Charlie Chases Chickens
As I have said in this space any number of times, the economy sux, employment creation is almost non-existent, and the expansion of credit, the driving force required to get the economy moving again, simply cannot happen.
Regardless of what is said on CNBC, or by Jim Crammer, or by any of the other pundits whose main job is to separate you from your money, remember this...it's all crap. Don't believe a word of any of it. The economy is in the dumper, and it is going to be there for a very very long time.
How long is a very very long time? Perhaps until the end of the second quarter of 2020, perhaps longer. I really have not idea. And neither does anyone else.
The Wax Ink Portfolio managed to slide up 0.5% for the week, with an average share price of $24.47.
By comparison, the Dow closed up 0.4%, the Nasdaq was up 0.6%, the S&P 500 was up 0.4%, and the Russell 2000 was down 1.2%.
Year to date, the Wax Ink Portfolio is up 4.1%, while the Dow is up 5.0%, the Nasdaq is up 12.3%, the S&P 500 is up 8.4% and the Russell 2000 is up 6.8%.
The markets relied on idiotic hopes and dreams that the Federal Reserve would announce a new round of quantitative easing, and then as if anybody believed that bit of silliness from the Fed, the markets make a nice move based on the Fed's Beige Book announcement that "overall economic activity continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in June and early July."
Excuse me but do I look like I unknowingly crapped my pants in the middle of Times Square?! If the Fed's Beige Book says the economy is expanding, then why is there a need at all for quantitative easing?
Also, if the economy is as robust as the current administration is trying to have me believe, why have companies reduced earnings expectations for the remainder of the year, and why are so many companies giving lowered earnings guidance going forward?
One of the precursors to an economic slowdown that I watch is the small cap stock sector, which is the reason I monitor the Russell 2000 with the Wax Ink portfolio. Not only are small caps one of the first sectors to return to growth after an economic slowdown, they are also one of the first sectors to decline prior to an economic slow down. The Russell 2000 down 1.2% this week and it was down 0.8% last week.
Certainly this one indicator is not indicative of the overall economy, or is it?
Employers added 80,000 jobs in June marking the third month in a row for piss poor job growth, and despite news articles to the contrary, the residential housing industry is a dead duck with only 2,000 construction jobs added in June.
Add to that that the invisible economy of China is starting to materialize so that the world will see it for the massive government scam it is, coupled with the drought in the middle of the country that is about to push food prices to record highs, and I gotta tell ya, it don't smell too rosy from the seat I'm on.
What does it take for the Wall Street humps to get the message? Stop trying to put lipstick on a pig and call it a donut. Just shoot the damn pig and make me bacon sandwich!
The Wax Ink Portfolio, well, it really isn't performing worth a damn to be quite honest. Even though it was up 0.4% for the week, several of the stocks in the portfolio are getting mauled, hell you might even say they are getting pummelled. Some days it really does suck to be me [sigh].
Portfolio stocks moving up during the week were airplane repair company AAR, Inc. (NYSE: AIR) up 7%, potash company Agrium, Inc. (NYSE: AGU), up 6%, and specialty chemicals maker W.R. Grace (NYSE: GRA), up 4%.
Portfolio stocks caught in the commodal suction vortex for the week were iron and steel producer Insteel Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: IIIN), down 8%, communications equipment company Tellabs, Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB), down 8%, and rubber and plastics container maker Myers Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MYE), down 5%.
The week in politics saw the entry of some controversial statements from chicken man Dan Cathy when asked a question about gay marriage.
Mr. Cathy's comments in turn brought about a strong rebuttal from the Mayor of Boston, Tom Menino. Seeing an opportunity for a photo op, some sound bites, and maybe a free chicken sandwich, Representative Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) who just happens to represent Boston, issued a statement saying he agrees with Mayor Menino.
It really is too bad that Henry IV still has not gotten his wish about a chicken in every pot.
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Disclosure: I am long AIR, AGU, GRA, IIIN, TLAB, MYE