Saturday, February 28, 2009

10-Year Treasury Constant Maturity Rate


Friday, February 27, 2009

Stock Market still under extreme pressure

The chart below spans twenty five years for the s and P 500. Each bar is one month.
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Chart for S&P 500

Monday, February 23, 2009

Down side range expansion continues--good trade opportunity

The downside range expansion continues and all systems indicate that market is going lower. You will notice the spike down to the 741 area in November. Will history repeat itself? i think to some extent it will. Traders should be on their toes for any spike below 741 overnight or early Tuesday morning.

I doubt we will see the monster rally we saw in November. But, looks good for a nice fat trade.

Complacent longs are still in the market and so far they have not capitulated. Sometime soon, very soon they are going to cry "Uncle".
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Chart for S&P 500
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stimulus Tax Break Savings

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How households may fare under the economic recovery plan.
IncomeAvg. tax savingsDrop in tax bite
Under $19K$476-95%
$2.8M plus$39,350-1.4%
Source:The Tax Policy C
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Obama's foreclosure fix on the way

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The multipart plan will for the first time commit government money to spur loan modifications. One likely component will be interest-rate subsidies for at-risk borrowers, with the government matching the servicer's rate reduction. Borrowers would have to take an affordability test to see whether they could handle the monthly payment on the reworked loan.

The administration is also expected to ramp up loan modifications of borrowers in default. These modifications would lower monthly payments to more affordable terms - often 31% to 38% of gross monthly income - through reducing interest rates or lengthening the loan's term.

On deck is controversial legislation to allow bankruptcy judges to modify loans on primary residences. The financial industry is staunchly opposed to this measure, but administration officials told them last week to expect it to happen this year.

Families in foreclosure

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Author Terry Pratchett blames his Alzheimer's on mercury fillings

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Terry Pratchett has reopened the controversy about the safety of mercury-based tooth fillings by blaming them for his Alzheimer's disease.

The author of the Discworld series describes the fillings - which millions of Britons have - as "toxic waste".

"Having something like mercury in your mouth seemed to me to be a really bad idea and I got rid of the stuff," said Pratchett.

Winners and losers in the final stimulus bill

Follow the link for a more complete breakdown.
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  • Foreclosures: $2 billion is set for a neighborhood stabilization program that helps areas plagued with foreclosures by buying back properties and preventing blight.
  • Social Security: $500 million goes to replace its 30-year-old computer system.
  • Car buyers: Anyone who buys a new car in 2009 gets to deduct the sales tax. To qualify, buyer must make less than $125,000 individually or $250,000 jointly. Cost is $1.7 billion.
  • Homebuyers: First-time homebuyers who purchase this calendar year get an $8,000 tax credit which does not have to be repaid like a similar measure last year. This phases out for people making more than $75,000 individually or $150,000 jointly. "First-time homebuyer" is defined as someone who has not owned a home for the past three years. Cost: $6.63 billion.
  • Tax credits: Anyone making $75,000 individually or $150,000 as a family will get refundable tax credit up to $400 per person or $800 per family.

    GM to say, 'more aid or bankruptcy'

    Sooner or later it will become obvious to the politicians in Washington that this situation requires more than a bandage--more like a heart transplant.

    As a taxpayer, I would prefer to see a "cram down" of the existing stock and bond holders. Then a complete restructuring of the company by a board of directors put in place by we the people.

    I cannot understand why taxpayer money would be invested any differently than real money. I guess I just explained why--the people in congress have been throwing money around for so long they forget where it came from and are no longer treating our tax monies as they would treat their own monies. Sad.
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    General Motors Corp. will offer the government the choice of giving it billions more in bailout money or seeing it file for bankruptcy when it presents a restructuring plan next week, according to a report published Saturday.

    The government has already committed $13.4 billion to GM as part of a federally-funded bailout. The automaker is expected to include its call for more funds in a restructuring plan it's required to submit to the Treasury Department by Tuesday, though the company isn't expected to include a dollar amount, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

    Chrysler is also expected to submit a restructuring plan on Tuesday.

    Friday, February 13, 2009

    Household Wealth Plunged In ‘08, Reversing Rise

    Borrowing for second homes accounts for part of the large increase in debt over the last five years. This is something that is not being discussed or factored into the current housing situation. An enormous amount of second homes are going into foreclosure and even more are on the market for sale. This overhang in the housing market is likely to continue for a long time. Is anyone in the government discussing supply and demand as they look for a quick fix for the housing crisis?

    The drop in the stock market is hurting the newly retired and really weighing on Baby Boomers.
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    U.S. household wealth appeared to have plummeted in 2008 in the face of falling values for stocks and homes, a Federal Reserve report showed, more than reversing gains achieved over the previous three years.

    According to the Fed’s survey of consumer finances, released Thursday, average net worth is estimated to have fallen 22.7% from 2007 until October 2008. The median, or midpoint, fell a more modest 17.8%, suggesting declines were centered among wealthier families.

    The share of households with loan payments exceeding 40% of their income rose 2.5 percentage points between the 2004 and 2007 surveys, to 14.7%.

    Borrowing for second homes was a big factor pushing up debt between 2004 and 2007, the Fed said. –Brian Blackstone

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    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    Wells Fargo May Cut Loans for Some Wachovia Customers


    Ok. Let me get this straight.

    Wells Fargo & Co., the second-biggest U.S. home lender is offering to cut mortgage balances for some of Wachovia Corporation customers by 20 percent.
    So if I have a $500,000 mortgage I can get my mortgage balance reduced to $300,000. I'm in. Well, probably not.
    While the terms are still a bit sketchy this is coming in response to the pressure to modify loans due to rising default levels. You have to be in default to get the 20 percent free lunch.
    Wells Fargo’s pilot program aimed at Wachovia borrowers is part of a plan announced on Jan. 26 to help avoid “preventable foreclosures.” As many as 478,000 Wachovia customers have access to the wider program and those who are in or at risk of foreclosure have until Feb. 28 to contact the bank. Customers may also win reduced interest rates and extensions of up to 40 years.
    Well what about people that have been making their payments for say the last ten years? No free lunch?
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    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Octuplets' mom to give first interview

    Nadya Suleman has 14 kids all together. This interview should be of great interest to many.

    I'm sure the negativo's will be out in force on this one.
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    Nadya Suleman, the California mother of the newborn octuplets, left a Los Angeles-area hospital early today.

    The New York Daily News writes, The 33-year-old snuck out of the hospital under cover of darkness Thursday and a spokeswoman pleaded for her privacy.

    But Suleman is wasting no time going public. She's doing her first media interview today with NBC News correspondent Ann Curry. Excerpts will be shown tonight. Air-date to follow.

    Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that Suleman received more than $165,000 in state disability payments for an on-the-job back injury.

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    Brother, Can You Spare 99 Cents?

    Contrarians night want to give this some thought.
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    Call it the Depression trade. The pockets of strength in retail stocks steadily empty, until even Family Dollar Stores and Dollar Tree Inc. are considered overvalued.

    Retailers “continue to underperform, and if the market’s vulnerable (they) will possibly still lead on the down side,” said Steven Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co. “It may continue to lag (even) on rebounds until there’s an anticipation of a bottom in housing prices. With the dire straits of unemployment (and) savings increasing, spending is still not there.”

    Now, traders are exhibiting fears that shoppers will balk at prices in Family Dollar, which cut its gains to 2% for the year-to-date after rival Dollar Tree reported fourth-quarter sales below analysts’ estimates.

    The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR is down 12% at $19.09 for 2009 and is likely to wallow around these levels for some time, said Mr. Wilson.
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    Find the Wind

    Ever think about starting your own wind farm? Well, first you have to find the wind. Here you go.

    Maybe you just want to know how windy it is? Or maybe you just have an interest in wind.
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