‘As Of Now’ Update

Below is the latest machinations within the “markets” using the same chart of the S&P 500™ that I’ve been using continually. The only change (as in the latest) I’ve made is noting where the day session ended today e.g.. Wednesday. To wit:

(Chart Source)

As we sit currently: all of the gains for 2020 have now been nullified. What is far more relevant implied in that statement is this…

All the proclamations you heard on CNBC™ the day I made that first notation “Today…what a difference…” have also – all been nullified. Just as I said they would.

Here’s a refresher for those that may not have heard them.

“…today’s pullback is a drop in the bucket”
“…what we’ve been waiting for – a healthy pause that refreshes”
“…the damage today is really not as bad as it looks”
-Bob Pisani

But what do I know.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

Note: This is not trading or investing advice of any sort. This commentary is for “big picture” discussion purposes only. Please read, or re-read the “About This Site” page for any questions or clarifications.

As Of Now

As I’m typing this (Monday AM) the S&P 500™ futures are indicating that for all the talk that “This is the pause that refreshes.” as heard across the financial/business media outlets – that pause has wiped out all the gains, highs and more of 2020 and is now poised to go negative.

Will it? No one knows for sure, but what I do know with certainty is this…

Anyone that believed all the hype from those same “experts” commentators and financial pundits that trampled over their own mothers to get to the closest microphone, camera or keyboard to tell you they did, have a lot of apologizing and explaining to do.

Starting with their mothers.

As always, we shall see.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

Lest We Never Forget

In remembrance of Peter Hashem…Flight 11,  Seat 20A…Struck the North Tower at 8:46:40 am EST.

The only thing I can say to start is: Life is precious. And when it ends, for what ever the reason, chances are you will not have any control of the timing or circumstances. So live to the fullest everyday, regardless of where you are in life. Because the unexpected, and the horrific, can also happen too you, not just someone else.

When the tragedy on 9/11 happened it changed many of us, if not all.

Like most I remember exactly where I was. I also remember later standing in line at my local bank moments after it happened, and watching the televisions while waiting in line in total utter disbelief, along with everyone else in the bank.

For all of us – time had stopped.

The days and months that followed with the heroism and the outpouring of help and support is well documented elsewhere. Living in New England at the time you either had gone to Ground Zero yourself to try to offer any help, or someone you knew had. Here’s one I was familiar with.

I owned a local Deli at the time in New Hampshire and the owner of the company who supplied me with breads also located there drove back and forth to Ground Zero every morning to pass out muffins and pastries to the rescue teams in the early dawn. Then, he would drive back up to New Hampshire to then start his own deliveries. Every day for months.

No one complained, no one said how hard it was to do, no one was looking for credit. It was just done. It’s just the way it was.

On that day many of us changed. We viewed life a little bit different. It suddenly hit you with laser like focus that life is precious, and death can come at any moment, from anywhere.

No longer was this an esoteric exercise. This was life at its core, and it was playing out in front of our eyes leaving no gray area to ponder.

You either got it – or you didn’t.

In honor of that tragic event I myself set new rules, new guidelines how I was going to go forward in life. I decided I would live life my way, by my rules. And if I were to die today? So be it.

I could say that because I was going ensure I was living, regardless of economic conditions. Not just trying to exist, or simply get by like so many other do. That was not why we’re given this life. It’s given to us to live, to strive, to chase dreams and sometimes catch a few.

Never let that ideal be taken from you – by anyone. Period.

September 11, 2001 changed my life forever. It’s now hard to comprehend it’s been 19 years since. But as I said, in honor of that tragic day I decided to use it as a reminder that while on this Earth live everyday, take nothing for granted, take no one for granted, and live today to chase the dreams of tomorrow. For if I do that one simple step, whether I reach those dreams or not…I will have lived.

For you see, Peter was not only someone who tragically died on that day. He was the younger brother of my close friends growing up. Life doesn’t just happen to someone else. It happens too us all.

We owe it not only to ourselves, but to them. To never forget.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

And Just Like That

As I’ve been saying ad nauseum: If my reading of the current circumstances are correct, what will happen will be a sudden and out-of-the-blue down draft catching everyone off-guard, just like it did (as I also warned back then) in February.

Hint: the chart below shows today’s “sudden and out of the blue” blindsiding. To wit:

(Chart Source)

The above chart is the same one I’ve been using in my ongoing commentary with only a few notations updated. That blue line as you can clearly see has been more than a little important as far as the machines have seemed to be concerned, as I said it was. Again, as I’ve also stressed, the “monkey-bar effect” which it had been displaying would result in a significant “slip” should it loose its grip. Today – you are seeing that expression both in detail and in spades.

And, if I may be so bold, please allow me the levity to point out something I also said this week on the show that should be a clarion call of siren warnings if or when we possibly hear the following words – because just like today – they also came out-of-the-blue, just like I iterated.

That sign?

For those listening to the show this week you heard me state these exact words…

“You’ll understand just how full of sh#t these people in the business/financial mainstream media are when you suddenly have some market correction of significant size, when just prior, they were telling you its all blue skies for as far as the eyes can see when you hear them say, ‘Well, this is really nothing much and is a normal part of dynamic markets.'”

So if you were one that bought Tesla™ on Monday, or Apple™ how you feeling today?

Today on CNBC™ here’s how Bob Pisani said you should feel…

“…today’s pullback is a drop in the bucket”
“…what we’ve been waiting for – a healthy pause that refreshes”
“…the damage today is really not as bad as it looks”
– Bob Pisani

Tesla entered a bear market today from Monday and Apple alone lost more market cap than the entire market cap of most companies within the S&P 500™.

Will we fall further from here?

As always, we shall see. But today’s movement should give one pause for serious contemplation, not what the so-called “experts” are dishing on CNBC and the others.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

Note: This is not trading or investing advice of any sort. This commentary is for “big picture” discussion purposes only. Please read, or re-read the “About This Site” page for any questions or clarifications.

Sorry, But I’m Not Impressed

First let me start by stating the magician known as David Blaine has done a few impressive stunts over the years, but his latest is anything but.

I am being bombarded with news feeds, as I’m sure many of you are also, with his latest using balloons to ascend to some twenty thousand feet – then – parachuting to safety.

“Unbelievable!” “Incredible!” “Stunningly daring!” is just a few of the superlative laced headlines, they’re relentless.

Not that I want to pour cold water on Mr. Blaine’s latest, but I’m sorry, it’s not even worthy of the glass when compared to another that used a balloon and a parachute. That true feat of daring, rather than this dreadfully inept attempt at headlines, was performed by Felix Baumgartner.

On October 14, 2012 using a balloon he ascended to the stratosphere – then – jumped, free-falling back to Earth, while breaking the sound barrier in the process. That alone (speed of sound) was once thought of as impossible. And there he was.

What was also just as death-defying, was little known at the time, was when we all watched Mr. Baumgartner ascend in the tiny capsule that seemed to take forever to reach its height. For we later found the just as startling fact he suffers from chronic claustrophobia. I wrote about this true death defying act at the time (back in 2012) when I was comparing how one was falling with grace, and another was falling out. That other (i.e., out) was the now disgraced, pathetic former sports star known as Lance Armstrong.

All I’ll say about Mr. Blaine’s latest attempt to stay relevant is this…

Sorry Mr. Blaine, but you ain’t no Felix Baumgartner. But take this as a worthy consolation…

At least you ain’t no Lance Armstrong. And that’s a worthy achievement for anyone.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

F.T.W.S.I.J.D.G.I.G.T.

(For Those Who Say I Just Don’t Get It… Get This)

Over the years I have been inundated with unsolicited advice via many good intention business owners or leaders, framing in question form, why someone like myself doesn’t partner up or do something with either the local, regional or national Chamber of Commerce?

Many think they are being helpful, as if maybe, I hadn’t thought about it before, but should.

Why not, right? Because it seems so obvious, correct?

However, what they never suspect is when I address their question with my unadulterated statement…

“The reason why I don’t is: they don’t believe in commerce. They only believe in some unalienable right to extract money from local businesses who think they’re supporting an entity that is working on their behalf and nothing could be further from the truth!”

It’s only my opinion, but I’ve stuck too it, and now there’s proof positive I was correct all along, which has become more often the case, than not.

To make a long story short, and to add some context for the above, let me frame it this way…

I’ve both written, as well as spoke about this topic prior, and they’re all in the archives. One such incident (which just so happened to be the last, when I went against my better judgment thinking “maybe this time will be different” only to be shown not only was it not, but it was even worse than before) was when I offered to do something pro-bono (which in actual dollar terms is high five figures) and after hearing my offer, telling me how great it was, how their audience was just the right ones for it – they said all I needed to do to proceed was pay the signup fee, and they would move on to the next step.

“Sign up?” I asked.

“Yes, you need to become a member to address our audience. After that, we’ll move ahead and see if we should proceed with the next step.” (I wonder if they said the same to Joe and Mika? But I’m getting ahead of myself here.)

“Should proceed?” I asked.

I then reminded this person, “You are aware of my current fees and where I speak, are you not? I mean, we just went over all of this and now you are telling me that in order for me to wave my usual (as to not be coy, well over $50,000) and provide insight that both addresses your audience needs and concern, and is well above most of their expense budgets, for free, via their connection to you – I must pay you? (a little under $200) And then you move me higher onto the think-about-it ladder?”

The response? “Ammm….Ahhh, yes.”

I said “Thanks a lot for the education – take care. Click!”

These people don’t have any understanding of business, nor truly care about the businesses they supposedly “serve” other than collecting dues.

Think I’m wrong? Fair point, then let me ask it this way: How many of you that ever opened a business, went out dutifully and then signed up with your local chapter and truly received anything of value other than the latest invitation to see some politician or CEO of the largest hospital or company in your area give some type of vanity speech that left you wondering to yourself “There’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back!?”

Here’s another short story for further context…

A few years into my retirement (circa 2008) I was thinking about going on the speaking circuit because of the turmoil that was happening at that time (e.g., The Great Financial crisis was in full swing) where I thought about approaching the regional chapter.

Then, before I started, I stopped. Why?

The regional chapter was doing a big seminar on “getting back to business” or some other such venue to (paraphrasing) “help businesses navigate the turmoil.” The speakers for such? Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenzinski of MSNBC™ fame.

I don’t know them personally, probably great people. But business experts to give badly needed advice to struggling and scared out of their wits business owners during the greatest financial morass of our time? Please, I’m sorry, but no. This is what you do when you’re working to impress yourselves (aka “TV star enamored”) – not help your customers.

So, with the above, let me share with you what just rolled across my screens moments ago. To wit:

Chamber of Commerce to back Democrats.

“What’s wrong with that?” I can hear you ask. “Free country, right?” Sure is, and in reality in a sane world there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. But: are we in sane times or insane, I ask?

Small businesses are being put out of business due to shut downs, being burned, looted, and more where the Democrat elected officials have been openly calling for those very business owners to shut up, stop complaining and call their insurance companies. Oh, and don’t call the cops or defend against any looters and rioters “peaceful protesters” or you’ll be the ones going to jail.

These aren’t figments of my imagination, these are actual statements. You can go look them up for yourself, but most business owners in those areas already know them to be be true, because they’re living with it currently, in real time.

So is it not just a wonderful time for business owners to read stories such as this via the Politico™ today? Because it sure looks like the “Chamber of Commerce” is picking a side – and you (the business person) aint on it. Again, to wit:

Thomas Wilson, chairman of the Chamber’s executive committee, said in a statement that “the Chamber’s board has actively and successfully supported more bipartisanship in Washington since 2016 so we can create jobs and economic prosperity,” adding that “our priorities cut across party lines.” 

“We are excited about the positive impact our enhanced endorsement criteria is having on creating better solutions for America,” Wilson added.

“Turmoil consumes Chamber of Commerce as it backs Democrats” Politico

Maybe they’ll also hire Joe and his new bride to do live commentary when the bulldozers come in to level the remaining detritus of those once proud business owners dreams. You know, after the fires burn out of course.

But don’t worry – the Chamber of Commerce will only begin shedding tears when they finally realize (which is so painfully obvious it speaks to their utter lack of self awareness) there won’t be any business owners left to join their ranks – at any price.

And for those that are obviously business challenged at the Chamber whom may be reading this? Here’s a hint as to get a clue about what you’re doing…

You’re now more likely on a pathway to bankruptcy yourselves.

I say: Good riddance.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

Footnote: These “FTWSIJDGIGT” articles came into being when many of the topics I had opined on over the years were being openly criticized for “having no clue”. Yet, over the years, these insights came back around showing maybe I knew a little bit more than some were giving me credit for. It was my way of tongue-in-cheek as to not use the old “I told you so” analogy. I’m saying this purely for the benefit of those who may be new or reading here for the first time. I never wanted or want to seem like I’m doing the “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” type of response to my detractors. I’d rather let the chips fall – good or bad – and let readers decide the credibility of either side. Occasionally however, there are and have been times they do need to be pointed out, which is why these now have taken on a life of their own. (i.e., something of significance per se that may have a direct impact on one’s business etc., etc.) And readers, colleagues, and others have requested their continuance.

Do With It What You May

Below is a chart of the NASDAQ 100™ as I type this around 12:00pm ET. It speaks for itself. To wit:

(Chart Source)

As the world awaits for precisely: the how, the how much, and the how long answers they demand to keep this charade going. All I can help but wonder is Mr. Powell had better make sure he does not disappoint.

For the consequences are writ large in the above.

No pressure, right? After-all, they keep everyone that will listen “They got this!”

As always, we shall see.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

Modern Monetary Theory In Action

There is nothing left to say about the state of what was once known as “The bastion of free markets and capital formation” colloquially known as “Wall Street” other than if you ever thought the idea of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) was just so crazy of an idea they would never truly implement it. Hint: you’re now in the final phase of what would be the equivalent of late stage drug trials, before full oversight approval and rollout.

As I’m typing this the overnight futures are being propelled higher and higher again, into never before seen in human history height and splendor. It is an absolute marvel to behold, yet, the questions that need to be asked such as “Are there any long term consequences?” are not only not being asked, but if they are, they’re immediately jettisoned from ones mind. i.e., Take the medicine, enjoy the ride, dude. It’s the only way to fly, stocks only go up!”

This also happens to be the inoculation chant of today’s mainstream business/financial media. It’s not just troubling – it borders on down right malfeasance. Personally I find it morally bankrupt.

As I alluded, this process unleashed by the Federal Reserve of supplying “kick, after kick, after kick” of this new drug, which in trials is named QE (quantitative easing) but when its released to the full public at large it will assume its own colloquial moniker known as “Free Money.”

The repugnant idea in which downright crazy talk and ideas about an economy, its markets, how they function and more, where people like Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz and others of this ilk are the ones being implemented into what was once the bastion of free market enterprise is mind-boggling. But at this time, this lunatic fringe will point to said “markets” and say “See, we’re the ones that are correct, it is you and your ilk that thinks 2+2=4 math, or that you need to make a net profit to be profitable are the ones that are wrong!”

Right now, they are correct.

The issue here is they can never be wrong, because being wrong means a whole lot of – much further and much more consequential damage – if they are. And make no mistake, I believe they are and may be proven so far sooner than anyone thinks, let alone believes.

Now that the Fed, along with congress has literally spoon-fed the public at large with small doses of MMT in the forms of stimulus checks, and in much larger doses to Wall Street in the forms of QE, where there’s no longer any thought for the need of prudence when, after all, the pusherman Fed’s got their back, man! It’s only logical that the next phase is to go full MMT.

That’s the true issue here with these “markets” now so far above any point of rationality. And the public will now demand theirs in much larger doses and frequency. It’s a frightening aspect, but it is a logical conclusion. The Fed over the last 20 years has now created such a monster that the analogy of “Riding the tiger” seems quaint.

The destruction to cities, states, local governments and more is only just beginning, but what should not be left out of the contemplation is the fact – the more money i.e., MMT that is pushed into the main veins of the country – the more it pays the very same rioters that want to burn it all down simultaneously.

Or, said differently: They too would receive their doses along with everyone else allowing them to riot and destroy ever-the-more.

The issue here is that many will use the current state of the “markets” as further proof that there’s a two-tiered system of both wealth and equality.

And the higher these “markets” go – the more they’re going to have a point, just like Krugman and Stiglitz.

Welcome to the crazy.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

F.T.T.W.T.K.

(For Those That Want To Know)

Below is the latest update to my running commentary of how I see the current “market” machinations and what they may portend.

As I’ve repeated ad nauseam on my show: Not only has the market not done anything to change my mind since I started this commentary. Over the last week or so you’ve heard me use another term just as often. That term is “exhaustion.” And today may be where that term finally peters out, along with said “markets.” To wit:

(Chart Source)

The above is just an updated version of the same chart I’ve been using with a few updated notations, which speak for themselves. As you can see we have now begun to fall away from what had been the “monkey bars” I used to describe the blue line. And it seems the “market” has lost its grip.

The issue here, so far, which could change as we’ve seen repeatedly, is there is now nothing but empty space to drop into if that is what this “market” appears to be signalling, since it barely broke to a new high, for it then fell away with near immediacy, after it was revealed (as I said to watch for) that the Fed. signaled via the release of their minutes – there is no “Yield Curve Control.” action planned at this time. i.e., There isn’t a plan for even more QE (quantitative easing). At least, not yet.

And without more QE?

There’s no more “rocket fuel” to push this thing further into orbit.

In fact, just like trying to get real rockets into space: fail to reach space and escape gravity’s bound, things have a way of coming back down in a much different, and in a much more scarier fashion, than they did in reaching its apex.

The real takeaway for the above is that tiny red line I annotated saying “This line can’t…” Because if this “market” does, in fact, breach it? The odds of fulfilling my original commentary, which began this whole dialogue, comes rushing front and center and in a hurry.

As always, we shall see. But for those that want to know what I’m currently watching and thinking, the above is it, because we could very well be at an inflection point that has serious connotations.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr

Note: This is not trading or investing advice of any sort. This commentary is for “big picture” discussion purposes only. Please read, or re-read the “About This Site” page for any questions or clarifications.

You Pick?

Many times I make the statement “People think they’re informed because of the residual inferred gravitas a news or business outlet once had still applies, when in fact, more often than not, you may not only be misinformed – but mal-informed.”

To support that argument (and why I do what I do) I present the following, which ran on the Bloomberg™ website earlier today. To wit:

(Image Source Bloomberg.com)

So, I ask you: Just what insight do you gain from the above other than it’s not only conflicting – but down right dangerous if you just so happen to have read only one story, then put any decision making impetus behind your now “informed” construct?

Go ahead and think about it. I’ll wait.

And for those that are wondering precisely how the “markets” could lift ever the higher during today’s day session, and then even higher into the evening as the overnight futures market appears to be signalling a possible run for truly “Higher than ever highs!” I propose the following…

As I’ve been saying “It’s all about the election from this moment on.” And as of this moment…

It’s not looking like the “runaway freight-train” into November for the contender that has been breathlessly splattered across screens, print and airwaves. That is: at least, so far, at this moment. Why?

To reiterate: You don’t have the incumbent close the “runaway freight-train double-digit gap” as has been slavishly reported, to now be within 1 point only days after their V.P. pick, and on the opening day of their convention. It just doesn’t happen. Period.

Explaining why Tesla™ has quadrupled in less than eight months, surging ever higher with its stock splitting by five as the world falls even into a greater economic slump is far easier than trying to explain the above.

And money moves on what it “thinks,” not necessarily what is reality. After-all, if reality was truly what the “markets” moved on, then the “markets” could not be where they are, regardless of what the so called “experts” on the mainstream business/financial media outlets proclaim. After-all…

It is those very “experts” that ran the above.

But what do I know.

© 2020 Mark St.Cyr