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September 11, 2019 –


** On this day – 18 yrs ago – the world changed….3263 lives were lost and families destroyed.  For many – the pain can only be dulled – never erased.  For those of us who experienced it at the epicenter – the memory of this day will live forever in our memory.  For those families that lost loved ones – you should know that the moments of that day and the days thereafter will never be forgotten and you are forever in our prayers.  And it is because of my own WTC/911 experience that my wife and I are so committed to the Headstrong Project ( 

It is a veterans’ philanthropic organization that treats (with complete anonymity) our returning combat vets – men and women who answered the call – that continue to suffer the ravages of war – PTS.  Please consider joining me (Yes, I am the evenings auctioneer) on October 17, 2019 at Chelsea Pier 60 as we present our 7th annual NYC Gala to benefit our Veterans.  Since the start of this organization – we have managed to treat  over 1400 veterans and provided over 35k cost free sessions to our clients.  With the help from nationwide donors we are now in 11 states and 26 cities and we have saved every veteran that walked thru our doors.  If you know of a veteran in need – please have them go to our website ( and a clinician will respond immediately.  Please click on the link below for more information.  God Bless America**

  Things you need to know

  • Today is the 18th     Anniversary of 911
  • Trump Fires National     Security Advisor Bolton
  • Mkts continue to churn     ahead of ECB announcement.

 Stocks tested lower yesterday…..with all of the indexes getting hit (not smashed – just hit)  right out of the gate….only to attempt to rally by noon and then sell off again and then do a 180  as we moved into the final bell – ending the day in the green.  At the close the Dow added 73 pts, the  S&P was ahead by 1 pt the Nasdaq choked and lost 4 pts and the Russell bucking the trend again moved higher to end the day + 18 pts. 

 Lots of news… – Trump fires National Security Advisor John Bolton, Saudi Aramco moves ahead with its listing on the Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange), Apple unveils its latest lineup for Christmas including Apple TV that undercuts rivals, Netanyahu announces that he is ready to ‘annex a huge swath of the West Bank if he stays in power after next week’s election and Tech continues to come under fire…. …but in the end – it is how I explained it….investors are marking time as we await the news from the ECB (European Central Bank) and the FED – Period.  The selloff in April to June, the rally back by August, then another sell off until last week when we saw the mkt surge higher – is in my opinion – nothing more than another over reaction by the algo’s as they try to guess what’s next and THAT is the funniest part of all because we KNOW WHAT IS NEXT….which is why the mkt is where it is…..Both the ECB (European Central Bank)  & the FED are EXPECTED to cut rates and add more ‘Kool Aid’ to the punch bowl…. And if they do that  and force rates lower – once again you must ask – where else are investors supposed to go?  So, the only question now is:   Will it be what the mkt expects or won’t it? 

 Now what we have seen is a concerted move out of growth and into value…..and that makes some sense especially if you are concerned about what’s next.  There is nothing wrong with building a defensive portfolio in light of what could be another coming storm.  Eco data yesterday showed that job openings fell in July  – suggesting that companies may be becoming a bit more cautious – yet other eco data suggests that the US economy is doing just fine and that the consumer is alive and well.  What we hear from both of these central banks tomorrow and next week will drive the next move…….and we are sure to get a clue on how each of these banks view their own economies as well as the global economy.

   Look – the mkt is expecting the ECB to cut rates by 20 bps and toss in some add’l QE (Quantitative Easing) – but street analysts are a bit more cautious and only expect a 10 bps cut and NO QE and this is what will cause the algo’s to lose their minds…..They want A – but might get B  and we know what happens next……..I guess it depends on your opinion of the health of the Eurozone economy….is it on the edge or not?  I mean Uncle Mario Draghi – has given the impression that since he will do ‘whatever it takes’ – it must be something he is concerned about – but after tomorrow – it’s not his problem anymore – Say Hello to the new ECB President – Christine Lagarde…..ok…let’s see what’s up her sleeve….

 This morning Trump is at it again…..calling the FED ‘Boneheads’ for not cutting rates to zero and then some…..

 “The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term. We have the great currency, power, and balance sheet….. ….The USA should always be paying the lowest rate. No Inflation! It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing. A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of “Boneheads.”

 Hey – Mr. President – here’s a clue for you….what has low to negative interest rates done for any country that has cut them?  Certainly has not helped Japan  – that has been in a spiral for 3 + decades…and the EZ?  Their rates have been zero and lower for a decade now and where are they?  According to the stats – they are still struggling – zero to negative interest rates have done very little to boost those economies.     Now zero rates here may help you and your real estate empire per se, and corporations that would lock in 30 yr money for next to nothing,  but you can already see lenders being more selective in lending money to consumers as rates plunge….lower and zero rates will cause money to be harder to get for some…..Just because rates are zero – doesn’t obligate lenders to lend…in fact – the argument goes like this – Why would I lend money to someone and receive no benefit for doing so?  It makes no sense…..

 Gold – which made a run higher over the summer as concerns grew of that coming recession , blah, blah, blah…..has since backed off now that the fear of that recession has receded.  New trade talks – scheduled for next month has also helped to bring the temperature down and this has caused the trader types to ring the cash register on this trade.  As noted in one of my prior blogs – the run to $1,550 was dramatic but any selloff would see gold come back to $1500 and find support – which is where it is…..I suspect that gold will churn right here until we get further clarity on rates both at home and abroad.  If the angst dissipates look for gold to retrace and move back towards $1,450. 

 Oil – which has been surging higher on of late has now pierced all three levels of resistance – setting it up for a run back to $60/barrel.  The rise – a result of the moves by the Saudi’s /OPEC to control production  (deeper cuts)  as well as a sharp drop in US inventories,  declines in global inventories (suggesting that demand is fine)   has caused a 7% rise in the price of oil this month.   Now what is confusing is that OPEC cut their forecast for world growth in 2020 due to an ‘economic slowdown ‘ that would result in big surpluses – ok…so then why has oil rallied on that news?  Its contrary to the logic – which means that oil traders/investors are not buying the whole surplus story right now….but the surplus story gives the Saudi’s and OPEC a reason to cut further and that is why we are seeing the surge.  Oil is now trading at $58.08 – well above what is now support at $57.59.  My guess is that we in a range of $57.50/$60. 

US futures are mixed at best…..Dow up small, S&P off small, Nasdaq flat and the Russell up 3….Today’s eco data includes Mortgage Apps of +2%, PPI (Producer Price Index)  of 0%, ex food and energy of +0.2%, m/m and +2.2% y/y.  If these numbers come in stronger than expected it would signal growing underlying pressure of inflation…..I still think we are in the 2950/3000 range until next week. 

Take good care .


 Garganelli in Sweet Sausage, Tomato & Cream

 Heat olive oil in a pot…add crushed garlic and one diced onion (Vidalia if you can get it).  Sauté until soft and sweet, next add the sausage meat – which you have removed from the casing – until brown.

 Next add 2 cups of dry white wine and let the alcohol burn off….open 28 oz can of plum tomatoes and rough crush – so that it is a bit lumpy. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn to simmer.  Stir and cover.  Don’t go too far because you will need to stir again.

Now add 1 cup + a little more of heavy cream (you can use lite cream if you prefer – but heavy cream gives it a richer taste).  Let simmer until thickens…only about 4 or 5 mins….

 In a separate pot bring salted water to a boil and add pasta – You can use any type of pasta you like – typically a short pasta is better vs. a spaghetti or linguine for this dish.

 Cook until aldente – 8 / 10 mins…strain – reserving a mugful of the pasta water….Add the pasta directly into the sauce and stir – making sure to coat well.  Add  a handful or two  of parmegianna cheese and mix.  If it looks like it needs some more liquid -add a bit of the pasta water to moisten.  Serve immediately – offering more grated cheese to your guests.  –

 On a separate plate – make some garlic bread – using “Panne di Casa” sliced loaf.  Melt butter/olive oil add crushed garlic and heat so that the garlic permeates the butter.  Next using a pastry brush – brush the bread with the butter/garlic mixture and place under broiler until golden brown.  Turn over and toast.  When done – remove from oven – slice in half and serve alongside the pasta…..It doesn’t get any better than this….. 

Buon Appetito