In our little village in New Hampshire (call it Whoville) there's a summer stock playhouse a block or so from us. They have many good plays but no matter the production or quality, they can't top Wall Street from delivering great performances. Thursday was another great show starring Jobless Claims, Warren Buffet, HAL 9000s, Steve Jobs and, of course, Da Boyz running the CRIMEX (COMEX and CME) on precious metals options expiration.
The spin on Jobless Claims data was prior claims were adjusted higher making recent higher claims look not so bad especially when you add Verizon workers.
Warren Buffett entered from stage left with a $5 billion investment in Bank of America (BAC) giving him 6% interest tax-free (a "coddled" billionaire?) and making he and Berkshire (BRK) a new TARP program.
The HAL 9000s have been doing business as HFTs (High Frequency Traders) launching many buy or sell programs using complex algorithms which can drive prices on indexes higher or lower in dramatic fashion. One of their great acts is called "quote stuffing". It's another illegal activity which the SEC hasn't quite figured out. It's as futile for them as the illegal fee-driven recent end-of-quarter price jam-job. One of these actions was featured courtesy of our friends at
and depicted below as it occurred Thursday afternoon. The first chart features the quotes per second (NOTE: one instance exceeding 800 quotes per second). The next chart shows the market's simultaneous reaction.
Steve Jobs sadly is retiring from his leading role as Apple (AAPL) CEO but the stock hardly budged given the products and brand are already well-known and his retirement was much anticipated.
Last, but not least certainly, was the performance of Da Boyz production of gold price manipulation. The first bear raid occurred Tuesday as The Shanghai Gold Exchange raised margins putting pressure on prices Wednesday in the U.S. Not so secretly evidently, Da Boyz met in Chicago and determined to raise gold margins after the close of trading on Wednesday--this being done with prices already down $100. This action was obviously leaked to those in the options pits and the impact enhanced with options expiration Thursday. So we gapped down lower with this event no doubt triggering more stops. This made the strike price hunt down profitable for those on the floor. Once those cleared we rallied back and closed slightly higher on the day.
Meanwhile, back at Wall & Broad stocks fell sharply because evidently there's some concern Ben will do nothing in launching another round of QE from Jackson Hole. Bond prices were higher as was the dollar while commodity prices overall were mixed.
Volume was higher once again on selling and breadth per the WSJ was quite negative putting more life back into the roller coaster ride.
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is a market breadth indicator that is based on the difference between the number of advancing and declining issues on the NYSE. When readings are +60/-60 markets are extended short-term.
McClellan Summation Index
is a long-term version of the McClellan Oscillator. It is a market breadth indicator, and interpretation is similar to that of the McClellan Oscillator, except that it is more suited to major trends. I believe readings of +1000/-1000 reveal markets as much extended.
is a widely used measure of market risk and is often referred to as the "investor fear gauge". Our own interpretation is highlighted in the chart above. The VIX measures the level of put option activity over a 30-day period. Greater buying of put options (protection) causes the index to rise.
Continue to Concluding Remarks
This post is deliberately short since most are waiting for two things: the Bernanke speech Friday and Hurricane Irene. For those of you in the Carolinas good luck!
I'll be firing up the generator tomorrow to make sure it's in fine shape.
Let's see what happens.
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Dave Fry is founder and publisher of
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