Following the rally seen over the course of Wednesday's session, stocks turned in a relatively lackluster performance during trading on Thursday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing narrowly mixed.

While the Dow rose 78.84 points or 0.2 percent to 38,886.17, the Nasdaq slipped 14.78 points or 0.1 percent to 17,173.12 and the S&P 500 edged down 1.07 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 5,352.96.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders seemed to take a step back to assess the outlook for the markets following Wednesday's surge, which lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 to new record closing highs.

Traders also stuck to the sidelines ahead of Friday's closely watched monthly jobs report, which could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates.

The Labor Department report is expected to show employment increased by 185,000 jobs in May after climbing by 175,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain at 3.9 percent.

"Ironically, a slowing in the job market, and even an increase in unemployment, should be welcome to the extent that it alleviates some upwards pressure on inflation," said Chris Zaccarelli, Chief Investment Officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

He added, "But we are aware that too much weakness in the labor market and in the economy could eventually prove to be an even greater threat to markets than inflation that is 1-2% above the Fed's target."

A day ahead of the release of the monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by more than expected in the week ended June 1st.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims climbed to 229,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 221,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000 from the 219,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released a report showing the U.S. trade deficit widened significantly in the month of April, as the value of imports jumped by much more than the value of exports.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit surged to $74.6 billion in April from a downwardly revised $68.6 billion in March.

Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $76.1 billion from the $69.4 billion originally reported for the previous month.

While narrower than expected, the trade deficit in April marked the largest since the gap reached $75.3 billion in October 2022.

Sector News

While most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, gold stocks moved sharply higher, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 3.5 percent.

The rally by gold stocks came amid an increase by the price of the precious metal.

On the other hand, housing stocks came under pressure over the course of the session, dragging the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index down by 1.2 percent.

Airline stocks also showed a notable move to the downside on the day, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index falling by 1.2 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up by 0.3 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside after the European Central Bank lowered interest rates. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index climbed by 0.5 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index both rose by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries recovered from modest early weakness to end the day slightly higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, edged down by less than a basis point to 4.281 percent after reaching a high of 4.322 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading on Friday is likely to be driven by reaction to the monthly jobs report and the impact on the outlook for the economy and interest rates.


Unfortunately, she is a liberal. Recall the recent article quoting Trump?

In a landmark election, Claudia Sheinbaum has been elected as Mexico's first woman and first Jewish president, achieving a decisive victory on Sunday. Preliminary official results revealed Sheinbaum’s win with approximately 58-60 percent of the votes, a significant lead over her main opponent, Xochitl Galvez, and long-shot candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez.

Supporters filled Mexico City’s main square, celebrating with mariachi music and flag-waving, as Sheinbaum promised in her victory speech, "I won’t fail you."

The 61-year-old former mayor of Mexico City, a scientist by training, triumphed in an election that saw high voter turnout despite sporadic violence in areas plagued by drug cartels. Thousands of troops were deployed to ensure voter safety after a particularly violent electoral process where more than two dozen local politicians were murdered.

Hailing the election as "historic," Sheinbaum expressed her commitment to democracy and change. She revealed a symbolic gesture of voting for 93-year-old veteran leftist Ifigenia Martinez, rather than herself, in recognition of Martinez's lifelong struggle for social justice.

Sheinbaum's victory is seen as transformative for Mexico, especially among women. Clemencia Hernandez, a 55-year-old cleaner in Mexico City, highlighted the potential impact, saying, “A female president will be a transformation for this country, and we hope that she does more for women.” Daniela Perez, a 30-year-old logistics company manager, described Sheinbaum’s election as “something historic,” while also emphasizing the need for significant action on women's rights and the rampant femicide problem.

Sheinbaum’s popularity is closely tied to the outgoing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, her mentor and fellow leftist, who enjoys an approval rating of over 60 percent but is limited to one term. Reina Balbuena, a 50-year-old street food seller, voted for Sheinbaum because the ruling Morena party “has given a lot of support to older adults, to children.”

Born to Jewish immigrants from Lithuania and Bulgaria, Sheinbaum has referred to her Jewish heritage in the past, particularly during a speech at a Jewish community event in 2018. While she identifies more secularly, her heritage remains a notable aspect of her identity.

Mexico’s political landscape remains fraught with violence, as evidenced by the murder of a local candidate on the eve of the election and attacks on polling stations in various states. Sheinbaum has committed to continuing the “hugs not bullets” strategy of addressing crime by tackling its root causes, a controversial policy of the outgoing administration. In contrast, her opponent Galvez had advocated for a tougher stance on cartel-related violence.

The new president will also face the challenge of managing complex relations with the United States, particularly concerning drug smuggling and migration. Alongside electing their president, Mexicans also voted for members of Congress, state governors, and local officials, totaling more than 20,000 positions.

97 Countries Prepare To Attend BRICS 2024 in June in Russia -Watcher.Guru
by Vinod Dsouza

bricsA total of 97 countries have confirmed their presence in the BRICS 2024 Games in June this month. The event will be hosted by Russian P

resident Vladimir Putin in the Kazan region between June 12 to 24.

"97 countries had already confirmed their participation," said Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. The minister added that the BRICS 2024 Games are an integral part of the development of the country. "The BRICS Games 2024, which were ordered to be organized following the decree of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, are an important part of our country's chairmanship in this organization," he said.

He added that all eyes will be on the BRICS Games in 2024. "The upcoming tournament must be organized at the highest possible level," he said. The sporting event will host 20 different sports with 97 countries participating in Russia.

Apart from the 97 countries that are participating in the BRICS Games 2024, more than 40 nations are also looking to join the alliance. In 2024 alone, seven new countries have expressed their interest and submitted formal applications to enter the bloc. Read here to know the list of seven countries that have applied to join BRICS in 2024.

The 16th BRICS summit will also be held in Russia's Kazan region in October this year. The alliance will decide on the prospects of the applications in the upcoming BRICS summit. All decisions will be taken on a consensus basis after weighing the pros and cons of a particular application.

The questions CFTC and Fed won't answer expose gold price suppression policy

Gold market manipulation: Why, how, and how long? (2021 edition)

The President's Working Group on Financial Markets

known colloquially as the Plunge Protection Team, or "(PPT)" was created by Executive Order 12631,[1] signed on March 18, 1988, by United States President Ronald Reagan.

As established by the executive order, the Working Group has three purposes and functions:

"(a) Recognizing the goals of enhancing the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of our Nation's financial markets and maintaining investor confidence, the Working Group shall identify and consider:

(1) the major issues raised by the numerous studies on the events in the financial markets surrounding October 19, 1987, and any of those recommendations that have the potential to achieve the goals noted above; and
(2) the actions, including governmental actions under existing laws and regulations (such as policy coordination and contingency planning), that are appropriate to carry out these recommendations.
(b) The Working Group shall consult, as appropriate, with representatives of the various exchanges, clearinghouses, self-regulatory bodies, and with major market participants to determine private sector solutions wherever possible.
(c) The Working Group shall report to the President initially within 60 days (and periodically thereafter) on its progress and, if appropriate, its views on any recommended legislative changes."

Plunge Protection Team
"Plunge Protection Team" was originally the headline for an article in The Washington Post on February 23, 1997, and has since been used by some as an informal term to refer to the Working Group. Initially, the term was used to express the opinion that the Working Group was being used to prop up the stock markets during downturns.[5 Financial writers for British newspapers The Observer and The Daily Telegraph, along with U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, writers Kevin Phillips (who claims "no personal firsthand knowledge" and John Crudele,[8] have charged the Working Group with going beyond their legal mandate.[failed verification] Charles Biderman, head of TrimTabs Investment Research, which tracks money flow in the equities market, suspected that following the 2008 financial crisis the Federal Reserve or U.S. government was supporting the stock market. He stated that "If the money to boost stock prices did not come from the traditional players, it had to have come from somewhere else" and "Why not support the stock market as well? Moreover, several officials have suggested the government should support stock prices."

In August 2005, Sprott Asset Management released a report that argued that there is little doubt that the PPT intervened to protect the stock market.[10] However, these articles usually refer to the Working Group using moral suasion to attempt to convince banks to buy stock index futures.

Former Federal Reserve Board member Robert Heller, in the Wall Street Journal, opined that "Instead of flooding the entire economy with liquidity, and thereby increasing the danger of inflation, the Fed could support the stock market directly by buying market averages in the futures market, thereby stabilizing the market as a whole." Author Kevin Phillips wrote in his 2008 book Bad Money that while he had no interest "in becoming a conspiracy investigator", he nevertheless drew the conclusion that "some kind of high-level decision seems to have been reached in Washington to loosely institutionalize a rescue mechanism for the stock market akin to that safeguard major U.S. banks from exposure to domestic and foreign loan and currency crises." Phillips infers that the simplest way for the Working Group to intervene in market plunges would be through buying stock market index futures contracts, either in cooperation with major banks or through trading desks at the U.S. Treasury or Federal Reserve.

 What is the Plunge Protection Team?

(PPT) is an informal term for the Working Group on Financial Markets. The working group was created in 1988 by then U.S President Ronald Reagan following the infamous October 1987 Black Monday crash. It was formed to re-establish consumer confidence and take steps to achieve economic and market stability in the aftermath of the market crash. The U.S president consults with the team during times of economic uncertainty and turbulence in the markets.

The Working Group on Financial Markets’ informal name “Plunge Protection Team” was coined and popularized by The Washington Post in 1997.

What does the Plunge Protection Team Do?

The Plunge Protection Team was initially formed to advise the president and regulatory agencies on countering the negative impacts of the stock market crash of 1987. However, the team has continued to report to various presidents since that stock market crash and has met various U.S presidents on important financial matters over the years.

The team was believed to be behind the rally in the stock market shortly after a hefty drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) on February 05, 2018. As per some market observers, after the plunge, the market made a smart recovery in the following days, which may have been a result of heavy buying by the Plunge Protection Team.

Who is on the plunge protection team?

The PPT several top government economic and financial officials. The Secretary of the Treasury heads the group, while the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, are also part of the team.

Why is the PPT secretive?

The Plunge Protection Team’s meetings or activities aren’t covered by the media, which gives rise to speculations and conspiracy theories about the team. The probable reason behind the secretive nature of its activities is that it reports only to the president. Some observers opine that the team’s role is not only limited to giving recommendations to the president; rather, the team intervenes in the market and artificially props up stock prices.

Critics claim that the members connive with big banks and profit from stock markets by carrying out trades on different stock exchanges when prices decline. They then artificially prop up the prices as part of their market stabilization efforts and profit from their transactions.

When does/have the PPT meet?

Although very little has come out in the mainstream media about the group’s activities, there have been some instances when the team’s meetings were reported. For example, in 1999, the team proposed to congress to incorporate some changes in the derivatives markets regulations. The last reported meeting of the group, at the time of this writing in June 2022, was in December 2018 when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin headed the teleconference with the group’s members. Representatives from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Comptroller of the Currency also attended the meeting.

Before the teleconference that took place on December 24, 2018, the S&P 500 and the DJIA had been under pressure for the whole month. But after Christmas, the DJIA and the S&P 500 both recovered and reversed most of the losses in the next few days. Conspiracy theorists attribute the recovery and gains in the indices to the intervention by the Plunge Protection Team.

Final Thoughts

The Working Group on Financial Markets serves an important function: to advise the president on financial markets and economic affairs. Because the exact nature of the group’s activities or recommendations haven't been made public, some critics of the group blame the group for market intervention and artificially propping up stocks’ prices. However, some market observers believe that the team’s quiet activities are excused as it reports directly to the president.

The Exchange Stabilization Fund protects the FED.   

We already know the FED is lying that raising interest rates will reduce price inflation. The Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) is an emergency reserve account that can be used by the U.S. Department of Treasury to mitigate instability in various financial sectors, including credit, securities, and foreign exchange markets. The U.S. Exchange Stabilization Fund was established at the Treasury Department by a provision in the Gold Reserve Act of 1934.






Yes, that's a cartoon of me.  Louis Rukeyser had us dressed up in 'elf' costumes on the screen broadcast each week.  I've dated myself. That occurred for me between 1988-1996.  Lou didn't like any bearish comments, so myself and other elves got dumped in 1996.  

WHO am I?

MARK LEIBOVIT is Chief Market Strategist for LEIBOVIT VR NEWSLETTERS  a/k/a VRTrader.Com. His technical expertise is in overall market timing and stock selection based upon his proprietary VOLUME REVERSAL (TM) methodology and Annual Forecast Model.

Mark's extensive media television profile includes seven years as a consultant ‘Elf’ on “Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street Week” television program, and over thirty years as a Market Monitor guest for PBS “The Nightly Business Report”.  He also has appeared on Fox Business News, CNBC, BNN (Canada), and Bloomberg, and has been interviewed in Barrons, Business Week, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal and Michael Campbell's MoneyTalks.

In the January 2, 2020 edition of TIMER DIGEST MAGAZINE, Mark Leibovit was ranked the #1 U.S. Stock Market Timer and was previously ranked  #1 Intermediate U.S. Market Timer for the ten year period December, 1997 to 2007.

He was a 'Market Maker' on the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Midwest Options Exchange and then went on to work in the Research department of two Chicago based brokerage firms.  Mr. Leibovit now publishes a series of newsletters at   He became a member of the Market Technicians Association in 1982.

Mr. Leibovit’s specialty is Volume Analysis and his proprietary Leibovit Volume Reversal Indicator is well known for forecasting accurate signals of trend direction and reversals in the equity, metals and futures markets. He has historical experience recognizing, bull and bear markets and signaling alerts prior to market crashes. His indicator is currently available on the Metastock platform.

His comprehensive study on Volume Analysis, The Trader’s Book of Volume published by McGraw-Hill is a definitive guide to volume trading.  It is now also published in Chinese.  Mark has appeared in speaking engagements and seminars in the U.S. and Canada.



La Niña can impact weather around the world. For example, in 2024, NOAA projected a 60% chance that La Niña would develop between June and August, which could increase the chances of a dangerous Atlantic hurricane season.







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