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15May2017 Market Close: Wall Street Failed On Third Attempt To Best New Historic Highs, But Closed Near The Resistance, WTI Crude Fractionally Off Today's Session Highs

Written by Gary

US stock markets closed higher (SPY +0.6%), but just below new historic highs scored earlier in the session. SP 500 and Nasdaq hit new record highs as the global WCRY cyber attack boosted technology stocks and a rise in oil prices lifted energy stocks.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

Dow jumps 100 points as Cisco leads; S&P and Nasdaq hit record highs

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Cyber attack's spread slows; security stocks gain

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack spread more slowly on Monday with no major infections reported, as attention shifted to investment and government policy implications of lax cyber security.

Wall Street hit records as technology, energy stocks rise

(Reuters) - Wall Street indexes were trading higher on Monday and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit records as a global cyber attack boosted technology stocks and a rise in oil prices lifted energy stocks.

Snap surges after Wall Street heavyweights reveal stakes

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Snap Inc jumped 8 percent on Monday and was on track for its third strongest day since the social media company's initial public offering, boosted by filings showing several institutional investors had owned its shares.

Workers say Wal-Mart discriminated against thousands of pregnant women

(Reuters) - Two former Wal-Mart Stores Inc employees have filed a lawsuit accusing the retailer of treating thousands of pregnant workers as "second-class citizens" by rejecting their requests to limit heavy lifting, climbing on ladders and other potentially dangerous tasks.

Life-science tool stocks thrive away from Obamacare glare

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Away from the political spotlight on Obamacare and high medicine prices, a section of the U.S. healthcare industry is quietly thriving on the stock market.

AB InBev to pump $2 billion into U.S. business

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, plans to invest $2 billion in the United States, where its flagship Budweiser lager has suffered from declining volumes and a falling market share over the past three years.

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo, alleges predatory lending

(Reuters) - The City of Philadelphia sued Wells Fargo & Co on Monday, accusing the largest U.S. mortgage lender of predatory lending, which violates the federal Fair Housing Act.

U.S. companies push hard for lower tax rate on offshore profits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major U.S. multinationals are pushing the Trump administration to deepen the tax break it has already tentatively proposed on $2.6 trillion in corporate profits being held offshore, a key piece in Washington's intricate tax reform puzzle.

Thermo Fisher to buy Patheon for $5.2 billion to expand biopharma services

(Reuters) - Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc said on Monday it would buy Patheon NV , a Dutch manufacturer of drugs for clinical trials, for $5.2 billion as it seeks to complement its offerings in production and services for the biopharma industry.

Bets On Sudden End To Market Calm Spike To Record Highs

With VIX experiencing an all-tiome record period of complacency, investors are increasingly protecting against an end to the current market calm.

VIX has never...ever... traded this low for this long...

Which might explain the rising demand for protection against a possible snap back to reality...

As Bloomberg reports, the number of options betting on a rise in the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN, the most-traded VIX-linked security, has surged to a record, with 17 percent more calls outstanding than puts.

Notably a large number of hedge funds added significant holdings of VXX (long VIX) to their books in Q1 (including Tiger, Passport, and Goldman)

While the VIX just posted a fourth straight week of declines, the CBOE Mid-Term Volatility Index, which tracks expectations for equity swings in the next six months, moved in the opposite direction for the first time since February.

June: The Trifecta For Policy Error?

Submitted by Mark St.Cyr,

In about 30 days the Federal Reserve will hold its scheduled June (13-14) meeting of the FOMC to either give a thumbs-up, or thumbs-down to increasing interest rates in earnest once again. The odds that the Fed. will indeed raise again now stands at about 99%. In other words - it's all but a near certainty.

With that said, one can't help but marvel at not only the "markets" sheer abandonment on volatility with such a near certainty on its doorstep. But rather, the only thing to rival it is the sheer arrogance being displayed by the Fed. itself that such another increase is warranted as every data point to a self-professed "data dependent" consortium is not just flashing, but screaming danger with every passing day. e.g., B.E.A. Q1 GDP 0.7%, Atlanta Fed. GDP Now™ 0.2%, JPM Cuts Q1 GDP to Just 0.3%, and more.

In days of yore (i.e., Ancient history circa 2016) whenever the odds of hiking approached anything like the levels they do now, the Fed. would take to the media in any manner possible and try to supplant soothing tones of, "Hush now little ones and not too worry..." as to make it evidently clear the Fed. had no such intentions going into their next meeting. After all, as history has shown time, and time again, just the "idea" that a rate hike could be imminent sent the markets reeling needing for an ever incessant response of one Fed. official after anothe ...

Art Cashin: This Market Is "A Waste Of Carfare And A Clean Shirt"

The last time the US equity market had a longer stretch of calmness was February 1969. As UBS' veteran market operator Art Cashin exclaimed Friday, it "was another waste of carfare and a clean shirt."

This is the longest stretch of market smoves less than 0.5% since 1995.

Cashin added that the S&P first touched 2400 back on March 1st and it has not moved significantly away from that anchor in the two and a half months since then.

Cashin's advice: Consensus says bulls need to regroup and punch out of this consolidation phase - the challenge is to take the S&P clearly above 2400. Stick with the drill - stay wary, alert and very, very nimble.

1,746 American Adults Were Asked To Point Out North Korea On A Map: This Was The Result

In April 2014, just as the Ukraine conflict (and proxy civil war) was hitting its climax, in the process undermining US-Russian relations for years, some 2,066 Americans were asked to show where the Ukraine was on a map. The result, while leaving something to be desired, was not terrible.

Fast forward to this weekend, when the NYT repeated the same exercise with the latest geopolitical hotspot: North Korea. In an experiment led by Kyle Dropp of Morning Consult, he asked 1,746 American adults to point to where North Korea is on the world map. This was the raw result:

The bottom line: just 36% got it right. Here are the countries they selected:

Aside from showing that the majority of Americans are terrible at geography - hardly news - the NYT provided the ...

Cybersecurity Stocks Often Make Investors Wanna Cry

High-profile attacks boost interest, but security already a top priority among corporate leaders.

Profit Growth Will Come From Overseas

This year is shaping up to be a very good one for American companies. Just not at home.

Fear Not the Fear of Complacency in Markets

High stock prices and low volatility have created a fear of complacency. That fear in itself is a healthy one, however.

The Tell: Why stock-market investors should keep an eye on these diverging indexes

While the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite set fresh records on Monday, underlying a strong upward trend in the stock market, there is one sector that is signaling a possible pullback in the near term

Key Words: Parents of 19-year-old who died in Penn State hazing ritual: 'They killed him'

Timothy Piazza died on February 14 and his parents say members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity killed him.

Market Extra: Founder of the world's largest hedge fund says 'magnitude' of the next downturn will be epic

Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio has some good news for Wall Street investors, and some bad news.

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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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