The collision of global markets and social mood

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gossip And Markets

What a fitting end to the largest central bank-induced sucker rally in history: Jon Steinberg, president and COO of BuzzFeed, an "online entertainment and news start-up," is leaving to join a venture capital firm.

BuzzFeed is a gossip site.

Ring the bell. The top is either in or a month or so away.

Among traders, Steinberg is known as the "BuzzFeed Guy" for what many felt were an excessive number of appearances on CNBC that left some wondering "why is he here?"

That the COO of a gossip site should be anointed as a stock market authority is a wonderful example of current social mood and sentiment levels brought about by the distortions of the Fed's policies. That he should then migrate into venture capital is probably a high-water mark.

Marketwise, it is still doubtful that the top is in, however. Yesterday was a sloppy, low volume pullback. The markets may have gone up on low volume, but coming down on even lighter volume does not bode well for bears.

I am eyeing the possibility of a wedge pattern at a steeper angle of ascent than usual, something that could take the S&P above 2,000. Sounds crazy, yes. But this is a marketplace that takes advice from guys who run web sites.

This means that it is possible that "3" is not in yet on the chart below.

Of course, it's just a chance at this point, but it's something I'm watching. Yesterday's late-day decline took me by surprise given the lackluster internals, so caution is still advised. 1850-1860 is still easily reached.

Japan just posted a huge first-quarter GDP number: 5.9% vs expectations of 4.2%. On the surface it looks impressive. Lurking below is the nagging fact that consumers splurged on purchases before the first sales-tax rise in 17 years last month.

Tax something and you get less of it. Something to remember moving forward. Perhaps that's why the Nikkei fell on the news.

Or maybe BuzzFeed knows the answer.

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