Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Well, despite the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the worst measure of stock market performance it will be all the media will be talking about for the next 24 hours.  It's funny to note that if Apple had been added to the Dow as was expected last summer, the Dow would still be close to 700 points from a new high.

Hidden within many of the articles that recycle the same old Wall Street cliches - climbing a wall of worry, a rush of cash from the sidelines, blah, blah - you'll see the real reason for this last blast higher:  Loose monetary policies around the globe. 

Much of the economic news around the globe for the past 24 hours has been very negative however, when viewed through Wall Street's rose colored glasses bad news becomes "the Fed will keep easing" which equals higher asset prices.

I don't often agree with Jim Cramer but when I do it is when he says things like "We all know this is going to end badly, but in the meantime we can make some money."  Kudos to the guys at zerohedge for putting a little perspective on this record:

Since 2007 when we last saw these levels to today:

  • Regular Gas Price: Then $2.75; Now $3.73

  • GDP Growth: Then +2.5%; Now +1.6%

  • Americans Unemployed (in Labor Force): Then 6.7 million; Now 13.2 million

  • Americans On Food Stamps: Then 26.9 million; Now 47.69 million

  • US Debt as a Percentage of GDP: Then ~38%; Now 74.2%

  • Labor Force Participation Rate: Then 65.8%; Now 63.6%

  • Consumer Confidence: Then 99.5; Now 69.6

  • I've been saying for the last 2 months that it feels like the Spring 2007.  Nothing could ever go wrong and housing prices would go up 20% per year forever.  At that time we were starting to see some cracks in the economy - copper prices for example - and we are again seeing those same cracks.  These rallies tend to have a sprinters burst where they explode for 10-20% in a very short period of time before coming unwound.  Baring some kind of external force (Iran, Gov't shutdown) I think we're due for one good rush forward (unless we've just had it from Jan 1 to today) and then I suspect we may be looking at 2008 all over again. 

    As my daughter often says, "Dad, you are the cloud on my sunny day" and I'm happy to be the cloud in this case, because when EVERYONE is marching in one direction it makes me ask why?


    PS - How long before Dow 15,000 hats show up on the CNBC?  I put the over/under at 8 hours :)

    No comments: