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Stocks party hard on Super Tuesday, Dow up triple digits

Written By | Mar 1, 2016

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2016 – March really did roar in like a lion Tuesday, at least on Wall Street. After a mopey, gloomy, miserable leap-Monday (February 29), a majority of stocks were off to the races Super Tuesday morning, with the Dow up slightly over 2 percent, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closed up nearly 3 percent.

It was all pretty exciting, really, after the punishment nearly all investors have sustained thus far in this miserable 2016. It’s hard to say what drove today’s bout of irrational exuberance. Numbers are lousy, we hear talk of “the end of cash” and negative interest rates as Keynesian desperation gridlocks the world’s central banks, all of which have probably done enough meddling anyway.

All central banks have done is shore up their own firewalls while continuing to put up with many of the crooks who helped us get into the neverending Great Recession anyway.

Could today’s hearty party be due to what investors think they’re going to learn when all the Super Tuesday ballots being cast today are finally counted? (Or in the Democrats’ case, newly-created by voting tombstones in bulk to make sure the numbers work?) Could sheer, Trumpian anarchy be loosed upon the land?

Nobody really knows, even though they claim to. Maybe people just felt it was time to buy stuff. In any case, they bought a lot of it today, which is where all these happy numbers came from.

After tonight’s Super Tuesday election results come in, maybe we’ll have a better picture of what influence this event might have had or how it might influence Wednesday trading. But today, everything except some metals seemed headed for the top floor, and it felt pretty good, actually.

Data coming out today was actually quite bad, generally. It’s also clear that no one in the G-20 agreed to anything over the weekend except more smoke, mirrors and can kicking. Guess that’s why we pay all these clowns the big bucks.

Oil did climb a bit higher today, before disappointingly backing off at the close with bidding for WTI ending sourly at $33.88 bbl., off $0.52. But even this didn’t seem to faze the bulls very much in most sectors.

Mr. and Mrs. Maven took a bit of time off today to vote in Virginia’s Super Tuesday primary sweeps. Our polling place wasn’t wall-to-wall voters when we arrived late Tuesday afternoon. But poll workers the Maven chatted with on the way out indicated that things had been pretty steady all day—unusual in Virginia primaries where half the time, poll workers are asleep, given the lack of business.

In other words, here as elsewhere, interest is high. It’s not every election year that has the potential of upsetting the establishment. Big time. And we couldn’t imagine any establishment more worthy of being upset than the current edition of Washington, D.C. hacks.

Well, rather than using this opportunity to descend into full-rant mode, we’ll just watch the voting results tonight and see if we can make anything of them. At the moment, Trump looks like he could run the table, but Cruz might wrestle him to a draw, at least in Texas. If Trump scores big, watch the Republican Party elites go nuts. This one wasn’t in their big-donor program. Fine.

They’ve brought it on themselves, with a party leadership that has striven 24/7 for most of this century to be worthy every day of the title they richly deserve, The Stupid Party. Watch for the Republican Party leadership to remain stupid after tonight’s results come in.

The Evil Party isn’t much better actually—no, it’s considerably worse, putting up an indictable criminal as its candidate. Maybe it’s time to start this country all over again. But, interestingly enough, maybe that is what Wall Street got excited about today: the potential return of capitalism.

Still no trading tips for now. Things are just too crazy and too politicized, and we hate to see your—or our—new positions take a beating before the trades have even settled. So let’s not make any until some of this week’s smoke clears.

See you Wednesday.

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