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31Mar2015 Pre-Market Commentary: Iran Deal Concerning Investors As Greece Lenders Fail To Reach Deal And Iran Talks End Tonight

Written by Gary

Premarket has been unusually heavy prior to the opening bell, The U.S. dollar is off of its high mark and is trending down while oil is sea-sawing near its morning lows.

Greece and its EU/IMF lenders failed to reach an initial deal to unlock aid after the creditors dismissed a package of reforms from Athens as ideas rather than a concrete plan as Iran, powers push for nuclear deal as clock ticks toward deadline tonight. Iran and six world powers entered a final day of talks over a nuclear deal that could see the energy-rich country increase oil exports to world markets.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Yoox to Merge With Net-a-Porter in All-Share Deal

The transaction would create an online luxury fashion retailer from two companies that posted total revenue of about $1.4 billion in 2014, Yoox said.

Strong case for June rates liftoff, says Fed's Lacker

RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve will have a "strong" case to hike U.S. interest rates in June, a hawkish Fed official said on Tuesday, dismissing recently weak economic data as transitory and perhaps due to unseasonable weather.

Former Fed Governor Admits Market Controlling The Fed Is A "Very Dangerous Development"

The constant changes to Fed policy targets and enslavement to the ticker must change, according to former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh.

"The markets think they have Yellen's number," that she will never allow markets to go down, Warsh warns "that is a very dangerous development."

We must stop QE, Warsh chides, as the inflation goals are close enough to a comfort zone and arguing for QE because of lowflation is poor thinking "because our gauges are not even that good."

Dollar strength is The Fed's doing, he adds, since they have been telling everyone to do what we have been doing... and adds "The Fed talking about the dollar tells me they are more concerned about the dollar's impact on earnings."

What worries Warsh the most, however, is "The Fed's policies changing based on what happens on the ticker... The Fed should be thinking 3 to 4 years ahead."

Finally, he crushes the memes of all the malinvestment deniers... "people in the real economy who dont have big balance sheets have been suffering from wage pressures and stagnation..."

"We tried negative real rates in the mid 70s and the early 2000s and both ended badly."

As Jim Grant opined so eloquently... "The Fed can make things look better but can't make things better," and Kevin Warsh blasts buybacks and financial engineering as evidence of this.

"This is an experiment we should be taking with great care without some obvious conviction that there is no financial stability risks."

Investors "think good times can last forever," he warns... they can't...

Prudential's departing CEO Thiam earned $17.5 million in 2014

LONDON (Reuters) - Prudential paid outgoing chief executive Tidjane Thiam 11.8 million pounds ($17.45 million) in 2014, a 35 percent increase on his 2013 compensation, following a bumper incentive plan payout in his final year in charge.

European Jobless Rates By Country: Youth Unemployment In Greece, Spain Remains Over 50%

Earlier today, the supposedly resurgent Eurozone reported a February unemployment number of 11.3%, which not only missed consensus but was worse than the highest estimate. This miss meant the recent steady trend of improvement would have halted if January's unemployment print of 11.3% hadn't been revised higher by 10 bps.

Still, 11.3% is better than the 11.8% reported a year ago, and as the chart below shows, the trend is certainly Europe's friend if only for the time being. One does wonder, however, how much of the improvement is due to the borrowing the BLS' favorite tradition of lowering the denominator and artificially reducing the eligible labor force by "eliminating" those who have been out of a job for a long enough period.

Statistical gimmick or no, one thing stands out: the biggest threat for Europe's future remains front and center - it is the youth (under 25) unemployment, which at 22.9%, and just barely below the 24% from a year ago. Worse, in the two most troubled European nations, Greece and Spain (with Italy not far behind), it remains well over half.

Comcast to form new company with CFO Michael Angelakis

(Reuters) - Comcast Corp , the largest U.S. cable operator, said it would form a new company with its chief financial officer, Michael Angelakis, to invest in and focus on operating growth-oriented companies both in the United States and international markets.

Greece, lenders, fail to unlock aid so far - officials

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece and its EU/IMF lenders failed to reach an initial deal to unlock aid after the creditors dismissed a package of reforms from Athens as ideas rather than a concrete plan, officials said on Tuesday.

Massive Blackout Hits Turkey, Grounding Planes, Stopping Subways; Terror Not Ruled Out

Ankara, we have a problem.

At around 10:36 a.m. local time, Turkey suffered a massive power outage that left half of the country's 81 provinces without electricity in what was the biggest blackout in a decade and a half. The blackout shut down subways in Instanbul and knocked out 11 of 16 air traffic control receivers, grounding flights to and from the capital. Although the cause is not yet known, officials haven't yet ruled out the possibility that the blackout may be terror-related. Here's more via Reuters:

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the outage were being investigated and did not rule out sabotage, but said that trouble with transmission lines was the most likely reason for the problem.

"Our main target right now is to restore the network. This is not an incident that we see frequently," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said during a trip to Bratislava, in comments broadcast on Turkish television.

"Whether or not terrorism is a high possibility or a low one I can't say at this stage. I can't say either whether it is a cyber attack," he said in response to questions from reporters.

...and a bit more via RT:

The worst power outage in 15 years struck most of Turkey, grounding flights and crippling rail networks. The government scrambled efforts to investigate the power cut, before energy was partially restored in the afternoon.

Frontrunning: March 31

Iran, powers push for nuclear deal as clock ticks toward deadline (Reuters)

How DIY Bond Traders Displaced Wall Street's Hot Shots (BBG)

MillerCoors Caught in a Downdraft (WSJ)

Saudi-led strikes again hit Yemen overnight (Reuters)

Even With Free Money, Merkel Still Reluctant to Spend (BBG)

A Shrewd Oil Call Reverses Fortunes for Lucky Few (WSJ)

Britain Uses Tax Breaks to Lure Digital-Game Developers (WSJ)

China to Insure Deposits in Move Toward Scrapping Rate Curbs (BBG)

As China Expands Its Navy, the U.S. Grows Wary (WSJ)

Yoox to Buy Richemont's Net-a-Porter for $775 Million (

Futures pull back after strong advance

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Tuesday, indicating a modest retreat from the previous session's rally, including the strongest session for the Dow in more than a month.

Oil drops to $55 as Iran nuclear talks intensify

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent crude oil dropped towards $55 a barrel on Tuesday as Iran and six world powers entered a final day of talks over a nuclear deal that could see the energy-rich country increase oil exports to world markets.

Things Bernanke Should Write About in His Blog

Inequality, robots, secular stagnation and the role of the Fed are all topics we'd love to know Ben Bernanke's thoughts on. Also, baseball.

Greece worries compound euro's record quarterly fall

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro remained on track for its biggest quarterly fall and European shares for their best first quarter of the euro era on Tuesday as worries about Greece's finances kept the single currency under pressure.

Taiwan, Norway seek to join China-backed AIIB, Japan still cautious

TOKYO/TAIPEI (Reuters) - Japan remains cautious about signing up to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), indicating that Tokyo will miss the March 31 deadline for application, but both Taiwan and Norway said they would seek to join the institution.

Japan says not bound by deadline to join AIIB, and not yet decided

TOKYO (Reuters) - As dozens of countries from Europe to the Middle East to Africa jump on the bandwagon of joining the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Japan is opting to stay out for now, with officials believing it can sign up later if its conditions are met.

Philips sells 80 percent of lighting components unit for $2.8 billion

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Philips has agreed to sell an 80.1 percent stake in its lighting components division for $2.8 billion to Go Scale Capital, a technology fund that will seek to expand the company's automotive and LED businesses.

Consumer Prices in Eurozone Decline Again

Energy prices led the overall 0.1 percent drop in March, falling 5.8 percent from a year earlier.

China Baosteel executive under investigation for corruption

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A top executive of China's Baosteel Group, the parent of Baoshan Iron & Steel , is being investigated for "serious disciplinary violations", China's corruption watchdog said on Tuesday, as Beijing intensifies its war on deep-seated graft.

U.S. small-business borrowing slips in February, up on year: PayNet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. small businesses took out fewer loans last month but borrowing was up from a year ago as firms ramped up investments in their operations, according to data released on Tuesday.

More Evidence of the Master Trading Algorithm

Submitted by and posted with permission of Bullion Bulls Canada.

Why is the assertion that "all markets are manipulated" generally greeted with scorn and derision? Because while manipulating any particular, single market is a relatively straightforward matter â€" using "tools" for financial crime honed through centuries of practice â€" rigging markets collectively has always been viewed as an endeavour infinitely more difficult than herding cats.

Markets diverge. It's what they do. While overall economic fundamentals affect all markets, and all sectors. These fundamentals affect markets/sectors/companies unevenly. Coupled with that, every individual sector/market has its own, unique collection of economic fundamentals â€" almost entirely independent of the general fundamentals of the economy.

This absolute absence of homogeneity means that in (legitimate) markets we will always see most sectors (and individual companies) moving not only with varying degrees of magnitude, but frequently in opposite directions. This is what must happen in any/all legitimate markets, on most days. It is only at times where the general fundamentals are extreme (i.e. extremely bad or extremely good) where we will ever see markets exhibit herd-movement patterns.

What do we see in the Western-dominated markets of the 21st century? We see this herd movement not just occasionally, but virtually every hour of every trading day, something which is absolutely impossible. Suddenly our herd of cats is beh ...

Cautious China banks could undermine Beijing's property stimulus efforts

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - As stock market investors cheer Beijing's latest bid to boost the country's ailing housing sector, Chinese bankers are gritting their teeth over the risks they face in further relaxing lending rules to home buyers.

Taiwan to apply to join China-backed AIIB investment bank

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will submit an application to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Tuesday, despite historical animosity and a lack of formal diplomatic relations between the island and China.

IBM says to invest $3 billion in 'Internet of Things' unit

(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp said on Tuesday it will invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new 'Internet of Things' unit, aiming to sell its expertise in gathering and making sense of the surge in real-time data.

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