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10May2017 Market Close: U.S. Stocks Mixed; Dow Off 0.16%; Oil Surged 3% On Inventory Drawdown

Written by Gary

U.S. stocks were mixed after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Oil & Gas, Basic Materials and Financials sectors led shares higher while losses in the Healthcare, Consumer Services and Industrials sectors led shares lower. On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for June delivery gained 3.2% to settle at $47.33 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent added 3.7% to trade at $50.54 a barrel.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Snap shares plummet as user growth slows, revenue misses

(Reuters) - Snap Inc shares plunged in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the parent of the popular disappearing-messaging app Snapchat reported slowing user growth and revenue that fell short of analyst estimates amid stiff competition from Facebook Inc .

Wall Street mixed after Trump fires FBI head; Nasdaq hits record high

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mixed on Wednesday as investors digested President Donald Trump's abrupt dismissal of his FBI chief as well as corporate earnings from Walt Disney and Nvidia.

Twenty-First Century Fox revenue misses as cable, film units drag

(Reuters) - Twenty-First Century Fox Inc , the television and film company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts' estimates, weighed down by flat U.S. ad revenue in its cable business and fewer box-office hits.

Sears CEO Lampert blames company's woes on 'irresponsible' media

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp Chief Executive Officer Edward Lampert blasted the media on Wednesday for "unfairly singling out" the company over the past decade and blamed "irresponsible" coverage for the retailer's woes.

DoubleLine's Gundlach: European, EM equities more attractive than U.S.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - European and emerging markets equities are more attractive than U.S. equities, and volatility in stock markets is "insanely low," influential investor and head of DoubleLine Capital Jeffrey Gundlach told Reuters on Wednesday.

Ackman has a winner that is up 30 percent but will not name names

BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire investor William Ackman is making money on one of his new investment ideas, but he declined on Wednesday to identify the portfolio company, which has gained 30 percent since he first bought it.

Whole Foods names new CFO, directors

(Reuters) - Whole Foods Market Inc on Wednesday said it appointed Kohl's Corp executive Keith Manbeck as its chief financial officer, effective May 17 and named five new independent directors to its board.

Tesla starts taking orders for premium solar roofs

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc on Wednesday began taking orders for its solar roof tiles, a cornerstone of Elon Musk's strategy to sell a fossil-fuel-free lifestyle under the brand name of its luxury electric vehicles.

U.S. government posts $182 billion surplus in April

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government had a $182 billion budget surplus in April, confounding market expectations for a deficit, according to Treasury Department data released on Wednesday.

Obama Takes Private Jet, 14-Car Envoy To His $3.2MM Climate Change Speech

Just yesterday we noted that President Obama pocketed $3.2 million for a 1.5-hour speaking gig at a climate change conference in Milan...an exorbitant fee, by anyone's measure, which Dilbert creator Scott Adams most accurately described as a "pre-bribe."

And while we're certain that Obama's motivation to appear in Milan had absolutely nothing to do with the money, but rather was born out of a pure concern for Mother Earth, we do find his travel arrangements, in light of that genuine environmental concern, somewhat ironic.

Apparently, according to the Independent Journal Review, it takes a private jet, 14-car motorcade, 300 police and multiple helicopters patrolling overhead just to get one man to a conference...quite the carbon footprint.

And here is a fun video of Obama's entourage:

Of course, this follows the Obamas' multi-week vacation in French Polynesia aboard David Geffen's 450 foot superyacht last month...probably also 'not great' for the planet.

Obama

How Higher Education Became An Obscenely Profitable Racket

Authored by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Student loan lenders are skimming tens of billions in profits guaranteed by the taxpayers.

"Legal" rackets have two essential components: a public-relations "cover" that obscures the racket and the mechanism that extracts the wealth from the "marks." The Higher Education Racket qualifies on both counts:

1. The PR cover is "you all need a college diploma, and we're here to make that happen." Yea for more education!

2. The extraction mechanism is student loans. Here's a chart that shows what happened relatively recently: your federal government began guaranteeing obscene profits to student-loan lenders and debt-serfdom for tens of millions of "marks" i.e. students.

Gordon Long has done some outstanding work clarifying the purposefully obscure swamp of obscene profits reaped from student debt-serfs. Gordon and I explain how the racket works in How College Has Become A Racket! (45 min. video program).

The racket's foul core is the cartel structure of higher education: if you want a college diploma, you must satisfy a cartel member--an accredited institution.

The problem, as I elaborate in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy: The Revoluti ...

China Warns Washington Its Latest Missile Can Sink A US Aircraft Carrier

China recently tested a new, advanced type of guided missile in the sea near the Korean peninsula, the Chinese defense ministry said Tuesday cited by the Times of India, just as South Korea concluded its presidential elections amid rising regional tensions. The test in the Bohai Sea was conducted to "raise the operational capability of the armed forces and effectively respond to threats to national security," the ministry said in a brief statement. The statement did not say when the launch took place, only that it happened "recently", nor did it give any details about the missile nor the type of platform from which it was launched.

The test came as China, the United States and the Koreas are locked in a diplomatic spat over Pyongyang's missile launches and potential new nuclear tests. To deter any future launches, the US military recently deployed an anti-missile defesce system in South Korea to deter the North, which China sees as a threat to the regional security balance and its own ballistic missile capabilities. As reported previously, Washington and Seoul agreed to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery deployment in July in the wake of North Korean missile tests, the installation of which prompted vigorous complaints by local South Koreans.

Last week, US Forces Korea said THAAD was now operational, with the ability to intercept North Korean missiles, prompting Beijing to demand the immediate suspension of the system's deployment. A US defense official said, however, that the system had only ...

Nasdaq's "Big 5" Stocks Near $3 Trillion Market Cap

Since President Trump was elected - much to the heart-crushing chagrin of the billionaire class in Silicon Valley and its epic funding of Hillary - the big 5 stocks of the Nasdaq (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft) have gained a stunning $675 billion in market cap.

This pushes them near $3 trillion and well over 10% of the entire US equity market...

For context, Bloomberg notes that is more than the total value of stocks in any single equity market worldwide except the five largest: the U.S., China, Japan, Hong Kong and the U.K.

The Surprising Losers From the VIX's Decline

The low level of the market's so-called fear gauge is not only bad news for investors who bet on higher volatility, it is bad for conservative investing strategies that profit directly from market choppiness, too.

The Hottest Chip Stock Heats Up Again

Nvidia investors may have had their heads in the cloud, but at least that cloud is starting to pay off.

Watch Out for the 'Altice Way' of Doing Business

As telecom giant Altice prepares its U.S. IPO, prospective shareholders should pay close attention to the company's use of management fees that could sap resources from minorities investors.

10May2017 Market Update: Wall Street Temporarily Climbing Out Of Bear Territory, Crude Inventories Down, Another Session Going Nowhere

Written by Gary

US stocks slipped this morning, but have pared losses climbing into the green in afternoon trading (SPY +0.2%). Earlier, they were weighed down by a string of weak corporate earnings and investors turned cautious after Trump fired Comey. WTI crude is trading higher in the mid 47 handle and gold slipped to 1219.

A Neuroscientist Reveals Why You're So Bad At Remembering Names

We've all been there, you're having a nice conversation with someone you just met and suddenly you realize you've forgotten their name. It's embarrassing, but the good news is there's actually an evolutionary reason behind it. Dr. Dean Buonomano, professor of neurobiology at UCLA, explains why people's names aren't easy to remember.

Market Extra: Here's the 'closest thing to a sure bet' in stocks in next 6 months

May traditionally marks the beginning of the six months when stock market's returns lag December-April period, coining the adage "sell in May and go away." But with all such axioms, there are exceptions and they may be found in the health care sector.

NewsWatch: A stock market decline may be around the corner, according to Elliott Wave analysis

Avi Gilburt says he expects a top in the market in the coming week.

Personal Finance Daily: DeVos gets booed and why wine and cheese might make you smart

Wednesday's top personal finance stories

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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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