The number is . . . a much better than expected loss of 345,000 jobs.

Let’s put this into some perspective, both good and bad:

• Its the best NFP release since the crisis exploded in September 2008;
• Average hourly earnings advanced $0.02 to $18.54;
• Temporary workers continue to loss jobs, but seem to be moderating, losing only 7,000 jobs;
• Unemployment rose to to 9.4%, a 25 year high;
• Unemployment rose by 787,000 in the month to 14.5 million;
• Total job loss sine the recession started is now over 6 million;
• The broader U-6 unemployment hit 16.4%.

While many view the decelerating job losses as signaling the end of the recession, they appear to me as signaling the end of the panic period of the credit crisis. We are now in an ordinary, as opposed to historic, recession.

Category: Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

301 Responses to “NFP is . . . -345k”

  1. karen says:

    thanks, Mike, put a bookmark on it.. i’m familiar with him but there’s only so much time.. will give it more attention over the weekend… might help unmuddle my view.

  2. Mannwich says:

    @Transor: I also think a backlash is hitting the credit card companies, as people are waking up to the scoundrels they really are.

    My brother, who runs a small CPA/Financial Planning firm in the Sac area told me that his high limit AMEX (that they’ve had since ’91 and have never been late on paying and their biz is still very strong, in fact, they just acquired two small firms, one in Tahoe and the other in Burbank) was cut down one day as he tried to fill his gas tank. Apparently AMEX, without any notice, cut down his limit. He and his wife called to complain and they reinstated their limit, but this is the kind of thing that’s pissing people off everywhere. I think it will have a bigger effect on their business going forward than they think. The backlash is palpable.

    My wife and I just had our Chase United Visa rate increased to 18%. She’s had the card for over 15 years now. Is NEVER late and always pays the balance on time, so we don’t care about the rate, but it’s tempting to cancel just on principle alone.

  3. cvienne says:

    @Manny (3:31)

    The chart helps explain the Clinton “economic miracle”…

    Give ‘em all CREDIT CARDS! while VC’s are investing millions into vaporware and fiber optic overcapacity!

  4. ben22 says:

    karen,

    gotta ask it now after the gold chart, do you think gold could go to 680???

  5. Mannwich says:

    @cvienne: It’s been the U.S. “economic miracle” for the last 30 years or so. Notice the recession of the late ’80′s/early ’90s and how credit dropped off. The only way to get things going in this economy is on the back of cheap credit today, that is, until some sort of innovative “game changer” is invented by someone. If that doesn’t happen here in the U.S., we’re screwed.

  6. karen says:

    @hopeImwrong, both EMAs rising confirms the trend but the crossover can be used as a reliable buy single… play with it on various tickers… see how you like it.. (note the settings on RSI (13) and MACD (13, 34, 1) as well.

  7. karen says:

    ben22, lol, what do you think i think?

  8. ben22 says:

    $-15.7B ??? That’s not a green shoot….

    No it’s not, just massive credit deflation. look out.

  9. karen says:

    would NFW answer the question succinctly?

  10. I-Man says:

    One day soon, the get long ahead of the end of day pump trade is going to blow up in someone’s face. Doesnt look like its today though…

  11. leftback says:

    I-Man: I-man can play right back for USA, lefty can play left back. Defence would improve, I think. The marking thing would be especially useful when playing those speedy Central American teams.

    ben22: Damn right, there’s your credit deflation, the flip side of increased savings rates.
    Mish would be proud of you, young man.

  12. leftback says:

    Anyone shorting into the pump?

  13. Transor Z says:

    @Manny: I raised an issue earlier that didn’t spark much interest — 401(k) loans. We’ve all been so focused on HELOCs but apparently 1/5 – 1/6 people with 401(k)s have loans against them at any given time. I’d be really curious to see the numbers on them currently. If you default you have to take an early payment penalty, but things can also get interesting if you lose your job while you’re carrying a balance.

    Damn, that stinks about your wife’s card. My cash advance rate is less than that — better stay that way! LOL

    Just shows it pays to be paranoid and stay on top of things.

  14. Mannwich says:

    @leftback: Nyet, not I. Watching.

  15. ben22 says:

    karen,

    I’m thinking you’d say no :)

    left,

    still no shorts here. soon, though. soon. like I said earlier, if that credit contraction continues, which obviously I think it will and that it’s hardly started, this is going to keep getting easier to call.

  16. cvienne says:

    @LB

    No shorts on my end…EXCEPT short GOLD (which I put on earlier today)

  17. Stuart says:

    Mike in Nola, thanks re: site.

  18. I-Man says:

    Obviously I’m no Miss Cleo…

    @ Left: Gotta play dirty when you take on the Lamericans… they’ll flick you in the balls.

  19. manhattanguy says:

    Is anyone seeing this? Huge Doji on both Dow and S&P. $UUP is above 9 day ema. This might be a start for market correction.

  20. leftback says:

    LB wants to see Monday’s currency action, expecting a knee-jerk bounce in the Euro and oil, risky assets.
    After that it could be kitchen sink time on the short side. The gold short stays on.

  21. ben22 says:

    Transor,

    The 401k loan is problematic but I don’t think anywhere on the level of the Heloc/loan issue for one major reason:

    The average 401k balance is so small when compared to the equity that was available to borrow against in homes during the boom years.

    considering though that 401k loans cause double taxation people that are taking them will find out eventually how big of a mistake that is. It’s also gonna be tough when people find out you can’t roll-over a 401k to an IRA without eating the tax bill first if you lose your job and have a loan against it. Sadly, in lots of 401k literature they talk about how you are just paying yourself back the interest so people think it’s a good idea.

  22. call me ahab says:

    Mike in Nola-

    was only in N’Orleans about a week- not long enough to see much of it’s thuggish side- when I caught my cab @ 4:00 AM to get to the airport- Bourbon St was still partying on-

    when I was scouting out some cemetaries did stray into a few areas on foot that were a “lock” they were projects – everyone friendly enough though-

    found the gravesite of voodo priestess Marie Laveau- pretty cool graveyards in general- right out of “Interview with a Vampire”

  23. I-Man says:

    @ Karen:

    So is Fazzy coming home with you tonight or did you leave her on the corner where she belongs?

  24. DL says:

    leftback @ 3:54

    I did short 2000 shares of QQQQ this morning @ $37.00; although I’m not necessarily going to stay with it for long.

  25. cvienne says:

    @manhattanguy

    The S&P has all the way down to the 910-915 range before as an initial support, then it has 880 after that…

    Nothing to get TOO excited about…Neither one is a trend breaker just yet…

  26. I-Man says:

    No pump today… in the words of my boy Scooby Doo:

    RUH-ROH

  27. ben22 says:

    Home early, just in time for a sentiment indicator:

    I flipped on Oprah. Don’t ask me why. It’s a whole show about thrift, and of course Suze Orman is there.

    Hmmm, feels like more credit deflation to me.

  28. leftback says:

    @I-Man: You really need to “introduce yourself” as a defender and get your retaliation in first in those road games. It’s hard to play pretty football when you are face down in the turf.

    LB is not taking anything home except DZZ. I bet Johnny Retail will want another piece of this market on Monday.

  29. manhattanguy says:

    @cvienne this could be an early indication. Bulls can’t push the indices above 200 dma. Plus the rally in dollar will bring down equities imo.

  30. dead hobo says:

    Pretty cool. The pump looked massive and it still was red for the day.

  31. karen says:

    I-Man, my faz vampire is male and growing on me… i’m definitely not done with him yet.

  32. call me ahab says:

    karen-

    watch Trueblood much?

  33. cvienne says:

    @manhattanguy

    The 2oodayMA is kind of a “non-starter” for me…

    I prefer fibonacci numbers…On a DAILY chart, it’s firmly above both the 89, and 144…

    It has yet to make an attempt on the 233…

    If I see a breakdown of the 144 before an attempt on the 233, I’ll get excited about going “short”

  34. Todd says:

    Can the Fed fill the credit gap as fast as it is deflating?

    BTW the 7% annual decline rate is still not close to the 7-15% growth rate for the past 8 years.

    Still two weeks before the Fed releases Total Household debt and total US debt.

    The consumer debt revisions are remarkable.

  35. cvienne says:

    @manhattanguy

    And as for the dollar…

    I actually believe that the dollar reversal (if confirmed Monday) might be real…

    Which means I believe that there could be some “disconnect” in the markets for a week or couple of weeks…(i.e. dollar gets stronger AND S&P rallies at the same time)…

    The disconnect will get resolved soon enough…S&P will break down…I don’t see it as “imminent” though…yet…

  36. call me ahab says:

    I would have thought the consumer credit numbers would have more of an impact- definitely not bullish-

    seems to me the market should have sold off more today-

    am I wrong?

  37. cvienne says:

    @manhattanguy

    Remember – you have OPEX coming up in two weeks…maybe the S&P retraces just a little here (to 912 or so)…”Shorts” pile in, then get CRUSHED as the S&P trades to 972 on OPEX week…

  38. leftback says:

    “The pump looked massive and it still was red for the day”

    Hobo, I hope you are talking about the markets here.

    LB wants to see 925 and 875 break down before all kitchen sinks are deployed. May dabble short side next week.
    Seems like we will all have to digest the week’s big currency swings and Treasury market action for a few days.

  39. ben22 says:

    I still think the market pushes into the range of 965-1k before this rally ends. I wish there were more bullish posts here, but that is picking up slowly. I also think that by the end of October all the people that think that we can’t go below 700 again will be wrong. If that happens again this time will be worse, people holding on to a lot of equity that lost 40% + last year should finally give up on another loss close to that. Two of those in a two year period should be scare people out of stocks for a while. If anything it should at least make more people pay attention. If what is going on in our office the last two weeks is any indication of what others are dealing with, the 10/07 – 3/6/09 period hasn’t done much to scare people out of the market.

  40. karen says:

    ahab, no tv, haven’t seen it. read Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” once upon a time.

  41. leftback says:

    “S&P trades to 972 on OPEX week”

    Then a one way trip to the basement on June 22? I like this scenario.

  42. cvienne says:

    @manhattanguy

    So here’s MY trade…If you’re following me…

    - I went SHORT gold today…
    - Monday I’ll go long the dollar (as long as I get a confirmation)
    - I’ll wait until OPEX week…If i get a last blowout rally to the upside on the S&P (towards the 233 day MA), I’ll go short the S&P then…

  43. manhattanguy says:

    @ben22 – Buy and hold theory went out of the door, it’s purely a trader’s market.

    @cvienne – agree that it could recover once it hits 912, but i am predicting a short term correction in both indices well in sync with dollar rally and oil correction

    I expect a double dip recession similar to what we saw in early 2002.

  44. dead hobo says:

    leftback Says:
    June 5th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    “The pump looked massive and it still was red for the day”

    Hobo, I hope you are talking about the markets here.

    reply:
    —————
    I was commenting on the last few minutes of the day. I don’t have access to good tools and was just observing S&P volume at the close. It bumped up a large amount, but it didn’t trigger any knee jerk buying. I’m sure the pump will be back Monday and will continue until it stops working. I was just having a moment because someone was probably really pissed about not making Pavlov’s Dog bark for the 100th time in a row.

  45. cvienne says:

    @ben22 (4:15)

    I’d like to hear more bulls here too my friend…

    But I’ll tell you something…The guys I play golf with (who consider me to be “the stock market guy”), have all been asking me lately what stocks to buy…I MEAN…A LOT…

    I just roll my eyes and tell them to go work on their “short game”…(and they think I’m referring to chipping & putting so I have them all bamboozled)…:-)

  46. Mike in Nola says:

    ahab:

    Actually, the one where they shot the Interview scenes and a scene in the Huey Long movie with Goodman is on Washington and Prytania. It is pretty safe and somewhat interesting. Hadn’t been there until after the storm when we took a friend back to NOLA to visit. Found one grave whose date identified him as having been killed in the battle of the bulge.

    I believe across the street is one of the best restaurants in NOLA, Commanders Palace.

    There are still murders in some of the projects, despite the locks. I think the Marie Laveau tomb is in the cemetary on Basin Street and which used to hose a tourist robbery from time to time due to it’s proximity to the project. Don’t know how it is these days. Best thing is to ask middle class natives who aren’t involved in tourism about where they’d feel safe. The tourism industry is reluctant to publish a map showing where it’s safe.

  47. cvienne says:

    Actually…

    For everybody’s reference…the 233 day EMA on the S&P would be 972 (today)…

    And it’s flattening out as we speak (which means by OPEX Friday, it ought to be roughly the same number – or somewhere between 965 and 972 – depending how any “minor” correction either next week or the week after effects it))…

    A break ABOVE that line would be significant (because it would start to ‘slope’ the MA upwards if that trend were to hold)…

    So I’d say it’s PUT UP or SHUT UP time for the bulls…

    It would be two shorts weeks until end of quarter and start of earnings season after that…

    Short the S&P???

    965-972 is looking better and better…

  48. Wes Schott says:

    cv@4:23 –

    “…go work on their short game…”

  49. hopeImwrong says:

    cvienne@4:12 – You and I are on the same page. I thought I was alone with the dollar up and stocks up in concert call.

  50. ben22 says:

    manhattanguy,
    @ben22 – Buy and hold theory went out of the door, it’s purely a trader’s market.

    You don’t really believe the masses are trading now do you? Sure, the AAII percentage allocated to stocks dropped levels seen in 2002 and the early 90′s which indicated that lots of people went to cash at the bottom, but there are still tons of people just holding on. Someone just asked me a question on this site the other day explaining that they were trying to get the 401k balance back to where it was at the top. My point above was that many more people will give up if they take another 30% + hit after this. A record level desire to hold cash and not stock should only be fitting given the severity of our situation.

  51. leftback says:

    “The guys I play golf with (who consider me to be “the stock market guy”), have all been asking me lately what stocks to buy…I MEAN…A LOT…”

    A sure sign that InvestTools™ are returning like lambs to the slaughter. It will not be long ‘ere the worm turns. Remarkably it seems as though people are lining up to get fleeced again. Incredible.

    Here in Manhattan, Bob and Barbara Bulge-Bracket are once again crowing to LB that “the market always comes back” and “Manhattan real estate never goes down”… they are triumphant in victory. Let’s see now:

    Bob and Barb portfolio, was $800K, now down to $500K. Condo, $1.5M down to $1.2M (being generous here, as if they could sell it); mortgage and other debt owed = $1M. Net worth, was 1.3M, now = 700K. Bob’s bonus is sadly declining and Barb is not making (m)any high end condo sales. Mucho expensive lifestyle continues with kids at Brick, Dalton and Spence. We won’t discuss Barb’s Saks charge card or Bob’s “entertainment expenses”.

    Meanwhile, LB no debt, trading portfolio up 20% since 2007. All thanks to TBP.

  52. rootless_cosmopolitan says:

    @Franklin411:

    “…The point is that the world was living under the gun from 1931-1939, which certainly had a depressing effect on the investment outlook.”

    Thus, sentiment regarding investment about which you just make an assumption was more important than the real debt bubble for the trajectory of the world economy back then, you say.

    “Having better economic data reduces the liklihood of making significant policy mistakes.”

    Assuming that the government of the United States can really control the trajectory of the US-economy, or even the one of the world economy, of which the US-economy is only a sector, if there are more and better economic data. If an asteroid were going to hit Earth, I am certain we would have much better data about this nowadays than 80 years ago.

    But if the US-government or any government were able to control world economy why has there been a deep global recession in the first hand? This fact alone contradicts your belief about the great power the US-administration has with its policies.

    “Sixth, Q1–You miss my argument completely, which is that the political situation now and in the Depression is critically important.”

    In what way is this critically important regarding the fact of a credit market debt to GDP ratio of 375%? Doesn’t debt need to be serviced anymore today, in contrast to the times of the Great Depression? I have noticed that you have carefully chosen to ignore my repeated question about this point.

    “Q2. I don’t cheer a wobble; in fact, I established that the trend is towards reduced levels of job losses. The number of lost jobs has dropped precipitously since the peak in January.”

    No, you haven’t established. How do you know the drop in the decrease of the nonfarm payroll data from January to May indicates an impending recovery, but isn’t just a wobble, before it is going to trend down further, or just going to decrease at a slower rate for a much longer time? If you look at the graphs for different economic indicators during the Great Depression you see that this kind of wobbles within a longer down trend can last over many months:

    http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3421

    Besides that, as I already said, you have cherry picked your data to prove your point.

    Here is the change in the number of unemployed from the household survey. You haven’t answered my question why the payroll data are relevant for your assessment, but not the change in the number of unemployed.

    May 2008 861,000
    Jun 2008 99,000
    Jul 2008 248,000
    Aug 2008 640,000
    Sep 2008 42,000
    Oct 2008 629,000
    Nov 2008 255,000
    Dec 2008 632,000
    Jan 2009 508,000
    Feb 2009 851,000
    Mar 2009 694,000
    Apr 2009 563,000
    May 2009 787,000
    (Reference: http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNEMPLOY.txt)

    No significant drop in the unemployment increase from January to May to see here.

    rc

  53. Transor Z says:

    @ben22: Yes, of course. 401(k) loans are very small compared to HELOC. The max is only about $50k or 50% of balance. Apparently, the average balance is about $65k, so that gives an indication of the max scale. However, EBRI estimates ~ $3 trillion invested in 401(k) plans, so clearly the numbers are substantial (albeit not RRE/HELOC substantial).

    According to EBRI there were about 46 million 401(k) participants in the US at the end of 2007 and according to the Harvard study below about 85% of plans allow 401(k) loans. Take 18% of ~40 million people and you’re ~ 7 million people carrying 401(k) loans. Multiply that number by the average loan size, between $7k and $8k, and you’re looking at around $50 billion in consumer debt. The average monthly 401(k) loan payment is $125 — noticeable for the average US family.

    And IMO this is particularly crummy debt which, as you alluded to, is people undercutting their life savings. The Harvard study (published after the crash in late 2008) reports anecdotal increases in 401(k) loans as a result of the recession. So quite possibly the aggregate loan balance could be much higher than $50 billion.

    http://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_12a-2008.pdf

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/pgda/events/seminars/2009/Loans_Madrian_Fall2008.pdf

  54. call me ahab says:

    Mike-

    made it the cemetary by Commanders Palace- Lafayette I believe is the name of it- cool street few blocks away with many restaurants and shops- Magazine Street I believe- the cemetary with Marie Laveau is St Louis-

    cool town- interesting history- very unique- a foodie paradise I would think-

    if it was just me- I could live there very easily- weather in March was beautiful- also loved the chicory coffee and benet’s- Cafe Du Monde I think it was

  55. ZackAttack says:

    >>> I was commenting on the last few minutes of the day. I don’t have access to good tools and was just observing S&P volume at the close. It bumped up a large amount, but it didn’t trigger any knee jerk buying. I’m sure the pump will be back Monday and will continue until it stops working.<<<

    =================

    ZeroHedge has been following this too. The last little while, it’s been JPM, taking blocks of 5K SPY on every dip.

  56. cvienne says:

    @hopeimwrong

    Yup – just a ‘temporary’ divergence…

    OK let’s face it…In the ‘olden dayz’ (when the US actually produced something other than paper debt instruments), a strong dollar & strong equity markets would go hand in hand as a given…

    Now a strong dollar KILLS our exports…

    So here, the dollar can get stronger (until the equities finally blow off to the upside)…Then it’s time to say BYE BYE to anything resembling 4 digits on the S&P (until I’d imagine around the year 2025)…

  57. manhattanguy says:

    @lb 4.44: Buy now or priced out forever :) you will be surprised how many are still in denial about RE.

    @ben22 : speaking of 401k, i moved some of my retirement funds to cash after they doubled in 3 months.

  58. Whammer says:

    @LB — I think you may have a new career as a football commentator! Small correction, the US pants squad was beaten 3-1 — Donovan scored in injury time at the very end.

    Beasley — rubbish indeed. That guy is just too old.

  59. Onlooker from Troy says:

    ben22

    You really think this little bunch is turning bullish? :) Or do you mean from less frequent posters who pop up just wanting to shake it in our bearish faces? I can see that as a good contrarian indicator.

    I’d also like to see the VIX really drop. Still very skittish here although it did drop with the market today, correcting the rise with the market a while back. In other words I’d like to see an easier short entry here that’s more profitable, coming off a real blow off top.

  60. call me ahab says:

    here’s my plan-

    short $

    long oil

    AAPL and then more AAPL and then GOOG with a little more AAPL- anything left over goes to QQQQ

    a winner????

  61. cvienne says:

    @LB

    So THAT’s why you have so much time 4 cricket & soccer (I mean ‘football”)…Sorry mate!

  62. leftback says:

    beignets… the streetcars, the street cafes Uptown. Laissez les bons temps rouler….

  63. Onlooker from Troy says:

    ben22

    Hussman talks about a revulsion of stocks by the average investor that still needs to take place to set a bottom. Sounds like what you’re talking about too. Especially after they venture back in at these levels.

  64. cvienne says:

    @mike & ahab

    re: NO

    that’s my “heritage”…Don’t leave town without pigging out on a nice plate of red beans & rice!

  65. Mike in Nola says:

    ahab:

    It is a great place to hang out and waste time. The food is much better than Houston. In Houston you have to look for the good places and hit a lot of duds. In NOLA most any place will be at least good. Think it’s the competition. Tom Fitzmorris, the local food critic ( http://www.nomenu.com ) went through the phone book post-Katrina and found that the metro area had more restaurants than before even though the population had declined. It was something over 800 not counting chains, which he doesn’t consider real restaurants.

    Weather is about the same as Houston, which is nice in the fall and winter. Opposite of the north.

  66. call me ahab says:

    “beignets”- I knew botched that

  67. Mike in Nola says:

    @ahab – I never spell it right myself.

    BTW for anyone in Houston, we’ve found a place that has better beignets than they serve in NOLA. It’s Chez Beignets way down Holcombe. Pretty decent chicory coffee too. Don’t try going at night as they have a huge Vietnamese clientele shows up in the late afternoon and night.

  68. cvienne says:

    @mike in nola

    Man all this food talk right at “happy hour” is making my mouth water for some fried alligator!

  69. leftback says:

    “Weather is about the same as Houston, which is nice in the fall and winter. Opposite of the north.”

    55 and pissing with rain in NYC…. g’night all.

  70. call me ahab says:

    cveinne-

    your name does sound a bit Cajun- I actually bumped into a guy that was visiting his daughter in the city – the guy was all Cajun- pretty cool old guy

  71. The Curmudgeon says:

    Question for the board:

    When you guys speak of the dollar getting stronger, are you referencing strength against other fiat little pieces of toilet paper equally covered with shit, or are you referencing the dollar strengthening against something real, like a basket of international-traded ag commodities, or the energy markets?

    See, because it doesn’t really say much to me that the dollar will rally against the Euro or the Yen or whatever, unless that also means it takes less of them to buy corn. So long as corn stays as expensive as before, a dollar “rally” means that for some reason the purchasers of fiat currency think that Euros are more covered in shit than are dollars, not that there isn’t still a devaluation afoot vis a vis the dollar.

    Inflation (or currency devaluation) is ever and always a monetary phenomenon.

    Please tell me where I’m mistaken.

  72. ben22 says:

    manhattan guy: good for you on the trades. Sadly though, I highly doubt many 401k participants are getting the same results, nor do a lot of participants even have a cash option to go to like yourself. “Stable Value” is more common. MBS is just like cash….until it isn’t.

    Transor: All those numbers look to be from year end 2007, so to be generous lets slice 25% off the top of assets value, if the loan amounts still increased in 2008 clearly it’s a problem. that said, the problem is small compared to all the other debt issues ones so we probably won’t hear too much about it.

    Onlooker,

    no I’m not looking for the regular commenters to get bullish, just more people coming in for a few one liners about how it’s so doom and gloom here, and we are all the guns and canned goods crowd, that kind of stuff.

  73. cvienne says:

    @ahab

    The name is TOTALLY cajun…90% of anyone whom I might be able to trace any ancestry to lives in the Bayous…

  74. manhattanguy says:

    Ahab,
    I take the opposite position of your trade. Although this might change from day to day depending the market activity.

    Here is my short term trade
    Long dollar, short oil, COF and AAPL.

    All the food talk makes me hungry now.. Have a good weekend guys.

  75. john6pack says:

    I’m the new poster and average guy ben22 mentioned @4:33 trying to recover my 401k balance. To clarify, I have no hope to get back to what it was “at the top”. I would simply like to recover my lifetime contributions, inflation-adjusted. I never stopped buying 100% long equities so the last few months have been good to me, but I still need S&P to reach 1150 for my break even point.

    It’s been hard to stick it, especially given how much I’ve been reading the comments here since March 6. Believe me, I will experience total revulsion if/when another 30% hit comes. I don’t intend to let that happen. It’s not as simple for us InvestTools, since we don’t have tools like stops and basically have rules against “trading” in our 401ks. I don’t intend to go down with the ship a third time. Until then, the trend is my friend.

    I don’t think I would “trade” even if I want to. If/when I ever break even, I’m going to move it all into something like Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio and forget about it. I’m long past sick of following the stock market.

  76. The Curmudgeon says:

    @cvienne:

    that narrows it down to French, Spanish, African, Mulatto, English or German, if I remember my history correctly. A cajun is truly a mutt. Maybe that’s why they’re so lovable.

  77. cvienne says:

    @ahab

    although I’m not THAT old…yet…

    I’m a LATE baby boomer…(you know – the ones that will NEVER see a social security check because the system will be bankrupt by then)…

    Why do you think I’m a “do it yourself’er” and have re-trained myself to “live off the land” if need be?

  78. cvienne says:

    @curmudgeon

    Français…

    I’ve heard that my lineage actually comes down from Charlemagne…

    But then doesn’t EVERYONE tell them they are descendent of some royalty or were someone “famous” in a past life?

    Whay wasn’t anyone ever a janitor or a hooker in a past life?

  79. call me ahab says:

    manhattenguy-

    should have tagged my “trading plan” @ 4:56 with a [snark] flag- was jk

    curmudgeon-

    I think what is being implied is that when the $ strengthens against other currencies there is a corresponding sell off in equities AND commodities- so I guess you could say it is strengthening against real stuff too

  80. Mike in Nola says:

    ahab – re: shorts.

    Wait and see what AAPL introduces, likely next week. The fanbois will have tears in their eyes watching Steve. The analysts will likely go wild if they intro a new cheap iPhone and the stock my pop good. greg may buy some :) Would be great if it went up to something near it’s old high. Then it’s a no brainer. Of course my QID would take a further hit.

    If AAPL competes on price with a $99 iPhone it may cannabalize some of it’s own sales and may make Palm and other competitors good shorts since they will have to compete on price.

  81. cvienne says:

    @curmudgeon

    re: dollar

    I can’t speak for ANYONE else here, but I’ll give you my DOLLAR take…

    I think it’s simply a part & parcel issue of the “ebb and flow” of the UNWINDING of all asset classes in this GLOBAL CREDIT DEFLATIONARY SPIRAL (that is bound to go on – in my estimation – for AT LEAST another 30 months before we hit rock bottom)…

    So the scenario works like this:

    - Real Estate bubble bursts (already happened)
    - Liquidity crisis (already happened)
    - Political & monetary intervention (already happened)
    - Equity market sell-off PART #1 (already happened)
    - Equity market rally from political & monetary intervention (happening now)
    - Risk of hyperinflation due to political & monetary intervention (happening now)
    - Realization of hyperinflation risks by political & monetary interventionists (imminent)
    - Response by equity markets…SELLOFF (coming in next 4 months)
    - Flight back to SAFETY of US dollars & Treasuries because they’re big huge parking lots (coincident)
    - Rinse & repeat cycles of all points above (except #1) for the next 30 months until we finally reach a bottom…

    so that’s it in a nutshell…

  82. Mike in Nola says:

    cvienne: Cajuns apparently think alike. Don’t eat any alligator or crawfish, tho.

    Was discussing The Best Stop with my brother in law last night and started thinking of how to engineer a trip back to NOLA so I could get some cracklins. 3 years of weekly commutes probably shortened my life span noticeably.

  83. I-Man says:

    @ cv

    Just so you know- I’m from VA and I used to stomp all over WV as a youngster… paddling the new, skiing at canaan, climbing at seneca, and getting muddy in just about every cave on the map.

    Beautiful country over there… I miss it.

  84. I-Man says:

    cracklins… get stuck in the teeth.

  85. ben22 says:

    j6p,

    wasn’t trying to take a jab at you just so you know. anyway, you should get your hands on your summary plan description, or call your provider and see if your company allows for an in service non-penalty withdrawal on your 401k. You might be able to move to an IRA while you are still working if they do, or at least a portion of your money, and then you can take more control and use things like stops to protect yourself.

  86. I-Man says:

    Check this crazy cracker out Mike:
    http://www.deltablues.net/cracklin.html

  87. cvienne says:

    @mike in nola

    I’d do for anything a little exotic now…

    I’ve got catfish coming out of my ears at the moment…At least I’ve learned how to put a little Louisiana spice on them though :-)

    @ I-man
    There’s been a heckuvalot of rain lately, so the rivers are running high & fast…SWEET!

  88. john6pack says:

    ben22,
    mahalos again.

  89. cvienne says:

    @I-man

    you DEFINITELY need to cook cracklins outside (and in a big pot)…

    I still have a few grease burn scars on my legs from when i didn’t heed this advice when I was 17 years old…

    Although they’re pretty faint now (except for the one on the instep of my right foot below the ankle)…

    I almost burned down the house on that episode…

  90. I-Man says:

    Alright bredren- Jah Bless.

    I-Man out.

  91. greg says:

    Mike in Nola-

    I’ve seen your remarks today, and I’m thinking you really like the Apple discussions. Come on, you can admit it. I already own some options by the way, in reference to your 5.23 post. Not so sure Jobs will be there next week, or he could be introduced as the “one more thing”.
    Wish me luck at least with my options ;>)

  92. Mike in Nola says:

    greg: assume they are calls :) Probably a good play til they get all the announcements over. Just don’t look at them as buy and hold. As a glamour stock, could rise a good bit from here.But, unless you believe the recession is about over, it won’t stay, no matter how good the products are. For one thing the end of bear markets brings compression of multiples which hasn’t happened all that much yet, esp. to Apple.

    Also, price competition is going to be fierce as the number of people willing and able to buy tech gadgets shrinks. This will decrese everyone’s earnings.

    One of my bad traits is that I keep needling people. My daughter gets really mad when I do it to her, but I don’t mean anything by it. I do hope you make money.

  93. Cursive says:

    @Curmudgeon 5:15

    What you describe is more specifically Creole. Also, “Cajun” refers to a select group of descendants of the francophones that were exiled from Nova Scotia. There are very few actual “Cajuns”, though many claim to be one; though, I guess it could be anyone who assumes the culture. I have a French surname, but I don’t consider myself Cajun because my ancestors arrived here directly from France. Finally, New Orleans is definitely NOT French; it is Creole, with the same ethnicities that you listed. Most people don’t realize it, but there are (were) huge popluations of German and Irish ethicities that arrived in the late 19-th century in New Orleans. Finally, the French part of Louisiana is centered in Lafayette. Most of Louisiana is not “French.”

  94. Wes Schott says:

    Do y’all see a relationship between a NY accent and a NO accent?

  95. call me ahab says:

    Cursive Says-

    “Cajun” refers to a select group of descendants of the francophones that were exiled from Nova Scotia.”

    true- correct term is Acadians

  96. Mike in Nola says:

    Actually, Italians were the largest ethnic group in New Orleans from the early 20th century until the white flight in the 1970′s. Well, they were really Sicilians. I think I know more Sicilians than any other group. It was the same wave that populated N.Y., but they went south. There was a good deal of friction with the older established ethnic groups and even a still-remembered lynching of some Italians about which one of my old Italian friends still holds a grudge even though it happened long before he was born. He is not happy that a few of the decendents of the lynchers are prominent lawyers, one even being King of Carnival. Don Corleone’s long memory was not fantasy.

  97. Mike in Nola says:

    Forgot the link to the lynching story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hennessey

    I think blacks were actually treated better in those days. They knew their place.

  98. [...] rate slows but doesn’t mean much Jump to Comments 345K jobs lost. U6 is 16.4%: • Temporary workers continue to loss jobs, but seem to be moderating, losing only 7,000 jobs; [...]

  99. [...] NFP is . . . -345k | The Big Picture The number is . . . a much better than expected loss of 345,000 jobs. [...]