WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2015 – We write this column pretty much every day from out slightly-outside-the-Beltway vantage point in beautiful and increasingly leftist Reston, Virginia. As such, we’re privileged to watch the cesspool of the federal government grow and grow, funded as it is by the rich, rent-seeking and invariably Democrat-supporting elites and oligarchs who want to bring yahoos like the average Virginian to heel.
Bloomberg money menaces Virginia State Senate
Chief among them here in this unfortunately now-purple state is New York’s former mayor, Nanny Bloomberg himself. He’s stuffed some $700,000 into the coffers of a Democrat who’s challenging a young Republican Virginia Senate candidate running for a seat contiguous with the Richmond area. It will be interesting to see how that one goes. In other words, it will be interesting to see if Nanny Bloomberg can buy gun control for himself, and even more socialized medicine, à la Medicaid subsidies, for Virginia’s Democrat governor.
In other words, theoretically at least, with this contested seat goes the one-seat Republican State Senate majority that’s thwarting current Clintonista Gov. Terry McAuliffe from caving into the MOAR free Medicaid fanatics which will ultimately jack Virginia’s taxes up again. (They’re already beginning to approach Blue State standards.)
America’s real immigration problem: blue staters migrating to red states
Due to the steady infiltration of Democrats in Northern Virginia, who’ve been stealthily but steadily turning this area into a Republican no-go zone, Virginia’s formerly rock-solid conservative voter base has been gradually overwhelmed, which is what has turned the state purple.
Like New Hampshire, Colorado, and (big time) California before it, Virginia, too, is now being overwhelmed by the immigrants who should really be illegal—blue staters who are fleeing to red states to escape the asinine taxes and public safety programs that their votes have routinely promoted.
Once they are domiciled in their new red state McMansions, these brainless clowns proceed to do precisely the same thing they did before. Turning their new states blue by degree by pulling the D-lever each and every time without a further thought, they destroy their new red state refuges as well, raising taxes, trashing law enforcement and electing the same kind of Democrat crooks they elected back home.
The Bloomberg-Democrat Blob invades the Old Dominion
These legal illegal immigrants remind the Maven of the brainless, shapeless creature in that old horror flick “The Blob,” engulfing and devouring anything in their paths with their boundless appetites for MOAR. No wonder this country is going to hell at an alarming pace.
Which gets us back to Nanny Bloomberg, who’s a pretty monstrous money Blob himself. He’s pushing an inexperienced Democrat to run against the Republican incumbent precisely to make sure—he hopes—that the Dems take back the Virginia Senate to help out with that Medicaid thing. But even more importantly for Bloomberg, he hates Virginia and real Virginians (not including those Northern Virginia carpetbaggers) because not only are they pro-Republican, they’re largely anti-abortion, anti-illegal alien amnesty and above all pro-gun.
Even worse for Bloomberg is the fact that the dreaded NRA’s world headquarters is located in enemy territory in Northern Virginia, only a few miles from the Maven’s abode, BTW. And this is what Bloomberg is really trying to do: gain Democrat control of the Virginia legislature, start imposing gun control measures, and make life very, very difficult for the NRA, at the very least by spending them to death, which a reflexively socialist and impossibly rich fat cat like Bloomberg can easily do.
What’s this have to do with stocks. Short term, not much. But longer term, as each infiltrated red state turns blue and falls into economic ruin, American entrepreneurship and this country’s ability to generate wealth and innovation declines yet another notch, leading eventually to a complete decline and fall of everything we thought the country held dear.
It’s not very encouraging.
On Wall Street, shorts are squeezed again
Wall Street, at least, has been more encouraging so far this week. After an uncertain beginning, the raging bull of 2014 returned Tuesday and, to some extent Wednesday, as averages once again scored new highs, albeit reluctantly and on low volume.
What really seems to be going on is a fairly slow yet massive forced unwinding of huge short positions—positions that largely contributed to the markets’ sickening August and September declines. During those months, HFTs, insiders and big traders seemed to be colluding in a relentless drive to smash the market down in an alleged “reaction” to the Fed’s intent to raise interest rates in September. When that didn’t happen, they cried, “Well, then, in December,” and bashed stocks down again.
Now, it’s clear, no one, including the Fed, has any clue as to what’s going on with anything. In the confusion, the bulls seem to be seizing the moment creating a sort of “reaction Blob,” engulfing and squeezing the bejeezus out of the shorts, causing a very early—and perhaps unsustainable—Santa Claus Rally.
No one knows how things will turn out for the remainder of 2015, even though the holiday season is a traditionally bullish time of the year. Those stubborn sellers and shorts turned out once again at this morning’s opening bell to try to crush the biotechs and healthcare stocks once again, just like they did in late summer.
But those stocks, a variety of related ETFs and the market itself regrouped, fought back and got most sectors back into the green as the market closed Tuesday afternoon. Volume was low, however, so bulls shouldn’t get too cocky about this week’s pair of early wins. If selling gets heavy again soon, they’ll have wasted all their ammunition.
Tomorrow’s trading tips
We’re writing this after the market close, so our ideas are for tomorrow but only tentatively. We did a little buying this morning on early weakness, doubling up on our re-established positions in refiners Valero (symbol: VLO) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC). We’re already back in Calumet (CLMT), an MLP refiner and asphalt producer, which reports its numbers tomorrow.
That’s it for risk, though. Otherwise, we’ve begun to nibble at a couple of representative Schwab ETFs which are not only commission-free to Schwab customers like the Maven, but are also holding up pretty well in this miserable 2015 environment. We’re taking a chance on a slight revival of foreign stock action in small and larger cap emerging market (EM) ETFs SCHC (small cap) and SCHE (larger cap) EM stocks. We’ve also taken a tiny, tiny position in SCHF which holds larger, more established European-style companies.
Other ETFs that are looking decent are in the lightly-traded Guggenheim family of equal weight average funds. Their tech ETF, RYT, and healthcare ETF (RYH) have been steady since October, so we’ve been adding tiny, tiny bits to our position because these ETFs, too, are commission-free to us. But do note, essentially similar products are available to investors who use other discount houses. And for anyone at all, many Vanguard ETFs have held up remarkably well this year in addition to their unusually low management fees, always an issue with these ETF products.
When we say tiny, we mean tiny. 2, 3, 5-10 shares max at a time. This is a treacherous market, and our tendency is to buy little bits of these ETFs every time the trading day is decidedly negative.
As usual, travel at your own risk. But we’ve been pretty successful developing tiny positions like these and building them over time. It’s one way to get invested while staying cautious in a post-QE market environment that’s trying to figure out where to go without any historical roadmap at all, while beset on all sides by crooks, HFTs and astoundingly corrupt government officials who’ve pretty much been responsible for the whole mess.
See you Wednesday.