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30Jun2017 Market Close: Wall Street Closed Mixed, DOW Up 63 Points, US Dollar Recovered Slightly, But Posted Its Biggest Quarterly Decline, WTI Crude Moved Up To The Low 46 Handle

Written by Gary

US large caps ended the week fractionally up (SPY +0.2%) and the Nasdaq closed down and flat. US consumer spending rose modestly and inflation cooled, pointing to a slow-but-steady economic expansion.

Todays S&P 500 Chart

The Market in Perspective

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. ending bumpy week, solid first half on high note

(Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes were poised on Friday to end a volatile week on a high note, boosted by Nike's well-received quarterly report, with the S&P 500 set to post its best first half of the year since 2013.

U.S. consumer spending rises modestly, inflation cools

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending rose modestly in May and inflation cooled, pointing to a slow-but-steady economic expansion that could still lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of the year.

Buffett's company to become Bank of America's top shareholder

(Reuters) - Warren Buffett's company will become the biggest shareholder in Bank of America Corp , after Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Friday invoked its right to acquire 700 million shares of the second-largest U.S. bank.

Dollar posts biggest quarterly drop in nearly seven years

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar recovered slightly on Friday, but posted its biggest quarterly decline against a basket of rival currencies in nearly seven years after hawkish signals from foreign central banks this week pressured the greenback further.

Big U.S. banks pack results into one day, overwhelming analysts

(Reuters) - For the fourth straight quarter, several of the biggest U.S. banks are reporting earnings on the same day, setting up a situation that overwhelms analysts covering the industry.

Nike-Amazon deal may hurt sporting goods retailers: analysts

(Reuters) - Nike's pilot program to sell certain products on Amazon and Instagram is a precursor to it forging a deeper relationship with online retailers, and could hit sales at sporting goods retailers such as Foot Locker Inc .

Walgreens deal offers no lasting relief to Rite Aid

(Reuters) - A slimmed-down Rite Aid Corp could lose much of its bargaining heft with insurers and makers of branded drugs at a time when it is trying to turn around its flagging pharmacy business, analysts said.

U.S. fund managers seek consumer stocks that Amazon can't conquer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's game-changing move to upend the grocery business with a surprise deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc compounds a problem already vexing fund managers: how to play U.S. consumer spending when the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is threatening to take over retail.

Race to buy $10 billion-valued GLP narrows down to two groups: sources

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) - The race to buy Global Logistic Properties narrowed to between a Chinese consortium backed by the company's management and a rival group led by Warburg Pincus, sources said, as bidders submitted offers for the $10 billion-valued firm.

New York Times Forced To Retract Longstanding '17 Intel Agencies' Lie About Russian Hacking

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

"Seventeen intelligence agencies"? - ?if you've been following the maniacal #TrumpRussia coverage to any extent, you've heard this phrase used uncritically, time and again, regardless of your ideological loyalties. Pundits, papers and rank-and-file establishment loyalists have been unquestioningly regurgitating the nonsensical line that 17 intelligence agencies confirmed Russian interference in the US elections ever since Hillary Clinton made that baseless assertion in a debate back in October.

Clinton's "17 US intelligence agencies" may be the biggest, most immediately disprovable wopper ever intentionally made during a debate.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 20, 2016

Hillary Clinton's "17 US intelligence agencies" include:

*Coast Guard
*DEA
*Navel Intelligence
*Department of Energy
*Air Force recon

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 20, 2016

Maine To Begin Shutdown After Gov. LePage Says He Won't Sign Budget Bill

After Maine Gov. Paul LePage delivered an ultimatum to state lawmakers, promising to provoke a government shutdown should the state's legislature hand him a budget that includes a tax increase, it appears the governor intends to keep his word.

LePage told reporters at the state capital that he won't sign anything Friday, ensuring that a shutdown will begin at midnight, because the current budget proposalwhich was endorsed late Thursday by a special panel of lawmakers but has not yet been approved by the state legislature, includes a 1.5% lodging tax increase.

According to the Bangor Daily News, the budget package currently under consideration would raise the lodging tax from 9% to 10.5%. The budget does, however, include a 3% cut to an education surtax on individuals earning more than $200,000. LePage has also taken issue with the size of the $7.1 billion budget.

To be sure, it's not entirely certain that the budget will even make it to the governor's desk before the day is over. That's because LePage has asked the state's House Republicans to oppose the deal, which was negotiated by Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, and House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport.

LePage has embraced brash rhetoric during the budget fight, accusing lawmakers of "trying to put a gun to the governor's head."

Bitcoin to Ether: Welcome to the Vomitorium

Volatility is Not Risk.... is a true statement if you manage your bankroll properly.

via Soren K. Group and Marketslant

Volatility is mitigated by bankroll management (VaR). If a security is very volatile, then investors lessen the dollar amount invested as compared to other investments. If someone is speculating or trading, they either lower trading volume, widen stops, or do some combination of the 2 to mitigate Volatility. This is in part to insulate other positions in the portfolio,in part to mitigate exit liquidity risk, and paramount to managing VaR.

Crypto Prices

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Litecoin

Monero

Ripple

Dash

Zcash

Peercoin

Namecoin

Bitcoin to Ether: Welcome to the Vomitorium

Wednesday: 255 > 318 = 24% low to high

Thursday: 318 > 276 = 13% High to Low

Friday: 278 > 302 = 8.6% low to high

The last week of Ethereum trading as made more than a few people want to wretch we feel.

Understanding The Cryptocurrency Boom (And Its Volatility)

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Speculative booms are often poor guides to future valuations and the maturation trajectory of a new sector.

I recently came across a December 1996 San Jose Mercury News article on tech pioneers' attempts to carry the pre-browser Internet's bulletin board community vibe over to the new-fangled World Wide Web.

In effect, the article is talking about social media a decade before MySpace and Facebook and 15 years before the maturation of social media.

(Apple was $25 per share in December 1996. Adjusted for splits, that's about the cost of a cup of coffee.)

So what's the point of digging up this ancient tech history?

-- Technology changes in ways that are difficult to predict, even to visionaries who understand present-day technologies.

-- The sources of great future fortunes are only visible in a rearview mirror.

Many of the tech and biotech companies listed in the financial pages of December 1996 no longer exist. Their industries changed, and they vanished or were bought up, often for pennies on the dollar of their heyday valuations.

Which brings us to cryptocurrencies, which entered the world with bitcoin in early 2009.

Now there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies, and a speculative boom has pushed bitcoin from around $600 a year ago to $2600 and Ethereum, another leading cryptocurrency, from around $10 last year to $370.

Where are cryptocurrencies in the evolution from new technology to speculative boom to maturation? Judging by valuation leaps from $10 to $370, the technology is clearly in the speculative boom phase.

If recent tech history is any guide, speculative boom phases are often poor guides to future valuations and the maturation ...

Time to Choose Sides in Global Markets

The first half of 2017 has ended with big moves in global bond yields and exchange rates, sparked by a belated realization that central banks are increasingly edging toward reining in extraordinary policy measures. The stage is set for a scrappier second half.

Economy Is Losing a Big Booster

The oil-price rebound gave capital spending a boost, but weakening prices means it will likely be short-lived.

China to Markets: Relax, Global Growth is Fine

While global bond and stock markets are under pressure, the latest data from China contained some encouraging news.

Music drives 'Baby Driver,' can it drive sales too?

"Baby Driver" is a action crime thriller set in a world where music drives every action. The film stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, a young getaway driver who's constantly listening to music to drown out the hum in ears from tinnitus.

Illinois on brink of becoming first state rated junk if budget crisis not averted

Illinois, already the lowest-rated U.S. state, is spiraling toward the start of an unprecedented third-straight fiscal year without a budget, crippled by the partisan impasse between its Republican governor and Democrats who control the legislature.

This is why millennials can't have nice things (or save any money)

Avocado toast is the least of young Americans' worries.

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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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