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10Aug2016 Pre-Market Commentary: US Futures Are Fractionally Higher, US Dollar Sliding, Gold Testing Resistance, Markets To Open Marginally Higher

Written by Gary

US stock future indexes are fractionally higher this morning (SPY +0.1%), crude prices are trading lower on bearish news from the American Petroleum Institute and the US dollar is trending lower. Global stocks were mostly lower on Wednesday as productivity data from the U.S. dampened the outlook for the global economy. Indicators are positive.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.19% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.15% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.11%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Futures tread water after S&P, Nasdaq hit record highs

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors paused after powering the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record intraday highs.

HSBC, BofA apply blockchain to trade finance, seek more partners

HONG KONG (Reuters) - HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Wednesday they had created the world's first application using blockchain technology to simplify one of the most cumbersome aspects of trade finance.

Money laundering rule on prepaid cards stalled after industry pushback

NEW YORK/ST. LOUIS, AUGUST 10 (Reuters) - In 2011, amid a crackdown on international money laundering, the U.S. Treasury Department tried to close a loophole that authorities said allows drug cartels to move bulk cash across borders on gift and other prepaid cards.

Exclusive: ACT shakes up security unit, plans audit after cheating reports

LONDON/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - ACT Inc, maker of America's most popular university entrance exam, is laying off its head of test security and plans to audit nearly 200 education centers after Reuters detailed widespread cheating in an ACT-owned college-prep program for international students.

'Self-driving' in spotlight again as China sees first Tesla autopilot crash

BEIJING (Reuters) - Tesla said on Wednesday that one of its cars had crashed in Beijing while in 'autopilot' mode, with the driver contending sales staff sold the function as 'self-driving', overplaying its actual capabilities.

Oil falls on oversupply as calls for producer talks draw scepticism`

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil fell on Wednesday, hit by improved prospects for U.S. output and a glut in refined products, while analysts largely expected no impact on supplies from talk of a potential producer meeting to discuss propping up prices.

In recovering housing market, the starter home remains elusive

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Seeking a yard for her two dogs and proximity to her new government job, Alison Owen set out to buy a home this spring in the hot market of Austin, Texas.

Before Valeant overhaul, Ackman met investors at brainstorming event

BOSTON (Reuters) - Six weeks before Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc revealed plans to reorganize and pay down debt, similar ideas to improve the drugmaker's fortunes were discussed at a private shareholder dinner attended by top investor and board member William Ackman, according to a source who participated.

U.S. judge dismisses challenge to Seattle's Uber, Lyft union law

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle over a landmark law which allows Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize.

Peak Gold - Did Gold Production Peak in 2015?

'Peak Gold' is happening which has important ramifications for the gold market and is another long term positive fundamental. This is why we were one of the first analysts to consider the peak gold phenomenon back in 2007 and 2008 (see here) and have considered peak gold frequently over the years.

One of the more astute gold analysts today, Frank Holmes also believes that peak gold is happening and may even have occured in 2015. Peak gold and the fact that total annual global gold production is likely to have peaked is an important supply side factor in the gold market. This is one of the bullish factors which will support prices and indeed should contribute to higher prices in the coming years.

Holmes latest article is a must read:

The Last Known Gold Deposit

Latest Hillary Email Scandal Reveals State Department "Favors" To Clinton Foundation

In the latest installment over Hillary Clinton's email scandal, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released 296 pages of new emails from Hillary's personal server, most of which were not handed over as part of the 30,000 emails originally provided to the FBI. The emails were provided to Judicial Watch pursuant to a FOIA request. These new emails, among other things, demonstrate how the Clinton Foundation and it's top donors sought favors from the State Department within 3 months of Hillary taking the Secretary of State position.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal:

"That the Clinton Foundation was calling in favors barely 3 months into Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department is deeply troubling, and it is yet another reminder of the conflicts of interest and unethical wheeling and dealing she'd bring to the White House," said Michael Short, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, in a statement Tuesday.

The first request for a "favor" came in April 2009, just 3 months after Hillary was confirmed as Secretary of State on January 21, 2009. The request came from Doug Band, a long-time adviser to Bill Clinton who helped him setup the Clinton Foundation after his Presidency. Per the email exchange, Mr. Band reached out the State Department to ask a "favor" on behalf of a person who the Clinton Foundation had recently setup with a trip to Haiti which he found "eye-opening" (the name of the person seeking the ...

BOJ Leaks September Statement To Ease Investor Concerns That It May Be Tapering QE

In the aftermath of the BOJ's unexpected lack of action on July 28, fears emerged that the central bank may be on pace to scrapping or at least revamping its entire QE program when it announced it would conduct a "comprehensive assessment" of its monetary program. This in turn sent the Yen surging back to levels where it was before scattered reports emerged that Ben Bernanke was pushing Abe and Kuroda to unleash helicopter money.

So in order to quell any further such speculation, moments ago the BOJ appears to have "leaked" what its September statement would be, and as Reuters reported the BOJ has "already prepared a preliminary outline of a "comprehensive" assessment of its policies due next month that will maintain a pledge to hit its 2 percent inflation target at the earliest date possible, sources familiar with its thinking said."

The draft focused on the traditional mitigating factors which have hindered its attainment of its 2% inflation target, stating that the BOJ identifies sharp falls in oil prices, a prolonged hit to growth from a sales tax hike in 2014 and Japan's inability to shake off its deflationary mindset as hampering achievement of its inflation target. Officials had been drafting the outline weeks before the BOJ announced late last month that it will conduct the assessment at its next rate review on Sept. 20-21, sources said.

The draft is subject to change depending on debate by the nine-member board.

The preliminary outline appears to make no direct re ...

Frontrunning: August 10

World stocks hit one-year peak, dollar sags on weak U.S. data (Reuters)

Trump's remarks on gun rights, Clinton unleash torrent of criticism (Reuters)

Newly Released Emails Highlight Clinton Foundation's Ties to State Department (WSJ)

One-in-five U.S. Republicans want Trump to drop out: Reuters/Ipsos poll (Reuters)

Soaring Debt Has U.S. Companies as Vulnerable to Default as 2008 (BBG)

BOJ to defend QQE in Sept policy assessment (Reuters)

China's Central Bank Plans Push to Increase Yuan's Global Usage (BBG)

Tipsters Are Poised for Big Payouts (WSJ)

Nomura 'Lost Control' in Firing Salesman Over $40 Million Loss (BBG)

In recovering housing market, the starter home remains elusive (Reuters)

Palladium at Year High, Driving Precious Metals on Chinese Cars (

Some Hope, but No Cure for Valeant

A healthier outlook for Valeant investors may not leave a lasting impression.

Shiseido's Problems May Be More Than Skin Deep

The Japanese cosmetics giant is facing strong currency headwinds at home and abroad, plus execution problems in its U.S. business.

Shake Shack Is Priced for Steak, Not Burgers

The burger shop's second-quarter earnings face tough headwinds, including a possible 'restaurant recession.'

Market Extra: Why Marc Faber is calling for an ugly stock-market crash—again

Permabear Marc Faber says the market could shed more than half its value, possibly over the next year.

Market Extra: The German housing boom is starting to look 'like a bubble'

Germany's housing boom looks "increasingly like a bubble," say economists at Commerzbank.

Outside the Box: Bring back the gold standard? This is what happened the last time the world tried it

It was 45 years ago this month that the Bretton Woods system fell apart.

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