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Friday trading action: Stocks are like a backyard trampoline

Written By | May 8, 2015

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2015 – After nearly a solid week of brutal punishment in all investment sectors, bulls caught a break Friday, absolutely thrilled by this morning’s April jobs report. The Feds show the economy created some 223,000 jobs in April, reversing the first-quarter new jobs anemia, attributed by the zombie-like cadre of financial hacks reporters to an extended patch of icy-cold weather, itself yet another dire consequence of global warming climate change.

You can’t just make this crap up, if you’ll excuse our French. (The actual French descriptor is more like merde, n’est-ce pas?) People actually believe it, too, which is even worse.

Anyhow, as a result of all this pious nonsense, stocks are up sharply pretty much across the boards Friday morning, a convincing demonstration that in 21st century America, you can fool all of the people all of the time. The Dow Jones Industrials are up a whopping 275 points as we write this, and the other, broader averages are up impressively as well. Feels good. But why do we feel it won’t last?

Today’s markets are like a backyard trampoline. As long as you stay away from the edges, you can bounce up and down safely. But get too clever, and you’ll fly off that trampoline and do a painful faceplant on the lawn.

As we do every time we report the jobs numbers, we were told around the time Obamanation got its once promising launch (2008) that we’d need a good 300,000-325,000 new jobs a month to get all those people put out of work by the Great Recession back in the capitalist traces once again. It’s funny, but now for some reason, numbers over 200,000 per month are celebrated as insanely great news.

The numbers fakery is yet another of the hundreds of ways America’s oligarchs, elites and politicians-for-life are dumbing economic deviancy down, with apologies to the late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

As a result of today’s decidedly unimpressive numbers here, unemployment “fell” to 5.4 percent, shouted this morning’s headlines, ignoring as always the real U-6 unemployment number, which has been consistently pinned above the 10 percent mark supposedly since the fake U.S. recovery began.

But since bad news is good, so it’s off to the races for the bulls Friday. They’re once again in a party mood, exhibiting the kind of irrational exuberance that in today’s markets could be erased by Friday afternoon or Monday morning.

Bulls are also excited by alleged “wage growth,” citing new figures purportedly proving that average hourly earnings rose 2.2 percent from April 2014. Of course, none of these reports note that likely a third or more of those workers boasting that 2.2 percent wage rise probably started out in their current job after being laid off for a considerable period of time and getting a 50 percent wage haircut in the menial new job they were ultimately forced to accept.

Plus, few are mentioning that the average work week was stuck at the “unchanged” mark—still 34.5 after the previous numbers were reported. Obamacare, anyone?

It’s all just a lot of hooey and drivel, really. In his increasingly long and difficult life, the Maven has rarely seen so many allegedly smart people who can lie so boldly, completely and frequently and actually get away with it. It shows you what a truly great job America’s public schools are doing in teaching kids to think.

As for us, we’re going to follow the trend as long as it lasts—maybe into some time next week. Then, we’ll likely declare whatever oversold rally we get to be a dead cat bounce. We’ll use the bounce to escape from a few more positions to raise more cash to buy all the stocks we like that will be on triple markdown mode when the Fed ultimately does start raising those interest rates.

Again, no particular trading tips today. Too dangerous, and unlike the blow-dried pundits that continue to infest CNBC, the Maven would never steer his readers the wrong way just to enhance his book. He’ll leave that to the “experts” in the field.

Have a good weekend. And longer term, try to remember a new magic term: regional banks.

More as it occurs.

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 Senior 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