Is OPEC Breaking Up? (jpm)

It’s going to take me a day or two to filter
through your responses to the JP Morgan CEO (NYSE:JPM)
Jamie Dimon question from yesterday. Needless to say, I received a lot of
responses. Your opinions are pretty one-sided, and not on Dimon’s side,

It’s really surprising sometimes just how out of
touch people like Dimon are. I can only think that Dimon expects to get
some kind of popular support by attacking Bernanke and banking
regulations. Needless to say, it’s not working.

*****Oil prices jumped yesterday after the latest
OPEC meeting in Vienna fell apart with no agreement about production

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Saudi
Arabia’s desire for increased production was not endorsed by Iran or
Venezuela. Neither country is exactly America-friendly.

The breakdown of talks raises the question of just
how stable OPEC is. It’s widely expected that Saudi Arabia will break
ranks and raise its own production. But the uncertainty of OPEC unity may
add to the uncertainty created by social unrest in some oil producing
countries. And as we know, investors do not like uncertainty.

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TradeMaster Daily Stock Alerts
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*****The European Central Bank declined to raise
interest rates this morning. But ECB President used the words “strong
vigilance” to describe the ECB’s stance on interest rates. That’s widely
assumed to mean that Euro-zone rate hikes are coming next month.

This is significant because it should weigh on the
U.S. dollar. And as we know, a weak dollar is often associated with
rising stock prices.

At present, it will take more than a weak dollar
to get a rally for stocks. Some improvement for economic data is a good
start. But investors are also eager to hear how Congress and the
administration plan to cut the deficit without seriously impacting the

The track record so far isn’t very good. And
that’s becoming a real problem for the financial markets.

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