Thursday, August 16, 2012


In Quick Takes Pro this morning, I (mis) quoted Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Comes.

I don't have to tell you all that the market is waiting. Waiting for the Sun (Doors). Waiting on a Friend (Rolling Stones). The Waiting (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers). And from waaaay outside my genre, Patiently Waiting (50 Cent).

Sometimes, I use a book of financial quotations to enhance my writing. I should probably piece together a book of lyrics related to financial topics.

Anyway, here is some more from this morning's newsletter:

Stocks traded with an even smaller range and lower volume Wednesday and now it is topic du jour in chat rooms. What's going on?

The better question is will he or won’t he? Will there be more stimulus? Here are two headlines:

"The better tone of the economic data in the two weeks since the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting have caused some Fed watchers to doubt that the central bank will launch another massive bond purchase program next month."

Uh oh. The gains of late July were directly due to the belief that QE is coming. The first leg was thanks to promises by the ECB. The second was thanks to hints by the Fed.

"Stock-index futures track modestly higher, as investors circle back to stimulus expectations for the No. 2 global economy (China)."

If Europe won’t print and the USA won’t print then surely China will. And if they don't, maybe we can start a movement in India.

This sarcasm is meant to illustrate the dependence on "help" from the outside. Earnings? Yes, they seem to be better but that's not moving the market. Interest rates? No, it's risk-on vs. risk-off. Economic policy? You would think the battle in Washington would have some effect but no.

All the fundamentals that traditionally move the market (said by a technician with a sour taste in the mouth) hold no sway. It's all about quantitative easing, no matter the source. Rational analysis can be tossed out the window while we debate "will he or won't he."

Should I trade or should I go? - The Clash (sort of).

Should I just hit the beach with the Europeans and wait for the Oracle of Bernank to speak in Jackson Hole on August 31?

Or as I wrote in my Barron's Online column yesterday, should I download the trading app from my online broker and get ready to trade big-time if the announcement of more QE or not comes through earlier when nobody is looking?

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