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17Aug2015 Market Close: Averages Close At Session Highs, Oil Falls To Morning Lows, China And Greece Still High On Investor Worries

Written by Gary

The averages didn't slip as expected, but the continued rise is most likely HFT manipulation and NOT investor enthusiasm or strong economic data. WTI oil slipped to the mid 42's, basically where it was very early this morning on concerns that the glut of crude oil is set to grow. Expect markets to become more volatile as the month progress as August is the 2nd most volatile month in US equities with more daily swings of 1% or more than any other month (except October).

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street ends up after bullish housing data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday after strong economic data boosted the housing sector and as investors bought recently battered shares in biotech and media.

Oil down 1 percent; U.S. crude near six-and-a-half-year low on Japan, China

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil fell about 1 percent on Monday, with U.S. crude settling within range of a new 6-1/2-year low, after No. 3 oil consumer Japan said its economy contracted in the second quarter and China's slowdown continued to weigh on sentiment.

High Beta Hammered Amid August Angst, "More Volatility Lies Ahead"

August is the 2nd most volatile month in US equities with more daily swings of 1% or more than any other month (except October).

As S&P Capital IQ's Sam Stovall notes, the current market's lack of direction may be deceiving as high beta stocks (which tracks the 100 companies in the S&P 500 that fluctuated the most relative to the index during the past 12 months) are plunging (in correction).

"The market itself may also be telling us that more volatility -- along with a disappointing overall price performance -- lies ahead," Stovall wrote.

The ratio of the S&P 500 high beta and low volatility indexes is sending this signal, the New York-based strategist wrote.

Source: Bloomberg

Crude Oil Pump'n'Dump Ends At Lowest Close Since March 2009

For the first time since March 2009, WTI Crude closed with a $41 handle. After an all-day levitation (along with stocks), it appears the world and their pet rabbit is now aware of the pre-NYMEX close ramp and thus outspoofed themselves and so WTI fell through a bidless vacuum to the lows of the day...

Low volume steps up.. and high volume elevator down...

Charts: Bloomberg

Bob Woodward Compares Clinton Emails To Nixon Tapes, Warns "Answers Won't Be Pretty"

"Follow the trail here," veteran Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward told MSNBC, as he compared Hillary Clinton's private email account to the Nixon tapes. As The Hill reports, Woodward concluded that the fight over Clinton's emails wouldn't end soon: "This has to go on a long, long time...and the answers are probably not going to be pretty."

As The Hill reports,

Woodward as a younger reporter helped break the Watergate scandal that eventually led to President Richard Nixon's resignation. He noted the tapes Nixon kept documenting conversations in the Oval Office were eventually turned over.

Clinton, now a Democratic presidential candidate, turned over her server last week to the Justice Department amid a federal probe after questions about her private email haunted her on the campaign trail for months.

"You've got a massive amount of data. It, in a way, reminds me of the Nixon tapes: thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his," Woodward said.

"Follow the trail here," Woodward said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," noting that emails erased from Clinton's private server when she led the State Department were either sent or received by someone else, too.

Germany's Schaeuble gives strong backing to Greek bailout

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Monday he had no qualms about urging fellow lawmakers to approve a new bailout for Greece in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday, citing a dramatic change in the Greek government's readiness to reform.

IRS Admits Taxpayer Account Hack Far More Serious Than Initially Reported

Another day, another lie/fib/untruth exposed in government. As WSJ reports, after initially admitting that a major security breach had gained unauthorized access to 100,000 US households tax returns, The IRS has now admitted that in fact more than 600,000 breaches (blamed on Russians) were attempted and an additional 390,000 taxpayers were potentially affected.

As The Wall Street Journal reports,

The Internal Revenue Service said identity thieves' penetration of one of its computer databases was much more extensive than previously reported, with more than 300,000 taxpayer accounts potentially affected and more than 600,000 breaches attempted.

The IRS reported in May that cyber crooks used stolen Social Security numbers and other data acquired elsewhere to try to gain unauthorized access to prior-year tax return information for about 225,000 U.S. households. That included about 114,000 successful attempts and 111,000 unsuccessful ones.

On Monday, the agency said its review showed that an additional 390,000 taxpayers were potentially affected. That includes about 220,000 additional households "where there were instances of possible or potential access" to prior-year return data, the ...

Germany's Mann + Hummel agrees to buy U.S. peer Affinia

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial filter maker Mann + Hummel has agreed to buy U.S. peer Affinia to boost its annual sales by $1 billion - or by more than a third - and gain access to the American market for heavy-duty and hydraulic filters.

Greece Faces Snap Elections As Lawmakers Abandon Tsipras

Last week, Greek lawmakers once again voted for a bailout deal that no one - not Greece and not Greece's creditors - truly supports. The deal, which will allow Athens to make a €3.2 billion payment to the ECB this week, averts near-term economic ruin but virtually ensures that the country will remained mired in recession for years as Europe once again displays its penchant for Einsteinian insanity by forcing fiscal retrenchment on states that are already struggling economically.

The deal still needs to approval of other European parliaments but is expected to pass - even in Germany. That said, the agreement with Athens comes at a cost for Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose bulletproof reputation has suffered over the course of the protracted standoff with the Greeks and will face perhaps its greatest test on Wednesday when the Bundestag will vote on the new bailout package. As FT notes, "the deal is certain to get German legislative approval thanks to support from the Social Democrats, but a big rebellion by Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, would represent the biggest challenge to Ms Merkel since she took power a decade ago."

Meanwhile, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will soon be forced to grapple with his own political future in the face of fierce party infighting that threatened to derail the bailout deal earlier this month.

Lacking the support he needs to win a confidence vote, snap elections now appear increasingly likely. Here's Reuters:

Greece's socialist PASOK party joined the main opposition on Sunday in saying it would not ...

Liberty Interactive to buy online retailer Zulily in $2.4 billion deal

(Reuters) - Liberty Interactive Corp , which owns home shopping network QVC, said it would acquire Zulily Inc in a deal valued at $2.4 billion to tap into the online retailer's younger clientele and its strong mobile presence.

Today's Most Stunning Statistic

It appears some are finally waking up...

Correction: three of the Fed's 12 presidents are now Goldman Sachs alums. NY, Dallas and Philly. 25% from one bank. Amazing.

â€" Josh Zumbrun (@JoshZumbrun) August 17, 2015

Others, broadly disparaged by the "some" as "conspiracy theorists", have known all of this for a long, long time.

The Downturn In China Is 'Our' Downturn

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,

In another of the innumerable cosmic coincidences that so abound these days, producer prices in China have been in "deflation" since March 2012. Not only is that 41 consecutive months of falling prices (insofar as this index captures that effect), that month is ubiquitous as a trend demarcation in so many other places. It's as if the Chinese economy and its production, particularly the marginal orientation for external production, were directly linked with the US economy's very real shirking demand. China's producer prices have had the good effort of displaying quite consistently US recession.

ABOOK Aug 2015 China PPI Recession

The fact that China's PPI times to March 2012 would seem to offer the same interpretation with only semantics and numerical definitions to offer a counterargument. Maybe what we have seen since early 2012 does not meet the dominant recession definition, but does that really matter? By all these accounts, something unsavory has occurred during this time and by all these measures is unsurprisingly getting worse with the "dollar."

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