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6/11/10 Midday Report: Retail sales drop as stores still insist on charging money

|Includes: BP p.l.c. (BP)

The market has been relatively quiet today after yesterday's meteoric rise on news less relevant than the Pound-Dong exchange rate (and oddly enough Pound Dong was also the name of Alexis Texas' last movie) or the 93rd decimal of Pi (which incidentally is 2).  In US macro news, consumer sentiment was better than analysts guessed, largely because the survey was taken on payday and was done while Melinda Messenger lovingly massaged consumers' fears away.  The index came in at 75.5 which was up from 73.6 last month and above the median guess of 74.5 and was driven by consumers' stated interest in buying durable goods such as cars and storage crates to put all of their shit in when the repo man comes to take over their homes.  Interestingly enough, while consumer sentiment was up, US retail sales dropped proving once again that actions speak louder than words and all of the data is made up anyway.  Spending fell 1.2% last month driven by auto sales being down 1.7% even though according to the consumer sentiment numbers, peple are looking to buy autombiles.  These two data points couldn't be more diametrically opposed than John Calvin and free will, Hemmingway and adjectives, or Richard Simmons and pants.  Consumers intend to buy cars, but they're not.  Hmmm, maybe because 10% of them are unemployed and another 10% are underemployed or just not looking?  Hey, Money McBags intends to buy a gold plated, diamond encrusted caviar dispenser that runs on the dreams of wide-eyed children, but he is just a few million euro short, but that is just a minor detail.  So University of Michigan, put that in to your ridiculously misleading consumer sentiment survey and report it.  One other interesting data point from the consumer spending numbers warrants mentioning and that is that sales in hardware stores were down 9.3% which likely means that people are spending less time fixing up their houses as they anticipate foreclosure.

In market news, Mary Schapiro is going after high frequency traders as tenaciously as a squirrel (or Ricky Martin) goes after a sack of nuts.  High speed transactions now account for half of the market volume which is as healthy for the markets as Miley Cyrus' singing is to a hemophiliac (because her singing of course makes one's ears bleed).  Money McBags applauds Ms. Schapiro for not letting this relatively arcane corruption of the markets continue without regulation especially as high frequency trading was more negligent in the "flash crash" of the other week than the E! channel has been negligent in the devolution of american culture.  Circuit breakers are now being put in to the market to halt shares of actively traded stocks when they move by +/- 10% in a 5 minute period which means BP stock should be halted on an hourly basis.

Internationally, things are relatively quiet today as the market awaits Greece's impending default which is a worse kept secret than Burt Reynolds' toupee or Lindsay Lohan's implants.  Greece has less ability to pay back their debtors than Athens did of defeating the Spartan-Persian alliance that ended the Peloponnesian war.  Europe continues to hope that the IMF bail out can push Greek's default out far enough so that Spain, Italy, and Amy Winehouse, can get themselves in order before the figurative shwarma hits the pita.  In other international news,  inflation in China rose to a 19 month high with consumer prices up 3.1%..READ MUCH MORE...DETAILED ANALYSIS OF MLNK....

Disclosure: Long MLNK