markets looking grim

>   (email exchange)
>   On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 8:32 AM, Seth wrote:
>   stocks look bad
>   looks like another panic

It doesn’t look good technically.

Must be coming out of europe with gold up/euro down dynamic, etc.

Insiders there must be bailing.

Maybe they know something we don’t, or maybe they are wrong.

History is no help as in the past it’s been both.

Austerity is trimming growth there a bit around the edges, but deficits remain reasonably high, so GDP’s are probably at least muddling through, with overall growth probably positive.

The ECB keeps the short term funding channels open for the member nations, but that may not be fully appreciated yet.

On a mark to market basis bank capital is probably below requirements, and they may not realize that doesn’t have to matter to the real economy for as long as the ECB continues to fund them.

Lower crude oil prices support consumption of other things. With US crude oil product consumption up and Saudi output rising, demand must be ok. Maybe Saudis are worried and want lower prices to help world growth as well. Hard to ever say what they are actually up to. They may see the Iraqi production coming on stream and are trying to engineer an increase in demand. Again, no way to tell what they are up to.

The lower 10 year rates reflects expectations of ‘low for longer’ from the Fed due to high unemployment and falling rates of inflation as measured by the Fed. And the possibility of more QE that could flatten the curve further.

There is also the notion that there’s nothing left that the Fed can do of any consequence regarding aggregate demand, and Congress thinks it’s run out of money, which means flying without a net. That increases the weight of the downside in the balance of risks.

If markets and Congress knew that fiscal policy had no nominal limit and deficit spending was not dependent on being able to borrow from the likes of China to be paid by our grandchildren, the balance of risks would be viewed very differently. But they don’t know that.

With the elections coming and California reverting to vouchers again, the time is right for my per capita revenue sharing. But it’s not even a consideration.

Q3 and Q4 GDP estimates are looking more like 1.5%, and Q2 looks to be revised down toward 1% Friday. Not a double dip but no drop in unemployment either as productivity might be at least that high. That’s worse politically than it is for equities, and adds support for a ‘second stimulus’ type of reaction. But that’s way down the road. More likely it causes most of the expiring tax cuts to be extended.

Thursday’s claims can make a big difference as well. The jump to 500,000 last week added an element of fear internationally.

Also, in thin summer markets technicals often cause exaggerated moves. Volume is very low, and a given size buying or selling causes larger moves to find someone willing to take the other side, and momentum type traders can easily overwhelm investors.