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24Feb2016 Market Close: US Averages Close In The Green, Crude Sharply Higher, Investor Participation Lacking For Further Advancement

Written by Gary

US made a turnaround today Opening almost 1% down and ending up solidly in the green. The DOW closed up 53 points, SP500 closed up 0.4% and the Nasdaq closed up 0.9%. The resistance of 1948 for the Spooz remains intact and not even reaching yesterday's highs. WTI left its early session lows and climbed sharply to settle in the low 32's. Nice market recovery, but I don't think it will hold.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

The Washington insiders who work to get Chinese deals approved

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A spate of proposed Chinese takeovers of U.S. companies, from the Chicago Stock Exchange to makers of high-end semiconductors, has created a vibrant business for a small circuit of Washington insiders who advise on how to get cross-border deals approved by the U.S. government.

Wall Street mixed as Apple rises and banks warn about oil

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mixed on Wednesday as investors focused on banks' vulnerability to decade-low oil prices that have left energy companies struggling to pay their debts and a rise in Apple propped up the S&P 500.

Shell folds U.S. shale resources unit, says U.S. head to leave

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell said on Wednesday it will fold into other operations a unit dedicated to developing so-called unconventional resources, a term used by the industry to describe shale oil and gas, and that the unit's director and U.S. head Marvin Odum would leave the company.

VW must do more in emissions cheating investigation: shareholder

(Reuters) - Volkswagen is not doing enough to investigate how Europe's largest carmaker became embroiled in an emissions cheating scandal, shareholder Union Asset Management said on Wednesday.

Oil rallies after loading issues for U.K. crude, U.S. gasoline demand

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil rallied as much as 3 percent on Wednesday with Brent prices helped by news of stalled loadings for the U.K.'s North Sea oil while U.S. crude futures rose after strong demand for gasoline offset worries about record high crude inventories.

Affiliate of Spain's Abengoa files for U.S. bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - An affiliate of Spain's troubled Abengoa SA filed for U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, saying in court documents it had up to $10 billion in both liabilities and assets.

Fed's Kaplan says does not expect U.S. to enter recession this year

DALLAS (Reuters) - Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan said on Wednesday that he does not expect the United States to enter recession this year.

Caterpillar combining two divisions, analysts see more job cuts

(Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc will combine two divisions dealing with power and energy by June, adding more details to a massive restructuring plan, and analysts were expecting more job cuts.

Solid support for Apple in iPhone encryption fight: poll

BOSTON (Reuters) - Nearly half of Americans support Apple Inc's decision to oppose a federal court order demanding that it unlock a smartphone used by San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, according to a national online Reuters/Ipsos poll.

What Could Go Wrong? Brazil Plans To Kill Zika With Gamma Radiation Burst

Having "nailed it" with the feces-infused water for the Olympics, killed the golden goose of its economy, and unable to crackdown on widespread corruption, Brazil now has a 'great' idea to solve its utterly disastrous Zika epidemic... by zapping millions of male mosquitoes with gamma rays from drones to sterilise them.

As The Telegraph reports, Brazil is planning to fight the Zika virus by zapping millions of male mosquitoes with gamma rays to sterilise them and stop the spread of the virus linked to thousands of birth defects.

Called an irradiator, the device has been used to control fruit flies on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday it will pay to ship the device to Juazeiro, in the northeastern state of Bahia, as soon as the Brazilian government issues an import permit.

"It's a birth control method, the equivalent of family planning for humans," said Kostas Bourtzis, a molecular biologist with the IAEA's insect pest control laboratory.

Brazil is scrambling to eradicate the Aedes mosquito that has caused an epidemic of dengue and more recently an outbreak of Zika, a virus associated with an alarming surge in cases of babies born with abnormally small heads.

Google's "SkyNet" Robots Are All Grown Up, And Terrifying

The last time we looked at the fascinating robotic products of Boston Dynamics, a company which Google prudently acquired quietly in 2013, it was a cute petting zoo of clumsy robotic "animals" including a "big dog", a "wild cat", and a "cheetah." They could barely walk for a few minutes without collapsing or suffering some terminal failure.

Barely over two years later Google's robots, no longer cute little animals, are not only all grown up but judging by the progress revealed in the company's latest progress video, are a few months from being full 5'9", 180 lbs humanoid automatons who can not only walk, pick themselves up, open doors, and carry heavy loads, but are this close from replacing millions of workers in menial, repetitive occupations as well as forming an army of robots best seen until recently in the science fiction section of your favorite streaming movie provider.

Worse, they are downright terrifying because after watching the clip below we can't decide which flashbacks are stronger: to SkyNet or RoboCop.

This is how Boston Dynamics intros the following disturbing video:

A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5' 9" tall (about a head shorter than the DRC Atlas) and weighs 180 lbs.

In other words the " ...

Even The Average Joe Gets It: "They're Winding Us All Up For A Minsky Moment"

With global central bank policy in disarray following the Fed's now admitted "policy error" of tightening just as the US and global economy are heading for recession, while the rest of the world desperate to cut to ever more negative rates, not to mention Japan's abysmal foray into NIRP, there was hope that this weekend in Shanghai the G-20 would "bail us out" and unveil some miraculous rescue for risk takers at least one more time.

However, as Jack Lew explained earlier today, this won't happen, leaving traders in a state of limbo and cognitive shock - after all if not even the central banks have your back, then who does?

Still something has to happen, or otherwise the world will careen into a deflationary, NIRP collapse and the Fed's 25bps "recession buffer" will have absolutely no impact before the US itself plunged into economic contraction.

One proposal comes from BBG trader Richard Breslow, who like most others, is sick and tired of the constant market manipulation, endless central bank jawboning, and who like us, is hoping that one day markets will once again be free and efficient, not for any other reason but because as Breslow notes, even the average Joe gets it: "if you really want to see people spend and invest there has to be some belief this won't all end in tears."

His full note:

Parole For Prisoners With A Dilemma

If the U.S. wants to really do some good at the G-20, they should try to get their heads around the concept of embracing a stronger U.S. dollar. That would be showing a commitment to global leadership, both economic and moral, which has been long absent. It's a bet on a stronger global economic tide raising all boats.

Even the largest economy in the world has been unable (unwilling) to export g ...

Stocks Turn Higher Heading Into Close

U.S. stocks erased earlier losses Wednesday to trade higher, though a decline in financial stocks kept the gains in check.

The Big New Threat to Oil Prices: A Glut of Gasoline

Refineries in the U.S. Midwest are losing their thirst for oil as gasoline piles up in the market, posing a new risk for the battered oil market.

Argentina, Hedge Funds Move Closer to Reaching Deal

Argentina and hedge funds that are owed $1.8 billion over the country's defaulted debt moved closer to reaching a deal that would pay those hedge funds $5 billion, according to a person close to the matter.

The Wall Street Journal: S&P 500 earnings are worse than you think

There's a big difference between companies' advertised performance in 2015 and how they actually did.

Nike's Phil Knight explains why he gave Stanford $400 million

He says he found donating to Stanford 'sort of irresistible'

Futures Movers: Oil prices end higher as U.S. output falls, gasoline demand climbs

Oil futures settled with a gain on Wednesday, finding support from a weekly decline in U.S. crude production, as strong demand for gasoline pointed to a possible rise in demand for oil to make the fuel.

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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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