Ah, poor sweet neglected blog. Here, let me pet you some. Pet, pet, pet. (If you require no petting, or if you just want the recaps, scroll on down to the bottom there.)

While you, Fictitious Reader, have undoubtedly failed to remark my absence from the “blog”-o-“sphere”, being as you are non-existent, the explanation is pretty simple: there isn’t much need for a blog to discuss markets and tech and innovation and exciting developments in the world around us when the whole of this summer and fall has essentially been devoted to flying down a half-lane one-way road in a souped-up equity-market Maserati with reverse ripped out. The slight bumps? Those were ordinary people and interesting possibilities getting run over. Nothing to see here, keep moving, folks. That wall up ahead? It will dissolve, video-game style, as you cruise through it and pick up a bonus 5% of profit for… well, just for being in the damn car.

That’s right, we here at Unexpectedly, LuLzC haven’t see much to discuss, because we haven’t see much going on, and we sure as shootin’ weren’t in that car, or indeed anywhere near that road. Sure, I could add another rant about the gap between Streets Wall and Main, blah blah blah, or synthesize my many distinguished twitter posts (and the many more that are totally indistinguishable from thin strands of drool) into something to use up your time and mine, but why bother? These are, as I see it, some very sick times, and as tends to happen when illness is in the air, we all get a little sick of it (ha!), and slow waaaaay down.

So why break the silence? Well, there are some interesting technical and fundamental things going on this week. (Remember fundamental? Neither do we.) Earnings season was clearly meant to have us get up and go the way the last two did, but some of the big winners have charts no better than the week before, and darned if those $BAC and $GE reports didn’t sound just a little too late-08/early-09 for comfort. When was the last day max pain was inflicted on an OX Friday with violent downward action? Yeah, stuff is happening. Will it matter? Likely not.

The weeks-old explanation of this “rally” (which by some measures must be called a bull-market rally, though we will apply that term over our own dead bodies) chez UnexpectedlyNotDotCom is that the two or three market-moving institutions still in business are not really competing with one another, but rather have seen for several months that no one was really in the mood to sell, and are using these “markets” and this “momentum” to repair 2008 damage to their balance sheets, their client bases, and their PR departments with fantastic 2009 results. Not a conspiracy, mind you, just a lack of competition, an agreement that we-are-all-TBTF-not-to-get-along. Those quick green bars I love to harp on? Open communication, one desk calling out “game on” to another. If you’re retail and long, you benefit (not that the titans give a shit about you–if they don’t get your trading account, they’ll get your taxes!); if you’re short, you get steamrolled in much the same fashion as Wall Street has, in a larger sense, flattened the rest of the country.

This blog started with the rally already on, and got rolling with some thoughts on just how much bad news it would take to end it. Clearly, “much more than there is, even though there is plenty” is the hindsight answer. Again, I don’t believe this is about the individual participant, or the combined activity of individual participants in the real markets that creates what is inappropriately named “fundamentals”, but rather about the absence of individual participation. Meaning that the average American joe is far too pistol-whipped to leap back into these markets, fingers crossed, and bet what’s left of the farm on another month or two of green candles to straddle to the moon. Wall Street does not particularly give a shit about bad news, as we have seen. They are worried only about (1) not being bankrupted by their own bankrupt behavior, (2) not being bankrupted by the government’s bankrupt behavior, (3) not being told what to do by said government, and (4) telling the government exactly what it may and may not to do to help them expand bankruptcy of behavior without danger of bankruptcy. None of these things has much to do with news, at least, not of the public kind.

Here’s the short version: Wall Street has this market by the testes, and doesn’t give any more of a shit about the economy, or the news, or the facts than it does about me or you. It doesn’t care about the alarming ramp in the foreclosure rate (highest ever!),  the disappearance of consumer credit, the divergences in super-duper bank earnings, the punch to the face venture capital is taking, the alarming ramp in the problem bank list, the alarming drop in small-business lending, or the odd arrival of survivalism in the mainstream market. If you read the news and watch the markets, you don’t need me to tell you these things, because you can watch it unfold in real time. If you don’t read the news, follow those links for a comprehensive picture of just how much October 2009 resembles October 2008. Nowhere fast is where that one-way road leads, and one of those walls will prove not to be virtual.

So we’re coming into the second big week of earnings, and I note in passing that the first big week was the smallest first big week I’ve seen since the rally began. Where was the off-to-the-races up-4%-5%-12%-FTW? This week’s movement of 1.3% or so can all be attributed to breathless anticipation of this week’s movement, and that’s not collusion, folks, that’s premature, um, enthusiasm, and on Friday we broke out the kleenex and the apologies. Should get stickier (yikes, sorry) from here. Let’s watch together, shall we?

Is there any ado left to further? Your recaps:

  • Market Talk (concise commentary, no charts)
  • Cobra’s Market View (annotated chart analysis. His rules have been struggling a lot of late–surprise, surprise–but he still offers great charts and perspectives.)
  • Dave’s Daily (annotated chart analysis. A new one for us the last few weeks, great stuff, highly recommended RSS.)
  • Tickerville (video chart analysis, ~17 mins.)
  • The Chart Pattern Trader (not one but two vids, a bit too rambly for my taste, but lotsa education for noobs)

And a bonus chart of the week: Government expenditure vs. receipts, 1947-2009, courtesy of Société Générale

Be careful out there.