The oil market finished with a weak close as equities really take it on the chin with the Federal Reserve back in play, and weak earning`s results.
The Gold Market has had a nice run in 2016 so far, and may have considerable more upside to go before encountering serious resistance. This year has been the year of Fear in financial markets so far in 2016, and Gold has benefitted immensely as a result of the 'scared rabbits' effect by investors.
A weak U.S. Dollar and Production Cuts News mitigated a bad EIA Inventory Report today in the oil market.
The modern era of financial markets means that basically there are two assets: Risk On and Risk Off. The last two days we have been in Risk Off mode. We might switch to Risk On mode if the economic data reports coming support an optimistic view of the economy.
There was a lot of profit taking on Monday in the oil market. Will we still finish the week higher after such a slow start to the trading week? Well we did last week, so it is not entirely impossible. Just another day trading in the oil markets. Actually pretty standard price action for a Monday.
While I do not see EconMatters as a movie critic like Roger Ebert, but I feel it is almost like a civil duty to let people know not to waste money on a bad movie. I missed the Start War VII when it opened during Christmas last year and at the same time endured a horrible experience with Fandango. In retrospect, I should have taken it as an omen not to see the movie at all. But since everyone was telling me how "awesome" the movie was, I finally made it to the theater last night.
One of the Worst Movies I've Ever Seen
Compared to the previous installments, this Episode 7 was a major disappointment and it was the most excruciating 2.5 hours I've ever experienced in a movie theater. It was a bad movie compunded by an old and filthy movie theater (AMC Studio 30, located in the better part of Houston). The movie and the movie theater were so bad that I actually had the thought to short both Disney (NYSE:DIS) and AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) stocks.
When Disney bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 billion in 2012, it gave Disney ownership of the "Star Wars" franchise but also "Indiana Jones" franchise. Now, I can't wait to see how bad Disney can mess up Indiana Jones.
I like action, suspense, and thriller movies. Although I think the Twilight movie series is nothing more than a teen romance story wrapped in vampire myths and action (I am a fan of "The Underworld", though), I do have certain appreciation and understanding of Twilight's popularity -- It has an interesting story line about the romance, marriage, family, etc. between a social misfit teenage girl and a vampire guy/boy (I think he is actually at least several hundred years old).
Make a Movie That Tells a Story
Anyway, I still believe movies are about story telling and Star War VII has no compelling story line to keep me remotely interested. The movie has a very simple plot: a bunch of people (heroes and villains) chase a secret map to find Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi, to help fight the new evil power--the First Order. While there's nothing wrong with a simple plot, but it is a cinematic crime to have such a poor screenplay without any substance like Star Wars VII.
"Making Something for the [Kardashian] Fans"
Reportedly Lucas had some ideas for how Star Wars VII story could be told. According to Lucas, "All I want to do is tell a story...", but Disney was keen on "making something for the fans." I now totally understand why Disney told George Lucas and his story to take a hike -- Disney sees no use to spend time and effort to develop any story in an established franchise with built-in audience like Star Wars.
Yes, I can totally see how all the galaxy air fighting and bombs away can put the simpleton Kardashian-following crowd in awe. However, the repetitive explosions, shooting and space fighting gets old real quick. The 135-minute movie is way too long with cliché after cliché, and predictable outcome.
"Jurassic World" and "Avatar" are two deservingly awesome movies with good story, production and beautiful high tech graphic scenes to boot. Star Wars VII is not even in the same zip code as the similarly cliché Transformers franchise, in my opinion.
Only High Point: Original Han Solo & Chewie
Even the space air fighting scenes are not that impressive as I've seen better alien, space fighting scenes from any number of high tech movies adapted from the Marvel or DC Comics.
In fact, the only high point of the entire movie was when the original cast of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewie appear. The interaction between Han Solo, Chewie, and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is interesting, nostalgic but too little too late to save the movie.
Lipstick on a Pig Sold as a Beauty Queen
In all fairness, I have to applaud Disney Studio's Marketing Department for an outstanding job of promoting the movie a year in advance with a superb editing job on the promotional trailer. The trailer gives an impression of much more grandeur to build up hype, expectation and, in my opinion, directly led to the box office success.
Yes, Lucas, You Sold Your Children
During a recent interview, George Lucas indicated he felt he sold the company he created, Lucasfilm, to "the white slavers," referring to Disney (Lucas later issued an apology to Disney). Lucas also said he felt like he sold his children [for $4 Bn].
After watching the first Star Wars movie by Disney, I can understand how Lucas must have felt after Disney butchered his legendary creation -- Star Wars. However, in this case, Lucas made his bed (and was well-compensated) on Star Wars and now he must lie in it.
In 2015 it was always beneficial to buy silver when it was below $14 an ounce in the futures market. Are things going to be any different in the Silver Market for 2016? Do we get a breakout in either direction this year, or does it remain largely a dead market for long term price trends.
The S&P 500 closed out January very strong on the back of the BOJ negative interest rates monetary policy decision on Friday. The big question is will we get any follow through as the new month comes into play next week for markets.
It seems we may have bottomed in the oil market, and a lot of shorts are starting to get nervous considering their large short trading book right now. Can you say short squeeze?
OPEC and Russia may be on the verge of coming together regarding production cuts, and the shorts are starting to get worried about a short squeeze in the market.