With continued uncertainty in global markets, are we seeing a turn in the tide? Plus a remarkable look at the Kennedy and Lincoln assassinations.
A portion of today’s note from Art Cashin: On this day in 1963, the President of the United States, John Kennedy, was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. His assassin (as you may have heard), was Lee Harvey Oswald, who fired from the Texas Schoolbook Depository. But…of course…you know all that! The event has been the subject of several movies, at least three national investigations, countless TV specials, a few hundred books, a million magazine articles and several theories.
Having been exposed to all this, you are no doubt aware of all the trivia and oddities. There’s the Kennedy/Lincoln oddity. Jack Kennedy’s personal secretary was named Lincoln…just as Abe Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy. Both secretaries had pleaded with their bosses not to go to the place where they were shot. Both Presidents were succeeded by guys named Johnson. Both Johnson’s were Southerners and former Senators. Both Johnson’s were born 100 years apart. Kennedy and Lincoln were elected 100 years apart. John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald were born 100 years apart. Both Kennedy and Lincoln were assassinated on a Friday while sitting next to their wives. Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and tried to hide in a warehouse. Oswald was in a warehouse when he shot Kennedy, he then tried to hide in a theater. But…you recall all that.
And, if you recall all that, you probably recall that it had been raining in Dallas earlier that morning. That, fearing a bad hair day, Jackie Kennedy suggested putting the bubble top on the limo. Then, when the sun came out, the Secret Service decided to skip the bubble top.
So, then you also recall the reports that Oswald was considering dropping his plans the night before, but a buzz-off from the wife sent him back to his plot. Which means you certainly recall that the initial reports indicated that both the President and Vice President had been killed. And when they brought that report to Speaker John McCormack (still lunching in the House Dining Room), he froze at the thought that, at age 71, he was suddenly the President of the U.S. He froze so literally that he was unable even to stand up and only recovered when he was told LBJ was still alive.
On the floor of the NYSE selling had begun before any headlines hit the tape. Months later I learned that was thanks to a savvy branch manager in Dallas.
Since Presidents didn’t travel widely in 1963, he thought he would give much of the staff a treat by letting them go out and watch the Presidential parade. He kept a skeleton crew and sent the others out to watch the parade, which was due to pass about a block away.
Rather shortly the gang wandered back in looking somewhat glum and disappointed. “What happened”?, asked the manager. “Parade got canceled” mumbled one of the returnees.
After questioning, he learned that they had heard the sirens accelerate, the police lights flare and the “parade” suddenly turned right. They were many blocks away and obviously heard no shots.
The savvy manager quickly asked – “Give me a bullish reason to pull a President out of a parade?” “It’s not to sign a tax bill – that could wait.” No one could think of a bullish reason to divert a parade. Then they mulled bearish reasons. No one thought assassination. But they did think natural disaster, nuclear accident, missile threat and scores of others. That’s when they decided something “bad” must have happened and began to sell.
As their sell orders poured onto the floor and prices began to melt, they were asked by brokers – “Why the selling?” The response was the incomplete – “something about the President.”
Sometime later, the first headline hit – “Shots reported fired at President’s motorcade!” The selling broadened an accelerated. Rather quickly the next headline – “President reported hit.”
Exchange leaders hastily gathered and discussed closing the Exchange. Then the headline “Motorcade diverted to Parkland Hospital.” They rang the bell at 2:07 (EST).
The Dow fell the equivalent of what would be 460 points today. When we reopened Tuesday, there was such a sigh of relief that power had been transferred and the Constitution still functioned, that a massive rally erupted, soaring the equivalent of 710 points. An unforgettable period.
Overnight And Overseas – In Asia, most markets were better. Tokyo shrugged off the earthquake and closed moderately higher as did Shanghai and India. Hong Kong was sharply higher led by the Macau gang. Manila was odd man out, falling sharply, led by real estate.
In Europe, the FTSE is red hot, led by mining stocks. On the continent, almost all markets are higher, but in somewhat lighter volume.
The metals are percolating, with several trading “up limit”. The U.S. dollar is softer against the euro, the pound and even the Australian dollar. Crude soared overnight but is now backing off the highs.
Consensus – Let’s watch crude, which reached a technical count target and has begun to ease back. A turn in the tide? Too early to tell.
They are somewhat overbought but 19,000 may be too tempting a target. Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble.
May you and all your hold dear have your most wonderful Thanksgiving ever!
To listen to the extraordinarily powerful audio interview where Dr. Leeb urged investors to stay strong ahead of what he predicted “is going to be the greatest bull market of anybody’s lifetime that’s alive today” CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW.
***ALSO JUST RELEASED: Look At The Stunning Levels Of Extreme Action In Gold, Silver, U.S. Dollar And Stock Market CLCK HERE.
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