Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wells Fargo had a bullish note on the automobile industry this morning.

The firm's channel checks indicate that January light vehicle SAAR could be as much as 13.8 million.


The company's reported quarterly loss was less than what was expected.

MGIC Investment's (MTG) loss, at $0.67 per share, was a bit better than the consensus expectations for a loss of $0.81 per share.

Let's put some perspective on Joseph Granville's call for a 4,000-point drop in Dow.

Speaking of market opinions -- similar to noses everybody has one! -- legendary Joe Granville appeared on Bloomberg Television yesterday afternoon and predicted a 4,000-point drop in the DJIA in 2012.

This morning Arthur Cashin wrote about and put Mr. Granville's record into perspective:

Joseph Granville, whose "sell everything" call in 1981 sparked a decline in U.S. stocks, said the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) will drop toward 8,000 this year because of waning momentum and volume. "Volume precedes prices," Granville, 88, a technical analyst who has been publishing the Granville Market Letter from Kansas City, Missouri for about 50 years, said in an interview on "Street Smart" on Bloomberg Television. "You are seeing much lower volume. That tells you that prices are going to go much lower, much lower than most people think possible and very few people have projected.

The article did a brief review of some of his prior calls:

Trading in U.S. stocks fell to the lowest level since at least 2008 amid mutual fund withdrawals and Wall Street job cuts. An average of 6.69 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges in the 50 days ended Jan. 18, the fewest on record in Bloomberg data starting three years ago that excludes over-the- counter venues. On the New York Stock Exchange, volume has tumbled to the lowest level since 1999, the data show.

Granville told newsletter readers to "Sell Everything" on Jan. 6, 1981. The Dow fell 2.4 percent the next day. He correctly forecast the bear market of 1977-78 and the burst of the Internet bubble that began in 2000. In March 2008, Granville said the Dow would end the year near 9,000, more than 27 percent below its level of 12,392.66 at the time. The gauge finished the year at 8,776.39.

His predictions proved less prescient during some of the previous bull markets. He failed to foresee the rally that started in 1982 and lasted for five years. He also called for losses in 1995 while the S&P 500 rose every year till 2000.

Occasionally spotty, or not, when Granville makes a call, you can be sure it makes a headline or two."

-- Art Cashin

Joe Granville graduated from the Todd School for Boys in Woodstock, Ill., a school made famous by the graduation of another entertainer, Orson Welles, and briefly attended Duke University. Granville's first book, A School Boy's Faith, was a travelogue in poetry.

After enlisting in the Navy, Granville joined E.F. Hutton. He quit six years later to start the Granville Market Letter.

Thirty years ago, Kansas City-based market technician Joe Granville was seen as a Wall Street prophet. He was one of the first market technicians to use on-balance volume as a means of predicting stock prices. Under the sponsorship of an unknown brokerage firm, Arnold Securities, Granville began to tour the world, giving a series of traveling seminars in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

He had a remarkable run of prescient market calls that resulted in international recognition.

His "sell everything" message to subscribers in January 1981 (see Cashin's comments above) made headlines around the world; the Dow fell 2.5% on the next day and 1.5% on the day after that.

Granville's fame and seminars grew in size and sensationalism. Toward the end of his skein, his presentations were staged in huge hotel auditoriums, and attendance was always standing-room only. The crowds were boisterous in response to the circus-like festivities, which typically included belly dancers, a band and often clowns.

Granville made a dramatic entrance in each of these "seminars," dressed in a tuxedo as he walked down a long aisle while the crowds cheered the messiah's next coming. His antics were wild, in marked contrast to the more subtle presentations then seen on Wall Street. Once, on the stage of one of his seminars, Granville dropped his tuxedo pants and pointed to stock symbols printed on his boxer shorts, ending with a delighted cry of, "And here's Hughes Tool!"

Granville is now 88 years old and, similar to the Energizer Bunny, is still ticking with an opinion to go with it.

Last night Romney seemed to have won a split decision in the Florida debate. The two candidates are now in a statistical tie for the run to the Republican presidential candidacy, according to Gallup. On InTrade, Gingrich is a 60% probability to win Florida and Romney is at nearly 40%. Romney is at 63% to be the Republican presidential candidate on Intrade.

Romney revealed his taxes this morning and we learned what we knew -- he is rich.

The Bank of Japan cut its country's projected growth rate.