, the 10th largest bank in the US, was formed in December 2019 as the result of the merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks, two undercapitalized banks which took the merger route as opposed to liquidation. Regions had been acquiring smaller banks for decades before it was reorganized in 2007. Following that, the company acquired Integrity Bank in 2008 and FirstBank Financial Services in 2009, as part of government assisted transactions. This could be one of the most dangerous banks in the country.

    Additionally, ALLY Financial (ALLY) is just a rebranding of the formerly-failed GMAC, the name change taking place in 2010. ALLY is a leader in car loans.

    Also facing increasing scrutiny are credit card issuers, Discover (DFC) and Capitol One (COF). Both are leading lenders to the general public, much to sub-prime borrowers. These two, along with Synchrony Financial (SYF) hold the bulk of credit card, student, and person loans outstanding.

    With US markets set to open in about half an hour, stock futures are sliding deeper into the red, with Dow futures down 66 points, S&P futures off 9.50, and NASDAQ futures down 12.

    Gold and silver safe havens soared overnight, with gold topping $2060 and silver briefly above $26.

    Look out below!

    At the Close, Wednesday, May 3, 2023:
    Dow: 33,414.24, -270.26 (-0.80%)
    NASDAQ: 12,025.33, -55.18 (-0.46%)
    S&P 500: 4,090.75, -28.83 (-0.70%)
    NYSE Composite: 15,233.85, -80.75 (-0.53%)

    Banks Face Further Outflows from Depositors, Plus Damage on Commercial Real Estate Loans; FOMC Decision at 2:00 pm ET

    Wednesday, May 3, 2023, 9:07 am ET

    On Tuesday, stocks took a nasty turn right at the open and never looked back, led down the rabbit hole by bank stocks, large and small ones alike. The drawdown on banking stocks comes on the heels of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon's declaration that the banking system is "very, very sound." Apparently, investors think otherwise, as in "very, very not."

    Of primary concern are small to mid-sized banks that have experienced customer deposit withdrawals, customarily known as "bank runs", funds being pulled from accounts via smart phones, computers, ATMs and at teller windows. What used to be visibly discernible is, thanks to the marvels of technology, now handled more stealthily and with greater convenience in a fraction of the time it used to take to remove money from a given financial institution.

    Banks are seeing deposit flight at an alarming rate, thus having to sell securities they hold as assets against the deposit liabilities for less than what they paid. Chief among the investments are treasury notes and bonds carrying interest rates of one to two, maybe three percent, purchased during the boom times of QE and the COVID pandemic. With interest rates today much higher, the value of these securities gets marked down simply because there are no buyers at par. Anybody offered such expects a deal in terms of a lower price, offsetting the lower interest being paid out over the life of the security.

    That's where it gets a little dicey for the banks, stuck between holding paper at lower interest rates and customers demanding a better return on their savings, like the 3.5 - 4.5% offered by money market funds or CDs. Banks cannot simultaneously hand money out at four percent when losing one to two percent on their own investments. The Fed's easy money policies of the past 15 years - and especially 2020 and 2021 - and the recent, fast-paced rate hikes (from 0.00 to 5.00% in a year) has created quite the conundrum for not just banks, but also insurance companies, mortgage, auto, and credit card lenders and just about everybody involved in the financing business.

    Overall, the focus Tuesday was on smaller banks. Bearing in mind that these same entities were already down anywhere from 25 to 60 percent over the past three to six months, some of the hardest hit were Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL), down 15% on the day; Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp (MCB), -20%; PacWest Bancorp, -27%; Zions Bancorporation (ZION), -10%; Key Corp. (KEY), -9%; Regions (RF), -6%, and Truist (TFC), -6%.

    In addition to being upside-down on their balance sheets, there's another tsunami of bad debt roling forward for these and many other banks in the form of non-performing or likewise overvalued commercial real estate (CRE) loans. The list of banks which may be in need of bailouts, bail-ins, and assistance from the Fed, the FDIC, or both, is getting longer by the day.

    Some of the names to keep eyes on include:

  • Cadence Bank (CADE)
  • Citizens Financial Group (CFG)
  • Webster Financial Corporation (WBS)
  • Commerce Bancshares (CBSH)
  • M&t Bank (MTB)
  • Key Corp. (KEY)
  • Synovus Financial (SNV)
  • Prosperity Bancshares (PV)
  • Valley National Bancorp (VNY)
  • East West Bancorp (EWBC)
  • Most of these are already down 18-30 percent or more and took another punch to the gut on Tuesday. Most commercial real estate loans are made at local or regional levels, but that doesn't leave the bigger ones out of the picture by any means. JP Morgan (JPM), Citi (C), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are likely to be on the hook for a few stinkers as well.

    On top of the banking crisis - which is far from "over" - Wednesday's focus will be on the Fed as the FOMC makes yet another rate policy adjustment to the federal funds target rate, today looking for 25 basis points, which would put the base rate at 5.00-5.25%, the highest since 2007, just prior to the GFC. History may not be repeating as much as just rhyming, but experts are calling for a recession dead ahead and economic data is beginning to signal what the inverted yield curve has been shouting for the last year.

    This could be the last of the Fed hikes, and if so, the question would become, "how soon until they start cutting?" Fed Chiar Jerome Powell and members of the FOMC committee have suggested quite strongly that once they reach their target rate they intend to keep it there for some time. That would likly be six months or so, about the same time recession signals would be impossible to ignore.

    Of course, nobody's crystal ball is expected to be 100% accurate, but there's growing concern over recession and a continuance of the banking crisis which has been blooming along with the Spring flowers, none of which is good for equity investors.

    The FOMC rate decision is released Wednesday at 2:00 pm ET.

    In case there was any remaining doubt about living in Clown World, consider the case for slave reparations being made in California, which was admitted to the union in 1950 as a FREE state (no slavery allowed). The proposal by the nine-member Reparations Task Force (eight of whom are black... sorry, my parents were racists) is for Golden State taxpayers to support giving $1.2 million each to qualifying residents. There are about three million black people in the state, putting the gross number somewhere in the range of $569 and $800 billion.

    No wonder more and more people are leaving California every day.

    At the Close, Tuesday, May 2, 2023:
    Dow: 33,684.53, -367.17 (-1.08%)
    NASDAQ: 12,080.51, -132.09 (-1.08%)
    S&P 500: 4,119.58, -48.29 (-1.16%)
    NYSE: 15,314.57, -221.33 (-1.42%)

    Now that JP Morgan has taken up the bulk of the assets and liabilities of Frist Republic Bank via an insider deal with the FDIC, CEO Jamie Dimon reassures that the US banking system is "very, very sound."

    Had Bank of America or PNC Bank gobbled up First Republic's uninsured deposits, lucrative wealth management business and sweetheart mortgages, Dimon may not have been so cocksure in his assessment. He might have said it's "OK" or just "very sound", but, being that he gets to dine on the table of riches and not off the floor, everything's just super in Jamie's world. After all, with the fourth, third and second-largest bank failures in US history happening thus far in 2023, what's not to like?

    Speaking to analysts on a conference call Monday, Dimon also opined, "this part of the crisis is over," suggesting, coyly, that there is more carnage ahead. Dimon should know. His bank purportedly now holds more than 10% of all US deposits, which, if so, would be a violation of the Dodd-Frank act, something he's probably not concerned about, being that JP Morgan Chase has long-ago been identified as a criminal organization, given the billions in fines (and jail sentences for two traders) for rigging precious metals markets, association with the likes of Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Epstein, and other malodorous activities.

    As bad as JP Morgan is, Dimon and his "fortress" bank are not alone, however. In the run-up to the failures of Signature, Silicon Valley, and now, First Republic banks, executives were busy selling shares at sharp mark-ups to their eventual value, which ended up being approximately zero. Most shareholders got sheared, but not the insiders. No sir, banking executives have the golden tickets, paid for in part by owners of stock, the general public, and the FDIC (general public, again, pardon the redundency). Of their profits they owe tribute to Jamie Dimon, ostensibly the capo di tutti i capi of the banking syndicate.

    James Herbert, First Republic's founder and executive chairman, had sold $4.5 million worth of shares since the start of the year. Chief executive Michael J. Roffler, private wealth management president Robert L. Thornton, and chief credit officer David B. Lichtman sold a combined $7 million worth of shares during the same period. In November and December, Lichtman and his spouse sold an additional $2.5 million, and in November Roffler sold an additional $1.3 million. Thornton's sell-off, on January 18, represented 73 percent of his outstanding shares.

    As the richest pay fealty to Dimon, don't expect the DOJ or FBI to seek clawbacks or retribution as suggested by elements of the toothless Dodd-Frank Act. Along with the golden ticket comes a get out of jail free card which these entitled fvckers won't even have to use. Shareholders get burned, they walk away with millions, la-dee-dah.

    It's enough to turn one's stomach, unless American stomaches have already been hardened by prior or ongoing events (see Biden, Brandon, open Southern border, Ukraine). Effectively, nobody cares that bank executives - among the world's worst businessmen - employ underhanded practices, make sweetheart deals, ignore risk exposure and due diligence, and are generally able to run their operations into the ground while taking home ridiculous salaries and bonuses.

    So it is in the Age of Delusion.

    All hail Dimon, contemporary captain of the Pequod.

    Monday's market action was barely noticeable. Stocks traded in narrow ranges most of the session, finally finding their ways back to the unchanged line.

    Positive earnings reports from SoFi (SOFI), Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH), and MGM Resorts (MGM) didn't move the needle much. There seemed to be some kind of overhang from another bank failure and only the current phase of the crisis being over. Indeed, after the close, Treasury Secretary (Grandma) Janet Yellen warned that the federal government could run out of money as early as June 1st.

    What a moron. The US government is already bankrupt. $31 trillion in debt has that effect. Yellen only wants to pile on more, and, in response, Brandon the Great (Joe Biden) has summoned congressional leaders to meet with him on May 9 for a discussion and maybe some ice cream.

    This is exactly how third world banana republic countries operate. Making deals behind closed doors is standard operating procedure for the corrupt and criminally insane. Current occupants of high offices fall under either definition, most, both. Thus, it's safe to say that US finances are in the usual bad hands. The American public will be sold further down the river rather than default on its obnoxious debt pile. All's well.

    Damn. There were a number of companies reporting earnings for the first quarter on Tuesday morning. Positive-sounding rhetoric from the likes of Phizer (PFE), Uber (UBER), BP (BP), and Marathon Oil (MRO) failed to quell the queasiness underpinning the stock market.

    With the US open imminent, futures are down, European stocks are down, the dollar index is mixed.

    In clown world, there are no winners; just sore losers.

    At the Close, Monday, Mey 1, 2023:
    Dow: 34,051.70, -46.46 (-0.14%)
    NASDAQ: 12,212.60, -13.99 (-0.11%)
    S&P 500: 4,167.87, -1.61 (-0.04%)
    NYSE Composite: 15,535.89, -9.99 (-0.06%)

    WEEKEND WRAP: Clown World in the Age of Delusion; Stocks Higher; Biden Drains SPR; Gold Locked In at $2000/oz

    Sunday, April 30, 2023, 11:53 am ET

    Welcome to the Age of Delusion.

    The malignant messaging this week could not have been more clear: Biden will be back; there is no banking crisis.

    Anybody capable of rubbing two brain cells together sees through the mirage of mass media. Biden, being never duly elected, is illegitimate from the start and is suffering from dementia, a condition his controllers are desperate to keep hidden from the prying eyes of the public, thus the announcement of his candidacy for 2024 via splashy, fake video. First Republic Bank (FRC), having already lost more than 90% of its market cap from February 2nd to March 20, falling from 147 per share to 12, took the dive deeper, finishing the week at 3.51 per share (undiluted, GAAP, still not world champion). Its demise is imminent, but, no banking crisis, no, nothing to see here, move along...

    The FDIC is conducting an auction for the remains of First Republic, with Citizens Financial Group Inc, PNC Financial Services Group and JPMorgan Chase among the suspected bidders. A winner is likely to be announced some time Sunday afternoon, prior to markets opening in Asia.

    On the heels of the demise of Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank, and Credit Suisse (a SIFI), the fall of First Republic should not be a shock. At issue are individual deposits totaling more than the guaranteed $250,000 by FDIC which could be lost in a liquidation or other catastrophic event, like the bank run already well underway.

    At the core of the banking issues is the known fact that FDIC would be able to make whole roughly two percent of all deposits. Savers would largely be wiped out, even those with less than the aforementioned $250,000 held in a financial institution. What is less known is the fact that the Federal Reserve reduced bank reserve requirements to zero on March 26, 2020, where they have remained since. Thus, your bank may not have your money on hand, as they are not required to do so. Most likely do, for day-to-day transactions, but getting out more than a few thousand dollars at once has been reported to be something of a chore.

    Of course, having the Fed as the ultimate counterfeit operation, conjuring up billions and trillions at the stroke of a keyboard, is the ultimate con job. The currency which with most people transact commerce remains the US dollar (actually, Federal Reserve Notes, which are debt obligations or IOUs), despite having lost 98% of its value since 1913.

    People worry that their "money" won't be there when they want to withdraw it. What should concern them more is that what they're looking for isn't actaully money - it's a substitute - and it never really existed anyway, so, net result when your bank closes its doors for good: Zero.

    Besides the nuanced deception in finance, there's the issue of institutional dishonesty and selective statement-making. Take, for instance, the refuse emanating from the mouth of Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who stated, without equivocation, that Biden was responsible for worker's wages rising faster than the rate of inflation on Fox News Sunday earlier this morning.

    While the data support his claim for the latest month (wages up 6.1%, inflation, +5%, yoy), it's been the opposite for nearly the last two years - since April 2021 - all that time during Biden's reign. Anything out of any government official is questionable and likely not supported by facts on the ground. It's the world as we know it: a devious place full of prevaricators and deniers, and that includs almost all financial or economic data.

    Case in point is 1Q GDP showing at +1.1%, while tech companies report solid quarterly results, ramming the proverbial square peg into that circular hole.

    Bull. Bogus. Bah!


    As mentioned Friday, stocks have been bounced about by opposing forces for most of 2023, but remain resilient. Losses in the early portion of the week were superceded by earnings-propelled buying Thursday and Friday, led by tech stocks, as Alphabet (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Meta Platforms (META), and Amazon (AMZN) posted mostly positive numbers for the first quarter.

    The one drawback was Amazon's revelation that growth in their cloud space (AWS) had seen some slippage, which some analysts saw as a sign of weakening demand, which, given the poor first quarter GDP result (+1.1%), was a reasonable enough assumption. On the other hand, growth in the similar space occupied by Google and Microsoft offered the impression that Amazon was just losing market share to competing rivals. Amazon couldn't have it both ways, leading to a four percent selloff on Friday, following their 1Q release.

    That being one of only a few negatives in the second half of the week, the majors were all higher after Friday's close except for the NYSE Composite, mainly comprised of small caps.

    Stocks have been rewarding to investors through the first four months of the year, especially in 2022's beaten-down tech space. The NASDAQ is up 16.82% this year, the S&P ahead by 8.59%, and the Dow up 2.87%. Keeping with the trend, Dow Transports are up 4.70%. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results, though, considering the great efforts being made to keep the appearance of robustness and growth, the upside for stocks still looks pretty good.

    (Consider the sad fate of Gregory Mannarino, despite claiming to be "overwhelmingly positive" on stocks, went short the market on Tuesday, buying August SPY 410 Puts. He's upside down, receiving heavy doses of criticism and trying vainly to deflect, while also claiming to be adding to his position. Poor sap. Doesn't know well enough to keep his big mouth shut. Besides, who goes short when most of their money is supposedly long? Dumbass.)

    Earnings will take a back seat to the Fed's FOMC meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 2-3) of the coming week, as the world spins on the expectation of another 0.25% raise of the federal funds rate.

    Up this week for consideration for players at the Wall Street casino are a bevy of companies reporting. Highlights by day:

    Monday: SoFi (SOFI), Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCLH), MGM Resorts (MGM).

    Tuesday: Uber (UBER), British Petroeum (BP), Marriott (MAR), Pfizer (PFE), Advanced Micro Devices (ADC), Starbucks (SBUX).

    Wednesday: CVS Health (CVS), Generac (GNRC), Marathon Oil (MRO), Yum! Brands (YUM), Etsy (ETSY).

    Thursday: Moderna (MRNA), ConocoPhillips (COP), Apple (AAPL), Peloton (PTON), Shopify (SHOP), Coinbase (COIN), Lyft (LYFT).

    Friday: Warner Brothers Discovery (WDB), Cigna (CI).

    Treasury Yield Curve Rates

    Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 4 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
    03/24/2023 4.28 4.48 4.74 4.78 4.76 4.32
    03/31/2023 4.74 4.79 4.85 4.97 4.94 4.64
    04/07/2023 4.56 4.90 4.95 5.07 4.95 4.61
    04/14/2023 4.29 4.98 5.14 5.16 5.03 4.77
    04/21/2023 3.36 4.98 5.14 5.19 5.07 4.78
    04/28/2023 4.35 5.14 5.10 5.20 5.06 4.80

    Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
    03/24/2023 3.76 3.58 3.41 3.40 3.38 3.77 3.64
    03/31/2023 4.06 3.81 3.60 3.55 3.48 3.81 3.67
    04/07/2023 3.97 3.72 3.49 3.45 3.39 3.73 3.61
    04/14/2023 4.08 3.83 3.60 3.56 3.52 3.85 3.74
    04/21/2023 4.17 3.89 3.66 3.62 3.57 3.90 3.78
    04/28/2023 4.04 3.75 3.51 3.49 3.44 3.80 3.67

    After seeing yield on one-month bills drop 93 basis points last week, hints of a debt ceiling measure or stretching out of "extraordinary measures" to July due to surprisingly increased tax receipts last week caused a 99 basis point rise in the same maturity.

    This only happens in clown world.

    The 3-month/30-year pair is inverted 143 basis points. That also only happens in clown world. Unaware that they're operating in clown world, the Fed has somehow managed to connive sellers to take 3.44% on 10-year notes.

    The market is seeking better explanations. Clowns need not apply.


    Crude fell to $76.63 this week, down from $82.59 two weeks ago and $77.95 last week. The decline comes on the heels of OPEC+ production cuts, countered by Joe Brandon taking down the Strategic Petroleum Reserve even further than he did last summer. Joe doesn't care, nor do his handlers. They're only interested in appearances.

    Last week's national average for a gallon of gas at the pump was $3.67. This week, it's down to $3.58, which should be welcome news to travelers. Prices are lowest in the Southeast (Mississippi, $3.05) and highest in the West (California, $4.81).


    This week: $29,395.70
    Last week: $27,645.00
    2 weeks ago: $30,274.60
    6 months ago: $20,481.50
    One year ago: $38.471.60

    Churn, baby, churn.

    Precious Metals

    Silver:Gold Ratio: 79.72; last week: 79.26

    Per COMEX continuous contracts:

    Gold price 03/31: $1,987.00
    Gold price 04/07: $2,023.70
    Gold price 04/14: $2,015.80
    Gold price 04/21: $1,994.10
    Gold price 04/28: $1,999.40

    Silver price 03/31: $24.24
    Silver price 04/07: $25.13
    Silver price 04/14: $25.46
    Silver price 03/17: $25.16
    Silver price 04/28: $25.08

    Please take note of the clownish effort by the BIS, COMEX, FED, LBMA and most other LOFs (Lovers of Fiat) to keep the price of gold below $2,000.00. Money Daily's Sunday survey of eBay prices tends to disagree, as do most stackers and freedom lovers.

    Finding gold under $2,100 and silver under $30 is quite the task currently. While there appears to be plenty of supply, demand has been and continues to be through the roof.

    Here are the most recent prices for common one ounce gold and silver items sold on eBay (numismatics excluded, free shipping included):

    1 oz silver coin: 34.00 47.50 40.43 39.93
    1 oz silver bar: 33.99 51.62 39.78 39.00
    1 oz gold coin: 2,104.49 2,145.02 2,126.76 2,129.27
    1 oz gold bar: 2,077.91 2,152.42 2,110.88 2,112.84

    The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) remains volatile, ending this week at $39.79, a decline of $1.10 from the April 23 level of $40.89.


    Apologies for the brevity and lack of depth in this week's "WRAP." Allergies. Very. Bad. Allergies.

    At the Close, Friday, April 28, 2023:
    Dow: 34,098.16, +272.00 (+0.80%)
    NASDAQ: 12,226.58, +84.35 (+0.69%)
    S&P 500: 4,169.48, +34.13 (+0.83%)
    NYSE Composite: 15,545.88, +114.23 (+0.74%)

    For the Week:
    Dow: +289.20 (+0.86%)
    NASDAQ: +154.13 (+1.28%)
    S&P 500: +35.96 (+0.87%)
    NYSE Composite: -33.05 (-0.21)

    Disclaimer: Information disseminated on this site should not be construed as investment advice. Downtown Magazine Inc., Money Daily and it's owners, affiliates and/or employees are not investment advisors and do not offer specific investment advice. All investments have risk. You should consult a professional investment advisor or stock broker or use your individual judgement when making investment decisions. By viewing this site, you hold harmless Downtown Magazine Inc., Money Daily, its owners, affiliates and employees against any and all liability. Copyright 2023, Downtown Magazine Inc., all rights reserved.


    All information relating to the content of magazines presented in the Collectible Magazine Back Issue Price Guide has been independently sourced from published works and is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. All pages on this web site, including descriptions and details are copyright 1999-2024 Downtown Magazine Inc., Collectible Magazine Back Issue Price Guide. All rights reserved.


    idleguy.com July 2024
    IdleGuy.com July 2024, Vol. 1 #6