first majestic silver

Santa Rally Crawls Toward the New Year

December 27, 2022

In an economy that over decades has grown increasingly dependent on revved-up holiday sales, investors have responded by praying more fervently each year for a Santa rally. It’s an odd metaphor, however, considering that Wall Street even at its seasonal cheeriest has a heart as cold and dark as volcanic glass. The Santa of investors’ imaginations is assuredly not the fat, jolly one originally drawn by a Dutch artist Haddon Sundblom for the Coca-Cola company, but rather someone more like Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gone silly in a headdress of fluffy white dove feathers.

Unfortunately, Powell has not left much room for silliness in this holiday season. Gone are the days when Neiman Marcus could get a rise by featuring his-and-hers Bentleys in their Christmas catalog. The typical American household is thinking about more practical presents in these recessionary times: PG&E gift certificates…bread machines and pasta makers…survivalist seed packets…battery chargers.

More Turbulence

The result for investors has been a balky stock-market shaped more by Scrooge than Santa. Even with bullish seasonality at maximum force last week, the Dow Industrials could muster only a 300-point gain. They closed on Friday at 33,203, down a thousand points since Thanksgiving. More turbulence seems likely in the final days of 2022. Perhaps the best we can hope for when the markets lurch into gear on January 3 is that stocks continue to drift through a circa 1914 minefield without triggering a nuclear war or the debt deflation we all know is coming. [What do the charts say? Click here for my latest interview with Howe Street’s Jim Goddard. RA]

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