The Big Casino Banks Are Leaking Oil…

  • Currencies and metals inch higher on Tuesday…
  • What trouble is JPM in now?

Good Day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! Geez Louise, can’t any of my favorite basketball teams win another game this year? Both Mizzou and St Louis U, lost again last night… Mizzou hasn’t won a Conference game yet, and probably won’t win one either… UGH!  Well, the weatherman told me last night that Saturday it will be sunny and 73… Why is that important? Because it’s the first Spring Training Game! I’ll be in my seat just to the first base side of home plate, so look for me! HA! It was a very warm 70 today that when you were in the sun, it felt like 90! So, I spent some of the day in the sun, and some of it out of the sun… Blood, Sweat & Tears greet me this morning with their song: You’ve Made Me So Very Happy… 

Well, the dollar drifted again through yesterday’s U.S. session, The 1 index point that it had lost during the previous night, wasn’t added to or taken away, and the currencies continued to heal a bit yesterday. The euro rose higher in the 1.08 handle, and even the yen saw some buying… Gold had a fair day,  and gained $6.40on the day to close at 

$2, 024.80, and Silver was unchanged on the day, and closed at $23.05…  The price of Oil remained trading with a $78 handle yesterday, and the 10-year’s yield was 4.27% all day… 

Regarding Gold… I keep reading articles that contradict each other… One says that Gold will have a difficult time remaining above $2,000, while another one says that we could look for Gold to surpass $2,200 this year… The only way I see Gold losing $2,000 for an extended time, is if the Fed Heads do hike rates again this year… So, other than that, I see Gold rising throughout the year, with Silver being the lead dog on this metals run… 

In the overnight markets last night… The dollar bugs got out and bought dollars overnight… The BBDXY has gained 2 index points as we start the day today. The euro is hanging onto 1.08 by the skin of its teeth… After reading a couple of articles yesterday regarding the plight of Japanese yen, and them both saying that yen was in deep dookie, and could trade well past 150, the Japanese yen rallied to trade below 150 last night… Go figure, right?  Gold is up $4 to start the day today, and Silver is up 10-cents, so… so far, so good.. But the short sellers haven’t entered the market yet, we’ll see what they bring to the table later… 

The price of Oil really slid last night, dropping to a $76 handle… of course that was right after I talked about how the geopolitical problems were taking over Oil trading and lessening the lack of demand… Go figure, right? 

The 10-year’s yield hasn’t see this much steadiness in a month of Sundays… It trades with a 4.26% yield this morning. 

I found this in my email box from The Heritage Foundation, of which I am a member… And it’s about the $95 Billion spending Bill that is circulating Congress right now… Let’s listen in to the Heritage Foundation: ” The $95 billion of proposed spending isn’t offset by decreases in spending elsewhere—meaning all this money will be added to the national debt. 
Not to mention that the bill would send billions more to Ukraine without oversight, plus billions in humanitarian aid to the Middle East that could be diverted for use by Hamas.”

Chuck again… I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, spending bills, such as this one,  should be voted on by the public… that way, the public would realize that they are the ones that will have to pay for this spending with taxation… And the public could send a message to Congress that they aren’t listening to the people! I’m a strong believer, of the phrase: We The People….  So, call your state representative and tell them that you don’t like the $95 deficit spending bill, and he or she should not vote for it! 

Well, JPMorgan a three time winner of felony counts against them, is at it again… I’ll let Russ & Pam Martens of tell you about it: “Last Friday, ahead of a three-day weekend when bad news could be expected to evaporate into the ether by the next news cycle, JPMorgan Chase dropped a bombshell in its 10-K (annual report) filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The bank, which has admitted to an unprecedented five criminal felony counts since 2014, said its “trading venues” were under investigation by three unnamed regulatory bodies. This is a very serious matter for this particular bank because three of its prior felony counts involved rigging markets. The bank admitted to rigging foreign exchange markets in 2015 and to rigging, for more than eight years, the precious metals and U.S. Treasury markets in an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2020.

Two of the precious metals traders involved in the 2020 case, Gregg Smith and Michael Nowak, are sitting in federal prison today in Otisville, New York… “

Chuck again… When will JPMorgan ever stop all these shenanigans?  Not until the Gov’t makes them… I’m just saying! 

The Good Folks at GATA sent me this note yesterday: “Bad commercial real estate loans have overtaken loss reserves at the biggest U.S. banks after a sharp increase in late payments linked to offices, shopping centers, and other properties.

The average reserves at JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley have fallen from $1.60 to 90 cents for every dollar of commercial real estate debt on which a borrower is at least 30 days late, according to filings to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The sharp deterioration took place in the last year after delinquent commercial property debt for the six big banks nearly tripled to $9.3 billion. “

Chuck again… Banks are in trouble folks… the bad bad casino banks that is… 

A funny thing (not funny ha-ha) happened in the markets yesterday… it was just 3 weeks ago that the markets were so full of themselves that knowing the Fed Head’s next move was a rate cut in March… Finally, Fed Head Chairman, Powell, got the markets thinking correctly, and they backed off a March cut, and moved it to June… And now, suddenly a large mass of traders and economists are thinking that a rate cut might just not happen this year!  So, yesterday, I ran the article about former Treasury sec. Summers saying that a rate hike could be coming instead… And I said then that I agreed with him for once… Well, the idea of a rate hike has taken hold of the markets, and more an more people are jumping on the rate hike band wagon… See how quickly the markets can change their minds? 

And like I said above about how I didn’t think Gold would slip below $2,000 for an extended time unless the Fed Heads hike rates this year…  So, now we have to put our thinking caps on and think about what that might do to Gold… Well, basically off the top it wouldn’t be good for the metal, other than to provide cheaper levels to buy… But how bad could it get? Would inflation be soaring once again that necessitated the rate hike? If so, then I don’t think the damage to Gold would be significant…  So… now you know what I’m thinking… 

I know that I told you that it was a data void week yesterday, but I had missed the Leading Indicators print yesterday, and for the 22nd month the Leading Indicators, the only 1of 2 data prints that are forward looking, printed negative! This time by -.4%…   Here’s what the Board that calculates the index had to say: “Justyna Zabinska-La Monica, Senior Manager, Business Cycle Indicators, at The Conference Board. “While the declining LEI continues to signal headwinds to economic activity, for the first time in the past two years, six out of its ten components were positive contributors over the past six-month period (ending in January 2024). As a result, the leading index currently does not signal recession ahead. While no longer forecasting a recession in 2024, we do expect real GDP growth to slow to near zero percent over Q2 and Q3.”

Chuck again… Ok, I don’t have to tell you that once numbers get close to zero, they  could go negative very easily, and that’s what this person should have thought about when saying “we do expect GPD growth to slow to near zero in the 2nd and 3rd QTR this year”…. I’m just saying…

To recap…  The 1 index point the dollar has lost in the BBDXY the previous night, was not added to or taken away yesterday in the U.S. session… So the dollar drifted along during the day,  dipping a little, but staying in the 1,241 handle of the index. Gold had a good day, along with Silver… The euro remained above 1.08, and the rest of the currencies are beginning to heal… Chuck has some good articles for you this morning, so go back and read them if you scanned through… 

For What It’s Worth…  You know that during the scandemic, people used the time at home to do home projects with the money the Gov’t sent them for being alive, sorry I digress there…   And Home Depot was cooking with gas during that time… But the Gov’t checks stopped, most people went back to work, and savings are depleting quicker than speeding bullet, and Home Depot is in trouble… That’s what this article is about and it can be found here:Home Depot Sales Slide For Fifth Quarter On Weak Housing Demand | ZeroHedge

Or, here’s your snippet: “Home Depot’s sales fell for the fifth straight quarter as the country’s largest home improvement retailer felt the impacts of higher mortgage rates that have put a big freeze on the housing market.

Fourth-quarter revenue came in at $34.79 billion, down from $35.83 in the prior-year period. The figure still beat $34.61 billion that analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected.

Comparable sales, a key indicator of a retailer’s health, fell 3.5%. The retailer predicted a 1% decline in comparable revenue for this year. Analysts have been expecting a rise of 0.2%.

CEO Ted Decker wrote in a statement: “After three years of exceptional growth for our business, 2023 was a year of moderation.”

Elevated mortgage rates have pushed mortgage applications to a multi-decade low.

Even with the ongoing slowdown in the housing market, Wall Street analysts maintain optimism about the retailer’s long-term prospects.

Chuck again…. Yes, the analysts all think that Home Depot is on a good path… But I don’t call 5 straight quarters of weaker sales as a good path… I’m just saying… This is a look into the economy folks… You’ve got people that think it’s fine, and you’ve got people that see things for what they are… Which are you?

Market Prices 2/21/2024: American Style: A$ .6550, kiwi .6182, C$ .7392, euro 1.0800, sterling 1.2615, Swiss $1.1361, European Style: rand 18.7893, krone 10.4800, SEK 10.3665, forint 359.11, zloty 3.9920, koruna 23.5003, RUB 92.64, yen 149.99, sing 1.3440, HKD 7.8216, INR 82.97, China 7.1911, peso 17.05, BRL 4.9295, BBDXY 1,243.15, Dollar Index 104.12, Oil $76.64, 10-year 4.26%, Silver $23.15, Platinum $906.00, Palladium $996.00, Copper $3.86, and Gold… $2,029.20

That’s it for today… Don’t forget that next week I’ll be on my traditional annual spring vacation… Not much going on around here, although there was a space launch that we could see from here, yesterday, that brought about 20-seconds of excitement! Yesterday, out of the Blue, after nearly 2 weeks of no bleeding days, my jaw began to bleed again, this time I was able to get it to clot quickly, thank goodness… I was sitting downstairs by the pool reading, and I noticed that strange taste in my mouth… Oh No! I learned an important lesson on Sunday night, and that is not to eat greasy food! Because it apparently doesn’t mix well with Chemo… Ok… I’ve gotta get going this morning, so the song playing as we head to the finish line this morning is by the Ides of March, and their song: Vehicle… I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday today, and I also hope that you will Be Good To Yourself! 

Chuck Butler