Insight on Automation

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A Sloper sent me an email, which I liked so much that I asked if I could make a post out of it; he kindly agreed to this, so here you are:

I read your post Pity the Sub Genius and agreed with a lot of what you wrote. However you missed what I think is the biggest killer of middle class jobs, and that is technological innovation. For sure many companies moved production overseas for the cheaper labor but I do not believe that to be the biggest reason for job loss. I can remember all through the 90’s up until today that one of the main drivers of corporate profits was the steady, incremental increases in productivity. Many interpreted that to mean employees were working harder or faster or becoming more efficient. What it really meant was that employees were being displaced by technology and that made the work flow more efficient while bringing costs down. (more…)

Huey, Dewey & Louie

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huey.dewey.louieLooking around the gold sector at some of those who have tried to keep ‘em bullish all the way down. The peddlers of hope are irrepressible.

Huey writes that gold stocks are well supported by the enormous expansion in the global gold jewelry business. In fact, according to Huey Western mining stock shareholders stand to reap substantial reward from the relentless growth in gold jewellery demand.

Do you hear that? Not just have an end put to their misery but if they will just hang in there a while longer they will be in line for a substantial reward… all due to a supposed fundamental underpinning that has nothing to do with the investment case for gold miners… and is not nearly the best driver for gold either. Keep bafflin’ ‘em with bullshit Huey. All the way down… unbelievable. (more…)

A Fractured Misconception

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Amongst the permabulls of our race – – which is basically everybody at this point – – there’s this empty-headed notion that as crude oil prices plunge (an event I predicted repeatedly here on Slope), cheaper gas would make the economy boom even more. I’ve read this sentiment so often that I just had to same something – – in case you think plunging oil doesn’t indicate a fundamentally worsening economy, but instead is just a “peace dividend” to the unwashed masses so they can buy more crap from China, consider what crude oil did starting in June 2008 and what followed………

1127-uso

The Day After Thanksgiving

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I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and that none of you were long enough oil-related instruments for OPEC to upset your digestion. We are seeing a weak looking open today and in part that may be due to the break below $70 on oil, though on all three trading days so far this week we had a significant move down either from or before the open, which then wasn’t followed through. .

I’m skeptical about the prospects for the bears today. This will be a holiday half-session on low volume, and the stats for the last trading day in November are impressively bullish, with SPX closing up 6 of the last 7.

The close on Wednesday delivered another close above the 5 DMA, and another new lifetime high on SPX of 29 consecutive closes above the 5 day MA. If the bullish historical stats for today deliver then we will see SPX make another lifetime high at 30 above today. It wouldn’t take a big move to end that run here though, as the 5 DMA is now at 2065. SPX daily 5 DMA chart: (more…)