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https://www.howestreet.com/2024/04/is-the-stock-market-now-in-correction-mode-mark-leibovit/


U.S. Stocks Close Sharply Lower On Bank Earnings, Inflation Concerns

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Friday, as geopolitical tensions, inflation worries and mixed earnings and guidance from major banks rendered the mood a bit bearish.

The major averages all ended in the red. The Dow ended with a loss of 475.84 points or 1.24 percent at 37,983.24. The S&P 500 drifted down 75.65 points or 1.46 percent to 5,123.41, while the Nasdaq settled at 16,175.09 with a loss of 267.10 points or 1.62 percent.

The Dow shed nearly 2.5 percent in the week, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq dropped by about 1.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Shares of Citigroup fell by about 1.7 percent, after reporting a 27 percent drop in net income at $3.4 billion in the first quarter, due to lower non-interest revenue, as well as higher expenses and cost of credit.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. tumbled nearly 6.5 percent, weighed down by lower net interest income. The lender reported a 6 percent increase in first quarter profit. For the first quarter, net income increased to $13.42 billion or $4.44 per share from $12.62 billion or $4.10 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Wells Fargo Inc (WFC) reported first-quarter net income of $4.62 billion or $1.20 per share, down from last year's $4.99 billion or $1.23 per share. The stock ended modestly lower.

Broadcom, Airbnb, Dollar Tree, Sirius XM, Micron Technology Micron Technology, AMD, Intel and ON Semiconductor lost ended sharply lower. Cisco, Salesforce, Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, 3M, Caterpillar and Goldman Sachs also posted sharp losses.

Dayforece, Apple, Globe Life, Equinix and Kimco Realty closed with sharp to moderate gains.

Inflation concerns continued to weigh on the markets, as the Labor Department released a report showing import prices in the U.S. increased by slightly more than expected in the month of March.

The report said import prices climbed by 0.4 percent in March after rising by 0.3 percent in February. Economists had expected import prices to increase by another 0.3 percent.

Import prices also rose by 0.4 percent compared to the same month a year ago, marking the first year-over-year increase since January 2023.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said export prices rose by 0.3 percent in March after climbing by a revised 0.7 percent in February. The increase in export prices matched economist estimates.

Compared to the same month a year ago, export prices were down by 1.4 percent in March following a 1.8 percent slump in February.

A report showing a bigger than expected drop in consumer sentiment in April weighed as well. The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment fell to 77.9 in April from 79.4 in March. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 79.0.

The report also said year-ahead inflation expectations rose to 3.1 percent in April from 2.9 percent in March, climbing just above the 2.3-3.0 percent range seen in the two years prior to the pandemic.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.2 percent and China's Shanghai Composite Index fell by 0.5 percent, although Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and crept up by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets ended mixed. The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up by 0.14 percent. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 climbed 0.91 percent, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 ended lower by 0.13 percent and 0.16 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries moved back to the upside after ending the previous session slightly lower. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, dropped down to 4.523 percent.


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 pursued...to 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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchange_Stabilization_Fund


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

https://gata.org/node/20925


https://tinyurl.com/2rd9wv52


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