Finally, he [Brutus] spoke to Volumnius himself in Greek, reminding him of their student life, and begged him to grasp his sword with him and help him drive home the blow. And when Volumnius refused, and the rest likewise ... grasping with both hands the hilt of his naked sword, he fell upon it and died.
The Life of Brutus
Is There A Smoking Gun?|
'True the Vote' evolved from the efforts of Catherine Engelbrecht, who sniffed out a massive election fraud committed by ACORN in Texas.
Rep. Elijah Cummings publicly requested the information in October 2012. Within five days, the IRS sent a letter to 'True the Vote' and asked for a laundry list of information, which included registration forms and information on its volunteers.
Rep. Cummings' request for more information in January 2013 of several offices of the IRS included the office of Lois Lerner. Ever the eager beaver, Lerner leaped into action, and personally checked to make sure the department was seeking this information.
In just three days, she wrote a letter to her deputy and asked, "Did we find anything?"
The stock market was the biggest news of the day when the closing bell rang at 4 PM, however that all changed with the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. Both are bombshells and both have left lingering questions. Nevertheless, the market feels more like a washout, while Sebelius' resignation could be a giant step toward clearing up what has been an effort by the administration to whitewash a disastrous law, and a ridiculous rollout.
How ironic it is that with 7.5 million sign-ups, Sebelius has only now been forced to fall on her sword.
There is no doubt in my mind that as soon as the details are revealed about the 7.5 million people who have signed up for ObamaCare, it will not be a pretty picture.
In the meantime, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress. This moves the issue to the full House, and ultimately to the Justice Department where there could be an even greater showdown.
Moreover, the latest issue with Representative Elijah Cummings, whose tirade at having his mic cut off by Rep. Darrell Issa, was heard around the world. While I think it was wrong to cut his mic off, the fact is that his outrage smacked of disingenuousness, or a set-up for some future cover. In this case, it was his role in the IRS harassment of 'True the Vote' (see sidebar).
Are the dominos beginning to fall in Washington DC, and is the truth around the corner?
While political drama is making headlines this morning, it will also share space with the devastating stock market session that rocked investors yesterday.
It is interesting that the day after the consensus, the Fed had determined that they had done enough to assuage the fears of Wall Street, but somehow now is the time that blood will run through the canyons of lower Manhattan. I do not think the selling off reflects changes in fundamentals, or in the growth potential of many of the names being smacked around. By the same token, many of those names were on autopilot with a straight line to the moon: this is the nature of momentum stocks.
The problem with yesterday's session is that selling finally took a toll on blue chip names, which had held up, as well as money rotated into them and into other areas of "safety." I say "safety", because right now anything that was a loser last year and in the first quarter of this year has become a safe place to camp out. On the one hand, I see this as a positive since money has been reluctant to move to the sidelines, but that changed yesterday as panic selling triggered, panic selling.
The thing is most of the high-flying tech names that were crushed in the past couple of weeks are still substantially higher over the past year or longer. The notion that they would have to give up all those gains is unnerving, but at this point pinpointing the bottom is impossible. However, we are oversold now, and those that can grin and bear it should come out okay on the other end. Those with nerve to add during the molten lava phase should also do well.
What's nuts is that even as I am typing out this morning report, I am sure most people are saying "yeah, right!" Many will take losses, and few will pull the trigger.
Moreover, it is going to take good earnings and even better guidance from the tech sector to turn this around and those companies that miss will be in trouble. Those that offer weak guidance will be punished even further. The next couple of weeks promise to be very eventful on Wall Street, and in Washington DC. For both, there's a process going on: seeking the truth. For stocks it is true price discovery, and for the nation's capital it is true honesty about a runaway government which has acted with impunity against its very citizens and its own set of laws.
The stock market, driven in the near-term by the emotions of investors, has a way of falling on its sword, but this administration is being forced by non-stop pressure, and the odd habit of truth is coming to light.
Early this morning, equity futures were quiet until J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM) reported and missed. "Wonder Boy" CEO Jamie Dimon failed again, and equity futures began to drift lower. In this feast or famine environment, there is no such thing as simply pulling back - the trapdoor opened. Pressure reemerged and now the market looks like it will open much lower. The big test has to come on a session that opens much lower and then closes much higher. However, that happening on a Friday is a long shot and with J.P. Morgan missing the odds are even tougher.
Note: Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) posted a strong number, but it's not the poster boy for the sector, so it's kind of like the tree that falls in the woods.
The final blow this morning came from a hot PPI report which saw prices climb 0.5% against the consensus estimate of +0.1%. Watching the tape all morning, I'm not seeing the really hot tech names getting slammed which is a good sign, but the catalyst that will stop the bleeding early was missed this morning. On that note, this selloff didn't have a catalyst; just the weight of overbought stocks stalling then sliding.
I'm not going to force the issue, but when we do I hope everyone does the ideas. (To find out more about our Hotline go to http://www.wstreet.com/hotline_info.asp or call us @ 800-245-1145). These are the periods when giant gains can be made. I'm not going to pick the bottom, but I'm confident we'll be close enough that in a few weeks or months it won't matter.