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Baltic Dry Index, Freeport-McMoran, ISM

April 06, 2009 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: FCX , BA , CAT

As mentioned in prior blog entries, the Baltic Dry Index continues to concern me.  After reaching above 2200 four weeks ago the index has since declined to 1500.  While this level is still substantially above the lows of December around 700, it nevertheless does not bode well for those arguing that the global economy is in the midst of a strong rebound.  Hopefully the index will level out around these levels.  My fear is that if this index were to return to levels below 1000 it could signal a second dip in the global economy taking place.  With any luck this index will return to the increasing trend we witnessed at the start of 2009.    [more]



FASB, RIMM, and Unemployment

April 02, 2009 – Comments (3) | RELATED TICKERS: BBRY , GS , MS

Good news from FASB (finally).  It appears as though mark-to-market is being relaxed just enough to allow the large financial institutions carrying toxic debt enough wiggle room to allow for more time of unloading/repricing such assets on their books.  I’m still not 100% certain I agree with this decision, however given the circumstances we’re in at this point with respect to the health of the banks… I think a little exaggeration on values isn’t the worst thing that could happen.  Having said that, the value of both commercial and residential real estate is continuing to decline.  Unless that trend is reversed, mark-to-market changes will have nil effect on the banks as 2009 progresses into 2010.  [more]



Baltic Dry Index/Copper, ADP/BLS, S&P 500

April 01, 2009 – Comments (1) | RELATED TICKERS: SPY , SDS

Now that we’re living in a world of ever-increasing leverage, there are some barometers out in the global economy which allow us to look at overall business activity and help construct a view of where we’re going economically.  The Baltic Dry Index (which I’ve referenced previously in my blog) reached 1615 yesterday (March 31st).  This reading is great when you compare it to the low on December 23, 2008 of 663.  However when you compare it to the reading of three weeks ago, when it was at 2298, it is something to be concerned about.  Another concern I have at the moment is Copper.  Copper is currently at $1.8450.  It’s closed at $1.86 twice now and hasn’t broken above that level.  If we can’t close above $1.86 in Copper in the next few trading days that could be a negative sign as well.    [more]



End of Q1, ADP, FASB and RIMM

March 31, 2009 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: DBA , MO , BBRY

I don't think anyone was surprised to see an upwards bias in the markets today.  After all, we have reached the end of the 1st Quarter... and institutional investors have to show something on their books besides cash.  While individuals may be less horrified when they open up their 401k's in a few weeks than would have been the case had we stayed near the lows - they will still be startled.  After taking massive losses last year, the average fund was down around 10% in Q1.    [more]



America in Wonderland

March 31, 2009 – Comments (14)

I was watching Glenn Beck on FBN speaking about the "vampires" in Washington and how once they get their teeth in you - there's no end.  How is that different than Washington the rest of the time?  [more]

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