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Money Daily has been providing business and financial market news, views, and coverage on a nearly continuous basis since 2006. Complete archives are available at moneydaily.blogspot.com.


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The End is Here; A Dismal Year for Investors Concludes As Global Currency Debasement Tops 2023 Outlook

Friday, December 30, 2022, 8:00 am ET

Thursday's relief rally left the major averages right around unchanged for the week, setting up the final Friday of 2022 as a make or break for the weekly tally.

Here's where the big boys stand for the week as of Thursday's close:
Dow: +16.87
NASDAQ: -19.78
S&P 500: +4.46
NYSE Composite: +52.76

Amid thin trading, with little in the way of economic data or corporate reports, nothing much in the way of movement - up or down - is expected from markets as the year comes to a close.

As far as 2022 is concerned, most people are probably glad it's almost over, looking forward to more positive developments in the next trip around the sun.

Offering some perspective, the inverted spread on the 10-year minus 2-year yields stands at -51 basis points. This important metric may have bottomed out on December 6, at -81 basis points, at that point the most inverted in 41 years, when the spread was -85 back in September, 1981. Then, the US economy was continuing to fight off the ravaging inflation and the second part of the "double dip" recessions of 1980 and '81-'82, caused by decoupling from Bretton Woods when Nixon effectively took the world of the gold standard 10 years earlier, in August, 1971.

One could posit that nothing has been the same since then; the current condition only one more manifestation of economic policy in a world of unbacked currencies and the abandonment of money (gold, silver). Not for long will the world tolerate inflating assets and prices against a backdrop of debased currencies, themselves nothing more than money substitutes that do a poor job in terms of price discovery.

Being unbacked, the global currency racket will likely experience even more profound disruptions and distortions in 2023 than were present in 2022. Continued debasement of primarily Western currencies, so-called global de-dollarization, and the decline of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency will be major factors in how investments and economies fare in 2023. It is likely not to be very pretty or encouraging for the world as a whole, and a challenge to central banks and governments of the USA, UK, and EU.

The global economy is evolving towards in indeterminate end to the fiat currency era. While that is an ongoing concern, today is likely to be more about shedding losers, nibbling at potential winners, and getting out of town for holiday festivities.

Money Daily would like to thank its readers and supporters for another year of reportage on market mayhem and mishaps that has become the global economy.

The final posting of the year will come Sunday, as the WEEKEND WRAP will include a recap of the events of 2022 and a look ahead for 2023.

At the Close, Thursday, December 29, 2022:
Dow: 33,220.80, +345.09 (+1.05%)
NASDAQ: 10,478.09, +264.80 (+2.59%)
S&P 500: 3,849.28, +66.06 (+1.75%)
NYSE Composite: 15,241.21, +203.89 (+1.36%)

Handouts and Stimulus Programs Thwart Fed's Inflation-Fighting Intentions; the End is Near

Thursday, December 29, 2022, 8:58 am ET

Pay no heed to any suggestions to purchase tech stocks. They are not bargains, for most of them, "growth" is in the past, and, many are still wildly overvalued. The only exception to any of the biggest names - Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft - would be Tesla, singularly because the recent selloff has been at least partly an angry reaction to Elon Musk's purchase and reorienting of Twitter.

Laying down its lowest closing marker of the year, the NASDAQ dumped closer to the mythical 10,000 mark. It's a near-certainty that it will fall well below that number in the first half of 2023 if only because the excess has yet to be wrung out of the index and the bear market is in no way finished. There will be more severe declines in the coming year.

On the recession front, the entire planet has been engulfed by contraction. Eurozone economies are collapsing at a rapid pace. One headline read: "Germany may already be in recession." No fooling. Who would have guessed? The drawdown on most European indices has not been nearly as severe as that of the NASDAQ; most are closer to the range of that of the Dow, which slipped beneath the textbook correction level (-10%) with its 1.10% decline on Wednesday.

Keep an eye out for excessive government spending because that will only fuel the inflation fire even hotter and higher. Just last week, the US congress wrapped up its agenda for the year with a $1.7 trillion "omnibus" bill - which is shorthand for "throwing in the kitchen sink, bathtub, and all the plumbing" - sending it over to the resident in chief for a signature which is clearly another nail in the coffin of the middle class. The bill had so much pork in it, wolves, coyotes, and hungry birds gathered around the Capitol just to savor the odor.

Other countries will be passing similar measures, though none will be as large or grotesque as that of the United States, because... exceptionalism, one supposes.

A search for the word "stimulus" turned up a few juicy tidbits, such as:

Direct cash payments worth up to $1,050 will arrive in next three days

That one is for Californians.

To qualify for this payment, applicants must have been residents of California for at least six months during the 2020 tax year, filed their 2020 taxes by Oct. 15, 2021, and earned less than $250,000 a year for single filers or less than $500,000 a year for couples.

That should keep food prices down... NOT.

Then, there's this one:

Residents in Virginia city set to receive $500 check in February

A select number of residents in the city of Alexandria, Virginia, have been selected for a program that will give them $500 every month over the course of two years.

The program, titled Alexandria's Recurring Income for Success and Equity, has selected 170 recipients to receive the monthly payments, all of whom are free to spend the money in any way they see fit.

$500 a month for 170 people may not sound like a lot of money, but over the course of two years, it amounts to $2,040,000. Liquor store owners are happy; cell phone top-offs will be larger.

Meanwhile, in Denver...

Exact date one-time Christmas bonus check worth $600 is being sent out

Thousands of city employees in Denver, Colorado, will see a $600 bonus, the city council approved Monday amid a staffing shortage. The new bonus is expected to cover 8,300 of the city's roughly 11,000 employees, which will cost around $6 million.

Let's get this right. The city of Denver can't fill all their openings, so, instead of maybe, possibly, somehow returning some of that $6 million to taxpayers, the city council awards the dough instead to those overworked (and overpaid) public employees. Your tax dollars at work: fulfilling the hopes and dreams of pencil-pushers everywhere.

Finally, Stimulus update 2023: Here are six states sending payments worth up to $1,500 next year

This one covers already-mentioned California, but adds a state-wide $750 for single filers or $1,500 for joint filers in Colorado, plus handouts in Idaho, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The Idaho rebate is somewhat alarming.

The amount that full-year residents receive from this will either be $300 for single filers and $600 for joint filers, or 10% of the tax amount reported on a taxpayer's 2020 income tax liability, depending on whichever is greater, according to the state's tax commission.

The tax commission is expecting to issue roughly 800,000 payments in this rebate, sending as much as $500 million in payments. $500 million, in Idaho? No wonder potatoes are so expensive. This is the current gig. Overtax your constituents, then give them some money back. Works every time to keep the proles in line.

There are more stories like these out there. Kudos to the Washington Examiner for exposing some government overreach.

Apologies for the detour into the land of Gimmedat, but, here at Money Daily, we want to make sure you know that as the government forcibly fleeces you through mandatory withholding or threatens you with fines and penalties if you don't pony up, you might get some of it back. Maybe. Someday. Honest. We're here to help.

In any case, thanks to inflation, the money returned to taxpayers or given out to workers, bums, alcoholics, drug abusers, vandals, drag queens, right-wing extremists, left-handed minimalists, under-handed criminalists, or any other under-represented group, will be worth less, by about 10-15%. Enjoy. It's the holiday spirit which lasts all year, or, at least until the next paycheck or drug fix, whichever comes first.

As the opening bell in the US approaches, Asian and European stocks are mixed, but US equity futures are soaring higher by the minute. Please note that every effort has been made in this post to avoid references to "Santa Claus Rally" but there it is, maybe today, for what its worth. Sorry.

If any rally does occur, it will have to be a doozy to make up for the losses incurred in December. Major indices are down anywhere from three to seven percent. It's been a rough month to finish off a dreadfully cruel year. Thursday is the penultimate trading day of 2022. Friday is the last. The clock strikes midnight on Saturday, the 31st.

Hang in there. It's almost over.

Lest you haven't heard, central bankers hate silver. Not only is the precious metal one of the two best forms of actual MONEY - the other being gold - it also has commercial, industrial, and medicinal uses. Compared to just about anything else, it's cheap and many people covet it and use it in trade. Anybody can own some. That's why central bankers don't own any. It scares them to think that ordinary people could have control of their own commerce and economy without them getting a cut or charging interest.

Up more than three percent on the year, silver will be one of the top three best investments of 2022 and should repeat that honor in 2023.

At the Close, Wednesday, December 28, 2022:
Dow: 32,875.71, -365.85 (-1.10%)
NASDAQ: 10,213.29, -139.94 (-1.35%)
S&P 500: 3,783.22, -46.03 (-1.20%)
NYSE: 15,037.32, -180.94 (-1.19%)

Going Broke, Going Green, Going Galt, or Just Going Along: Asset Performance the Last Three Years

Wednesday, December 28, 2022, 8:27 am ET

It's been three years since the big, bad virus first made the scene, emanating out of China and eventually around the world, it's safe to say Covid changed some lives and mostly, not for the better.

Putting aside the social and political changes, finances for most people haven't changed dramatically, giving rise to the idea that not panicking at any point was probably a reasonable strategy to maintain both lifestyle and sanity.

Unless you were unlucky enough to invest in bitcoin or any of the thousands of s--tcoins or stocks like META, Amazon (which went up, then down), any of a handful of deteriorating tech stocks, or anything in the fixed income space (until recently), your portfolio probably appears similar to what it was in December of 2019 or January of 2020.

Certainly, nearly everybody benefitted from the stimulus checks in America and elsewhere, but with them came inflation, manifested best by rising fuel and food prices, which soared to astronomical levels in 2022 while financial assets took a serious beating, in reality, getting stocks and bonds to where they maybe should be.

Running down what's become obvious to most investors, simply holding onto what you owned turned out, so far, to be a rational choice. If you managed to pay down credit cards or bills or banked those delightful stimulus checks, bonus time!

Here's how major asset classes have performed over the past three years (December 27, 2019 - December 27, 2022):

Dow Jones Industrial Average: +16% (not bad)
S&P 500: +18% (even better!)
NASDAQ: +15% (something of a surprise)
DAX (Germany): +5%
FTSE (UK): -1%
CAC-40 (France): +9%
Nikkei (Japan): +10%
Bitcoin: +128% (winner, winner)
WTI crude oil: +29% (OK)
Gold: +19%
Silver: +34%

(Source: Google Finance)

There was no attempt made at assessing gains or losses on treasuries, CDs, or money market funds. Safe to say they made gains of 1-4%. Residential real estate is beginning to fade. Commercial real estate is in the dumpster.

Those numbers may be surprising to some people, especially the whiners and snowflakes who believe there's a conspiracy by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and leaders of developed nations (Brandon, Trudeau, Scholz, Macron, et. al.) to plunge everybody into poverty. While inflation has certainly eaten away most of those profits, unless one sold during the plunges of 2020 and 2022, most people haven't been too badly damaged.

Interestingly enough, the top three turned out to be Bitcoin, Silver, and Crude oil, and, since it's difficult to stockpile barrels of light, sweet crude in your back yard or basement, if you bought Bitcoin in December, 2019, you've still doubled your money, though you could have been much better off selling at the high, which was close to four times the current price.

Looking ahead, what do these returns suggest? Continued upside for stocks? Higher prices for crude and gas at the pump? Continued inflation? A return to an almost normal economy?

Life's a gamble and most of us are gamblers. That's the truth. No denying that.

On Sunday, Money Daily will be posting projections for the coming year as the focus of the usual WEEKEND WRAP. Stay tuned for that.

Spoiler alert: The Silver Surfer is our favorite comic character.

With US markets opening in a little more than an hour, futures are pointing to a modestly higher open, which, after Tuesday's non-event, looks good for the bulls, but don't be expecting a huge rally. Santa was carrying mostly coal this year, delivering it to holders of the NASDAQ (and Germany), which is the award winner for Basket Case of the Year, down more than 1/3 since January 1, closing yesterday just 32 points above its worst closing print of the year (10,321.39, 10/14).

For those in the tech spec space, all hope is lost.

Don't buy that dip; it's a falling knife.

At the Close, Tuesday, December 27, 2022:
Dow: 33,241.56, +37.63 (+0.11%)
NASDAQ: 10,353.23, -144.64 (-1.38%)
S&P 500: 3,829.25, -15.57 (-0.40%)
NYSE: 15,218.26, +29.81 (+0.20%)

A Little Late, But, Here Comes Santa Claus; Will 2022 End with a Rally or a Thud?

Tuesday, December 27, 2022, 9:14 am ET

Expect to hear plenty from the financial press about China backing off its "Zero Covid" policy and reopening to the rest of the world over the next few days. Wall Street would like nothing better than a short rally on which to end the year, raising hopes for a rebound in 2022.

Legenday as it may be, the Santa Claus rally normally occurs during the week between Christmas and New Year and this year traders have a good four days to make last minute buys or take gains or losses for 2022. Equity exchanges are open regular hours the rest of this week. The bond market will close early - 2:00 pm ET - on Friday.

Reasons why the stock market might rally the last week of the year are varied, but mostly have to do with padding portfolios for first quarter 2023 results for corporations, and, getting some favorable tax treatment for individuals and some funds. Anything that's not a C corp. (all publicly-traded corporations) is taxed differently for short-term and long-term capital gains.

Short-term capital gains tax is a tax on profits from the sale of an asset held for one year or less. The short-term capital gains tax rate equals your ordinary income tax rate your tax bracket. Long-term capital gains tax is a tax on profits from the sale of an asset held for more than a year. The tax rate is 0%, 15% or 20% depending on taxable income and filing status, so, it's easy to see why buying stocks at the very end of a year and selling it at the start of the second year (in this case, buying in December 2022 and selling in January 2024) makes sense. Any 2024 gain would not be taxed until - at the latest - April 15, 2025 (2024 taxes).

That kind of flexibility is a luxury for the sharpest investors if the stock they're buying appreciates over the coming year. Anybody with an eye to the future and on their cash flow may want to hold a stock bought in late December for a year or longer, as the tax burden is stretched out.

If the "China re-opening" narrative takes hold, there could be a pretty good rally this week. On the other hand, it's been a miserable year thus far, so another dull or bad week might still be in the cards. Other than the China story, everything else seems to indicate that US and global economies are in rough shape, China or no China.

Looks like a toss-up, but, for individual investors, this may be prime time to grab some potential bargains as many stocks are off 20-60% or more. The tech sector, easily the hardest hit in 2022, may not be done with its selloff. With the NASDAQ overall down by 1/3, the tech wreckage may be only half done.

Hope remains, despite equity futures tumbling badly just a half hour before the opening bell.

Ho, ho, ho.

WEEKEND WRAP: Merry Christmas, Just Numbers

Sunday, December 25, 2022, 8:52 am ET

Happy Holidays!


At the Close, Friday, December 23, 2022:
Dow: 33,203.93, +176.44 (+0.53%)
NASDAQ: 10,497.86, +21.74 (+0.21%)
S&P 500: 3,844.82, +22.43 (+0.59%)
NYSE: 15,188.45, +106.92 (+0.71%)

For the Week:
Dow: +283.47 (+0.86%)
NASDAQ: -207.54 (-1.94%)
S&P 500: -7.54 (-0.20%)
NYSE: +170.27 (+1.13%)
Dow Trans: -173.28 (-1.26%)

Treasury Yield Curve Rates

Date 1 Mo 2 Mo 3 Mo 4 Mo 6 Mo 1 Yr
11/25/2022 4.16 4.33 4.41 4.52 4.67 4.76
12/02/2022 3.91 4.25 4.34 4.52 4.65 4.69
12/09/2022 3.81 4.13 4.31 4.54 4.72 4.72
12/16/2022 3.94 4.22 4.31 4.54 4.68 4.61
12/23/2022 3.80 4.20 4.34 4.59 4.67 4.66

Date 2 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 7 Yr 10 Yr 20 Yr 30 Yr
11/25/2022 4.42 4.20 3.85 3.78 3.68 3.97 3.74
12/02/2022 4.28 3.99 3.67 3.61 3.51 3.79 3.56
12/09/2022 4.33 4.07 3.75 3.69 3.57 3.82 3.56
12/16/2022 4.17 3.91 3.61 3.58 3.48 3.73 3.53
12/23/2022 4.31 4.09 3.86 3.83 3.75 3.99 3.82


WTI crude oil:
12/25: $79.35
12/18: $74.50

Gas at the pump (US national average):
12/25: $3.06
12/18: $3.12

California ($4.28)
Nevada ($3.94)

Texas ($2.60)
Oklahoma ($2.61)


12/25: $16,818.40
12/18: $16,692.20
12/11: $17,154.70
12/04: $16,953.40

Precious Metals

Gold/Silver Ratio: 75.50; last week: 77.02

Gold price 11/25: $1,768.10
Gold price 12/02: $1,811.40
Gold price 12/09: $1,809.40
Gold price 12/16: $1,803.00
Gold price 12/23: $1,806.00

Silver price 11/25: $21.67
Silver price 12/02: $23.35
Silver price 12/09: $23.68
Silver price 12/16: $23.41
Silver price 12/23: $23.92

Here are the most recent prices for common one ounce gold and silver items sold on eBay (numismatics excluded, free shipping included):

Item/Price Low High Average Median
1 oz silver coin: 33.93 46.75 38.19 38.11
1 oz silver bar: 32.29 45.00 36.89 35.03
1 oz gold coin: 1,907.40 1,969.35 1,932.60 1,927.80
1 oz gold bar: 1,874.71 1,925.00 1,897.27 1,888.56

The Single Ounce Silver Market Price Benchmark (SOSMPB) was up this week, to $37.06, a gain of 48 cents from the December 18 level of $36.58.


Merry Christmas!

At the Close, Friday, December 23, 2022:
Dow: 33,203.93, +176.44 (+0.53%)
NASDAQ: 10,497.86, +21.74 (+0.21%)
S&P 500: 3,844.82, +22.43 (+0.59%)
NYSE: 15,188.45, +106.92 (+0.71%)

For the Week:
Dow: +283.47 (+0.86%)
NASDAQ: -207.54 (-1.94%)
S&P 500: -7.54 (-0.20%)
NYSE: +170.27 (+1.13%)
Dow Trans: -173.28 (-1.26%)

Disclaimer: Information disseminated on this site should not be construed as investment advice. Downtown Magazine Inc., Money Daily and it's owners, affiliates and/or employees are not investment advisors and do not offer specific investment advice. All investments have risk. You should consult a professional investment advisor or stock broker or use your individual judgement when making investment decisions. By viewing this site, you hold harmless Downtown Magazine Inc., Money Daily, its owners, affiliates and employees against any and all liability. Copyright 2022, Downtown Magazine Inc., all rights reserved.


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