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20Oct2016 Market Close: US Indexes End Flat After Choppy Session, Nigeria Slashes Oil Prices, Crude Prices Continue To Slip, Bullish Investors Not So Bullish Anymore

Written by Gary

Wall Street closed quietly, flat and on low volume (SPY -0.06). Crude down off morning highs (WTI -2.4%), US dollar settles in low 98's and gold stable at 1267. Investors digested the latest round of earnings, with telecoms suffering a sharp drop from the results from Verizon Communications.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street dips as Verizon drags; AmEx curbs losses

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined modestly in a choppy session on Thursday as investors digested the latest round of earnings, with telecoms suffering a sharp drop in the wake of results from Verizon Communications.

Verizon revenue drops as subscriber additions disappoint

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc added fewer than expected wireless subscribers in the third quarter due to intense competition, and indicated it may renegotiate a deal to buy Yahoo Inc after a breach of Yahoo user email accounts.

BIS to hear initial verdict on sterling crash in November

LONDON (Reuters) - Central bank officials looking into the factors behind the dramatic fall sterling took on Oct. 7 will make an initial report to the Bank for International Settlements in early November, sources with knowledge of the investigation said.

First-time buyers boost U.S. home sales; jobless claims rise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales surged in September after two straight months of declines as first-time buyers stepped into the market, pointing to underlying momentum in the economy.

Wal-Mart to open Sam's Club on JD.com

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it was launching its warehouse retail business Sam's Club and a store for imported products on JD.com Inc's platform, three months after the world's largest retailer took a stake in the no. 2 Chinese e-commerce company.

U.S. home resales rise, prices also up as inventory stays tight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales rose more than expected in September, boosted by a firming labor market that is helping buyers overcome a fast increase in prices and a national shortage in inventory.

Ex-Goldman recruit drives HSBC's investment banking ambitions

LONDON (Reuters) - Using a rare hire from a Wall Street firm, HSBC is pushing hard to become the top European-based investment bank while its regional rivals struggle with regulatory fines and falling revenues.

U.S. judge picks monitor for Deutsche Bank over regulator's choice

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday approved a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission deal with Deutsche Bank AG in which a monitor would be appointed to ensure the bank reports swaps data properly, but named someone other than the regulator's choice.

BlackRock says its ETF business crosses $100 billion sales mark

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc's iShares exchange-traded fund business has taken in $100 billion in new cash this year, a pace faster than its record-setting 2015 haul, the fund company said on Thursday on Twitter.

Nigeria Slashes Oil Prices, Admits There Is A "Huge" Cargo Glut

Something ironic happened on the way to OPEC's alleged production cut: the world finds itself drowning in excess oil.

We touched on this first last week when we observed that according to the latest OPEC monthly production numbers, OPEC had produced a record 33.4mmbpd, with some expectations that by the time the November Vinna OPEC summit takes place, there will be another million barrels in output. And while the market, or at least the marginal price setting algos have been reluctant to admit the excess supply reality and adjust prices accordingly, OPEC member Nigeria has found the hard way that when there is a glut, the only way to gain market share is to underprice the competition.

Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation lowered by at least $1 a barrel its official selling prices (OSPs) for 20 out of 26 oil grades monitored by Bloomberg, according to pricing lists. Qua Iboe, Nigeria's largest export crude under normal circumstances, was reduced by the most since 2014.

NNPC cut the selling price of Qua Iboe for November to a 17 cent premium to the benchmark Dated Brent, according to the price list, from $1.07. It reduced the price of Bonny Light to a 7 cent premium and Forcados to a 41 cent discount to Dated Brent.

The reason for the dramatic price cuts according to Mele Kyari, group general manager for the oil-marketing division at NNPC, the state oil company, is a "huge cargo o ...

El-Erian Warns Of "Enormous Risk In Public Markets... Better Seller Of Stocks Than Buyer"

Investors "have been conditioned to believe, over and over again, that central banks can shield them," but, as Allianz' Mohamed El-Erian warns "the probabilities are now starting to tip in the likelihood of a bad outcome." Simply put, El-Erian explains that financial markets have "decoupled" from the economic problems of the world leaving "enormous risk in public markets because that's the one that central banks have distorted to the greatest extent."

As Bloomberg reports, Mohamed El-Erian said he's favoring cash as well as the riskiest investments, such as venture capital, in his own portfolio.

Cash comprises about 30 percent of his portfolio, which is more than most people have, according to El-Erian...

"There's enormous risk in public markets because that's the one that central banks have distorted to the greatest extent," said El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz SE and a Bloomberg View columnist.

"It's very hard to say I'm going to buy a basket of public equities and go to sleep for the next five to 10 years and feel good about the returns. Similarly with bonds."

Financial markets have "decoupled" from the economic problems ...

Who Said It? "I Am Very Troubled By Stories Of [A Rigged Election]... Entire Country Ought To Take It Seriously"

With all mainstream media eyes firmly focused on Trump's 'destruction of democracy' by declining to accept the election results no questions asked during last night's debate, we thought a quick history lesson might help jog the liberal media bias' memory.

[Source: Grabien] Al Gore in 2000, speaking from the White House the week after having lost the general election, explains why he refused to concede the race:

"The effort that I have underway is simply to make sure that all of the votes are counted, and when the issues that are now being considered in the Florida Supreme Court are decided, that will be an important point. But I don't want to speculate what the court will do."

Even after facing a number of lower court losses, Gore said he remained optimistic.

"I don't really feel" the odds are stacked against me, he said, despite admitting feeling like an "underdog."

Gore said that his voters were not given sufficient access to voting sites. Speaking of black voters specifically, Gore said he was in regular contact with Jessie Jackson and Julian Bond to discuss voter suppression.

"I am very troubled by a lot of the stories that have been reported," about blacks being discouraged from voting,

Trump Pledges To Accept Election Day Result, If...

"If he wins..."

Donald Trump opened up a Thursday campaign rally in Delaware, Ohio touching on the most sensitive topic from last night: by saying he'll accept the results of the presidential election... as long as he wins.

"I will totally accept the result of this great and historic presidential election," Trump told supporters in Delaware, Ohio.

He then paused dramatically.

"If I win."

The crowd went wild.

Later in the speech, Trump said that he would accept a "clear election result," leaving the door open to conceding the race if Hillary Clinton wins by an overwhelming margin. "I would accept a clear election result but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result," Trump told his crowd.

"And always, I will follow and abide by all of the rules and traditions of all of the many candidates who have come before me." "Bottom line," he added to cheers, "we are going to win."

At Thursday's rally, Trump said the only reason he won't accept the results in advance is because he's convinced Clinton is cheating. "We want fairness in the election," he said. "Don't be naive folks."

"A campaign like Clinton's that will incite violence is truly a campaign that will do anything to win," he said.

The Republican said Clinton is the most corrupt and dishonest person ever to run for president. "It was in that context that I was asked, in advance, to concede the results on election night, if for some reason we should lose," he said, referring to the debate. "That was sort of an unprecedented question."

Trump said that if Democratic nominee Al Gore or Republican nominee for president, George W. Bush, had agreed to the same question three weeks before the 2000 election, there would have been no Supreme Court case contesting the recount in Florida ...

Investors Charging Into American Express Should Think Again

American Express beat estimates for third-quarter earnings, but still faces strong competitive pressure.

ECB and Markets: A Dangerous Obsession

Mario Draghi gave markets no reason to get wound up about coming ECB action. If they do so, they will only have themselves to blame.

Why Battered Bank Stocks Are Blocking The ECB

When banks trade at very low valuations that hurts the supply of credit to the economy.

Market Extra: As hedge funds suffer, so do their imitators

Amid heavy outflows and a number of high-profile closures—trends related to the growing consensus that hedge funds are both more expensive and worse performing than their low-fee passive fund equivalents—so-called hedge fund replicator ETFs are losing favor among investors.

Brett Arends's ROI: How did Hillary Clinton 'lose' $6 billion at the State Department?

Alas, the audit only says that State Department contracts worth about $6 billion were missing some paperwork (and that is out of a total budget over the same period of $200 billion).

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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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