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Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.


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Non-farm Jobs Numbers Up at 390,000 in May; Wall Street Fairy Tales for a Cuckold Nation

Friday, June 3, 2022, 9:14 am ET

Following Thursday's unprecedented melt-up in stocks on the heels of more poor economic data and warnings from everybody from Fed presidents, bank CEOs (Jamie Dimon, in particular), to the former shoeshine boy turned barista, losses from earlier in the week were fully erased.

It didn't matter that people may starve in Sri Lanka, or that food and energy protests in Karachi, Pakistan required hordes of armed police to dispel... for now. All that mattered was positioning for the May non-farm payroll report, released Friday morning an hour before US stock markets opened.

The BLS reported the US added 390,000 jobs in May, which was a drop from April's upwardly-revised 436,000 and the lowest print since April 2021, but was well above the 320K expected. Generally speaking, figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) are hogwash, guesses, estimates or outright lies. They cover a very broad dynamic that is the US labor market and the non-farm payroll series has been the subject of great ridicule and disparaging, but Wall Street sops up the data in fairy tale fashion on a regular basis.

Upon the release of the jobs numbers, equity futures barely moved, the futures of the three major indices hovering around a negative one-half to one percent. The number was benign and indicates that sentiment remains mixed and that the futures market is indicative of nothing in particular other than well-heeled, connected, high level traders are selling on Friday morning. That gets a big "meh" from the sleazy dealers of corporate scrip.

Checking the levels heading into the closing session for the holiday-shortened week, Dow Industrials are up 35.32 as of Thursday's closing prices. The NASDAQ is ahead by 185.77 (1.53%) and the S&P has put on a gain of 18.58 points. After bouncing off the intraday low of 3810.32 two Fridays ago, the widely-watched index has ballooned up 366 points, or 9.60% in the span of eight sessions, of which three closed to the downside, a pretty remarkable rebound.

As of 9:00 am ET, futures began to collapse, with Dow futures off by 238 points, NASDAQ futures lower by 192, and S&P futures shedding 42 points. As it would appear, Thursday's ramp job higher was just a set-up for shorting into a controlled decline to end the week and scare old people into delaying their retirement parties.

Welcome to the fictionalized world, where vaccines don't work despite being told everybody should get them, food shortages are just weeks ahead, the price of gas and any energy commodity is rising out of control and inflation, as measured by the CPI, is 8.5%, when the reality is closer to 25%. The American public just sits patiently in line to get hosed in every manner possible by a fake president, inept congress and lying media. The United States is cuckolded beyond belief, but appears rather bold by comparison, as Canada prepares to disarm its citizens. It can happen here, too.

Here's a phrase to keep everybody jumpy: Prepare, or die. Don't prepare AND die.

At the Close, Thursday, June 2, 2022:
Dow: 33,248.28, +435.05 (+1.33%)
NASDAQ: 12,316.90, +322.44 (+2.69%)
S&P 500: 4,176.82, +75.59 (+1.84%)
NYSE: 15,960.53, +250.92 (+1.60%)

Economic Data, Employment in Focus As Stocks Try to Avoid Third Straight Session in the Red

Thursday, June 2, 2022, 8:02 am ET

Amid a flurry of economic reports - most of them unappealing to the bullish bet - US stocks opened to the upside but quickly fell into the red and stayed there for the duration, marking a second straight day of losses.

There were visible attempts to hold certain levels, specifically, 4100 on the S&P, and 12,000 on the NASDAQ. Missions accomplished... kinda. Both closed near their selected targets, but spent much of the session trading at lower levels.

Following the massive run-up from the previous week, stocks seem to be unable to break through resistance at an area delineated by lows of early March. With the Fed set to raise the federal funds rate another 50 basis points in two weeks, there doesn't appear to be a catalyst sufficiently powerful to surpass the barriers at Dow 33,500, S&P 4200, and NASDAQ 12,750.

Among the economic releases that had the highest effect on the markets were the IMF Manufacturing PMI, which edged up from 55.4 to 56.1 in May, and construction spending, which disappointed with an April month-over-month gain of 0.2%, after March was revised lower from 0.3 to 0.1.

Remarks from Jamie Dimon, President and CEO of JP Morgan Chase, describing the coming economic malaise as a "hurricane," didn't help stocks.

Dimon, speaking at a financial conference sponsored by AllianceBernstein, said, "It's a hurricane. Right now, it's kind of sunny, things are doing fine, everyone thinks the Fed can handle this," according to Bloomberg. Expanding on the topic, Dimon quipped, "that hurricane is right out there, down the road, coming our way. We just don't know if it's a minor one or Superstorm Sandy or Andrew or something like that. You better brace yourself."

The remarks were decidedly dissimilar to those made by Dimon at last week's investor appreciation day, when Dimon essentially said there were storm clouds on the horizon, but that they would dissipate. To those tuned into the messaging from the president and CEO of the nation's largest bank, the prior message was disregarded, thought to be pandering to JP Morgan Chase (JPM) investors, some of whom were miffed over the board's approval of Dimon's lucrative compensation package.

Thus, reading between the lines, investors took Dimon's message from Wednesday to heart and continued their selling, extending the market declines into a sixth month.

Upcoming on Thursday is the weekly initial unemployment claims release, at 8:30 am ET, though it's unlikely to have a major impact on stocks. Claims fell by 8,000 last week, to 210,000. Also in focus will be ADP's private payrolls report for May, which comes a day prior to the government's monthly non-farm payroll report. Private payrolls from Automatic Data Processing (ADP) are forecast to rise to 300,000 in May following 247,000 new hires in April.

Last month's NFP tallied 428,000 new jobs, well ahead of estimates of 391,000. The May numbers are expected to be weaker, with estimates around 325,000.

Employment data isn't going to change sentiment on Wall Street in any meaningful way when inflation, Ukraine, and interest rates are currently the key drivers of markets.

At the Close, Wednesday, June 1, 2022:
Dow: 32,813.23, -176.89 (-0.54%)
NASDAQ: 11,994.46, -86.93 (-0.72%)
S&P 500: 4,101.23, -30.92 (-0.75%)
NYSE: 15,709.61, -117.44 (-0.74%)

Yes, This Is a Bear Market, and the Fed Is Punting Into the Wind As It Launches QT

Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 8:35 am ET

Coming off a three-day weekend, traders were not very enthusiastic Tuesday, even though it was the last day of the month, usually the time to supply "window dressing" to the portfolios for prospective muppet investors.

Such was not the case as stocks came under pressure right at the open, the Dow dropping as much as 440 points in the first minutes, the S&P sliding more than 50 points just after 10:00 am ET.

After some of the usual indecisive dip-buying, all the major indices managed to peek into positive numbers, though only for brief afternoon moments. The close was another one of those nose-dive varieties indicative of pent-up selling pressure.

Stocks struggled to get past resistance at prior lows. On the Dow, the area around 33,000 could prove a stubborn one. The S&P will have to escape beyond 4200 to prove the rally a realistic one. As for the basket case that is the NASDAQ, any close above 12,000 should be considered something of a miracle. It is still in a bear market, down 22% year-to-date.

There are pundits and a few analysts who are operating under the dubious belief that this current rally to be an extension of the long bull run that began at the end of the GFC in 2009, briefly interrupted by the virus crisis in February and March of 2020. These wide-eyed optimists have managed to somehow conflate strict rules of mathematics with the vageuries of economics, relying on the textbook definition of a bear market beginning when an index is down exactly 20 percent.

That's all well and good for these anal constructionists, but it's hardly an endorsement to invest in beaten-down equities. The reality is that the S&P was actually down more than 20% intraday when it dove to 3,810.32 on May 20th. The Dow Industrials haven't hit the magic -20% mark, yet, but everything about the market since the end of November, 2021, has had a certain carnivorous growl to it.

Since economics is not an exact science, at best, "bear market" is more a term of art rather than a strict calculation.

Taking a stroll down memory lane, this post from December 1, 2021, It's All Downhill from Here reveals some interesting numbers.

At the time, the general consensus mood was changing, though it was hardly evident to all but those with a qualitative vision of the future.

Here is the updated chart, adjusted to May 31, noting All-Time Highs (ATH) and closing prices on 11/30/21 and Tuesday, May 31, 2022:

Asset/Price ATH 11/30 5/31
Dow: 36,432.22 34,483.72 32,990.12
NASDAQ: 16,057.44 15,537.69 12,081.39
S&P 500: 4,704.54 4,567.00 4,132.15
NYSE: 17310.51 16,318.97 15,827.05
Gold: 2,067.15 1,787.80 1,837.40
Silver: 48.70 22.85 21.52
Bitcoin: 68,778 57,982 31,862.10

The last man standing happens to be gold, which offers a solid perspective on the current state of affairs. There are bear markets and bear market rallies, which are often violent and extreme. Gold, and to a lesser extent, silver and other hard assets, tend to hold their value through all kinds of stormy weather.

As far as Bitcoin is concerned, more than a few supporters have jumped ship recently, though the damage was being done months before the Terra/Luna stablecoin fiasco from a few weeks back.

Stocks, being ultimately malleable and subjective certificates of faith, sure do have their ups and downs, the recent prices well above where they were just a little more than a week ago.

Finally, this being Wednesday, the Fed will begin its promised QT (Quantitative Tightening), wherein they will attempt to diminish their balance sheet by a maximum of $95 billion a month by either selling or allowing to mature Treasury Bills, Notes, and Bonds ($60BN/month) and Mortgage Backed Securities ($35BN/month).

The St. Louis Fed keeps track with charts, here, normally updated late Wednesday or early Thursday of each week.

QT, along with proposed back-to-back 50 basis point hikes to the federal funds rate at the June and July FOMC meetings, sets the bottom line conditions for what may be a whole new ball game.

At the Close, Tuesday, May 31, 2022:
Dow: 32,990.12, -222.84 (-0.67%)
NASDAQ: 12,081.39, -49.74 (-0.41%)
S&P 500: 4,132.15, -26.09 (-0.63%)
NYSE: 15,827.05, -115.58 (-0.72%)

WEEKEND WRAP: One-liner Edition; Stocks Jump, Bonds Flatten; Gas At the Pump: Record High; Thanks, Brandon

Sunday, May 29, 2022, 8:35 am ET

Because its a holiday weekend, boring, long-winded explanations of economic matters will be excluded from this edition of the WEEKEND WRAP.


Huge move off lows from Thursday, May 19; best weekly gain on the Dow since November, 2020; rally should continue into 4-day, post-holiday week, Dow approaching 50% retrace (33,274.13) and 61.8% (33,750.51).

Treasury Yield Curve Rates

Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
05/13/2022 0.67 0.79 1.03 1.47 2.04
05/20/2022 0.63 0.87 1.03 1.51 2.07
05/27/2022 0.69 0.91 1.08 1.54 2.01

Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
05/13/2022 2.61 2.79 2.89 2.95 2.93 3.32 3.10
05/20/2022 2.60 2.73 2.80 2.82 2.78 3.17 2.99
05/27/2022 2.47 2.64 2.71 2.76 2.74 3.16 2.97

Flattening, short-dated (30-day, +0.06; 1-year, -0,08), long-dated (2-year, -0.13; 30-year, -0.02).


WTI crude, $115.07, up from $113.23, May 20, up $15.31 from May 10 ($99.76).

Unleaded regular gas, national average, all-time high, $4.61/gallon (holiday weekend, no foolin'); highest, California, $6.12; lowest, Oklahoma, $4.10.


Last Sunday: $29,698.40; this Sunday: $29,335.90, still looks like dead money; possible stealth move higher, near-term.

Precious Metals

Gold price 05/01: $1,896.90
Gold price 05/08: $1,882.80
Gold price 05/15: $1,810.30
Gold price 05/22: $1,845.10
Gold price 05/29: $1,850.60

Silver price 05/01: $22.79
Silver price 05/08: $22.37
Silver price 05/15: $21.13
Silver price 05/22: $21.77
Silver price 05/29: $22.14

Gold was up $5.50 on the week, silver outperformed, gaining 37 cents, up nearly five percent in two weeks.

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

Item/Price Low High Average Median
1 oz silver coin: 30.25 43.00 37.87 38.44
1 oz silver bar: 28.00 44.95 36.49 38.04
1 oz gold coin: 1,964.39 2,126.29 2,003.71 1,986.10
1 oz gold bar: 1,936.02 1,965.79 1,951.68 1,952.85

The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) gained over the course of the week, to $37.71, rising 98 cents from the May 29 price of $36.73.

Bottom Line: Hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, rolls, potato salad, apple pie, charcoal, lighter fluid, gas all cost much more than a year ago, magnitudes greater than the 8.3% yoy inflation stated by the CPI, designed to make you poor and miserable. Don't be.

Happy Memorial Day.

At the Close, Friday, May 27, 2022:
Dow: 33,212.96, +575.77 (+1.76%)
NASDAQ: 12,131.13, +390.48 (+3.33%)
S&P 500: 4,158.24, +100.40 (+2.47%)
NYSE: 15,942.62, +278.63 (+1.78%)

For the Week:
Dow: +1951.06 (+6.24%)
NASDAQ: +776.51 (+6.84%)
S&P 500: +256.88 (+6.58%)
NYSE: +861.64 (+5.71%)

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 2022, Downtown Magazine Inc., all rights reserved.


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