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Monday, February 18, 2008

Have a Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em President's Day!

Happy President’s Day! US markets are closed today.

Today, among the many notables who have held this office, let’s pay special tribute to Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson. The 7th President of the United States was a boy soldier in the Revolutionary War.
Captured, he nearly starved to death, and still had the gumption to refuse a British officer’s order to clean his sword.The irate Redcoat used that sword to slash at Jackson, leaving him with scars on his left hand and face, and a lasting, intense hatred for the British. As an adult, Jackson paid back the Brits many times over with a stunning victory at the Battle of New Orleans.

Jackson regularly took part in duels, with his “affairs of honor” numbering in the double digits. Jackson was wounded so frequently in these duels (and the resulting musket balls and bullets left in his body for medical reasons) that it was said the 6-foot-1, 140-pound Jackson "rattled like a bag of marbles." The first President to be targeted by an assassin, he survived because both of the would-be assassin’s pistols malfunctioned. Enraged, Jackson promptly used his hickory cane to beat his attacker within an inch of death.

If there was ever a President man enough to trade in today’s wild markets, this old wampus cat is the one.

Today’s big news …

Pound Declines on U.K. Plan to Nationalize Northern Rock Mortgage Lender The pound fell against all but one of the 16 most-traded currencies tracked by Bloomberg after the U.K. government said it plans to nationalize Northern Rock Plc.

XX Sean’s note – this is fueling a US dollar rally

And a dollar rally would weigh on the price of gold. Check out the potential head-and-shoulders pattern in gold …

The green lines are trend lines. The top green line is a broken uptrend that now serves as overhead resistance. It would not be surprising to see gold fall to the next uptrend line, or even lower to around the 850 level. This may seem scary, but as long as your investment horizon is longer term, it could actually be an opportunity to buy at lower prices. The longer-term uptrend in gold remains intact.

In other news …


Chavez Says Venezuela Won't Stop Oil Exports to U.S. Unless It's Attacked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who threatened to cut off oil sales to the U.S. a week ago, said the government won't do so unless the South American nation is attacked.

Oil Rises a Fourth Day After Iran Says OPEC May Cut Production Next Month Crude oil rose for a fourth day after Iran's oil minister said OPEC may reduce production when it meets next month.


Asian Steelmakers Agree to Pay 65% More for Iron Ore, Setting Benchmark Asia's three largest steelmakers agreed to pay Cia. Vale do Rio Doce 65 percent more for iron ore, setting a global benchmark for prices that's less than some analysts estimated.

Copper Rises to Highest in Four Months in London as Chinese Imports Grow Copper advanced to the highest in almost four months in London after China, the world's largest user, said imports grew 6.6 percent in January from the previous month. Zinc and lead also climbed.


China's Foreign Investment More Than Doubles in January to $11.2 Billion Foreign direct investment in China more than doubled in January from a year earlier, adding to the flood of cash that threatens to overheat the world's fastest- growing major economy.

China's Inflation May Jump to 11-Year High After Snow Disrupts Food Supply China's inflation probably surged to an 11-year high in January, ratcheting up pressure on the government to rein in prices without derailing the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Bernanke's Rate Cuts Force Asia to Turn Back to Price Controls, Subsidies Ben S. Bernanke, the champion of free markets, is driving Asia's governments back to controlled economies.


Qatar Buys Credit Suisse Shares, May Spend $15 Billion on U.S. Bank Stock Qatar is accumulating shares in Credit Suisse Group and plans to spend as much as $15 billion on European and U.S. bank stocks over the next year, the Gulf state's prime minister said in an interview.

Will news of ANOTHER injection of investment cash by people we don’t like send US bank stocks (and the broader market) higher?

Meanwhile, in Canada

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