U.S. stock index futures are edging higher this morning, getting a lift from news that General Electric will sell nearly all of its real estate portfolio to investors for $26.5 billion in the latest of a spate of recent deal activity.
U.S. import prices excluding fuel fall 0.4% in March, WTI oil again trending down, but stopping short of $50. The U.S. Dollar rose close to the magic number of one dollar and has temporarily backed off.
Opening markets are expected to open up.
Here is the current market situation from CNN Money
European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.70% while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.52% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.41%.
In addition to the unprecedented $50 billion stock buyback announcement by GE earlier today, the biggest news of the day is the Apple iWatch launch. Or, rather, biggest dud. It all really depends on who you ask.
Here is Reuters:
And here is Bloomberg:
As for the actual eyewitness truth, and the reason why everyone who took AAPL from $100 to $130 on hopes that the "New Paranormal" Casio will be the greatest thing since sliced bread, here it is.
Scene @Apple Store 5th Ave., NY It's quiet as it should be. Ppl can see #applewatch today but can't get em yet. pic.twitter.com/5Dx8WUMEGy
(Reuters) - General Electric Co said it plans to sell the bulk of its $30 billion real estate portfolio over the next two years as it returns to its industrial roots, and has set a share buyback plan of up to $50 billion - the second-largest ever.
(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, getting a lift from news that General Electric will sell nearly all of its real estate portfolio to investors for $26.5 billion in the latest of a spate of recent deal activity.
LONDON (Reuters) - Bombardier is exploring options to monetize its transportation unit potentially worth up to $5 billion, as the Canadian group seeks to offset challenges within its aircraft business, six sources familiar with the matter said.
As we showed previously, the main reason stocks soared in February after the worst January in years, is that companies announced a record $100 billion in stock buybacks in the month even as both earnings and the US economy continued to sharply deteriorate .
Moments ago, General Electric showed why April is much more likley to be a rerun of February than January or March when it announceed that it would go ahead and repurchase half of the total record stock buybacks announced in February, or some $50 billion in what may be the largest stock buyback announcement in history!
How will GE fund this massive distribution to its shareholders, of which the most concentrated one will once again be the biggest winners? Simple: by dumping the division that nearly caused its insolvency during the financial crisis, the hedge fund known as GE Capital. As part of the just announced mega transaction, GE announced an agreement to sell the bulk of the assets of GE Capital Real Estate to funds managed by Blackstone. Wells Fargo will acquire a portion of the performing loans at closing.
The Company also has letters of intent with other buyers for an additional $4 billion of ...
Overnight market news was once again driven by the Asian superbubble, where as expected, the Hang Seng (+1.22%) soared once more and is now up 9.5% for the week, following news the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx) expects it will "substantially increase" quotas for the stock connect program between Hong Kong and Shanghai, HKEx Chief Executive Charles Li said on Friday. The exchange could boost the current quotas, which cap how much mainland investors can buy Hong Kong stocks and vice versa under the trading link, by more than 20 or 30 percent, Li said at a media briefing in Hong Kong. Li did not give a precise date for when the quotas would be raised, but one thing is clear: everyone in China, and Hong Kong, must be all in stocks if the Chinese housing bubble can not be reflated. The Shanghai Comp closed higher by almost 2.0% following better than expected Chinese inflation data, while HK stocks continued their recent rally to closer higher by 9.5% for the week.
Hong Kong Volume turnover on the Index was ~120% above the 30-day average with Shanghai - Hong Kong stocks premium falling to around 24% vs. 35% last month. Shanghai Comp (+1.95%) broke back above 4,000 lifted by Chinese PPI and CPI data. Despite remaining in negative territory, PPI halted its 36 consecutive Y/Y declines (-4.6% vs. Exp. -4.8%, Prev. -4.8%), while CPI was unchanged vs. last month's 3-month high (Y/Y 1.4% vs. Exp. 1.3%, Prev. 1.4%). To some this was evidence the PBOC will stop leaking stories of more imminent easing. To others this was merely confirmation that China's deflation isn't going anywhere and it is the PBOC's sworn duty to make the China stock bubble even greater.
In Europe, it was more of the same, with bond yields contin ...
TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso has tempered market expectations that the bank will expand its stimulus program later this month, saying a cut in its inflation forecast would not be enough to justify more monetary easing.
LONDON (Reuters) - World shares approached record highs on Friday, as hopes of more easy money from top central banks pushed Japan's Nikkei past 20,000 points for the first time in 15 years and European stocks reached similar heights.
Oil is our most-precious commodity as fuel for the global economy. It is also becoming a scarce commodity, as global production has flattened, while global demand continues to climb relentlessly, everywhere in the world except for the dying economies of Europe and North America. It is a classic "seller's market."
Then we have Canada. Under the Harper regime; Canada has rapidly/recklessly ramped-up production of tar sands oil (vying with U.S. shale-oil production for the title of "world's dirtiest oil"). In less than 20 years; tar sands production has increased by a factor of ten, from less than 200,000 barrels per day to over 2 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2014. This amounts to annual tar sands production of roughly 750 million barrels.
Thanks to this reckless over-production; Canadian tar sands oil production has created three ultra-expensive/ultra-inefficient bottlenecks for itself:
a) Insufficient refining capacity
b) Insufficient shipping/pipeline infrastructure
c) Insufficient skilled labour
Because of (a) and (b); Canada's tar sands oil has been sold at "discounts" o ...
(Reuters) - Hong Kong stocks closed on Friday at a seven-year high, posting their biggest weekly gain in more than three years, as the city's bourse expects investment quotas for mainland investors to rise by over 30 percent to accommodate heavy capital inflows.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. bank earnings likely got a lift from mortgage lending in the first quarter, as lower rates spurred a surge in applications to refinance home loans, one of several glimmers of hope for a sector that has lately struggled with weak growth.
BRUSSELS/ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece made a crucial payment to the International Monetary Fund and won extra emergency lending for its banks on Thursday but it remained unclear whether Athens can satisfy skeptical creditors on economic reforms before it runs out of money.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - The Hong Kong stock exchange expects to increase quotas for mainland China investors by more than 30 percent, its chief executive said, a day after heavy capital inflows from the mainland forced the city's central bank to sell Hong Kong dollars to defend its currency peg.
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's inflation data for March produced small positive surprises, but remained tepid, with little sign that Beijing's easing measures to date have significantly cut worrisome deflationary pressure.
Written by LK in Hong Kong, Courtesy of Bullionstar Blogs
Spelling Out The Big Reset
As economies age, debt builds up. Advanced economies â€" those with the highest borrowing ratings by the reputable agencies they developed â€" have it clogging up inside all their arteries. The Big Reset will finally become inevitable, as has been acknowledged by the IMF head Largarde, mentioning the year 2020. But what must an Armageddon debt reset necessarily involve? Few have spelled it out, not even in the famous book with the same title "The Big Reset" by Willem Middelkoop.
Revision on money creation mechanics: unwrapping the meaning of â€'Reserves'
At the center of it all, wrapped by layers of secrecy and protected on the outside by purposefully confusing jargons is this concept of Reserves. Let's understand it to mean â€'net worth', â€'collateral', or whatever a banking entity's â€'really worth', because what banking entities do, is to use this asset as backing to create instruments and derivatives, like loans, or even money, and expand the money supply. In long tradition, the ultimate reserve asset is of course gold. When the bank's (or central bank's) worthiness comes into doubt (like to many gold-deposit receipts flying around), people come for the â€'reserves'. If the reserves satisfy the claims, then it's good.
In our fiat currency world since 1971, countries hold each other's currencies as legitimate reserves. The country's central bank can then go create the country's own currency. The justification is simple: there is this unsaid assumption that when the worthiness of a country's money becomes in doubt, one would not question the worthiness of the other currencies held as reserves, and, hence, as long as the country's central bank can supply the â€'safe' reserve currency to meet with the country's currency being sold, all is well. As we approach it fr ...
Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,
The systematic destruction of the American way of life is happening all around us, and yet most people have no idea what is happening. Once upon a time in America, if you were responsible and hard working you could get a good paying job that could support a middle class lifestyle for an entire family even if you only had a high school education. Things weren't perfect, but generally almost everyone in the entire country was able to take care of themselves without government assistance. We worked hard, we played hard, and our seemingly boundless prosperity was the envy of the entire planet. But over the past several decades things have completely changed. We consumed far more wealth than we produced, we shipped millions of good paying jobs overseas, we piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world, and we kept electing politicians that had absolutely no concern for the long-term future of this nation whatsoever. So now good jobs are in very short supply, we are drowning in an ocean of red ink, the middle class is rapidly shrinking and dependence on the government is at an all-time high. Even as we stand at the precipice of the next great economic crisis, we continue to make the same mistakes. In the end, all of us are going to pay a very great price for decades of incredibly foolish decisions. Of course a tremendous amount of damage has already been done. The numbers that I am about to share with you are staggering. The following are 19 signs that American families are being economically destroyedâ€¦
#1 The poorest 40 percent of all Americans now spend
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