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Bonds Signal Stock Rally Running On Fumes

Friday, July 24, 2020, 6:35 am ET

Stocks had their worst day in six weeks on Thursday and the bond market was right there to confirm it.

The 10-year note closed with a yield of 0.59% on Thursday, the third-lowest close in history (lowest, 0.54%, 3/9/20). The 30-year saw its lowest close since the end of April, checking in at 1.24%.

Altogether, the treasury complex has been crammed down to a 115-basis point spread, significantly flattening the curve, a signal for more challenging times at hand.

Overall, bonds have not been playing along with the recent market recovery. As the NASDAQ soared to new highs, treasury bonds were latent, barely budging off the lows set down in March. What the flight into the safety of bonds tells the go-go equity community is that their rally has no long-term legs even though the Federal Reserve has set up more than a handful of equity-boosting schemes that buy up corporate, municipal, and junk bonds at overpriced levels just to keep the stock market rally going.

Because of the Fed's recalcitrance toward any kind of sanity in stocks, bonds prices will remain high and stocks will continue to rise. It's all part of the scheme by the government to keep stocks in bubble-land in order to not trigger a complete loss of faith in the Fed, debt-based fiat currency, fractional reserve banking and a crisis in public and private pensions, most of which are severely underfunded and heavily invested in Wall Street's darling stocks.

It's a recipe for disaster, or at least delaying a disaster until the bills come due and all the institutional money has left the building, leaving retail investors with smaller 401k accounts and pension funds with a big fat hole in their actuarial tables.

Anybody who has studied charts just a little bit should be able to point out the fallacies in the recent "V"-shaped stock market bounce and extrapolate out six months to a year of slower economic growth, or, putting it correctly, declining GDP, lower earnings for the S&P 500, rampant unemployment, and currency debasement on a level not seen since the Weimar Republic or the more recent hyperinflation in Zimbabwe.

According to the Shiller PE ratio - otherwise known as CAPE - stocks are currently trading at levels equivalent to those seen on Black Tuesday in 1929. Only during the dotcom mania of 1999-2000 was the CAPE ratio higher. The March downturn was barely a blip on the CAPE chart. Stocks were already overvalued. Today, as the recovery from the COVID crisis and government lockdowns has not even begun, they are even more overvalued, setting up a condition ripe for another waterfall event like the one in March.

All that's keeping stocks from imploding to more reasonable levels are the Fed's emergency measures and the massive stimulus already on the books from the federal government, with more on the way. At the federal level, the Fed's money printing and profligate spending by congress and the president are not about getting Democrats or Republicans elected in November. The graft and corruption hasn't taken sides. It's about all of them fearing for their coveted positions atop the gravy train, where they make the rules and don't have to keep them, where they benefit from insider knowledge, where they live in luxury while the rest of the country devolves into violence, disruption, and poverty.

Government officials, Fed operatives, and wealthy investors are getting their bread buttered on both sides while Main Street and Joe Sixpack get the crust and crumbs.

Trillions to Wall Street and a $1200 check for the rest of you. Sounds like a campaign slogan Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet could get behind.

The solution is rejecting the false facade presented by Wall Street and their cohorts in Washington, DC. Cutting back on expenses, opting out of public education, becoming more self-reliant, and buying gold, silver, and hard assets will free Americans from the tyranny of monetary fakery and fiscal irresponsibility.

Have a nice weekend.

At the Close, Thursday, July 23, 2020:
Dow: 26,652.33, -353.47 (-1.31%)
NASDAQ: 10,461.42, -244.68 (-2.29%)
S&P 500: 3,235.66, -40.36 (-1.23%)
NYSE: 12,510.87, -58.23 (-0.46%)

Zucchini Won't Cure COVID-19, But It's Better Than Wearing A Mask; Gold Seeks New High

Thursday, July 23, 2020, 8:22 am ET

It is without regret that I post this missive.

Zucchini is rich in several vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds and I have grown two huge ones.

One is already two-thirds eaten. The other - the larger of the pair - is pictured at right.

I cut most of the first one up and sauteed it in olive oil with ground black pepper and seasoned salt. It was quite good, especially considering that it was, by most accounts, too big, and cost nearly nothing to produce.

That is the point. While all of us from time to time chase the elusive riches in the markets, true value is found in seeds, of which every plant produces in bounteous plenty. From those seeds one can grow acres of fruits and vegetables, enough to feed an entire planet. It's been happening for eons.

Since our government has taken upon itself the task of further enslaving every non-elite member of society with the current mask-wearing-social-distancing-be-afraid-of-the-virus dictates, mandates, unconstitutional as they may be orders, it is incumbent upon every individual to do what he or she sees fitting to ensure one's own survival and that of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, what have you.

Already interfering and directing almost every aspect of human life, our government officials find it now necessary to further encumber the still-breathing populace with face masks, business closures, and soon, a vaccine, which, by the latest measure, will require two shots followed by a booster, designed, I am certain, to make many more people ill or dead in a short period of time.

This is not a happy time in America, or, for that matter, in any part of the world ruled by ruthless dictators masquerading as champions of the common folk. The government has become the enemy and they're not alone. Other forces, like the people rioting, protesting, toppling statues, requiring everyone to bend a knee for people of color or some other such nonsense are also enemies.

The mainstream media, which has lied to everybody for decades about everything, is another enemy. Banks and finance companies which charge interest on loans we require because we don't earn enough money (or the government steals too much of it through taxes and fees) are another enemy.

Anybody who tells you that you must wear a mask, for any reason, is an enemy. If your grocery store says you cannot buy food for yourself or your family, they are an enemy. We are beset on all sides.

If there's any one action that speaks defiance it's raising one's own food. Planting a garden isn't hard. Maintaining one and producing edible food is, but it is well worth the effort.

Most of us were forced to stay home for some period of time recently. We were not asked. We were told. How many of us started gardens or even thought of putting a few seeds into some soil? Probably fewer than thought about putting some lead into a politician, official or other authority figure.

Some of us did. And now, we are reaping what we've sown. Some of us don't have to shop at Wal-Mart or Kroger's or any place that requires the wearing of a mask. We have our own food.

We're reminded daily that "we're all in this together." Nothing could be further from the truth. Every one of us is on our own. The police, for a large part, have proven ineffective at protecting or serving us. Our political authorities, well, we've already covered that.

We've been lied to about this virus. We've been lied to about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and vitamins C and D3 taken in appropriate dosages as a preventive. We've never been told by anybody in authority to strengthen our immune systems. They've lied and cajoled and twisted the truth to serve their own interests, as usual.

Anyhow, you may or may not get the message. In any event, here's the lowdown on the nutritional value of zucchini.

One cup (223 grams) of cooked zucchini provides:

Calories: 17
Protein: 1 gram
Fat: less than 1 gram
Carbs: 3 grams
Sugar: 1 gram
Fiber: 1 gram
Vitamin A: 40% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Manganese: 16% of the RDI
Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
Potassium: 13% of the RDI
Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 9% of the RDI
Folate: 8% of the RDI
Copper: 8% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 7% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI
Thiamine: 5% of the RDI

It also contains small amounts of iron, calcium, zinc, and several other B vitamins.

That's a heck of a lot better than wearing a mask or spending $3000 for Remdesivir or getting shot up with something produced by Pfizer, or AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson.

Gold is nearing it's all-time high in dollar terms, currently trending at $1880 an ounce in the front month futures market. The record spot price for gold came in 2011, when it reached $1895. Having already reached new highs in every other currency, the US dollar is the last fiat currency standing against real money.

-- Fearless Rick

P.S.: If you don't believe me, maybe you'll listen to Dr. Chris Martenson and Greg Hunter at USA Watchdog:

At the Close, Wednesday, July 22, 2020:
Dow: 27,005.84, +165.44 (+0.62%)
NASDAQ: 10,706.13, +25.76 (+0.24%)
S&P 500: 3,276.02, +18.72 (+0.57%)
NYSE: 12,569.07, +60.39 (+0.48%)

What's In Your Wallet? CapitalOne Stumbles Into Zombie Zone; Gold, Silver Continue Explosive Rallies

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 7:52 am ET

Among the 79 or so second quarter earnings reports released on Tuesday, one of particular note was that of Capital One, the credit card and banking behemoth of "last resort" for many.

The company is well-known for its marketing campaign slogan, "What's in Your Wallet" and is also a lender to many who may not qualify for a credit card or auto loan from more traditional loan originators such as the major banks, thus rendering it to a largely "sub-prime" status.

Thus, when the firm released second quarter results after the closing bell on Tuesday, there was a chorus of "told you so" types who saw Capital One's demise in the making months prior.

The company recorded a quarterly loss of $918 million, or $2.21 a share, compared with a profit of $1.63 billion, or $3.24 a share in the year-ago period on a GAAP basis.

Notably, Capital One boosted its provision for credit losses to $4.25 billion from $1.34 billion in the year-earlier period. It also reported $1.51 billion in net charge-offs. That's $1.5 billion of defaults across all of their business units, but in particular, credit cards.

Total net revenue fell to $6.56 billion from $6.business unit.96 billion a year earlier. Analysts targeted $9.22 billion. Those analysts have yet to be fired, but are likely nervous and rapidly revising their third quarter estimates on the consumer lending giant.

Net interest margin, was 5.78%, compared with 6.80% a year ago, a significant decline.

During the conference call, company representatives touted the effectiveness of their forbearance provisions during the COVID crisis. Borrowers were allowed to skip payments on credit cards, home loans, car loans. In its earnings report presentation, the company offered: "As of June 30, 2020, we have assisted 2% of active accounts,
representing 3% of loans outstanding."

Those 2%, 3% figures are leading numbers. When those figures reach 4% to 5%, Capital One will be in dire straits, because of the declining net interest margin, which is heading south of 5% in the current quarter. Capital One also reported that 92% of customers seeking forbearance were current. Put another way, 8% of those were already 30 days delinquent. With net interest margins collapsing and more people expected to go into delinquent status, Capital One will have to provision even more toward credit losses in the third quarter.

Capital One has become the canary in the coal mine for the banking industry, specifically, consumer-oriented banks, like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, and JP Morgan Chase. When the dominoes begin to fall, expect Capital One to be among the first, if not THE first, to tip over.

Combined with the 3.10 loss in the first quarter, Capital One's price/earnings ratio fell from a high of around 26 to 12 after last quarter to N/A this quarter, as, on a twelve-trailing-month (TTM) basis, they've lost 26 cents per share over the past year.

The current quarter doesn't look very promising for the company either. They lowered their dividend for the third quarter from 40 cents to 10. When they report their third quarter results on or about October 21, expect the dividend to be reduced to zero.

Like Countrywide, the sub-prime mortgage darling prior to the GFC of 2007-09, Capital One may be forced at some time to sell off business segments. If one were to ask the executives at Capital One "what's in your wallet?" the answer would be, appropriately, "other people's money." And if one were to extrapolate out how that's going to work when millions of their customers are out of work, the correct answer would be "not well."

Oh, well, just another banking crisis the Fed plans on postponing until just before the November elections. COVID-19 and the government response is gearing up for an exciting fall presentation.

Meanwhile, silver and gold continue a rally that has now caught the attention of the financial media, at last. The last time CNBC talked about precious metals was back in Spring of 2011, when gold and silver were headed to all-time highs. A mania was underway.

In October, 2008, when everything was crashing, silver bottomed out at $8.88 an ounce, and gold fell to 712.50.

By the peak in 2011, silver checked in at $48.70, more than a five-bagger by April, and gold struck $1895.00 in September. Now, the shining sisters are back for Act Two.

Silver was slammed down to $12 an ounce in March, but has rebounded smartly. On July 2nd it stood at $17.93. It's currently trading above $22, hitting $22.50 on futures markets overnight.

Also in March, gold got smacked down to $1474.25. Overnight, gold futures hit $1862.50, just $32 short of it's record closing high. As of this writing, gold futures are trending at $1858.90.

While gold and silver aren't exactly what people carry around with them (they used to be), astute followers of currencies and real money might want a couple of one ounce silver coins and a few gram-denominated gold pieces in their wallets.

At the Close, Tuesday, July 21, 2020:
Dow: 26,840.40, +159.53 (+0.60%)
NASDAQ: 10,680.36, -86.73 (-0.81%)
S&P 500: 3,257.30, +5.46 (+0.17%)
NYSE: 12,508.68, +115.70 (+0.93%)

Silver Up and Away Like a Rocket Ship to Mars; Precious Metals Among 2020 Top Performing Assets

Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 7:04 am ET

For stocks, it was SSDD (Same Stuff, Different Day) After all, it was a Monday and it's a Wall Street imperative that the week starts off with gains.

Pushing the phony COVID-19 narrative was news was Oxford University and AstraZeneca seeing positive results in a clinical trial of its developing COVID vaccine, with immune responses triggered and few side effects other than nausea, headaches, muscle ache, chills and fever. As usual, the news was released right before the opening bell, to ensure maximum fake enthusiasm.

While the Dow and NYSE were flat, the NASDAQ rose 2.5 percent and the S&P closed at a five-month high, but still 135 points shy of it's all-time best of 3,386.15 from February 19.

Not needing any kind of narrative other than the fact that it has been used as money for more than 5,000 years, has incredible conductive properties, and a slew of industrial uses, silver continued its rally, popping above 20 for the first time in four years.

Depending on which futures contract one chooses to quote, gold's shiny cousin is trading at either $20.43 per ounce (August) or $20.85 (September). What's pushing silver and gold higher are a variety of factors, including a growing distaste for fiat currencies, the immutability of precious metals, massive inflows to silver and gold ETFs, or the rumor that JP Morgan was recently told by the Federal Reserve to close out its short positions in silver.

Taken together or separately, gold and silver are among the top performing assets for 2020. Gold ended 2019 at $1514.75 and was quoted at $1815.65 Monday. Silver ended last year at $18.04 and it's gain to $20.43 constitutes a 13 percent gain. Gold's rise in 2020 is just under 20 percent.

It is estimated that fewer than five percent of the world's population has any gold or silver in their possession, despite the fact that all central banks hold tons of gold as a Tier 1 asset.

The days of fiat currency are numbered and the only replacement that will fill the needs of a new era are currencies backed by either gold, silver, or both.

Here's goldsilver.com's Mike Maloney with his thoughts on silver's meteoric rise:

At the Close, Monday, July 20, 2020:
Dow: 26,680.87, +8.97 (+0.03%)
NASDAQ: 10,767.09, +263.89 (+2.51%)
S&P 500: 3,251.84, +27.11 (+0.84%)
NYSE: 12,392.98, -9.72 (-0.08%)

WEEKEND WRAP: Major Banks Put On Happy Face With Stunning Second Quarter Postings; Gold, Silver Continue Advance

Sunday, July 19, 2020, 8:09 am ET

As earnings season kicked off, stocks didn't make any explosive moves, but it was a very good week to be a large money center bank in the United States. With the exception of Wells Fargo, the banking sector reported robust results for the second quarter that topped analyst estimates and put the effects of the coronavirus and collapsing US economy into a bizarre perspective that seemed more the handiwork of Hollywood dream-makers than buttoned-down Wall Street executives.

While most Americans were under some form of stay-at-home order and businesses were locked down or locked out from operating as usual, the trading arms of the biggest banks were busy making money hand over fist trading stocks and bonds as those markets rallied back after a near-disaster in the first quarter.

Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) all reported massive gains from their trading desks in the period from April through June. Morgan Stanley, like Goldman, unburdened with consumer loans and credit cards in forbearance like their retail rivals, recorded its most profitable quarter ever. The cumulative results of the nation's largest banks belied the dire conditions plaguing the general US economy. Not only were the banks the beneficiaries of stock and bond market rallies which they largely control, they were also rewarded with infusions of capital from the Federal Reserve in the form of purchases by the Fed of bonds they originated or backed, adding to their Tier 1 assets, strengthening their balance sheets.

The Federal Reserve made certain that 2020 was not going to be a repeat of 2008, when banks were caught with slim reserves, as they were over-leveraged and trapped in a vicious cycle which they helped create without any form of government backstopping.

Thanks to emergency measures taken by the Fed at the beginning of the crisis and executed with alacrity across the spectrum of faulty assets with questionable collateral, the banks came out smelling like rosewater, committed to making money even in the worst of times. Guided by the unerring market-moving hand of the Federal Reserve, the banks managed to put to rest any hint of a liquidity crisis, their magnanimity and generosity expressed as an outstretched hand to beleaguered consumers and small businesses.

Ahead of the curve by committing substantial sums to loan loss reserves, or, in bank parlance, provisions against credit losses, the retail banks, JPM, BofA, and Citi were girded for the worst as they granted forbearance and deferrals on everything from mortgages to credit cards to auto loans. Giving their credit customers a three or four month free ride helped consumers and Main Street business interests ride out the viral storm, though it's unlikely that the banks will be as forgiving when the economy begins to improve, when and if it indeed does. With business loans, mortgages, and credit card delinquencies already on the rise, defaults and bankruptcies are a given going forward, but the cycle is shot-circuited at the banking end thanks to Federal Reserve backstopping. The general economy may crash, but the banks will still be standing. Having bolstered their reserves to a point at which they can withstand not just recession, but depression-like conditions they seem assured of a capability to weather the storm relatively unscathed. Only time will tell if their efforts have been sufficient.

The banks delayed the usual effects of a recession and massive unemployment by - in conjunction with a give-away congress - kicking the debt can further down the road. Their second quarters assured, Wall Street ended the week on a somewhat sober note, as Thursday and Friday's trading lacked any noticeable enthusiasm.

With a banking crisis apparently averted for the time being, the focus of Wall Street was taken off the banks and onto the hope for a miracle vaccine while spiking incidence of the virus had states looking to reimpose stringent demands on the population and widespread business closures.

Topping concerns was the upcoming school year, in which states are ceding authority to local school districts, many of them opting for "virtual" classrooms over actual physical attendance a requirement for students in K-12 grades. Others are adopting a hybrid approach, allowing parents to choose which style of "learning" they think best for their children. No matter the outcome, the trial-and-error, hop-skipping, scattershot solutions across thousands of diverse districts will more than likely ensure more pain than patience, less learning and more disillusion with government remedies. What lies ahead for the economy and humanity in general appears to be a more challenging proposition than the ebullient rejoicing seen on Wall Street this past week.

Over the course of the week Treasury bonds ended where they started. The overall curve structure increased by a mere one basis point. The 10-year note lost one basis point, to end the week at 0.64%. Oil and gas remained rangebound with WTI crude traversing the line at $40 a barrel and gas prices at the pump averaging around $2.00 per gallon.

Precious metals completed another shining seven days, with gold holding above $1800 a troy ounce and silver shooting through $18 and into $19 an ounce territory. Spot silver ended the week at $19.32. Gold closed at $1810.30.

High demand kept premiums elevated for both metals. The most recent sales on eBay for selected items (including shipping) are presented below:

Item: Low / High / Average / Median
1 oz silver coin: 24.00 / 39.90 / 32.32 / 32.47
1 oz silver bar: 24.00 / 39.20 / 31.99 / 31.61
1 oz gold coin: 1,850.00 / 1,931.73 / 1,901.20 / 1,908.06
1 oz gold bar: 1,873.95 / 1,908.01 / 1,895.43 / 1,895.85

As the scare-mongering over COVID-19 continues unabated across all levels of mainstream media, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation wants to stick needles in everyone on the planet.

At the Close, Friday, July 17, 2020:
Dow: 26,671.95, -62.76 (-0.23%)
NASDAQ: 10,503.19, +29.36 (+0.28%)
S&P 500: 3,224.73, +9.16 (+0.28%)
NYSE: 12,402.74, +52.63 (+0.43%)

For the Week:
Dow: +596.65 (+2.29%)
NASDAQ: -114.25 (-1.08%)
S&P 500: +39.69 (+1.25%)
NYSE: +52.63 (+0.43%)

Disclaimer: Information disseminated on this site should not be construed as investment advice. Downtown Magazine, 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 reading this site, you hold harmless Downtown Magazine, Money Daily, its owners, affiliates and employees against any and all liability.


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