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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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PPI Rises, Stocks Look to End Week Higher Despite NASDAQ Drop Thursday; Gold, Silver Lower

Friday, July 12, 2024, 9:22 am ET

Wholesale dumping of tech stocks on the NASDAQ Thursday was a prime example of the "pump and dump" strategy that's been in play by institutional investors and hedge funds for the better part of the last eight to nine months.

Profits in tech stocks have been through the roof this year, though the timing - on the same day the CPI was shown to be closing in on the Fed's two percent inflation target - was something unexpected and cynical.

The nearly two percent slide on the NASDAQ stood out like a sore thumb as the Dow managed to hold onto slim gains, the S&P fell less than one percent and the NYSE Composite and Russell 2000, comprised mostly of small caps, actually grew by nearly one percent.

Along with tech names, crypto was stealthily sold off as well, finding its way back down below $57,000 overnight, revealing the depth of the Wall Street fabricated AI and crypto fraud.

Those of the mind that stocks are currently overvalued might consider Thursday's NASDAQ action a good start towards an overdue correction. Naturally, the bulls in the room will insist that stocks will continue to rise since it's an election year and the Fed is poised to lower interest rates and maybe England will win the Euro Cup, all of which bodes well for stocks down the road or other such nonsense by which to make their case.

Just a glimpse of the overvalued tech stocks that got creamed Thursday included all of the Magnificent 7 names: MSFT, META, NVDA, AAPL, GOOG, TSLA, AMZN, all of which except Tesla (because everybody hates Elon Musk) were up more than 20% year-to-date and still are.

Which brings us to today, with the release of June PPI, which advanced 0.2 percent in June, seasonally adjusted, according to the always-reliable Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Final demand prices were unchanged in May and increased 0.5 percent in April. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand rose 2.6 percent for the 12 months ended in June, the largest advance since moving up 2.7 percent for the 12 months ended March 2023.

Oops!

If producer prices are rising at the fastest pace in over a year, what does that imply for consumer prices going forward? Only the most naive would believe that companies with higher input costs are not going to pass those expenses right through to the consumer.

The pre-market didn't think much of the PPI release other than to send gold and silver screaming for mercy. Futures are holding their own a half hour until the opening bell.

On the earnings front, JP Morgan (JPM) used a one-time gimmick to pump up its second quarter earnings. Net income of $18 billion was up 25% from the same period a year ago thanks largely to an exchange of shares in credit card giant Visa (V) that provided roughly $8 billion in gains. Excluding those gains, JPMorgan earned $13.1 billion in the quarter, which was less than the $14.5 billion earned in the same period a year ago.

Shares of JPM are flat heading into the open.

Citigroup (C) beat expectations due to improvement in investment banking revenue and gains in its services division, sending the company's shares up 3% before the bell.

Wells Fargo also reported but didn't fare so well. Shares are lower by five to six percent in pre-market trading.

With the week ending, the Dow looks set to finish with a weekly gain. Through Thursday, it is up nearly one percent. The S&P is up 17 points after Thursday's downdraft. A gain for the week would be the 10th in the last 12 weeks. The NASDAQ is down just 69 points for the week, so a strong Friday could produce an 11th weekly gain in the last 12.

Wowsa!

At the CLose, Thursday, July 11, 2024:
Dow: 39,753.75, +32.39 (+0.08%)
NASDAQ: 18,283.41, -364.04 (-1.95%)
S&P 500: 5,584.54, -49.37 (-0.88%)
NYSE Composite: 18,379.74, +164.55 (+0.90%)



CPI Drops 0.1% in June, Up 3% Annually, Prompting More Calls for the Fed to Cut Interest Rates; Gold, Silver Soaring

Thursday, July 11, 2024, 9:20 am ET

Stocks had another magnificent mid-week momentum melt-up on Wednesday, apparently unable to keep a lid on the enthusiasm over Thursday morning's June CPI release, which came to the market at 8:30 am ET, right on schedule, showing a monthly decline of 0.1% and a 3.0% annual rate before seasonal adjustment.

Just prior to the release, stock futures had taken a turn lower, with Dow futures off the most, -81 points. NASDAQ futures were off by 24 points and S&P futures were -10. Gold and silver were trending higher, with gold above $2,385 and silver at $31.19.

Once word was out on CPI, all the algos went into overdrive, sending futures rocketing higher in anticipation of the first cut to the federal funds target rate in over a year. Wall Street consensus is for the FOMC to maintain the rate at 5.25-5.50% at the July 30-31 meeting, then cut 25 basis points at the September 17-18 meeting.

By 8:35 am ET, Dow futures had completely reversed course, showing a gain of 78 points, with NASDAQ futures up 56 and S&P futures ahead by 13.75.

Gold broke out as well, topping $2400 for the first time since late May. Silver was also markedly higher, at $31.68. While rate cuts appear to be in the works for stocks, precious metals will also benefit, as lower interest rates make assets with no yield nor counter-party risk more attractive.

Breaking down June CPI internals, the index for gasoline fell 3.8 percent in June, after declining 3.6 percent in May, more than offsetting an increase in shelter of 0.2 percent.

Energy, as a whole, was down 2.0 percent, with utility (piped) gas service the only gainer, up 2.0% on a monthly basis. On an annual basis, energy is up just one percent, with gasoline down 2.0 percent.

Food at home was up just 0.1 percent in June. As remarkable as it may seem, food at home is shown by the BLS to be up just one percent over the past 12 months. Food away from home (restaurants, fast food outlets) was up 0.4 percent in June and is up 4.1% on an annual basis, hurting companies which operate chains, such as McDonald's (MCD), Wendy's (WEN), and Yum! Brands (YUM), which owns or operates the brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and others. YUM is down more than 10% from its peak in late April.

Elsewhere, Delta Air Lines (DAL) missed its target EPS by two cents, earning $2.36 per share in the second quarter. The airline also issued a forecast of $1.70 to $2.00 for third-quarter adjusted earnings per share, below the $2.03 figure reported in the same quarter last year. Shares are down six to eight percent in pre-market trading.

PepsiCo (PEP) shares were down more than two percent after the company reported revenue for the second quarter weaker than expectations, while reiterating its annual profit forecast. PEP has been under-performing of late, down 10% since mid-May as investors eye an increasingly stretched consumer. PepsiCo, along with snack and beverage rival Coca-Cola (KO) have been famous for raising prices over the past two years, sending out warning signals on the viability of their products with bags of chips at $6, or six-packs of Coke or Pepsi above $4.

Markets are following the lead of consumers who have sought alternatives by dumping shares lately, though KO has not been hit quite as hard as PepsiCo.

As the opening bell approaches, stocks are looking at a mildly positive open. Perhaps Wednesday's wild upside ride was a little bit overdone and some investors may be looking to take profits here.

On the other hand, nobody really wants to miss out on more gains, which should be available after the soft CPI report. Any weakness in morning trading is likely to be overwhelmed as the day progresses.

The S&P is on a seven-day winning streak heading into Thursday's market.

Just minutes before the opening bell, gold was seen as high as $2,414, with silver nearly touching $32.

At the Close, Wednesday, July 10, 2024:
Dow: 39,721.36, +429.39 (+1.09%)
NASDAQ: 18,647.45, +218.16 (+1.18%)
S&P 500: 5,633.91, +56.93 (+1.02%)
NYSE Composite: 18,215.18, +166.60 (+0.92%)



S&P Rips Higher, Up Six Straight, Nine of Last Ten, 18 of Last 24 Sessions

Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 9:15 am ET

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 notched its 36th all-time high this year.

It just keeps going up. With second quarter earnings about to become the latest catalyst, the S&P could easily surpass 6,000 by October.

Why not? Everybody and their dogs are buying anything that has to do with technology, especially if a CEO or CIO drops an "AI" mention during a conference call. No matter that most stocks on the S&P 500 have failed to increase earnings on a year-over-year basis, the market is being driven and has been driven since late October, 2023, by hype and momentum-chasing swing traders.

Here's what those impeccably-disingenuous editors at Yahoo! Finance say:

According to data from BofA's US equity strategy team, earnings for the S&P 493 haven't registered year-over-year growth since the fourth quarter of 2022.

The 493 companies they reference are all the stocks on the S&P except Nvidia, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Meta Platforms (Facebook), Tesla, Apple, and Microsoft, otherwise known as the "Magnificent Seven."

Here's more from team Yahoo!:

After an annual drop of 2% in the first quarter of '23 and a 7% annual decline in the second quarter of last year, earnings growth has been flat for this group in each of the last three quarters, the firm's work shows.

The upcoming second quarter earnings period, however, should mark the end of what's been a stealth earnings recession for the vast majority of companies in the S&P 500. For the 493 non-Mag 7 stocks, earnings growth is forecast to clock in at 6%, 7%, and 13% annually over the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2024.

With cheerleaders par excellence like these Yahoo! whiz kids, who actually needs fundamental analysis like price:earnings ratios, expanding profit margins, increased revenue? What will drive earnings this quarter, and next, and the one after that is plenty of hype, greater fools buying stocks that appear undervalued or about to take off, and stock buybacks, which are at record levels, again.

Stocks, like housing in the early 2000s, just keep going higher, until they don't, but, that's not a problem either since the absolute height of investing fashion the past 10 years has been to "buy the dip."

Over at Yahoo! Finance, everything is rosy, and why shouldn't it be? Stocks are up, inflation (rather, the rate at which inflation is growing, big difference) is slowing, the Fed is about to cut interest rates (ever since July of last year), Joe Biden is on his game, and gold is some pet rock that nobody needs except every central bank in the world.

The S&P has been higher six straight sessions, nine of the last 10, and 18 of 24 since June 1st. That's a pretty good average, .750.

As earnings begin to roll out later this week and into the next three, stocks will have plenty to cheer about and the S&P, NASDAQ, and even the reticent Dow Jones Industrial Average will probably be making new highs.

Thursday's headline will be the CPI, Friday, PPI. Until then, and on both days, and on days beyond, stocks will be bought.

Is there any other way?

At the Close, Tuesday, July 9, 2024:
Dow: 39,291.97, -52.82 (-0.13%)
NASDAQ: 18,429.29, +25.55 (+0.14%)
S&P 500: 5,576.98, +4.13 (+0.07%)
NYSE Composite: 18,048.58, -39.28 (-0.22%)



Stocks Continue to Advance Despite High Valuations; Bitcoin Trends Lower Into Bear Market Status

Tuesday, July 9, 2024, 8:45 am ET

Nothing new on Monday following the Independence Day long holiday weekend other than new all-time highs on the NASDAQ and S&P 500 while the Dow floundered around after a positive open.

The S&P has made new highs 35 times this year and is up 17.50% year-to-date. The NASDAQ is ahead by a whopping 24.64% in 2024.

Despite making a new all-time closing high on May 17 (40,003.59), the Dow has failed to follow through. It's down 655 points since then but is still less than two percent from making new high marks.

The same cannot be said for bitcoin, which has been sliding since making its own all-time high on March 13 at $73,096.85. It's been trending lower ever since, including through the "halvening" in April and is now officially in bear market territory (down more than 20%), though it is still up by 30% year-to-date.

With second quarter earnings on the hoof, there's optimism about stocks heading even higher, despite very stretched valuations, a metric that doesn't register with momentum chasers who have been dominating the markets since last October.

Later this week, CPI and PPI for June (Thursday and Friday), plus some of the biggest banks report second quarter earnings on Friday before the opening bell, including JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C). More banking stocks will report early next week.

Until then, the trend is your friend, and the trend is definitely up.

At the Close, Monday, July 8, 2024:
Dow: 39,344.79, -31.08 (-0.08%)
NASDAQ: 18,403.74, +50.98 (+0.28%)
S&P 500: 5,572.85, +5.66 (+0.10%)
NYSE Composite: 18,087.87, -11.03 (-0.06%)



WEEKEND WRAP: June Payrolls Sent All Assets Through The Roof; Gold, SIlver, Stocks, Bonds, Oil All Winners

Sunday, July 7, 2024, 8:55 am ET

The main economic data point for the week was 206,000 net new jobs registered in the U.S. June Non-Farm Payrolls report.

Traders eyed the figure suspiciously, especially upon news that April and May employment numbers had been revised sharply lower, April down by 57,000, from +165,000 to +108,000, and the change for May was revised down by 54,000, from +272,000 to +218,000. The likelihood that June's figures will be ratcheted lower is strong.

Stocks needed little reinforcement, as they were already higher for the short week (3 1/2 sessions) prior to Friday's announcement. Once again, the argument for the Fed to lower interest rates was the catalyst to push stocks, gold, silver, oil, and treasuries higher.


Stocks

Higher for longer isn't just old rate rhetoric from the Fed. It now seems to apply equally well to stocks since last October. As the long-run rally enters its ninth month, there seems to be no levels tech stocks can't reach or that traders are unafraid to try.

With the NASDAQ up 3.50% this week, stock jocks are thumbing their noses at fixed income investors boasting over five percent returns in money markets. The degree to which stock traders find narratives to support their insane and unequivocal speculation is beyond belief and actually quite alarming.

Beyond the tech and AI hype, it has become fairly apparent that the Dow Jones Transportation Average is either comprised of the most manipulated 20 stocks of all time or that those companies in no way are reflective of reality, or both.

When, last week, all other indices were flat, the Trannys were up two percent. This week, everything was higher except them. It's blatantly obvious that nobody other than people with money to burn should play in that particular sandbox.

Up, up, and away.


Treasury Yield Curve Rates

Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 4 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
05/31/2024 5.48 5.48 5.46 5.46 5.42 5.18
06/07/2024 5.47 5.47 5.52 5.47 5.40 5.17
06/14/2024 5.47 5.47 5.51 5.45 5.36 5.07
06/21/2024 5.42 5.46 5.49 5.45 5.36 5.10
06/28/2024 5.47 5.47 5.48 5.45 5.33 5.09
07/05/2024 5.48 5.53 5.46 5.46 5.34 4.98

Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
05/31/2024 4.89 4.69 4.52 4.52 4.51 4.73 4.65
06/07/2024 4.87 4.65 4.46 4.45 4.43 4.64 4.55
06/14/2024 4.67 4.41 4.22 4.20 4.20 4.46 4.34
06/21/2024 4.70 4.45 4.26 4.25 4.25 4.49 4.39
06/28/2024 4.71 4.52 4.33 4.33 4.36 4.61 4.51
07/05/2024 4.60 4.39 4.22 4.23 4.28 4.57 4.47

Despite the holiday-shortened week, trading was fast and furious in medium term notes, with the most emphatic trading in one-year through seven-year notes. Yields fell by 10 basis points on the seven-year, 11 on ones, twos, and fives, and by 13 on threes.

As phony and contrived Friday's jobs report was perceived, there was no escaping the downward revisions to April and May which underscored the weakness in the labor market. What may be escaping from bond traders' understanding is the degree of under-reported or unreported work and wages, which has grown substantially since the COVID years (2020-21). The government stopped trying to gauge what was then deemed the "underground economy" in the 1970s. In an era in which taxation and government scrutiny are at extremes, it's useful to recall that during Prohibition (1920-1933), the off-the-books economy was larger than the official one. Current conditions are certainly ripe for a revival.

Spreads, especially 2s-10s, were squeezed back into the safety zone, though it hardly matters when it comes to stocks, which apparently will simply continue rising until they don't. Dangerous, delusional distortions in fixed income, however, may lead to further deleterious debasing and debilitating, definitive defaults. There's too much tinkering in the money factory.

Spreads:

2s-10s
9/15/2023: -69
9/22/2023: -66
9/29/2023: -44
10/06/2023: -30
10/13/2023: -41
10/20/2023: -14
10/27/2023: -15
11/03/2023: -26
11/10/2023: -43
11/17/2023: -44
11/24/2023: -45
12/01/2023: -34
12/08/2023: -48
12/15/2023: -53
12/22/2023: -41
12/29/2023: -35
1/5/2024: -35
1/12/2024: -18
1/19/2024: -24
1/26/2024: -19
2/2/2024: -33
2/9: -31
2/16: -34
2/23: -41
3/1: -35
3/8: -39
3/15: -41
3/22: -37
3/28: -39
4/5: -34
4/12: -38
4/19: -35
4/26: -29
5/3: -31
5/10: -37
5/17: -39
5/24: -47
5/31: -38
6/7: -44
6/14: -47
6/21: -45
6/28: -35
7/5: -32

Full Spectrum (30-days - 30-years)
9/15/2023: -109
9/22/2023: -99
9/29/2023: -82
10/06/2023: -64
10/13/2023: -82
10/20/2023: -47
10/27/2023: -54
11/03/2023: -76
11/10/2023: -80
11/17/2023: -93
11/24/2023: -95
12/01/2023: -105
12/08/2023: -123
12/15/2023: -154
12/22/2023: -149
12/29/2023: -157
1/5/2024: -133
1/12/2024: -135
1/19/2024: -118
1/26/2024: -116
2/2/2024: -127
2/9: -117
2/16: -103
2/23: -112
3/1: -121
3/8: -125
3/15: -109
3/22: -112
3/28: -115
4/5: -93
4/12: -87
4/19: -77
4/26: -70
5/3: -85
5/10: -87
5/17: -94
5/24: -99
5/31: -83
6/7: -92
6/14: -113
6/21: -103
6/28: -96
7/5: -101


Oil/Gas

WTI crude oil continued higher for a fourth straight week, closing out Friday in New York at $83.44, but trading close to $84.50 on Tuesday and again on Friday. While prices are still below those made in April ($86.91), the gains in June and July have been made at an exceedingly fast pace, starting from a low of $73.45 on June 4, a 13.6% rise in just one month.

It's apparent that lower production quotas by OPEC+ producers and the summer driving season have emboldened speculators despite the U.S. pumping at record levels. Anybody still believing that the Fed has inflation in check had better check their gauges when the June CPI and PPI figures are released this coming week, Thursday and Friday, respectively. While higher oil prices may not be readily represented at the consumer level by gas at the pump, the producer index may offer a better perspective on the big picture, which, naturally, will affect the Fed's thinking on interest rates.

There's still plenty of time for conditions to settle out or continue in the obvious upward direction prior to the Fed's next FOMC meeting July 30-31. No policy change is expected and higher prices won't change the situation.

Gasbuddy.com reports the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gas at the pump at $3.49 a gallon, the same as the prior week. Higher prices for crude oil have not yet filtered down to distillates at the consumer level.

California remains #1 in the U.S. in terms of price. A gallon of unleaded regular is $4.72, down four cents from last week, the lowest price in more than six months. Prices in Pennsylvania continue gradually higher, up two cents over the week, to $3.66, the Keystone state remaining the price leader in the Northeast. New York is close by at $3.60, followed by Connecticut ($3.58) and Maryland ($3.56). Prices eased six cents in Illinois, with a gallon at $3.78.

Mississippi continued with the lowest prices in the country, though higher again this week, at $2.96, and the only state in the U.S. under $3.00, which is exactly the average price in Louisiana on Sunday. The remaining Southeast states range from $3.05 (Arkansas and Texas) to $3.21 (South Carolina), with the exception of outliers Georgia ($3.30), and Florida ($3.49). The Midwest ranges between lows in Kansas ($3.09) to highs of $3.56 in Michigan, though most are in a range between $3.25 and $3.35. Missouri is at $3.14; Ohio, $3.42; Indiana at $3.47, each down significantly from last week.

Arizona dropped another five cents and remained below $4.00 for a ninth straight week ($3.51), leaving only California and Washington ($4.21) above the $4.00 level. Oregon and Nevada both came in this Sunday at $3.99. Utah was up 11 cents ($3.54) while prices in Idaho ($3.57) were static.


Bitcoin

This week: $57,484.20
Last week: $61,281.10
2 weeks ago: $64,253.60
6 months ago: $46,986.92
One year ago: $30,307.61

Bitcoin enthusiasts and speculators were just plain slaughtered by the Wall Street pump and dump machine this week. There's a very safe bet that the very companies that pushed for, then created, bitcoin spot ETFs didn't lose any money this week. The other side of the same coin will likely reveal that retail "investors" (aka Suckers) who bought into the easy money ETF scheme got rolled, deservedly so.

Bitcoin's price was as low as $54,000 on Friday, when trading washed out weak hands. The subsequent gain of over $3000 is not likely sustainable longer term as knee jerk buy the dip weekenders follow blindly into the abyss of even faker than fiat fake money completely under the control of Wall Street sharks.


Precious Metals

Gold:Silver Ratio: 76.14; last week: 79.41

Per COMEX continuous contracts:

Gold price 6/7: $2,311.10
Gold price 6/14: $2,348.40
Gold price 6/21: $2,334.70
Gold price 6/28: $2,336.90
Gold price 7/5: $2,399.80

Silver price 6/7: $29.27
Silver price 6/14: $29.62
Silver price 6/21: $29.90
Silver price 6/28: $29.43
Silver price 7/5: $31.52

The week encompassing America's Independence Day was outstanding for gold bugs and stackers of silver. Gold was up $62.90, while silver managed to rip higher by $2.09, the big catalyst Friday's Non-farm payroll report and massive revisions to the downside for April and May.

What substitutes for math is a mangled calculation that figures weak employment will lead to lower interest rates and a money flow back to gold and silver, which sounds reasonable, but is a secondary trend to the greater reality of debased fiat currencies and destruction of global U.S. dollar hegemony.

There really is no stopping the dollar's decline. If not already making an enormous impact in people's lives, gold and silver are back in vogue as the most secure and reliable stores of value in a world beset upon by government madmen and central bank schemers.

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

Item/Price Low High Average Median
1 oz silver coin: 34.00 49.99 40.50 40.00
1 oz silver bar: 34.99 49.00 41.87 40.47
1 oz gold coin: 2,466.84 2,599.99 2,515.23 2,516.38
1 oz gold bar: 2,486.76 2,543.78 2,504.70 2,499.26

The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) rose sharply over the course of the week, to $40.71, gaining 72 cents from the June 30th price of $39.99 per troy ounce.


WEEKEND WRAP

The 4th of July was observed, but little mention was made about the loss of American independence in culture, society, privacy, and decency that's been a plague the past four years.

It's like we're just supposed to accept that American standards of living are falling, crime happens, politicians steal and lie, and the current occupant of the White House is a clueless zombie.

Not everybody does.

At the Close, Friday, June 28, 2024:
Dow: 39,375.87, +67.87 (+0.17%)
NASDAQ: 18,352.76, +164.46 (+0.90%)
S&P 500: 5,567.19, +30.17 (+0.54%)
NYSE Composite: 18,098.89, +7.24 (+0.04%)

For the Week:
Dow: +257.01 (+0.66%)
NASDAQ: +620.16 (+3.50%)
S&P 500: +106.71 (+1.95%)
NYSE Composite: +72.40 (+0.40%)
Dow Transports: -136.07 (-0.88%)



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