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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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President Trump, First Lady Melania Test Positive For COVID-19; Wall Street Braces For Reaction

Friday, October 2, 2020, 8:55 am ET

Overnight, it was revealed that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19. They are beginning treatment protocols and will be quarantined at the White House until further notice.

Wall Street's knee-jerk reaction was a sharp decline in stock futures, which were also awaiting the September Non-Farm Payroll report, released at 8:30 am.

September jobs came in at 661,000, well short of expectations of 859,000, with the unemployment rate dropping to 7.9%, which is largely a fiction, as very many formerly employed persons have now dropped off the official tallies.

Futures remain near session lows, with Dow futures off 340 points.

Thursday's results left much to be desired, as the Dow, after being up by 250 points in early trading, eventually slipped into negative territory and finished up a mere 35 points. The NASDAQ, however, closed near its highs of the day, gaining nearly 160 points.

What shook up markets on Thursday was the continued stalemate between Democrats and Republicans over a fresh stimulus bill. They're still about $600 billion apart, the Dems looking for a $2.2 trillion package while the Republicans have offered $1.6 trillion through Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Included in both packages is bailout money for ailing airlines which had held off firings and layoffs until September 30 as per their agreement in the CARES Act. As of Thursday, United Airlines and American Airlines have begun laying off workers, though both companies agreed they could cancel the furloughs should the congress commit to a stimulus package.

For their part, Democrats in the House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, passed a $2.2 trillion resolution late Thursday, but the Senate is unlikely to entertain the measure, considering it too expensive and full of wasteful spending.

It's worth noting that the federal government has entered a new fiscal year as of October 1. Starting it off with a big, gaping budget hole may not be the most desired circumstance, but the lawmakers may not be left with much choice. The longer they delay, the more workers the airlines will let go, and the effects of airline workers on the dole will have spillover effects into the general economy, gnawing away at any nascent recovery in the wake of the COVID crash.

Another ironic feature of the first Friday session of October is that Trump, so vilified by the press, is now causing market stress. The political ramifications of the president's illness are far-reaching, with the election less than five weeks ahead.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was ahead by 642 points for the week as of Thursday's close. With poor employment figures, no new stimulus on the horizon, and the uncertainty surrounding President Trump's status, those gains could be scuttled in a week-ending selloff.

Stay tuned. Friday looks to be a wild ride.

At the Close, Thursday, October 1, 2020:
Dow: 27,816.90, +35.20 (+0.13%)
NASDAQ: 11,326.51, +159.01 (+1.42%)
S&P 500: 3,380.80, +17.80 (+0.53%)
NYSE: 12,726.84, +24.94 (+0.20%)

Debate Pundits Target Trump; Airlines Seeking 2nd Bailout Boost Hopes For Stimulus Deal

Thursday, October 1, 2020, 8:50 am ET

Now that the post-mortems are coming in on the debate, just one more thing

Apparently, it's OK for Joe Biden to repeatedly call the president a liar, to tell him to shut up, to call him a racist, call him a clown, repeatedly assert that he lies all the time, and that he "doesn't care about you," but when Trump tells the Proud Boys to "stand down and stand ready," that somehow crosses a line.

If, somehow, Joe Biden and his corrupt cohorts, crooked pollsters, and media lackeys manage to win or steal this election, there's going to be hell to pay and one has to wonder if saving this country is worth the effort. What is worth considering is that perhaps only half of it should be preserved, the half made up of the producers, the givers, the workers. The half consisting of the takers, the protesters, the rioters and looters will need to fend for themselves.

This election process, on top of the COVID nonsense, radical ideologies, rioting, burning, looting, a compromised media, and a party - the Democrats - facing extinction, has made people in America very angry and borderline crazy. The country cannot survive and prosper with this kind of division. The real perpetrators of the rancor and divisiveness must be sought out, exposed and brought to justice.

Enough on that. If the response from Wall Street can be gauged by the reaction in markets on Wednesday following the debate (debacle might be a better descriptor), the financial crowd is sadly factoring in a Biden win on November 3rd. Would they get their wish for more handouts, bailouts, endless streams of worthless fiat currency from the Fed and the federal government, the US economy will be kaput in less than three years. The banana republic promised by the Democrat party will become a reality - if it isn't already - and the bonanza of money (currency) for nothing, welfare, universal basic income, the Fed's MMT (Modern Monetary Theory), will flow to the coffers of the insolvent banks and publicly-held corporations.

The end result of unbridled currency creation is a further expansion of the wealth inequality gap, social disjunction, and rampant inflation. Such a system would eventually collapse under its own weight, but not before the wealth hoarders in the political and financial circles have stripped away enough for themselves and scurried off to distant shores. If this is what is coming, most people want no part of it, though many will be forced into acceptance by fear of losing their livelihoods, their families, their whole existence.

History offers comparable examples of runaway currencies, most notably, Weimar Germany from 1921-1923 and Zimbabwe from 2007 to 2009 and again today. Is this what awaits America under the auspices of a central government, central bank authority?

The picture painted is not a pretty one and few are aware of the distinct possibility of it becoming reality and the consequences of such policies. The United States is rushing headlong into disaster without bothering to comprehend or question the actions of its political and economic leaders. For the present, focusing on the election and a vaccine for COVID-19 (if one is even needed) are fanning the flames of division while keeping the discussion off the economy. This recipe for disaster will come to full fruition while stocks soar, pricing in Democrat party takeover of congress and the presidency.

In front of congress presently is the issue of another round of coronavirus-related stimulus, this one prompted not by the needs of millions of Americans, but by the demands of the nation's airlines, which, after a decade-long orgy of stock buybacks and failure to re-invest in their own businesses, are threatening to lay off as many as 50,000 workers.

A CARES Act deadline of September 30, by which the airlines received a $25 billion bailout on condition that they not layoff or fire workers until after that date, has passed and United and American Airlines together are threatening mass layoffs and firings if congress doesn't give them another $25 billion.

United (UAL) spent roughly 90% of their free cash flow, an amount of nearly $10 billion dollars, on stock buybacks from 2014 to 2019. Over a similar period, American (AAL) was even more the spendthrift, shedding 96% of free cash flow - $12 billion - on stock buybacks. Now, these two profligate stock manipulators are holding a gun to the heads of congress and their employees. By any reasonable standard, they should be bankrupted rather than supported by yet another infusion of public cash.

For their part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are about $600 billion apart on a stimulus plan. Pelosi and her Democrat allies have put together a $2.2 trillion plan. Mnuchin reportedly offered $1.6 trillion on Wednesday as a compromise. The consensus betting is that after three months of wrangling, the threat from the airlines will prompt a deal which will include another round of stimulus checks similar to those doled out earlier this year. Direct deposits and checks could begin to be distributed as soon as next week if a deal is struck by Friday.

On Thursday morning, the Labor Department announced that weekly initial unemployment claims of 837,000 against 850,000 expected and 873,000 during the prior week.

Continuing claims for the week ended September 19 stood at 11.767 million.

With less than an hour to the opening bell, stock futures are positioned strongly positive. dow futures are up more than 200 points. NASDAQ futures are ahead by more than 150 points as market participants anticipate a stimulus deal while ignoring the continuing unemployment crisis.

As the fourth quarter begins, the US economy is once again being powered by the madness of greed.

At the Close, Wednesday, September 30, 2020:
Dow: 27,781.70, +329.04 (+1.20%)
NASDAQ: 11,167.51, +82.26 (+0.74%)
S&P 500: 3,363.00, +27.53 (+0.83%)
NYSE: 12,701.88, +99.25 (+0.79%)

Trump Won The Debate Handily As Biden Calls The President A Clown, A Racist, And A Liar

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 9:05 am ET

Tuesday night's debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden - with assistance from moderator Chris Wallace - was further evidence that the American system is broken, nearly beyond repair.

One can hardly blame the president for his firery rhetoric and his pugilistic approach to the event. After all, the man has been put through a political wringer for the past five years - since he became a candidate on June 16, 2015. He's had to deal with a corrupt deep state shadow government that has dealt opposition to every initiative of his administration, a determined Democrat majority in the House which went so far as to impeach him over a single phone call, and a mainstream media which has been in the pocket of the Democrats for decades.

So, if the president lashed out against his opponent while being repeatedly called a liar, a clown, a racist, incompetent ("the worst president in the history of our country" according to Joe Biden) while delivering some serious blows to the Democrat candidate, can one blame him?

Certainly, moderator Chris Wallace is in the Democrat - or at least the anti-Trump - camp, repeatedly warning and cajoling the president for interrupting, while Biden interrupted nearly as often but was chided by Wallace only once or twice.

Trump won the debate hands down. He had his facts straight while Biden mumbled, bumbled and hesitated through rehearsed - and possibly fed to him through a wire - weak-kneed attacks and responses, but the media will no doubt focus on how bullying the president was, overlooking the obvious points scored by Trump on health care, the supreme court, law and order, climate, race, the economy, the pandemic, while also getting in some great digs about Biden's education, his son Hunter's sleazy financial relationships with Russia, China and Ukraine.

Trump also made solid points about Biden's failure to do anything about America's ongoing problems by pointing out that the former vice president from 2009 through 2017 was previously a senator from Delaware, first elected to that office in 1973. Trump pointed out that Biden had 47 years in which to "fix things" and "did nothing."

While the president was his usual rambunctious self, displaying good energy, quick wit and a solid grasp of the facts and issues, Biden appeared feeble, unsure, and hesitant. The few retorts he mustered up consisted mainly of disputing the claims without offering any proof, calling Trump names and attempting to denigrate him with ad hominem attacks. It was an unseemly display of unpreparedness and outright disrespect. On the grounds that Biden relies mainly on attacking his opponent rather than offering real answers or solutions, he should be an unqualified loser of the debate, but the press will focus on how Trump seemed angry (he should be) and the fiction that since he's behind in the polls, he didn't gain any ground.

The media will likely declare no winners in the debate, or, if pressed, admit that Biden won it, even though that's hardly provable.

With the press completely in the bag for Biden and Democrats, they say whatever they like and get away with it, not a word given to their arrogant, often malicious behavior.

As for the polls, well, every poll had Hillary Clinton winning in 2016 and they were all proven wrong. The inaccurate and often slanted polls have been and are still being deployed by the media as a foil to influence voting against President Trump, as if the rest of American voters are so fervently taken with Democrat candidates it would behoove everyone to get on board. It's a slimy propaganda ploy, employed mostly in communist countries.

Biden may be winning is Democrat strongholds in the burned out cities run by Democrat mayors, but in the heartland of rural America, Trump is hands-down the choice and one can safely conclude where most of the polls are conducted: in cities, not suburbs or farming communities. Were a fair poll to be conducted, Trump would probably be ahead by double digits. After all, Trump is correct when he says nobody goes to Biden's events while his rallies are overwhelmed by throngs of avid, even rabid supporters.

In less than six weeks, Donald Trump will be re-elected in a landslide. Of course, the media is intent on muddying the waters with contested mail-in ballots that may take weeks or months to be verified. There's an ongoing coup being entertained by Democrats and deep state operatives and they will stop at nothing to prevent another four years of Donald Trump as president.

If Tuesday night's debate proves anything it is that the Democrats don't have a platform other than to call Trump a liar, a clown, a racist and urge him to "just shut up, man," as Biden did during the debate.

Since that's not really a solid strategy, they will most assuredly resort to cheating by vote harvesting, culling, miscounting, undercounting, and an avalanche of mail-in votes for Biden which will steamrolling post offices around the country and be impossible to validate. We're in for a roller coaster of a ride until November 3rd and it may get even worse after that.

A Trump landslide, in which he's far ahead in key states like Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, and Ohio, is the only way to prevent the outright civil war for which the Democrats and the media are preparing.

Donald Trump will win re-election, but it will almost certainly be contested. In the meantime, the country is crumbling under the weight of corruption, propaganda, and lies.

Good luck.

Prior to the debate, stocks took a small haircut, shunting the one-day rally from Monday, returning to the theme of selling off positions and heading for the hills. What's confusing and confounding about the stock market these days is that precious metals appear to be uniquely aligned. When stocks are up, so are gold and silver. When stocks are down, the precious metals get hammered as well. It's not normal and has no bearing on the true nature of precious metals, which are real money and usually act as a safe haven in times of uncertainty and market stress. Like everything else these days, they're likely being rigged to make them appear as poor investment choices.

As the opening bell approaches for Wednesday's session, futures are marginally lower, but indications are clear that the direction remains to the downside. Any gains will likely be sold into as most of the more glamorous names are still overvalued.

At the Close, Tuesday, September 29, 2020:
Dow: 27,452.66, -131.40 (-0.48%)
NASDAQ: 11,085.25, -32.28 (-0.29%)
S&P 500: 3,335.47, -16.13 (-0.48%)
NYSE: 12,602.64, -74.90 (-0.59%)

Stocks Stage Monday Rally But Second Wave Of Coronavirus Will Spoil The Party

Tuesday, September 29, 2020, 9:15 am ET

There's nothing like a big rally on a Monday to brighten the spirits and Wall Street knows that all too well. Unfortunately, this Monday rally from out of nowhere follows a series of serious declines in stocks over the past four weeks. The NASDAQ was the only index to post a weekly gain last week, after losing three straight. The NYSE posted a positive in the prior week, surrounded by declines; the S&P and DOW have dropped four straight.

In sporting terms, the main indices would have been swept in a best-of-seven series and Monday's trading just an exhibition.

To illustrate how benign Monday's rally was, a look back from the prior highs proves instructive.

Beginning with the close of business on September 2, here are the losses for the major indices (including Monday's gains):
Dow: -1,516.44
NASDAQ: -938.91
S&P 500: -229.24
NYSE: -599.20

While those losses are not extreme, they are nonetheless significant. On a purely technical basis, stocks were severely oversold entering Monday's session and stock traders responded as they always do - especially on Mondays - by buying what are perceived to be undervalued stocks. Sadly, there are no undervalued stocks available, only stocks that appear to be undervalued relative to the rest of the market, which is absolute garbage.

A handful of stocks - particularly the FAANMGs on the NASDAQ - account for most of the trading and movement in the indices. The vast bulk of stocks go nowhere or vacillate between uncertain highs and lows, gaining with the high tides, falling on the ebbing.

Thus, it would not be surprising if Monday's rally was a one-day wonder, lacking directional follow-through on subsequent trading days. Anybody believing that stocks are poised to break through recent all-time highs (S&P and NASDAQ) is failing to read the economic tea leaves properly. The global economy has been severely damaged by the effects of government response to the coronavirus over the past six months and it appears that "officials" are looking for a second round of knockdown lockouts and assorted stupidity that accompanies a virus that has an infection mortality rate of less than 0.01. In other words, the chances of dying from COVID-19, once contracted, are less than 1 in 1000 for anybody under the age of 70, and many times greater than that the younger a person is. That is according to the CDC, which published the data a few days ago.

However, increased testing is leading once again to an increase of infection. The mainstream media is currently blaring about the Midwest, including the states of Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Minnesota and Utah having seen cases increase over the past week.

Bearing in mind that the tests return massive amounts of false positives, most "cases" result in either no or mild cold-like symptoms, the 58,461 new cases recorded on Friday across the US - even if believable - will eventually result in the death of less than 58 people, or less than the number of people murdered in Chicago over the course of an ordinary two weeks.

The message the media should be offering is not for people to wear masks, but to avoid bad neighborhoods in Chicago or refrain from traveling there altogether. Ditto for New York, Seattle, Detroit, Baltimore, etc.

In any case, the word is out that the feared "second wave" of the virus is coming. Already, California's Governor Newsom is warning and restrictions on travel, gatherings and businesses are already being re-introduced across parts of Europe.

The government/media/medical cartel of lunatics will have their way. A second wave is guaranteed, whether it is real or imagined, true or fake, and it will wreak further havoc on the global economy.

Count on it. Act (and trade) accordingly.

At the Close, Monday, September 28, 2020:
Dow: 27,584.06, +410.10 (+1.51%)
NASDAQ: 11,117.53, +203.96 (+1.87%)
S&P 500: 3,351.60, +53.14 (+1.61%)
NYSE: 12,677.54, +192.16 (+1.54%)

WEEKEND WRAP: Dow, S&P Lower 4th Straight Week; Physical Silver Premiums at Extremes; Presidential Debate Tuesday

Sunday, September 27, 2020, 8:50 am ET

The last full week of September failed to bring any surprises or relief to embattled equity investors. The bulk of the trading was to the downside, as it has been for the majority of the month. Based on the possibility of another round of government stimulus checks, Friday's knee-jerk rally kept only the NASDAQ from finishing on the downside.

The NYSE Composite, which was the only index to make gains in the prior week, suffered the worst of it, along with the Dow, which still hovers just above correction territory. All of the indices were down at least 10% from their highs at some time during the week. With markets so utterly contrived and manipulated by the Fed and their covert - and overt - agents the message being sent seems to be one of confusion and contradiction, though it's becoming apparent that all is not well with the global or US-based economies.

Mainstream media continues to promote the "killer" COVID-19 narrative, though it's about as likely that there is going to be a second wave as there was an actual "first" wave. Between panicked hospital administrators, "warp speed" vaccines, unconstitutional government edicts, quarantines, lockdowns, tests famous for false positives, conflicting messages from the CDC and WHO, and nearly universal acceptance of mask-wearing, the psy-op that is the coronavirus and COVID-19 has made a mockery of a free press to say nothing of the impression and malleable nature of the world's population.

Not everybody has bought into the global panic, but the numbers of resistors are small. Most people who don't believe in the boogeyman of a particulate-based, invisible killer virus are playing along, wearing masks when not doing so would upset others, privately decrying the existence of a deep state conspiracy. Very few are willing to risk bearing the wrath of the authorities for poor social behavior, so most just play along. Meanwhile, contradictions are everywhere.

Fans are allowed at football games but not baseball games; The NFL has tested an average of 8,554 people over four periods since mid-August and produced 25 positives, a takeup rate of 0.70%, whereas the general population in most states is producing positives at rates between 4 and 15%. The same applies to Major League Baseball, which has suffered few setbacks due to the virus since the early days of their shortened season.

On the contrary, college football has had a raft of games postponed due to positive test results from players or coaches. On the whole, however, none of the very few athletes which tested positive nationwide have suffered anything more than mild symptoms similar to a common cold. Could it be that as a group they possess strong immune systems and maintain a healthy regimen of good diet and exercise?

It's obvious that the best defense against the COVID nightmare and any disease is simply being healthy. The vast majority - over 93% - of people who died from COVID-19 were over 55 years old and had at least one other medical condition. Countries in Europe are supposedly experiencing a second wave (increased testing with faulty tests producing more cases, replete with abundant false positives) and more lockdowns and stay-at-home orders are coming soon. Call it a hoax, a conspiracy, or whatever, all the COVID craziness has managed to do is make people crazy and torpedo the global economy, which, as some believe, was the plan in the first place.

With coronavirus being kept top of mind the coming week will feature one major event, the first presidential debate, in which the world will finally be able to judge the two candidates - President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden - in a face-to-face environment and see for themselves if the persistent rumors of Biden's failing mental acuity are for real. Tuesday night's live, prime time event is a 90-minute affair beginning at 9:00 pm ET.

For the past week, as stocks and precious metals continued to sink, two markets that remained somewhat stable were those of treasury securities and oil. With the short end of the treasury curve consistently at the zero-bound, longer-dated maturities remained range-bound with the 10-year note yield falling four basis points to close out the week at 0.66%, the 30-year yield dropping five, to 1.40%. Both have remained in a tight band throughout the month, the 10-year between 0.63 and 0.72%, the 30-year between 1.34 and 1.46%.

WTI crude, which had fallen as low as $36/barrel early in the month, has recovered nicely and spent the week neatly between $39.31 and $40.31, closing out the week at $40.25. The $40 per barrel price seems to be the sweet spot for everybody from frackers to drillers to explorers.

As for precious metals, gold and silver have exhibited the kind of counterintuitive price action that only the futures market - dominated by international banking consortiums and bullion banks - can provide.

From last Friday (9/18) to this one (9/25), gold fell from $1950.86 to $1861.58. Over the same time span, silver declined from $26.79 to $22.88, a 15% drop. Nothing says "flight to safety" like rapidly declining prices of real money. Yeah, sure.

For the rest of us playing the in real world, there is the physical market, best exemplified at eBay. As has become a regular feature of the WEEKEND WRAP, here are the latest actual sale prices for commonly-purchased items on the world's top trading platform (numismatics excluded, shipping - often free - included):

Item: Low / High / Average / Median
1 oz silver coin: 31.50 / 45.00 / 37.62 / 37.68
1 oz silver bar: 30.00 / 41.23 / 33.89 / 33.75
1 oz gold coin: 1,815.00 / 2,147.22 / 1,994.04 / 1,999.94
1 oz gold bar: 1,950.00 / 1,981.80 / 1,968.12 / 1,965.62

As can be clearly seen, premiums remain high, but silver, especially, is not bowing to the spot and futures overlords one bit. Median price for a one ounce coin is more than $14 over spot, a one ounce bar, $11 over spot. It would not be surprising to see silver separate completely from the futures and spot prices and become a true world "currency of the people" if only because central banks despise silver with such unbridled passion. They would like nothing more than to push the futures and spot price down to $3 an ounce or lower.

The repeated recent attempts to shunt the value of silver are failing miserably. The physical market is close to a complete separation from the paper price.

Here's Mike Maloney discussing when he will sell his gold and silver:

At the Close, Friday, September 25, 2020:
Dow: 27,173.96, +358.56 (+1.34%)
NASDAQ: 10,913.56, +241.26 (+2.26%)
S&P 500: 3,298.46, +51.87 (+1.60%)
NYSE: 12,485.38, +119.88 (+0.97%)

For the Week:
Dow: -483.46 (-1.75%)
NASDAQ: +120.28 (+1.11%)
S&P 500: -21.01 (-0.63%)
NYSE: -348.19 (-2.71%)

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