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24Aug2016 Market Close: Stocks, Gold, Oil All Headed Lower As The World Holds Its Breath For Yellen Speech

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Healthcare, Basic Materials and Technology sectors led shares lower. Gold and Crude fell and the dollar was up. The excuse seems to be something might happen on Friday in Jackson Hole.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. falls as healthcare, materials stumble

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street retreated on Wednesday, pulled lower by weakness in the materials and healthcare sectors as investors continued to weigh the possibility of an interest rate hike in the coming months.

HP Inc forecasts weak profit on low demand for printers

(Reuters) - HP Inc forecast fourth-quarter profit below analysts' estimates as the company, which was split off from the former Hewlett-Packard Co, struggles with weak demand for its printers.

U.S. banking regulators focused on cyber security after SWIFT attacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. banking regulators said on Wednesday they are focused on cyber security risks and controls for U.S. financial institutions after attacks earlier this year involving the global financial network known as SWIFT.

Ex-Comverse CEO pleads guilty to fraud, a decade after fleeing U.S.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The former chief executive officer of Comverse Technology Inc pleaded guilty to securities fraud on Wednesday, a decade after fleeing the United States for Namibia to avoid prosecution.

More U.S. retailers probing phony Egyptian cotton

CHICAGO/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Bed Bath & Beyond on Wednesday said it ordered an external audit of textiles from Welspun India , after Target Corp last week accused the Indian manufacturer of passing off cheap sheets as premium Egyptian cotton for two years.

Puerto Rico cannot enforce a Wal-Mart tax: U.S. appeals court

(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court said on Wednesday that Puerto Rico could not force Wal-Mart Stores Inc's affiliate there to pay a special corporate tax that the retailer said was discriminatory and violated the U.S. Constitution.

Iran, Ecuador discuss ways to strengthen oil prices

QUITO (Reuters) - Iran and Ecuador on Wednesday discussed ways that the two countries can strengthen oil prices as Iran signals it may support joint efforts by exporters to prop up flagging crude.

Animal spirits: consumers' devotion lifts pet-care stocks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans' attachment to their pets has fostered a $60 billion industry that is producing best-in-breed stock performance.

U.S. crude down 3 percent after big stockpile build

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, with U.S. crude settling about 3 percent lower, after an unexpectedly large inventory build in the world's biggest oil consumer renewed worries about oversupply.

Bernie Loving, Student Loan-Crushed Millennials, Rush To Support Hillary

Anxious young Millennial college students overwhelmingly threw their support behind Bernie during the Democratic Primary. As a student, why wouldn't you support a candidate offering to pay for your school and socialize your existing student loan debt? Bernie seemed like the "logical" choice. But, now that the "obvious" choice is no longer in the race, the folks at LendEDU conducted an online poll of 1,500 people, who currently have student loan debt, to figure out to whom the Bernie voters will be shifting their support.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of Bernie supporters with student loan debt are tossing their support behind Hillary. And why not? Hillary's "deal" for students, though not quite as good as Bernie's, is also very enticing. Per Hillary's website:

Every student should have the option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt

All community colleges will offer free tuition

A $25 billion fund will support historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and other minority-serving institutions

Borrowers will be able to refinance loans at current rates, providing debt relief to an estimated 25 million people. They'll never have to pay back more than 10 percent of their income, and all remaining college debt will be forgiven after 20 years.

Delinquent borrowers and those in default will get help to protect their credit and get back on their feet

To reduce the burden for future borrowers, Hi ...

Four Iran Ships "Harassed" US Destroyer, Carried Out "High Speed Intercept" In Strait Of Hormuz

Following the recent revelation that the Obama administration paid Iran $400 million in ransom money to release 4 US hostages, perhaps Tehran was looking for a tip, because moments ago a US defense official said that four Iranian ships carried out a "high speed intercept" of a US destroyer in the strait of hormuz, an incident that the official dubbed "unsafe and unprofessional", cited by Reuters.



As Reuters adds, the four vessels belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps "harassed" a U.S. destroyer on Tuesday by carrying out a "high speed intercept" in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. Defense official said on Wednesday.

The Defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an action that was "unsafe and unprofessional."

As a reminder, on January 12, the Iran navy seized 2 US navy boats and their crewmen, for "illegally entering Iranian waters." It released the captives one day later after a thorough questioning, and receipt of an apology. Less than a week later, on January 17, Iran would receive $400 million in non-USD denominated bills to release 4 US hostages.

Energy Analysts at the Big Banks are Not Very Good These Days (Video)

By EconMatters

We look at A Bloomberg Go piece regarding the Oil Market, and illustrate just how poor critical reasoning abilities are in this role for the Big Banks. Analysts at Investment Banks are pretty bad in general, but the energy analysts require skillsets that fetch much higher pay in other roles in the Finance World.

EconMatters All Rights Reserved | Facebook | Twitter |

Barack Obama May Have Finally Destroyed America's #1 Advantage

Submitted by Simon Black via,

In July 1944, just weeks after the successful Allied invasion of Normandy, hundreds of delegates from around the world gathered in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to determine the future of the global financial system.

The vision was simple: America would be the center of the universe, and every other nation would revolve around the US.

This arrangement ultimately led to the US dollar being the world's dominant reserve currency which still remains today.

Whenever a Brazilian merchant pays a Korean supplier, that deal is negotiated and settled in US dollars.

Oil. Coffee. Steel. Aircraft. Countless commodities and products across the planet change hands in US dollars, so nearly every major commercial bank, central bank, multi-national corporation, and sovereign government must hold and be able to transact in US dollars.

This system provides a huge incentive for the rest of the world to hold trillions of dollars worth of US assets- typically deposits in the US banking system, or US government bonds.

It's what makes US government debt the most popular "investment" in the world, why US government bonds are considered extremely liquid "cash equivalents".

As long as this system continues, the US government can continue to go deeper into debt without suffering serious consequences.

Just imagine being totally broke... yet every time you want to borrow money there's a crowd of delighted lenders eager to replenish your wallet with fresh funds.

This may be the US government's #1 advantage right now.

You'd think that they would be eternally gr ...

Bond Market Smackdown: SolarCity vs. Sri Lanka

Elon Musk's big bond purchase should give his investors, and Tesla shareholders,​pause.

Why China's Overseas Oil Adventurer Can't Cut Costs Forever

Cnooc's low level of overall oil reserves means it will have to undo cost costs at some point.

Housing Market Eases Low-Rate Pain for Banks

Strong mortgage lending will be a boost for banks struggling with low rates.

What We Read Today 24 August 2016

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

July 2016 Existing Home Sales Not Good

Written by Steven Hansen

The headlines for existing home sales say "Slowed by frustratingly low inventory levels in many parts of the country, existing-home sales lost momentum in July and decreased year-over-year for the first time since November 2015". Our analysis of the unadjusted data is much worse than the headlines.

The Wall Street Journal: Powerful earthquake hits central Italy, leaving at least 159 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.

The Wall Street Journal: EU, Portugal reach deal to shore up nation's largest bank

The European Union and Portugal have reached an initial agreement to inject billions of euros into Portugal's largest lender by assets, an important step toward cleaning up the country's troubled banking sector.

The Wall Street Journal: American University in Kabul targeted in militant attack

Militants launched an attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul during evening classes Wednesday, wounding at least 14 people as panicked students and staff fled.

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