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20Oct2015 Market Close: Averages Close In The Red, Investors Unsure Of Market Direction After $SPX Fails To Pierce 2040 Resistance

Written by Gary

The major averages all closed in the red, the large caps fractionally so. Oil prices melted back up into the low 46's, US dollar up nicely and gold is stable for now.

The SP500 tried for the 'gold ring' today at 2040, but failed and it is no wonder because the $SPX is facing resistance in the same level that held market up for six months.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. dips as healthcare, biotech lag

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended down slightly Tuesday as a drop in healthcare and biotech stocks offset gains in United Technologies and Verizon.

Sony to pay up to $8 million in 'Interview' hacking lawsuit

(Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc has agreed to pay up to $8 million to resolve a lawsuit by employees who claimed their personal data was stolen in a 2014 hacking tied to the studio's release of a comedy set in North Korea, "The Interview."

Harley-Davidson third-quarter profit falls, stock hits two-year low

(Reuters) - Motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson Inc. on Tuesday posted lower quarterly earnings, reduced profit guidance and said it planned to eliminate jobs, sending the company's shares to a two-year low.

Asia private equity funds hurt Morgan Stanley's third-quarter profit

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A dramatic fall in the value of Morgan Stanley's Asian private equity funds hit the bank's quarterly earnings, highlighting the risks of such investing at a time when rivals are scaling back to avoid losses and higher regulatory costs.

Yum Brands to separate China unit amid activist pressure

(Reuters) - KFC owner Yum Brands Inc said it plans to spin off its dominant China business, which has been besieged by food scandals and marketing missteps, amid pressure from an activist shareholder who recently joined its board of directors.

Areva says to cut 2,700 jobs in France by 2017

PARIS (Reuters) - Areva plans to cut 2,700 jobs in France by 2017 as it restructures, the French nuclear group said in a statement on Tuesday following presentations to staff representatives.

The September Jobs Report Was Even Worse: U.S. States Lost A Total Of 22,000 Jobs

Remember that September jobs report when the US supposedly only added 142,000 jobs, which was so bad it sent stocks soaring the most in years?

As it turns out the sum was far greater than the parts, because according to today's BLS breakdown of jobs by state, not only did more than half, or 28, states lose jobs in September, but the total number of jobs losses, at 120,000, was about 20% more than the cumulative job gains of 99,000.

How that -21,000 total job loss when summing across all states compares to the alleged gain of 143,000 jobs at the consolidated level reported two weeks ago, we'll leave to the reader to decide, suffice to say that any and all data coming out of the BLS and not making sense, has become the norm.

Also not making any sense, is the state with the most purported job gains, because while firing tens of thousands of oil patch workers, Texas mysteriously - according to the BLS - added 26,600 jobs. The gains occurred in a range of industries, including retail, shipping, education, health care, and hotels and restaurants. Or even more low-paying jobs used a "plug" filler by the BLS to offset the real collapse of America's high-paying manufacturing jobs. New York added the second-most, with 12,000, which is also curious considering all banks but Goldman reported they have continued to layoff tens of thousands of workers.

But before you go all in 3x levered ETFs with the certainty that this latest batch of recessionary news sends the S&P500 limit up, there was some good news: As AP observes, on

Credit Markets Ain't Buying It, Warn VIX Should Be At 25

On the basis of the fundamental economic backdrop, Goldman Sachs sees VIX fair-value at least 19, with low-teens more consistent with ISM in the upper 50s (not the current sub-50 levels). However, credit (and FX) protection markets imply significantly more risk ahead with CDX HY stalled at 2month lows (while VIX hits 3 month lows). Given historical relationships, credit markets suggest a VIX of 25 is more consistent with reality (especially as Skew tail risk rolls down to normal risk).

Credit Risk has not normalized...

And while FX and Oil volatility has fallen, it has not fallen as much as equity volatility...

Leaving VIX a clear outlier.

As we noted previously, The U.S. economic landscape & cross asset metrics both suggest a VIX in the high-teens.

Point 1. The business cycle: In last week's edition of The Buzz we estimated that baseline VIX levels of 18 would be justified given the current U.S. economic landscape. Our point is not that the VIX will go to 18 tomorrow. It is that trend VIX levels should now be 4-5 points higher than the average level of 14 ...

Furious Germans Stage Massive Anti-Islam Protest: "The Concentration Camps Are Unfortunately Out Of Action"

Over the past several months, we've warned repeatedly that Europe's escalating migrant crisis threatens to set off a dangerous bout of scapegoating xenophobia.

Germany's open door policy to asylum seekers has effectively been forced on other countries by decree, a move which could very well engender intense and possibly dangerous feelings of nationalism among citizens who disagree with Berlin's approach to the crisis. We've already seen Hungary resort to razor wire fences, water cannons, and tear gas to keep migrants out and Budapest's move to close its border with Croatia and Serbia has set off a Balkan border battle wherein no one can quite figure out the most efficient way to get the refugees to Germany without allowing their countries to be used as migrant superhighways.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is beginning to feel the heat at home. Recall the following from AFP:

Germany's Angela Merkel is used to owning the room when she speaks to her party faithful, but the mood turned hostile when she defended her open-door refugee policy this week.

In a heated atmosphere, some of the 1,000-odd members at the meeting warned of a "national disaster" and demanded shuttering the borders as Germany expects up to one million migrants this year.

"Stop the refugee chaos -- save German culture + values -- dethrone Merkel," read a banner at the congress late Wednesday in the eastern state of Saxony, the home base for the anti-foreigner PEGIDA movement.

As Reuters notes, PEGIDA (which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West,)

J.P. Morgan Near Deal to Sell Majority of Highbridge Private Equity Business

J.P. Morgan is close to relinquishing control of a $22 billion private equity business, turning loose part of a firm it acquired before the financial crisis and helped quadruple in size.

U.S. Stocks Slip as Health-Care Sector, IBM Weigh

U.S. stock indexes ended slightly lower Tuesday, as a health-care selloff and a downbeat earnings report from International Business Machines kept a lid on gains in other sectors.

Companies can now estimate the cost of a data breach

A new company is launching a product that puts a dollar value on cyber risk.

The Wall Street Journal: Intel to spend at least $3.5 billion converting China plant for memory chips

Intel Corp. plans to convert its semiconductor fabrication plant in China to make memory chips, a strategy shift expected to cost at least $3.5 billion over three to five years.

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To contact me with questions, comments or constructive criticism is always encouraged and appreciated:

gary@econintersect.com

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