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25Aug2016 Market Close: Markets Close Down, Mixed And Flat Ahead Of Ms. Yellen's Rate Speech Tomorrow

Written by Gary

US markets closed mixed and flat (SPY - 0.1%) with small caps fairing better closing in the green. Wall Street was weighed down by a drop in consumer and healthcare names, while financials rose modestly after two more Federal Reserve officials pushed towards the case for a rate hike. Yields on U.S. Treasurys edge higher a day ahead of Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. dips on consumer, healthcare; Fed in focus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Thursday, weighed down by a drop in consumer and healthcare names, while financials rose modestly after two more Federal Reserve officials pushed towards the case for a rate hike.

Volkswagen to spend at least $1.2 billion to compensate U.S. dealers: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Volkswagen AG has agreed to spend more than $1.2 billion to compensate its 650 U.S. dealers for their losses from the German automaker's diesel emissions scandal, two sources briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

U.S. agency rolls out refinance program for homeowners

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled on Thursday a program aimed at homeowners who are paying their mortgages on time but whose loan-to-value (LTV) ratios are too high to qualify for traditional refinance programs.

Apple fixes serious security flaw after UAE dissident's iPhone targeted

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc issued a patch on Thursday to fix a dangerous security hole in iPhones and iPads after researchers discovered that a prominent United Arab Emirates dissident's phone had been targeted with a previously unknown method of hacking.

As central bankers gather, some at Fed make rate-hike case

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) - As central bankers converge on this mountain resort Thursday for an annual conference on monetary policy, a couple of top Federal Reserve officials took the chance to renew a push for interest-rate hikes, citing improvement in employment and inflation.

Exclusive: Venezuela's oil imports slump on payment woes, economic meltdown

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Venezuela has not been able to import all the crude and fuel it needs this year to cover shortfalls at oilfields and refineries as state-run PDVSA struggles to pay suppliers on time, according to trade sources and internal company data seen exclusively by Reuters.

U.S. SEC fines 13 advisers for false claims involving F-Squared

(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined 13 investment advisory firms on Thursday for spreading false claims made by the now-defunct F-Squared Investments Inc, which had been one of the largest marketers of investment products using exchange-traded funds.

Upbeat U.S. factory data suggests business spending stabilizing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New orders for U.S. manufactured capital goods rose for a second straight month in July as demand for machinery and a range of other products picked up, offering a tentative sign that a business spending downturn was starting to ease.

Oil pares gains, Saudi Energy Minister talks down intervention

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Thursday on speculation the dollar would drop on Friday's monetary policy speech by the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair, before paring gains on a Reuters interview with the Saudi Energy Minister that cast doubts about an OPEC output freeze.

What Can We Say About A System that Criminalizes A Safe Painkiller & Promotes Big Pharma Opiates?

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

So when will the citizens wake up to the criminality of their government in favoring killer corporate opiates over safe natural painkillers?

Set your mindset to objective and come with me to the little-known but plucky nation of Lower Slobovia. The residents of Lower Slobovia have two choices when they are suffering from chronic pain:

1. A natural, non-addictive medication that they can grow themselves that has never caused a single fatality due to overdose, adverse reactions or mixing with other drugs (polypharmacy), or

2. synthetic opiates manufactured by pharmaceutical corporations that are highly addictive, trigger multiple adverse reactions, manifest dangerous polypharmaceutical attributes and have killed over 165,000 people in the past 15 years-- 28 times the nation's 5,790 combat deaths in recent military conflicts.

The corporations manufacturing and distributing the synthetic opiates as "safe" hid the truth about their medications from doctors, patients and the media: 'You Want a Description of Hell?' Oxycontin's 12-Hour Problem (via John F.) OxyContin's stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn't last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

So take a guess which class of ...

Subprime Auto Delinquencies Jump 17% In July, Net Losses Soar 28%

There was a troubling development at the end of July, when as we noted at the time, the largest US subprime auto lender delayed its Q2 earnings released due to "Accounting matters", an event which promptly raised red flags not only over the fate of the company (whose stock plunged as a result), but the entire US subprime auto space.

This is what SC said as justification for its 10-Q filing delay:

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC) ("SC" or the "Company") announced today that it will delay the release of its Q2 2016 financial results, previously scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, 2016, because the Company's financial statements for the quarter have not yet been completed.

The Company is in discussions with its current and previous independent accountants regarding certain accounting matters, primarily related to the Company's discount accretion and credit loss allowance methodologies. The resolution of these matters may impact prior period financial statements and the timing of the filing of the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (the "Form 10-Q").

The Company is working diligently to file the Form 10-Q and schedule its earnings call as soon as practicable.

One month later, the accountant discussions continue, as yesterday the company provided the following terse update in which it said that it delays its 10-Q past the August 15 deadline, adding that "the Company will file the Form 10-Q as soon as possible" and that "the aforementioned accounting matters relate only to non-cash items in our financial statements ."

Jackson Hole'd - A New Monetary Order Looms

Via ConvergEx's Nicholas Colas,

Just what goes on at the annual Kansas City Fed economic symposium in Jackson Hole? The short answer is "Generally, not much".

Will this year's confab be any different, with Chair Yellen slated to speak on Friday? Fed Funds Futures markets don't think so, with just an 18% chance of a rate hike at the September FOMC meeting and coin-toss odds of a bump in December.

The title of this year's Jackson Hole proceedings is, however, telling: "Designing Resilient Monetary Policy Frameworks for the Future". Merriam-Webster defines "Resilient" as: 1) able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens 2) able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc. So what does the Fed have in mind when it considers the need for future resilience? Perhaps this year's Jackson Hole conference (or its title, anyway) will offer more clues to future policy than just Chair Yellen's talk.

While the Kansas City Fed's annual conference in Jackson Hole is safe for this year, come 2017 they are going to have some competition for hotel rooms and other local resources; there is a full eclipse of the Sun scheduled on August 21st. Local papers report that civic leaders are already working through plans for an additional 40,000 visitors/day to Jackson for the entire week around the "The Great American Eclipse", the moniker the event now carries. Here is a quick article from a local newspaper, highlighting the one (quite unexpected) "facility" that locals are most anxious to reserve:

Dear Congress: Have You Received Money From These Pharma Companies

We have been following the latest melodrama involving a "greedy" Mylan, and numerous "humanistic" US politicians, all the way up to the Democratic presidential candidate, exchange blows over the company's dramatic price increases of its EpiPen anti-allergy medication, with a healthy dose of amusement for one simple reason: if Congress wants to crack down on someone, it should crack down on itself.

After all, the only reason Mylan has been able to pass the kinds of price increases that Congress is now blasting it for, is because of US laws and regulations; laws which incidentally, have been determined in Washington's backroom bribe parlor, i.e. the corner offices of thousands of local lobby organizations dispensing with billions of dollars in "client" funds.

Clients such as the companies listed below.

Which brings us to this question: dear Congress, have you received millions in lobby dollars from the US pharmaceutical industry.

Or perhaps Congress denies that virtually every single pharmaceutical company operating in the US has spent millions on influence peddling pardon lobbying, in recent years? Perhaps, just like in the case of the Clinton foundation defense, that money was not used to buy favors and influence legislation, but was purely for humanitarian reasons?

So how much money has the US pharma industry spent? According to OpenSecrets, so far in 2016, the amount is $129 million, rising to $2.3 billion over the past decade.

Here is a small selection of the 369 lobbying "clients" OpenSecrets keeps track of: one can se ...

What to Learn From the ECB's Great European Corporate Bond Squeeze

The European corporate bond market is heading into ever more extraordinary territory.

The EpiPen Controversy Isn't About Mylan

Political outrage over EpiPen price increases won't help lower health-care costs for Americans.

Workday's Price for Getting the Job Done

The cloud company's valuation curbs enthusiasm, but performance stays strong.

Bond Report: Treasury yields edge higher on eve of Yellen's Jackson Hole speech

Yields on U.S. Treasurys edge higher a day ahead of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Capitol Report: Mylan offers price plan to help patients but its programs are still short on details

MarketWatch's review of Mylan's most recent financial disclosures could find no previous mentions of any patient assistance programs to build on

Money Brain: Investor lessons from a market bubble that cost Isaac Newton a bundle

The greed that inflated the infamous South Sea Bubble is hard-wired in people, but we can choose to act rationally.

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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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