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08Jun2017 Market Update: Wall Street Apparently Going Home After The Party As Major Indexes Slip Off New Highs, Crude Prices Remain Low In The Mid 45 Handle, US Dollar Trends Upward

Written by Gary

US stocks were higher in early afternoon trading (SPY +0.1%) after former FBI Comey's testimony was seen by investors as having no smoking gun that could affect Trump's presidency. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week and crude has ignored rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.


Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are mixed. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.07%, while the Bovespa is leading the IPC lower. They are down 0.79% and 0.30% respectively.

What Is Moving the Markets

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. rises as Comey testimony springs no surprise

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher in early afternoon trading on Thursday after former FBI Director James Comey's testimony was seen by investors as having no smoking gun that could affect Donald Trump's presidency.

Verizon plans to cut about 2,000 jobs at Yahoo, AOL: source

(Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc is expected to cut about 2,000 jobs when it completes its $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo Inc's core assets next week, a person briefed on the matter said.

Jobless claims drop; labor market slack shrinking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, unwinding half of the prior period's jump and suggesting the labor market was tightening despite a recent slowdown in job growth.

Wilbur Ross sees 'genuine' national security concern on steel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that a national security review of the U.S. steel industry will be completed "very shortly" and will seek to protect the interests of both domestic steel producers and consumers.

Exclusive: China's WH Group targets beef and poultry assets in U.S. and Europe

CHICAGO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Smithfield Foods Inc's owner, China-based WH Group Ltd , is scouting for U.S. and European beef and poultry assets to buy, in a move that would sharpen its rivalry with global meat packers Tyson Foods Inc and JBS SA.

General Motors sale of Opel to PSA could be completed by end July

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Opel, the European arm of General Motors , said its sale to France's Peugeot could be completed as early as July 31, pending regulatory approval.

Oil shrugs off geopolitical tensions but some see red flags

LONDON (Reuters) - The oil price has ignored rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, as a three-year old crude surplus has wiped out any real fear over supply, but one of the world's largest security consultants says there are red flags the market cannot ignore.

ECB closes door on rate cuts but warns of weak inflation

TALLINN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank closed the door on more interest rate cuts on Thursday, judging the euro zone economy to be rebounding, but said inflation looks to remain weak for years so it still needs to pump out the cash.

U.S. services data suggests upward revision to first-quarter GDP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy was probably not as weak in the first quarter as has been reported, with data on Thursday showing modestly stronger consumer spending than previously estimated.

Rates Continue To Defy "Wall Street Logic"

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

The "Bond Bears" just can't seem to catch a break.

Beginning in mid-2013, there have been numerous calls the 30-year bond bull market was dead. The reasoning was simplistic enough - economic growth was set to return pushing inflation, and ultimately interest rates, higher. Unfortunately, as each year has come and gone, economic growth has failed to return with real economic growth averaging just 1.9% since the turn of the century.

As I have discussed many times in the past, interest rates are a function of three primary factors: economic growth, wage growth, and inflation. The relationship can be clearly seen in the chart below.

Okay...maybe not so clearly. Let me clean this up by combining inflation, wages, and economic growth into a single composite for comparison purposes to the level of the 10-year Treasury rate.

Comey Testifies AG Lynch 'Pressured' Him To Use Clinton Campaign Language; "It Gave Me A Queasy Feeling"

In perhaps the most stunning section of former FBI Director Comey's testimony today, he detailed his interaction with then Attorney General Loretta Lynch about his specific language about the Clinton Email "investigation."

For the first time, former FBI Director James Comey, who is testifying today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that President Obama's Attorney General Loretta Lynch asked him to downplay the Hillary Clinton's email scandal...



*COMEY: CONCERNED WITH AG DIRECTIVE ON CLINTON `MATTER'

*COMEY: LYNCH'S LANGUAGE `TRACKED' CLINTON CAMPAIGN'S

*COMEY: GAVE IMPRESSION LYNCH WAS LOOKING TO ALIGN W/CAMPAIGN

*COMEY SAYS HE HAD `QUEASY FEELING' AFTER LYNCH INTERACTION

As DailyCaller notes, Comey said Lynch instructed Comey not to call the criminal investigation into the Clinton server a criminal investigation. Instead, Lynch told Comey to call it a "matter," Comey said, "which confused me." Comey cited that pressure from Lynch to downplay the investigation as one of the reasons he held a press conference to recommend the Department of Justice not seek to indict Clinton.

"Probably the only other consideration that I guess I can talk about in an open setting is that at one point, the attorney ...

Watch Live: Comey Takes The Stand As "Washington DC's Super Bowl" Is Finally Upon Us

Live Feed:

Updates:

Meanwhile, for those who continue to consume anonymously-sourced news from CNN, NYT, WAPO, etc, as pure fact, please consider Comey's testimony that the February NY Times story alleging numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russia was "almost entirely wrong"

Comey said a February NY Times story claiming contacts between Trump associates and Russia was "almost entirely wrong"

— Chris Barron (@ChrisRBarron) June 8, 2017

After admitting that he gave his memos to Columbia Professor Dan Richman, one has to wonder why Comey "felt free to share that" given that those memos were the property of the FBI, drafted on a classified FBI computer, while on duty in his capacity as an FBI employee, etc...some might call that a felony.

Blunt: "You didn't consider your memo on @POTUS mtgs to be a govt document?"

Comey: "As a private citizen I felt free to share that."

.@royblunt: You didn't consider your memo on @POTUS mtgs to be a govt document?

Italy's 5-Star Party Demands Immediate Elections After Failure Of Electoral Reform

Not everyone is satisfied with today's news that Italy's early elections will likely be pushed back. Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement called on Thursday for immediate national elections after the previously reported deal on electoral reform - which would have resulted in the next Italian elections taking place in September, at the same time as Germany's - among the major parties unraveled.

"There is no chance of starting all over again. The legislature should end here and we should hold immediate elections," said Luigi Di Maio, who is widely expected to be the 5-Star's candidate for prime minister. He spoke shortly after the lower house voted to send the electoral reform bill back to a cross-party commission for further discussion.

Today's events have reintroduced confusion about the Italian political timeline: as Reuters adds, upping the pressure for an early election, the parliamentary party leader of the ruling Democratic Party, Ettore Rosato, told reporters he did not know how the coalition government could hold together following the rupture over the voting law.

Also moments ago founder of the Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, said in a post on his blog that the Democratic Party now wants to avoid early elections, and regrets that no agreement found on electoral law.

As a reminder, the Five Star (M5S) party has erased the PD's lead over the past two years, and according to recent polls was neck and neck, if not leading in the polls.

The Ruling Democratic Party and the Anti-Establishment 5 Star Movement Are Polling Neck-and-Neck
Opinion polls on voting intentions at Italy's general elections

Citigroup Shares: Big, Cheap and a Good Value

Citigroup, the last truly cheap major bank in the U.S., is approaching two key turning points that should help its shares close in on a better valuation.

Mario Draghi Moves ECB in Ultraslow Motion

The European Central Bank dropped its easing bias on interest rates—a cheap concession, since no one expected a further rate cut.

How Investors Can Avoid Getting Hit by Electric Cars

Global auto parts makers Johnson Matthey and Umicore grew rich on the chemistry of catalytic converters. Now they want a piece of the booming car-battery business.

Nordstrom bonds clobbered by news the department-store chain may go private

As a private company, Nordstrom would have room to implement its recovery strategy, but creditors are worried it would increase debt.

Market Extra: Is bitcoin in a bubble? This metric suggests there's more room to grow

Bitcoin has more than tripled this year and seems to make new records by the day, and one metric—a kind of P/E ratio for cryptocurrencies—suggests it still has room to grow.

More evidence that credit card companies are lending to riskier customers

A Moody's report says some companies are loosening their underwriting standards

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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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