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23Mar2015 Market Close: Last Minute Sharp Decline Takes Averages Into Red On Moderate Selloff, Greece Remains An Issue To Investors

Written by Gary

Afternoon markets traded sideways on low to 'moderate' volume until 3:30 pm and the started to melt downward placing the small caps in negative territory with the DOW following right behind. The oils have melted up all session to their resistance levels and gold closed higher for the fifth session.

By the last minute of the session high red volume took the DOW and other averages into the red fractionally and put tomorrows bullish outlook in jeopardy.

By 4 pm the averages were all in the red, but short term indicators remain bullish in spite of the last minute sharp decline with most of investors focus on Greece.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Private Equity's Bumpy Path in Australia

Despite the challenges presented in Australia, American private equity giants are pushing ahead with investments there.

Sales of Existing Homes Rose 1.2% in February

The sluggish home sales are a sign that economic activity slowed in the first quarter.

Deep Freeze on Great Lakes Halts Cargo Shipments

Two harsh winters have burdened ship lines and businesses that depend on their cargo, including grain and iron ore.

First Oil, Now Shale Gas Set To Crash Amid "Orgy Of Over-Production"

Submitted by Arthur Berman via,

Spending cuts for oil-directed drilling have dominated first quarter 2015 energy news but rig counts for shale gas drilling are too high.

Investors should pay attention to this growing problem. Bank of America fears sub-$2 gas prices now that winter heating worries are over. Low natural gas prices affect the economics for gas-rich oil production in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian basin plays as well as for the shale gas plays.

Meanwhile, an orgy of over-production is taking place in the Marcellus Shale. Well head prices are now below $1.50 per thousand cubic feet of gas because of limited take-away capacity and near-saturation of regional demand. Even companies in the Wyoming, Susquehanna, Allegheny and Washington County core areas of the Marcellus play are losing money at these prices.

The rig count for shale gas plays has decreased by only half as much as for the tight oil plays. The reason appears to be that most shale gas companies do not have significant positions in the tight oil plays and must continue to drill to maintain production levels.

Shale gas rig counts have dropped only 19% for horizontal rigs and 25% for all rigs from 2014 highs. The corresponding decrease for tight oil plays is 41% and 46%, respectively, as shown in the table below.

Fed expected to hike this year, but future path uncertain: Fischer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is "widely expected" to begin raising interest rates this year though the policy path remains uncertain, the central bank's second-in-command said on Monday, appearing to lay the groundwork for a less predictable future.

Wall St. Is Mixed, With Focus on Greece

Leaders of Greece and a major creditor, Germany, were meeting in Europe to discuss reforms.

Wall St. little changed as energy retreats

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday on the heels of a rally in the prior week, as investors weighed fluctuations in the dollar and its impact on other markets, including crude prices.

US "Loses" $500 Million In Weapons Given To Yemen, Now In Al-Qaeda Hands

Nobody could have possibly foreseen that yet another US foreign diplomacy "success story" would turn out to be an epic disaster. Well, nobody, except for those who accurately predict that every US intervention abroad is now a staggering fiasco (for everyone involved except the US military-industrial complex of course). As for Yemen, the outcome was clear long ago:

Yemen's US-Backed Government & President Resign

Obama's "Partners" In Yemen Overthrown As Presidential Palace Falls To Local Militiamen

Deserted US Embassy In Yemen Immediately Seized By Armed Rebels

The Coup Is Complete: US Embassy In Yemen Shutting Down, Ambassador To Leave By Wednesday

And, naturally, after noting that "the employees said that more than 20 vehicles were taken by the fighters after the Americans departed from Sanaa's airport" we asked how long until we have a "tabulation of losses to US taxpayers, just like the great Islamic State 'robbery' of hundreds of millions in US military equipment in Iraq?" That, of course, was another epic US intervention success story.

Cypriots Stone Bank of Cyprus On "Depositor Haircut" Anniversary

In what may be a preview of what's in store for The Bank of Greece, Cypriots â€" who are understandably still a little more than angry about the decision to confiscate their deposits â€" showed up outside of The Bank of Cyprus today to "celebrate" the anniversary of the bail in. Watch below as the crowd shouts and hurls rocks at the central bank…

More from hellenicinsider:

A few hundred Cypriots made their way to the Cyprus Central Bank and The Bank of Cyprus HQ to let the all powerful EU banking clan know exactly how they feel.

Considering that the EU raided people's deposit accounts for a €10 billion shortfall two years ago, while today the EU is pumping billions into the non-member state of Ukraine to continue its war against Donbas civilians…we would say that a few hundred Cypriots throwing rocks at windows is getting off lightly.

"This is your justice..."

Rats And Sinking Ships: Chairman Of Greek Bank Rescue Fund Resigns

With "The objective of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund is to contribute to the maintenance of the stability of the Greek banking system, for the sake of public interest," it appears the Fund's Chairman has decided to add some instability and leave the sinking ship:


Ironic (or coincidental) timing as Draghi proclaims he is not blackmailing Greece and Merkel says "Nein" to more liquidity.

As Bloomberg notes,

Christos Sclavounis, Chairman of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, resigned, Athens-based institution says in e-mailed statement today.

* * *

Perhaps this is why...

Brent crude oil turns lower on fears of oversupply

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices slipped towards $55 in the last hour of trading after an announcement from Saudi Arabia that its daily oil production neared record highs outweighed a weakened dollar.

Schlumberger sees prudence as new normal for U.S. shale oil

(Reuters) - Prudence will be the new normal for the U.S. shale oil industry, which has quickly abandoned its heavy-spending ways in the face of sliding crude prices, Schlumberger Ltd , the world's No.1 oilfield services provider, said on Monday.

Trannies Tumble: Erase All Post-FOMC Gains

Spot the odd one out...

Driven by a major plunge in KSU (after its energy-based lower outlook headlines), which drags UNP and NSC lower, Dow Transports have plunged and erased all post-FOMC gains... (KSU -57 TRAN Pts, UNP -27 TRAN Pts, NS -20 TRAN Pts)

Who could have seen this coming? Certainly not CSX CEO...

...rail freight transportation company CSX's CEO Michael Ward stated
'unequivocally' that as far as the movement of crude by rail he has "not seen any changes," suggesting everything's fine down to $30-35 oil and "expected no impact on crude shipments."

Fed expected to hike this year, but future path uncertain: Fischer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is "widely expected" to begin raising interest rates this year though the path remains uncertain, with policymakers deciding subsequent policy moves on a meeting-by-meeting basis, a top Fed official said on Monday.

Is The Fed Still Fabricating Loan Creation Data? Bank Of America Would Like To Know

Just under a year ago, when looking at aggregate loan creation by America's banks, we stumbled upon something strange: there was a massive discrepancy between what the Fed, in its weekly call reports, said was weekly US loan issuance - which the then bulls gloatingly announced was rising and thus a confirmation of US growth - and what the actual banks reported.

This is what we reported:

One of the more bullish "fundamental" theses discussed in recent weeks, perhaps as an offset to the documented record collapse in mortgage origination - because without debt creation by commercial banks one can kiss this, or any recovery, goodbye - has been the so-called surge in loans and leases as reported weekly by the Fed in its H.8 statement. Some, such as the chief strategist of retail brokerage Charles Schwab, Liz Ann Sonders, went so far as to note that this is, to her, the "most important chart in the world."

[S]ince the Fed's data is sourced by the banks themselves, ...

White Collar Watch: S.E.C. Faces Tough Challenge to Enhanced Broker Rule

A proposal to hold stockbrokers to a higher standard when offering their clients investment advice faces staunch opposition.

January 2015 Coincident Indicators Show Unchanged Rate of Economic Growth - But February Is Showing Some Slowing

The above graph shows the index value for the US Coincident Index including January 2015 data (released today). A comparison of US Coincident Index, Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti business conditions index, Conference Board's Coincident Index, ECRI's USCI (U.S. Coincident Index), and Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) coincident indicators follows.

Read more ...

CNOOC's Nexen closing down crude oil trading division - sources

CALGARY/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nexen Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of China's CNOOC Ltd , is closing its crude oil trading division following a round of job cuts announced last week, four market sources said on Monday.

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