Lagging Tax Refunds Are Not News

Zero Hedge has posted a dumb piece on how tax refunds are running behind last year’s pace.

As a matter of fact, refunds have “plunged” because the IRS had to re-write a bunch of code to handle the changes that Congress and the President squabbled over until the last minute.

Here is what IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said on February 15th:

“We worked hard to update our systems and get the changes in place as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of those impacted by the delay. We urge taxpayers to use e-file with direct deposit, and they can get their refunds within days.”

Note to Zero Hedge: the Sheriff of Withholding Town is still walking the beat.

Stocks Yawn at Middle East

The market didn’t react to events in the Middle East until things turned ugly in Egypt on January 28th. The day before, the S&P 500 had closed at 1299.54. Today, the SPX closed at 1307.40, eight points higher. Weird, right? (click chart to enlarge):

The market bounced right back after the Egypt Plunge (black arrows on chart), and rallied up so far that the Libya Plunge hasn’t caused any serious technical damage as of yet. In fact, the SPX bounced smartly off of the pre-Egypt level (blue line) when it dropped within a penny of it today (purple arrows).

Maybe it isn’t done speaking on the subject, but so far the market is saying that it doesn’t care much about Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, etc. It cared way more about less-insignificant Greece last year. Things are relatively quit in Saudi Arabia, though I’m sure the market would care a lot more if that changed.

Fractal Stock Grapher – Beta 2 Release

Fractal Stock Grapher is my desktop app that plots the Fractal Dimension Index on stock charts for those of you using platforms that don’t have the FDI indicator. You can download it on the Fractal Stock Grapher home page.

This version will fetch the data from Yahoo Finance for you. Just punch in a symbol and click the Graph button. Much easier.

If you have the first version installed, you can just download the installer and run it.

Note: now is a very good time to look at the FDI on the weekly charts of the SPX, NDX, DJIA, and Russel 2000.