Gut wrenching

Well, whatever the heck’s going on in the markets, whatever’s causing it, wherever it’ll go, it’s something you can’t look away from for too long.

This morning I left the house with the pre-market futures for the big American equity markets in the green, with increases forecasted. After yesterday’s big surge up, it seemed a continued recovery from Monday’s rout. I got to the office and busied myself with writing up some features for our Farm Living section.

This made me blissfully unaware of what was going on in the markets this morning, which has turned out to be another day (so far, anyway) of downwardness. I know that because our Markets editor, D’arce McMillan, mentioned this a few minutes ago to me, and I felt rather clueless. In between my 5 a.m. perusal of equity futures and mid-morning, the markets have swung around again and gone down.

Here’s what they have done:

DJIA today

DJIA today

Toronto's TSX today

Toronto's TSX today

London's FTSE today

London's FTSE today

chart-1

Germany's DAX today

Paris's CAC looks like caca today

Paris's CAC looks like caca today

Commodities have been a more mixed bag during the past couple of days. Gold screws it up. Everyone’s running into gold, and outta everything else. So things like the CRB index get a little foggy:

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CRB one week

Canola seemed to turn a corner, but was it just a dead-cat-bounce?

Canola one week

Canola one week

How’s it all going to work out? Only a fool would guess. In between posting that stuff above and now the TSX has actually gone into the green.

TSX a few minutes later

TSX a few minutes later

And the Dow up above was showing signs of rounding out a bottom and climbing out of the wreck.

This is like those days in 2008, when the markets moved in whiplashes, and refresh buttons on market charts were heated up to the melting point.

If this carnage keeps up, I wonder if my old faves of 2008 will start appearing more in the media. I mean the Jim Rogerss, the Marc Fabers, the Nouriel Roubinis, the David Tices. They seem to have been pulled off the stage in the two year bull market that (maybe) just ended. I wonder if they’ll be let out again.

I say that disingenuously, because I have seen Roubini lots in recent days (I get his weekly newsletter anyway), D’arce heard Rogers on Bloomberg radio a couple of days ago, and I’m sure my Bloomberg podcasts contain Faber and Tice on recent programs. But certainly they’ve been less in the limelight since people began believing in a bull market again. Ill times make then popular again.

Well, who knows what this carnage will bring? But let me leave you with a happy chart as a contrast to those ugly ones up above:

Canuck buck almost back at parity

Canuck buck almost back at parity

The sudden fall of the Loonie, as people flee to the safety of the Greenback, has been acting like a stabilizer on the fall in commodity and crop prices. As long as investors flee into the arms of Uncle Sam, at least we won’t have the currency exacerbating the situation.

And most crop futures are OK today: corn and wheat are up, soybeans and canola are down a trifle, at least so far. Tomorrow’s the day we get to see whether anything interesting in the USDA reports has the power to shake anything profoundly.

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