I was driving this morning through the dung-scented breeze of Lemoore, California, trying to think of something to write about (never do I want to be confronted with the lament, “that’s not writing – that’s typing!”) But in an environment like this, it’s difficult to do, particularly on a weekend.
Oh, let me back up. What am I doing in Lemoore? Well, one of my children is participating in a statewide gymnastics tournament here. Lemoore is over a three hour drive from Palo Alto, and when one soaks in the politics of the area, it might as well be on a different planet. A lot of people think California is a state full if left-wing hippie-dippies. That’s certainly true in San Francisco, Berkeley, and, to a lesser extent, Palo Alto, but the non-urban part of the state is largely a gun-toting, bible-thumping Republican stronghold.
It also, as the map of the area through which I was driving indicates, is pretty much all farmland. The one coffee shop of note in town is plastered with “Jesus Saves” posters all over the place, and even the marquee at the elementary school has the message “Have A Blessed Thanksgiving” on it. Put something like that up in my town, and all the loonies would screech blue murder about the separation of church and state.
There are a lot of cows here, too, and, thus, a lot of solid cow waste output. Thus, there are a lot of flies as well. And I mean everywhere. I’ve been in barns that had fewer flies than some of the retail stores in this town. And speaking of cow dung, every single big screen TV is playing Fox news. Since I never watch television news, even glancing at it for two minutes was a very new experience for me. And my one impression was this: the woman newscaster they had on the air (who was standing, I suppose, to highlight her figure) had the most comically large (and obviously fake) breasts I’ve ever seen on TV. I mean, isn’t this supposed to be a legitimate news channel? But these things were orbs.
As for the dearth of content, let me draw an analogy with the weather in the Bay Area. It doesn’t change from year to year, and it’s agonizingly predictable. You could ask me what the weather would be like on any given day in the year 2057, and I could probably tell you, with 90% accuracy, what it would be like on that day.
Much the same is true of the market right now. What can you really say about a market that just drifts up steadily? It’s not too hard on an actual market day to put forth posts, because even in a central government-controlled “market”, there will be a few outliers that make good fodder for discussion. But on a weekend – meh – and God knows BDI’s awesome Sunday posts are a thing of the past (unless things change radically). I confess that I got spoiled by the Evil Plans.
Just to add to my pain, I got emails from folks saying that a couple of recent posts written by a different contributor were, for reasons I’m not going to bother going into here, really not up to the standards of the blog. So i felt even more pressure to whip out my secondary laptop and think of something to say (besides “I have nothing to say!”)
So I’ll just comment on two germane charts. First, I would repeat what I said in my video Saturday morning that the Russell 2000 is dazzlingly gorgeous on the short side. Yes, it may have a couple of percent more on the upside – I’ve already accepted that – – but the drum roll is quickening on this sucker. Take a look at the video again if you missed it the first time. I’ve put a crude screen shot here:
Second, thanks to SocialTrade, I saw Citibank updated their Panic/Euphoria model to note that, for the first time in this entire five year rally, we have crossed into Euphoria. Of course, the madness of 1999/early 2000 pushed Euphoria to ungodly heights, so this is not a guarantee that the market’s fate is sealed, but it is a ray of light into the very, very dark bear cave.
I’ve got to drive the family home soon, but I feel less guilty now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.