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24Aug2016 Pre-Market Commentary: Another Lackluster Day While The Markets Await Jackson Hole

Written by Gary

Wall Street should open today in the green, however major global markets are mixed. Likely not much is expected out of the markets today as everyone is convinced that something Fed Chair Yellen will say on Friday in Jackson Hole will affect whether the boyz should sell or buy. Oil appears to continue to drift down, while the dollar strengthens.

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.57% while the DAX gains 0.42%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.11%.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Daimler adopts Silicon Valley tactics to counter new rivals

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler is embracing Silicon Valley management techniques in a drive to speed up decision making, empower staff and fend off new rivals such as electric carmaker Tesla Motors .

Futures flat as investors await Fed

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors keep up their wait for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday for clues on the timing of a rate hike.

Tesla touts speed and driving range with new upgraded battery

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc crowned itself the maker of the world's fastest production car on Tuesday, saying a new version of its Model S all-electric sedan can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2-1/2 seconds.

UBS leads team of banks working on blockchain settlement system

LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS is leading a team of four of the world's biggest banks developing a system to enable financial markets to make payments and settle transactions quickly using blockchain technology.

VW, suppliers settle dispute after marathon talks

BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen and two of its parts suppliers on Tuesday resolved a contract dispute that had hit output at more than half of the carmaker's German plants and threatened to undermine its recovery from a diesel emissions scandal.

Oil falls on surprise build in U.S. crude stocks

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday on an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stocks that revived worries about the supply glut that has capped prices for the past two years.

U.S. trade judge clears Fitbit of stealing Jawbone's trade secrets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fitbit Inc did not steal rival Jawbone's trade secrets, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled on Tuesday, dashing Jawbone's hopes of securing an import ban against Fitbit's wearable fitness tracking devices.

Strong demand for Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 tests supply chain

SEOUL (Reuters) - Better-than-expected demand for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's new Galaxy Note 7 is causing supply constraints globally, the South Korean tech giant said on Wednesday, suggesting strong initial sales for the new premium smartphone.

Lamborghini sees worldwide sales doubling by 2019 after SUV launch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Luxury automaker Lamborghini expects to at least double production to 7,000 vehicles a year by 2019 once it rolls out a new SUV, but it will not lose its focus on making sports cars, Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali said Tuesday.

Jim Grant Is "Very Bullish On Gold"

Jim Grant is "very bullish on gold" due to deepening concerns of a crash in sovereign debt. The monetary historian and expert, financial journalist and editor of the investment newsletter 'Grant's Interest Rate Observer' is always worth reading and listening to.

Grant gave voice to his deepening concerns in an excellent interview with Swiss business newspaper 'Finanz und Wirtschaft' (Finance and Economy):

"From multi-billion bond buying programs to negative interest rates and probably soon helicopter money: Around the globe, central bankers are experimenting with ever more extreme measures to stimulate the sluggish economy.

This will end in tears, believes James Grant. The sharp thinking editor of the iconic Wall Street newsletter «Grant's Interest Rate Observer» is one of the most ardent critics when it comes to super easy monetary policy.

Frontrunning: August 24

'Voices under the rubble' after quake hits Italy; at least 38 dead (Reuters)

Turkish tanks, special forces launch first major push into Syria to battle IS (Reuters)

A Year After Stocks Armageddon, It's Smooth Sailing for Markets (BBG)

Global stocks ease, dollar holds ground as U.S. rate bets abound (Reuters)

Merkel Tells Renzi He Can't Bend Euro Rules to Boost Growth (BBG)

Fine-Print Fortune: Two Ex-Goldman Traders Look for Bonanza in Mortgage Bonds (WSJ)

Derivatives Users Hit as Negative Rates Raise Collateral Costs (BBG)

Philippines says sea dispute not led to shift in ties with China or U.S. (Reuters)

Lavrov, Kerry to meet on Syria and Ukraine in Geneva on Friday (Reuters)

France's DCNS does not rule out 'economic war' after documents leak (Reuters)

Largest Oil Companies' Debts Hit Record High (WSJ)

Secret Cameras Record Baltimore's Every Move From Above (< ...

Death Toll From Italian Quake Rises To 38; Army Mobilized As Dozens Remain Buried Under Rubble

A powerful 6.2-magnitude earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks rocked central Italy on early Wednesday, burying residents under rubble as they slept and killing at least 38 people. Strong tremors were felt in the country's capital, Rome, and several small towns and villages have been seriously damaged.

The temblor hit at around 3:30 a.m. local time near Norcia, 50 miles southeast of Perugia, and was felt more than 100 miles away in Rome. Several large aftershocks soon followed. As dawn broke, stunned locals picked through ruins in the worst-affected towns of Amatrice and Accumoli. Italy's defense ministry mobilized the army to help in the search for survivors, NBC reports.

Video Shows Scale of Destruction in Amatrice

The center of Amatrice was devastated, with entire palazzos razed to the gro ...

S&P Set For New Record Highs As Futures, Dollar Rise; Oil Slides

In a rerun of yesterday's overnight session, European indexes trade higher while US index futures were modestly in the green, set to propel the S&P 500 to new all time highs. Emerging Market dropped the most in three weeks alongside commodities, as today the market was predisposed hawkishly on a US rate hike ahead of Yellen's Friday speech, pushing the US dollar higher and oil resumed its pre "anonymous sources" headlines slide.

Meanwhile, the absolute lack of volatility continues. As DB points out, "in the S&P 500 we haven't had a +/- 1% or more day since July 8th. That's 32 consecutive sessions which matches the run in August-September 2014. There's some way to go to match the run of 62 consecutive sessions from April-July 2014 however." Lack of excitement is good for stocks, however, as the chart below shows.

While political and security concerns rippled through some developing nations, global sentiment has seesawed across asset groups as traders look toward Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday for clues on the timing of rate increases. At least three Fed officials have made hawkish remarks since the start of last week, though U.S. economic data remain mixed with figures on Tuesday showing a slowdown in manufacturing and strength in the housing market. A report on Wednesday is forecast to show sales of existing homes held close to a nine-year high.

In the absence of any market-moving news, all traders remained focused on Yellen's upcoming speech: "while political risks do matter, now it is all eyes on the Fed and Yellen," said William Jackson, a London-based economist at Capital Economics Ltd. "That seems to be the biggest facto ...

Retailers Could Fail the Back-to-School Test

Retailers with a significant back-to-school business face easy comparisons, but that may already be priced into their shares.

Why Europe's Steady Growth Does Little to Enthuse Investors

Investors are favoring further-flung, more exciting destinations than Europe for their cash. But steady growth remains a reassuring factor.

Meitu: Why China's Photo Phenomenon Is Out of Focus

Meitu is looking to achieve a pricey IPO valuation for an unprofitable internet company selling inexpensive phones.

Longview: The Economic Outlook

from the San Francisco Fed

-- this post authored by John C. Williams

Despite the very real struggles that some parts of the country, including Alaska, are facing, the broader national economy is in good shape: We're at full employment, and inflation is well within sight of, and on track to reach, our target. Under these conditions, it makes sense for the Fed to gradually move interest rates toward more normal levels.

Waltzing At The Studio Match Dance

Econintersect contributor Frank Li is much more than an author - but also a certified Bronze-level dancer (Ballroom and Latin). The video today shows his style.

The Tell: The unrelenting hunt for yield may end in tears, says James Grant

The prominent author of Grant's Interest Rate Observer sounds like a lot like many permabears roaming this yield-parched world.

Need to Know: This market's new kids are flying high — and that's super-bullish

You have to forgive stock markets for looking listless, given Janet Yellen's big Jackson Hole speech is looming. But our call of the day isn't about a lack of direction. It's all about IPOs that have soared lately — and how that's a great sign.

The Wall Street Journal: Powerful earthquake hits central Italy, leaving at least 38 dead

The earthquake struck central Italy near Rome early Wednesday, causing a number of deaths and injuries and leaving people trapped under rubble as many buildings collapsed.

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