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13May2016 Market Close: DOW Closes Down Almost 200 Points, SP500 Down 0.9%, Rig Count Down, Are We Headed Into A Recession?

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks ended lower this afternoon, ending a three-day rally, after strong April retail sales data was overshadowed by gloomy earnings reports from retailers. Crude remained in a tight trading, but volatile range, as investors cashed in on recent gains, but losses were cushioned by outages in Nigeria. The total US rig count declined, down 9 to 406. The last four times rig counts collapsed anything like this, the US economy was in recession.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Strong U.S. retail sales, consumer sentiment data buoy economic outlook

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales in April recorded their biggest increase in a year as Americans stepped up purchases of automobiles and a range of other goods, suggesting the economy was regaining momentum after growth almost stalled in the first quarter.

Wall Street falls as consumer stocks take a hit

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Friday as a decline in oil prices added to pressure from consumer companies after gloomy earnings reports from Nordstrom and J.C. Penney overshadowed upbeat April retail sales data.

Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing

(Reuters) - Apple Inc said on Thursday it has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, a move that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said would help the company better understand the critical Chinese market.

U.S. energy bankruptcy wave surges despite recovering oil prices

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The wave of U.S. oil and gas bankruptcies surged past 60 this week, an ominous sign that the recovery of crude prices to near $50 a barrel is too little, too late for small companies that are running out of money.

GM halts sales of some new U.S. SUVs due to overstated fuel economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Friday it is temporarily halting sales of about 60,000 new 2016 U.S. SUVs because the vehicles' window labels overstate their fuel efficiency.

Oil slips as dollar strengthens but traders eye Nigerian outages

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices slipped on Friday, ending a three-day rally, as a strong dollar weighed and investors cashed in on recent gains, but losses were cushioned by outages in Nigeria that have slashed output to the lowest in over two decades.

Warning of downward spiral, IMF sees no economic upside to Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said on Friday there were no economic positives to Britain leaving the European Union and that the impact would range from "pretty bad to very, very bad".

Exclusive: Iraq oil projects face delays as companies resist spending cuts

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - International oil firms have warned Iraq that projects to increase its crude output will be delayed if the government insists on drastic spending cuts this year, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Friday.

Sanofi presses on with threat to oust Medivation's board

(Reuters) - France's Sanofi SA was moving ahead on Friday with preparations to replace Medivation Inc's board of directors after the U.S. cancer drug maker refused to engage with it in sale talks based on a $9.3 billion acquisition offer.

California Tax Revenues Miss Projections By $1 Billion As Residents Flee The State

Tax revenues for the state of California have come in nearly a billion dollars below projections, which is causing Governor Jerry Brown to amend his $171 billion spending plan that was just proposed in January.

As Reuters reports, California's tax revenues came in $869 million less than forecast for the first four months of the year. Governor brown is now expected to cut some of the proposed spending increases in education, healthcare and infrastructure as a result of the miss.

"We had to adjust our fiscal plan to account for the fact that among other things April receipts were about a billion dollars below what the month's projections had been" said spokesman H.D. Palmer.

Many things were blamed for the shortfall, from slower than expected wage growth (there's a fix for that!), to lower capital gains taxes from a struggling market. While those were surely a factor, perhaps the biggest reason is the one that was also unmentioned: residents are fleeing the state in droves, with over 250,000 moving out of the state between 2013-2014 alone.

Recall that based on a study of IRS tax returns, over 250,000 Cal ...

Hedge Fund Billionaire Spends $13 Million Supporing Ted Cruz, Then Immediately Flips To Hillary Clinton

For those confused by the whole power triangle between Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump, and which candidate stood for what and represents whom, the following brief anecdote from the Guardian should explain all one needs to know.

The world's top 25 hedge fund managers earned $13bn last year " more than the entire economies of Namibia, the Bahamas or Nicaragua. Kenneth Griffin, founder and chief executive of Citadel, and James Simons, founder and chairman of Renaissance Technologies, shared the top spot, taking home $1.7bn each.

Simons, a string theory expert and former cold war codebreaker, has made an estimated $15.5bn from Renaissance Technologies the mathematics-driven œquant hedge fund he set up 34 years ago.

The fund, which is run from the tiny Long Island village of Setauket where Simons owns a huge beachfront compound, has donated $13m to Cruz's failed campaign. With Cruz out of the race, Renaissance has switched donations to Hillary Clinton, with more than $2m donated so far. Euclidean Capital, Simon's family office, has donated more than $7m to Clinton.

That is all.

h/t @LibertyBlitz

Retail Troubles: It Isn't Just About Amazon

A strong retail-sales report reveals just how deep a funk traditional retailers are in.

From LendingClub to Theranos, the Limits of Disruption

Disruption is a big part of Silicon Valley's playbook, but startups that use it as a mantra can open themselves up to risks.

Apple Takes Billion Dollar Detour to Fix Troubles in China

Apple's Didi Chuxing investment shows the company is looking to change its fortunes in China. Investors should now factor in that the cost of doing so has risen.

Market Extra: Here's what Treasury yields tell us about the stock market's next move

Will ultra-low Treasury yields pull down the stock market?

Weekend Sip: This $12 Bordeaux is the perfect bottle for wine-loving cheapskates

A new brand offers the famed French wine for 12 bucks a bottle

Commodities Corner: Hedge-fund stars are backing gold

The first five months of this year have been the best time to be a gold bug in three decades, since the precious metal gained nearly 20% year to date

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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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