Market Recon Friday

Good Morning,
                        What is the opposite of the “Ugly Stick” ???  I don’t know, but whatever that thing is….it’s out, and about this morning.  Global equities are sharply higher just about wherever you look, as are US equity index futures markets, but in Japan, it’s an extra special, “rip your face off and dance” kind of euphoric rally that picked up momentum as the day wore on.  The reasons for today’s moves are simple.  For one, Crude Oil is rallying, now above $31 for March delivery, and for two… hopes of further easing of monetary policy once again have junkies lined up around the planet to take a hit.  Yeah, dude.
                        Our tale starts in the “Land of the Rising Sun” where an unnamed aide to Prime Honcho Shinzo Abe apparently gave the public the impression that the Bank of Japan will likely ease on down the road at their policy shindig on 28, and 29 January.  Supposedly “All things are being considered”.  Japanese traders were forced to quickly shift gears out of reverse, and into ludicrous momentum mode.  Paaaartaaaayyy.
                        Then there’s Super Mario, and he wasn’t squashing mushrooms and turtles, so he could save the Princess.  No, he… for the second consecutive day, sounded as if the door was wide open to a beefed up version of the ECB’s already easy monetary policy, and that they could fire things up as soon as March.  I will say this for Mario Draghi.  The man knows how to get what he wants with words.  He really does.  The perpetuation of the debt super-cycle is a live and well, folks.  For now.
                        Know what ??  It is Friday, and there is a massive snow storm headed for the East Coast.  Here’s a crazy idea.  How about the equity indices close higher for the week, and then we all head out for a disgusting plate of nachos, and some cold beverages.  Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
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Give Me a Beat
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          We’ve kind of got  a lot to go over today, not all of it of the highest quality mind you, but enough worthy of a mention.
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09:45 ET
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Markit Manufacturing PMI Flash (January):  This one is an odd bird.  While the Markit Manufacturing PMI Final gets almost no attention here in the States, the Flash actually does garner some, simply because the ISM does not do the whole flash thing, so this is what we’ve got.  The Markit item printed at 51.2 for December, and for today we are expecting a very similar 51.3.  Just as odd is that 51.2 is as low as this item has been throughout the entire collapse in manufacturing that has seen consistent negative prints for the regional Fed districts, and two consecutive ISM prints that were not only sub 50, but sub 49.  Credibility is at stake here.
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10:00 ET
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Existing Home Sales (December):  This, the largest slice of the housing pie disappointed badly in November, just like pretty much did the entire pie for that month.  Most economists are expecting (hoping with fingers, and toes crossed) for a significant snap-back in the December data.  November printed at 4.76 million units when measured in SAAR fashion.  That was the first sub 5 million number in that space since February, and it really hurt because consensus view for that item was up around 5.3 million.  That leaves only two possible outcomes.  Either that number will see a serious upward revision today, or the guys who get paid to predict these things probably should not be.  That said, it is with serious doubt that I inform you that projections for this one today are for a 5.2 million unit release.  Good luck guys.  You can always line up with the already mentioned junkies.
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10:00 ET
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Leading Indicators (December):  I’ve said it before, and I guess I’ll say it again.  At least for traders, this one is utterly useless.  I have never, in my career, ever heard anyone refer to this item for any reason whatsoever.  This print will not impact your day.  Move on.  The Conference Board.  LOL.
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11:00 ET
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Baker Hughes Rig Count (Weekly):  This is one folks have certainly started watching more closely.  Although the US Rig Count did drop last week, the Canadian Count ramped up enough to actually increase the total number of North American rigs in operation.  If we see another pop here, on top of yesterday’s increase in weekly supply, does Crude stay above $31????  No, really… I’m asking, somebody tell me.
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Friday’s Earnings Highlights
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Before the Open: GE (.49), KSU (1.10)
After the Close: Just you and that disgusting plate of nachos.
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Final Word:  When nothing else works, pray.  Actually, pray first.  Now, get back to work you filthy maggots.