Market merry-go-round back in action on rumors and guesses

Light news day causes economic talking heads to babble and markets to wobble as we continue to await Sell in May Day. Teekay Tankers, Allergan Preferred A try for gains.

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WASHINGTON, April 28, 2016 – Very short post from yours truly this morning. The Maven is trying to escape the maddening environs of the DC Metro area for a couple of days to take in a Cleveland Orchestra concert way up north in flyover country on the shores of once-again beautiful Lake Erie. Might as well enjoy Cleveland right now before peace-loving “progressive” demonstrators try to wreck the newly spiffed-up downtown area when the Republicans arrive this summer to host their 2016 national convention, which we’re absolutely convinced will be a well-mannered and orderly affair.

Speaking of well-mannered and orderly, the market took a header this morning before the Dow, at least, got back to roughly -31 points at around 11 a.m. EDT. The economic punditocracy blamed it all on Japan’s decision to do nothing about its interest rates this morning.

Such attributions are really getting lame, giving us the impression that TV’s 24/7 economic talking heads have run out of things to say. So they pull stuff out of the air and blab about it until those few remaining retail investors believe that it is true.

The Democrats, actually, have been doing this sort of thing for years, and it’s been a stunning success for them. Not so much, however, in the financial news biz where, if your viewers are losing money on every one of your dumb tips that they follow up, they tend to cease being viewers. Various things in life take on an entirely different and more logical meaning when you have actual skin—or money—in the game.

We actually have a good bit to discuss, but it’s not going to happen when the Maven is buzzing away on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which may or may not still be under construction, as it has been since the 1930s. But we’ll try to get back to biz on Sunday when we’re back in town.

Today’s trading tips

Again, very short, but also rather repetitive. We have retreated mostly to cash at this point, save for our collection of reasonably stable term preferred stocks and that great current mispriced bargain, Allergan preferred A (AGN/PRA). That stock was under modest attack, down midday Wednesday by over 20 points. We should have picked up a bit more. It promptly recovered nearly all those point by yesterday’s 4 p.m. close. The action indicates that while there appear to be pockets of sellers still ready to unload, the dumping is almost over.

Our position in Teekay Tankers (TNK) took a run at $4 per share yesterday and backed off. It’s trying rather feebly Thursday morning to jump over that hurdle again. But at its 11 a.m. price of $3.93 per share, low volume says it won’t make it today, either. Patience, patience.

We’re in and out of gold and silver ETFs SGOL and SIVR, somewhat thinly traded entities run by our Swiss friends who assure us that unlike the more popular ETFs for these two metals, the Swiss ETFs are actually backed by gen-u-ine precious metal holdings in Swiss vaults. At any rate, we’re back in again for awhile, but this is at the moment still just a trade. There are indications—finally—that the gold bugs may be on the verge of their dream of a renewed market in their favorite commodity.

Stories have finally begun to leak into “major media” outlets confirming all the grousing we’ve read for years in columns and sites like ZeroHedge and Jesse’s Café Américain. Both they and less reliable sites keep documenting numbers proving that major price manipulation in these metals has been going on for quite some time. JP Morgan has begun to emerge as a possible perp in this. But the Maven’s question is: which central banks were they working for.

This story will be stonewalled for as long as possible, but let’s keep an eye on it. In the meantime, we can happily trade gold and silver ETFs up and down, but playing the game requires considerable attention.

That’s it for now. Onward, now, to Flyover Country to meet and greet actual real American people for a change.

See you later this weekend.

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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