Amazon is being sued for selling counterfeit products — yet again. However, this time there may be a smoking gun.
E-mini S&P 500 Futures (ES)
Based on candlestick wick analysis and data across all three primary US futures contracts, there is less selling pressure than ever before.
Not since xyz, not since insert year here… there is less selling pressure than ever. But everything’s awesome, right? Just BTFD, right?
If ‘real technical analysis’ was stranded on a desert island with only one wish: #RealTA would ask for candlesticks. And currently there is a complete and utter lack of top wicks – more so than ever before in the history of ES, YM, and NQ futures. The relentless rally of the past 75 trading sessions has resulted in the lowest 50-day, 100-day, 200-day, and 500-day totals of bottom wicks since ES futures began trading.
So, while volatility and average true range have been missing (read as: kidnapped), so has any semblance of selling pressure; and the top wicks that indicate it.
Aside from an unexpected flash crash type scenario, futures are unlikely to plot a long-term or short-term top without indication of waning buying pressure and/or intensified selling pressure. At some point in the central bank liquidity orgy flow induced future, all this buying pressure will exhaust itself and we will likely see evidence of an actionable top – in the form of increased frequency and size of top wicks – indicating that selling pressure has arrived (read as: awoken from a morphine overdose induced coma) and that equity ‘markets’ are finally ready to chill.
Here is another astonishing datavizualization of market structure and ES volume, courtesty of dataviz legend @nanexllc… starting at 11am during the 12/01 session, S&P 500 futures registered record-breaking volume by trading more contracts during that hour than at any other since at least 2005.
— Eric Scott Hunsader (@nanexllc) December 4, 2017
Is today’s session a bearish omen of an impending correction?
While theoretically possible from a technical perspective: fishing for a top, on the same day that new highs are made, is unlikely ever wise. Nevertheless, today’s session (12/4) gave us @Fibozachi a very interesting trio of bearish candlesticks for the S&P-500, NDX and DJIA that are each noteworthy.
E-mini NASDAQ-100 Futures (NQ)
NASDAQ-100 futures (NQ) plotted a large bearish engulfing candlestick; where it’s real body engulfed that of the past two trading sessions. Because we saw this same candlestick pattern on 11/29, today’s price action confirms that the NDX’ short-term technical outlook is becoming increasingly bearish. If selling pressure continues, the first short-term downside support speedbump for NQ will be found at 6,200… from there, there is a strong support shelf that spans 6,150 – 6k.
E-mini DJIA Futures (YM)
DJIA futures (YM) plotted a shooting star candlestick, meaning:
- it opened higher than yesterday…
- traded up to new highs.. and
- then came back down to close at almost the same exact price as the open.
12/4’s YM session also registered as a filled white candlestick; meaning that while YM closed higher than yesterday’s close, that it also closed below yesterday’s open.
When a shooting star candle plots after a strong rally, it is often a warning sign that bullish momentum may be exhausted; the opposite is also true for hollow red candles after a sell-off.
While additional confirmation is required, this is the type of bearish candlestick pattern that may seem obvious in retrospect when looking for signs of a market top. If selling pressure continues, short-term downside targets are 23,600 with a strong support shelf at 23,200.
E-mini S&P 500 Futures (ES)
S&P 500 futures (ES) plotted a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern for the first time in 4 months. This type of pattern – after such^ a relentless rally – has an increased chance of follow-through … though in this instance it may just lead to a short-term sentiment reset rather than a legitimate sell-off. If selling pressure continues, short-term downside targets span 2,550 to 2,600.
Volatility Index Futures (VX)
VIX futures (VX) plotted a bullish engulfing candlestick pattern for the first time since 8/08/17. The last daily instance of this pattern triggered a surge that sent $VIX #PriceAction from 16.50 to 19.45 in just 3 sessions.
Today’s instance (12/4) provides additional technical evidence that major US equity ‘markets’ may be topping. Should VX futures continue to rally… they will likely retest 13.50 before encountering genuinely firm resistance at 14.70 – 15.00.. with extremely strong resistance at 16.50.
Check out Fibozachi.com to learn about modern technical analysis and trading indicators that actually work.
ICOs and Blockchain startups are in vogue at the moment, but there are plenty of pitfalls to investing in them. Do not follow the majority of lotto winners or NFL players who quickly went from $50 million to zero within a few years.
AOL cofounder Steve Case’s new $150 million Rise of the Rest fund to invest in startups outside of Silicon Valley has the backing of powerful businesspeople including Jeff Bezos, Sarah Blakely and Howard Schultz.
Imagine creating a timeline of your country’s whole history stretching back to its inception.
It would be no small task, as VisualCapitalist's Nick Routley explains, simply weighing the relative importance of so many great people, technological achievements, and pivotal events would be a tiny miracle in itself.
While that seems like a challenge, imagine going a few steps further. Instead of a timeline for just one country, what about creating a graphical timeline showing the history of the entire world over a 4,000 year time period, all while having no access to computers or the internet?
AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING TIMELINE?
Today’s infographic, created all the way back in 1931 by a man named John B. Sparks, maps the ebb and flow of global power going all the way back to 2,000 B.C. on one coherent timeline…
View a high resolution version of this graphic
Histomap, published by Rand McNally in 1931, is an ambitious attempt at fitting a mountain of historical information onto a five-foot-long poster. Although the distribution of power is not quantitively defined on the x-axis, it does provide a rare example of looking at historic civilizations in relative terms. While the Roman Empire takes up a lot of real estate during its Golden Age, for example, we still get a decent look at what was happening in other parts of the world during that period.
The visualization is also effective at showing the ascent and decline of various states, nations, and empires.
Since this chart was created at the beginning of the Great Depression, one does have to consider to what extent Sparks saw history as a zero-sum exercise; a collection of nations battling one another for control over scarce territory and resources.
Crowning a world leader at certain points in history is relatively easy, but divvying up influence or power to everyone across 4,000 years requires some creativity, and likely some guesswork, as well. Some would argue that the lack of hard data makes it impossible to draw these types of conclusions (though there have been other more quantitative approaches.)
Another obvious criticism is that the measures of influence are skewed in favor of Western powers. China’s “seam”, for example, is suspiciously thin throughout the length of the timeline.
Lastly, the histomap refers to various cultural and racial groups using terms that may seem rather dated to today’s viewers.
THE LEGACY OF HISTOMAP
John Spark’s creation is an admirable attempt at making history more approachable and entertaining. Today, we have seemingly limitless access to information, but in the 1930s an all encompassing timeline of history would have been incredibly useful and groundbreaking.
Critiques aside, work like this paved the way for the production of modern data visualizations and charts that help people better understand the world around them today.
Carefully choreographed divorce deal falls apart at eleventh hour
A recent article in the Washington Post described how the current US tax-‘reform’ bill is being shaped; and it describes, basically (at least as far as tax-law changes are concerned), the operation of a US dictatorship by the super-rich.
First of all, however: there is no longer any realistic question as regards whether the US in recent decades has been a dictatorship, or instead a democracy. According to the only scientific analysis of the relevant data, that has been done in order to determine whether the US is a dictatorship or a democracy, the US is definitely a dictatorship that’s perpetrated by the extremely richest, against the public-at-large; in other words: the US Government functions as an aristocracy, otherwise referred-to as an oligarchy, or a plutocracy, or a kleptocracy; but, in any case, and by whatever name, it’s ruled by a tiny number of the extremely wealthiest and their agents, on behalf of those few super-rich, against the concerns and interests and needs of the public (everyone else). So: instead of being rule by the public (the “demos” is the Greek term for it), it’s rule on behalf of a tiny dictatorial class, of extreme wealth — by whatever name we might happen to label this ruling class.
That study, by professors Gilens and Page, explained that it examined “1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002 in which a national survey of the general public asked a favor/oppose question about a proposed policy change,” and it compared those public-policy preferences, by the public, versus the public-policy preferences regarding those same issues, by the super-wealthiest; and, it found that only the public-policy preferences by the super-wealthiest and their paid agents, made any discernible difference, at all, in the likelihood that a given public policy ultimately became enacted into law, in the United States. Whereas the public-policy preferences of the wealthiest do, at far higher than mere random chances, become enacted into laws, the public-policy preferences of the public are (except in political rhetoric and promises — frauds perpetrated to deceive the public) ignored, in the United States.
Here is an excellent six-minute video describing the methodology and findings in that landmark study…
And here is a commentary by former US President Jimmy Carter, in which he says that he knows it’s true.
He said this not on the basis of examining thousands of cases and doing the statistical analysis of the data, like Gilens and Page had done, but just on the basis of his observations of how the US federal government has been functioning in recent decades. And, of course, the scientific study is vastly more reliable than is any individual’s mere opinion about the matter.
Furthermore, there exists evidence that even in some local or state governments in the United States, considerable corruption exists, and therefore an extreme slant prevails in favor of the rich. During June 2016, I headlined about this, “Here Is How Corrupt America Is”, and opened:
The best reporting on the depth of America’s dictatorship is probably that being done by Atlanta Georgia’s NBC-affiliated, Gannett-owned, TV Channel “11 Alive,” WXIA television, its “The Investigators” series of local investigative news reports, which show, up close and at a cellularly detailed level, the way things actually work in today’s America. Although it’s only local, it displays what meets the legal standards of the US federal government in actually any state in the union; so, it exposes the character of the US government, such that what’s shown to be true here, meets America’s standard for ‘democracy’, or else the federal government isn’t enforcing federal laws against it (which is the same thing as its meeting the federal government’s standards).
What was exemplified in this reporting by that excellent investigative team could be called “corporate organized-gangsterism,” and this gangsterism was being led by an operation, “ALEC,” that was founded by politicians whose careers are funded by the Koch brothers and some other US billionaires.
Furthermore, as was mentioned briefly at the opening here, a recent issue of the Washington Post’s “PowerPost” section was titled "The Finance 202: Tax overhaul's big test comes now”, and it described in detail what was shaping the Trump Administration’s tax-overhaul bill. This article reported that the lobbyists were shaping it 100%. It’s a superb nitty-gritty, down among the weeds, description, of the monetary deals, the horse-trading, that were being made, not only for corporations, but for the wealthiest non-business lobbies, including ‘nonprofit’ ones, but almost all of these lobbies, too, depend overwhelmingly upon billionaires for their funding. What’s being carved-up and served, is being carved-up from governments, and being served to the super-rich. (After all: conservatives say “Government bad, business good,” and Republicans are the conservative Party; so, it’s taking from government, and going to business.)
So: is it any wonder why Gilens and Page found what they did? They found that "economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.” (By “mass-based groups” was being referenced what the left often calls “movements” or “grass-roots” organizations. After all, what happened from “Occupy Wall Street”? Nothing. It was a big waste of time and effort. Authentic movements get marginalized, because the billionaires’ ‘news’media despise them. Fake ones, such as the Kochs’ “The Tea Party ‘movement’,” get weaponized, because the billionaires’ ‘news’media treat them extensively, and often grant them respect. Top-down’s the way, in any dictatorship. That includes in America.)
Here is another excellent video – this one 10 minutes long – summarizing the Gilens and Page study…
The only major difference between Republican politicians and Democratic ones, then, is that, whereas Republican ones don’t even need to pretend that they oppose limitless greed (since limitless greed that’s carried out by frauds instead of by outright physical violence — which latter type of coercion is the type that’s employed more by lower-class crooks, anyway, and those are the type of crooks who fill our prisons, not the type who fill our boardrooms — is, essentially, supported by Republicans’ ideology, as ‘being entrepreneurial’ and ‘competitive spirit’), Democratic politicians do need to make that pretense (since their voters are liberals, and liberals don’t share the conservatives’ “Greed is good” libertarian faith). But the outcomes, even when Democrats are in power, are vastly more helpful to the billionaires, than to the public.
Does this mean that Democratic (or liberal) politicians are necessarily more hypocritical than Republican ones are? No. Whereas Democrats pretend to be opposed to the system’s favoring the super-rich, Republicans pretend to be opposed to “sins” and other religious-based shiboleths. Both Parties can win and retain power only by deceiving (defrauding) the public, and serving the billionaires, though in different ways — some conservative, and some liberal. Virtually everything else than that service to billionaires (and to centi-millionaires) is just frauds by politicians, because, at least after around 1970, only the richest 1% or (usually far) less are actually being served by the US federal Government. It’s not the billionaires that are defrauded by politicians; it is clearly the public that is being defrauded by them.
The public are served only to the extent that the public’s interests are the same as the billionaires’ interests. And the Gilens and Page study found that the public’s policy-preferences are simply ignored — not ignored in the political rhetoric, but ignored in the political outcomes.
The US Government, thus, is of a few people (the policymakers), by the billionaires, and for the billionaires. And that’s just an established fact.
We’re wasting time, former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says in a podcast released today, by not working fervently on four large-scale projects for managing the carbon responsible for anthropogenic climate change.