Fed’s Fake Stock Markets

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The US stock markets soared in 2019, blasting to dozens of new all-time-record highs.  Euphoric traders attributed these massive gains to strong corporate fundamentals and US-China trade-war progress.  But the real driver of stocks’ astounding ascent was the Federal Reserve’s epic extreme easing.  A panicking Fed pulled out all the stops to goose and levitate stocks, leaving fake artificially-inflated markets in its wake.

This year’s huge stock-market rally delighted nearly everyone, generating widespread euphoria.  That made Americans feel wealthier, leading them to spend more freely.  That pushed corporate sales and profits higher than they otherwise would’ve been.  Speculators and investors loved the easy largely-one-sided gains.  And stocks’ biggest fan, Trump, reveled in what lofty record stock markets implied about his policies.

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Gold Correction Not Over

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Gold has been correcting following last summer’s powerful bull-breakout upleg. Since peaking, gold has inexorably drifted lower in a well-defined downtrend. Traders are wondering when this necessary and healthy sentiment-rebalancing selloff will bottom, paving the way for gold’s next upleg. But this correction still has a ways to run, according to speculators’ gold-futures positioning which dominates gold’s price action.

Gold has enjoyed a strong 2019, still up 15.0% year-to-date as of the middle of this week. Unfortunately its gains have been overshadowed by a bigger stock-market surge, driven by extreme Fed easing. This central bank shifted its rate outlook from hiking to cutting, made 3 rate cuts in just 3.0 months, and birthed its massive 4th quantitative-easing campaign to monetize Treasuries! That’s incredible in just a half-year.

The resulting stock-market euphoria from the hyper-easy Fed squelched traders’ interest in gold. Yet it still enjoyed a strong surge after breaking out to its first new bull-market highs in 3.0 years in late June. Over the next 2.5 months it blasted 14.3% higher, a major move compressed into such a short span of time. That climaxed a bigger 32.4% upleg that unfolded over 12.6 months, the largest of this secular bull so far.

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Calculating Your Personal Cost If Stock, Bond And Home Prices Return To Average

We currently have well above average prices for stocks, bonds and homes. This raises a simple question – what would happen to the average retirement account and to home equity for the average homeowner, if valuations were to return to what long term averages show us are normal valuations?

Using decades of valuation information on stocks, bonds and homes, this analysis develops numbers in each category that show how much of current national stock, bond and home prices represents average values, and how much is a premium above normal valuations.

Using those historical values and the illustration of an example homeowner and retirement account investor, it is demonstrated that the current premium is around 59% above long term average valuations. How the loss of such a premium could have life changing implications for tens of millions of homeowners and retirement account investors is reviewed.

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Gold and the Lender of Last Resort

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From The Deviant Investor

Investopedia says“In the United States, the Federal Reserve acts as the lender of last resort to institutions that do not have any other means of borrowing, and whose failure to obtain credit would dramatically affect the economy.”

The Fed has created $billions in the past ten weeks (more on the way) and fed those billions into troubled banks, hedge funds, foreign banks and others. Lack of Fed transparency forces us to guess which institutions the Fed helped with $billions of nearly free currency units.

The Fed “Party Line:” We don’t disclose the recipients because it might cause a run on that institution. The Fed is important because it protects the economy from massive and destabilizing failures.

This is like announcing that we ignore graft and corruption in congress because telling the truth about our “leaders” could destabilize trust in congress.

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Holiday Sales May Be Missing In Action

By Dave Kranzler – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

I’m sure most of you are inundated with “Black November,” “70% off” and “clearance” email promotions from the usual cast of brick/mortar/online chain retailers. It started with my inbox in October.   This is because retailers are terrified of what could be one of the worst holiday spending seasons in years.

The mainstream financial media, planted with sound-bytes from Wall Street snake-oil salesmen, have already created this year’s “the dog ate my homework” excuse for poor holiday spending with the absurd notion that the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is shorter this year.  Quite frankly, I would not be surprise if many households used Amazon’s Prime day and easy Amazon credit lines offered to buy holiday gifts early this year.

Speaking of AMZN, it warned that its expected holiday sales would be lower than previous guidance.  And Home Depot lowered its Q4 revenue estimates for the second time in three months.

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Fed Can’t See The Bubbles Through The Lather

Recently, there has been a parade of central bankers along with their lackeys on Wall Street coming on the financial news networks and desperately trying to convince investors that there are no bubbles extant in the world today. Indeed, the Fed sees no economic or market imbalances anywhere that should give perma-bulls cause for concern. You can listen to Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the situation in his own words during the latest FOMC press conference here. The Fed Chair did, however, manage to acknowledge that corporate debt levels are in fact a bit on the high side. But he added that “we have been monitoring it carefully and taken appropriate steps.” By taking appropriate steps to reduce debt levels Powell must mean slashing interest rates and going back into QE. The problem with that strategy being that is exactly what caused the debt binge and overleveraged condition of corporations in the first place.

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Big US Stocks’ Q3’19 Fundamentals

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The US stock markets have surged to all-time-record highs, fueled by extreme Fed easing. It jawboned about rate cutting, slashed rates, and birthed a new large-scale Treasury monetization campaign! All this has left traders hyper-complacent, assuming the upside will continue indefinitely. But are these lofty stock levels fundamentally-justified? The big US stocks’ just-reported Q3’19 results illuminate this key question.

Four times a year publicly-traded companies release treasure troves of valuable information in the form of quarterly reports. Required by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, these 10-Qs and 10-Ks contain the best fundamental data available to traders. They dispel all the sentiment distortions inevitably surrounding prevailing stock-price levels, revealing corporations’ underlying hard fundamental realities.

The deadline for filing 10-Qs for “large accelerated filers” is 40 days after fiscal quarter-ends. The SEC defines this as companies with market capitalizations over $700m. That easily includes every stock in the flagship S&P 500 stock index (SPX), which contains the biggest and best American companies. The middle of this week marked 37 days since the end of Q3, so almost all the big US stocks have reported.

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