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Wednesday stock markets try to bounce, but run into bears

Written By | Sep 30, 2015

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2015 – We had a nice rally right after the opening bell Wednesday morning. But it wasn’t long before the Bad News Bears took to the field and tried to pitch a string of scoreless innings. Stocks that opened deliciously high soon had their sails trimmed, as the averages backed off. Since then, most stocks have been backing and filling.

As we write this around 3:30 p.m. EDT, all averages are decently up. But who knows? The usual bout of HFT selling and dumping tends to show up right near the close when it’s too late to do anything about it.

(UPDATE: Surprise! The bulls won a round today. At the closing bell, the Dow was up 227, near its high for the day. The S&P 500 closed up around 35, and the NASDAQ was up a spectacular 102 points or thereabouts, with biotechs staging a long-needed relief rally after their post-Hillary Bashing crash. Figures get adjusted in small increments at the close, BTW, so our numbers here might be slightly off but you get the point.)

In any event, we’re continuing to trim positions little by little, although we’re also sneaking, perhaps too optimistically, into thinly traded ETFs like RYH and RYT, Guggenheim’s equal weight ETFs in, respectively, healthcare and tech. Both have been savagely battered lately, perhaps too much so, and via our broker, we can sneak in little tiny additions to our positions without a commission, minimizing risk as we slowly hunt for a bottom.

Typically, talking heads have been having a field day, with Carl Icahn endorsing Donald Trump for president while talking the market down this morning on CNBC. Whenever these wealthy clowns get on the CNBC airwaves predicting gloom and doom, you just know they’re short and want to panic you out of your already-damaged positions by threatening even greater catastrophes.

Of course, as you sell, they cackle with glee as it accelerates the rich guys’ already ill-gotten gains on the downside. This stuff verges on the criminal, but we see it on TV every day, with only the names of the usual suspects rotating. It’s called “talking your book,” and that’s mostly what you see on TV today.

Very few of these hyper-wealthy clowns have your best interests at heart. The Maven figures that somewhere in excess of 80 percent of either bull market happy talk or bear market gloom and doom is meant to draw investors offsides. Alas, they’re so good at it that it often works.

What makes this even more irritating for the Maven is that, if you look at public campaign contribution reports (which are easy to find online), nearly 100 percent of this sanctimonious subset of very rich talk Marxism, vote for and financially support the Washington Democrats they own. Then, they blame the Republicans for the last seven years of incalculable damage that’s actually been wrought upon America by DC’s Unholy Trinity of Obama, Reid and Pelosi. You need to have a barf bag handy every time you see one of these Midas-rich gasbaggers show up on TV.

Allegedly, this morning’s market happiness was kicked off by nice ADP job numbers. That’s a fine excuse, except that ADPs numbers are always wrong, always misleading, and always contradicted by government job numbers, which are reported on Friday and invariably revised (usually downward) the following week when the media’s blow-dried dopes are looking elsewhere.

Basically, what we’re really looking at, more or less, are the final effects of third-quarter “window dressing,” when mutual funds and hedge funds wildly trade out losers and buy alleged winners so they can show they owned them during the whole quarter when they issue their quarterly reports. That’s patently false and misleading, of course. Not to mention illegal.

But the SEC never bothers to nail anyone for this, lest the universe of contributors to Democrat campaigns be reduced even slightly. It’s crony capitalism at its finest, and it’s even funnier for the Democrats and their wealthy supporters since the general public thinks all this chicanery is being perpetrated by the Republicans who are, alas, generally afraid of their own shadows these days. But if you read the Maven’s columns, you know that already.

Nothing much more to say here today. This market is so bloody treacherous that everything anyone says is always wrong, so why should we add our voice to the ongoing bafflegab? We’re in at least a bear market phase right now and perhaps an actual, full-fledged bear at the moment, and, as the late, great Yogi Berra would have said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

That said, we’re over for today. Perhaps we’ll have something a bit more useful for you tomorrow.

Terry Ponick

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