12 January 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Are You Not Entertained?

"And the Lord came and called, “Samuel! Samuel!”   And Samuel replied, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do something that will shock all those who hear of it.  I am going to chastise Eli and his people for their continuing offenses against me.  I have warned him that my judgment is coming."

1 Samuel 3:10-12

Stocks were on a tear again today, finishing at new highs.

The rally was sparked by renewed enthusiasm for the corporate tax cuts.  JP Morgan suggested in its earning report this morning that it sees upside from the tax reform bill.

Gold was also in rally mode, running up to the price resistance at 1340 after cracking through the intermediate trendline.   Silver also rallied a little harder, taking back all the losses it had from earlier in the week, finishing in the black for another week of gains.

There will be a stock option expiration next Friday.

The next Comex option expiration will not be until the 25th.

The stock market is frothy, and speculative frauds being tolerated, such as the meaningless name game with blockchain for quick stock gains, 

There may be some drama next week, as the next deadline for the continuation of the US budget to avoid a government shutdown on the 19th.

Trump did a remarkably odd thing for a political leader.  After strongly signaling to the Congress that he would approve a bipartisan compromise on immigration, as long as it contained provisions for border security, he ambushed a delegation presenting such a compromise in his office with two virulently anti-immigration Congressmen, and dismissed their compromise out of hand.  It was then he resorted to some particularly harsh language aimed at the lottery provision that reverberated in condemnations around the globe.

This may be an effective tactic in hardball negations in NY business deals, where one has the upper hand with their contractors, for example.  Some joker at one of our suppliers pulled that stunt on me in my corporate career.  The way he put it to a colleague, who told me later, is that he liked to punch his opponent in the stomach, and then say, 'let's race!'

And I said that his bosses should know that it would be 'for the best if he never stopped running.'  I never saw him again. It is relatively easy when you have done your homework, and have a good sense of where the leverage lies.  And the relationship between our two companies flourished for years afterwards.  It is never good when a manager has such a poor sense of relationship management and character judgement. Just because someone is fair does not mean that they are weak.

In terms of Washington, Trump just pissed in his own punch bowl by pandering to the fringe of this supporters, once again, stooping to what might best be described as an amateurish negotiating tactic.  US Senators have long memories, and that seemed like an odd move for a guy that is bound to need a lot of friends in the future.   Friends are hard to find;  life delivers enemies and obstacles for free.

Trump seems to be burning his bridges in front of himself.  These sorts of bullyboy tactics probably worked well for him in the past, especially in asymmetrical relationships with suppliers.  But applying that sort of thing in the wrong circumstance may betray a poor sense of situational awareness.  This is not good for the country, especially in areas of foreign policy and relationships. And we certainly could use a better negotiator than in our past dealings in the world, especially with regard to trade. But that is our fault, and the burden of corporatism, which has loyalty to none but itself.

Have a pleasant weekend.

"Not Nero, but God, rules the world."

Henryk Sienkiewicz, Quo Vadis