U.S. Markets still trading within the sideways trading channel for now, but the pressure is building for a breakout, one way or another. WTI oil has fallen significantly today, over two dollars, but it remains just above the $45 support building additional concerns for bullish investors. The U.S. dollar is VERY volatile trading in wide swings remaining more or less in the mid 96 range. Markets expected to close in the red, possibly near the unchanged line.
Here is the current market situation from CNN Money
$NYA200R chart below is the percentage of stocks above the 200 DMA and is always a good statistic to follow. It can depict a trend of declining equities which is always troubling, especially when it drops below 60% - 55%. Dropping below 40%-35% signals serious continuing weakness and falling averages.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday, taking responsibility for the German carmaker's rigging of U.S. emissions tests in the biggest scandal in its 78-year history.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global oil markets fell on Wednesday, with U.S. crude down as much as 3 percent after the bullish impact of lower crude inventories was offset by large gasoline builds that raised concerns about high autumn fuel supplies.
BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Risks to Europe's inflation and growth outlook have increased due to the emerging market slowdown but the European Central Bank needs more time before deciding on further stimulus, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Wednesday.
The price of platinum, widely used in diesel car engines, could fall below $900 a troy ounce for the first time since the financial crisis in the wake of the emissions scandal at Volkswagen AG, according to some metals investors and analysts.
The last time September Retail Sales growth was this weak was 2009, limping aimlessly out of the 'Great Recession'. With a mere 0.9% year-over-year growth, Johnson-Redbook data seems to confirm what Reuters reports is looming - the weakest U.S. holiday sales season for retailers since the recession. Consultancy firm AlixPartners expects sales to grow 2.8-3.4% during the November-December shopping period compared with 4.4% in 2014, based on analyzing consumer spending trends so far this year, noting (myth-busting for permabulls) dollars saved at the pump are being directed to personal savings or on non-retail activities.
This year is already seeing the worst retail sales growth since the great recession...
And now, as Reuters reports, the holiday season is setting up to be a major disappointment...
Upper middle-class shoppers spooked by a whipsawing stock market and shoppers waiting till the last minute for the best deals could result in the weakest U.S. holiday sales season for retailers since the recession, AlixPartners said.
The consultancy firm said it expects sales to grow 2.8 percent ...
Having run the stops above Monday's panic-buying highs, algos appeared to recognize that oil production rose last week for the first time in 8 weeks (and the seasonals of inventory changes are about to turn unfavorable)... From a $47 peak post-DOE, WTI crude is back testing a $44 handle...
Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
Financial independence via self-employemnt is still possible, and there are a number of pathways to that goal.
The conventional financial industry touts gaining financial independence by playing Wall Street's game: working a conventional job for decades to accumulate a chunk of money in retirement funds that Wall Street wizards magically squeeze for hefty annual returns in a zero-yield world--in a completely risk-free manner that keeps your nest egg intact, of course.
This annual yield on the large sum squirreled away over the decades then (supposedly) enables a spacious retirement home on the golf course, luxury cruises, etc. (Uh, right. Unless stocks and bonds crater, Wall Street's hedges crumble and the global economy slides into recession--y'know, everything that's happening now.)
(And never mind many households can't possibly save enough to accumulate a big nest egg due to stagnating wages and soaring costs of big-ticket expenses like healthcare and college.)
The other pathway to high-income retirement is to manage your career to earn multiple government pensions: in areas with large Department of Defense (DoD) installations, (military and civilian), this often means 20 years in military or civil-service that comes with a pension and healthcare benefits, followed by a second career in another government agency that secures another pension and maybe Social Security, too: this is the classic Triple-Dipper retirement plan.
A similar pathway is to have two workers in the household each retire with a government pension and Social Security, so the household income includes four secure pensions.
The third avenue to financial independence is not so much about retirement-- ...
On Tuesday we noted - with some alarm - that the US is set to deliver 20 new nuclear bombs to Germany, each of which has four times the destructive power of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima.
For his part, Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said the move blurs the line between tactical and strategic nuclear weapons," while one member of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats warned that the "new attack options against Russia" constitute "a conscious provocation of [Germany's] Russian neighbors."
Of course, as we've documented extensively of late, NATO has never really been shy when it comes to "conscious provocations" of the Russians and that goes double in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and subsequent support for the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.
Still, war games are one thing, but nuclear escalations are entirely another and if ever there were a time when nuclear sabre rattling could prove especially dangerous it's now, as the US and Russia are one "accident" away from open war in Syria.
Russia's foreign ministry immediately condemned the delivery of the bombs to Germany, as spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (who's known for amusingly accurate depictions of US foreign policy) warned that the move represents an "infringement of Articles 1 and 2 of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."
Well sure enough, The Kremlin is now hitting back. Here's
BEIJING (Reuters) - Boeing Co has signed deals to sell 300 aircraft to three Chinese firms and set up an aircraft plant in China, becoming the first U.S. firm to clinch a business tie-up in the country since Chinese president Xi Jinping began a U.S. state visit, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Silver Eagles are in the 25+% range, and bags of 90% silver coins are a little over 24%.
Do you think Greenspan's quote explains it?
"Nor can private counterparties restrict supplies of gold, another commodity whose derivatives are often traded over-the-counter, where central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise."
Alan Greenspan, Testimony Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives July 24, 1998
Charts: Jesse's Cafe Americain and GoldChartsrUs.com.
Last month, I posed the question "Is it time to short the home builders?" My conclusion at the time was pretty much a "wait and see". Circumstances have changed. I believe the builders are now short candidates.
Beware of politicians trying to fix the housing market (the Johnson-Crapo GSE reform bill actually failed last year)
Cartoon by Glenn Foden
There is only one upside risk to shorting the builders - the government. In almost two years, Yellen has demonstrated that she is the timid little old lady who lacks the delusions of grandeur that possessed Bernanke. The White House and Capitol Hill are going to be too busy with the elections to do anything radical. Therefore, while the builders may once again be bailed out, it will likely happen in the future and after short positions are already covered.
The real estate market typically moves slowly, by a few percent a year. Once in a while, it may come to an abrupt stop. Volcker did it in 1981 with his rate hikes. The S&L crisis did it in 1989. More recently, the sub-prime bubble shut down the market in 2007. It may happen again now. Unless one is positioned already, there may be little time to initiate positions.
LONDON (Reuters) - One morning in May, the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Britain's biggest banks, called together his senior executives for an urgent briefing. Ross McEwan had just attended a meeting with officials at the financial regulator and had important news.Â
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