Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market Real Estate Crash The Next Shoe To Drop – Part II - Chris_Vermeulen
2.The Coronavirus Greatest Economic Depression in History? - Nadeem_Walayat
3.US Real Estate Housing Market Crash Is The Next Shoe To Drop - Chris_Vermeulen
4.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications and AI Mega-trend Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
5. Are Coronavirus Death Statistics Exaggerated? Worse than Seasonal Flu or Not?- Nadeem_Walayat
6.Coronavirus Stock Market Trend Implications, Global Recession and AI Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
7.US Fourth Turning Accelerating Towards Debt Climax - James_Quinn
8.Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis and Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Britain's FAKE Coronavirus Death Statistics Exposed - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Commodity Markets Crash Catastrophe Charts - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Silver Notches Best Month Since 1979 - 12th Aug 20
Silver Shorts Get Squeezed Hard… What’s Next? - 12th Aug 20
A Tale of Two Precious Metal Bulls - 12th Aug 20
Stock Market Melt-Up Continues While Precious Metals Warn of Risks - 12th Aug 20
How Does the Gold Fit the Corona World? - 12th Aug 20
3 (free) ways to ride next big wave in EURUSD, USDJPY, gold, silver and more - 12th Aug 20
A Simple Way to Preserve Your Wealth Amid Uncertainty - 11th Aug 20
Precious Metals Complex Impulse Move : Where Is next Resistance? - 11th Aug 20
Gold Miners Junior Stcks Buying Spree - 11th Aug 20
Has the Fed Let the Inflation Genie Out of the Bottle? - 10th Aug 20
The Strange Food Trend That’s Making Investors Rich - 10th Aug 20
Supply & Demand For Money – The End of Inflation? - 10th Aug 20
Revisiting Our Silver and Gold Predictions – Get Ready For Higher Prices - 10th Aug 20
Storm Clouds Are Gathering for a Major Stock and Commodity Markets Downturn - 10th Aug 20
A 90-Year-Old Stock Market Investment Insight That's Relevant in 2020 - 10th Aug 20
Debt and Dollar Collapse Leading to Potential Stock Market Melt-Up, - 10th Aug 20
Coronavirus: UK Parents Demand ALL Schools OPEN September, 7 Million Children Abandoned by Teachers - 9th Aug 20
Computer GPU Fans Not Spinning Quick FIX - Sticky Fans Solution - 9th Aug 20
Find the Best Speech Converter for You - 9th Aug 20
Silver Bull Market Update - 7th Aug 20
This Inflation-Adjusted Silver Chart Tells An Interesting Story - 7th Aug 20
The Great American Housing Boom Has Begun - 7th Aug 20
Know About Lotteries With The Best Odds Of Winning - 7th Aug 20
Could Gold Price Reach $7,000 by 2030? - 6th Aug 20
Bananas for All! Keep Dancing… FOMC - 6th Aug 20
How to Do Bets During This Time - 6th Aug 20
How to develop your stock trading strategy - 6th Aug 20
Stock Investors What to do if Trump Bans TikTok - 5th Aug 20
Gold Trifecta of Key Signals for Gold Mining Stocks - 5th Aug 20
Stock Market Uptrend Continues? - 4th Aug 20
The Dimensions of Covid-19: The Hong Kong Flu Redux - 4th Aug 20
High Yield Junk Bonds Are Hot Again -- Despite Warning Signs - 4th Aug 20
Gold Stocks Autumn Rally - 4th Aug 20
“Government Sachs” Is Worried About the Federal Reserve Note - 4th Aug 20
Gold Miners Still Pushing That Cart of Rocks Up Hill - 4th Aug 20
UK Government to Cancel Christmas - Crazy Covid Eid 2020! - 4th Aug 20
Covid-19 Exposes NHS Institutional Racism Against Black and Asian Staff and Patients - 4th Aug 20
How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom - 3rd Aug 20
Computer Gaming System Rig Top Tips For 6 Years Future Proofing Build Spec - 3rd Aug 20
Cornwwall Bude Caravan Park Holidays 2020 - Look Inside Holiday Resort Caravan - 3rd Aug 20
UK Caravan Park Holidays 2020 Review - Hoseasons Cayton Bay North East England - 3rd Aug 20
Best Travel Bags for 2020 Summer Holidays , Back Sling packs, water proof, money belt and tactical - 3rd Aug 20
Precious Metals Warn Of Increased Volatility Ahead - 2nd Aug 20
The Key USDX Sign for Gold and Silver - 2nd Aug 20
Corona Crisis Will Have Lasting Impact on Gold Market - 2nd Aug 20
Gold & Silver: Two Pictures - 1st Aug 20
The Bullish Case for Stocks Isn't Over Yet - 1st Aug 20
Is Gold Price Action Warning Of Imminent Monetary Collapse - Part 2? - 1st Aug 20
Will America Accept the World's Worst Pandemic Response Government - 1st Aug 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More – Part II - 1st Aug 20
Trump White House Accelerating Toward a US Dollar Crisis - 31st Jul 20
Why US Commercial Real Estate is Set to Get Slammed - 31st Jul 20
Gold Price Blows Through Upside Resistance - The Chase Is On - 31st Jul 20
Is Crude Oil Price Setting Up for a Waterfall Decline? - 31st Jul 20
Stock Market Technical Patterns, Future Expectations and More - 30th Jul 20
Why Big Money Is Already Pouring Into Edge Computing Tech Stocks - 30th Jul 20
Economic and Geopolitical Worries Fuel Gold’s Rally - 30th Jul 20
How to Finance an Investment Property - 30th Jul 20
I Hate Banks - Including Goldman Sachs - 29th Jul 20
NASDAQ Stock Market Double Top & Price Channels Suggest Pending Price Correction - 29th Jul 20
Silver Price Surge Leaves Naysayers in the Dust - 29th Jul 20
UK Supermarket Covid-19 Shop - Few Masks, Lack of Social Distancing (Tesco) - 29th Jul 20
Budgie Clipped Wings, How Long Before it Can Fly Again? - 29th Jul 20
How To Take Advantage Of Tesla's 400% Stock Surge - 29th Jul 20
Gold Makes Record High and Targets $6,000 in New Bull Cycle - 28th Jul 20
Gold Strong Signal For A Secular Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Anatomy of a Gold and Silver Precious Metals Bull Market - 28th Jul 20
Shopify Is Seizing an $80 Billion Pot of Gold - 28th Jul 20
Stock Market Minor Correction Underway - 28th Jul 20
Why College Is Never Coming Back - 27th Jul 20
Stocks Disconnect from Economy, Gold Responds - 27th Jul 20
Silver Begins Big Upside Rally Attempt - 27th Jul 20
The Gold and Silver Markets Have Changed… What About You? - 27th Jul 20
Google, Apple And Amazon Are Leading A $30 Trillion Assault On Wall Street - 27th Jul 20
This Stock Market Indicator Reaches "Lowest Level in Nearly 20 Years" - 26th Jul 20
New Wave of Economic Stimulus Lifts Gold Price - 26th Jul 20
Stock Market Slow Grind Higher Above the Early June Stock Highs - 26th Jul 20
How High Will Silver Go? - 25th Jul 20
If You Own Gold, Look Out Below - 25th Jul 20
Crude Oil and Energy Sets Up Near Major Resistance – Breakdown Pending - 25th Jul 20
FREE Access to Premium Market Forecasts by Elliott Wave International - 25th Jul 20
The Promise of Silver as August Approaches: Accumulation and Conversation - 25th Jul 20
The Silver Bull Gateway is at Hand - 24th Jul 20
The Prospects of S&P 500 Above the Early June Highs - 24th Jul 20
How Silver Could Surpass Its All-Time High - 24th Jul 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Get Rich Investing in Stocks by Riding the Electron Wave

Stock Market Obama Stimulus Plan and the January Effect

Stock-Markets / Investing 2009 Jan 05, 2009 - 06:49 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWilliam Patalon III writes: President-elect Barack Obama's transition team is reportedly putting the finishing touches on an economic recovery plan that could run from $675 billion to $1 trillion, though many experts believe the program will most like range between $700 billion and $800 billion.

Briefings for top congressional Democrats were to start either over the weekend or today (Monday), a senior transition-team official told The Associated Press late last week. President-elect Obama is slated to meet today with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a Democratic strategy session that is likely to focus on the economic recovery package .

It's time to look forward, not back. The 111th Congress meets tomorrow (Tuesday), and a comprehensive economic stimulus package is at the top of its agenda.  Hopefully, the lawmakers can put partisan bickering aside (fat chance) and have a bill in place for President-elect Barack Obama's signature soon after his Jan. 20th inauguration.

Experts are looking for a stimulus package of $800 billion to $1 trillion (“pork-barrel” projects included), although the Obama administration officials claim they will trim away any unnecessary fat.

Don't expect much joy from retail-land as a trade group projected that December sales plunged by more than 1% with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. ( JCP ) (-11%), Kohl's Corp. ( KSS ) (-10%), and Target Corp. ( TGT ) (-8%) among the primary victims.  As Money Morning predicted in a recent “Buy, Sell or Hold” column , discounter Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ( WMT ) is believed to have benefited most from the economic weakness with sales projected to have risen by 3% in December. While the holiday numbers seem dire at best, gift card sales don't show up in the data until they are redeemed so retailers have one last opportunity for positive news in January (and beyond).

Unemployment data highlights this week's news reports and a 12th straight month of labor contraction is a foregone conclusion. 

As for stocks, the so-called “ January Effect ” states “ as the first five days of January go, so goes the market for the year .” Let's hope the full week sets a nice tone for 2009 (not a bad start).  The first trading session of the New Year on Friday got things off to a fine start. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 258.30 points, or 2.9%, pushing the 30-stock blue-chip index back up over 9,000 to its highest close in two months. The Dow ended trading on Friday at 9,034.69.

Many investors closed their books on 2008 a few weeks early, but took some opportunities to rebalance their portfolios for 2009.  The Dow experienced its worst year since 1931 and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes have fallen almost 45% since their 2007 highs. Foreign markets suffered similar fates, for instance, with Japan's Nikkei having plunged 42% last year.

On Friday, trading was thin and the economic backdrop was dour , but it still felt “good to get off to a good start on the first trading day of the year,” Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at the investment firm D.A. Davidson & Co . told The Washington Post . “Even though all the economic data is discouraging, I think there's a psychological lift to starting off the year on solid footing.”

Investors actually shrugged off a report from the Institute for Supply Management that showed that manufacturing activity contracted to a 28-year low in December. All but one of the stocks in the Dow posted gains – JP Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) being the only loser. General Motors Corp. ( GM ) , Alcoa Inc. ( AA ) , The Boeing Co. ( BA ) and Citigroup Inc. ( C ) posted the biggest increases in the Dow.

Citigroup shares rose 6.4% to close at $7.14 after the bank revealed it would not be paying bonuses to its top executives [For more details on the Citi announcement, check out this related story in today's issue of Money Morning ]. Financial stocks also got a boost from a report that the U.S. Treasury Department said it would consider insuring toxic assets at large firms from unlimited future losses , just as it did for Citigroup in November .

General Motors shares soared 14% to close at $3.65 a share on Friday after financing company GMAC LLC said that as part of its $6 billion federal bailout and decision to become a bank, it will no longer have the exclusive right to provide low-interest loans to borrowers who buy General Motors cars and trucks. The change may help GM sell more vehicles , and rely less on GMAC's ability to provide credit. GM sales fell 41% in November after GMAC had significantly tightened credit the prior month, leaving many prospective buyers unable to borrow.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index advanced 3.2%, or 28.55 points, to close at 931.80, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 3.5%, or 55.18 points, to close at 1,632.21.

The Dow has now risen for three consecutive trading sessions. But the market still has a long way to go to recover from a year that handed the Dow a 34% decline, its biggest drop since 1931, and left the S&P down 38% for its worst performance since 1937. The Nasdaq was down more than 41% for the year.

"We still think the market bottomed on Nov. 20, and 2009 will show a continuation of the 25% rally we've seen the past six weeks," Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist with Federated Investors, told The Post . "The economy will start to improve by mid-2009, and stocks are starting to discount that now.”

Market Matters

Though the year-end fanfare and fireworks were lackluster at best, investors put a disastrous 2008 in the rearview mirror and looked forward to better times ahead (or more of the same). While many had hoped for a last minute Santa Claus rally, the fat man did make an appearance over the last two weeks of the year, though results were modest and contributed little to overall holiday cheer. 

Amid light volume, investors seemed content to take some time off to lick their collective wounds, analyze what went right (a very short list, indeed!) and wrong (much too long a list to reproduce here), and set their sights on 2009 (or update their résumés).  As has become the norm, the news headlines were dominated by the usual suspects: The bailout deals (financial and auto), the Bernard Madoff scandal , retail, and energy prices.

While much of the financial crisis has involved residential loans, Foresight Analytics predicts that commercial mortgages will become the next ax to fall as property developers take their place in line for the next federal bailout.  The continued freeze in credit and a vast recession could set the tone for an array of hotels, shopping centers, and office complexes to move toward default.

The afore-mentioned GMAC represented the latest non-bank to become a bank as the U.S. Federal Reserve approved its charter and the U.S. Treasury Department opened its Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) pocketbook to the tune of $5 billion (and another $1 billion for parent GM).  Soon after, the financing company (rather bank) announced plans to offer 0% loans for certain GM models in an attempt to jumpstart the auto sector  (Now, that's what TARP was designed to do).

A Credit Suisse Group AG (ADR: CS ) analyst quickly put a damper on these “positive” developments by downgrading GM to an “Underperform,” and claimed the company could still fall into bankruptcy.  Bernard Madoff turned over a list of his personal assets to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as the befuddled agency attempted to track down that missing $50 billion.  Meanwhile, those “lucky” Madoff investors who managed to take distributions may be forced to give that money back as lawsuits apply a six-year “claw back” provision on past redemptions. 

While Inc. ( AMZN ) reveled in the unexpected delight of its best holiday season ever, MasterCard Inc . ( MA ) predicted that most retailers were not so fortunate.  Its SpendingPulse unit projected that total holiday sales declined by 2.5% to 4% from last year's levels and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) predicted more store closings in 2009.

 Turmoil in the Middle East and a dispute between Russia and Ukraine served to advance the energy markets as oil prices jumped above $46 a barrel on the first trading day of the New Year.  For the most part, traders (and speculators) continued to take their cues from the weak global economy (and sluggish demand) as oil prices have fallen more than $100 a barrel since mid-July.                        

Market/ Index

Year Close (2007)

Qtr Close (09/30/08)

Previous Week

Current Week

Change from 2007

Dow Jones Industrial 13,264.82 10,850.66 8,515.55 9,034.69 -31.89%
NASDAQ 2,652.28 2,091.88 1,530.24 1,632.21 -38.46%
S&P 500 1,468.36 1,164.74 872.80 931.80 -36.54%
Russell 2000 766.03 679.58 476.77 505.82 -33.97%
Fed Funds 4.25% 2.00% 0.25% 0.25% -400 bps
10 yr Treasury (Yield) 4.04% 3.83% 2.14% 2.42% -162 bps

Economically Speaking

The economic data of the past two weeks did little to instill confidence that the U.S. recession will be short-lived or to promote an expectation that a rebound is imminent.  The manufacturing sector remained weak as durable goods orders fell for the fourth straight month and the ISM purchasing managers' survey revealed widespread pessimism as it hit its lowest reading in 28 years.

Consumer confidence dropped to an all-time low, as individuals remained worried about their jobs and were hesitant to spend on much beyond the bare essentials (bad news for retailers).  Third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was again reported as down 0.5%, and most analysts expect a far worse showing for the fourth quarter. 

On the housing front, both existing and new home sales continued to decline in November and median prices tumbled on a national level.  The drop in mortgage rates, however, prompted a surge in refinancing activity and borrowers may soon have a few extra bucks in their pockets to contribute to the economy.

On that note, all hope is not lost. As the government continues to pour money into the mortgage markets, the most optimistic of analysts believe that the same housing sector that started the downturn eventually will lead the economy out of its doldrums.  Home prices are affordable; mortgage rates are extremely low; and the incentives are there for those who can take advantage, meaning there's perhaps a slightly brighter light at the end of the tunnel. 

Weekly Economic Calendar




Last Week
December 23 GDP (3rd Quarter) Biggest decline since 3rd quarter 2001
Existing Home Sales (11/08) Largest drop in home prices on record (since 1968)
New Home Sales (11/08) 4th straight monthly decline
December 24 Initial Jobless Claims (12/20) Highest level of claims in 26 years
Durable Goods Orders (11/08) Continued weakness in auto industry
Personal Income/Spending (11/08) 5th consecutive month of spending declines
This Past Week
December 30 Consumer Confidence (12/08) Worst  showing on record since 1967 as job cuts mount
December 31 Initial Jobless Claims (12/27) Surprisingly large decline in new claims
January 2 ISM – Manu Index (12/08) Lowest reading since 1980
The Week Ahead
January 5 Construction Spending (11/08)
January 6 Factory Orders (11/08)
ISM – Services (12/08)
January 8 Initial Jobless Claims (01/03/09)
Consumer Credit (11/08)
January 9 Unemployment Rate (12/08)
Nonfarm Payroll Additions (12/08)

By William Patalon III
Executive Editor

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2008 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email:

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investment advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules