financials

The S&P stabilized well by midday yesterday after putting in new lows reaching 1767. The FOMC begins its two day meeting today and many feel that the market has gone through a self-correction and that Bernanke and the Fed will remain on pace tapering.
Sales of new U.S. homes dropped more than forecast in December as cold weather helped put a chill on an industry at the end of its best year since 2008.
The short story is that U.S. companies can, with a certain amount of effort, move their legal address to Ireland or wherever and more or less avoid paying any taxes. This is called an "inversion," and the math is pretty straightforward.
We are among the group that has called for a market correction for some time. The global markets reacted after the Chinese reports of contraction. Other factors governing the activity are the U.S. economy, corporate earnings, the labor situation, and of course the ongoing European debt crisis.
FEB14 natural gas has been on a very wild ride this past week, and this morning it spiked all the way up to $5.44, only to come right back down to negative territory, now trading down $.09 to $5.09.
Surfers rejoice. Woodie cars like the Ford in the 1960s hit Surf City may be making a comeback -- of sorts.
A sharp fall to 1783 on Friday suggests that the S&P 500 is heading lower now in wave 4. Wave 4 is a corrective leg, so this can be only a temporary weakness but we still need three legs down before we turn bullish again.
Politically, 2013 was the year of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. First the GOP followed the direction of Junior Senator Ted Cruz (R Tex.) down a dark alley in a fight they were guaranteed to lose, and, then with the GOP on the ropes, the President and his team botched the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act website. In the markets all eyes were on Federal Reserve mainly because Congress abdicated all responsibility for moving the economy forward to Ben Bernanke, who finally signaled the beginning of the end of QE3.
2013 was a year of anticipation and perhaps disappointment. For those hoping the 2012 election would have settled some of the dysfunction in Washington, that did not happen. In fact, we doubled down on fights already settled as if there were no new business. Equity markets impressed, but few saw it as anything other than the hand of the Fed. Mercifully, the Fed signaled the beginning of the end of QE3 by year-end.
The advent of electronic trading brought an infatuation with for-profit exchanges, while Dodd-Frank brought hope of regulatory protection for the little guys. Neither delivered in 2013 — will 2014 be any different?