Morning Report: Day traders try and do a short squeeze in Rocket

Vital Statistics:


  Last Change
S&P futures 3855 -9.8
Oil (WTI) 60.81 1.14
10 year government bond yield   1.44%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   3.13%

Stocks are flattish this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat as well.


Rocket traded up 71% yesterday to $41.60 per share. What got into the stock? The Reddit / WallStBets crew who ramped up Gamestop took a look at the short interest in the name and decided to recommend it as a buy. I don’t know if Rocket is headed to a similar gain but the numbers the company put out were pretty good. The company also announced a special dividend, and the Street is taking up 2021 estimates (which are still too low, IMO). This could get interesting as the exchange traded funds start taking positions in the stock. The big retail ETFs like the XRT have Gamestop as their biggest holding. I could see some of the financial ETFs doing the same thing.


Mortgage applications actually increased last week despite the jump in rates. Purchases rose by 2% and refis rose by 0.5%. “Mortgage rates jumped last week on market expectations of stronger economic growth and higher inflation,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The overall share of refinances declined for the fourth consecutive week, and conventional refinance applications fell more than 2 percent to the lowest level in four months.”


The ADP Employment report showed that 117k jobs were added in February. This is below the Street estimate of 140k for Friday’s jobs report. “The labor market continues to post a sluggish recovery across the board,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “We’re seeing large-sized companies increasingly feeling the effects of COVID-19, while job growth in the goods producing sector pauses. With the pandemic still in the driver’s seat, the service sector remains well below its pre-pandemic levels; however, this sector is one that will likely benefit the most over time with reopenings and increased consumer confidence.

33 Responses

  1. Steven Pearlstein’s last column for the Post:

    “In Democrats’ progressive paradise, borrowing is free, spending pays for itself, and interest rates never rise
    A warning — and a farewell — from our longtime economic columnist

    By Steven Pearlstein
    March 3, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. EST”


    • I am honestly shocked to see this in the Washington Post. That being said:

      My purpose in walking through this analysis is to point out that this is the kind of discussion that the country and the Congress should be having at this moment — and that many of us hoped would happen with the arrival of a moderate, dealmaking president.

      Given everything else, I have a hard time believe Pearlstein is behind honest here and that he had any believe that Biden would be a moderate, dealmaking president. Or that in 2021 he was even capable of being that.


    • The comments are fabulous.

      Every time a Republican retires an angel gets its wings.

      Oh wow. I don’t know if I can stand to read another lazy piece by another mediocre white man from this paper, but it’s good to know he might be going the way of the other dinosaurs. And no Republican will ever be able to talk economic integrity or conservatism after the last 30 years. You only pipe up with economic concerns when you are out of power, but the last administration’s efforts to widen the economic disparities in this country were beyond the pale. Go away.

      Don’t let the door hit you in the *** on your way out Pearlstein. How did Bush pay for the Iraq war?? He didn’t budget for it, or raise taxes to cover it. How did RUMP pay for the 1.9 trillion dollar tax cut? He didn’t. The Post should have gotten rid of you years ago. You made your money, Pearlstein, now you are going to go live in a nice warm climate and relish how you lied to the public.

      Good riddance to this clueless moron.

      You’ve got a lot of nerve pulling out the old fiscal responsibility saw the Gops have been playing for decades while running up our deficits and cutting taxes in an effort to destroy the government.

      It was hard to read this misguided op ed. He needs to get with a real economist.

      ‘Nuff sed.

      Well, Mr. Pearlstein, good luck. However, what an exercise in mediocrity. Conservatism does not work and resulted in some of the worst economic downturns in modern history. Plus, the deficit ballooned mostly under conservative leadership and reduced taxes for people that, in all honesty, don’t create much of anything anymore except financial products. It’s tiring to see the country caught in this rinse and repeat cycle. Like most people caught in your rabbit-hole paradigm, embrace your own intellectual dishonesty. Maybe take time to read a Reagan or Nixon biographical text.

      “Pulitzer Prize winning…”
      What makes him an expert in economics? Now, if Paul Krugman claimed that, I’d listen but it’s time for your retirement, Mr. Pearlstein.

      Don’t let the door hit you in the arse, right-wing hack. You’ll not be missed.

      And this is what he is really fighting against, which I think is a losing battle:

      Steve, you need to read “The Deficit Myth” by Stephanie Kelton. A country that has its own currency and never “borrows” except in its own currency can never “run out of money”. China has lots of our treasury bonds simply because it NEEDS to sell us things and gets paid in dollars. If it stops accepting our dollars its economy collapses. We could “pay off” our entire treasury balance with a couple computer keystrokes. We haven’t had inflation in 30 years but “experts” like yourself have seen it everywhere and workers have paid the price (in human suffering).

      What I think the WaPo has to worry about is how much money they can make, long term, off this:

      In the right wing hellscape, inflation has been just around the corner for 20 years, brown-skinned terrorists are going to kill us all in our Iowa beds, and liberals are going to force all Americans to eat Impossible Burgers made of the fetid body parts of babies murdered by Hillary Clinton’s emails.

      There is no such thing as conservative intellectuals anymore. They’ve been lying for 40 years, and now they just string random words together that reflect no reality known in this universe, and call them WaPo columns.

      Maybe a lot. I dunno.


    • What make me depressed is that if we do get inflation back and it gets out of control, the mainstream media will blame it on the free market.


  2. Because of course it was bullshit all along:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim Pool covers it:

      I asked everybody I could find if they had any idea what the Odal Rune was before this. Nobody I found had any idea. Any of you have any idea that the Odal Rune was a thing before all this? Specifically a Nazi thing?


    • The follow up responses trying to still make the case that it was intentional by CPAC are hilarious. They give QAnon a run for the money:



      • “.. or are you trying to tell me that nobody – NOBODY – in or involved with or connected to CPAC looked at that stage and thought .. “Lads, we might have a problem here…” ?”

        Who are all these people who know what an Odal Rune is? Like off the top of their head. That see that stage and immediately go “oh my god it’s an odal rune, everybody knows what that is, we talk about it all the time!”


  3. Under Biden I can’t get into the US without testing negative, but apparently illegals with Covid get escorted in.

    This is nuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah but no more mean Tweets! The Republic is saved!


      • Many people had substantive objections to Trump. My biggest complaint was, especially at the outset, that he is terrible and hiring people. From his first press secretaries to John Bolton to Jim Sessions . . . he’s really bad at hiring people, and that’s a problem. I’m not going to judge ACB or Kavanaugh or Gorsuch yet but I am beginning to feel like the right, when in power (if ever again) needs to stop listening to the Federalist society in terms of judicial picks. But never mind that . . .

        There are also substantive policy differences. Trump actually moving the embassy to Jerusalem, for example. Excluding Palestine from Middle East peace deals. Unilaterally calling an end to endless wars. Pulling out of the Paris Climate deal, pulling out of the Iran deal, trying to build a wall on the border, cracking down on immigration . . . there are many substantive objections to Trump (most of which I think the objectors are wrong on) . . . it’s not just about mean tweets.

        That being said, either COVID is a plague or it’s no big deal. If BLM riots and mass illegal immigration are more important than worrying about COVID spread, then why isn’t everything else also more important? What is the metric for why inviting people with COVID over the border in mass numbers is fine, but letting a restaurant operate at full capacity where nobody has COVID is murder? I get they liked pointless expensive wars and desired the destruction of Israel and so objected to Trump on those terms as well as mean tweets . . . but why that leads to “we also need to invite sick people to disappear untraceably in the national population, but COVID is so important we have to shut down economies everywhere” . . . why does that follow?

        They’re already dropping bombs in Syria. We’ll be at full on war in the middle east in no time! Not sure why that means they can’t apply draconian COVID rules to illegal immigrants. Just weird.


        • Many people had substantive objections to Trump,

          I’m sure that’s true however the reasons for objection always, and I mean always devolved to “muh precious norms!” and Mean Tweets is the accepted shorthand for that. We ultimately know the reason however and that’s the fact that a Democrat did not win. It’s as simple as that, all narratives starting in November 2016 are about any occupant of any office that is not a Democrat is illegitimate. Been this way since at least Nixon.

          My biggest complaint was, especially at the outset, that he is terrible and hiring people
          I completely agree. However, I cannot think of a POTUS who does not make horrific hiring decisions. We cannot forget that the Senate gets it’s say and MANY occupants of Executive positions are payoffs to politicians. So I’m not holding at least 50% of the appointments against Trump. The other 50%? What a fuckup.


        • Fair. Still, even if you only discuss substantive objections about Trump from serious people who just don’t like middle east peace and the lack of new wars, I still have a hard time not thinking: really? This is better?


        • I keep asking, what is the downside to Republicans for supporting this? I can’t think of any.


        • As I noted I don’t think the Republicans should work against it. I’m fact I think they should primarily fight against the inevitable carveouts to protect wealthy progressive and corporatists in the Bezos/Zuckerberg mold.

          All for it. The modern left has convinced me that too much concentration of wealth and power with the top .01% is in fact a bad thing


        • Just like every other insurrection


        • What’s Byron implying? Has this narrative been approved by NRO?


        • KW:

          Has this narrative been approved by NRO?

          I think he is at The Hill The Washington Examiner now.


        • Ah! That might explain it.



      COVID is the hugest issue ever and everything must be shut down because of it. People must be quarantined. Nobody can go anywhere.

      Illegal immigrants? Let ’em on in and let ’em go anywhere, even if they’ve tested positive for COVID and we know it. That’s different. Because, um, racism.


  4. This would be an underappreciated reason why there’s political opposition to single payer. Everyone knows that this mentality would get applied there as well:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ben Shapiro practically has a stroke talking about Dr. Seuss and digital book burning.


  6. It will be interesting to see if anything comes from this:

    “Bipartisan senators introduce bill to strip Biden of war powers

    Sens. Tim Kaine and Todd Young are looking to ditch the two-decade-old AUMF. And they’ve got support on both sides of the aisle.

    03/03/2021 12:42 PM EST
    Updated: 03/03/2021 04:23 PM EST”


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