Stocks, bonds, banks close for icy Presidents’ Day holiday

Stocks, bonds, banks close for icy Presidents’ Day holiday

Satirical Presidents' Day portrait of President Obama. Via Matt @twitter, hat tip PowerLine.

WASHINGTON, February 17, 2014 — Still in a polar deep freeze, official Washington is on break today for The Holiday Formerly Known as Washington’s Birthday. It’s now the essentially meaningless “Presidents’ Day.” Markets are closed today as well as most banks, so Wall Streeters await a short trading week commencing on Tuesday and likely highlighted by the fact that the streaking market is now overbought and February options expirations loom on Friday.

A puckish member of the Twitterverse assembled our cover photo today, purportedly showing a touching Presidents’ Day moment in the life of the current Oval Office occupant who was, unsurprisingly, out on the links today according to at least two sources.

In this PhotoShop special, the person of the President seems to have been lifted from an official White House photo that’s about five days old picturing the Prez contemplating a few Edward Hopper paintings currently displayed in the presidential mansion — a photo that decorated a recent Washington Post article by that perpetually pretentious faux intellectual, Phil Kennicott. The “exhibit” is a pastiche of Obama images cleverly arrayed on an anonymous museum wall. (Hat tip to PowerLine for digging this one up.)

In an amusing way, this pastiche accurately expresses the real business objectives of Obamanation, made even funnier due to its apparition on Presidents Day via the Twitterverse. On the flip side, we’re sure the Cincinnati office of the IRS, on its own, of course, is already figuring out ways to punish proletarian insubordination like this.

As if to counterpoint the narcissism of the commander-in-chief, our less-than-useless Secretary of State, John Kerry, is out on the trail preaching, of all things, his continuing fealty to the “settled science” of global warming climate change, notwithstanding the fact that the sun’s current down-cycle is becoming the likely cause of an imminent Little Ice Age, in case U.S. residents hadn’t been noticing their heating bills lately.

There’s no learning for these people. It’s their religious dogma and they’re sticking with it. (Even as they increase the amount of money they invest in eagle killing solar farms.)

Returning to Wall Street from our brief excursion to Cloud Cuckoo Land, we note that markets will reopen as usual tomorrow, at which point we’ll have more to say about actual buying and selling. But with options expiring and stocks overbought, this week and/or next promise a wild ride. The bulls still seem to be in the driver’s seat, but stocks are again short-term overbought.

Underlying grocery store and gasoline inflation is much higher than it looks. The gold market is beginning to look interesting again. And the rolling Obamacare disaster is gathering speed as it picks up more victims even as the President exempts more corporations from its rules. (But never individuals, who are grossly underrepresented by the K St. Lobbying Machine.)

Ergo, short term realities are likely to create another market hit in the fairly short term, although we expect that the market will try to maintain a bullish bias until “sell in May” time rolls around. At which point we’d expect to bail out of most of our longs and short the daylights out of stocks for what could be an uncommonly rough economic and political summer.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more specifics and perhaps a few recommendations. Meanwhile, enjoy your own Presidents Day holiday. And in your spare time, keep an eye on your remaining freedoms, particularly if you inhabit the dwindling middle class. If you don’t remain vigilant, the Ruling Class will see to it that you have less resources to fight them with tomorrow.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17