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« Emini FuturesCast / The Daily Pod 04/018/11 | Main | Show Me The Gold »

Emini Futures Trading / America's Downgrade

E-Mini S&P 500: Standard and Poor’s downgrades America!

To which I say “Who Cares?

Its not that I disagree with their assessment — I do not — but I pay it little heed. It was much more important to me as an investor that PIMCO’s Bill Gross was out of Treasuries a month ago (and indeed, is short) than what S&P says. That was all any bond investor needed to know — no ratings agency necessary.

If ever there was an organization more corrupt, incompetent, and less capable of issuing an intelligent analysis on debt than S&P, I am unaware of them. Why do I write this? A huge part of the reason the US is in its awful financial position is due to the fine work of S&P.

Consider what Nobel Laurelate Joseph Stiglitz, economics professor at Columbia University in New York observed:

“I view the ratings agencies as one of the key culprits. They were the party that performed that alchemy that converted the securities from F-rated to A-rated. The banks could not have done what they did without the complicity of the ratings agencies.”

Hence, the “negative outlook” of US debt has come about because the inability of Standard & Poor’s to have performed their jobs rating mortgage backed securities. Ultimately, this enabled the entire crisis, financial collapse, enormous budget deficit and now political over the debt ceiling.

Of course there is a negative future outlook. Its in large part the work product of S&P and Moody’s.
By Barry Ritholtz - April 18th

The good news is that analysts have a tendency to upgrade at the highs and downgrade at the lows, so is this the bottom? Standard & Poor’s noted the US Government’s debt picture along with the sizable budget deficits in rating the US, negative from the long-term stable reading. The White House viewed the downgrade as a “political judgment” and  shrugged the ratings as moves are already on course toward a deficit reduction. 1996 was the last time that the US was warned about possible downgrades.  It is perhaps clarity in the budget cuts and loan bills that would advance the case for the US Government.

Citigroup Inc. was off .5% to $4.40 before the opening bell.  Halliburton Co. was up .9% to $47.25 and Ely Lily was up 1.1% to $36.40 in earnings reports.  

The Euro FX was pummeled as Greece may have to reformat the structure of their debt.  Portugal is also potentially looking for a rescue package, but the Finnish vote has left the outcome as potentially negative for the bailout. Monetary tightening in China also contributed to today’s negative tone.

Tuesday, we look forward to Housing Starts and Permits at 7:30 AM CST.  

Tuesday, what to expect!  We are technically still in sixth day sell mode on the Daily Chart.  The E-Mini S&P 500 has fallen and the chart may warrant further selling, if the market cannot come back through the $1318.75 zone. Tuesday, we look for an inside day!  Today’s range was $1318.75 - $1290.25.  The market settled at $1301.00. Our comfort zone or point of control for this market appears to be $1303.50. Our anticipated potential range for Tuesday’s trading is $1311.50  -  $1293.50. The market stays bearish below $1327.25.   


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Leslie Burton

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