23 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - We Are the World

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty."

Abraham Lincoln
Cohn and McMaster had a press conference today, to discuss the President's upcoming trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will meet with billionaires, their courtiers in the media and the academy, and some world leaders such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Theresa May.

This Davos forum is a gathering of the economic elite, and not necessarily of government functionaries, although with corporatism becoming more fashionable, it seems that the two will be increasingly one. Trump is the first American president to attend this gathering.

When asked about the framing of the 'America First' campaign slogan, Treasury Secretary Cohn said that it is 'America first, but not alone.' America is 'open for business.' And to that end the Trump admin slapped a 30% tariff on imported solar panels.

And Gary Cohn added that what was good for America is good for the rest of the world. I imagine this echoes his endorsement of the 'trickle down' theory which he

And there you have it.

As a bit of trivia, I have been to Davos, many years ago.  I often traveled to Switzerland over the years, for international standards meetings at the UN in Geneva at first, and then later for business conferences with our European customers and salespeople in places like Davos, Zurich and Zermatt.

Speaking of what's good for America, or at least for those elite Americans that count in the modern economic order of things, stocks continued upwards, as the riskiest of risk on markets continues to push to new highs, shrugging off any and all concerns with its 'rampant optimism' as the spokesmodels like to couch it.

Gold and silver caught a bid today on dollar weakness, as Uncle Buck cracked down through the 90 level on the DX index, finishing up around 89.90.   You may have noticed that the stock charts for the dollar that I post are initially a day behind, and then get updated to include today's action later on in the evening.  This is because of a lag that Stockcharts has in updated that particular pricing.  I watch it on my CME futures feed but don't generate my own chart for it.

As previously noted there will be a Comex precious metals options expiration on Thursday.

Have a pleasant evening.

"He makes the rules and he intends to keep it that a'way,
What's good for General Bullmoose, is good for the USA."

22 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Comex Options Expiration on Thursday, 25 January

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."

Henry David Thoreau

One might observe that Senator Chuck Schumer caved in rather easily to McConnell and the White House, who are not particularly adept. And they may be right.  One cannot take a stand against hard opposition unless they have the anchor of strong first principles on which to gain a foothold.

And seeing their victory, stocks went on a tear higher setting new records across the board. The moneyed interests win again.

On to Davos, where the elite meet to eat.  I wonder who is on the menu?

Gold was up slightly on the dollar weakness, and silver moved sideways.

There will be an option expiration on the Comex this Thursday 25 January. I have included the options calendars for the futures options below.

Have a pleasant evening.

19 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Ship of Fools

"Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but he is a little deaf and has a similar infirmity in sight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. The sailors are quarreling with one another about the steering––every one is of the opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation and cannot tell who taught him or when he learned, and will further assert that it cannot be taught, and they are ready to cut in pieces any one who says the contrary."

Plato, Republic, 'Ship of Fools'

“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. ... Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.

The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.”

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

"Ship of fools on a cruel sea, ship of fools sail away from me.
It was later than I thought when I first believed you,
Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools."

Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, Ship of Fools

Today was options expiration and stocks had an upward drift and chop through most of the day, finally finishing in the green.

Gold and silver caught a bid, but remained stubbornly below overhead resistance.

The Dollar tried to rally, and did get to keep a little bit from what it had lost yesterday.

What are the odds of a government shutdown? The markets do not seem to care.  The financiers are utterly self-absorbed, and thereby going forward with eyes done, with no care for what approaches over the horizon.

Remember to care for the poor, both in body and in spirit.  Pray for your brothers and sisters, as each one bears their own hardships.  And remember to feed His little ones—  of all kinds, including yourself.

Have a pleasant weekend.

18 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Stock Options Expiration Tomorrow - The Hollow Men

I am guilty,
But not in the way that you think.
I should have recognized my duty earlier;
I should have more sharply called out evil, as evil;
I suppressed my judgement far too long.
I did warn,
But not nearly enough, and certainly not clearly enough;
And today I know the nature of my guilt, and my obligation.

Albrecht Haushofer, executed by the SS in Berlin, 23 April 1945

"The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and plunder they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace."


"Never in the history of the world have so many people been so rich; never in the history off the world have so many of those same people felt themselves so poor... The state of perpetual emptiness is, of course, very good for business."

Lewis H. Lapham

Tomorrow is going to be a stock options expiration. The positioning, push and pull games have been unfolding all week.

HSBC is going to pay a wristslap fine ($100M) and accept a 'deferred prosecution agreement' to resolve their being caught blatantly rigging the currency market.

Donny is not draining any swamps; he is just private labeling portions of it, and turning a blind eye to the rest. I'm sorry, but he is an awful president, in terms of leadership and integrity, but a terrific showman. He is what he is, a classic NYC real estate developer. A segment of the population is desperate for him to do as he promised, because there does not seem to be a good alternative, certainly not Hillary and her kleptocrats. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

And one can understand how hard it is to see things as they are, to be disappointed by false promises once again. Many Obama believers refused to see him as he was, a hand-picked face, a very skilled spokesmodel for the monied interests. And still do. He was the king of cool, but judging by what he did, he was no agent of change. So many disappointments. And how easy it is to justify our own bad behaviour.

I said a couple of years ago, in the face of these continuing betrayals by the ruling class, that people in their frustration would reach out and make a bad choice. And so they have. And if we stay on this path, there are much worse choices to come.

The US Dollar tried to rally again today, but ended up pretty much unchanged. It was an odd day with VIX climbing and stocks weak, with a weak dollar, and the bonds weaker with yields climbing and still the metals sold off into the close.

Well, tomorrow is an options expiration, and the US markets are about as unruly and under-regulated as I can remember.

I am wondering where this dollar and bond situation will go. I don't think this is the result of the 'repatriation' of dollars from overseas, because as I understand it the money was pretty much wherever they wanted it to be, just assigned to a particular overseas entity. I believe that there were some restriction in how it could be used, and I understand that quite a bit of it may have been parked in bonds, both official and corporate.

A bond rout is certainly a possibility, with the Fed beginning  to unwind their gargantuan balance sheet—  even though it promises to be the slowest and most half-hearted unwinding of excess since Obama promised to reform the financial sector.

Albrecht Haushofer, who I quote above, was an interesting character. I want to thank Ray McGovern for reminding us of him in one of his recent talks.

Haushofer was friends with Rudolf Hess, and was a frequent visitor to Hess and the Nasal Skidmark in Landsburg prison. Hess procured a certificate of German blood that covered up Haushofer's partial Jewish ancestry, which opened the doors for his career advancement.

He became quite the courtier to the Nazis, and rose to full professor of Foreign Policy in Berlin, and became an advisor to the government He saw fast advancement as the Jewish faculty members were expunged from the University of Berlin. But as time went along, he saw what he and his goose-stepping crew of psychopaths were becoming, and joined one of the resistance groups that were involved in the assassination attempts.

And he went to Moabit Prison for it, and was shot on the street by the SS just before the final advance of the Russian forces on Berlin. The quote above was found scrawled on a piece of paper in his pocket, when his brother recovered his body. These were apparently his final thoughts, his response to the beatings and interrogations for him to admit his crimes for his show trial.

Even for such an opportunistic careerist, for someone who had given themselves over to unfathomable evil, there was an opportunity for redemption.

But as can be seen from what appears to be his final words, he certainly had his regrets. Let us not put ourselves to any position like that. Let us never fail to speak out again evil, for silence is the same as consent.

I cannot recall the exact source now, but recently I was reading interviews with Germans who did horrible things during the war.   All the propaganda and messages of the Party emphasized that they were under assault, by dire threats foreign and domestic. 

As the superior race they were the real victims— of the disabled, the inferior races, the Bolsheviks, the soft-hearted, and were merely defending their blood, and their nation.  They were misunderstood, under-appreciated,  merely doing what needed to be done.

So much like we may imagine ourselves today.

And so, step by step, they killed what was human in themselves, and descended, with their beloved nation, into ruin and madness.   For they were exceptional.
"Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men."
Have a pleasant evening.