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HFTs

UK Brexit-related assassination tanks Thursday gold trade

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2016 – It’s been one truly strange Wall Street week, as dueling narratives—federal government lies vs. political reality on the ground—are driving more traders to head for the exits this week. For the most part. Thursday’s trading action saw markets tanking big-time, until, bizarrely, the tragic assassination of Jo Cox, a pro-EU ...

Tuesday stocks turn tail and run. Higher U.S. interest rates loom

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2016 – The merry, merry month of May is limping to a month-end close in Tuesday Wall Street trading action. As of 2:30 p.m. EDT, all three widely followed stock averages—the Dow Jones Industrials, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ—are off sharply, with the Dow taking the worst hit, currently sitting at ...

Oil down sharply Monday as Saudis, Iran, Russia pump away

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2016 – As of the final hour of trading, Monday’s insane market moves are making it seem as if trading firms, funds and HFTs alike forgot that April Fool’s Day was Friday and not today. A continuing and rapid drop in the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil from its market-exciting ...

Oil kicks Friday stocks into gear. Is Trump helping too?

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2016 – It’s getting really hard to know what’s driving this market. Headed for apocalyptic disaster not ten trading days ago, the major averages suddenly did a 180 just a few trading days ago. Now it seems there’s no stopping them as they assume their formerly accustomed trip back up into the ...

Wednesday stock trade: Levitation without a cause

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2016 – Many stocks and stock sectors continued to rise in Wednesday trading, tacking on another win to Tuesday’s festivities. That’s pretty good for a holiday-shortened trading week, at least thus far. But aside from a Saudi-Russian “oil freeze” agreement that’s mostly hot air, when it comes to hard information on the ...

Thursday markets: Bears rampage, Yellen hedges, oil tanks

WASHINGTON, February 11, 2016 – It’s getting really hard to write this daily column that describes the background and the action in the (once) wonderful world of stocks and bonds. Bears have been running rampant on Wall Street since the first trading day of 2016 and the carnage has already become considerable. The death and ...

HFT ‘berserkers’ prepping for Wall Street bloodbath?

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2016 – Sunday night, along with Mrs. Maven, yours truly watched a moderately interesting “historical” show via Amazon Prime. The rather interesting and more or less true subject concerned those ancient Viking “special forces” units known as “the berserkers.” These fearsome warriors were known for their crazed, lethal pursuit of the enemy ...

Saudis to cut oil output 5 percent! Nahh, just kidding…

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2016 – Wednesday’s rally and subsequent post-Fed minutes smackdown are already history. Thursday’s trading action thus far is much the same for completely different non-reasons. At the 9:30 a.m. opening bell, the market opened wildly up in full irrational exuberance mode as this morning’s hot story gripped traders and HFTs with a ...

Torpedoed by oil, Wednesday markets sink once again

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2016 – It might as well be Friday the 13th, not Wednesday, given the latest of this month’s serial disasters for traders and investors alike. After a bright, happy opening surge by hopeful bulls, the early buying surge, building on Tuesday’s positive action, soon proved to be a wasted effort. The Dow, ...

Stocks try to hit the reset button Friday, but oil skids

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 – Back some years ago, there was a TV show called “Spin Control,” based, of course, right here in Washington, D.C. where “spinning” bad news into good to help out the party in power is a way of life. Today’s so-called job creation numbers reported here are a case in point. The ...

Monday Wall Street rally: Santa arriving too late for stocks and bonds?

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2015 – Short column today as Mr. and Mrs. Maven prepare for a short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, just downstate from the nation’s capital. After 2015’s brutal market beating, we both figure it’s time to recharge those batteries, the better to prepare for what’s likely to be an even weirder 2016 in ...

Wednesday trading action: Wall Street’s shell game continues

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2015 – The Maven, and indeed, many other long-time professional investors, have been bad-mouthing the 2015 trading action in stocks, well, since about mid-January 2015 to be precise. The aimless churning and periodic but furtive bull moves in all averages have been just enough to suck the unwary—including us at times—back in, ...

Apple and the Fed: Back to ‘Waiting for Godot’ on Wall Street

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2015 – Tuesday morning’s futures indicated we’d have a lower opening trade, and at the bell, the markets quickly obliged. Trading has been dull to limp and the averages have slowly but inexorably sunk deeper and deeper into the Slough of Despond. It’s been like our favorite theatrical metaphor, “Waiting for Godot, ...

Ferrari IPO debuts, stock market fails to absorb hormones

WASHINGTON, October 21, 2015 – The eagerly-anticipated IPO of the costly Italian automaker Ferrari was priced Tuesday evening at $52 per share—the high end of its estimated range. As predicted, the stock popped during this morning’s opening trade, briefly hitting $60 per share before settling back in the $56 dollar range. The Ferrari action (TRIGGER ...

Hillary Tweet crashes Wall Street

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2015 – Today is the first day of fall, and fall is just what stocks are doing, following Monday’s bizarre day, which started out bullish but was promptly derailed that afternoon by a typically clueless tweet from the Democrats’ faltering, alleged front-runner for the next presidential sweepstakes. Price gouging like this in ...