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June 16, 2010

Wednesday Financial Briefing

UPDATE: Holy crap. Fan and Fred are going to delist from the NYSE.

It was a big day for stocks. The Dow gained almost 214 points to close at 10,404.77, and the S&P 500 gained a little over 25 points to close at 1,115.23. Manufacturing and tech stocks were the drivers of the rally. I expect that we're going to see some wide swings in the equities markets over the summer as investors go through their manic-depressive phases. Volatility is here to stay for awhile.

More after the jump.

In other good news, Thurston Howell III and Lovey are doing just fine, so no need to worry about them.

And the good news just keeps coming! Slumping cattle and lean-hogs futures may have bottomed out. Screw gold, man; I'm buying swine! (Monty, The Wasteland Bacon Baron. It has a nice ring to it. The potentate of pork! The sultan of swine! The High Lord of ham! The chitlin Chieftain!)

I'm not sure whether this is good news or not: Cramer calls yesterday's big gain a sucker's rally and advises people to get out. My rule of thumb is to treat anything Cramer says as the ravings of a lunatic. I consider him a shill and a buffoon. And yet...is this a Strange New Respect I'm feeling? Or just the dying embers of that burrito I ate for lunch yesterday?

French financial group AXA experiences a blinding glimpse of the obvious and exclaims, "Ze Euro eez doomed!". Zut alors! (And no, I don't know why French guys would be speaking English with a French accent instead of French.)

Spain and Portugal submit their austerity plans to the ECB and IMF. Plans include selling shoelaces at the airport, dancing for nickels, graft, corruption, and murder-for-hire. The ECB and IMF remain skeptical, and suggest that Portugal and Spain might want to look into selling the family silver or something.

Spain: "We're like totally not broke. In fact, we're so not-broke that we've invited the IMF out to our beach pad to check out our giant stack of Euros. And, uh, jewels. And gold coins, and expensive paintings and sculptures and shit like that. Because we're not broke. At all."

Even God taunts us.

Apparently, for many young folks, poop management is a better career-track than money management.

Once upon a time, a wizened little gnome worked at the New York Times. He was known as a rather thick-headed and irritible little elf, full of bile and contempt for everyone in the kingdom. He would shout at passers-by in strange tongues, sometimes frightening small children. Then, one day, he was gobbled up by a feral badger and was never heard from again. The End.

More bond issues are being denominated in Canadian Loonies and Swiss Francs as investor skittishness regarding the Euro spreads. When investors choose something called the "Loonie" over your currency because it just sounds more stable somehow, dude, you got problems.

Hooters waitresses donate their used pantyhose to help with the Gulf oil spill. It's sort of funny because when Ace asked them for their used pantyhose, all he got was a restraining order.

Yet another Union payoff from the Democrats. This time, it's an exemption from enrolling in -- wait for it -- ObamaCare. If you like your plan you can keep your plan...if you're in a Union. If not you can suck on it, I guess.

Both India and China are stocking up on gold. Many observers wonder if the day of the US Dollar reigning as the default reserve currency is nearing its end. It's clear that the recent surge of foreigners buying American debt is mainly driven by "flight to safety" concerns, but there is also the knowledge that "safety" is relative, and that the US is only the least-worst alternative out there. And that situation could change with terrifying rapidity. Some have posited the substitution of the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), while others have called for a weighted basket of commodities or some other international standard. If the downturn continues to press sovereign budgets and the US fails to get its financial house in order, calls for the replacement of the US dollar as the reserve currency will pick up in volume.

Some support for the above idea can be found in the fact that on a huge equities day when gold should have moved down, it instead moved up. I'm reading this as evidence that lots of investors both here and abroad aren't buying the Fed's bullshit any more.

Old people tend to have higher incomes than young 'uns, they tend to like warmer weather, and they wear those weird baggy old-man pants that seem to come right up the breastbone and cinch up with a nylon belt. Or those saggy-assed Bermuda shorts with black socks and brown shoes. Old ladies tend to go with the flowered muu-muu's or polyester pantsuits in colors that could trigger seizures in people afflicted that way. The point being: money is moving south out of the high-tax blue states to the lower-tax red states. (Though Florida is not exactly a red state.) Atlanta and Charlotte are major financial and banking hubs these days.

Via Hot Air comes this Roll Call piece on the proposed $50 billion state (union) bailout. Apprently Bammer forgot to give his crew a word-up before dropping the idea like a dog turd on their lawn. "Just plug the damned hole!" is starting to look less like an impromptu outburst and more like Obama's basic governing philosophy.

Via NRO's Corner, a story about teacher's unions crying wolf. Somehow, even the guy who sprinkles that pink sawdust stuff on puke in the hallway is counted as an "educator" these days. ("You think I wanted to be the puke clean-up guy?" I imagine the custodian thinking. "I was a roadie for Ratt, man. I played some totally wicked Yngwie riffs on my Strat. But no one in this two-bit town appreciates me. I got fired from the Minit-Mart for toking up on my break, and my ex-old lady is bugging me for child support. What else am I gonna do? So here I am, cleaning up a pile of slightly-used beanie weenies, creamed corn, and milk. Laugh away, you fucking chimps. You're gonna be right where I am in ten years or so.")

Remember when I said that we weren't likely to turn into some Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic wasteland? Some flighty Europeans apparently did not heed my soothing words. I call dibs on being Lord Humongous!

Michael Barone explains explains why the "if you live in my house you follow my rules" theory applies to health insurance as well.

Much like a father who takes an accidental shot to the nuts while rough-housing with his toddler, Fitch's downgrade of BP's stock was not entirely unexpected, but still very painful.

California's boned-ness is like an origami bird: it just keeps unfolding.

Today's report brought to you by Ace's dog Tipsy.

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posted by Monty at 07:02 AM

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