Thursday, December 17, 2009

12/17/09 Midday Report: All the news sucks today, but will it swallow tomorrow?

A rash of negative news for the markets is out today.  The dollar is rising thanks to the Fed saying they believe the economy is strengthening (they conveniently left out the part about the quadrillion dollars they printed over the past year to strengthen said economy, but I understand that is a minor detail) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showing a positive increase in manufacturing in the Philly region (apparently guns, crack cocaine, and Allen Iverson jerseys are included in those manufacturing numbers).  This news is leading investors to bet on rates rising in the future and thus the trade out of equities and commodities is gaining a bit of momentum, like pants-less Tuesdays.

Other bad market news includes another downgrade of Greece, this time by S&P who is now giving the country a Triple-B rating (while Maria Menonous maintains her double D rating), citing the country's lingering inability to collect remunerations from the Grecco-Persian wars, the gag-inducing contributions to the entertainment world by Nia Vardalos's opus, and the fact that they have a fuckload of debt with 16% of their GDP tied to the tourism industry in a global economy where no one can fucking afford to travel except for Tiger Woods' wife.  If Greece doesn't either collapse or fix their debt structure soon, Money McBags may have to hang it up because his stable of Greek jokes is thinner than Socrates defense for "corrupting" the "minds" of young men.

The final blow to the market today was that weekly claims for unemployment went up for the second straight week while analysts were expecting them to drop.  While the four week trend is still down, two rising weeks in a row is not a good signal, unless you hate people working.  So the market is down because the economy is both strengthening (rates may rise) and getting worse (new jobless claims are up), heads you win, tails I fucking lose.  Why do I even play this game?

In stock news, RICK is running into earnings tonight as it is cheaper than a used broken condom.  If they can show positive profitability trends in their Vegas club, they could double by next year.  Money McBags' favorite short WGO also reported this morning and said they are seeing improvement with backlog up 350%.  What they tried not to mention too much is that they still lost $.14 in the Q (don't be fooled by that tax break), are still going to lose money next Q, burned $7MM in cash., saw market retail sales continue to plummet (down 31%), and still produce an overpriced product that no one can afford to fucking buy.  While new tax breaks helped them out, today's action is the usual short covering of fickle investors.  WGO has less chance of  being profitable this year than Paris Hilton does of giving the annual MENSA address in Latin, so Money McBags would be getting ready to re-short this in the next few days.  Oh yeah, as predicted, no one wants to buy C stock, something about not wanting to own a terribly run company with worse risk management capabilities than Chris Henry.

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