Friday, February 01, 2008

Market analysts “FTSE, NASDAQ, BINGO - no idea what those numbers really mean”

Today global markets were reacting positively to the United States Federal Reserves second dramatic drop in interest rates in as many weeks. On the other hand, possibly to the cute dog that was running around the smoking garden at one brokerage.

Trader’s moods on Wall Street fluctuated as they digested the latest statement from Fed Boss Ben Bernanke and some of the latest performance indicators coming out of the construction sector. However the Dow Jones ended the day rising sharply after a group of traders watched the "Evolution of Dance" video on YouTube.

Market experts such as Callum Billingsworth, 20, Chief Economist with analysts Smith, Smithie and Smythe Associates, have to deal with hundreds of pieces of economic data and statistical reports, to determine the direction the market will take.

"This stock here is being traded heavily and the price is rising right. That is because the market thinks that the latest news regarding inflation will increase retail foot-fall and thus luxury expenditure, such as expensive frothy coffee, will go up," he said. "No wait, that one’s gone red now. That is because the news that unemployment has gone down, no wait, up. And there is some flooding near a shopping centre in …. No it is back in the black now, that is because Gordon Brown’s gone to China to, wait. Red again."

At this point Mr Billingsworth looked for late breaking news from the BBC, Sky and Bloomberg before watching part of the Bugatti Veyron race from ‘Top Gear’, leading him to have a "really good feeling about the prospects of the truffle industry".

"The markets are terribly turbulent at the moment, every different piece of news sends them spiralling up or down. Who knows where it will go next?" said Mr Billingsworth. "Seriously, if your readers have any ideas, we’d love to hear them."

The CAC40 in Paris was suffering another difficult day with more revelations regarding Jerome Kerviel's actions at Societe General being compounded by the news that beleaguered trader’s would face a extra 5 wheezing minutes walk as the nearest Tabac had run out of Gitanes. Millions of Euros were wiped off the values of shares.

However a mood of optimism broke out the FTSE when one of the trader’s reacted quickly to some unexpected housing news from the United States.

"Well it was really quite thrilling," said a trader at the LSE, who didn’t wish to be named, as his family isn’t aware of what he does for a living - to avoid embarrassment he says he is an actor specialising in Donkey Porn. "I suddenly realised that the housing market here is nothing like that in the USA. We are much more sophisticated and stable here. I made a killing and it was all thanks to last night’s ‘A place in the Sun’."

However such loose-cannon behaviour did not go unnoticed and, with the current fear of rogue traders, such independent thinking can be dangerous.

"You have to be careful how you operate, just look at Societe Generale," said another trader who again did not wish to be named in case his wife found out their expensive lifestyle was not made by selling drugs at school gates. "If they had stuck to the City way and just followed whatever shares were moving on the Dow Jones until their hangovers cleared they would still have a pot to piss in."

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