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01May2015 Pre-Market Commentary: U.S. Futures Up Fractionally, Expecting To Fall Off After Opening

Written by Gary

U.S. stock index futures were higher this morning ahead of the release of data that could support signs that the economy is regaining momentum after stumbling in the first quarter and should open higher, but today I would be worried about a reversal and see the averages decline after the opening bell.

April proved a cruel month for investors, many of whom had bet the dollar would march higher, oil prices would fall and the rally in bond markets would gain steam.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

Shares in London are higher today as the FTSE 100 gains 0.15%. The German and French stock markets are closed at this time.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

T. Rowe Price Dips a Toe Into High-Speed Trading

T. Rowe Price Group, a critic of what it has called "predatory strategies" among high-speed traders, has launched an experiment using the technology of a high-frequency trading firm.

Berkshire Prepares for Life Without Buffett

For years, Warren Buffett has elicited both admiration and envy for the deals he has pulled off, but a related question has long weighed on Berkshire investors' minds: What happens when he is gone?

Greek Pensioners Crash Pension Fund Board Meeting, Form Lines At Bank

On Thursday we noted that no matter how tempting it may be to tune out the almost hourly warnings from various sources claiming Greece is finally set to run out of cash, one can't just assume the government will yet again find another couch cushion to reach into in order to scrape up a few more euros to pay government employees and creditors and thereby forestall the inevitable for another few weeks. Eventually, there simply will be no more money and the first signs that Greece has entered the final, terminal phase in the long and painful road to complete insolvency showed up last month in the form of a sweeping decree which required municipalities to transfer excess cash to the central bank.

That mandate was greeted with incredulity and with the country's local governments less than willing to turn over their funds, Athens finally ran out of money (if only for 8 or so hours) on Tuesday when pensioners showed up at ATMs only to discover that their money simply was not there. Amusingly, the government blamed the delay on a "technical glitch", and while we suppose it's not exactly a lie to call running out of money a "technical glitch", it was abundantly clear that the country's socialist saviors were making a feeble attempt to avert a pensioner mutiny. Today, we get more details about the situation and sure enough, the retirees are restless.

Via The Australian:

Panicking pensioners queued at banks, raided their accounts and broke into a board meeting of the state pension fund as Greece strugg ...

Euro Reaches Two-Month High

The euro climbed to a fresh two-month high against the dollar, extending its recent rebound against the buck in quiet holiday trade.

Global Markets Rattled as Turnaround Whips Investors

April proved a cruel month for investors, many of whom had bet the dollar would march higher, oil prices would fall and the rally in bond markets would gain steam.

'Spoofing' on U.K.'s Radar for Six Years

Regulators in the U.K. have had "spoofing" and other dubious trading strategies in their cross hairs for at least the past six years, and have issued several warnings to the country's brokers and traders.

JP Morgan Cornering Silver Bullion Market?

JP Morgan Cornering Silver Bullion Market?

- Why is JP Morgan accumulating the biggest stockpile of physical silver in history?
- Legendary silver analyst Ted Butler believes JP Morgan are in a position to corner silver market
- JP Morgan may be holding as much as 350 million ounces of physical silver
- JP Morgan realises the value of owning physical silver bullion today
- Silver at $16 today - Set to soar to over $50 again


JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, one the largest providers of financial services in the world and one of the most powerful banks in the world has accumulated one of the largest stockpiles of silver, the world has ever seen.

The total JP Morgan silver stockpile has increased dramatically in the last four years. In 2011, JP Morgan has little or no physical silver. By 2012, they had acquired 5 million ounces of silver bullion.

Incredibly, in the last 3 years their COMEX silver stockpile has increased tenfold and is now over 55 million ounces (see chart below)

Gold Manipulator Busted After Zero Hedge Report On HFT Gold Spoofing

In the aftermath of the Nav Sarao scapegoating farce, one week ago Zero Hedge decided to give the confused CFTC a helping hand and launched a daily series highlighting the constant spoofing and "manipulation" (in the CFTC and DOJ's own words) that takes place in every asset class, but mostly in the E-mini futures ("Dear CFTC: This Is The Market Manipulating "Spoofing" Taking Place In The E-Mini Just Today"). Virtually every day since then we presented the "regulators" at the commodity trading commission a clear example of stock market manipulation, with the exception of Tuesday, when with the exclusive help of Nanex, we showed a clear case of gold spoofing.

This is what we said on April 28:

Here (courtesy of Nanex) are several examples in the June 2015 Comex Gold Futures this morning. All times are Eastern Daylight. In each of these cases, no trades (or a tiny few) executed against the large "spoof" order. You can see how prices were influenced by the sudden appearance (and disappearance) of these large, outsized orders.

1. June 2015 Comex Gold

Note how large buy and sell orders push prices up and down.

16 Signs That The Economy Has Stalled Out And The Next Economic Downturn Is Here

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If U.S. economic growth falls any lower, we are officially going to be in recession territory. On Wednesday, we learned that U.S. GDP grew at a 0.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2015. That was much lower than all of the "experts" were projecting. And of course there are all sorts of questions whether the GDP numbers the government feeds us are legitimate anyway. According to John Williams of, if honest numbers were used they would show that U.S. GDP growth has been continuously negative since 2005. But even if we consider the number that the government has given us to be the "real" number, it still shows that the U.S. economy has stalled out. It is almost as if we have hit a "turning point", and there are many out there (including myself) that believe that the next major economic downturn is dead ahead. As you will see in this article, a whole bunch of things are happening right now that we would expect to see if a recession was beginning. The following are 16 signs that the economy has stalled out and the next economic downturn is here!

#1 We just learned that U.S. GDP grew at an anemic

Escaping the Deadly Financial Rip-Tide Of Debt And Speculation

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Only those who know to swim parallel to the shore can escape the destructive rip-tide of debt and speculative risk pulling everyone to insecurity and impoverishment.

Longtime correspondent Kevin K. recently shared an extremely insightful analogy of our financial peril. Those of you who swim or body-surf in the ocean are familiar with rip-tides--strong currents shaped by the contours of inlets and bays that pull unwary swimmers rapidly out to sea.
Those with experience of rip-tides know that it is futile to swim against the tide--those who try will only exhaust themselves, and be carried away despite their exertions.
The only way to escape the rip-tide is to swim parallel to the shore. This succeeds because the rip-tide is like a narrow river; once the swimmer moves out of the strong flow, the current's deadly pull quickly subsides.
Kevin described the economic and cultural rip-tide of the postwar years 1945 - 1985 as positive: anyone caught in this great tide of prosperity would be carried into secure jobs, homeownership, opportunities for attending college--all the critical elements of middle-class prosperity that were widely available to the majority of households.
This tide of prosperity was powered by the GI Bill that paid higher education costs for 20+ million veterans of World War II and Korea and later, of the Vietnam war, abundant factory and office jobs that offered relatively high pay to those with little education, and dirt-cheap (by today's standards) college. (CUNY, the public university in New York, was free until the late 1970s.)

Cyprus's Recovery Path Can Avoid Greek Pitfalls

Cyprus's bailout was highly contentious. But two years on, the outlook is brightening.

Stock futures rise as construction, manufacturing data eyed

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday ahead of the release of data that could support signs that the economy is regaining momentum after stumbling in the first quarter.

Exclusive: Siemens to keep most underperforming divisions - source

FRANKFURT/MUNICH (Reuters) - German industrial firm Siemens plans to keep most of its 13 underperforming businesses for now and will try to sell a handful of "marginal" operations, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Oil retreats off 2015 highs, Iraq exports hit record

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices edged lower on Friday, easing off 2015 highs after Iraq said its crude oil exports hit a record in April, keeping Middle East production well above demand.

China, Russia Unveil First-Ever Mediterranean Joint Naval Exercise

Sabre-rattling much? For the first time in history, Chinese and Russian navies will begin a significant joint naval exercise in The Mediterranean Sea in mid-May. As RT reports, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng, "The aim is to deepen both countries' friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies' ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," but diplomatically added "these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation." Against a background of this week's "upgraded Japan-American military relationship" following Abe's visit to Obama, as one analyst notes, "the geopolitical significance of its exercising alongside Russia will not be lost on the U.S. and NATO."

The Chinese and Russian Navies have exercised together since 2012 in waters off Russia's eastern seaboard; but as RT reports,

The Russian and Chinese Navies are to hold a joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May, a first in that part of the world. A total of nine warships from the two countries are to participate, Beijing said.

"The aim is to deepen both countries' friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies' ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on Thursday in ...

Moody's Results Improve

Moody's said its first-quarter earnings increased thanks to double-digit revenue growth in both its debt-rating and analytics segments.

Ratings agencies say no default if Greece misses ECB, IMF payments

LONDON (Reuters) - Most top credit rating agencies say they would not cut Greece's rating to default if it misses a payment to the International Monetary Fund or European Central Bank, a stance that could keep vital ECB funding flowing into the financial system.

Futures Flat As Global Markets Closed For May Day

Following a volatile end to April, on whose last day many decided to frontrun "selling in May before going away", the world has taken a breather and overnight China was closed to celebrate May day, unable to celebrate the "beat" of the official Chinese Manufacturing PMI which printed unchanged from last month, at 50.1, goalseeked to beat the consensus expectation of 50.0 by the smallest of possible increments. After tumbling by 2.7% on Thursday, the negative sentiment in Japan following the BOJ's unwillingness to ease further persisted, with the Nikkei closing barely unchanged following a last minute surge to end the day up 0.06%.

Asian equities saw a subdued session amid thinned trading, after taking the lead from a negative Wall Street close. Nikkei 225 (+0.06%) reversed its earlier weakness heading into the close, with participants continued to fret about the lack of further easing from the BoJ. ASX 200 (+0.36%) rose led by basic materials, after Vale, the world's 3rd largest miner, suggested slowing down its iron ore exports. Sentiment was further lifted by a better than Exp. Official Chinese Manufacturing PMI (50.1 vs. Exp. 50.0 (Prev. 50.1). JGB's fell in tandem with yesterday's continued global sell-off across fixed income, with the long-end better bid following today's enhanced liquidity auction of old 20s/30s/40s. Markets in China, Taiwan, India and Singapore were closed for public holidays.

As expected the session has been relatively subdued, the FTSE traded flat despite strength in the basic materials sector ?bolstered by reports that Vale, the world's 3rd largest miner, suggested slowing down its iron ore exports causing UK Miners to outperform. In addition, the negative UK PMI Manufacturing SA (Mar) M/M 51.9 vs. Exp. 54.6 lifted Gilts following the rel ...

China's struggles argue for stimulus all round

SYDNEY (Reuters) - China's factories stayed stuck in the slow lane in April while Japanese output went into reverse and South Korea suffered its worst export performance in two years, adding urgency to calls for more state stimulus in all three economies.

Dollar dips, trade thins on May Day after stormy week

LONDON (Reuters) - A holiday in most of Europe on Friday thinned trade after a tumultuous week which has seen the dollar collapse in value, bond yields soar and stock markets in Europe and the United States weaken.
< ...

Shrinking liquidity exposes markets to crunch

LONDON (Reuters) - The calm on global financial markets masks a growing threat to their smooth functioning should shrinking liquidity morph into an outright crunch in response to a U.S. interest rate rise or some other shock.

Lloyds Takes Hit on TSB Spinoff

Lloyds said its net profit narrowed in the first quarter, as the U.K. bank took a hit on the spinoff of its TSB unit.

The New Health Care: Speedy Drug Approvals Have Become the Rule, Not the Exception

Most recent drug development in the U.S. has been done through specially approved pathways, and two more may be added.

Lloyds upbeat on UK growth as profits lifted by drop in bad debts

LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group is confident next week's British national election will not derail healthy UK economic growth, it said on Friday after posting first-quarter profit up by a fifth thanks to sharply lower losses on bad loans and wider margins.

China April official PMI shows factories struggling to grow

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's factories struggled to grow in April as domestic and export demand remained weak, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will roll out more measures to support the slowing economy.

Tesla moves into batteries that store energy for homes, businesses

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday unveiled Tesla Energy - storage systems or batteries for homes, companies and utilities that will expand its business beyond electric vehicles and tap into a fast-growing area of the energy industry.

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