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20Mar2017 Market Close: Markets Continue To Run Range-Bound

Written by Gary

USA and global markets were generally marginally lower with crude slipping over 1% and precious metals slightly advancing. The mood of the markets is paralleling perceptions that President Trump will be delayed in boosting the economy.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall Street dips on Trump plan jitters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 fell on Monday as investors worried that President Donald Trump's plan to cut taxes and boost the economy could take longer than previously expected.

Uber president Jeff Jones quits, deepening turmoil

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Ride services company Uber Technologies Inc has been thrust deeper into turmoil with the departure of company president Jeff Jones, a marketing expert hired to help soften its often abrasive image.

Snap snaps back after analyst assigns first 'buy' rating

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Snap Inc stock rose on Monday after the Snapchat owner received its first "buy" rating from a Wall Street analyst following a $3.4 billion public listing this month that raised the eyebrows of many on Wall Street.

China prepares to counter any U.S. trade penalties: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's government has been seeking advice from its think-tanks and policy advisers on how to counter potential trade penalties from U.S. President Donald Trump, getting ready for the worst, even as they hope for business-like negotiations.

Fed on track to raise U.S. rates twice more this year: Evans

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates twice more this year after a policy tightening last week, and it could be more or less aggressive depending on inflation and fiscal policies from the Trump administration, a Fed rate-setter said on Monday.

Credit card applications drop at Wells Fargo in February

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co saw a drop in consumers opening checking and credit card accounts in February, the bank said on Monday, marking the sixth straight month of decline since a sales scandal rocked the bank last year.

VW clan aims for quick deal over Ferdinand Piech's shares: source

HAMBURG (Reuters) - The Porsche and Piech families are looking to strike a swift deal to buy shares in Porsche SE from Volkswagen's former chairman Ferdinand Piech, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Trading in Sprouts Farmers Market ahead of report on merger raises eyebrows

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Trading in Sprouts Farmers Market Inc's shares and options surged last week ahead of a report that the natural-foods retailer was the subject of merger talks, raising questions about whether news of a possible deal was leaked.

Target names Kroger veteran Jeff Burt new grocery chief

(Reuters) - Target Corp on Monday named Kroger Co veteran Jeff Burt its senior vice president of grocery, fresh food and beverage, as the retailer makes a renewed push to overhaul the business amid an intensifying price war.

Bank Stocks Stumble To 1-Month Lows As Yield Curve Slumps Post-Fed

Not sure why but this seemed appropriate after listening to the drivel from Washington (and Fed speakers) all day...

Bonds and Bullion the big winners post-Fed...

There were 3 notable legs lower in stocks today... The catalysts seemed to be

1335ET - *EVANS SEES MORE UPSIDE POSSIBILITY IN UNCERTAINTY FACING FED, THIS IS A CHALLENGING TIME TO GET BIG U.S. FISCAL BOOST
1431ET - *EVANS SAYS MARKETS CAN HANDLE FED BALANCE SHEET NORMALIZATION
1445ET - *COMEY: THERE WERE EFFORTS TO PENETRATE VOTER ROLLS

With Evans comments inferring whetever gains Trump gets will be offset by Fed hikes. Of course, then VIX was clubbed like a baby seal to get The Dow green but once the stops were run, it was over...

But while VIX was slammed, SKEW hit a record high!!

Don't You Hate Spammy, Sensationalist Click-Bait Like This?

Authored by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

So what's the difference between "fake news," spammy sensationalist click-bait and so-called "mainstream news" that serves the interests of the corporate-state? It's getting hard to tell.

We're inundated with spammy sensationalist click-bait. You know what I mean--the little boxes containing eye-candy photos and headlines such as "you won't believe how badly these stars have aged," "7 tricks to losing weight during Thanksgiving," "These children of celebs are so good looking your jaw will drop," "9 surprising signs of dementia" and outre classics such as "Hitler's shocking final words."

The "news" is "shocking," "secrets are revealed," and "surprising facts" are promised. Authorities are always cited as unimpeachable sources, and the headlines are quasi-plausible. (Why wouldn't good-looking celebs have good-looking offspring?)

But the "authorities," "facts" and "secrets" are all dubious. The spammy click-bait is self-serving to those promoting the sensationalist content, and to the media sites that promote the spammy content.

According to The New York Times, unidentified sources in the spammy sensationalist click-bait industry report that "We have been told from major, major publishers that we have become their No. 1 revenue provider."

Comey: "The Russians Concluded Trump Was Hopeless Last August"

It appears that Russia fell for the same ruse that much of America, not to mention its press and punditry, was taken by, at least according to the FBI director: believing US polls.

During his hearing before the House Intel Panel, FBI Director James Comey said that the Russians expected Hillary Clinton to win the presidency over Donald Trump as of August and September.

"Late in the summer they concluded based on the polling that a lot of people were reading that Mr. Trump didn't stand a chance," said Comey, although it was not clear just how the FBI knew what the Russians "concluded" as of last summer.

The FBI director's extrapolations then continued: "let's just focus on undermining her," Comey says of Russian thinking at the time, which however was also confusing as earlier in his testimony Comey said "we saw no efforts aimed at the vote itself."

Comey then disputed the content of a tweet from President Trump regarding Russia influencing the 2016 presidential race. At the same time that Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers testified to the House Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, the president tweeted a video from his @POTUS account, saying "the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process."

The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process. pic.twitter.com/d9HqkxYBt5

— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017

Trump's Job Approval Rating Drops To Record Low, Breaking Key Correlation

In the first week of February, a Credit Suisse analysis concluded that there was only one chart that mattered to markets: that of Trump's approval rating. As the bank's analyst Lori Calvasina wrote at the time, "US stocks have been trading closely with shifts in Trump's favorability, as have 10 year Treasury yields...

...the Dollar, and crude oil."

She said that "within US equities, small caps, value, Financials, cyclicals, domestic revenue producers, and high tax payers have been particularly tied to shifts in Trump's favorability, as has the performance of companies headquartered in states that voted for Trump."

We summarized Credit Suisse's observations by noting that "everything appears to be trading in lockstep with Trump's shifting approval rating" and concluded that "ironically, in a time when dispersion between various stocks has reportedly soared, correlation between virtually all asset classes has collapsed, and it is all linked to just one thing: Trump approval rating. For the sake of market bulls, let's hope that Trump's favorability rating never crashes, or otherwise the artificial, central-bank created construct known as "the market" will go down with it."

In retrospect, it appears that Credit Suisse's finding may have been premature, because according to the latest Gallup polling data, Tr ...

Plenty of Cash Lies Buried on Canada's Oil Sands

Canada's oil sands are being shunned in favor of shale by investors but present bargains for companies and investors with patience.

Sunlight Is the Best Medicine for Pharma

Eli Lilly's disclosure on net drug prices should help reduce public and political pressure on the industry.

Nvidia's Life in the Fast Lane Is Worth the Toll

The chip maker's high multiple is nerve-racking, but Nvidia's business is firing on all cylinders.

February 2017 CFNAI Super Index Moving Average Significantly Improved

Written by Steven Hansen

The economy's growth significantly improved based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average - and economic growth is now above the historical trend rate of growth. If one views the single month index to grasp what is going on - it significantly improved.

Bond Report: Treasury yields continue lower after Fed fails to signal quicker pace of rate hikes

Treasury yields tick lower on Monday as the Federal Reserve's unwillingness last week to signal a more aggressive pace of interest-rate hikes helped support the battered Treasury market.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author on 'Sweat,' her Broadway play about Trump's America

The play is set in blue-collar Pennsylvania in 2000, but it could just as easily be 2017.

The Moneyologist: The Moneyologist: I signed away my $500,000 inheritance when I was a child — what can I do?

This daughter says a financial adviser offered his services to her family at her father's funeral.

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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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