Daily Investment Interpretations Archive

April 1, 2013 - June 30, 2013

January 1, 2013 - March 31, 2013
October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012
July 1, 2012, to September 30, 2012

January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012
July 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011
January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2011
July 1, 2010, to December 31, 2010
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January 1, 2010, to June 30, 2010
 
July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009
January 1, 2009, to June 30, 2009
July 1, 2008, to December 31, 2008
May 7, 2008, to June 30, 2008


2013-7-1 (Monday Night): Wall St. Rallies on Data, but Pares Gains in Late Trading; Stocks: Welcoming the 2nd half. . The NASDAQ Composite chugged up 31.24 points (0.92%) to end at 3,434.39. The Dow fell 65.36 points (0.44%) to end at 14,974.96; the S&P 500 rose 8.58 points (0.54%) to 1,614.96. Oil closed at 97.99: Oil Bulls Bank on 'Goldilocks' US Jobs Data. Gold ended at 1,252: Gold prices rally following quarterly slide, The VIX fell 0.47 to 16.39.       
    "Stocks kicked off the third quarter on Monday with gains supported by data that showed U.S. manufacturing bounced back and construction spending near a four-year high, but pulled back ahead of the close."    
   "Investors kicked off the second half of 2013 in a bullish mood, sending stocks higher Monday. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    June's 'Sell Side indicator' says time to join buy side.    
    Deutsche Bank: S&P 500 will bottom out above 1,525 in mid-July.    
    Stocks rally to start July.    
    Ready to be whipsawed by the ‘summer swoon’?"Markets won't do what the great majority of people believe they will do, writes Avi Gilburt."   
    Jobs, jobs, jobs.  "It's all about the monthly payrolls. Also, watch manufacturing from China and Japan."  
    Goldman: June jobs report could disappoint.    
    ISM report shortens odds of weak payrolls"Stocks close higher Monday but well off session highs reached after a survey of U.S. manufacturers added to positive economic reports from Europe and Japan."  
    Where fund managers are finding overseas bargains.    
    Jaffe: Dumping bond fund?- Read this first.    
    Tough leverage-limit talks for big banks.    
    Indicators say gold will double.    
    Home-construction spending at 4-year high.   
    Bonds throw ‘taper tantrum,’ fund buyers break.  "Investors in bond mutual funds will have to tread carefully heading into the second half of the year, writes Rachel Koning Beals."  
    U.S. stock funds, ETFs stand out in first half.      
    Fund managers see international bargains.    
    Why more money may flee bond funds.    
    Don't abandon bonds, celebrate higher rates.    
    Scorching heat strains power grid.  "California’s power grid is showing signs of strain on Monday as record heat wave blankets most of the West."  
    California issues power alert to cope with heat.    
    What to look for in shortenend week.    
    Your biggest problem is probably yourself.    
    Large-caps are in play.    
    As Croatia joins the EU, why some still want in.    
    Marsh: Irish tapes strengthen Merkel's hand    
    Europe stocks looking at bruising month, quarter.    
    The end of cheap money in China.    
    China sees slowdown in new orders"Two rival gauges of Chinese factory activity differ over how growth is going , though both report worse results."  
    How we spend time outside work.   "While the economy has changed dramatically over the past decade, how we spend our free time has not. (24/7 Wall St.)" 
    This Is the 'Greatest Planetary Crisis That We Face,' Says Sen. Sanders.  "Approving the Keystone Pipeline would be a disaster if the U.S. is 'serious about understanding that global warming is the greatest planetary crisis that we face,' says Sen. Bernie Sanders."  
    Why You Really Should Take Tomorrow Off  
    For Financial Geeks, a Do-It-Yourself Hedge Fund Site.  
    Don't count on summer rally"We're still awaiting confirmation from technical indicators turning truly bullish, not just rallying from oversold conditions, writes Lawrence McMillan."  
    .    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Understanding The "Fast Money" Games
   "In all honesty, it is difficult to make heads or tails of the "action" in the market on a day like Friday. Stocks opened lower then rebounded quickly and spent the vast majority of the day around the breakeven mark. But then with 21 minutes left in the day, the month, and the second quarter, the algos switched into high gear. During the last 21 minutes of Friday's session, the S&P dove 9 points (or nearly 0.60%), with 6 of the points coming in the last 5 minutes of the day. And since there wasn't ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Index: Managers Get Defensive   "The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »" 
    ISM Manufacturing Report Supports Continued Fed Stimulus.    
    Markit PMI Below Consensus.    
    China Manufacturing PMI's Mixed in June.    
    Weekly Preview: Economics, Employment Report, Fed to Drive Markets In Shortened Week.    
    .        .  
    Market futures are up ¼ % tonight.


2013-6-28 (Friday Night): Stocks See Best First Half Since 1999; Stocks- Rocky end to the quarter. . The NASDAQ Composite wriggled up 1.39 points (0.04%) to end at 3,403.25. The Dow fell 114.89 points (-0.76%) to end at 14,909.60; the S&P 500 redacted 6.92 points (-0.43%) to 1,606.28. Oil closed at 96.52: Oil gains for fourth day; natural gas ‘tanking’. Gold ended at 1,233: Comex gold posts record quarterly loss of 23%, The VIX fell 1.64 to 18.47.       
    "The S&P 500 could snap its streak of six consecutive monthly gains, but few are complaining given key equity benchmarks are all up double-digits year-to-date thanks to a rally that saw all ten sectors rise."    
   "Stocks are on track to end the quarter with modest gains Friday, despite a rough June. More".    

    After three "up" days in a row, the indices were due for a modest pullback. Hopefully, they'll gradually work their way up again in a new short- or intermediate-term cycle..

Marketwatch says:     
    Week in Charts: See the mortgage rate spike that’s killing refis.    
    Fed's Stein broaches idea of September taper.    
    Fed's Williams: Better to 'wait a bit' to taper.    
    After Stein, bar is now high for Fed NOT to taper in September.    
    Gold futures are facing a second-quarter loss of 24%.    
    Consumer sentiment slips in June.    
    Consumer Numbers Send Confusing Signals.    
    Chicago PMI cools more than forecast level.    
    Milwaukee PMI bounces back in June.    
    Who killed the American dream?"The promise that anyone could build a better life through their own efforts is gone, writes Rex Nutting." 
    Gold: Abandoning U.S. stocks was a mistake.    
    Gold: Is the bad news over?.  "Whether gold is undervalued or overvalued is all the more relevant now that the metal has shed 38% over the past two years, writes Mark Hulbert."  
    Gold Closes Terrible Quarter: What's Next?"Gold is a bubble, and the selloff has been going on for two years, writes economist Mark Dow. What has changed is that we’ve entered the acceleration phase of the decline."  
    Gold Crashes Through Production Cost Levels.    
    Can gold find a bottom if plunge forces miners to begin shutting down?.    
    3 Reasons Gold Will Go to $800: RBC Strategist.    
    Gartman: I Like Stocks, Gold Is at Its Worst.    
    Gold below $1,200/oz, set for worst quarter on record.    
    Stock speculators are down to two choices.    
    Investors in emerging markets crunch.    
    Latvia clears final hurdle to euro-zone membership.    
    London stocks face quarter loss of nearly 3%.    
    Europe stocks looking at bruising month, quarter.    
    Bond links: Time to abandon ship?.    
    More money may flee bonds in July, even if yields fall.    
    Initial jobless claims fall 9,000 to 346,000.    
    Take profits off this bounce  "When the market hands you money, then elevates the risk of losses, you need to act, says L.A. Little."
    5 ways to ruin your retirement"Mistakes that are sure to make saving for retirement onerous."  
    Where to find the high-tech jobs.  "Cities like Dayton and, yes, Detroit, make this list of the best places for STEM employment."  
    Barclays to cut costs by shifting 4,000 jobs.    
    The Rise in Student Loan Rates Is Just a Sideshow.  "“The cost of college is going up 5%, 6%, 7%, 8% every single year. That has to be part of the solution as well," says Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of Young Invincibles."   
    Why College Grads Get Stuck With Lousy Jobs.    
    Sen. Sanders: Student Loan Rates Won’t Double.    
    Buckle Up! Expect More Market Volatility This Year.    
    How to Avoid Getting Burned by Bonds.      
    Why average isn't good enough.   "Relying on historic market data to make investing decisions is perilous." 
    10 things Social Security won’t tell you.  "The secret to getting bigger benefits, and the truth about the agency’s bottom line." 
    Keep up the pressure to save Social Security.    
   Stick to your Roth conversion . "Don't let anyone talk you out of making the move to a Roth IRA. Here are five reasons to go ahead."   
    The Next 24: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.    
    .    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    I'd Like a "V" Please
   "With stocks having finished higher for three consecutive sessions and the Dow having spiked nearly 475 points since Monday's low, it is fair to say that the bulls are at least back in the game. However, before we ring the bell indicating that it's okay to get back into the pool, the key question that needs to be answered is whether or not we will see a retest of the lows before anything good can happen again. Put another way, the issue at hand is if the bottom of the current corrective phase will take ... Read More »"  
    UofM Consumer Sentiment Improves in June.    
    Chicago PMI Pulls Back in June.    
   Early Analysis: Japan Leads Global Markets.    
    .    
    The indices may have hit their lows this week, and may be on their way back up. (Or maybe not.)


2013-6-27 (Thursday Night): Wall Street Climbs for Third Day as Fed Concerns Fade; Stocks rebound as U.S. economy firms. . The NASDAQ Composite blossomed  27.13 points (0.82%) to end at 3,447.89. The Dow climbed 100.75 points (0.69%) to end at 14,760.31; the S&P 500 gained 14.94 points (0.95%) to 1,588.03. Oil closed at 97.91: Oil gains for fourth day; natural gas ‘tanking’. Gold ended at 1,198: Gold drops below $1,200, The VIX fell 1.64 to 18.47.       
    "Stocks climbed on Thursday, with the S&P 500 logging a third straight day of gains, after data showed a decline in weekly jobless claims while consumer spending and incomes improved."    
   "Wall Street bounced back Tuesday as signs of strength in the U.S. economy overshadowed concerns about China's credit problems. More".    

   The markets are oversold, and are bouncing.

Marketwatch says:     
    Summer Trend for Stocks Is Hot & Higher: Haverford’s Smith.    
    Fed bond-buying could be more aggressive than new timeline: Dudley.    
    Ultralow mortgage interest rates going, going ... gone.    
    Steepest rise since 1987 puts 30-year mortgage rate at 2-year high.    
    Three more Fed officials chastise the market’s ‘feral hogs’"Federal Reserve officials take aim at backup of market interest rates after latest FOMC meeting."  
    Lockhart says markets misheard Bernanke.    
    Retroactive fix coming for student-loan rates?.   
    Bleeding stops for gold, at least for now.    
    Jeffrey Gundlach: Bond selloff has run course.    
    Gundlach: I was wrong about Treasurys"Founder of DoubleLine Capital says he misjudged the direction of Treasury yields earlier this month."  
    What bond biggie Gundlach is buying.    
    Don’t abandon bond ship:- Pimco’s Gross.    
    Treasurys rise ahead of 7-year note auction.    
    Initial jobless claims fall 9,000 to 346,000.    
    .Pending home sales jump to six-year high  "Realtors say rise in mortgage rates has prompted some would-be buyers to take action."
    Housing: Sales Rise, but Will Rates, Regulation Cause Problems?"An increase in mortgage rates to 4.46% has raised eyebrows, but the biggest problem for the housing recovery is regulation, not mortgage rates, says Carrington Investment Services' Chris Whalen."  
    Consumers spend and earn more in May.    
    20-somethings decline even cheap insurance.    
    Obamacare could eat up your raise.  "Expect to get a raise next year? It could be eaten up by your health-care bill."   
    Younger Americans may dodge health law.    
    Baucus and Hatch ask for tax-break priorities"Senate lions ask colleagues to defend tax breaks for code overhaul."    
    U.K.’s FTSE 100 gains for third session in a row.    
    Europe stocks rise for third straight session.    
    Investing in a declining market  
    Obama’s pledge on climate change still ambivalent.    
    'Connected cars' could get legal boost.    
    Cyprus: Has the next global crisis arrived?.   
    Emerging markets poised for another selloff.    
    France's 2013 deficit higher than expected?.    
    The gold and silver crash is artificial.  
    What bond biggie Gundlach is buying.    
    Interest-Rate Rise Threatens Economy's Recovery (video)   
    Senators: Student Loan Interest Rates to Double.    
    How Temps Who Power Corporate America Are Getting Crushed.    
    Senate passes sweeping U.S. immigration overhaul"For the first time in a generation, the Senate voted to pass a sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration laws on Thursday, sending its landmark bill to the House of Representatives with a strong showing of bipartisan support."  
    .    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It
   "This is when it gets interesting. After a six-month rally that produced gains of +23.3% from the November low to the mid-May high, stocks then pulled back -5.76% over a one-month span. And then, as is usually the case, just about the time everybody became convinced that the bears were back, stocks proceeded to bounce back up. Therefore, the question of the day is if this week's rebound is simply a bounce of the "dead cat" variety or the start ... Read More »"  
    The Risk Manager Report - June 26, 2013.    
    Pending Home Sales Surge in May.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ticks Higher.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down 9K.    
    .    
    Market futures are slightly positive tonight.


2013-6-26 (Wednesday Night): Strong Data Trigger Wall Street Rebound; Stocks rebound as U.S. economy firms. . The NASDAQ Composite blossomed  27.13 points (0.82%) to end at 3,447.89. The Dow climbed 100.75 points (0.69%) to end at 14,760.31; the S&P 500 gained 14.94 points (0.95%) to 1,588.03. Oil closed at 95.50: Oil erases losses to finish higher at $95.50. Gold ended at 1,229: Gold, silver tumble on Fed fears, dollar gains, The VIX fell 1.64 to 18.47.       
    "Stocks rose the most in nearly two weeks on Tuesday after strong housing and durable goods data reassured investors worried about the Federal Reserve's plans to wind down its economic stimulus. The Dow ended up 100 points, while the S&P jumped 1%."    
   "Wall Street bounced back Tuesday as signs of strength in the U.S. economy overshadowed concerns about China's credit problems. More".    

   The markets are oversold, and are bouncing.

Marketwatch says:     
    Stocks in rally mode after disappointing Gross Domestic Product update.    
    Why one economist says GDP might be too low.    
    First Take: Weaker economy won’t change timing of Fed’s taper.    
    Consumers blamed for GDP downgrade.   
    Chief Financial Officer optimism up: survey.    
    It's stiff-upper-lip time, as U.K. tightens the austerity screw.    
    Supreme Court strikes down Defense Of Marriage Act.    
    Ruling boosts same-sex retirement rights.    
    Supreme Court simplifies gay divorce.    
    Say goodbye to ultralow mortgage rates.  "Mortgage rates spiked over the past week, causing some to say ultralow rates seen in recent years are gone for good."
    Housing now accounts for almost one-fifth of economic growth.    
    State and local governments are less of a drag.    
    Gold, silver hit again by Fed fears.  "Metals feel pinch from dollar's gains and as price forecasts are cut."   
    Lynn: U.S. ready for Fed taper, rest of world isn’t.    
    Pimco's Gross: Fed's taper may be too hasty.      
    Lacker says market got ahead of Fed.    
    Fed action brings on the 'deflation trade'"The "reflation trade" had been the best game in town. Now all that may be left is the “deflation trade,” writes John Nyaradi."  
    Will Fed calm markets?"Three Federal Reserve officials are due to give their takes on the economy Thursday."  
    L.A. Little A bounce is coming, take a ‘long’ position.    
    Making a stealth leveraged bet on gold.    
    Amy Houk advises: How to beat continuing-care-home roulette.   "Fallout from not paying attention to retirement-home contracts can be serious." 
    China tries to teach U.S. capitalism.    
    Think 7% growth is slow? Try 6%"Credit Suisse has a downbeat view that stands out even among China bears."  
    Mark Mobius: No subprime bubble in China.  
    Why China's data get fudged.      
    Here's how markets could react if 10-yr yield hits 4%.    
    Retroactive fix for rising student loan rates-.    
    The young may dodge Obamacare..  
    A deed well done: Pensions protected.    
    Miller: "The overreaction is over" on Wall Street.    
    .    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    So, Is Good News Good Or Bad?
   "On Monday, one of the primary reasons given for the Dow's early 248 point dance to the downside was that bond yields were spiking again. If you will recall, when the opening bell rang on Monday morning in New York, the yield on the 10-year printed at 2.657% (the week prior, the yield had opened at 2.17%). While bond prices did improve throughout the day and the stock market did come off of the lows, the bottom line assumption in the market was higher yields were bad for stock prices. ... Read More »"  
    GDP Surprises to the Downside"All eyes are on the economic stats these days as traders try to determine when the Bernanke Fed is going to start taking action. The final revision to the nation's GDP was a big surprise - and not in ... Read More »"  
    Investors Intelligence: Bearish Sentiment Jumps.    
    .    
    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-6-25 (Tuesday Night): Strong Data Trigger Wall Street Rebound; Stocks rebound as U.S. economy firms. . The NASDAQ Composite blossomed  27.13 points (0.82%) to end at 3,447.89. The Dow climbed 100.75 points (0.69%) to end at 14,760.31; the S&P 500 gained 14.94 points (0.95%) to 1,588.03. Oil closed at 95.20: Oil ends up slightly before weekly supply data. Gold ended at 1,277: Gold slips as strong data reinforce taper fears, The VIX fell 1.64 to 18.47.       
    "Stocks rose the most in nearly two weeks on Tuesday after strong housing and durable goods data reassured investors worried about the Federal Reserve's plans to wind down its economic stimulus. The Dow ended up 100 points, while the S&P jumped 1%."    
   "Wall Street bounced back Tuesday as signs of strength in the U.S. economy overshadowed concerns about China's credit problems. More".    

   The markets are oversold, and are bouncing.

Marketwatch says:     
    Stocks Climb on Comments from China’s Central Bank and Strong Economic Data.    
    U.S. consumer confidence hits five-year high in June.    
    New-home sales highest since 2008.   
    Home-price jump is biggest yet.    
    S.F. in first place, N.Y. last in Case-Shiller standings.  "Home prices shot up in April, but there were wide differences among cities, according to S&P/Case-Shiller data released Tuesday."  
    U.S. stocks open higher as economic data outpace forecasts.    
    Which cities will be most competitive 10 years from now?  
    Supreme Court voids part of Voting Rights Act.    
    China’s People's Bank Of China bites on crunch.  "The People's Bank of China will guide interest rates to a "reasonable range" and says rates volatility is "temporary.""   
    China stocks plunge, then recover almost all    
    Central bank injected liquidity to select lenders.      
    U.S., Chinese Central Bankers Seek to Calm Markets"After four of the worst trading days seen in over a year, comments from three central bankers over the past 24 hours have calmed markets and dispelled some myths."  
    China’s “Giant Ponzi Scheme” Won’t End Well: Jim Rickards.    
    Fed Won’t Reduce Bond-Buying, Will Continue Inflating Bubbles: Rickards.    
    Holding bonds is a disaster in the making.   "The 30-year bull market in bonds is almost over, leading to problems for small investors in bond funds, argues J.J. Zhang." 
    Commentary: The next fixed-income battle.    
    Homeowner tax breaks not as great as you think"It’s true that owning your home instead of renting it can result in extra tax deductions. But those savings may not be as much as you expect."   
    The other housing shortage: workers (audio).    
    Will you owe taxes when you sell your home?.  
    Herd will be wrong about Fed again.    
    June swoon, and in July a chance to sell.    
    Buy when the bulls are terrified.   
    On watch for investor anxiety
    Fed trying to deflate financial bubbles.    
    Bad news is coming"The bottom of the decline that began one month ago has not yet been seen. There is still too much bullishness."  Mark Hulbert observes that investors ar exhibiting the kind of optimism that characterizes major market tops.   
    Boomers need to limit disability risks"If you plan to work long past normal retirement age, what can you do to protect your retirement savings against the danger of disability?" 
    Know your retirement community exit option.    
    Life insurers struggle with marijuana users.    
    Bernanke Looks to Sharpen Message to Markets (video) .    
    Wearable tech is next battle area.  "Therese Poletti on new Apple-Google fight."  
    J.P. Morgan's Google share target: $1,000.    
    Get That Tesla Before Your Home State Says 'No!' (video).    
    Watch: Gartman's 3 Reasons Gold Will Go Lower.
    Junk Bonds Suddenly Don't Look So Good.    
    Top US States for New Manufacturing Jobs.    
    Obama Takes Aim at Changing Climate"President Barack Obama declared the debate over climate change and its causes obsolete Tuesday as he announced a wide-ranging plan to tackle pollution and prepare communities for global warming."  
    See Mortgage Rates in Your Area.    
    Housing Recovery Is Still Intact: Baker.    
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    All About The Bonds?
   "If you are looking for what is driving the intraday swings in the stock market these days, you need look no farther than the bond market. Sure, concerns about growth in China also played a part in Monday's roller coaster ride, but from where I sit, the real driver right now is the bond market. While the action is not exactly textbook, it appears that the algos are currently tied to the movements up and down in interest rates. In short, when rates tick up, ... Read More »"  
    New Home Sales Up Again in May
    Consumer Confidence Up For 3rd Month.    
    FHFA House Price Index Improves Again.    
    Case-Shiller Index Gain Strongest On Record.    
    Orders For Durable Goods Up 3.6%.    
    .    
    Market futures are down 0.3% tonight.


2013-6-24 (Monday Night): Manic Monday: Rates Lead Stock Rebound, Apple Holds $400; Stocks fall 1% ... but it could have been worse. . The NASDAQ Composite dwindled  36.49 points (-1.09%) to end at 3,420.76. The Dow sank 139.84 points (-1.09%) to end at 14,659.56; the S&P 500 tanked 19.34 points (-1.21%) to 1,573.09. Oil closed at 94.99: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,377: Gold ends down as rate worries spur global selloff, The VIX rose 1.21 to 20.11.       
    "Stocks were battered and beaten on Monday but they would not break. The S&P 500 slumped nearly 2% before finding a low at 1,560 and then paring some losses, as all three major averages closed out the manic session down about 1%."      
    "U.S. stocks shaved most of their early losses but still finished in the red Monday afternoon as worries about the Fed easing up on stimulus and credit problems in China kept investors on edge. More".    

    It's happened again!  Every time I go out of town on vacation, the markets just go to pieces without me here to mind the store. "While the cat's away, the mice will play." The S&P 500 has fallen below 1,600.
    Surely, now that I'm back, the markets will a get a grip on themselves and go back up again (:-))
Marketwatch says:     
    Fed officials scrambling to downplay 'QE' taper talk"A Fed official gives an unusual rebuttal to critics. Another likens market participants to “feral hogs.”"  
    U.S. stocks pare losses on dovish Fed comments"Wall Street battles back from earlier plunge as Fed officials play down the central bank's plan to scale back bond purchases."  
    Trading Deck: Bernanke speaks, and markets go wild — what next?.    
    Reader poll: Are traders behaving like feral hogs or scared sheep-.    
    To avoid 2008 crash repeat, markets need better morals.  "Regulators also need muscles, write Daniel Friedman and Daniel McNeill."  
    Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks slide on China-led global selloff.    
    China’s alarming credit crunch.     
    Shanghai stocks plunge 5.3%    
    The market in a minute: Watching investor anxiety in action.      
    Court sends affirmative-action case back.    
    Dudley says Fed isn't accommodative enough.    
    Treasurys erase loss on honed Fed message.    
    National activity index less negative in May.    
    Five ways to avoid home buyer’s remorse.  "Asking these questions before and during your  search can pinpoint a home that’s best for you."
    Main impact of QE3 withdrawal will be in Europe.  "Europe is still an accident waiting to happen, writes David Marsh"  
    BIS: Central banks can’t do ‘whatever it takes’.    
    Fed fears continue to bruise European stocks.   
    Goldman cuts 2013, 2014 gold forecasts.  "Goldman cites growing price risks from a brightening U.S. economic picture." 
    Credit Suisse: Re-examine gold expectations.    
    Gold falls as dollar rises.    
    Plans for tax reform should be on the table"Bipartisan push for fundamental tax reform is moving too slowly, writes Jack Nutter."  
    Bond links: Bond bull market isn't over.    
    Who will suffer when carry trade ends.    
    Holy Grail of technical patterns paid off.    
    The Fed is wrong.    
    China’s credit crunch: a closer look.    
    The next market rally.    
    Keep emotion out of it when volatility rises.    
    Barron's all-star-team checkup.    
    Why it's not too late to add stocks"In the wake of the Fed's QE signals, be ready for market volatility and review your asset allocation, writes Robert Powell."  
    Will Social Security be your only hope?.    
    Are you ready to live to be 100?.    
    How to change your bond strategy.    
    Opinion: Where Have All the GOP Spending Hawks Gone? (video).    
    7 ways to spot a market top.    
    Bernanke May Leave Fed in January, and More (video).    
    Supreme Court takes up recess appointments.    
    After June swoon, July rally could be time to sell.    
    Shanghai stocks plunge 5.3%.    
    Bonds: The mother of all overreactions"If you liked bonds before, you should love them now, writes Michael Gayed."  
    Detroit plan has muni market on edge"Restructuring plan by state-appointed emergency manager is drawing ire in municipal-bond industry"  
    Graduates, forget your GPA.   "Does a college degree guarantee instant success? Straight talk for graduates and parents." 
    Skills key for new grad or soon-to-be retiree.    
    Is this the greatest research note ever?.    
    Krugman Living in “Fantasy Land”: Wall St. Must Be Weaned Off Cheap Money, Cohan Says.  Yeah, right. "Cheap money" isn't about Wall Street; it's about keeping the economy afloat in the absence of a Congress that can't vote for fiscal stimulus.  
    Why Rising Interest Rates Won’t Benefit Savers"People who rely on income from CDs, bank accounts and other supersafe assets have watched their cash flow dry up as interest rates have fallen to record lows."  
    The Middle Class Is Getting Fired, Here’s How to Survive: Altucher.    
    Gold Futures Extend Losses, Hit Three-Week Low.    
    'Not Good': Individual Investors Buy at Stock Peak.    
    BlackRock: Stick with stocks over bonds.    


2013-6-21 (Friday Night): Lackluster economy just keeps lumbering along;Do Markets Fear Central Banks’ Grip Is Slipping-. The NASDAQ Composite regained 44.94 points (1.32%) to end at 3,445.37. The Dow rose 180.85 points (1.21%) to end at 15,176.09; the S&P 500 climbed 23.84 points (1.48%) to 1,636.36. Oil closed at 94.99: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,377: Gold ends down as rate worries spur global selloff, The VIX rose 2.18 to 16.41.         
    "Just days ago, the question was whether central banks had too much control over the markets. Not anymore.".    

    It's happened again!  Every time I go out of town on vacation, the markets just go to pieces without me here to mind the store. "While the cat's away, the mice will play." The S&P 500 has fallen below 1,600.
    Surely, now that I'm back, the markets will a get a grip on themselves and go back up again (:-))
Marketwatch says:     
    Did Bernanke Just Kill the Housing Recovery?.  "That's the question Wall Street and Main Street have been contemplating this week after another spike in interest rates. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow, has a ready answer."  
    Bernanke’s Real Message: Stop Counting on Us.    
    China Slowdown Now a Clear & Present Danger.  "Concerns about China’s economy intensified this week after a private measure of manufacturing came in at its lowest level in nine months."   
    Hedge Funds Shift to Stocks, in Time for Pullback    
    Britain's Osborne reaches deal on spending cuts.      
    What housing report means for investors.    
    The Next 24: home builder rally? (video).    
    Why world's central banks remain in focus (video).    
    Economy won’t shift into higher gear soon.    
    Economy won’t shift into higher gear soon.  
    Bernanke doesn't fear deflation, but he should.    
    5 uncomfortable truths about QE.    
    Insiders are buying, and that's good news  .   
    What millennials won't say.  "They might have occupied Wall Street, but for the babies of the baby boomers, it’s top 1% or bust." 
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
I Don't "Know" Anything   "I started writing my "State of the Markets" missive in the late 1990's and I began publishing it on the web in 2003. I decided to put my thoughts out there for all to see for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to bring a professional risk manager's point of view to the newsletter world. I was of the mind that far too many investors had been hurt badly by the tech bubble bear market and that much of the damage could have been avoided. Second, I saw there were far too many shysters on the internet telling the public that every move they made was a huge winner. I felt that transparency and honesty were missing traits of ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Index: Managers Grow Cautious"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »" 

    The market indices are continuing to back and fill after once again bouncing off their 50-day moving averages.


2013-6-13 (Thursday Night): Asian shares recover after bruising selloff on Wall Street rebound; U.S. stocks end more than 1% higher. The NASDAQ Composite regained 44.94 points (1.32%) to end at 3,445.37. The Dow rose 180.85 points (1.21%) to end at 15,176.09; the S&P 500 climbed 23.84 points (1.48%) to 1,636.36. Oil closed at 94.99: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,377: Gold ends down as rate worries spur global selloff, The VIX rose 2.18 to 16.41.      
     "Asian shares recovered from multi-month lows on Friday, as a rebound in U.S. equities on the back of upbeat economic data calmed nerves after a bruising selloff in global markets, but investors remained ..."   
    "Tremors in Asia couldn't shake U.S. investors Thursday. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    Week in Charts: Retail sales, job competition paint economic picture.    
    'Critics: Google, Facebook are lying about U.S. spying.    
    How Fed chief Bernanke is 'threading a needle'.     
    Hedge-fund magnate wags finger at Kremlin    
    Texas Gov. Rick Perry 'legalizes' Christmas.      
    Rogers: Pop goes the bond bubble..  "High-profile investor Jim Rogers shares his views on bond bubbles, gold and what the prospects are in Japan."  
    Detroit to default on some unsecured debt.    
    The Fed won't taper as long as inflation is low.  "Markets see Fed set to declare victory, but ultralow inflation could keep the Fed buying bonds for a while, Rex Nutting writes."  
    How Fed chief Bernanke is 'threading a needle'.    
    How a retail investor can trade the economic data.  "Retail investors should be focus on long-term investments and be careful when trading around the release of economic reports, experts say."
    U.S. industrial output flat in May.    
    U.S. wholesale prices jump 0.5% in May.    
    IMF warns of downside risks to the U.S. economy.   "View of U.S. is somewhat more pessimistic than in last review as IMF calls for an end to sequestration." 
    Consumer sentiment declines in June.  "After hitting the highest level in almost six years in May, University of Michigan gauge retreats." 
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr., cautions Downward slope is warning sign for gold.    
    New up phase may be in cards for gold.  
    David Waring lists Bond-market bargains.    
    Reeves: Prepare for summer volatility.    
    Burton:Bank on this dividend stock play.    
    Brett Arends opines: Time to rethink time-honored allocation.    
    Questions about market timing.  "Because many of the top market timers are bullish, but, ponders Mark Hulbert, would a reversal stand market-timing ranking on its ear?"   
    Retail and job-competition charts paint a picture.  "Retail sales are picking up pace, while the intensity of the fight for available jobs is trending down."    
    How your credit hurts your job chances.  "For some job seekers, a great resume can be overshadowed by an unlikely source: lousy credit."  
    10 things estate sales won't tell you"What you should watch out for when it's time to clear out a home."     
    Syria key for energy traders"And other things you need to know as we move into a new trading week."  
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
The Return of the 'Hilsenrumor'   "Long-time readers know that I am a big believer in the idea that markets don't make "big" moves without a reason. And based on the fact that stocks came into Thursday morning's session looking more than a little weak, the closing gain of 180 points on the DJIA definitely qualified as "big" in my book. However, I admittedly spent an inordinate amount of my day not understanding what was happening. Maybe it was the three conference calls. Maybe it was the birthday well-wishes from family and friends. Or maybe it ... Read More »"  
    Big Picture Market Models - 6/13/13"We review the key indicators of the market every Thursday in order to keep in tune with the bigger picture. Stay on top of the current market environment with SoTM's Big Picture Market Models Report ... Read More »"  
    UofM Consumer Sentiment Pulls Back in June.    
    Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization.    
    PPI Report: Hotter Than Expected In May.   

    The market indices are continuing to back and fill after once again bouncing off their 50-day moving averages.


2013-6-13 (Thursday Night): Asian shares recover after bruising selloff on Wall Street rebound; U.S. stocks end more than 1% higher. The NASDAQ Composite regained 44.94 points (1.32%) to end at 3,445.37. The Dow rose 180.85 points (1.21%) to end at 15,176.09; the S&P 500 climbed 23.84 points (1.48%) to 1,636.36. Oil closed at 94.99: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,377: Gold ends down as rate worries spur global selloff, The VIX rose 2.18 to 16.41.      
     "Asian shares recovered from multi-month lows on Friday, as a rebound in U.S. equities on the back of upbeat economic data calmed nerves after a bruising selloff in global markets, but investors remained ..."   
    "Tremors in Asia couldn't shake U.S. investors Thursday. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    Supreme Court: Human genes can't be patented.    
    Guggenheim CIO on how Treasurys have become a 'Ponzi market'.    
    Asians are fastest growing U.S. racial group.     
    Why Ben & Jerry's co-founder will be giving away money    
    What bankers share with teenagers"Wall Streets see Snapchat as a way to send pictures without leaving any incriminating evidence online."    
    Retiring on less than $1 million..  "Mitch Tuchman offers some strategies for the times ahead."  
    Inflation shatters illusion of 'safe' investing.    
    Nikkei plunges into bear market; China sinks.    
    5 states with highest foreclosure rates.  "Despite housing’s recent gains, foreclosures are rising once more."
    30-year mortgage rate highest since April '12.    
    Bounce in refinancings, even as rates rise.    
    Housing recovery may spur more foreclosures.    
    Nomura: You just don't get Abenomics.   "The Japanese firm lifts its year-end target for the Nikkei to 18,000." 
    Big Data knows what you’ll do next summer.  "MarketWatch spoke to author Mayer-Schönberger about what the loss or privacy means for Americans." 
    Michael Gayed writes about A dilemma for bulls and bears.    
    John Nyaradi says that Dominos are falling, one by one.  
    David Waring observes that Volatility provides opportunity.    
    Cody Willard explains How to know it's a stock-market bubble.    
    Kevin Marder advises that Balance of power is in the sellers' hands.    
    Darrell Delamaide opines: Democrats must look to 2016 for real reform.    
    Retirement and illness: Which causes which?.  "Keeping active is seen as a way to stave off ill-health, but there's a flaw in this advice, say experts."   
    Invest like a pension-plan professional.      
    More 401(k) savers hand control.  "Twice as many account holders choose not to make their own decision on investment allocation, a study says."  
    Stock investors are still bullish, Barclays survey finds.      
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
World Bank Downgrades Global Growth But Says Worst Behind Us   "The bad news is the World Bank downgraded its outlook for global growth in its latest report on the world's top economies. The good news is the bank said the risks of a Eurozone meltdown are now in the rear view mirror. Cutting to the chase, the bank’s Chief Economist Kaushik Basu said, “We’ve bottomed out, we’ll probably be here for a while, but it is a slow recovery.” Basu added, “There are diminished risks, but the overall growth prospects also remain diminished.” In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, ... Read More »"  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Pulls Back.   
    Retail Sales Surprise To Upside.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Continue to Improve.    
    Italy Bond Auction: Good News, Bad News.    
    Early Analysis: Japan Turmoil Roils Markets.   

    Market futures are modestly higher again tonight.


2013-6-12 (Wednesday Night): Nasdaq Falls 1% as Market Extends Selloff; Dow Closes Below 15,000; Dow's worst losing streak of the year. The NASDAQ Composite plummeted 36.52 points (-1.06%) to end at 3,400.43. The Dow tumbled 126.79 points (-0.84%) to end at 14,995.23; the S&P 500 slid 13.61 points (-0.84%) to 1,612.52. Oil closed at 94.99: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,377: Gold ends down as rate worries spur global selloff, The VIX rose 1.52 to 18.59.      
     "Stocks fell on Wednesday, with the Dow tumbling more than 100 points on a wildly volatile day as traders extended a selloff driven by concern about the winding down of central banks' stimulus measures."   
    "U.S. stocks closed lower for a third straight day Wednesday, marking the Dow's worst losing streak this year. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    Get ready for 'ugly days', 4% Treasury yields: O'Neill.    
    Pimco duck-dives the waves.    
    Bill Gross cuts Treasury holdings.     
    Gut checks: Danger signs    
    Hard-pressed Europeans emigrating in droves"Europe is starting to see waves of migration on a scale it hasn't witnessed since the 19th century, says Matthew Lynn"    
    EU choices: Holy Roman Empire, U.S. of Europe.    
    Buiter to Hollande: Euro-zone crisis not over.    
    Euro-zone industrial output rises for 3rd month.    
    Invest like pros who run traditional pensions.  "If you’re looking to improve the risk-adjusted performance of your retirement portfolio, it may be time you invested your money like defined-benefit plan managers, says Robert Powell."
    10 do's and don'ts for retirement investors.    
    Exposing the Social Security solvency hype.  "The latest findings on the Social Security trust fund minus all the hype."  
    Who wins if U.S. tax system changes   "One think tank says big companiesaligned with the Campaign to Fix the Debt will reap up to $173 billion if they only have to pay taxes on domestic earnings." 
    Tech firms push back over NSA secrecy.   "Tech rivals back Google's call to the government to let it reveal secret court orders that require it to hand over data." 
    The Man of Steel and Bernanke.  "Superman and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke are both mild-mannered. They also are sometimes said to be from other planets, says Al Lewis." 
    U.S. stock rally marks volatility’s return.    
    Avi Gilburt says that Buying Japan is a hard trade.  
    David Waring observes that Something strange is going on.    
    Cody Willard says It's time to panic about Treasurys.    
    Kevin Marder is Looking for the choicest opportunity.     
    One way to trade a rangebound market.      
    Yuan is the hot new 'carry' trade.  "Selling dollars for yuan is a money-maker now, but here's what to watch for"  
    Rout in emerging currencies no sign of crisis.    
    What a deal may mean for Sprint users.  "The outcome of the bidding war for Sprint Nextel between SoftBank and Dish Network could affect download speeds and prices."  
    7 deadly annuity sins"Consumers can avoid annuity purgatory by heeding the wisdom of these ancient lessons."   
    Best days of super-cheap money are behind us.  "Michael Casey sees the selloff in emerging markets as a great rebalancing."  
    U.S. deficit: $139 billion in May; seen under $1 trillion for full year.
    U.S. stocks end with steep losses on Fed jitters.    
    Regulators warn of 'pump and dump' scams.    
    Snowden: I'm neither traitor nor hero.    
    European stocks slide on Greece, QE nerves.  
    Biden: Paul, Cruz fears killed gun legislation"The vice president says senators were afraid of tangling with the two."   
    NSA chief says phone surveillance has helped stop 'dozens' of attacks.    
    Rising Rates Scare Borrowers Into Action.    
    Housing Recovery Faces Big Risk: Credit Expert"“This whole housing recovery ...over the past year has been at much lower rates, so we’re very concerned,” says Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors."  
    The Reality of Today's Consumer Economy"While many eager eyes fell upon Apple's World Wide Developer's Conference this week, Piper Jaffray’s Consumer Conference this Wednesday and Thursday has been the recipient of far less buzz."  
    Schiff: Gold Is Going 'to the Moon'.    
    On July 1st, interest rates on federally subsidized student loans are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8%.    
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Do The Bears Have a Case?
   "This time the bears refused to be run over. This time, after a quick 50-point swing upwards in the S&P 500, the short-sellers were rewarded for selling into some resistance. This time, the good economic news (the NFIB Small Business Index hit the second highest level since December 2007) was ignored. And this time, there may actually be a question as to which way the next move in the stock market is going to go. To be fair, the bears have had a rough go ... Read More »"  
    Eurozone Industrial Production Above Expectations.   
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Pulls Back Again.    
        
    Market futures are modestly higher again tonight.


2013-6-11 (Tuesday Night): Wall Street Ends Mostly Lower; No more Super Tuesdays. Wall Street Ends Sharply Lower on BoJ Policy. The NASDAQ Composite plummeted 36.82 points (-1.06%) to end at 3,436.95. The Dow tumbled 116.57 points (-0.76%) to end at 15,122.02; the S&P 500 slided 16.68 points (-1.02%) to 1,626.13. Oil closed at 94.99: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,377: Gold ends down as rate worries spur global selloff, The VIX rose 1.63 to 17.07.      
     "Stocks slid in a volatile session on Tuesday after Japan's central bank disappointed equity markets by holding steady its monetary policy."   
     "Stocks slid in a volatile session on Tuesday after Japan's central bank disappointed equity markets by holding steady its monetary policy."   
    "So much for Super Tuesdays. Stocks ended the day down sharply after a volatile day of trading. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    Stock futures tumble under central-bank weight.    
    Global Markets Tumble as Investors Bail on Risk.    
    Commentary: Is this market oversold? Fundamentals still stink.     
    BOJ, ECB Jolt U.S. Markets; Dole Juiced by Takeover Attempt; Lulu Loses Footing.    
    Top forecaster says it’s hard to be pessimistic"The U.S. economy is finally gathering strength, making it 'hard to be pessimistic,' said Brian Jones, a senior economist for Société Générale and an eight-time winner of MarketWatch’s Forecaster of the Month award."    
    Gut checks: Bonds fall, but no rotation.    
    Charting a resilient bull market.    
    NFIB small-business optimism hits 1-year peak.    
    Wall Street can’t quit Fed addiction.  "Wall Street needs to recognize that for all of its criticism of Federal Reserve policy and regulation, the industry receives far more than it gives, writes David Weidner."
    Fed won't withdraw in June or September- Bittles.    
    Turning 50?: Time for a retirement tuneup.  "As the end of full-time work comes into view, it's the right moment to take a look at preparations for the perfect retirement."  
    Want to retire? Stop chasing returns    
    Don't get run over by the rollover rule.    
    Best and worst careers worth racking up debt.  "Many college graduates dream of the day they’ll be debt-free. But new findings show that for some, that day may not arrive until they’re about to become grandparents." 
    Home builders to Bernanke: Fail.    
    Labor market is better than you think.  "Even though employment gains remain modest, other data suggest that faster growth lies ahead, writes Irwin Kellner."
    U.S. hiring plans edge up for third quarter.    
    Reading the job-market signs.    
    April job openings decline to 3.76 million.     
    Marriage and the IRS.  "When you get married, your tax situation changes — for better or for worse. Here are the most important things to know.".    
    Overdraft charges now 60% of check fees.  "Bank customers who sign up for an overdraft protection service have significantly higher annual fees, a new industry report finds, and more involuntary account closures than those without one."  
    Beware: Muni-bond fees can sting investors"Municipal bonds look attractive to those seeking income. But the markup on some purchases can be much larger than you realize."  
    Name the 7 deadly sins that confront annuity buyers.    
    Pimco's El-Erian: Lack of liquidity is hampering the markets    
    How Medicare could cut lab, drug costs.    
    Cost of insuring emerging market debt soars on fears Fed will taper.
    As emerging markets tank, traditional safe havens don't look so safe.    
    U.S. stocks dive again as volatility returns.    
    Former Fed president talks QE3, tapering.    
    JPMorgan's Dimon sees strong consumer, housing.  
    Google to DOJ, FBI: Let us publish request data.    
    What Investors Should Really Fear — and What They Shouldn’t. 
    Rights Group Challenges U.S. Phone Surveillance Program.  "The American Civil Liberties Union said it sued top U.S. government officials on Tuesday to challenge the constitutionality of the NSA's telephone surveillance program."  
    Microsoft urges government transparency on security requests.    
    U.S. does not get 'unfettered access' to data: Google.    
    How the Feds Snatch Surveillance Data From Tech Firms.        
    Bill Gross: All Assets Are Risky, but I'm Buying Treasuries.          
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   What Do The Cycles Say For June?
   "The argument as to what comes next for stocks falls along party lines at this point. The bulls contend that they were tested last week and that the all-important line in the sand held. As such, our furry friends suggest that new highs for the major indices are only a matter of time. Yet on the other side of the aisle, the bears are telling anyone who will listen that the "hopium highs" won't last and a retest of the recent lows is the likely outcome in the next week or so. So, given that (a) we prefer not to take"  
    NFIB Small Business Index Up Again in May, But...  "The good news is that optimism among small business owners is rising again and the May reading was above consensus expectations. However, the bad news is that the current level of optimism is... ... Read More »"  
   What's Going On In Japan?.   "The lack of any new stimulus measures from the Bank of Japan put markets in an uproar overnight. The key to the situation appears to be that traders had been looking for the central bank to do more to ... Read More »" 
    Early Analysis- Stocks Dip on BOJ Disappointment And...    
    Trade Update: UPRO Shares Split 2-for-1 Today.    
    
    Market futures are up a little tonight.


2013-6-10 (Monday Night): Wall Street Ends Mostly Lower; Stocks fizzle after Friday's rally. The NASDAQ Composite inched up 4.55 points (0.13%) to end at 3,473.77. The Dow eased 9.53 points (-0.06%) to end at 15,258.59; the S&P 500 adjusted 0.57 points (-0.03%) to 1,642.81. Oil closed at 95.77: Oil ends sub-$96 ahead of OPEC, DOE reports. Gold ended at 1,374::Gold ends up in shadow of Fed taper debate, The VIX rose 0.30 to 15.44.      
     "Stocks ended mostly lower on Monday, pulling back after the previous session's big gains despite a credit outlook upgrade of the United States."   
    "U.S. stocks ended little changed Monday as investors weighed the outlook for the economy and its implications for Federal Reserve policy. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    Markets Give Back Early Gains; Whistleblower’s Company Takes a Hit.     
    Economists generally agree: Fed will 'taper' by fourth quarter.    
    Gold ends higher as Fed's taper plan looms.    
    Why it's time to worry about China"These charts show the economy is hitting another rough patch."  
    S&P raises U.S. credit outlook to stable.  
    McDonald's rises, home stocks fall in flat S&P.    
    Treasurys fall on S&P outlook revision    
    Why some homes are selling in just one day.  "With inventory tight, some places see new listings snapped up in 24 hours." 
    Home builders to Bernanke: Fail.    
    10 things economists won’t tell you.  "It's as tough to predict the future of the economy as it is to forecast the weather. Here are the reasons why. (slide show)"
    Treasury yields turn up.    
    First S&P 1,700, then a swoon.  "If market sentiment becomes quite frothy again, don't get caught up in any euphoria, warns Avi Gilburt."  
     Stock momentum weakens off recent bounce.     
    Are REITs and MLPs still a buy?..  "Ponzi scheme operator Jeffrey Southard says regulators miss the networks of investors that claim they 'buy on rumors' and 'sell on the news.'"  
    Discovering news before it breaks.    
    TIPS yields turn positive  for the first time in a year.    
    Junk-bond selloff is legit, Citi says    
    Spotlight on the economy: Monitoring job openings for clues on Fed direction.    
    Boomers fuel RV sales.   "More are looking for a home on wheels: This could be the best year since 2007 for RVs.
"
 
    European stocks rally on U.S. jobs report.    
    Spot reversals before they happen.    
    Shale oil and gas are 'abundant,' EIA says.  "The world has 10% more shale gas resources than the Energy Information Administration estimated just 2 years ago." 
    Hissing noise from Greece is trouble"Greece fails to attract binding bids for its state-owed gas company."   
    Hollande's all-clear on euro ignores the data.    
    How to do LinkedIn.  "Here's a  guide to keeping your LinkedIn profile honest without coming off as desperate or deficient."  
    Austerity hampered job growth.    
    Snowden: Why I leaked NSA secrets.    
    Bigger snoop: NSA or your boss.         
    QE Puts Bernanke in a Corner- PIMCO’s Gross.     
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
The Price of 'Perfection'   "The title of this morning's missive is "The Price of Perfection." The first point that needs to be made is that using the word "perfection" in anything related to the stock market may get me in trouble with Ms. Market. As anyone who has been in this business for any length of time knows, angering the lady in charge of this game can bring a Louisville Slugger to your forehead in a big hurry. However, my hope is that she will read far enough to get the point of the report before reaching for the bat with my name on it. To me, the word "perfection" in the stock market means getting the majority of the big moves "right." Note that I did NOT say the goal was to get ALL the moves (big or ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Index: Managers Turn Cautious"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) asks member firms each week to identify their current level of stock market exposure. This week, there is a big change... ... Read More »"   
    Car Rentals and Constructions Firms Hold Top Spots.   "Each week the computers scour our universe of the most liquid stocks traded in the United States for the Top Stocks (the stocks with the top ratings in the top industry groups). But for this report, ... Read More »" 
    Early Analysis: Japan Rebound Helps Futures.    
    China's Economic Data Suggests Slowdown Continues.    
    
    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-6-7 (Friday Night): Wall Street Eyes Weekly Gain After Jobs Report; Jobs number 'perfect' for nervous investors. The NASDAQ Composite recaptured 45.17 points (1.32%) to end at 3,469.22. The Dow garnered 207.5 points (1.38%) to end at 15,248.12; the S&P 500 rose 20.82 points (1.28%) to 1,643.38. Oil closed at 96.22: Oil ends above $96, gains over 4% on week. Gold ended at 1,384::Gold futures drop over 2% to log a weekly loss, The VIX contracted 1.49 to 15.14.      
     "Stocks jumped on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track to halt its first two-week losing skid of the year after the May jobs report pointed to an economy still in need of central bank support."   
    "A good, but not great, jobs number managed to spark healthy gains on Wall Street Friday. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    Obama: No one is listening to your telephone calls.    
    Breaking down payrolls, unemployment data"See jobs growth, earnings and more in charts."  
    Takes on the data: 'OK' and '11.4%'.  
    Stocks gain on jobs report.    
    Jobs report makes it harder to read the Fed    
    Greenspan: Fed should 'get moving' on taper.   
    Report: Fed doesn't view 200K as taper threshold.    
    NSA mining digs into networks beyond Verizon.  
    Treasury yields turn up.    
    Crazy Eddie's tips on how to get away with fraud.  "Overpaying taxes and overstating income is the way to go, says the CFO of the criminal enterprise that passed itself off as a New York electronics retailer in the 1980s."  
     Turkey put the risk back into risk markets.     
    'New Jersey Madoff:: Insider trading can't be stopped..  "Ponzi scheme operator Jeffrey Southard says regulators miss the networks of investors that claim they 'buy on rumors' and 'sell on the news.'"  
    Feldman: Markets have never been fair"The markets have never been fair for retail investors, but high-speed computerized trading has helped level the playing field, says a former Wall Street broker who has done time."  
    Share quotes from 5 Wall Street felons.    
    Where to put your money when bond yields rise  "The investing paradigms, they are a-changin’, writes Jonathan Burton. Here’s how to get your stock portfolio in synch with the times" 
    Should retirement savings be mandatory?"We aren't saving enough. Mandatory programs have worked elsewhere."  
    To retire securely, save like an Aussie.    
    Why stocks might be poised for 5-year bull run.    
    European stocks rally on U.S. jobs report.    
    Spot reversals before they happen.    
    Democrat deficit shift too late to help.  "The light bulb finally went on at a leading Democratic think tank that the federal deficit is not the problem. Problem is, it’s too little, too late, writes Darrell Delamaide." 
    China’s pain is our gain.    
    Obamacare enrollment blitz.    
    See jobs growth, earnings and more in charts.    
    Austerity hampered job growth.    
    What we really know about this market.    
    Dump safe havens like gold, buy 'value' like banks, consumer cyclicals, SocGen says.    
    Arends: Why Wall Street loses its mind every summer.    
    Turkey put the risk back into risk markets.    
    Bond links: Dangerous divergences.  
    How to identify high-probability reversal zones.      
    Why battle lines are drawn over the labor force participation rate.       
    Boring stocks can bring exciting returns.   "So-called boring stocks — those that have exhibited the least historical volatility — outperform the most “exciting” issues. And not by just a small margin, either, writes Mark Hulbert." 
    An open letter to my three sons: Choose wisely.  "Robert Powell writes a letter to his three sons, who graduated from high school on June 2. That’s right: triplets — and three college educations to pay for in the near future."  
    Graduates, don’t worry about money.  "A message to high school and college graduates — and everyone else."  
    Behind Surveillance Flap, Plunging Trust in Government"Americans have mixed feelings about their private data getting into corporate or government hands, but they have much stronger views about something else that makes this whole flap a huge problem for the Obama administration."  
    How Concerned Are You About Government Data Grabs?  
    Americans Freak Out As They Realize How Much Data the Government Collects.      
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Nonfarm Payroll: Job Growth Better Than Expectations   "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Nonfarm Payrolls, which is one of the most closely followed gauges regarding the state of the economy, increased by 175,000 in the month of May. The increase in the number of new jobs was above the consensus estimates for an increase of 166K as well as April’s revised total of 149K . As usual, there were revisions to the prior two months’ reports. ... Read More »"  
    Early Analysis: Waiting on the Jobs Report.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Holds Steady.    
    
    The indices have once again bounced off their 50-day moving averages. Of course, it's common for the market indices to partially rebound and then to plunge lower if they're so inclined. I guess we won't know until the markets make new highs, in which case it will be too late to buy into the rising market.
    Market tops don't generally end in a spike, as would be the case if the indices are presaging a cyclical bear market.


2013-6-6 (Thursday Night): U.S. stocks rebound after choppy session; Wall St. ends up in volatile trade ahead of jobs data. The NASDAQ Composite regained 22.58 points (0.66%) to end at 3,424.05. The Dow added 80.03 points (0.53%) to end at 15,040,62; the S&P 500 rose 13.66 points (0.85%) to 1,622.56. Oil closed at 94.76: Oil futures end up $1.02 to settle at $94.76. Gold ended at 1,413::Gold futures climb to highest close since mid-May, The VIX fell 0.87 to 16.63.      
     "U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow swinging nearly 200 points from its session low to high and the S&P 500 recovering after hitting a key technical level in volatile trading a day before the release ..."   
     "U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow swinging nearly 200 points from its session low to high and the S&P 500 recovering after hitting a key technical level in volatile trading a day before the release ..."   
    "U.S. stocks ended a volatile session higher Thursday as investors brace for a key report on the job market. More".    

    Today's rise ay be a dead-cat bounce in a deeply oversold market.
    On the other hand, market tops don't generally end in a spike, as would be the case if the indices are presaging a cyclical bear market.

Marketwatch says:     
    Bond volatility has a grim message for the market"As the Fed hints about tapering QE, the bond market has gotten more nervous because the government’s regular bond purchases have set prices, and no one knows what the real value is."  
    What to watch in May U.S. jobs report.  
    What May data can tell us.    
    Do markets want a good or bad jobs number?    
    How to play coming jobs data.   
    Household wealth tops $70 trillion.  "Households have benefited from rising stock and home prices and a drop in their debts, according to Fed data."  



    Fed's Plosser: Now is the time to begin tapering.    
    Treasurys swing to gains on jobs-data jitters.    
    Beige Book report's most used words.    
    U.S. jobless claims fall 11,000 to 346,000    
    Turkish stocks get creamed again.      
    'New Jersey Madoff:: Insider trading can't be stopped..  "Ponzi scheme operator Jeffrey Southard says regulators miss the networks of investors that claim they 'buy on rumors' and 'sell on the news.'"  
    Retail investor outgunned by speed traders"Having retail investors compete with high-speed computerized investment firms is like fighting a war with spears against the Air Force, says Dennis Herula."  
    3 long-term picks yielding 3%.  "Jeff Reeves offers his picks for those who prefer long-term capital gains to short-term churn."
    .    
    Where your mortgage takes the biggest bite.  "The most unaffordable housing markets are becoming even less affordable, according to Trulia." 
    IRS officials placed on leave over gifts"The U.S. government is pulling data on all of Verizon customers' U.S. phone calls under a secret order, a report says."  
    Mortgage lenders say get flood insurance.    
    U.S. spies on Verizon phone calls"The U.S. government is pulling data on all of Verizon customers' U.S. phone calls under a secret order, a report says."  
    Verizon: Firm must comply with a court order.    
    Boehner: Obama must explain Verizon.    
    IRS officials placed on leave over gifts.  "Two IRS officials who implemented Obama's health-care overhaul are reportedly accused of accepting free food and gifts."  
    Why the right is wrong about jobs"The right and left have different stories to explain our jobs emergency. The story from the left fits the facts, but the other one is a fairy tale, writes Rex Nutting."  
    Gundlach says Treasurys are a buy.    
    One biotech that shouldn’t be missed.    
    Why interest rates matter for stocks.    
    Why to be optimistic on this market.    
    Positives continue to build for the Nasdaq.    
    How to survive a stock market crash.    
    Matthew Lynn says: U.K. will regret hiring rock star banker.  
    EU debt reprieve evokes analysts’ scorn.      
    Amazon wants to eat grocers' lunch"AmazonFresh, which delivers groceries in Seattle, is reportedly set to expand to L.A. and S.F."  
    'Strategic sense' in AmazonFresh's L.A. drive.    
    Walmart and Costco up their food games.    
    'Strategic sense' in AmazonFresh's L.A. drive.    
    Walmart and Costco up their food games.    
    U.S. and UAW selling GM shares"Treasury Department to sell 30 million shares acquired as part of $50 billion TARP investment."  
    .OPEC Meeting: U.S. Oil Boom Upending Global Trade (video)    
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Looking For The Line In The Sand   "Stocks have been see-sawing back and forth a fair amount lately and realistically, the short-term trend can't be rated any better than moderately negative right now. And after a strong rally that marched relentlessly higher for six straight months, I think we can all agree that the recent sloppy action is to be expected. Thus, the question of the day, of course, is if the current consolidation phase will lead to something akin to a "June swoon" or a resumption of the uptrend. My technical analysis textbook suggests that unless the bears find a reason to be - and soon - the joyride to the upside is likely to continue at some point. If memory serves, the book says that ... Read More »"  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Holds Steady"The latest report on the state of the jobs market was weaker than expected. ADP reported that the economy added 135,000 jobs during the month of May, which was below the consensus for ... Read More »"  
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 11,000.    
    Challenger: Planned Job Cuts Continue to Decline.    
    Factory Orders Rise Less Than Expected.    

    Market futures are flat tonight. 


2013-6-5 (Wednesday Night): Taxing day for stocks sees biggest drop since April 15; Dow drops below 15,000. The NASDAQ Composite lost 43.78 points (1.27%) to end at 3,401.48. The Dow subtracted 216.95 points (-1.43%) to end at 14,960.59; the S&P 500 shrank 22.48 points (-1.38%) to 1,608.90. Oil closed at 93.70: Oil ends at one-week high as crude supply drops. Gold ended at 1,402::Gold cuts gain at close as investors show caution, The VIX rose 1.23 to 17.50.      
    "Persistent worries about the slowing economy and when the Federal Reserve will start tapering its bond buying program had investors on edge again Wednesday. More".    


Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. labor costs decline.  
    U.S. creates 135,000 new private-sector jobs.    
    Fed's Beige Book reports moderate growth across U.S.    
    Wall Street felons say markets are stacked against you.  "MarketWatch interviews Bernie Madoff and others who have done time for fleecing investors. They believe the market is rigged. Find out why." 
    Q&A: Madoff's observations from behind bars.  "Too-good-to-be-true investments are not, Madoff tells MarketWatch."  
    Madoff: 5 ways to make the markets fair.    
    Doomsday poll: 87% risk of stock crash in 2013.  "Paul B. Farrell lists 10 predictions adding credibility to bleak scenario."  
    Investors express unease over the Fed's next move  "No better place than the options market to gauge mood, opines Michael Casey."  
    Tapering talk shouldn't trouble us: Credit Suisse.    
    IMF set to admit to Greece blunders.  "Fund reportedly will say it made several big mistakes in its handling of the Greek bailout."  
    Latvia to join the euro zone — why would it?.  
    George Soros's picks.  "One of two proposed reforms would would limit redemptions from money funds."
    First Take: Money-market fix is itself flawed.   
    Regulator to savers: Beware of hedge funds"Finra chief says some investors, chasing yield, tie up money in investments they can't easily sell."  
    More hedge-fund news.    
    Does online dating lead to happier marriages-"Pairings formed online may be likelier to last."  
    Ulster fakes it for G-8 visitors"Local governments in Northern Ireland papering over vacant shopwindows."  
    Bellhops and room service face extinction.    
    NYSE Composite nears 50-day average.    
    Gundlach says Treasurys are a buy.    
    One biotech that shouldn’t be missed.    
    Why interest rates matter for stocks.    
    Why to be optimistic on this market.    
    Positives continue to build for the Nasdaq.    
    How to survive a stock market crash.    
    Matthew Lynn says: U.K. will regret hiring rock star banker.  
    EU debt reprieve evokes analysts’ scorn.      
    Amazon wants to eat grocers' lunch"AmazonFresh, which delivers groceries in Seattle, is reportedly set to expand to L.A. and S.F."  
    'Strategic sense' in AmazonFresh's L.A. drive.    
    Walmart and Costco up their food games.    
    'Strategic sense' in AmazonFresh's L.A. drive.    
    Walmart and Costco up their food games.    
    U.S. and UAW selling GM shares"Treasury Department to sell 30 million shares acquired as part of $50 billion TARP investment."  
    .OPEC Meeting: U.S. Oil Boom Upending Global Trade (video)    
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Don't Fear The Taper   "Stocks have been see-sawing back and forth a fair amount lately and realistically, the short-term trend can't be rated any better than moderately negative right now. And after a strong rally that marched relentlessly higher for six straight months, I think we can all agree that the recent sloppy action is to be expected. Thus, the question of the day, of course, is if the current consolidation phase will lead to something akin to a "June swoon" or a resumption of the uptrend. My technical analysis textbook suggests that unless the bears find a reason to be - and soon - the joyride to the upside is likely to continue at some point. If memory serves, the book says that ... Read More »"  
    ADP: Private Sector Job Growth Below Expectations"The latest report on the state of the jobs market was weaker than expected. ADP reported that the economy added 135,000 jobs during the month of May, which was below the consensus for ... Read More »"  
    ISM Non-Manufacturing: Goldilocks Is Alive and Well.    
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Dives.    
    ADP: Private Sector Job Growth Below Expectations.    
    Eurozone Services PMI Improve Slightly.    
    HSBC China Services PMI Inches Up.    

    Market futures are somewhat higher tonight. The indices have fallen to their 50-day moving averages, and have reached a decision point. Do the indices move back up or do they break below this baseline and signal the end of this bull run?.  


2013-6-4 (Tuesday Night): Wall Street Falls on Concern Fed May Scale Back Stimulus; Stocks tumble in afternoon trading. The NASDAQ Composite lost 20.11 points (0.58%) to end at 3,445.26. The Dow added 76.49 points (-0.50% to end at 15,177.54; the S&P 500 rose 9.04 points (-0.55%) to 1,631.38. Oil closed at 93.50: Oil ends with modest loss before supply updates. Gold ended at 1,398::Gold futures settle below $1,400 an ounce, The VIX rose 0.01 to 16.29.  
   
"Stocks declined on Tuesday, extending recent losses as investors took profits on speculation the Federal Reserve may reduce its economic stimulus and ending the Dow's record Tuesday streak.".    
"Stocks declined on Tuesday, extending recent losses as investors took profits on speculation the Federal Reserve may reduce its economic stimulus and ending the Dow's record Tuesday streak.".    
    "U.S. stocks tumbled Tuesday as investors continue to wrestle with an uncertain outlook for Federal Reserve policy. More".    

    It remains to be seen whether today's advances are dead-cat bounces..


Marketwatch says:     
    Bill Gross is playing doctor.  
    Eurogroup's Juncker: Greece was close to euro-zone exit in 2012.    
    U.S. trade deficit climbs 8.5% as imports surge.    
    Treasurys fall on below-forecast trade deficit.   
    Spanish jobless claims drop sharply in May.    
    ECB's Coeure: Euro zone to grow by year-end.    
    Fear makes growth stocks cheap.  "At times, it pays to buy when you think you should sell and vice-versa. This may be one of them, says Jon D. Markman."  
    Why this recovery is unlike others.  "A deep recession is often followed by a steep recovery. Not this time, Irwin Kellner says."  
   Dividend-stock collapse signals major shift.    
    Some states to miss out on Medicaid bucks: study.  "Fourteen states would miss out on a collective $8.4 billion in subsidies if they don't participate in Obamacare."  
    Michael Ashbaugh: Volatility spike is bullish.  
    Gundlach frets over repeat of yield surge.  "CEO of DoubleLine funds warns another yield surge like the one seen in May would unhinge stocks."
    Obama denies 'packing' top appeals court.   
  
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Live and Learn:: Part II
   "Friday's missive was titled "Live and Learn, I Guess" as I relayed my experience of buying an ETF with an "at the close" order into a last-minute ramp up in the market. I was sure that something was amiss because the ETF I had purchased at Wednesday's closing price underperformed badly on Thursday. As you will recall, the problem wasn't the product sponsor (ProShares) as the ETF was in fact producing a 3X return of the S&P 500 on the fund's net asset vale. No, the problem was actually a ... Read More »"  
    CoreLogic Home Price Index Up Again.    
    Early Analysis Will the Streak Continue?.    
    Construction Spending Improves Again in April.    
 
    Market futures are flat tonight. .  


2013-6-3 (Monday Night): Wall Street Ends Higher in Late Rebound; Dow keeps winning streak alive. The NASDAQ Composite gained 9.46 points (0.27%) to end at 3,465.37. The Dow added 138.46 points (0.92%) to end at 15,254.03; the S&P 500 rose 9.68 points (0.59%) to 1,640.42. Oil closed at 93.46: Oil prices climb on supply risks, weak dollar. Gold ended at 1,412::Gold futures reclaim $1,400 after ISM data, The VIX dropped 0.02 to 16.28.  
   
"Stocks rose on Monday as weaker-than-expected factory activity last month supported views that the Federal Reserve will need to keep economic stimulus in place, while gains for Merck & Co lifted drug companies.".    
    "U.S. stocks kicked off June with a win. More".    

    It remains to be seen whether today's advances are dead-cat bounces..


Marketwatch says:     
    5 more reasons to keep buying stocks: J.P. Morgan.  
    Gilburt: One more rip higher.    
    U.S. stocks higher on 'bad news is good news'.    
    ISM manufacturing gauge worst in 4 years.   
    Fed's Lockhart: 'Approaching' taper period.    
    Lockhart: Bernanke departure not done deal.    
    Game plan for a completely corrupted market.  "The trends and bubbles we’re seeing in front of us can last much longer than most bears thinks possible, writes Cody Willard."  
    Firm say it may buy almost 10% of Greek debt.    
    SEC suspends trading of 61 firms 'ripe' for fraud.  "The U.S. economy has lots of negatives, but also some positives, writes Rex Nutting. His 3, beyond the housing market."  
    Silver shorts play a dangerous game.  "Silver has been beaten down over the past several months, but a single catalyst could put those short the metal in danger."  
    When should you melt down gold?.  
    Hulbert: Gold traders, don't ignore these odds.  
    Copper: Is there a smart way to play?.   
    Shine returns to platinum and palladium.   
    Roubini: Why the gold bubble will burst.  "The economist known as 'Dr. Doom' gives a six-point case as to why gold, that 'barbarous relic', will dip below $1,000 by 2015"
    Playing the metals in June"Trading the metals isn't just about gold and silver anymore. Here's what our experts have to say."   
    Japan nears 'bear market' territory.  "Nikkei closes down 16.8% from May 23 intraday high — not too far from the 20% "bear" threshold." 
    Why China’s slow growth is plus for investors.   
    Global economy is balanced on a pinhead.  
    Wall Street myths that won't die.   "If you're saving for retirement, you would be wise to ignore these long-held canards."   
    Taxable muni bonds rally, but risks grow.   
    Merck wows over new melanoma treatment.   "Shares jumped on results from its Phase 1 study of a treatment for advanced melanoma." 
    3 ways to play the biotech boom.    
    Subtle shift in Senate after Lautenberg's death.  "New Jersey's governor will likely appoint a Republican to replace hm, reducing the Democratic majority to 54 seats."  
    2 hot solar stocks, but 1 gets your attention.   
    High-dividend-stock collapse signals shift.     
    Bond links: B. of A.'s latest warning.    
    Annuities are income, not investments.  "Guaranteed lifetime income may be the best way to avoid worrying about outliving your money."      
   
Feeding the dragon: China seeks safe food.     
    Left moving back across Europe.    
   
You’re overpaying for money management.  
    U.S. losing economic war and Asia loves it.      
    U.K. stocks drop to one-month low.    
    Pressure on IRS expands to spending"A report due Tuesday is expected to show the agency spent nearly $50 million on more than 200 employee conferences from 2010 through 2012."
    Bernanke reveals his lighter side"The Federal Reserve chairman shows a deft, dry comic touch in a commencement speech at Princeton University, where he previously taught."  
    IRS scandal back in D.C. spotlight.    
    Google to limit ID app on Glass"Bowing to protests, company says it won't,
at least for now, include facial recognition technology on its wearable eyeglass computer."
    
    Federal judge: Google must give data to FBI.    
    Fear Google Glass? Spy Cams are Already Watching (video)?    
    What Bachmann's Announcement Means for the Tea Party (video)..    
    New air-travel taxes in the works.   "White House budget proposals could mean consumers pay more to fly." 
    Hindenburg Omen: market indicator or just hot air?.    

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    What's Your Sell Strategy Going To Be?
   "It is said that the definition of investing genius involves a short memory and a bull market. As such, anyone who has been long the stock market to any degree recently is probably feeling pretty smart right about now. Even after Friday's algo-induced hysterics into the close, the S&P 500 is up +20.5% from the November 15, 2012 low, up +48.4% from the October 2011 low, and has gained an eye-popping +141% from the crisis-low seen in March 2009. So, for those who were brave enough to buy the big dips (aka when there was "blood in the streets"), genius ... Read More »"  
    ISM Manufacturing Report Surprisingly Weak.  "The latest data on the state of the economy was well below expectations as the ISM Manufacturing Index fell below the all-important 50-level for the first time in six months. In addition, the internal ... Read More »"  
    Construction Spending Improves Again in April.    
    Markit Flash PMI Above Expectations in May.      
    NAAIM Index: Managers Cutting Exposure"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »"  
    Eurozone PMI's Improve in May.    
    HSBC's China PMI Falls to Five-Month Low.    
    China Manufacturing PMI Above Expectations in May.    
 
    Market futures are down 0.15% tonight. .  


2013-5-31 (Friday Night): U.S. stocks close sharply lower, cutting May gains; . The NASDAQ Composite plummed 35.39 points (-1.01%) to end at 3,455.91. The Dow added 208.96 points (-1.36%) to end at 15,115.57; the S&P 500 rose 23.67 points (-1.43%) to 1,630.74. Oil closed at 91.94: Oil at lowest in a month after losing 1.8% in May. Gold ended at 1,393::Gold futures down $19, or 1.4% to settle at $1,393, The VIX dropped 1.77 to 16.30.  

    I'm not finding the first explanation for Friday's 2 p. m. to 3 p. m. dive: 34 points of the Dow's 209-point slide came in the last 60 seconds; U.S. stocks end positive May with thud.


Marketwatch says:     
    Bill Gross staring at worst monthly loss since 2008.  
    Social Security fund to run dry in 2033; Medicare finances improve.    
    Jim Rogers: The drop in gold prices needs to get scarier.    
    Banks love steepening yield curve: report.   
    Four reasons not to fret this risk-off market.    
    May UMich sentiment highest since 2007.    
    Stop worrying about cyclical underperformance.    
    3 parts of the economy doing better than you think.  "The U.S. economy has lots of negatives, but also some positives, writes Rex Nutting. His 3, beyond the housing market."  
    Citi leans closer to 'manufacturing renaissance'.    
    Government spending a drag (on GDP).  "Nearly a quarter of all workers are affected by chronic sleeplessness."
   Wild surge in Chicago PMI.  
    ‘Successful aging’ helps keep your wealth"The concept involves pursuing healthy living strategies in midlife to reduce the physical and financial impact of late-in-life illnesses." 
    The math on what you need to stop working.   
    Funding retirement with plastic.  "Many retirees fund the adventures on their bucket list with credit-card reward points. What about using them to fund retirement instead?"
    Forget Apple: Look at this stock instead"Over the past 10 years, Priceline.com has returned, on average, 40.7% per year, writes Bill Gunderson."   
    Nader: U.S. has duty to Fannie, Freddie investors.  "Regulators should treat the two firms the same way they did AIG and Citigroup, the consumer activist told MarketWatch." 
    Top corporate pensions just 76% funded.  "Corporate pensions want to lessen their risk while dealing with some of the worst underfunding in recent years."  
    5 bond-fund strategies for retirees.  
    Central banks urged to step up on economy.      
    ECB urged to super-size its stimulus.   
    London parties like it’s 2007.    
    European stocks drop for second week, off 0.8%.    
    See how consumers are holding up pretty well.    
    Federal judge in SF rules Google has to comply with secret, no-warrant demands for user data: report.   
    When retirement math goes nuts.   "Here are three ways to think ore simply about how much you need and how you get there."  
    Sell in May and Go Away: Now what do you say?.    
    ECB urged: Why not super-size that stimulus?.        
   
Treasury takes another measure to avoid default.     
    Feds give early nod to self-driving cars.    
   
America the Quitter getting whipped by China.  
    China manufacturing gauge rises in May.      

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Live and Learn, I Guess
   "On Thursday afternoon, after several terse phone calls to an ETF company, our custodian, and their trading desk, I was forced to use a phrase I didn't think I'd use again in this business: "Live and learn." I've been managing OPM (other people's money) now for 26 years in the stock market. Over that period of time, a span that included a market crash or two, a handful of wars, terrorist attacks, all kinds of scandals, some bubbles, some booms, and some busts, I thought I'd seen it all. But on Thursday I learned a new important lesson about the ... Read More »" . 
   UofM Sentiment At 5-Year High"The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. Stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with State's ... Read More »"  
    Chicago PMI Jumps in May.    
    Personal Incomes Flat; Spending Down in April.    
    Early Analysis: Macro Data in Europe a Concern.      
    NAAIM Index: Managers Cutting Exposure"The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure. This ... Read More »"  
    China Manufacturing PMI Above Expectations in May.    
 
    The market indices are consolidating after setting new records.  


2013-5-31 (Friday Night): Stocks gain on happy house data; Wall Street keeps the rally going. The NASDAQ Composite regained 23.78 points (0.69%) to end at 3,491.30. The Dow added 21.73 points 0.14%) to end at 15,324.53; the S&P 500 rose 6.05 points (0.37%) to 1,654.41. Oil closed at 93.70: Oil futures erase losses to end higher. Gold ended at 1,420::Gold above $1,400 for best close in over two weeks, The VIX dropped 0.30 to 14.53.  

    "U.S. stocks climb, with the S&P 500 index on track for its longest monthly win streak since 2009, as another report casts a positive light on the U.S. housing market."
   
"Not much can stop this market. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Bill Gross staring at worst monthly loss since 2008.  
    Social Security fund to run dry in 2033; Medicare finances improve.    
    Jim Rogers: The drop in gold prices needs to get scarier.    
    Banks love steepening yield curve: report.   
    Four reasons not to fret this risk-off market.    
    May UMich sentiment highest since 2007.    
    Stop worrying about cyclical underperformance.    
    3 parts of the economy doing better than you think.  "The U.S. economy has lots of negatives, but also some positives, writes Rex Nutting. His 3, beyond the housing market."  
    Citi leans closer to 'manufacturing renaissance'.    
    Government spending a drag (on GDP).  "Nearly a quarter of all workers are affected by chronic sleeplessness."
   Wild surge in Chicago PMI.  
    ‘Successful aging’ helps keep your wealth"The concept involves pursuing healthy living strategies in midlife to reduce the physical and financial impact of late-in-life illnesses." 
    The math on what you need to stop working.   
    Funding retirement with plastic.  "Many retirees fund the adventures on their bucket list with credit-card reward points. What about using them to fund retirement instead?"
    Forget Apple: Look at this stock instead"Over the past 10 years, Priceline.com has returned, on average, 40.7% per year, writes Bill Gunderson."   
    Nader: U.S. has duty to Fannie, Freddie investors.  "Regulators should treat the two firms the same way they did AIG and Citigroup, the consumer activist told MarketWatch." 
    Top corporate pensions just 76% funded.  "Corporate pensions want to lessen their risk while dealing with some of the worst underfunding in recent years."  
    5 bond-fund strategies for retirees.  
    Central banks urged to step up on economy.      
    ECB urged to super-size its stimulus.   
    London parties like it’s 2007.    
    European stocks drop for second week, off 0.8%.    
    See how consumers are holding up pretty well.    
    Federal judge in SF rules Google has to comply with secret, no-warrant demands for user data: report.   
    When retirement math goes nuts.   "Here are three ways to think ore simply about how much you need and how you get there."  
    Sell in May and Go Away: Now what do you say?.    
    ECB urged: Why not super-size that stimulus?.    

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Live and Learn, I Guess
   "On Thursday afternoon, after several terse phone calls to an ETF company, our custodian, and their trading desk, I was forced to use a phrase I didn't think I'd use again in this business: "Live and learn." I've been managing OPM (other people's money) now for 26 years in the stock market. Over that period of time, a span that included a market crash or two, a handful of wars, terrorist attacks, all kinds of scandals, some bubbles, some booms, and some busts, I thought I'd seen it all. But on Thursday I learned a new important lesson about the ... Read More »" . 
   UofM Sentiment At 5-Year High"The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. Stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with State's ... Read More »"  
    Chicago PMI Jumps in May.    
    Personal Incomes Flat; Spending Down in April.    
    Early Analysis: Macro Data in Europe a Concern.      
 
    The market indices are consolidating after setting new records..


2013-5-30 (Thursday Night): Stocks gain on happy house data; Wall Street keeps the rally going. The NASDAQ Composite regained 23.78 points (0.69%) to end at 3,491.30. The Dow added 21.73 points 0.14%) to end at 15,324.53; the S&P 500 rose 6.05 points (0.37%) to 1,654.41. Oil closed at 93.70: Oil futures erase losses to end higher. Gold ended at 1,420::Gold above $1,400 for best close in over two weeks, The VIX dropped 0.30 to 14.53.  

    "U.S. stocks climb, with the S&P 500 index on track for its longest monthly win streak since 2009, as another report casts a positive light on the U.S. housing market."
   
"Not much can stop this market. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    30-year mortgage rate hits its highest level in a year.  
    Barclays on bond yield rise: 'this time it's different'.    
    Goldman Sachs weighs recent bond surge.    
    U.S. index of pending home sales hits a three-year high.   
    It’s official, reports columnist Jeff Reeves: Housing has recovered.    
    U.S. grew by a revised 2.4% in first quarter.    
    Weekly claims for unemployment benefits rise.  "Jobless claims rose 10,000 to 354,000 in the latest week, above economists’ expectations."  
    Who wins the talent war for new grads?.  "Silicon Valley and Wall Street once again duke it out."
  
    Sleep-deprived workers are napping on the job.  "Nearly a quarter of all workers are affected by chronic sleeplessness. "
   Euro Pacific's Peter Schiff holds on to his doomsday view.  "U.S. is being led astray by narcissists, with Jamie Dimon leading the pack, argues Paul B. Farrell."
    Keeping 'secure' in Social Security"The risk of reduced benefits weighs on boomers' minds as they face retirement decisions." 
    Ex-IMF economist Simon Johnson calls for Bernanke's head.   
    How SEC money-fund rule could affect you.  
    Japan swings to mild inflation in April"Coinciding with a monetary-easing push, Japan’s consumer prices swing to inflationary territory in April, though they remain below year-earlier levels."   
    J.P. Morgan outspends rivals on lobbying.   
    They buy, even if rents are cheap.  "In many markets, it's cheaper to rent than to buy, but that's still not stopping home builders and their customers."  
    Ignore the news and buy Japan.  
    Island reversal highlights market risk.      
    Stocks are in good shape technically.   
    Cheer or fear rising bond yields-.     

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Knowing Which Tool To Use (And When)
   "I'm sure you've heard all the bear arguments by now. Stocks simply can't go any higher because the major indices are overbought... because the rally is extended... because the rate of change is too high... because the Fed is artificially inflating prices with their QE efforts... and/or because market sentiment has become too optimistic. However, it is important to understand a couple things. First and foremost, let's remember that this is Ms. Market's game and she can do any damn thing she wants, any time she wants. And second, we ... Read More »" . 
   The Risk Manager Report - May 29, 2013"The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. Stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with State's ... Read More »"  
    Pending Home Sales Below Expectations.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ticks Lower.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 10K.    
    GDP Shows Economy Improving Steadily.    
 
    Stock futures are slightly higher tonight.  


2013-5-30 (Thursday Night): Stocks gain on happy house data; Wall Street Falls as Dividend-Paying Stocks Lag. The NASDAQ Composite retracted 21.37 points (-0.61%) to end at 3,467.52. The Dow retrenched 108.59 points (-0.69%) to end at 15,409.39; the S&P 500 retreated 11.7 points (-0.70%) to 1,648.36. Oil closed at 92.94: Oil falls below $94 to lowest close in four weeks. Gold ended at 1,394::Gold futures settle higher after 2-session decline, The VIX jumped 0.39 to 14.87.  

    "U.S. stocks climb, with the S&P 500 index on track for its longest monthly win streak since 2009, as another report casts a positive light on the U.S. housing market."
   
"U.S. stocks were under pressure Wednesday as optimism about the economy was overshadowed by ongoing concerns the Federal Reserve could curtail its bond buying. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    30-year mortgage rate hits its highest level in a year.  
    Barclays on bond yield rise: 'this time it's different'.    
    Goldman Sachs weighs recent bond surge.    
    U.S. index of pending home sales hits a three-year high.   
    It’s official, reports columnist Jeff Reeves: Housing has recovered.    
    U.S. grew by a revised 2.4% in first quarter.    
    Weekly claims for unemployment benefits rise.  "Jobless claims rose 10,000 to 354,000 in the latest week, above economists’ expectations."  
    Who wins the talent war for new grads?.  "Silicon Valley and Wall Street once again duke it out."
  
    Sleep-deprived workers are napping on the job.  "Nearly a quarter of all workers are affected by chronic sleeplessness. "
   Euro Pacific's Peter Schiff holds on to his doomsday view.  "U.S. is being led astray by narcissists, with Jamie Dimon leading the pack, argues Paul B. Farrell."
    Keeping 'secure' in Social Security"The risk of reduced benefits weighs on boomers' minds as they face retirement decisions." 
    Ex-IMF economist Simon Johnson calls for Bernanke's head.   
    How SEC money-fund rule could affect you.  
    Japan swings to mild inflation in April"Coinciding with a monetary-easing push, Japan’s consumer prices swing to inflationary territory in April, though they remain below year-earlier levels."   
    J.P. Morgan outspends rivals on lobbying.   
    They buy, even if rents are cheap.  "In many markets, it's cheaper to rent than to buy, but that's still not stopping home builders and their customers."  
    Ignore the news and buy Japan.  
    Island reversal highlights market risk.      
    Stocks are in good shape technically.   
    Cheer or fear rising bond yields-.     

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Knowing Which Tool To Use (And When)
   "I'm sure you've heard all the bear arguments by now. Stocks simply can't go any higher because the major indices are overbought... because the rally is extended... because the rate of change is too high... because the Fed is artificially inflating prices with their QE efforts... and/or because market sentiment has become too optimistic. However, it is important to understand a couple things. First and foremost, let's remember that this is Ms. Market's game and she can do any damn thing she wants, any time she wants. And second, we ... Read More »" . 
   The Risk Manager Report - May 29, 2013"The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. Stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with State's ... Read More »"  
    Pending Home Sales Below Expectations.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ticks Lower.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 10K.    
    GDP Shows Economy Improving Steadily.    
 
    Stock futures are slightly higher tonight.  


2013-5-29 (Wednesday Night): Dow ends at record as central banks reassure Wall Street; Wall Street Falls as Dividend-Paying Stocks Lag. The NASDAQ Composite retracted 21.37 points (-0.61%) to end at 3,467.52. The Dow retrenched 108.59 points (-0.69%) to end at 15,409.39; the S&P 500 retreated 11.7 points (-0.70%) to 1,648.36. Oil closed at 92.94: Oil falls below $94 to lowest close in four weeks. Gold ended at 1,394::Gold futures settle higher after 2-session decline, The VIX jumped 0.39 to 14.87.  

    "Stocks fell on Wednesday as high-yielding dividend stocks lost some of their luster after recent gains in U.S. Treasury bond yields. The Dow dropped by more than 105 points."
   
"U.S. stocks were under pressure Wednesday as optimism about the economy was overshadowed by ongoing concerns the Federal Reserve could curtail its bond buying. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    OECD fears demise of 'QE' will stunt global growth.  
    Matthew Lynn says end of QE will surprise everyone in four ways.  "When central banks downshift, result won’t be what everyone thinks, writes Matthew Lynn."  
    Murdoch plays down newspaper buys.    
    Cyprus bailout caused a mini-run on banks: ECB.    
    Treasurys gain day after big selloff.    
    How to play emerging-market wealth.  "Bank of America Merrill Lynch says new middle classes are popping up."  
    As investors seek yield, fewer loan protections.  
    The 'cult of capitalism' and U.S. moral decline.  "U.S. is being led astray by narcissists, with Jamie Dimon leading the pack, argues Paul B. Farrell."
    Monsanto sows seeds of protest"Monsanto allows farmers to grow more food with less land, water and energy but has also brought us some dangerous products, Al Lewis writes."  
    Fixed-rate jumbo mortgages are back.  "Fixed-rate jumbo mortgages are back"  
    Mary Meeker finds Internet is still largely 'made in the USA'.  
    Mary Meeker's 2013 Web trends"Kleiner Perkins partner's fascinating annual Internet presentation is out, all 117 slides of it."   
    The biggest risk to stocks.  "No point in burying the lead, folks. The biggest risk to stocks is now bonds, and the speed of yield-curve steepening." 
    L.A. Little Will the U.S. have a Japanese moment?.    
    European stocks slump as OECD cuts growth outlook.  
    Are stocks topping out?.      
    Paul Hawtin ‘Bubble’ references on Twitter soar.   
    Take it to the bank: U.S. auto loans hit 8-year high.    
    Don’t think about selling your stocks yet.  
    Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate at 1%.  
    BlackRock's Fink: U.S. needs mandatory retirement-savings policy.    
    Yet another reason to be scared.   
    'Great Rotation' could turn to 'Great Unwind'.   
    Rosengren: Fed could taper within months.  
    The secret behind Japanese longevity.  "Japan's famously healthy diet isn't the only factor driving the country's world-beating life spans."  
    Rising confidence? Scary.  "Commentary: If you aren’t frightened by consumer-confidence data, you’re not paying attention, writes Mark Hulbert."
    401(k) balances climb with stocks.   "Retirement accounts for some 55-and-older savers have nearly doubled since the 2009 market bottom, survey says."  
    Dow 28,000 Possible in 6 Years: BlackRock's Fink.
    After Bernanke and Cook, Long-Term Job Growth Takes A Leap of Faith.    
    Apple Promises 'Incredible' New Products. Again.   "Apple CEO Tim Cook is assuring an increasingly skeptical world that his company hadn't lost its step creatively at All Things D's D11 Conference." 
    Are Apple “Wearables” Going To Be Game Changers?.    
    Sallie Krawcheck: Big Banks Still Don't Have Enough Capital.  "Banks are “certainly safer than they were” in 2008 but they’re far from failsafe, according to former senior banking executive Sallie Krawcheck."  
    Big Banks Still Write the Rules: Fmr. Inspector General of Bank Bailout.  "Consumer confidence is at a five-year peak, but the latest piece of data show that wages are not behind the improvement."    
    On the Road to a Japanese Debt Crisis.    
    10-year yield on par with S&P dividend yield.    
    Bad news: Women are main breadwinners in 40% of households.    
    Gross: 'Bernanke has lost a little control.  "Pimco’s Bill Gross sees positive correlation between stocks and bonds, says Fed chief doesn't necessarily have his hand on the steering wheel."  
   
‘Bubble’ references soar on Twitter.  ": A look at the volume of Tweets containing the keyword "bubble" and other financial terms over the past six months."  
   
Get in on wearable computing bubble.    

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Can Yields and Stocks Continue To Rise Together?
   "Although I'm not a global macro investor, I do think paying attention to the movements in the various markets and asset classes around the globe is a good idea. Wanna know why the market is moving hard without any obvious catalyst? A quick scan of the action in some key equity sectors (banks, tech, energy), the currencies du jour (forget the euro, today it's all about the yen), the foreign markets (think China, Japan, and Europe), the metals (Gold and Dr. Copper generally have something ... Read More »" .    
   OECD Says Global Economy Improving"The latest report from the OECD suggests that the world economy is improving albeit on an uneven basis. The report also suggests that the ECB is likely to cut rates at its meeting in June due to... ... Read More »"  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Retreats.    
 
    Stock futures are mixed tonight.  


2013-5-28 (Tuesday Night): Dow ends at record as central banks reassure Wall Street; Super Tuesday: Dow closes at record high. The NASDAQ Composite climbed 29.74 points (0.86%) to end at 3,488.89. The Dow advanced 16.29 points (0.69%) to end at 15,409.39; the S&P 500 gained 10.46 points (0.63%) to 1,660.06. Oil closed at 94.79: Oil ends above $95 on Mideast risk, U.S. data. Gold ended at 1,385::Gold closes lower for a second straight session, The VIX jumped 0.49 to 14.48.  

    "Stocks rose on Tuesday, with the Dow closing at yet another record high, in the wake of Wall Street's first three-day losing streak of the year, after central banks reassured investors that they will keep"
   
"What financial crisis? More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Americans haven't been this confident in five years.  
    Commentary: The punch bowl is still here, so the party continues.    
    Commentary: Prepare for another round of wealth destruction.    
    .Kevin Marder Don't fight the tape.    
    Treasurys head for highest yield in 13 months.    
    U.S. needs  a talking-to on money.  "
Americans lack even the most basic financial literacy, laments Muriel Siebert."Americans lack even the most basic financial literacy, laments Muriel Siebert."  
    U.S. home-price growth fastest in seven years.  "Despite recent run, housing prices remain about 28% below their 2006 peaks."  
    Home flippers again ride housing wave.  
    Underwater homeowners fall to 13 million.   
    D.C. is the next real-estate boomtown.    
    Fannie and Freddie shares climb 25%, continue surge.   
    U.S. oil boom divides OPEC.  "Rising American output of shale oil is deepening fault lines within OPEC."  
    Statoil makes new oil find in the North Sea.  
    U.S. oil boom divides OPEC.      
    EU split over Chinese solar panel tariffs.    
    Marathons may be no better for you than burgers.  "Research casts new doubts on the conventional wisdom." 
    Bond selloff is for real this time.  
    What to do when funds change managers.    
    Europe deaf to Bullard’s plea for QE.   
    5 deadly sins on Wall Street.   
    China's export data might be exaggerated.  "Discrepancies between official data and other figures, says Credit Suisse economist."  
    Commentary: China vs. global markets.    
    China premier picks euro pals carefully.  
    U.S., Mexico face off over food labels.   "Mexico threatens trade reprisals against the U.S. for its new rule requiring supermarket meat labels to show the country of origin."  
    Why fight over the debt ceiling  is low key.  "When it comes to raising the U.S. debt ceiling, 2013 is not 2011. But wait until the fall."
    Bill Gates backs debate over corporate tax.    
    Krugman and Harvard profs go back-and-forth tiff.   "Harvard peers accuse Nobelist of "uncivil behavior" in his criticism of their work. Krugman fires back." 
    Politics not keeping up with debt: Hubbard.    
    Why emerging markets may finally catch a break.  "Some analysts say significant bargains are to be had, while growing confidence in a U.S. recovery could help fuel some overdue portfolio rebalancing toward the emerging world."  
    Confidence may be on the move, but wages are not.  "Consumer confidence is at a five-year peak, but the latest piece of data show that wages are not behind the improvement."    
    Larry Summers has support for top Fed post.    
    Furman to be Obama's top economist: reports.    
    Reactions to Obama’s new economics chief.    
    J.P. Morgan on why the bull case is still valid.    

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Let's Review: A Trading Post Mortem
   "I should probably provide a disclaimer right off the bat for this morning's missive: I'm going to "talk my book" today. Specifically, I've decided to spend my pixels today doing a post mortem on the most recent trade in our Daily Decision (DD) service. I feel that our actions over the past month provide a decent example of the overall approach/strategy that we employ in managing the trends and the risks in the markets, and I thought I'd share. To be sure, we didn't "nail" this move. But if you are a subscriber, this review may help you understand why ... Read More »" .    
    "The Holy Grail of Tax Avoidance" (And other Quotes of the Week)"Apple CEO Tim Cook spent some time on Capitol Hill this week being grilled about his company's tax policies. The testimony produced some great exchanges... ... Read More »"  
    A New Crop At The Top"Each week the computers scour our universe of the most liquid stocks traded in the United States for the Top Stocks (the stocks with the top ratings in the top industry groups). But for this report, ... Read More »"  
    Consumer Confidence Hits 5-Year High.   .  
    Case-Shiller Index: Home Prices Still Rising.   
    NAAIM Index: Managers Riding Trend.    
 
    Stock futures are slightly lower tonight..  


2013-5-24 (Friday Night): ; Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks break a four-week winning streak; Investors consider life after Fed stimulus. The NASDAQ Composite was virtually unchanged at 0.28 points (-0.01%) to end at 3,459.14. The Dow wiggled up 8.5 points (0.06%) to end at 15,303.10; the S&P 500 slipped slightly 0.91 points (-0.06%) to 1,649.50. Oil closed at 93.87: Oil down four sessions in a row for 2% weekly loss. Gold ended at 1,385::.Gold logs a loss, but gains for the week. The VIX exhaled 0.08 to 13.99.  

    "It had to happen at some point. Wall Street finally broke its 4-week winning streak, with the major indices down overall this past week amid Fed tapering fears, a Nikkei plunge and weak manufacturing data from China."
   
"The bull market hit a speed bump this week as investors begin to consider what life will be like when the Federal Reserve starts to taper off its long-standing asset purchasing program. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. stocks down despite durable-goods beat.  "But will retail investors take him up on it, asks Chuck Jaffe."  
    Ben Bernanke's message: I dare you to buy stocks.    
    Europe stocks head for 1.8% weekly loss.    
    Japan stocks end up after roller-coaster ride.    
    One way to 'save' Social Security- Pay us to delay our benefits.    
    Solar stocks are on yet another tear.  
    Why dividend-paying stocks still make sense"For average investors, dividend-paying stocks are still the best mix of income and potential capital gains, writes Howard Gold."      Warning: hurricanes ahead"There's a 70% chance the season will see an "active" season this year, with 13 to 20 named systems, NOAA warns."  
    Coal gains on natural gas in power generation.    
    Bank of Japan: bond stability ‘extremely desirable’.   
    What next for gold, silver mine investors.  "A 40% drop in benchmark indexes for gold and silver mining shares this year isn’t a good reason to hate them. Some money managers say they’re poised for a rebound in the next 2 years."  
    Gold bears vs. gold bulls (video).    
    J&J hopes for 10 new treatments by 2017.    
    3 money moves to beat back higher taxes.  "Taxpayers can act now to minimize the impact of some of the tax changes rolling out this year." 
    Bernanke hasn’t thrown grandma under the bus.  "Extraordinarily low interest rates are putting more money — not less — into the pockets of typical Americans, Rex Nutting writes."
    California goes first in Obamacare.  "California's program, the first in the nation, will include 13 carriers and cost anywhere from nothing to $687 in premiums."  
    The everyday vitamins that could cure dementia.   "A combination of over-the-counter vitamins could hold back Alzheimer's and dementia, according to researchers." 
    How Congress could raise student debt.   "College students buckling under the weight of rising tuition face a new threat: rising interest rates on loans." 
   Lessons from the ’90s for reigniting growth today.  "Four decisions allowed the Internet to become one of the most transformative technologies ever. The results are now at risk. ."  
    .    
    Bob Doll: 'Sloppy period,' not the end of the bull market.  
    Fed's Williams: Not yet convinced of improvement.     
    House to defy veto threat, vote on student loan bill.  
    Deflation threat should keep Fed engaged.    
    Study: Vitamin B could curb dementia.    
    Pimco's Gross points to the one interest rate that's too high.    
    Storm warning: U.S. forecasts 'active' or 'extremely active' hurricane season.    
    TARP cost will be $21 billion:- CBO.  "A ‘number’ of Fed officials said they could support slowing down the pace of asset purchases at their next meeting in mid-June if the economy improves."    
    The federal funds rate target may be sent to the showers.    
    Obama heckled during national security speech.    
    Is it too late for ‘Sell in May’ to work?.    
    The stock-bubble debate rages on.    
    Kevin Marder Stocks absorb first shot across bow.    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Has The Panic Returned-
   "Anyone awake and scanning their screens before the sun rose on Thursday morning likely had one thought running through their minds, "Here we go again." You see, each and every time the economy and the stock market had gotten something going since the credit crisis ended in early 2009, something came along - usually the perception of a calamity in Europe - to stop the bulls dead in their tracks. In fact, the rallies of 2010, 2011, and 2012 were all halted, sometimes in spectacular fashion, by the never ending debt crisis that was unfolding across the pond. So, with ... Read More »" .    
    Durable Goods Orders Rebound in April.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ticks Up.    
    FHFA House Price Index Continues To Improve.   .  
    Markit's Flash PMI Improves in May.   
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 23,000.    
    Eurozone Preliminary PMI's Improve in May.    
 
    Markets have fallen for the past couple of days. My guess is that they will pck up again next week, but of course, that's only a guess..  


2013-5-23 (Thursday Night): Wall Street sags, but ends off session lows; HP hits 52-week high; Stocks claw back from steep losses. The NASDAQ Composite slipped 3.88 points (-0.11%) to end at 3,459.42. The Dow declined 12.44 points (-0.08%) to end at 15,294.73; the S&P 500 slid 4.8 points (-0.29%) to 1,650.55. Oil closed at 94.25: Oil futures pare losses to settle at $94.25. Gold ended at 1,390::..Gold settles at its highest level in a week The VIX rose 0.40 to 14.22.  

    "Stocks slipped on Thursday but finished sharply off their session lows as a rally in Hewlett-Packard's shares offset worries about weak Chinese manufacturing data and the prospects of the Federal Reserve"
   
"U.S. stocks recovered from steep declines Thursday to end only modestly lower as investors discounted concerns about the Federal Reserve curtailing its bond buying program. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    New-home sales' 2nd-best month since recession.  "Pent-up demand, low interest rates and tight inventories of older homes lift new-home demand."  
    U.S. home prices pick up in springtime.    
    Fewer U.S. homeowners now owe more than their house's value.    
    Mortgage rates rise for third straight week.    
    Jobless claims sink by 23,000 to 340,000.    
    China manufacturing shows contraction.  
    What a Chinese recession might look like"Data suggest Europe and China are contracting, but their experiences are dissimilar (24/7 Wall St.)."    
    Bank of Japan steps in as Nikkei plunges 7.3%.    
    Japan economics minister: Not worried about market.  "It's just some large profit-taking orders after the poor Chinese data, Akira Amari says." 
    Bernanke for dummies- Some keys to help decipher the chairman's message.    
    Alchemy of printing money with no ink.    
    Bill Gross thinks stocks are frothy.    
    How to convert your home into a rental.   
    How to beat the inflation bugaboo.  "Even if prices rise a relatively modest 2% a year, in 30 years a dollar will buy only 55% of what it does today."
    The best retirement move almost nobody makes.    
    Ominous technical pattern for stocks.    
    Ten-year TIPS sale hits highest yield since 2012.    
    Home sales highest since 2009.  "The jump points to an ongoing recovery supported by low interest rates and pent-up demand."  
    Al Lewis explains Why CEOs are so overpaid.  "Boards have been hoodwinked into thinking that executive performance matters. It doesn't."
    Darrell Delamaide writes: Bernanke to Congress: You’re killing us..
    Market carnage underlines dangers of overcrowding.    
    Bob Doll: 'Sloppy period,' not the end of the bull market.  
    Fed's Williams: Not yet convinced of improvement.     
    House to defy veto threat, vote on student loan bill.  
    Deflation threat should keep Fed engaged.    
    Study: Vitamin B could curb dementia.    
    Pimco's Gross points to the one interest rate that's too high.    
    Storm warning: U.S. forecasts 'active' or 'extremely active' hurricane season.    
    TARP cost will be $21 billion:- CBO.  "A ‘number’ of Fed officials said they could support slowing down the pace of asset purchases at their next meeting in mid-June if the economy improves."    
    The federal funds rate target may be sent to the showers.    
    Obama heckled during national security speech.    
    Is it too late for ‘Sell in May’ to work?.    
    The stock-bubble debate rages on.    
    Kevin Marder Stocks absorb first shot across bow.    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    To Taper Or Not To Taper?
   "The question of the day on Wednesday was what to make of the market's sudden and violent reversal. In case you were out on the golf course, stocks rallied in the morning in response to Ben Bernanke telling the Joint Economic Committee that the Fed was still on the case and that any premature tightening of monetary policy posed "substantial risks." As such, the QE bulls continued to run and the indices stepped lively to new highs across the board. Bernanke explained that if the outlook for jobs market were to improve “in a sustainable ... Read More »" .    
    China's Flash PMI Signals Slowdown"The latest data on the state of China's manufacturing sector took investors by surprise. The Flash HSBC Purchasing Managers Index moved back below the key 50-level for the first time in six months and ... Read More »"  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ticks Up.    
    FHFA House Price Index Continues To Improve.   .  
    Markit's Flash PMI Improves in May.   
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 23,000.    
    Eurozone Preliminary PMI's Improve in May.    
 
    Market futures are widely divergent tonight.  


2013-5-22 (Wednesday Night): Wall Street Falters in Volatile Session on Fed Worries; Stocks slip as Fed sends mixed message. The NASDAQ Composite careened 38.82 points (-1.11%) to end at 3,463.30. The Dow tumbled 80.41 points (-0.52%) to end at 15,307.17; the S&P 500 slipped 13.81 points (-0.83%) to 1,655.35. Oil closed at 94.13: Oil closes lower on U.S. supply, Fed QE hints. Gold ended at 1,368::..Gold ends lower after Bernanke’s mixed QE signals The VIX rose 0.45 to 13.82.  

    "Stocks rose on Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing at new all-time highs as comments from Federal Reserve officials eased some concerns that the central bank could start reducing its stimulus program."
   
"After touching new all-time highs earlier Wednesday, the Dow and S&P 500 ended firmly in the red as investors wrestled with mixed messages from the Federal Reserve. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Bernanke hints at tapering, says exit won't be easy.    
    Commentary: How Bernanke blew it.    
    When the punch bowl goes.    
    Treasurys fall on Bernanke; 10-year hits 2%.    
    6 things you missed as Bernanke hogged mic.   
    Is the Fed painted into a corner?.    
    Myers jumps on 'end of cancer'.   "A Citigroup analyst said the company is helping to bring about “the beginning of the end for cancer.”" 
    Mark Hulbert writes about 3 things not to worry about right now.   
    Save your life: Eat tomatoes, mozzarella.  "Even a more relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle could cut your risk of heart attack and stroke, experts say"
    Why iPhone repair costs have soared.  "A broken screen can now cost more than $200 to fix, adding up to a hefty source of earnings for Apple."  
    Gold won't make a comeback.  "Jeff Reeves spell out why there are simply too many negatives to see much upside here."  
    Gold/silver ratio signals complacency: analysts.    
    Home sales highest since 2009.  "The jump points to an ongoing recovery supported by low interest rates and pent-up demand."  
    IRS scandal is good for tax cheats.  "The last time the IRS was under scrutiny in the 1990s, audits fell by 50%. This scandal could have a similarly chilling effect."
    Squeezing blood from a stone?.
    Stocks take on a Clinton-era look.    
    Eight guarantees that retirees can count on.  "Investors do all sorts of foolish things in search of "guaranteed" returns. Here are eight things to think about."  
    Social Security? There’s an app for that.     
    Health-care bill in retirement: Try $220,000.  
    IMF tells U.K. to offset austerity, spur growth.    
    U.K. stocks extend gains to 13-year high.    
    IRS's Lerner invokes Fifth Amendment at hearing.    
    Don’t be fooled- Gold is no currency.    
    Number' on Fed backed tapering as early as June.  "A ‘number’ of Fed officials said they could support slowing down the pace of asset purchases at their next meeting in mid-June if the economy improves."    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Every Day Should Be Tuesday
   "Ho-hum... Another Tuesday produced yet another gain for the stock market. For those of you keeping score at home, this was the 19th consecutive Tuesday that the S&P 500 finished with a green number. To which, you should respond, "wow." What's even more interesting about this mark is that the ... Read More »" .    
    Existing Home Sales Up in April.    
   Architecture Billing Index Pulls Back Again.   .  
 
    Market futures are up 0.1% tonight. (Today's dip probably offered hedge funds a buying opportunity.)


2013-5-21 (Tuesday Night): Dow, S&P End at Records on Fed Officials' Remarks; Stocks end at record highs ahead of Bernanke. The NASDAQ Composite added 5.69 points (0.16%) to end at 3,502.12. The Dow gained 52.3 points (0.34%) to end at 15,387.58; the S&P 500 shaved off 2.67 points (0.17%) to 1,669.16. Oil closed at 95.81: Oil futures log first session decline in five. Gold ended at 1,375::..Gold settles lower as market looks to Fed cues The VIX rose 0.35 to 13.37.  

    "Stocks rose on Tuesday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 closing at new all-time highs as comments from Federal Reserve officials eased some concerns that the central bank could start reducing its stimulus program."
   
"Investors pushed stocks higher into record territory Tuesday after comments from a Federal Reserve official raised hopes the central bank will continue to pump money into the financial system. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Stocks rise as Fed signals it's far from tapering off QE.    
    Summer rally is just a mind trick"Every season of the calendar can boast a big rally, writes Mark Hulbert."   
    Deutsche Bank bull: S&P 1,800 by year-end.  
    Fed's Bullard backs continuing QE program.    
    Fed's Bullard: No tapering with inflation so low.    
    Stocks rally on Fed’s ‘QE’ hints.    
    Large depositors not protected in EU draft law.    
    Lew sees loosening underwriting standards.  
    Stocks winning cash, not 'rotation': BlackRock.
    Dimon is dead; long live Jamie Dimon.  "Jamie Dimon survives a much-hyped effort to split the roles of CEO and chairman at J.P. Morgan, but that doesn’t mean investors aren’t critical of bank."  
    Apple hit by end of 'Moore's Law'?.  "A growing discussion among semiconductor experts about the end of the revered "Moore's Law" could have heavy implcations for Apple."  
    Gen Xers may never be able to retire.   "Those now in the late 30s to late 40s lost more during the financial crisis than boomers did, and are coming out of it less prepared for retirement."  
    Still don’t think we're in a bubble?.  "Many sectors that don’t deserve a rally are rising with market, writes Thomas H. Kee Jr."  What! Where is this bubble talk coming from? Stocks are near, but not yet at their normal bull market tops. Is real estate in a bubble again? Gold? Commodities? And as for comparing this with 1999 (see below)!!! The P/E ratio on the S&P 500 (at 19.3) is half what it was in 1999 (at 38). The economy was booming in 1999. Unemployment was near the bottom of its normal range in 1999. The federal deficit was zero in 1999. Today, Europe has fallen back into recession, the U. S. is making a very slow (hot/cold) recovery, unemployment is unacceptably high, and the federal deficit is only now falling from record levels. 
    It seems to me that these two articles are so blatantly absurd that it makes you wonder about the agendas of the two authors and their publishers. Or at least, that's my take.
    Michael Ashbaugh charts May's uptrend.    
    Goldman Sachs looks for S&P 2,100 in 2015. Given the anticipated rises in earnings over the next 2years, that doesn't sound completely around the bend. And of course, it's just an educated guess.   
    The Next 24: How's that housing recovery?.    
    Labor-union concern over Obamacare grows.    
    Bernanke may duck and weave on bond buys.    
    Fed official urges high-speed-trade slowdown.    
    A 3% return may be all you can expect.  "How taxes, inflation and especially management fees can slow the growth of a nest egg."  
    'Retiring' at 40 for just one year.    
    5 tech ideas that may scare you.  "Cutting-edge innovations could scare the Google Glasses off you. Or not."  
    Nigam Arora writes: Shades of 1999 a warning for investors.    
    Gold faces a key test.   
    Advisers go from hero to zero"New research shows that when you take a financial problem or your retirement goals to 2 or 3 financial advisers, you’re unlikely to get the same recommendations."   
    5 new tech ideas that will scare you silly — or not.  "Cutting-edge technology innovations should scare the Google Glass out of you. Unless they don’t."  
    Consumers reach fork in the road.    
    Making your financial adviser measure up.  "An industry insider offers a guide to gauging the quality of an adviser's service." 
    Malaise Puts Obama Administration in Political Peril (WSJ.com: Live) Video.    .    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Is It Time To Hit The Pause Button?
   "One thing I've learned over the last 25+ years in this business is that when everyone in the game is looking for same thing to occur, it rarely does. You see, Ms. Market seems to enjoy making a mockery of the term "market logic" by oftentimes doing whatever it takes to frustrate as many market players as possible. And from my perch this may be exactly what is occurring right now. In short, I'm not aware of anyone currently playing the game that isn't looking for some sort of pullback ... Read More »" .    
    Early Analysis: Waiting on the Fed.    
    Check Out Dave's "Investing 101" Course on Groupon!.   .  
    Thoughts From The Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.        
    The Herd is Following the Appaloosa Again.    
 
    Market futures are neutral again tonight..


2013-5-20 (Monday Night): Dow, S&P end at records, stocks mark fourth week of gains Merger Monday on Wall Street. The NASDAQ Composite slipped 2.54 points (-0.07%) to end at 3,496.43. The Dow slid 19.12 points (-0.12%) to end at 15,335.28; the S&P 500 shaved off 1.18 points (-0.07%) to 1,666.29. Oil closed at 96.57: Oil futures rise to end above $96 a barrel. Gold ended at 1,384::..Gold rises, snapping 7-session losing streak The VIX rose 0.57 to 13.02.  

    "Stocks continued their climb into uncharted territory on Friday, racking up the fourth week of gains in a row as encouraging economic data prompted investors to pick up shares of growth companies. The ..."
   
"A pair of corporate mergers failed to boost the broader market Monday as investors await comments from Federal Reserve officials later in the week. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Gut checks: Market melt-up just beginning.    
    Housing strong, but hidden traps lurk in U.S. economy.  "The bubbling stock market might get more pop this week from positive sales trends in housing, but danger signs lurk in other parts of the economy."
    Stock rally’s breadth is a sign of strength, froth.  "Stock indexes' new highs -- and now highs for many individual shares-- put investors on alert for a correction. "  
    Stocks are overbought, but still strong.    
    Dow 15,000 just the beginning.  "Investors distrust the current rally, but there are good reasons to think it rolls on."   
    The author of this article, Jeff Reeves, makes one statement that raised a yellow flag with me: " ...the S&P’s trailing P/E ratios haven’t been below 13 since 1989 — and since January 1990, the S&P’s median P/E is about 20 and the average is 25."  This raised a yellow flag because it sounded the note that "this time, it's different." Claims that "This time, it's different", , along with the picture of a bull on the front page of Barron's magazine, is a classic sign that a bull market is about to end. But after thinking about it, I realized that this time, it may really be different. The past twenty years has seen the emergence of a global marketplace, with U. S. companies earning a sizable fraction of their profits in emerging-market countries where the rate of growth of real GDP is running 5% to 10% a year.
    Too big to fail, now bigger than ever: Andy Xie.    
    Europe stocks extend rally, banks rise.    
    U.K. stocks extend gains as banks rise     
    New suicides at Foxconn China factory.    
    North Korea fires 5th missile in 3 days: report.    
    Bernanke to grads: Prepare for change.    
    Revisiting China ‘hard-landing’ trading moves.  "China has avoid a ‘hard landing’ so far, but Craig Stephen says some trades which would benefit from a China crash are doing well."  
    GOP links IRS scandal, health law.  "Republicans seek to connect the IRS targeting of tea-party groups to the administration’s health-care-reform law."  
    Obama aide: Republicans 'fishing' on IRS.    
    Lew: First learned of IRS probe in mid-March.    
    Buy and sell vs. buy and hold.    
    Choosing between gravity and greed..    
    Stocks overbought, but still strong.   This article, by Lawrence McMillan, addresses exactly the concerns and speculations that I discussed last Friday (reprinted below): 
    "At a P/E ratio of 19.3 on the S&P 500 and 16¾ on the Dow, stocks are near the upper levels of their normal ranges, but are not yet at quite their normal bull market peaks (20-to-22 on the S&P 500). They are not in bubble territory at this time (see Paul Krugman's Too Much Talk About Liquidity). The following chart, taken from Dr. Krugman's referenced article, elegantly illustrates this point.

    This warrants a few further comments. 
    The Shiller Cyclically Adjusted PE (CAPE) ratio is being trotted out to show that the markets are currently overvalued because the ten-year Shiller CAPE average for the S&P 500 is 23.7, and the Shiller CAPE has had a good track record as a predictor of stock market future performance. But in 1999, the P/E ratio on the S&P 500 reached a level of overvaluation well above its value at any previous time in its history, and has been gradually falling to its present level. (Note, though, that the P/E ratio went to infinity (and beyond (:-)) in March, 2009 when earnings briefly went negative.) So of course it's abnormally high looking backward. If we had picked a decade when it had been abnormally low for a while (like 1977-1987) but were rising again, the Shiller CAPE would have been abnormally low, and would have led to a false sense of complacency just in time for the Crash of '87. Shiller PE Continues To Mislead Investors, S&P 500 Is Fairly Valued 
    This is a little like a situation in which you're in an automobile accident that keeps you from returning to full manual labor for a year. In another year, after you've been  back on the job for a full year, we could say that statistically, you've only been able to work half-time for the past two years, and we could therefore conclude that the probability that you'll be able to work full-time in the third year is only 50%. 
    As Mark Twain said, there are three kinds of prevarications: "lies, damnd lies, and statistics".
    It's tempting, with the market indices approaching their turning points, to scale down our investments, taking part of our profits off the table. That may be sage counsel. The only cautionary note would be that a situation like this arose in early 1996, and especially, later in 1996 when the market indices went way out of bounds, continuing to rise until 1999. This was during the dot.com bubble, and led Alan Greenspan to coin the term "irrational exuberance". It could happen again, although the expected outcome is a limited further rise, followed by a cyclical retrenchment.
    If I weren't following the State-of-the-Markets advisory guidance (and hoping it works), I'd be scaling back my market exposure right now (which the State-of-the-Markets advisory service has already recommended).
    In the meantime, (1) we're overdue for a correction, and (2) the indices are rising parabolically, consistent with a final "blow-off". 
    Are the bears finally capitulating?
"
    Mr. McMillan goes well beyond what I'm able to provide in terms of market interpretation. He also concludes that the markets have gone parabolic since their breakout above 1,623 on May 4th. Cautious investors (and there are evidently a lot of them) have been waiting for a meaningful pullback to get back into the stock market, so, of course, the meaningful pullback hasn't come. Now they're panicking, and buying in at current levels. Still, he says, we haven't seen the 90% "up" days yet that characterize a market top. He also lists other not-yet-visible market markers that would signal a market top.
    Of course, he's talking about a major market top that terminates the 4-year bull market that began on March 9th, 2009. This doesn't mean that 10%, 15%, 20% corrections aren't in the offing before this multi-year bull market tops.
    For what it's worth, we might ask: how far away are we from the 20-to-22 S&P 500 P/E ratios that have accompanied major bull market tops in the past? At last Friday's close, the P/E ratio on the S&P 550 stood at about 19.3. To reach a P/E ratio of 20:1 based on last quarter's trailing earnings, it would have to rise about 58 points from last Friday's close to 1,725. To reach a P/E ratio of 22:1, it would have to rise to 1,900.
    These numbers will gradually increase as earnings gradually increase quarter-by-quarter.
    If the S&P 500 surpasses 1,950 in the near future, we're probably entering bubble territory.
    In 1996, the S&P 500 reached the 22:1 turning point and then continued to climb. When it got to 23:1, I called our stockbroker to make sure I had the correct value for the P/E ratio (I did) and to see what ideas he had about staying, or leaving the party. He didn't know any more than I did. I decided to stay invested. The rest is history. The S&P 500 continued to climb for the next four years, reaching a P/E ratio of 38:1 in 1999. (With earnings significantly higher in 1999 than they were in 1996, the S&P 500 peaked in 1999 at, perhaps, double what it was in 1996.)
    I was glad as the years rolled on that I had decided to continue to ride the tiger.   
    If the markets continue into bubble territory, we'll probably have to follow them with an eye toward making a quick exit. 

    Chicago Fed national activity index falls in April.   
    Fed's Evans- Need more time to assess job gains.    
    5 new tech ideas that will scare you silly — or not.  "Cutting-edge technology innovations should scare the Google Glass out of you. Unless they don’t."  
    Russell 2000 index breaks through 1,000.    
    Making your financial adviser measure up.  "An industry insider offers a guide to gauging the quality of an adviser's service." 
    FTSE 100 notches highest close since 2000.    
    Michael Gayed explains Why stocks aren't overbought"There's a lot about this market that seems to contradict itself, but that does’t necessarily mean that a correction must take place, writes Michael A. Gayed."  
    Record stock-index levels challenge the chart readers.    
    Cheap insurance for a volatile summer.    
    You're not too young for long-term-care insurance.  "You can worry about it in your 30s, or as you approach your 50s and 60s (and probably pay more)."  
    Fund investors: Ignore individual stocksl.    
    Europe stocks extend rally, track U.S. higher    
    J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon still fighting for his jobs   "With a make-or-break shareholder meeting on tap for Tuesday, Dimon battles to remain both CEO and chairman."
    Internet job listings suggest hiring weak"Mediocre pace of hiring in the U.S. hasn't changed much in May, according to a review of Internet job postings."  
    tax trouble for 'alternative' IRA's'   "A federal court ruling could make it harder to invest IRA assets in privately held businesses."
   
Gasoline prices to hit highest for a Memorial Day weekend in two years.    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Tesla Is Having A Good Month
   "To say Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) has had a good week would be a massive understatement. Before its earnings announcement on May 8, TSLA was already gaining some serious steam throughout April. After closing the month of March at $37.89, the automaker finished April at $53.28, +40.61% higher. Then came the earnings announcement. EPS $0.12 vs. $-0.01. Revenue $562M vs $500.2M. 5,000 new Model S vehicles in Q1, exceeding guidance of 4,500. 5,000 more Model S vehicles expected in Q2. ... Read More »" .    
    LEI Perks Up in April"After a slight decline in March, the Conference Board's LEI (Leading Economic Index) perked up in April, with the reading coming in both above the consensus expectations as well as last month's modest ... Read More »"  
    UofM Sentiment Reading Improves in May.   .  
    Early Analysis: Focusing on the Fed.        
 
    Market futures are neutral tonight..


2013-5-17 (Friday Night): Dow, S&P end at records, stocks mark fourth week of gains Stocks finish higher for fourth straight week. The NASDAQ Composite rebounded 33.73 points (0.97%) to end at 3,498.97. The Dow popped 121.18 points (0.80%) to end at 15,354.40; the S&P 500 vaulted 17.00 points (1.03%) to 1,667.47. Oil closed at 95.99: Oil futures settle above $96 on strong data. Gold ended at 1,358::..Gold sinks for seventh session in a row The VIX slid 0.62 to 12.45  

    "Stocks continued their climb into uncharted territory on Friday, racking up the fourth week of gains in a row as encouraging economic data prompted investors to pick up shares of growth companies. The ..."
   
"The stock market continued its march higher for a fourth week as investors focused on signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    S&P at 1,715 at year-end: J.P. Morgan.  "Pull out the cowbells. These analysts join those who say the bull run isn't over."  
    Merrill is no longer a bear -- for this quarter.  
    Defensive stocks are due for a pullback.    
    5 wrong ideas about joblessness.  "These misconceptions distract us from actually fixing the unemployment crisi."  
    Not just stocks but everything is overvalued.   
    Live blog, video on hearing over IRS scandal.    
    European stocks rise to highest level since 2008.    
    Leading economic index up 0.6%     
    Consumer sentiment highest since 2007.    
    Treasurys drop as consumer sentiment rises.    
    Europe stocks on track for weekly gain.    
    Oil futures flirt with $96 after sentiment jump.    
    Google seeks to benefit as Gen Y abandons cash.    
    Bill Gates reclaims 'world's richest' title.    
    Dear Class of ‘13: You’ve been scammed.  "Brett Arends explains how the College-Industrial Complex drove tuition to outrageous highs."  
    Stop 'playing' the stock market.  "Investing isn't child's play no matter how easy it looks these days."  
    .    
    How bond investors can avoid losses.   "Burton Malkiel suggests several alternative strategies using stocks and bonds." 
    Wild chase for yield continues.  "Invetsors look in remote places as yields on even the riskiest debt fall to record lows."  
    How college grads can retire rich (after 60 years).    
    Talk of Fed 'wind down' gets louder.    
    Google is your market tell.  "When markets go awry, key off a widely held stock that exhibits all symptoms of a market gone wild."  
    This market welcomes speculation.   
    When owner sells, do workers lose?.  "Many entrepreneurs approaching retirement choose to sell their companies to their employees. For their workers, are the risks worth the reward?"  
    Reform may not save Bangladesh"Andrew O'Day says western companies are shopping for other low-wage countries to replace Bangladesh as clothing suppliers."  
    In charts: Clothing costs dive as deficit shrinks.    
    'Sweet spot' drives stocks higher.    
    Kirk Spano Reality meets Jim Chanos’s China call.    
    Jamie Dimon is counting on the little guy to keep him as chairman    
    Resource plays are a natural bet   "Valuations and sentiment support this contrarian view, writes Neil Gregson."
    2008 crash saved retirement for me.  "Dennis Miller says becoming an active investor gave him more focus and energy."  
    Do-it-yourself investing? Read this first.          
    Who bought Tesla ahead of short squeeze?
    Why Fidelity and Vanguard are afraid of politics.  "Mutual funds are caught in the middle of one of the most contentious issues in American politics: Spending by big business to gain influence in Washington."  
    GOP alarmed over political spending plan.    
    Spotlight on economy: More home building in cards.    
    Home-builder confidence rises in May.    
    Das: Less-powerful nations face new order.    
    6% loss in 6 days: Gold spooked by deflation talk.  
    Gold futures 'get crushed,' losing $109 over 7 days
    The most-shorted stocks are now outperforming the S&P 500.    
    Students latest victims of deficit obsession.    
    Top executives' favorite finance apps.  "How financial executives use their smartphones"  
    Scared by stock-market highs"with a large sum to invest, should you be worried about stocks setting records right now?"  
    Gold bears going grizzly"Brace for another wave of slash-and-burn gold forecasts with Credit Suisse leading the charge."  
    How to invest in oil ‘supply shock’.   "The IEA says a “supply shock” will essentially change the way the oil market works. It also opens up a lot of opportunities for U.S. companies." 
    Saving Social Security by giving it up"Wealthier 5% of retirees should sacrifice their benefits to keep the program solvent."  
    Are retirees tapping IRAs too soon?"Study suggests that savers in their 60s are making big withdrawals from their nest eggs to pay for basic expenses."  
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Tesla Is Having A Good Month
   "To say Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) has had a good week would be a massive understatement. Before its earnings announcement on May 8, TSLA was already gaining some serious steam throughout April. After closing the month of March at $37.89, the automaker finished April at $53.28, +40.61% higher. Then came the earnings announcement. EPS $0.12 vs. $-0.01. Revenue $562M vs $500.2M. 5,000 new Model S vehicles in Q1, exceeding guidance of 4,500. 5,000 more Model S vehicles expected in Q2. ... Read More »" .    
    LEI Perks Up in April"After a slight decline in March, the Conference Board's LEI (Leading Economic Index) perked up in April, with the reading coming in both above the consensus expectations as well as last month's modest ... Read More »"  
    UofM Sentiment Reading Improves in May.   .  
    Early Analysis: Focusing on the Fed.        
 
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    At a P/E ratio of 19.3 on the S&P 500 and 16¾ on the Dow, stocks are near the upper levels of their normal ranges, but are not yet at quite their normal bull market peaks (20-to-22 on the S&P 500). They are not in bubble territory at this time (see Paul Krugman's Too Much Talk About Liquidity). The following chart, taken from Dr. Krugman's referenced article, elegantly illustrates this point.

    This warrants a few further comments. 
    The Shiller Cyclically Adjusted PE (CAPE) ratio is being trotted out to show that the markets are currently overvalued because the ten-year average for the S&P 500 is 23.7, and the Shiller CAPE has had a good track record as a predictor of stock market future performance. But in 1999, the P/E ratio on the S&P 500 reached a level of overvaluation well above its value at any previous time in its history, and has been gradually falling to its present level. (Note, though, that the P/E ratio went to infinity (and beyond (:-)) in March, 2009 when earnings briefly went negative.) So of course it's abnormally high looking backward. If we had picked a decade when it had been abnormally low for a while (like 1977-1987) but were rising again, the Shiller CAPE would have been abnormally low, and would have led to a false sense of complacency just in time for the Crash of '87. Shiller PE Continues To Mislead Investors, S&P 500 Is Fairly Valued 
    This is a little like a situation in which you're in an automobile accident that keeps you from returning to full manual labor for a year. In another year, after you've been  back on the job for a full year, we could say that statistically, you've only been able to work half-time for the past two years, and we could therefore conclude that the probability that you'll be able to work full-time in the third year is only 50%. 
    As Mark Twain said, there are three kinds of prevarications: "lies, damnd lies, and statistics".
    It's tempting, with the market indices approaching their turning points, to scale down our investments, taking part of our profits off the table. That may be sage counsel. The only cautionary note would be that a situation like this arose in early 1996, and especially, later in 1996 when the market indices went way out of bounds, continuing to rise until 1999. This was during the dot.com bubble, and led Alan Greenspan to coin the term "irrational exuberance". It could happen again, although the expected outcome is a limited further rise, followed by a cyclical retrenchment.
    If I weren't following the State-of-the-Markets advisory guidance (and hoping it works), I'd be scaling back my market exposure right now (which the State-of-the-Markets advisory service has already recommended).
    In the meantime, (1) we're overdue for a correction, and (2) the indices are rising parabolically, consistent with a final "blow-off". 
    Are the bears finally capitulating?


2013-5-16 (Thursday Night): Wall Street Flat After Mixed Data, Cisco Jumps; Stocks stuck in neutral following record highs. The NASDAQ Composite shrank 6.38 points (-0.18%) to end at 3,465.24. The Dow backed up 42.47 points (-0.28%) to end at 15,233.22; the S&P 500 dropped 8.31 points (-0.50%) to 1,650.47. Oil closed at 94.24:Oil turns slightly lower after Philly Fed date. Gold ended at 1,387::.Gold futures sink below $1,400 an ounce The VIX rose 0.33 to 13.14  

    "Stocks barely budged on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hovering near record highs, as weak factory and labor market news was offset by data indicating inflation pressure remains tame despite aggressive monetary policy."
   
"It's getting tough to push this market higher, and a series of mixed economic reports Thursday didn't do the trick. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Philly Fed adds to signs of struggling economy.    
    Housing starts lowest since November.  
    U.S. jobless claims jump to six-week high.    
    Consumer prices drop again.    
    Fisher says dial back Mortgage-Backed Securities.   
    U.S. more austere than Europe: Rosengren.    
    30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.51%     
    Berkshire Hathaway downgraded to AA by S&P.    
    Gold takes another tumble.    
    Survey shows reaction to payroll tax rise is less spending.    
    Crowdfunding is a blessing and a curse.    
   Medicare changes boomers fear.  "Proposed changes to federal health care programs could make you sick."  
    Rather than reach for yield, try these 3 income trades.  "A covered-call strategy could make long positions pay, writes Jeff Reeves."  
    Openshaw: Execs on their favorite finance apps.    
    IMF: Diminishing returns from QE programs.    
    How college grads can retire rich (after 60 years).    
    Tips for college grads: How to retire rich.  "Plan on multiple careers and plan for the really long term, writes Robert Powell:"  
    Boehner: IRS blame may be at higher level.    
    U.S. jobless claims jump to six-week high.   
    Europe stocks bruised by U.S. data.    
    Tick data showed hedge-fund selling"Nigam Arora writes that analyzing the tape showed the move a day before the news."  
    Who bought Apple shares? Chanos.    
    Charles Sizemore The Smart Money may be the Dumb Money.    
    Kirk Spano Reality meets Jim Chanos’s China call.    
    Jamie Dimon is counting on the little guy to keep him as chairman    
    Resource plays are a natural bet   "Valuations and sentiment support this contrarian view, writes Neil Gregson."
    2008 crash saved retirement for me.  "Dennis Miller says becoming an active investor gave him more focus and energy."  
    Do-it-yourself investing? Read this first.          
    Who bought Tesla ahead of short squeeze?
    Why Fidelity and Vanguard are afraid of politics.  "Mutual funds are caught in the middle of one of the most contentious issues in American politics: Spending by big business to gain influence in Washington."  
    GOP alarmed over political spending plan.    
    Spotlight on economy: More home building in cards.    
    Home-builder confidence rises in May.    
    Das: Less-powerful nations face new order.    
    6% loss in 6 days: Gold spooked by deflation talk.   
    The most-shorted stocks are now outperforming the S&P 500.    
    Students latest victims of deficit obsession.    
    Top executives' favorite finance apps.  "How financial executives use their smartphones"  
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Philly Fed Report: Activity Weakening
   "The latest report from the Philly Fed on the state of business activity was disappointing to say the least. While economists had been looking for the business outlook index to improve, it actually ... Read More »" .    
    The Risk Manager Report - May 15, 2013"The first step to successful investing is to identify the Market's "Big Picture" Environment in terms of risk versus reward. Stay in tune with the risk/reward relationship of the market with State's ... Read More »"  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Declines.   .  
    Early Analysis: Bears Left Looking For a Reason.     
    Housing Starts Disappoint in April.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 32K in Latest Week .      .    
   
CPI Report: Inflation Falls Again in April.    
    Latest Investor's Intelligence Poll Shows Bullish Sentiment Rising .   
 
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock futures are flat yet again tonight.    


2013-5-15 (Wednesday Night): Wall Street Jumps as Banks Lead S&P 500 to New High; Stocks- Dow, S&P 500 Hit New Highs; Investors Confident in Rally. The NASDAQ Composite gained 9.01 points (0.26%) to end at 3,471.62. The Dow rocketed 60.44 points (0.40%) to end at 15,275.69; the S&P 500 added 8.44 points (0.51%) to 1,658.78. Oil closed at 94.09: Oil turns slightly higher again before Nymex close. Gold ended at 1,394::.Gold futures sink below $1,400 an ounce The VIX rose 0.06 to 1283.  

    "Stocks edged up on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs as the market's recent upward momentum persisted, but a steep decline in Apple kept gains in check."
   
"So much for taking a break from the rally. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Deficit-cutting pressure easing?.    
    Boehner calls for jail time in IRS case.  
    Obama, Lew to meet on IRS case Wednesday.    
    Atty. Gen. Holder says banks not too big to jail.   
    Holder needs to 'make up his mind' on 'too-big-to-jail' banks- Johnson.    
    Central-bank methadone bad for markets     
    Fed blame game leads to 'QE' end game.   "The end of quantitative easing is near, as the head of the ECB, as well as one of the U.S. Fed presidents, have been openly critical of the approach, writes John Nyaradi." 
    Will ending Fed stimulus hurt housing?.    
    Survey shows reaction to payroll tax rise is less spending.    
    U.S. wholesale prices fall sharply in April.    
    Are we overbought yet?.    
    Most popular U.S. brands in China.    
    Don’t be fooled by market euphoria.  "A giant wave of disinflation is hitting the world. That might sound like a good thing, but signs suggest it’s a less-than-benign phenomenon, writes Michael Casey."  
    U.K. will be Europe’s biggest economy.  "Britain is booming, while Germany is stagnating, writes Matthew Lynn."  
    Weak GDP raises hopes for ECB action.    
    Bank of England sees brighter growth outlook.    
    Darrell Delamaide warns that The French loss of faith in EU is ominous.   
    European problems look set to continue.    
    How to help the over-50s"One idea: a job corps for the almost 2 million people over 50 years old who have been unemployed for more than 6 months."   
    Bristol-Myers shares surge on anticipated melanoma drug results.    
    If Angelina’s genes are faulty, are yours?.  "Angelina Jolie’s decision to tackle breast cancer with a preventive double mastectomy has introduced a new term to many: BRCA1."  
    Bangladesh safety accord criticized.   "U.S. retail industry's leading trade group says deal signed by 24 retailers isn't practical." 
    Cody Willard alerts us to the fact that Google pure play on Raspberry Pi trend    
    Nigam Arora suggests Where to look for the next op in metals   
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr., warns that Lack of Dow growth reaches dire stage.    
    Boomers face big changes to Medicare.          
    Wiggle room in factory reforms"Andrew O'Day says that as European retailers push, U.S. retailers nudge for factory reform in Bangladesh. Also, a coffee supply crisis."   
    Ethics? Consumers don't really care.  "More than 1,100 people died when a factory collapsed in Bangladesh. But most shoppers will continue to buy clothes without looking at where they were made."  
    Spotlight on economy: More home building in cards.    
    Home-builder confidence rises in May.    
    Clock strikes midnight at S&P 1490: JHS's Davidson.    
    Enough 'oomph' in rally until summer pullback- Citi's Levkovich.   
    Google launches subscription-based music service.    
    Treasurys rise on slow inflation, production.    
    Top executives' favorite finance apps.  "How financial executives use their smartphones"  
    What's more profitable than Exxon or Apple? The government's student loan program.    
    8 habits of highly effective retirees.    
    Financial stocks down as manufacturing drops.    
    Empire State index turns south in May.    
    Yes, Institutions and the Ultra Wealthy Have Had Advantages Over the Rest of Us  
    How the Obama Scandals Could Hurt Financial Markets"Stocks edged up on Wednesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs as the market's recent upward momentum persisted, but a steep decline in Apple kept gains in check."  
    .
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Latest Investor's Intelligence Poll Shows Bullish Sentiment Rising
    .    
    Empire Manufacturing Index Misses in May.   .  
    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Rises in May.     
    Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization Below Expectations in April.    
    PPI: Inflation Declines in April .      .    
   
Early Analysis: Strong US Markets, UK Raises Outlook, and Other Global Headlines.    
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock futures are flat again tonight.    


2013-5-14 (Tuesday Night): Wall Street Jumps as Banks Lead S&P 500 to New High; Stocks- Bulls back in the driver's seat. The NASDAQ Composite gained 23.02 points (0.69%) to end at 3,462.61. The Dow rocketed 123.57 points (0.82%) to end at 15,215.25; the S&P 500 added 16.57 points (1.01%) to 1,650.34. Oil closed at 94.12: Oil below $95, ends down a fourth straight session. Gold ended at 1,425::. The VIX rose 0.22 to 12.76.  

    "Stocks rose and extended a recent rally on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 and Dow hitting a new intraday high as investors bet that the market's upward momentum would continue."
   
"A growing sense of optimism about the U.S. economy helped lift stocks to record levels Tuesday. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Tumbling Aussie dollar as canary in stock coal mine.    
    B. of A. sets Dow pace as financials top S&P sectors.  
    What investors in J.P. Morgan ought to know about Dimon's roles.   
    The Technical Indicator S&P extends the break to ‘clear skies’ territory.     
    Keep the FBI out of your email.   "Feds may not need warrants to read email older than six months." 
    The Bloomberg terminal saga grinds on.    
    AP says DoJ secretly obtained phone records.    
    Bullish Tepper has Apple doubt.  "Hedge-fund manager David Tepper "definitely bullish" on stocks but is lukewarm on Apple."  
    Obamacare may ease costs.  "Study foresees coverage savings for employers and employees."  
    Retire here, not there: Ecuador.  "Ecuador has attracted a growing number of American retirees, thanks to a dramatic landscape that sweeps from the Pacific to the Andes, a mild climate and a low cost of living."  
    Bond links: Gross's biggest call of 2013.    
    The problem with P/E ratios.   
    Banks' revenue, stock prices don't add up.    
    Not-so-lovie-dovie Yellen.   "Economist counters assertion that Janet Yellen is too dovish to ascend to the Fed chairmanship." 
    Philly Fed’s Plosser: Slow, then end, bond buys.    
    U.S. households whittle down debt again.   "The total amount of debt held by Americans falls again in the first three months of 2013." 
    Economy ready to rock? The bullish view    
    Why QE may hurt the U.K. more   "Bond-buying progam could have sharper bite due to mortgage handling."
    Quantitative easing drives bond prices mad   
    Texas dominates new-home-sales volume.          
    Toward a new world energy order.    
    Ethics? Consumers don't really care.  "More than 1,100 people died when a factory collapsed in Bangladesh. But most shoppers will continue to buy clothes without looking at where they were made."  
    U.S. retailers should push for reform (audio).   "Andrew O'Day says opportunity is knocking for big retailers to be good global citizens over Bangladesh factory conditions." 
    Setups galore for the medium-term trader.    
    Tide turns against defensives stocks.   
    U.S., Canada and Mexico soon may be the new OPEC.    
    NY Fed Says Stocks Have Never Been Cheaper"Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds stocks cheap at record highs and predicts historically high excess returns for the S&P 500."  
    Dow 20,000 by 2020, Beware “Safety Bubble”- Bernstein’s Seth Masters.    
    In Economic Data, Annual Changes Show Real Strength In The Economy.    
    Stocks Bounce Higher on Strong Economic News.    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Tepper: It's a 'My Cousin Vinny' Market
  "Until 2010, hedge fund manager David Tepper didn't make a lot of public appearances. And since the now famous "Tepper Trade" in 2010, when Mr. Tepper told a CNBC audience that everything was a buy because the environment was a "win-win" for the stock market, investors have hung on every word that comes out of the Appaloosa Management boss's mouth. In fact, the last time Tepper was on CNBC (December 17, 2012), he said stocks were cheap - especially relative to bonds. Since that interview the S&P 500 has made Tepper look good, gaining more than 15% in the last ... Read More »"  .    
    German ZEW Index Stays Weak in May.   .  
    Early Analysis: China, Germany, Fed & Tepper.       .    
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock futures are flat tonight.      


2013-5-13 (Monday Night): Wall Street Near Flat After Recent Gains; Retail Data Helps; Stocks and bonds under Fed pressure. The NASDAQ Composite gained 2.21 points (0.06%) to end at 3,438.79. The Dow fell 26.81 points (-0.18%) to end at 15,091.68; the S&P 500 added 0.07 points (0.00%) to 1,633.77. Oil closed at 95.02:Oil ends at lowest close in over a week. Gold ended at 1,430::Gold futures end lower for third straight session. The VIX fell 0.08 to 12.51.  

    "Stocks were little changed on Monday as investors stepped back following last week's new highs, but stronger-than-expected retail sales data limited the decline."
   
"The jokes about QE Infinity may come to an end soon. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. stocks drop as Fed's plans for 'exit' are weighed.  
    U.S. retail sales rebound in April.   
    U.S. retail's April rebound defies economist forecast"Sharp drop in spending at gas stations aside, the critical sector defies forecast of contraction."   
    Goldman beats the bullish S&P 500 drum; 25 cyclical stock picks.    
    Europe stocks retreat from 2013 high.    
    Bank of Israel cuts rates, will buy currencies.    
    David Marsh: European wolf is moving in on Britain's Cameron.    
    Fed's QE exit plan: How traders reacted.  "Investors take in the news that the central bank has a strategy for tapering down its policy."  
    India can't keep up gold pace.  "Analysts say month's $7.5 billion in gold and silver imports is likely bunched-up demand."  
    Fed, Treasury looking at Bloomberg terminal access.  "Bloomberg disclosure of reporter access to client data brings inquiry from Federal and Treasury."  
    Bloomberg editor: What he did, didn't know.  "Top editor apologizes in an editorial and explains what reporters do and do not have access to." 
    IRS cast net wider than thought"Federal investigators say the agency looked for political leanings in groups concerned about taxes, debt and spending."   
    America is high on sugar, down on Splenda.   "Sales of white sugar are up, as the artificial sweeteners struggle." 
    Why Dow 15,000 is only the beginning.    
    Bill Gross- We're in bond market middle ground.    
    Rethink the role of bonds in your retirement strategy  "Even if bond bears are right, it still pays to have bonds in your portfolio."  
    Top hedge funds are reportedly betting big on banks in Greece   
    Apple stock-crash conspiracy and other truths   
    To begin the Great Rotation, end QE.          
    Stop trying to time Dow 15K's end: Paul Nolte"Today's retirees aim to get a grip on health, money and family well-being, says Robert Powell."  
    Europe stocks retreat from 2013 high.    
    Short-term S&P pain means long-term gain.    
    Financial advisers who need financial advisers.    
    Obama calls IRS targeting outrageous"President says those responsible should be held "fully accountable" if allegations prove true."  
    President says those responsible should be held "fully accountable" if allegations prove true.
    Baucus says Senate committee will probe IRS.    
    How QE throws bond prices for a loop"While stocks have done better when bonds did worse in 2013, the relationship hasn't always been straightforward."  
    Why Bank of England's QE could hurt economy.    
    The dark side of QE.    
    The savers hit hardest by low rates"Interest rate policies have put an extra 5% to 8% of boomers, Gen-Xers at risk of outliving their nest eggs, researcher says."  
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Today 1 World Trade Center is the Tallest Building in the US  "Wall Street celebrated another record all-time closing high for the S&P this week. And also honored the passing of legendary Barron’s columnist Alan Abelson. So it seemed somehow fitting that the week was literally “capped” Friday by the completion of One World Trade Center’s final touch, with the “steel spire” installed, “raising the building’s height to a symbolic 1,776 feet.” (See photos here from NY Daily News). Many news reports called One World Trade Center, also known as “Freedom Tower,” the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and third tallest in the world (surpassing in ... Read More »"  .    
    NAAIM Survey: Managers Riding Bull Move.  "The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure at the ... Read More »" .  
    Retail Sales Rise in April.       
   
Early Analysis: Global Headlines, Fed Talk, and Other News.    
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Stock futures are a little higher tonight.      


2013-5-10 (Friday Night):

Newscast: Stocks notch new highs, weekly win: New highs during three week winning streak. The NASDAQ Composite gained 27.41 points (0.80%) to end at 3,436.58. The Dow rose 35.87 points (0.24%) to end at 15,118.49; the S&P 500 added 7.03 points (0.43%) to 1,633.70. Oil closed at 95.97: Oil recovers the bulk of its losses by the close. Gold ended at 1,447::Gold futures drop to tally a weekly loss near 2%. The VIX fell 0.54 to 12.59.  

    "The rally on Wall Street continues, with stocks ending Friday at fresh record highs. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Bernanke: Fed eyes peeled for yield overreach.  "Fed chief says central bank is monitoring the risk of excessive risk taking with rates so low."
    U.S. stocks edge up as Bernanke addresses risk.  "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke details efforts to regulate risk in the financial markets."  
    Short sellers getting hurt, but don’t call it a squeeze.    
    Bernanke, Krugman: argument of the beard.    
    Bernanke: More may be needed on too big to fail.    
    Policy should be tightened, Fed's George says.    
    Fed maps exit from stimulus.    
    Are retail investors piling on too late?.  "Mom and pop are usually late to stock-market party, laments John Shinal."  
    Shorts won't call the market top.  "Short interest in the stock-market futures indexes is really low."  
    30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.42%.   
    Your dream getaway — bought on layaway"This Depression-era payment plan appeals to post-recession travelers, reports Jennifer Waters."   
    Where home prices are sizzling.   "After a long and painful downturn, home prices in many regions of the U.S. are showing signs of recovery. Take a look at the those seeing the biggest growth in prices this year." 
    S&P analysts: Stocks risk 10% plunge.    
    Still tough to find a job.  "The week in charts takes a look at the trends in employment and lending."  
    Calculating your tax bill on this hot market"As stock-market gains pile up, investors looking to sell need to consider how to treat the gains."   
    When waiting to tap that IRA isn't wise   "RetireMentor Dan Moisand answers a reader's question on taxes and nest egg, plus a Social Security-claiming strategy."
    Dow 116,200? Not as out there as you might think   
    Commodities Corner- ETF revolution in gold leaves investors bloody.          
    Robert Powell: What today's retirees really want is peace of mind"Today's retirees aim to get a grip on health, money and family well-being, says Robert Powell."  
    Murdoch leaps to Jamie Dimon's defense.    
    Treasury chief Lew- Debt ceiling safe till Sept.    
    Germany's DAX k:eps reaching for stars..    
    How to calculate taxes owed on stock sales.    
    Charting how tough it is to get a loan or a job.    
    It's a job seeker's market in construction.    
    It’s not just stocks; everything is overvalued.    
    Fiscal drag ‘profoundly depressing’.  "U.S. economy would be doing a lot better without all the drama, says Ian Shepherdson, the Marketwatch Forecaster of the Month."  
    The news media is even worse than you think.    
    How to haggle over medical bills.  "Consumers are finding creative ways to minimize their health-care debt."  
    Banks' revenue, stock prices don't add up.    
    How's your personal economy doing?.    
    It’s not the right time for REITS.   
    Investors' stock moves can't beat the machines .."As computer-driven trading increases each year, the ability for individual investors to beat the market becomes that much more difficult, writes Mark Hulbert."    


2013-5-9 (Thursday Night):

S&P 500 Breaks String of Record Closes Stocks: Shorts get squeezed. The NASDAQ Composite subtracted 4.1 points (-0.12%) to end at 3,409.17. The Dow declined 22.5 points (-0.15%) to end at 15,092.62; the S&P 500 fell 6.02 points (-0.37%) to 1,626.67. Oil closed at 96.69: Oil futures close above $96 at a five-week high. Gold ended at 1,471::Gold futures settle at highest in nearly a month. The VIX fell 0.47 to 13.13.  
   
"The index of large U.S. companies broke a five-day string of all-time closing highs on Thursday, ending a fairly volatile session lower as recent momentum lost steam and Apple shares declined."

    "The broader U.S. stock market closed in the red Thursday, but a few favorite targets of short sellers surged following upbeat earnings reports. More"


Marketwatch says:     
    Newscast: Jobless claims at multi-year low.  
    Where home prices are soaring fastest this year.  "It's not only where temperatures are hot. This list has some surprises."  
    U.S. foreclosure filings down 23% in April.    
    Blame bond markets, not Merkel, for austerity, says Roger Altman.  "When private lenders stopped lending, austerity had to follow, says Roger Altman."  
    30-year mortgage rate rises to 3.42%.   
    Looking for a buy point on the Nasdaq.    
    Europe forms imperfect union.   "Rising sovereign-debt and banking problems could turn Europe isolationist, writes Satyajit Das." 
    Investors drive ‘junk’ yields to new low.    
    Greece finally has bragging rights in the bond market.    
    Buffett's making an even bigger bet on wind power.    
    Top J.P. Morgan Exec Leaving    
    Dow 116,200? Not as out there as you might think   
    David Weidner advises Forget Buffett, this investor made me rich"The danger of the incessant pursuit of returns is that for many of us it doesn’t enhance life, writes David Weidner."  .      
    93% of financial advisers had PTSD after 2008"Financial advisers were shellshocked in the months and perhaps years following the 2008 financial crisis. And many are still reeling from it."   
    Will China change the Cadillac?.    
    Sell Apple, buy Google.  "Investors clinging stubbornly to Apple may be served well by jumping ship and buying Google instead, writes Jeff Reeves."  
    6 strong stocks for an overbought market..    
    Kevin Marder presents My 3 reasons to make a trade.    
    A look at the energy sector for a rotation.    
    Why dads pass on paid paternity leave.  "And even those that do take the time often spend some of it working."  
    How to make your nest egg last.  "Try this five-point test for potential investment candidates."  
    Planning goes beyond the numbers.  "Consider how you'll spend your time and how you'll stay healthy."  
    Calculating the odds of financial success.    
    Darrell Delamaide says Elections won’t stop economic decay.    
    Havens for low-cost medical care.  "Many, but not all, of these 7 choices are in Latin America."  
    This bull's not dead, just resting.  "Stocks are fading from record levels. But Paul Pagnato of HighTower Advisors tells Joan Doniger this is just a pause." 
    Mommy, why do you have to work so much (audio)? ..    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in Nearly 5 1/2 Years  "Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance for the week ending 5/4 fell 4,000 and were reported at 323K. ... Read More »"  .    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Dips In First Week of May.   .  
    Wholesale Inventories Rise in March.       
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly positive again tonight.      


2013-5-8 (Wednesday Night): S&P 500 ends at record for fifth day; Groupon up late, Dow, S&P hit new highs in quiet trading. The NASDAQ Composite added 16.64 points (0.49%) to end at 3,413.27. The Dow added 48.92 points (0.32%), to end at 15,105.12; the S&P 500 gained another 6.73 points (0.41%) to 1,632.69. Oil closed at 96.69: Oil futures close above $96 at a five-week high. Gold ended at 1,471::Gold futures settle at highest in nearly a month. The VIX fell 0.17 to 12.66.  
   
"The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high for a fifth day on Wednesday in a broad rally that keeps surprising investors with its longevity and resilience. The Dow also ended at a record high for a second ..."

    "Dow, S&P hit new highs in quiet trading"


Marketwatch says:     
    Republicans' debt-ceiling wish list is beginning to take shape.  
    Hospital charges for same procedures vary widely.  "Russ Britt looks into government report that finds gaping health-care billing disparities." How widely? Try this: an inpatient joint replacement that costs $5,300 in Ada, Oklahoma, but $223,000 in Monterey Park, California, or a heart failure treatment bill of $9,000 to $51,000 in Jackson, Mississippi.  
    Medicare spills beans on hospital billing.    
    Medicare billing hijinks impact on consumers.    
    Dutch will blow up the euro.   "Matthew Lynn fears post-housing-bubble slump precipitating a Netherlands euro-zone exit." 
    ECB looks to buy bad loans in southern Europe.    
    The euro's here to stay: Allianz Global.    
    U.S. urges G-7 growth efforts- Treasury official.    
    Failed austerity will lead to a smaller euro zone.    
    Radical fix needed for the euro""Slow-motion train wreck" will continue until deficits rise, says monetary theorist."  
    Radical fixes needed to make the euro work.    
    The false frontier   "On the fringes of emerging-market investing, a number of risks can trip you up." 
    Michael Gayed asks Are cyclicals a trade or a theme?.      
    John Nyardi suggests that we try to Find the last bear on Wall Street"Wall street needs its own Endangered Species Act since it seems everyone is now a bull."   
    Willard Cody warns about the Biggest threat to economy and markets.    
    David Waring asks Whether to follow Buffett or Gross.    
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr., warns that Red flags begin to surface at Google.    
    Jeff Reeves describes 5%-dividend stocks still not on the radar.  "These three off-the-beaten-path stocks off attractive yields but more risk."  
    Bulls won't go away unless there's a big bad shock.    
    Equity premium models predicting excess returns for S&P 500 for next five years- NY Fed researchers.    
    North Dakota's oil boom ripples through wages, unemployment miles away.    
    Dallas Fed's Fisher says to taper MBS first.    
    Mortgage-applications gauge highest in three years.    
    Nikkei, S&P 500 still look good to Fortress's Novogratz as SALT conference gets under way.    
    Cyclicals: Short-term trade or longer-term theme?.    
    The Dow has been strong, but look at oil.   
    Bill Gross: Hope and credit driving the market.
    Sell in May, but when should you buy?.   

    Poland cuts interest rates by 25 basis points.  
   
Dow’s hitting new highs — but are you?.   
    S&P 500 must rally 25% to hit new high.    
    Vanguard vs. Fidelity"Where is your money better off? In this heavyweight match, one contestant stands out."  
    A big day in the hedge-fund world"Private philanthropists are best positioned to be the catalysts for major social change, writes Intel co-founder Gordon Moore."  
    Live blog from Sohn conference.    
    Conference ideas often clangers.    
    Roubini warns of market crash.    
    Roubini: Bubble in Stocks to Burst in 2 Years.    
    Novogratz: Nikkei, S&P look good.    
    Bakken's multistate ripple effect.  "Minneapolis Fed quantifies impact of oil boom in North Dakota."
   
How to make heirs happy: Keep your will up to date.  "Important documents need to be updated, writes Elizabeth O'Brien. Outdated estate-plan paperwork can be a wealth-killer."  
    What's next for this huge market bubble?.    
    'Housing has legs,' says top hedge-fund manager Josh Birnbaum.    
    Skepticism over China's latest trade data.     
    Japan’s biggest export: Deflation.    
    Bond market generals fight last war: 1994.    
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Cycles Say Don't 'Sell in May and Go Away' This Year
  "Greetings from Santa Marghareta, Italy (yes, where the Pinot Grigio wine originates - and yes it is MUCH cheaper here - €6.99 vs. $24 at my local store in Colorado!). In light of the facts that (a) I am traveling and (b) the markets have been fairly positive lately, there really isn't much analysis that needs to be done as it relates to the "state of the market." In short, another central bank has recently joined the QE party and that means even more money ... Read More »"  .    
    Investor's Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Picks Up Again.  "The latest data from Investors Intelligence shows the bulls are starting to gain a following again. The weekly survey shows that the number of "bulls" has moved back above 50 and the number of "bears" ... Read More »" .  
    The Early Look: Seventeen Straight.       
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly positive tonight.      


2013-5-6 (Monday Night): Another day, another record high for S&P 500, S&P 500 closes at a new record. The NASDAQ Composite added 14.34 points (0.42%) to end at 3,392.97. The Dow slipped 5.07 points (-0.03%), to end at 14,968.89; the S&P 500 gained another 3.08 points (0.19%) to 1,617.50. Oil closed at 95.69: Oil rises on growing Mideast tensions. Gold ended at 1,469::Gold edges up on strength in physical demand. The VIX fell 0.17 to 12.68.    
   
"Stocks edged up on Monday, boosted by the tech sector, as Wall Street extended a rally that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs last week on improving earnings and reassuring signs about the economy."

    "The S&P 500 managed to close at a record high Monday, boosted by gains in Bank of America and Apple. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Buffett labels stocks a buy but calls bonds bad news.  
    What bond experts think of Warren Buffett's bear take.    
    Goldman Sachs: S&P near fair value, but a cyclical rally is in cards.    
    Martha Stewart's fountain of youth.    
    Rally moves to unloved sectors.  "As U.S. indexes hit record highs, investors are starting to buy some of this year relatively unloved sectors."  
    Lessons from past Dow milestones.    
    Housing wealth not boosting economy as much as it used to: report.  "Why the U.S. housing-price recovery is having a restrained impact, compared with the prior boom."  
    Buy in May? Some say: 'No way'.    
    The tactical voting behind the ECB’s rate cut.      
    How Al Gore got 'Romney rich'.    
    Birinyi 'guidance' for S&P 500 index now 1,900 by end of year.    
    Help your grown kids–but make them pay.    
    The end of tax-free online shopping? Not yet"Senate vote Monday looks set to set stage for collection of sales tax on online shoppers. But the House may stand in way"  
    Europe stocks drift lower after downbeat data.    
    Treasury: Pleased with progress selling GM shares.    
    Sell In June for the market swoon?.    
    Cardillo: Bulls will run higher.    
    Fed tapering talk may be premature.    
    Treasury prices plunge on strong jobs data.    
    Europe stocks higher after U.S. data beats.    
    New York to sue B. of A., Wells for mortgages"State reportedly set to to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo, saying the institutions violated a mortgage settlement."   
    Sell in May — Chinese IPOs are coming.   
    No, Don't 'Sell In May And Go Away'.
    Buyer Beware! Weekly Sell Signals Threaten the Rally, Says Yamada.   

    The coming June swoon.  "Questions remain as to whether this market can continue its march higher, but the technicals would seem to have the answers. The top is not in place yet but this upside wave will be complete in just a few more weeks."
   
Why QE isn't driving stocks higher.   
    Senate passes Internet sales-tax bill"A bill that would let states collect sales tax from Internet purchases passes the Senate in a bipartisan vote. But the legislation faces a tougher road in the GOP-dominated House."   
    Monster rally strikes Tokyo"Japanese stocks shoot sharply higher, catching up to some positive developments after a four-day  holiday weekend."  
    Wealthy must give when government can’t"Private philanthropists are best positioned to be the catalysts for major social change, writes Intel co-founder Gordon Moore."  
    Health: Slowdown in health spending to persist.    
    Retail: April sales to show bad-weather effects.    
    Energy: Exxon goes for Irish pot of black gold.    
    Markets: Belski sticks to lower S&P 500 target.    
    Politics: Food trucks hold Washington protest.  
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Martha Stewart Posting Profile on Match.com
  "We’ll get to the record-breaking market week in a minute, but first a small digression regarding two “old school” figures making “digital news.”  Martha Stewart revealed to Matt Lauer live on the Today Show that she was up for posting her dating profile on Match.com. Stewart said, in part: I don’t have that much time…I’d like to have breakfast with somebody, go to bed with somebody, sleep with somebody. Her online posting, aided by the input of Lauer, nephew/author Dan Slater, ... Read More »"  .    
    NAAIM Survey: Active Managers Embrace Bull Move.  "The National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) member firms who are active money managers are asked each week to provide a number which represents their overall equity exposure at the ... Read More »"  
    Biotech Still Holding Top Spots.  "Each week the computers scour our universe of the most liquid stocks traded in the United States for the Top Stocks (the stocks with the top ratings in the top industry groups). But for this report, ... Read More »"  
    Eurozone Services PMIs Improve.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.      


2013-5-3 (Friday Night): Dow, S&P 500 Surge to Record Closing Highs, Dow tops 15,000 on jobs report. The NASDAQ Composite added 38.01 points (1.14%) to end at 3,378.63. The Dow rose another 142.38 points (0.96%), to end at 14,973.96; the S&P 500 gained another 16.83 points (0.94%) to 1,597.57. Oil closed at 95.61: Oil ends at one-month high, up 2.8% on week. Gold ended at 1,471::Gold ends lower; copper jumps 7% on U. S. jobs data. The VIX fell 0.74 to 12.85.    
   
"The S&P closed above 1,600 and the Dow briefly traded above 15,000 for the first time as stocks extended this year's rally."

    "Investors cheered the latest report on the U.S. job market Friday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average briefly above 15,000 for the first time. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Milestone day for U.S. stocks- S&P breaks 1,600; Dow taps 15,000.  
    Does Dow 15,000 mean it's time to sell?.    
    Lessons from past Dow milestones"As the Dow pierces through an all-time high, a look back at previous breakthroughs — and what happened next"  
    What Dow's record levels really mean for your wallet.    
    Track Dow's road to 15,000.    
    Why booted Nasdaq stocks outperform all the others.    
    S&P hopes to end drought for milestones.    
    Copper's message for stocks.      
    U.S. adds 165,000 jobs; unemployment 7.5%.    
    U.S. unemployment rate at lowest since 2008.    
    Breaking down the jobs report.    
    Dark side to jobs report: Big drop in hours worked"Commentary: There was a dark side to the April jobs report: Total hours worked fell sharply."  
    What did best at forecasting the payrolls report.    
    Job market outside Fed’s control: Lacker.    
    It's not time to get aggressive with stocks.  "Don't get bearish, and don't get short either, writes Cody Willard. Just let your long positions do the work for you."  
    Hulbert: Stock buybacks beat the market.    
    The rundown on first-quarter earnings.    
    Treasury prices plunge on strong jobs data.    
    Europe stocks higher after U.S. data beats.    
    Why the job market will pick up in the second half (video)."Mesirow Financial Chief Economist Diane Swonk joins The News Hub to explain why she's optimistic the labor market will turn-around in the second half of 2013."   
    What bullion dealers say about gold demand.   
    Could this retirement plan replace the 401(k)?"Here’s what you need to know about such plans, in case one comes soon to your workplace, writes Robert Powell." 
    Awesome energy innovations, courtesy of Uncle Sam.   

    Energy: Middle East embraces solar power.    
    Can the brain stop the body from aging?"Blocking one brain protein in mice slowed their physical and mental decline, researchers say."
    Take profits in Apple and Treasurys.    
    Why sell? Just make smarter investments.       
    Wall Street Sees Fed Buying $1.25 Trillion of Assets in Stimulus"Wall Street is looking for the Federal Reserve to buy a total of $1.25 trillion of assets under its latest debt purchase program intended to stimulate the economy, according to a Reuters poll."  
    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Nonfarm Payrolls Well Above Expectations
  "The Nonfarm Payrolls data (aka the Jobs Report) is one of the most closely followed gauges regarding the state of the economy. This month's report was well above the analyst expectations as 165,000 ... Read More »"  .    
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Weaker Than Consensus.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down Again.    
    The Early Look: All Eyes on Jobs Report.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    What I find startling about today's new records is the way they fly so completely in the face of an endless blizzard of dire warnings... Survive the financial apocalypse, Watch: Analyst Sees Drop Worse Than 'Normal', U.S. economy heads for spring swoon, Where to look for the next crisis, and Meredith Whitney's warning and more, It's been said before: market tops don't occur amid fearsome warnings and major pessimism.  .      


2013-5-2 (Thursday Night): Wall Street closes up on tech gains, S&P near 1,600, Stocks rebound, S&P nears 1,600. The NASDAQ Composite annexed 41.49 points (1.26%) to end at 3,340.62. The Dow rbounded 130.63 points (0.89%), to end at 14,831.58; the S&P 500 rose another 14.89 points (0.94%) to 1,597.57. Oil closed at 91.01: Oil ends lower on demand worry, ample supply. Gold ended at 1,468::Gold powers ahead after ECB cuts rates. The VIX jumped 0.97 to 14.49.    
   
"Stocks closed about 1 percent higher on Thursday, led by tech shares, after weekly jobless claims figures pointed to improving labor market conditions a day before the closely watched monthly payroll report."

    "U.S. stocks rebounded Thursday, as a drop in jobless claims and the European Central Bank's interest rate cut fueled optimism on Wall Street. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Jobless claims fall sharply to five-year low.  "The number of Americans filing new jobless benefits claims fell sharply last week to its lowest level since the early days of the 2007-09 recession, a sign the job market is still healing even though the"  
    U.S. productivity climbs 0.7% in first quarter.    
    ECB cuts rates, Draghi says more room to act.    
    Survive the financial apocalypse"We're heading for a major decline. Here are 9 steps to take to protect yourself."  
    Climate Good for Earnings, Not Jobs: Perelman.    
    Stocks-Bonds Rumble, Maybe Both Are Right.   
    15-year mortgage rate hits record low of 2.56%
    Gross: You're going to lose money.  "Pimco's Bill Gross uses his monthly investment outlook to take on the timely topic of haircuts."

    Words of wisdom from Howard Marks"Central bank stresses it could increase or decrease its asset purchases."  
    Blankfein: This may be China's century.    
    Is China no longer the factory of the world?       
    Chinese housewives buy 300 tons of gold.    
    First shot to fix Fannie, Freddie.  "Commentary:  Mel Watt could bring some much-needed relief to home owners, writes Darrell Delamaide."  
    Banking industry backs Obama pick.  
    Hillary Clinton's huge lead for 2016 nomination.  
    Politics: Voters struggle to assess sequester.   
    A Cadillac that drives itself, literally"GM says it hopes to have a Caddie that can guide itself down a freeway by 2020."   This doesn't quit jibe with GM's announced plans to introduce "Super-Cruise" in 2015. Of course, there may be more to full-scale freeway driving than lane-centering and adaptive cruise control. Then too, GM would be well-advised to be cautiously conservative in making claims for future products.
    Investing is boring? That's the right financial strategy.  "Usually, the less you do, the better. Find a better use for your brain instead."  
    The next fat pitch for investors.    
    Another reason 'Sell in May' is wrong.    
    Michael Gayed highlights The next fat pitch for investors .   
    Mick Weinstein tells How indexing could kill the stock market.    
    Cody Willard explains why Why it's clear sailing for Apple right now.     
    Michael Casey warns that the Global bond market looks eerily like 2005.    
    Europe’s future may rely on U.S. nat-gas reserves.    
    Small businesses somewhat more willing to hire.   
    ECB still not expanding money supply.    
    European stocks edge up as ECB cuts rates.  
    A look at how April's other jobs data stacks up.    
    Reshoring may actually happen in some industries.       

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
What Separates The Professionals From The Public  "spent the better part of the last four days at NAAIM's (National Association of Active Investment Managers) annual "Uncommon Knowledge" conference, which was hosted in my hometown of Denver this year. While the conference agenda was chock full of strong presenters such as Keith McCullough of Hedgeye, Martin Pring, Tom McClellan, and Ian McAvity, the real benefit to attending ... Read More »"  .    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Improving.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Down Again.    
    The Early Look: ECB Rate Cuts Boosts Futures.        
    Employment Costs Below Expectations
    Challenger: Planned Job Cuts Fall in April.     
    Eurozone PMI's Remain Weak in April.    
    HSBC's China PMI Falls to Four-Month Low.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-5-1 (Wednesday Night): Wall Street Drops on Data, Earnings, Stocks begin May with a sell-off. The NASDAQ Composite dipped 29.66 points (-0.89%) to end at 3,299.13. The Dow tumbled 138.85 points (-0.94%), to end at 14,700.95; the S&P 500 rose 3.96 points (0.25%) to 1,597.57. Oil closed at 91.01: Oil ends lower on demand worry, ample supply. Gold ended at 1,458::Gold edges up in electronic trade from 1-week low. The VIX jumped 0.97 to 14.49.    
   
"Stocks fell on Wednesday after a batch of economic data indicated weaker-than-expected growth in the world's top economies a day after the S&P 500 index closed at a record high."

    "With the calendar now reading May, investors are wondering if it will pay to "Sell in May and Go Away" again this year, as it has for the past three. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. economy heads for spring swoon.    
    Feds to curb reverse-mortgage evictions.    
    S&P will hit 1,700 by Halloween"The call comes from Sam Eisenstadt of Value Line fame, writes Mark Hulbert."  
    Stock futures fall as revenue disappoints.    
    Tax hikes, spending cuts slow private job growth.   
    U.S. to sell floating notes by early '14
    Trading loophole causes Chicago Mercantile Exchange to take steps.  

    Fed holds steady in face of weak data"Central bank stresses it could increase or decrease its asset purchases."  
    Fed pulls a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.    
    Anti-austerity forces in Europe raise their voices       
    8 CEOs on 1,000 times more pay"The ratio of CEO to average employee pay tops 1,000 in eight companies, led by J.C. Penney's ex-head Johnson."  
    Yahoo CEO Mayer makes $36.6million.    
    Health- Feds shorten Obamacare application.  
    Here's where to invest.  "BBVA Compass CIO outlines all the dangers of the current economic climate."  
    European sales pain U.S. firms.   
    Energy: More oil in North Dakota.    
    Health: Time ripe to invest in biotech.    
    A search for yield in a liar's economy.    
    U.K. April manufacturing PMI notches steadily up.    
    Where to look for the next crisis"Here are 5 possibilities, from Turkey to even Germany."  
    What to know about Slovenia.    
    4 biggest threats to financial stability  "These are the biggest threats identified by federal regulators (slide show)."   
    Middle class is resigned to not keeping up.  "Once-basic money goals, like paying for college, are only realistic for the upper class."  
    Why you should fill an ‘emergency bucket’.    
    Why the ECB is expected to cut interest rates.   
    ECB should mean 'Ease Credit Boldly'.    
    Meredith Whitney's warning and more.  
    Watch: Analyst Sees Drop Worse Than 'Normal'.    
    Record Earnings: That's Right...Record.    
    Spring Slowdown Paints Ugly Jobs Picture.
    El-Erian: Economy Unfortunately Stuck at 'New Normal'.     

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Samsung Numbers Out of This World, AAPL Outlook, and Other Notable Quotes  "In a week in which Apple’s earnings were likely the most watched of the season, its bitter rival stole some of the thunder. Thanks to the NY Post for the headline thought, and its report on Samsung’s “out-of-this world” 1st Quarter 2013 earnings/shipments: The company shipped about 70 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, a number that has ... Read More »"  .    
    Consumer Confidence Rebounds in April.    
    Chicago PMI Headline Falls Into Contraction Zone.    
    Case-Shiller Index Gain Strongest Since May 2006.        
    Employment Costs Below Expectations.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are up 0.17% tonight.


2013-4-30 (Tuesday Night): S&P 500 Hits Another Record After Largely Flat Day, Apple boosts broader market. The NASDAQ Composite jumped 2177 points (0.66% to end at 3,328.79. The Dow gained 21.05 points (0.14%), to end at 14,839.80; the S&P 500 rose 3.96 points (0.25%) to 1,597.57. Oil closed at 93.34: Oil ends under $94 for an almost 4% monthly loss. Gold ended at 1,474::Gold ends higher on central-bank prospects. The VIX subtracted 0.19 to 13.52.    
   
"Stocks closed with slight gains on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 ending at another all-time closing high on a rally in Apple and encouraging economic data."

    "U.S. stocks erased earlier losses Tuesday afternoon, pushing the S&P 500 close to an all-time high, while the Nasdaq remained at its highest level in more than 12 years. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. paying down debt for first time since crisis.  "The Treasury expects to pay down debt this quarter for the first time since mid-2007."  
    Downbeat tone as Fed meets?
    The markets say all systems go"The Nasdaq is up more than 5% over the past seven sessions, signaling that the overall market is on solid ground technically, writes Kevin Marder."  
    Falling consumer debt helps, but economy needs more: Abby Joseph Cohen       
    Annual gains in U.S. home prices strongest in 6 years"Home prices in 20 U.S. cities see best year-over-year growth since 2006, Case-Shiller data show. "  
    Chicago PMI slumps to 3½-year low.  
    Consumer confidence rises sharply in April.    
    Employment cost index rises.   
    Unemployment rises in euro area, inflation falls.    
    Markets: Is Tesla the new Google or Apple?.    
    Yes, money does make you happier. "'New research finds you can't have too much, and it does buy happiness."   
    Word on the market from big money.    
    Obama budget could revive estate-tax battle.   
    Italian debt: Too rich to be digested.    
    Euro-zone woes: Slovenian credit downgraded.    
    Germany a bright spot in a down Europe market.    
    What's Ahead for U. S. Interest Rates?.    
    The annuityville horror.  "How you can avoid these nightmarish tales of improper annuity sales."  
    Backdoor Roth IRA conversion- tax-free?.  "When you make a nondeductible contribution to a traditional IRA and immediately convert it to a Roth IRA, it's nontaxable ... right?"
    Michael Ashbaugh charts Nasdaq breakout.    
    Apple split, IBM short and $5,000 gold.    
    Home Prices Will Remain Relatively Stagnant for Next 10 Years: Shiller.
    El-Erian: Economy Unfortunately Stuck at 'New Normal'.     

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Samsung Numbers Out of This World, AAPL Outlook, and Other Notable Quotes  "In a week in which Apple’s earnings were likely the most watched of the season, its bitter rival stole some of the thunder. Thanks to the NY Post for the headline thought, and its report on Samsung’s “out-of-this world” 1st Quarter 2013 earnings/shipments: The company shipped about 70 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, a number that has ... Read More »"  .    
    Consumer Confidence Rebounds in April.    
    Chicago PMI Headline Falls Into Contraction Zone.    
    Case-Shiller Index Gain Strongest Since May 2006.        
    Employment Costs Below Expectations.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-4-29 (Monday Night): S&P 500 Ends at Record High on Growth Stocks, S&P 500 closes at record high. The NASDAQ Composite jumped 27.76 points (0.85% to end at 3,307.02. The Dow gained 106.2 points (0.72%), to end at 14,818.75; the S&P 500 rose 11.37 points (0.72%) to 1,593.61. Oil closed at 94.41: Oil ends higher on central-bank stimulus bets. Gold ended at 1,473::Gold ends higher on central-bank prospects. The VIX added 0.10 to 13.71.    
   
"The S&P 500 index ended at an all-time high on Monday as growth-oriented stocks, including energy and technology, led the way to the index's sixth rise in the past seven sessions."

    "Technology shares sparked a broad rally that boosted the S&P 500 to a record closing high and fueled the tech-heavy Nasdaq to its highest level in more than 12 years. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Stock gains mask weak U.S. sales outlooks.    
    Not buying into S&P 500 rally"The market is heading into a near-term top so longs may not be a high-percentage trade, writes Avi Gilburt.
"
  
    Jobs data may improve but still underwhelm.  "The U.S. labor market’s growth was choppy in recent months, and until consistent strength emerges, bank officials are expected to maintain current policies, economists say."
    Why the Jobs Outlook Just Got a Lot Worse.    
    El-Erian handicaps U.S. growth.  "Pimco chief tells Milken conference that Fed needs to let markets do job."  
    Economy Is Showing Signs of Slowing: Shilling"Almost four years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. economy remains mired in sluggish growth -- and things may be slowing down, says Gary Shilling, the founder and president of A. Gary Shilling & Co."  
    Market Is Overvalued, ‘Drag Your Feet’ on New Stock Buys, Says Johnson. "'Bull markets don't go wrinkle free,' says Hugh Johnson, chairman & CIO of Hugh Johnson Advisors. 'They get a bit overvalued and a little undervalued. Right now, if anything, we're a little overvalued.'"   
    Chart shows why Fed is sitting on its hands"A glance at a favored central-banker metric points to the Fed standing pat on rates and asset buying."  
    Gold jumps nearly $20 an ounce as dollar weakens.   
    Gold on the Cusp of a Breakout: Kilburg.    
    Why markets look safe till summer.    
    China car sales at risk.    
    Why Germany's DAX no longer reigns over European markets.    
    Mexico building bridges with China.  
    U.S. consumer spending rises 0.2% in March.    
    U.S. consumer spending slows in March.    
    Google invades Apple turf: Google Now comes to iPad and iPhone.    
    Pending home sales rise 1.5% in March.  
    Merkel showing tough love to her euro partners.    
    The German DAX is becoming a market dog.    
    Stock trading 'mostly dictated by luck' says statistician Silver.    
    The ‘Whale’s’ widening wake at J.P. Morgan.  "As another executive exits the post–"London Whale" bank, David Weidner argues the next crisis may do in the Jamie Dimon regime."  
    11 most popular upgrades.  "Buyers spend thousands extra for improvements like stainless-steel appliances."
   
Why gold bullion may have further to fall.  
   
Finally, an alternative to 'sell in May'.    
   
Time is right to reboot the Euro.    
    Why the worst is over for Europe.  
   
Don't wait for fresh pullback in gold.    
 
   Hong Kong’s raw capitalism under strain   
    .Links: What high-yield spreads say     
   
Stock market's 'Maginot line'.    
   
After Boston, a fresh look at disability insurance.  "A hard truth: Most disabilities aren't caused by accidents or traumatic events."  
   
Retirees: Beware shiny gold objects.    
   
This summer, take the vacation road less traveled.  "That might mean St. Louis, home to one of the nation's leading zoos, or Savannah."  
    Musk's glee as Tesla runs over the shorts. "Shares of the Model S maker keep zipping along, putting year-to-date gains at 57%."   
    Michael Gayed asks: When will the tech wreck end?.    
         
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Samsung Numbers Out of This World, AAPL Outlook, and Other Notable Quotes  "In a week in which Apple’s earnings were likely the most watched of the season, its bitter rival stole some of the thunder. Thanks to the NY Post for the headline thought, and its report on Samsung’s “out-of-this world” 1st Quarter 2013 earnings/shipments: The company shipped about 70 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, a number that has ... Read More »"  .    
    Personal Income and Spending Report a Mixed Bag.         
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly lower tonight.


2013-4-26 (Friday Night): Wall Street gains on earnings, data, but S&P record a hurdle, Stocks end week up more than 1%. The NASDAQ Composite fell 10.73 points (-0.33%) to end at 3,279.26. The Dow gained 11.75 points (0.08%), to end at 14,712.55; the S&P 500 fell back 0.01 points (-0.18%) to 1,582.24. Oil closed at 92.72: Oil futures fall for the day, gain 5.4% on week. Gold ended at 1,459::Gold ends lower, but gains for the week. The VIX decreased 0.03 to 13.59.    
   
"Stocks rose on Thursday, lifted by stronger-than-expected earnings and a large drop in weekly jobless claims. The S&P 500, up for five straight sessions, traded within a point of its record closing high ..."

    "The three major U.S. indexes ended the week with gains of more than 1%, even though stocks mostly drifted Friday. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Your biggest assets are Social Security, Medicare   "Those demanding benefit cuts aren't reliant upon the programs, writes Rex Nutting"
    Reinhard, Rogoff want to shift austerity debate.    
    Adam Hersh: U.S. can't afford austerity gamble..    
    U.S. jobless claims fall near five-year low.   
    'Painful' 401(k) documentary on PBS's 'Frontline' ruffles feathers.    
    The GDP report in charts.    
    How housing market underpins GDP.    
    Why everyone is wrong about austerity.  "Brett Arends spells out four key points that no one else seems to be making on the controversy surrounding the Reinhart-Rogoff paper."
    Reinhard, Rogoff want to shift austerity debate.    
    Adam Hersh: U.S. can't afford austerity gamble.    
    House OKs bill to end air-traffic furloughs.    
    CBOE works to contain fallout from glitch.    
    As companies report, revenues falling short.  
   
U.S. stocks fall after GDP data; H-P boosts Dow.  
   
A stock exchange just for the wealthy?.    "Nasdaq and NYSE executives are set to discuss the idea of a stock exchange exclusively for high-net-worth individuals."
   
Don't wait for fresh pullback in gold.    
    Why the worst is over for Europe.  
   
Howard Gold tells How to play going away in May.    
 
   Myra Saefong explains What gold forecasters are really telling us   
    Quantum physics and you.  "What Stephan Hawking can teach you about planning for retirement."   
         
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here. and the Mars articles here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
The Argument- Money Sloshing Around vs. Macro Fears  "In an effort to keep things brief and to the point (which is likely to be a serious challenge for me), let me say that the state of the market appears to be tenuous at the present time. In short, while the bulls appear to have the situation well in hand from the intermediate-term (3 weeks to 3 months) and longer-term (3 months to a year) perspectives, yesterday's late-day volatility raises some questions in my mind about the potential for ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 4/26/13.    
    UofM Sentiment Reading Perks Up.         
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    It's been another "up" week for stocks.


2013-4-25 (Thursday Night): Wall Street gains on earnings, data, but S&P record a hurdle, Stocks close higher. The NASDAQ Composite rose 20.34 points (0.62%) to end at 3,289.99. The Dow gained 24.5 points (0.17%), to end at 14,700.80; the S&P 500 rose 0.01 points (1.00%) to 1,585.16. Oil closed at 93.34: Oil tops $93 for highest close since April 10. Gold ended at 1,471::Gold futures log biggest one-day gain of the year. The VIX increased 0.01 to 13.62.    
   
"Stocks rose on Thursday, lifted by stronger-than-expected earnings and a large drop in weekly jobless claims. The S&P 500, up for five straight sessions, traded within a point of its record closing high ..."

    "U.S. stocks closed slightly higher Thursday, as investors digested a better-than-expected jobless claims report and another influx of corporate earnings. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Talks are reportedly underway to exempt lawmakers and aides.'    
    Max Baucus, Washington poster child.   "Darrell Delamaide says retiring senator exemplifies what’s wrong in Washington." 
    Don't be fooled by Friday's GDP report.    
    U.S. jobless claims fall near five-year low.    
    Jobless claims aid stocks.    
    British pound rallies after GDP data.  
    Home builders report greater pricing power.    
    To live and die on Mars: Meet the cast. This describes an extremely audacious plan to plant a permanent colony on Mars by 2023. Personally, I think it's off-the-wall (or at least inadvisable)  between now and 2023 because of the technological developments that I think should precede human colonization of Mars. I envision robots clearing dirt "highways" to allow minerals to be transported from their deposits to one-or-more human settlements. Robots might construct a micro-industrial base so that a potential human colony could manufacture its necessities from indigenous Martian materials. At the most basic level, this would consist of the ability to smelt metals from their ores and to fabricate glasses and fired ceramics, etc. The next level up would see these materials fabricated into wire, sheets, and bars. Beyond that, would come, for example, machine tools capable of manufacturing additional machine tools. Access to water ice and construction of the equipment to thaw it, followed by electrolysis to generate breathable oxygen, would be a possible project for Mars-based robots. Excavation of burrows for human colonists would be a possible robotically implemented stratagem. At the outset, everything would have to be transshipped from Earth, but as time went by, more and more complex equipment might be built locally.
    Robots could be teleoperated from Earth but only in a general way with long propagation delays, as is being done with our Mars probes.
    For me, the real challenge isn't simply planting people on Mars, but rather, developing the technological base that would support the permanent colonization of Mars.
    Mars' atmosphere is at 1% the pressure of the Earth's atmosphere... about the pressure level at 100,000 feet. Mars is bone-dry, with liquid water locked up as water-ice. The pressure is below the triple-point of water, so water can't presently exist in liquid form on the surface of Mars.
    There could be permafrost buried under the Martian surface. If not, then it would have to be transported, e. g., from a Martian pole.
    Of course, I could be wrong. I also think this is a valuable effort. If nothing else, it should galvanize planning and discussion.
    What I'd like to see are detailed plans for carrying out a robotic preparation of suitable habitats for the human colonization of Mars. 
    Two good articles below, I think, do a good job of describing the Mars One concept.
 Mars One: Exciting Adventure or Hoax? | Educational Technology, Mars One - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   
    Lew: U.S. must combat 'destabilizing' bank runs.  
   
The right names keep doing the right things.  
   
'OK' earnings are good enough for investors.    
   
Google sees more attempts to censor Web.    
    Congress's Obamacare quandry.  "Talks are reportedly underway to exempt lawmakers and aides."
   
Spanish frustration boils over as protesters plan siege of Congress.    
   
Falling mortgage rates prop up housing market  "Real-estate-market experts say mortgage rates will remain supportive in coming year."  
    In the wired world, feeds drive trading.      

     The 'Great Rotation' through a Yogi Berra lens.   
    15-year mortgage rate hit record low of 2.61%.  "A false AP tweet sent stocks into a swift plunge — displaying Twitter’s reach on Wall Street."  
    What's new in New York Times piece on Yellen.    
    Grizzly bear Edwards sees gold at $10,000, S&P 500 at 450    
    The trading robots that lurk on Twitter. "Tumult over fake AP tweet about fictional explosions at the White House intensifies focus on use of trading computers that mine news feeds."   
    Twitter's jarring influence on trading.    
   
U.S. to eye high-speed traders, money funds.    
 
  Auctioning off the middle seat.  "Airlines are testing a new way to make money: auctioning off first-class seats and other products, even the perk of an empty middle seat."    
   
What could trigger a bear market.    
    Investing is more art than science.    
    Ask Bernanke for cure to low yields.     
         
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Does The "Hack Crash" Tell Us Anything?
  "It is always interesting to see what captures people's attention in this game. For example, Tuesday's "hack job" of AP's Twitter account produced a mini flash-crash in which the DJIA fell 145 points in about 120 seconds and then recovered 134 points in the ensuing 3 minutes. So, in just 300 seconds, the DJIA traveled 279 points. But since the source of the dance to the downside was identified instantly and then the event was reversed almost as quickly as it came, I really didn't give it much thought. The bottom line is this type stuff happens all the time ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 4/25/13.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Waffles.    
    UPS Earnings Beat Street But Revenues Light.
    Weekly Jobless Claims Fall 16K.      
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are down 0.2% tonight.


2013-4-24 (Wednesday Night): Dow Slips, S&P Edges Up as Durable Goods, Apple Drag, Stocks drift on mixed earnings. The NASDAQ Composite adjusted 0.32 points (0.1%) to end at 3,269.65. The Dow fell 43.16 points (-0.28%), to end at 14,676.30; the S&P 500 rose 0.01 points (1.00%) to 1,578.79. Oil closed at 91.68: Oil futures settle above $90 a barrel. Gold ended at 1,434::Gold ends 1% higher as physical demand climbs. The VIX sidled up 0.1 to 13.58.           
   
"The Dow dipped while the S&P 500 edged up on Wednesday as a sharp drop in durable goods orders last month added to worries about slower U.S. economic activity and Apple's results disappointed investors."

    "U.S. stocks drifted lower Wednesday, as investors parsed through a mixed bag of earnings and a weak economic report. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Everything you think you know about Fed is wrong.   "Five common misconceptions about quantitative easing and how monetary policy works." 
    Sell in May and go away? Not for Goldman.    
    Trippy animation of market response to hacked AP tweet.    
    Modified mortgages show 'alarming' default trend.  "Officials try to understand why these default rates are so high."  
    Using home loans to buy stocks.    
    Europe stocks rise on earnings, rate cut hopes.    
    U.S. durable-goods orders slump 5.7% in March.  
   
The sentiment conspiracy.  
   
Italy names Enrico Letta new prime minister.    
   
Markets: Cheers for new Italian premier.    
    New $100 bill to enter circulation in October.  
   
Foreshadowing a bear market.    
   
Come on, ECB. Tell us what you really think.    
    Matthew Lynn advises Be bullish on gold as long as chaos reigns.      

    Al Lewis suggests that Honeywell has its hands in the honey pot.   
    Twitter's jarring influence on tradingTwitter's jarring influence on trading.  "A false AP tweet sent stocks into a swift plunge — displaying Twitter’s reach on Wall Street."  
    Syria Group claims responsibility for false tweet.    
    Fiat in talks to buy remainder of Chrysler.    
   
Do billionaires have higher IQs?.    
 
  Bonuses on chopping block.  "Bowing to federal regulators concerns, seven large U. S. financial-services firms are reining in executive bonuses." 
    Your best financial decision.  "For 40% of people over 55, paying off the mortgage paid off the most."   
   
.    
   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    So Bad News Is Good News Again-
  "To be sure, there are times when the market's "logic" makes little sense to anyone not familiar with the way the game is played. Cutting to the chase, this would appear to be one of those times. Tuesday's rally, which took the S&P 500 back to within a positive tweet of its all-time high, was a pretty good example of this concept. As I got to my desk at about 5:15 am Tuesday morning, I was expecting the worst. Before I had gone to bed, I had seen the report ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Wednesday 4/24/13.    
    Investors Intelligence: More Looking For Correction.    
    Procter & Gamble Report Disappoints.
    Durable Goods Orders Fall in March.  
    Architecture Billing Index Pulls Back.     
    German IFO Business Climate Index Slides.    
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures slightly lower tonight.


2013-4-23 (Tuesday Night): Stocks surge on housing, earnings news, Wall Street rebounds after bogus tweet. The NASDAQ Composite gained 35.78 points (1.11%) to end at 3,269.33. The Dow advanced 152.29 points (1.05%), to end at 14,716.46; the S&P 500 rose 16.28 points (1.04%) to 1,578.78. Oil closed at 88.81: Oil futures end higher for third session in a row. Gold ended at 1,423::Gold gains for third session, reclaims $1,400. The VIX slipped another 0.91 to 13.48.          
   
"Stocks climbed on Tuesday in a broad rally, recovering from sharp declines sparked by a "bogus" Associated Press tweet about explosions at the White House."

    "Stocks pushed higher Tuesday, after briefly tanking following a fake Associated Press tweet said there were explosions at the White House. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Who was and wasn't harmed in Twitter hack.    
    Goldman: Close out gold shorts.  "Recommendation of short positions in gold is lifted by Goldman."  
    Gold falls back after earlier gains, copper weak.    
    Markets: Decade till normal Fed balance sheet.    
    Joyce Chang says emerging markets are maturing.  
   
Sales of new U.S. homes rise in March.  
   
Why it pays to play ‘nice’.  "If you own stock in a not-so-nice company, your portfolio is likely to suffer, writes marketing expert Peter Shankman."  
    The tax advantages of being a landlord.  "Tax rules are a big reason so many fortunes are made in real estate, says Bill Bischoff.
   
Michael Ashbaugh on Charting the S&P’s uptrend, and its next hurdle.    
   
Kevin Marder says Technical factors support stocks.    
    David Waring reveals The message from Treasurys.      

    Michael Gayed advises that Bonds may be the market's Achilles heel.   
    Irwin Kellner writs: Economic growth: Play it again, Sam.  "Once more, slowdown follows early-year growth."   
    Online sales tax moves forward"White House–backed bill giving states right to collect tax on online sales advances in Senate."  
    Europe stocks rally on Spain auction, Italy yield.    
   
Germany dragged into danger zone.  "Purchasing managers data are bleak — and Germany's PMI moves into contraction for the first time since November."  
 
   Europe may be facing a major depression.    
    Goldman's Blankfein pushes Europe austerity.   
    If the IMF is criticising U.K. austerity, things must be bad.     
   
FAA: Furloughs delayed 1,200 flights Monday.    
    Details on bill to limit too-big-to-fail banks.    

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Thoughts On Gov't Debt and The Expected Bear Market in Bonds
  "Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who may be more famous for his hunting acumen (or lack thereof) than his economic policies, once told us that "deficits don't matter." The likely thinking was that running up deficits during times of need is okay because the good ol' USofA has always been able to "grow its way" out of difficulty. So, the Keynesian strategy employed by past administrations (both Democratic and Republican alike) has been to run up a deficit and assume ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 4/23/13.    
    New Home Sales Up 1.5%.    
    FHFA House Price Index Still Rising.
    Markit's Flash PMI Pulls Back in April.  
    DuPont Earnings Ahead of Estimates.     
    Eurozone Flash PMI's Weak in April.    
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are neutral tonight.


2013-4-22 (Monday Night): Wall Street gains with Microsoft; Netflix jumps after the bell, Stocks up despite disappointing housing report. The NASDAQ Composite gained 27.49 points (0.86%) to end at 3,233.55. The Dow advanced 19.66 points (0.14%), to end at 14,567.17; the S&P 500 rose 7.25 points (0.47%) to 1,562.50. Oil closed at 88.81: Oil futures end higher for third session in a row. Gold ended at 1,423::Gold gains for third session, reclaims $1,400. The VIX slipped another 0.58 to 14.39.          
   
"Stocks climbed on Monday as last week's sharp losses brought buyers back to the market and Microsoft Corp shares jumped after an activist investor took a stake in the company. Shares of Caterpillar rose ..."

    "Stocks finished with slim gains Monday, recovering from the worst week of the year, as technology and energy stocks lifted the broader market. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    U.S.'s existing-home-sales rebound pauses in March.  "Existing-home-sales data reflect cooling in the market after a strong bounce from the depths."  
    Home is still American Dream.    
    Economy's spring swoon becoming traditional?.  "The U.S. expanded at a relatively healthy 3% clip in the first three months of 2013, but don’t put too much stock into the headline number."  
    Gross says austerity is not working.  "Bond guru is latest to trash European austerity as an economic wrecking ball."
   
Stephen: What’s behind China’s growth puzzle?.  
   
Markets: Japanese public embraces Abe.  "Google CEO Larry Page touts company’s penchant for bold moves including Google Glass and Google Fiber. With a solid core business and a track record for innovation, investors seem to agree."  
    Before becoming a landlord, add up the costs.  
   
Does Barron's bull-on-a-pogo-stick cover mean it's time to sell?    
    Caterpillar warns of 'challenging year'.      

    Marsh on Monday Italy calm now, but watch out later this year.   
    The big bill: Health care.   "Retirement savers tend to vastly underestimate the costs of health care. Art Koff offers resources to calculate costs more accurately." 
    Why careers end sooner"Employers faced with big health bills for aging employees ar becoming less likely to extend careers."  
    Economy: New-home sales may advance.    
    Andy Xie looks at gold's flash crash.    
    Nigam Arora says Gold market's 'mega bears' are wrong.    
    Gold dives ... what's next?.."Gold hit bear territory last week, with prices falling roughly 20%. One strategist says stocks could very well be the next victims."   
    Politics: Online sales-tax bill advances in Senate.    

   
I've moved the Reinhart-Rogoff discussion here.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    The Brave New World of Day-Trading?
  "Trying to gauge the message from the market action has been more difficult than usual over the past month. Beginning on March 19th the S&P 500's close flip-flopped from green to red and then back again each day for a record breaking fourteen consecutive days. After that, the bulls gained possession of the ball for three additional days (chalking up four straight green finishes in the process) and closed April 11th at an all-time high. But unfortunately, it's been largely downhill from there as we ... Read More »"  
    Obama Once Again Performs "Comforter-In-Chief" Role"It would be hard to tell this week’s story without echoing the nation's outpouring of grief and sympathy for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and the horrific plant explosion in West, ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Monday 4/22/13.    
    Existing Home Sales Slip in March.
    Chicago Fed National Activity Declined in March.  
    NAAIM Index: Managers Raising Some Cash.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are down about 0.2% tonight.. .


2013-4-19 (Friday Night): U.S. stocks rise; IBM weighs on Dow, Stocks suffer worst week of 2013. The NASDAQ Composite gained 39.70 points (1.25%) to end at 3,206.06. The Dow advanced 10.37 points (0.07%), to end at 14,547.51; the S&P 500 rose 13.64 points (0.88%) to 1,555.25. Oil closed at 88.00: Oil futures gain, but lose nearly 4% for the week. Gold ended at 1,407::Gold futures suffer 7% loss for the week. The VIX jumped 2.59 to 14.97.          
   
"The U.S. stock market wrapped up the worst week of 2013, with all three major indexes dropping more than 2%. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    U.K. loses top Fitch rating on weak economic view.    
    Bond links: Low interest rates for another decade?.    
    IBM's worst day in 8 years.    
    G-20 seeks to ramp up global growth.  
   
Finance Week Ahead: More Earnings, Housing Data, First Pass at Q1 GDP.  
   
Google investors say yes to ‘big bets’.  "Google CEO Larry Page touts company’s penchant for bold moves including Google Glass and Google Fiber. With a solid core business and a track record for innovation, investors seem to agree."   
    Americans Grow More Pessimistic on Economy.  "The U. S. economy may be hitting another "spring swoon' the same way it has for the past several years."
   
The price of austerity: hungry Greek kids.    
    Pimco's Gross buys TIPS on the cheap.  ""Bond King" gives Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities a lift after their recent selloff."    

    Is iPhone turning into ad-Phone?"Advertisers spend three times as much targeting Apple devices as Android ones, according to a new study."   
    Two dozen indicted in federal fraud case.   "Two dozen former and current IRS workers have been charged with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of more than $250,000 in a federal fraud and theft case out of Memphis, Tenn." 
    Sellers holding out for higher prices"At a time when many people are clamoring to buy real estate, many homeowners are keeping properties off the market."  
    Energy: Google shakes up utilities.  "China’s response to the global financial crisis resembles what Japan did three decades ago, writes Satyajit Das"  
   Michael Gayed writes about The last pillar for the bulls.    
    More warning signs for bulls.    
    Kevin Marder advises that Cash is the place for speculators right now.   

    Spreadsheet error colored perceptions of public debt"Famous paper by the economists Reinhart and Rogoff on sustainability of public debt is marred by data miscue, critics charge."      
    Reinhart and Rogoff's response to charge.  

   
What Reinhart and Rogoff is all about (Revisited):
    In 2009, husband-and-wife Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published a seminal research paper, and a book entitled: "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly". The book became a best-seller. It was a data-driven tour de force
    In 2010, they published a follow-on paper, "Growth in a Time of Debt", that concluded that when a country's national debt exceeded 90% of its gross domestic product, it was associated with a slight average decline in growth rate of -0.1%. (The median growth rate that Reinhart's and Rogoff's data showed for debt-to-GDP ratios above 90% was +1,2%). Correlation doesn't mean causation. On the contrary, it seems plausible that the causation runs the other way: rather than high levels of debt-to-GDP levels lowering the growth rate, low growth rates may induce government to temporarily take on more debt as government revenues fall and government safety nets go into operation, elevating the debt-to-GDP ratio.  
    The problem arose when politicians worldwide seized upon the Reinhart-Rogoff "results" as inferring that debt-to-GDP ratios caused growth rates to plunge when the debt-to-GDP ratios exceeded 90%. The academic fine points were lost in translation. This lent academic credence to the choice of austerity over increased deficit spending to bring their respective countries out of recession, flying in the face of the  Keynesian doctrine that governments should step up their spending during a recession/depression to keep money flowing in their economies. 
    Now it transpires that Reinhart and Rogoff made crucial errors in their publications, and that the 90% threshold at which disaster purportedly ensues is wrong. Instead of no, or negative growth when debt-to-GDP ratios exceed 90%, the growth rate works out to be something like 2.2%.
(The chart below is taken from Dr. Brad DeLong's website entry: Reinhart-Rogoff Weblogging: "No, their argument of austerity now out of fear of debt didn't seem to me to make that much sense.")

    This chart shows a slow decline in total 5-year future GDP growth as a function of current debt-to-GDP ratios. It looks to me as though it goes from about 8% for a debt-to-GDP ratio of 50% to about... 4%?... 4½%?... at a debt-to-GDP ratio of 200%. In going from 50% to 90%, the growth rate might drop 1%, or -0.2% a year. But these are averages, and there's enough scatter that other factors have to also be influencing this debt-to-growth relationship. 
    "After adjusting for what they called the errors in Reinhart-Rogoff paper, Herndon, Ash and Pollin found that countries with debt more than 90 percent of GDP grew an average 2.2 percent per year. Reinhart and Rogoff said countries in that group saw GDP shrink on average by 0.1%."
   
In any case, not only is there a question about whether high debt causes slow growth or whether slow growth causes high debt: there's also no abrupt change that occurs when debt exceeds 90% of GDP!:   
    The reason this is hugely important, as mentioned above, is because politicians on both sides of the Atlantic seized on the Reinhart-Rogoff results (ignoring academic nuances) and used them to justify sizable  austerity cuts in their nations.
    For example, the 2010 Reinhart-Rogoff paper is quoted in Representative Paul Ryan's 2014 budget plan passed by the House of Representatives..
    "The EU's Rehn has also used Reinhart and Rogoff's results to make the case of fiscal consolidation on the continent." 
    Since then, we've had a chance to see the results of the Keynesian approach versus the austere approach. 
    The U. S. rescued its "too-big-to-fail" banks near the end of the Republican administration in 2008, and then implemented a too-small, Keynesian fiscal stimulus package in January, 2009... call it "Keynesian-lite". Europe chose to tough it out with strict austerity measures for its peripheral countries that were hit hardest by the Great Depression/Lesser Depression. 
    The result: the U. S. is making a slow recovery after amassing massive deficits that it probably wouldn't have accrued if it had provided a larger stimulus up front (especially if these had been "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects). 
    Europe chose the austerity route, and as the above headline shows, after four years of double-dip recession, Europe is now in danger of a full-blown depression.
    What's über-frustrating about this is that we've gone through all of this before, during the Great Depression. The Republican administration unintentionally drove the country to its knees between 1929 and 1932. FDR instituted a bold government-sponsored program, "The New Deal", that brought the country out of the Depression... until 1937. In 1937, he listened to the deficit hawks and caved in. The nation fell back into recession, only emerging during the massive federal spending program that financed World War II. 
    How many times do we have to make these same awful mistakes before we finally "get it"?

Some Follow-On Remarks
    A related study by Arindrajit Dube, "Guest Post: Reinhart/Rogoff and Growth in a Time Before Debt", suggests that changes in growth precede changes in debt, and not the other way around" (taken from a well-written article by Gavyn Davies). 
    It seems to me that you don't have to be an economist to realize that a 90% tipping point is too simplistic. What would happen if a country could borrow money at a 0% interest rate? 
    It could be argued that public debt crowds out private debt, but as we're seeing the U. S., tain't necessarily so. The U. S. government has been borrowing record levels of money since 2008, but fortunately, at record low interest rates. So has this this crowded out private borrowing? No. "Crowding out" would manifest itself in elevated interest rates, but instead, industry can also borrow at record low rates. Why isn't industry taking advantage of these record low interest rates to borrow money fast enough to raise interest rates? Because the demand isn't there. Why isn't the demand there? Because of high levels of unemployment, and also, fear of potential unemployment.
    I believe that if the Obama Administration had upped its original fiscal stimulus package from $0.9 trillion to $1.9 trillion or better yet, $2.4 trillion, the additional $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion  would have paid for itself by now in lower federal deficits over the past few years. Of course, we'll never know, and that's a good thing. I'd hate be responsible for a bad $1 trillion or $1.5 trillion judgment call. But as a sidewalk superintendent, I can offer all sorts of amateur advice (:-))      
    Another point: no one is arguing that it wouldn't be a good idea to reduce our debt-to-GDP ratio. The problem is timing. It's not smart to take a pint of blood from a patient when they're in an Intensive Care Unit.
    In the meantime, European deficit hawks are vowing to cling to their faith that high debt-to-GDP ratios lower growth rates, and are doubling down on their bets. They'll probably have to be removed from office to correct this situation.
    Marketwatch's Rex Nutting and Darell Delamaide have this to say about what's going on: Austerity is having a terrible week, and ‘Shame’ in D.C. includes deficit debate.

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Will It Be Enough This Time?
  "It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. And since my oftentimes meandering morning market missive winds up being about that many words most days, I guess I could take the easy way out this morning and just point you to the charts below. But what's the sport in that, right? So that there are no misunderstandings, I should let you know that I don't consider myself a high level chartist/market technician and I do NOT believe that "the tape tells all" (on that note, does ... Read More »"  
    This Too Will End Badly"As he often states, our Dave M. (founder and CIO) is a member of the glass-is-at-least-half-full club. In recognition of this, Dave likes us to make sure we show the other side of the argument from ... Read More »"  
    GE Down on Flat Revenues and 'Mixed' Results.
    Google Shares Gain After Earnings.  
    IBM Misses on Top and Bottom Lines.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    What can I say? It's been a down week.


2013-4-18 (Thursday Night): U.S. stocks slip; eBay, UnitedHealth disappoint Wall Street skid, Stocks weighed down by tech. The NASDAQ Composite dropped 38.31 points (-1.20%) to end at 3,166.36. The Dow declined 81.45 points (-0.56%), to end at 14,537.14; the S&P 500 nose-dived 10.4 points (-0.67%) to 1,541.61. Oil closed at 88.10: Oil futures finish with a 1.2% gain on Nymex. Gold ended at 1,396::Gold futures settle at highest level of the week. The VIX jumped 1.05 to 17.56.          
   
"U.S. stocks slid for a second day Thursday, with losses in technology and financial shares leading the way. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Low rates for 5-10 years.    
    Slow, stop easing.  "Hopes for a recovery are giving way to fears of an intractable and destructive downturn."  
    Economy has 'lost some steam': Conference Board.    
   
Philly index softens.   
   
U.S. weekly jobless claims edge higher.  
   
Leading Economic Indicators Index in US Unexpectedly Falls.  "The index of U.S. leading indicators unexpectedly declined in March for the first time in seven months, a sign the world's largest economy will cool."  
    IMF’s Lagarde says ECB has more room to ease.  
   
The price of austerity: hungry Greek kids.    
    Moody's may downgrade billions in muni debt.      

    How Goldman saw gold crash that others missed"It could turn out to be the forecast of the year."   
    Gold prices rebound, but copper struggles.    
    Why Buffett isn't keen on gold"Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has long said gold is not worth the trouble. Investors would do well to listen."  
    Spreadsheet error colored perceptions of public debt"Famous paper by the economists Reinhart and Rogoff on sustainability of public debt is marred by data miscue, critics charge."      
    Reinhart and Rogoff's response to charge.  

   
What Reinhart and Rogoff is all about (Revisited):
    In 2009, husband-and-wife Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published a seminal research paper, and a book entitled: "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly". The book became a best-seller. It was a data-driven tour de force
    In 2010, they published a follow-on paper, "Growth in a Time of Debt", that concluded that when a country's national debt exceeded 90% of its gross domestic product, it was associated with a slight average decline in growth rate of -0.1%. (The median growth rate that Reinhart's and Rogoff's data showed for debt-to-GDP ratios above 90% was +1,2%). Correlation doesn't mean causation. On the contrary, it seems plausible that the causation runs the other way: rather than high levels of debt-to-GDP levels lowering the growth rate, low growth rates may induce government to temporarily take on more debt as government revenues fall and government safety nets go into operation, elevating the debt-to-GDP ratio.  
    The problem arose when politicians worldwide seized upon the Reinhart-Rogoff "results" as inferring that debt-to-GDP ratios caused growth rates to plunge when the debt-to-GDP ratios exceeded 90%. The academic fine points were lost in translation. This lent academic credence to the choice of austerity over increased deficit spending to bring their respective countries out of recession, flying in the face of the  Keynesian doctrine that governments should step up their spending during a recession/depression to keep money flowing in their economies. 
    Now it transpires that Reinhart and Rogoff made crucial errors in their publications, and that the 90% threshold at which disaster purportedly ensues is wrong. Instead of no, or negative growth when debt-to-GDP ratios exceed 90%, the growth rate works out to be something like 2.2%.
    "After adjusting for what they called the errors in Reinhart-Rogoff paper, Herndon, Ash and Pollin found that countries with debt more than 90 percent of GDP grew an average 2.2 percent per year. Reinhart and Rogoff said countries in that group saw GDP shrink on average by 0.1%."
   
In any case, not only is there a question about whether high debt causes slow growth or whether slow growth causes high debt: there's also no abrupt change that occurs when debt exceeds 90% of GDP!:   
    The reason this is hugely important, as mentioned above, is because politicians on both sides of the Atlantic seized on the Reinhart-Rogoff results (ignoring academic nuances) and used them to justify sizable  austerity cuts in their nations.
    For example, the 2010 Reinhart-Rogoff paper is quoted in Representative Paul Ryan's 2014 budget plan passed by the House of Representatives..
    "The EU's Rehn has also used Reinhart and Rogoff's results to make the case of fiscal consolidation on the continent." 
    Since then, we've had a chance to see the results of the Keynesian approach versus the austere approach. 
    The U. S. rescued its "too-big-to-fail" banks near the end of the Republican administration in 2008, and then implemented a too-small, Keynesian fiscal stimulus package in January, 2009... call it "Keynesian-lite". Europe chose to tough it out with strict austerity measures for its peripheral countries that were hit hardest by the Great Depression/Lesser Depression. 
    The result: the U. S. is making a slow recovery after amassing massive deficits that it probably wouldn't have accrued if it had provided a larger stimulus up front (especially if these had been "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects). 
    Europe chose the austerity route, and as the above headline shows, after four years of double-dip recession, Europe is now in danger of a full-blown depression.
    What's über-frustrating about this is that we've gone through all of this before, during the Great Depression. The Republican administration unintentionally drove the country to its knees between 1929 and 1932. FDR instituted a bold government-sponsored program, "The New Deal", that brought the country out of the Depression... until 1937. In 1937, he listened to the deficit hawks and caved in. The nation fell back into recession, only emerging during the massive federal spending program that financed World War II. 
    How many times do we have to make these same awful mistakes before we finally "get it"?

    China repeating Japan’s mistakes.  "China’s response to the global financial crisis resembles what Japan did three decades ago, writes Satyajit Das"  
    Men's underwear: a bellwether.  "Economists get happy when men start buying more boxers and briefs as a sign of personal confidence, which typically accompanies economic confidence."  
    Real estate glitters as gold dulls.    
    Howard Gold advises that The case for owning gold has collapsed.    
    Five big bears growl.    
    Debbie Downers of Wall Street"The leaders of the four biggest banking concerns sure are Sad Sacks." 
    Fed worries about deflation.  "Recent comments from Federal Reserve officials show that the lack of inflation is a concern for the U.S. central bank."  
    TIPS dive as investors dump inflation hedges.    
    Singles hit retirement with little savings.  "The amount of money singles in their late 60s have saved up is dramatically less than that of married couple households, writes Robert Powell."   .    
 
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Are The Charts Telling The Real Story?  "In yesterday's missive, we explored the question of if the economy was slowing enough to cause a meaningful correction. The conclusion was that since (a) stocks tend to look ahead six months or so and (b) the indices were recently at fresh all-time highs, the market might be looking beyond the current weak(ish) economic data to brighter days in the second half of the year. However, if the data were to worsen noticeably from here, we might be in for a rough ride. This morning I am going to expand on this theme a bit by looking at "the story" that some asset classes may ... Read More »"  
    Lost Money on Gold? Try $560 Billion"The recent plunge in the price of gold has been an eye opener to some and an outright shock to others. The move down, which some estimate as being a 7.2 standard deviation event, has caused massive ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 4/18/13.
    Philly Fed Weaker Than Expected in April.  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Improves.  
   
LEI Misses Mark in March.    
   
Weekly Jobless Claims Steady.     
    .    
    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are ½ % higher tonight.


2013-4-17 (Wednesday Night): Apple off 4% as tech paces steepening Wall Street skid, Investors bail out of stocks. The NASDAQ Composite dropped 59.96 points (-1.84%) to end at 3,204.67. The Dow gave back 138.19 points (-0.94%), to end at at 14,618.59; the S&P 500 nose-dived 22.56 points (-1.43%) to 1,552.01. Oil closed at 86.57: Oil below $87 as traders fret over demand, supply. Gold ended at 1,375::Gold ends lower as dollar gains; copper drops 4%. The VIX jumped 2.55 to 16.51.      "Stocks advanced on Tuesday, a day after their worst decline since November, as gold prices rebounded and earnings from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson improved the outlook for first-quarter results. Inflation data, which reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus in place, added to bullish sentiment."    
   
"U.S. stocks closed lower Wednesday, as disappointing earnings sparked a broad sell-off. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Stock-market damage reduced following Fed's Beige Book release.    
    Europe faces threat of full-fledged depression.  "Hopes for a recovery are giving way to fears of an intractable and destructive downturn."  
    How Thatcher would have fixed the crisis.    
   
German stocks slump in weak Europe market.   
   
The German downgrade rumor no one believes.  "Some are citing prospect of a lost triple-A debt rating to explain stock skid in Frankfurt.
    Beware the Transports’ weakness"The real story in the stock market these days is perhaps being told by the Dow Jones Transportation Average. And it’s a potentially worrisome story, writes Mark Hulbert."  
   
The lasting effect of gold's rout.   "If you're waiting for a bounce-back for gold after a fierce selloff, you're in for a long one."  
    John Paulson faces $1.5 billion loss on gold bet.       
    Is there gold in your 401(k)?.    
    Morgan Stanley cuts gold forecasts.   
    Spreadsheet error colored perceptions of public debt"Famous paper by the economists Reinhart and Rogoff on sustainability of public debt is marred by data miscue, critics charge."      
    Reinhart and Rogoff's response to charge.  

   
What Reinhart and Rogoff is all about:
    In 2009, husband-and-wife Harvard economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff  published a seminal research paper, and a book entitled: "This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly". The book became a best-seller. It was a data-driven tour de force. 
    In 2010, they published a follow-on paper, "Growth in a Time of Debt", that concluded that when a country's national debt exceeded 90% of its gross domestic product, growth abruptly either stagnated or declined. This became a guidepost for politicians worldwide in choosing austerity over increased deficit spending to bring their respective countries out of recession. This flew in the face of the  Keynesian doctrine that governments should step up their spending during a recession/depression to keep money flowing in their economies. 
    Since then, we've had a chance to see the results of the Keynesian approach versus the austere approach. 
    The U. S. rescued its "too-big-to-fail" banks near the end of the Republican administration in 2008, and then implemented a too-small, Keynesian fiscal stimulus package in January, 2009. Europe chose to tough it out with strict austerity measures for its peripheral countries that were hit hardest by the Great Depression/Lesser Depression. 
    The result: the U. S. is making a slow recovery after amassing massive deficits that it probably wouldn't have accrued if it had provided a larger stimulus up front (especially if these had been "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects). 
    Europe chose the austerity route, and as the above headline shows, after four years of double-dip recession, Europe is now in danger of a full-blown depression.
    Now it transpires that Reinhart and Rogoff made crucial errors in their publications, and that the 90% threshold at which disaster purportedly ensues is wrong. Instead of no, or negative growth when debt-to-GDP ratios exceed 90%, the growth rate works out to be something like 2.2%.
    "After adjusting for what they called the errors in Reinhart-Rogoff paper, Herndon, Ash and Pollin found that countries with debt more than 90 percent of GDP grew an average 2.2 percent per year. Reinhart and Rogoff said countries in that group saw GDP shrink on average by 0.1%."
    The reason this is hugely important is because politicians on both sides of the Atlantic seized on the Reinhart-Rogoff results (ignoring academic nuances) and used them to justify savage austerity cuts in their nations.
    The 2010 Reinhart-Rogoff paper is quoted in Representative Paul Ryan's 2014 budget plan.
    "The EU's Rehn has also used Reinhart and Rogoff's results to make the case of fiscal consolidation on the continent." 
    What's über-frustrating about this is that we've gone through all of this before, during the Great Depression. The Republican administration unintentionally drove the country to its knees between 1929 and 1932. FDR instituted a bold government-sponsored program, "The New Deal", that brought the country out of the Depression... until 1937. In 1937, he listened to the deficit hawks and caved in. The nation fell back into recession, only emerging during the massive federal spending program that financed World War II. 
    How many times do we have to make these same awful mistakes before we finally "get it"?

    How your Social Security can be saved.  "MarketWatch's retirement experts break down prospects of chained CPI as as an option to shore up Social Security's flagging finances."  
    Is the retirement-saving crisis real?.    
    Is there gold in your 401(k).    
    Cities whose job markets are improving fastest.  "These are the metro areas where unemployment has fallen the most in the past year (24/7 Wall St.)."  
    Michael Ashbaugh on Charting the market crosscurrents.    
    Mixed messages and a tale of two markets.   
    Five arguments against a crash.    
    Investment banking fuels Goldman.    
    Consumers stay loyal to gold as investors flee'
    Driving a car can cost $10,000 per year.    
    Why your boss wants you to retire.   
    Weidmann: Debt-crisis recovery will take years.  .  
    America needs a new war or capitalism dies.  
    Germany’s support for the euro wanes.    
    Predicting the gold collapse wasn't hard.    
    Goldman's double-top hangover.    
    Precious metals have a long way left to fall.    
    The unhelpful debate over austerity vs. stimulus.    
    Fed’s Beige Book sees ‘moderate’ growth.   
    Stock-market damage reduced following Fed's Beige Book release.    
    Big banks cut provisions to cover bad mortgages.    
    Wild stock swings to continue.    
    Stick with 'bond-like' stocks as equities flirt with spring swoon: Barclays.    
 
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
This Is About To Get Interesting  "Okay, now it gets interesting. We had the run to new all-time highs in every stock market index save the NASDAQ (which for the record, still needs to gain more than 50% from last week's highs to best its 2000 high water mark) - a run that has been unloved by many and outwardly hated by many more. We had our shocking sell-off, which has been predicted by the bear camp at least seventeen times so far this year. And now we've had our requisite bounce. So, what's next? Of ... Read More »"  
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Pulls Back.
    The Early Look: Futures Pointing Down.  
    Intel Earnings In Line.  

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.


2013-4-16 (Tuesday Night): Wall Street bounces back with gold, earnings and data help, Stocks rebound from year's worst sell-off. The NASDAQ Composite bounced 48.14 points (1.50%) to end at 3,264.63. The Dow regained 156.12 points (1.07%), to end at at 14,575.32; the S&P 500 nose-dived 22.15 points (1.43%) to 1,574.51. Oil closed at 88.64: .Oil turns higher in last hour of Nymex trading. Gold ended at 1,387::Gold ends higher after 2-session drop of over $200. The VIX dropped 3.31 to 13.96.      "Stocks advanced on Tuesday, a day after their worst decline since November, as gold prices rebounded and earnings from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson improved the outlook for first-quarter results. Inflation data, which reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep its stimulus in place, added to bullish sentiment."    
   
"U.S. stocks bounced back from the biggest one-day sell-off of the year Tuesday, as investors considered a full slate of corporate results and economic reports. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. stocks recover after biggest drop of year.    
    Movers: Coke, Goldman, gold ETFs.    
   
Gold attempts to rebound from historical losses.   "After the worst losses in 30 years, buyers are wading into gold. Commentators urge caution." 
   
Gold’s fair-market value may be no more than $800.  "Mark Hulbert delves into the argument that gold’s bear market is just beginning."  
    Goldman sees more downside for gold.       
    Gold plunge offers up short-term trades.    
    U.S. housing starts top 1 million rate.  "Apartment construction sets pace as starts of new U.S. homes in March hit their highest rate in almost five years." 
    Apartment-building boom continues"Multiunit buildings pace housing starts, with single-family construction dipping."      
    U.S. consumer prices dip 0.2% in March"Inflation decelerates, with CPI falling 0.2% and the core figure rising less than forecast."      
    Industrial production up on utilities usage surge.    
    Fed's Dudley calls bond-buy level 'appropriate'.    
    Fed's Plosser wants to ready for QE exit.    
    Fed's Duke: Hike rates once economy strengthens.    
    Chinese woman wants to sue Fed for QE: report.    
    The day gold died"What gold really is is a confidence bet, a barometer of fear and what it's now telling us is that all bets are off, says David Weidner."  
    Kellner: All that glitters is not gold.    
    The one place gold prices remain high.    
    Where the gold goes"Where the gold goes"  
    German ZEW index falls more than forecast.    
    Europe stocks on track for third day of losses.   
    The best retirement move that almost nobody makes"How low exactly can the two go? A closer look provides a few targets that may help investors, writes Nigam Arora.".  
    Guard retirement from heavy taxes"Here are some strategies on how not to pay a steep tax bill on your nest egg."  
    Hiring your parents to watch your kids.    
    IMF lowers world, U.S. growth forecasts.    
    The unhelpful debate over austerity vs. stimulus.    
    Being defensive has played unusually well in this rally.  Defensive sectors underperform the S&P in all historical stock rallies. But not this one.  
    Annuities are the new tax target..  "As they become more popular, annutities are raising more vexing IRS issues."  
 
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
The Violence Returns  "IFirst and foremost, our hearts and prayers go out to those in the Boston area as well as anyone even remotely involved with the race yesterday. To be honest, it is difficult to focus on anything other than the attack right now and frankly it doesn't seem appropriate to be spending time on such trivial matters as the movements in the stock market after such an event. However, the cold reality is that life goes on and the markets will open for business in a few hours. So, given that there were major happenings in the market before the tragic events in Boston yesterday, I will do my best to ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 4/16/13.    
    Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization Above Expectations.  
    CPI Declines in March .    
   
J&J Stock Higher After Earnings.    
    Goldman's Report Tops Estimates.        
    Revenues Beat Estimates.  

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly lower tonight..


2013-4-15 (Monday Night): Stocks' worst day in 5 mos. as gold suffers 9% slide, Dow falls more than 200 points after Boston explosions. The NASDAQ Composite cratered 78.46 points (-2.38%) to end at 3,218.49. The Dow tumbled 265.86 points (-1.79%), to end at at 14,599.20; the S&P 500 nosedived 36.49 points (-2.30%) to 1,552.36. Oil closed at 87.39: .Treasurys extend rise after Boston explosion. Gold ended at 1,355::Gold suffers biggest one-day drop since 1980s. The VIX exploded 5.21 to 17.27.          
   
"A sell-off in stocks accelerated Monday afternoon following the news of explosions at the Boston Marathon. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    SPDR Gold extends slide after hours.   
    Tech selloff worsens; Sprint, Netflix stay up.   
    How low can gold and silver go?"How low exactly can the two go? A closer look provides a few targets that may help investors, writes Nigam Arora.".  
    Falling knives not worth it, not even gold ones.    
    The gold collapse is great news for stocks..    
    Pension-law proposal hits retirees.  "Proposals to change the pension laws for about 10 million people would be the first time in decades such cuts are allowed."  
    Bonds: What are your 401(k) options?.    
    4% retirement myth.    
    Home-builder confidence slumps.   
    Homes still not good investment: Shiller.     
    Empire State: Another off-the-mark data point   
    Markets: S&P headed to 1,675, then a retreat.    
    Markets: Overseas demand for Treasurys down.    
    Deflation momentum and risk-off risk rally.  
    Mixed messages and a tale of two markets.    
    Market in a minute: Look at preferreds.    
    David Waring Bond links: Sentiment says Treasury rally to go on.  
    New anti-euro party a thorn in Merkel’s side.    
    China’s currency defies downgrade.   
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Understanding The Liquidity Trade  "If you hope to be successful over the long haul in the stock market game, it is important/vital to be objective. To be sure, there are long stretches when bulls make money. And, in turn, there are times (albeit often few and far between) when the bears make money. However, the real trick is to be able to make money regardless of which team rules the roost at any given time. To do so requires the ability to remain flexible and to be able to embrace what is actually happening now in the market. Thus, I'm going to spend my ... Read More »"  
    China Economic Data Disappoints in March.  "China's economy is watched closely as a bellwether for the state of global growth. Thus, it was disappointing to see GDP and Industrial Production come in below analyst expectations. The data has put ... Read More »"  
    Masters and Markets Vie For Excitement This Week.   "Between the stock market and the Masters Tournament, there was plenty of excitement this week. And despite the record high in stocks, most traders may have been more interested in the goings on at ... Read More »" 
    The State of the Economy: Monday 4/15/13.    
    NAHB Homebuilder Confidence Slips Again in April.  
    Empire Manufacturing Index Misses in April .    
   
Citi Earnings Beat on Top and Bottom Lines.    
    Wells Fargo Also Beats EPS, Misses on Revenues.        

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are up 0.4% tonight..


2013-4-12 (Friday Night):,Stocks' win streak ends; consumer weighs, Stocks gain more than 2% for week. The NASDAQ Composite retracted 5.21 points (-0.10%) to end at 3,294.95. The Dow relaxed 0.08 points (-0.00%), to end at at 14,865.06; the S&P 500 lost 4.52 points (-0.28%) to 1,588.85. Oil closed at 90.66: .Oil set for lowest close in over a month. Gold ended at 1,476::Gold at 21-month low. The VIX fell another 0.18 to 12.06.      
  
Stocks slide on data .    
   
"Stocks finished lower Friday, breaking a four-day winning streak. But the losses were slim and all three indexes had one of their best weeks of the year. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Gold sinks $60 an ounce to lowest level since July 2011.   
    Commodities Corner: Gold bust masks huge gains in other resources.   
    Trading Deck: Why gold and silver futures are down in the dumps"Here is the chart that will help you understand what's bedeviling precious metals.".  
    A retail-sales chart to give bulls pause.    
    Business inventories up 0.1% in February.   
    U.S. wholesale prices retreat in March.     
    Rosengren weighs in on Fed's 'dove' side.   
    Week in Charts: Where Obama and Ryan agree.    
    Goldman sees stock strength through 2015.    
    Obama has blurred the Democratic brand"Obama is doing two things Democratic presidents are never supposed to do, says Darrell Delamaide."  
    Don't sell this market — go with it.    
    Individual investors are an emotional wreck.    
    The TIPS for stocks trade"TIPS have become a victim of their own success. So should you sell?"  
    It hurts when the shamer is Jim Cramer.    
    Obama budget failure of will and imagination.   
    Trim your retirement tax bill"Here are eight tips to help youtrim your obligations to Uncle Sam."  
    Chained CPI may shackle negotiation"How Obama's Social Security offer may end up backfiring on him."  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    It's Just Silliness, Right?
  "The tone out of the bear camp sounds like it is becoming a little desperate these days. For example, Jeff Kilbourg, one of the "market pros" on CNBC Thursday called the market's rally since the beginning of the year "silliness." Mr. Kilbourg had that nervous twitch about him as he attempted to stand firm in his conviction. But he smiled big for the camera and attempted to tell the viewers that the gains they have in their accounts so far this year are nonsensical. Kilbourg repeated his "silliness" theme three times in less than a minute. His point: "I think ... Read More »"  
    Retail Sales Disappoint in March.  "TSince the consumer is responsible for more than two-thirds of U.S. GDP, the Retail sales number is always a closely watched data point. The lastest report on the state of the consumer was weaker than ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Friday 4/12/13.    
    UofM Sentiment: Preliminary Reading Misses Again.  
    PPI: Inflation Declines in March .    
   
Retail Sales Disappoint in March.    
    Wells Fargo Also Beats EPS, Misses on Revenues.    
    JPMorgan Chase Earnings Beat But Revenues Light.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    The long-term trend line for the S&P 500 is currently rising at something like 8.5 (8-to-9) points a week. Longer-term, the rise in the upper trend line is from something like 1000 on March 6, 2009, to 1,600 on April 10, 2013, or about 150 points a year, or about 3 points a week. More accurately, it has risen about 12.5% per year, or about 1% a month.


2013-4-11 (Thursday Night):,Market Snapshot: Dow, S&P 500 end at record as retailers rally, Another record close for Dow and S&P 500. The NASDAQ Composite minced up 2.91 points (0.09%%) to end at 3,300.165. The Dow added 62.9 points (0.42%), to end at at 14,865.14; the S&P 500 gained 5.64 points (0.36%) to 1,593.37. Oil closed at 93.31: .Oil ends higher, but gasoline prices drop 2.6%; Gold ended at 1,560::Gold sinks almost 2% on Goldman forecast cut, Fed. The VIX fell another 0.12 to 12.24.      
  
Stocks slide on data .    
   
"U.S. stocks had another day of gains Thursday that pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to new record highs. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Weekly jobless-benefits claims drop by 42,000.   "The number of people applying for new unemployment benefits falls sharply." 
    Federal refi program gets two-year extension.   "Troubled homeowners now have till end of 2015 to take advantage of government refinancing plan." 
    March foreclosure filings fall 23%.    
    U.S. import prices drop 0.5% in March.   
    Fed minutes show sharp division on 'QE'.     
    Budget's editor-in-chief is named Barack Obama"The proposal unveiled Wednesday shows that the president did cut the budget — by 16 pages."  
    Budget deal in reach, Lew says"The deal to put the deficit on a sustainable long-term path remains “so close,” Treasury Secretary Lew said Thursday."  
    White House budget slashes retiree programs.    
    Obama has blurred the Democratic brand"Obama is doing two things Democratic presidents are never supposed to do, says Darrell Delamaide."  
    Obama budget 'just not serious,' Boehner says.    
    Politics: The battle over so-called chained CPI.    
    IRS believes it can read your email, says ACLU"IRS doesn't believe it needs a warrant to search through taxpayers' emails, says the ACLU."  
    Where will you be when party's over?.    
    Lack of participation in rally is a concern.    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Wake Up And Smell The Breakout  "I will need to apologize upfront for this morning's missive, because I feel a rant coming on and try as I might, I don't think I'm going to be able to avoid it. To be honest, I had every intention of penning (er, typing) a well-documented piece on the state of the market. In short, since yesterday's joyride to the upside came out of the blue and there wasn't any obvious catalyst associated with the buying binge, I figured some "esplainin" might be in order. But that was before I ... Read More »"  
    Fed Minutes Botch Part II (Nobody Noticed?).  "The more one learns about the "accidental" release of the minutes from the most recent FOMC meeting (which is often a market-mover), the more questions that arise. The biggest of which is: Nobody ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Thursday 4/11/13.    
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Up Slightly.  
    Import and Export Prices Down in March .    
   
Weekly Jobless Claims Improve.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are neutral again tonight.


2013-4-10 (Wednesday Night):,Wall Street Rallies to Close at Record Highs, Dow and S&P 500 close at new record highs. The NASDAQ Composite zoomed 59.39 points (1.83%) to end at 3,297.25. The Dow rallied 128.78 points (0.48%), to end at at 14,802.24; the S&P 500 gained 19.12 points (1.22%) to 1,587.73. Oil closed at 94.51: .Oil ends higher, but gasoline prices drop 2.6%; Gold ended at 1,562::Gold sinks almost 2% on Goldman forecast cut, Fed. The VIX fell another 0.48 to 12.36.      
  
Stocks slide on data .   "Stocks climbed 1% on Wednesday, with both the Dow and the S&P 500 ending at historic highs as cyclical shares led the way higher for a second straight day." 
   
"Stocks enjoyed steep gains Wednesday, pushing the Dow and S&P to close at new record highs. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Obama says budget meets GOP halfway in deficit cuts.   
    Obama budget would cap IRAs, 401(k)s at $3 million.    
    'Package I am offering includes ... cuts that I do not particularly like'.    
    Comparisons: Obama's budget vs. Paul Ryan's and Patty Murray's.  
    Left warns Democrats not to back Obama plan on Social Security.    
    Obama budget taxes rich, replaces sequester.    
    Fed minutes show sharp division over 'QE' duration.  "Monetary-policy makers still divided at March meeting over how long to keep buying bonds."  
    Fed goofs, sending meeting minutes early to congressional staffers and trade groups.  
    China posts surprise trade deficit.    
    Spring lull is a pause: Jones.  "Weak payrolls report indicates U.S. economy is slowing after a strong first quarter, but Société Générale's Brian Jones says that’s temporary."  
    John Nyardi says Stocks or bonds: Only 1 can be right.    
    A 1998 danger signal resurfaces.    
    Getting used to a slow-growth future."There's a big disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street, writes Mark Hulbert."  
    Cody Willard advises Time for investors to return to First Solar.    
    Make gains from 'Rise of the Machines'.   
    New highs in S&P 500 are very bullish"There's much cause for rejoicing as S&P 500 breaks through new highs — but how long can this rally last? writes Lawrence McMillan."   
    Smart investment, Buffett-style.  "Banks have grown stronger over past three years, aided by central-bank stress tests, says Fed chief."  
    U.S. Postal Service rescinds its plan to end Saturday mail delivery.  
    Why you won't be audited this year (you can thank budget cuts).    
    Retiree health benefits: Facing extinction?.   
    Retirement: Liberate employees from burden.    
    Obama's big retiree-program budget cuts.    
    Stockman has blown some bubbles, too.  
    Matt Lynn observes: Long live the dollar.   "With the euro's crisis, the dollar's reign can last another decade." 
    Euro-zone depression ahead.    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Where Are Those Bears, Anyway?  "Well, it's about time. After a record-breaking streak of fourteen straight sessions in which the close of the S&P 500 wound up being the opposite of the day prior, the bulls finally put together back-to-back winning days on Tuesday. The DJIA marked the occasion by finishing at a fresh all-time high. But unfortunately, the fun stopped there as far as the rest of the major indices were concerned. To set your mind at ease, I promise that I'm not going to spend another thousand words this morning lamenting the negative ... Read More »"  
    Fed Botches Release of Minutes.  "In response to what appears to be an internal snafu at the Federal Reserve, the minutes from the latest FOMC meeting were released at 9:00 am Wednesday instead of the traditional release time of ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy: Tuesday 4/9/13.    
    Investors Intelligence: Bullish Sentiment Still High.  
    Rates Decline At Italian Bond Auction .    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are neutral tonight.


2013-4-9 (Tuesday Night):,Dow Ends at Another Record High as Cyclicals Gain, Dow closes at new record high. The NASDAQ Composite added 15.61 points (0.48%) to end at 3,237.86. The Dow lofted 59.98 points (0.41%), to end at at 14,673.46; the S&P 500 gained 5.54 points (0.35%) to 1,568.61. Oil closed at 94.02: .Oil ends above $94 as Iran fuels supply concerns; Gold ended at 1,586::Gold settles at highest level in over a week. The VIX fell another 0.35 to 12.84.      
  
Stocks slide on data .   "Stocks advanced on Tuesday, with the Dow closing at a record high on a rally in cyclical shares and as the first impressions of the earnings season were positive.." 
   
"U.S. stocks cut their losses and turned higher Monday afternoon, rebounding from one of their worst weeks of the year. But the gains remained slim as investors gear up for the start of earnings. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    U.S. stocks rise as earnings under way.   
    Does the Obama budget matter? Hints lie in last one.    
    Lew: Obama budget not 'starting point' for talks.  
    Payments on way to forecosed homeowners.    
    We’ll see Dow 18,000 before this bull run ends.  "Gene Peroni writes that the Dow will end 2013 between 14,750 and 15,100 — and then go on to hit 18,000 by 2015." 
    Worker confidence creeps up.  "Last week's data notwithstanding, confidence hints at rebound."  
    Should retirement savers dive into stocks now (video)?.  "Mark Hulbert, Andrea Coombes and Robert Powell explore whether retirement savers are wiser buying into rally or selling in May and going away."  
    Want a raise? Get in shape.  "Here's what happens when companies pay — or penalize — employees for exercise habits."  
    Small-business optimism wanes.  "National Federation of Independent Business's membership-mood gauge dips in March."  
    Banks to start making foreclosure payments.   "Payments on way to borrowers foreclosed upon at the height of an era marked by wrongful actions." 
    Fed chief Bernanke: U.S. banks are stronger now.  "Banks have grown stronger over past three years, aided by central-bank stress tests, says Fed chief."  
    How Uncle Sam spends tax dollars.  "Survey data show tax payers are in the dark on government spending."  
    Reward yourself for finishing your taxes.    
    Fed's Lacker: Living wills can end too big to fail.   
    Bullard backs scaling down of Fed bond buys"Thanks to the weakest jobs report since last spring, the stock market is selling off and forcing investors to, once again, make a tough decision: buy the dip or stay on the sidelines."  
    Markets: Goldman calls for cyclical turnaround.    
    Irwin Kellner asks: Does Obama want to push granny off a cliff?.    
    Why we’ll see Dow 18,000 before this bull run ends.    
    Chasing the hedge-fund lie.    
    A manipulated market and reality.    
    Can equities pull off Houdini-like escape?.    
    Kevin Marder advises that Stock rotation muddies the waters.    
    Michael Ashbaugh notes that S&P 500 chips away at all-time highs.    
    Mark Hulbert In search of the ‘Great Rotation’.    
    Analyst says Congress sending signal to regulators with too-big-to-fail bills.    
    Bill Gross turns bullish on 10-year Treasurys.    
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Man vs. The Machines - The State of HFT  "With the stock market currently doing a fine imitation of a Mexican jumping bean (the S&P's close has changed colors each and every day for the past fourteen straight days), it is safe to say that major indices are currently entrenched in a consolidation phase. And since the meat of the earnings parade doesn't arrive for another week or so, it is a decent bet that the current sideways, back and forth action might continue for a while. As such, ... Read More »"  
    NFIB Small Business Optimism Pulls Back.  "The latest update to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index showed that after three months of gains, the optimism index waned in March. However, job creation was a bright spot as the survey said... ... Read More »"  
    Wholesale Inventories Fall in February.  

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are a bit lower tonight.


2013-4-8 (Monday Night):,Wall Street Edges Higher as Investors Await Earnings, Stocks erase losses. The NASDAQ Composite traded up 18.39 points (0.57%) to end at 3,222.25. The Dow lifted 48.23 points (0.33%), to end at at 14,513.48; the S&P 500 regained 9.79 points (0.53%) to 1,563.07. Oil closed at 93.51: .Oil climbs after weekly loss of nearly 5%; Gold ended at 1,573::Gold marks modest retreat after Friday's rally. The VIX fell a miniscule 0.73 to 13.19.      
  
Stocks slide on data .   "Stocks rose slightly in a volatile session on Monday as investors were reluctant to make large bets going into an earnings season that is expected to be lackluster." 
   
"U.S. stocks cut their losses and turned higher Monday afternoon, rebounding from one of their worst weeks of the year. But the gains remained slim as investors gear up for the start of earnings. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Jitters as new 'flash-crash' response rules take effect.  "Government cutbacks are pulling employment down and the worst may be yet to come."  
    Wall Street rises on 'buy-the-dip' crowd mentality.    
    Stocks face first critical test since hitting high.  
    Bernanke to discuss stress tests tonight.    
    Home-price expectations remain high- survey.   
    Portugal's austerity woes rattle the euro.    
    Portugal stocks slump in otherwise upbeat Europe.    
    Critical warning: Stockman’s ‘Apocalypse’.  "David Stockman's biggest problem is not his angry rhetoric. Stockman’s problem is he’s a truth-teller, writes Paul Farrell."  
    Stocks face critical test as Alcoa kicks off results.  "The new S&P 500 high, just a week old, has already met resistance but its real test will be how it handles first-quarter results."  
    Will S&P bull trap turn to bear trap?.    
    ‘Sell in May’ comes early.    
    4 signs this rally is fatigued.    
    Germany’s ballooning account surplus.    
    Should Goldman’s rogue trader go free?.   
    Investors Get the Dip They’ve Been Waiting for, but Will They Act?"Thanks to the weakest jobs report since last spring, the stock market is selling off and forcing investors to, once again, make a tough decision: buy the dip or stay on the sidelines."  
    
State of the Markets articles include:    
    Everyone Expects A Correction. So, What Do The Cycles Say?
  "Just about everyone in the game right now is anticipating a correction in the stock market. Most believe that it's not really a question of if the market will pull back from its recent all-time highs, but a matter of how bad the decline will be. The recent sideways divergent action in the indices, the faltering momentum, the defensive leadership, the bevy of punk economic data seen recently, the issues in Europe, the dive in interest rates, the action in ... Read More »"  
    Bank of Japan's "Shock and Awe" Exceeds Expectations And...   "What arguably were the two biggest market stories of the week were inextricably linked. The Bank of Japan’s “shock and awe” announcement of an aggressive easing program, while well-telegraphed ... Read More »"  
    Alcoa Kicks Off Earnings Season"And they're off... Alcoa kicked off the first quarter earnings season with a report that was typical of the recent trend of companies beating EPS estimates but coming in light on the revenue side... ... Read More »"  
    NAAIM Index: Managers Raised Cash.  

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are modestly higher tonight.


2013-4-5 (Friday Night):, Wall Street rises after Bank Of Japan move, data caps gains, Wall Street Ends Down but Dramatically Pares Losses in Late Trade. The NASDAQ Composite traded down 21.12 points (-0.65%) to end at 3,203.86. The Dow backed off 40.86 points (-0.28%), to end at at 14,564.25; the S&P 500 relinquished 6.7 points (-0.43%) to 1,553.28. Oil closed at 92.67: Oil drops below $93 as jobs data disappoint.; Gold ended at 1,577::Gold futures up 1.5% on day, down 1.2% on week. The VIXrose a miniscule 0.03 to 13.92.      
  
Stocks slide on data .   "Stocks fell on Friday, setting the S&P 500 up for its worst weekly performance of the year, in the wake of a payrolls report that was much weaker than expected." 
   
"U.S. stocks slumped Friday after a sorely disappointing jobs report. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    After dismal jobs data, Fed won't slow bond buying.  "Government cutbacks are pulling employment down and the worst may be yet to come."  
    Jobs data show spending cuts are sapping recovery.  
    See the charts breaking down the disappointing jobs data.    
    Weakest jobs growth in 9 months.    
    Outside the Box Jobs numbers show sharp cuts in hiring.    
    What manufacturing revival?.    
    ‘Punch to the gut’: Reactions.    
    One of S&P's worst days of '13.    
    Treasurys surge.    
    John Nyardi warns of a Big correction dead ahead.    
    Commentary: Bad start to sequester spring.    
    Buy the dip, stocks still better than treasurys, investment gurus argue after lousy jobs report.   
    Investors Get the Dip They’ve Been Waiting for, but Will They Act?"Thanks to the weakest jobs report since last spring, the stock market is selling off and forcing investors to, once again, make a tough decision: buy the dip or stay on the sidelines."  
    Who's bearing brunt of job pain?.     
    Jump in consumer credit biggest in 6 months.    
    U.S. trade gap narrows on oil import slide .  
    Yellen says housing recovery is convincing.    
    Janjuah: Yellen as Fed chief could wreck rally.   
   
Obama budget to cut entitlements: report.    
   
Boehner on Obama entitlement cuts: meh.    
    BRICs bubble is bursting..   "The bursting of the BRICs bubble is happening in slow motion, writes Ansy Xie."  
    Bezos invests in Business Insider.    
    Rex Nutting examines the Cost of coddling health-care monopolies.  "The good news is that health-care costs are flattening, reports Rex Nutting. The bad news is that our policy-makers are reversing some of that progress by giving monopolists a free ride."  
    Fed, European Central Bank, Bank Of Japan go their separate ways: Casey.    
    Don't be a 'Doomsday Prepper' investor.    
    After S&P record, what's left?"Four stock pros offer their predictions for the rest of the year, gauging flush companies, loosening lending standards and the outlook for earnings."   
    Last-minute moves to lower your tax bill.  "It isn't too late to save on your 2012 federal taxes and perhaps your state income tax as well." 
    China bubble refuses to burst, vexing bears.   
    Boomers hit by cuts to federal jobs program.    
    What to look for in job numbers.  "Here's what the markets will be most concerned about when the March employment report comes out Friday."    
    After S&P record, what's left?.   "Four stock pros offer their predictions for the rest of the year, gauging flush companies, loosening lending standards and the outlook for earnings." 
    Al Lewis discusses Al Lewis Should Goldman’s rogue trader go free?"How do you hide billions in trades and millions in losses, get fired for it, and then get a new job at another major firm, asks Al Lewis. And should Goldman's rogue trader go to jail?"  
    Surviving the next correction.   "Famed mutual fund manager Pete Lynch's advice still rings true." 
    Darrell Delamaide's Political Capital Obama’s trade deals serve corporate interests.    
    Budget not Obama's ideal proposal: White House.    
    Markets: Grundlach. Gross sitting pretty.    
    Hulbert: Why it pays to sell in May.    
    Why gold is falling and what you should do.    
    Savers Shouldn't Blame Fed: Surowiecki"
The New Yorker's James Surowiecki argues that criticism of the Fed's easy money policy with regard to its impact on interest-bearing assets is wrong, or at least misguided. The New Yorker's James Surowiecki argues that criticism of the Fed's easy money policy with regard to its impact on interest-bearing assets is wrong, or at least misguided."
    Grundlach, Gross sitting pretty as the ‘great rotation’ falters.    
    Obama tries to woo Republicans with cuts in budget.    


State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Things Are Looking Dicey. What Do The Models Say?  "For the past twelve trading days, the S&P 500 has flip-flopped from green to red and back again. Yep, that's right, for twelve straight days, the market has had no memory from one day to the next. And despite the fact that the venerable stock market index did manage to make a couple new all-time highs during that twelve-day stretch, the S&P closed yesterday at about the same spot it was almost 4 weeks ago. Can you say, sideways? While the S&P has been going nowhere fast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which contains a bunch of those so-called conservative ... Read More »"  
    Jobs Report Misses Big In March.  "The monthly jobs report, which is one of the most closely watched pieces of economic data, was a major disappointment for the month of March as the economy created just 88K new jobs. Economists had ... Read More »"  
    Learn The Truth About HFT - Sunday, April 7th at 7-00pm Eastern.  "Join Dave M this Sunday evening for a live Roundtable discussion about the highly controversial topic of HFT (high frequency trading). Dave will be talking with HFT legend Hiam Bodek. You won't want ... Read More »"

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    This has been a down week brought on by disappointing news about the economy as sequestration takes hold..


2013-4-4 (Thursday Night):, Wall Street rises after Bank Of Japan move, data caps gains, Wall Street rises after BOJ move, data caps gains. The NASDAQ Composite reclaimed 6.38 points (0.20%) to end at 3,224.98. The Dow added 55.76 points 0.38%), to end at at 14,606.11; the S&P 500 recouped 6.29 points (0.40%) to 1,559.98. Oil closed at 93.26: Oil falls again to $93.26/bbl.; Gold ended at 1,556::Gold ends lower for three-session loss of over 3%. The VIX fell 0.32 to 13.29.      
  
Stocks slide on data .   "Stocks rose on Thursday after the Bank of Japan announced aggressive, market-lifting policies to jump-start its economy, but weak jobs data capped gains. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 55.76 points, or 0.38 percent, to 14,606.11, the S&P 500 gained 6.28 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,559.97 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,224.98." 
   
"A mixed bag of news from central banks around the globe prompted investors to tap on the brakes Thursday. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Three ways to capitalize on Japan's 'shock and awe'.    
    The world's worst investor: you.  "Buying high and selling low is a movie we have seen before. Another sequel is out, as mom and pop pile into a stock market that trades near record levels, writes Brett Arends."   
    Draghi hints at May cut.    
    Europe stocks slump as Draghi sees weak recovery.    
    Paulson pinches himself over Fannie's profit.    
    Buy junk bonds, U.S. banks and other trades .  
    Intelligence firms used for trading advantage-GAO.    
    David Weidner writes about Wall Street's flip-flops.   "If you think you know what hapens in the U. S. financial capital, think again."
   
Derivative dealers see rise in risk appetite: Fed.    
    Social Security is here to stay.   "Trust my Aunt Julia. Nobody is going to touch your Social Security benefits. Here's why."  
    Thomas H. Kee, Jr., warns: Russell index has begun to crack.    
    Cody Willard cautions against Market hype vs. market opportunity.    
    Michael Gayed discusses The Spring Sync and the Correction Tell.    
    Kansas City Fed- policy too accommodative.    
    Enron's Skilling could see sentence shortened.    
    Last-minute moves to lower your tax bill.  "It isn't too late to save on your 2012 federal taxes and perhaps your state income tax as well." 
    China bubble refuses to burst, vexing bears.   
    Boomers hit by cuts to federal jobs program.    
    What to look for in job numbers.  "Here's what the markets will be most concerned about when the March employment report comes out Friday."    

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Withering Roots (Again)-
  "Part of my daily routine is to try and identify the drivers of the stock market action. And while there is likely to be some disagreement over what I deem to be the primary driver of the market from time to time, I think it is safe to say that at least one of the reasons that stocks have been rising this year has to do with the idea that the economy is improving. Note I used the word "improving" and did not suggest that the economy is doing well. No, the key here is ... Read More »"  
    Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Inches Up.    
    Weekly Jobless Claims Up 28K.  
    Challenger: Planned Job Cuts Pulls Back in March.    
    Eurozone Services PMI Results Mixed.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly lower tonight.


2013-4-3 (Wednesday Night):, Stocks slide on data, Dow, Stocks slide on North Korea fears, Fed comments. The NASDAQ Composite plummeted 36.26 points (-1.11%) to end at 3,218.60. The Dow dove 111.65 points (-0.76%) on the day, to end at at 14,550.35; the S&P 500 lost 16.56 points (-1.05%) to 1,553.69. Oil closed at 94.35: Oil settles below $95, at a more than one-week low; Gold ended at 1,557: Gold drops to lowest settlement since June. The VIX rose 1.43 to 14.21.      
   Stocks slide on data .   "
U.S. stocks fall from the prior day’s all-time closing highs, with payrolls-processing company ADP’s monthly tally of private hiring below consensus estimates, as are other data." 
   
"A sell-off on Wall Street gained momentum into the close Wednesday on rising worries over North Korea and comments that the Fed could start pulling back on its stimulus program this summer. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    SF Fed president: QE3 could shrink this summer.    
    Stock futures limping after ADP data disappoints.  "Stock futures lose slight gains as private-sector employment growth slows down in March."   
    ADP and other disappointing indicators hinting at U.S. slowdown?.    
    Private-sector job growth at five-month low.    
    Mark Hulbert asks: Is market timing dead?"Commentary: Here's one sure sign that a market top may be imminent."  His sign: when self-appointed market gurus announce that market-timing is dead. Their mantras are "Buy-and-hold is dead" at market bottoms, and "market timing is dead" at market tops.
    Here are the stock market trends that should really worry investors.    
    Rally grumps and the 'Secret Sauce Performance.   
    Private-sector job growth at five-month low, ADP says.     
    Bill Gross on the man in the mirror.    
    Europe stocks fall with nervous eyes on ECB.    
    Home price growth reaches double digits.    
    Fed presidents duke it out.    
    Volcker pushed back til year-end: Fed official.    
    John Nyardi warns Big correction dead ahead.  "The number of factors suggesting a pullback are too many to overcome, writes John Nyaradi." 
    Money lessons from crisis.   "The economic downturn ravaged savings, but taught many investors a valuable lesson in managing their finances." 
    Boomers hit by cuts to federal jobs program.    
    A stock strategy to weather the downturn.    
    The upside of the financial crisis.
    First quarter is solid but latest data is shaky.      
    Are you a born retirement saver?
    Your health plan – now with video games   "Companies are using games like FarmVille to nudge employees in a more healthful direction." 
    .  "It’s complicated, but buying property with a retirement account can cut your tax bill."   
    Stockman’s rant ignores what’s right with America.  "Former budget director David Stockman’s rant in the New York Times is pessimistic and it’s no way influence people, but it makes entertaining reading, and some of it is right on the mark, writes Diana Furchtgott-Roth.."  
    Stockman fires back at Krugman, critics.   "Fresh off an explosive essay and a torrent of criticism, former Reagan budget director David Stockman tells MarketWatch that the gold standard gets a bad rap and that the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates spur Congress to spend."   
    The 46.25% Social Security tax, and other pitfalls.    
    Gold tumbles as demand for ‘paper’ form shrinks.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
    Bull Markets Don't Stop On a Dime, Unless...
.  "The NASDAQ, S&P 500, DJIA and EAFE (Europe, Australia and Far East) indices all enjoyed a strong first quarter of the year. For the NASDAQ, it was the best Q1 since 1991. For the S&P, Dow, and EAFE, the return for the first three months of the year was the best since 1998. And yet, this market remains hated by ... Read More »"  
    ISM Non-Manufacturing Index Disappointing in March.    
    Investors Intelligence- Bullish Sentiment Pops Higher.  
    ADP Employment- Private Sector Job Growth Below Expectations.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.


2013-4-2 (Tuesday Night):, U.S. stocks jump as health insurers surge; Dow hits intraday record, Dow, S&P close at new highs on health care rally. The NASDAQ Composite rose 15.69 points (0.48%) to end at 3,254.86. The Dow catapulted 89.16 points (0.16%) on the day, to end at at 14,662.01; the S&P 500 gained 8.08 points (0.52%) to 1,570.25. Oil closed at 96.66: Oil logs modest gain to recoup much of recent loss; Gold ended at 1,569: Gold settles at its lowest in almost four weeks. The VIX fell 0.80 to 12.78.      
   
"Strength in the health care sector gave stocks a shot in the arm Tuesday, pushing the Dow and S&P 500 to new record highs. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Keep playing defensive shares: J.P. Morgan.  "Are markets really headed for the mother of all crashes? MarketWatch parses the viral op/ed New York Times piece written by former budget director David Stockman."   
    How long do you think this stock market bubble can last?.    
    Commentary: Only 4 strategies can save you from the next crash"Even a kid in a TV commercial can figure out which solution is the best."   
    Gold is getting slammed as stocks stage broad rally.    
    Investors ignoring latest euro-zone data?.    
    Four trends that point to euro-zone collapse.  "Has Cyprus set Europe on the path to destruction?UBS zeros in on four signs that will tell you a breakup of the euro zone is coming."  
    Lenders give Cyprus extra year to meet target-.    
    7 reasons why Cyprus matters.    
    Delamaide: Hollande is missing in action.  "French President François Hollande goes missing in action during the Cyprus crisis, reports Darrell Delamaide. Hollande has been remarkably ineffective in providing the counterweight to Germany that everyone expected him to be."  
    Fannie Mae and fuzzy math"Commentary: Good for Fannie Mae and its record year, but the company remains a threat to the U.S. economy and housing market, writes David Weidner."   
    Fannie reports record $17.2 billion in profits.    
    Kevin Marder notes that Weakness lurks below market surface.    
    Trouble ahead in second quarter?"Commentary: Out of the 10 S&P sectors, nine have had negative earnings revisions, suggesting that despite good overall economic data, corporate earnings may be a bit of a letdown."   
    Bonds, currencies not on board.        
    Even Roubini likes U.S. prospects      
    Only 3 states contracting, data show.  "Only three states saw declines in Philly Fed's indexes in February, while 45 advanced."
    Boomers' retirement confidence sinks   "More than 20% of working boomers have postponed their plans to retire. (Encore)" 
    How to buy real estate in an IRA"It’s complicated, but buying property with a retirement account can cut your tax bill."   
    Tax Watch: everything you need to know ».    
    The 46.25% Social Security tax, and other pitfalls.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Throw The Book At 'Em.  "On February 2, Ground Hog Day, Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow forecasting, and as legend has it – an early spring. Yet on the first day of spring, I looked out my back window at a lake still more than half frozen with my view partially obscured by a wicked little snow flurry. So much for forecasts! One ambitious prosecuting attorney has been so infuriated with Phil’s failure in the face of almost unprecedented cold in the Midwest during the last two weeks that he has sought an ... Read More »"  
    Factory Orders Rebound in February.  
    ISM Manufacturing Disappoints in March.    

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are slightly higher tonight.


2013-4-1 (Monday Night):, Wall Street Pulls Back From Record After Weak Data, Stock rally stalls on weak manufacturing data. The NASDAQ Composite slid 28.35 points (-0.87%) to end at 3,239.17. The Dow eased 5.69 points (-0.04%) on the day, to end at at 14,572.85; the S&P 500 sagged 7.02 points (-0.45%) to 1,562.17. Oil closed at 97.07: May oil down 16 cents, or 0.2%, at 97.07 a bbl; Gold ended at 1,600: Gold futures climb to a close above $1,600. The VIX rose 0.88 to 13.58.     
    "
Stocks fell in light volume on Monday, pulling back after the S&P 500's record closing high last week and weaker-than-expected manufacturing data."   
   
"After an epic start to the first quarter, the second quarter started with a whimper. Stocks pulled back Monday following an underwhelming report on U.S. manufacturing. More"
 
 
Marketwatch says:     
    Is Stockman's doomsday scenario over the top?.  "Are markets really headed for the mother of all crashes? MarketWatch parses the viral op/ed New York Times piece written by former budget director David Stockman."   
    How long do you think this stock market bubble can last?.    
    ISM index's drop is worse than expected.    
    Construction spending rises.    
    Gas prices fall in March first time in 10 years.    
    No break for bond investors.  "After a tough quarter, things are likely to get even tougher for bond investors."  
    Avi Gilburt warns: S&P 500 is setting up a trap door.    
    Michael Gayed writes about Copper, gold and the Cyclical Fold.    
    10 things that could wreck a bull market.    
    April dip in stocks unlikely: Deutsche Bank.    
    David Marsh explains that Cyprus terms rooted in secret letter from ‘70s.    
    Why China's government wants to eat Apple.  "China’s official anger at Apple isn’t what it seems. Craig Stephen writes that Beijing is simply frustrated with the fortunes of its own tech giant."  
    April dip in stocks unlikely: Deutsche Bank.    
    Risky home-equity strategies are back"
More wealthy owners are using home loans to play the stock market and make other investments."     
    Energy: Schlumberger's payday in Venezuela      
    Housing, health are retirement killers.  
    Ford ready to step on gas   "If you like stable governments, low crime rates, socializing, great food, wine, culture and the dependability of developed countries, this list is for you. Above: Valencia, Spain." 
    The 10 best places to retire abroad"If you like stable governments, low crime rates, socializing, great food, wine, culture and the dependability of developed countries, this list is for you. Above: Valencia, Spain."   
    10 things financial advisers won’t say.    

State of the Markets articles include:    
   
Woods #1 Again. So Winning Does Take Care of Everything, Right?-.  "Nike’s Facebook and Twitter messaging on behalf of Tiger Woods this week played on several different levels. And many think it was the social media equivalent of a triple bogey. ‘Winning Takes Care Of Everything’ was the tagline placed on an image of Tiger the day after he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and regained the #1 world golf ranking. It immediately created a firestorm of social and traditional media blowback, given the obvious interpretations related to Woods’ off the ... Read More »"  
    The State of the Economy for Monday 4/1/13"With stock indices at or near record highs, analysts will be watching the economic data more closely to determine if the current levels in the stock market are justified. This morning's data showed... ... Read More »  
    ISM Manufacturing Disappoints in March.  
    Construction Spending Above Expectations.    
    Markit PMI Confirms Expansion Continues.       
    NAAIM Survey: Exposure Levels Remain Elevated.     

    For real-time updates throughout the trading day, try State of the Markets Twitterfeed.

    Market futures are flat tonight.