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03May2016 Market Close: DOW Slips 140 Points, China And European Financial Worries Spook Investors, Crude Prices Slipped Again And Short-Term Indicators Are Very Bearish

Written by Gary

US markets closed lower after a brief run off the session lows to the SP500 pivot point (@ 2070) and ended with the DOW down 140 points and the Spooze off 0.9%. Global economic worries resurfaced today after China's weak economic data came in worse than projected. Europe reignited additional worries about global growth, while oil prices dropped for a second day, dragging down energy shares.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. falls on growth fears, oil decline

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after weak economic data in China and Europe reignited worries about global growth, while oil prices dropped for a second day, dragging down energy shares.

Steven Cohen: hedge fund crowding caused major February loss

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Steven Cohen said that too many hedge funds placing the same types of bets contributed to sharp losses for his $11 billion Point72 Asset Management earlier this year.

Healthy U.S. April auto sales fail to offset growth fears

DETROIT (Reuters) - Detroit automakers reported another month of strong demand from U.S. consumers for trucks and sport utility vehicles on Tuesday, but their shares dropped as analysts focused on signs the world's second largest auto market has little room to grow.

Wall Street values Tesla Motors at $620,000 per car

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Company founder and CEO Elon Musk may not mention Tesla Motors Inc's stock price when his electric car company gives its latest financial update on Wednesday, but it will be front and center for investors divided over its seemingly rich valuation.

U.S. prosecutors consider more charges against ex-CEO Shkreli

(Reuters) - Former drug executive Martin Shkreli, who last year became a lightning rod for outrage over soaring prescription drug prices, may face additional U.S. charges of securities fraud, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Halliburton aims to boost weak businesses after failed Baker Hughes deal

(Reuters) - Halliburton Co said it would consider acquisitions to bolster its weaker businesses as the world's No.2 oilfield services company looks to move on after abandoning a deal to buy smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc .

Brazil judge overturns 72-hour suspension of WhatsApp

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge on Tuesday overturned a suspension of Facebook Inc's WhatsApp messaging application that affected some 100 million users, after many people voiced frustration at the second such freeze in five months in the South American country.

New drugs fuel strong Pfizer results; company raises 2016 forecasts

(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc, which last month abandoned its $160 billion quest for Allergan Inc, reported quarterly results that blew past analyst estimates on sales of its new cancer and arthritis treatments and the acquisition last year of hospital products company Hospira.

Fed's Lockhart: Two rate hikes this year 'certainly possible', flags Brexit risk

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - The United States could see two further interest rate rises this year but uncertainties abound including the impact on the U.S. economy should Britain vote to leave the European Union, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Tuesday.

The ECB Just Admitted QE and NIRP Cannot Produce Growth

As we noted yesterday, the ECB cannot and will not be able to generate GDP growth or inflation.

The EU is simply too leveraged. You cannot have an entire region sporting a Debt to GDP of over 90%... with banks leveraged at 26 to 1 using sovereign debt as collateral on their derivatives trades, and "fix it" using NIRP or QE.

This is like trying to hold up a 400 lb. weight... and then having someone offer you a floor lamp as additional support. The effect, at best, is largely psychological.

Cue today...

The European Commission told the euro area's largest economies to reduce debt and modernize labor markets as it again slashed its inflation forecast and warned of slower-than-predicted growth across the 19-nation bloc.

France, Spain and Italy, which have persistently failed to hit European Union budget targets, are still off track, the Brussels-based commission said on Tuesday. Gross domestic product in the currency area will increase by 1.6 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2017 -- both 0.1 percentage point lower than the commission forecast in February. Inflation will average 0.2 percent this year, below the European Central Bank's target.

Source: Bloomberg.

So... even after expanding the pace of its QE purchases from 60 billion to 80 billion per month, the ECB expects inflation to be 0.2%.

Bear in mind, the ECB has been overestimating growth and inflation for four years straight. The notion that inflation will hit 0.2% might be misguided.

The fact of the matter is that nothing in the EU has been fixed. All that happened was the markets bought into Mario Draghi&rsquo ...

Why The Founder Of A $35 Billion Hedge Fund Is "Very Worried"

David Siegel is worried, very worried as a matter of fact. The co-founder of Two Sigma, the $35 billion hedge fund said at the Milken Institute Global Conference that he's "very worried" that machines could soon replace a large amount of the workforce.

"Most people in the bulk of the job market are not involved in super-high-value jobs. They are doing routine work and tasks and it's precisely these tasks that computers are going to be better at doing" Siegel said.

A perfect example of this is on display in many Mcdonald's restaurants now as a result of some states raising the minimum wage. You now will find touch screens to place your order and pay instead of dealing with a person.

Of course, Mr. Siegel knows a bit about how powerful a role computers could play in the economy, as his New York based firm is regarded as one of the most sophisticated firms that use technology in order help it make money (i.e. high frequency trading).

A few other people chimed in on the matter as well. Steve Cohen, of SAC fame, agreed that artificial intelligence is "coming but not here ...

Apple: What Will Make the Stock Tick Again

As Apple's recent share-price travails show, the tech giant needs to be about more than just the iPhone. But the company faces challenges in trying to diversify its business. In that regard, the performance of the Apple Watch is telling.

UBS: Timid Clients Kick Profits to the Side

A surge in new money at the Swiss bank didn't help profits as trading activity still buckled.

Tesla Is Heading Straight for a Speed Trap

On the supposed long-term road to success, Tesla bulls face a harsh short-term reality, likely evident in Wednesday's quarterly results.

Currencies: Dollar rises off lows as oil's drop weighs on developing markets

The dollar rebounded sharply Tuesday after a key gauge of its strength tumbled to its weakest level since January 2015 earlier in the session, as a drop in oil prices pressured vulnerable emerging-market currencies.

Personal Finance Daily: Jobs that help you retire early, and broke Olympians

These are the jobs that help you retire early, and why Olympians are broke.

The Wall Street Journal: Sheldon Silver sentenced to 12 years in prison

Sheldon Silver is sentenced to 12 years in prison, after the former New York state Assembly speaker was found guilty of fraud, extortion and money laundering.

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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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