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05Feb2016 Market Close: US Markets Closed Down, DOW Off 212 Points, Spooz Off 1.9%, Crude Settles At 31, Markets At A Directional Cross Road

Written by Gary

US major averages moved off the 'triple' support in the last hour of trading, but the volume level just didn't build any confidence that Monday was going to be an up session. It appears we are going to have much of the same on Monday, sideways trading, as we witnessed in the late afternoon Friday session.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

We are at a crossroad of sorts and is NOT a good time for irrational decisions, even with hedged bets.

Of course the markets may open higher because of some unusual exciting news, nah, I can't think of anything either. But what is more likely is that the markets will open lower, low enough to solidly test the 'support' and a bunch of BTFD'er will jump in and push the markets higher. I'll be watching for that.

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Technology stocks fall, lead losses on Wall Street

(Reuters) - The Nasdaq led a selloff on Wall Street following weak forecasts from technology companies, including LinkedIn , and worries about lofty valuations.

Business services firms' shares bleed as LinkedIn, Tableau crash

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Dismal sales outlooks from marquee technology names sent shares in the enterprise sector crashing on Friday as investors questioned trends they had previously banked on to drive growth.

LinkedIn shares dive more than 40 percent, $11 billion wiped out

(Reuters) - LinkedIn Corp's shares plunged as much as 43 percent on Friday, wiping out nearly $11 billion of market value, after the social network for professionals shocked Wall Street with a revenue forecast that fell far short of expectations.

Leaders at Bridgewater Associates in apparent feud: WSJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two of the top executives at Bridgewater Associates LP, the world's largest hedge fund, want a dozen senior employees and stakeholders to vote on their character to help resolve an apparent dispute between them, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

CFM jet engine sales top 2,150 in 2015 as growth booms

(Reuters) - Aircraft engine maker CFM International said on Friday it sold 2,154 engines last year valued at $27 billion, including 1,418 LEAP engines and 736 CFM56 motors. It also said it produced 1,638 CFM56 engines in 2015.

U.S. labor market on solid ground as jobless rate hits eight-year low

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employment gains slowed more than expected in January as the boost to hiring from unseasonably mild weather faded, but rising wages and an unemployment rate at an eight-year low suggested the labor market recovery remains firm.

Tesoro to pay U.S. West Coast refinery workers $8 million: NLRB

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Independent U.S. West Coast refiner Tesoro Corp has agreed to pay $8.08 million to 769 United Steelworkers union members at refineries in California and Washington state who were denied bonuses while on strike in 2015, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board said on Friday.

Tyson Foods raises full-year profit forecast as costs fall

(Reuters) - Tyson Foods Inc , the biggest U.S. meat processor, raised its full-year profit forecast, helped by a sharp drop in feed and livestock costs, sending its shares to a record high on Friday.

Volkswagen delays 2015 results, AGM as scandal effects unclear

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen has postponed publication of its financial results for 2015 and delayed its annual shareholders' meeting as the German carmaker struggles to put an exact price on its diesel emissions scandal.

The First Warning Sign That Cushing May Be About To Overflow

To be sure, the rumors have been there for a while.

As we first wrote in March of 2015 when it became a topic of conversation, speculation that Cushing may fill, and even overflow, has been around for nearly 10 months.

As we reported then, there were floating predictions that Cushing may top out as soon as the summer of 2015.

In retrospect, these forecasts underestimated just how "stretchy" US commercial storage can be; they also ignored how many millions of barrels could and would be stored at sea even though the contango in recent months had made such storage virtually unprofitable; the recent change in the US oil exporting law helped, and much of the excess inventories were carted off toward Europe which allegedly has more oil excess capacity than the US.

However, as overproduction continues, even the highly adaptive US storage system appears to be reaching its limits. Recall that the primary reason why Goldman envisions $20 oil as a possibility is because US storage capacity will be reached.

Then yesterday, the EIA itself in a blog post took on the topic of soaring inventories.

This is what it said:

Several factors have played a part in pushing U.S. ...

Gold Surges Back Into The Green After $1.2 Billion Morning Plunge

After someone decided to dump $1.2 billion notional in gold futures this morning as the jobs data hit - sparking a $20 tumble in the precious metal - it appears stock sellers are greatly rotating to the safety of bullion (over bonds)...


The Swiss National Bank Doubled Its Holdings Of AAPL Stock In 2015

In the spring of 2015 we showed something unexpected: one of the biggest buyers, and holders, of AAPL stock was none other than the already quite troubled - in the aftermath of its disastrous Swiss Franc peg which ended up costing it tens of billions in losses - largest hedge fund in Switzerland, its central bank, the Swiss National Bank.

What is curious is that unlike the Fed, the hedge fund also known as the Swiss National Bank not only proudly admits it purchases stocks, ETFs and virtually anything else on a daily basis, but every quarter it discloses the composition of its equity holdings, which at 18% of its $560 billion in foreign currency reserves, amounted to just over $100 billion.

Conveniently, the SNB also discloses the breakdown of its long US equity book in a 13-F and according to the latest filing we now know that in a year in which AAPL not only entered a bear market, but dropped to multi-year lows, the SNB almost doubled its total AAPL holdings, which as of December 31, 2015 amounted to 10.4 million shares, up from 5.6 million a year earlier, which means that at least one of the bigger AAPL bagholders, with a position amounting to just under $1 billion, was happy to add to its AAPL position as the stock was tumbling. Too bad not everyone else can literally print money and buy stocks.

AAPL, however, while the SNB's largest holding, is only the tip of the iceberg. ...

Tech Sector Leads Sharp Selloff

The S&P 500 posted its biggest weekly decline since the start of the year, with technology shares suffering particularly sharp losses.

Schism Atop World's Biggest Hedge Fund

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio and his presumed heir apparent, Greg Jensen, have called for dueling votes about each other's conduct at the world's largest hedge fund, which manages $154 billion.

Expatriations Rose to Record in 2015

A record number of people cut their official ties with the U.S. in 2015 by giving up their citizenship or turning in long-term green cards, according to an analysis of new data posted Friday by the Treasury Department.

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. consumer credit rose by $23.1 billion in December

Consumer credit grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $21.3 billion or 7.2%, the Federal Reserve said Friday.

The Tell: This is how the oil rout's 'endgame' might play out

The rout in oil prices is entering its endgame, but that doesn't mean crude prices will skyrocket soon, says Guggenheim's Scott Minerd, who last spring warned that crude could break below $30 a barrel.

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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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