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29Jun2017 Market Close: Wall Street Fell Sharply With The S&P 500 And DOW Hitting Almost Two Month Lows, WTI Crude Off Session Highs, But Up 0.3 Percent, Banks Revealed Buyback And Dividend Plans That Topped Analyst Expectations

Written by Gary

US stock markets fell sharply today (SPY -0.9%) with the DOW down 168 points on track for its worst daily drop in six weeks as investors continued a recent move out of technology shares.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

Tech stocks plunge, Dow closes 168 points lower

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Tech swoon leads big drop on Wall Street

(Reuters) - Wall Street fell sharply on Thursday with the S&P 500 and Dow industrials on track for their worst daily drops in six weeks as investors continued a recent move out of technology shares.

Blue Apron shares make bland debut

(Reuters) - Blue Apron Holdings Inc's shares were up about 1 percent in their market debut on Thursday following the meal-kit delivery company's watered down IPO in the shadow of Amazon.com's deal to buy Whole Foods Market .

Walgreens scraps Rite Aid merger, will instead buy half its stores

(Reuters) - Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc scrapped its deal to buy Rite Aid Corp after failing to win antitrust approval, but said it would instead buy nearly half of the smaller rival's U.S. stores for $5.18 billion.

U.S. first quarter economic growth revised up on jump in consumer spending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy slowed less than feared in the first quarter due largely to a jump in consumer spending, providing a slightly more encouraging outlook for growth this year.

Britain says Fox bid for Sky risks giving Murdoch too much power

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain intends to subject Rupert Murdoch's takeover of European pay-TV group Sky to a lengthy in-depth investigation after finding the $15 billion deal risks giving the media mogul too much power over the news agenda.

Shares of big U.S. banks jump on hefty payout plans

(Reuters) - Shares in the biggest U.S. banks rose on Thursday after they revealed buyback and dividend plans that topped analyst expectations after the Federal Reserve approved capital proposals in its annual stress test program.

Billionaire investor Icahn backs off demand for AIG breakup: source

(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is backing off his demand to break up insurance giant American International Group Inc , following the company's sale of assets and hiring of a new chief executive officer, a person familiar with the matter said.

Coca-Cola says reaches agreement with S. African government. on acquisition of local arm

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Drinks giant Coca-Cola said on Thursday it had reached an agreement with the South African government on a package of conditions as it finalizes the purchase of a controlling 54.5 percent stake in its joint Africa venture with ABInBev .

ANZ says seeking to uncover metals fraudsters after big losses

LONDON/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is seeking to uncover who was behind a metals fraud in Asia that cost it "substantial losses" and led to transfers of $151 million to the United States, according to court papers filed in California.

In "Unprecedented Step" US Sanctions Chinese Entities With Ties To North Korea

After allegedly pressuring the Chinese government to act first and adopt sanctions against nearly 10 local entities who the US claims provided North Korea with materials used in its nuclear program, the US has decided to act. In an unprecedented step, the Treasury Department slapped financial sanctions on two Chinese nationals and a Chinese shipping company over their ties to North Korea stemming from its nuclear program, according to Reuters.

The Trump administration also proposed sanctions against a Chinese bank of helping North Korea launder money and cut the institution off from the US financial system, in a major step that at least on the surface, is aimed at convincing China to put more pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its missile and nuclear programs, according to the Financial Times. The US Treasury designated the bank in question, the Bank of Dandong, as a "foreign bank of primary money laundering concern" and also imposed sanctions on two Chinese individuals and one Chinese company.

The Treasury Department said in a statement it was sanctioning Wei Sun for links to the Foreign Trade Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Hong Ri Li for his links to North Korean banking executive Song-hyok Ri, as well as the Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Ltd of Dalian, China.

The moves come one week after top US and Chinese officials met for strategic talks in Washington in which the US side tried to persuade China to take more action on North Korea. Steven Mnuchin, Treasury secretary, said the US was "sending an emphatic message across the globe that we will not hesitate to take action ...

Global Debt Hits A New Record High Of $217 Trillion; 327% Of GDP

The Institute of International Finance is perhaps best known for its periodic - and concerning - reports summarizing global leverage statistics, and its latest Q1 report was the most troubling yet, because what it found was that in a period of so-called "coordinated growth", global debt hit a new all time high of $217 trillion, or over 327% of global GDP, up $50 trillion over the past decade. So much for Ray Dalio's beautiful deleveraging, oh and for those economists who are still confused why r-star remains near 0%, the chart below has all the answers.

Not surprisingly, China continues to be the biggest source of global debt growth, with the country's total debt load now surpassing 300%.

While much of the debt issuance at the financial sector level has moderated in recent years, supplanted by outside money created by central banks, debt in the non-financial sector has continued to grow, and as of Q1 2017, hit an all time high of 242% of GDP.

An interesting observation by the IIF: despite the recent dollar strength (if not so much in the past quarter), dollar bond issuance in Emerging Markets has been on a tear over the past year.

One Ohio Politician Has A Simple Solution To The Overdose Problem: Let Addicts Die

Across the country, opioids killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As we have noted numerous times, the epidemic is ravaging populations across racial and socioeconomic lines, according to The Post's Joel Achenbach and Dan Keating. Spurred by overdoses, the death rate for Americans rose 8 percent between 2010 and 2015.

And Ohio and other Rust Belt states are at the center of the epidemic. Opioid-related deaths in Ohio jumped from 296 in 2003 to 2,590 in 2015 — a 775 percent jump, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

There's also an economic toll: One study estimated that the cost of the prescription drug opioid epidemic costs American society $78.5 billion.

And one Ohio city council member has a solution...

As The Washington Post reports, under a new plan, people who dial 911 seeking help for someone who's overdosing on opioids may start hearing something new from dispatchers: "No."

In response to the opioid epidemic that swept the na ...

Are America's Aircraft Carriers On Their Way To Obsolescence?

Back in May, Trump raised some eyebrows when he offered his candid opinion to Time Magazine on the advantages of steam catapult systems as compared to the Navy's new Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) currently being installed on a new generation of aircraft carriers...apparently he's a fan of the "goddamned steam" systems if you must know.

You know the catapult is quite important. So I said what is this? Sir, this is our digital catapult system. He said well, we're going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology]. I said you don't use steam anymore for catapult? No sir. I said, "Ah, how is it working?" "Sir, not good. Not good. Doesn't have the power. You know the steam is just brutal. You see that sucker going and steam's going all over the place, there's planes thrown in the air."

It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it's very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said-and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said what system are you going to be-"Sir, we're staying with digital." I said no you're not. You going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it's no good.

Trump

Unfortunately, given that the EMALS had already been installed on the Navy's latest $13 billion carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, that wasn't a fight Trump ever really had a shot at winning, irrespective of his 'technical expertise' on the topic.

Capital One Needs to Explain Itself

Capital One's poor showing in the Federal Reserve's stress tests raises new questions about the company's risks.

Rite Aid Crashes Into the Bargain Bin

Rite Aid's deal with Walgreens isn't a dream scenario, but it will strengthen the pharmacy chain's balance sheet and make it more attractive to future suitors.

Chip Makers Cashing In on Digital Currencies, for Now

Graphics processors have long been the mainstay of personal computers tricked out for gaming. But the chips are also useful for a task called cryptocurrency mining.

Market Extra: Here's why the stock market is spooked by central bankers, Trump agenda delays

Investors are getting knocked around by a one-two punch of concerns about President Donald Trump's Wall Street-friendly agenda and comments from global central bankers interpreted as a signal that tighter monetary policy is on the way.

Trump Today: Trump Today: President says he rebuffed Mar-a-Lago visit from 'bleeding' and 'low IQ' TV host

Just days after an awkward callout of an Irish female reporter, President Donald Trump says he rejected a visit from Mika Brzezinski and her fiance Joe Scarborough, who hosts a television show that's turned critical of the commander in chief.

Pressure builds to lift debt ceiling as CBO flags looming deadline

Pressure built on Congress to left the debt ceiling as the Congressional Budget Office said Thursday the debt ceiling may be reached as early as October.

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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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