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10Feb2016 Market Close: U.S. Averages Gave Up Gains In Late Afternoon Trading As Oil and US Dollar Continue To Slip, The Fed Is Not Likely To Reverse Tightening Controls

Written by Gary

US averages closed down reversing the morning opening numbers, souring investors hope for reversing Fed's tightening cycle it began in December. Crude continued to slip and settled in the lower 27's as the US dollar closed lower in the high95. Several short-term indicators are pointing to an up session tomorrow.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Google says U.S. guidance crucial to development of self-driving cars

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google unit told U.S. auto safety regulators that the government's interpretation of motor vehicle safety rules is "extremely important" to its further development of fully self-driving cars.

Yellen: Fed not likely to reverse course on rates despite risks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tightening financial conditions and uncertainty over China pose risks to the U.S. recovery, but chances are slim the Federal Reserve will reverse the rate tightening cycle it began in December, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday.

Viacom investor SpringOwl urges independent directors to quit

(Reuters) - Viacom Inc investor SpringOwl Asset Management urged the media company's six independent directors to step down immediately, days after the board appointed Chief Executive Philippe Dauman to the additional post of executive chairman.

Wall Street rebounds; Yellen eases concerns about economy

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher on Wednesday afternoon after three straight sessions of losses as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen eased investor concerns about the U.S. economy's ability to absorb a gradual rise in interest rates.

Viacom's past share buyback binge leaves investors hungry

(Reuters) - In a conference call after the company's disappointing results on Tuesday, Viacom Inc Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, among other things, said he was "focused on getting Viacom's stock price back" to levels it had been "just a short time ago."

MetLife challenges U.S. 'too big to fail' designation in court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government and the country's largest life insurer squared off in federal court on Wednesday over whether regulators can designate non-banking firms as "too big to fail," one of the major reforms that followed the financial crisis.

Disappointing show by HBO, Turner drags down Time Warner

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue as subscription revenue for its cable channel HBO and Turner television network disappointed Wall Street, sending the company's shares down as much as 9.8 percent.

Exclusive: Nigeria to seek China loan, shelves Eurobond sale for now - sources

LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun plans to travel to China next week, aiming to negotiate a loan of up to $2 billion to help fund record budget spending, financial and government sources said on Wednesday.

U.S. government posts $55 billion budget surplus in January

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government posted a $55 billion budget surplus in January, up from an $18 billion deficit in the same month a year ago, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

Could Gasoline Drop Below $1 Per Gallon?

Submitted by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com,

Retail gasoline prices have dipped below $2 per gallon across the United States. But gas might drop below $1 per gallon soon in some places of the country.

Aside from the financial crisis, when gasoline prices dropped below $2 per gallon for just a few months, retail gasoline prices have not been below $2 since 2004. Gas prices are at their lowest levels in many years.

But things could soon get even crazier. GasBuddy says that gasoline supplies are rising in the Midwest, which could result in localized gluts for product, pushing prices down to $1 per gallon or even lower. With access to heavily discounted Canadian crude, Midwest refiners are churning out cheaper and cheaper gasoline. "That could trigger fire sales—very quick and low price sales," Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy told the WSJ. There is a "strong possibility" that refiners, trying to offload excess winter fuel blends, could discount prices down to 99 cents per gallon for a brief period of time.

Oklahoma appears to be enjoying the cheapest gasoline in the country. According to GasBuddy's website, the cheapest gas right now can be found in Oklahoma City, where one station was selling gas for $1.09 per gallon on February 9. A 7-Eleven in Norman, OK sold gas for $1.10 per gallon on the same day.

Something Very Disturbing Spotted In A Morgan Stanley Presentation

With central bankers losing credibility left and right, and failing outright to boost the "wealth effect" no matter what they throw at it, the next big question is when will central planners around the world unveil the cashless society which is a necessary and sufficient condition to a regime of global NIRP.

And while in recent days we have seen op-eds by both Bloomberg and FT urging the banning of cash, the most disturbing development we have seen yet in the push for a cashless society has come from the following slide in a Morgan Stanley presentation, one in which the bank's head of EMEA equity research Huw van Steenis, pointed out the following...

... and added this:

One of the most surprising comments this year came from a closed session on fintech where I sat next to someone in policy circles who argued that we should move quickly to a cashless economy so that we could introduce negative rates well below 1% " as they were concerned that Larry Summers' secular stagnation was indeed playing out and we would be stuck with negative rates for a decade in Europe. They felt below (1.5)% depositors would start to hoard notes, leading to yet further complexities for monetary policy.

Consider this the latest, and loudest, warning on the road to digital fiat serf ...

U.S. Stocks Give Up Gains

U.S. stocks gave up gains in late-afternoon trading, an indication that investors remain hesitant amid the wild swings in markets this year.

What's Going On in the Markets? 5 Theories to Explain the Chaos

The size of price moves across asset classes and the rise of volatility this year have left investors grasping for an overarching thesis, leading to the rise of multiple explanations. Here are five theories.

Fed Nods to Negative Rates, Hurdles and All

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen waded into fraught territory before Congress on Wednesday, suggesting the central bank could turn to negative interest rates in an economic downturn, despite legal and other uncertainties.

Amid Low Oil Prices, OPEC's Divisions Deepen

from STRATFOR

-- this post authored by Matthew Bey

Oil prices hit new lows in January, but the world's biggest producers still can't seem to agree on how to respond. Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino returned home empty-handed after concluding on Feb. 7 a week of visits to major oil-exporting countries. His aim was to organize an emergency meeting between OPEC members and non-OPEC states. The topic they would have discussed, had del Pino been successful, would have been how to coordinate a cut in global oil production.

The Tell: How to react when a Goldman Sachs backs away from its big calls so early in the year

Goldman Sachs has made headlines this week by backing away from most of its biggest calls on the financial markets. What's it to you as an investor? A fair bit actually, but not in the way you think.

The Ratings Game: Disney analysts look past 'Star Wars' bump to ESPN worries

Analysts looked past theStar Wars bump to The Walt Disney Company's earnings, focusing instead on the prospects for the ESPN sport-network franchise.

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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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