Elaine and I went up to Oklahoma this weekend to chat with Robin Landry about his outlook for markets and likely the most interesting part was that later on this week (7th through 9th) we could see things get really interesting as cycle turns come due.
But already, readers are getting into the spirit of things with one reader who offers:
“This ultra bear has been getting gored. However like in the movie TRADING PLACES Louis turns to Billy Ray and says “NOW”
George, We will be swimming in OIL in six months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOW BELOW 5000…”
Maybe…or maybe not. The last-hour rally in the market Friday looks to start eroding again this morning with the Dow futures down 33 when I looked. Gold was down earlier, while oil is about flat. Except for some minor numbers, the week is off to a boring (does it have to be Monday again?) kind of start.
But come mid-week, we figure on building excitement. Wednesday there’s productivity numbers in the morning and Fed consumer debt/noose data in the afternoon. Weekly employment readers can’t compare to the ADP data (wed) or the Challenger numbers on Thursday, but the biggy will be Friday’s unemployment report which though likely to stay stable will also likely show a continuation of the shrinking workforce phenomena.
As we’ve explained before, you can’t keep shrinking the size of the workforce and reporting a low unemployment number doesn’t end happily, though we continue watching to see who yells “Fire!” in this particular crowded theater.
Of course the other thing to keep an eye on is that global growth is imploding (look surprised, right?) and as a result this means that earnings are likely to be flat or even down on an inflation-adjusted basis since the Fed does show M2 up 9.8% over the past year.
Say, you don’t suppose the beat-down in gold could mean a run down to the $1,425 level, or so, and a collapse of the markets to boot? Tell me it ain’t so! The Baltic Dry Index is nearing 800, so maybe not… Still, all in all, the market has that 1990-1991 kind of feel to it. If prospects dim further we might need a war to pull us out of it.
NK Did What?
Lots of buzz on the net - particularly in Israeli media – that North Korea tested a nuke in 2010 for Iran.
All kinds of reasonable speculation is possible: Knowing that it would leak, could this be why NK has just started to warm up to the West? But wait! What about the chance this is another one of those “Niger uranium” type disinfo stories?
The Nuke Club
Speaking of which, our Winnipeg news analyst offers this:
I recall you questioned Obama’s 2010 visit to India. Last Thursday, India’s foreign minister was in Vienna advancing the case for entry into the exclusive Nuclear Supplier Group that the USA will chair this summer. Also on thursday the Pentagon’s pacific commander spoke of US special forces with respect to India.
Yep…and it all takes on a serious patina now that Pakistan is sinking toward more radical Islam and India/Kashmir has the potential to “go hot” any old time.
Putin Us On…
Big demonstrations are expected in Russia today as Vlad Putin has won a third term in office. To be sure, the official nose/vote count is like 64% Putin, but then again, seems people of Russia don’t trust the workings of politics when a long-time KGB’er like Putin is at the helm. And he’s made lots of promises which some anlysts figure could sow economic problems ahead.
One of our deep-thinking, strategic outlook contributors put it this way:
“Solar flares, asteroids, infrastructure crashes and financial chaos aside, my military instinct has me wondering if the Putin reelection just might be fronting a hefty share of the coming release language.
He’s talked tough on Israel and the US, and will likely openly back any person or regime opposed to either or both.
We should also consider that Iran has just ‘elected’ a more fundamentalist parliament (with fresh nukes cooking in the oven). Pakistan is slowly sliding off the fundamentalist deep end (with a viable nuke arsenal that has India’s full attention). Kim Jong Il is rattling his father’s saber (also with a few nukes in his satchel).
With the former KGB chief is back on the pseudo-Czar’s seat and plenty of nuke tech assistance to offer (for a price), US diplomacy just got ‘a lot’ more complicated. If Czar Putin can move enough chess pieces to restrict Persian Gulf and possibly Middle Eastern oil production/delivery, he’ll destabilize an already fragile Western economic situation while increasing the price of Russian oil and gas in the process. After all, as you frequently remind us, we just need to follow the money, right?
Sadly, the US has limited diplomatic, economic and/or military options available. The way I sees it, either Obama talks tough and backs it up with the help of our closest allies, or he becomes this century’s incarnation of Neville Chamberlain. Can the American Prez afford to tarnish his Nobel legacy? I’m sensing his ‘angst!’
Tick, tick, tick . . . “
With Putin’s recent support of Syria and anti-West remarks, we’re waiting for his “kinder, gentler” KGB’er patina to wear off as Russians may be fed up with the emergency political monarchy that seems now firmly entrenched.
Buying Us Newt
Seeing as we were traveling this weekend, I got an earful of Newt Gingrich ads which were tagged not paid for by a political party. So who is this Daddy Warbucks behind this (or brothers Warbucks) and why are they shoving Newt down everyone’s throat with the mega-buck radio campaign???
Did I, or did I not tell you we would be force-fed this disgraced fellow, like it or not. Elections being hijacked by Big Money near as I can figure it.
If Newt does “surprisingly well” on Super Tuesday…Bought!
Kinder, Gentler Bird Flu
Speaking of kinder, gentler…and besides keeping a nervous eye on how much bird flu research will be published, we’ve also been watching outbreaks in China and Egypt recently. However, curiously the first floe that has hit Taiwan is “not contagious among humans” says a health official there. Wonder how the word Yet is spelled in Chinese? Oh, yes: ?
X Marks the Sun
Although we’re not expecting the tippy-top peak of solar activity until sometime late spring to summertime of 2013, nevertheless this little blurb from the solar data center in Belgium caught our attention…
An X1.1 flare was detected by GOES this morning, peaking at 04:05 UT in the NOAA AR 1429 (no Catania number yet) situated at N19E58. With the limited AIA data available at the moment of writing, it appears that the flare is accompanied by coronal dimmings and a post-eruption arcade indicating the eruption of a CME. A halo CME was detected by the SOHO/LASCO coronagraph. We expect the CME-associated interplanetary disturbance to arrive at the Earth on March 7-8, possibly triggering a minor to moderate geomagnetic storm. SEP flux at energies above 10 MeV started to rise since around 00:00 UT today (probably resulting from the CME associated with yesterday’s M2.0 flare). Crossing the threshold of an SEP event is probable in the coming hours. Protons from both CMEs are delayed due to the eastern position of the CME source region.
Let’s see: March 7-8th, huh? My the old “energies hit Earth” or “Expando Planet” model that would set up major earthquake expectations for around the 8-10th kind of timeframe…
Speaking of quakes and such, our erstwhile reader who runs the monthly update on global earthquake activity (going back to 1973) sent along this note of note:
Check out Magnitude 5. It’s showing signs of rounding out and down trending, while 6 is showing signs of the opposite. 7 remains strongly up. 3 and 4 strongly down.
Trends are accelerating!
Putting on my “Mr. Spreadsheet hat” and pushing the trendline (5th order, polynomial) of the data out 36 months we would expect monthly quakes of 7.0 or larger magnitude to be running about 3.8 quakes per month, while applying the same forecast to the 3.0 shakers has them virtually disappearing in about 30-months.
Which is hardly reassuring, if you think about it, since the disappearance of small quakes would mean the crust of Earth is getting “locked up” and when this happens you can start seriously wondering about megaquakes, crustal shift, planet wobble and mega volcanoes putting the lights out for billions. Or, does that get underway a few X-class flares from now? There’s always something to worry about, isn’t there?
Why, next thing you know Planet X/Niburu will show up and…..
As long as we’ve got the mental telescope dialed in on the future, seeing into the “data gap” of Clif’s forecasts is getting really interesting.
Last week, for example, there was an internet outage that impacted the Pentagon, and there was one over the weekend which took out a large chunk of eastern African countries. Was a cable cut…again? Or, does this hint at large undersea topographic changes due to the quakes and growing of the East African Rift? I’ll put a dime on the latter and let the expando planet bet ride…
Question is: How much quaking would be it taking to make the net stop shaking? (Horrible writing, but we’re saving the A material for later in the week…)
Signs of the Times
New Electrics at the heart of the “New Energy Movement” which is getting noticed.
For the truly paranoid, go read up on Main Core…the computer system you don’t get to hear about.
And don’t forget to run complete system scans so you don’t lose connectivity to the net this week with the FBI plans its server changes… And did you see how a lot of Anonymous supporters are finding themselves victims of a Trojan Horse attack (Zeus variant)?
More after this: