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Rant & Rave Blog

Chrysler Financial Repays TARP Loan

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

Read 154 times

Chrysler Financial Repays TARP LoanChrysler Financial said it has fully repaid $1.5 billion in loans under the TARP. The company said funds used to pay back the loan were obtained through the completion of an automotive asset backed securitization through the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility also know as TALF. The company said it used the TARP money to fund more than 85,000 consumer loans.

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

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Key Levels Working Well Using's Key Trend Line Technical Analysis

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

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Key Levels Working Well Using's Key Trend Line Technical Analysis

RealTick graphics used with permission of Townsend Analytics, Ltd. ©1986-2009 townsend Analytics, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. RealTick is a registered trademark of Townsend Analytics, Ltd
Intel To Report Earnings After The Close

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

Read 155 times

Intel To Report Earnings After The CloseIntel is reporting earnings after the bell. The company is expected to report a big drop in sales and profit from last year's second quarter. Analysts expect Intel to earn 8 cents a share, down from 28 cents in the same period last year, on sales of $7.3 billion, down 23% from a year ago.

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

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Using The Large Time Frames To Capture Massive Profits

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

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Using The Large Time Frames To Capture Massive ProfitsAs I write this article on time frames, I wish to speak a little bit about my experience as a trader.  Throughout the years, I have made my fair share of mistakes.  Those of you that trade/invest in the markets know it is just part of the game.  It is a trial and error type career, like kids, we must touch the hot stove/oven, even when our parents told us not to.  Once touched, we pray we learn our lesson and never do it again.  I was no different as I began to learn how to trade.  I would try something, find out what works, what does not.  As I began to utilize the technicals of price, pattern and time I began to throw away the other technical indicators that were always talked about.  For instance, stochastics, MACD, RSI and more.  These I tried to use in my first years as a trader but my winning percentage was never more than 60%.  Of course due to my discipline at the time, the losers would often outweigh the winners by 2-3x and we all know that math will not work.  Over time, I learned to make sure I cut my losses, and as I learned a new breed of technicals, I began to let my winners max out on profits.  One of the biggest things I learned was to trust price, pattern and time.   Today I wish to speak a little bit about time and how important it can be in one respect. 

As part of one of the fastest growing financial guidance and education firms out there, one of the biggest lessons we wish to express, is to use the Larger Time Frame Method.  This method is exactly how my partners and I at were able to pinpoint within a week or two the top on the market recently.  The SPY (a good gauge of the S&P 500) was trading for 2-3 weeks between $94-$96.  During this time, President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner and the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke all stated multiple times that green shoots were sprouting.  The media was singing their praises, mutual funds and hedge funds were dumping hundreds of billions back into the market and a V-shaped bottom seemed to be in place.  At heart we are contrarian thinkers and use psychology as part of our analysis techniques.  Seeing this pumping in the media put us on high alert.  We started looking at the daily SPY chart.  Sure, it looked over bought but let's face it, a chart of anything can remain that way for days, weeks, months or even years.  After analyzing the daily and seeing mixed signals and signs, we decided to do something most investors or traders lack the common sense to do.  I went to the next bigger time frame.  This is where we made an amazing discovery.

This is one of the secrets which may seem like common sense but for some reason so few people are willing to do it.  Whenever you find it hard to read a chart but feel something is overbought or oversold on a certain chart or when people seem far too bullish or bearish, always go to the next bigger time frame.  If you are right on the move coming, it should be showing and confirm on that time frame.  The chart below shows a great example of the confusion that was in the markets.  The daily chart shows the markets off the March lows by 40%.  However, at the same time a great bullish consolidation pattern is forming which many beginner/amateur traders were thinking meant the markets were going to go higher.

What did we do?  We first got worried based off the psychological indicators.  With the President, Federal Reserve and Treasury all pumping the markets, the media blasted it to everyone.  That was what worried us.  Too many bullish people.  With that we looked at the daily chart below.


After analyzing the daily chart, it was not clear if we were right to suspect a drop coming in the markets off the SPY $94-$96 level.  At that point we went to the next biggest time frame, the weekly.  We grinned with excitement after going over the weekly chart.  Not only was the 50ma coming into play as major resistance but we discovered two major trend lines, one which started back in early 2007 and the other from mid 2008.  Both lines crossed the current price on the SPY at $96.  This was a major find and began to reassure us that a fall back down was on the horizon.  See the chart below.



After isolating all 3 major resistance levels, which the current markets were hammering against, we began to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  Society was far too bullish, the markets were 40% off their recent lows and the weekly chart was showing hardcore signs of a major pullback.  Before we really wanted to short this market and make the call to our premium subscribers, we decided to confirm even more by going to the monthly chart (the next bigger time frame).  If we were right on this drop, that should confirm the weekly.

We looked over the monthly chart.  All of a sudden, that same smile crept to our lips.  A major resistance level had just been tagged at $96 on the SPY on the monthly chart dating all the way back to late 2002.  It just so happened to be the pivot high of a W bottom.  That high in December of 2002 was at $96.05.  The high on the SPY in 2009 in June was $96.11.  This confirmed our view that the markets should see a sizable drop.  See the chart below.



Insane amounts of resistance were being hit on the markets.  While those that just focused on the daily chart and listened to the media and our President, Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman would have been fooled, those that took the time to analyze the bigger time frames could have nailed this pullback from $96 on the SPY to the recent low at $87.  We encourage all of you to start doing this.  Confirm yourself on any chart by looking at the bigger time frames.  The money tree is available, the question is, will you find a way to reach the branches.

By: Gareth Soloway
Chief Market Strategist
President & CFO
The Leader In Market Technical Guidance

RealTick graphics used with permission of Townsend Analytics, Ltd. ©1986-2009 townsend Analytics, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. RealTick is a registered trademark of Townsend Analytics, Ltd
The Economy Is Even Worse Than You Think

Posted by Monday, July 13, 2009, 08:00PM ET

Read 170 times

The Economy Is Even Worse Than You ThinkThe average length of unemployment is higher than it's been since government began tracking the data in 1948.

The recent unemployment numbers have undermined confidence that we might be nearing the bottom of the recession. What we can see on the surface is disconcerting enough, but the inside numbers are just as bad.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.

Here are 10 reasons we are in even more trouble than the 9.5% unemployment rate indicates:

- June's total assumed 185,000 people at work who probably were not. The government could not identify them; it made an assumption about trends. But many of the mythical jobs are in industries that have absolutely no job creation, e.g., finance. When the official numbers are adjusted over the next several months, June will look worse.

- More companies are asking employees to take unpaid leave. These people don't count on the unemployment roll.

- No fewer than 1.4 million people wanted or were available for work in the last 12 months but were not counted. Why? Because they hadn't searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

- The number of workers taking part-time jobs due to the slack economy, a kind of stealth underemployment, has doubled in this recession to about nine million, or 5.8% of the work force. Add those whose hours have been cut to those who cannot find a full-time job and the total unemployed rises to 16.5%, putting the number of involuntarily idle in the range of 25 million.

- The average work week for rank-and-file employees in the private sector, roughly 80% of the work force, slipped to 33 hours. That's 48 minutes a week less than before the recession began, the lowest level since the government began tracking such data 45 years ago. Full-time workers are being downgraded to part time as businesses slash labor costs to remain above water, and factories are operating at only 65% of capacity. If Americans were still clocking those extra 48 minutes a week now, the same aggregate amount of work would get done with 3.3 million fewer employees, which means that if it were not for the shorter work week the jobless rate would be 11.7%, not 9.5% (which far exceeds the 8% rate projected by the Obama administration).

- The average length of official unemployment increased to 24.5 weeks, the longest since government began tracking this data in 1948. The number of long-term unemployed (i.e., for 27 weeks or more) has now jumped to 4.4 million, an all-time high.

- The average worker saw no wage gains in June, with average compensation running flat at $18.53 an hour.

- The goods producing sector is losing the most jobs -- 223,000 in the last report alone.

- The prospects for job creation are equally distressing. The likelihood is that when economic activity picks up, employers will first choose to increase hours for existing workers and bring part-time workers back to full time. Many unemployed workers looking for jobs once the recovery begins will discover that jobs as good as the ones they lost are almost impossible to find because many layoffs have been permanent. Instead of shrinking operations, companies have shut down whole business units or made sweeping structural changes in the way they conduct business. General Motors and Chrysler, closed hundreds of dealerships and reduced brands. Citigroup and Bank of America cut tens of thousands of positions and exited many parts of the world of finance.

Job losses may last well into 2010 to hit an unemployment peak close to 11%. That unemployment rate may be sustained for an extended period.

Can we find comfort in the fact that employment has long been considered a lagging indicator? It is conventionally seen as having limited predictive power since employment reflects decisions taken earlier in the business cycle. But today is different. Unemployment has doubled to 9.5% from 4.8% in only 16 months, a rate so fast it may influence future economic behavior and outlook.

How could this happen when Washington has thrown trillions of dollars into the pot, including the famous $787 billion in stimulus spending that was supposed to yield $1.50 in growth for every dollar spent? For a start, too much of the money went to transfer payments such as Medicaid, jobless benefits and the like that do nothing for jobs and growth. The spending that creates new jobs is new spending, particularly on infrastructure. It amounts to less than 10% of the stimulus package today.

About 40% of U.S. workers believe the recession will continue for another full year, and their pessimism is justified. As paychecks shrink and disappear, consumers are more hesitant to spend and won't lead the economy out of the doldrums quickly enough.

It may have made him unpopular in parts of the Obama administration, but Vice President Joe Biden was right when he said a week ago that the administration misread how bad the economy was and how effective the stimulus would be. It was supposed to be about jobs but it wasn't. The Recovery Act was a single piece of legislation but it included thousands of funding schemes for tens of thousands of projects, and those programs are stuck in the bureaucracy as the government releases the funds with typical inefficiency.

Another $150 billion, which was allocated to state coffers to continue programs like Medicaid, did not add new jobs; hundreds of billions were set aside for tax cuts and for new benefits for the poor and the unemployed, and they did not add new jobs. Now state budgets are drowning in red ink as jobless claims and Medicaid bills climb.

Next year state budgets will have depleted their initial rescue dollars. Absent another rescue plan, they will have no choice but to slash spending, raise taxes, or both. State and local governments, representing about 15% of the economy, are beginning the worst contraction in postwar history amid a deficit of $166 billion for fiscal 2010, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and a gap of $350 billion in fiscal 2011.

Households overburdened with historic levels of debt will also be saving more. The savings rate has already jumped to almost 7% of after-tax income from 0% in 2007, and it is still going up. Every dollar of saving comes out of consumption. Since consumer spending is the economy's main driver, we are going to have a weak consumer sector and many businesses simply won't have the means or the need to hire employees. After the 1990-91 recessions, consumers went out and bought houses, cars and other expensive goods. This time, the combination of a weak job picture and a severe credit crunch means that people won't be able to get the financing for big expenditures, and those who can borrow will be reluctant to do so. The paycheck has returned as the primary source of spending.

This process is nowhere near complete and, until it is, the economy will barely grow if it does at all, and it may well oscillate between sluggish growth and modest decline for the next several years until the rebalancing of excessive debt has been completed. Until then, the economy will be deprived of adequate profits and cash flow, and businesses will not start to hire nor race to make capital expenditures when they have vast idle capacity.

No wonder poll after poll shows a steady erosion of confidence in the stimulus. So what kind of second-act stimulus should we look for? Something that might have a real multiplier effect, not a congressional wish list of pet programs. It is critical that the Obama administration not play politics with the issue. The time to get ready for a serious infrastructure program is now. It's a shame Washington didn't get it right the first time.

Mr. Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report.

Goldman Sachs Upgraded To Buy

Posted by Sunday, July 12, 2009, 08:00PM ET

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Goldman Sachs Upgraded To BuyGoldman Sachs was upgraded to buy from neutral by Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, with them saying its a bull stock in a bear market

Stock Futures Point To Higher Open

Posted by Sunday, July 12, 2009, 08:00PM ET

Read 163 times

Stock Futures Point To Higher OpenU.S. stock futures pushed higher Monday after an upgrade of Goldman Sachs helped to lift financials.
Goldman Sachs Fades Initially After The Big Upgrade. Earnings On Tap Tomorrow

Posted by Sunday, July 12, 2009, 08:00PM ET

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Goldman Sachs Fades Initially After The Big Upgrade. Earnings On Tap Tomorrow

RealTick graphics used with permission of Townsend Analytics, Ltd. ©1986-2009 townsend Analytics, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. RealTick is a registered trademark of Townsend Analytics, Ltd
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