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12Jul2017 Market Update: Wall St. Rises On Yellen's Dovish Rate Hike View, DOW Up Triple Digits, Crude Prices Slip Fractionally, US Dollar Volatile

Written by Gary

US stock markets gaped up this morning and have traded sideways (SPY +0.7%) with the Dow hitting a new record high, after Fed Chair Yellen said interest rates hikes . . .

Here is the current market situation from CNN Money

North and South American markets are higher today with shares in Brazil leading the region. The Bovespa is up 0.98% while U.S.'s S&P 500 is up 0.66% and Mexico's IPC is up 0.18%.

. . . would be gradual, but Yellen says low Inflation still major source of uncertainty.

"Considerable uncertainty always attends the economic outlook," Yellen said Wednesday in remarks prepared for delivery to the U.S House Financial Services Committee. "There is, for example, uncertainty about when -- and how much -- inflation will respond to tightening resource utilization."

Here are the headlines moving the markets.

Wall St. rises on Yellen's dovish rate hike view

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher in late morning trading on Wednesday, with the Dow hitting a record, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said interest rates hikes would be gradual and will not have to rise much further to reach the neutral rate.

Fed's Yellen says rate and portfolio plans on track, cautions on inflation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Fed to proceed with plans to raise rates and begin winding down its massive bond portfolio, though low inflation and a low neutral rate may leave the central bank with diminished leeway, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday.

American Airlines' upbeat forecast lifts airline stocks

(Reuters) - U.S. airline stocks rose on Wednesday after American Airlines Group Inc became the latest carrier to raise its estimate for per seat revenue over the past week.

RBS to pay $5.5 billion to resolve major U.S. mortgage probe

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland will pay $5.5 billion to settle one of the two major U.S. investigations into allegations it mis-sold mortgage-backed bonds that it needs to resolve before the British government can sell its shares.

Generali puts $50 billion German life portfolio on block: sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - Italy's Generali has put its 44 billion euro ($50 billion) German life insurance portfolio up for sale as it restructures in Europe, sources close to the matter said.

Google wins challenge against 1.1 billion euro French tax bill

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. internet giant Google on Wednesday won a court challenge against demands by French authorities that it pay 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in back taxes.

Facebook's Zuckerberg drills down into North Dakota's oil patch

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg toured a North Dakota drilling rig on Tuesday and peppered industry workers in the No. 2 U.S. oil-producing state with questions about automation, safety and fracking.

SEC Chairman signals plans to scale back corporate disclosure rules

(Reuters) - Wall Street's top U.S. regulator on Wednesday signaled support for potentially scaling back the scope and breadth of disclosure rules and compliance costs imposed on public companies, in an effort to entice more companies to go public.

U.S. should not block Chinese chip acquisitions: China think-tank

BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States should not block Chinese acquisitions of U.S. semiconductor technologies, a leading state think-tank in Beijing said on Wednesday, as Washington heightens scrutiny of Chinese investments in the sector.

Chinese Billionaire Warns America: China Has Over 20,000 Spies Who Are "Ready To Destroy The U.S."

Authored by Mac Slavo via,

Since the 1980's, the US has caught and imprisoned over a dozen people who were spying on American government agencies and corporations. So we catch Chinese spies once every few years. With that kind of frequency, you'd probably assume that China doesn't have that many intelligence assets in America at any given time. Based on those numbers, a safe estimate would be in the hundreds, or perhaps thousands.

But it turns out that those estimates would be incredible low. According to Guo Wengui, a billionaire investor who has fled China and moved to New York since becoming a major critic of the Chinese regime, there are probably 25,000 spies in America who are working for Beijing.

Those numbers are derived from what he claims, are his close ties to multiple Chinese intelligence agencies. That may sound far fetched to most Americans, but in China the public and private sectors are closely aligned. They're practically the same entity. So we should take his warnings very seriously, which were brought up in a recent interview with The Freebeacon.

Guo said that Chinese intelligence operations in the United States sharply increased after the 2012 Communist Party Congress that brought current leader Xi Jinping to power.

US Approves $3.9 Billion Patriot Missile System For Romania; Putin: "We Will Be Forced To Respond"

On Tuesday the State Department approved the sale of $3.9 billion in patriot missile systems to NATO-member Romania after prior Russia warnings that such actions could be met with severe reprisals.

Photo source: Darkone/Wikimedia Commons.

The announcement, issued through the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, is sure to be a huge shot across the bow following on the heels of Russian President Vladimir Putin's earlier unambiguous words (issued in May) regarding further NATO build-up in the large Balkan country:

If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security. We won't take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbor us. We've been repeating like a mantra that we will be forced to respond... Nobody wants to hear us. Nobody wants to conduct negotiations with us.

Romania's US-built $800 million ballistic missile defense shield came online for the first time in May, just prior to Trump's meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis early the following month, where the two discussed defense spending and other economic concerns. Romania has been a NATO member only since 2004, but has steadily attracted the attention of Western defense companies - it has increased its defense b ...

The Clouds

Allow me to present to you something from this morning's paper:


Let's just take a step back and understand what is being said here:

(1) There have been a lot of crimes on BART (it's like the subway here in the Bay Area);

(2) It would seem that the majority of these crimes are perpetrated by minorities;

(3) There is video of these perpetrators shown doing the crimes;

(4) BART is refusing to release the tapes since they might ...

The "News" Is Content-Free

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We're "your" trustworthy news source, even though we're all owned by six corporations or billionaires with political agendas.

The "news" has loomed large in The News--a classic self-referential loop in which the media itself becomes its own content. While the controversy over what constitutes "fake news" and "real news" has itself become "the news," the cold reality is all "news," "real" or otherwise, is content-free.

The "news" is so devoid of content that a simple software program could assemble a semi-random daily selection of headlines, scrolling banners, and radio/TV "news" reports from a pool of typical "news" stories and insert a bit of context (local highways that are congested, rough neighborhoods where shootings occur, names of local authorities, etc.), and the consumer of "news" would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the randomly generated "news" and the "real news."

Here's a taste of the Random Content-Free News Generator Application that would produce "news" that was virtually indistinguishable from the "real" news.

Traffic is backed up near the (insert the usual congestion point) on the I-XX (local Interstate/highway). (TV/video: show randomly selected video clip of slow-moving traffic).

A serious accident occurred on I-XX (TV newscasters look somber if the wreck resulted in fatalities.)

Local Authorities held a news conference to Say What People Want to Hear about (insert hot-button topic): this concern is being addressed by authorities. We've got top people w ...

Yellen's Wish May Not Come True

The Federal Reserve expects to raise rates gradually. If the unemployment rate keeps falling, that plan might not hold up.

Drug Prices Under Fire, in the States

Investors in drug companies should give some attention to state capitals, where a wave of bills designed to limit drug price increases are under consideration.

How an Old Flop Could Boost Big Tobacco

So-called heat-not-burn cigarettes have finally come of age. But it may pay to bet on the challenger, not the leader.

Market Extra: Stock market hasn't been this quiet since Lyndon B. Johnson was president

The last time Wall Street trading was this quiet, Lyndon Johnson was president, The Sound of Music was the movie to see, and on the radio, the Rolling Stones were searching for satisfaction.

Futures Movers: Oil pares gains as EIA confirms drop in U.S. crude inventories, but output climbs

Oil prices pare some of their earlier gains Wednesday, as concerns surrounding rising U.S. crude production partially offset support from government data that confirmed a sharp decline in domestic crude supplies for a second week in a row.

Earnings Outlook: Netflix earnings: Subscriber additions is key, along with content spend

When it comes to Netflix Inc., investors have traditionally set their sights on the ebbs and flows of the company's subscriber numbers, the streaming giant's main source of revenue.

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