Crude Breakout?


Big day for USO(United States Oil Fund).  The index finished the session with a 2.1% gain after a gap higher open pushed it to new March highs.  This breakout type move has set crude up well for more upside.  Similar setups, back on Oct. 27 and December 26, sparked powerful rallies.  Considering the USO has quite a long way to travel before returning to overbought territory, a fresh bull move could carry the index well past the $13.30 area(2018 high).  In the near term we consider the USO a low risk buy near current levels.  A close back below $12.00 would violate last week’s low sending a clear warning sign that more range bound trade is ahead.

At time of publication we are long USO in some managed accounts.



Leaving Illinois, in Droves

The lede:   At Wirepoints, we’ve covered the impact that Illinois’ punishing property taxes are having on South Cook families. Their home values are being destroyed and their disposable incomes consumed. Effective tax rates of 3 to 5 percent or higher are chasing people, many of them with limited means, out of their homes. The Chicago Tribune and others have reported on the exodus of blacks from the Chicago area as fewer jobs, more crime, a failing education and higher taxes make Illinois unlivable.

Somebody did the math, and its not pretty.  Stay and pay more and more for a government he trusts less and less, or leave and save $1 million dollars.


Others have done the math as well:   Residents have been leaving Illinois at an alarming rate to find better opportunities elsewhere. From 2000 to 2017, Illinois lost a net of more than 1.3 million people to other states. That’s the equivalent of wiping Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Peoria, Elgin, Waukegan, Cicero, Champaign and Bloomington off the map.


More:   In 2017 alone, Illinois lost over 114,000 people. That net loss of people to other states now outpaces international immigration and net births in Illinois. As a result, Illinois is shrinking.

Illinois has now lost population four years in a row. Only West Virginia has that same distinction.

Read the whole thing:

Hat tip Jeffrey Carter of Points and Figures

Facebook Flush Leaves A Mark


Facebook, the top loser in the S&P 500 Index, is under extremely heavy pressure today.  Shares are off over 7% on what will be the heaviest downside volume in nearly two years.  This powerful news inspired flush has driven FB below its 200 day moving average for the first time since November 2016.  Since the dawn of its existence FB has closed above its 200 day moving average an incredible 95% of the time.   Today could prove to be quite a trend changer.  Next stop, major support near the $165.00 area.  We will be watching the action closely this week.  

At time of publication we do not have a position in FB.


FOMC Meeting This Week

And it’s almost a lock that they will raise rates again.  Some color from Brian Wesbury:   “When the Federal Reserve finishes its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, based on the federal funds futures market, there is a 100% chance that the Fed will boost the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, to a new range of 1.5% to 1.75%.”

This should not come as a surprise, rates have been moving steadily higher since the election.  As this week begins US Treasury Yield (1 Month to 3 years) enter the week at 9-year highs.


More from Brian Wesbury at

Hat tip Charlie Bilello


Nasdaq 100



Investors Are Just A Bit On Edge

On Feb. 5th, the day the Dow Jones Industrials lost 4.6%, the VIX marked its single biggest one day gain since historical data began. 


Hat tip Pimco

The 3D Printed Home


Fascinating stuff.  The lede:   ICON has built the first permitted 3D printed home in America. ICON is one of the first new businesses to launch from the Saturn Five startup studio, based in Austin, TX.

The home was unveiled in March 2018 in Austin, TX and was built using a prototype of the mobile printer ICON is creating for New Story and the developing world.

More:   The production version of the printer will have the ability to print a single story, 600-800 square foot home in under 24 hours for less than $4,000. As a part of this effort, ICON has developed cutting-edge materials tested to the most recognized standards of safety, comfort and resiliency and is designed to function with nearly zero waste production methods and work under unpredictable constraints (limited water, power, and labor infrastructure) to tackle housing shortages.

Cool video here:

Working Hard or Hardly Working

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Doug & Gary