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


U.S. Stocks Finish Lackluster Session Narrowly Mixed
Stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Tuesday, as traders took a breather following the sell-off seen over the two previous sessions. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing narrowly mixed.

While the Dow rose 63.86 points or 0.2 percent to 37,798.97, snapping a six-session losing streak, the Nasdaq edged down 19.77 points or 0.1 percent to 15,865.25 and the S&P 500 slipped 10.41 points or 0.2 percent to 5,051.41.

The modest gain by the Dow came amid a surge by shares of UnitedHealth (UNH), with the health insurance giant spiking by 5.2 percent.

UnitedHealth rallied after reporting first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, a 2.1 percent slump by shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) limited the upside for the blue chip index even though the healthcare giant reported first quarter earnings that beat expectations.

The lack of direction shown by the broader markets came as traders weighed the idea of picking up stocks at relatively reduced levels against concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The yield on the benchmark ten-year note reached its highest intraday levels in almost six months after the Federal Reserve released a report showing a continued increase in U.S. industrial production in the month of March.

The Fed said industrial production climbed by 0.4 percent in March, matching the upwardly revised advance in February as well as economist estimates.

Adding to the rate worries, Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated in afternoon remarks that rates are likely to remain higher for longer amid a "lack of progress" toward reaching the central bank's inflation goal.

"Recent data shows solid growth and continued strength in the labor market, but also a lack of further progress so far this year on returning to our 2 percent inflation goal," Powell said during a moderated discussion with Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem.

Fed officials, including Powell, have repeatedly stated they need "greater confidence" inflation is slowing before they consider cutting interest rates.

"The recent data have clearly not given us greater confidence, and instead indicate that it's likely to take longer than expected to achieve that confidence," Powell said. "That said, we think policy is well positioned to handle the risks that we face."

Sector News

Banking stocks considerable weakness on the day, with the KBW Bank Index falling by 1.6 percent to its lowest closing level in well over a month.

Bank of America (BAC) helped lead the sector lower, tumbling by 3.5 percent after reporting first quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates but decreased year-over-year.

Interest rate-sensitive utilities, telecom, housing and commercial real estate stocks also showed significant moves to the downside.

Gold, airline and oil service stocks also saw notable weakness, while strength was visible among computer hardware and semiconductor stocks.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved sharply lower during trading on Tuesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index dove by 1.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plummeted by 2.1 percent.

The major European markets also showed significant moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 1.8 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both slumped by 1.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries saw continued weakness, extending the sell-off seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, rose 3.1 basis points to 4.659 percent.

Looking Ahead

Trading activity may be somewhat subdued on Wednesday amid a relatively quiet day on the U.S. economic front, although the Fed's Beige Book may attract some attention later in the day.

 


BRICS: JP Morgan Issues Major US Financial Warning -Watcher.Guru

by Vinod Dsouza

Leading investment bank JP Morgan has issued a major financial warning that could affect the US economy this year. The CEO Jamie Dimon told investors on Monday that he believes the US economy will be affected by forces from outside of America. The JP Morgan CEO explained that he worries about geopolitical events including the Russia-Ukraine war, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the BRICS de-dollarization agenda to create an economic risk on the US markets.

“These significant and somewhat unprecedented forces cause us to remain cautious,” said JP Morgan CEO Dimon.

Dimon stressed that America’s global leadership is being challenged by developing countries including the SCO bloc, ASEAN group, and BRICS. The CEO of JP Morgan said that while BRICS and other countries are looking to uproot the US dollar, the polarized electorate in America is causing further division. He called the development a “great crisis” that threatens free Western enterprises.

The comments from Dimon were made in the Annual Shareholder Letter this year. “America’s global leadership role is being challenged outside by other nations and inside by our polarized electorate,” he said. The JP Morgan head hinted that BRICS will not be the only alliance that kick-starts the de-dollarization agenda. He urged that the US must put aside all differences and work closely with developing countries.


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


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