"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hawkish Sounding Fed ends QE

Well, we got it. By, "it", I am referring to the final end of the tapering process that the Fed began so long ago I cannot even remember but will conclude at the end of this month.

Throw on top of that some happy talk about the US economy, in particular the job market (where that came from is unclear) by referring to "solid job gains", and that is all it took to send the US Dollar sharply higher on the crosses. Of course they had to throw in that falling unemployment rate but we all know the reason for the lower number is because the labor participation rate continues to decline. Where they also came up with the phrase, "that labor market slack is gradually diminishing" escapes me as well especially when we stop counting the folks out of work!

Perhaps, if you mean by "gradually diminishing", the sort of speed that one can observe when watching a blade of grass grow, then I will happily grant them that. We all know that is a bunch of hooey for if that was true, WAGES would be RISING, and not flat/stagnant as they currently are.

That was the major phrase however that got the currency markets all roiled as that phrase was not in the previous releases. As a matter of fact, I seem to distinctly recall the Fed being on record as being concerned about that labor market slack being substantial.

Hey - its election time; what more can I say. The Fed boss has to keep her boss, happy, if you know what I mean.

TAlk about overdoing it however. Where I come from, the idea that there is "underlying strength in the economy to support ongoing progress towards maximum employment in the context of price stability" is something we feed to mushrooms.

Are they kidding me?

Regardless, the talk in the market as a result turned to that interest rate hike thing once more. As before there was nothing in this month's release that would give any concrete evidence of a set date for an actual hike. What we got was the same as before - the Fed promised to keep interest rates low for " a considerable time". Where have we heard that before?

By the way, regular readers of this site are aware of that TIPS spread chart that I post regularly comparing the change in the spread to the price of gold and using it as a type of forecasting tool for the price of gold. The Fed noted falling inflation expectations as indicated by that spread. They also noted the move lower in energy prices but oddly enough came up with the idea that they did not expect downward pressure on inflation to last.

Where did they get that insightful view from? It sure as hell has not been from watching the CRB index or the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index or the Velocity of Money or any other such actual useful data. I guess they just said it because it sounded good! Seriously, I see no data that gives the slightest reason at this point to believe that the downward pressures on inflation is to be of short duration.

Then again, maybe they have been watching the slaughter in the grain markets and that has gotten them all revved up about food inflation.

This missive will be short for the moment as I am utterly exhausted from trading in the grains, which have become about as bizarre as I have ever seen them.

Meal once again led the entire grain floor sharply higher and for now, it looks as if one set of shorts is getting slaughtered each and every day at this point. Margin clerks are having their hands full forcing specs out of those positions and a veritable bloodbath is taking place.

At some point the temporary supply deficit in meal will be eliminated and then we will go from nothing to a glut. I am not sure how long it will take to fill the pipeline again but when it goes, it will go with horrible ferocity.

While this will not endear me to gold bulls, gold was flattened on the FOMC news and is currently down over 1%. The HUI is a bloodbath having fallen 3.25% at this time while the junior-laden GDXJ is being soaked, down 5.55% at this moment.

I honestly believe we going to see some junior miners disappear before this is all done. Be careful what you buy out there if you want to be a "hero contrarian" and start buying junior miners.

Take a look at this ratio chart briefly comparing the HUI to the price of gold and creating a ratio. It hit a level that was last seen - are you sitting down as you read this - December 2000! That is FOURTEEN YEARS AGO.

I said this before in a recent post and will say it again now, either the price of gold is too high and needs to fall further or the mining stocks are undervalued against the price of gold and need to move higher. Based on what I am seeing today, I see nothing to persuade me any differently. I still think gold is heading lower. Either that or some of these mining companies are history.

Notice on the gold chart that the metal has fallen to the support zone marked near the $1220-$1210 level. It is currently BELOW that level. the way it is trading at the moment ( and of course this could change) it does look as it a test of $1200 is coming. The reason I say that is because the price has fallen well below the middle line of the Bollinger Band indicator with the lower band sitting near $1197.

The ADX is still choppy suggesting that this move is a move back to the bottom of a wide range that has been in place for nearly a month now. However the clear break to the upside of the -DMI (red line) shows near term momentum with the bears.

To get out of the mess that they now find themselves in, the bulls are going to have to clear that downtrending 50 day moving average again. That is way up there near $1240 at the moment.

Incidentally, it does look as if Mr. "gold will be well north of $2000 before the end of this year and silver north of $50" has struck out once again. I am not trying to rub salt into a wound  - I am merely repeating something I have said here repeatedly in an attempt to teach and WARN readers - DO NOT FOLLOW ANYONE who claims to know in advance where a market is going. Here is the truth - THEY DO NOT KNOW in spite of their hubristic and reckless claims to the contrary.

Proof is in the price chart for the metals but I can say the same thing about these grains. Most of us who trade the grains for a living all had ideas where we thought the grains were heading. Most of us were also wrong!

I will try to get some stuff up later on the bean meal and the grain markets. The action in there has taken on a life of its own and a full-out money game is now what is occurring. Panic buying - despair- forced short covering due to margin calls - blown to pieces and to hell in a handbasket hedges are being obliterated. You name it - it is taking place in there.

I can tell you one thing - there are some very angry traders out there right now and some very angry hedgers at what has transpired. This is what happens when techicals take over a market and then take on their own life. Fundamentals are essentially irrelevant when positions are getting blown to hell. About the only thing that matters right now is who has the beans?