As tension heat up around the world, Art Cashin just warned that a great storm is brewing.
(King World News) – Legend Art Cashin: On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte stood in the hands of captors. Just three years earlier he had been the self-proclaimed Emperor of France, de Facto ruler of most of Europe and the proud father of a new-born son by his second wife. In addition, even his enemies had conceded him a unique sense of governance – his Napoleonic code stands to this day on two continents.
But he had an aggressive M & A department that told him to gamble all this for a hostile takeover of Russia. It wasn’t junk bonds that did him in. Instead it was junk weather. When his victorious army found itself forthright but freezing, he was forced to retreat. And even though he fought off old enemies in incredible ways – once they touched French soil he abdicated to save his people.
So, here he was, a short Corsican kid with a great mind and a lousy stomach who had come up just short of ruling the world in a way Alexander and Caesar never quite made.
Unable to accept this fall from grandeur, he secretly asked his private doctors for poison, that he might die rather than be humiliated. Once he had taken the potion, he decided to move for the melodramatic. Why die in your room alone when you could make a grand gesture.
He summoned his guards and demanded a meeting with his counterparts, the leaders of his captors. Once in audience, he would speak of the great work he had done and then die dramatically at the feet of these Lilliputians.
At the audience the medicine began to take its effect. But it was counterbalanced by the medication for his ulcer. Before his magnificent speech began, he developed — hiccups. So the nearly emperor of the world did not die defiantly at the feet of his captors. Instead he hiccupped and stammered until he had to be helped – incoherently and inaudibly back to his bed.
Doubly lost, he quietly went into exile at Elba, but a year later when the medication wore off, he escaped and within 100 days, he had nearly recouped all his former glory. But then came Waterloo – but that’s another story, for another day.
The market had plenty of hiccups yesterday and by the afternoon; they managed to struggle to a neutral close.
A Puzzle That Offered Its Own Solution – I had to leave for a doctor’s appointment right on the opening bell and returned late morning to a bit of a puzzle as the following email illustrates.
Spent much of the morning at the doctor’s (ravages of old age). Returned to floor to see Dow down 119.
Sherlock Holmes review favors geo-political trigger. Clear flight to safety: gold up $20; 10 year yield threatens to break 2.30 and VIX above 15.
Think its collective weight of geo-politics – two Trump tweets. Some congress comment on Syria; civil but very stern visit by Tillerson, etc. etc.
A few of the FoF wrote in to say that they too saw a strong geo-political thread in the action. Several noted that there was pronounced weakness in the multi-nationals with relative strength in the small cap, domestically oriented, stocks. That would be consistent with geo-political concerns.
While neither the FoF nor various floor types zeroed in on a single trigger, a few did cite a statement from North Korea, which was rather belligerent and, tantalizingly, used the word “nuclear”, but ironically in reference to visionary focus rather than weaponry.
Most felt the geo-political influence was a kind of “by weight and number” rather than a specific event.
The morning flurry of geo-political background buzz dried up as we went into early afternoon and some dip buying helped lift prices in clearly thin trading in thin liquidity, thanks to multiple holidays colliding.
The final three hours were a low volume zigzag right below the neutral zone. Ultimately, the Dow closed with single digit losses in volume under a billion shares yet again. Any thoughts on clean shirts and carfare?
A Founders Day Focus – April 15th is Founders Day in North Korea. That has been a time when North Korean leaders have tried to impress folks with rocket launches and bomb detonations.
This year the fifteenth falls right in Easter weekend. That usually brings a geo-political vacuum (unless you have an Irish heritage and a hundred year memory of grudges).
If Kim does try for some attention grabbing stunt, it will likely vault him well over the Syrian question.
It will also bring to the fore, what are the options for the U.S. and the West on North Korea. As I have noted in recent Comments, the options are neither numerous nor very good. Recently, in his absolutely invaluable blog “Geostrat”, Bob Hardy outlined an NBC listing of a few of those options, which the network says were given to the President as a background for his one on one summit with President Xi.
Here is that rather limited list:
NBC News, citing multiple anonymous top-ranking U.S. military and intelligence officials, reported April 7, 7:23 p.m. EDT, the National Security Council had, before the Trump-Xi summit, presented President Trump with options to respond to North Korea’s nuclear program.
The top option number is to deploy nuclear weapons to South Korea for the first time in 25 years. Assassinating Kim Jong-un and top North Korean officials in charge of the North’s nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and decision-making is number 2. Infiltrating U.S. and South Korean Special forces to conduct sabotage on the North’s infrastructure ranked third. Accelerating cyber-attacks and staging airstrikes were at the bottom of the list.
“The White House hopes the Chinese will do more to influence Pyongyang through diplomacy and enhanced sanctions. But if that fails, and North Korea continues its development of nuclear weapons, there are other options on the table that would significantly alter U.S. policy,” NBC reported citing its sources.
Not exactly a Christmas list, to say the least.
Overnight And Overseas – The safe haven plays and geo-politics continue as backdrop to today’s a market. In Asia, Tokyo got dinged with Shanghai and India somewhat less so. Hong Kong was odd man out with a solid rally.
Things are a little cheerier with modest rallies in London and on the continent.
Gold is higher again but not with Tuesday’s conviction. Crude is up nicely, helped by last night’s surprise API drawdown. The dollar is a smidge higher as are bond yields.
Consensus – The geo-political cauldron simmers. Traders will look to see if Putin finally visits with Tillerson. Tension on several fronts likely to build as long weekend nears.
Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble. ***KWN has just released the powerful KWN audio interview with the man who counsels the biggest money on the planet, Michael Belkin and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW.
***To listen to the powerful KWN audio interview with Larry Lindsey that has now been released CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW.
***ALSO JUST RELEASED: We Are Seeing Historic Moves In The Gold Market CLICK HERE.
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