"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Downed Malaysia Airline Boeing 777 drops US Equities

How very tragic that so many innocent lives were taken in a moment. An otherwise routine flight turned into a horrible scene of death and devastation.

Equity markets reacted strongly lower with many investors fearing this incident could result in a flaring of tensions and an escalation of conflict on a larger scale. The jury is still out on that but it certainly introduces another new unknown and if it is one thing that markets hate, it is unknowns.

The old trading adage, "Sell first and ask questions later" was on display in full force in today's session.

Safe havens were in vogue as the Yen moved sharply higher and US bonds put on more than a full point with the Ten Year yield sinking to 2.475%. That is the lowest it has been at in six weeks.

I must say I am a bit disappointed in the gold price as the metal could not even stay above the $1320 level. With the backdrop of an Israeli ground operation against Hamas, and with this commercial airliner incident, one would think it would have garnered some more upside. Tomorrow is going to be an important day for the metal therefore. At least the HUI was very strong, a positive sign.

Take a look at the Russell 2000, again, a very good barometer of risk appetite among investors/traders.

The index closed below its 50 day moving average for the first time since early June.

The two particular indicators I have chosen to display are both in bearish modes as well confirming the move lower.

In looking at the chart I get the sense of a market trading in a broad range. It lacks the necessary momentum to get through the double top ( TOP of the RANGE) near 1220 but so far it has had enough buying to hold its support at the bottom of the range near 1080. Based on the chart pattern, and especially if events globally continue to unnerve investors for the short term, odds would seem to favor a move back down towards that support level once again.

The Russell could chop around in a range for some time. It does not have to necessarily either fall out of bed and collapse lower nor does it have to go rip roaring higher. Trading range markets can trip up a lot of traders as they tend to get bearish as price moves to the bottom of the range and bullish as it moves to the top. However, unless we get a clear breakout from either side of the range, odds favor a continuation of the consolidation pattern.


  1. Its unfortunate that world events are as they are.

    In the midst of political disagreements, innocent men, women and children are burdened with the majority of the suffering.

    I noticed a bearish RSI divergence on the daily chart in the QQQ and wrote about it yesterday, Dan. While the QQQ was making higher highs, the RSI on the daily chart was making lower highs.

    Interestingly, -DMI started creeping up as well, and the ADX has been pointing lower.

    As you mentioned in your post about the Russell 2000, we're likely heading into a choppy range trade here. The Russell has seen more of a pullback then the SPY, DIA, or QQQ though, so it will be interesting to observe how far the latter three indexes pull back on any continuation of selling.

  2. Very true Dan, gold's performance was disappointing if we compare against other asset classes.

    I expected a run into the $1330s.

  3. There is something WRONG here. Not just morally (and I have some very clear views on that) but from a market perspective

    Israel invades Gaza, and a civilian airliner is brought down in Ukraine,mand STILL Gold cant hold convincingly above 1320

    This market is looking very, very brittle

    And my heart goes out to the victims,mfriends and family of those who died in this incident; we are not fools, and it is pretty obvious what has gone on here, why. That having been said, the CIA certainly appear to have some kind of leverage with the Malaysians - THAT much surely is no coincidence

    1. British
      Are you saying the CIA pushed the Malaysians into flying through the area so they could be shot down? By a CIA team?

      Please clarify.

  4. Two things trouble me

    1. I am hesitant to accept at face value the apparently coincidental involvement of the same government-owned airlines in two sequential incidents - the more so as Mossad appears to have purchased an identical secondhand Malaysian Airlines 777 ER last October. The Malaysian's investigation of the earlier incident appears to have been conveniently haphazard and inconsequential

    2. As with the previoys incident, the indecent haste with which US officials have pontificated about an incident which on the face of it was none of their concern is slightly troubling - the more so as it appears to involve a nuanced allegation that the missile may have been fired from inside Russia. How very convenient that would be

    Both the USA and Ukraine have previous in terms of shooting down civilian airliners, denying involvement and then being exposed - and that includes the Korean Airlines 007 incident

    In my mind, the Jury is very much out

  5. There are probably better links, but here is one URL about the Israeli connection http://www.bollyn.com/are-the-israelis-planning-another-9-11-using-the-missing-777/

  6. Putin's slowly being backed into a corner by events that aren't fully in his control.

    If Ukraine was smart they'd invade the Donetesk area asap and head straight towards the wreckage.
    Putin could try to block their way by use of the pro-Russia separtists and repel the advance vigorously or he might just have to step aside and let the Ukraine and the eye's of the world see that he isn't going to block a international plane frash investigation because he has nothing to hide.

    While he himself might not have given the order he nonetheless has control and intel that the supposedly homegrown pro-russian had those advanced weapons systems in their possession and his KGB/Russian military apparatus could easily have regained or demanded control of them from the rebels.

    Instead of doing that he let them keep them.

    The optics on this one look poor for him globally. Maybe he doesn't care?
    That's why I referred to him as the most dangerous man in the world over a year ago.
    He's a game changer to the global US status quo because if his thinking or strategy is flawed (as in cuckoo) and he goes too far (Crimea and now this airplane takedown) it will eventually draw some type of major western confrontation if he keeps pushing forward after this.

    He's also on the brink of making Russia the next oil/energy giant in the world with major petro-rubles twinkling in his eye's due to Russia's vast natural resources.
    The balance of power over energy hangs in the balance.

    How Putin reacts during and after this plane fiasco will say much about where his mind and motives are.

    If I'm the CIA-backed Ukrainian govt I'm headed straight towards the plane wreck and see what happens from there.
    If the black box and data recorders have been hustled to Moscow and never shared with international investigators or they deny having the black box then we pretty much have a confirmation the info is damning to them.

  7. Most plausible explanation reported is that the separatists shot down the passenger jet mistaken for a Ukrainian cargo plane. (As was posted on social media and then taken down after it was found out it was in fact a passenger jet.) The pro-Russian separatists goons are stupid enough to do that.
    What a tragedy...

  8. Like I said, the talking heads in the media, and also at various blogs, will have a field day with this tragedy. I do not have any answers except one and that is that the first death of war or tragedies is the truth; So, fasten your seat belts and keep your airsick bags by the screen because a lot of bullshit is coming our way.

    1. I don't always agree with you Steve but I sure do this time.

  9. Dan - thanks for taking time to blog on this busy day. Have to wonder if the major hype for the Ukraine story is over for now. Lots of discussions and posturing will probably take place over the next few days to figure out who is at fault and what is on the black box. But peak tensions from the day will probably dissipate.

    The Israeli soldiers will likely take out the caves and weapons stashes in N Gaza after the pummeling that area has already had... and then go home. There aren't any oil fields in that country at risk. Will be interesting to see if the crude backs off from the $5 jump its had from $99 this week. Challenging markets to say the least!

    NG got hit hard today on storage report and near support level from beginning of last year. I suppose it is also a component of the commodity index that has been plummeting lately?

  10. Yeah...and my wife wondered why I was nervous last month when we were flying just above Alep and Damas right through Syrian territory.
    This is exactly what I was scared about.
    It had to happen sooner or later.
    What a stupid loss.
    Airlines may so easily go around such dangerous areas., but they won't, to save a few precious minutes for their passengers and liters of gazoline for their managers? Fools.


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